By Muhammad Amin
The tragedy of Karbala has left an indelible mark on the history of human being. Imam Hussain Ibni Ali Ibni Abi Talib, who was the third imam of Shiite Islam, sacrificed his life along with his family and companions for the protection of Islam against the oppressed and unjust regime of Yazid. It was a high benchmark of valour and bravery displayed by the grandson of the Prophet of Islam.
When Hussain was born in 625 AD at Madina, her beloved mother Fatima brought him to her father, the last Messenger of Allah, and he was named Hussain by him. The holy prophet had deep love with his niece and narrated that all the lineage of the world will continue through sons but my progeny will continue through my daughter Fatima. He had also said both Hassan and Hussain are masters of the Heaven.
More tears have been shed for Imam Hussain, his members of Ahl e Bayt and companions than any other martyrs in the history of Islam. Hussain’s martyrdom provided Islam with a paradigm with selfless struggle and sacrifice. For hundreds of years generations would come, invoking the name of Hussain abni Ali, to uphold justice and to fight against tyranny. For some Muslims, it was a defining movement in Islamic history.
Hussain stood for faith and discipline in the face of tyranny and oppression. Hussain was the embodiment of the Quranic teaching that humankind is born into freedom and is to bow only to Divine Majesty. Freedom is a trust which can’t be surrendered to a tyrant.
Before Karbala Shi, Aan e Ali was only a religious movement, but after Karbala it became both a religious and political movement. The echoes of Karbala were heard again and again and even has gained huge momentum in present times.
So great was the shock caused from Imam Hussain’s martyrdom that even Yazid tried to keep himself at a distance from the tragedy to avoid public outcry. But when we examine the character and actions of Yazid, these this seems nothing but crocodile tears shed by a tyrant.
Karbala stands out as a historical benchmark, a hinge around which the history of Islamic civilization revolves. The privilege that we have today reciting of the Shahadad, laillahaila Allah, Muhammad Rasool Allah, is because of the Shahada of Imam Hussain at Karbala.
So what are the lessons taught from Karbala? The first lesson is of faith. He stood fast having firm belief in Allah subhanutallah with fully focused in the face of adversity. When the last drop his of blood was flowing from his vein, the last word from his lips was Kalima Shahada. Muslims today face heavy hardships, the internal and external, and the only example they have to follow is that the great martyr of Islam made at Karbala, hold on to faith in Allah
Second is a right action. Do what is right. Righteousness is conformity to Allah law, both in intent and in deed. Imam Hussain had a choice .He could have given his hand in baya to Yazid and would have got a high position in Umayyad government, but he did what was right.
The third lesson of Karbala is justice. It means truth. It means rights and responsibilities. Imam Hussain stood for justice in the face of tyranny and oppressor. Imam Hussain’s message is universal for the whole world and for all the times. It is not just for the Muslims, as justice is an attribute of Allah.AS the holy Quran says, O you who have certainty of faith, do stand firmly for justice as witnesses before Allah.
The great sacrifice imam, the exalted, has not inspired the Muslims only, but great movements of the world have received inspiration and direction from Karbala. Nelson Mandela writes in his auto biography, that when after serving twenty years in the prison I had decided to surrender to the apartheid regime at their terms. Then the Karbala and imam Hussain`great sacrifice came to my mind and I reversed my decision of surrendering. He spent seven more years in jail and defeated one of the ugliest tyrants of the twenty century.
As the entire Muslim world is passing through one of its most critical periods in history and have become hijacked in the hands of non Muslims. Poverty, ignorance and illiteracy are rampant. Taghuti powers are bent on destabilizing the Ummah, in such situation the only ray of hope is lesson of Karbala and stand of imam Hussain.
As the poet has put it beautifully in Urdu:
Qatle Hussain asal mein marge Yazid hai
Islam zinda hota hai har Karbala ka bad
The martyrdom of Hussain is in reality the death of Yazid
Islam is born anew after every Karbala.