The Epic Movement of Imam Hussain (A.S)


Imam Hussain’s Revolution for Humanity

The revolution of Karbala has many aspects to be pondered upon. Imam Hussain (A.S) refused to pledge allegiance to the corrupt regime of Yazid and preferred a glorious death to humiliating life. Believing that Yazid would lead the society to moral decline and violate the Islamic tenets and social values, Imam Husain (A.S) sought to fulfill his religious obligation through revolution, which was the last resort. With the caliphate of Yazid, Prophet’s Sunnah and Islamic Sharia were at the mercy of erosion and religious principles would be pronounced wrongly to Islamic Ummah.

The tragic aspect of Imam’s revolution should not outweigh the philosophic aspect and his messages for the human societies. The heartrending incident of Karbala is indescribable and the blood of Imam Husain (A.S) and his companions in the blazing desert of Karbala will force tears to one’s eyes. However, it is not the entire narrative of Karbala and one has to view the revolution from social, political and cultural perspectives. Imam invested in humanity through his blood, which is still oozing from the heart of history to convey his message to the world not to live an ignominious life and never swear allegiance to a corrupt and cruel regime. He embraced martyrdom to revive ethical code and human values rather than playing a tragedy so that a number of individuals shed tears or hurt themselves by knifing (flagellating themselves with chain-knife which is not permitted by Muftis).

To view the dark page of Karbala, the incident is replete with violence and carnage and Yazid’s men spilt the blood of Prophet’s grandson and his companions without an iota of mercy. This page reflects the cruelty of a dictator caliph who played the role of villain in real life.

Blood reflects a deeply historical meaning in human history. In other words, human history starts with blood which polarizes the men. When Cain slew Abel, it was the first drop of blood shed on Earth and the first ever sin committed upon Earth but Abel was chronicled in history as one of the first believers and as the first ever martyr. The Abel’s tribe was filled with a strong feeling to avenge his death. This animosity was recorded in history and went on for centuries, yet continues. Dr. Ali Shariati, a religious intellectual, believes that there are two new tribes: the “Devine tribe” – which has pledged allegiance to God – and the “Devil’s tribe” – which has pledged allegiance to Satan. Still a revenge for blood continues between the two new tribes, however, the concept of blood has been changed. The Cain’s tribe still owes blood to Abel’s tribe and it is an obligation on Devine party to take revenge, as it was started in the beginning of human history. The heart of history is still bleeding and Cain is considered a murderer in the history.

According to him the tribal blood has been changed into ideological blood. Currently, a number of insurgents seek to impose their radical ideology on individuals with the barrel of gun. The “Devine tribe”, who nurtures virtue, fall victim to violent behaviors of the “Devil’s tribe”. The Devil’s tribe still inflicts casualties upon the individuals around the globe. It is believed that the religious extremists, that blackmail the globe, back Yazid’s regime, mainly when attacking mourners in the Holy Month of Muharram or worshippers in mosques. History reveals that Yazidis attacked Imam Husain (A.S) and his companions at Ashura (10th of Muharram) while offering prayer in the desert of Karbala. Similarly, the insurgent fighters attacked a procession of mourners on the eve of Ashura, while performing their religious rituals, in Kabul killing and wounding tens of people, including men, women and children.

It should be noted that Shiites and Sunnis will have to maintain the spirit of brotherhood, mainly in Afghanistan, as the insurgent groups seek to stoke sectarianism in the country through killing ethnic minorities on the grounds of their caste, color and creed. Shiites and Sunnis are considered brethren in religious texts and have to stay united so as to form a civil society void of violence and carnage. Perhaps, there are many hands behind smokescreen working for the segregation of Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

Since we claim to be the Devine tribe, we should not exaggerate the tragic aspect of Karbala in a way that overshadows the spirit of the revolution. We have to practice upon the acts and words of Imam Husain (A.S). Imam’s bravery against dictator regime, his hatred against moral turpitude and his selfless acts for reviving religious tenets and ethical code should be implanted in our souls and be reflected in our daily practices.

It is believed that a historical hero does not necessarily belong to a single nation, state or religious group but to the entire human societies. The revolution of Imam Husain (A.S) transcended geographical restrictions and sends a message of humanity, freedom and virtue to the world. Therefore, Imam Husain (A.S) belongs to all men and his movement is a lesson for all freedom-fighters. One should never succumb to oppression and cruelty and learn that an honorable death is better than a dishonorable life. Besides mourning the martyrdom of Imam and his companions as religious ritual, let us learn from this epic and heroic movement.