Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Supreme Sacrifice of Hussein

Although the month of Muharram is the beginning of the new year for many Muslims, for many Shia believers it designates the commencement of mourning ceremonies. The tenth of this month, Ashura coincides with the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet. Sixty one years after the Hejira, during the tyrannical rule of Yazid the Ommayid Dynasty ruler, who was infamous for his excesses, injustices and oppressive rule, Hussein refrained from pledging allegiance to the Khalifat. Viewing his dignified position and resistance, the people of Kufa (present day Iraq) invited Imam to join them to form a resistance front against the Ommayids. However, after murdering the emissaries of  Hussein, once he started off towards Kufa, Yazid sent his army to force Imam to surrender or to die in an unequal battle. Imam resisted, believing in the necessity to fight corruption and the deviant ways of the ruling system, which were in contradiction with Islamic teachings and had permeated the society. He invited the armies to let him go and not to fight with him. Imam did not wish to engage in battle, he had brought his family and children along, but he also would not accept to surrender to the deceit and lies that Yazid had propagated in the name of Islam. Ultimately he stressed that: "I have come to bring about change and reform in the religion of my Grandfather, but if the Religion will not return to its authentic form  other than with my death; then tell the swords to encompass  me". Along with his few companions Imam Hussein fought until martyrdom. The Ommayids did much to distort the reality and to deny this tragedy.Thousands of sermons were given to prove that Hussein and his companions were foreign infiltrators and rebels who had denied the essentials of Islam. The Khalifat sought to hold on to power by any means, but their reign was shortened by violent events that ensued once the people realized the painful truth.
Ashura is a spiritual and political inspiration for people of all times, it is a message for humanity.  Mahatma Gandhi spoke of Hussein as if they shared the same faith:“My faith is that the progress of Islam does not depend on the use of sword by its believers, but the result of the supreme sacrifice of Hussain (A.S.), the great saint.”
 Imam Hussein stood up for righteousness and truthfulness, thus he belongs to all irrespective of faith, creed , race or nationality. He is the beacon of light and ship of salvation for the distressed generations of today. In a world menaced by  corruption, greed, deceit and war we feel an urge to take refugee in the personality of unworldly role models like Hussein.

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