Born on the 3rd Shaban, 4th of Hijrah, He was taken in lap and named Husain (A) by Prophet Muhammad (S) in the house of Imam Ali (A) and Hazrat Fatima (S) in Madinatun Nabi. Once a thinker said, leaving aside the different ideological approaches, has ever a Muslim reflected on “Why a most respected man in his contemporary time, who happens to be the grandson of founder of Islam and son of the bravest of Arabs, the Khalifah of the Ummat, Imam Ali (S) and Hazrat Fatima (S), is brutally martyred with his small band comprising of children, brothers and companions in the hot desert of Karbala without any guilt or misdeed.” The grandeur and dignity of Imam Husain (A) was conveyed by Muhammad (S) during his early life and also he along with Imam Hasan (A), was titled as ‘the leader of the youth of Heaven’ but it all was forgotten within the short period of time. This leader of youth of Heaven was not even allowed a drop of water for his six months child Ali Asgar (A) and his thirsty family and friends were brutally killed in front of him.
Love of worldly life and penetration of materialism in Islamic society are the two reasons which shaped the initiation for this sad event. Islamic society was gripped by a weakness of threat in supporting the truth and reality, while as this society was actually founded on the basis of truth and humanity. Judicial legitimacy had lost its value and spirit of Islam was in ruins. As ‘mother of believers’, Hazrat Aisha points to this factor of corruption in Islamic society, presented by Ibn Kathir in the “Bidayat Wa Nihayat, Vol. 8, p-172”: “Unn Aisha, Qaalat, Lamma Qabaza Rasolallah, Ertaddat al-Arab Qaatibah Wa Ashra’abatin Nifaq” [Narrates Aisha, When Prophet left this world, all Arab turned from Islam and hypocrisy penetrated in]
The word ‘Qaatibah’ means one and all, which is usually used in a place to mean ‘more than majority’, hence conveys that majority of Islamic society was gripped by hypocrisy after the Holy Prophet (S). In “Sahih Bukhari, vol 5, p 2407”, the corruption of Islamic society after Prophet (S) is discussed:
“Unn Abi Hurairah, Innahu Kaan Yehduth, Anna Rasoolalahi Qaal, Yaridu Alayya Youmal Qiyamah Rahtun Min As’haabi, Fa Yajelon Unnil Houzh, Fa Aqool Ya Rabbi As’haabi, Fa Yaqool Innaka Laa ilm Bimaa Ahadathu Baadak, Innahum Ertaddu Alaa Adbarihim al-Qahqari”
[Narrates Abu Hurairah, Prophet (S) said, a group of my companion will come to me but they will be driven away from the pool of heaven, then I say my God they are my companions, it will be said that they turned on their backs after you].
The huge and unparallel sacrifice of Imam Husain is a question mark on the face of humanity in general and Muslim society in particular, from the very first day of its occurrence on the tenth of Muharram 61 Hijrah up to this time. Everyone has a responsibility towards this holy sacrifice of Imam Husain who sacrificed everything to nib the evil of corruption in its bud with his blood and the blood of his children, brothers and companions. He had a band of followers like his brother Abul-Fazl Abbas, named as ‘Moon of Bani Hashim’ and his son Ali Akbar, who was most near in appearance and character to Holy Prophet. It was the sister of Imam Husain and the grand-daughter of Hazrat Prophet who carried-on this holy mission. Hazrat Zainab, the brave daughter of Imam Ali communicated the message of this tragic event to all corners of Islamic state, awakening the sleeping consciences of Muslim Ummah.
Imam Husain’s words are witness to the fact that the corruption was deep rooted in spirit and morals in Islamic society. When Imam Husain (A) came out for this huge sacrifice, he conveys the cause behind his action in following words: “Inni Maa Kharajtu Ashran, Walaa Batirun, Walaa Mufsidan, Walaa Zaaliman, Innamaa Kharajtu Litalabil Islah Fi Ummati Jaddi” [ I have not came out with any intention of creating disorder or injustice but I have came out to search for reformation in the nation of my grand-father, Hazrat Prophet]
The society as per Imam had lost the spiritual and Islamic grandeur and nobody was caring about the evil, which was ruining the society based on the heavenly message and humanity. Being the ‘leader of the youth of Heaven’, it was his restless soul ready for the big sacrifice to defend this holy tree of Islam, planted by Hazrat Prophet. As Imam further says: “Oredu un Aamara Bil Maroof, Wa Anha Anil Munkar, Wa Aseeru Serata Jaddi waabi” [I want to call for goodness and to stop from the evil and return the holy path of my Grand-Father and Father]
Therefore Muharram is all about fighting the corruption, rescuing humanity and defending the oppressed. Imam Husain (A) sacrificed everything he had, for saving the message of Islam. Islam is the only hope of humanity on Earth and Karbala presents that Islam needs to be presented in right perspective before the humans and needs to be cleaned with efforts and blood. It is duty of every Muslim to carry this message of Karbala and Imam Husain to corners of world and be part of Karbala event by following its cause as conveyed by Imam Husain: “A’laa Tarawna, Unnal Haqqa Laa Yeomal Bih, Wal Baatila Laa Yanha Anhu, Li Yarghbil Moomin fi Liqa illaha” [Don’t you see the truth is not followed upon, and the falsehood and evil is not restricted, a believer in such condition verily longs for meeting his creator, Allah]
(The writer is PhD in Arabic and Founder of ASAR Literary Foundation.)