By Syed Salman Chishty
Shah Ast Hussain
Among the Belivers are Men ,who delivered their promise to Allah
(Ayah 23/ Surah Al-Ahzab)
On the 10th of Muharram, 61 after Hijrah (680 AD) Hz.Imam Hussain was martyred by the army of Yazid. This tragedy shook the Muslim world and continues to be remembered by those who love the Prophet (saw) and his family. The death of Hz.Imam Hussain , his struggle for truth, justice and the greatness of Islam is still remembered and commemorated today.
Hz.Imam Hussain ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib was the grandson of the Prophet (saw). As a young man he was very pious, intelligent and extremely handsome. Historians have said he looked very similar to the Prophet (saw). The Prophet (saw) loved his grandson very much. On one occasion the Prophet leading the prayer. As he went into prostration (sajda), the young Hz. Hussain climbed onto the Prophets back. The Prophet remained in that position for a long time until the young boy climbed down. On another occasion the Prophet was passing his Daughter Hz. Bibi Fatima’s(ra) house and heard young Hz. Hussain crying. The Prophet stopped and went into the house and said, ‘Fatima, don’t you know it hurts me to hear Hussain cry.’
In a very famous Hadith, the Beloved Prophet,(saw) says: “Hussain is from me and I am from Hussain”. The meaning sheds light that Hussain is like me, Hussain’s line is similar to my line, Hussain’s message is my message, Hussain is from me and I am from Hussain.
Hz.Imam Hussain learned his knowledge from his father Hz. Mawla Ali. He inherited virtues and chivalrous character from his father.
If history has taught us anything, it has certainly delivered a message with unequivocal resonance; Haqq and freedom are not something that is given. Haqq and Freedom are things people take, and people are as free and on the Haqq as they want to be.
Islam, the religion of Haqq, justice and freedom came to a place and time where oppression was the rule, slavery was a tool to humiliate the weak, killings a way to solve problems. A society fueled by feuds, raging by violence, and merely being born in the wrong family could mean eternal slavery, oppression, and stripping of any and all rights. The Holy Prophet (saw) emerged as the voice denouncing those ways while striving to ensure justice and equality. He gave us one of the most precious monotheistic gifts ,namely the collective duty self criticism ,speaking the truth though against your ownself. Support and Stand with the Haqq (Truth) ,denounce Batil (Falsehood) .Stand up to oppressors and tyrants ,no matter of the price.
The Prophet (saw) has taught us many things and among those many ,He taught us an important lesson . One that the Holy Quran amplified numerously : It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather a profoundly faithful few ,who are keen to uphold the truth and sacrifice for it.
o be the example of a candle that burns itself illuminating the way for others, to give the ultimate sacrifice to enlighten the path of the truth ,as the truth and only the truth shall set you free .
This is the month of Moharram ,and in a few days ,the day of Ashura comes . A day where the Beloved of the Beloved demonstrated the highest of nobility ,and offered the ultimate of sacrifice . It is no wonder ,that He is the grandson of our beloved Prophet (saw) ,the son of Amir ul Mominin Hz.Ali and Hz.Bibi Fatimah Azzahra (ra) .
There was a noble reason that demanded the martyrdom of Hz.Imam Hussain. The simple and obvious reason is simply to preserve Islam. Moharram is a reminder to people that one should fight against oppression and tyranny and help the cause of the oppressed.
Islam, Haqq, Truth, Justice, Equality, Freedom and Liberty are all precious values that demanded precious sacrifice. That is the supreme significance of Martyrdom . Hz.Imam Hussain chose the path of danger and hardships with duty and honour ,and never swervedfrom it giving up his life freely in the absoulute bravest of ways ever known to Mankind .
In the history of Islam, Hz.Imam Hussain-the martyr of Karbala, wrote one of the most brilliant chapters; a chapter which still and after more than thirteen centuries, echoes in the minds and hearts of people everywhere.
The tragedy of Karbala took place in 680 AD on the banks of the Euphrates in Iraq but Karbala has a universal appeal and in today’s climate of violence, it is more relevant than ever.
The tragedy of Karbala and its spirit of non-violent resistance and supreme sacrifice has been a source of inspiration to the likes of Mahatma Gandhi in his own words – “I learnt from Hussain, how to be oppressed yet victorious”.
Sir Muhammad Iqbal says:
Imam Husayn uprooted despotism forever till the Day of Resurrection. He watered the dry garden of freedom with the surging wave of his blood, and indeed he awakened the sleeping Muslim nation. If Imam Husayn had aimed at acquiring a worldly empire, he would not have traveled the way he did (from Medina to Karbala). Husayn weltered in blood and dust for the sake of truth. Verily he, therefore, became the bed-rock (foundation) of the Muslim creed; la ilaha illa Allah (There is no god but Allah).
“Ronay wala hoon Shaheed-e-Kerbala key gham men main,
Kya durey maqsad na dengey Saqiye Kausar mujhey”
(I am one who weeps at the plight of the Martyr of Kerbala
Won’t the reward be given to me by the Keeper of Kauser’)
The Martyrdom has also prompted a vast body of literature in a multitude of languages
all over the world, a phenomenon that continues to this day.
Outstanding examples of this are the Mersiye (elegies) written by Mir Anis, one of which holds the world record for the longest verse for the past two centuries.
The heart rendering and soulful recitation of “Salam-i-Akhir” which was written by Syed Nasir Jahan and often being recited during the final day MersiyeKhani –
“Bachay to aglay baras hum hain aur yeh gham phir hai
Jo chal basay tou yeh appna salam-i-akhir hai
One of the most recited and famous persian poetry in the Honour of Hz.Imam Hussain was written by the great Sufi master Hz.Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty (ra) :
Shah ast Hussain, badshah ast Hussain
Deen ast Hussain, deen panaah ast Hussain
Sar daad, na daad dast dar dast-e-yazeed
Haqu-e-binney la ilaahaa ast Hussain”
(King is Hussain ,King of Kings is Hussain
Faith is Hussian ,Protector of Faith is Hussain
He gave his Head ,but not his Hand in the hand of Yazid Verily ,truth is nothing but Hussain)
This article has been authored by Syed Salman Chishty – a humble Khadim (servant) of Hz.Khawaja Gharib Nawaz (ra) ,Ajmer sharif. An earlier version was published by the Hindustan Times.