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Ashura - The 10th Day

June 08, 2018, 08:49:28 pm Heba E. Husseyn: Leilatul Qadr 1439 (2018) on June 8. To learn about this great Night, read our posts on Leilatul Qadr @ this thread.
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« on: October 13, 2016, 09:57:40 am »

The 7th Century Revolutionary - HUSSEIN BIN ALI.

"It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." - Imam Hussein

Quoting the hackneyed and witless rhetoric of the Salafist Aqeedah (as it's called) has turned the tragedy around claiming that the incident was "Hussein's fault" because he "revolted against the Caliph of the Muslim State appointed on oath by his father."  That father had changed the Islamic structure of governance appointing leaders by the Shura (Council) based on their spiritual and ethical merits into a monarchical system, designating his son as his successor who was infamous for his scant morals, Tzarist style absolutism and ill repute.  But the Salafist Aqeedah's most appalling oversight is the claim of Hussein's "revolt" implying a preemptive armed rebellion which is patently false.  Hussein did not start an armed revolt.  He made a personal decision.  He refused to endorse an usurper which cost him his life. Not that he wasn't aware of its risks. But fear never got the better of him as his loyalty was too firmly embedded in the principles of the Sublime Qur'an.

Hussein's intent of coming to Kufa was not war.  Logically, would anyone consider taking that many women and children of their family from Medinah to Iraq (which was a huge distance in those days when traveling was cumbersome) if the plan was anything other than relocating?   Throughout the annals of history never has there been an event when women and children were gathered and made to accompany the warriors to the battlefield.   Not in the East nor in the West, not anywhere.   Neither was Hussein fixated on the traditional tribal pride of the Hashmites vs. the Ommayads.    His purpose was not to grab power as did Yazid's father.  Hussein's intent was plain to perceive - not to establish alliance with a unscrupulous government.   Medinah was too far from Damascus, and under the circumstances Hussein felt it was his entitlement to maintain his presence in the region close to the capital as an outspoken critic of the injustices inflicted by a powerful appropriator.  The approach was closest to what is presently interpreted as 'the government and the opposition' at a period when hardcore authoritarianism was the order of the day; a period when, from Europe to Japan, a prince could command a peasant to send his young daughter to his royal chamber to spend the night and the poor peasant had no choice but to obey without hesitation.  In an era such as that, Hussein's decision was an amazing example of a rare revolutionary spirit.  Its inspirational strength makes history not only in the place where he lived, but far and wide.

Yazid bin Muawiyah feared the imagery charisma of Hussein's personality no less than his actual presence.  If allowed to live in Iraq, the startling contrast between the beauty of Hussein's humanity and the very unexceptional existence of the King at Kufa would be too striking for the masses not to observe, the type of scenario that can spell the beginning of the end of an already unpopular ruler.  Consequently orders were given that Hussein must not be allowed to stay nor leave but be eliminated.

When the Kufan army brandished their shimmering swords under the hot sun of Karbala, Hussein held up the Qur'an to them.   He tried to avoid confrontation until the end.   Eventually they left him with no choice but to opt for a purely defensive battle. The martyrdom of the unforgettable revolutionary Imam was followed by the pre-Islamic practice of beheading to instill maximum fear of the outcome of disagreements in the hearts of the people.   Silent lamentation filled the atmosphere.  The residents of Karbala were frightened.  According to several historical reports, the Imam's headless body lay on the battlefield for up to three or four days until someone spread the word that "the body of a grandson of the Prophet was lying somewhere on the desert sand."  It was the day when the sun began to set on the Muslim nation, scattering the seeds of discord ensuing treachery, splits and strife.  The decline shows along a lengthy chronological list of events and eras, and tonight we find ourselves at the bottom of that dismal pit, content with our whimsical existence.

From the year 60 A.H. onward, the first month of our Islamic calendar is that time of the year when a tender scar erupts into a painful wound once again.   The profound grief leaves one numb and distracted. Despondency deepens to realize that similar injustice prevails within the pan-Islamic world and beyond.  Millions continue to tread the path of inequity and tyranny but very few have worked to build aspirations from the memories of beloved Hussein.

Let us at least acknowledge that Hussein's name in history is not confined within Shiia Islam alone.  That would amount to limiting his unsurpassed charisma and courage, stereotyping it by pouring it into a very restricted mold.  Hussein is and will always be the universal symbol of resistance against all forms of oppression and injustice, undermining the decadent notion (still prevalent everywhere) of obligatory support for totalitarianism and corruption.

It's an event that keeps the spirit of uprising alive forever.    Writes Washington Irving, American historian & author of the 19th century:   "Imam Hossein's soul will remain forever under the scorching sun and on the hot sands of Karbala."

Resistance against injustice is not a choice.   It is mandatory for the survival of human dignity and justice regardless of the sacrifices and the odds stacked up against the resisting army.

"The best lesson that we get from the tragedy of Karbala is that Hussain and his companions illustrated that the numerical superiority does not count when it comes to the truth and the falsehood.  The victory of Hussain despite his minority, marvels me." -- Thomas Carlyle, Scottish historian and essayist.

Zohr prayer on Ashura day led by Imam Hussein, his last prayer to martyrdom.

Abbas bin Ali,  Imam's Hussein's younger half brother.

Martyrdom Ali Akbar, Imam Hussein's eldest son.

Imam Hussein - battlefield Karbala.

The Imam's horse returns to the tent without its master.

Karbala end of the day .. Ashura.  Pillage and arson by the army of Yazid.

Connected posts:

Battle of Karbala on the month of Muharram - Art Gallery

Emergence of the Ummayads and the destruction of Islamic values | Karbala
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2016, 11:05:24 pm »

Many thanks dear sister.  Exquisitely penned .. the kind of info historians and so-called scholars have been concealing.  Factual information with the exclusion of bias is always exhilarating to read and learn.  Instead of the Abu-Huraira-style bluffs as the hardline Sunnis do and instead of beating around the bush with melodrama as Shiias do, you have succinctly stated the aspects relating to logical and practical significance enough to unveil the truth for anyone with two brain cells to rub together. 

Btw, love the fabulous paintings.

May Allah The Almighty, The One and Only, bless the souls of the pious. May HE shower blessings on the beloved Prophet (pbuh), his brave grandson, all believing members of the Prophet's family and the sincere believing companions of the blessed Household.  Ameen ya Allah.
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2016, 11:11:03 pm »

Ameen, ameen.  Thank you Sister Heba.   Allah bless.
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