IMAM AND IMAMATE
Husainiyyat (the belief in Imam Husain (a.s.) and his mission) is the cure for all tribulations. Husainiyyat is a source of encouragement and motivation for those whose rights have been snatched. Husainiyyat is bravery and courage against those pushing the weak and the downtrodden to the precipice of destruction through wealth, power, oppression and tyranny. Husainiyyat is a MISSION spread throughout the world. It is an unbreakable wall and a protection against all ills ‘ mental, intellectual, economical, individual and social. In brief, the book of Karbala is the summary of Islam’s twenty-three years of message.
Makkah, Madinah, Najaf, Karbala, Mashhad, Kaazemain and Saamarrah are those stations where the historical caravan of the propagation of divine message halted and installed its milestones. It built minarets of light at all these stations and gave the message of peace to the world. From amongst these stations, Karbala became a center, by which one understands that it was the invocation of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) ? like all of his other supplications ‘ accepted by the Lord. Karbala is the holy land where the book of submission and satisfaction was written, a book discoursing on the Quranic secrets for which Allamah Iqbal said,
I learnt the secrets of Quran from Husain
Right from day one, Islam ‘ the divine religion brought by the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) ‘ had announced the message of peace to the universe. Now, at Karbala, Imam Husain (a.s.) ‘ about whom the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) had remarked, “Husain is from me and I am from Husain” proved to the world the veracity of the claim of his grandfather (s.a.w.a.). As a poet says,
Despite drowning, Islam was saved; how can you comprehend what is Karbala’!
But, the proponents of pseudo-Islam, i.e. the Muslim kings and emperors, the so-called guardians of Islam, left not a stone unturned in striking a fatal blow to Husainiyyat and put a thick veil on the real Islam ‘ the Islam of Karbala. They tried all the tricks in their bag: political maneuvering, false propaganda, purchasing so-called religious scholars, instilling the love of self and power in the mischievous minds of worldly souls, and so on and so forth. The Result: The Muslim society was divided into numerous sects and sub-sects, each clinging to his own version of the divine religion.
Imam Husain (a.s.) ” the heir of the Prophets (a.s.) and Messengers (a.s.)”‘ was the one who gave the message of peace to the world. He (a.s.) taught mankind the way to live in harmony and tranquility, the mode of living with dignity and honor.
His mother nurtured him with great difficulty, grinding the millstone till her palms bled and bore afflictions that would have converted the day into night. She instilled the values of patience, forbearance and gratitude in all her children. These values along with the will of his honorable father (a.s.) restrained Imam Husain (a.s.) from cursing the nation of his grandfather (s.a.w.a.), thereby saving the ungrateful ones from the eternal disgrace of severe divine chastisement.
After the demise of Moaviyah, when Yazeed ‘ the accursed ‘ ascended the Syrian throne, he encountered a number of critical and complex issues. For Yazeed and his cohorts, use of military force, barbaric attack on innocent civilians, sealing the mouths of vocal citizens, exploiting religion for political gains, killing and murdering the believers, truthful ones and all those who propagated the teachings of the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a.), was the order of the day.
Let us take a very brief glance at these issues: First and foremost, the era of the accursed Yazeed commenced in the year 60 A.H. That is, merely fifty years had passed from the demise of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). The lifestyle of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), his (s.a.w.a.) orders and advices concerning the Ahle Bait (a.s.), his (s.a.w.a.) quotes and advices regarding the status of his successor Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) and that of his grandsons, Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.), were still in circulation and fresh in the memory of the companions and those who had seen the companions (taabe?een). The attempts to distort and manipulate the meanings and interpretations of these quotes of revelations had not yet begun. For instance, the historical proclamation of the caliphate of Ameerul Momineen Ali (a.s.) at Ghadeer-e-Khumm, which had not subdued despite several efforts of the forces of falsehood and which was given a fresh lease of life by Imam Ali (a.s.) at Rohbah, or, his (s.a.w.a.) announcement that ‘Hasan and Husain are the Chiefs of the youth of Paradise’, ‘Husain is from me and I am from Husain’, ‘My daughter Fatemah is the Chief of the women of Paradise; she is a part of my flesh; whoever troubles her has indeed troubled me’. After the demise of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), despite the utterances of these glorifications, the world witnessed the burning of the door of Fatemah Zahra (s.a.) by the zealots of Caliphate, which stunned not only the people of Madinah but all those places where Islam had reached, where Muslims had yet not lost their craving for justice. Still, there were servants of Islam who could distinguish between truth and falsehood and had the audacity to speak up for facts against lies. Madinah had still not been plundered. The sacrosanct black cover of the Holy Ka?bah had not yet been charred.
Oppressions were followed by more oppression. A critical clause of the peace treaty signed by Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (a.s.) with Moaviyah was that after the death of the latter, the reins of apparent caliphate will be handed over to a Hashmiite. Now, when Moaviyah died, there was huge sigh of relief in Madinah, Kufa, Basra and other cities that finally, the oppressive regime had come to an end and the people will get the opportunity of following the immaculate leadership of the grandson of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Imam Husain (a.s.). The ritual of allegiance was still alive. Therefore, numerous letters were sent to Imam Husain (a.s.) promising allegiance to him (a.s.). Yazeed?s governance faced problems of another kind too which we have mentioned above, albeit briefly. Like, on the one hand, there was the Syrian government, which had on its payroll heedless religious scholars lacking even an iota of conscience, who prepared laws and constitution for the government designed to protect and preserve their ill-gotten power and wealth. On the other hand, voices were being raised from Madinah to Kufa inviting Imam Husain (a.s.) to take over the charge of the Islamic empire. Obviously, Imam Husain (a.s.) was the spirit and essence of Islamic propagation and the protector of Islamic objectives. It was only his lofty being that prevented the filthy dust of Machiavellian politics to settle down on the secret codes of propagation of the divine laws brought by his revered grandfather, the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a.). This was precisely the reason that the moment he ascended the throne, Yazeed the accursed asked for the allegiance of Imam Husain (a.s.). Deceived by the arrogance of his contrived power, he provided the option of beheading Imam Husain (a.s.) if the latter refused to pay allegiance to the oppressive despot. Thus, on the one hand were threats of sword, beheading, murder and plunder while on the other were the characteristics of patience, forbearance, peace and tranquility represented by Imam Husain (a.s.), the leader who symbolized Islam?s hatred for bloodshed. One side was represented by the principle of keeping away from troubling others, leave alone murder and killings, while the other was busy attempting to consolidate power even at the cost of shedding the blood of innocents. The fire kindled by Yazeed is blazing even today in Iraq. Every morning, newspapers scream the number of killed in suicide bombings. Thus, our brothers and sisters in Iraq face a morning soaked in the blood of the oppressed, helpless and impoverished while their evenings resonate with the shrill wailing and crying of the widows and orphans. Temporarily drowning their sorrows with the beating of chests, the impending threats of the lurking enemy leaves them alone in the night to shiver and shudder, fearing for the morrow.
What a bloody morning and what a frightful evening it is that leaves behind such a frightening story from dawn to dusk’ Till when will these pains and tribulations continue to haunt us and remind us of the Shaam-e-Gharibaan (the fateful evening of the tenth of Muharram)’ To think of it, when this evening is so dreadful and scary, then how can one talk about the Shaam-e-Gharibaan’ But we are forced to stop at this because our beloved Imam Husain (a.s.) has advised us ‘not to compare our afflictions with any other affliction because such calamities will never be repeated in human history’.
O Husain! O king of humanity! O thirsty Husain! O patient Husain! O beloved of the Lady of Paradise (s.a.)! O darling of the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a.), the ark of your Shiites is facing turbulent weather. For the sake of the severed hands of your brother Abbas (r.a.)! Please bring out our ark from the storm to the safe shores of peace and comfort. This tempest will come to a standstill only when the people comprehend the mission of Husainiyyat and act upon it. One can breathe with comfort under the cool shadows of Imamate. It is indeed a fortune if one can seize upon a few moments of comfort in today’s chaotic world. Come, let us remember that day when religion had attained perfection, the seal of completion was affixed on it with the prostration of the contented soul and the Lord announcing His satisfaction. A martyr’s blood will never go waste. The All-Powerful Allah has maintained the imposing heavens and the vast earth only for the descendant of Imam Husain (a.s.), Hazrat Hujjat Ibn al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.). The sun of guidance is in occultation; as per the divine word, he (a.t.f.s.) will reappear at the appointed hour. Allah the High never violates His promise; His promise shall surely occur. When he (a.t.f.s.) reappears, the objectives of the mission of Husainiyyat will materialize and the world will be filled with justice and equity beneath the waving flag of truth.
O Allah! Hasten the reappearance of Imam-e-Zamaana (a.t.f.s.)! Aaameen.