Ibrahim Ayati The tragedy of Karbala is an unparalleled event of the history of mankind. Did he want to avoid taking oath of allegiance to Yazid or did he take this step in response to the invitation received from the people of Kufa? Did he wish, in the current terminology, to bring about a revolution? Did he know that he would be killed or was he under the impression that his life would be spared? Did he act according to a predetermined plan or took decisions in the light of every new development?

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Did he want to avoid taking oath of allegiance to Yazid or did he take this step in response to the invitation received from the people of Kufa? Did he wish, in the current terminology, to bring about a revolution?

Did he know that he would be killed or was he under the impression that his life would be spared? Did he act according to a predetermined plan or took decisions in the light of every new development? When he received the news of the martyrdom of Muslim bin Aqil while he Imam Husayn was on his way to Kufa why did he suggest to his companions to go away and leave him alone, and thereafter why did he approach various persons to assist him?

Why did he ask all his companions during the night of Ashura to go away but also sent Habib bin Mazahir to the tribe of Bani Asad to seek their help? Why did he seek help from Ubaydullah bin Hurr Juafi in the palace of Bani Maqatil and why did he say to the sons of Aqil during the night of Ashura: "You should go away.

It is sufficient that from amongst you Muslim bin Aqil has been killed? Does all this not show that Imam Husayn was not aware of the final result and had no definite plan in mind?

Does the step taken by him not amount to endangering his life? Does a person, who knows that he would be killed, proceed towards death along with his kith and kin including the suckling?

Many baseless answers and incorrect explanations have been given to these questions. Some have said that as the Imam was not prepared to take oath of allegiance to a person like Yazid and to recognize his unlawful government, he was obliged to leave Madina in a state of fear and reached Makkah.

He considered Makkah to be a haven and intended to stay there, but the Kufians invited him and assured him of their assistance. He, therefore, accepted the invitation of the Kufians and went towards Karbala. Consequently he and his dear ones and companions were killed and the other members of his family were made captives.

Some have narrated that the Imam did not think that he would be killed; otherwise he would not have taken such a bold step.

Still others say that the Imam rose because he was under the impression that on account of his relationship with the Holy Prophet he would certainly not be killed, or he was fully convinced that even if he did not rise he would be killed disgracefully at the hands of Ibn Ziyad or someone else.

He, therefore, preferred being killed while performing jihad the Holy war to dying a disgraceful death. Some say that the step taken by the Imam amounted to endangering his life, but as the Almighty Lord had given orders in this behalf he was obliged to obey the same.

Some opponents, and those, who consider that everyone wishes to be a sovereign, also, say that love for rulership placed Imam Husayn in this perilous situation, but it was not proper to kill him in such a tragic manner. It would have been better to control and dissuade him by means of threats and allurements. The root cause of all these events was the drama that was staged at Saqifa Bani Saida immediately after the demise of the Holy Prophet.

The most important development was the unprecedented method that was adopted for the selection of the Caliph. Even then they were afraid of their slaves and slave-girls lest they should divulge the secret, because if anyone was not on good terms with another he reported to the authorities that such and such person was a supporter of Ahlul Bayt.

The people were, therefore, arrested on mere accusation and suspicion and were tormented and made homeless. This persecution was more severe in Iraq during the rule of Ziyad bin Sumayya as compared with other places. There were many, whose hands and feet were amputated and pins reddened in fire were thrust into their eyes, and some others were buried alive.

During the time of the Commander of the Faithful also i. One day while it was noon we had taken shelter from the heat of the sun under a sheet of a red cloth, which we had fixed on our spears.

Suddenly we saw a man, making his way through the ranks of the army, coming towards us. Approaching us he enquired about Ammar. Ammar introduced himself. The man said "O Aba Yaqzan! Should I mention it openly or in private?

The man said: "It will be better to enquire about it openly". Then he said: "I left my house with perfect perspicacity and faith in my rightfulness and had no doubt about the fact that these people i. We believe in offering prayers and they also offer prayers like us.

Similarly we make supplications and they also make supplications like us. Their Prophet and our Prophet is the same. Having seen this I fell into suspicion and Allah knows how uneasy I became.

I approached Imam Ali, the Commander of the Faithful in the morning and placed the matter before him. He asked me: "Have you met Ammar Yasir? Thereupon he said: "You must see him and accept whatever he says". Now I have come to you to find out what you have to say.

Ammar Yasir said: "Do you know who is holding that black standard, which is before us? He is Amr bin As. It is now for the fourth time that I am fighting against it and as compared with the previous three occasions it has not become better but has become worse".

Then he said: "Have you or your father witnessed those battles? Thereupon Ammar said: "You must know that the centers of our standard are the very centers of the standard of the Holy Prophet at the time of Badr, Uhud and Hunayn, and their standard, too, is at the place of the standard of the polytheists. Likewise he mentions some others, who were not willing to cooperate with Imam Ali, and said: "We have become suspicious about this fighting". They were not, therefore, prepared to fight against him in support of Imam Ali or Imam Hasan.

A person who can distinguish between the Sunnah The path of the Holy Prophet of Islam and heresy should rise and save the people from deviation otherwise he will become subjected to Divine wrath. He considered himself commissioned by Allah to defend Islam and the Muslim ummah from the danger of annihilation. During the ten years of his actual Imamate, therefore, he was not sitting at ease, and, as far as possible, did not remain silent.

These things themselves indicate that the Imam was thinking of revolution, for otherwise such an act would not have behooved the Imam. All this was done by him to discharge his responsibility, and to prepare ground for his rising when it was necessary. He, therefore, performed this duty by means of letters, addresses and preaching. I consider it a fault to give up campaign against you and deem myself responsible before Allah if I remain quiet and do not rise against you".

Until the time for formal movement and rising arrived, he acted according to the duty entrusted to him by Allah and the Holy Prophet in the form of ordering to do good and restraining from evil. They performed jihad but were defeated and were eventually killed at the hands of the tyrants".

The Imam replied: "Whatever happened had, of course, been ordained for them by Allah. He Himself ordered it, made it inevitable and then put it into force. The jihad performed by Imam Ali, Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn Peace be upon them was according to the previous knowledge and instructions, which they had received from the Holy Prophet, and every Imam who remained quiet also did so according to the same previous knowledge and instructions".

This tradition goes to show that the Holy Prophet had prescribed the duties of every Imam in advance, in accordance with the Divine Command, and each one of them carried out the Divine assignment during his own time.

It is possible that someone may doubt the correctness of such traditions or may be hesitant about their true meaning. Even then he cannot entertain any doubt about the rational fact that the leader of the Muslims must be loyal to Islam. It is also obvious that if the Islamic Government falls in the hands of the enemies of Islam and they gain strength, they will uproot it. In this convent Yazid had an illegal sexual alliance with a woman named Umme Kulsum.

In the meantime fever and small-pox broke out in the Muslim army with such severity that the soldiers began dying and falling like autumn leaves. They insisted upon Yazid leaving the place as early as possible, but he did not pay any heed to their suggestion and composed the verses as translated below: "What do I care if the entire army of Islam dies of fever and small-pox.

I am resting on a soft pillow and am embracing Umme Kulsum". There are also some verses composed by him, wherein he has praised wine, and which show his mentality. In these verses he says inter-alia: "If wine is unlawful in the religion of Ahmad Islam , you should take it in accordance with the religion of Jesus son of Mary". Yazid led an extremely voluptuous life and cared for nothing except revelry and merry-making.

They have pained me and destroyed the hope of my affinity to you". He added: "O Yazid! You have thrown yourself into destruction and entrusted your soul to indecency and reproach, and have chosen for yourself, destruction, disgrace and unlawful conduct instead of sublime deeds, virtues and noble acts.

O Yazid! I wish that you had died at the very moment you were born. You made me happy and hopeful in your early youth. Having grown up, however, you have pained me and made me weep. He made him dominate those on account of whose swords the father and grandfather of Yazid had adopted Islam, although not more than forty years had passed since the demise of the Holy Prophet, and his companions and even some of his wives were still alive. In the circumstances was it possible that a godly person like Imam Husayn, the grandson of the Holy Prophet should be prepared to witness these crimes and see the religion of Allah a plaything in the hands of degraded persons, and endorse all this silently, or take the oath of allegiance to such a ruler?

Certainly not! Furthermore, it was not only Imam Husayn who refused to take the oath of Yazid. Imam Husayn knew well that the descendants of Abu Sufyan were basically hostile to Islam.

They had tried their best to exterminate Islam and were not at all prepared to tolerate that the name of the Holy Prophet should continue to exist. Therefore, the Caliphate remained with the descendants of Abu Sufyan so that no trace of Islam could remain. I enquired from him the reason. Abu Bakr became Caliph and administered justice, and nothing more than this happened that he died and his name, too, was eliminated.

Umar and Uthman also died and although they behaved well towards the people, nothing except their names survived and they perished. As regards the Hashimi brother i.

What remains to be done when the names of the three Caliphs die and the name of Muhammad remains alive except that his name too should be buried and eliminated". Certainly not"! During those days the Islamic Caliphate had assumed the shape of the kingdoms of Kisra and Caesar.

One of these impediments was the incapability of Yazid, who was known to the nobles of that time and the dignitaries of the Islamic territories, as a frivolous, incapable, shameless and wicked person, and the chiefs of the Islamic country had no regard for him.

He accomplished this task as quickly as possible. He then thought that the way was now clear and did not believe that any other impediment could exist after the death of Imam Hasan.





A Probe into the History of Ashura'



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