Reason behind the steadfastness of the martyrs of Karbala
The forehead of this world has always been smeared with the blood of one or the other victim of injustice. Blood of the oppressed people drips from the sleeves of this monster. No period of history is without a tale of “throat and dagger” – but none of these equal the sordid incident of the “throat of Imam Husain (a.s.) and the dagger of Shimr”. Why is this heart-rending tragedy eternally affecting millions of people? Due to its power of attraction. This is because every such occurrence has two opposing parties. Either that the oppressive act was unintended or it could be that a sword of some tyrant has severed the neck of some helpless creature. Or if we search the motive behind the incident it shall be found that a despot controlled by the carnal desires has oppressed the meek. Now whom shall we praise, the oppressor or the one who has laid down his life for his principles. Consider all the incidents from the time of Hazrat Adam (a.s.). At every instance only these two things will be found. Yes, there have been very few who put their necks under the sharpened edge of the sword for the sake of truth. Such people according to Islamic terminology are known as ‘ Shaheed’ (martyr). They deserve applause, those who gave their heads because of their inordinate love for truth. They willingly put the cup of martyrdom to their lips only for the pleasure of Allah; and the crown prince of all such martyrs is Imam Husain Ibne Ali (a.s.).
This is Imam Husain (a.s.), behind whose martyrdom there were no selfish motives. Neither was his confrontation unintentional. Those who strive for the material wealth have a different kind of approach. They keep the weak members of their army away in safety and summon the strong soldiers but….
But the martyr of Karbala does not take renowned warriors to the battlefield and proceeds with Ali Asghar. He writes to Habib to join him at Karbala – It is an established fact to praise and devotion is not deserved if death is unintentional – so how can we say that he was killed against his will?
He came to Karbala knowing well that he would be martyred. Not only the hidden knowledge; as he showed it while replying to those who tried to stop him from going to Karbala Like Ibne Abbas, Muhammad Hanaffiya and Umme Salma. Imam Husain (a. s.) had premonition of his martyrdom even due to the apparent factors. He knew that the result of this battle shall be extremely dreadful. Inspite of this knowledge, Imam Husain (a. s.) did not turn away from Karbala – to accuse the personality of Imam Husain (a.s.) it is alleged that he himself gave up his life (Allah forbid!) that he jumped into the jaws of death. Actually such a denouncer does not realise that if the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.) had been against his will and that if he had been murdered in his house during such times of turmoil it would not have been praiseworthy. For, to be murdered against one’s will does not carry any merit. What is meritorious however is when one willingly kisses the cup of martyrdom.
Doubtlessly, Imam Husain (a.s.) marched towards his martyrdom knowingly, with a firm conviction and a manly demeanor. In the same way as the martyrs before him had moved forward, like his elders Janabe Hamza and Janabe Jafar. Can you dare to say that they put themselves in the whirlpool of death?
How can one accuse them? Because in this case their accusation will not be limited to these individuals. It will reach to that personality against whom no one has the courage to utter anything. The one who had sent them to the battlefield, namely the Great Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). If we reflect upon it, no action of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) is against the permission of Allah. Thus we see that all these poisonous propaganda is only against this pitiable Imam Husain (a.s.) whose flesh the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said was his own flesh and whose blood, his own blood. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) also told that peace with Imam Husain (a.s.) was peace with him and war with Imam Husain (a.s.) was war against the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) himself. Actually this wretched skeptic does not know the difference between martyrdom and suicide. He thinks that all those who give up their life commit suicide. Suicide is when one gives up his life for some frivolous reason. But if one lays down his life for a noble purpose, higher than all humanity, it is known as martyrdom. In this situation it is not advisable to guard one’s wealth and life. But if the noble principle is surrounded by the imminent destruction of life and wealth, every intelligent person will give preference to the greater object. Like, when life and wealth both face danger, no rational being sacrifices his life to save his wealth. Exactly in the same way, Imam Husain (a.s.) sacrificed his dear life – and dearer than his own life -his dear children, his disciples, his companions and friends -one by one he offered these sacrifices, like one offers an offering of flowers. Do we regret throwing the flowers because they would be trampled upon? Exactly in the same m anner, Imam usain (a.s.) offered the flowers from his garden of ethereal light. Yes! They were actual flowers -that if you were to receive one of these, you would treasure it for life and spend the life looking at it. It’s a pity that these flowers are no more visible in the world. It is possible that somebody may say that my comparing humans with flowers are only a poetic exaggeration. But had it been that your thoughts had pictured these bright faces, you too would have said that the children of the Prophet (s.a.w. a.)are so handsome that even to compare them with the most beautiful object would not amount to exaggeration. Rather the object of simile would gain status. Hence if their countenance is compared to flowers, the floral world will be raised in beauty. If their beauty is compared to the pearl, the pearl will be exalted. By composition of such similes, would their status rise? No. The Hashimi children who came into being by the confluence of Ali and Fatema are addressed by Allah Himself as “pearls and corals”. Their elegance may even astonish Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.). I do not say it of my own. The chief of the martyrs on the day of Aashoora recited the following lines of Rajaz (war poetry):
My father is like the sun and mother, moon. Between the sun and the moon, am the bright star.
Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.) were pictures of magnificence. Each one of the princes whom Imam Husain (a.s.) offered to the swords on the day of Aashoora was a picture of radiance. Imagine the radiant face of the moon of the Hashimis (Janabe Abbas (a.s.)! Also think of the beauty of Janabe Ali Akbar (a.s.). Janabe Qasim (a.s.), Janabe Aun-o-Mohammed (a.s.) and also the tender bud Janabe Ali Asghar (a.s.). Let us be honest! If one possesses even one such beauty, would he give it up so easily? Now think how Imam Husain (a.s.) placed these beloved ones upon the sharpened edge of the swords. How he scattered on the ground these stars of the sky Isn’t it heart-rending to hear of the shining dagger that pierced the broad chest of a young man Where were the paternal feelings Don’t you shudder when you hear of the gory swords and the tales of the young children What about their mothers Doesn’t your heart b urstout when you learn of the cudgel and the skull And a brother sees it with his own eyes Aren’t you filled with grief to imagine a three-pronged arrow piercing the infant’s neck And the father’s hands do not even tremble a bit in this situation Then what was it that supported the heart of Imam Husain (a.s.) And it was so firmly supported that at last the hands of tyranny wavered. Even then the hearts of the oppressed were not at rest. Is it necessary to know the reason behind this steadfastness It is ALLAH! Moulana Muhammad Ali Johar aptly says, “A stalwart like Abbas or the handsome Akbar. All of them were your beloved but after Allah.”
That was the belief that could have clashed with the mountains – the belief that Allah exists, reckoning is imminent, heaven and hell, accounting and all those things – that what Imam Husain (a.s.) had been informed by his grandfather. All these things were real. Imam Husain (a.s.) was seeing all of them just as the eyes are able to see the sun easily. And it was that unsurpassable strength, due to which not only Imam Husain (a.s.), but even his companions were brimming with it. On the eve of Aashoora, Burair joked with Abdul Rahman. Burair replied, “Abdul Rahman! Ask my tribes men! I have never joked even when I was young. But today my eyes witness a strange sight. Right before my eyes a little besides the sharpened edges of the swords I can see the open gates of Paradise and the fairies with their arms open in welcome.”
Thus this was the power that emboldened everyone from Imam Husain (a.s.) to Janabe Ali Asghar (a.s.) and even the Ethiopian slave. Imam Husain (a.s.) was Imam Husain (a.s.) but even the young children and the women did not for a moment utter, “Master! Thirst is killing us! Please pay allegiance!” Although, to avoid all the difficulties and calamities was quite easy – to pledge allegiance to Yazid. Apparently it was a trivial barter. Yet for Imam Husain (a.s.) and his followers, it was a tough bargain and a divine transaction. In other words it meant “the death of Islam!” and if Imam Husain (a.s.) had even the slightest doubt in the truth and reality of Islam, he would have caused the blood of Islam to be spilt like a cool drink, and he would not have given hisblood and that of his children. Even after it is ashed in the blood of Imam Husain (a.s.), isn’t the face of Islam visible to you with its light of truth and bright countenance.