By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz
"Indeed, Husain is the Beacon of Guidance & the Ark of Salvation” – Prophet Muhammad (SAWA)
Indeed so bright are the Rays of Guidance that Imam Husain (AS) emits and so smooth does his Ship of Salvation sail through the stormy seas towards the shores of paradise with his devotees on board that no adverse event, including natural disasters such as the Coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world today, can be an impediment – as this year’s commemoration of his martyrdom testifies.
In 61 AH (680 AD), on the plain of Karbala besides the River Euphrates, Imam Husain (AS) emerged as the supreme symbol for all free persons and a slogan for the revolutionaries throughout the ages and generations. On the other hand, the Omayyad regime, at the helm of which was the Godless Yazid, stands to this day as the symbol of tyranny and the embodiment of all evil.
"Peace upon you O Aba Abd-Allah! Peace Upon you O son of the Prophet of Allah! Peace upon you O Chosen one of Allah and son of His Chosen One! Peace upon you O son of the Commander of the Faithful and the Chief of the Legatees! Peace upon you O son of Fatemah, the Leader of the world’s womankind. Peace upon you the avenger of whose blood is Allah… and whose blood remains unavenged!
The above is the opening passage of the famous Ziyarat-e Ashura that the faithful recite on the 10th of Muharram every year to salute in the proper way the Chief of Martyrs, while commemorating history’s most heartrending tragedy.
Imam Husain (AS) needs no introduction. The above passage is proof of his immaculate pedigree – exalted by God Almighty and protected from the least form of uncleanness, as ayah 33 of Surah Ahzab says:
"We have desired to remove all uncleanness from you Ahl al-Bayt and keep you thoroughly purified.”
Yet despite his impeccable credentials, he was martyred in the most cruel and brutal manner by persons who very well knew his prime position as the pivot of Islam.
Why? The answer is simple. Imam Husain (AS) refused to acknowledge the illegitimate rule of the impious and ungodly tyrant, Yazid ibn Mu’awiyya, who was masquerading as caliph of Muslims, even though he openly rejected any belief in Islam.
Then, who made him the ruler, and how come the majority of the so-called Muslims of those days yielded to his Godless rule?
Good questions indeed, which are relevant to our own times, when persons pretending to be puritanical Muslims and hailed as such by the Zionist-controlled western press, are behaving in the manner of Yazid and the Omayyads by seizing control of Muslim lands, massacring Muslims, and desecrating the holy shrines of the Prophets of God – as happened a few years ago to the mausoleums of the Prophets Jonah, Seth and Georges, in Iraq.
This is the reason we continue to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS) in order to keep our faith and conscience alive. Our tears for the Imam, his sons (18-year old Ali Akbar and 6-month infant Ali Asghar), his brothers (including the valiant standard-bearer Abu’l-Fazl al-Abbas), his nephews, and his steadfast companions, are not signs of sorrow, but proof of the inspiration we receive by contemplating on the magnitude of the tragedy of Karbala.
At the same time, there is no desire for vengeance in our hearts, because the message of Imam Husain (AS) is one of love, affection, courtesy, unity, and brotherhood – not just among Muslims but fraternity with the followers of other creeds as well.
Of course, there is the Avenger for the sacred blood of Imam Husain (AS). And He is God Almighty as we read in the Ziyarat-e Ashura. His instrument of bringing to justice the killers of the Prophet’s grandson and those who endorsed, and still continue to endorse his killing, is the Awaited Saviour of mankind.
When Imam Mahdi (AS) appears, along with Prophet Jesus (AS) to establish the global government of peace, prosperity and justice, all traces of corruption and oppression will vanish from Planet Earth.
In the meantime, we continue to commemorate the martyrdom of the Chief of Martyrs and salute him with a worthy salutation on the Day of Ashura, as was taught to us by his grandson, Imam Muhammad al-Baqer (AS), who was present in Karbala as a 4-year old boy.
Here are some thought-provoking passages:
"O Aba Abd-Allah, your martyrdom was a great calamity and the cause of great distress for us and all followers of Islam! It was a tremendous calamity that befell the heavens and which affected all the denizens of the heavens! May Allah’s curse be on those who instituted a regime of wrongdoing and injustice against you Ahl al-Bayt! May Allah’s curse be on those who sidelined you from your rightful station and withheld from you the status that Allah had assigned you! May Allah’s curse be on those who slew you, and may His curse be on those who paved the way for them making it possible to wage war against you! Before God and you, I repudiate them, their supporters, their followers and those who befriend them!
"O Aba Abd-Allah! I make peace with those who are at peace with you and make war against those who are at war with you, till the Day of Resurrection. May Allah’s curse be on the clan of Ziyad and the clan of Marwan! May Allah’s curse be on the generality of the Omayyads! May Allah’s curse be on the son of Marjanah (Ibn Ziyad)! May Allah’s curse be on Omar ibn Sa’d! May Allah’s curse be on Shimr! May Allah’s curse be on the lot who saddled and harnessed their mounts and patrolled the land for the battle against you! Dearer than my father and mother, your martyrdom has caused me great sorrow! I beseech Allah, who has honoured you with your station and honoured me through you, to enable me to avenge your blood with the God-aided Imam from the Progeny of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his progeny! O Allah, make me eminent with You in the world and the Hereafter through Husain, peace upon him!”