Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, January 18th, 2021

What is the Bright Page of Imam Hussein’s Revolution?

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What is the Bright Page of Imam  Hussein’s Revolution?

These days, our people are increasingly engaged in mourning of a historic event which had happened more than 1300 years ago in a distant geography called Karbala. The hero of this historic event was Imam Hussein and his 72 loyal followers. Unlike other historic events, every year it gets greater, wider and fresher. During Arbaen (the 40th of Ashura), nearly 30 million people, from all parts of the world, get together in Karbala to refresh their allegiance and make the largest historic peaceful demonstration in the world. Therefore, it is worth to raises some questions such as what is the secret behind the revolution which made it endless in heart of millions of people worldwide.  What was the goal and factors behind the endless event? What lessons and messages it conveys to his followers and humanity in 20 first centuries?
Unfortunately, very few people may critically think and raise such questions about goal and philosophy of this unique revolution. Although the Imam Hussein’s revolution became a prominent tradition in our minds, the lessons and philosophy behind it is often neglected. Most people, even most traditional clergies, concentrate only on the dark page of Ashura; they narrate only the sad story of Karbala and highlight the calamity whereas its sacred objective is ignored .Often the sanctity of this revolution is combined with fiction and superstition all over the Muslim world. The personality and objectives of Imam Husain thereby are forgotten or modified. Thus, people rarely talk about its goals and lessons to humanity and today’s social and political life. Now, this is the greatest responsibility of Muslim Ummah to analyze the revolution of Imam Husain truly and follow his path namely protesting against crime and corruption as this is the urgent need of Muslim societies.
According to Islamic experts, the revolution of Imam Husain has two pages: dark and bright. The dark page of Ashura contains tragedy and the catastrophic incidents which took place at Karbala. These portray the brutality of murdering sacred personalities, igniting tents, capturing women and children, lashing captives, running horses over the corpse of martyrs, refusing water even to children, etc. if one studies this page, one will have to mourn and shed tears all the time. This page makes us ashamed of the wrongs of Karbala. On the other hand, there is a bright page which teaches us a lot of lessons and contains all the sacred acts such as selflessness, sacrifice, fighting against cruelties, martyrdom for reviving moral standards, devoting life for revitalizing social values and human dignity. Experts say that studying this page, makes human beings proud of the ideals of humanity. The heroes of this page are those whose blood was shed for upholding religious values of that society.  this page which replete with great lessons to be learnt and practiced in social and individual life.
In order to know more about the while bright page of Imam Hussein’s revolution, we need to know the factors behind it. Initially, it seems there were three factors to mobilize Imam Hussein for revolution such Invitation of people of Kufa, pressure of Yazid to take oath of allegiance or die and lastly revival of religious values and reformation of corrupt political system under leadership of Yazid. In regard to first factor, it was automatically negated several days before Ashura with disloyalty of Kufa people and martyrdom of his representative, Muslim, in Kufa. When he got the news that Muslim was killed because he was not supported by people of Kufa this factor was automatically negated. The second factor was also weak and negotiable, and even Imam Hussein could escape to another geography so as to avoid illegitimate allegiance with Yazid and also rescue his life.
But the third factor which was revival of Islamic values and the reformation corrupt political system was the most important factor as he repeatedly articulated this in different occasions. Imam Hussein saw how injustice was imposed upon the society of his time and realized how the rulers and so-called caliph was far from the true teachings of Islam. Oppression, tyranny, unjust use of public property, etc were fully rampant and made life miserable for people. Therefore, he stood up against what was wrong but he never gave up his human virtues for the sake of furthering his purpose. He was courageous for the right cause. Neither was he after usurping the throne, nor manipulating people for his own sake. In that case, he would have been selfish rather than courageous.
The bright page of Ashura has also some important lessons for today’s political disorders in our society. The first lesson is to have an instrumental view towards political power. Power or governing in Imam’s view was nothing but a duty to serve people, protect their rights and bring justice among them. He did not seek a leadership role unless for the sake of eliminating injustice and corruption from the community. And that’s why Imam Hussain did not take the oath of allegiance to Yazid, the ruthless caliph of that time.
The next lesson of the bright page of Imam Hussein’s revolution is to say that it is duty of every individual to fight against oppression and injustice in society. In other words, standing against tyranny is a moral and virtuous act in itself that is not entirely dependent on the companionship of others. Although Imam was aware of the number of Yazid’s army but he did not retreat from his sacred goal and movement. He said it is better to die with dignity than to live in humiliation and our rights can be defended even in the face of death if no other ways left .In this regard, Mahatma Gandhi says about Imam Husain, “I learnt from Husain how to achieve victory while being oppressed. Lastly, he also proved that the numerical superiority of enemies is not important when we are fighting for a sacred goal.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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