Perseverance of Husayn ibn Ali
on the path of Truth
Whenever saga of perseverance is written in the world then only the account of incident of Karbala stood the test of time because of exemplary patience, valour, perseverance and love for Allah. The precedent it set will not be matched until doomsday. The incident of Karbala which is the incident of unmatched love, loyalty, patience, certainty and perseverance was written by Husayn ibn Ali the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and the dear son of Ali ibn Abi Talib and Fatimah bint Mohammad with his own blood.
چرچا ہے جہاں میں تری تسلیم و رضا کا
زیبا ہے لقب تجھ کو امام الشہدا کا
نذرانۂ جاں پیش کیا دین کی خاطر
تو باب نیا کھول گیا صدق و صفا کا
حق گوئی و ثابت قدمی تیری مثالی
خون تیری رگوں میں تھا رواں شیرِ خدا کا
Explanation: The epitome of surrender and submission of Husayn ibn Ali to the will of Allah is revered by the world. The title of leader of the martyrs only belongs to him as he gave his life for Islam and opened new chapters of truth and sincerity. He set the example of only speaking the truth and of perseverance. In his body ran the blood of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the lion of Allah.
Since the birth of Husayn ibn Ali, every lover of Prophet Mohammad knew that the innocent prince will give life for the religion of his grandfather with his own blood.
Despite all the powers and authorities Imam Husayn chose submission to the will of Allah and stood perseverant.
According to Hadiths:
- Prophet Mohammad said that Gabriel informed, “After my death my grandson Husayn will be martyred in Karbala.” He also brought soil of the place of his martyrdom. (Tabarani, Ibn Saeed)
- Prophet Mohammad said that an angel came to his house whom he has not seen before and he said, “Your grandson will be martyred and if you say I can present the soil of the place where he will be martyred and then he presented red soil.” (Musnad 27059)
Despite aforementioned, it was the considerable resolve, firmness and perseverance of Prophet Mohammad that he neither prayed for protection and safety of his grandson nor for the destruction of his enemies. Similarly, Ali ibn Abi Talib did not request the Holy Prophet to pray for his son. Fatimah bint Mohammad who is Sultan-ul-Faqr, the first and her command is that of “Be!” (Kun) did not try to stop this tragedy and incident. Hence, they all accepted and submitted to the will of Allah.
They all hear of martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali and despite that none pray to revert it in the Mohammadan Assembly. Moreover the lovers of the Prophet knew that to save life was not the manner of daring men of Allah therefore they prayed in the court of Almighty to help the innocent and dear son to remain perseverant on cruelty and loyalty. Moreover, Husayn who was brimming with Divine love they prayed for steadfast steps for safety of Mohammadan Faqr.
The Mohammadan Faqr
The Holy Prophet, Ali and Fatimah are the sacred personalities who brought him up under the light of teachings of Mohammadan Faqr such that it reflected from his personality. The passion of Divine love made him steadfast to accomplish his mission (to die for Faqr) from childhood till martyrdom.
The Prophet declared that People of the Cloak (Ahl al-Bayt) are from him. He said that Fatimah is from him, Ali is from him, Hasan is from him but Husayn is from him and he is from Husayn. The hidden wisdom in such declaration lies in the fact that when Allah ordered Prophet Abraham to sacrifice Ishmael, He changed that sacrifice into Husayn’s. It is in Quran:
وَفَدَیْنٰہُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِیْمِ ( سورۃ الصافات۔107)
Meaning: And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice.
In the aforementioned verse ‘great sacrifice’ does not mean sheep which came in place of Ishmael. Rather it means Husayn ibn Ali’s sacrifice in Karbala. Allama Iqbal says:
غریب و سادہ و رنگین ہے داستانِ حرم
نہایت اس کی حسینؓ ابتدا ہے اسماعیلؑ
Explanation: It started with Ishmael and ended at Husayn the sorrowful and simple incident tainted with blood.
Hence, the sacrifice of Ishmael changed into Husayn’s through which the progeny of Ishmael continued. Prophet Mohammad was from that progeny. The Holy Prophet declared himself from Husayn because of his sacrifice the Mohammadan religion and Faqr got life. There is no decline to it till doomsday.
Background to incident of Karbala
The time came for Husayn ibn Ali when he reached the age of fifty-six for which Fatimah bint Mohammad and Ali ibn Abi Talib had prepared him. The time to make the religion of Prophet Mohammad eternal till doomsday.
On 40 Hijri, after the assassination of Ali ibn Abi Talib, Mu’awiya ruled for twenty years. Mu’awiya nominated his son Yazid as successor in his life. On assuming power Yazid starting taking allegiance from people.
By nature Yazid was obstinate, arrogant, debauchee and adulterer. Imam Husayn was the reflection of the most Compassionate (Rahman) and on the other hand Yazid was a Satan himself. Husayn was beneficence for the Mohammadan umma and Yazid was trouble. Husayn was to bestow eternal life to Mohammadan Faqr and Yazid was not even familiar with the word Faqr.
After taking allegiance from the people of Syria, Yazid sent letters to neighbourhood leaders to force people to pledge allegiance to him who had not yet. He especially wrote to the governor of Madina, Walid ibn Utbah, to secure allegiance from Husayn and Ibn al-Zubayr. If they do not agree then by force. Imam Husayn assessing the circumstances knew fully well that he cannot stay in Madina because he will be forced. How can he pledge allegiance which was totally against sharia! Therefore he migrated to Makkah at night. The trials of migration could not break his resolution.
Letters from Kufa
People of Kufa considered Ahl al-Bayt (Prophet’s family) having the sole right to pledge allegiance to. They heard the news that Husayn refused to pledge to Yazid. Then with mutual consent they started writing letters to Husayn. They promised to consider him as their leader and the one to whom they will pledge.
Muslim ibn Aqil and situation of Kufa
Husayn sent his cousin Muslim ibn Aqil to assess the situation in Kufa. The result was that twelve thousand people pledged allegiance and the number kept on increasing until it reached eighteen thousand. Ibn Aqil informed Husayn of the widespread support in Kufa, suggesting that he join them there.
Yazid heard of support for ibn Aqil in Kufa. He called the leaders of Kufa and offered them huge reward and wealth in exchange of their betrayal to ibn Aqil. Treacherous and disloyal people of Kufa accepted. Then they killed ibn Aqil and his two sons, Mohammad (eight years old) and Ibrahim (six years old).
Letter of ibn Aqil to Husayn
In Makkah, Husayn received the letter of ibn Aqil. He started preparing for the journey to Kufa. Some sacred Companions tried to stop him. They said that people of Kufa betrayed his father and martyred him. They might also betray him. Husayn replied:
“It has become obligatory on me to command for the good, prohibit from falsehood and to fight for Islam. It no longer matters whether they are faithful or faithless. I am afraid of Allah’s question on the doomsday, ‘You were requested to be the representative of Truth when darkness and brutality were widespread. Uprising against Sunna of Prophet Mohammad was prevalent. Nonsense and heresy had become customary. People’s rights were seized by force. Muslims were ridiculed. Why you did not fight against this oppression’.”
Journey towards Karbala
The exalted Imam started his journey to Iraq with his sacred Family and service men on 3rd Dhul al-Hijjah, 60th Hijri. The caravan consisted of seventy two members. He was on his way when he heard of treachery of people of Kufa and martyrdom of ibn Aqil. The one who brought this news said to Imam Husayn to please return because none in Kufa was with him. Moreover, he feared that those who requested him might become his enemy. On this one of his companion said, “We will not leave the land of Kufa unless we take revenge of ibn Aqil’s murder or be martyred like him.”
Imam Husayn said, “To live with these oppressors is great oppression in itself.”
The caravan then approached Karbala, the station of sacrifice and the trial ground. It was the 2nd Muharram 61 Hijri.
Magnificient is the grandeur of the caravan. They left their country and bore hardships of journey with patience and perseverance. From 2nd till 10th Muharram they went through most difficult trials. The caravan was only of 72 people including children, women, old and sick. Against them stood an army of twenty-two thousand which used every ruse. They stopped the water of the river and on the other hand there was the burning sand of desert. The caravan was stopped in Karbala and the army forced Husayn ibn Ali to pledge allegiance to Yazid. When the people of Kufa could not convince him they started the battle. There is no other in history resembling Imam Husayn’s courage, patience and perseverance who not only was martyred but he witnessed each and every member of his family and companions being martyred to save his grandfather’s religion.
Magnificence of Husayn
جب کبھی ضمیر کا سودا ہو دوستو!
ڈٹ جاؤ حسینؓ کے انکار کی طرح
Explanation: Stay perseverant like Husayn ibn Ali wherever conscience is being tested.
Imam Husayn accepted his own and family’s martyrdom but did not accept the destruction of Muslims and his grandfather’s religion, Islam.
بشر کا ناز، نبوتؐ کا نورِ عین حسینؓ
جنابِ فاطمہ زھراؓ کے دِل کا چین حسینؓ
کبھی نماز سے پوچھا جو رنج و غم کا علاج
کہا نماز نے بے ساختہ حسینؓ حسینؓ
Explanation: Husayn ibn Ali is the pride of humanity. He is the light of Prophet Mohammad’s religion and peace of heart of Fatimah bint Mohammad. Whenever one inquires of the remedy of sorrow while offering salat then the salat cried out loud that to be like Husayn.
Seekers of Allah
From the incident of Karbala one receives valuable lessons of fulfilment of promise, valour, loyalty, sacrifice, submission to Divine will and perseverance on the toughest of trails.
As a seeker of Allah, one should realise that life is like the plain of Karbala. Where one has to fight in his inward with wishes like that of Yazid and armies of inciting innerself (an-nafs) and Satan. After all, only that person is successful who sacrifices his life, wealth and family in the love of his spiritual guide (Murshid).
Therefore whoever claims to love the People of Cloak (Ahl al-Bayt) should always keep in mind the lessons of the battle of Karbala and adopt the path of Faqr. People of Kufa made fake promises.
I pray to Allah to bestow us the true and sincere love for the People of Cloak (Ahl al-Bayt) and give us perseverance to be their slaves. (Amin)
This blog is English translation of an Urdu article of the magazine ‘Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore’ for the month of September, 2019. The title of the Urdu article is:
حضرت امام حسین ؓ کی راہِ حق میں ثابت قدمی | Hazrat Imam Hussain ki Rah e Haq mein Sabit Qadmi
Originally penned by Anila Yaseen Sarwari Qadri from Lahore is presently in English by Sahibzadi Muneeza Najib Sarwari Qadri exclusively for the website. Do not forget to visit the original article to which you only have to click the link
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