August 29, 2020

The Tragedy of Karbala

The scholars on Islam have put on record that Hazrat Hussain (RA) was a child at the time when Prophet (SAW) handed over the soil of the place of Shadat of Hussain (RA) to Um Salma (RA). Hazrat Um Salma reports that Imam Hussain (RA) and Imam Hassan (RA), both were playing in front of her house and Gabriel (AS) came to Prophet (SAW) and told him that “O! Prophet (SAW), a group of people among your Ummah will martyr your son Hussain (RA)”. Gabriel (AS) also handed over some soil of that land to Mohammad (SAW). He (SAW) kept that soil close to his holy chest and wept. She reports that Prophet (SAW) said to her, “O! Um Salma (RA, when this Soil turns into blood, (red), you should understand that my son has been martyred”. (Al- Khasyisul kibra, 2, i25, Sir-ul- Shadatain, 28, Al-M uajam-ul- KabirI-ul- Tibrani) Prophet (SAW) would also pray to Allah to give him (SAW) refuge from the malevolence and trouble of 60 Hijri period, a period, which he (SAW) predicted and described as the period of disorder and evil in the life of his Ummah and foretold that it would be a time when his dear one’s (Ahle Bait) would face hazards and put to grave trouble. They would be martyred painfully and treason would be played with them. The period would witness the murder of humanity and the religion of Islam would face stiff resistance from the evil forces which would lead the Ummah towards chaos and confusion. He had also predicted that the ruler of 60 Hijri period would be barbarous and corrupt who even though would claim to be the follower of Islam but his deeds would be far away from the spirit and fundamentals of Islam. It is believed that he (SAW) had even predicted that Yazeed, a ruler would be the first person to murder justice and obliterate the system left by him (SAW). Hazrat Abu Ubaidah (RA) reports that Prophet (SAW) said, “My Ummah’s rule will be based on Justice and equality but a time would come when a person from Ummayed called Yazeed would destroy it”. (Albadaya WA Nahaya Ibne Kasir, 8, 231).Alama Ibn Hijr Haitmi Maki says that whatever Prophet (SAW) had revealed about Yazeed, Abu Hurrairah knew it and he would always seek refuge of Allah from the 60 Hijrah period.
The martyrdom at Karbala teaches us that we should be practical in life and remain firm what our Prophet (SAW) and the Holy Quran teaches us.
Hazrat Mu’awaiyah was succeeded by his son Yazeed. He instructed all the Governors of all the provinces to obtain from people the oath of allegiance to him. In Madinah, the Governor obtained the oath from all the people but Imam Hussain (RA) And Abdullah bin Zubair did not take oath of allegiance and escaped to Makkah. Their principle was that Caliphate could not be converted into hereditary monarchy and protested that Yazeed was not eligible for Caliphate. At Makkah, Hussain (RA) received an invitation from the people of Kufa to the effect that he should come to Kufa as they would support his Caliphate. Most of the well wishers of Hussain (RA) advised him that the invitation should not be accepted and the people of that place could not be relied upon. But Abdullah –bin- Zubair gave a contrary advice and pleaded that the people of Kufa were repenting for the betrayal which they had done with Hazrat Ali (K W). On receiving report, Hussain (RA) decided to proceed to Kufa in the company of about a hundred persons, including children and ladies. When the party reached Zibla, a midway station, the information was received that all had been lost. The people who had come out in support of the party were ruthlessly crushed and movement which was in favour of Hussain (RA) was suppressed and within days the people were made to submit and denied support to Imam Hussaiin (RA). The predicament for Hussain (RA) was whether in view of the changed circumstances, he should proceed to Kufa, or he should return to Makkah. And the people began to change their stances and the Bedouins who had accompanied Hussain (RA) also parted company. But after the murder of Aqil and other leaders of the Hussaini movement were hunted and killed, the family members of Hussain (RA) insisted that whatever odds, the movement must continue and they should proceed to Kufa. The party stayed for some time at the wayside station Sharaf. When they moved from Sharaf across the stony rolling plain, they witnessed the forces of Ubaidullah bin Ziyad, (Yazeeds Governor), moving towards them. In order to avoid the encounter with the Umayyad forces, the Imam (RA) and his party turned westward to the plain of Karbala. The Umayyad forces led by Amr b Sa’d chased the party to Karbala, and on encounter asked Hazrat Hussain (RA) to surrender. In the negotiations, Hussain (RA) placed three proposals before the enemy forces. First, that he should be allowed to go back to Makkah or Madinah: second, he be allowed to see Yazeed in Damascus and third, he should be allowed to go anywhere else. Amr reported these proposals to Ubaidullah who rejected all these and asked Hussain (RA) to surrender and accept Yazeed as the Caliph unconditionally. Hussain (RA) refused to surrender before the evil and anti- Islamic rule of Yazeed. On the 10th of Moharram, the enemy troops martyred Hussain (RA), his dear ones and his companions. All the male members of his family met martyrdom and the lone survival was that of his son Ali, who could not participate in the Jihad at Karbala due to fever and he later came to be known as Zain-ul- Abidin. The Murder of Humanity at Karbala shook the Muslim world to its foundations and the haunting effect of this tragedy is still felt. But this Shadat of great Humans saved Islam from the evil to encroach upon it and malign its basics, fundamentals, and essence. It in fact it gave Islam a new life and admonished the evil doers not to raise their eye brows against Islam as the followers of Hussain are ready to offer any sacrifice. In poetic words,
“The Martyrdom of Hussain is the death of Yazeed,
Islam is resurrected after every Karbala”
The Martyrdom or Shadat teaches us that any rule or kingly power in this world is timely and it ought not to lead us towards waywardness and immorality and prompt us to kill justice and equality. A ruler must not forget that his power is ephemeral and it would vanish in a short time. Allah says in the Holy Quran, “Let not the vicissitude (of the success) of those who disbelieve, in the land deceive thee (O MOHAMMAD). It is but a brief comfort. And afterwards their habitation will be hell, an ill abode.” (Surah, Al-Imran, V, 196-197). There are rulers at present who act and show arrogance of power like Yazeed of 60 Hijri and like him massacre justice, honesty and rights of the people every day. The Shadat of Hussain guides us that no monarchy but the choice of people must prevail in making a rule and the rule must make Islam as its way of life and the basis of its Governance. The martyrdom at Karbala teaches us that we should be practical in life and remain firm what our Prophet (SAW) and the Holy Quran teaches us.
(The author is Director Academic at J&K Board Of School Education –J&K BOSE Srinagar and writes frequently for “Kashmir Horizon”. Views are his own)[email protected]

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