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Evolution Of Interventions Against Azadari; Commemorating Kerbala

AboutMail Box Letter Relevant to this Topic
 Letter 05
: Zanjeer, Azadari and Taqleed
 Letter 06: Shabeehaat (Alam, Taziya), Idolworship and Bidat

Imam Hussain (AS) is if not the only, then one of the very few universal personalities who demand respect and reverence out of every heart, irrespective of their religious, geo-political or social outlook. His (AS) stature being the son of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) silences all of his critiques from amongst the Muslims. His (AS) martyrdom demands motivation and obedience from all humanity, which is struggling in their parts of the life. His (AS) mission and code of conduct is universal in nature and has attracted the attention of all leaders from all backgrounds.

Thanks to the noise and drama a certain group of Muslims enact during Muharram, who wail and block roads and bring businesses to a stand-still, more and more of the world is beginning to know about Imam Hussain (AS).

But as some defend their acts as Azadari thinking it to be a satisfying act of worship and service to the household of Prophet (SAW), there are many, and almost all from amongst the Muslims, who oppose the same Azadari based on different rationale brought forward.

It is not a surprise that while Imam Hussain (AS) was martyred by a government which represented Muslim Caliphate and by an Army who hastened to kill the Imam (AS) because they did not wanted to miss their Asr Prayers, there are Muslims today who while reciting the Kalimah of His (AS) grandfather (SAW), oppose practices where He (AS) is remembered and revered. Ofcourse I am not talking about people who still use (RA) with the name of Yazid, the impure son of impure.

Back in 2003 when I first started to work on SDOL, and was in college, I was frequented with questions and blames that Shias kill children and cook them in the nayyaz, Shias spit in the nayyaz and offer it to sunnis, and Shias dim the lights at Shaam e Ghareeban (Eve of 11th Muharram) and engage themselves in group coitus.

Such rumours regarding Azadari have displeased Allah on three accounts;

Firstly, the lie itself which is cursed by Allah

I swear by the heaven full of ways. Most surely you are at variance with each other in what you say, He is turned away from it who would be turned away. Cursed be the liars, Who are in a gulf (of ignorance) neglectful;
Quran [51:7-11]

Secondly, the irresponsibility in the treatment of such a lie which is equated with ignorance;

O you who believe! if an evil-doer comes to you with a report, look carefully into
it, lest you harm a people in ignorance
, then be sorry for what you have done.
Quran [49:6] 

Thirdly, the severity of the lie which is being spread about believers, about people who recite the Kalimah of Allah and his Prophet (SAW), which has only one end in the form of a grievous chastisement;

Surely (as for) those who love that scandal should circulate respecting those who
believe, they shall have a grievous chastisement in this world and the hereafter
; and Allah knows, while you do not know.
Quran [24:19]

More importantly, Azadari, the mourning or the gatherings of Muharram are not being done for someone's personal interest, but for the commemoration of the movement of Imam Hussain (AS). If lying about some one's personal affair is serious, then blemishing such a selfless emotional outburst affiliated with the Prince of Paradise and the heart of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), with such a disgusting sin, is severe.

But with the advent of social media, freedom of print and electronic media, people have realized that such lies spread about Muharram and Shias are not only primitive, but also immature and childish. They have not discouraged people from shiaism but gave people the impetus to look more closely into it. So the momentum against Shia rituals of Azadari and mourning started becoming more "intellectual", "sophisticated" and "islamic Concerns" in attempts to keep people away from it.

I will like to share what makes Imam Hussain (AS) what he is, before i move onto the counter-arguments against Muharram and Azadari. Because it is important for us to understand who is Imam Hussain (AS), what was his mission and what importance does Kerbala have on the life of a believer before looking at what the other side has to say about the Imam (AS).

Imam Hussain (AS) was a grandson to a Man (SAW) who had no sons of his own and who was (SAW) the leaders of Prophets. Prophet (SAW) was no one's father as per the Quran;

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah
and the Last of the prophets; and Allah is cognizant of all things.
Quran [33:40]

This meant that what ever the Prophet (SAW) said or did pertaining to his (SAW) own family, was in the capacity of a Prophet of Allah and not in the capacity of personal relationship. After all, he (SAW) said what was revealed to him (SAW)

Your companion does not err, nor does he (Muhammad) go astray; Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed
Quran [53:2-4]

If the Prophet (SAW) loved Hussain (AS), it was not on account of his relationship but on account of what Allah willed.

Narrated by Ya’la bin Murrah (rah.), The Messenger of Allah (saw.) said: “Husain is from me, and I am from Husain. Allah loves whosoever loves Husain. Husain is a Sibt among the Asbat.”[Sibt first means Grandson and Asbat here will refer to many tribes i.e. he will have many offspring].
Jami’ Tirmidhi in Merits of Al-Hassan and Hussain, Hadith 4144.

Ofcourse Imam Hussain (AS) is from the Prophet (SAW), but the Prophet (SAW) had also emphasized how he (SAW) was also from Hussain (AS). This gives weightage to the mission of Imam Hussain (AS) that what He (AS) was about to do at Kerbala was something of prime importance to Tauheed.

Imam Hussain (AS) was the chief of the youth of Paradise, even before Kerbala happened.

The Messenger of Allah said: "Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are the chiefs of the youth of Paradise and Fatimah is the chief of their women."
Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, p660, on the authority of Abu Sa’id and Hudhayfa

Imam  Hussain (AS) was cleansed via Ayah Tatheer (Surah 33, Ayah 33) and included in the Ahlulbayt (AS) of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

'A'isha reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) went out one norning wearing a striped cloak of the black camel's hair that there came Hasan b. 'Ali. He wrapped hitn under it, then came Husain and he wrapped him under it along with the other one (Hasan). Then came Fatima and he took her under it, then came 'Ali and he also took him under it and then said: Allah only desires to take away any uncleanliness from you, O people of the household, and purify you (thorough purifying)
Sahih Muslim Book 031, Number 5955

Imam Hussain (AS) was taken by the Prophet (SAW) to Mubahila as his son;

This hadith has been narrated. on the authority of Shu'ba with the same chain of transmitters. ........  when the (following) verse was revealed:" Let us summon our children and your children." Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) called 'Ali, Fitima, Hasan and Husain and said: O Allah, they are my family.
Sahih Muslim Book 031, Number 5915

The Prophet (SAW) loved Imam Hassan (AS) and Imam Hussain (AS);

Narrated Ibn Abi Nu'm: A person asked 'Abdullah bin 'Umar whether a Muslim could kill flies. I heard him saying (in reply). "The people of Iraq are asking about the killing of flies while they themselves murdered the son of the daughter of Allah's Apostle . The Prophet said, They (i.e. Hasan and Husain) are my two sweet basils in this world
Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 57, Number 96

According to "", the name "basil" is derived from the old Greek word basilikohn, which means "royal," reflecting that ancient culture's attitudes towards an herb that they held to be very noble and sacred. The tradition of reverence of basil has continued in other cultures. In India, basil was cherished as an icon of hospitality, while in Italy, it was a symbol of love.

The Imam (AS) resembled his grandfather (SAW);

Narrated Muhammad: Anas bin Malik said, "The head of Al-Husain was brought to 'Ubaidullah bin Ziyad and was put in a tray, and then Ibn Ziyad started playing with a stick at the nose and mouth of Al-Husain's head and saying something about his handsome features." Anas then said (to him), "Al-Husain resembled the Prophet more than the others did." .....
Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 57, Number 91

The companions understood that to please the Prophet (SAW) they had to do good to his (SAW) family;

Narrated Ibn 'Umar: Abu Bakr used to say, "Please Muhammad (i.e. the Prophet) by doing good to his family."
Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 57, Number 94

The Prophet (SAW) has Imam Hassan (AS) and Hussain (AS) as a part of his prayer routine;

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet used to seek Refuge with Allah for Al-Hasan and Al-Husain and say: "Your forefather (i.e. Abraham) used to seek Refuge with Allah for Ishmael and Isaac by reciting the following: 'O Allah! I seek Refuge with Your Perfect Words from every devil and from poisonous pests and from every evil, harmful, envious eye.' "
Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 590

It is no wonder that the Prophet (SAW) linked his sons with the sons of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). Afterall Ibrahim (AS) gave one son in the way of Allah while Imam Hussain (AS) gave away everything.

So now that we know that;

  1. Imam Hussain (AS) was the biological grandson of Prophet (SAW)
  2. He (AS) was the spiritual son to Prophet (SAW) who showed him (AS) to the world as his (SAW) own son during Mubahila
  3. He (AS) was purified from all Rijs and included in His (SAW) Ahlulbayt (AS)
  4. He (AS) is the Progeny of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) upon who all Muslims send their Durood on, without which Salaat is incomplete
  5. He (AS) resembled the Prophet (SAW)
  6. He (AS) was given the title of the Prince of Youth of Paradise by the Prophet (SAW) himself
  7. He (AS) was loved by the Prophet (SAW), in the capacity of a Prophet

The following is taken from Maqtal al Husayn (AS), by Abu Mikhnaf which is widely accepted as the most authentic historical account of Kerbala. My comments if any shall appear in parenthesis []. I will abridge the account to give a flavor of Kerbala to those who are not aware of it before proceeding with the modern day issues associated with its commemoration.


When Muawiya fell ill with an ailment from which he died, he summoned his son Yazid and said to him "I have spared you the trouble of paving the way for your succession. I have humbled the enemies for you, subjugated the arabs and produced a consensus among them. I am only concerned about four individuals from Quraysh who might challenge you in this regard - Hussain Ibn Ali (AS), Abdullah Ibn Umer, Abdullah Ibn Zubair and Abdal Rahman ibn Abu Bakr. Abdullah Ibn Umar is occupied with the acts of worship and would pledge allegiance to you in the absence of other influences. As for Hussain Ibn Ali, the people of Iraq will not cease calling upon him until they cause him to rebel. If he comes out against you, you should overpower him and forgive him because he enjoys kinship and a great claim. Ibn Abu bakr will follow the opinion of his companions and he has no ambition beyond interest in women and pleasure. The one who will lie in ambush like a lion and dupe you like a sly fox is Ibn Zubayr. He will pounce on you when an opportunity presents itself. If he rebels, confront him and tear him to pieces"

Yazid assumed the power in Rajab 60 AH and instructed the governer of Medina to summon Hussain Ibn Ali (AS) to give oath of allegiance and use of force was advised if needed.
Marwan Ibn al Hakam advised Walid (governoer of Medina) that if Hussain (AS) declines to pledge allegiance, he should seize and execute him before the news of death of Mawiya is spread.

When Imam Hussain (AS) met Walid, Imam (AS) told walid to summon Him (AS) with the rest of the people and he (AS) will decide the affairs in public. Walid agreed but Marwan intervened telling Walid that if Hussain (AS) departs from this council tonight without the oath of allegiance he will never do the same and the opportunity to secure it would be gone without much bloodshed.

Imam (AS) left Medina for Mecca. The Imam (AS) recited, Quran Suah 28, Ayah 21: So he went forth there from, fearing, awaiting, (and) he said: My Lord! deliver me
from the unjust people.

[I can assure you that when we start a journey today, where air travel is luxurious and safe, and even when we go to a travel/tourist spot leaving behind our city and family, we feel heavy leaving behind what we love. The Imam (AS) left behind his daughter Fatima Sughra (AS), and the grave of Prophet (SAW) and His (AS) mother Janab Zahra (AS), which he (AS) used to visit on a daily basis.]

Imam (AS) stayed in Mecca for 03 months and the people began to visit Him (AS).
The news of Mawya's death and Imam Hussain's (AS) stay in Mecca reached Kufa, where the people of Kufa gathered and decided to write to Imam Hussain (AS).

Sulayman Bin Surad, Musayyib bin Najabah, Rifaah ibn Shaddad and Habib Bin Mazahir (RA) wrote on the behalf of Muslims in Kufa: "The stubborn oppressor who took over guardianship of the community, snatched away its authority, usurped the Fay and took control without people's consent. Then he killed the best ones and preserved the wicked. He made God's wealth circulate among the tyrants and the wealthy. He was destroyed just as Thamud faced destruction. We have no Imam. Therefore come, perhaps through you God shall unit us on the truth. We do not gather with Numan Ibn Bashir for Friday prayer or prayer of the festival. Once we learn that you have accepted to come to us, we will chase him away to Syria"
Two days later another letter was sent inviting Imam Hussain (AS) "to an army that is ready and well prepared".

Imam Hussain (AS) dispatched Muslim Bin Aqil (AS), his trusted representative to investigate the situation of Kufa. The Imam (AS) replied to the letters he had recieved;
"What is the function of the Imam except to act according to the book, uphold justice, profess the truth and dedicate himself to God".

Muslim (AS) arrived in Kufah and the people started to give their pledges to Muslim (AS).
Abdullah Bin Muslim wrote to Yazid detailing the situation of Kufa and recommended replacement of Numan Bin Basir from the governorship as he was presented as a weak administrator.

Yazid sent Ubaidallah bin Ziyad (cursed) as the governor of Kufa with the instructions to search and kill Muslim Bin Aqeel (AS).

Imam Hussain (AS) wrote a letter to the people of Basrah stating,
"God chose Muhammad (SAW) over all other creatures. He distinguished him (SAW) with prophethood and selected him to convey his message. After admonishing his servants and converying his message, God took his soul back. We are from his family and those entrusted with his authority. We are his trustees and inheritors. We have greater right than any one else to execute the Prophet's functions. Instead the people have arrogated to themselves our rihgts. We did not protest because we detested causing division and wanted the best for the community. But we knew that we were more entitled to that station than those who have usurped it. They have done somethings well and pursued the truth. I send you my messenger with this letter. I invite you to the book of God and the Sunnah of his prophet (SAW). The sunnah has surely died as innovations become alive. If you listen to me and obey me, I will guide you to the right path."

Mundhir Bin Jarud brought this letter to the knowledge of Ubaydallah bin Ziyad (the cursed).
The people of Kufah are threatened by state machinery and Muslim (AS) is isolated, his supporters deserting him. Eventually, Ubaydallah apprehends Muslim (AS).

Ibn Ziyad (the cursed) tells Muslim (AS) that he will kill in a manner that no one else has been killed before in Islam. Muslim (AS) replied that it is known that Ibn ZIyad will never abandon sinful murder, torturous punishment, repulsive practices and vile domination. Muslim (AS) continues that no one is more worthy of carrying such an act other than Ibn Ziyad (the cursed). Ibn Ziyad started to curse Muslim (AS), Hussain (AS), Ali (AS) and Aqil (AS).

Muslim (AS) was taken to the top of the palace, his (AS) blessed head was severed and hurled down from the roof after his body was thrown as well. The body was dragged in the marketplace. Hani Ibn Urwah (RA) was also martyred and both the heads were sent to Yazid.
Yazid wrote to Ibn Ziyad: "You have not exceeded the limits that i desired. You acted with resoluteness and initiated the attack with a courage that was not weakened by emotions. You have been successful and equal to the task. "

Imam Hussain (AS) was advised not to go to Kufa as the people there had a history of betraying His (AS) father Imam Ali (AS) as well. The Imam (AS) thanked the people for their advise and concern and left everything to Allah.

Imam Hussain (AS) said " I have seen a dream in which the Messenger of Allah (SAW) has commanded me in the present matter". Imam (AS) added that he is not at liberty to disclose the dream any further, and left Mecca for Kufa.

Imam's (AS) caravan was intercepted at Kerbala by Hurr Bin Yazid and a 1,000 horsemen. Imam Hussain (AS) offered them water and to their horses as well. When a horse had taken three, four or five draughts, the water was pulled away and given to the next horse until all of them were given water.

The Imam (AS) addressed the people:
"I have sound justification before Allah and you that I did not come to you before either your numerous letters had found me or your messengers had invited me to come to them as you have no Imam over you. I cam to you based on that positive attitude and support. Thus if you honor what you had promised through oaths, then I will set out for your town. If you will not honor your promise and are displeased with my arrival, I am prepared to leave you and return to whence I started my journey. O people, if you are God Concious, and are aware of the rights of those who are deserving of it, then God will be pleased with you. We are the family of the Prophet who are more entitled to assume guardianship over you than these false claimants who have no such right. They have brought oppression and enmity upon you. If you are averse to us and are ignorant of our rights and if your opinion is different than what you expressed in your letters, then I will part company with you".

Hur replied that he has no information of the letters. Imam (AS) showed him two saddlebags which contained the letters of invitation. Hur informed Imam (AS) that he has been instructed to bring Imam Hussain (AS) to Ubaiudallah ibn Ziyad.

Imam (AS) answered "Death will befall you before you do that" and instructed his followers to rise and mount their horses but Hurr intercepted the Imam (AS). Imam (AS) said to Hurr, "May your mother be deprived of you, what are your intentions". Hurr replied that If any other Arab were to say this to him he would not have hesitated to wish that his mother be deprived of him as well, but By God, your (AS) mother [Janab Zahra (AS)] cannot be mentioned except in the best of the manner.

The conversation began to heat up and Hurr advised to take a neutral position between fighting the Imam (AS) and taking him to Ubaidallah. Imam (AS) was instructed to take a road that neither goes to Kufa or to Medina as a temporary compromise till Hurr awaited orders from Ibn Ziyad.

Hurr traveled with Imam Husain (AS) and reminded him caution saying "I assure you if you fight us you will be fought and certainly be killed" to which the Imam (AS) replied "Do you think that you can frighten me with death? Could a worse misfortune fall upon you than killing me? I will carry on for there is no shame in embracing death for a young man so long as he aims for the truth and struggles as a muslim and has helped righteous men by sacrificing his own life and dissociates from those who cause destruction and delude people".

Along the journey, Imam Hussain (AS) slept and woke up reciting "We are from Allah and to him is our return" thrice. His son Ali (AS) asked if what happened to which the Imam (AS) replied that "In my slumber I saw a horseman who said to me that People are journeying and their fates are marching towards them". Imam (AS) realized that it was informing them of their deaths. Ali (AS) asked "Father, are we not on the truth". Imam (AS) replied in the positive. Ali (AS) said "In that case father, there is no need for us to be concerned as long as we die in the path of the truth".

Imam Hussain (AS) reached Ninawa and Hurr received a messenger from Ibn Ziyad instructing "immediately halt the journey of Hussain (AS), make him stop in an open area without any protective enclosure or water supply".

Hurr implemented the orders. It was 2nd Muharram 61 AH.

The next day, Umar Bin Saad Ibn Abu Waqas [son of the Companion who was allegedly promised paradise by the prophet (SAW)] arrived from Kufah with 4,000 soldiers. Shafi in Matalib al Saul says there were 12,000 solders and Shaykh Saduq reports in his Al-Amali on the authority of Imam Jaffar Sadiq (AS) that there were 30,000 soldiers.

Imam (AS) told Umar Bin Saad through a messenger that He (AS) was prepared to return given that the people who had invited him (AS) now do not welcome him. Umar Bin Saad discussed the matter with Ibn Ziyad who said "Now that our claws have siezed him, he seeks for a way out, but now is not the time for escape".

A letter came from Ibn ZIyad addressed to Umar Bin Saad which ordered to "prevent Hussain and his followers from reaching the water supply. They should not be allowed ever to taste a drop of it as was done with the righteous pious and oppressed caliph Uthman Bin Affan".

Umar bin Saad complied and five hundred horsemen were station along the river and water supply was cut off.

Umar bin Saad met with Imam Hussain (AS) and asked to pledge allegiance to Yazid. Imam (AS) proposed to go to Yazid leaving the armies behind and discuss the matter there. Umar Bin Saad replied that his properties will be confiscated. Umar Bin Saad wrote to Ibn Ziyad that Imam Hussain (AS) has undertaken to return to where he came from or be sent to one of the border areas where he will be treated like any other muslim with the same rights and obligations or be sent to Yazid to resolve the differences.

Ibn Ziyad read the letter and started to agree with the contents of it until Shimr Bin Dhi Jawshan (the cursed) rose and said "will you accept this from someone who has halted nearby on your land? By God if you allow him to leave your dominion without obtaining allegiance he will be considered strong and powerful and you will be viewed as weak and impotent".

Ibn Ziyad understood the consequences and instructed Umer Bin Saad not to delay confrontation with Imam Hussain (AS). Ibn Ziyad wrote "If Hussain and his followers submit to my authority and surrender then send them to me in peace. However if they refuse then engage and kill and mutilate them for they are deserving of that. If Hussain is killed, let the horses trample back and forth on his chest for he is a treacherous rebel who has divided the community. This will not injure him after death but I have sworn that i will do this if he is killed. If you execute our order then we will give you a reward befitting those who listen and obey. If you refuse then give up our authority and army and hand over the command to Shimr as he has been given the mandate".

Shimr gave the letter to Umar bin Zayad who understood that Shimr has exploited the situation and enticed Ibn Ziyad. Umar Bin Saad however agrees to execute the orders so that Shimr did not benefit from the situation.

Shimr approached the camp of Hussain (AS) and addresses the sons of their sister, Abbas (AS), Jafar (AS), Abdullah (AS) and Usman (AS). Shimr offered them gurantee of safety and security. Abbas (AS) ibn Ali (AS) replied "May God curse you and your guarantee, what sort of an uncle are you who offers us security while the son of the Prophet (SAW) has no guarantee of safety? The guarantee of Allah is better than the guarantee of an immoral person."

On the 9th Muharram, Janab Zainab (AS) binte Ali (AS), the granddaughter of Prophet (SAW), heard the sound of the oncoming army. She approached Imam Hussain (AS) and inquired about the march. Imam (AS) raised his head and said "I just saw the Prophet (SAW) of Allah in a vision and he said to me "You are marching towards us"". Janab Zainab (AS) slapped her face and cried out "Woe to me". Imam (AS) replied, "Woe is not for you, be quiet, may Allah have mercy on you".

Imam Hussain (AS) sent Abbas (AS) to inquire why the army is marching and why has the situation changed. Abbas (AS) is told that the directives have come to either offer submission to authority or engangement in battle. Abbas (AS) is allowed to notify Imam Hussain (AS) of the same. Imam (AS) requested to postpone the march until tomorrow morning so that the Imam (AS) could devote the night for prayers. The request was accepted and the sun rose on the 10th Muharram, 61 AH.

Imam Ali (AS) Ibn Hussain (AS), Syed Sajjad heard his father address his companions:
"I glorify Allah, blessed and most high with the best glorification. I praise him in both prosperity and adversity. O Allah, I praise you for honoring us with prophethood, teaching us the Quran and endowing us with a profound understanding of religion. You have enabled us to see, hear and reflect and you have not made us polytheists. I know of no followers more superior and righteous than my followers, or of a family more pious and closlely knit than my family. May Allah bestoy you with the best of rewards. I believe tomorrow will be our last day that will be brought about by these enemies. I have given thought to your situation. You are all justified to leave and are absolved of your obligation to me. Use this cover of night to escape. Let each one of you take the hand of a person from my family. Then spread about in different towns until Allah rescues you. the people pursue me only and once they seize me they will stop pursuing anyone else."

Abbas (AS) spoke, "Why would we ever do that in order to remain alive after you? May God never allow that to happen. Life would be so distasteful after you." Then Qasim Ibn Hassan (AS), Awn and Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Ibn Jafar (AS) spoke in similar vein.

The companions (RA) including Muslim Bin Awsajah, Said Bin Abdallah Hanafi and Zuhayr Bin Qayn replied "By Allah we will never leave you until Allah knows that we protected the sanctity of the departed Prophet (SAW) of Allah that is preserved in you. By Allah if i knew that i will be killed and then be brought back to life and then burnt alive and scattered, I would not abandon you even if this process were repeated seventy times. How then could I not sacrifice myself for your safety when I know that there is only one death with honor".

Imam Ali (AS) Ibn Hussain (AS) Ibn Ali (AS) states that on the eve of Ashura, his father Imam Hussain (AS) returned to his tent and recited "Time, you are a shameful partner for a friend, with the passage of dawn and sunset. How many companions and supporters will be killed but time will not be content with my substitute. The final affair rests with the majestic one for every living being journeys back to him along the path". Imam Ali (AS) ibn Hussain (AS) started to choke with tears and understood that they were behest with afflictions and trials. When Janab Zainab (AS) heard the poem of Imam Hussain (AS), she could not restrain herself and displayed her emotion by tearing her clothes. She went to Imam (AS) and said that she wished death had overtaken her life before Imam Hussain's (AS). Janab Zainab (AS) slapped her face and fell down unconscious. Imam Hussain (AS) sprayed water on her face and told her to get her strength by turning to Allah.

Umar bin saad offered the morning prayers on Ashura and then released an arrow in the direction of the tent of Imam Hussain (AS) saying "Bear witness that I was the first to strike".
Some of the army approached the tents from the behind and observed that firewood and cane was lit in a ditch to deter attack from the rear. Shimr passed by on a horse and saw the burning firewood and cried out loudly "Hussain, are you rushing towards the hell fire in this world before the day of resurrection?"

Imam Hussain (AS) stood on his horse and gave a sermon at the top of his voice such that almost every one could hear him:
"People, listen to what i have to say and do not rush me that i may admonish you your duties toward me and explain to you the reason why I came to you. If you accept my explanation and verify my truthfulness and deal with me with justice perhaps then will you attain prosperity rather than pursue me. Should you reject my explanation and deny me fair treatment, then agree upon your affair and call your associates."

When His (AS) sisters and daughters heard his (AS) speech, they lamented and cried. Abbas (AS) Ibn Ali (AS) was sent to condole them and Imam (AS) instructed Abbas (AS) "Silence them for by my life there will be much more to weep in the future".

Imam Hussain (AS) continued the sermon by praising and glorifying Allah and sending blessings upon Muhammad (SAW) and God's angels and prophets:
"Trace my descent and reflect upon who I am. Then look towards yoruself and be self critical. Do you think it lawful to kill me and violate my sanctity? Am i not the son of the daughter of your prophet (SAW). The son of the trustee of the Prophet (SAW) and his cousin, the first one to believe in Allah and embrace what his messenger brought from his lord? Is Hamzah, lord of the martyrs not my uncle? Is Jafar who flies with wings in heaven not my uncle? Do you not testify to the famous statement of the Prophet (SAW) about me and my brother Hassan that we are the lords of the youths of paradise? If you believe that what I am saying is the truth and it is indeed the truth, for by Allah I have never told a lie since i realized that Allah hates liars and that it harms only those who engage in falsification. If you do not believe me than ask those are are among you they will tell you about me. They will confirm that the heard this statement from Rasool Allah (SAW). Is this not sufficient to stop you from shedding my blood? If you doubt this prophetic statement do you also doubt that I am the son of the daughter of your messenger? By Allah there is no such person but me, search among yourselves or the entire world. Tell me whether you seek revenge for someone among you whom I have killed for property that i usurped or for an injury that I inflicted?"

Zuhayr Bin Qayn addressed the crowd by telling them that Allah has subjected them to a test on how we deal with the family of the prophet (SAW).

The crowd started cursing them and praising Ibn Ziyad (Summaya was a prostitute who gave birth to Ziyad, the father of Ubaidallah Ibn ZIyad, after having an intimate relationship with six men of Quraysh. Thus his father was unknown and he was addresses as Ziyad son of his father or Ziyad ibn Abi, until Mawiya embraced him as his brother. From that point onwards he was called Ziyad bin Abu Sufyan). Shimr screamed that they have exhausted them with their prolonged sermonizing.

When Umar bin Saad began to advance, Hurr distanced himself from the people and advanced towards Hussain (AS). A nervous Hurr came to Imam Hussain (AS) and repented for he was the one who prevented Imam (AS) from returning. Imam Hussain (AS) forgave Hurr (AS) and said "You are a free man (meaning hurr), just as your mother named you, Inshallah you are free in this life and in the hereafter".

Hurr (AS) addressed his peeople and told them that they deny the womenfolk and children of Prophet (SAW) water of euphrates which Jews, christians and magians come to for drink and pigs and dogs roll in it.

The battle started and Imam Hussain's (AS) brothers, sons including the 6 month old Ali Asghar (AS), friends, companions, all laid there lives before the blood of Imam Hussain (AS) was shed.

When Imam Hussain (AS) was left alone, a long time passed during which anyone who wanted to kill Imam Hussain (AS) could have. But everyone detested committing this heinous act and preferred someone else to carry it out.

Shimr gave out a call to the people and they launched an attack from all sides. Imam's left hand and shoulder was struck and he (AS) upon his face. He (AS) was struck with a spear. Finally, a cursed sat upon The Imam's body and severed his head. Items that were on Imam's (AS) body were plundered. His cloak, shirt, sword and sandals, even trousers were plundered and the body of Imam Hussain (AS) lay bare on the sands of Kerbala.
Abridged and taken from Maqtal al Husayn (AS) by Abu Mikhnaf

But Kerbala did not end on the 10th Muharram. It started on the 10th Muharram. The women of the Prophet (SAW) were arrested and marched to Kufa and Syria in the courtyard of Yazid as prisoners of war and without their hijab. Imam Sajjad (AS) was the only male survivor of the household of Prophet (SAW).

Today, with the moon of Muharram sighted, a minority block in the Muslim community globally, wear black clothes, stop festivities and start organizing Majalis where Quran is read, Islam is deliberated upon, food and water is shared and events of Kerbala are recited and relived. Billions of Dollars are being spent by people in all parts of the world. People feel it is their ethical, moral, religious, spiritual obligation, to spend in the way of Hussain (AS), to let Hussain (AS) know that he was labeled a traitor by a small group of men and today he (AS) is an emperor in the hearts of millions.

I always wonder if such a system could have sustained itself without the will of Allah? Or was it the will of Allah to sustain a system which commemorates the sacrifice which Allah loved. If Allah loved Ibrahim's (AS) sacrifice so much that all the Muslims are to cut a ram, visit the Kaaba and go round the Safa Marwa every year to commemorate Ibrahim (AS) and his true spirit of sacrifice, then Kerbala is a greater feat and sacrifice;

Most surely this is a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a Feat sacrifice
Quran [37:106-107]

But there are still people who either have genuine questions on Azadari, or try to make Azadari unattractive and for a cause we might try to read between the lines.

1. Cause of Concern: Mourning Cannot be for more than 03 days

We must understand the difference between mourning, grief, commemoration and respect.

Before i rationalize, we must know that Prophet Yaqub (AS) mourned for one of his son, Yusuf (AS), his entire life, and so much that he (AS) went blind on account of grief.

And he turned away from them, and said: O my sorrow for Yusuf! and his eyes
became white on account of the grief, and he was a repressor (of grief)

Quran [12:84]

Take this my shirt and cast it on my father's face, he will (again) be able to see,
and come to me with all your families.
Quran [12:93]

Furthermore, when Janab Khadija (AS) and Abu Talib (AS) died in the same year, Prophet (SAW) labelled it as Aam ul Huzn or the year of sorrow, not "Three Days" of sorrow.

What Shias do in Muharram is not mourning. It is a mixture of protest, sharing the event and its message with the world, grief and respect. Don't we go to offices during Muharram and Safr? Don't we eat, drink, sleep and perform regular salat? Don't we do our daily chores in Muharram and Safr?

Yes, we do not celebrate our weddings and birthdays and any rational mind can understand the reason behind it but this is not mourning.

When some one looses their son and the news arrives, the person looses his senses. He does not care about his food or water or sleep, or his salat or fast, he is in a state of mourning. Ofcourse you do not expect him to give zakat or pray salat in this state of shock while he mourns his loss and comes on ground with what has happened. This can continue for one day or 2 days, but eventually he needs to realize and accept the will of Allah and bring back normalcy in their life.

So Muharram cannot be compared with the 03 days of mourning because the essence and spirit behind those 03 days is different.

The Ahlulbayt (AS) who survived Kerbala, wept every time they had cold water to drink, because their Father Imam Hussain (AS) did not before he was slaughtered.

Crying for Imam Hussain (AS) is the Sunnat of Janab Zainab (AS), and Imam Sajjad (AS), as instances reported and quoted by Maqtal above. Crying for Imam Hussain (AS) is a natural reaction to story of a human being, and a natural reaction of a believer due to his affiliations with the household of prophet (SAW). Companions of Prophet (SAW) like Habib Ibn Mazahir (RA) who were present at Kerbala and were martyred with Imam (AS), thought Imam (AS) to house the sanctity of Prophet (SAW) himself. How can the sanctity of Prophet (SAW) not be a sign of Allah?

That (shall be so); and whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely is (the outcome) of the piety of hearts.
Quran [22:32]

The tear which one sheds when he listens to the story of Imam (AS) is on account of the respect he has in his heart for the sign of Allah.

Finally, Islam negates the concept of sorrow or mourning over personal loss because that sorrow is materialistic in nature. When one mourns for the Prophet's (SAW) son and daughters, it is bigger than selfishness of a person and brings one closer to God.

2. Whole country is brought to a standstill in Muharram and the processions should be limited to confined spaces, like stadiums etc

People cite above excuses having knowing the fact that all of these processions are taken out on licenses obtained from the governments hundreds of years ago and yearly renewals. This means that such processions have a legal position and are not a new thing today, when then a new excuse today?

Does somebody want to confine the sound of Ya Hussain to a room? Why would somebody want that?

The processions, just like Azadari and Kerbala are multi-dimensional. While there is a ritualistic spirit linked with the procession, the true spirit of the procession is to protest as well as to get the message of Kerbala to the world, that Hussain (AS) stood for a cause, a cause not many people can digest. Protests, are a religious right;

Allah does not love the public utterance of hurtful speech unless (it be) by one to
whom injustice has been done
; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
Quran [4:148]

Public display of protest is encouraged by Allah in case of injustices. Is there a greater injustice than Kerbala? Is Kerbala Hurtful Speech for some people in our society today? We have to think over it to understand where our roots lie.

Furthermore, a protest on the roads is a constitutional and human right! Which protest or campaign in Pakistan or anywhere in the world, whether it be a sports celebration, political campaign or civic protest, is done in confined space and not on roads? What about blockades in Islamabad, what about when Spain won the worldcup and paraded the cup on the streets amidst millions? What when civil society protested on roads against rape in India?

Such social events in global picture are of a nature which are done on the roads by masses so that the world can see and hear and react to the crimes.

3. Azadari / Matam (Majlis, Noha, Mourning, Zanjeer) has not been done by the Prophet (SAW) or Companions (RA) or Ahlulbayt (AS)

Before i elaborate on this further, we should realize that the Prophet (SAW) did not perform certain acts which are very much a part of the Quran ;

  • Divorce
  • Killed a Kaafir with his (SAW) own sword
  • Giving of Zakat

Then there are acts which the Prophet (SAW) did but were never instructed in the Quran;

  • Giving Azaan
  • Circumcision
  • Documenting Quran

It is true that Azadari in the form today was not from the Prophet (SAW) or his companions (RA). But we must realize that Kerbala occurred 50 years after the demise of the Prophet (SAW).

But what is Azadari? Start with Durood, continues with Zikr Allah and the people of Allah, ends with Masayb or the Zikr of Kerbala, and then Matam on Nuhas followed by Tabarruk.

Durood is a part of Islam, Zikr of Allah is part of Islam, Zikr of the people of Allah is part of Islam, tragedy of Kerbala is the Zlkr of People of Allah, crying is but a natural reaction.

Marsiyas/Nauhas are a poetic way of reciting the events of kerbala and eulogizing the progeny of Prophet (SAW). Prophet's (SAW) companion, Hassan Bin Thabit (RA) used to defend and praise the prophet (SAW) with his poetry.

Narrated 'Urwa: I started abusing Hassan in front of 'Aisha, whereupon she said. "Don't abuse him, for he used to defend the Prophet (with his poetry)."
Sahih Bukhari, Book 4, Volume 56, Hadith 731

Poetry has been a part of the Arab culture and after Kerbala, people of Medina started to recite kerbala in a poetic way while the Ahlulbayt (AS) and survivors of Kerbala listened.

According to traditions, Kerbala was foretold to the Prophet (SAW) who wept on the news of martyrdom of his beloved Hussain (AS)

Narrated Mu'ammal, narrated Umaarah bin Zaadaan, narrated Thaabit from Anas bin Malik that the Angel of Rain took permission from his lord to visit the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) so He gave him permission. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) told Umm Salamah raḍyAllāhu 'anhum (may Allāh be pleased with them) to watch the door so no one could come in. Al-Hussain raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) came wanting to enter and I stopped him. But he jumped, entered, and started sitting on the back of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) [al-Hussain was a young child at the time], and on his shoulders. Then the angel asked the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), “Do you love him?”. He said, “yes”. The angel said, “Indeed your Ummah will kill him, and if you wish, I can show you the place where he will be killed”. Then, he struck with his hand and came with red clay. So Umm Salamah raḍyAllāhu 'anhum (may Allāh be pleased with them) took it and tied on it in her veil. Thaabit [the sub-narrator] said, “it has reached us that it's Karbala”.
Recorded in Musnad al-imam Ahmad, vol. 3, p. 242

Narrated Muhammad bin Udaid, narrated Shurahbil bin Mudrik, from Abdullah bin Nujayy, from his father, that he traveled with Ali raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), and he used to carry his purifying water. When they were next to Nainawa on his way to Siffin, Ali raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) called, “Be patient Oh Abu Abdillah (the kunya of his son al-Hussain), be patient Oh Abu Abdillah by the banks of the Euphrates. I [Nujayy] said, “what is this?”. He [Ali] said, “I entered upon the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) one day while his eyes were shedding tears. I said, 'what is it with yours eyes shedding tears?'. He said, 'Rather, Jibreel was here earlier and he told me that al-Hussain will be killed by the bank of the Euphrates and he [Jibreel] said 'do you want me to provide you a sample from his soil [where he will be killed] so you can smell it?' and I said 'yes'. So he extended his hand and he took a grip from the soil and gave it to me so I couldn't help my eyes to fill with tears'”.
Recorded by Ahmad, vol. 1, p. 85.

Finally, Azadari and mourning for Imam Hussain (AS) is a tradition which was started by Janab Zainab (AS) and Syed Sajjad (AS) and this is enough for a believer who believes in the authenticity of the Ahlulbayt (AS), to realize that Azadari has been personally supervised by the survivors of Kerbala and the Imams.

Imam Reza (A.S.) said: With the advent of the month of Muharram, my father Imam Kazim (A.S.) would never be seen laughing; gloom and sadness would overcome him for (the first) ten days of the month; and when the tenth day of the month would dawn, it would be a day of tragedy, grief and weeping for him.
Amaali Saduq, pg,:111

As far as Matam or self flagellation is involved, then be assured that it is not an emotional outburst but very much a controlled, systematic and organized affair, with the tempo of the hand compliments the tempo of the toungue. It is a system which symbolizes grief, oppression and creates curiosity amongst the viewers as to why what is happening. It attracts the people to the voice of Hussain (AS).

Following is another interesting narration. We can read from the book of Muwatta of Imam Malik, that a Bedouin came to Holy Prophet (s.a.w) while beating his chest and tearing his hair in front of the holy prophet (s.a.w) because he slept with his wife while fasting during month of Ramadhan.

Malik's Muwatta - Book 18, Number 18.9.29: Yahya related to me from Malik from Ata ibn Abdullah al-Khurasani that Said ibn al-Musayyab said, "A bedouin came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, beating his breast and tearing out his hair and saying, 'I am destroyed.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Why is that?', and he said, 'I had intercourse with my wife while fasting in Ramadan.' .......

After reading the full version of Hadith, you must note that the act of beating his chest and tearing outhis hair by the bedouin who was a Sahabi as well was never criticized by Prophet (SAW) but was acknowledge as a sign and emotion of severe regret. The action of the Bedouin was a result of spiritual pain he suffered as his fast was invalidated.

Any act which takes one to a higher spiritual level cannot be an unislamic act.

4. We should not Weep for Hussain (AS) as he is a martyr (and is alive)

If we should not weep, then should we organize a concert to celebrate the martyrdom of Hussain (AS)? To put things in perspective, on 10th Muharram when Imam Hussain (AS) was martyred, the sons and daughters of Prophet (SAW) were crying while the army of Yazeed was celebrating with drums and instrument of music.

So which activity should we own?

Imam Hussain (AS) is alive, and Yaqub (AS) cried for his alive son Yusuf (AS) as stated earlier.

Prophet (SAW) himself mourned for the martyrs of Uhud and was pained when he realized that there was no one to mourn for his Uncle, Hamza (RA).

The apostle returned to Medina and there was great lamentation there. He passed a
house of the Helpers and heard weeping for the dead, and his own eyes overflowed with tears as he realized that there were no women to weep for Hamza. Then two of his companions returned and ordered their women to gird up their loins and go weep for the uncle of the apostle.
The apostle listened and then went out to them, saying, 'Return home, and Allah have mercy upon you. You exhaust yourselves.' On that day the apostle prohibited wailing and lamentation.
Sirat Rasoul Allah by Ibn Ishag, Page 73

It can be seen how much it meant for the Prophet (SAW) to have some one commemorate the martyrdom of his uncle, how would he (SAW) then feel when he (SAW) would have known that when his (SAW) sons were martyred on hot sands without water, there was no one to mourn them and there was a prohibition on the daughters to cry for the martyred.

We must also realize that the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS) is one side of the coin of grief. The other side is how the women (AS) were paraded in shops and courts infront of drunken men! These were the women of the household of the Prophet (SAW).

Honor and dignity of Prophet (SAW) paraded in the market place was the most painful of the events when Imam Sajjad (AS) was asked about it. The journey to Kufa and Syria was more difficult for the Ahlulbayt (AS) than the journey to Kerbala.

There are some people who still want to dilute the essence of Muharram and distract people from Ya Hussain (AS). These are the people who spread stories that;

a. 10th Muharram all prophets were saved from their tribulation and is thus of great importance OR should fast on the 10th of Muharram

Sunnis claim with the following Hadith;

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet came to Medina and saw the Jews fasting on the day of Ashura. He asked them about that. They replied, "This is a good day, the day on which Allah rescued Bani Israel from their enemy. So, Moses fasted this day." The Prophet said, "We have more claim over Moses than you." So, the Prophet fasted on that day and ordered (the Muslims) to fast (on that day).
Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 31, Number 222

Ibn 'Abbas reported that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) fasted on the day of 'Ashura and commanded that it should he observed as a fast, they (his Companions) said to him: Messenger of Allah, it is a day which the Jews and Christians hold in
high esteem. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: When the next year comes, God willing, we would observe fast on the 9th  But the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) died before the advent of the next year.
Sahih Muslim Book 006, Number 2528

Now read these.

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah's Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words)" those before you"? He said: Who else (than those two religious groups)?
Sahih Muslim Book 034, Number 6448

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "The Jews and the Christians do not dye (their grey hair), so you shall do the opposite of what they do (i.e. dye your grey hair and beards)."
Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 56, Number 668

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "The Hour will not be established till my followers copy the deeds of the previous nations and follow them very closely, span by span, and cubit by cubit (i.e., inch by inch)." It was said, "O Allah's Apostle! Do you mean by those (nations) the Persians and the Byzantines?" The Prophet said, "Who can it be other than they?"
Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 92, Number 421

Please note that in the first two hadith, the Rasool (SAW) is telling every one to keep a fast in order to commemorate the event, just as the Jews do, while in the latter, he is telling the Muslims to refrain from following the ways of the jews and the christians. Do you think prophet (SAW) would himself do something which is not revealed to him but only copying the way of the jews? All the orders Prophet (SAW) gave were in line with the revelation angel
Gabriel (AS) brought, except this one which was what the prophet (SAW) planned to do in order to copy the jews!

However, what is more intriguing is that the jews commemorate the above mentioned fast as the Yom Kippur. 'Ashur is a Hebrew word which has become 'Ashura in Arabic. It stands for the tenth day of the Jewish month of Tisri. The fast observed on this day is called Yom Kippur. How can it be linked with the Ashura of Muharram?

Further more, the Jewish calendar does not go hand in hand with the solar calendar as well as the islamic calendar. Bani Israel were not saved on the 10th of Muharram. And for arguments sake, even if we assume that that year the 10th of muharram coincided with the tenth of tisri, then 10th tisri will not fall on 10th muharram in the coming time period due to the difference in days in all three calendars. How can then the prophet (SAW) order an islamic event (fasting with the jews) on an islamic calendar when the claimed event itself never existed on that islamic date?

Those who want to respect the apparently fabricated hadith must fast on the tenth of tisri for the whole event to make sense.

We are Ummat of Muhammad (SAW) and not Musa (AS). For us, tenth Muharram has its importance because of the sacrifice Imam Hussain (AS) made, just like 10th Zil Haj has its importance because of the sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim (AS) made.

The jews can celebrate the salvaging of bani israel that day (which is not the ashura muharram but ashur tisri) while we will commemorate what the grandson of Muhamad (SAW) did, because this is what the survivors of Kerbala, the AHlulbayt of Prophet (SAW) did after Kerbala.

b. Commemoration of 10 days as Ashra Farooq O Hussain

It is a common sight these days. The Concept of joining martyrdom of Umer Bin Khattab with Imam Hussain (AS) has recently sprung in Pakistan and the people who are behind this have been silent on this for the last 1350 years, only to wake up now and start joining the martrydom of Umer with the Martyrdom of Hussain (AS)?

We must realize that Islam has many martyrs, of Badr, Uhud, Khaiber, Khandaq, Hunain, Siffin, Jamal, Nahrwan, Kerbala. All of the Imams belonging to the Ahlulbayt of Prophet (SAW) who we send our durood on, including Imam ALi (AS), were martyred. But Kerbala stands out because it is not the story of martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS) or the story of imprisonment of Janab Zanab (AS), it is the revival of Islam which happens at this point in time and the essence cannot be dilluted by bringing in other events of lesser significance and trying to violate the sanctity of Kerbala.

More importantly, one should make up their mind first. At one point it is said that Muharram is wrong and at another similar ritualistic value is being given to another caliphs murder/martyrdom.

c. Shias killed Imam Hussain (AS) themselves and now mourn as an atonement for the sin

It is true that Imam (AS) was called by Kufans, a nation who had history of affiliation with Imam Ali (AS) and then leaving him (AS) when Ali (AS) called upon them. By a paper definition of Shia which means followers, yes the shias did invite the Imam (AS) to kufa and then deserted him.

But then people try to ask where were the mainstream muslims at Kerbala and why did not they save the Imam (AS) as they were always in majority? If shias were the deserters then who were the murderers?

It is clear from what i had quoted above from Abu Makhnaf, that the people who killed Imam Hussain (AS) belonged to tribes and sons of companions, whose fathers and forefathers were slain by Imam Ali (AS), who were political opponents of Imam Ali (AS).

In shia theology, the Imam is not given bayat to be an imam, it is the form of imamat which was desired by the caliphs of that time and it was given by the people of that time who did not believe in the imamat the way imamat was to be beleived in, that is why the demand for pledge of allegiance.

The 72 who died with the Imam (AS), believed in the Walayat of Imam Hussain (AS) and it was this belief which allowed them to sacrifice everything for the sake of the son of Prophet (SAW).

The Ahlulbayt (AS), Imam Ali Ibn Hussain Ibn Ali (AS) and Janab Zainab (AS) were the first people to mourn for Imam Hussain (AS) after the event of Kerbala. As shown you in a tradition above, Rasool (SAW) and Imam Ali (AS) were the first people to mourn for Imam Hussain (AS). To mourn for Imam Hussain (AS) is to follow the Prophet (SAW) and his Ahlulbayt (AS).

d. Imam Hussain (AS) knew outcome of Kerbala and thus committed suicide

Again it is no surprise that 1400 years ago, Imam (AS) was labelled as a Baaghi/Traitor by Muslims, and today he is labeled as a lunatic (God forbid).

What will you call a person, a father, who will put a knife on the neck of his own son and kill him? A young son, an innocent boy under the knife of his father? What will you call Ibrahim (AS)?

As quoted from Abu Makhnaf, Imam Hussain (AS) was guided by the Prophet (SAW), was very clear what was required of him to do, was very much prepared to sacrifice to save the efforts of his grandfather.

Can fear of death make Hussain, Hussain (AS)? Kerbala has reduced the importance of death, so much that today, faithfuls of Hussain (AS) do not care for their life and still attend Jaloos and Majalis and visit Kerbala with their wives and children without the thought of being killed which is such a high possibility and probability in todays world.

As one version of a stanza goes;

Ajab Mazaaq huwa Islam ki Taqdeer kay Saath
Kata Shabeer ka gala Naara e Taqbeer kay saath
It is ironic what has happened with the destiny of Islam, nothing short of making fun of it
That the head of Imam Hussain (AS) was severed by those who shouted Slogans of Allah hu Akbar

The Prophet (SAW) and his Progeny (AS) have gone through alot of hardships in their life while we muslims of today live in our own bubble of eutopia;

  1. There was a clear difference in the political approach of some of the companions and the Ahlulbayt (AS) and clear conflicts occured
  2. Within 50 years of demise of Prophet (SAW), 03 generations of Prophet (SAW) were killed by Muslims (companions and their children)
  3. The Sahah Sittah have thousands of Ahadith narrated by all political opponents of the Ahlulbayt but hardly 50 ahadith from Imam Ali (AS), Janab Fatima (AS), Imam Hassan (AS), Imam Hussain (AS), Imam Sajjad (AS) and so on
  4. Anything associated with the Ahlulbayt has always been made controversial. Whether it be the issue of caliphate or Azadari of Hussain.

And this begs the question. Who killed Imam Hussain (AS)? Who labelled him a rebel? Who put the killers of Imam Hussain (AS) into power? Why was it important to contain Imam Hussain (AS) then and to contain Imam Hussain (AS) today? Who are killing the mourner of Imam Hussain (AS) today?

These questions are open for your own independent and sincere research.

But today, do we have an ethical, moral and spiritual obligation and duty to the Family of Prophet (SAW) regarding with the Prophet (SAW) himself said;

Yazid b. Hayyan reported,....  One day Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) stood up to deliver sermon at a watering place known as Khumm situated between Mecca and Medina. He praised Allah, extolled Him and delivered the sermon and. exhorted (us) and said: Now to our purpose. O people, I am a human being. I am about to receive a messenger (the angel of death) from my Lord and I, in response to Allah's call, (would bid good-bye to you), but I am leaving among you two weighty things: the one being the Book of Allah in which there is right guidance and light, so hold fast to the Book of Allah and adhere to it. He exhorted (us) (to hold fast) to the Book of Allah and then said: The second are the members of my household I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family. He (Husain) said to Zaid: Who are the members of his household? Aren't his wives the members of his family? Thereupon he said: His wives are the members of his family (but here) the members of his family are those for whom acceptance of Zakat is forbidden. And he said: Who are they? Thereupon he said: 'Ali and the offspring of 'Ali, 'Aqil and the offspring of 'Aqil and the offspring of Ja'far and the offspring of 'Abbas. Husain said: These are those for whom the acceptance of Zakat is forbidden. Zaid said: Yes.
Sahih Muslim Book 031, Number 5920

A fatwa was needed to label him a traitor. We do not need somebody's fatwa today to tell us if it is permissible to weep for Hussain (AS) or not. If you do not feel the pain of Kerbala, then something has hardened your heart.

If you boast ownership of Imam Hussain (AS) and his ways, then his pain will come natural to you. I as a muslim will not celebrate something in my house if there is a death in my neighbors house. It is the ethics of Islam. Respect of Kerbala is deep rooted in ethics and moral obligations a believer feels when he comes accross the event of Kerbala.

It is not compulsory to weep or beat yourself during Azadari. But until you do not feel that pain for Imam Hussain (AS) which brings you to wherever his Zikr is being hosted, you will not feel acquainted to the ways and mission of Imam Hussain (AS).

If my tear for Imam Hussain (AS) does not keep me away from the ways of his opponents, the lack of respect to shariat, the lack of respect to human and animal life, the lack of respect of the Ahlulbayty, adultery, gambling,  womenizing, prostitution, Bey Pardagih (non Hijabism), immodesty, arrogance, envy, insolence, disobedience to Allah, disrespect of parents, then what good is that tear of mine, which could not cleanse the impurities on my heart?

And as for the favor of your Lord, do announce (it).
Quran [93:11]

Then on that day you shall most certainly be questioned about the boons
Quran [102:8]

If I consider Hussain (AS) to be a favor of Allah on me, through which i give a mission to my life, through which i fight my sins and through which i hope for intercession of his (AS) grandfather, then why shouldn't I announce the favor of my lord on me?

Allah tries the people today, with people only.

And thus do We try some of them by others so that they say: Are these they upon
whom Allah has conferred benefit from among us? Does not Allah best know the
Quran [6:53]

Kerbala poses an ethical and moral question to all those who claim to be followers of Prophet (SAW) and claim to love his Ahlulbayt (AS) and send durood on their Aal (AS). The question, that Hussain (AS) was killed mercilessly for a cause 1400 years ago but before He (AS) was martyred, he called for help facing all four directions, for all the mankind to come, how does that effect you today if it does in any way. If you are willing to help Imam Hussain (AS) today in your capacity?

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