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Kerbala; A heavy Illation

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ترجمے کے لئے یہاں جائیں


I always thought about the four heaviest things, which no one could have lifted, except the Ahlulbayt and Aal e Muhammad.

The heaviest of them was the Door of khyber, which was ripped apart by the man, who was gifted with the flag of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), which could only be given to he who loved Allah and his Rasool, and who was dearly Loved by Allah and his Rasool. The fort which could not be defeated by the Muslim army, was taken down single handedly by Mawla Ali.

You ask me what was heavier than this door? It was the weight of Imamat. When Janab Zainab (AS), daughter of this Ali (AS), plunged into the camp of fire, and came out with her nephew, Imam Zainulabideen (AS), in her arms, the Imam whose illness forbid him to walk on his own, the man who was helpless when he saw his father Hussain (AS), being slaughtered in the heat of Kerbala.

Heavier than this was the four year old child of Imam Hussain (AS), Sakina, which Imam Zainulabideen (AS), Ali Ibn Hussain, lifted in his arms, and buried in the dungeon, without water for her ghusl, the same child, who would use her share of drinking water to cool down the chains on the neck of Imam Zainulabideen (AS), which would heat up during his journey from Iraq to Syria.

And heaviest of all was he, which Imam Hussain (AS) could not lift. The Imam (AS) who had the strength to bury seventy martyrs, whose father had the strength to lift the door of Khyber, this Imam failed to lift his 18 year old Son Ali Akbar, when he fell from the horse onto the sands  of Kerbala.

Kerbala has touched everyone, in many ways, who has a human heart. Yet, Kerbala is such a legendary event, that our minds cannot totally comprehend as to why did one man, Hussain ibn Ali (AS), sacrifice everything he had, just for his standing by his refusal to accept the caliph of the time, yazeed (the cursed).

Kerbala is a multidimensional existence. Every heart, every mind sees a unique message from the sacrifice. Proudly labeled as a Shia thing, Kerbala is not only limited to Muslims and their various sects, but has touched many Hindus and Christians as well.

First, when the pirates demanded a ransom of twenty talents, Caesar burst out laughing. They did not know, he said, who it was that they had captured, and he volunteered to pay fifty.

Irrelevant to the topic maybe, but it is to make a point as to what a ransom is. When the great Julius Ceaser was captured by the pirates, they demanded a ransom of 20 talents or, 1000 kilograms of gold. Ceaser knew his worth and he offered them 50 talents, or 2500 kilograms of Gold. If someone who is of a lesser worth and value to you, in danger, you will not accept a very high demand of ransom. Let us say, that if I kidnap your pet duckling, and I demand a ransom of a thousand dollars, you will not accept it, as the duckling is not worth it. However, if I kidnap your son, some one who you love alot, and I demand a ransom of a million dollars, you will offer me everything you have, even more than a million dollars, in order to ransom your beloved from me. With this essence of ransom in mind, I would want to bring a very important point in discussion.

Sacrifice is the first thing which comes to our minds when the word Kerbala is heard.

And We called out to him saying: O Ibrahim! You have indeed shown the truth of the vision; surely thus do We reward the doers of good: Most surely this is a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice.
Quran [37:104-107]

Sunnis assume that the slaughtering of the lamb by prophet Ibrahim (AS) was a greater sacrifice than the sacrificing of prophet Ismail (AS) on the hands of prophet Ibrahim (AS). Maybe that is how much they think about the importance and the greatness of the two events.

Who is being ransomed? Ismail (AS).

The following Quranic verses can probably help the reader imagine a sketch of the great status given to Ismail (AS).
1) who "Purified the House of Allah", (Quran, 2:125),
2) who "Raised the foundations of the House of Allah", (Quran 2:127),
3) who is among those "Exalted" and "preferred" and "Distinguished" above other people and nations (Quran, 6:86)
4) whom Allah mentions as one who is "truthful in his promises" (Quran, 19:54)
5) who is mentioned as one of the "Steadfast" and "patient" ones (Quran, 21:85)
6) who is the "chosen one" (Quran, 38:48)
7) who was an answer to Hazrat Ibrahim's prayers (Quran, 37:101)

This Ismail (AS) is being ransomed, by a "Greater Sacrifice". Was a lamb a sufficient ransom, or was it something or someone else? To many, a lamb is this promised ransom.

However, men with greater insight, men who have the power to foresee, whose knowledge is a proof of their eloquence, they see something else.

Ghareeb-o-sada-o-rangeen hain daastan-e-Haram
Nihayat iss ki Hussain, Ibtada hai Ismail

Simple and full of lessons of honesty, determination, devotion is the History of Islam (house); Conclusion is Hussain, Grandson of Prophet (PBUH), and the Beginning is Ismail (AS)
Allama Muhammad Iqbal

My purpose here is not to prove how and why Kerbala is the promised and the greater sacrifice here, the purpose is to understand Kerbala, and as to why Imam Hussain (AS) did not succumb to the demands of yazeed (the cursed).

What was so important, that Hussain (AS) allowed his sons and brother be martyred infront of him?

Maybe, it was the promise, which Imam Hussain (AS) did with Rasool (SAW) during his lifetime and the commitment he made with Allah, even before coming into this world. If Kerbala was the ransom, Quran talked about, then that ransom was offered during the time of Ibrahim (AS). Shia traditions have it, that when Ibrahim (AS) blindfolded himself in order to sacrifice his son, Ismail (AS), from whose line age, the promised Ahmed (SAW) would come into the world, the Soul of Imam Hussain (AS), came forward in the Alam e Arwah, the same place where every one of us promised to Allah before coming into this world;

And when your Lord brought forth from the children of Adam, from their backs, their descendants, and made them bear witness against their own souls: Am I not your Lord? They said: Yes! we bear witness. Lest you should say on the day of resurrection: Surely we were heedless of this.
Quran [7:172]

And the soul of Imam Hussain (AS) promised to his creator, that he would perform a greater sacrifice as a ransom for this one, for if Ismail (AS) was sacrificed, his progeny would have been cut off from coming into the world. It was for this promise of Hussain (AS), the greater sacrifice, which ransomed Ismail (AS), and allowed his progeny to multiply, and deliver the promised Muhammad (SAW). This is why Muhammad (SAW) himself has said;

Hussain o mini wa ana minal Hussain - Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn, Allah befriends those who befriend Husayn and He is the enemy of those who bear enmity to him.
A Brief History of The Fourteen Infallibles, page 99

Hussain (AS) was definitely from the Prophet (SAW). How was the Prophet (SAW), from Hussain (AS)? To me, he (SAW) was, because of the promise Hussain (AS) made, for a greater sacrifice, and how grandly he fulfilled it. Allah remembers those, in his gatherings, those who remember him, in their gathering. The sacrifice Hussain (AS) made, has such an impact on a human being, and it's sincerity and greatness has no measure, that Allah has made "Ya Hussain" a religion in every language, in every nation, in every town. Where ever Allah Hu Akber exists, ya Hussain exists along with it.

What was so important, that Hussain (AS) chose to see his four year old daughter, become restless with a three day thirst and hunger, in the heat of a desert!

Maybe, it was the evidence that Muhammad (SAW) was not a liar, but a truthful Prophet of Allah, and what ever He (SAW) said and did, was a divine order, and not a move for personal and family power. Yes, Kerbala is the evidence, that the message of Muhammad (SAW) was true. If Muhammad (SAW) had lied, and in reality, there was no God, no hereafter, then all that would matter was this world. If there is nothing after death, then my efforts will only be to gather the treasures of this world so that i can enjoy this life. Imam Hussain's gesture, of sacrificing his sons and brothers for an unseen world proved the existence of that unseen world, for if Muhammad (SAW) was a fraud (god forbid), and prophethood was only a drama to gain worldly power, then his son Hussain (AS) would have known about the propaganda of his grandfather and would have joined the caliph rather than giving utmost importance to the message of Rasool (SAW).

What was so important, that Hussain (AS) chose to risk the hijab of his sisters and daughters, the women of Prophet's (SAW) household?

Maybe, it was to define the mission of Islam, to separate the trash which came into Islam. Many people accepted Islam, on the day of conquest of Mecca. Anyone who literally recites the Kalimah, is technically a Muslim and no one has a right to judge his faith in this world. Rasool (SAW) accepted people as Muslims, the same people, who fought Islam for 23 years, but accepted it on the conquest of Mecca. Kerbala separated them from Islam, for ever. The army of yazeed (the cursed), were Hajis and Namazis. They apparently believed in the Unity of Allah and Risalat of Rasool (SAW). What made Hur, from becoming Hur the cursed, to Hazrat Hur? Why didn't Hur's Salat, Hajjs, zakat and fasts save him, but his choice of joining Hussain (AS) did? What did Hur lack? It was the Ahlulbayt, it was the Imamat. If they all believed in Imamat, Kerbala would not have happened. Those people, those 72, who believed in Hussain (AS), as the Imam of time, were saved, while those, whose apparent beliefs were restricted to the wahabi version of Islam, God and Prophet only, were ruined. Kerbala made the name of yazeed (the cursed), an abuse till Qayamah. Kerbala proved that caliphate does not matter, what matters are the principles laid down by Islam. Even today, you cannot judge any one through his Prayers, or pilgrimages, or fasts. They might be performed by the wrong intentions. But even today, anyone, who says hazrat yazeed (RA), proves that the food he eats is haram, proves that his salaat is useless, proves that he is deprived from the understanding of Religion from Allah himself. What an easy check Kerbala gave us. If the name of Ali (AS), brings a frown at someone's face, know that he is a hypocrite. If the name of yazeed (the cursed) is taken by respect, know that he is a wretched. And you will never fail in judging people, in your life.

What was so important, that Hussain (AS) chose to let an arrow strike the neck of his 6 month infant, Ali Asghar (AS).

Maybe, he (AS) sacrificed everything for us. Hussain (AS) did kerbala, and bared all troubles and trials with patience, troubles so harsh, that no other soul, other than Mawla Hussain's could bare them. He bared all the troubles he faced, so that our troubles would not look like a trouble to us, when compared to the Imam's. If his 6 month infant, Ali Asghar (AS) could smile in the heat and thirst of three days, then we too can smile, in the insignificant problems we face in our daily lives. Hussain (AS) made the word trouble, problem, tension and pressure, insignificant to us. He made Kerbala an inspiration to us. We do not see our problems, as problems any more. 

Imam Hussain (AS) made worship easy for us. You cry for him naturally, any time, and worship is done. You do his zikr in any gathering, and worship is done. You make sure that no one in your family, guests, neighborhood, not even your pet animals are thirsty, in hot summers, just because you have the thirst of the Prophet's grandson in your mind. Before you want to see a woman with a wrong eye, you are reminded about the Perdah of the women of the Prophet's family, the same for which  you cry!

Hussain (AS), gave us the spirit, of never say no, and to struggle until you achieve your goals.

What was so important, that Hussain (AS) stood before 15 thousand namazis, only with 72 men, and chose death, over a possible lavish life?

Maybe, he (AS) proved the difference between Namaz and worshipping Allah. I am not arguing against the importance of Salat. Salat is a part of worship, just like earning Halal money is a part of worship, respecting your parents is a part of worshipping Allah. Many Shias also have a misconception, that Imam Hussain (AS) was slaughtered during Salat, or Asr Prayers. On the 10th of Muharram, Mawla Hussain (AS) did the ultimate Jihad e Akbar, the greatest worship of All. Is it sane, to leave a greater worship, to come to salat, when the enemy muazzin recites the azan? Will you stop your battle in the midst of enemy forces, and drop your weaponry in order to pray Salaat?

But if you are in danger, then (say your prayers) on foot or on horseback; and when you are secure, then remember Allah, as. He has taught you what you did not know.
Quran [2:239]

Imam Hussain (AS) was the true emulator of the Quran. He of all people knew that Allah orders prayers to be performed on horseback during battles. Why would he come down and pray salat as some traditionalists claim?

During his battle with the cursed enemy, the Imam (AS) heard the approval of his sacrifice, from a voice. It was then, when he let himself fall to the ground, and Prostrate to Allah, to thank him, for making him succeed in achieving his mission, fulfilling his promise and giving the ultimate sacrifice. He thanked his creator, for accepting his sacrifice. Hussain (AS) taught us, that we should be thankful to Allah, for he helped us in ways we could not even imagine, even in times, which we think are a troublesome for us. Today, people might pray Namaz regularly, but they are ungrateful to Allah, through their actions of disobedience and ignoring his remembrance and thanking him often. The ultimate worship is, to Thank Allah, in bad times, for all the bounties he gave you, for the acceptance of your worship. Because you could cause him no harm if he rejects all of your actions.

I am limited by my wisdom, intellect and understanding of religion. We all are. No one can fully explain the message of Kerbala, the mission of Kerbala, the purpose of Kerbala. We can only assume, what our thought process tells us to. Allah gives the understanding of religion to who he wills. Those who are given understanding, just as far as salaat, believe Kerbala saved Namaz. Those who are given the understanding, just as far as political views, believe Kerbala was a political war. Whatever Kerbala may be, i assure you, that it will always be much more than what our minds tell us it is.

When the shias take to the streets, and mourn for Hussain (AS), and beat their chests, they prove that Kerbala was not a political war. As long as Azadari remains, it will testify that Hussain (AS) did not go for a political war. As long as men shed their blood with emotions, the same men who do not care if Musharaf leads Pakistan or someone else, who do not care if USA wins the war against terror or not, their blood for the path of Hussain (AS) testifies that Kerbala was not a political war.

When Hussain (AS) was left alone, he turned towards the north, the south, the east and the west, to ask for help. There was no one then, who could help him. We, the shias, who claim to love and follow his father, Ali (AS), have the opportunity to help him today.

So when you see a thirsty animal, give him water to drink. When you see a hungry beggar, give him food to eat. When you see an orphan, treat him nicely. Do good and give others the opportunity to do so. Fight against your evil, and stop the evil around you, in noble ways. It is time, that we all help Imam Hussain (AS), in our own ways, our being a shia or a sunni does not matter, because just like his grandfather's message was for all men, the mission of Imam Hussain (AS) will be for all humans.

“Islam kay daman mein bus rekha kiya hai
ik Zarbe Yadullahi aur ik Sajda e Shabbiri”

There are only and only two things you will find in the boundaries of Islam
One is the striking of the Hand of Allah (Mawla Ali's heroics)
and the other is the prostration of Imam Hussain (at Kerbala)

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