Syed Karar Hashmi
Srinagar, Oct 04: Message of Karbala is to strive or struggle for the cause of Islam, justice and righteousness. It can be waged by various means such as speeches, writings, wealth, enlightening fellow humans by oratory and discourses or writing books and articles . So also funding of welfare projects like schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and so on.
To think always about one’s defense is the proof of being alive and alert. Suppose we are dealing with a powerful enemy who intends to violate our righted or to attack the territory of our lands, and suppose that we are at the moment too weak to defend ourselves and any effort on our part would entail a serious loss and no positive result could be gained now or in the future. In such a case it is obvious that we are unable to resist such a strong foe but, at the same time, we are obliged to strengthen our forces rather than losing our spirit and remaining inactive.
Imam Husayn had shown by his acts as well as his various discourses during the seven days of Muharram at Karbala, that this conflict was much more universal in nature, and that he knew that he was going to live for ever through his martyrdom.
Yazeed died as uselessly as he lived; only three years after the battle of Karbala took place. While trying to race a baboon, he fell from his horse and broke his neck. As history has recorded, those who were apparent victors at Karbala have disappeared without trace.
While the plain of Karbala was transformed from a deserted piece of barren land into a bustling town, of which, the central monument is Imam Husayn’s glorious tomb. Millions of people visit the tomb in reverence, all the year round, day and night. Imam Husayn’s martyrdom is observed with solemn deference all over the world, every year during the first ten days of the month of Muharram, by his followers. Public gatherings are held, speeches are made in which the story of Karbala is retold in touching tones and prayers are made to the effect that may the almighty Allah grant the same courage and strength to his followers in their hour of trial as he did to Imam Husayn. At the end of these gatherings, the audience stand up and pay homage to Husayn and his companions in the following formal terms:
I WISH I WAS WITH YOU ( AT KARBALA ) AND WOULD THEREFORE, HAVE ATTAINED THE SAME EXALTED STATION ( AS YOU DID).
Although, the observance of commemoration of Imam Husayn in Muharram has only recently started in the Western countries, they are a part of the Muslim culture in India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and other eastern countries.
New centers have been established in Canada, the USA, and in many European countries where these practices of Muharram are done with all the elaborate details.
The main element of these commemorative practices is the message of Imam Husayn, which is also the message of the Prophet of Islam, which is Islam in its purest form.
Karbala is a gift to humanity. It teaches the parents how to love and cherish their children – however, when the time of sacrifice, the parent comes is in the forefront to sacrifice his/her child for the right cause.It teaches men and women how a husband should behave with her wife, and vise-versa. Even when the family is threatened for life, property, and honour, how sensible people keep their heads and act according to Allah’s and nature’s laws.It teaches the faithful that your beliefs and your convictions are the most important thing in the world.It teaches the faithful to find the right Imam and follow him.It teaches the faithful that helplessness and lack of power in this world do not mean a thing as long as one has chosen the right path and he/she is convinced that he/she is on the side of the truth.
When tents were burning in Karbala, Lady Zainab, Imam Husayn’s sister approached her 24 year old nephew, Imam Ali Zain Al-Abideen and asked him: “Nephew, you are our Imam now, what is your command about us, shall we all get burnt to death or save our lives and go out of the tents without our Hijab?”
IMAM ALI ZAIN AL-ABIDEEN REPLIED: “AUNT, SAVING YOUR LIFE IS OBLIGATORY, GO OUT AND SAVE YOURSELVES AND THE CHILDREN.”
The head coverings had already been looted from the heads of the ladies by the enemy soldiers. However, Lady Zainab is the grand-daughter of the Prophet of Islam; she is the daughter of Imam Ali and Lady Fatima. She did not need anyone else to tell her what the religious law was. She had grown up with Islam. By this one act, Lady Zainab showed to the world the importance of the Imam of the time. At the same time, Imam Ali Zain Al-Abideen’s reply showed that Islamic law is what it is, but common sense always prevails.
The Karbala shows us to strive against all imperial powers irrespective of Numerical strength taken into consideration.
Syed Karar Hashmi
The writer is a Social and RTI Activist from Central Kashmir Ganderbal District , studying at Jamia Al Mustafa (s.a.w) International University Qom Iran.