Badilisha Lugha: Swahili

The Philosophy of Imam Husain’s (A.S) Revolution

“Of that gallant band, male and female knew that the enemy forces around were implacable, and were not only ready to fight, but to kill. Denied even water for the children, they remained parched under the burning sun and scorching sands, yet not one faltered for a moment. Hussain (A.S) marched with his little company, not to glory, not to power of wealth, but to a supreme sacrifice, and every member bravely faced the greatest odds without flinching.” Dr. K. Sheldrake says.

The society was deep in moral corruption and the religious fabric verged on immoral changes. Islamic Sunnah which was founded through back-breaking struggles of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) within 23 years was in great danger. People were pressurized severely by the dictatorial regime on one way or another. The social norms and religious values of Islamic societies were violated by the brutal rulers. Subservient to their physical desire, the rulers were deep in worldly pleasure. Human dignity was under question and honor-killing action was taken to a large extent. After all, society was deviating from the right way.

The staunch hero, Imam Hussain (A.S), deprecated the regime and voiced against all corruptions going on in the society. Violating moral criteria and religious beliefs filled him with strong disgust and anger. His anger was compounded when he was asked by the king, Yazid, to pledge allegiance to him and to toe the mark. He intended not to accept the humiliation by shaking hands with the cruel regime. Ultimately, Imam planned to stigmatize the illegal government of the tyrants.

Imam stated the objective of his revolution clearly that he did not move for evils, cruelty or corruption. He moved to guide the Muslim Ummah, recommend them the rights and prevent them from the wrongs. He intended to follow the moral instructions of Prophet (PBUH). Moreover, he said that the sultan, Yazid, put him between two choices either death or humiliation through pledging allegiance to him, and he said that humiliation was far from his household. It was Imam Hussain’s (A.S) motto, “The glorious death is far more honorable than inglorious life.” Imam further added that if a cruel sultan such as Yazid leads the Islamic society, the death of Islam will be a certain fact. Hence, the great philosophy behind the revolution of Imam Hussain (A.S) was to revive religious beliefs, moral standards, social norms and to Islamic values. Imam did not launch the epic revolution for gaining caliphate or sultanate because he knew that his death was beyond doubt due to his minimum men against maximum ones. Charles Dickens, a famous English writer, says, “If Hussain (A.S) had fought to quench his worldly desires, then I don’t understand why his sisters, wives and children accompanied him. It stands to reason therefore he sacrificed purely for Islam.”

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says about Imam that Imam Hussain (A.S) is the light of guidance and the boat of salvation. Imam portrayed the statement of Prophet through his revolution. He played the role of a shining star in the dark days of cruelty and saved the religious beliefs and moral norms of Muslim Ummah. Notwithstanding the open violation of moral criteria by the caliph, if there were some doubt about the illegitimacy of the Yazid’s caliphate, Imam ended the doubts by his valorous protest. Ultimately, the rights and wrongs were as clear for people as sun.

There are some similarities between Jesus Christ and Hussain (A.S) in that both of them rejected tyrant and wrongful and gave themselves in the way of freedom, salvation, dignity and righteous aspect of life. Their path is one and their salvation is by following their path of peace and injustice.

An Islamic philosopher and poet Mohammad Iqbal Lahori says regarding the revolution of Imam Hussain (A.S), in his poems as, “Imam Hussain (A.S) uprooted despotism forever, till the Day of Resurrection. He watered the dry gardens of freedom with a surging wave of his blood, and indeed he awakened the sleeping Muslim nation. If Imam Hussain (A.S) had aimed at acquiring the worldly empire, he would not have traveled the way he did. Hussain (A.S) weltered in blood and dust for the sake of truth. Verily, therefore, he becomes the foundation of the Muslim creed ‘La Ilaha Il-lallah,’ meaning, there is no deity but Allah (God).”

I explain again emphatically that on the one hand the unlimited cruelty and on the other hand the concoction of Islamic Sunnah were torturing Imam Hussain (A.S) mentally. Imam always cherished a society with strong religious beliefs, moral code and social norms. He altruistically embraced martyrdom to build a society with law and order and with mentioned criteria. A society where tyranny and false practices be known as big sin and crime. A society where concocting Islamic Sharia or acting illegally under the guise of Islam must be unforgiveable crime. They were all the great motives behind his epic movement.

Imam Hussain (A.S) could choose a peaceful life by pledging allegiance to Caliph, Yazid. He could ignore all what was going on in that society. Moreover, he was able to choose a mosque for worshipping Allah. But fortunately, in Islam religion and policy are the twin to be embraced at the same time. In other words, one who embraces Islam but ignores the political issues or close his/her eyes to disorders going on in the society is not following the religious instructions thoroughly. In this regard, the responsibility of the religious leaders is stressed more than common people. Hence, Imam Hussain (A.S) fulfilled his religious and moral responsibility in his revolution.

In addition, martyrdom and blood were the only needs to breathe life to the beliefs and moralities of that society. Moreover, all blood would not play the role of Imam’s blood. Imam Hussain (A.S) was the grandson of Holy Prophet, therefore his martyrdom left no doubt for the illegitimacy of the Yazid’s government. Thus, Imam Hussain (A.S) knew that his blood would lead to great changes in the society and in the history.