Written By: Allamah Tabatabai

These two honourable Imams (AS) are brothers and the sons of `Ali (AS) and Fatimah (AS). According to the ahadith the Holy Prophet (SA) had deep affections towards these honourable grandsons whom he called his own sons. The Holy Prophet (SA) was not able to endure their slightest pain and dissatisfaction and used to state: “These two sons of mine are Imams and leaders, be they rising or sitting”. The terms `rising’ and `sitting’ are used ironically and signify taking charge of superficial khildfah and rising to fight with the enemies of Islam and non-acceptance of superficial khildfah and rising against it. He added: “Hasan and Husayn are the two leaders of the youth of the Heaven) ”

On the basis of his honourable father’s will, al-Imam al-Hasan (AS) was chosen for khilafah. The people also promised their allegiance to him. He ruled as a khalifah in Islamic countries, excluding Syria and Egypt, which were under the reign of Mu’awiyah, and conducted the affairs just as his great father did.

In the period of his ruling, al-‘Imam al-Hasan (AS) mobilized an army to put an end to the trouble of Mu’awiyah, but he finally discovered that the hearts of the people were lured by Mu’awiyah and that the leaders of his own army had correspondence with Mu’awiyah and were waiting for him to issue an order to kill or arrest the Imam (AS) and surrender him to the enemy. For this reason, the Imam (AS) had to agree to the peace offer.

Al-‘Imam al-Hasan (AS) entered into peace negotiations with Mu’awiyah under specific terms, but Mu’awiyah did not keep up his promise and, after the conclusion of the peace agreement, he went to Iraq and ascended a pulpit in the presence of the Muslims and said: “I was not fighting with you for the cause of religion, so that you would recite salat or observe sawm; rather I wanted to rule over you and now I have achieved my goal”. Mu’awiyah added: “I disregard all the promises that I have made to al-Hasan.”

After the peace treaty, for nine and a half years, al-Imam al-Hasan (AS) lived under the domination of Mu’awiyah in a gloomy atmosphere and under the most bitter and unpleasant conditions. The Imam (AS) had no life security even in his own house. Finally, at the instigation of Mu’awiyah, the Imam (AS) was poisoned by his wife (Ja’dah) and became martyred.

After the martyrdom of al-‘Imam al-Hasan (AS), his honourable brother, al-‘Imam al-Husayn (AS), succeeded him by the order of Allah and according to the will of his brother al-Imam al-Hasan (AS) He began to guide and lead the people, but the conditions and circumstances were similar to those existed at the time of al-Imam al-Hasan (AS). With his full control over the situation, Mu’awiyah had seized all the wbrk potentialities available to al-‘Imam al-Husayn (AS).

Mu’awiyah died after about nine and a half years and the position of khilafah, which had turned into monarchy, was transferred to his son, Yazid.

Unlike his father, Yazid was a young man intoxicated with conceit and displayed interest in revelry, obscene acts, and lack of discipline. As soon as this proud young man took the rein of the affairs of the Muslims he ordered the governor of Madinah to ask al-‘Imam al-Husayn (AS) to promise his allegiance to Yazid or else send the Imam’s head to him. When the governor proposed the subject of allegiance to al’Imam al-Husayn (AS), the Imam (AS) asked for some time and left Madinah overnight for Makkah along with his companions. He sought refuge in the sanctuary of Allah which is an official haven in Islam. But after residing in Makkah for a few months, he realized that Yazid would by no means leave him alone and that he would definitely be killed if he did not promise his allegiance to Yazid.

On the other hand, during this period, the Imam (AS) had received several thousand letters from Iraq promising their cooperation and assistance and inviting him to rise against the oppressors of Banu Umayyah.

By observing the prevailing general conditions and circumstances and the symptoms al-‘Imam al-Husayn (AS) realized that his movement would not have an outward progress. Nevertheless, having denied his allegiance, he decided to offer his sacrifice and get killed with a decision of his uprising, al-‘Imam al-Husayn (AS) left Makkah for Kufah with his companions. In the course of his travel, he encountered the massive troops of the enemy in Karbala (nearly 70 km away from Kufah).

While travelling, the Imam (AS) invited the people to assist him and informed his companions of his decision to be killed giving them the option to stay with him or to leave him. Therefore, from the day they encountered the troops of the enemy, no one had remained with the Imam (AS) other than only a few people who were devoted to him and who were willing to give their lives for the cause . As a result, they were easily surrounded by the large number of enemy soldiers. They were even prevented from having water. In such a situation, al-‘Imam al-Husayn (AS) was compelled to choose between offering his allegiance to Yazid and his martyrdom.

Al-‘Imam al-Husayn (AS) did not resign himself to his allegiance to Yazid and became prepared to be killed. A day came when he fought the enemy from morning to evening along with his companions. In this battle, he himself, his children, his brothers, his nephews, his cousins, and his companions, who were totally about 70 people, were martyred. Only his honourable son, Al-‘Imam `Ali al-Sajjad (AS), who was unable to fight due to serious illness, survived.

After the martyrdom of al-‘Imam al-Husayn (AS), the enemy troops plundered his properties, took his family as prisoners, and took them from Karbala to Kufah and from Kufah to Damascus along with the decapitated heads of the Martyrs.

In the process of this captivity, al-‘Imam `Ali al-Sajjad (AS) in his sermon delivered at Damascus ad also Zaynab alKubra, in her addresses delivered in public gatherings in Kufah, in the court of Ibn Ziyad, the Governor of K0fah, and in the court of Yazid in Damascus, unveiled the truth and revealed the oppression and cruelty of Umayyads to the people of the world.

In any case, this movement of al-‘Imam al-Husayn (AS) against the oppression, tyranny and indiscipline – which ended with the bloodshed of al-‘Imam al-Husayn (AS), his children, his relatives and his companions together with looting of his property and imprisonment of his women and children – is a special event with its important characteristics and details, which has no parallel in the pages of history of world movements. It can definitely be said that this event serves as the basis for the survival of Islam. Had this event not taken place, Umayyads would have totally wiped off Islam.

РIslamic Teachings in brief by Allamah Seyyid Muhammad Husain Tabatabai.

Source: imamalinet.net

Source: almujtaba.com

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