Imam Husain (A.S), the Doyen of the Martyrs,the second child of Imam Ali(A.S.) and Hadrat Fatimah(A.S.), was born in the year 4 AH, and after the martyrdom of his elder brother, Imam Hasan(A.S.), became his successor.Imam Husain(A.S.) was Imam for 10 years which was mostly during the reign of Muawiyah, except the last 6 month which coincided with the reign of Yazid.

Imam Husain(A.S.) lived under the most difficult conditions of suppression and persecution. This was due to the fact that, first of all, religious laws and regulations had lost much of their weight and credit, and the edicts of the Umayyah government had gained complete authority and power. Secondly, Muawiyah and his fans made use of every possible means to put aside the Household of prophet and to move them out of the way. Above all, Muawiyah wanted to strengthen the basis of future kingdom of his son, Yazid, who because of his lack of principles and scruples was opposed with a large group of Muslims. Therefore, in order to quell all opposition, Muawiyah had undertaken more severe means until he died in 60 AH and his son Yazid took his place.
Giving the oath of allegiance, was an old Arab practice which was carried out in important matters like governorship. Well-known people would give the oath of allegiance as a sign of agreement and obedience to their king and showing their support for his future actions. Braking the agreement after the oath of allegiance, was considered as a definite crime. Muawiyah during his life time, had asked well-known people to give the oath of allegiance to Yazid, but did not impose this request upon Imam Husain(A.S.). He particularly told Yazid in his last will that if Imam Husain(A.S.) refused to give the oath of allegiance, he should take it easy because Muawiyah knew the bad consequences of such enforcement.

However because of his egoism and recklessness, Yazid neglected his father’s advice, and immediately after taking over the power, ordered the governor of Medina to either take the pledge of allegiance from Imam Husain(A.S.), or send his head to Damascus. After the governor of Medina informed this demand to him, Imam Husain(A.S.) asked for a delay to think about the matter, and moved with his family toward Mecca overnight. He sought refuge in the sanctuary of God in Mecca which is official place of refuge in Islam.

This happened at the beginning of Shaban 60 AH. Imam Husain(A.S.) stayed in Mecca for nearly four month. This news spread throughout the Islamic world, and many people who were tired of inequalities during Muawiyah reign and were even more disturbed when Yazid took over, corresponded with Imam Husain(A.S.) and expressed their sympathy for him. On the other hand, a flood of letters began to flow, specially from Iraq and particularly from the city of Kufah, inviting the Imam to go there and to build up a government. Naturally such situation was dangerous for Yazid.

The stay of Imam Husain(A.S.) in Mecca continued until the season of pilgrimage when Muslims from all over the Islamic world came to Mecca to perform Hajj. The Imam realized that some of the followers of Yazid had entered Mecca as pilgrims with the mission of killing Imam during the ceremonies of Hajj with the arms they carried under the special pilgrimage dress. In order to safeguard the great sanctuary of Mecca, Imam Husain(A.S.) decided to leave for Iraq before completing the ceremony of Hajj. When he was asked the reason for the mysterious departure, Imam Husain(A.S.) said that he would perform this year’s pilgrimage in the desert of Karbala, offering the sacrifice of not any animals, but himself and his family and friends.

Giving a short speech in the vast crowd of people, he announced that he was setting for Iraq, and said he would be martyred. He asked people to join him in attaining the goal of offering their lives in the path of God. Imam Husain(A.S.) was determined not to give his allegiance to Yazid and fully knew that he would be killed. But it was not the time to save the life. That moment was the right time to water the faded lawn of Islam by his blood. Some of outstanding people of Mecca stood in the way of Imam Husain(A.S.) and warned him the danger of the move he was making. But he answered that he refused to pay allegiance and to give his approval to a government of injustice and tyranny.

He added that wherever he would go, he would be killed, so he would leave Mecca in order to preserve the respect for the House of God, and not to allow this respect be destroyed by letting his blood spilled there. While on the way of Kufah, he received the striking news that under the pressure of Yazid’s agents, people of Kufa did not support his representatives and turned back, and some of them joined the Yazid’s army to kill Imam’s representatives in Kufah. The feet of those martyrs were tied and they were dragged through the streets of Kufah. The city and its surroundings were under very strict marshal law by countless soldiers of enemy who where waiting to face Imam. There was no way for Imam to turn into unless to march ahead and face the death.

Approximately 44 miles from Kufah, in a desert called Karbala, Imam and his followers were surrounded by the army of Yazid. They cut off the water supply of the Household of Prophet and their companions and their families among them were many women and children. For eight days they stayed in that place under the heat of the sun, and the circle among them narrowed and the number of enemy’s army increased by a number of 30,000 fully equipped soldiers of Yazid. In the following night, Imam gathered his companions and gave the a short speech saying that there was nothing ahead but martyrdom.

He added that since the enemy was concerned only with his person, he would free them from all obligations so that any one who wished could escape in the darkness of the night and save his life. Then he ordered the lights to be turned off, and most of his companions who had joint him for their own advantages, dispersed. Only those whose hearts were tested by Allah remained who were about 40 companions and some from Bani Hashim (his relatives). Once again, Imam gathered those who remained to put them on the test. He addressed his companions and Hashimite relatives, repeating that enemy was only concerned with him and they could escape the danger in the darkness of night.

But this time the faithful companions answered each in own way that they would not deviate from the right path and would never leave him alone. They said that they would defend the Household of Prophet to the last drop of their blood as long as they could carry a sword. The enemy intended to start the war in the eve of the ninth day of the month, but Imam asked for a delay till next morning to worship all over the night for the last time. During the night, some 30 soldiers of enemy joint Imam, among them was Hurr who was one of the Generals of the army of enemy. They finally chose their way to be with Imam, and Imam accepted their repentance. In this way the number of his followers became close to 90 people consisting of 72 companions and 18 male members of his family and relatives, while enemy was more than 45,000 by then.

On the tenth of Muharram of the year 61 (680) That inequitable war began. That day, they fought from morning till their final breath, and all the companions and the relatives were martyred. Among those who were killed were two children of Imam Hasan(A.S.), only thirteen and eleven years old, and a five years old child of Imam Husain(A.S.). When Imam himself was ready to fight, he saw his six-month-old baby is dying from thirst. Imam brought his infant near to enemy demanded some water for baby, saying:

You want me but not this baby so take him and give him some water. The words of Imam has not been finished that the thirst of the baby was quenched by a deadly poisoned arrow from Hurmula which pinned the baby’s neck to the arm of his father. Imam threw some of his blood toward sky saing: “O’ Lord! Your Husain has offered whatever You have given him. Bless me by acceptance of this sacrifice.”

Finally Imam came to the field and fought for a long time and was finally martyred. The army of Yazid having martyred Imam Husain(A.S.), cut his head and raised it on a lance. The army of enemy, after ending the war, burned the tents of women and children accompanying Imam and his companions, and plundered those helpless women. They decapitated the bodies of the martyrs, denuded them and threw them to the ground without burial. Then they moved women and children along with the heads of the martyrs to Kufah. The bodies of the martyrs were under the sunshine for three days till a tribe passing that place found them and performed the burial. The event of Karbala, the capture of women and children of the Household of Prophet, their being taken as prisoners from town to town, and the speeches made by Zaynab, the daughter of Ali, who was one of the prisons, became a scandal for Umayyah Kingdom.

Such abuse of the Household of Prophet nullified the propaganda which Muawiyah had built up for years. The scandal reached to the extent that Yazid denounced the action of his agents in public. That was what excactly Imam Husain wanted to do, otherwise he would not bring women and children with him and sacrifice some, and let the rest to become captives. That was the only way to make a wave in order to awaken the Muslim nation. The event of Karbala was a major factor in the overthrow of Umayyah kingdom though its effect was delayed. Among its immediate results were the revolts and rebellions combined with bloody wars which continued for twelve years.

During those riots non of the important elements in Karbala could escape revenge and punishment, including Yazid.

Muhammad Iqbal (from Lahore, Pakistan) said: “Imam Husain(A.S.) uprooted despotism forever till the day of Judgment. He watered the dry garden of freedom with surging wave of his blood, and indeed he awakened the sleeping Muslim nation. If Imam Husain(A.S.) had aimed at acquiring a worldly empire, he would not have traveled he did. Husain(A.S.) weltered in blood and dust for the sake of truth. Verily he, therefore, became bed-rock (foundation) of the Muslim creed; There is no God but Allah.”

Charles Dickens had said the following about Imam Husain (AS): “If Husain fought to quench his worldly desires, then I do not understand why his sisters, wives and children accompanied him. It stands to reason therefore that he sacrificed purely for Islam.”

Thomas Carlyle has relayed this about the Tragedy of Karbala: “The best lesson which we get from the tragedy of Karbala is that Husain and his companions were the rigid believers of God. They illustrated that numerical superiority does not count when it comes to truth and falsehood. The victory of Husain despite his minority marvels me!”

The famous, Dr. K. Sheldrake on Imam Husain (AS) said this: “Husain marched with his little company not to glory, not to power or wealth, but to a supreme sacrifice and every member of that gallant band, male and female, knew that the foes were implacable, were not only ready to fight but to kill. Denied even water for the children, they remained parched under a burning sun, amid scorching sands yet no one faltered for a moment and bravely faced the greatest odds without flinching.”

World famous Arab historian al-Fakhri has said this about Imam Husain’s sacrifice: “This is a catastrophe whereof I care not to speak at length, deeming it alike too grievous and too horrible. For verily, it was a catastrophe than that which naught more shameful has happened in Islam…There happened therein such a foul slaughter as to cause man’s flesh to creep with horror. And again I have dispersed with my long description because of it’s notoriety, for it is the most lamented of catastrophes.”

Some Traditions on Imam Husain(A.S.) in Sunni Collections

Some Traditions on Imam al-Husain (A.S.) In this article, I would like to present some of the traditions recorderded in the Sunni collections of the traditions Regarding him:

The Messenger of Allah said: “Al-Hasan and al-Husain are the chiefs of the youth of Paradise and Fatimah is the chief of their women.”

Sunni references:

(1) Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, p660, on the authority of Abu Sa’id and Hudhayfa (2) Sunan Ibn Majah, Introduction 8

(3) al-Tabarani, on the authorities of: Umar, Ali, Jabir, Abu Hurayrah, Usamah Ibn Zaid, al-Baraa, Ibn ‘Adi, and Ibn Masud.

(4) al-Kubra, by al-Nisa’i

(5) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, pp 62,82, v3, pp 3,64, v5, p391

(6) Fada’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Hanbal, v2, p771, Tradition #1360

(7) al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, pp 166,167

(8) Hilyatul Awliyaa, by Abu Nu’aym, v5, p71

(9) Majma’ al-Zawa’id, by al-Haythami, v9, p187

(10) Tuhfatul Ashraf, by Lumzi, v3, p31

(11) Ibn Habban, as mentioned in al-Mawarid, pp 551,553

(12) al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 11, section 3, p290 (13) Mishkat al-Masabih, by Khatib al-Tabrizi, English Version, Tradition #6154

Also it is narrated that: The Messenger of Allah said:

“Husain is from me and I am from Husain.”

Sunni references:

(1) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v4, p172

(2) Fadha’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Hanbal, v2, p772, Tradition #1361

(3) al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, p 177

(4) Amali, by Abu Nu’aym al-Isbahani, p 64

(5) al-Kuna wal Asmaa, by al-Dulabi, v1, p88

(6) al-Tabarani, v3, p21

(7) Adab by al-Bukhari, also al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, as quoted in:

(8) al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 11, section 3, p291

(9) Mishkat al-Masabih, by Khatib al-Tabrizi, English Version, Tradition #6160

The last part of the above tradition probably means that Imam Husain (A.S.), by sacrificing himself and his family, preserved the religion of Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) from full annihilation. Abu Huraira narrated:

The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) looked toward Ali(A.S.), Hasan(A.S.), Husain(A.S.), and Fatimah (A.S.), and then said:

“I am in war with those who will fight you, and in peace with those who are peaceful to you.”

Sunni references:

(1) Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, p699

(2) Sunan Ibn Majah, v1, p52

(3) Fadha’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p767, Tradition #1350

(4) al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, p149

(5) Majma’ al-Zawa’id, by al-Haythami, v9, p169

(6) al-Kabir, by al-Tabarani, v3, p30, also in al-Awsat

(7) Jami’ al-Saghir, by al-Ibani, v2, p17

(8) Tarikh, by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi, v7, p137

(9) Sawaiq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, p144

(10) Talkhis, by al-Dhahabi, v3, p149

(11) Dhakha’ir al-Uqba, by al-Muhib al-Tabari, p25 (12) Mishkat al-Masabih, by Khatib al-Tabrizi, English Version, Tradition #6145

Also: The Messenger of Allah said: “He who loves al-Hasan and al-Husain, loved me, and he who makes them angry has made me angry.”

Sunni reference: – Sunan Ibn Majah, – al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, from Abu Hurairah – Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, as quited in: – al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 11, section 3, p292

It has been narrated in two wordings that: The Messenger of Allah said:

I named Hasan and Husain and Muhsin the names of the sons of Aaron (Haroon) who were: Shubbar, Shubair, and Mushbir.”

Sunni references:

(1) Sunan Abu Dawud al-Tilyasi, v1, p232 (without mentioning Muhsin

(2) Fadha’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p774, Tradition #1365

(3) al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, pp 165,168

(4) Kashf al-Astar, by al-Bazzar, v2, p416

(5) Ibn Habban, as quoted in al-Mawarid, p551

(6) al-Tabarani, v3, p100

(7) Idhaah, Abdul Ghani, from Salman al-Farsi

(8) al-Mu’jam, by al-Baghawi, as quoted in:

(9) al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 11, section 3, p292

The third son of Lady Fatimah (A.S.) who was pre-named by the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) as Muhsin, was miscarried shortly after the demise of Holy Prophet(S.A.W.).

Usamah ibn Zayd narrated: I went to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) one night about something I required and he came out with something (I did not know what) under his cloak. When I had finished telling him my business I asked him what he had under his cloak, and when he opened it I saw al-Hasan and al-Husayn on his hips. He then said,

“These are my sons and my daughter’s sons. O Allah, I love them, so I beseech Thee to love them and those who love them.”

Sunni References: – Sahih Tirmidhi, per: – Mishkat al-Masabih, by Khatib al-Tabrizi, English Version, Tradition #6156

Anas ibn Malik Narrated: When Allah’s Messenger (S.A.W.) was asked which member of his family was dearest to him, he replied, “Al-Hasan and al-Husain.” He used to say to Fatimah, “Call my two sons to me,” and then would sniff and cuddle them

Sunni References: – Sahih Tirmidhi, per: – Mishkat al-Masabih, by Khatib al-Tabrizi, English Version, Tradition #6158 Imam Husain (A.S.) said:

“Don’t you see that the truth is not followed and the falsehood is not discouraged? (The situation is so severe) so that a Believer wishes to meet Allah (i.e., to die). And today I don’t see death but prosperity, and living with tyrants is nothing but disgust and disgrace.” Sunni Reference: Hilyatul Awliyaa, by Abu Nu’aym, v2, p39

Imam Husain (AS) said: “By Allah, I shall not give my oath to you like a humiliated one, and nor shall I flee like the captive.

al-Bukhari Narrated from Ibn Abi Na’m: I have heard Prophet saying:

“They (Hasan and Husain) are my two sweet- smelling flowers in this world.” Sunni Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English, v8, Tradition #23

Again al-Bukhari narrated from Ibn Abi Nu’m: A person asked Abdullah Ibn 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 Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) said, They (i.e. Hasan and Husain) are my two sweet basils in this world.” Sunni Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English, v5, Tradition #96 Narrated

Anas Ibn Malik said: “The head of al-Husain was brought to Ubaidullah Ibn 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 any other people.” Sunni Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English, v5, Tradition #91

Imam Husain(A.S.) said: “I revolted not for wickedness nor for fame. Verily I rose only to seek for rectification in the nation of my grandfather, The Messenger of Allah.”

. Imam Husain(A.S.) said: “The true life is all having a strong idea and striving (for that idea).”

|Imam Husain(A.S.)said: “People are the slaves of this world, and religion is just in their tong. They keep it as long as it meets their comfortable life. But when the test comes, religion holders become very few.”

The Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) Crying For Imam Husain(A.S.)

Narrated Salma: “I went to visit Umm Salamah and found her weeping. I asked her what was making her weep and she replied that she had seen Allah’s Messenger (S.A.W.) (meaning in a dream) with dust on his head and beard. She asked him what was the matter and he replied, `I have just been present at the slaying of al-Husayn.'” – Sahih Tirmidhi, per: – Mishkat al-Masabih, by Khatib al-Tabrizi, English Version, Tradition #6157

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas: One day at midday he saw in a dream the Prophet (S.A.W.) dishevelled and dusty with a bottle containing blood in his hand and said, “You for whom I would give my father and mother as ransom, what is this?” He replied, “This is the blood of al-Husayn and his companions which I have been collecting today.” He told that he was reckoning that time and found that he had been killed at that time. – Musnad Ahmad Hanbal; – Dala’il an-Nubuwwah, by al-Bayhaqi; per: – Mishkat al-Masabih, by Khatib al-Tabrizi, English Version, Tradition #6172

Aisha narrated: The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) said: “Gabriel informed me that my grandson al- Husain (A.S.) will be killed after me in the land of al-Taff and brought me this Turbah (mudd/soil) and informed me that this is the soil of the place he will be martyred.”

Sunni reference: – Tabaqat, by Ibn Sa’d, – al-Tabarani, as quoted in: – al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 11, section 3, p292

Not only human beings, but also the Jinns mourn for Imam Husain(A.S.).

It has been narrated that after his (A.S.) martyrdom: Umm Salamah (the wife of Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)) said: I heard the Jinns (the unseen creatures) mourning for al-Husain.” Sunni references:

(1) Tarikh al-Kabir, by al-Bukhari (the author of Sahih), v4, part 1, p26

(2) Fada’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p776, Tradition #1373

(3) Tabarani, v3, pp 130-131

(4) Tahdhib, v7, p404

As for the Shi’ite references, there is a traditions from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) that: “When al-Khidr (A.S.) met Moses (A.S.), he explained and forecast the catastrophe of Karbala (the place where this tragedy took place) in the day of Ashura for Moses, and the calamities that will happen on that day, and then both al-Khidr and Moses cried and screamed severely.”

Also Ibn Abbas narrated that he met Imam Ali (A.S.) in Ziqar, and Imam Ali(A.S.) pulled out a book that was written of the words of Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) in which the Prophet had explained the tragedy of Ashura and the slaughtering of his grandson al-Husain and how he will be killed and who kills him and who assist them and who will be martyred with him. Then Imam Ali (A.S.) screamed severely and caused Ibn Abbas (RA) to cry.

Umayyad Sanctifying Ashura

Bani Umayyah (Umayyad) forced people to celebrate the day of Ashura (10th of Muharram) as a blessed day, and encouraged people to buy and store their annual food on that day and to fast that day as Sunnah, by fabricating traditions in this regard which were solely designed to overshadow and to cover up the great catastrophe of the slaughtering the household of Prophet (S.A.W.). To make people believe that Ashura is a blessed day, day fabricated that it was in that day when Allah saved Bani Israel from Pharaoh. this is while Moses (AS) and his companions were saved and passed the Nile river in the month of Rabiul-Awwal.

They also invented that the repentance of Adam was accepted on that day, while it was accepted in the month of Zil-Hajjah. They say that it was the day that Jonah (Yunos) was saved from the body of fish and the ark of Noah was settled on earth while it was on the 18th of Zil-Hajjah. All those traditions were fabricated By Bani Umayyah to cover their crimes. Imran ibn Husayn narrated that: The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) at the time of his death disliked three tribes: Thaqif, the Banu Hanifah and the Banu Umayyah.

– Sahih Tirmidhi, per: – Mishkat al-Masabih, by Khatib al-Tabrizi, English Version, Tdadition #5983 “The Children of Umayad shall ascend to my pulpit. I have seen them in my dreams jumping on my pulpit like monkeys.”

Then the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) said that the following verse was revealed about the Umayyad : And We made that dream, which We have shown you, only as a test to the people and the cursed tree in the Quran. And We warn them but it only increases their extreme transgression! (17:60)

Sunni references: – Sharh Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Volume 3 page 81 Printed by Mohammad Ali Subaih in Egypt – Fakhr al-Din al-Razi in his commentary of the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Volume 5 Pages 413 – 414 Second Printing by al-Matbaah al-Sarafeyah 1304 H Ashura is the day of mourning and lamentation.

In a tradition from Ahlul- Bayt, it is said that “whoever celebrates this day as a blessed day, he will be resurrected in the day of judgment with Yazid.” The reason is clear, and it is because there are traditions from Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), every body who is pleased with an action, he will be resurrected in the day of judgment with the one who did that action.

Imam Husayn (A.S.), Mourning him and his Karbala

By al-‘Allama al-Sheikh al-Ameeni.

It is accepted to the Islamic nation, due to the finality of the prophethood and its particular concerns, that the holy prophet (S.A.W.) had the knowledge about the wars , trials and that which happened to his family-house hold, their progeny, and relatives, more or less, of the enormous tragedies, of the dark surprises of time, of the hard events, wide killings, and to whatever else that has entered on them from torture, trickery, ill-treatment, capture and imprisonment.

This knowledge of his is from among the wide, unconditional, and fully general (master) leadership on every creation. As not acting on this information, using it for forgiveness and patience (instead) , as if nothing was going to occur, all while he could have taken these men without any consequence. These unjust men of tyranny, men of corruption, he (could have taken them) using his knowledge of that he knew of them. To uphold legal punishment before they attack, punish before the crime, to sever the ties with the offending clan, not to have good relation with the aggressors; and to send away those whom he knew of aggression bad fortune and animosity to his family from his field, away from his person. All of this is also from the concerns of the leadership. No human, ever, can carry this heavy burden. While this knowledge and this forgiveness is not combined in any of the sons of Adam. This can not be conceived in any human except in one who has the leadership (Wilayeh).

This is an important subject, very wide, form the sciences of religion, if we were to go into its details we would end up with a heavy book.

This condition caused the Messenger of Allah (s) to look to all of these events and tragedies which were to inflict his household, as long as he lived, the essence of his kidneys (Hassan & Hussain), his love and a part of himself (Fatima) and her cousin his greatest supporter in truth (Ali) and from their good progeny; as if he was viewing the events from behind a thin screen. Whenever he looked to one of them, up close, his knowledge, as a matter of fact, would play the scenes before his eyes. Therefore, for the length of his life, he displayed his sorrow and depression among those close to him, naturally. His sorrow does not separate from him, he lived with it, crying secretly, hiding the longing and swallows the pain.

Whenever he found the appropriate environment he would attempt to cure the pain of his heart, put off the heat in his heart and the fire of sorrow by hugging one of his family close to his chest, he would smell and kiss pouring his tears, with crying eyes and his tong carries what amuses his feelings.

You would see him holding on to Ali (A.S.), the master of his progeny, his cousin and father of his “sons”, in the middle of the road he would kiss him and repeat his saying: “My father is your ransom. (You) The lonely the martyr.” As reported by ‘Aesha, the mother of believers,

Sunni references:

· al-Hafidh abu-Yaala al-Mousilly, in his Musnad

· an many scholars took from him.

Many of the narrators reported the correct hadeeth of Ibn-Abbas:

“I went out with the prophet (S.A.W.) and Ali (A.S.) by the walls of Madina, we passed by a garden. Ali (A.S.) said: What a beautiful garden this is Oh’ prophet of Allah? He (the prophet) said: Your garden in Paradise is more beautiful than this. Then he pointed with his hand to his (Ali’s) head and beard and cried till he was loudly crying. We said: What makes you cry? He said: Hatred in the hearts of a people, they do not display till they loose me.”

In a narration according to Anas bin Malik:

“Then the prophet put his head on one of Ali’s shoulders and cried. He said to him: What makes you cry, Oh, messenger of Allah? He said: Hatred in the chests of peoples, they don’t display until I depart from this world.”

Also, according to Ameerul Moemineen (Ali):

“When the road was clear for me, he hugged me and cried loudly. I said: Oh messenger of Allah, what makes you cry? He said: Hatred in the chests of peoples, they don’t display to you until after me.”

Sunni Ref, where all three narrations are recorded:

· Musnad al-Bazzaz;

· al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer, al-Tabarani

· Musnad abu-Ya’la

· Tareekh al-Sham, Ibn ‘Asakir

· Majma’ al-Haithami

· more references can be found in “Al-Ghadeer”, by al-Ameeni

The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) used to attend to his (Ali’s) patience and solidarity and say (s) to him (as):

“How is your patience if that was dyed (colored) from this? Pointing with his hand to his beard and head. Ali said: Wasn’t I tested when I was tested, so this is not from among the things of patience, but it is from those of good tidings and dignity.”

So the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) is pleased with such beautiful expressions, which describes the greatness of Ali’s self and his love in the way of Allah, Almighty.

Sunni Ref:

· al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer, al-Tabarani.

You see him embrace Abu-Mohammad – the Hassan, the son, to his chest and kiss him on his mouth and navel, because of what he knew that his contents from his mouth to his navel will be cut by the poison.

Then he would embrace the Hussain, the son, towards him to smell and kiss. To kiss the spots where swords, arrows and stabs are to fall. He would concentrate on his lips, knowing that they will be hit by the rod.

He (s) mourns his Hussain, his flower (as he used to call them), time after time, in the houses of the Mothers of the Believers (his wives). Whenever his sorrow is hard on him, he would take the Hussain in his lap and brings him along to the mosque, to the gathering of Sahaba while crying. His tears falling, he would display to them the infant Hussain with the sand of Karbalaa in his hand and say: ”

My nation (Ummah) will kill him, and this is the dirt of Karbalaa.”

Or he would take the dirt smell it and cry, with the mention of his murder and death, saying:

“The smell of Karb wa Balaa (sorrow and trial).”

Or would say:

“By The One who owns my soul, it saddens me: Who is this who kills Hussain after me?”

Or would say:

“Wow to ‘Karb and Balaa'”, or “Karbalaa: the land of Karb (deep sorrow) and Balaa (painful trial).”

Or puts Hussain on his lap, with his red dirt in his hand, while crying and say:

“I wish I could express my self! Who kills you after me?”

You would see Fatima (as), when her father (s) tells her that she is to catch up with him fast from among his family, it pleases her to hear this news . He is but telling her that the life of the family of Mohammed is surrounded by treachery and sad surprises. If it were not for such fears, from those enormous tragedies pouring into their field, why would the Zahraa-Fatima dislike her life? Her happy life ought to be the best life, most pleasant and greatest of pride: Having a husband alike to her father in his virtues; having sons like the Hussan and Hussain, the flowers of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.), the masters of the youth of Paradise – none equal, any beautiful description falls short; and from among the girls such as Zainab, the jewel of completeness and honor.

* Sunni Ref:

· Musnad Ahmad, Ahmad bin Hanbal

· Musnad abu-Ya’la, abu-Ya’la al-Mousulli

· Musannaf Ibn Abi Sheiba

· al-Khasaes, al-Nisaei

· Saheeh al-Tirmithi

· Mushkil al-Athar, al-Tahawi

· al-‘Ilal, al-Darqutni

· Huliat al-Abrar, abu-Naeem

· al-Dalael, al-Bayhaqi

· and many others via Umul Moemineen ‘Aesha

So why is Fatima, at that time, displeased with life, when she is still in the bud of her youth, has not reached her aims and has not gotten what she hopes out of life?

Why would she ask her God to hasten her death, when she has not attained what mothers wish to see in their sons? For such hopes ease (mothers’) pains and sweeten the bitterness of this world. They sacrifice all to see these hopes come true. Why would she remove her hand from her infants, clears her lap from them and accept orphaning them when they have reach their beautiful youth?

Why would she be ‘pleased’ to wither her flowers, the flowers of the family of Mohammed, while they are in their most beautiful stage, and she has not attained their blossom? Why would she leave her garden and the flowers have not opened?

Why would she like to separate from her spouse and leave her love to accompany sorrow, pain and emptiness. His sorrow after her is everlasting and his nights in her separation is insomnia?

Why is this happiness and pleasure in becoming close to death?

All of this is nothing more than escaping from the gravity of these tragedies which she knew well, taken from her father the truthful. For Fatima (A.S.) did not imagine for herself or hope for a savior or shelter which she could trust could give her peace and protection, except to be near her Generous God and declining this life, inclusive of its bitterness and sweetness.

What can Fatima do with life and she sees her father , for the duration of his life, allied to sorrow? He spent his life with a teary eye, a sorrowful heart and grief within him because of distress over his family. He mourns for his son-Hussain from the start of his birth and on and on, when a baby, an infant, and a boy. Allah had taken the houses of his prophet places of sorrow and crying since the birth of dear Hussain. The angels of his god arrive to him in groups and singular, time after time, every now and then, announcing (the future death) of Hussain, they bring him his red dirt (earth) symbolizing in that his upcoming murder and death.

These are important Islamic historic events, a slice of which history did recorded for us, even though, due to the past circumstances only little reached us. Here is a brief list for you.

A rite (maatam) in the house of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.)

“Ahmed and Ibn al-Dhahhak narrated from Ali (A.S.), said: I entered on the prophet (S.A.W.) and his eyes a flooded, I said: Oh! Prophet of Allah, anyone made you angry? Why are your eyes flooded? He said: Gabriel just left me telling me that Hussain will be killed by the river Euphrates. He (prophet) said: So he (Gabriel) said: Do you want me to let you smell his dirt (from his burial pot)? I said: yes! He reached with his hand and grabbed and handful of dirt and gave it to me. So I could not help it and my eyes were flooded.”

Sunni Ref:

· Thakhaer al-Uqba, Muhibbuldeen al-Tabari, p148.

A rite of infancy

“Abu Abdullah Mohammed bin Ali al-Jawhari, in Baghdad, told us: Abul Ahwas Mohammed bin al-Haitham al-Qadhi, from Mohammed bin Musaab, from al-Awzaei, from abi Ammar Shaddad bin Abdullah, from Ummul Fadhl the daughter of al-Harith. That she entered on the Messenger of Allah (s) and she said: Oh! Messenger of Allah, I saw a strange dream last night. He said: And what is it? She said: It is difficult. He said: And what is it? She said: I saw, as if, a piece of your body was severed and was put in my lap! The Messenger of Allah (s) said: You saw good – Fatima will give birth, God willing, a boy so he will be in your lap. Then Fatima gave birth to al-Hussain and he was in my lap – just as the Messenger of Allah (s) said. So I entered one day on the Messenger of Allah (s) and put his in his lap, but I noticed that the eyes of the Messenger of Allah (s) pouring tears! She said: So I said: Oh! Prophet of Allah, my parents are your ransom, what is with you? He said: Gabriel (pbuh) came to me and informed me that my nation (ummah) will kill this son of mine. I said: This one? He said: Yes, and he brought me dirt from his red dirt.”

al-Hakim said: This is a correct hadith (Saheeh) on the conditions of (Bukhari and Muslim) but they did not print it. He produced it in page 179, he said: Narrated abu al-Abbas Muhammad bin Ya’qoob, Muhammad bin Is-haq al-Sana’ni, Muhammad bin Isma’eel bin abi Summaiya, Muhammad bin Mus’ab, al-Awza’ei, abi Ammar that Ummul Fadhl said: The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said – while Hussain in his lap – that

“Gabriel (as) informed me that my nation (ummati) kills al-Hussain.”

He (al-Hakim) said: Ibn abi Summaiya has summarized this hadith. Other than Muhammad bin Mus’ab have narrated it in full.

Sunni Ref:

· al-Mustadrak al-Saheeh, al-Hafidh al-Hakim al-Nisapouri, v3, p176.

Dalael al-Nubouwa, al-Hafidh al-Baihaqi.

It was produced by al-Hafidh al-Baihaqi in “Dalael al-Nubouwa” under the subject of Hussain (as). He said: Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Haifdh (al-Hakim al Nisapouri), abu Abdullah Mohammed bin Ali al-Jawhari in Baghdad, with the same narrators and text, as mentioned.

Al-Hafidh bin ‘Asakir in Tareekh al-Shamm (History of Shamm) said: abu ‘Abdullah al-Gharawi, abu-Bakr al-Baihaqi, Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah al-Hafidh, the same as above.

Also said: Informed us abu al-Qasim bin al-Samarqandi, abu al-Hussain bin al-Naqoor, abu al-Hassan Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Umran (known as ibnul Jundi) abu Rawq Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Bakr al-Harati, al-‘Abbas bin al-Faraj al-Raqqashi, Muhammad bin Ismaeel abu Summaiya, Muhammad bin Mus’ab supported as follows:

“I saw, Oh Messenger of Allah, a sighting I find too great to describe to you. He said: Tell it. She said: I saw as if a piece of you was cut and put in my lap! He (s) said: Fatima is pregnant, she will give birth to a boy whom I will name Hussain and she will put him in your lap. She said: So Fatima gave birth to Hussain and he was in my lap, to take care of him, so he entered on me one day and Hussain was with me and started playing with him for a while. Then his eyes filled with tears, so I said: what makes you cry? He said: This is Gabriel informing me that my nation (ummati) kills this son of mine!”

All the narrators are trusted and the hadeeth is “saheeh”.

A rite in the house of Ummu Salamah

Narration by Ya’la bin ‘Ubaid, Musa al-Jahani, Salih bin Arbad al-Nakhei, Ummu Salamah said:

“al-Hussain entered on the prophet (s), while I was sitting at the door, so I saw in the hand of the prophet (s) something he turned over while (Hussain) sleeping on his stomach. I said: Oh messenger of Allah, I looked and saw you turning something over in your hand when the kid was sleeping on your stomach and your tears were pouring? He said: Jibraeel came to me with the sand upon which he will be killed. And he informed me that my nation (umma) will kill him.”

Sunni Ref:

· al-Musannaf, by al-Hafidh abu Bakr bin abi Shaibah, v 12

Narrated al-Hussain bin Is-haq al-Tustury, Ali bin Bahr, Issa bin Younis. And ‘Ubaid bin Ghannam, abu-Bakr bin abi Sheibah, Ya’la bin ‘Ubaid, the both said: Mousa bin Salih al Juhani, Salih bin Arbad, from Ummu Salama (ra) said:

“The messenger of Allah said: Sit at the door, and don’t let anyone enter on me. So I sat at the door, then Hussain (ra) came by so I went to take him, but he raced me and entered on his grandfather. When that took long, I peaked from the door and saw you turning something in your hands and your tears running, and the kid on your stomach? He said: Yes, Gabriel (as) came to me and informed me that my nation (umma) will kill him. He brought me the sand on which he will be killed, which I was turning in my hands.”

Sunni Ref:

al-Moejam al-Kabeer, al-Hafidh al-Tabarani, Subject of the martyr al-Hussain

A rite in the house of ‘Aesha

Narrated Ali bin Mohammad, ‘Uthman bin Muqsim, al-Muqbari, from ‘Aesha said:

“While the messenger of Allah (s) was laying down, al-Hussain came crawling towards him so I moved him away from him and I got up to do something. So he got close to him and he woke up crying. So I said: What makes you cry? He said that: Gabriel showed me the sand on which Hussain will be killed. The anger of Allah is great on whomever sheds his blood. He opened his hands, in which a grab of sand. He said: Oh, ‘Aesha, by the One whom my soul is in His hands, it saddens me! Who is this from my nation (umma) who kills Hussain after I am gone?!”

All the men of the narration are documented as trusted.

Sunni Ref:

· al-Taba’qat al-Kubra, Ibn Saad

A rite in a gathering of the companions

Mu’awiya bin Husham, Ali bin Salih, Yazeed bin abi Ziad, Ibraheem (bin Yazeed al-Nakhei), ‘Alqama (bin Qays al-Nakhei), ‘Abdullah bin Masoud said:

“While we were at the (house of) messenger of Allah (s) , a group from Bani Hashim approached. When the prophet (s) saw them his eyes overflowed and his color changed. I said to him: We see something you hate in your face? He said: We are the people of the household (Ahlul Bayte) Allah has chosen for us the thereafter over this world and that the family of my household will encounter after me trials, dispersement and expulsion. Until a people come forward from the east, along with them black flags, they ask for justice but it is not offered. So they fight and strike and are then given what they asked for. They don’t accept it until they push it forward to a man from my Ahlul Bayte. Then he fills it with justice as they filled it with injustice. Therefore, whomever lives to see that from among you should come to them, even if crawling on the snow.”

All the men of narration are trustworthy, as recorded.

Sunni Ref:

· al-Musannaf, al-Hafidh abu-Bakr bin abi Shaibah, v 12

· al-Sunan al-Saheeh, Ibn Majeh, v 2, p 518, section of appearance of the Mahdi

· al-Hafidh abu-Jaafar al-‘Uqayli (with the addition: “We said: Oh, messenger of Allah – We are not happy to see in your face something you hate.” )

· al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v 4, p 464.

· Akhbar Asbahan, by al-Hafidh abu Naeem al-Asbahani, v 2, p 12.

· al-Moejam al-Kabeer, al-Tabarani, v 3.

A rite in Karbala by the father of the martyr, the Commander of Believers Ali (A.S.)

Muhammad bin ‘Ubaid, Sharhabeel bin Mudrik, Abdullah bin Naji:

“his father walked with Ali (ra), when they reached Nainawa, the departure point to Siffien, Ali called: Be patient aba ‘Abdullah! Be patient aba ‘Abdullah at the river al-Furat (Euphrates)! I said: And what? He said: I entered on the messenger of Allah (s) one day and his eyes overflowing. I said: Oh, prophet of Allah! Anybody angered you? Why are your eyes overflowing (with tears)? He said: But Gabriel just left me and informed me: That al-Hussain will be killed at the river al-Furat (Shattul Furat). He said: Do you want me to show you from his sand? He said: I said yes. He extended his hand and grabbed and handful of dirt and gave it to me. So I could not help it, my eyes overflowed.”

Sunni Ref:

· al-Masnad, Ahmad bin Hanbal, v 2, pp 60-61.

Ibn Saad, Ali bin Muhammad, Yahya bin Zakariya, a man heard it from ‘Amir al-Sha’bi say:

“When Ali (as) passed by Karbalaa in his march to Siffien and lined up with Nainawa – a village on the Euphrates – he stopped and called one of them men: Tell aba ‘Abdullah (al-Hussain ) what this land is called? He said: Karbalaa. Then he cried until the earth was wet from his tears. He then said: I entered on the messenger of Allah (s) and he was crying. So I said: What makes you cry? He said: Gabriel was with me, just now, and informed me: that my son al-Hussain will be killed at the banks of Furat in a location called Karbalaa. Then Gabriel grabbed a handful of dirt and let me smell it. So I could not help it, my eyes overflowed.”

Sunni Ref:

· al-Tabaqat, Ibn Saad

· al-Musannaf, Ibn Abi Shaibeh, v12 (with “Patience aba ‘Abdullah, patience aba ‘Abdullah.”

· al-Moejam al-Kabeer, al-Tabarani, v 1

· Tareekh al-Shamm, Ibn ‘Asakir

The Sermon of Imam Husayn(A.S.) at Mina

In the year 60/680, al-‘Imam al-Husayn (A.S.) stayed for about three months at Makkah in the course of his movement against the succession of Yazid, the degenerate son of Mu’awiah, to the Caliphate. Yazid had assumed the leadership of the Islamic world on Mu’awiah’s death in Rajab 60/ March 680. his way of life was representative of the common among the youth of the Umayyad aristocracy during ‘Jahiliyyah’. his un-Islamic conduct and practices were well known throughout the Muslim world and had earned for him contempt and disfavour amongst the religious. Nevertheless, Mu’awiyah’s arrangements, ensured the succession of his son.

In order to secure undisputed possession of the Caliphate, the first task undertaken by Yazid was to order al-Walid ibn ‘Utbah, the governor of al-Madinah, to exact allegiance ( bay’ah ) from the refractory, especially from al-Husayn ibn Ali and Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, who were among the few who had refused to recognize Yazid’s heir apparency during Mu’awiyah’s life. In his letter to the governor, Yazid gave strict orders that they should not be allowed to delay, and if they refused al-walid should beheaded them at once.

Al-‘Imam al-Husayn (A.S.) avoided the demand for bay’ah for two days and finally left for Makkah at night with his family and most of the Hashimites. It was at al-Madinah that al-‘Imam al-Husayn (A.S.) received repeated appeals and hundreds of letters sent by the kufans, pledging support to him in his movement against Yazid’s rule. He also received reports that the government had sent some soldiers disguised as pilgrims to assassinate him in the sacred precincts of Makkah during the rituals of hajj, which was drawing near.

On 8 Dhu -al-hijjah/10 september 680, al-‘Imam al-Husayn left Makkah for Kufah, after performing umrah, foregoing hajj in order to safeguard the sanctity of the haram of Makkah and to avoid bloodshed in the holy precincts.

Makkah was at the time full of pilgrims, who were pouring in from all parts of the Muslim world . There, at Mina, he delivered the famous sermon addressing the people, especially the learned in religion. This sermon is recorded in “Tuhaf al ‘Uqul “, a collection of sermons and aphorisms of the Imams (A.S.) by al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Subah al Harrani (d. 381/ 991).

The above sermon besides being an eye-opener for all of us, who should study the contemporary scene around us in the light of the genuine teachings of Islam, also reveals the sorry state of affairs that prevailed in the Muslim society of those days, just a generation after the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and his committed Companions had established a just Islamic society after a lifetime of unimaginable hardship and struggle. The following points emerge from this noble sermon:

It shows the state of Muslim society during and after Muawiyah’s twenty-year rule, a matter which prompts every concerned muslim to study and investigate how it came to prevail in the not too long a period, a single generation or nearly fifty years, after the demise of the Noble Messenger (S.A.W.).

It shows that ‘ulama’ then, as today, enjoyed the people’s respect and veneration, but having aligned themselves with the rulers they neglected their duties with respect to God and His laws and in regard to the people and their divine duty to strive to protect their rights.

It shows the state of the common people, especially the society’s poor and weak, who lived in complete neglect on the part of the rulers, contrary to the Prophet’s practice and his great concern for their welfare and rights.

The ‘Ulama ‘ were not only silent viz-a-viz the oppression of the people, they failed to speak out against the anti-Islamic conduct of the rulers or to condemn their propagandists who misguided the people from their pulpits in every town.

It shows the people’s indifference in regard to the Prophet’s Ahlul Bayt (A.S.) and their obliviousness to the Prophet’s earnest and oft repeated advice and persuasions regarding them . It was this general indifference towards the Ahl-ul Bayt (A.S.) and the common ignorance regarding their sublime station in Islam that emboldened a profligate like Yazid to kill the Prophet’s only living grandson in such a barbaric manner and to imprison the women and children of his noble family. History shows that this indifference had causes that lay in the past.

Had it not been for the heroic struggle of al-‘Imam al-Husayn (A.S.), nothing would have remained of the genuine teachings of Islam, even Yazid, with the help of hired historians, would have gone into history as a respectable Islamic ruler and as a deserving successor of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.). Of course, some court historians and fuqaha tried to justify even the blackest crimes of Yazid as errors of ijtihad. But such justifications did not succeed in convincing honourable or aware Muslim. All that such historians and fuqaha could succeed in achieving was everlasting ignominy for themselves.

Al-Imam al-Husayn (A.S.) through his tragic martyrdom revived Islam and preserved its authentic teachings from the hands of tyrants. hence the Islamic world is indebted to this brave son of Fatimah al-Zahra (A.S.) and shall remain indebted to him to the Day of Resurrection.

Imam Khomeini, a true son of al-Imam al-Husayn (A.S.), in the course of his lectures on the topic of Wilayat-e- Faqih, which were published in the form of a book with that name, expounds this hadith in the context of the tradition-based part of his discussion about the responsibilities of the scholars of religion.

The sermon of al-Imam al-Husayn (A.S.) is last of the traditions discussed by him in that context. The entire exposition has as its backdrop the conditions of Iran during the rule of the Shah in early 1970’s.

The Sermon of Imam Husayn(A.S.) at Mina

O people, take lesson from the counsel God gave to His friends when He rebuked the rabbis by saying: “Why do the scholars and rabbis not forbid their sinful talk and consumption of what is unlawful ? Truly what they have done is evil.” (5:63)

And God says: “Cursed by the tongue of David and Jesus, son of Mary are those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved on account of their rebellion and transgression. They did not prevent each other from committing vile and corrupt acts; surely what they did was abominable” (5:78-79).

God reproached them because they saw with their own eyes the oppressors committing vile and corrupt acts, but did not stop them, out of love for the favours they received from them as well as fear of persecution and injury. However, God says: “Fear not men, but fear Me.” (5:44) And He says: “The believing men and women are friends and protectors to each other; they enjoin the good and forbid the evil; they perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and obey God and His messenger. Upon them God shall have mercy; God is Almighty, All-wise.” (9:71)

God mentions the duty of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil (al- ‘amr bi al-ma’ruf wa al-nahy ‘an al-munkar) before all other duties, because He knows that if it is performed and is established in the society all other duties, the easy and the difficult, will also become established. The reason for this is that al-‘amr bi al ma’ruf wa al-nahy ‘an al-munkar means summoning people to Islam, as well as resistance against injustice, opposing and struggling against oppressors, and endeavoring to ensure that public wealth and income derived from war are distributed in accordance with the just laws of Islam, and that taxes are collected, levied and expended in due and proper form.

O scholars, who are celebrated and enjoy good repute on account of your learning! You have achieved a good name in society because of your good will. It is on account of God that men venerate you and stand in awe of you, so that even powerful fear you and the weak honour you, and those who are not subject to you and over whom you hold no authority grant you favours they deny themselves . When the people do not receive their due. they seek your intercession, and you walk in the street with the majesty of kings and princes.

Have you not earned all this respect and prestige because of the people’s hopes that you will implement God’s laws, even though in most instances you have failed to do so?

You have taken lightly your duties as leaders. You have neglected the rights of the oppressed and the lowly, but have assiduously pursued what you regard as your personal rights. You have not spent your money or risked your life for the sake of the One Who gave you life, nor have you fought against any group or tribe for the sake of God. Nevertheless, you desire – and regard it as your due – that He should grant you paradise, the company of the prophet, and security from chastisement in the hereafter. You have such expectations of God, I fear that the full weight of His wrath descend upon you, for although it is by His might and glory that you have achieved high rank, you show no respect to those who truly know god, while you yourselves enjoy respect among God’s creatures on His account.

(I am also afraid for you for another reason:) you see the covenant enacted with God being violated and trampled under foot, yet you show no anxiety, when it comes to the covenants enacted with your fathers, you become greatly disturbed and anxious if they are only violated in part, but the pledges you have given to the most noble Messenger are a matter of complete indifference to you.

The blind, the dumb, and chronically ill everywhere lack protection in towns and no mercy is shown them. But you neither behave in accordance with your function and rank, nor you support or pay any regard to those who do. You purchase your safety from the oppressive ruling powers with flattery cajolery, and compromise.

All these activities have been forbidden you by God, and He has, more over, command you to forbid each other to engage in them, but you pay no attention.

The calamity that has befallen you is greater than what has befallen others, for true rank and degree of “Ulama” has been taken away from you. The administration of the country and the issuing of decrees and ordinances should actually be trusted to religious scholars who are guardians of God’s ordinances concerning what is permitted and what is forbidden. But your position has been usurped from you, for no other reason than that you have abandoned the truth (al-haqq), and have disagreed about the nature of the sunnah, despite the existence of clear proofs.

Had you the forbearance to endure adversities and hardships for the sake of God, then all proposed regulations (God’s affairs) would be brought to you for your approval and for you to issue; authority would lie in your hands. But you allowed the oppressors to take away your functions and God’s affairs (i.e. government) to fall into their hands, so that they administer them by resorting to ambiguities and make arbitrariness and the satisfaction of lust their consistent practice. What enabled them to gain control of government was your fleeing in panic from (inevitable) death and your love of life, which shall in all certainty depart from you. As a consequence of that mentality, you have delivered the powerless masses into the clutches of the oppressors.

While some cringe like slaves under the yoke of oppressors, and others have been reduced to destitution in regard to their livelihood, the rulers run the affairs of the government in accordance with their whims, earning ignominy and disgrace for themselves with their licentiousness, following evil counselors, and showing impudence toward God. One of their appointed spokesmen mounts the pulpit (minbar) in each city. The country is defenseless before them, and their hands grab freely whatever they want of it. The people are their slaves and are powerless to defend themselves. One of the governors is a dictator by nature, malevolent and rancorous; another represses to recognize either God or the Day of Resurrection! It is not strange – how can one think it strange, that society is the clutches of a cunning oppressor whose tax collectors are oppressors and whose governers feel no compassion or mercy towards the believers under rule.

It is God who will judge concerning what is dispute among us and deliver a decisive verdict concerning all that occurs among us.

O God! You know that everything we did was not prompted by rivalry for political power, nor for a search for wealth and abundance; rather it was done to demonstrate to men the shining principles and values of Your religion, to reform the affairs of Your land, to protect and secure the indisputable rights of Your oppressed servants, and to act in accordance with the duties You have established and the norms, laws, and ordinances You have decreed.

So (O scholars of religion You are to help us reach this goal, win back our rights from those powers who have considered it acceptable to wrong you and who have attempted to put out the light kindled by your Prophet. God suffices us, upon Him do we rely, to Him do we return, and to Him shall we return.

Ayatullah Khumayni’s Exposition:

The tradition consists of two parts. The first is a tradition transmitted by the Doyen of the Martyrs (peace be upon him) from the Commander of the Faithful, ‘Ali (peace be upon him), and concerns the enjoining of the good and the prohibition of the evil.
The second part is the speech of the Doyen of the Martyrs concerning the governance of the faqih and the duties that are incumbent upon the fuqaha’ such as the struggle against oppressors and tyrannical governments in order to establish an Islamic government and implement the ordinances of Islam. In the course of this celebrated speech, which he delivered at Mina, he set forth the reasons for his own jihad against the tyrannical Umayyad state. Two important themes may be deduced from this tradition. The first is the principle of the governance of the faqih, and the second is that the fuqaha’ by means of jihad and enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, must expose and overthrow tyrannical rules and rouse the people so that the universal movement of all alert Muslims can establish Islamic government in place of tyrannical regimes.

This is the tradition. The Doyen of the Martyrs (upon whom be peace) said:

O people, take heed of the counsel God gave His friends when He rebuked the rabbis by saying, “Why do their scholars and rabbis not forbid their sinful talk and consumption of what is forbidden [that is, such talk and consumption on the part of the Jews]? Truly what they have done is evil’ (5:63). Again God says: ‘Cursed by the tongue of David and Jesus, son of Mary, are those among the Children of Israel who have failed to believe on account of their rebellion and transgression. They did not prevent each other from committing vile and corrupt acts; what they did was abominable!’ (5:78-79). God blamed and reproached them because they saw with their own eyes the oppressors committing vile and corrupt acts, but did not stop them, out of love for the income they received from them as well as fear of persecution and injury. However, God orders us to fear Him, not men, and He says: The believing men and women are friends and protectors to each other; they enjoin the good and forbid the evil. (9:71).

We see that in this verse, in the course of enumerating the attributes of the believers, the attributes that indicate mutual affection, solicitude and the desire to guide each other, God begins with enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, considering this the prime duty. For He knows that if this duty is performed and is established within society, performance of all other duties will follow, from the easiest to the most difficult. The reason for this is that enjoining the good and forbidding the evil means summoning people to Islam, which is a struggle to establish correct belief in the face of external opposition, while at the same time vindicating the rights of the oppressed; opposing and struggling against oppressors within the community; and endeavouring to ensure that public wealth and the income derived from war are distributed in accordance with the just laws of Islam, and that taxes [zakat and all other forms of fiscal income, whether compulsory or voluntary ] are collected, levied, and expended in due and proper form.

O scholars, you who are celebrated and enjoy good repute on account of your learning! You have achieved fame in society because of your devotion, the good counsel you impart, and the guidance you dispense. It is on account of God that men venerate and stand in awe of you, so that even the Powerful fear you and feel compelled to rise respectfully before you, and men who are not subject to you and over whom you hold no authority willingly regard themselves as your subordinates and grant you favours they deny themselves. When the people do not receive their due from the public treasury, you intervene and act with the awe someness and imperiousness of monarchs and the stature of the great. Have you not earned all these forms of respect and prestige because of men’s hopes that you will implement God’s laws, even though in most instances you have failed to do so?

You have failed to enforce most of the rights you were entrusted to preserve. You have neglected the rights of the oppressed and the lowly, squandered the rights of the weak and the powerless, but pursued assiduously what you regard as your personal rights. You have not spent your money or risked your lives for the sake of the One who gave you life, nor have you fought against any group or tribe for be sake of God. You desire, and regard it as your due, that He should want you paradise, the company of the Prophet, and security from hellfire in the hereafter. You who have such expectations of God, I fear that the full weight of His wrath will descend upon you, for although it is by His might and glory that you have achieved high rank, you show no respect to those who truly know God and wish to disseminate their knowledges while you yourselves enjoy respect among God’s bondsmen on His account.

I am also afraid for you for another reason: you see the covenants enacted with God being violated and trampled underfoot, yet you show no anxiety. When it comes to the covenants enacted with your fathers, you become greatly disturbed and anxious if they are only violated in part, but the pledges you have given to the Most Noble Messenger are a matter of complete indifference to you. The blind, the dumb, and the chronically sick everywhere lack protectors and no mercy is shown them. You do not behave in accordance with your function and rank, nor do you support or pay any regard to those who do so behave and who strive to promote the standing of the religious scholars. You purchase your safety from the oppressive ruling powers with flattery, cajolery, and compromise.

All these activities have been forbidden-you by God, and He has, more over, commanded you to forbid each other to engage in them, but you pay no attention. The disaster that has befallen you is greater than what has befallen others, for the true rank and degree of ‘ulama’ has been taken away from you. The administration of the country, the issuing of judicial decrees, and the approving of legislative programmes should actually be entrusted to religious scholars who are guardians of the rights of God and knowledgeable about God’s ordinances concerning what is permitted and what is forbidden. But your position has been usurped from you, for no other reason than that you have abandoned the pivot of truth, the law of Islam and God’s decree, and have disagreed about the nature of the Sunnah, despite the existence of clear proofs.

If you were true men, strong in the face of torture and suffering and prepared to endure hardship for God’s sake, then all proposed regulations would be brought to you for your approval and for you to issue; authority would lie in your hands. But you allowed the oppressors to take away your functions and permitted government, which is supposed to be regulated by the provisions of the Shari’ah, to fall into their hands, so that they administer it on the shaky basis of their own conjectures and suppositions and make arbitrariness and the satisfaction of lust their consistent practice. What enabled them to gain control of government was your fleeing in panic from being killed, your attachment to the transitory life of this world. With that mentality and the conduct it inspires, you have delivered the powerless masses into the clutches of the oppressors. While some cringe like slaves under the blows of the oppressors, and others search in misery and desperation for bread and water, the rulers are entirely absorbed in the pleasures of kingship, earning shame and disgrace for themselves with their licentiousnesss following evil counseling, and showing impudence toward God. One of their appointed spokesmen mounts the minbar in each city.

The soil of the homeland is defenseless before them, and they grab freely whatever they want of it. The people are their slaves and are powerless to defend themselves. One ruler is a dictator by nature, malevolent and rancorous; another represses his wretched subjects ruthlessly plundering by imposing on them all kinds of burdens; and still another refuses in his absolutism to recognize either God or the Day of Judgment! Is it not strange, how can one not think it strange, that society is in the clutches of a cunning oppressor whose tax collectors are oppressors and whose governors feel no compassion or mercy toward the believers under their rule?

It is God Who will judge concerning what is at dispute among us and deliver a decisive verdict concerning all that occurs among us.
O God! You know that everything we did [ that is, the struggle in Which they had recently engaged against the Umayyads] was not prompted by rivalry for political power, nor by a search for wealth and abundance; rather it was done in order to demonstrate to men the shinning principles and values of Your religion, to reform the affairs of your land, to protect and secure the indisputable rights of Your oppressed servants, and to act in accordance with the duties You have established and the norms, laws, and ordinances You have decreed.

So, O scholars of religion! You are to help us reach this goal, win back our rights from those powers who have considered it acceptable to wrong You and who have attempted to put out the light kindled by your Prophet. God the One suffices us, upon Him do we rely, to Him do we turn, in His hands lies our fate, and to Him shall we return.

When the Doyen of the Martyrs said at the beginning of this sermon:
‘O people, take heed of the counsel God gave His friends when He rebuked the rabbis,
his address was not restricted to a particular group of people, those present in the assembly, the inhabitants of a certain city, town, or country, or even all people alive in the world at the time. Rather it embraces all who hear the summons at whatever time, for it begins with the expression “O people” (ya ayyuha al-nas), which occurs in the Qur’an with the same universal meaning. When God rebukes the rabbis, the Jewish scholars, and condemns their behaviour, He is at the same time addressing His friends (awliya’) and advising them. The word awliya means here those who have set their faces toward God and hold responsible positions in society, not the Twelve Imams.

God says in the verse we are examining: “Why do their scholars and rabbis not forbid their sinful talk and consumption of what is forbidden? Truly what they have done is evil.” Thus He reproaches the rabbis and Jewish religious scholars for failing to prevent the oppressors’ sinful talk, a term that includes lying, slander, distorting the truth, and so forth, and consumption of what is forbidden. It is obvious that this reproach and upbraiding is not confined to the scholars of the Jews, nor for that matter to those of the Christians; it applies also to the religious scholars in Islamic society, or indeed, any other society.

If the religious scholars of Islamic society are silent, therefore, in the face of the policies of the oppressors, they too are reproached and condemned by God; and here there is no distinction between scholars of the past, present, and future, they are equal in this regard. The Doyen of the Martyrs (upon whom be peace) made reference to this verse of the Qur’an so that the religious scholars of Islamic society would take heed, awaken and no longer neglect their duty of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil or stay silent in the face of the oppressive and deviant ruling classes.

There are two points to which he draws attention by citing this verse. First, the religious scholars’ neglect of their duties is more harmful than the failure of others to perform their normal duties. If a bazaar merchant, for example, does something wrong, it is only he who suffers the harm that results. But if the religious scholars fail in fulfilling their duties, by keeping silent, let us say, in the face of tyranny, Islam itself suffers as a result. But if, on the contrary, they act in accordance with their duty and speak out when they should, eschewing silence, then Islam itself will benefit.

Secondly, although all things contrary to the Shari’ah must be forbidden, emphasis has been placed on sinful talk and consumption of what is forbidden, implying that these two evils are more dangerous than all others and must therefore be more diligently combatted. Sometimes the statements and propaganda put forth by oppressive regimes are more harmful to Islam and the Muslims than their actions and policy, endangering the whole repute of Islam and the Muslims. God reproaches the religious scholars, therefore, for failing to prevent the oppressors from uttering dishonest words and spreading sinful propaganda. He says in effect:
Why did they not denounce the man who falsely claimed to be God’s vicegerent on earth and the instrument of His will, who claimed to be enforcing God’s laws in the right way and to have a correct understanding and practice of Islamic justice, even though he was incapable of comprehending what justice is? Claims like these are a form of sinful talk that is extremely harmful to society. Why did the religious scholars not prevent them from being made? The tyrants who uttered this nonsense committed treason and brought evil innovations into Islam; why did the religious scholars not stand in their way and make them desist from these sins?

If someone interprets God’s ordinances in a way displeasing to Him, thus introducing an evil innovation in Islam, or executes laws that are anti Islamic, claiming to be acting in accordance with the requirements of Islamic justice, it is the duty of the religious scholars to proclaim their opposition. If they fail to do so, they will be cursed by God, as is apparent both from the verse under discussion and from this tradition:
When evil innovations appear, it is the duty of the scholar to bring forth his knowledge [ by condemning them ]; otherwise, God’s curse will be upon him.

In such cases, the expression of opposition and the expounding of God’s teachings and ordinances that stand in contradiction to innovation, oppression, and sin are also useful in themselves, for they make the masses aware of the corruption of society and the wrongdoing of the treacherous, sinful, and irreligious rulers. The people will then rise up in revolt and refuse to collaborate any longer with the tyrants or to obey corrupt and treacherous ruling powers. The expression of opposition by religious scholars is a form of “forbidding the evil” on the part of the religious leadership, which creates in its wake a wave of broad opposition and “forbidding the evil” on the part of all religiously inclined and honourable people. If the oppressive and deviant rulers do not bow to the wishes of such an oppositional movement by returning to the straight path of Islam and obedience to God’s laws, but attempt to silence it by force of arms, they will, in effect, have engaged in armed aggression against the Muslims and acquired the status of a rebellious group (fi’ah baghiyah). It will then be the duty of the Muslims to engage in an armed jihad against that ruling group in order to make the policies ruling society and the norms of government conform to the principles and ordinances of Islam.
It is true that at present you do not have the power to prevent the innovative practices of the rulers or to halt the corruption in which they are engaged. But at least do not stay silent. If they strike you on the head, cry out in protest! Do not submit to oppression; such submission is worse than oppression itself. In order to counteract their press and propaganda apparatus, we must create our own apparatus to refute whatever lies they issue and to proclaim that Islamic justice is not what they claim it is, but on the contrary, has a complete and coherent programme for ordering the affairs of the family and all Muslim society. All these matters must be made clear so that people can come to know the truth and coming generations will not take the silence of the religious readers as proof that the deeds and policies of the oppressors conform to’ the Shari’ah and that the perspicuous religion of Islam allows them to “consume what is forbidden,” or in other words, to plunder the wealth of the people.

Since the range of thought of some people is confined to the mosque we are now sitting in and is incapable of extending any further, when they hear the expression “consumption of what is forbidden,” they can only think of some corner grocer who is (God forbid) selling his customers short. They never think of the whole range of more important forms of “consuming what is forbidden,” of plunder. Huge amounts of capital are being swallowed up; our public funds are being embezzled; our oil is being plundered; and our country is being turned into a market for expensive, unnecessary goods by the representatives of foreign companies, which makes it possible for foreign capitalists and their local agents to pocket the people’s money. A number of foreign states carry off our oil after drawing it out of the ground, and the negligible sum they pay to the regime they have installed returns to their pockets by other routes. As for the small amount that goes into the treasury, God only knows what it is spent on. All of this is a form of “consumption of what is forbidden” that takes place on an enormous scale, in fact on an international scale.

It is not merely an evil, but a hideous and most dangerous evil. Examine carefully the conditions of society and the actions of the government and its component organs, and then you will understand what hideous “consumption of what is forbidden” is taking place now. If an earthquake occurs in some corner of the country, it too becomes a means for the ruling profiteers to increase their illegal income: they fill their pockets with the money that is supposed to go to the victims of the earthquake. Whenever our oppressive, anti-national rulers enter into agreements with foreign states or companies, they pocket huge amounts of our people’s money and lavish additional huge sums on their foreign masters. It is a veritable flood of forbidden consumption that sweeps past us, right before our eyes. All this misappropriation of wealth goes on and on: in our foreign trade and in the contracts made for the exploitation of our mineral wealth, the utilization of our forests and other natural resources, construction work, road building, and the purchase of arms from the imperialists, both Western and communist.

We must end all this plundering and usurpation of wealth. The people as a whole have a responsibility in this respect, but the responsibility of the religious scholars is graver and more critical. We must take the lead over other Muslims in embarking on this sacred jihad, this heavy undertaking; because of our rank and positions we must be in the forefront. If we do not have the power today to prevent these misdeeds from happening and to punish these embezzlers and traitors, these powerful thieves that rule over us, then we must work to gain that power. At the same time, to fulfill our minimum obligation, we must not fail to expound the truth and expose the thievery and mendacity of our rulers. When we come to power, we will not only put the country’s political life, economy, and administration in order, we will also whip and chastise the thieves and the liars. They set fire to the al-Masjid al-‘Aqsa. We cry out:
Leave the al-Masjid al-‘Aqsa half-burned to the ground, do not erase all traces of the crime!
But the Shah’s regime opens an account, sets up a fund, and starts collecting money from the people supposedly to rebuild the al-Masjid al Aqsa, but really to fill the pockets of our rulers while also covering up the crime committed by Israel.
These are the disasters that are afflicting the nation of Islam and that have brought us to our present state. Is it not the duty of the scholar, of Islam to speak out about all this? “Why do their rabbis not forbid their consumption of what is forbidden?” Why do our Muslim scholars not protest? Why do they say nothing about all this plundering? To return to the sermon of the Doyen of the Martyrs (upon whom be peace), he continues with a reference to the verse: “Cursed are those among the Children of Israel who have failed to believe” (5:78). This is not relevant to our present discussion. Then he says: “God reproached and blamed them [the rabbis] because they saw with their own eyes the oppressors committing vile and corrupt acts but did not stop them.” According to the Doyen of the Martyrs, their silence was due to two factors: greed and baseness. Either they were covetous persons who profited materially from the oppressors, accepting payment to keep quiet, or they were faint-hearted cowards who were afraid of them. Consult the traditions referring to enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. There the conduct of those who constantly invent excuses in order to escape from doing their duty is condemned and their silence is considered shameful.

God says: ‘Do not fear men, but fear Me’ (2:150). This verge means roughly: ‘Why do you fear men? Our friends (awliya’) have given up their lives for the sake of Islam; you should be prepared to do the same.’ “Elsewhere in the Qur’an God also says: The believing, men and women, are friends and protectors to each other; they enjoin the good and forbid the evil; … they establish the prayer, pay the zakat, and obey God and His messenger’ (9:71).

In this verse, God mentioning the duty of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil first because He knows that if this duty is correctly performed, all other duties, whether easy or difficult, will fall into place. For enjoining the good and forbidding the evil means summoning men to Islam while at the same time remedying oppression, opposing the oppressor, making just distribution of the ghana’im, and levying and spending taxes in just and due form.” If the duty of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is properly performed, all other duties will automatically fall into place. If the good is enjoined and the evil forbidden, the oppressors and their agents will be unable to usurp the people’s property and dispose of it according to their own whims; they will be unable to squander the taxes taken from the people. For he who enjoins the good and forbids the evil actively calls men to Islam by remedying injustice and opposing the oppressor.

Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil has been made a duty primarily for the sake of accomplishing these high aims. We have restricted it, how ever, to a narrow category of affairs where harm is suffered chiefly by the individual who is guilty of a sin by deed or by omission. We have the idea firmly, in our heads that the instances of evil we are called upon to combat (munkarat) are only the things we encounter or hear about in every day life. For example, if someone plays music while we are riding on the bus, or the owner of a coffee house does something wrong, or someone eats in the middle of the bazaar during Ramadhan. an, we regard all these things as instances of evil we must denounce. Meanwhile, we remain totally oblivious to far greater evils.

Those who are destroying the welfare of Islam and trampling on the rights of the weak, it is they whom we must force to desist from evil. If a collective protest were made against the oppressors who commit an improper act or crime, if several thousand telegrams were sent to them from all the Islamic countries telling them to desist, to relinquish their errors, they certainly would desist. If every time a step were taken or a speech given against the interests of Islam and the welfare of the people, those responsible were condemned throughout the country, in every single village and hamlet, they would be obliged to retreat.

Could they possibly do other wise? Never! I know them; I know what kind of people they are. They are very cowardly and would retreat very quickly. But if they see that we are more gutless than they are, they will give themselves airs and do whatever they want. When the ‘ulama’ of Qumm met and banded together on one occasion, and the provinces supported them by sending delegations and delivering speeches to show their solidarity, the regime retreated and canceled the measure we were objecting to. Afterwards they were able to cool our enthusiasm and weaken us; they divided us up and invented a separate “religious duty” for each of us. As a result of the differing opinions that appeared among us, they grew bold again, and now they do whatever they want with the Muslims and this Islamic country of ours.

The Doyen of the Martyrs (upon whom be peace) speaks of ‘summoning men to Islam while at the same time remedying oppression and opposing the oppressors”; it is for the sake of these great aims that enjoining the good and forbidding the evil has been made a duty. If some poor grocer does something wrong, he has not harmed Islam, but only himself. In performing our duty of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, we must pay closest attention to those who harm Islam and those who, under various pretexts, plunder the people’s means of livelihood.

On occasion we read in the paper, sometimes it is stated humorously, some times seriously, that many of the items collected for the victims of floods or earthquakes are picked up by our rulers for their own use. One of the ‘ulam’a’ of Malayer told me that the people had wanted to send a truckload of shrouds for the victims of some disaster, but the police refused to let them through and even tried to confiscate the lead! “Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil” is most imperative in such cases.

Now let me ask you, were the subjects mentioned by the Doyen of the Martyrs in his sermon addressed only to his companions who were gathered around him listening to his words? Does not the phrase “O people, take heed” address us too? Are we not included in “people”? Should we not profit from this address of the Doyen of the Martyrs? As I stated at the beginning of this discussion, the subjects contained in the sermon of the Doyen of the Martyrs were not intended for a single group or class. His address was more in the nature of a circular directed to all commanders, ministers, rulers, fuqaha’, in short, to the whole world, particularly those who are alive and fully conscious.

The circulars he issued belong together with the Qur’an in the sense that they demand our obedience until the Day of Resurrection. The verse referred to in the address speaks only of the Jewish scholars and rabbis, but its purport is universal. The Jewish scholars and rabbis were condemned by God because fear or covetousness made them keep silent in the face of the misdeeds of the oppressors, where as if they had spoken or cried out in protest, they could have prevented oppression from occurring. If the ‘ulama’ of Islam likewise fail to rise up against the oppressors and remain silent instead, they too will be condemned.
After addressing the people in general, the Doyen of the Martyrs then turns to a particular group, the ‘ulama’ of Islam, and tells them:

You enjoy prestige and standing in society; the nation of Islam respects and venerates you. You are held in awe and have high standing in society because you are expected to rise up against the oppressors in defence of the truth and to compel the oppressor to enforce the rights of the oppressed. Men have placed their hopes in you for the establishment of justice and the prevention of transgression by the oppressors.

Thus you have reached a certain station and rank. But you have failed to perform the duties of your station. If some harm were to befall the father of one of you, or if, God forbid, someone were to insult him, you would be greatly distressed and would cry out in protest. But now that God’s covenants are being violated before your very eyes and Islam is being dishonoured, you keep silent and are not distressed even in your hearts, for if you were distressed, you would be bound to raise your voices in protest. The blind, the dumb, and the bed-ridden are being destroyed and nobody shows any concern; no one is concerned for the wretched, barefooted people.

Do you imagine all that bombastic propaganda being broadcast on the radio is true? Go see for yourself at first hand what state our people are living in. Not even one out of every two hundred villages has a clinic. No one is concerned about the poor and the hungry, and they do not allow the measures Islam has devised for the sake of the poor to be implemented. Islam has solved the problem of poverty and inscribed it at the very top of its programme: “Sadaqat is for the poor.” Islam is aware that first, the conditions of the poor must be remedied, the conditions of the deprived must be remedied. But they do not allow the plans of Islam to be implemented.

Our wretched people subsist in conditions of poverty and hunger, while the taxes that the ruling class extorts from them are squandered. They buy Phantom jets so that pilots from Israel and its agents can come and train in them in our country. So extensive is the influence of Israel in our country, Israel, which is in a state of war with the Muslims, so that those who support it are likewise in a state of war with the Muslims, and so great is the support the regime gives it, that Israeli soldiers come to our country for training! Our country has become a base for them! The markets of our country are also in their hands. If matters go on this way, and the Muslims continue to be apathetic, the Muslims will lose all say in the commercial life of the country.
To return to the address of the Doyen of the Martyrs (upon whom be peace):

You have not made proper use of your station. Not only do you do nothing yourselves; you fail to support the person who does want to do his duty. The only source of concern and satisfaction for you is that you have the support and respect of the oppressor, that he addresses you as ‘Noble Shaikh’! What the nation suffers at the hands of the government is of no concern to you. The disaster that has befallen you is greater than what has befallen others for the true rank and degree of ‘ulama’ have been taken away from you. The administration of affairs and the implementation of law ought to be undertaken by those who are knowledgeable concerning God and are trustees of God’s ordinances concerning what is permitted and what is forbidden. But that rank has been taken away from you.

The Imam (upon whom be peace) could have said at this point: “What is my right has been taken away from me, but you do not come to my aid,” or, “The rights of the Imams have been taken away, but you have kept silent.” Instead, he spoke of those “knowledgeable con-cerning God” (al-ulama bi Allah’), meaning the religious scholars, (rabbaniyyun) or leaders. Here he is not referring to the philosophers or mystics, for the person knowledgeable concerning God is the one who is learned in God’s ordinances. It is such a person who is designated a religious scholar (ruhani or rabbani), naturally on condition that spirituality (ruhuniyyat) and orientation to God Almighty be fully apparent in the Imam went on:
But your position has been usurped from you for no other reason but that you have abandoned the pivot of truth and have disagreed about the nature of the Sunnah, despite the existence of clear proofs, But if you were to show strength in the face of hardship and suffering for God’s sake, then the conduct of affairs, as willed by God Would be restored to you; command and authority would be yours.

If you were to act correctly and perform your duty, you would see that the conduct of affairs would be bound over to you. If the form of government willed by Islam were to come into being, none of the governments now existing in the world would be able to resist it; they would all capitulate. But unfortunately, we have failed to establish such a government Even in the earliest age of Islam, its opponents hindered its establishment and prevented government from being entrusted to the person chosen by God and His Messenger precisely in order to prevent what has happened. “You allowed the oppressors to take away your functions.” When you failed to perform your duties and abandoned the task of government, it became possible for the oppressors to take over the position that was legitimately yours.

“You allowed the affairs of God to fall into, their hands so they came to conduct them on the basis of their suppositions and arbitrary desires. What enabled them to win this control was your panic stricken flight from being killed, and your attachment to the life of this world. You have delivered the powerless into their clutches, so that Some of the people are now subjugated like slaves and others are deprived of even their livelihood.” All of this applies to the age we live in; in fact, it applies more fully to the present than to the time of the Imam (upon whom be peace). “The rulers are entirely absorbed in the pleasures of kingship, earning shame and disgrace for themselves with their licentiousness, following evil counselors, and showing impudence toward God One of their appointed spokesmen mounts the minbar in each city to tell lies.” In those days, preachers would praise the oppressors it from the minbar. Today, radio stations fill the air with propaganda on their behalf and maliciously misrepresent the ordinances of Islam.

“The earth is defenseless against them.” Now, too, the oppressors can freely exploit the earth, without any obstruction; there is no one to stand in their way, “They grab freely whatever they want [of the earth”. The people are their slaves and are powerless to defend themselves. One ruler is an obstinate tyrant, while another represses his wretched subjects ruthlessly, and still another refuses in his absolutism to recognize God as the beginning and end of all things. Is it not strange how could one not think it strange, that the world is in the clutches of cunning tyrants, oppressive tax collectors, and governors who have no compassion for the believers under their rule?

It is God Who will judge concerning what is at dispute among us, and deliver a decisive verdict concerning all that occurs among us. O God! You know that everything we did was not prompted by rivalry for political power, nor by desire for the chattels of this world. Rather it was done in order to demonstrate the signs of Your religion, to reform the affairs of Your land, to protect the oppressed among Your servants, and to act in accordance with the duties, norms, and ordinances You have established. So, O scholars of religion! Help us reach our goal and obtain our rights. The oppressors will wax strong in their efforts against you and will attempt to put out the light kindled by your Beloved [the Prophet] . But God suffices us; upon Him do we rely, to Him do we turn, and to Him is our journeying.

As we said, the entire address from beginning to end is addressed to the ‘ulama’. There is no indication that the persons intended by the expression “those knowledgeable about God” are the Imams (upon whom be peace). They are the scholars of Islam, the rabbaniyyun. The designation rabbani refers to one who believes in God, fulfills God’s ordinances, and is knowledgeable concerning those ordinances, as a trustee of God’s decrees concerning what is permitted and what is forbidden.
When the Imam (upon whom be peace) said that the conduct of affairs belongs to the ‘ulama’, he did not mean to restrict this function to a period of ten or twenty years, or simply to the city and people of Medina. It is apparent from the whole speech that his meaning was more universal, that he had in mind a vast community that would undertake the establishment of justice.
If the ‘ulama’, who are the trustees of God’s decrees concerning what is permitted and what is forbidden and who possess the two characteristics of knowledge and justice as set forth above, if they were to implement God’s ordinances, to execute the penal provisions of the law, and generally to conduct and administer the affairs of the Muslims, the people would no longer be hungry and wretched and the laws of Islam would no longer be in abeyance.

The tradition containing this noble speech, then, is part of the evidence supporting our thesis, the governance of the faqih. Were its chain of transmission not weak, we could cite it as a direct proof. Even as it stands, we might say that the content of the tradition, being veracious, bears witness that it was uttered by one of the Masumeen.
History of the Holy Shrine of Imam Husayn(A.S.)

Unlike any other city, Karbala has its named engraved in the memory of generations, and in the expanse of the Muslim world…
Believers remember that name with sorrow and distress, for they remember the history of the master of all martyrs, Imam Husayn, peace be upon him, and his sacrifice for Islam.

The wave of visitors never stopped coming to Karbala, from the time the Umayyad and Abbaside caliphs prevented the construction of the shrines to the time the believers were able to build the precinct, despite the hardships and difficulties imposed on them.

And today, since Karbala is witnessing new calamities, and the mausoleums of Imam Husayn [a] and his companions are subjected to destruction and neglect, and visitors are prevented from reaching that place, it is suitable to familiarise ourselves with Karbala…
Two main roads lead the visitor to Karbala. One is from the Iraqi capital Baghdad, through Al-Musails, and the other is from the holy city of Najaf. However, either one excites the visitor with its greenish scenery along the sides.
Upon reaching Karbala, the holy place would draw the visitor’s attention to its glorious minarets and domes shining due to the light of its lord.
At the city’s entrance, the visitor finds a row of houses decorated with wooden columns, and while proceeding further towards the holy mausoleum, he sees architechture similar, to some extent, to modern ones.
Upon reaching the holy shrine, one finds himself in front of a boundary wall that surrounds wooden gates covered with glass decorations, and when one enters one of those gates, he enters a precinct surrounded by small rooms called “I wans”.
The holy grave is located in the middle of the precinct, surrounded by square shaped structures called “Rawaq”.
The grave itself is located in the middle of the grave site with golden windows around it, with beautiful illumination. It really is something great to see.

“Karbala” Origin & Meaning

There are many opinions among different investigators, as to the origin of the word “Karbala”.
Some have pointed out that “Karbala” has a connection to the “Karbalato” language, while others attempt to derive the meaning of word “Karbala” by analysing its spelling and language. They conclude that it originates from the Arabic word “Kar Babel” which was a group of ancient Babylonian villages that included Nainawa, Al-Ghadiriyya, Karbella, Al-Nawaweess, and Al-Heer. This last name is today known as Al-Hair and is where Imam Husayn’s (A.S.) grave is located.
The investigator Yaqut al-Hamawy had pointed out that the meaning of “Karbala” could have several explanations, one of which is that the place where Imam Husayn (A.S.) was killed is made of soft earth – “Al-Karbalat”.
Other writers made the connection between the name and the disastrous event which painted the desert with blood, and so the word “Karbala” was said to compose of two Arabic words: “Karb” meaning grief and sorrow, and “Balaa” meaning affliction. Such a connection, in fact, has no scientific evidence, since Karbala was known as such even before the arrival of Imam Husayn, peace be upon him.

Martyrdom and Popularity

Karbala was at first an uninhabited place and did not witness any construction activity, although it was rich in water and its soil fertile.
Following the tenth of Muharram 61 AH (680 AD), after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn [a], people from far as well as tribes living nearby started visiting the holy grave.
A lot of those who came, stayed behind and/or asked their relatives to bury them there after their demise.
Despite many attempts by successive rulers, such as Al-Rashid and Al-Mutawakkil, to put a restriction on the development of this area, it has nonetheless spread with time to become a city.

Bounty of visiting Imam Husayn (A.S.)

There is a lot of benefit and great spiritual reward in visiting the grave of Imam Husayn [a]. The Prophet [s] has said of his grandson Imam Husayn [a]: “Husayn is of me and I am of him”. Several narrations mention that visiting the grave of Imam Husayn [a] relieves one of worldly afflictions as well as those after death.
Believers, therefore, come from all parts of the world all year round to receive the honour of visiting Imam Husayn [a], particularly during the first ten days of Muharram (Ashura) and the twentieth of Safar (the fourtieth).
One common Iraqi custom during that season is to go walking from Najaf to Karbala, reflecting their strong adhesion to and adoption of the morals and principles for which Imam Husayn [a] struggled and attained martyrdom.

Mausoleum of Imam Husayn(A.S.)

The historian Ibn Kuluwayh mentioned that those who buried Imam Husayn (A.S.), made a special and rigid construction with signs above the grave.
Higher and bigger constructions above the grave started during the ruling of Al-Saffah, but Harun al-Rashid later on, put heavy restrictions to prevent people from visiting the grave.
At the time of Al-Mamun, construction around the grave resumed until the year 236 AH when Al-Mutawakkil ordered the destruction and digging of the grave, and then filling the pit with water. His son, who succeeded him, allowed people to visit the grave site, and since then building the precinct to the grave increased and developed step by step.
On the other hand, the historian Ibn Al-Athir, stated that in the year 371 AH, Aadod Al-Dawla Al-Boowayhi became the first to largely lay the foundations for large scale construction, and generously decorated the place. He also built houses and markets around the precinct, and surrounded Karbala with a high boundary wall turning it into a strong castle.
In the year 407 AH, the precinct caught fire due to the dropping of two large candles on the wooden decorations, but Hasan ibn Fadl (the state minister) rebuilt the damaged sections.
History has recorded the names of several rulers who shared the honour of widening, decorating or keeping the precinct in good condition. Amongst them is Fateh Ali al-Qajari, who in 1250 AH ordered the construction of two domes. One over Imam Husayn’s [a] grave and the other over his brother Abu al-Fadl Abbas (A.S.).
The first dome is 27 meters high and completely covered with gold. At the bottom, it is surrounded with 12 windows, each of which is about 1.25 m away from the other, from the inside, and 1.30 m from the outside.
The mausoleum has an area of 59 m / 75 m with ten gates, and about 65 rooms (I wans), well decorated from the inside and outside, used as classrooms for studying.
As for the grave itself, in the middle of the precinct, it is called the “Rawda” or garden and it has several doors. The most famous one is called “Al-Qibla” or “Bab al-Dhahab”. When it is entered, one can see the tomb of Habib ibn Madhahir al-Asadi, to the right hand side. Habib was a friend and companion of Imam Husayn (A.S.) since their childhood. He was one of those who was honoured with martrdom at the Battle of Karbala.

The resting place of Abbas b. Ali(A.S.)

Abu al-Fadl Abbas(A.S.), was the brother of Imam Hasan (A.S.) and Imam Husayn (A.S.) and the standard-bearer of Imam Husayn (A.S.) in the Battle of Karbala. He is well known in history for his valour, loyalty and similarity to his father, the Lion of God, Ali b. Abi Talib(A.S.).
The grave of Abbas (A.S.) received similar attention as that of Imam Husayn (A.S.). In the year 1032 AH, the King Tahmaseb ordered the decoration of the grave’s dome. He built a window on the ‘darih’ around the grave and organized the precinct. Other similar activities were done by other rulers.
As a matter of fact, Karbala contains, besides the grave of Imam Husayn (A.S.) and his brother, the grave of all the 72 martyrs of Karbala. They were buried in a mass grave which was then covered with soil to the ground level. This mass grave is at the foot of Imam Husayn’s (A.S.) grave. In particular, besides Imam Husayn’s grave are the graves of his two sons Ali Akbar and 6-month old Ali Asgher.

Short Maxims of Imam Husayn(A.S.)

1- On his way to Karbala, Imam Hussein(A.S.) said:
This world has changed, snubbed, and its good has turned tail. Nothing has remained from it except a thing that is as scanty as the leftover of a cup and a mean life that is like a noxious grazing. Have you not noticed that the right is ignored and the evil is not forbidden? This is sufficient for making the believers desire for meeting Allah rightfully. I consider death as happiness and life with the wrongdoers as boredom. People are certainly the slaves of this world. The religion is only a slaver on their tongues. They turn it wherever their livelihood demands. If they are examined by misfortunes, the religious will be very little.

2- Imam Hussein(A.S.) said to a man who backbit another before him. O you, stop backbiting, for it is the daily meal of the dogs of Hell.

3- Before Imam Hussein(A.S.), a man said that favors are worthless if they are done to other than its people. The Imam commented: No, this is in accurate. Favors should be like the havy rain that covers the pious and the sinful.

4- Whenever Allah seizes the power of somebody, He will surely free him from acts of obedience to Him, and whenever He seizes the ability of somebody, He will surely save his from the burdens.

5- Some people worshipped Allah for the purpose of gaining His gifts. This is the worship of the merchants. Some worshipped Him for the purpose of avoiding His punishment. This is the worship of the slaves. Some worshipped Him as showing gratitude to Him. This is the worship of the genuine ones. It is the best worship.

6- A man received Imam Hussein(A.S.) saying, “How are you? Allah may grant you good health.” The Imam instructed him: Salaam-greeting-should precede wording. Allah may grant you good health. Do not permit anybody before he says salaam.

7- When Allah wills to lead a servant to destruction gradually, He bestows upon him with graces and does not favor him with showing gratitude for these graces.

8- Imam Hussein(A.S.) wrote the following missive to Abdullah-bin-Al-Abbas when Abdullah-bin-az-Zubair banished him to Yemen:
So then, I have been informed that Abdullah-ibn-Zubayr banished you to Ta’if Allah has so therefore raised your reputation and pardoned a sin for so. It is only the virtuous ones who suffer afflictions. If you are rewarded only for what you like, the reward then will be little. Allah may grant you and us steadfastness against afflictions and gratitude in graces. Allah may save you and us from the schadenfreude of any envious enemy. Peace be upon you.

9- Imam Hussein(A.S.) said to a man who begged him: Asking for financial- help is acceptable only in big loss, extreme poverty, or horrible guarantee. The man said: Because of one of these I came. Hence, the Imam (A.S.) ordered to be given one hundred dinars.

10 – Imam Hussein(A.S.) said to his son Ali(A.S.): O son, beware of wronging him who does not have a supporter except Allah the Majestic.

11- As a man asked for the exegesis of Allah’s saying, “Proclaim the bounties of your Lord, “Holy Qur’an 93:11 Allah orders him to proclaim the religious graces.

12- A man from Ansar wanted to ask Imam Hussein(A.S.) for – financial – help, but the Imam said: O brother of Ansar, protect your face from the humility of seeking others’ help. You may write your need in a paper and I will respond to it pleasantly, God willing.” The man wrote to the Imam (A.S.) that he owed a certain individual five hundred dinars and that man insisted on receiving his money soon. He also asked the Imam to speak to persuade that man to grant him a respite until he becomes able to defray the sum. As Imam Hussein(A.S.) read the paper, he entered his house to take out a bale containing one thousand dinars. He handed them to the man and said: You may defray the debt and use the other five hundred dinars for settling your financial problems. Do not say your need to anybody except three-a religious, a chivalrous, or a highborn individual. The religious will try to keep his religion pure, the chivalrous will be embarrassed by his chivalry, and the highborn will feel that you have not kept your face from asking for your need; therefore, he will protect your face against disappointing you.”

13- There are four kinds of friends: there is the friend who is for you and for himself, the friend who is for you, the friend who is against you, and the friend who is neither for you nor for himself.
As he was asked an explanation, Imam Hussein(A.S.) said: The friend who is for you and for himself is that who seeks the continuiy of your friendship through fraternity and does not seek the interruption of your friendship through fraternity. This friend is for you and for himself. This is because the life of both of you will be pleasant as long as your fraternity is achieved, but when fraternity encounters contradiction, everything will be valuelss.
The friend who is for you is that who moves from the state of greed to the state of desire. He does not feel greedy to the worldly affairs as long as he desire for fraternity. Such a friend will completely save you from any defect.
The friend who is against you is that who waylays you, conceals his reality, forges lies against you among the clans, and looks at you enviously. The One (Allah) curses such a friend.
The friend who is neither for you nor for himself is that whom Allah has filled with idiocy and thrown away. Thus, you see him prefer himself to you and his eye is focused on your wealth.

14- Sitting with the intelligent is a sing of successfulness. Disputation with other than the disbelievers is a sign of ignorance. A sign of a scholar is his self-criticism of his sayings and his acquaintance with the various hypotheses.

15- Beware of things for which you apologize. The true believer should not make mistakes and should not apologize. The hypocrite makes mistakes and apologizes everyday.

16- There are seventy advantages for the greeting. Sixty-nine are given to the one who greets first and one is given to the one who responds to the greeting.

17- The true stingy is that who refrains from greeting.

18- He who tries to achieve something through acting disobediently to Allah will miss what he expects and fall in what he fears.

Source: almujtaba.com

 


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