Imam Hussein and Ashura
Why the Shiites shed mournful tears at the beginning of every new Islamic year especially in Ashura which means the tenth day of (Moharam) the first month in the year?
Imam Hussein for whom is these tears shed refused to bow to the tyrant of his time (Yazid the son of Maawiyah). He stood and fought to become a martyr for his mission.
Imam Hussein's mission was and will stay as a symbol for the freedom, dignity, and rejection of humiliation by all the dictator tyrants. This is why Imam Hussein remained the symbol for freedom, dignity and values for all the liberals irrespective of their religions.
Yazid was tyrant, and dictator who oppressed the people and forced them to bow to his will.
Before his death Maawiya his father forced the people to pay allegiance to Yazid his eldest son. Maawiya was hypocritical and in addition to his tyranny he was racist towards the Arabs against the others. This is against the principles of Islam which considers the people equal irrespective of their colour, race or tribe. Maawiya was the governor of Damascus at the time of Abo-Baker who was appointed after the death of Prophet Mohammad after a struggle for power in the place of (Sakefat Bani Saaiyda) in Madina. The Shiite believes that Ali who was the vice person for Mohammad was expelled from the whole process deliberately. Maawiya set the way for himself to be semi independent from the central government in Madina. He created a powerful army and shown that he can threaten the power in Madina. Omar the second Khalefa allowed him even more power. The third Khalefa Othman was the cousin of Maawiya. They enjoyed a mutual support and benefits. Othman appointed his relatives as governors for many regions in Cairo, Basrah, Kufa, and others irrespective of their attitude and skills. Some of them were tyrant and oppressed the people. The people in many regions requested to change them but none happened. They then revolted against Othman and influx of revolutionaries from Egypt and other parts came toward Madina. Ali and his sons tried to mediate to avoid blood shed but the people ultimately killed Othman.
The people then elected Ali to lead them but he refused. They insisted that he is the one who will bring justice and equality. After Ali received power he changed the governors to appoint more experienced and wise leaders and he asked Maawiyah to step down. Maawiyah refused and entered in many wars with Ali. After Ali was killed while he was praying in the mosque Maawiyah controlled power from Hassan the son of Ali who was elected by the people. Hassan choice peace in one condition which is that Maawiyah will not appoint his son after him. After a while Maawiyah killed Hassan by a poison in the honey.
After the death of Maawiyah his son Yazid send a special convoy to Madina to ask Imam Hussein to give allegiance to Yazid and bow to his will or he will be killed. Hussein refused and took his family and children towards Iraq where the people there accepted to give him sanctuary from Yazid. However Yazid sacked the governor of Kufa and appointed a tyrant oppressor man before the arrival of Hussein. Oubied Alah Bin Ziyad used iron fist and threatened the people by the army which is in its way from Damascus. Other people he bought them by money.
On arrival to Kerbala Hussein surrounded by Bin Ziyad army which was around 4000 men and armoured fighter while there were only 72 with Hussein among his family and few companions. Bin Ziyad army prevented Hussein and his family from water. His 6 months old baby become dry and wants some water. Hussein brought him to get water; instead they strike him with an arrow in his neck. Hussein received the blood of his baby and prayed for God.
He fought them and killed on the day of the 10th Moharam. Yazid army then burnt the tents of his family and took them as POWs towards Yazid. They are the women and children of the family of Prophet Mohammad.
Zainab the sister of Imam Hussein led the revolt against the tyrant. She was the voice of the truth and dignity.
Zainab was the Hero of kerbala.
Zainab is the daughter of Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib. Her mother is Fatima the daughter of Prophet Mohammad. She born 5 years after her grand father and family migrated to Medina (627 BC). Her grand father called her Zainab which is a desert tree that give very nice fragrant.
When her father, Imam Ali, saw his daughter for the first time Imam Hussein, who was then almost three years old, was with him. The boy exclaimed in delight, "O father, Allah has given me a sister." At those words Imam Ali began to weep, and when Imam Hussein asked why he was crying so, his father answered that he would soon come to know.
Fatima and Ali did not name their child until a few days after her birth, for they awaited the Prophet's return from a journey so that he could propose the name. When finally the baby girl was brought before the Prophet, he held her in his lap and kissed her. The Angel Jibra'il came to him and conveyed the name that was to be hers, and then he began to weep. The Prophet asked why Jibra'il wept and he answered,
"O Prophet of Allah. From early on in life this girl will remain entangled in tribulations and trials in this world. First she will weep over your separation (from this world); thereafter she will bemoan the loss of her mother, then her father, and then her brother Hassan. After all this she will be confronted with the trials of the land of Kerbala and the tribulations of that lonely desert, as a result of which her hair will turn grey and her back will be bent. When the members of the family of Prophet heard this prophecy they all broke down in tears.
One day, when Zainab was about five years old, she had a strange and terrible dream. A violent wind arose in the city and darkened the earth and the sky. The little girl was tossed hither and thither, and suddenly she found herself stuck in the branches of a huge tree. But the wind was so strong that it uprooted the tree. Zainab caught hold of a branch but that broke. In a panic she grabbed two twigs but these too gave way and she was left falling with no support. Then she woke up. When she told her grand father, the Prophet, about this dream he wept bitterly and said, "O my daughter. That tree is me who is shortly going to leave this world. The branches are your father Ali and your mother Fatima Zahra, and the twigs are your brothers Hassan and Hussein. They will all depart this world before you do, and you will suffer their separation and loss."
Zainab was grown and developed in the house of the pure teaching of Islam, the real Islam of peace and tranquility.
Her mother passed when she was 7 years old only 6 months after cherished the death of her grand father. She beard responsibility of her two brothers and was like the mother for them after the death of Fatima.
Zainab was frugal and unstintingly generous to the poor, the homeless and the parentless. She was the princess of Bano Hashem that is why they called her Al Aakelah or the Princess. After her marriage her husband described her saying (Zainab is the best housewife).
From very early on she developed an unbreakable bond of attachment to her brother Hussein. At times when as a baby in her mother's arms she could not be pacified and made to stop crying, she would quieted down upon being held by her brother, and there she would sit quietly gazing at his face. Before she would pray she used to first cast a glance at the face of her beloved brother. One day Fatima mentioned the intensity of her daughter's love for Hussein to the Prophet. He breathed a deep sigh and said with moistened eyes,
"My dear child. This child of mine Zainab would be confronted with a thousand and one calamities and face serious hardships in Kerbala."
Zainab was humble with high moral and she was teaching the women in Medina and Kuffa when she was with her father there. Zainab had 5 children. Four of them were males who were killed with Imam Hussein. Zainab was very strong woman. She was the hero who carried out the revolution of Imam Hussein after his death. She bears the responsibility of the children, the women and the rest of the family after all of their men killed by Yazid’s army. Zainab delivered many speeches when they took them as captives from Kerbala to Kuffa then to Damascus the stronghold of Umayyid power.
In Damascus, the captives among Prophet’s family were presented into the court of Yazid. He had assembled all the dignitaries and officers of his capital for that occasion. Yazid put Imam Hussein's head in front of him at his feet and was joyfully reciting some poems.
Under such emotional circumstances Zainab stood and gave a very important and long speech, part of which she said:
In the name of Allah the, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Universe, Allah's blessings be on His Messenger's Family altogether. Allah says: "Then the end of those who do evil deeds is that they reject the verses of Allah and ridicule them". (Qura'n 30:10) Oh Yazid! Do you think that by making us prisoners in such a way that we are being taken from one place to another in humiliation - do you think that by this you have humiliated us in the sight of Allah and have earned respect for yourself? This apparent success of yours is the result of grandeur of your might and lofty status for which you are proud. You feel that you have conquered the whole world and your affairs are organized and that our domain is now under you control… And are you forgetting that Allah has said: "Surely those who have bought unbelief at the price of faith shall do no harm at all to Allah, and they shall have a painful chastisement". (Qura'n 3:177)
Zainab, had a big courage with out hesitation to stand as a prisoner in the court of Yazid, to remind him of his reality as a big devilish tyrant of his time. She went on to say:
(Is it justice, O son of the freed slaves! that you provide your ladies and slave-girls with well fare and dignity, whereas the daughters of the Messenger of God are held prisoners? You have insulted them ……by exposing them from one city to another. Everyone irrespective of his high or low status stares at them. These ladies do not have their men or protectors with them)
Zainab then reminds the audience of the origins of Yazid: his grandmother, Hind (the wife of Abu Sufyan), had ordered her slave after the battle of Uhud to cut open the chest of Hamzah, the Prophet's uncle, and chewed upon his liver.
Zainab was the hero of Kerbala and the following poem put it thus:
Now Zainab moved the curtain of the tent
And came with pale face and anguished chest.
Her limbs were trembling and her back was bent.
She cried: 'Ah Kerbala, where is thy guest?
From- thirst I suffer; guide me with thine eyes,
And bring me to his corpse, to where it lies.
The whole world is in darkness at my feet.
For Allah's sake, stay with me at my side.
Where lies our Sayyid writhing in the heat?
Ah mother, lead me to the place he died!'
Her sighs consumed her blazing heart with flame.
A voice was heard: 'Who moans and calls my name?'
Who called: 'Oh sister! Do not come this way!
The time for thy departure is at hand.
For Allah's sake, go home! Lost is our day.
May Ali save the ship of this poor band.
Let not Hussein be left in this cruel waste.
To drape his corpse let Fatima make haste.'
Her head uncovered, Ali's daughter walked
To the place where Ali's darling son was slain.
She ran, though by the evil enemy balked,
And reached the spot, clutching her breast in pain.
Ignoring every danger, she drew near,
And saw her brother's head stuck on a spear.
Then Zainab, overcome with sorrow, cried: 'Ah Sayyid!
Let me bless thy blood-soaked face.
My brother's throat was slit. See how he died!
Dids't thou forget thy sister's healing grace?
Our house is robbed; the promise was not kept.'
His moving lips took God's name as she wept.
'Thy sister greets thee, brother. Answer me!
Hear the cry of Haidar's daughter's strife.
With thy dry tongue give answer! Hear my plea!
Should Zainab cling to this accursed life?
For Death alone can end this separation.
No one is left to give me consolation.
My brother, can I bring thee back once more?
What can I do? Where can I tell my woes?
To whom can I recount the pain I bore?
Our city is now ruled by evil foes.
The world has been destroyed beyond belief.
How can I live within this house of grief?
Why did this wretched waif not die before?
Come tell me how the dagger ripped thy breast?'
A voice cried: 'Do not ask the pains I bore!
For all that came to pass was for the best.
Now from all tribulations I am free,
But ah! the wound to be apart from thee!
For even now the foe is bent on plunder.
Give nought but thanks to God for thy dear life.
When tyrants come to set our home asunder,
Take care of poor Sakina in her strife.
Protect my daughter in thy warm embrace;
Let no one look in anger on her face
Read more about the story of Imam Hussein the Imam of freedom, dignity and values.