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Imam Husain's Revolution: Analytical Review

Part 1



This survey of the unique revolution of Imam Hussain (p.b.u.h.) is analytical in essence. The purpose of this essay is to give a qualitative rather than quantitative account. It has dealt with the causes, policy and results of this eternal revolution. This is done in the hope of unveiling the startling aspects of the revolution's message, which is often neglected in its traditional commemoration.

In being confronted with this event, many questions need to be answered. First, why did this revolution take place? What were its implications and procedures? And what were its conclusive results? The answers may provide a guiding light on which people would formulate their judgments. Although the following account is only a person's viewpoint which is not necessarily the complete answer. Nevertheless, it is based on the most popular and trustworthy authorities on the subject.

The answers of the above questions are by no means easy, because they involve analysis of the prevailing conditions before and after the revolution. Indeed comprehensive answers would require volumes in order that one may be satisfied. Not to mention the stormy and turbulent events of the time, which add substantial difficulties in the way of objective research work.

To understand Imam Hussain's personality and the collective culture of the society, a summary of Islam's view of life is necessary.



Islam is a philosophy of life. It gives reasons and a set purpose for living. Furthermore, it defines the best ways to secure progress and happiness. This is done by elevating the spiritual side and satisfying the material needs of people.

Islam considers man as a viceroy of God on earth. This status is a fine one, but it is also critical for the requirements must be satisfied. Thus, he is in an envied position, and consequently his acts and behavior are expected to conform with the high level he is occupying. The Islamic concepts and laws are inseparable parts of the Islamic ideology. They are the practical expression of Islam in society and life in general. These concepts and laws are essentially concerned with harmonizing people's relationships among themselves, with other beings, and above all with the Creator.

The basic Islamic outlook to this life is that of an introductory course. This worldly life is viewed as a prelude to another eternal life.

Therefore, this world is a preparatory stage for people in order to attain the spiritual level, which permits them to enter Paradise. The other side of the picture is the horror of Hell for people who misuse the powers at their disposal. Hence, success and failure are not measured with this worldly or materialistic supremacy. The Islamic measure differs from materialistic standard by accounting for the life hereafter. The satisfaction of God is the sublime aim, which surpasses all other inclinations and wishes. This is by no account neglecting materialistic supremacy, but putting it in its rightful place. It is with the satisfaction of God that Muslims seek materialistic supremacy.



Imam Hussain's life and status in the Islamic history are formidable. Indeed, it is not of obscurity but because of the vitality and the significance of his contributions. The following account is only a very brief record of his qualities.

He was one of two sons of Imam Ali and Fatimah, the daughter of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.t.). His father, Imam Ali, needs no introduction. The least known of him as to be acknowledged by the far and near and by his foes and admirers. He was openly declared by the Prophet as the Commander of the faithful's. Needless to mention his knowledge, bravery, steadfastness, brotherhood to the Prophet, justice and piety.

Fatimah was the dearest daughter to her father (p.b.u.t.). Al-Turmudhi narrated through Usamah ibn Zaid that the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said, "The dearest member of my family to me is Fatimah". She was declared by the Prophet as the master of all women in the whole world. She and her husband were members of the family who were signified for their qualities and roles. They are examples of interest to Muslims, men and women. Their role was an extension of the Prophet's role in the sense of leading the great cultural transformation from the darkness of an infidel's culture to the brightness of heavenly light.

Historians recorded the birth of Imam Hussain as an exciting event for the Muslims at Madina and especially to the Prophet of God. He was even concerned with the name given to his grandson, 'Hussain'. And the news flared up in the sky, the Muslims congratulated each other for the new child whom the Prophet considered as his own son. Thus the Prophet once declared, "Hussain is of myself and I am of Hussain. O, God be pleased with those who please Hussain". This statement was not accidental or the result of emotional strains as it is wrongly claimed sometimes.

This declaration came from a responsible wise leader, the Prophet of God who would never commit a mistake during the performance of his Prophetic task. He was delivering the Islamic Message and informing people of those who will act as springs and guardians for this Message in the future. Emotions and sentiments are not loose in a Muslim's life, but are controlled by Islamic concepts and ideals. There is always a criterion for like and dislike which evolves from the deeply rooted Islamic concepts.

Although Abu Lahab was the Uncle of the Prophet, his infidelity made him cursed till the Day of Judgment. The Prophet of God made another statement, which leaves no doubt of Imam Hasan's and Imam Hussain's role. He (p.b.u.h.) said, "Hasan and Hussain are the masters of youth in Paradise". This was presented as a credential to the Muslim nation in order to hold firm to their leaders.

At a certain time the Muslims at Madina felt the Islamic Message's glory and good results. So that they intended to reward the Prophet for his effort in guiding them.

 The gift they presented to the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) was some gold, which they had collected. The Prophets answer came in the following verses, which were revealed during this incident. "Say: 'No reward do I ask of you for this except being kind to those of kin" (23/42).

AI-Kashaaf narrated that when this verse was revealed, people asked the Prophet "O Prophet of God, who are these of kin which this verse makes their respect obligatory upon us?" The Prophet answered, "They are Ali, Fatimah, and their two sons". However, this did not imply disrespect for other Muslims, companions or the rest of kin to him.

Looking objectively at the message of the verse it will indicate first of all reluctance to accept material reward. If a reward was not suitable then it cannot be restricted to material only. Hence, the verse was indicating respect to some specific people, not because they are his relatives as such. But the real reason behind this respect was to safeguard the Islamic Message. The role they assumed to play in the Islamic history required such respect in order to enable them to perform their task.

Al-Hakim narrated through Abu Saaid Al-Khidri that the Prophet said, "He who dislikes us, we the family, God will place him in Hell". This implies those who dislike Islamic conduct and life.

Jabir narrated that the Prophet in his speech after performing the last pilgrimage, said, "O people I am leaving the book of God and my family (Itrah) for guidance. If you hold fast to them, surely you will never go astray". This Hadith was narrated through some twenty different sources of trusted chains of narrators. Muslim in his Sahih quoted some of them.

Another striking Hadith obtained through Abu Dhar where he quoted the Prophet saying, "O people, let my family act as a head of a body of you, and as eyes of a head among you".

The last few Hadiths are impressive in many respects. First they were narrated by different sources of different inclinations which add to them extra weight. Secondly the same content of all indicates the consistency of the event.

Imam Hussain as already stated, was one member of the family of the Prophet. He was brought up in the Prophetic guidance where he received the direct concern of the Prophet. The ideal atmosphere where he had grown up with his grandfather, father, mother and elder brother was the highest level ever attained.

Thus he acquired wisdom, generosity, bravery, and piety. He occupied outstanding posts during his father's reign in the Islamic State. During the terror and corruption which swept the Muslim World at the hands of the Umayads, he was the sole hope of the Muslims to restore the establishment of the Islamic laws which would bring them prosperity, peace and happiness of the two worlds. He never failed the Muslims, but acted as expected of a great ideological leader and discharged his duty to the best.

To be continued ...

Source: alhassanain.com

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