"And whoever disputes with you concerning him (Jesus) that has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and ourselves and yourselves, then let us pray for the curse of Allah on the liars" Al-Quran 3:61.
The above verse refers to 5 personalties, which were regarded by the Almighty, who were trusted by His lordship as his representatives, unanimously agreed by all sects of Muslims, capable of cursing the liers. History tells the fact that no other individual or group has ever been so explicitly mentioned in the Holy Quran. Who were the sons mentioned above, Al Hasan (A.S.), Al-Hussain (A.S.), referred above as our sons, S/O Ali B.Abi Talib (A.S.), Fatima, peace be upon her, referred as our women, Ali b.Abi Talib (A.S.), referred above as ourselves, and the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) himself.
Who was actually Hussaein? It is the Quran which speaks about him. What was the background of this exceptionally unique and great personality. This prominent man of history, the legend of epics, the word of pride and honor was not less the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.), the son of daughter Fatima al-Zehra and her cousin husband the Commander of the Faithful, Ali bin Abi Talib (A.S.) bin Abdul-Muttalib bin Hashim.
The Martyr Hussain (A.S.) was born in al-Medinah al-Munnawarah on the fifth of Shaban according to some sources and 3rd Shaban according to other sources, 4 A.H. (626 A.D). His birth was applauded by the prophetic family. The Prophet (S.A.W.) himself named him Hussain. He sacrificed a ram on his behalf in the rite of “aquiqa”. On the testament of the Apostle of God, he and his brother are the two lords of youth of Heaven and by unanimous agreement, they were the grandsons of the Prophet of Mercy.
Al-Hasan b. Ali (A.S), peace be upon him, was like the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, from his head to his chest, while al-Hussain was like him from his chest to his feet. They were the two dear ones of the Apostle of God among all family and children.
[Zadhan reported on the authority of Salman, may God pleased with him :]
"I heard the Apostle of God, God bless him and his family, say concerning of al-Hasan and al-Hussein, peace be upon them: "O God, I love both of them. Therefore love them and love whoever loves them "Then he said: Whoever loves al-Hasan and al-Hussain, is one whom I love. Whomever I love, God loves, and whomever God loves, He will cause to enter Heaven. Whoever hates them, I hate and God hates. Whomever God hates, He will cause to enter the Fire. Then he said : These two sons of mine are my two plants of sweet basi (to sweeten) the world'. Kitab-ul-Irshad; Sheik Mufeed, p. 296.
Al-Hussain (A.S.) was raised under the care of the Apostle of Allah (S.A.W.), his daughter Fatimah (A.S.) and the Commander of the Faithful Ali (A.S.). Hussein (A.S.) imbibed prophetic morals and drank deeply of the Islamic principles of justice and righteousness, who used to carry him and his elder brother Imam Hasan (A.S.) in his arms and declare expansively in front of companions. "O Allah, love them and love those who love them"
He expressed his deeply felt love for Hasan and Hussein (A.S.) in these words "These two sons of mine are my two plants of sweet basil in this world".
Imam Hussain (A.S.) was introduced to Ummah, while still in the bloom of his childhood as a martyr. His status was identified by the Apostle of Allah lest the Ummah do him harm.
Thus was Hussain in the heart of the Apostle of Allah and described in his divine message. He was brought up in the noblest and most dignified house in Islam.: Namely the house of the Apostle of Allah (S.A.W.). Hussein (A.S.) partook of his virtues and principles, hence he was the symbol of piety and the example of faithfulness, asceictism and worship. He was unflinching and brave in defending the Ummah and of magnificently outstanding personality. He firmly adhered to right and was strong willed and never feared the censure of any censurer in defending the divine laws.
It is because of these majestic attributes, his ingenious personality, and his lofty social rank that HUSSAIN (A.S.) was destined to become dynamic, active force in the Islamic History and his life a brilliant testament leaving an indelible mark on all generations. Honor enshrined and visage of Hussein in the heart of every freedom-loving individual who knows humanity's real worth and the merit of principle and values. The Muslims loved the household of Prophet (S.A.W.) and revered Hussain (A.S.) as one of the Imams from his house-hold. The Day of Asura, op. cit page 13.
He is the example for self conscious, uncompromising revolutionary...the one who advocated the rights of the oppressed. He is one of the near relatives of the Prophet whom Allah orders us to love : "I donot ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives and whoever earns good, We give him more good therein" Holy Quran (42-23)
Decades passed by. The disobedients forgot the words of the Apostle of Allah regarding the high rank of Hussain(a.s). They caused grief to the Opostle of Allah by brutally killing his grandson. "Ibne Umar reminded Muslims of this as it was reported that "once Ibne Umar was asked about the hajj (pilgrimage) and whether it was permissible to kill flies. He retorted, "The people of Iraq ask me about the killing of flies during hajj, whereas they had killed the son of the daughter of the Apostle of Allah (S.A.W.). The Apostle of Allah referred to them as 'My two plants of sweet basil of this world'. Imam Hussain (A.S.) and the Day of Aushura, Al Balagh Foundation, Iran, pp.11-12.
History provides another insight, taken from Anas bin Malik, in which he compared two scenes; the first of which was that of the Apostle of Allah kissing Hussein on his mouth and hugging him. The second one showed Ibn. Ziyad the Ummayed Governor of Kufa, following the martyrdom of Hussain (A.S.) poking the head of Hussain (A.S.) which had been placed in a basin”. The Day of Ashura, p.12
"After the murder of Hussain bin Ali (A.S.), his head was carried to Zyad who started to poke at the teeth with his cane and said. "He was good looking', 'let me disturb you', I said, "I saw the Apostle of Allah kiss the place you poke at on his mouth". This account was reported by al-Dhah'hak.
Abu-Bakr al-Siddique said'
"I heard the Apostle of Allah saying : Hassan and Hussein are the two lords of the youth of paradise" Day of Aushura, p.12.
The Other sayings of the Prophet regarding Imam Husayn (A.S.) during his life time are :
1. "Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn, Allah befriend those who befriend Husayn and he is the enemy of those who bear enmity to him.
2. Whoever wishes to se such a person who lives on earth but whose dignity is honored by the heaven-dwellers, should see my grandson Husayn.
3. The punishment inflicted on the murderer of Husayn in Hell be equal to half of the total punishment to be imposed on the entire sinners of the world.
4. O my son! thy flesh is my flesh and thy blood is my blood; thou art a leader, the son of a leader and the brother of a leader; thou art a spiritual guide, the son of a spiritual guide and the brother of a spiritual guide; thou art an Apolistical Imam, the son of an Apolistical Imam and the brother of an Appolistical Imam; thou art the father of nine Imams, the ninth of whom would be the Qa;im (the last infallible spiritual guide).
5. When the Holy Prophet informed Hazrat Fatima of the martyrdom in store for his grandson, she burst into tears and asked "O my father! when would my son be martyred?" "In such a critical moment," replied the Holy Prophet, "When neither I nor you, nor Ali would be alive". This accentuated her grief and she inquired again, "Who then, O my father, would commemorate Husayn's martyrdom?". The Holy Prophet said. "The men and women of a particular sect of my followers, who will befriend my Ahlu-l-bayt, will mourn for Husayn and commemorate his martyrdom each year in every century. "A brief History of Fourteen Infallibles. Ansarian Publication, Qum, Iran p. 100-101
Thus was Husayn in the heart of the Apostle of Allah and described in his divine message. He was brought up in the noblest and most dignified house in Islam : Namely the house of the Apostle of Allah (S.A.W.). Husayn partook of his virtues and principles, hence he was symbol of piety and the example of faithfulness, asceticism and worship. He was unflinching and brave in defending the ummah and of magnificently outstanding personality. He firmly adhered to right and was strong willed and never feared the censure of any censurer in defending the divine laws.
It is because of these majestic attributes, his ingenious personality, and his lofty social rank that Husayn (A.S.) was destined to become a dynamic, active force in Islamic history and his life a brilliant testament leaving an indelible mark on all generations. Honor enshrined the visage of Husayn (A.S.) in the heart of every freedom-loving individual who knows humanity's real worth and the merit of principle and values. The Muslims loved the household of the Prophet (S.A.W.) and revered Hussain (A.S.) as one of the Imams from this household the magnetic power of Husayn (A.S.) made emotions overflow and the hearts cling passionately to him, Poets, generations after generations, during these fourteen centuries created inspired verse concerning him." The Day of Aushura pp.12-13
He is the example for the self conscious, uncompromising revolutionary . . . the one who advocated he rights of the oppressed. He is one of the near relatives of the Prophet (S.A.W.) whom Allah orders us to love :
". . . I DONOT ASK OF YOU ANY REWARD FOR IT BUT LOVE FOR MY NEAR RELATIVES AND WHOEVER EARNS GOOD, WE
GIVE HIM MORE OF GOOD THEREIN".
Husayn (A.S.) made no secret of the true motives behind his leaving Madinah and why he was declaring war against Yazid. He gave unambiguously clear answers to those who wanted to know. He outlined the identity of his movement, and the principles according to which he would challenge the new Ummayad regime. All the above points were listed in a letter he sent to his brother Mohammad bin-al-Hanafiyyah.
He underlined, further, that the deterioration of the political, social and ideological situation and his onerous responsibility for reforming the ummah, impelled him to move and leave Madinah, to lead the opposition against the new Ummayad rule. His letter read :
"I am not taking up arms in order to make merry, or be ecstatic over what I possess, I am not making mischief, nor exercising oppression. But I am ready to fight for the sole goal of seeking reform of the Ummah of my grandfather the Apostle of Allah (S.A.W). I want to enjoin good and forbid evil and guide the affairs of the people as my grandfather were doing."
He thus summed up the cause behind his refusal in giving pledge of allegiance to Yazid :
"Yazid is a corrupt man, who imbibes wine, puts to death the soul which Allah forbids to be harmed and declares his debauchery in public. A man like me would never give pledge of allegiance to him."
As well known by both Husayn (A.S.) and the generality of the ummah. Yazid was obviously unfit to lead. He was a libertine, whose key focus was on making mischief. Yazid was totally engrossed in womanising, drinking wine, playing with monkeys, reciting poetry, horse-racing and hunting.
"The entire ummah agrees upon the fact that leadership ought not be granted to anyone who lacks the ability of being exemplary leader in his deeds, morals and understanding the import of the divine laws. He must also be politically efficient. Thus how could Husayn (A.S.) the son of the daughter of the Apostle of Allah (S.A.W.) and the sole leader of the ummah, the center of the hopes of the people-yield to Yazid"?
"It was for those reasons that Husayn (A.S.) declined to give an oath of allegiance to Yazid and set his heart on taking up arms against him. He made his case public in his correspondence with his followers in different cities of the Islamic state, making it clear why he chose to rise. In the meantime, he explained the deviations being instituted by the oppressive and deviant regime".
"He also wrote to the key leaders of Basrah, who were Malik bin Masma, al- Ahnaf bin Qays, al-Munthir bin al-Jarood, Mas'ud bin Amru, Qays bin al-Haytham and Amru bin Obayed bin Mu'ammir. One of his retainers, Sulayman (Aba-Razin) delivered the letter to them. It read :
". . . I call you to abide by the Book Of Allah and the practice of His Apostle (S.A.W.). The Prophet's practice has now been put aside, and
heterodoxy revived. Should you grasp my words and obey me, then, I will most certainly lead you along the path of righteousness. And may Allah bestow peace and mercy on you".
Imam Husayn and the Day of Aushura, p 35
"Husayn (A.S.) viewed questions of state, politics, the ummah, leadership and Imamat from the perspective of Qur'an. As opposed to that, Yazid viewed these questions from his castle of oppression. Leadership, in the eyes of Husayn (A.S.), was a vehicle to place the ummah on the road of guidance and reform, a means to nourish people with divine laws and build their characters and a tool to organise life and develop it towards good and perfection" Ibid. p. 35
Reviewing the Imam's letters, arguments, sermons and correspondence, along with political, economic and social circumstances of the time, we can deduce the following realities :
1. Oppression and monopoly of power on the part of the Ummayads was a fact. A distinct political class had taken shape. A tribal base party came into being which was the Ummayd group.
2. Murder, terror and shedding of blood prevailed.
3. The ummah's wealth was wastefully spent. A capitalist class came to light besides poverty and destitution. The majority of the government officials were lacking the qualifications to discharge their duties.
4. Behavioral deviation became a social phenomenon. Corruption crept steadily into public life and its symptoms appeared in both individual and group behavior.
5. Law took a leave. The whims and private interests of the rulers and governors was substituted for the Sharia at critical points of the life of the ummah.
6. A group of people assigned with distorting the traditions of the Apostle of Allah (S.A.W.) and forging new, false traditions appeared. Dialectic groups such as the fatalists were formed to find suitable pretexts for the deviant political behavior of the rulers." Day of Aushura, pp. 33-36.
Mua'via bin Abi-Sufyan decided to annihilate the opposition leaders of the followers and supporters of the household of the Prophet (S.A.W.). He put to sword such a large number of them that history cannot state exactly their number.
It is here deemed necessary to list a few of them :
One was Hijr bin Uday, who was a revered companion of the Prophet (S.A.W.), Whom al-Hakam in his book al-Mustadrak described as the monk of companions of Muhammad (S.A.W.). p. 38
"Imam Husayn (A.S.) protested the slaying of this deeply respected friend of the Prophet (S.A.W.), along with his companions. The protest was recorded in a letter he sent to Mu;avia bin Abi-Sufyan. Hussayn (A.S.) praised therein this righteous political personage in these words :
"Are not you the muderer of Hijr from the tribe of Kinda, along with his fellow worshippers, who were condemning injustice, those who deemed the
present heterodoxies a transgression of the faith and who would not fear the retribution of any one? You have aggressively and unjustly slain them after giving them strongly sworn oaths and testaments :,(referring to the fifth item of the
peace treaty) that you would never punish them something that transpired between you and them, nor because of a grudge you held for them"
The Day of Aushura p. 38
Owing to their firm opposition to Mu'avia and the announcement of their loyalty to Imam Ali (A.S.) and his offspring, a number of Hijr's companions were also slain, namely :
1. Sharik bin Shaddah al-Hadhrani.
2. Sayfi bin Shaddad al-Shybani.
3. Abdur Rehman bin Hassan al-Inzi.
4. Qabish bin Rabi'ah al-Ibsi.
5. Kidam bin Hayyan al-Inzi.
6. Mihriz bin Shihab bin Bujayr bin Sufyan bin Khalid bin Munquir al-Tamimi.
The following political figures were also killed who were supporters of Imam Ali (A.S.).
1. Amru bi al-Humq al-Khuza'i, a venerated companion of the Prophet (S.A.W.), was beheaded in Mosul and head was transferred to Damascus. That was the first head in the history to be taken from one place to another.
2. Abdullah bin Yahya al-Hadhrani and his companions.
3. Rashid al-Hujari, whose legs and arms were cut off before he was killed.
4. Juwairiyah bin Musahhir al-abdi.
5. Awfar bin Hossyn.