Lessons From Karbala: Islamic History's Most Tragic Episode

Lessons from Karbala
Farhan Bokhari, The News, December 17, 2010.

“I am not rising (against Yazid) as an insolent or arrogant person, or a mischief-monger or tyrant. I have risen (against Yazid) as I seek to reform the Ummah of my grandfather. I wish to promote good and forbid evil.” – Excerpt from the last sermon of Imam Hussain (AS) before departing from Madina on his journey for the epic battle at Karbala, Iraq, 61 Hijri (680 AD).

This week has seen a wave of congregations across the world, dedicated to mourning the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS), the younger son of Hazrat Ali (AS) and Bibi Fatima (AS), the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him).

On Friday, the 10th day of the month of Muharram, remembered as Ashura, the commemoration peaks as mourners recall and seek to relive. to the extent possible, each step through this tragic day whose memory has only become increasingly powerful with the passage of time.

But in this continued remembrance almost 14 centuries later lies the compelling face of the enduring legacy of Imam Hussain (AS), powerfully delivered through the strength of his message of defiance and inspiration to his followers.

In military terms on the day of this historic battle, the odds appeared to have been lined up squarely against Imam Hussain (AS). His small group of followers, by most accounts no more than 72, were no match for the large army despatched by Yazid, the monarch.

The soldiers of Yazid under his personal orders had a narrow set of choices. They were to either seek “bayt” (allegiance) from Imam Hussain (AS) in favour of Yazid, which Imam Hussain (AS) had consistently refused, or to eliminate the Imam and his followers.

What followed on the 10th day of Muharram was indeed a tragedy of monumental proportions. All of the males, including Hazrat Ali Asghar, the six-month-old infant son of Imam Hussain (AS), were martyred at the hands of Yazid’s army, while the women and the remaining children were all taken captive. The sole male left to represent the clan of Bani Hashim, the household of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), was Imam Zainul Abideen (AS), who survived mainly because he was too frail to fight following a long-term illness.

The trials and tribulations for the household of Prophet Muhammad (PUBH) following this epic battle, took the prisoners of Karbala in humiliation on foot and on camels through an arduous journey to appear at the court of Yazid in Damascus.

For complete articel, click here
A day of mourning - by Batool Zehra, Express Tribune
Hussain at Karbala - Ismaili.net
The Women of Karbala: Keeping Imam Hussain's Message Alive - Islamic Insights
What Non-Muslims say about Imam Hussain
Karbala: Chain of Events - alislam.org
Karbala Movie - Youtube

Blog Post from 2009
Click: The Story of Karbala: Imam Hussain and His Great Sacrifice

Blog Post from 2011:
Click: The Message of Karbala - by Hassan Abbas, 2011


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