Immediately after the demise of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), the pure Ahle Bait (a.s.) withstood a series of tortures and afflictions for the protection of religion which owes it’s survival to them. They bore the destruction of the evidences of Truth with patience. All with the sole purpose that religion should remain, that the sounds of ‘Allah is the Greatest’ and the Islamic witness may continue to echo in the environs.
Their foresight visualized the point of the beginning of deviation. When two lines separate from each other, the distance between them is not felt much in the beginning. For some time, it looks like a single line. But as they advance, the difference becomes evident. The Syrian government and the Caliphate of Yazid were the evident stages of this difference which commenced after the demise of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). The Ahle Bait (a.s.), by their authoritative actions, protected the Word revealed by Allah, the Almighty and emphasized by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). They protected the Word from distortion and the falsity of the other became manifest. In the consultative committee (Shura), Ameerul Momineen Ali (a.s.) refused to follow the conduct of the first two Caliphs which contradicted the Holy Quran and the Prophet’s Sunnah. By this, he showed the difference between them. Those who suffered from intellectual myopia could not comprehend this diversion. Imam Hasan (a.s.) signed the truce on the condition that Muawiya would follow Quran and Sunnah which was accepted in writing by the latter. But later he breached the trust thereby violating the command of the Holy Quran, “O ye who believe! Fulfill your obligations (and your commitments).” (Surah Maidah) and the clear tradition of the Holy Prophet, “Believers are those who fulfill their commitments”, in such an open manner that humanity itself became astonished. He tore the paper on which the truce was signed into small pieces and crushed them with his feet. People stood (watching) as silent spectators.
Imam Husain (a.s.), by his resolve, made it clear that deviation had penetrated deep into the entire society, the ruler and the ruled alike.
Gradually, things went so bad that a person who had not an iota of Islam in him claimed the lofty titles of Ameerul Momineen and Khaleefatul Muslimeen and became their ruler. A person whose every action was opposed to the very fabric of Divine Teachings. The differences between the deviations and Islamic teachings had now reached such a point that the former could no longer be misrepresented as “Ta ‘veel (explanations) ” or “Ijtehadi errors.” The Ahle Bait (a.s.) by their firmness indicated that this
diversion from Islam and Quran had commenced immediately after the demise of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). The image of Islam had now been battered to such an extent that the Khaleefatul Muslimeen indulged in every possible forbidden deed. On the other hand, the Islamic Ummah, at large, completely ignored their obligations of enjoining good and forbidding evil. They were immersed in craving for the world, love for the transient life and negligence of the hereafter. They pledged their loyalty to the tyrant and behaved as if nothing was wrong.
How could the people, whom the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) had appointed as the defenders of religion and who received the duty of protection of religion inheritance from Hazrat Abu Taalib (a.s.) and Ummul Momineen Janabe Khadijah (s.a.), watch quietly as Islam was being rent asunder?
The time was ripe for a well planned uprising to reform the society. The tree of Islam needed pure and noble blood to water its roots. From the very beginning, Imam Husain (a.s.) was ready for such an eventuality. Therefore, he (a.s.) had hand-picked some persons, who though finite in number, were infinite in resolve.
This incident occurred in a single day but its repercussions acquired eternal proportions. When the blood which flowed in the veins of Imam (a.s.)’s helpers, spilled on the earth of Karbala, it gushed in the veins of every self respecting Muslim and teemed from the eyes of every mourner.
The conclusions derived from the Uprising of Imam Husain (a.s.) are not easy to enumerate. When the effects of an incident are everlasting, how can one confine the consequences of the same? However, here we will attempt to indicate towards some of the important conclusions.
The Exaltation of Religion
Those who wanted to abolish religion – to make their own actions a part of religion like the Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – were annihilated. Religion continued to survive even today but their deeds have become a symbol of evil (deeds). Imam Husain (a.s.), by his actions, proved that “And (Allah) made lowest the word of those who disbelieved; and the word of Allah, that is the highest” (Taubah: 140)
The tradition of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) endorses this fact:
“Islam will always remain exalted, none willoverpower it.”
Wherever the call of religion is raised in the universe or if a Muslim is proud to call himself so, it is only because of the sacrifices of Imam Husain (a.s.). Nothing can ever enliven religion in the manner the narrations of the Holy Imam (a.s.) have done. Had the uprising not occurred and had Yazid’s religion been allowed to prevail, no religious person would ever feel proud of his religion or decency of the self. On the contrary, everyone would exude arrogance in irreligiousness. It is Imam Husain (a.s.) who has provided exaltation to the God-fearing.
The Victory of Truth and the Perpetuity of the Universe
Allah, the Almighty declares in the Holy Quran, “And should the truth follow their low desires, surely the heaven and the earth and all those who are therein would have perished.” (Mominoon: 71)
Had Imam Husain (a.s.) not revolted and remained a silent observer, then not only would have evil overpowered religion but the very existence of the skies and the earth, indeed the entire universe would have been threatened. Everything would be annihilated. Hence, even the continued existence of the universe is a result of the uprising of Imam Husain (a.s.).
Verily, the entire existence is indebted to the uprising of the Chief of the Martyrs (a.s.).
The destructive influence of cable and television culture is spreading its tentacles far and wide. Be it a village or a city, rich or deprived, everyone seems to be bitten by it. The feeling of guilt of having committed a sin has decreased. Deviations and violations, wine and women, corruption and indecency have become a way of life. Humanity has become colorless in the glamour of worldliness.
Inspite of all this, no drunkard and monkey keeper can lay claim to the Khilafat (successorship) of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Even if he does so, none will accept him. With such deeds, indeed, no power in the world can make such a person Caliph.
This awakening is the result of the sacrifices and uprising of Imam Husain (a.s.). Otherwise, before Imam Husain (a.s.)’s revolution the Muslims did accept a corrupt and deviated debauch like Yazid as Caliph and considered his obedience as necessary and obligatory. But for the steadfastness of Imam Husain (a.s.), religious decency would have perished.
As Hazrat Imam Husain (a.s.) addressed the people in one of his speeches:
“If the people see a tyrant ruler permitting the divine prohibitions, violating Allah’s orders, opposing the Sunnah of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and oppressing the people unjustly, yet do not raise their voices against him nor revolt for change, then consider them liable for punishment in front of God and retribution is their abode. See how zealously they obey Shaitaan and keep away from the obedience of the Almighty. They spread sedition and break divine limits. They spend the public treasury for their own (lowly) desires and change the permitted acts to prohibited ones and vice versa. I am responsible to change these conditions……..”
(Tarikhe Tabari: 4/42, Al-Kaamil of Ibn Athir)
Ponder over these statements and see how each word awakens religious morality. Each sentence provides for reformation in thought.
The uprising of Imam Husain (a.s.) has infused such a spirit in Islam that nobody can ever think of destroying it. During the last fourteen centuries, it has managed to withstand all forms of onslaughts against it. Whenever there is a conspiracy against Islam, it urges the Muslims to become more active.
These are the effects, in brief, of the great sacrifice of Imam Husain (a.s.), the Chief of the Martyrs.