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The Day of Aashoora – The Day of Imam Husain (a.s.)

In the almanac of the history of mankind there is not a single incident which is remembered and commemorated with so much enthusiasm and fervor as the tragedy of Karbala . Men and Women, youths and the aged, and even young children take part in the activities connected with this day, with unsurpassed enthusiasm. The gatherings to commemorate this incident are eld at homes, in Mosques, Madressas, Imambaras in lanes and by-lanes. The speakers and intellectuals present speeches on this topic and the poets compose elegies (Nauha, Maatam, Marsiya, Soz and Salam). The men of letters bring out books and articles. Even though the same incident is related year after year, yet it does not seem stale. Every time a person hears it, he feels it to be fresh. And the repetition of the incident does not cause it to lose its authenticity and importance. Every age adds to its greatness, its deep philosophical meaning and its lofty aims. In fact it imbibes strength and hope to every believer who hears it. 

The day of Imam Husain (a.s.) is such that the upheavals of the centuries did not cause it to be forgotten. The heart-rending incident of Aashoora has compelled the believers and the lovers of virtue and greatness to bow down their heads in respect. It has become a blazing torch which is a beacon of guidance for the great and peace-loving leaders of all times. It has been a guiding light even in the darkness of ignorance and the unknown. This is the reason why this achievement of Imam Husain (a.s.) has not become a common place incident in history. Rather, it is an incomparable achievement, the like of which is not found in the history of mankind.  

It was such an incident, liked by Allah and considered to be the zenith of the glory of mankind by the inhabitants of all the worlds. It has been regarded as an exemplar by those who possessed the best of human virtues, by the intellectuals, by the Ulul Azm Prophets and by those who sacrificed their livesfor achieving peace. This exemplar is based upon a single personality who is considered to be incomparable in his strength for freedom, his greatness and
steadfastness, persistence and which faced all sorts of injustices and cruelties without any qualms. It has become an illuminated minaret in the tragical
history of mankind. And the greatness of his aim, the purity of his soul, the indifference towards the material world and his dictum that death is better
than a life of degradation.  

The exegesis of this incident is actually the exegesis of the marvels of the human soul, and disdain towards the so-called material world. It is the historical record of the open refutation of disbelief and polytheism, injustice and dictatorship. It is the history of unmatched love of the Creator and the sacrifice in the way of the most High and Almighty. It is a history which is a precedent for the emancipation of all the deprived classes of people.Therefore, it is not surprising if this voice has echoed in the four corners of the world and like the Azan it is still clearly audible. Even after a period of 1300 years it is still the subject matter of the speakers and writers. And its importance and greatness still attracts the hearts of the people. And the believers send salutations upon those who laid down their lives for the propagation of the Commandment of Allah.

There were such valiant people who were not compelled to tower their heads neither by false attractions of the material world nor the fear of death which approached them on the sharp edge of the dagger and swords. They were such people who had turned their faces away from alt such things which may have been the cause of the weakening of will power like property, power, rulership, women, land, children etc. And they achieved the position where the soul is liberated without any hindrance. Opposing these pure people were a group of vile beings whose values were sinking in the quagmire of  ncleanliness. Their souls were shackled in the slavery of power and materialistic pleasures. They were quite unheeding to the meaning of the character. They had no hesitation in murdering the righteous servants of Allah, be they old or young or even infants – in the eyes of the slaves of the material world, the enemies of religion were the unsuccessful ones in the duel of good versus evil. In their opinion the true belief which had imparted strength and steadfastness to Imam Husain (a.s.) and his companions did not have any reality, and the battle of Aashoora had ended in their so-called victory. But in reality, Imam Husain (a.s.) had achieved such a victory that in the history of mankind is unsurpassable and there is not a tinge of defeat in it. According to the great people it is improper to weigh these lofty ideals in the balance of the worldly achievements.  

In the balance of truth and reality every person’s pan is heavy as the strength of his belief and steadfastness in his aim. In their eyes, the manifest victory is the victory of the internal strength upon the basal desires, the victory of the soul upon the body, the victory of reality upon the imaginative world, and the
steadfastness in remaining firm upon one’s aim – Every human being is born to die. And there are numerous examples whereby people have sacrificed their lives for their beliefs and convictions. But they did not become the luminous exemplars like the martyrs of Arial” mce_style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family:
Arial;”>Karbala. Because the martyrs of Karbala had exhibited such endurance and steadfastness and the spirit of martyrdom which was not seen anywhere else. The bravest among the brave ones, the martyrs of Karbala could have saved their own lives. The way they welcomed their deaths with the upright foreheads is not to be found in any other section of the history of mankind. If these god-fearing people had even moved back a step on that day from the battlefield or if the fear of losing their property and life, the fear of swords and spears had defeated them, then the Islamic power would have had to face such a grave loss that it could not have been made up till the day of the judgment. In fact, it would not be wrong to state that the Islamic teachings would have been completely obliterated.   The battlefield of Karbala was not confined to the plains of Karbala nor was it limited to be a
confrontation between two groups of people. It was the duel of truth versus evil. It was the battle of Islam versus disbelief and hypocrisy. If the
righteous had moved their steps backwards then this retraction would also not have remained confined to this day. But all those righteous people who were to come in the future would have suffered defeat at the hands of the evil. The power of evil would have spread to all the corners of the world and even today evil would have been victorious everywhere. Truth would have disappeared.  

But Imam Husain (a.s.) and his unfailing supporters have proved that evil could cut into pieces the bodies of virtuous people but it cannot turn them away from their aim and it could not mutilate their righteous souls. Definitely, it is possible to change the evil and malicious people but it is never possible to change the path of those who tread the Right Path. 

The reasons which have induced the speakers and writers to explain this incident is its religious importance and humanistic appeal. It is the lesson which he people derive from this incident. Arial” mce_style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family:
Arial;”>Karbala is such a school, whose teachings are quite universal. Its lesson is for all sections of people, be they from any country, community, color lineage. Be they urban or village folk. Be they hut dweller or residents of skyscrapers. All of them derive benefits from its guidance. Thus this subject never loses its freshness and apart from its guidance, the blessings which one derives for the after-life cause everyone to remain attentive towards it. It is like the benefit which one derives from the authentic traditions. The speakers of gatherings and writers earn substantial reward. It is also the cause for the nearness to Allah and the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Secondly, since it was the confrontation of good against evil everyone is inclined towards it because basically everyone is by nature inclined towards good.  

The pure feelings of the human beings cause everyone to become the lovers of the righteous people of this battle. This is the reason that thousands of books have been written on this subject. Uncountable couplets have been composed on it and are still being composed. Even during the turbulent times of Bani  Umayyah and Bani Abbas in the times of the despots like Hajjaj and Mutawakkil when the lovers of Ahle Bait (a.s.) were in constant fear, people continued the composition of elegiac poetry and the remembrance was not interrupted at any time. And it still continues and will always continue; for no one can forget the favor which imam Husain (a.s.) has bestowed on humanity.

  The reasons which account for the popularity of this incident will always cause it to be always in the forefront of the guidance of the people. And it shall always be a precedent whenever the good confronts evil. Human beings will never be satiated by listening to the account of the deeds of those people who laid their lives in the plains of difficulties and sorrow. The men of letters would continue to record the incident of Karbala on the pages of history. But they
themselves should not be conceited. Only then, neither the ears would ever tire of listening, nor the eyes even tire of shedding tears on it, or the tongue tire of relating the account.

  This will continue till the day of Judgement when the beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) will petition Allah about the treatment meted out to her by the nation. And she will repeat the tragic incident of Karbala once again.

September 3, 2020