What was the course of Imam Husain’s (a.s) revolution? What reasons prompted him to initiate such a great and unmatched upspring? Did he intended to overthrow the Yazid regime? Did he wish to end the Umayyad dynasty? These and such other questions keep cropping in the mind and everyone wants to know the satisfactory replies, specially the mourner of Imam Husain (a.s) are more eager in this regard.
When Imam Husain (a.s) vas preparing to leave on his longest journey, he bid adieu to the grave of his grandfather, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Then he wrote a legacy addressing his brother Mohammed Bin Hanafiyyah in which he explained the aims and objectives of his uprising. We are quoting an extract from the same legacy hereunder. He wrote thus:
“And surely the aim of my stand is not inspired by vain exultation and it is also not for the quest of kingdom, neither it is to cause dissension and corruption nor it is to wrong anybody unjustly.” [These sentences of Imam Husain (a.s) are sufficient enough to beat all the criticisms and accusation leveled against him by the enemies of Islam and the enemies of Imam Husain (a.s).] Now the question arises if these were not the motives of Imam’s uprising than why did he took stand? What were the aims of his uprising? Thus continued Imam Husain (a.s)
“The purpose of my stand is the reformation of my grandfather’s nation. I intend to enjoin goodness and forbid evil. I want to emulate my grandfather, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) and my father Ali Bin Abu Taalib (Peace be upon him). Whosoever accepts me by accepting the truth, then Allah is higher than the truth. And whosoever rejects me then I will bear patiently until Allah adjudges between me and them and He is the best Judge.”
In this legacy the chief of martyrs has explained three purposes for his stand:
1) The reformation of his grandfather’s nation.
2) Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil.
3) Renewal and Revival of the tradition of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) and Hazrat Ali (a.s).
These purposes are not different than each other rather these are complementary to each other because, nation can be reformed only by means of bidding good and forbidding evil. The tradition and path of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Hazrat Ali (a.s.) is goodness and anything other than that is evil.
Some facts are stated by Hazrat Imam Husain (a.s) in his other sermons and letters but in other words. When he reached Mecca he wrote a letter to the people of Basra thus; “I invite you towards the Book of Allah and the Sunnat of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) because indeed sunnat has been mutilated and hereby is revived. Whoever will accept my words, then I will guide him towards the straight path”.
(Tarikhe-Tabari vol. 7, pg. 240)
In another letter to the people of Kufa he wrote thus: “By Allah, Imam is the one who acts on the commands of the Book, deals with Justice, followed the truth and reserves his self for the pleasure of Allah.” These words of Imam imply that only he can be an Imam who possesses these characteristics and the one who does not possess them cannot be an Imam. Hence Yazid Bin Muawiya has had no right to the caliphate.
When he reached at ‘Baiza’, a place near Karbala and was besieged by the contingent of Hurr, then he addressed his men and the army of Hurr in these words:
“The one who sees a tyrant King who is making unlawful as lawful, violating the pledge (of God), opposing the Sunnat of the Holy Prophet ruling on the servant of Allah with sins and oppression. And by his words and actions does not oppose the King and does not strive to reform the circumstances, then it behove Allah to hurl him into Hell along with the King.”Then he continued about the Yazidi regime thus “They have shun the obedience of Allah and acted following shaitan. They are instigating commotion and dismissing the Divine laws. They are expending from the public exchequer for their selfish end and are changing the prohibited things to permissible thing.”
In the first sermon at Karbala he spoke thus: “Can’t you see that the truth is not followed and the falsehood is not shunned? In such circumstances a believer should desire to meet Allah. Surely I regard death as nothing but an honor and life with oppressors as anything but disgrace.”
(Tarikhe-Tabari vol. 7, pg. 300)
Nevertheless the unique and unparalleled revolution of Imam Husain (a.s) which began in Rajab 60 A.H. and apparently ended with the glorious martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s), his kith and kin and companions. The purpose of this revolution was to revive and rejuvenate Islam, (which was distorted and Yazidi regime wanted to annihilate it) and also to reform the nation of the Holy Prophet (s.a. w.a.). Some of the Sunni Traditionalists have added a phrase of ‘and on the path of Khulafa Rashedeen’. It is an addition made in the reign of Umayyad dynasty because the term ‘Khulafa Rashedeen’ was coined by the Historians and Scholastic Theologians of that time because this term was not in use at the time of Imam Husain (a.s.). Secondly Hazrat Ali (a.s.) himself was included among Khulafa Rashedeen and hence it seems utterly ridiculous that I will
follow Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and Khulafa Rashedeen, Thirdly Imam Husain (a.s.) was critical about the behavioral pattern of the caliphs, then how he could have desired to follow their paths?