Qur'an and Imam Hussein
Imam Hussein (AS) is equivalent of and analogous to Qur'an. The holy Qur'an is the book of human education. Imam Hussein is also the great educator of human beings.
This equivalence and analogy has been explicated by the Prophet in the hadith Thaqalayn (two weighty things). Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) said, "Indeed I leave behind among you two weighty things; the book of God and my progeny. They will never part from each other till they join me at the pond of Kowthar. You will never go astray nor will you slide away as long as you hold them fast."
From this hadith we can understand that the book of God (Qur'an) and the progeny of the Prophet pursue the same goal, namely, the guidance of mankind toward God.
Ayah 28 of surah Zumar reads, "An Arabic Qur'an, without any deviousness, so that they may be Godwary."
It is said on Imam Hussein that he never deviated from the right to the wrong even a single moment. In other words, just as the holy Qur'an opens the ways of guidance in front of mankind, Hussein (AS) also takes their hands and leads them toward the ways of guidance and salvation. From the very first moment that he started his divine journey toward Karbala, he thought of nothing but rescuing the people from deviation and corruption. He never thought of worldly posts and luxuries. His epic combat against the corrupt and tyrannical Yazid and his government became the touchstone for discerning between truth and falsehood. Qur'an is the eternal miracle and the manifest proof of God as we read in ayah 157 of surah Al-Anam, "Indeed there has come to you a manifest proof from your Lord."
Imam Hussein (AS) is also the manifest proof of God which will never be forgotten or weakened. In numerous texts of ziyarah (standard form of salutation to Imam Hussein) we address him saying, "I bear testimony that you are the manifest proof from your Lord." So this is another reason to prove that Imam Hussein is parallel to the Qur'an.
There are a lot of ayahs in the holy Qur'an about the issue of model to emulate. For instance, in ayah 21 of surah Ahzab, God says, "In the Apostle of Allah there is certainly for you a good exemplar, for those who look forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remember Allah greatly."
God ordained the Prophet as an exemplar due to his lofty virtues such as perseverance, foresight, prudence, sincerity, steadfastness against hardships and so on. Imam Hussein (AS), just like his grandfather, set a role model for the free-spirited and free-thinking of the world. On the way to Karbala, he introduced his move and uprising, saying, "I am an exemplar for you."
As Imam Hussein (AS) refused to swear allegiance to Yazid, he ruled out the legitimacy of his rule and proved to all that the culture of Hussein can never compromise with the culture of Yazid. Thus, if the thought of Yazid exists in any age or geographical place, it is intolerable for the free people who do not submit to injustice and humility. God is Aziz which means august, dignified, impenetrable and invincible. His Book, the holy Qur'an, is also Aziz (august and dignified). In ayah 41 of surah Fussilat, we read, "Indeed those who defy the Reminder when it comes to them, and indeed it is an august Book."
Imam Hussein (AS) was an inexhaustible person. He was heard in the heat of the battle, saying, "By God, I will not extend to you the hand of humility and will not escape like slaves." On the day of Ashura, in response to the request of Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad for submission, said, "Disgrace is far from us."
The noted Sunni scholar, Ibn Abi al-Hadid, says, "The great leader of those who defy oppression in the world, who taught to the people of the world valour and preference of death in the shade of swords over disgrace, was Hussein son of Ali (AS); he and his companions who never gave in to disgrace."
Arab poet, Sheikh Kazem Ozri, says in a poem, "Indeed the swords and spears had changed all their wounds but their lofty merits remained intact."
Qur'an has several times bidden what is right and forbidden what is wrong. For instance, in ayah 71 of surah al-Tawba, we read, "And the faithful men and women are comrades of one another: they bid what is right and forbid what is wrong, maintain the prayer, give the zakat, and obey Allah and His Apostle."
Imam Hussein, too, spent his life in the way of bidding what is right and forbidding what is wrong. These two obligatory acts have three stages: hearty, verbal and practical. The Master of Martyrs not only exposed the crimes and corruption of the Umayyad regime, he rose up against godless Yazid at the expense of his life. In his last will written to his brother Mohammad Hanafiya, Imam Hussein wrote, "I have risen up only for reforming my grandfather's Ummah. I intend to bid what is right and forbid what is wrong. And I want to practice according to the practice of my grandfather and my father Ali ibn Abi Taleb."
When the Imam faced the troops of Horr and the betrayal of the people of Kufa was revealed, he said in stimulating words, "Don't you see that the truth is not practiced and falsehood is not prevented. In such conditions it is necessary to a faithful to rise up and be enthusiastic to meet his Lord."
It is interesting that in different Ziyarats (standard forms of salutation) of Imam Hussein, we read, "I bear testimony that you really maintained the prayer, gave zakat, bade what is right and forbade what is wrong."
As the holy Qur'an is the perpetual miracle of God for the entire mankind throughout history, Imam Hussein is also the perpetual martyr whose uprising and goals will never be aged let alone forgotten.
Imam Sadeq (AS) was asked, "Why does the Qur'an become fresher despite passage of time?" He answered, "God has not sent the Qur'an for a specific time and specific people. Thus, at any time and with every people it is fresh till the Day of Resurrection." Despite the lapse of 14 centuries since the glorious event of Ashura, the memory of the tragedies of Ashura and the innumerable merits of Imam Hussein (AS) is never boring. On the contrary, the mourning ceremonies for Imam Hussein, his family and companions are held more gloriously and impressively every year. This shows that Hussein and the event of Ashura are immortal like the ayahs of Qur'an. This is guaranteed by the Prophet when he said, "For the martyrdom of Hussein there is a heat in the hearts of believers which will never cool down."