Messages and admonitions of Ashura
The uprising of Imam Hussein (AS) took less than a day and during this time the Imam and his companions were all martyred by the hordes of Yazid. This peerless move had many messages and admonitions for Muslims and the whole mankind as it has its roots in human nature and common sense. That's why many non-Muslim thinkers and politicians have written books and articles on the Master of Martyrs and glorified him.
The uprising of Imam Hussein (AS) was for God's sake and, in this way, he put his trust only in God and hence tolerated every hardship easily in the way of God. Imam Hussein said to his family while bidding farewell to them and going to the battlefield for the last time, "Know that God is your Supporter and Protector; and He will soon save you from the enemies and will ordain a good end for your affairs."
The Prophet's younger grandson never forgot God even at the moment of martyrdom when he was whispering, "O Exalted, Powerful and Majestic God! I seek Your help while I am weak; and I put my trust in You and this suffices me."
At the climax of the calamities, he supplicated to God, "My God! I am satisfied with Your decree and submit to Your Command. There is no deity except You, O Refuge of those who seek refuge."
This faith and trust in God caused Imam Hussein and his companions to march only for the pleasure of God. This empowered them from the endless source of power so that they stood against the troops of falsehood.
At one of the stops before arriving in Karbala, Imam Hussein (AS) addressing his companions, said, "O children of dignity and nobility! Have patience. Death is not more than a bridge that passes us through problems and hardships towards the vast paradise and perpetual blessings."
In the night preceding the day of Ashura, the Imam asked his companions to leave the camp since nobody would survive and all the womenfolk would be taken captives. But, the companions of Imam Hussein (AS) uttered astounding words which indicated unshaking faith in God and love of martyrdom.
One of them said, "By God, if I am killed 70 times, and each time my body is burnt to ashes and the ashes are revived, I will never give up helping you."
The companions of Imam Hussein defended the religion of God and the grandson of the Prophet with such a spirit.
Seeking of truth, freedom and dignity are some of the important messages of Ashura. The criterion for Imam Hussein's move was to establish right and justice and defeat false and injustice. Yazid was a corrupt ruler who had usurped the caliphate and wanted to take the oath of allegiance from Imam Hussein (AS). Bu the Imam said explicitly and bravely, "Beware that the baseborn the son of the baseborn has made me choose between two things: either to choose the blade of sword or disgrace. Yet disgrace is far from us; for, God, His Prophet, the faithful and the clean laps which have brought us up do not permit us to accept disgrace."
Imam Hussein (AS) said elsewhere, "Death with dignity is superior to life in disgrace."
Achievement of lofty ideals such as justice, freedom and dignity has certain requirements. No doubt one of the most important of these requirements is insight and awareness. Imam Hussein's uprising showed that people and even the elites of society cannot distinguish right from wrong without insight. Hence, on the day of Ashura those who had written letters and invited Imam Hussein to Kufa stood against him in the ranks of the enemy. Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khamenei explains this as follows, "It deserves that the Islamic nation thinks as why 50 years after the departure of Prophet, the Islamic country changed in a way that their vizier, emir, commander, scholar, judge and reciter of the Qur'an gathered in Kufa and Karbala and shed the blood of the apple of this very Prophet's eyes in such a grisly manner? One should ponder as why this happened? If the elites accomplish what they distinguish in time the history will be saved and the likes of Hussein won't be drawn to Karbala."
Imam Hussein (AS) once said to the religious and intellectual leaders of society, "O you, the group of religious scholars! If you don’t assist us and do not be harmonious with us in fulfilling justice, the oppressors will gain more power against you and will be more active to put out the radiant torch of prophethood."
When Imam Hussein (AS) found the religion of his grandfather at stake, realized that the only way to reform the conditions is to embark on bidding what is right and forbidding what is wrong. And he did it practically through sacrificing his life. Once he said in the battlefield, "If the religion of Mohammad is not upright except with killing me; so, o swords embrace me."
Referring to one of the repercussions of abandoning this obligatory act (bidding what is right and forbidding what is wrong), he said, "Now, we have to bid farewell to Islam as Muslims are beleaguered by a ruler like Yazid. I heard my grandfather saying, 'Caliphate is haram for the progeny of Abu Sufyan and if one day you see Mu'awiya on my minbar kill him.' But the people of Medina saw him and didn't kill him. And now God has troubled them with the licentious Yazid."
Imam Ali (AS) also said in his last recommendations, "Do not abandon bidding what is right and forbidding what is wrong or else the vicious among you will dominate you; then whatever you pray will not be answered."
Although it was only men who were martyred in Ashura, the role of women before Ashura, during and after the battle was very significant. Imam Hussein (AS) said, "The divine will has decreed that the Ahl al-Bayt and womenfolk accompany me." Thus, he took all women all the way from Mecca to Karbala. Women played an important role in refreshing the morale of men and taking care of them. But their prominent role started after the tragedy of Ashura. They began exposing the corruption and injustice of Yazid wherever they went. They also explained the objectives of Imam Hussein's uprising. However, it is obvious that the role of Hazrat Zeinab, Imam Hussein's sister, was unique. She delivered a highly moving speech among the people of Kufa and lambasted the corrupt ruling system. She jolted the dormant consciences of people so that they wanted to riot against the government but the government prevented them. At the palace of Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad in Kufa, when Zeinab (AS) faced his derisive and taunting remarks against Imam Hussein and martyrs of Karbala, bravely said in an expressive tone, "I didn't witness except beauty. They were the people that God had decreed martyrdom for them; so, they rushed toward their abodes."
The daughter of Imam Ali (AS) castigated Yazid at his palace in Damascus, too, when she said, "O Yazid make use of whatever stratagem you wish but, no matter what effort you make and trick you employ, you will never be able to erase our remembrance from memories and you can never obliterate our revelation."
Therefore, we understand that have there not been the indefatigable endeavor of women, especially Lady Zeinab (SA), the unique uprising of Imam Hussein would have fallen into oblivion.