Imam Husain’s uprising – manifestation of the Holy Qur’an (3)
Welcome to the 3rd episode of our Muharram Special “Imam Husain’s Uprising – Manifestation of the Holy Qur’an”
Imam Husain (AS), as the grandson and 3rd Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (Blessings upon him and his progeny) derived his leadership from the holy Qur’an on the basis of the Prophet‘s historic proclamation of his father Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) as vicegerent on the memorable day of Ghadir-Khom in 10 AH on revelation of ayah 67 of Surah al-Ma’edah in which God says:
“O Messenger! Proclaim that which has been sent down to you from your Lord, and if you do not, you will not have communicated His message, and Allah shall protect you from the people. Indeed Allah does not guide the faithless lot.”
The Prophet had hailed his two grandsons in explicit words: “Hasan and Husain are Leaders of the Youths of Paradise.”
This is indicative of the God-given merits of the Prophet’s progeny. In 40, some six months after the martyrdom of Imam Ali, his eldest son and successor Imam Hasan (AS), realizing the fickle faith of the Iraqis who were being deceived by the threats and bribes of the enemies, decided to sign a treaty with the rebellious governor of Syria, the charlatan Mu’awiya on certain conditions including the return of the rule of the Islamic state to him, and if he wasn’t alive, to his younger brother, Imam Husain (AS).
Thus, when Mu’awiya violated all clauses of the treaty and on his deathbed designated his libertine and godless son Yazid as caliph, Imam Husain (AS) felt no choice but to rise, as per the commandments of God in the holy Qur’an, in order to salvage Islam, whose precepts were being distorted by the oppressive and corrupt Omayyad regime.
Imam Husain (AS) not only through his speeches exposed the crimes of the godless Omayyad regime, but geared up for fighting it till the last moment of his life. Perhaps the most expressive statement of Imam Husain (AS) in explaining the main motive of his uprising is the famous saying that he was rising for reforming the Ummah of his grandfather, on the Qur’anic principle of enjoining good and prohibiting evil, in the manner of the Prophet and the Commander of the Faitfhul, Imam Ali (AS).
The Imam’s statements stem from the teachings of the holy Quran which in several ayahs has explicitly ordered to do good and forbid evil, as is ayah 104 of Surah Aal-e Imran:
“There has to be a nation among you summoning to the good, bidding what is right, and forbidding what is wrong.”
The logic of Imam Husain (AS) from the beginning of his movement until martyrdom, was resistance and struggle vis-à-vis the wrongdoers. In all his sermons and lectures, he focused on the fundamental principle of faith in God, and practical implementation of the Qur’an commandment of “enjoining good and forbidding evil”.
When the Imam faced a detachment of troops sent against him led by Horr and made up of the disloyal people of Kufa, who had written letters to him to come to Iraq to save them from the Omayyad regime, he said: Don’t you not see that the right has not been implemented and falsehood has not been prevented? The circumstances warrant the faithful to rise for the sake of God.
Imam Husain (AS) drew attention to the commandment of the holy Qur’an for reformation of the society.
Imam Husain (AS) quoted the Prophet as saying: Anyone who sees an oppressive ruler making the lawful the things prohibited by God, preventing the permitted things, opposing the tradition of the Prophet, and treated God's servants with hatred and hostility, but does not change such violations through words and action, God will punish him with a painful torment. Therefore, beware the Yazidis follow Satan and I am the most worthy person to change this situation.
Imam Husain (AS), refusing to give allegiance to Yazid’s illegal rule following the demand by the Omayyad governor Walid ibn Otbah and the dispute with the equally evil Marwan ibn Hakam, decided to leave his hometown Medina on the night of the 28th Rajab 60 AH, along with his family members, and some loyal companions. While leaving Medina and bidding farewell to the tomb of his grandfather the Prophet, he recalled the more or less similar situation of Prophet Moses over a millennium earlier, who at night took to the desert to escape the oppression of the Pharaohs. Imam Husain (AS) recited ayah 21 of Surah Qasas, which reads:
“So he left the city, fearful and vigilant. He said, ‘My Lord! Deliver me from the wrongdoing lot.”
Imam Husain (AS) arrived in holy Mecca six days later on the 3rd of Sha'ban, and with a deep and explicit sigh, he again compared his situation with that Prophet Moses when the latter reached Midian, and recited ayah 22 of Surah Qasas:
“And when he turned his face toward Midian, he said, ‘Maybe my Lord will show me the right way.”
The uprising against oppression was one of the most important tasks God had assigned to Prophet Moses, telling him not to stay silent in the face of the oppression and corruption of Pharaoh, and to rise against him to save the people, as is evident by ayah 24 of Surah Ta Ha:
“Go to Pharaoh. He has indeed rebelled.”
Imam Husain (AS) also condemned the silence of the society of his times by highlighted one of the most important goals of his uprising as Jihad or striving in the way of God, similar to the uprising of Moses against the corruption and oppression of the Pharaoh. The Imam thus propagated the culture of resistance against oppression, in order to pave the way for spread of social justice in society for the sake of God, as the Prophet and the Commander of the Faithful had done. Imam Husain (AS) was read to face martyrdom in order to awaken human societies from slumber.