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Saturday, February 19, 2005


At the expense of redundnacy, I say that the amount of information obtained from an event is directly propotional to its rarity. And Karbala is an event which is the rarest of its kind in the history of mankind. Despite the fact that the exact details have reached us, most of the people just have a very vague idea of Karbala.

Quoting from one website:

Ashura is the story of loyalty, bravery, piety, magnanimity and self-sacrifice. It is the eternal saga of persons who created epics to safeguard humanitarian principles so that the coming generations can live in dignity with heads held high in defense of truth. On this day, the Prophet’s grandson courted martyrdom in order to inspire mankind in the fight against injustice and exploitation. In the words of American historian Washington Irving the spirit shown by Imam Hussein (AS) remains immortal since he presented the lasting example of heroic bravery.

Each and every detail associated with this happening is enlightening. Consider, for example, what made the "Muslims" fight against the grandson of the Holy Prophet (sal'Allaho alayhe wa'alayhi wasallam)? This happened in less than 50 years after Prophet's (PBUH) death!

Why Husain bin Ali (AS) took only 70 people with him when he was leaving Madina? While Husain (AS) refused many people who wanted to go with him, he wrote letters to some others to accompany him! The list of such people includes Habib bin Mazahir, a childhood friend of Husain (AS), who was more than 70 years old then.

Each and every act and saying in this few days period seems to be planned as if to teach us something. Consider Hur, the leader of a small section of the evil forces, who changed sides just a night before and joined Husain's (AS) camp. He knew fully that the stage had been set and the next day every man on Husain's (AS) side would be martyred. Hur would not have changed sides if Husain (AS) had not asked the evil forces to delay the fight for a night.

The companions were handpicked. A night before Ashura, Imam Husain (AS) said, "Tomorrow whoever is here will die so I let you go away from here; save yourself; I permit you to leave this place." When nobody left, he ordered the light to be put off so that nobody was ashamed of leaving in front of others. But in reply all of them said, "If we are to die seventy times and our bodies are burnt even then we will not leave you."

No saint or Prophet had such companions! And perhaps the night of Ashura was the strangest in human history, when the companions and Husain (AS) spent the whole night offering prayers to Allah. Not a single drop of water had passed through the throats for the past 3 days; the happenings of the coming day were known to all; yet, they showed so much calmness! so much generosity! Perhaps, this would have been a night when angels would have desired to be such humans.

I dare to say that if you don't know Karbala, you know nothing about life. You are asleep and need to wake up.

بیاں سر شھادت کی اگر تفسیر ھو جاۓ
مسلمانوں کا کعبہ روضہُ شبیر ھو جاۓ
(علامہ اقبال)۔

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