Sheikh Muhammad Mahmud Turi
@ Leadership Newspaper Fridays colum, Nov 13, 2014
In the name of Allah who states “… no reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin…” Q42:23
Peace and blessings of Allah be upon His noble servant, our master Muhammad and his oppressed progeny. And his everlasting curse on their enemies to the last day.
Let me start by thanking Allah, the Most High for witnessing the 1436 hijra year. Congratulations to our esteemed readers on the advent of yet another year praying for continuous Allah’s guidance and prosperity.
On the Ashura tragedy, we use this medium to condole the seal of messengers, his brother, son in – law and commander of the faithful, Imam Ali (as), the great lady Sayyidah al – Zahra (as), elder brother of the chief martyr, Imam Hasan (as), the master of our age, the spiritual guide of the Ummah and the leader of the Islamic movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) and the Ummah in general. May the peace of Allah be upon Husain, Aliyu son of Husain, children of Husain and the companions of Husain! O Allah, curse the slayers of al – Husain peace be upon him.
As usual, there are a number of activities recommended at this very important time. Most significant include special prayers, fasting the first day, remembrance of the tragedy of the prophet’s household and invocation of blessings upon them.
Beside congratulations, Muharram, first month of Islamic calendar is identified with great sadness for the misfortune that affected the family of the noble prophet and their followers. Imam Ali al – Ridha has said “with the beginning of Muharram, my father would never smile at all. He would be dominated by depression for ten days. The tenth of the month would be the day of his misfortune, sadness and weeping. He used to say that on this day Imam Husain (as) was slain”
Sheikh al – Tusi has narrated that it is recommended to fast the first nine days of the month and to abstain from eating and drinking on the tenth to afternoon. while Sayyid Ibn Tawus has mentioned the merits of observing fasting during the whole month of Muharram adding that such a deed protects against committing sin. However, Allamah Majlisi said it is preferable not to fast the ninth and tenth of the month as the Umayyad used to observe fasting to express delight for and gloat on the martyrdom of the Imam Husain (as). The ninth day is Tasu’a on which Imam al – Sadiq said “on the ninth day of Muharram, Imam Husain along with his companions were besieged in Karbala when the Syrian horsemen surrounded him leaving for him but a narrow area. The son of Murjanah, Ubaydullah son of Ziyad and Umar son of Sa’ad were delighted due to the great number of horsemen who participated in that encounter against the Imam. Thus the enemy became sure that no supporter would join the army of the Imam and the people in Iraq, in particular would not back him. Imam Sadiq then added may I sacrifice my father for the weak and the stranger”
On the tenth night there are special prayers including a 100 raka’ats as the Imam’s companions spent the night praying to draw closer to Allah in their last moment. On the tenth was the martyrdom of the Imam. Believers are required to mourn the misfortune in form of consolation ceremonies as they do to their dead beloved. It is also recommended to visit his tomb, leave the earthly benefits and weep for the tragedy.
Ibn Abbas narrated that, I have accompanied Imam Ali (as) in Dziqar, he took out a paper comprising the dictations of the holy prophet (as) and handwritten by Imam Ali (as) himself. He read some segments of that paper and I heard, it contained the story of imam Husain’s martyrdom with full details of the way he would be killed, the person who would kill him, those who would support him and those who would be martyred with him. Imam Ali (as) then wept heavily and caused me to weep!
THE UNEQUALLED POSITION AND CONTRADICTORY LOVE OF THE AHLUL – BAIT.
No doubt, ground was prepared for the unfortunate tragedy against the family of the noble prophet before the Ashura. That was why murder of the Imam Husain was directly related to the event of Saqeefa. What a paradox that some try to equate the two conflicting parties together! To their completely illogical reasoning, some claim the love of Imam Ali and that of Mu’awiya or even Imam Husain and Yazid who did not love one another to their last minutes.
It was narrated in an authentic hadeeth, “the messenger of my Allah is about to come to me and I shall answer. I am leaving with you the two weighty things: the first is the book of Allah, in which you find guidance and enlightenment, and the people of my household. I remind you by Allah, of the people of my household, I remind you by Allah, of the people of my household” as narrated by Muslim, Tirmizi, Musnad Ahmad and Mustadrak.
Imam Ali (as) was honored with “whoever wishes to live and die like me, and to abide in the Garden of Eden after death should acknowledge Ali as his patron and follow Ahlul – bait after me, for they are my Ahlul bait and they have been created out of the same knowledge and understanding as myself. Woe unto those followers of mine who will deny the Ahlul – bait their distinctions and who will disregard their relationship and affinity with me. My Allah never let them benefit from my intercession” as narrated by Mustadrak and Kanzul ummal
Ahmad bin Hanbal said: “no one among the companions of the messenger of Allah had more virtues than Ali ibn Abi Talib” Imam al – Shafi’i said “I am surprised about a man whose virtues were kept secret by his enemies out of envy, and by his followers out of fear, but nevertheless, an enormous amount of them spread” Imam al – Nisa’i has written a prominent book – khasa’isu Ameerul mu’mineen on the virtues of Imam Ali. On a visit to Damascus he was asked to produce any such virtues in respect of Mu’awiya out of envy. As he insisted that no single virtue was said about him by the noble messenger, they killed him at the spot!
“Is He then who guideth to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge? Q10:35
On various occasions, the prophet has also said and repeated “Husain is from me and I am from Husain, O Allah do love he who loves Husain, Husain is the grandson of the prophet as were the offspring (Assbat) of Prophet Jacob” And the Imam went out on the call of his grandfather for a reform as he said “I have not risen up, but to safeguard the religion of my grandfather, the Prophet.” If not for the great sacrifice of the Imam and his followers, Islam should have been a thing of history!
Mu’awiya on the other hand was the son of Abu Sufyan, of the late converts to Islam who got access to mantle of influential political position in the Muslim ummah and paved way for the same to transgressed son Yazid to the same!
According to many historical evidences, Yazid was born in 25 or 26 years after hijra, from a Christian mother Maysoun al – Nasrania of the Kulaib tribe in his father’s so called caliphate castle. He was the first to publicly show alcohol consumption, devotion to singing, hunting, attraction to male slaves and playing with monkeys. He used to embellish dogs by dressing them with gold bracelets and jewels. He granted each dog a slave to serve it. Ziad bin Abeeh said to Mu’awiya when he asked him to get Basra’s pledge for allegiance in favor of his son Yazeed “what would people say, if we call them to pledging allegiance in favor of Yazeed, while he plays with dogs and monkeys, wears jewels and excessively drinks wine, not withstanding his walking to the sound of tabors?! After attaining to power by the corruption of his father, he ordered his governor in Medina Ubaidullah bin Ziyad to kill Imam Husain and send his head to him. This led to Imam Husain’s emigration to Mecca for pilgrimage and visit to his grandfather the noble messenger. However, orders were given for his assassination even if he were sticked to holy Kaaba. Thus, he answered numerous calls of his followers in Kufa, and finally left with Muslin bin Aqeel, his envoy in advance!
After his assassination, his head was brought before Yazid, who showed pride of belonging to era of ignorance, reciting the rhymes “I wish my old chiefs at Badr could witness end with, Banu Hashem manipulated the reign: neither news arrived nor revelations happened”
In a nutshell, the three years and six months of Yazid’s oppressive ruling witnessed murder of Imam Husain, the grandson and right successor of the noble messenger, family members, friends and followers at Karbala. Women and children driven as captives to Damascus in the first year! In the second, he set his soldiers against the city of the messenger Medina for three days who dastardly robbed it, killing seven hundred from the prophet’s companions including those that witnessed Badr and about ten thousand followers of Ahlul – bait who were murdered, in addition to more than a thousand women whose honor was severely violated! In the third, he besieged the honored city of Mecca demolishing part of the holy Kaaba killing Abdullah son of Zubair within!
And throughout his tyrannical rule, corruption – sycophancy, flattering and adulation were the order of the day!
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (AS) states “The heavens wept over Imam Husain (as) for forty mornings, rising red and setting red”. No doubt, the tragedy of Karbala was primarily the direct result of deep hatred and arrogance of Banu Umayyah against the holy Prophet and Islam. That is why it is very right to say that Imam Husain was slain since the day of Saqeefa when his father was distanced from the mantle of leadership as clearly demonstrated by his grandfather.
Upon their perceived victory at Karbala, Banu Umayya innovated festivities which was knowingly and unknowingly spread across the world such as Cika – ciki, a sort of a thanks – giving as a mark of joy for their evil deeds.
However, we are very grateful to Allah with the growing understanding and enlightenment within the Ummah to the dismay of those illogically trying to equate the oppressors with the oppressed. Imam Husain, his children, relatives and followers could never be compared with the criminals under Umar son of Sa’ad son of Abi Waqqas under the Yazid – led generally recognized tyrannical regime!
There is a popular story of a Sunni visitor to the grave of Hijr son of Addy in Syria whom a Shiite came across crying. On an enquiry by the latter on the reason for his cry. He said I am crying in sympathy to our master Hijr son of Addy may Allah be pleased with him! The Shiite asked what happened to him? He said, he was murdered by our master Mu’awiya son of Abu Sufyan may Allah be pleased with him! The Shiite said why did he kill him? He said, because he refused to abuse our master Ali son of Abi Talib may Allah be pleased with him! The Shiite then said, myself, I will cry for you may Allah be pleased with you!
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah!