Skip to content Skip to footer

Like Karbala, like Zaria

In a popular hadith reported by Sunnis and Shia scholars, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) is reported to have declared that, "Hussein is from me and I am from Hussein!" Apart from showing the exalted status of the Imam, the Rasool (SAW) meant “whoever killed Imam Hussein (as) killed me and whoever helped Imam Hussein helped me.”As we gather today, tenth of Muharram, 1440 AH, we are commemorating the tragic events that occurred on a similar day in the year 61 AH, 1379 years ago. It is popularly called Ashura day.

Those that slaughtered Imam Hussein are not different from those that wanted to murder the Messenger of Allah (SAW) at Makkah but Allah saved him. They are the same people because they share the same goal of obliterating the pure teachings of Islam. Imam Hussein (as) sacrificed himself instead of accepting injustice. He was unwavering in his desire for peace and justice. He sacrificed himself and at least 72 people among his followers and family members, so that Islam will continue to blossom till eternity.

A cursory look into the wanton destruction and killings by the army of the oppressive Ruler of that time, Yazid (LA), on Imam Hussein (AS), his family and his followers, what happened to Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, his family, his followers and the Islamic Movement in Nigeria he leads, must surely come to ones mind. It is a case of like Karbala, like Zaria. Since the Nigerian armys assault on the residence of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, his Islamic centre, in December 2015, the Sheikh, his wife and hundreds of his followers continue to languish in prison. Both were badly injured and continue to be in poor health. Proper medical care is denied them. The Nigerian army slaughtered more than 1,000 members of the Islamic Movement in cold blood.

Just as Imam Husseins sons, Ali Akbar and Ali Asghar were murdered by the rampaging army of Yazid (LA), Sheikh Zakzakys sons; 17-year old Hammad, 15-year old Ali and 13-year old Humaid were brutally killed by US-Israeli trained Nigerian armed forces before his eyes as he lay on the floor beaten and bullet-ridden. We mustnt forget that the Sheikhs other sons, 22-year old Ahmad, 20-year old Hameed and 18-year old Mahmoud, were gunned down by those same forces during Al-Quds Day rally of July, 2014. Also as the family of Imam Hussein was taken into captivity, being moved in shackles of chains from one town to another, today not less than 600+ supporters of the Sheikh were kept in secret dungeons as captives.

Just as Yazids regime attacked Imam Hussein (AS) for no criminal reason, Buharis regime assault on Sheikh is for no any criminal act. Buhari is only using national interest as a façade to perpetuate criminal illegality and impunity in disobeying court orders. Sheikh Zakzaky has waged a legal battle for his release. Last July, nearly 100 members of the Islamic Movement were released from prison through a court order. They were found not guilty of the charges against them. However the Nigerian regime continues to use delaying tactics against the Sheikh in a case instituted by Kaduna state government. At each court hearing, the regimes lawyers ask for a postponement. This clearly indicates that the regime has no case against him; he is obviously being persecuted for his principled Islamic activism. Hence he should be released immediately without conditions.

The teachings of Imam Hussein (as), are relevant today, as they were centuries ago. When he saw all of his dear ones killed and there was no one in front of him except the hated and plundering enemy, he cried out, "is there anyone who can help me?" Didnt he know that there was no one who can help him? He asked this question for the generation unborn. This question is addressed to the future and to us. This question expresses what Imam Hussein (AS) expects from his followers. With this question, he announced his invitation to all who respect martyrdom and martyrs. Hence, we shouldnt diminish this invitation, his expectation of assistance, by claiming that Imam Hussein (AS) needs our tears and weeping not only on Ashura.

Just as by commemorating Ashura day were affirming that had we live at the time of Imam Hussein (AS) we would have died fighting by his side. It is an obligation to us to show maximum support to the Hussein of our time, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, and to stand by his side till victory or martyrdom. The biggest honor to us is to honor and enliven the spirit of the glorious Martyrs of Zaria genocide. They lived for Truth and were killed supporting truth and righteousness. Indeed Zaria is Karbala and Sheikh Zakzaky is now unjustly imprisoned for 33 months.