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The Tragedy of Karbala


In the name of Allah, God of Muhammad, the last messenger of jihad, of awareness, of courage, of ability and liberty. 

God of Ali, the Harun of Muhammad, a true example of the infallible training of the best of all creatures, the destroyer of the forces of kufur at Badar, Uhud, Khandaq, Khaibar, Hunnai, Jammal and at Siffin, who was throughout his life oppressed and yet leader of mankind.

In the name of Allah, the Creator of the house of Zahra in whom the salvation of humanity was placed, that small house which was larger than the universe but whose door was broken and was eventually set on fire.

In the name of Allah, God of Fatimah, leader of the women of both worlds, whose children are the leaders of the youth of paradise, whose husband is the distributor of paradise and hell, but whose ribs were broken and whose child Mohsin was caused to be aborted.

In the name of Allah, God of Zakzaky, a true example of an enlightened soul, a revolutionary and representative of the awaited Qaim. God of those martyred in September 1996 who gave their lives in defense of the honor of their Prophet and religion. God of Abubakar that three-year-old boy who was martyred in those blessed hands of his mother, whose sister and mother were fatally wounded by police in Zaria. God of Muhammad Baqir that three months old boy who was martyred on the back of his blessed mother.

In the tradition of Zakzaky who is my mentor, whose thoughts, understanding of Islam and whose ideals, wants, courage, and protest I emulate, I begin in the name of God of those oppressed throughout history.

May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the best of all creatures and on his pure and infallible progeny, the manifestations of the Beauty and Glory of the Most Exalted Being, treasurers of the secrets of the Holy Qur’an which displayed the Oneness of Allah and His Beautiful Names, those known and unknown.   

As we mourn the tragic event of Karbala, I offer my heart felt condolences to the best of all creatures, to Imam Ali, to Sayyida Fatimah, to the master of our time, the Imam of guidance, to Sheik Zakzaky and to the enlightened members of our time and to all those who knew and weep over this tragic event.

May God, the Blessed, the Exalted, His angels, Prophets, friends and martyrs pour their damnations on the cursed tree, their supporters, and admirers from the day of Ashura to the end of time.

On the 10th of Muharam, 61 AH, Imam Hussain (AS), his brother Abbas, his sons Ali Akbar and Ali Asghar (ten month old boy) Qasim, the son of Imam Hassan, the children of Sayyida Zaynab, and a host of Imam Hussain’s companions were brutally murdered by the forces of Yazid son of Muawiyya son of Abu Sufyan, the leader of major wars against the holy Prophet and Islam.

The tragic event of Karbala was primarily the direct result of jealousy, hatred, arrogance and above all the unrepentant unbelief of the cursed tree (the Banu Umayyad) for the Noblest Prophet and Islam. The Banu Umayyads were the political over-lords in Makka before the commissioning of the Holy Prophet and naturally they saw him as a rival and a threat to their power, position and prestige.

This jealousy, this hatred, arrogance, unrepentant polytheism and extreme desire for revenge was transferred from Abu Sufyan to Muawiyya down to Yazid. This became obvious from the statement of Yazid when the blessed head of Imam Hussain was presented before him. He declared thus: ‘I wish those of my clan, who were killed at Badar, and those who had seen the Khazraj clan wailing (in the battle of Uhud) on account of lancet wounds, were here. They would have hailed me with loud cries and said, ‘o Yazid! May your hands never stupefy’, for we have killed the chiefs of his (the Prophet’s) clan. I did so to revenge for Badar, which has now been completed. The Banu Hashim only played a game with sovereignty. There has come no message nor was anything revealed. I would not belong to the Khandaq family, if I had not taken vengeance upon the descendants of Ahmad for their deeds’.


 At the time Prophet Muhammad emerged at the center of the world, in Makka, the entire world was in absolute darkness. In the east, in Persia, they were worshiping fire. In the west, in Rome, they believe in the Trinity. The religion brought by Jesus (AS) was completely distorted. And in Makka they had three hundred and sixty gods placed in the Ka’aba. And in other parts of the world the objects of worship were stones, animals or gods carved out of woods. No region and anybody knew God, Exalted is He.

The world was in absolute darkness. Disorder, oppression, exploitation, and injustice were the order of the day. The world was on the verge of collapse. It was at this critical stage of the world condition that God Exalted is He, sent His most beloved Prophet to save the entire world from destruction. He came with the message that “There is god except Allah”. This message contradicted the entire philosophy of worship that was current then not only in Makka but throughout the world. He told them that the Creator of the heavens and earth, man and woman and the entire realms of existence both the visible and invisible was the true object of worship and nothing else.

The ruling class in Makka received this message with shock. How could Muhammad who came from a noble family, who was known as Al-Ameen (the trusted) bring such a message that contradicted the religion of their fore-fathers? Or was it a plot by Banu Hashim to permanently retain their leadership position as the most respected family in Makka? Why should the last Prophet of God, whom they have heard so much about from the Jews, emerge from the family of Banu Hashim?

This, they believe was impossible and must not be allowed. They thus immediately responded to this liberating message with anger, insult, scorn and persecution.

 Prophet Muhammad and his followers were persecuted for thirteen years not because they did not believe he was the Prophet of God but because they knew that their power, position, prestige and influence were in jeopardy if he was allowed to succeed. This jealously and this envy was to have a devastating impact in the entire history of Islam.

The Prophet’s family was not exempted from this persecution. They were forced to move to the valley of Abu Talib where they were exiled and ex-communicated for three years. Nobody was allowed to sell or buy from them. Many died of hunger and nobody was allowed to help them, to marry from them nor were they allowed to marry from other families.



The extensity and ferocity of persecution that Prophet Muhammad, his family and followers were subjected to never deterred them from the path of truth and honor even at the expense of their lives.  Ammar, one of the most distinguished companions of the Prophet lost both his parents at the dirty hands of their enemies but he never wavered in his determination. Mus’ab Ibn Numayr, (the most pampered and the best dressed youth then) was severely brutalized by his parents because he had chosen the path of truth and honor. Bilal and scores of other poor and oppressed followers of the Prophet were severely persecuted by the Quraish aristocrats.   



This determination and commitment of the Prophet and his companions so frustrated the Quraish aristocrats that they resolved to finally put an end to his life. It was at this point that, God the Blessed and the Exalted, commanded the Prophet to migrate to Yathrib (Medina)



At Medina, the Prophet was received not as political refuge but as a leader with absolute power. It was a city whose major communities, the Aws and the khazraj were in constant war with each other. This war was always triggered by the Jews whose only interest was to dominate and exploit the two communities.    



At Medina, the Prophet was not only struggling to establish a new society on the basis of exclusive worship of God alone but was struggling to protect it from enemies both within and without. The polytheist of Makka led by Abu Sufyan from the clan of Banu Umayyad, did not leave the Prophet alone. They imposed the battles of Badar, Uhud and Khandaq on him and his followers. Several other battles were fought between him and others that were opposed to the new religion.

Meanwhile, internally the Jews were at work trying to frustrate the formation and protection of the emerging Islamic society. They tried to regenerate the old enmity between the two warring factions in the city that was replaced with love and brotherhood by the Prophet. The Prophet had to take decisive actions against these treacherous neighbors by expelling them out of the city and finally out of the region right after the battle of Khandaq.     



The Arab societies before the emergence of the most Noble Prophet were fundamentally idol worshippers with about three hundred and sixty of them placed in the Holy Ka’aba alone and with many in their various homes and localities. In addition, it was a society characterized by constant warfare between the components families, outright injustice, oppression and exploitations of the poor by the powerful and the rich.

It was a society characterized by extreme level of moral decadence. Alcoholism and fornications were the order of the day. Not even the ‘distinguished’ were free of this moral decay but were its champions and custodians.  And above all, it was fashionable and heroic to commit infanticide against female child since giving birth to a girl was considered disgraceful and abominable.

This was Makka and the Arab world then. It was also what was obtainable in other parts of the world. The Prophet therefore had an enormous task of re-shaping and re-directing the entire world from the worship of idols, trinity and other objects of worship to that of monotheism, from taking pride in family and blood relationship to that of brotherhood, from injustices, exploitation and oppression to fairness and justice, from indulgence in social vices to building up of a noble personality and a decent society subjecting itself to the absolute worship of Allah, the Blessed and the Exalted alone.



Within twenty three years the Noblest Prophet of God was able to achieve this. With the conquest of Makka the headquarters of opposition to the rule of Allah and the leadership of the Prophet were finally removed. And Abu Sufyan, his wife who chewed off the liver of Hamza and mutilated the bodies of the martyrs of Uhud and their son Muawiyya in addition a large number of people, had no alternative but to submit to the power of Islam and the leadership of Prophet Muhammad.  



With the defeat of Makkah and other centers of opposition to Islam and the Prophet, delegates from all over the Arabia and other parts of the world began to converge in Medina acknowledging and paying their allegiance to the power of Islam and leadership of the Messenger of Allah.

For the first time in several centuries a society based on the worship of God, the Blessed, the Exalted was formed. A society that was characterized by unity of faith, compassion, brotherhood, equity, fairness, justice, moral values. In this society, the only basis for measuring the position of man was not from which family he came from or what material wealth he possessed, rather as the Qur’an says: Surely the noblest of you in sight of Allah is the most pious of you (Q49:13).

Now that the enemies of Allah, His Prophet and Islam were defeated and could not directly confront Islam they ceased all oppositions openly and based on their strategic assessments resolved to join Islam and pretend to love and obey the Prophet. In this connection, the greatest danger posed to Islam was not by those who refused to join Islam but the hypocrisy of those that wear the attire of Islam and are its enemies behind a thick mask.



It was the activities of these enemies headed by Abu Sufyan that was to have a devastating and damaging impact on Islam that led to the massacre of the family of the noblest Prophet of God at Karbala.   





Meanwhile, the Noblest Prophet was very apprehensive over the new danger facing Islam and its consequence after his death. He had declared on several occasions and based on divine command, ‘I am leaving behind me two weighty things- the Book of God Exalted is He and my holy progeny which if you both follow would never go astray’. The adherence of his Ummah to the legacies he was leaving behind was the only guarantee that they have against going astray. 




The Prophet knew and was worried that because his followers will abandon what he was leaving behind him new actors were soon to emerge after his death. These actors will wear religious costumes and would be talking about God, Prophet, Qur’an, heaven, hell, good deeds, sins, spirituality, turning away from the allurement of this world and will destroy Islam by preaching “Islam”. Under the pretext of observing and honoring religious rites, in the name of glorifying religious personalities and under the guise of seeking blessings of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, they were going to hide the true essence of the Qur’an and its true and authentic teachings by preventing people from following those firmly rooted in knowledge-the holy progeny.

The Prophet knew that his Ummah were soon to be divided into seventy three sects of which only one will have the honor of entering paradise. Was it not because of this that he said on his death bed, bring to me a paper and ink so that I will write for you those things which if would all follow and adhere to would never go astray”? Did those followers around him complied with his orders? No! One of them bluntly refused and prevented others from complying. He told the Prophet that the Qur’an was enough for them since perhaps he knows better than the Prophet himself. What an unfortunate Thursday as Ibn Abbas would recall and cry.

The Prophet knew that soon after his death the house of Fatimah, his beloved daughter, would be attacked and set ablaze and her ribs will be broken which will bring down her pregnancy, that Imam Ali would be brought into his Mosque handcuffed, that the testimonies of Ali, Fatimah, Hassan, Hussain will be denied despite the fact the Most Exalted God had removed all abomination from them and purified them with a thorough purification.

The Prophet knew that his companion Abudhar would be killed not during the conquest   of Cyprus and not with the sword of polytheism, but he would die alone and hungry in exile, in the desert of Rabadhan, following the instruction of his ‘Caliph’. He knew that Ammar, his distinguished companion, would be killed unjustly by the soldiers of Muawiyya at the battle of Siffin.

The Prophet knew that on the tenth of Muharam, on Ashurah day, his son Hussain, his children and companions would be massacred while thirsty and hungry. The Prophet knew that on Ashurah day Imam Hussain’s head will be severed from his body and would be placed on top of spare, his hands would be cut and his body mutilated. The Prophet knew on this day Zaynab, Sayyida Fatima’s daughter, Imam Hussain’s wives and children would be taken as prisoners and spoils of war. A war neither by the armies of a Caesar, by the judgment of a Christian priest nor that of a Jewish Rabbi, but by the armies of “Islam” under the instructions of Yazid, that renegade son of renegades whose house had served, for twenty years, as the center of plots against Islam and the Prophet.

Ironically, upon their victory at Karbala, on Ashura day, to show their appreciation to God for ‘saving’ Islam from dangers of those that “rebelled against the religion of Muhammad, sinned against God, revolted against the “Caliph” of God’s Prophet and have split the Muslim community”, they instituted the festival of “CIKACIKI” (THANKS GIVING).

Anyone who is familiar with the Qur’an and the Prophet knew that they were not afraid that Islam would be destroyed neither by the polytheist, nor idol worshipers nor the materialist. They knew that Islam would always be victorious against these groups. They however, knew that the most dangerous enemies of Islam are the hypocrites. Was a whole chapter titled the “hypocrites” not revealed in the Qur’an?

The Prophet knew that this hypocrite who wears the attire of Islam in an oppressor, an idol worshiper, human, money and power worshiper, who is an agent of oppressors, who is the guardian of ignorance, whose slogans as always is tawhid, who preaches Islam only to destroy Islam, who in order to please the deities he worships persuade people to accept those oppressors ruling over them, who steals their wealth and leave them at the mercy of poverty and wretchedness.

This hypocrite portrays the God of Islam Who rewards only toleration of oppression, exploitation, ignorance, weakness, poverty, backwardness of the people. It is no accident that the Qur’an and the Prophet speaks with more anger and hatred about this type of Muslims who have hypocritically accepted Islam than about those have openly rejected it. 

The Prophet then was not afraid of the Ummayads led by Abu Sufyan who had Lat, Hubal, and Uzza in their hands. He knew that as long as they defied Islam openly they would be defeated. Were they not defeated at Badar, Uhud, Khandaq and Hunnai? Yes, he knew that as long as they had Lat and Hubal in their hands while shooting their arrows at Qur’an, at him and the Muslims they would never be victorious.

Before the fall of Mecca, they were on the other side of the “bridge” holding Lat, Hubal, and Uzza and were swearing with them. They were then easily recognized as the enemies. But soon after they crossed to this side of the “bridge” and at Siffin they swore to Allah and became enemies in friend’s attire. Formerly, in Badar, Uhud, Khandaq and Hunnai they were shooting at the Qur’an, but in Siffin they raised the Qur’an on top their spears and flags. And in Euphrates, at Karbala, they were easily able to get their revenge against Imam Ali who had defeated them at Badar, Uhud, Khandaq, and at Hunnai.

The Islam as we have it today was turned into mockery not by its enemies but by those who killed the family of Prophet Muhammad with swords engraved with the slogans of monotheism, by those rulers who were known as builders of mosques, as religious leaders, as protectors and propagators of Qur’an and reporters of the traditions of the Prophet.

The Prophet knew that throughout history and in all places ‘descendants’ of Umayyad will be present who will claim to be defenders of the Qur’an and Sunnah but who will use the same to destroy Islam. Yes, they will cry out that the Sunnah was being destroyed through the introduction of innovations into the household of Islam by a certain section of the Ummah. And of course, they must be declared kafirs. As they struggle to “protect” the Sunnah and remove all those innovations, they destroy the unity of Islam thus allowing its enemies to insult and ridicule our Prophet and religion.

Today the ‘descendants’ of Banu Ummayads are not only fighting against Islam but are also agents of the World Kufur and Imperialism in its war against Islam. The new slogan is now ‘war against terror’. It is either you agree to be a servant of America or you are declared an extremist and a terrorist. They are now preparing to help their Sunni ‘brothers’ in Iraq against the Shias whom they believe were responsible for the murder of Saddam Hussain and hundreds of others that are being killed daily.   

Sadly enough, we have not seen this kind of solidarity being given to the Palestinians whose suffering and anguish dates back to the days when the International Zionist massacred and sent them out of their land in 1947. This kind of solidarity was surprisingly denied the members of the Islamic courts in Somalia who were bombed and killed by the Ethiopian soldiers and American war planes. 

Oh Allah! I call You by Your most mighty name Al-wahid (the one) and I call You oh Allah, by Your name, Al-samad (the Everlasting Refuge), and I call You, oh Allah, by Your single name, Al-Azim (the Majestic), and I call You oh Allah, by Your Exalted name Al-kabir (the Great) by which all Your pillars stand firm,  to pour Your damnation upon those that laid the foundation of the tragedy of Karbala, those that participated in the event of Karbala, those that supported and are happy over the event of Karbala from the day of Ashurah to the end of time. Oh! Allah shower Your best blessings upon Imam Hussain, his family and companions that were the victims of the worst injustice imaginable.

Oh Allah! hasten the reappearance of our leader, the rightly guided, and the guide who will take revenge over the tragic event of Karbala and honor us with his company. Oh Allah! Put us among those who will help him, serve him, ever ready to follow his orders, ever ready to obey him and become martyrs in his presence. Oh Allah! If death comes in between us and him, raise us from our graves wearing our shroud and with guns in our hands so that we become his soldiers in his fight against the forces of kufur, injustice, oppression and exploitation and until You grant him complete victory. All these are not beyond Your powers, oh the Blessed, the Exalted. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon Muhammad, the best of all creation, and his pure and infallible descendents.


Muhammad Hayatuddeen