There are some people who view the incident of Ashura with wonder and amazement, and cannot grasp its meaning; thus, they think to themselves, “What does it mean? How could some of the nobles and intellectuals rise, take their beloved ones, intentionally and consciously, to meet a sure death, and consent to a certain death? Specifically, how could they let their women and children become captives, only with the aim of protecting the religion of Allah (SWT) in this world and rescuing it from obsoleteness? Is such an act acceptable according to wisdom?”

Some people have been confused while interpreting the mysterious actions of Imam Hussain (PBUH); they might only refer to his amazing sacrifice as an ethical and social sacrifice, and introduce him only as a martyr for freedom and the master of the freedom seekers. However, studying more thoroughly, one would come to the conclusion that the main purpose of this sacrifice was far superior to such issues. Although Imam Hussain (PBUH) manifested the ultimate degree of freedom and demonstrated the ultimate stage of social and ethical sacrifice and protection of human rights, the reality is far superior to these matters.

There is a fundamental difference between materialistic ideologies and divine ideologies; in materialistic ideologies, priority is given to the human body while ignoring the spirit completely, the spirit being the essence of humanity. Moreover, materialistic ideologies give priority to this world’s life, while ignoring the hereafter completely. Nevertheless, divine ideologies give priority to the human spirit and consider the human body as a temporary vehicle for the spirit. In addition to that, divine ideologies give priority to the hereafter, while considering this world as a passage and a bazaar for acquiring the necessary capital for the life hereafter. But what is the capital? The capital is the special enlightenment of the sole and spirit of the human being, often referred to as the light of knowledge and love of Allah (SWT). The means for gaining this capital is through worshipping (of Allah) and conforming to the regulations of religion.      

Similarly, the main purpose of Imam Hussain’s (PBUH) holy uprising was the revival of Allah’s (SWT) remembrance, manifestation of His unique beauty in mankind’s spirit, and guidance of humanity towards the proximity, meeting, and satisfaction of Allah (SWT). He was so absorbed by this beauty that in the desert of Arafat, while crying and holding his hands towards the sky, he said:

“O Allah! The eyes which do not see your presence are blind, and the servant who has no share of your love in his/her heart has indeed lost his/her capital of life.”

He said this statement in Arafat, but revealed its meaning in Karbala with his body mixed with blood. On the day of Ashura, while his tongue could barely move in his dry mouth, he said:

“O my Lord! I have no intention but to be content with your will and to submit to your order, because I know of no other than you, who deserves to be worshipped and loved.”

This is the real meaning of “There is no God but Allah” that was disclosed by Imam Hussain (PBUH) on the day of Ashura in Karbala.

Indeed, the honor and perfection appropriate for the status of Imam Hussain (PBUH) were the honor of martyrdom in the way of Allah (SWT) and the perfection of illuminating the hearts with faith in Allah (SWT) and stabilizing the name of Allah (SWT) on the human tongue. Therefore, Imam Hussain (PBUH) is the perfect symbol of sacrifice for Allah (SWT), a true martyr in the way of Allah (SWT) and for His religion; not just a martyr for freedom void of faith in Allah (SWT).

(Selection taken from the booklet of “Safir Hedayat (The Whistle of Guidance) [The purpose of Sayyid al-Shuhada (PBUH), revival of the religion of Allah (SWT)]”, by Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Zia’abadi)

We offer condolences to you, dear friend, upon the arrival of the month of obedience and freedom, the month of Muharram.