“…and he spent his effort in you to save your servants from ignorance and the confusion of misguidance…”

… He sacrificed his life in Your way; so that he would save Your servants from ignorance, vagrancy of misguidance …”

(Phrases from Ziarat Arba’een of Imam Hussain (PBUH))

  … Hussain (PBUH) and Ibn Zubair both refused to pay allegiance to Yazid and revolted against him. Hussain (PBUH) came to Iraq and was killed there; and Ibn Zubair stood up against Yazid in Mecca. When Hussain (PBUH) was killed, ibn Zubair got a good excuse and added revenge of Hussain (PBUH) from Yazid to his motives to rise against Yazid. He then fought Yazid for two years. Yazid’s army threw stones and fire with catapult on Masjid al-Haraam from the mount Abu Qubais as Ibn Zubair was hiding in the mosque. Yazid’s army destroyed Ka’ba but they withdrew and returned to Shaam as Yazid died during the war and thus they could not capture Ibn Zubair. Ibn Zubair declared victory and found many advocates and was able to expand his rule throughout Hijaz and Iraq. Later at the time of governorship of Abd al-Malik Marwaan, the new Umayyad caliphate, he was killed by the ruler of Kufah, Hajjaj Ibn Yusof.

Hussain (PBUH) and Ibn Zubair both stood against what was wrong and they were both killed; but Ibn Zubair called people to himself and Hussain (PBUH) called everyone to his God.

Ibn Zubair rose and said Yazid has no right to rule. He wanted the caliphate for himself; he wanted Yazid down so that he could go up. The one who desires kingship and power, he is devoted to evil. Ibn Zubair was killed for the cause of his worldly desires; he was devoted to the path of evil. Nevertheless, Hussain (PBUH) was not seeking any position or kingship at all. Adolescent minded people are the one who care a lot for power. One, who has realized how belittled life is, understands that this world is nothing other than a temporary joy and a game; power comes with more pains and concerns. Hussain (PBUH) was more than being chained with worldly desires for power. When he was about to leave Mecca on the eight of Dhi al-Hijjah, he clearly stated, “I am rising to enjoin to good and forbid from evil; not for getting any reign and to cause sedition.”

Hussain’s (PBUH) path was exactly identical to his father and grandfather; to invite the Muslim nation to piety; to prevent them from seeking power and according to the holy Quran avoid them to “seek superiority” on earth. Hussain (PBUH) intended to prevent people from being deceived by alluring acts of Yazid and make them become worshipers of Allah (SWT) instead of being worshippers of a Man. Hussain (PBUH) wanted to notify people that finally this world would pass, so what is the reason for this greediness and negligence? How many years would a person live in this world?

(The above is a selection taken from “Master of Martyrs (Sayyed al-Shuhada’)”, by Ayatullah Dastgheib)

Yes, Seyyed al-Shahda sacrificed everything he had in the way of his Lord. Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) beautifully expresses the divine motivation of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) in another verse of the Arbaeen Pilgrimage: “…{God, I bear witness} He fought with them in your way, while he was patient and thought only of you, until his blood was shed in the way of obeying you…” (1).


1-       “…{O God, I bear witness that he} struggled against them for Your sake, patient and seeking reward, until he shed his blood in obedience to You…”(Part of Arbaeen Pilgrimage)

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