The leaders and followers of every institution have key roles in the success and failures of those institutions. These primary groups are the ones who can bring about the success or failure of the movement. Likewise, divine movements led by Allah’s messengers, illustrates how strong individuals and forces are trained for the frontlines.

The same is evident in the movement of Ashura, as we see Imam Hussain (PBUH) managing, educating, training, nurturing the forces, connecting with previously trained people through an ideological, yet emotional stance. Typically, movements often want to attract active young, energetic and intelligent individuals as their support, but in the movement of Ashura, the individuals are quite different. In this movement there are the elderly, women, children and youth, and each person has been trained to the extent of having reached a solid level of certainty.  Everyone in that army strongly believes in the path they are taking and have full faith in the leader of their movement.

It is common knowledge that training people to reach such a high level of certainty and strong faith, and even risk their lives in the process is not an easy task.  To lose fear of being martyred truthfully in the path of Allah is not a trivial task. There are too many dependencies in this world, each positing a considerable barrier that withholds one from reaching the ultimate level of certainty. The love towards life, spouse, children, wealth, fame and the like are all barriers that prevent one from moving forward. This why in a narration, Imam Hussein has said: “People are slaves of this world, and religion is evident on their tongues (alone). They keep it for as long as it meets their comfortable lifestyles, but when the test comes, religion holders become very few.”1 Furthermore, only the Prophet’s Progeny (PBUT) were able to train and educate the true believers; these companions were aligned, obedient to the Prophet’s Progeny (PBUT), aware of their responsibilities and devoted for martyrdom in path of Allah (SWT).  

A German researcher2 believes Hurr’s3 decision to turn his back to the Umayyad’s was not a sudden decision. It was more of a young plant, which had grown a strong root and came out of the soil over time only to mature into a full-grown tree. This is while even he himself did not know that he was going to leave Yazid and join Imam Hussain (PBUH). When he reached Imam Hussain for the first time before the day of Ashura, Hurr and his army prayed (did Salat) behind the Imam. When he prevented the Imam from moving ahead.  The Imam told him: “O Hurr! May your mother mourn over your death, what do you intend”? Hurr replied, “If anyone else among the Arabs had said this in the same position as you are, I would have answered him equally, whoever he might have been, but alas! I cannot utter the name of your mother, except with fairness.”4

Therefore, when Hurr regrets his action deep down, it is in fact that call of a pure conscious and truth seeking nature, which grows inside over time and ultimately produces results.

Imam Hussain (PBUH) gathered his companions at the night of Ashura and said: “Now then! I have not known any companions who are more faithful and devout than you… may Allah reward you well on my behalf. And I presume that the enemy will not spare even a single day, and I permit all of you to go away freely while I validate this for you.” Nontheless, none of the companions departed the camp as everyone had reached the ultimate stage of certainty and was prepared for martyrdom on the next day… and of course the nature of this movement still continues today.

(Selection taken from the Secret of Ashura’s Eternity by Ayatullah Isaac Fayaazi with minor changes)

The Roshd Website offers condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon the arrival of the month of Muharram, the month of mourning for the master of martyrs, Imam Hussain bin Ali (PBUH).

Footnotes:

1. Tohf al-Uqool, pg. 245

2. Stephan Friedrich Schaefer became a Muslim in 1999 and started practice Shi’ism from 2002. Since then he has published a book on “Fourty Narrations on Fasting” and a number of articles.

3. Hurr Ibn Yazid – one of the companions of Imam Hussain (PBUH) who was also the commander of the first Umayyad army to arrive and halt the movement of Imam Hussain (PBUH) and his companions in the desert of Karbala. At the last moments before the start of battle he turns his back to the Umayyad and return to the camp of Imam Hussein (PBUH).

4.Musnad al-Imam al-Shahid, vol. 1, pg. 483

5. It is worth mentioning that some of the key companions of Imam Hussain spent most of their lives away from his on an ideology separate or even against what the Prophet’s Progeny practiced. But eventually their consciouses lead them to the path to think and discover a different frontier with Imam Hussain and ultimately reach eternal salvation.

6.Musnad al-Imam al-Shahid, vol. 2, pg. 15