It was the last days of the life of Mu’awiyah. With his vicious plots, he chose his corrupt son Yazid as his heir (1), and a dark future was the prospect of the Islamic society. After this incident, Imam Hussain (PBUH) first reproached Mu’awiyah with serious and aggressive letters. Furthermore he decided to awaken the sleeping society by giving a speech in a public place. Therefore at the Hajj ceremony in Mina (2) he organized a great gathering (about a thousand people) and invited the heads of the Islamic Ummah. He addressed the people in some parts of his speech as such:
“O people, learn lesson from the advices God gives regarding the scholars of the previous communities. Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Quran, ‘Why do not the religious scholars prohibit people from speaking vice words and eating the forbidden things?”(3)
The reason why God reproaches them is that they witnessed corruption and unacceptable behavior from the tyrants of their time, but did not prohibit them. I fear that a Divine punishment falls upon you; while you witness that the oaths of God is being broken (and you do nothing)… It is surprising that the nation is conquered by a traitor tyrant and the faithful people are being dominated by a cruel ruler … The reason why they have dominated you is that you escape death, and you have been satisfied and cheered with this temporary life.”
Then he announced his motive for his movement and rising, “O Allah, you are aware … that all my effort is to show the people the true path of Your religion, and to bring reformation in the cities, so that Your oppressed servants are secured from the tyrants, and that the religious duties and rules are performed among Your people.”(4)
Mu’awiyah died and his son sat at his place of Caliphate. Shortly after, by the mediation of Medina’s ruler, he asked for the hand of allegiance from Imam Hussain (PBUH). Imam replied:
“If the fate of the Isalmic community is at the hands of a ruler like Yazid, Islam should be considered ceased.”(5)
That means paying allegiance to Yazid is equal to being satisfied with the death of Islam. These words show that the motive of Imam Hussain (PBUH) for his rising was persevering the basis of Islam, and preventing its demise. The use of the word “like Yazid” shows that he was not intending Yazid particularly, rather his opposition was the attitude of Yazid that if it shows up at any time or by anyone who opposes the religion of God, he would be his enemy and he will oppose him.
Yazid died and deteriorated in the depths of the soil; however, Yazid’s attitude will be present in the world until the appearance of Imam Mahdi (PBUH). This attitude should be opposed by the followers of Hussain (PBUH), and the annual mourning for Ashura is for keeping alive this attitude of Imam Hussain (PBUH).
Such a great cause is intended, that Imam Hussain (PBUH) goes to the most horrible calamities with his most dear relatives for the satisfaction of God. He did not hesitate for a moment; on the contrary, he stood steadily and firmly as if no distress had hurt him …
It was the moments that he was alone. He had to confront the army of the enemy and also guard the family tents so that the kids and ladies in the tents are not hurt. He used to attack the army and disperse them, and then return. He stopped at the point from which the tents were visible, and looked at the tents and shout loudly: “there is neither change nor power except from Allah”, so that the people at the tents can hear him and know he was still alive.
He finally got tired. He was not capable of repetitive attacks and returns anymore; so he came to the tents for the final farewell. He came near the bed of his sick son, Zain al-‘Abidin (PBUH). He had fainted; so he put his hand at the forehead of his son. The son opened his eyes and saw blood dropping from the chains of his father’s shield. He tried to stand up, but he couldn’t. Asking and replying was not possible. He said a few words as his will, and said:
“Get ready for bearing calamities, and be aware that God is your protector and guard. Never complain and don’t say any word that lowers your position and rank.”
He bent down and kissed his son’s forehead. He stood up and got on his horse, and turned toward the people in the tents for the last time and said farewell to them and told, “I am going…”
He went and did not come back until the roars of his rider-less horse reached to his sisters and daughters. They ran out of the tents, and faced the site of martyrdom… “O Mohammad, O Ali, O Hussain!”(6)
(The above is selected from “Ashura Means Rising from the Beginning to the End” by Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Dia’ Abadai)
The Roshd website offers its condolences to you dear friend and all the freemen of the world upon the arrival of the 10th of Muharram, the anniversary of the martyrdom of the revivalist of the religion and the great sacrifice in the path of Allah (SWT), Imam Hussain ibn Ali (PBUT) and his loyal companions.
1. According to the peace treaty between Imam Hassan (PBUH) and Mu’awiyah, Mu’awiyah did not have the right to select a successor after him.
2. This gathering was formed a year or two years before the death of Mu’awiyah at Mina.
3. The Holy Quran, (5:63)
4. Tuhaf al-‘Uqul, pp. 237-239
5. Al-Lohuf ala Ghatla al-Tofuf p. 24
6. Al-Lohuf ala Ghatla al-Tofuf