The event of Ashura was not a mere half day incident that took place in the year 61 A.H.  It was not an incident, separate from it’s before and after. Ashura was not only rooted in the previous incidents and developments of the Islamic society since the demise of the Great Prophet (PBUH&HP) up to the year 60, but also an event that continues to shape the thoughts and actions of Muslims today up to  the Day of Judgment. Despite the various interpretations on the uprising in Karbala and the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH), from its epic, educational, and spiritual aspects, the content is rich with so much more. Ashura is for everyone, always with a message.  It is worthy of remembrance as Muslims can use Ashura to reach higher degrees of faith, religiosity and duty recognition.

For example, one of the messages of Karbala and the Hosseini (PBUH) movement is the message of revivalism. Following the first periods of Islam, illegitimate rulers from various schools of thought began to seize power, and rule the Muslim nation, causing the demise of original transcendental values. People gradually became used to these deviations and refused to react against them. In these instances, caring individuals of that movement, or the true heirs of that school or religion proceed to revive the original messages and its contents to revoke society, and remind them of the principles of that religion. This action sometimes takes place with self-sacrifice, and the revivers of the religious tradition must sacrifice themselves to awaken society and revive religion.

The Karbala movement was a revivalist movement, based on religion and divine principles. As portrayed in the speeches of the Master of Martyrs (PBUH), it is evident that a great deal of emphasis is placed on the reviving religion, executing divine rules, reviving tradition, acting against deviation and corruption and inviting others to God’s orders and the Quran.

Among the Imam’s statements was the following: “I invite you to the Book of Allah and the tradition of the Prophet. Tradition is dead and deviation becomes apparent. If you listen to my words and obey my commands, I will guide you to the straight path.”1 In another instance, the Imam (PBUH) describes the intention of the people of Kufah as such: “the people of Kufah wrote me letters, asking me to go to them.  For I hope (to see) the revival of true signs, and the demise of deviations.”2 When Imam Hussein (PBUH) runs into Farazdaq along the way, he describes the problem as such, “O Farazdaq, these people have abandoned obedience to God, and have become followers of Satan. They have engaged in corruption on earth, abandoned the boundaries of Allah, they have turned to drinking, and taken up the shares of the poor. I am most worthy for helping the religion of God, for making his religion victorious and struggle in his way, so that His word will be the greater.”3

On the day of Ashura, the Master of Martyrs (PBUH) showed with the sacrifice of the many lives, including that of his own, his sons, his young children, his family and close companions, and the captivity of his wife, sisters and daughters in the most oppressed manner, showed that with the uprising in Karbala, Islam could regain its dignity, and divine values can return to their respected states. The important message of Ashura is the revival of forgotten values, and the rejuvenation of uncounted values.

(Selection taken from the book The messages of Ashura by Jawad Mohadesi (with minor changes) )

Roshd Website offers its condolences to all Muslims across the world, especially you dear friend, upon the arrival of Ashura, the martyrdom of the Master of Martyrs, the oppressed of the ground of Karbala, Imam Hussain (PBUH), and his respected companions.

Footnotes:

1. Tarikh Tabari, vol 4, pg. 266

2. Akhbar al-Tawal Dinwari, pg. 246

3. Tadhkirat al-khawas Ibn al-Juwzi, pg 217