As the 40th day after the Martyrdom – Arba’een – of Imam Hussain (PBUH) approaches, and provides a cause for many people to once again look back in bewilderment at the epic movement, one cannot help but wonder how the commemoration of such a movement continues to be revered and repeated with greater magnificence each year. What is the secret to the everlastingness and the holy reverence of this movement?
Many view Hussain (PBUH) a free man, who refused to fall prey to serving a corrupt rule; as one who defended his freedom, and invited people to seeking freedom. While this matter is true, it is but a simple part of the entire occurrence. For, there are many freedom-seeking warriors, and many people throughout history have who lived and died free. But why are they not as revered as Imam Hussain (PBUH)?
There are those who see the eternalness of the event of Karbala in its tragic nature, and perceive that no incident surpasses the tragedies that took place in Karbala. As portrayed in the famous saying, “O Aba Abd Allah, no day is like yours!”(1) Yes, the day of Imam Hussain (PBUH) is the greatest day, for it burned the hearts and made the tears flow uncontrollably; but even this is not the sole reason for the greatness and everlasting secret of Ashura. For, history has witnessed many tragedies. The history of Islam alone has recorded the death of people like Hussain Shahid Fakh and Zaid ibn Ali and their families, but many people do not care about them or even know them.
Others view Imam Hussain (PBUH) as a man who fought for divine rule, to establish justice, to revive religion, and to promote spiritual Quranic values in the Islamic Ummah. This point, is also true, but does not deliver the entire essence of the movement. For, there have been many in the past who have revolted to establish divine rule, and have been killed as a result.
The greatness of Imam Hussain (PBUH) does not lie merely in the fact that he was a person seeking reform and justice, and who faces grand tragedies along the way. Then what is the secret of this greatness?
To approach the answer, we must first consider that Allah, the almighty, the creator of being, the owner of the skies and the Earth, is the master of all affairs. He elevates whomever He desires, and leaves that which He does not desire. He promotes anyone who grips His rope, and leaves to himself anyone who abandons His guidance.
What is evident is that Imam Hussain (PBUH) held tightly to the divine rope and acted for Allah (SWT) in the utmost sincerity and devotion. And Allah (SWT) made him exalted, and turned the hearts of the pious towards him, and He placed the fire of his love in the hearts of Muslims. The value of Imam Hussain (PBUH) lies in the fact that his work was in all its essence and purity done for Allah (SWT) alone. For if had thousands of sons like Ali Akbar (PBUH), and had it been ordained to sacrifice them in a moment for Allah (SWT), he would not have hesitated. Hussain (PBUH) had purified his soul from personal desire, and while his son, his love, was closest in resemblance to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP)(2), he offered him in the way of Allah (SWT); because his love of Allah (SWT) was the greatest. To which Allah says, “But they who believe, have a greater affection towards Allah.”(3)
He knew that anything that lays on and exists in the world, and all values manifest themselves in the love towards Allah (SWT) and His knowing. It is noteworthy to mention that each of the children of Imam Hussain (PBUH), brothers, and companions who were martyred in Karbala were on the horizon of such divine belief in Allah (SWT). They were martyred one after another, and as a result of the martyrdom of each, the face of the Imam (PBUH) shined even more, while his heart would tear to pieces from the loss of them.
Yet, after Imam Hussain (PBUH) completed his mission, he took a fistful of the sand of Karbala and placed it on his forehead, saying, “Patience on Your decree, O Lord! For there is no true God but You, O helper of those who seek help, I have no authority or God, but You….”(4)
Indeed, that which has made the name of Imam Hussain (PBUH) eternal is his depth of sincerity towards Allah (SWT), and whatever is done for Allah (SWT) will be eternal.
(The above is selection taken from “Imam Hussain (PBUH), the Manifestation of Truth” by Ayatullah Sayyed Muhammad Taqi Mudarrisi, (with some changes and summarization))
Roshd Website offers its condolences
to all Muslims, especially you dear friend
upon the arrival of the 40th day after the Martyrdom – the Arba’een-
of Imam Hussain (PBUH) and his faithful companions.
1. Amali Saduq, p. 116; Muthir al-Ahzan, p. 4
2. When Imam Hussain (PBUH) sent Ali Akbar to the battlefield, he said, “O Allah, be witness, a young man has gone into battle who is closest in resemblance, in attitude, in appearance, and in logic, to Your Prophet. And whenever we missed and desired to see Your Prophet, we would observe him.” Lohouf, p. 113
3. The Holy Quran, (2:165)
4. Maqtal al-Muqarram, p. 357; Yanabi’ al-Mawdah, vol. 3, p. 82