Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Imam Hussain: Seeking Dignity and Crafting Glory

0 47

Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) is a manifestation of dignity and pride. Hussein ibn Ali (peace be upon both of him) is the embodiment of true dignity and a perfect model of glory and pride. This holds true for us, who are bound by this materialistic world, as well as for the righteous and truthful in the realm of the spiritual world. Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) epitomized dignity, having declared, “Far be it from us to accept humiliation!”

Three Dimensions of Hussein’s Dignity and Pride:

What is this dignity and what is this glory all about? Anyone familiar with the mission of Hussein ibn Ali (peace be upon him) will understand the nature of this dignity. We can look at this historic Husseinian uprising through three dimensions framed by three perspectives. What stands out in each dimension is the sense of dignity, loftiness, and pride:

  1. The First Dimension It’s the revolution of truth against a mighty falsehood. This was the essence of Imam Hussein’s (peace be upon him) reformative revolutionary movement.
  2. The Second Dimension: The uprising of Hussein ibn Ali (peace be upon him) was a manifestation of spirituality and morality. Apart from the social, political, revolutionary activism, and the explicit confrontation between truth and falsehood, there’s another battleground in this movement: the souls, inner feelings, and essence of people. Where human weaknesses, desires, and temptations accumulate, they deter individuals from taking significant steps. This is also a battlefield – an extremely exhausting one. The believers, both men and women, who follow the path of Hussein ibn Ali (peace be upon both of them), perceive the world and its temptations as insignificant in comparison to their divine duties. The inherent virtues deep within humans triumph over the internal demonic forces – which are depicted in our traditions as the forces of reason and ignorance. Thus, the triumph of reason over ignorance was evident in the essence of the great legends who became timeless examples throughout history.
  3. The Third Dimension: This is about the calamities, tragedies, sorrows, and heartaches that marked the Day of Ashura, which often overwhelm people. Yet, even in this dimension, there lies dignity and glory. Those with intellect and insight should delve into these three dimensions.

Dignity and Glory in Confronting the Oppressive Tyranny

At the forefront of this, Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) led a revolutionary movement, epitomizing dignity and glory.

 But who stood opposite to Hussein bin Ali (peace be upon them both)? It was the corrupt, deviated, unjust government, embodied in its acts of ‘oppression and aggression against Allah’s servants’. This government’s hallmark was its unjust and aggressive dealings with the nation under its rule, with Allah’s creations characterized by vanity, arrogance, selfishness, and enslavement. This was the distinctive feature of that government, as it abandoned morals and disregarded people’s rights, transforming the Islamic rule into the very tyrannical rule that prevailed before Islam and throughout various historical periods. Notably, one of the main attributes of the Islamic system is governance, and one of the defining aspects of the ideal society that Islam seeks to build is the form and nature of governance and the ruler’s character. Prominent figures of that era noted that tyrants had turned Imamate into a monarchy.

The Imamate represents leadership in both religious and worldly matters, guiding everyone towards a noble goal. There’s a leader who steers the rest; if one deviates, he retrieves and guides them back. If one is weary, he encourages them to continue, and if one is wounded, he aids them. He provides everyone with moral and material support. This is what is termed in Islamic terminology as the ‘Imam’, meaning the guide. On the contrary, there’s the ‘Sultanate’. The hereditary monarchy is one form of the Sultanate. Not all rulers in the world are termed as sultans, but their essence is dominion, asserting control over people. Any individual, in any historical period, who confronts his people or others with brute force, embodies what is called a ‘Sultanate’.

In the era of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him), they replaced the Islamic Imamate with something that ‘oppresses and aggresses against Allah’s servants’. Hence, Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) took the stand against this situation. His resistance was manifested in clarifying, guiding, and distinguishing between right and wrong, whether in the era of Yazid or those before him. The pinnacle of the issue, especially during Yazid’s reign, was that this leader of oppression and deviation expected the Imam of guidance to acknowledge his rule! This is what ‘allegiance’ meant: Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) was expected to publicly support the rule of that oppressor and recognize it instead of guiding the people and elucidating the government’s misguidance!

From this premise sprang the revolution of Imam Hussein, peace be upon him. Had it not been for the ludicrous and foolhardy expectations of that government, Imam Hussein could have hoisted the banner of guidance, enlightening the nation, taking responsibility for its spiritual guidance, and elucidating the truths – as subsequent Imams, peace be upon them, did after him and as he himself did during the era of Muawiyah. He could have persisted in this endeavor. However, due to ignorance, arrogance, and a departure from noble human virtues, Yazid audaciously expected Imam Hussein to sign that dark pact that would replace the Islamic Imamate with a tyrannical sultanate – expecting him to pledge allegiance. But Imam Hussein responded, stating: ‘One like me does not pledge allegiance to one like him’. Hussein would never acknowledge such a demand; he forever remains the bearer of the banner of truth. The banner of truth neither aligns with falsehood nor accepts its stain. This sentiment was articulated by Imam Hussein when he declared, ‘Dishonor, far from us!’.

The movement of Imam Hussein, peace be upon him, was one of honor – the honor of the truth, of religion, of Imamate, and of the path delineated by the Prophet, peace be upon him and his family. Imam Hussein exemplified honor. Through his resilience, he became a source of glory and pride. This is the honor and glory of Hussein. While some might make declarations, they do not stand firm on them, rather retracting. Such a person cannot take pride; instead, pride belongs to the individual, the group, or the nation that remains steadfast in its beliefs, not allowing tempests to bring down the banner it upholds or destroy it, safeguarding it with the utmost tenacity. Imam Hussein, peace be upon him, preserved that banner and remained unyielding, even as his beloved ones were martyred and his family taken captive. This is the true essence of honor and glory in the revolutionary movement.

Dignity and Glory In Moral Victory.

In the realm of moral embodiment, the matter is just as such. I’ve mentioned repeatedly that many approached Imam Hussein, criticizing his steadfastness. These weren’t mere simple folk or misguided individuals; they were amongst the great figures of Islam. Yet they misunderstood and succumbed to human weakness, wishing for Imam Hussein to do the same. However, he did not waver but showed perseverance.

Likewise, all those with Imam Hussein triumphed in this internal and moral battle. Victory was the portion of the mother who sent her young son to the battlefield with pride and hope. The young man who renounced fleeting worldly pleasures for the arena of struggle was the victor. Those elders, like Habib from Mazahir and Muslim bin Awsajah, who set aside the comforts of old age and warm family embraces to face adversity, are the victors in this internal and moral conflict. The brave leader, Al-Hurr bin Yazid Al-Riyahi, who once held a position amongst the enemies but chose to stand with Imam Hussein, is among the victors in this battle.

Those who triumphed that day in the moral conflict between virtues and vices, those who managed to let reason prevail over ignorance, were few. Yet their presence, resilience, and steadfastness in the field of honor inspired millions throughout history to derive lessons and follow their path. Had they not let virtue triumph over vice, the tree of virtue would have withered throughout history. But they were the ones who nourished this tree.

Dignity and Glory In the Tragedy of Ashura

 As for the third dimension representing the tragedy of Ashura, one can also discern the features of pride, grandeur, and honor. Despite the calamity and martyrdom, and despite the sacrifice of Hashimite youth, their infants, and aged supporters alongside Abi Abdillah Al-Hussain (peace be upon him), each of these incidents embodied the essence of honor and glory.

Who was the epitome of the sacrificing youth in Karbala? It was Ali Al-Akbar, son of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him). A radiant youth, he was exemplary among the Hashimite young men. He possessed both external and internal beauty and held knowledge blended with bravery and sacrifice. His deep understanding of the rightful Imamate and the guardianship of his father, Al-Hussain bin Ali (peace be upon both), and his readiness to face his wretched enemy, drove this glowing lone youth to the battlefield. He returned covered in his blood, before the eyes of his father and the distressed women. Such a calamity and such mourning were no simple matters. Yet, his approach to the field symbolizes dignity, grandeur, and pride for the Muslim, manifesting Allah’s saying: “And to Allah belongs [all] honor, and to His Messenger, and to the believers” (Quran, 63:8). The essence of honor is for a Muslim to devote his energy, vigor, and youth to his noble objective. Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) sending this young man to the battlefield embodied spiritual dignity, upholding the lofty banner of Islam’s governance, distinguishing it from tyrannical rule. This was at the cost of the life of his beloved son.

Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) did not readily grant permission to any companion or supporter when they sought to proceed to the battlefield. He prevented some from leaving and directed others to entirely leave Karbala. Yet, when his beloved son, Ali Al-Akbar, sought permission to face the battlefield, the Imam did not hesitate and promptly granted it. This reveals the significance of the son and the greatness of the father’s stature.

While the companions were alive, they did not allow the Hashimites to go to the battlefield, declaring, ‘We are your sacrifices.’. They did not allow the sons of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Hassan, and Imam Hussain (peace be upon them) to advance. They said, ‘Let us face the enemy first, then you may proceed if necessary’. At that time, the first to seek permission was that knowledgeable youth aware of his responsibility, Ali Al-Akbar, the closest person to the Imam. He was, therefore, the most deserving of all to achieve martyrdom, and he stepped forward to embrace it.

Here, an aspect of Islamic Imamate becomes evident. This is not a place for worldly bargains, materialistic benefits, economic profits, or personal desires. Instead, it is the site of struggle and adversity. Leading the charge is Ali bin Hussain Al-Akbar. In this setting, the young man’s profound knowledge is illuminated. Imam Hussain, peace be upon him, showcased his spiritual magnificence. As soon as the young man sought permission, Imam Hussain granted him the honor of stepping into the battlefield. There’s a lesson for us in this act. These timeless teachings, through history and events, are essential for humanity’s present and future.

As long as man’s selfishness dominates, the greater his practical capability becomes, the more dangerous he becomes. When human desires overshadow reason, and one’s ambition seeks to acquire everything, their increasing power often leads to increased danger, brutality, and harm. Examples of this phenomenon are evident in the world. The brilliance of Islam lies in its selection process for those ascending the ladder of power. It chooses from among those who have successfully navigated challenges, at the very least reaching some milestones of success. The criterion Islam sets for holding positions is the ability to rise above many of these base desires and instincts.

Rate this post
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.