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The Revolution of Hussain (PBUH): Planning and Outcomes of the School of Ashura

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The Prophets (PBUT) Weep for Hussain (AS)

The story of Hussain (peace be upon him) is indeed strange, for he was not only the fifth light in the world of illumination, nor was his name merely among those invoked by the prophets. Rather, Hussain (peace be upon him) stood out in his distinctive relationship with Allah‘s prophets who wept for him throughout history, even before his birth.

Adam (PBUH)

As narrated by the author of ‘Al-Durr Al-Thameen’ in the interpretation of the Almighty’s verse: “And Adam received words from his Lord.” He saw the pillar of the Throne and the names of the Prophet and the Imams, peace be upon them written on it. Gabriel said to him repeat after me: “O Praiseworthy, by the right of Muhammad, O Exalted, by the right of Ali, O Creator, by the right of Fatima, O Beneficent, by the right of Hassan and Hussain, and from You comes all beneficence.”

When Hussain was mentioned, Adam’s tears flowed and his heart trembled. He asked Gabriel, “Why, upon mentioning the fifth name, does my heart shatter and my tears flow?” Gabriel replied, “This son of yours will face a calamity that makes all others seem small.” Adam asked, “What is it?” Gabriel responded, “He will be killed, parched, alienated, and unique, without a helper or supporter. If you could see him, Adam, calling out in thirst and bemoaning his lack of supporters, until his thirst looms between him and the sky like smoke, and no one responds to him but with swords, drinking from the cup of death, slaughtered like a lamb, his belongings plundered by his enemies, their heads, along with his supporters’, paraded through the lands, along with their women. So it was ordained in the knowledge of the One, the Bestower.” Thus, Adam and Gabriel wept the weeping of those bereaved.

Adam’s encounter with Hussain repeats when he descends to Earth, wandering upon it, passing through Karbala, feeling constrained and anguished without apparent reason. He raises his head to the heavens and says, “My God, have I committed another sin for which you are punishing me? I have traversed the entire Earth, and I have not experienced any harm like what I experience in this land.”

God revealed to him, “O Adam, no sin has occurred from you, but your son Hussain will be unjustly killed in this land, and your blood weeps in accord with his blood…”

Noah (PBUH)

It has been narrated that when Prophet Noah, peace be upon him, sailed on his ark, it took him around the entire world. However, when it passed over Karbala, the ship got stuck, and Noah feared sinking. He prayed to his Lord, saying, “My God, I have traversed the entire world, but I have not experienced fear like what I have encountered in this land.” Then Angel Gabriel descended and said, “Oh Noah, in this place, Hussain, the grandson of Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, and the son of the Seal of the Prophets, will be killed.” Noah asked, “Who will be his murderer, O Gabriel?” Gabriel answered, “His killer will be cursed by the inhabitants of the seven heavens and the seven earths.” Then, Noah cursed the killer four times, and the ship resumed its journey until it reached Mount Judi and settled there.

Abraham (PBUH)

As narrated by Imam Reza, peace be upon him, “When Allah commanded Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him, to sacrifice a ram in place of his son Ishmael… Allah revealed to him: ‘Oh Abraham, who is the most beloved of my creation to you?’ He answered, ‘Oh Lord, you have not created anyone more beloved to me than your beloved Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny.’ Allah asked, ‘Is he more beloved to you than your own self?’ He responded, ‘Indeed, he is more beloved to me than myself.’ Allah then asked, ‘So is his son more beloved to you than your son?’ He answered, ‘Indeed, his son…’ Allah said, ‘Oh Abraham, a group claiming to belong to the community of Muhammad will unjustly and aggressively kill his son Hussein after his death, just as the ram is slaughtered, and by doing so, they will earn my wrath.’ This revelation deeply distressed Abraham and his heart ached as he began to weep…

Moses (PBUH)

It has been narrated that Prophet Moses, one day while walking with Joshua son of Nun, when they reached the land of Karbala, his sandal tore, its straps broke, thorns pierced his feet, and blood flowed. He asked, ‘Oh God, what sin have I committed?’ It was revealed to him, ‘Here Hussein will be killed, and his blood will be spilled, so your blood flowed in harmony with his… Moses raised his hands, cursed Yazid, and prayed against him. Joshua son of Nun joined him in his prayers…

Essa (PBUH)

It has been narrated that Prophet Essa, peace be upon him, was traveling through the wilderness with his disciples. They passed by Karbala and saw a lion blocking their path. Essa approached the lion and asked, ‘Why have you obstructed this path?’ The lion replied in fluent speech, ‘I will not let you pass this path until you curse Yazid, the killer of Hussein, peace be upon him…’ So, Essa raised his hands, cursed Yazid, and prayed against him. His disciples joined him in his prayers, and the lion then moved aside, and they continued on their journey.”

Muhammad (PBUH)

 Ummul Fadl entered upon the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, after the birth of Hussein. She found him crying and asked him, ‘What causes you to weep, O Messenger of God?‘ He, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, replied, ‘Gabriel has informed me that my nation will murder this son of mine.’

Why did the prophets cry for Imam Hussein (AS)?

The weeping of the Prophets of Allah, peace be upon them, for Imam Hussein was not merely due to the tragedy that occurred in Karbala. Rather, it was because the murder of Hussein and the taking of his women as captives symbolized the revival of Allah’s eternal religion and the final law that represents the path to realizing the secret and purpose of creation. Hussein, with his blood, preserved Islam after his uprising in that defeated society, where Islam was being erased without anyone’s resistance. It was only the blood of Hussein, shed in Karbala, that awakened it.


The Defeated society during the time of Imam Hussein (AS)

The Tribe of Asad is Defeated

 One of the illustrations of this defeat is what happened with Habib bin Mazahir. When Imam Hussein, peace be upon him, permitted him to approach the tribe of Asad and invite them to assist Hussein, the Imam granted his permission. When he reached them and invited them, dozens from amongst them responded. However, before they could reach the camp of Imam Hussein, a clash occurred between them and a faction from Saad’s army. Not only did this conflict cause them to withdraw, but it also led to the entire tribe fleeing in the dead of night, fearing Ibn Saad, leaving Habib to return to Hussein without a single one of them.

Fear of the Elders

One who scrutinizes the words of the Islamic society’s elders, which they directed towards Imam Hussein, peace be upon him when they learned that he intended to journey to Kufa, would notice signs of the fear that had engulfed society. Despite the fact that the basis for many of these words was a concern for Imam Hussein.

  • Ibn Abbas said: “I fear for you total annihilation and extermination in this endeavor.”
  • Abdullah bin Jafar wrote to him: “I implore you by Allah to consider what I say when you read this letter. I am deeply worried about you concerning this issue, as it could lead to your demise and the extermination of your household.”
  • Abdullah bin Omar urged him to return to the sanctuary of his grandfather.
  • Omar bin Ludhzan told him: “I implore you in the name of Allah, O son of the Messenger of Allah, to consider!! By Allah, you’re advancing only towards sharp teeth and the tips of swords.”

Imam Hussein’s response to these concerned elders expressed a perspective profoundly different from theirs. Hussein was looking at the great price to be paid for a valuable cause. The cause was the preservation of Islam, which represented the purpose of creation, while the price was the martyrdom of Hussein and his companions and the captivity of the women. Hussein expressed this price by saying: “Allah wills to see me slain and the women taken captive.”

It is the killing that awakens the nation and preserves the religion. Thus, it was planned.

1 – The Role of Women

 Imam Hussein, peace be upon him, journeyed with the women among whom were the daughters of Ali bin Abi Talib, peace be upon him, including Lady Zainab, the granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his family. He took them knowing they would become captives, revealing the injustice, corruption, and great deceit of the Umayyads. Hussein understood the significant role the captives would play in Muslim societies, and so it happened…

As the captives entered Kufa, Zainab, peace be upon her, delivered a sermon admonishing the people of Iraq, causing them to wail and weep. She said, “O people of Kufa, O people of betrayal and treachery, you weep, I hope that your tears never cease and your wails never quiet. What an ill service you have rendered yourselves, invoking the wrath of Allah, and eternal punishment awaits you. You weep and lament? By Allah, you should weep much and laugh little, for you are steeped in disgrace and dishonor, never to wash it away. How could you not be, when the progeny of prophecy, the mine of the message… and the master of the youth of Paradise were slain? What an ill return they met…”

Following Zainab, Fatima, the daughter of Hussein, spoke to the people of Kufa, saying: “Woe to you! Do you realize which hand you have used to harm us? Which soul amongst you yearned to fight us? In whose company did you march against us, seeking to wage war? Your hearts have hardened, and your livers have become rough…”

Voices rose in crying, and they said: “That is enough, O daughter of the pure ones, you have burned our hearts, choked our throats, and kindled our insides.”

In Yazid’s court, Zainab rose again to speak with the voice of her father Ali, bewitching the people of Syria and altering the course of events. There, she said to Yazid, “Do your worst, exert all your effort, and muster all your energy, but, by Allah, you will never eradicate our memory, nor will you kill our inspiration…”

When the captives entered, their entrance day was a day of celebration for the people of Syria. Yazid was boasting that he had killed Hussein, peace be upon him. But when Zainab delivered her sermon, followed by the famous sermon of her nephew, Imam Zain Al-Abidin, the people were moved to tears in Yazid’s court, forcing him to disavow any responsibility for Hussein’s death: “Curse Ibn Marjana, by God, I did not command him to kill Hussein nor was I pleased with it. He burdened me with what is unbearable. By God, I would have preferred to relinquish everything rather than Hussein being killed.”

2 – The Status of the Companions

Hussein’s companions were among the noblest and most sincere individuals of the community. The herald of Karbala, addressing Yazid’s army, described them saying: “Woe unto you, fools, hold on! Do you know who you are fighting? You are fighting the knights of Arabs and the people of discernment.” From a bravery standpoint, they were the knights of Arabs, some of whom would advance toward Yazid’s forces, causing them to flee in retreat.

From a knowledge standpoint, they were the people of insight… Among them was the chief reciter, Zuhair bin Al-Qain, and there was Burair bin Khudair, one of the senior reciters at the Grand Mosque of Kufa, held in high esteem among the Hamdanis. There were also companions who had seen the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his family, such as Muslim bin Awsaja and Nafi bin Hilal. There was also the leader of the Banu Asad, Habib bin Mazahir, an honorable elder.

The companions of Hussein, peace be upon him, were distributed among the tribes and clans. Thus, whatever happened in Karbala would profoundly shake the Arab tribes and their clans.

The Epic Unfolded

Hussein, peace be upon him, his family, and his companions (may God be pleased with them), presented a model that contradicted the defeated society.

In the army of Muslim Ibn Aqel, a wife would come to retrieve her husband. However, on Ashura, when her husband would step forward to fight in the vanguard of Hussein’s forces, she would also advance to fight alongside him. This is what Umm Wahb did when she took a tent pole and approached her husband, saying to him, ‘May my parents be sacrificed for you! Fight for the pure progeny of Muhammad.’ Her husband tried to send her back to the other women, but she clung to the edge of his garment and declared, ‘I will not leave you until I die with you.’ After her husband’s martyrdom, Umm Wahb went to search for his body. She sat beside him and said, ‘Congratulations on your entry into paradise. I pray to Allah, who has granted you paradise, to allow me to accompany you.’ Shimr, may Allah curse him, commanded his servant to kill her.

A mother in the army of Muslim would come to take her son…

But in Karbala, a mother told her son, ‘Arise, my son, and support the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his family.’ The son responded, ‘I will do so, Mother, and I will not falter.’ He fought until he had killed a group of enemies, then returned to his mother and asked, ‘Mother, are you satisfied?’ She replied, ‘I will not be satisfied until you are martyred in the service of Hussein, peace be upon him.’

Imam Hussein and those with him were martyred. The people passed on the image of the epic of Karbala, and the call of Hussein, which people could not hear before, started to resonate strongly in their ears.

Results of the Revolution

The Uprising of Medina

 The people of Medina, upon hearing about the Ashura tragedy, sent a delegation of their nobles to Damascus, led by “Abdullah bin Hanzala.” When the delegation returned, “Abdullah” rallied the people of Medina, calling for an uprising against Yazid, proclaiming, “I have returned from a man (meaning Yazid) who, if I had no one but my sons, I would fight against him.” Not a year, or two according to some accounts, had passed since the martyrdom of Hussein when the Medina Uprising against the Umayyad rule broke out. They officially renounced their oath to Yazid and declared a rebellion against his rule. Yazid responded by sending an army of twelve thousand from Syria and ordered his commander to allow his soldiers three days of unbridled violence against the people of Medina, pillaging as they pleased. A fierce battle ensued where “Abdullah bin Hanzala” and his eight sons were killed.

The Revolution of the Penitents

The people of Kufa, filled with remorse for abandoning Hussein, gathered and one of their leaders, “Sulaiman bin Surad Al-Khuzai”, who had not fought alongside Hussein for unclear reasons, stood among them and spoke, “Arise! For your, Lord is displeased with you. Do not return to your wives and children until Allah is pleased. I doubt that Allah will be satisfied until you fight against those who killed Hussein. Do not fear death, no one has ever feared it but ended up disgraced.”

As the year 65 AH began, calls of “O avengers of Hussein” shook the Umayyad army. They traveled to Hussein’s grave, five thousand men strong, and spent a day and a night there, pleading for help and shedding tears.

The battle began and victory seemed within their grasp, but reinforcements from Syria turned the tide against them.

The Revolution of Mukhtar

Mukhtar, hearing echoes of Karbala upon his release from the Umayyad prison, rallied people around him and launched his revolution under the banner of “Avenging Hussein, peace be upon him.”

  • Eighteen thousand who had participated in the battle against Hussein were killed.
  • Two hundred and forty-eight people who had witnessed the killing of Hussein were slain in a single day.
  • Shimr bin Dhil Jawshan, Ubayd Allah bin Ziyad, Omar bin Saad, and Harmala, the killer of the infant, were all killed.”

Continued Uprisings

The case of Imam Hussain, peace be upon him, is peculiar. He stood alone in the desert of Karbala on the Day of Ashura, after his family and companions were martyred. He called out in the desert, “Is there any helper to aid me?” and people around him didn’t hear. Yet, the call of Hussain transcended time and space. It echoed like the call of his grandfather, Abraham, who stood on the stone of Kaaba, summoning people to pilgrimage. Abraham stood alone, yet his divine call reached millions of hearts. Hence, millions journey to the Holy Kaaba, responding to the call of Abraham.

Hussain, too, stood alone when he pleaded, “Is there any helper to aid me?” However, his call penetrated time and space, reaching the hearts of believers and igniting an eternal fervor within them. Consequently, millions of Hussain’s followers throng to his shrine during the commemoration of Ashura.

The Grandeur of Hussain!

He stood alone in Karbala, without any supporter or aide. And where is he today?

 Look around to comprehend the magnificence of Hussain. Muslims have built mosques, but not homes for Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, or Ali, peace be upon him. However, in any place where there are followers of Hussain, you’ll find a house for Hussain, a place where people study his philosophy. People learn there not to pledge allegiance to the Yazids of their time, just as Hussain refused to pledge his allegiance. In these houses, people learn not to fear oppressors and confront them, even when they are a minority, as Hussain’s companions did.

These houses are where the descendants of Hussain learn not to repeat the experience of the defeated Ummah during Hussain’s time when the Umayyads distorted the religion. In Hussain’s time, the Umayyads intimidated people. They demanded allegiance to Yazid. These three issues reoccur in our time: Zionists are the Yazids of the time, try to distort Islam, terrorize people, and offer peace and allegiance.

The children of Hussain stand in the same position as Hussain in Karbala, resisting distortion, mocking the terror of the Zionists, and rejecting the pledge to Yazid while affirming allegiance to the Imam of the time Imam Al-Mahdi (AS).

All this is a blessing from Imam Hussain…”Everything we have is from the Ashura sessions”

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