Imam Hussein is the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (PBU’em), born in 620 A.D. to a family famed for their values of love, honour and peace. His martyrdom anniversary which is, beyond a doubt, considered a defining event in the ideological and resistance movements of Shia Muslims against corruption and oppression at all times, in all things, and in all places.
During The Battle of Karbala, Yazid; the corrupt, tyrant and illegitimate ruler killed Imam Hussein, the 7th-century revolutionary leader, who has recorded a phenomenal valiant stand for social and political justice. Definitely, the resistance’s current victories over the imperialist arrogance illustrate one of Ashura’s core issues: the triumphs of the oppressed over the oppressors.
After more than 1400 years, Imam Hussein still has the capability to awaken the oppressed people to heroically resist and to never approve any hegemonic power. Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah says, “And that what happened during the Islamic revolution of Iran and the Islamic resistance [Hezbollah], as well as fighting all Takfiri groups. Ashura’s logic, spirit and determination are still active and present.”
To commemorate Ashura means to acquire knowledge on how to confront despotism and autocracy and how to disable the fundamental goals of the Zionists and the Imperialists. It indoctrinates us that only Resistance manages to prevent those foes from achieving their colonialist goals.
Thomas Carlyle, a Scottish historian and essayist say, “The best lesson which we get from the tragedy of Karbala is that Hussein and his companions were rigid believers in God. They illustrated that the numerical superiority does not count when it comes to the truth and the falsehood. The victory of Hussein, despite his minority, marvels me!”
While most of the Western media’s focus is on the very bloody ritual of self-flagellation; known as Tatbir, the main aim of Ashura is to refuse humiliation and to fight for every universal righteous causes. Indeed, Tatbir is a wrongful, unlawful and also a fabricated irrational and superstitious tradition. “Become an ornament for us, do not be a disgrace for us,” Imam al-Sadiq; the fifth Shia Imam states.
Besides, the highest ranking and most widely respected Shia scholars stress that any ritual which ridicule the religion is impermissible and that this suspicious ritual has not been mentioned anywhere in the religious teachings.
Islam survived, spread and expanded because of sacrifices of this great Imam; buried today in in Iraq’s holy city of Karbala, where some 22 million of Shia Muslims gather to pay homage to Imam Hussein, in the world’s biggest annual pilgrimage.
During the ten days of Ashura, Shia Muslims partake in large congregations where they recite elegies, lament and beat their chest as a cultural tradition. They do not only display their grievance but they distribute food and organise charitable and blood-donation campaigns.
Not long after the death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Muslims had slid into political turmoil and corruption as the Umayyad dynasty usurped power and slowly began destroying the moral fabric of society.
Just like his father and brother, Imam Hussein was a leader widely known for his compassion, wisdom and integrity. He rejected to pay Yazid an oath of allegiance in order to gain credibility for his illegal rule.
Out of his moral obligation and principles of social and political justice, Imam Hussein refused to pledge allegiance and legalise Yazid’s corruption and repression, despite it being a risk to his life. He chose to make a phenomenal stand, and launched his mighty uprising, alongside with his family and 72 sincere companions.
Knowing that what was ahead of them was a certain martyrdom; yet they all remained steadfast, loyal to their principles and fought valiantly against the army of Yazid.
Charles Dickens; an English novelist, maintains, “If Husain had fought to quench his worldly desires…then I do not understand why his sister, wife, and children accompanied him. It stands to reason, therefore, that he sacrificed purely for Islam.”
Out of fear, that Imam Hussein would gain momentum, Yazid dispatched an army of 30,000 to halt him and his companions in their track from Medina. Yazid had ordered his army to block, deny access to water, attack and kill them in the desert land of Karbala (in Iraq), on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar; known as The Day of Ashura.
Certainly, Imam Hussein headed to Iraq not to seek power but to reform and reorganise the Islamic Muhammadan state and its universal humanitarian ethics. He fought bravely against the enemy and was attacked from all sides with swords, spears and arrows.
Eventually, a man by the name of Shimr ruthlessly beheaded him on the burning plains of Karbala, fatigued, thirsty and heavily wounded but victorious through his legacy and distinct goals.
The Battle of Karbala, absolutely, has triggered a series of uprisings against tyrannical regimes and imperialist forces through history. Furthermore, the Ashuraian resistances have obviously proven that each hegemonic power would have an eventual demise.
Today, pilgrims, from all across the world, pay tribute to Imam Hussein’s courageous stand and regard him as a symbol of resistance who stood for humanitarian values of sacrifice, freedom and dignity.
In the aftermath of The Battle of Karbala, Yazid’s army held the Imam’s women and children captive and marched them from Iraq to Syria. His sister was the one who safeguarded the uprising’s principles to reflect the essential role Islam set for women in any revolutionary movement.
Sayedah Zainab defied Yazid in his own courtyard in her famous sermons, which unnerved even his closest allies, and imposed his heinous massacre and violations.
Undeniably, Hezbollah – the Lebanese resistance – and various other revolutionary movements have been greatly inspired by the outstanding figure of Imam Hussein (PBUH). Along with the axis of resistance, it defeated the U.S.-backed regional powers, who invaded and imposed an unconditional global war on Syria.
Hezbollah’s armed strength has grown in the wider region to contend the hostile U.S. administration. It has become a draining movement to vanquish and provoke the imperialist hostility, not only standing up to the Zionist conspiracies but has also morphed into a powerful regional force.
In fact, escalating Hezbollah resistance’s involvement in Syria has elevated the movement into an indispensable partner in a high-stakes confrontation, whose principal exponents are the extremist radical Saudis.