What Is The Takeaway From Karbala,1400 Year Later?


by Amjed Ashraf

In every state of affairs, one happens to be either on Imam’s side or on the Yazid. There is no way in-between!

More than 1400 years have passed since the human race witnessed one of the most macabre, unparalleled, and momentous incidents in the history of humankind: Karbala. Until today the gravest ever event continues to bottle up the spirit, courage, and valour of the fragile, downtrodden, browbeaten, displaced and marginalized and destitute sections of society, around the world.

Indisputably, when the moon of Muharram-ul-Haraam, the first Islamic month, appears in the sky, it actually marks the perpetual triumph of the whole of humanity – the triumph of the truth over fallacy; the triumph of good over evil.

The martyrdom of Imam Hussein (as), the grandson of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), revolutionizes the outlook of life and is persistent to enlighten the pathways of piousness and immensely stir the profound sentiments of human beings. If comprehended adequately, the event leaves no stone unturned to awaken the faith and devotion, and eventually raises the standards of morality to the ultimate degree. It certainly acts as a beacon of light for the people who set out to stand for justice, truth, fairness, righteousness, harmony, and virtue.

The statement, which this episode exemplifies, surpasses all the barriers of caste, creed, religion, colour, border, and language. In fact, it is an institution and a road map for all those who firmly value grace, dignity, valour, esteem, steadfastness, and above all the humanity. It aims to universalize the message of dissuading wrong and encouraging good.

Although there are as many as possible ways to deduce the lessons from this social, political, legal and philosophical institution, my locus of concern in this article would be on a lesson that I comprehend at the prima facie of it. Moreover, I personally find a sine qua non to put forth in contemporary times.

The sacrifice of Imam in the way of Allah highlights one of the lessons that the majority being on one’s side does not always guarantee that the truth would be on the same side too. Even under the dagger of the Yazid, Imam incessantly uttered the words, Hay’haat minna al-dhilla (Never to humiliation), until he attained the martyrdom.

The term ‘humiliation’, when looked in a broader sense, encompasses every aspect of life. In order to grasp the message that is enfolded here, let us look at the night of Ashura when Imam (AS) blew off the candle in the tent, asked his companions to leave, and ensured them best of their deeds and safety from the foe. Unsurprisingly, being the noble and loyalist companions, they refused to abandon the Imam, hence stood still. However, if we ponder on this aspect precisely, the Imam did want his companions to act in the way of Allah, but the action was ensured to be purely based upon the free will. That is why; he subjected them to tests repeatedly and consequently exempted them from all kinds of compulsion and coercion. He intended them to hold onto the mercy of Allah voluntary.

Indeed, the Karbala is clothed with plenty of such lessons. The above-enumerated incident signifies that the humiliation was not just wrapped in the acceptance of the kingdom of Yazid but in everything that defeated the very foundation of humanity.

Ostensibly, humiliation was in being coercive. Humiliation was in forcing people to remain adamant. Humiliation was in persuading people but depreciating their conscience. Humiliation was in guiding people through power. In fact, humiliation was in every such act, which devalued the sublime human hood itself.

In simple, this elucidates that the revolt of Imam against the man of sacrilege was not just the collision of one perspective and the other. In fact, within this repugnance, every facet of life was championed; the righteousness by the conduct of Imam and impiety by the tyrant. Moreover, how beautifully Imam sheds light on every issue, each subject throughout the incident, could seldom be repeated.

All those people who subscribe to this ideology in contemporary times must always look up to his demeanour and deduce the solutions of problems in accordance with this infallible institution of salvation that he laid down centuries ago. Imam proved that it is better to face the sword and die than to endorse someone like Yazid.

One must realize herein that the Yazid is not just the name of a person but rather an ideology – the ideology that promotes barbarism, falsehood, distorted lies and the abuse of power and authority. This ideology must be deplored and called out, repeatedly.

Remember, every land and every person portrays the startled tragedy of Karbala, not just in the sense of oppression, but in other numerous senses as well, throughout life. For instance, every person within the society who claims to represent people and masquerades as a leader despite his incompetency, power hungriness, and other impiety and transgress qualities, aimed to achieve earthly pleasures, is a Yazid. No matter whatever his worldly stature is. No matter how influential he happens to be. No matter how many flocks of people follow him. Exactly this is the humiliation that has to be done away with these days.

The Muharram once again arrived to remind us about the duties incumbent upon us. We must remember the principle engraved by the Imam on the edifice of life that if you stand for righteousness, Allah stands by you and if Allah stands by your side regardless the whole world standing against you, the victory will surely embrace you. Let us find this opportunity to fly the flag of truth in the face of lies. It is high time that we renounce all those personages within our society who are indeed misdemeanours, who are hell-bent to amalgam, concoct and mould the divine message or any day-to-day issue according to their personal motives, and who fortify their stand in the society by trampling the fundamental laws of humanity and satisfying their conscious.

Our approach should be to overcome, abandon and show the mirror to these cosmic stakeholders. Thus, we have to unnerve such ideologue holders the way our Imam did on the soil of Karbala. Every follower of Imam should stand for what the Imam stood for 1400 years ago. People need to stop relying on those who do lip service to the cause of Karbala and endorse the ideology of the tyrant.

Amjed Ashraf

Undoubtedly, these acts should go together with the commemoration of the incident. If we call ourselves the adherents of Imam and yet cannot withstand the Yazid of the time, then we as human beings have miserably failed to figure out the message of Karbala. In this world, circumstances would continue to call forth the trials and tribulations, but it is ultimately we, who have to decide which character shall we adopt and eventually appear victorious, in this world as well as hereafter. In every state of affairs, one happens to be either on Imam’s side or on the Yazid. There is no way in-between!

(The author studies law at the Central University of Kashmir and lives in Shilvath Sumbal. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Kashmir Life.)


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