* “Hussain is of myself and I am of Hussain. O’ Allah be pleased with those who please Hussain and hate those who hate Hussain.”
These holy words were uttered by the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), the one who never speaks of his own desire but only as inspired to him by the one Mighty in power.
* The muslims feeling gratitude towards the Prophet (P.B.U.H) for his efforts in guiding them offered to reward him with gold. The Prophet (P.B.U.H) answered them with a verse that was revealed to him, ” Say, No reward do I ask of you for this except being kind to those of kin” (verse 23/sura 42). Al- Kashaf ( an authoritative interpretation of the Holy Quran) narrates that when this was revealed, people asked the Prophet “O, Prophet of God, who are the ones whose respect is made obligatory upon us in this verse?” The Prophet (P.B.U.H) answered “They are Ali, Fatema and their two sons.”
* “Hassan and Hussain are masters of youth in Paradise.”
* One day, when the Holy Prophet was in prostaration (sajda) during a prayer, Imam Hussain (a.s) then climbed on his back. The Holy Prophet remained in prostration untill Imam Hussain (a.s) came down himself.
*Ibn Saad (an eighth century historian) narrates from Ash-Shabi that Imam Ali (a.s) while on his way to Siffin passed through the desert of Karbala. He stopped and wept bitterly. When asked regarding the cause of his weeping, he commented that one day he visited the Holy Prophet and found him weeping. When he asked the cause, the Apostle of Allah replied, ” O’ Ali, Jibrael has just been with me and informed me that my son Hussain would be martyred in Karbala, a place near the bank of the river Euphrates. This moved me so much that I could not help weeping.”
*Anas bin Harith narrates that : One day the Holy Prophet(P.B.U.H) ascended the pulpit to deliver a sermon to his associates while Imam Hussain and Imam Hasan were sitting before him. When the sermon concluded, he put his left hand on Imam Hussain and raising his head towards Heaven, said: “O my Lord! I am Muhammad Thy slave and Thy Prophet, and these two are the distinguished and pious members of my family who would fortify my cause after me. O my Lord! Gabriel has informed me that my son Hussain will be killed.O my Lord, bless my cause in Hussain’s martyrdom, make him the leader of the martyrs, be Thou his helper and guardian and do not bless assassins.’
“If Husain fought to quench his worldly desires, then I do not understand why his sisters, wives and children accompanied him. It stands to reason therefore that he sacrificed purely for Islam.”
Dr. Rajendra Prasad
The sacrifice of Imam Husain is not limited to one country, or nation, but it is the hereditary state of the brotherhood of all mankind.
Dr. Radha Krishnan
Though Imam Husain gave his life almost 1300 years ago, but his indestructible soul rules the hearts of people even today.
It is Husain’s sacrifice that that has kept Islam alive or else in this world there would be no one left to take Islam’s name.
In order to keep alive justice and truth, instead of an army or weapons, success can be achieved by sacrificing lives, exactly what Imam Husain did.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
Imam Husain’s sacrifice is for all groups and communities, an example of the path of rightousness.
Mrs. Sarojini Naidu
I congratulate Muslims that from among them, Husain, a great human being was born, who is reverted and honored totally by all communities.
Reynold Alleyne Nicholson
“Husayn fell, pierced by an arrow, and his brave followers were cut down beside him to the last man. Muhammadan tradition, which with rare exceptions is uniformly hostile to the Umayyad dynasty, regards Husayn as a martyr and Yazid as his murderer.”
Robert Durey Osborn
“Hosain had a child named Abdallah, only a year old. He had accompanied his father in this terrible march. Touched by its cries, he took the infant in his arms and wept. At that instant, a shaft from the hostile ranks pierced the child’s ear, and it expired in his father’s arms. Hosain placed the little corpse upon the ground. ‘We come from God, and we return to Him!’ he cried; ‘O Lord, give me strength to bear these misfortunes! ‘ .
Faint with thirst, and exhausted with wounds, he fought with desperate courage, slaying several of his antagonists. At last he was cut down from behind; at the same instance a lance was thrust through his back and bore him to the ground; as the dealer of this last blow withdrew his weapon, the ill-fated son of Ali rolled over a corpse. The head was severed from the trunk; the trunk was trampled under the hoofs of the victors’ horses; and the next morning the women and a surviving infant son were carried away to Koufa. The bodies of Hosain and his followers were left unburied on the spot where they fell.
For three days they remained exposed to the sun and the night dews, the vultures and the prowling animals of the waste; but then the inhabitants of a neighbouring village, struck with horror that the body of a grandson of the Prophet should be thus shamefully abandoned to the unclean beasts of the field, dared the anger of Obaidallah, and interred the body of the martyr and those of his heroic friends.”
Sir William Muir
“The tragedy of Karbala decided not only the fate of the caliphate, but of the Mohammedan kingdoms long after the Caliphate had waned and disappeared. ”
Peter J. Chelkowski
“Hussein accepted and set out from Mecca with his family and an entourage of about seventy followers. But on the plain of Kerbela they were caught in an ambush set by the . caliph, Yazid. Though defeat was certain, Hussein refused to pay homage to him. Surrounded by a great enemy force, Hussein and his company existed without water for ten days in the burning desert of Kerbela.
Finally Hussein, the adults and some male children of his family and his companions were cut to bits by the arrows and swords of Yazid’s army; his women and remaining children were taken as captives to Yazid in Damascus. The renowned historian Abu Reyhan al-Biruni states; “. then fire was set to their camp and the bodies were trampled by the hoofs of the horses; nobody in the history of the human kind has seen such atrocities.”
“Then Hosein mounted his horse, and took the Koran and laid it before him, and, coming up to the people, invited them to the performances of their duty: adding, ‘O God, thou art my confidence in every trouble, and my hope in all adversity!’. He next reminded them of his excellency, the nobility of his birth, the greatness of his power, and his high descent, and said, ‘Consider with yourselves whether or not such a man as I am is not better than you; I who am the son of your prophet’s daughter, besides whom there is no other upon the face of the earth.
Ali was my father; Jaafar and Hamza, the chief of the martyrs, were both my uncles; and the apostle of God, upon whom be peace, said both of me and my brother, that we were the chief of the youth of paradise. If you will believe me, what I say is true, for by God, I never told a lie in earnest since I had my understanding; for God hates a lie. If you do not believe me, ask the companions of the apostle of God [here he named them], and they will tell you the same. Let me go back to what I have.’ They asked, ‘What hindered him from being ruled by the rest of his relations.’ He answered, ‘God forbid that I should set my hand to the resignation of my right after a slavish manner. I have recourse to God from every tyrant that doth not believe in the day of account.”
Edward G. Brown
“a reminder of the blood-stained field of Kerbela, where the grandson of the Apostle of God fell at length, tortured by thirst and surrounded by the bodies of his murdered kinsmen, has been at anytime since then sufficient to evoke, even in the most lukewarm and heedless, the deepest emotions, the most frantic grief, and an exaltation of spirit before which pain, danger and death shrink to unconsidered trifles.”
“Ever since the black day of Karbala, the history of this family . has been a continuous series of sufferings and persecutions. These are narrated in poetry and prose, in a richly cultivated literature of martyrologies – a Shi’i specialty – and form the theme of Shi’i gatherings in the first third of the month of Muharram, whose tenth day (‘ashura) is kept as the anniversary of the tragedy at Karbala. Scenes of that tragedy are also presented on this day of commemmoration in dramatic form (ta’ziya).
‘Our feast days are our assemblies of mourning.’ So concludes a poem by a prince of Shi’i disposition recalling the many mihan of the Prophet’s family. Weeping and lamentation over the evils and persecutions suffered by the ‘Alid family, and mourning for its martyrs: these are things from which loyal supporters of the cause cannot cease. ‘More touching than the tears of the Shi’is’ has even become an Arabic proverb.”
“In a distant age and climate the tragic scene of the death of Hosein will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader.”
“The best lesson which we get from the tragedy of Karbala is that Husain and his companions were the rigid believers of God. They illustrated that numerical superiority does not count when it comes to truth and falsehood. The victory of Husain despite his minority marvels me!”
Dr. K. Sheldrake
“Husain marched with his little company not to glory, not to power or wealth, but to a supreme sacrifice and every member of that gallant band, male and female, knew that the foes were implacable, were not only ready to fight but to kill. Denied even water for the children, they remained parched under a burning sun, amid scorching sands yet no one faltered for a moment and bravely faced the greatest odds without flinching.”
Saturday last week, Muharram 2, 1436 AH (25/10/2014), hundreds of Ahlul Bayt followers in Bauchi began Ashura ceremonies.
Men women and children were seen in orderly manner heading for the Kobi central playground, draped in black carrying black, red and green flags and reciting elegies lamenting the the martyrdom of grandson of the Holy Prophet, Imam Hussain (AS) in the plain of Karbala 61 years after Hijra. The Ameer, Malam Ahmad Yusuf Yashi started his lecture by extending condolence to the Prophet’s Pure Progeny (A’imma), from the Holy Prophet to the last of the Imams (AS), the Awaited Saviour.
He narrated the tragedy of Karbala citing many popular references, saying the event of Ashura and Karbala is now very well known among the people. According to him, due to constant remembrance of the tragedy by followers of Ahlul Bayt (AS), the mystery surrounding the issue has now become more manifest in the society.
The session was completed by songs of lamentation and drama depicting the event of Karbala.
Leader of the Shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria, His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky has visited Quds Day martyrs at Jannatu Darur Rahmah prior ahead of the first Muharram Majlis and the hoisting of the black flag from Karbala on the dome of Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah, Zaria.
During the visit, Sheikh Zakzaky covered the martyrs with the black flag brought from the tomb of Imam Hussain (AS) in Karbala for blessing and respect.
The martyrs were also covered with flags brought from the tomb of Imam Ali (AS) in Najaf, Iraq, as well as that from the tomb of Imam Ridha (AS) in Mashad, Iran.
Special prayers were offered by Sheikh Zakzaky to the martyrs.
Part 1- In the battle of Karbala.dealing with Horr
Imam’s caravan arrived in “Sharaf”, there was a spring there, and Imam ordered the youth to take plenty of water. Then the caravan moved in the desert and suddenly one of the companions of Imam proclaimed (Allah-u-Akbar). Imam was so astonished by his action and said: “why did you say Allah-u-Akbar?”- I saw palm trees.A man from the companions of Imam who was familiar with the road, said: there is no palm tree here. Whatever you see here is spear and horses’ ears.
Imam thought a little and said: “I also see it.” Imam knew that they were forefronts of the enemy troops who came to fight with him. Then he said to his companions:” are there any safe shelters for us to face with the enemy from just one side?”
One of his companions, who knew the road, said to Imam:” yeah! The Zuhasam-the name of a mountain- is beside you. If you go to the left side of it, this will be your favorite position.”
Imam’s caravan moved toward it. Not too much away, the army of Hurr ibn YazidRiahi reached them. Ibn Ziad ordered him to move in the island desert and seek for Imam, then arrest him.He had about a thousand horsemen.At noon, they stood against Imam, but the weather was very hot.Imam saw that they are dying of thirst, he was so sorry for them. Imam neglected their intention about his killing and ordered his companions to give water to them and their horses. Imam’s companions gave water to them,then they went toward the horses, and poured water in the containers and dishes three or four times, and tried to give water to all of the horses. Imam was prepared in the trip, because the dishes were enough for giving water to thousand housemen and their horses and this was in addition to other furniture and baggage.However, it showed imam’s dignity that he helped that troop who wanted to fight with him. Historians said:”Ali ibn Ta’anMaharebi” was one of the members of that army, he discussed about imam’s dignity and great morals: I was among those who had been hurt by thirst, Imam Hussein ordered me to put the water containers (Ravie in Arabic language in Hijaz) to sleep but I didn’t catch his words. Because “Ravie” means “camel” in the native language of Hijaz. When he realized that I didn’t understand him, he said:” put the camel to lie. I did so, when I wanted to drink water, it flew from the waterskin. Then he said: Take the waterskin. But I didn’t know what I should do. The Imam came and took it by himself in order to give water to my horse and me. That great temper and esteem didn’t affect that army and none of them were affected by the great ethics. Except Horr whose conscience was affected by that kindness and then he joined Imam and was martyred in his service.
Imam welcomed the army units and gave a lecture for them, the he explained about his intention which is not fighting, but he received their letters and accepted their invitation. After praising God he said:
O’ people! I excuse dear God and you and I swear to him! I decided to come to you since I received your letters. May God guide us because of you! I you believe it, I will stay with you. So promise me in order to be sure. I you don’t like my stay, I will come back to my land.
They couldn’t answer him, because some of them wrote a letter for his invitation and sent it by his ambassador-Moslem ibn Aghil- in order to take the allegiance… it was the prayer time…Imam ordered his Muezzin-Hejaj ibn Masroogh-to call the rayers at noon. Then Imam said to Horr: do you want to say prayer with your companions?
-yeah! Sure, I want to say prayer with them!
They followed Imam for prayer, then they went to their tents. At the time of afternoon prayer, Horr said prayer with his companions and Imam.
Imam’s great sermon:
After the afternoon’s prayer, Imam gave a marvelous sermon and after praising Allah, he said:
O’ people! If you fear God and know the right, it will satisfy God.We, as the prophet’s household, are more worthy and appropriate to do these acts rather than those who claim for them, as they are governing by oppression. If you don’t like me, and you changed you mind about my arrival, I will come back. Imam called them to follow God’s obedience, right affairs and the Muslim leaders by that sermon.Because, they were more deserving than Umayyad who developed cruelty among them. Then he remarked that he will come back if they changed their minds.Horr ,who was unaware of those letters and the political movements in Kufa,said to Imam: what are those letters that you are talking about them?
According to the most authorized quotations, the first martyr of the family of the Prophet was Ali Akbar, and the last one was Abolfazl Al-Abbas. He martyred when there were no companions for him. He was alone with the master of the martyrs. He came and said: my dear brother! Let me to go to the battle field, I am not satisfied with this life. Abolfazl sent his three brothers younger than himself before. He said: you should go!
My dear brothers! I want to take the misfortune of my brothers as a divine reward!He wanted to make sure that his brothers became a martyr before him and then he joins them. So, Omolbanin and her four sons were alone, but she was not in Karbala, she was in Medina. Those who were in Medina were unaware of the fate of Karbala. Somebody has announced this woman (who had four sons) about her sons’ martyrdom. Of course she was a complete woman, a widow who had lost all his sons. Sometimes she sat on the way of Kufa to Medina and started a jeremiad for her sons. It is written in the history that this woman herself was propaganda against Umayyad. Everyone who was passing there, stopped and cried for her.MarvanHakam was Medina’s ruler before and one of the severe enemies of the prophet’s household , whenever he passed there, he stopped and started to cry with this woman involuntarily. She has some poetries:
لا تدعونی ویک ام البنین
تذکرینی بلیوث العرین
کانت بنون لی ادعی بهم
و الیوم اصبحت و لا من بنین
She addressed a woman and said: do not call me Omolbanin since then, because this name will recall me my bad memories about my children. I do not have any children now.
Her eldest son was Abolfazl and she was so upset about him. She said:
یا من رای العباس کر علی جماهیر النقد
و وراه من ابناء حیدر کل لیث ذی لبد
انبئت ان ابنی اصیب براسه مقطوع ید
ویلی علی شبلی امال براسه ضرب العمد
لو کان سیفک فی یدیک لما دنی منه احد
She asked about his son’s martyrdom (Abbas). Abbas’s courage and heroism is ascertained in the history.He was incredibly good-looking. He was named the BaniHashem’s moon. He has shone among the BaniHashim by his beauty. He was tall and handsome, some historians said when he was on horseback and he got his feet out of the stirrups, his feet were on the ground. He had strong arms and broad chest. She believed that her son couldn’t be killed easily. When she asked about his martyrdom, somebody told her that they had cut his hands first. Then she said an elegy: O’ those guys who were in Karbal when my son was killed by some men who were like jackals! Ali’s sons stood behind him like a lion! Shame on me! Somebody told me that they killed my powerful son by a metal sword. O’ my dear Abbas! I know that if you had hands, no one had the courage to approach you.
Following the issue of Imam Hussein’s (AS) knowledge of the fate and movement and some suspicions that one of the authors made in analyzing his movement and his knowledge about the fate of martyrdom and following the questions that were proposed by some clerics with Seyed Mohammad HosseinTabatabai, he wrote many thesis about Imam’s knowledge and published then. As Ayat- Allah Reza
Ostadi said in his collection, “twenty articles”, this thesis is so firm and strong. Although this author
criticized this article before, AllameTabatabai answered all the questions and mentioned them at the end of the thesis.
The first part of the article is about Imam’s knowledge, and it is available for more research.Allameh, thegreat deceased, analyzed this thesis under the title of “Seyed al-shohada’s movement and its aim”.
We can clarify this matter by a fast review of that day’s situation. The darkest and worst time for his family and shia people were the twenty-year period of Muawiyeh government.
When Muawiyeh obtained the kingdom of Islamic country, he tried to destroy the holy family of the prophet and he tried to improve his government. He tried as much as possible to encourage thepeople to forget those holy families.
He endeavored to attract a group of the prophet’s companions who were respected by the people. He fabricated some fake Hadith which was in favor of his companions and made them to distribute it around the Islamic countries. In those Hadith they cursed Imam Ali so much.
He had some human forces like Ziyad ibn Abieh, Samrat ibn Jondab,Basr ibn Arta and etc.who were responsible to kill those people who were eager to know about the prophet’s family and he threatened them so much.
In this environment the people hated Imam Ali and his family. Those people who had a kind of relationship with the prophet household tried to disconnect their relationship because of their fear of their lives.
In fact Imam Hussein’s leadership lasted about 10 years and all moments of this period was contemporary to Muawiyeh era. During this time that he was the leader, no Hadith was narrated, i.e. a kind of narration which is reported from that Imam by the people. It shows that in that time the people had a severe time. This hardship didn’t let Imam Hussein to fight against Muawiye and there was no use for it.because:
First: Muawiyahhad taken the oath of allegiance and despite the homage, no one accompanied him.
Second: Muawiyeh introduced himself as one of the great companions of the prophet. He chose a the title of “Muslim’s brother” for himself.
Third: he could kill Imam Hussein easily by his ruse and then take revenge on his killers. And he could hold a funeral for him as well!
Muawiyah make a situation for Imam Hassan that he had no security in his house and then when he wanted to take the allegiance, he poisoned that imam by his wife and killed him.Imam Hussein who moved immediately after Muawyie’s death and sacrificed his baby, couldn’t sacrifice in Muawyieh era because his martyrdom had no efficacy in that time.
It was a summary of bad situation that Muawiyah provided for the Islamic environment, and he made the prophet family to be useless.The last thing he bump into the body of Islam and Muslims was an endeavor to change the Islamic Caliphate to a hereditary absolutism. And replaced his son, Yazid, as the king. However Yazid had no religious character- even in the form of hypocrisy and pretension – he spent all his time to play with the monkeys and playing music and fun openly and he did not respect religious rules. When the prisoners of the prophet’s household and Karbala martyrs were brought to Damascus, he came out to watch them.
When they brought the heads of some prisonors for him he said a poetry:
لعبت هاشم بالملک فلا خبر جاء و لا وحی نزل
Yazid was governing under the policy of his father and it clarified some things about Islam and Muslims. In that situation the only thing that could destroy the prophet household was Imam Hussein’s oath of allegiance.
Imam and the allegiance with Yazid:
Following the real leadership of Imam Hussein, he couldn’t take the oath of allegiance to Yazi. Because it was a move toward destroying Islam and religion. There was no way other than rejecting the allegiance for him and it was that same thing that God asked him.
On the other hand rejecting the allegiance could provide a bad effect, because the severe and stubborn king of that time wanted to take the allegiance and it was necessary for him.
Imam Hussein preferred death rather than life in favor of Islam and Muslims and he ignored the allegiance. And it was the divine order. The prophet told him in the dream that: God wants to see your dead body. He told those people who reject him to govern: God wants to see me to be killed. It means a province legislation not a developmental one.A I mentioned before the developmental province had no effect on God’s will.
That’s right, Imam Hussein decided to be killed and the disasters in that time convey his opinion. The tragic circumstances of his death, confirmed the prophet’s family innocence and legitimacy. After the testimony, the bleeding and movements continued for twelve years. After that time the number of Shia people wereincreased and it was a firm confirmation for legitimacy with the prophet’s household innocence. The pioneer in this field was Imam Hussein. The comparison between these two eras ( before and after his martyrdom during 14 centuries) will emphasize on his opinion and this is the same as his poetry:و ما ان طبنا جبن و لکن منایانا و دولة آخرینا
Muawiyah advised to Yazid to abandon Hussein ibn Ali if he rejected the allegiance and do not complain against him. This advice was not because of sincerity and love, he knew that Hussein ibn Ali doesn’t take the oath of allegiance and if he is killed by Yazid, the prophet household will claim for their innocence. So it could be the best device for advertising between the Mulims and it was so bad for the Ummavy kingdom.
Imam and his duties:
Imam Hussein was familiar with his divine duty which was rejecting the allegiance. He was informed of the endless power of Yazid and BaniOmmayeh. He knew that his only way to do this divine duty is martyrdom. He mentioned this concept by different word in different situations. He said in the parliament of Medina king: those people who are similar to me do not take the oath of allegiance to Yazid.
That night when he was going out of Medina, he narrated some sayings of his grandfather: God asks you to be killed.
In the sermon that he was reading in the way of Mecca, he repeated the same things. It was an answer to one of the Arabian guys who tried to dissuade him to not to go to Kufa. Otherwise he would be killed. He said: it is so clear that they will kill me anywhere.
Some of those narrations are contradictory and there is no document to prove it. But it is a good reason to search more about it.
A different method within Imam’s uprising period:
When we say that our God’s will was his death, it doesn’t mean to stay motionless to being killed by Yazid to do his duty in this way and call it as a war.
Imam’s duty was to fight against Yazid’s government and to reject his allegiance and it terminates to martyrdom. It is evident that Imam’s method differed according to different occasions. At first, he was under the pressure of Medina governor, so he moved at night from Medina to Mecca which was a safe shelter for him and he stayed there for several months.
He was observed in Mecca, and then they decided to kill him in his travel toward Mecca or arrest him to send to Sham. A lot of letters were sent to him for asking help. According to some historians, by the last letter which was from a guy from Kufa, Imam decided to start a war. As an ultimatum he sent Moslem ibn Aghil as his representative to Kufa. After a while Moslem confirmed war by sending a letter.
There were 2 reasons for this war and going toward Kufa: the secret agents entrance to kill or capture him and preserve the sanctity of God’s house, and prepare Iraq for revolts. After hearing about killing Moslem and Hani, the aggressive revolt changed to a defense uprising. He kept only those who stayed until the last moments with him.
The Significance and Role of Lamentation in Reviving Islam and the Ideology of the Master of Maryrs
We must all know that, that which unites Muslims is the political dimension of lamentation for the Infallible Imams (a.s.) especially lamentation for the Lord of the Oppressed and the Master of Martyrs, His Holiness Abi Abdullah Imam Hosein (a.s.). It preserves the “nationality” of the Muslims particularly the 12-Imamate Shiites.
* * *
The Infallible Imams (a.s.) have emphasized the necessity of holding lamentation gatherings, for ever, in honor of the Master of, Martyrs. The cry of the oppressed progeny of the Prophet (SAW) and the cries condemning the Bani Omayyad, although they have long been overthrown, are the cries of the oppressed against the oppressor and such cries must continue. Today the blessing of those cries is quite evident in the wars imposed on Iran by the descendants of Yazid.
* * *
Almighty God, having observed that the adventurous men of early years of Islam had shaken the foundations of the Religion and only a few of the faithful had remained, designated Imam Hosein ibn Ali (a.s.) who, by the sacrifice of his life awakened the Ummat. He, also assigned many rewards for those who mourn Imam Hosein (a.s.) so that the Ummat would remain alert and the Event of Ashura which was set up to uproot tyranny and cruelty and to guide men to monotheism and justice, may not become redundant. Thus it is necessary that such awards be granted for lamentation so that people do not abandon it in spite of pressures and imposed hardships.
Otherwise, the efforts of Hazrat Imam Hosein (a.s.) would be wasted in no time at all and that would lead to neutralization of the efforts made by the Prophet (SAW) for the establishment of Shiism. Assuming that the rewards which Almighty Allah grants be deemed as return for benefits gained from such action, such benefit which can be gained will be the survival of the rightful religion and the bases of Shiism which insures the happiness of the entire humanity. And, considering the circumstances of the Shiites at that time and the multi- dimensional pressures brought down on Imam Ali’s followers, the price of such action is far more than we can imagine and the rewards which Allah has decreed are things that no eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard, and this is justice in the absolute.
* * *
It is the blood of the Master of Martyrs that sets fire to the bloods of all Muslim nations and it is these Ashura bands and passion players that excite the people and prepare them for sacrifice to preserve Islam and Islamic purposes, these mourning demonstrations must be continued.
* * *
Right is the victor, right is the winner! But we must find out the secret of our victory, the secret of the survival of Shia in all the ages from the time of the Master of the Faithfuls, His Holiness Imam All (a.s.) to the present, at certain stages the Shia population was meagre, it has increased, thanks God. We must also learn the secret of the survival of this Religion and of the Muslim countries, the Shiite nations. W@ must learn that secret by heart. One of the major secrets pertains to Hazrat Imam Hosein (a.s.). This secret should be preserved. These lamentation meetings that were arranged in the course of history by orders of the Infallible Imams (a. s.) were not meant for our youth to attend them in order to shed tears, we must not weep anymore! This is a mistake they make!
* * *
He (Imam Hosein – a.s.) has saved Islam to this day. The Prophet (SAW) has said: “I am from Hosein”, meaning that the sacrifice of lives by Imam Hosein (a.s.) has preserved the Religion of Islam and, we, too, must protect it. These youthful people are not attentive enough. Surely, there is a group who are injected with the idea that there should be no mouming for the martyrdom of Imam Hosein (a.s.). This is because lamentation for the martyrs of Ashura moves the people to such extent that they get ready for anything. When people observe that Imam Hosein’s children were cut to pieces, it becomes easy for them to sacrifice their lives. And, the feeling of welcoming martyrdom made our nation advance the cause. This is the meaning, the message that the Ashura event at Karbala has conveyed to all directions and to all nations making them wish martyrdom for themselves, a martyrdom like that of Imam Hosein (a.s.)
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The lamentation for the Master of the Martyrs is a mean by which his ideology (Islam) can be preserved. Those who want us not to observe the martyrdom of Imam Hosein (a.s.) by mouming and lamentation do not understand the ideology of the Master of Martyrs; they do not know that these mouming sessions have preserved this ideology. It is now 1,400 years that these lamentations, elegies and passion plays have kept us alive, have maintained Islam up to now. To these youths who want us to speak the language of the day we say the words of Imam Hosein (a.s.) are the words of the day, it has always been the language of the day. In fact it is the Master of Martyrs who has brought forth the final word for today and left it with us. These lamentations have preserved the Master of Martyrs; his ideology has been preserved by the cries of mouming and by tears shed, by these passion plays, elegies and breast-beatings. If instead of these actions, some saints would stay at home, confined to a room in which they would do nothing but recite Ashura prayers and use rosary beads, nothing would have survived. It requires clamour, every school of thought or ideology demands clamour. No ideology can be saved and maintained unless tears are shed for it and breasts are beaten.
The antagonists merely do not understand, they are like children, they do not know the role of the clergy and of those who preach in the pulpits of Islam. You, too, may not know it. This is a role that has kept Islam alive. It is a rose that has been kept in full bloom by irrigation with tears. It is these recitations of pains and anguish (suffered by the martyrs on Ashura) that has kept alive the ideology of the Master of Martyrs. If someone near to one of us is slain, we cry and mourn and raise black banners; we weep, shed tears and hold mouming sessions. If a (political) party member gets killed, they hold processions, screams are raised to high heavens, meetings are arranged for lamentations.
Our passion plays, recitation of elegies and bemoaning from pulpits and at meetings, are just cries to revive the ideology of the Master of the Martyrs. These cries and lamentations are the things that have kept us alive and have advanced the Movement that could not take one step forward if there was no Master of Martyrs (Imam Hosein – a.s.). The Master of Martyrs is present everywhere “All lands are Karbala!”; all pulpits are thresholds of Imam Hosein (a.s.); all altars belong to the Master of Martyrs. Imam Hosein (a.s.), saved Islam by his blood, should we remain silent while he sacrificed so much to perpetuate the true Islam? We must cry and mourn everyday; we should climb up the pulpit everyday to preserve the movement and the ideology, these moves owe the Master of Martyrs a great deal!
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What is a better coordination than this? Can you name a nation as harmonized as this? Who has coordinated them? The Master of Martyrs has made them harmonious. In all Islamic countries, the Muslim nations on the days of Ashura (10th Muharram) and Tasou’a (9th Muharram), line up in these well coordinated, orderly bands of passion plays and reciters of elegies and mourners. Who is there to duplicate such gatherings? Where on earth can you find such coordinated groups. Travel to India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and Iraq wherever you happen to be on these days, you will meet this orderly, well coordinated parades or demonstrations of mourners. Who has harmonized them? Do not give up this coordination and harmony!
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These lamentation gatherings and elegy recitations in honor of the Master of Martyrs who, to please God, sacrificed his own life and the lives of his family and companions, have nurtured our youth in such a manner that they go to the battle-fronts and beg for martyrdom and take pride in attaining to it, feeling unhappy if martyrdom does not come their way. Furthermore, by their influence, parents are so made as to wish they had more sons to send them to the war fronts, if their first offer is honored with martyrdom. It is these lamentation gatherings in honor of the Master of Martyrs, these prayer meetings, the Komail and other prayers that build these gatherings and have built the foundation of Islam on them so that it advances with this idea and program.
Now, a group of people come and tell us not to recite elegies nor arrange lamentation gatherings. They just do not understand the meaning of the lamentations nor do they comprehend their nature. They do not know that the movement of Imam Hosein (a.s.) has developed these gatherings, and the revolutions like ours are rays, reflecting that Movement. They do not know that shedding tears in mourning for Imam Hosein (a.s.) means the survival of his Movement; that a small number of men stood up against a mighty empire and said, “No!”. This “No” must be reiterated every day everywhere. And, these gatherings are to voice this “No” collectively. Let not our children and youths drink that the issue is one of weeping, a problem of the “weeping nation”! ‘Mat is the suggestion of others so that we, too, say so! They fear these tears, for they are shed in honor of the oppressed and in damnation and condemnation of the oppressors. These mourning and passion play processions are uprising against cruelty.
In those days (during the rule of Rex Khan) one of the slogans that had currency was “The Nation of Tears”. This was aimed at disbanding the lamentation gatherings. Such meetings and gatherings were forcefully Prevented by him who used to attend them with all his frolickings and rigmaroles.  It wasn’t the turbans, hats or other head gears per se; nor the lamentation gatherings per se that mattered. They had realized that these elements had the influence of preventing them from doing whatever they wanted. When the nation in the months of Muharram and Safar, especially in the Ashura event, clear across the country, gathers together to lament and observe the Karbala martyrdoms, when the clergy climb up the pulpits and recite elegies and recount the tortures that the Infallible Imams(a.s.) have gone through, such recitations and gatherings give the people a single direction in which to move, and Muslims are thus united, some 30, 40 millions or more, in a single front ready for any necessary move and action. This is the political dimension of these gatherings and is above all other aspects.
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They see that in all years and ages these lamentation gatherings, the recounts of cruelties and the crimes against the oppressed reveal the oppressors and condemn them but they fail to see the service these gatherings render the country and Islam. Let not our youth be deceived by the frisks and pranks of these elders, they are traitors who try to inject the slogan of “weeping nation” and the like. They, their prominent men and their masters are afraid of these tears. Reza Khan was an example he was assigned to curb tears and lamentation arranged in honor of Imam Hosein (a.s.). When he left the country the British announced in Radio New Delhi: “We brought him and now take him away.” They were right, they had brought him with orders to prevent lamentation gatherings and to suppress Islam. Our young must not think that by going to the gatherings and preventing the Ashura event to be mentioned, they will be doing the country a service, it is wrong! The glergy must mention the cruelties perpetrated against the Prophet’s progeny, so that people understand what has happened. Such mention must be made every day. This has a political dimension and a social aspect as well!
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The first time they seized and took me away, on the way from Qum some of the agents said they had been sent for me but were frightened by the tents (set up for the Ashura lamentation gatherings) lest the mourners would become aware and, as a result, they fail to accomplish their task. Not only minor elements such as those who had taken me, but even great powers are afraid of these lamentation tents! The major powers fear the organization which, without a single hand to run it, has gathered these mourners together, has welded national elements together, so solidly all over the country, for all times especially in the 2 months of Muharram and Safar. If an issue may serve Islam or if someone wants to make a country-wide announcement, the Ulama and preachers can most effectively and expeditiously publicize it from the pulpit. Under the divine banner, this “Hoseini” standard people converge.
If great powers want to call in a large group of people, they might succeed, after many days or weeks of publicity, in many towns and villages, and with considerable expenses, to bring together a crowd of say, 50 to 100 thousand men to listen to the person who is scheduled to speak. But, as you can see, when the clergy have something the public should know, these lamentation meetings serve as a most effective instrument and, in no time at all, people all over the country are informed; all layers of population and Imam Hosein’s mourners gather together in the shortest time, with least effort and publicity. People get together whenever words of the Master of Martyrs are going to be recited.
Know that the entire instructions of the Infallible Imams (a.s.) for observance of this historic epic of Islam and the curses levied on the oppressors of the Ahl-e-Bayt (the Prophet’s progeny) are all the epic cries of valiant nations in condemnation of the perpetrators of cruelty and oppression at all times in man’s history. You must also know that cursing the Bani Omayyad, although they were overthrown and are in the Hell, is the cry of condemnation of all oppressors and is meant to maintain this cruelty – smashing outcry.
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Lamentation of the martyrs, means preservation and perpetuation of the Movement. It is narrated that he who cries (at, Imam Hosein’s martyrdom) or make others cry or even he who p@ on a weeping appearance, will be admitted to the Heaven.  Such a person who appears sad, whose face shows his affectation by tears, is actually helping to preserve the uprising and movement of Imam Hosein (a.s.)
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If we weep until Doomsday for Imam Hosein (a.s.) we ourselves will profit by it not Imam Hosein (a.s.). Consider its benefits in this world, let alone its rewards in the next world, consider the spiritual aspect, how it rings the hearts together!
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Don’t think that we weep and arrange these mouming meetings to please the Master of Martyrs! No, he has no need for our tears and our tears, per se, cannot do anything! But these lamentation gatherings and meetings unite the people and give them direction. 30 to 35 million people during the month of Muharram, especially the Ashura days, all have a united aspect and move in one direction. Some of the Imams (a.s.) have asked that mouming be arranged for them at Mana . Some of the Infallible Imams (a.s.) have wanted that elegies be recited for them from the pulpits, others have stressed that rewards will accrue to those who cry, make others cry or appear to be sad and crying. The issue is not shedding of tears at all, it is political for our Imams (a.s.) with their divine vision wanted to unite and mobilize the nations, bring them together by various ways so that they won’t be vulnerable.
Some of the Infallibles, (e.g. Imam Baqir – a.s. may have been the one) have wanted a reciter of elegies to be stationed at Mena (a place where hajj pilgrims converge to perform certain hajj rites) and recite elegies in their names. That was not because Imam Baqir (a.s.) had needed elegies, rather, it has had political significance. Consider Mena during the hajj season; pilgrims from all around the earth would be gathered there hag lamentation over the crimes committed by the Imam’s opponents which had resulted in his martyrdom and the matter would surely reverberate clear across the Islamic World. These mourning sessions have been underestimated.
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His Holiness Imam Baqir (a.s.) upon his death willed that someone be hired for ten successive years and placed at Mena to cry for him. What kind of challenge is this? Did Hazrat Baqir (a.s.) need tears, what for and why at Mena during the hajj pilgrimage!? This is the point, the political, psychological and humane point. Ten years of tears in succession! Well, people who make the pilgrimage see this and ask about it and when they receive answers, their attention is gained toward this ideology. It supports the oppressed and weakens or destroys the oppressors. We offered youth, so did Karbala. We should preserve this. You shouldn’t think that tears were the issue. No, not tears but political, psychological and social aims are involved. If tears were the issue, why the pretension to it? What need could the Master of Martyrs have for tears? The Imams (a.s.) insisted that we hold gatherings for lamentation, etc., because it gives solidarity to the move and safeguards the Faith.
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The depth significance of the lamentation meetings is little known and, to some, it is not evident at all. Our narratives place such great value on even one drop of tear, even for pretension to crying, for the victim of Karbala not because the Master of Martyrs personally needs the tears or lamentations and not even for the reward that those who shed tear will receive . But, why such exterior dinary rewards have been prescribed for the lamentation gatherings? Why has God Almighty granted so much reward for even one drop of tear, for even pretension to crying? The political dimension of the issue is, little by little, becoming known and, God willing, it will become more evident in the future. The assignment of such great rewards for lamentation and mouming gatherings, for recitation of elegies has been in addition to its spiritual and devotional aspects, for political considerations, a major political purpose. The day the related narratives were issued, this saviour minority group was afflicted with the Omayyad and Abbasid rulers, a small minority vis-a-vis great powers.
At that time, in order to organize the political activities of this minority, they devised a path which itself was an organizing element. That device was to quote divine inspirational sources for the formation of these meetings, their greatness and the highest reward for mourners. The Shiite minority in those days gathered around these lamentation meetings, many of them did not know what it was all about. The issue was imparting organization to a minority group that faced a cruel majority. In the course of history these lamentation gatherings developed into an all-inclusive organization in every Muslim Country. In Iran, which is the cradle of Islam and Shiism that which threw fear in the despotic autocrats, who meant to destroy the clergy and Islam, was these mourning sessions.
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Maybe Westernized individuals call us a weeping nation and maybe our own people cannot grasp the meaning of so much reward for one drop of tear or for one lamentation gathering. Perhaps they cannot digest or comprehend the promises made for praying. The political aim of these tears and prayers is to draw people together and their collective attention to God that will result in their unity and mobilization for an Islamic aim. A lamentation gathering is for people to cry for the Master of Martyrs and be rewarded for it in the Hereafter. However, the important point is the political aspect that was designed by our Infallible Imams (a.s.) in the early days of Islam, and will last to the end, to get all the people gathered under one single banner, one single ideology and nothing can bring about such unity as readily as the mourning for Imam Hosein (a.s.).
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Others go to the mosques, listen to the sermons and hear what is being preached but when time comes for lamentation, they leave. This is because they do not know the significance of lamentation and elegies for the Infallibles. It is these mourning gatherings that have saved and preserved the altar and the pulpit. If there was no lamentation, this pulpit would not be here today. We must cry for our Martyrs, cry out loudly and awaken the people. We must make the people realize that our lamentation is not to earn rewards. We do lament to advance. The Master of Martyrs did not sacrifice himself to earn rewards, he was not in need of such a reward. He did so to save the ideology, to advance Islam and revive it. You who cry from the pulpit and make others cry, you who recite elegies that make listeners shed tears, your aim and purpose must be to advance Islam by these tumultuous uproars just as you have done so to the present time. People must be made to understand that the aim of our lamentations is not just to make them cry, rather, they must know for sure that Islain has been preserved by these tears, even sham weeping helps the ideology.
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If people could truly understand and make it understood by others what all this is about, the lamentations, the mournings and the elegies and why such high divine reward for a drop of tear shed for Imam Hosein (a.s.), they would not call us the weeping nation, rather they would call us the nation of epic action. If they could understand the meanings and mobilizing effects of the prayers enunciated by His Holiness Imam Sajjad (a.s.) at Karbala where he was under a governmental rule that had usurped all the powers, they would not say “what are prayers for!?” If our intellectuals could understand the political and social dimension of these mouming and lamentation meetings, these recitations of elegies and passion plays, they would not tell us why we have them, hold them and observe them.
Some are asking our youth: “How long will you cry” How long will you mourn” Let’s hold a demonstration in protest!? Ills is because such people do not understand the meaning, the aim of the Ashura lamentations and (how) it has been maintained so far. They do not know this, they cannot be made to understand.
They do not see that this lamentation (in honour of the Infallibles) “builds” up human beings, develops the men. These Ashura mouming sessions, are propaganda against tyranny, against the arrogant taghuts; it is reciting the oppression of the oppressed and it must go on indefinitely.