And surely we shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give good news to those who have patience. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and to Him will we return.” Those are the ones upon whom are the blessings from their lord, and mercy, and they are the ones who are the rightly guided.
Surah Al-Baqara (Verse: 155-157)
Ever since the creation of this world, there has been an eternal conflict between the forces of virtue and the forces of evil. Besides some ordinary human beings, the rightly guided Prophets of the God have significantly challenged various wicked and unholy forces of the time. A similar confrontation between the prophet Abraham (A.S.) and the Nimrod led the former to be thrown into the fire by the latter. Prophet Moses (A.S.) strived hard to liberate his ill-treated fellow Israelites from the clutches of centuries-old slavery of the Pharaohs. Prophet Jesus was crucified by the Romans on account of his religious beliefs and assertions that were totally inconsistent with religious dogma and establish norms of the time. Likewise, when Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) challenged the religious and socio-economic status quo of the
Mecca, he was bitterly persecuted by the fellow Meccans so much so that he has to leave his native town Mecca for good. However, in the face of all bitter opposition and victimizations, all these Messengers of the God always remained patient and steadfast.
Some political events led the institution of Caliphate (Khilafat) to be abolished altogether soon 29 years after the death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The transformation of Khilafat into Malooqiat (monarchy) resulted in giving rise to certain un-Islamic, autocratic and totalitarian tendencies in the body politic. Resultantly, the foremost principles in Islam like the Amr Bil Maroof (ordering for acknowledged virtues) and Nahi Anil Munkar (forbidding from sin) were wholly abandoned. There was a tyrant despot, namely the Yazid I, who was all set to resurrect the pre-Islamic wrongful and sinful traditions that have been buried by the prophet Muhamad (PBUH) after a long struggle. He was openly ignoring the dos and don’ts prescribed by the Islam. There was no one to confront, or otherwise oppose, Yazid except Hazrat Imam Hussain (A.S.) and some of his companions. Therefore, Imam Hussain refused to pledge allegiance to Yazid that ultimately resulted in the tragedy of Karbala in 61 AH.
“Life is nothing but the manifestation of a particular ideology, and making a constant endeavour to translate this ideology into a reality,” said Imam Husain (A.S.). This is what ‘Hussainism’, a doctrine essentially based on the ideology and practices of the great Imam, is all about. This ideology calls for the strict adherence to a set of absolute principles no matter whatever be the consequences, and whatever it costs. It necessarily maintains that it is not the power but principles that always matter and make all the difference. It urges not to submit before the evil forces of the time under any circumstances. At the same time, it also stands for an optimism and hope in the face of utter despondency and darkness that sometimes prevail all around us. Now the name ‘Hussain’ has become an iconic symbol that represents a courageous resistance against the tyranny and oppression.
As a matter of fact, Red Shi’ism is generally consider to be the ideology that transformed a chaotic country like Iran, ruled by a despot, into a model and modern Muslim welfare state. In fact, Red Shi’ism is essentially an important aspect of ‘Hussainism’. Dr Ali Shariati, the ideologue of the Iranian Revolution, urged to launch a Jihad for achieving the goal of social justice, even to the extent of embracing martyrdom like the Imam Hussain (A.S.). In this particular context, he maintained, “every day is Ashura and everyplace is Karbala.”
Similarly, on the eve of Iranian revolution, Rohallah Khomeini, the great revolutionary leader of Iran, once advised Iranians to protest against the ‘Yazid of the time’- Reza Shah Pahlavi on the day of Ashura instead of observing it in a traditional manner. At present, Iran is only country in the entire Muslim World, which is significantly active and vocal against the anti-Islam, Zionist and Imperialist attitude and policies of the West in general, and the US in particular.
At the moment, the entire Muslim Ummah is engulfed in the darkness and despair. Muslims are militarily frail, economically deprived, socially marginalized and technologically less advanced. No one in the world cares about his or her feelings and rights. In Afghanistan and Iraq, their blood has been spilled like water in the name of ‘War on Terror’. Now, the bloody civil war has torn Syria apart. The suppressed people of Kashmir have been denied their basic right of self-determination for a long time. Palestinians are also being denied the state, which was promised to them under various Middle East peace deals. Instead, they are being persecuted and ruthlessly killed by the Israeli forces.
The so-called ‘Arab Spring’ in the Middle East has turned into a worst kind of ‘Arab Autumn’. Iran has been facing unjustified and harsh sanctions imposed by the West arbitrarily. The violent sectarian and ethnic strife have also rocked Pakistan, our own county, and the extremists are mercilessly killing its innocent citizens. Owing to lack of socio-economic justice, the gulf between the haves and the have nots is widening day by day. The hapless people of the country are being badly exploited by the political elite class and a bunch of corrupt bureaucrats. Presently there is no such thing as the Justice and fair play in the national discourse of the country.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) has said, “The best Jihad is to say a word of truth before a tyrant ruler”. In fact, no one has ever dared to speak more courageously against the tyranny than did Imam Husain (A.S.) and his companions in Karbala. Karbala portrays a real concept of Jihad in Islam. But regrettably, certain Violent Non State Actors like the Taliban and the activists of ISIS (Daish) etc. have deceitfully and wickedly stolen the Islamic narrative of Jihad. Their version of Jihad has nothing to do with the real spirit and teachings of the Islam. They have caused an irreparable loss to the entire Muslim Ummah. Now, equating freedom struggles with the militant activities of these terrorist outfits, the freedom fighters in the areas like Kashmir and Palestine are being taken as terrorist by the world.
Now the Muslim World should forcefully reject the ideology and agenda of the violent extremists who are defaming the name of Islam in the world. In order to overcome current hardships faced by it; the Ummah direly needs to exhibit patience, determination and force of character that have necessarily been the hallmarks of the ‘Hussainism’. Today, this ideology is a great source of inspiration for the oppressed and suppressed people in the world, from Kashmir to Palestine, and from Pakistan to Syria.