On Imam Hussain’s birthday: The true essence of Shahadat was epitomized in Imam Hussain’s life


By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi

19th April (3rd of Shaban, 1439 A.H.) marked the birth anniversary of Imam Hussain ibn Ali (r.a)—the saviour of Islam from the clutches of evil. He was the son of the 4th rightly guided Caliph Hazrat Ali (R.A) and Hazrat Fatima (R.A). Thus, his birthday is one of the most remarkable days in Islamic history.

Imam Hussain is viewed as an icon of lofty principles in the Islamic history. He strongly refused to surrender to the unjust and tyrannical ruler Yazid, who walked away from the Islamic concept of leadership through consensual democracy and created a completely dictatorial dynasty. However, the sacrifice of Imam Hussain is looked up as the revival of the faith and Islamic principles of freedom, democracy, fairness and justice.

Today, Imam Hussain’s birthday serves as a reminder to tell the people about the real objective of his sacrifice. If we keep this in view, we will realize that the present-day extremists who make false claims of being Mujahid (or fighter in the path of Allah) and commit the barbaric acts of violence, are indulged in the acts completely against the true essence of Imam Hussain’s Shadat.

The true essence of Shahadat or martyrdom in Islam was epitomized by the noble grandson of the holy Prophet, Imam Husain. Similarly, the Prophet’s uncles, Hazrat Abbas and Hazrat Ameer Hamza, who were killed in defensive battles are held to be among the greatest examples of Islamic martyrs by both the Sunni and Shiite  schools. About these real martyrs in Islam, Allah says in the holy Quran (3: 169-171):

“Do not think of those who have been killed in God’s cause as dead. They are alive, and well provided for by their Lord; they are joyful because of what God has bestowed on them of His grace and they rejoice that those they left behind, who have not yet joined them, that they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve; rejoicing in God’s grace and bounty.”

The best way to uphold the legacy of Imam Hussain is to make concerted efforts to free the world from oppression, violent extremism, terrorism, injustice, wanton killing, barbarity and other evils and vices being wrongly perpetrated in the name of Islam, Jihad and Shahadat.

Ever since, Imam Hussain has been an epitome of justice and tolerance not only for the Muslims but also for every human being with whom injustice is being perpetrated, no matter to which religion he belongs and in which form is the injustice. Nearly each and every remarkable revolution of the world got inspiration from the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. Although his sacrifice occurred on Karbala some 1400 years back, it still remains as a symbol of a universal struggle for peace and justice and elimination of violence and terrorism.

One of the most inspiring words ever said is that of Imam Hussain which he spoke while addressing the enemies in Karbala: “If you do not have religion, at least be a free man in your life of this world, because a free man can differentiate between the good and evil more easily than a biased one.”

The Holy Prophet had very often insisted upon his Ummah not to forget Hussain. This insistence of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) clearly suggests that those who tend to forget Karbala and the martyrdom of Hussain will cause compromises in his mission. Today’s radical Islamists who claim to be custodians of Islam and go on killing innocents in the name of Jihad have forgotten Imam Hussain and his martyrdom.

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