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Al-Imamah’ Imam Al-Husain (as) & History of ASHURA

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1 Al-Imamah’ Imam Al-Husain (as) & History of ASHURA
A BRIEF HISTORY AND ITS IMPORTANCE TODAY Advanced Religion February 12, 2012 Put together by: Sarah Kassim

2 Imam Husain In Charge When Al-Husain (a.s.) became formally the Designated Imam he was 46 years old.  He looked and acted like his father Imam Ali (a.s.).  He had many grey hairs by then, some in the head, others in the beard.  His life experience was essentially a mirror image of that of his brother Imam Al-Husain (a.s.) carried on his teachings at Medina as before, and the throngs of people kept coming, kept pouring, just to see him and to have a few words with him or a discourse for information.  This continued for a few years before people began to hear an ugly rumor, that Mu'awiya wanted his infamous son, Yazid, to succeed him.  The news was startling, and they were taken in disbelief!  This evil man as Khalifa of the Islamic nation, the playboy son of Mu'awiya, was too much to take!!  A playboy with no genuine religious substance to be a Khalifa was too much to take, too un-Islamic

3 What Did Mu’awiya Do? Once Imam Al-Hasan died, Mu'awiya used coercion, pressure and the media, to once more impose his will on the people. To allay their fears Mu'awiya wanted to introduce a good image of Yazid, to give the impression that Yazid had changed for the better.  To show the people Mu'awiya demanded from Yazid to do Haj.  Yazid agreed after some objections, but when he went to Mecca he was to be accompanied by a chorus of girls of ill-repute along with drinks!

4 Mu’awiya Dies It has been 20 years since Imam Ali (a.s.) was assassinated, and at that time another assassin hit Mu'awiya.  At the age of 75 Mu'awiya lay in bed infirm, weak, and flaccid.  He was nearing death. Yazid was not by him, he was gone for fun, on a hunting trip.  Mu'awiya gave this advice to be transmitted to Yazid—that of all people Husain is the most important to deal with.  Mu'awiya's was still thinking of power even at the moments of his death!

5 Brief History of Events Before Karbala
Mu’awiya VS The Muslims

6 WHO IS MU’AWIYA Son of Abu Sufyan Leader of Benu Umayya Clan
Grew up in a family very cunning, materialistic, and power hungry. Had a brother named Yazid, and son named Yazid!

7 Yazid Becomes Ruler at Age 30
Like his father approached people with many possible means such as: Bribery Pressure Threats Force To accept him as the Ruler!

8 Ahlul Bayt VS Mu’Awiya Imam Ali VS Mu’Awiya Imam Hassan VS Mu’Awiya
(continuous violation of Islamic principle) Imam Hassan VS Mu’Awiya (swallow pill and make peace agreement with Mu’awiya) Imam Hussain VS Yazid (declared himself ruler and demanded allegiance)

9 Imam Hussain refused to accepting Yazid as a Leader of Islam

10 Yazid aked his Governer of Medina (Waleed Ibn Ut’ba) to for:
Imam Hussain’s Allegiance OR If Imam Hussain refuses then HIS HEAD Imam Hussain did give his words at the meeting and decided to leave Medina along with his family to MECCA.

11 12,000 LETTERS When Imam Hussain reached Mecca, he received 12,000 letters from Kufa (a city in Iraq) urging him to go to be their leader. So then, Imam Hussain sent his cousin (Muslim Ibn Aqeel) to Kufa to get some information on the situation in Iraq. In the meantime, Yazid sent many spies to Mecca to assassinate Imam Hussain during the pilgrimage.

12 Being the Situation Imam Hussain Knew:
Yazid had no regards for Islamic Value Yazid would do anything to enforce his dictatorial rule Giving allegiance to a person like Yazid would place Islam at extreme risk! Therefore, Imam Hussain decided to leave Mecca for Kufa for a confrontation with Yazid and his forces.

13 “We are the household of the Prophethood, the source of messengership, the descending-place of the angels. Through us the Almighty began showering His favors and with us He has perfected His favors, whereas Yazid is a sinful person, a drunkard, the killer of innocent people and one who openly indulges in sinful acts. A person like me can never pledge allegiance to a person like him…”

14 Journey Towards Kufa Imam Hussain, along with family, friends, and companions began a (1,100 miles) trip to Kufa in a long caravab in the blistering summer Heat!

15 Mecca to Karbala

16 On The Way Imam Hussain met Al-Farazdaq (famous poet) who advised the Imam NOT to go to Kufa because: “Though the people’s hearts would be with the Imam, their SWORDS would be against him!”

17 First Letter received from Muslim Ibn Aqeel

18 First Letter Received From Muslim Ibn Aqeel
The letter indicated good news how the people of Kufa are looking forward to Imam Hussain’s leadership


20 Yazid Learned about Muslim’s Success in Kufa

21 SHOCKING NEWS…!!! As Imam Hussain arrived closer to Kufa, He received news that Muslim Ibn Aqeel and the person who provided him shelter (Habi Ibn Urwah) were arrested and beheaded by Ibn Ziyad!

22 IMAM HUSSAIN “OUR SHIA HAVE DESSERTED US, THOSE OF YOU WHO PREFER TO LEAVE MAY DO SO FREELY AND WITHOUT GUILT” Many companions became scared and left, while Imam Hussain and his close family members continued their journey.

23 Conflict Arrised…. As the caravan proceeded in the journey it was blocked by 1,000 horsemen led by Hurr Bin Yazid Al-Riyahi from the enemy army. Imam Hussain’s caravan changed direction away from Kufa after a negotiation with Hurr…(“to go to a station neither Kufa nor Medina…and they are commissioned to follow Imam Hussain until they take Him to Ibn Ziyad.”)

24 Message to Hurr “…force Hussain to a halt. But let him stop in an open space, without vegetation or water.”

25 KARBALA IBN ZIYAD sent additional military units to Karbala and appointed Umar Ibn Saad in charge. Imam Hussain convinced Umar Ibn Saad and Ibn Ziyad to lift the siege so he and his family could leave Iraq…but, the Army commander (Shimr Bin Dhul Jawshan) opposed.

26 Muharram 7 Umar Ibn Saad received the letter…and decided to fight with Imam Hussain! He moved his troops closer to the camp of Imam Hussain, and surrounded the camp. A blockade was laid around the camp to cut it off from access of the Euphrates River.

27 Muharram 9 The military forces on the enemy’s side closed in on Imam Hussain’s camp. Imam Hussain, asked his brother Abbas to talk to Ibn Saad and request a delay until the next morning.

28 Night of the 9th Day (the night was spent in prayers)
Imam Hussain said, “the enemy is interested in none but me, me alone. I’ll be most delighted to permit each and every one of you to go back, and I urge you to do so…” All the companions screamed in response, “By Allah, never, never! We will either live with you or die together with you.”

29 ASHURAA Children were crying for water, the women were desperate for water, Zain ul Abideen (Imam Hussain’s son) was sick with a high fever. But not one of the suffering people complained!

30 Hurr (previous commander) along with TWO others broke Away from Umar Ibn Saad and joined Imam Hussain An Arrow was thrown into the air to indicate the start of the war.

31 72 VS 5,000 or (30,000) Worried, the commander in chief ordered his army to set the Imam’s tents on fire which were mostly occupied by females and children (1 by 1 the martyrs die) Noon time came…the war stopped for Salat! By now mainly family and a few supporters remained. As soon as the Salat finished 1 of the guards fell dead with 17 arrows in his back

32 ALI AKBAR Imam Hussain’s son asked permission to fight….
He engaged in FIERCE fighting with many wounds, cuts, swords and spears until he died! Imam Hussain rushed to pick his body up.

33 Abbas & 5 Other Brothers of Imam Hussain Next
They also engaged in FIERCE fighting… Abbas went towards the river to bring water for the children…while returning was attacked…fell off the horse….and died!

34 70 People Sacrificed Imam Hussain remained to be the last person to fight with the enemy.

35 Ali-Al Asghar Imam Hussain heard his baby son crying & suffering of thirst! He held the baby (6 months) in his arms, and appealed to the enemy fighters for some water….. Guess what happened….?????????

36 Al-Hussain 1 against Thousands
Thousands of enemies surrounded Al-Hussain but no one dared to approach him. Shimr screamed ATTACK! A 3 pointed arrow hit Imam Hussain in the chest. Imam Hussain fell from his horse…and was doing the final sejdah…until Shimr cut Imam Hussain’s head off with a sword.

37 Ashura’ the event 10 Muharram 61 AH (10 October 680)
On the 10th day of Muharram, the last stand was made. The partisans of Husain fought from morning until their last breath. By the day’s end, 72 had perished, including: 2 children of Imam Hasan, aged 13 and 11 3 children of Imam Husain, aged 18, 5, & Ali al-Asghar, just 6 months old 2 children of Zainab 5 brothers of Husain, (Abbas and his brothers) 17 nephews of Imam Husain 32 supporters: 8 Sahaaba of the Prophet and 20 of Ali’s companions

38 Who was Left A few females were left, along with the very sick son of Imam Husain whose name was Imam Zainul Abideen, for he was too sick to fight.  Also spared was his child, Al-Baaqir, a three year old boy.    They were in a gripping devastating shock, something that makes anyone go berserk or have a mental breakdown.  They were put in chains, and then taken to the Governor Ibn Ziyad.  They were in a devastated condition, thirsty, dusty, and distressed beyond belief.   

39 Confrontation Against Ibn Ziyad
They were brought face to face with the Governor, an ugly hunk of humanity.  He tried to intimidate them, thinking he had shattered them beyond repair.  Husain's sister, Zainab, answered him so sharply and in such a cutting manner he was taken aback, and had to accept the cutting reply in silence.  He turned back to the sick Zainul Abideen, and did the same.  Zainul Abideen's answer was also extremely powerful, cutting, and sharp, and he did it by quoting the Holy Quran.

40 To Damascus As prisoners they were then taken to Damascus, about 800 miles away, all seated on animal backs, just imagine, a handful of females!  Not only that but grotesquely in front of them were 72 severed heads of the loved ones on the tips of spears!  It was the heads of Imam Husain, his brothers, the teenagers, and the supporters.

41 At Yazid The evil 30 year old Yazid was sitting in his castle like the Byzantines used to do.  Seventy two severed heads with the horrible mask of death on them, were brought forward. The women along with Zainul Abideen were in chains. Yazid even had the audacity to play with the lips of Al-Husain (a.s.) with the end of his stick!! 

42 Back in Medina After a long, long trip, Zainul Abideen and the rest arrived home, in Medina. Within only a three year period, the 33 year old Yazid was gripped with a dreadful disease making him suffer for days on end, leading to his death. Yazid's son who took his place but soon abdicated, admitted the illegal seizure of power by his father Yazid and grandfather Mu'awiya, and expiated himself from their dreadful actions.  He was soon poisoned by Umayya members. Finally Shimr was discovered, unable to go anywhere, he became paralyzed with fear, When he was killed, his body was given to the wild dogs. 

43 Ashura’ Temporal Repercussions
Imam Husain laid the foundation of the revolution with his blood. Zainab propelled the revolution with her oratory. Scholarly & fearless speeches before Yazid Dignitaries & foreign emissaries brought to tears by the account of the massacre News spread like wildfire Humiliation & scandal stirred an empire

44 Ashura’ Spiritual Symbolism
The ultimate embodiment of the Shahaada: There is no deity but Almighty God.

45 The relevance of Ashura’ to humanity today
“Every day is Ashura’ and every land is Karbala.” - Imam Ja’far As-Saadiq (as)

46 Ashura’ Spiritual Symbolism
The ultimate representation of the clash of the spiritual versus the material The ultimate triumph of an ideal over worldly force The ultimate symbol of resistance to temptation and resistance to injustice The ultimate sacrifice to restore the sanctity of the Islamic message

47 Ashura’ Spiritual Symbolism
In his stance, Imam Husain restored a system of life. A real-life embodiment of rational justice Conquering human baseness (savageness, brutality) and appetite (material greed & lust for power) with decency & reason Confronting injustice to safeguard peace and security of human society perpetually  

48 The Relevance of Ashura’ to humanity today
A higher, spiritual level A reminder of the transientness of the material world versus the eternity of the spiritual A reminder of the frailty of human logic A reminder of our life’s purpose

49 The Relevance of Ashura’ to humanity today
A higher, spiritual level An ultimate metaphor for the eternal choice between good and evil

50 The Relevance of Ashura’ to humanity today
A higher, spiritual level A reminder of the power of faith exemplified by Ahlul Bayt.

51 was a new test of their faith, and it remained unshaken.
Ahlul Bayt Each new shock, each new sorrow, and each new misfortune, was a new test of their faith, and it remained unshaken. Their faith in the mercy of the Almighty was greater than anything that could ever befall them, and they never surrendered to despair.

52 The spirit of Ashura’ modern commentary
Sir Muhammad Iqbal: “Imam Husain uprooted despotism forever until the Day of Judgment. He watered the dry garden of freedom with the surging wave of his blood, and indeed he awakened the sleeping Muslim nation. If Imam Husain had aimed at acquiring a worldly empire, he would not have traveled as he did. Husain weltered in blood and dust for the sake of truth. Verily he, therefore, became the bedrock foundation of the Muslim creed: ‘There is no deity but Allah.’ ”

53 The spirit of Ashura’ modern commentary
Charles Dickens: “If Husain had fought to quench his worldly desires, as alleged by certain Christian critics, then I do not understand why his sister, wife, and children accompanied him. It stands to reason therefore, that he sacrificed purely for Islam.”

54 The spirit of Ashura’ modern commentary
Thomas Carlyle: “The best lesson which we get from the tragedy of Cerebella is that Husain and his companions were rigid believers in 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!”

55 The spirit of Ashura’ modern commentary
Edward Gibbon: “In a distant age and climate, the tragic scene of the death of Husain will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader.”

56 The spirit of Ashura’ modern commentary
William Muir: “The tragedy of Karbala decided not only the fate of the Caliphate, but also of [Muslim] kingdoms long after the Caliphate had waned and disappeared.”

57 The spirit of Ashura’ modern commentary
Edward G. Browne: “A reminder of that blood-stained field of Karbala, 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 the heedless, the deepest emotion, the most frantic grief, and an exaltation of spirit before which pain, danger, and death shrink to unconsidered trifles.”

58 The spirit of Ashura’ modern commentary
Mohandas Gandhi: “I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind.... I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of Husain the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission to save Islam. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle.”

59 The spirit of Ashura’ modern commentary
Mohandas Gandhi: “I have learned from Husain how to be oppressed yet victorious.”

60 Do not resent anything you have missed in it.
My advice to you is to be conscious of Allah and steadfast in your religion. Do not yearn for the world, and do not be seduced by it. Proclaim the truth; work for the next world. Oppose the oppressor and support the oppressed.

61 Do not stop from enjoining to the good and forbidding evil
Do not stop from enjoining to the good and forbidding evil. Should you do that, the worst among you would be your leaders, and you will call upon Allah without response.

62 My advice to you is to be conscious of Allah and steadfast in your religion. Do not yearn for the world, and do not be seduced by it. Do not resent anything you have missed in it. Proclaim the truth; work for the next world. Oppose the oppressor and support the oppressed.

63 Remain attached to the Quran
Remain attached to the Quran. Nobody should surpass you in being intent on it, or more sincere in implementing it. Fear Allah in relation to your prayers. It is the pillar of your religion.  

64 Do not stop from enjoining to the good and forbidding evil
Do not stop from enjoining to the good and forbidding evil. Should you do that, the worst among you would be your leaders, and you will call upon Allah without response.

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