Imam al-Husayn (A.S.): Martyr In The Way Of Truth
Imam al-Husayn (A.S.) was a man of faith and action. During nights, he worshipped Allah in privacy while during the day he worked hard and guided the people. He was constantly mindful of the poor and the needy, and he used to visit them and cheer them up. He used to tell his followers:
"Be always in touch with the needy, for Allah does not love the arrogant."
Al-Imam al-Husayn (A.S.) always helped the poor as much as he could. at night he would carry sacks of food to the houses of the poor and leave them near the doors. He worked hard to eradicate poverty, establish justice and aquaint the people with Allah.
During the time of Imam Husayn(A.S.) a tyrant called Yazid became the ruler. Yazid called himself the successor of Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) but this was a lie. He used to spend the income of the Islamic realm on drinking, gambling and wild parties. Public wealth was wasted for supporting his regime and the rights of the poor were trampled upon. In this way he totally scorned the instructions of Islam.
When Yazid became ruler of the Muslims he immediately demanded Imam -Husayn (A.S.) to recognise him as the ruler and accept his leadership; but Imam Husayn (A.S.) was the true successor of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and could not accept and endorse the leadership of an oppressor. He began to enlighten and awaken the people about Yazid and exhorted them to dissociate from him. He would tell them:
"Do you not see that the truth is being trampled upon and the falsehood and oppression are prevailing? In such conditions, a Muslim must be ready for martyrdom in defence of the right. Martyrdom and self-sacrifice for the sake of truth is victory and success, while life with the oppressors is no more than shame and disgrace."
At that time the people of Kufa (Iraq) were loving followers of Imam Ali (A.S.) who had been suffering at the hands of Yazid and his father Mu'awiyah. They invited Imam Husayn (A.S.) to Kufa to lead them against Yazid and his wicked rule. Imam Husayn (A.S.) had indeed decided to rise up and fight, and so he accepted the invitation and set off for Kufa.
When the Imam Husain(A.S.) and his followers were near Kufa, they were met by Yazid's troops. The troops wanted to arrest Imam Husayn (A.S.) and his followers and take them to Yazid. The Imam (A.S.) told them:
"Never will I accept disgrace and surrender to Yazid, Death for me is superior to disgrace and I am ready to defend Islam and the Muslims until I am Martyred."
At a place called Karbala Imam Husayn (A.S.), his family and helpers were surrounded by Yazid's troops. The Imam (A.S.) and his followers stood firm as they fought against the thousands of troops of Yazid. Finally, on 10th Muharram, 61 AH (the day we call Ashura) they were martyred.
Imam Husayn (A.S.) and his followers were martyred, but they did not submit to injustice and oppression. They defended Islam and the Muslims. With their blood they saved Islam and the Qur'an from the danger of annihilation at the hands of Yazid. Imam Husayn (A.S.) fought against oppression and defended the religion of Islam, and by doing so, he taught the world the greatest lesson on freedom and righteousness. For this reason we call Imam Husayn (A.S.) "Sayyid al-Shuhada" which means "The Doyen of the Martyrs". Now the turn has come for us to safeguard and defend Islam. We must shoulder this magnificent resposibility.
The day of Ashura is a glorious day for truth and freedom. Ashura is a model for every day of our lives, and the martyrs of that day are the forerunners and teachers for all the martyrs in the way of truth.
One of the self sacrificing yound men of that day was called Wahab. He too gave his life for his Imam (A.S.) and for the true teachings of the Qur'an, and provided a lesson on martyrdom to all sincere youths of all times and places. Wahab was in his tent when his mother entered. She was obviously flustered and nervous; she said to her son:
"Wahab! what are you waiting for? Don't you know that Yazid's forces have surrounded your Imam (A.S.)? Rise and defend your Imam (A.S.). Rise and defend the Qur'an, freedom and honour. If you want me to be happy and pleased with you, rise and give your blood for the sake of your religion."
Wahab was already busy putting on his clothes and armour for the battlefield. He quickly finished and made his farewells to his mother and to his young wife. He ran to the battlefield with the permission of Imam Husayn (A.S.).
Wahab fought like a valiant lion and his sword fell on the heads of the enemy like lightening. But the day was hot and soon he became more thirsty and tired. He withdrew from the battle to rest for a while, and seeing his mother standing and watching the battle alongside one of the tents, he rushed to her side. She kissed the bleeding face of her son, and said:
"My son, I was watching you, but rest is not permissible. Our Imam's (A.S.) helpers are few; return to the battlefield and either defeat the enemy or be martyred in the presence of your Imam (A.S.). Only in this case I will be content with you and pray for you. Go now, my brave son."
With this encouragement, and after seeing his mother and wife, just once more for the last time, Wahab returned to the battlefield with an ardent desire for martyrdom. An enemy sword fell on his arm and wounded him. Watching from a far, his mother let out an involuntary groan. She picked up a stick and hurried to defend her son. Wahab's young wife also saw what had happened and she too rushed off to help him. She arrived at his side to find him lying, with blood spurting from his deep wound.
Wahab's wife wanted only to defend her husband and play her part in defending the religion. While taking care of her wounded husband, she too was attacked by the enemy troops and was martyred.
Defending Islam and the Qur'an is obligatory on both men and women. When necessary, Muslim women must learn shooting and other techniques of warfare. They must learn first aid and the art of nursing and attending on the injured. They are to be ever vigilant guardians of the Islamic homelands and honour.
In Iran, the brave Muslim women in Islamic Hijab (dress) followed the instructions of their great leader and took part in the demonstrations that freed the country. These freedom-loving women wearing their modest Islamic dress entered decisively into arena, and with the cry of Allahu Akbar on their lips they toppled down the imperial palace itself.
These Muslim women, following the instructions of Islam and observing Islamic Hijab in accordance with the Islamic teachings, cooperated with the men and delivered their country from the grip of traitors. Today, the Muslim women of Iran are playing an important role in all the organizations of the country.
These are the women who raised in the enviroment of Islam. Islam wants women to be veiled, to wear plain clothes in public, to keep their beauty and their adornments for their husbands and families, to avoid unnecessary contacts with men who are not "mahram" (with whom marriage is not permitted) and to maintain in this way their dignity and respect.
Allah tells us in the Qur'an that the believing women must not gaze at men who are not mahram and must hide from their bodies and hair. The women brought up in Islamic enviroment can grow spiritually and turn into brave defenders of Islam, the Qur'an, dignity and honour. They can play an impotant role in freeing and developing the great Islamic nation.