Performing a Divine Duty
With the situation taking place during the reign of Yazid ibn Mu’awiah and that of the corrupt Umayyad dynasty, there remained no choice for an ordinary Muslim, let alone the divine leader of Muslims, to pursue except for that way that Imam Hussain (A.S.) chose. The regime of Yazid could not be considered authentic according to any law or custom.
Thus, for these reasons, Imam Hussain (A.S.) felt responsible to stand against the corruption of Yazid. In a letter he sent to the prominent people of Basra, he explained the reasons for his uprising as follows: “…I call you to the Book of Allah and to the tradition of the Prophet of Allah. Verily, the false and heretic tradition has come back to life…”
Or in the letter he sent with Muslim ibn Aqil to the people of Kufa, Imam Hussain (A.S.) condemned Yazid and further explained his mission: “I swear by my life, the Imam and Leader is no other, than him who acts according to the book of Allah, rises with justice, remains faithful to the religion, and puts his life at stake in the way of Allah.”
Or when Walid, the governor of Medina, asks him to pay allegiance to Yazid, the Imam replies:” O! Governor, verily we are the household of the Prophet, the mine of divine prophethood, the place where angels come and leave, and the centre for the arrival of Allah’s blessings; and Yazid is a man who is corrupt, wine-bibber, and murderer, who publicly commits debauchery.”
In his will, Imam Hussain (A.S.) addresses his brother, Muhammad ibn Hanafiah, he says: “Indeed I did not rise willfully out of desire, nor (did I rise) to do corruption or oppression; I did not rise, except to amend the community of my grandfather. I aim to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and act according to the tradition of my grandfather and my father Ali. Thus, whoever rejects me; I will remain patient until Allah judges between me and this community. Verily, Allah is the best of judges.”2
Then the time came when the Imam was face to face with the army of Hurr ibn Yazid al-Riahi. To them he said: “O! People, verily the Messenger of Allah has said: If anyone witnesses an oppressive ruler, who forbids what Allah has made permissible, violates his covenant with Allah, opposes the tradition of the Messenger of Allah, and acts upon sins and enmity amongst people, yet does not oppose (the oppressive ruler) through his behaviors and sayings, it is just on Allah to place him the place of that oppressor.
O! people, be cautious that they are following Satan; they have turned away from obeying Allah; they have manifested corruption; they have suspended the regulations of Allah; they have divided the rights of the people amongst themselves; they have forbidden what Allah has made permissible and permitted what He has forbidden…”3
Therefore, in that critical situation, the rising of Imam Hussain (A.S.) was a divine duty and a religious responsibility, which he performed in the best manner, just as his father Imam Ali (A.S.) and the rest of Imams (A.S.) did in the same situation.
(Selection taken from:” Summary of the History of Islam”, by Sayyid Hashim Rasouli Mahallati)
1-Irshad Mofid, vol. 2, P. 36
2-Maqtal Kharazmi, vol. 1, p. 185; Al-Fotouh, vol. 5, p.24
3-Tarikh Tabari, vol. 4, p. 376; Ihqaq al-Haq, vol. 11, p. 609