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Imam Husain And His Martyrdom

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The following pages are based on a report of an Address which I delivered in London at an Ashura Majlis on Thursday the 28th May, 1931 (Muharram 1350 A.H.), at the Waldorf Hotel. The report was subsequently corrected and slightly expanded. The Majlis was a notable gathering, which met at the invitation of Mr. A. S. M. Anik. Nawab Sir Umar Hayat Khan, Tiwana, presided and members of all schools of thought in Islam, as well as non-Muslims, joined reverently in doing honour to the memory of the great Martyr of Islam. By its inclusion in the Progressive Islam Pamphlets series, it is hoped to reach a larger public than were able to be present in person. Perhaps, also, it may help to strengthen the bonds of brotherly love which unite all who hold sacred the ideals of brotherhood preached by the Prophet in his last Sermon.


A. Yusuf Ali.


Imam Husain And His Martyrdom


Sorrow as a Bond of Union


I am going to talk this afternoon about a very solemn subject, the martyrdom of Imam Husain at Kerbela, of which we are celebrating the anniversary. As the Chairman has very rightly pointed out, it is one of those wonderful events in our religious history about which all sects are agreed. More than that, in this room I have the honour of addressing some people who do not belong to our religious persuasion, but I venture to think that the view I put forward today may be of interest to them from its historical, its moral and its spiritual significance. Indeed, when we consider the background of that great tragedy, and all that has happened during the 1289 lunar years since, we cannot fail to be convinced that some events of sorrow and apparent defeat are really the very things which are calculated to bring about, or lead us towards, the union of humanity.


How Martyrdom healed divisions


When we invite strangers or guests and make them free of our family circle, that means the greatest outflowing of our hearts to them. The events that I am going to describe refer to some of the most touching incidents of our domestic history in their spiritual aspect. We ask our brethren of other faiths to come, and share with us some of the thoughts which are called forth by this event. As a matter of fact all students of history are aware that the horrors that are connected with the great event of Kerbela did more than anything else to unite together the various contending factions which had unfortunately appeared at that early stage of Muslim history. You know the old Persian saying applied to the Prophet:


Tu barae wasl kardan amadi;

Ni barae fasl kardan amadi.

"Thou camest to the world to unite, not to divide."

That was wonderfully exemplified by the sorrows and sufferings and finally the martyrdom of Imam Husain.

Commemoration of great virtues


There has been in our history a tendency sometimes to celebrate the event merely by wailing and tribulation, or sometimes by symbols like the Tazias that you see in India, - Taboots as some people call them. Well, symbolism or visible emblems may sometimes be useful in certain circumstances as tending to crystallise ideas. But I think the Muslims of India of the present day are quite ready to adopt a more effective way of celebrating the martyrdom, and that is by contemplating the great virtues of the martyr, trying to understand the significance of the events in which he took part, and translating those great moral and spiritual lessons into their own lives. From that point of view I think you will agree that it is good that we should sit together, even people of different faiths, - sit together and consider the great historic event, in which were exemplified such soul-stirring virtues as those of unshaken faith, undaunted courage, thought for others, willing self-sacrifice, steadfastness in the right and unflinching war against the wrong. Islam has a history of beautiful domestic affections, of sufferings and of spiritual endeavour, second to none in the world. That side of Muslim history, although to me the most precious, is, I am sorry to say, often neglected. It is most important that we should call attention to it, reiterated attention, the attention of our own people as well as the attention of those who are interested in historical and religious truth. If there is anything precious in Islamic history it is not the wars, or the politics, or the brilliant expansion, or the glorious conquests, or even the intellectual spoils which our ancestors gathered. In these matters, our history, like all history, has its lights and shades. What we need especially to emphasise is the spirit of organisation, of brotherhood, of undaunted courage in moral and spiritual life.


Plan of discourse


I propose first to give you an idea of the geographical setting and the historical background. Then I want very briefly to refer to the actual events that happened in the Muharram, and finally to draw your attention to the great lessons which we can learn from them.


Geographical Picture


In placing before you a geographical picture of the tract of country in which the great tragedy was enacted, I consider myself fortunate in having my own personal memories to draw upon. They make the picture vivid to my mind, and they may help you also. When I visited those scenes in 1928, I remember going down from Baghdad through all that country watered by the Euphrates river. As I crossed the river by a bridge of boats at Al-Musaiyib on a fine April morning, my thoughts leapt over centuries and centuries. To the left of the main river you have the old classic ground of Babylonian history; you have the railway station of Hilla; you have the ruins of the city of Babylon, witnessing to one of the greatest civilisations of antiquity. It was so mingled with the dust that it is only in recent years that we have begun to understand its magnitude and magnificence. Then you have the great river system of the Euphrates, the Furat as it is called, a river unlike any other river we know. It takes its rise in many sources from the mountains of Eastern Armenia, and sweeping in great zig-zags through rocky country, it finally skirts the desert as we see it now. Wherever it or its interlacing branches or canals can reach, it has converted the desert into fruitful cultivated country; in the picturesque phrase, it has made the desert blossom as the rose. It skirts round the Eastern edge of the Syrian desert and then flows into marshy land. In a tract not far from Kerbela itself there are lakes which receive its waters, and act as reservoirs. Lower down it unites with the other river, the Tigris, and the united rivers flow in the name of the Shatt-al-Arab into the Persian Gulf.


Abundant water & tragedy of thirst


From the most ancient times this tract of the lower Euphrates has been a garden. It was a cradle of early civilisation, a meeting place between Sumer and Arab, and later between the Persians and Arabs. It is a rich, well watered country, with date-palms and pomegranate groves. Its fruitful fields can feed populous cities and its luscious pastures attract the nomad Arabs of the desert, with their great flocks and herds. It is of particularly tragic significance that on the border of such a well-watered land, should have been enacted the tragedy of great and good men dying of thirst and slaughtered because they refused to bend the knee to the forces of iniquity. The English poet's lines "Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink" are brought home forcibly to you in this borderland between abundant water and desolate sands.


Kerbela and Its Great Dome


I remember the emotion with which I approached Kerbela from the East. The rays of the morning sun gilt the Gumbaz-i-Faiz, the great dome that crowns the building containing the tomb of Imam Husain. Kerbela actually stands on one of the great caravan routes of the desert. Today the river city of Kufa, once a Khilafat capital, is a mere village, and the city of Najaf is famous for the tomb of Hazrat Ali, but of little commercial importance. Kerbela, this outpost of the desert, is a mart and a meeting ground as well as a sacred place. It is the port of the desert, just as Basra, lower down, is a port for the Persian Gulf. Beautifully kept is the road to the mausoleum, to which all through the year come pilgrims from all parts of the world. Beautiful coloured enamelled tiles decorate the building. Inside, in the ceiling and upper walls, there is a great deal of glass mosaic. The glass seems to catch and reflect the light. The effect is that of rich coruscations of light combined with the solemnity of a closed building. The tomb itself is in a sort of inner grill, and below the ground is a sort of cave, where is shown the actual place where the Martyr fell. The city of Najaf is just about 40 miles to the South, with the tomb of Hazrat Ali on the high ground. You can see the golden dome for miles around. Just four miles from Najaf and connected with it by a tramway, is the deserted city of Kufa. The mosque is large, but bare and practically unused. The blue dome and the Mihrab of enamelled tiles bear witness to the ancient glory of the place.


Cities and their Cultural Meaning


The building of Kufa and Basra, the two great outposts of the Muslim Empire, in the 16th year of the Hijra, was a visible symbol that Islam was pushing its strength and building up a new civilisation, not only in a military sense, but in moral and social ideas and in the sciences and arts. The old effete cities did not content it, any more than the old and effete systems which it displaced. Nor was it content with the first steps it took. It was always examining, testing, discarding, re-fashioning its own handiwork. There was always a party that wanted to stand on old ways, to take cities like Damascus readymade, that loved ease and the path of least resistance. But the greater souls stretched out to new frontiers - of ideas as well as geography. They felt that old seats were like dead wood breeding worms and rottenness that were a danger to higher forms of life. The clash between them was part of the tragedy of Kerbela. Behind the building of new cities there is often the burgeoning of new ideas. Let us therefore examine the matter a little more closely. It will reveal the hidden springs of some very interesting history.


Vicissitudes of Mecca and Medina


The great cities of Islam at its birth were Mecca and Medina. Mecca, the centre of old Arabian pilgrimage, the birthplace of the Prophet, rejected the Prophet's teaching, and cast him off. Its idolatry was effete; its tribal exclusiveness was effete; its ferocity against the Teacher of the New Light was effete. The Prophet shook its dust off his feet, and went to Medina. It was the well-watered city of Yathrib, with a considerable Jewish population. It received with eagerness the teaching of the Prophet; it gave asylum to him and his Companions and Helpers. He reconstituted it and it became the new City of Light. Mecca, with its old gods and its old superstitions, tried to subdue this new Light and destroy it. The human odds were in favour of Mecca. But God's purpose upheld the Light, and subdued the old Mecca. But the Prophet came to build as well as to destroy. He destroyed the old paganism, and lighted a new beacon in Mecca - the beacon of Arab unity and human brotherhood. When the Prophet's life ended on this earth, his spirit remained. It inspired his people and led them from victory to victory. Where moral or spiritual and material victories go hand in hand, the spirit of man advances all along the line. But sometimes there is a material victory, with a spiritual fall, and sometimes there is a spiritual victory with a material fall, and then we have tragedy.


Spirit of Damascus


Islam's first extension was towards Syria, where the power was centred in the city of Damascus. Among living cities it is probably the oldest city in the world. Its bazaars are thronged with men of all nations, and the luxuries of all nations find ready welcome there. If you come to it westward from the Syrian desert, as I did, the contrast is complete, both in the country and in the people. From the parched desert sands you come to fountains and vineyards, orchards and the hum of traffic. From the simple, sturdy, independent, frank Arab, you come to the soft, luxurious, sophisticated Syrian. That contrast was forced on the Muslims when Damascus became a Muslim city. They were in a different moral and spiritual atmosphere. Some succumbed to the softening influences of ambition, luxury, wealth pride of race, love of ease, and so on. Islam stood always as the champion of the great rugged moral virtues. It wanted no compromise with evil in any shape or form, with luxury, with idleness, with the seductions of this world. It was a protest against these things. And yet the representatives of that protest got softened at Damascus. They aped the decadent princes of the world instead of striving to be leaders of spiritual thought. Discipline was relaxed, and governors aspired to be greater than the Khalifas. This bore bitter fruit later.


Snare of Riches


Meanwhile Persia came within the Muslim orbit. When Medain was captured in the year 16 of the Hijra, and the battle of Jalula broke the Persian resistance, some military booty was brought to Medina - gems, pearls, rubies, diamonds, swords of gold and silver. A great celebration was held in honour of the splendid victory and the valour of the Arab army. In the midst of the celebration they found the Caliph of the day actually weeping. One said to him, "What! a time of joy and thou sheddest tears?" "Yes", he said, "I foresee that the riches will become a snare, a spring of worldliness and envy, and in the end a calamity to my people." For the Arab valued, above all, simplicity of life, openness of character, and bravery in face of danger. Their women fought with them and shared their dangers. They were not caged creatures for the pleasures of the senses. They showed their mettle in the early fighting round the head of the Persian Gulf. When the Muslims were hard pressed, their women turned the scale in their favour. They made their veils into flags, and marched in battle array. The enemy mistook them for reinforcements and abandoned the field. Thus an impending defeat was turned into a victory.


Basra and Kufa: town-planning


In Mesopotamia the Muslims did not base their power on old and effete Persian cities, but built new outposts for themselves. The first they built was Basra at the head of the Persian Gulf, in the 17th year of the Hijra. And what a great city it became! Not great in war and conquest, not great in trade and commerce, but great in learning and culture in its best day, - alas! also great in its spirit of faction and degeneracy in the days of its decline! But its situation and climate were not at all suited to the Arab character. It was low and moist, damp and enervating. In the same year the Arabs built another city not far off from the Gulf and yet well suited to be a port of the desert, as Kerbela became afterwards. This was the city of Kufa, built in the same year as Basra, but in a more bracing climate. It was the first experiment in town-planning in Islam. In the centre was a square for the principal mosque. That square was adorned with shady avenues. Another square was set apart for the trafficking of the market. The streets were all laid out intersecting and their width was fixed. The main thoroughfares for such traffic as they had (we must not imagine the sort of traffic we see in Charing Cross) were made 60 feet wide; the cross streets were 30 feet wide; and even the little lanes for pedestrians were regulated to a width of 10.5 feet. Kufa became a centre of light and learning. The Khalifa Hazrat Ali lived and died there.


Rivalry and poison of Damascus


But its rival, the city of Damascus, fattened on luxury and Byzantine magnificence. Its tinsel glory sapped the foundations of loyalty and the soldierly virtues. Its poison spread through the Muslim world. Governors wanted to be kings. Pomp and selfishness, ease and idleness and dissipation grew as a canker; wines and spirituous liquors, scepticism, cynicism and social vices became so rampant that the protests of the men of God were drowned in mockery. Mecca, which was to have been a symbolical spiritual centre, was neglected or dishonoured. Damascus and Syria became centres of a worldliness and arrogance which cut at the basic roots of Islam.


Husain the Righteous refused to bow to worldliness and power


We have brought the story down to the 60th year of the Hijra. Yazid assumed the power at Damascus. He cared nothing for the most sacred ideals of the people. He was not even interested in the ordinary business affairs of administration. His passion was hunting, and he sought power for self-gratification. The discipline and self-abnegation, the strong faith and earnest endeavour, the freedom and sense of social equality which had been the motive forces of Islam, were divorced from power. The throne at Damascus had become a worldly throne based on the most selfish ideas of personal and family aggrandisement, instead of a spiritual office, with a sense of God-given responsibility. The decay of morals spread among the people. There was one man who could stem the tide. That was Imam Husain. He, the grandson of the Prophet, could speak without fear, for fear was foreign to his nature. But his blameless and irreproachable life was in itself a reproach to those who had other standards. They sought to silence him, but he could not be silenced. They sought to bribe him, but he could not be bribed. They sought to waylay him and get him into their Power. What is more, they wanted him to recognise the tyranny and expressly to support it. For they knew that the conscience of the people might awaken at any time, and sweep them away unless the holy man supported their cause. The holy man was prepared to die rather than surrender the principles for which he stood.


Driven from city to city


Medina was the centre of Husain's teaching. They made Medina impossible for him. He left Medina and went to Mecca, hoping that he would be left alone. But he was not left alone. The Syrian forces invaded Mecca. The invasion was repelled, not by Husain but by other people. For Husain, though the bravest of the brave, had no army and no worldly weapons. His existence itself was an offence in the eyes of his enemies. His life was in danger, and the lives of all those nearest and dearest to him. He had friends everywhere, but they were afraid to speak out. They were not as brave as he was. But in distant Kufa, a party grew up which said: "We are disgusted with these events, and we must have Imam Husain to take asylum with us." So they sent and invited the Imam to leave Mecca, come to them, live in their midst, and be their honoured teacher and guide. His father's memory was held in reverence in Kufa. The Governor of Kufa was friendly, and the people eager to welcome him. But alas, Kufa had neither strength, nor courage, nor constancy. Kufa, geographically only 40 miles from Kerbela, was the occasion of the tragedy of Kerbela. And now Kufa is nearly gone, and Kerbela remains as the lasting memorial of the martyrdom.


Invitation from Kufa


When the Kufa invitation reached the Imam, he pondered over it, weighed its possibilities, and consulted his friends. He sent over his cousin Muslim to study the situation on the spot and report to him. The report was favourable, and he decided to go. He had a strong presentiment of danger. Many of his friends in Mecca advised him against it. But could he abandon his mission when Kufa was calling for it? Was he the man to be deterred, because his enemies were laying their plots for him, at Damascus and at Kufa? At least, it was suggested, he might leave his family behind. But his family and his immediate dependants would not hear of it. It was a united family, pre-eminent in the purity of its life and in its domestic virtues and domestic affections. If there was danger for its head, they would share it. The Imam was not going on a mere ceremonial visit. There was responsible work to do, and they must be by his side, to support him in spite of all its perils and consequences. Shallow critics scent political ambition in the Imam's act. But would a man with political ambitions march without an army against what might be called the enemy country, scheming to get him into its power, and prepared to use all their resources, military, political and financial, against him?


Journey through the desert


Imam Husain left Mecca for Kufa with all his family including his little children. Later news from Kufa itself was disconcerting. The friendly governor had been displaced by one prepared more ruthlessly to carry out Yazid's plans. If Husain was to go there at all, he must go there quickly, or his friends themselves would be in danger. On the other hand, Mecca itself was no less dangerous to him and his family. It was the month of September by the solar calendar, and no one would take a long desert journey in that heat, except under a sense of duty. By the lunar calendar it was the month of pilgrimage at Mecca. But he did not stop for the pilgrimage. He pushed on, with his family and dependants, in all numbering about 90 or 100 people, men, women and children. They must have gone by forced marches through the desert. They covered the 900 miles of the desert in little over three weeks. When they came within a few miles of Kufa, at the edge of the desert, they met people from Kufa. It was then that they heard of the terrible murder of Husain's cousin Muslim, who had been sent on in advance. A poet that came by dissuaded the Imam from going further. "For," he said epigramatically, "the heart of the city is with thee but its sword is with thine enemies, and the issue is with God." What was to be done? They were three weeks' journey from the city they had left. In the city to which they were going their own messenger had been foully murdered as well as his children. They did not know what the actual situation was then in Kufa. But they were determined not to desert their friends.


Call to Surrender or Die


Presently messengers came from Kufa, and Imam Husain was asked to surrender. Imam Husain offered to take one of three alternatives. He wanted no political power and no revenge. He said "I came to defend my own people. If I am too late, give me the choice of three alternatives: either to return to Mecca; or to face Yazid himself at Damascus; or if my very presence is distasteful to him and you, I do not wish to cause more divisions among the Muslims. Let me at least go to a distant frontier, where, if fighting must be done, I will fight against the enemies of Islam." Every one of these alternatives was refused. What they wanted was to destroy his life, or better still, to get him to surrender, to surrender to the very forces against which he was protesting, to declare his adherence to those who were defying the law of God and man, and to tolerate all the abuses which were bringing the name of Islam into disgrace. Of course he did not surrender. But what was he to do? He had no army. He had reasons to suppose that many of his friends from distant parts would rally round him, and come and defend him with their swords and bodies. But time was necessary, and he was not going to gain time by feigned compliance. He turned a little round to the left, the way that would have led him to Yazid himself, at Damascus. He camped in the plain of Kerbela.


Water cut off; Inflexible will, Devotion and Chivalry


For ten days messages passed backwards and forwards between Kerbela and Kufa. Kufa wanted surrender and recognition. That was the one thing the Imam could not consent to. Every other alternative was refused by Kufa, under the instructions from Damascus. Those fateful ten days were the first ten days of the month of Muharram, of the year 61 of the Hijra. The final crisis was on the 10th day, the Ashura day, which we are commemorating. During the first seven days various kinds of pressure were brought to bear on the Imam, but his will was inflexible. It was not a question of a fight, for there were but 70 men against 4,000. The little band was surrounded and insulted, but they held together so firmly that they could not be harmed. On the 8th day the water supply was cut off. The Euphrates and its abundant streams were within sight, but the way was barred. Prodigies of valour were performed in getting water. Challenges were made for single combat according to Arab custom. And the enemy were half-hearted, while the Imam's men fought in contempt of death, and always accounted for more men than they lost. On the evening of the 9th day, the little son of the Imam was ill. He had fever and was dying of thirst. They tried to get a drop of water. But that was refused point blank and so they made the resolve that they would, rather than surrender, die to the last man in the cause for which they had come. Imam Husain offered to send away his people. He said, "They are after my person; my family and my people can go back." But everyone refused to go. They said they would stand by him to the last, and they did. They were not cowards; they were soldiers born and bred; and they fought as heroes, with devotion and with chivalry.


The Final Agony; placid face of the man of God


On the day of Ashura, the 10th day, Imam Husain's own person was surrounded by his enemies. He was brave to the last. He was cruelly mutilated. His sacred head was cut off while in the act of prayer. A mad orgy of triumph was celebrated over his body. In this crisis we have details of what took place hour by hour. He had 45 wounds from the enemies' swords and javelins, and 35 arrows pierced his body. His left arm was cut off, and a javelin pierced through his breast. After all that agony, when his head was lifted up on a spear, his face was the placid face of a man of God. All the men of that gallant band were exterminated and their bodies trampled under foot by the horses. The only male survivor was a child, Husain's son Ali, surnamed Zain-ul-'Abidin - "The Glory of the Devout." He lived in retirement, studying, interpreting, and teaching his father's high spiritual principles for the rest of his life.


Heroism of the Women


There were women: for example, Zainab the sister of the Imam, Sakina his little daughter, and Shahr-i-Banu, his wife, at Kerbela. A great deal of poetic literature has sprung up in Muslim languages, describing the touching scenes in which they figure. Even in their grief and their tears they are heroic. They lament the tragedy in simple, loving, human terms. But they are also conscious of the noble dignity of their nearness to a life of truth reaching its goal in the precious crown of martyrdom. One of the best-known poets of this kind is the Urdu poet Anis, who lived in Lucknow, and died in 1874.


Lesson of the Tragedy


That briefly is the story. What is the lesson? There is of course the physical suffering in martyrdom, and all sorrow and suffering claim our sympathy, ---- the dearest, purest, most outflowing sympathy that we can give. But there is a greater suffering than physical suffering. That is when a valiant soul seems to stand against the world; when the noblest motives are reviled and mocked; when truth seems to suffer an eclipse. It may even seem that the martyr has but to say a word of compliance, do a little deed of non-resistance; and much sorrow and suffering would be saved; and the insidious whisper comes: "Truth after all can never die." That is perfectly true. Abstract truth can never die. It is independent of man's cognition. But the whole battle is for man's keeping hold of truth and righteousness. And that can only be done by the highest examples of man's conduct - spiritual striving and suffering enduring firmness of faith and purpose, patience and courage where ordinary mortals would give in or be cowed down, the sacrifice of ordinary motives to supreme truth in scorn of consequence. The martyr bears witness, and the witness redeems what would otherwise be called failure. It so happened with Husain. For all were touched by the story of his martyrdom, and it gave the deathblow to the politics of Damascus and all it stood for. And Muharram has still the power to unite the different schools of thought in Islam, and make a powerful appeal to non-Muslims also.


Explorers of Spiritual Territory


That, to my mind, is the supreme significance of martyrdom. All human history shows that the human spirit strives in many directions, deriving strength and sustenance from many sources. Our bodies, our physical powers, have developed or evolved from earlier forms, after many struggles and defeats. Our intellect has had its martyrs, and our great explorers have often gone forth with the martyrs' spirit. All honour to them. But the highest honour must still lie with the great explorers of spiritual territory, those who faced fearful odds and refused to surrender to evil. Rather than allow a stigma to attach to sacred things, they paid with their own lives the penalty of resistance. The first kind of resistance offered by the Imam was when he went from city to city, hunted about from place to place, but making no compromise with evil. Then was offered the choice of an effectual but dangerous attempt at clearing the house of God, or living at ease for himself by tacit abandonment of his striving friends. He chose the path of danger with duty and honour, and never swerved from it giving up his life freely and bravely. His story purifies our emotions. We can best honour his memory by allowing it to teach us courage and constancy.


The End





Watch live from inside haram of Imam Hussian

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Guest الحسين في المزاد العاطفي والأسطو

الحسين في المزاد العاطفي والأسطوري

GMT 11:30:00 2006 الثلائاء 7 فبراير

. محمود كرم







في مثل هذه الأيام من شهر محرم من كل عام تحيي الطائفة الشيعية ذكرى عاشوراء عبر جملة من الشعائر والطقوس الكرنفالية الموغلة في إظهار الحزن والبكاء على الحسين نجل الإمام علي رابع الخلفاء بعد الرسول ( ص ) وتتمثل تلك الشعائر في إقامة مجالس العزاء ولبس السواد ولطم الصدور وفي بعض البلدان يتم ضرب الرؤوس بالسيوف واسالة الدم الغزير من مقدمة الرأس انتصاراً له من قاتليه بينما هم قاتلوه الحاليين..!!


بدايةً لا أنطلق من هذا الموضوع من خلفية طائفية مقيتة حتى لا يفرح الطائفيون من الطرف المناهض للطائفة الشيعية والذين قد يجدون في هذا الموضوع زاداً لهم في الصراع الطائفي المحتدم منذ مئات السنين بينهم وبين ( أخوتهم ) في الدين من الشيعة وكذلك لا أريد من الشيعة أن يفرحوا أو يحزنوا لأنهم ربما يضعونني في خانة ( النواصب ) الجدد بسبب موضوعي هذا وأقول لهم أنني شخص ينتمي إلى عائلة شيعية معروفة بولائها الشديد لآل البيت ولذكرى عاشوراء الحسين..


أكتب هذا الموضوع انطلاقاً من إيماني العميق بأن الحسين ليس ملكاً للشيعة أو لأي طائفة دينية أخرى وكنتُ ولا زلتُ أجد في الحسين رمزاً إنسانياً لمقاومة الاستبداد ومناصراً للقيم الإنسانية والعدالة والكرامة وكل ما له علاقة بالحرية ورفض الظلم ولكني في مقابل ذلك لا علاقة لي بالطريقة السطحية والاستعراضية التي يتم فيها التداول مع قضية الإمام الحسين عند الكثيرين من الطائفة الشيعية..


اختزال الحسين الرمز في مجرد هلوسات من اللطم والبكاء والسواد وضرب الرؤوس والتركيز على هذه الجوانب العاطفية تفريغٌ للجوانب المضيئة والمضامين الإنسانية في قضية الإمام الحسين..


البعض من الشيعة يعتقد في عقله الباطني وربما في ثقافته المذهبية أن تعاطفه مع الحسين لأنه نجل الإمام علي وليس تعاطفه مع قضية الحسين بسبب أنه يمثل رمزاً إنسانياً ضد كل أشكال الظلم والقهر والاستبداد حينما رفض مبايعة الخليفة الأموي يزيد ابن معاوية، وقد تشكلت هذه الثقافة التي حشرت الحسين قسراً في زاوية ضيقة ورؤية قاصرة من خلال بعض الخطب التي يتم تداولها بسطحية وقشرية من على المنابر الحسينية في شهر محرم..


وكذلك تشكلت ثقافة في المعتقد الشيعي تجد أن الحسين ذهبَ إلى حتفه بأمر من الله عندما يرددون مقولته التي ينسبونها له ( شاء الله أن يراني قتيلاً ) ولا نعرف ما الحكمة من أن يرسل الله إنساناً ما إلى حتفه لمجرد أن يراه قتيلاً ومنزوعاً من إرادته الحرة في تنفيذ ما يراه صواباً..!!


وهذا الأمر يجرنا إلى الحديث الذي يعتقد به البعض من الشيعة من حيث أن الأمور جرت في واقعة كربلاء كما أراد لها الله وبالتالي تجريد الحسين من إرادته وحريته في رفض مبايعة يزيد وكأن ما قامَ به الحسين لا يدخل ضمن المقاييس البشرية التي يجب أن تكون مثالاً يحتذى وفي هذا الصدد يقول المفكر الإيراني ( صالح نجف آبادي ): (علينا ان نقيّم ما يقوم به الإمام وفق الأسس والمعايير الطبيعية والاعتيادية حتى يكون قدوة لنا نقتدي به، ولكن عندما نقيم هذه الأعمال على أسس ومعايير غير طبيعية فإنها لن تكون لنا قدوة، بل يكون الأمر إعجازاً يخرج عن دائرة الرغبات الاجتماعية والأحداث الطبيعية فلا يمكن لنا تحقيق ذلك ولا يمكن أن يكون هذا العمل نموذجا نقتدي به).


لذلك أقول أن اسباغ الأمر الإلهي على تصرف الحسين ينزع عنه بشريته التي تستند على ارادته الحرة واختياره السليم في الحياة ويضعه في المقاييس الغيبية التي لا دخل له فيها ومعها يستحيل أن يغدو قدوة في عمله البطولي الرافض لسلطة الحاكم الجائر..


وعودة إلى مظاهر السطحية في تناول قضية الحسين التي نجدها تستعر بمسلكيات بعيدة عن المنطق والعقلانية عبر جملة من الشعائر الحسينية الموغلة في تعذيب الجسد وتغذية المشاعر العاطفية والتعويل عليها في تجديد ذكرى عاشوراء..


ولا أدري ما علاقة أن نحيي ذكرى الحسين من خلال ضرب السلاسل والسيوف ولطم الصدور والمبالغة والغلو في إظهار هذه الطقوس..


والغريب إننا نسمع من الجموع التي تحتشد في مناسبة عاشوراء الصيحات التي تنطلق بقوة وتهتف بالفداء للحسين ولا أدري أي حسين بالضبط يقصدون، هل هو حسين المباديء الرفيعة الذي آمن بالحريات والكرامة وتحرير الذات من الخزعبلات والأوهام وبناء الإنسان الحر أم حسين اللطم والبكاء والسواد والتطبير، ووجدت بعض الجماعات من الشيعة فرصة مناسبة للترويج لبضاعتهم من الشعارات التي لا علاقة لها من قريب أو بعيد بجسد الحسين المدمى وبرأسه الشريف الذي رفعه الظلمة فوق الحراب وطافوا به في أكثر من مدينة ولا علاقة لها بالقيم التي نادى بها الحسين فوق تراب كربلاء، وبعضهم أخذ يستغل الحسين للترويج لأجندته السياسية وتوظيفه عمداً في معاركه السياسية مع قوى الصهيونية والامبريالية وأتذكر في هذا الصدد الدعوة التي وجهها قائد حزب الله اللبناني ( حسن نصر الله ) للشيعة العراقيين في مناسبة عاشوراء قبل عامين لمواجهة القوات الأمريكية هناك في استغلال سياسي لذكرى الحسين الذي يأتي من أعمق نقطة في الوجع الإنساني وقد نما إلى سمعي أن بعض الخطباء في الكويت هذا العام فتحوا ( المزاد ) على الحسين بالقضية الدنمركية التي تزامن حدوثها مع دخول شهر محرم..


وذهبت بعض المفاهيم الثقافية التي يتم تكرارها كل عام من شهر محرم من على المنابر ويتزعمها مجموعة من الخطباء البعيدين عن جوهر قضية الحسين والتفكير فقط في التكسب المادي من واقعته المأساوية من خلال التركيز فقط على البكائيات واذكاء نار العاطفة التي تأخذ من وقت المحاضرة الكثير إلى تجذير مفهوم ( المذهبية ) الضيقة في فكر الشيعة حينما يتم اضفاء الصبغة المذهبية قسراً على الحسين وجعله محصوراً في هذه الزاوية الضيقة..


وإلى اليوم تطرح حادثة كربلاء في معظم الحسينيات والمنتديات وفق نظرة ( مذهبية ) وغارقة في الجوانب العاطفية الجياشة بعيدة عن القيم الإنسانية العظيمة التي ناضل الحسين في الدفاع عنها ويتم الحديث عنها ( اسطورياً ) ووفق المقاييس الغيبية البعيدة عن منطق العقل والتي يجب أن تكون بعيدة في مفهومهم عن إرادة الإنسان وقراره الحر..!!


ولا ندري لماذا لا يتم استخلاص قيم التسامح من الحسين في معركته ضد أعدائه والذين هم في الأساس أعداء الحرية والحياة اليوم حينما تكالبوا على قتله وتمزيق جسده الشريف حينما هتف في أرض كربلاء في وجه المتربصين بقتله فقال لهم: أنني أأسف على حالكم لأنكم ستدخلون النار بسببي، فلم يلجأ الحسين للتشفي من أعدائه ولم يدعوا عليهم بالنار والهلاك بل كان يتمنى لهم الخير ويحزن على حالهم وهو تحت حرابهم وسيوفهم، بينما تصورهُ بعض الأدبيات الحسينية المنبرية على أنه قد أخذ بثأر جده وأبيه عبر السيف والقتال..


الحسين ذاكرة محمومة بتفاصيل انتصار الإنسانية على الاستبداد وقمع السلطات وهي بذلك قد تجاوزت الماضي وسكنت الحاضر لتستوطن المستقبل ومن المؤسف جداً أن يتم حصره في الخرافات والغيبيات والأسطرة والمزايدات السياسية والسواد واللطم وضرب الرؤوس بالسيوف..


معذرة ً


يا حسين الكرامةِ


فلا زال خنجر ( التخلف )


بلونه الذهبيِّ


فوق المنابر ِ


يغرسه ُ في أحشائكَ


محترفي الكلامْ


وبائِعي المأساة َ


في طرقات الظلامْ


وقاتلي النورَ


في مهد الضياءْ


ورافعي لواء الصمتِ


بألوان البكاءْ


فلا زال يا حسين الحريةِ


اسمك في حناجر البائعينَ


خير بضاعة ْ


ونهجكَ المستنير عِلَبٌ


بسعر السوق ِ




لم يعرفوكَ إماماً تقياً


قد أهوى الضلالة ْ


وظنّوكَ جسدا ً طريحا ً


يشتكي الظُلامة




مأتما ً


وخرقة ً سوداءَ


وخير تجارة ْ




محمود كرم


كاتب كويتي



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Guest عاشوراء.. فتاوىضد تكريس الكراهية



عاشوراء.. فتاوىضد تكريس الكراهية


للحزن الشيعي السنوي، الذي يحل هذه الأيام، مظهران: إيجابي يتلخص بنشاط أدبي، وازدهار السوق، وتدبير للمعاش، وتأكيد التعاطف، إلى جانب التظاهر السلمي ضد المظالم، وتمجيد مُثل التضحية. ومظهر سلبي يتمثل بجلد الذات: التسويط والتطبير واللطم، وما يرافقه من إشاعة روح الانتقام «يا لثارات الحسين».

يجمع المؤرخون على رواية أن أول عزاء رسمي أقامه البويهيون السنة 353هـ. بينما ربطته روايات أخرى بظهور جماعة التوابين ـ خذلوا الإمام الحسين بعد مكاتبته بالقدوم إلى الكوفة ـ بزعامة سليمان بن صُرد الخزاعي (قُتل 65هـ). وغالى آخرون برفعه إلى طفولة الحسين، وتحدثوا بـحديث «مأتم الميلاد» في حياة والدته الزهراء. ورد ضمن أحاديث العلم بالغيوب. على أية حال، كانت التعازي شعبياً سابقة على الزمن البويهي. بدليل أن نائحة (ملاية في لغة اليوم) اسمها «خِلْب»، كادت تُقتل، بخلاف طائفي، عندما سُمعت أنها تنوح في عاشوراء (نشوار المحاضرة)، قبل السيطرة البويهية على بغداد.


استمرت مراسم العزاء، عبر الأزمنة، بين السر والعلن. حاول خلفاء عباسيون استبدال قصة «مقتل الحسين» بتلاوة الأناشيد والمدائح. وحصرت بمرقد موسى الكاظم فقط السنة 641هـ (الحوادث الجامعة). كذلك أعلن وزير العراق مدحت باشا (قُتل 1883) في جريدة «الزوراء» (محرم 1869) «منع ما يزري أو يضر» منها. وفي العهد الملكي تحمل الملك فيصل الأول مصاريف مجلس خاص كان يحضره. وسمح عبد الكريم قاسم بقراءة المقتل عبر الإذاعة العراقية (1959)، وأطلق حرية المواكب. ويومها كان للحزب الشيوعي العراقي موكب كبير يعرف بموكب «العباسية» بكربلاء، خالٍ من التسويط والتطبير، ويعتمد على الهتاف الموجه، وقد أعيد تشكيله حالياً، ومن هتافاته الأخيرة «نطالب بدستور من روح السلام.. كلها ترضى بيه من دون اتهام.. تبقى سالم يا عراق»، و«لا ابن لادن يهزنا.. ولا الزرقاوي العميل.. تبقى سالم يا عراق».


بعد 1963 منع عبد السلام عارف مواكب زيارة الأربعين إلى كربلاء والعاشر من عاشوراء. بينما أطلقها أخوه عبد الرحمن عارف من بعده، وظلت حتى منعها البعثيون منتصف السبعينات نهائياً. وانفتحت بردة فعل قوية بعد سقوط نظام صدام. تحولت الشوارع والجامعات ودوائر الدولة إلى مجالس حسينية، ولم يحد منها تصاعد العمليات الإرهابية. وأخذت تبث من على شاشة الفضائية الرسمية «العراقية». حتى جعلت مقدمة بث محاكمة صدام وأعوانه لطمية، تقول: «وين تروح.. يا ظالم.. من كل هذي المظالم».


كان السيد محسن الأمين (ت1954) من أبرز العلماء المتصدين لتشذيب مراسم عاشوراء. برسالته «التنزيه لأعمال التشبيه». حرم فيها: استخدام القامات، والتسوط بالسلاسل وغيرها. وقد جابه الأمين حملة شعواء، انتهت بتكفيره (أعيان الشيعة). وأفتى السيد أبو الحسن الأصفهاني (ت1946) بتحريم ضرب الرؤوس، ولطم الصدور، وتسويط الظهور، ودق الطبول (مجلة الموسم). وأفتى الشيخ محمد حسين كاشف الغطاء (ت1954) بحرمتها، إلا أنه تراجع حذراً من تحريك العوام ضده. قال: «إن في صدري لعلماً جماً أخشى أن أبوح به من الشياطين الذين يوجهون العوام وفق مقاصدهم» (الخاقاني، شعراء الغري).


وفتوى المرجع الإيراني حسين البروجردي (ت1961) فيها «إنها حرام في حرام». ويُذكر أنه قال لرؤساء المواكب: «إن فتواي بشأن المسرحيات والتمثيليات حرام! فأجابوا: مولانا، نحن نقلدك طوال العام، ما عدا هذه الأيام»! (الشامي، المرجعية الدينية). ويرى الشيخ المطهري الرأي نفسه، وذكر ما دخل قصة الحسين من تحريف على يد الكاشفي في «روضة الشهداء» وآخرين من قبل خمسمائة عام. أدخلوا: طقس عرس القاسم تحت ظلال السيوف، وقصة استجداء الماء. وكما هو معروف، يقدم العطش كمشهد أساسي في العزاء. وكم يكون مؤثراً إذا صادف عاشوراء فصل الصيف اللاهب! يترنم الروزخون بصوت شجي بحرمان الحسين وأطفاله من «الفرات الجاري (بينما) يشربه اليهود والنصارى والمجوس، وتتمرغ فيه خنازير السواد (العراق) وكلابه» (الكعبي، مقتل الإمام الحسين)، دون الالتفات إلى الكراهية التي يشيعها النص ضد بقية الأديان!


خلا ذلك، أجد من المفارقة أن يفتي الميرزا محمد حسين النائيني (1936)، خلافاً لما عُرف عنه من مكانة في الفكر التنويري، بجواز اللطم والتسوط بالسلاسل والتطبير بالقامات والتشابيه. ثم يتابعه تلامذته من المراجع الكبار، والآيات العظام (البلاغي، الشعائر الحسينية العقائدية). تعد هذه الفتوى واحدة من تراجعات الشيخ النائيني عن مواقفه التنويرية السابقة، فقد تنصل يومها من رسالته ضد الاستبداد تنبيه الأمة وتنزيه الملة (1909)، وهي المعروفة بمنفيستو الحرية والتقدم آنذاك.


كان للصفويين دور كبير في إشاعة الغرائب على مراسم عاشوراء، التي كانت تكتفي بالمراثي والتذكر. وقيل إن إسماعيل الصفوي (ت 1524) أسس مجالس التعزية على ما هي اليوم، وما يصاحبها من ممارسات مؤثرة من أجل النقلة المذهبية ببلاد فارس. ومَنْ يقرأ كتاب علي شريعتي «التشيع العلوي والتشيع الصفوي» يستنتج أن التظاهر بالعنف في المواكب الحسينية له علاقة بما كان بين الدولتين: الصفوية والعثمانية، وهو تأكيد الاستعداد المتواصل للتضحية. ومن تلك الأجواء تأصلت عبارة «كل يوم عاشوراء وكل أرض كربلاء». ومع التأثير الصفوي القوي، إلا أن العراق لم يحفل بمظاهر التطبير والتسويط إلا في القرن التاسع عشر. أما اللطم فأظنه أقدم من هذا التاريخ.


من المفروض توجيه مراسم عاشوراء، والمناسبات الدينية الأخرى، إلى تكريس الأخوة بين أبناء الوطن الواحد، إن تقدمها رجال نبذوا الطائفية، مثلما حصل في العشرينات، عندما أقيم «المولد» السُنَّي و«التعزية» الشيعية في مناسبة واحدة ببغداد. كان دعوة الوئام: تفضلوا «للتبرك بتلاوة منقبة المولد النبوي الكريم مشفوعة بذكرى مقتل سيدنا الحسين عليه السلام» (البصير، تاريخ القضية العراقية). ولا غرو أن التجاور الخالي من الكراهية جعل عائلة «آل حردون» اليهودية تتولى شؤون موكب بعاشوراء، يعرف بـ «موكب آل حردون»، وبطبيعة الحال كانت جماهير الموكب من المسلمين. وأن تحضر أُسر مندائية (ديانة قديمة موحدة) ومسيحية مراسم عاشوراء، وتبكي نساؤها مع الباكيات المسلمات. وفي هذا المشهد لي الاستشهاد بما أنشده محمد مهدي الجواهري (النجف 1921) مع قلب الصورة:


وقد خبروني أن في الشرقِ وحدةً كنائسه تـدعو فتبكي الجوامـعُ



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Guest دعوة لإلغاء احتفاليات ذكرى عاشور

An Iranian Sunni writer is calling to block Shia from excersizing their rituals by remembering their Imam. He claimed that this is an anti Sunni ceromony. The writer failed to recognise that Hussain remeberance was created and supported by Abbasid Sunni Khalifa'a in their struggel against Umaih's khilapha . Prominent Sunni historians were the one how recorded Hussain death in details.. Revenge that some Shia raise as slogan is not against Sunni, but against all kind of tyrany that Hussain stands against..


لقد أفهم الشيعي أن أهل السنة معادون لآل البيت، وأن للحسين ثأرًا عند السنة، والشيعة هم أصحاب الثأر، ولهذا فإننا كثيرًا ما نسمع ونشاهد رفع الشيعة شعار 'يا لثارات الحسين'، وهي كلمة تردد باستمرار على ألسنة خطباء المجالس الحسينية، وتكتب على اليافطات السوداء، ويحملوها الصبية والشبان الشيعة المغفلون وهم يسيرون بها في المواكب ومسيرات اللطم ومهرجانات شق الرؤوس [التطبير]، خصوصًا في مثل هذه الأيام دون أن يعرفوا أبعاد هذه الشعارات وما هي مقاصد واضعيها
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Guest Funny article

It is so funny to hear some Sunni schorals saying that Shia slogan of revenge for Imam Husain is ment to be against Sunnis. Indeed the first one who raise this slogans where Mulsims who got shocked by the killing. Abbasiad Sunnis used this slogan later in their fight with Umaia khaleef.

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Guest عاشوراء..جوهر الديمقراطية

عاشوراء..جوهر الديمقراطية

نــــــــــــــــــــــزار حيدر



تحت هذا العنوان، استضافني، مشكورا، الأسبوع الماضي، مركز دار السلام في العاصمة الاميركية واشنطن، لألقي محاضرة ضمن البرنامج الليلي الذي ينضمه المركز، احياءا لذكرى نهضة سيد شباب أهل الجنة سبط رسول الله (ص) الإمام الحسين بن علي عليهم السلام، والذي استشهد، مع ثلة من أهل بيته وأصحابه الميامين، في يوم العاشر من المحرم عام (61) للهجرة، على يد جيش الطاغية يزيد بن معاوية، على أرض كربلاء المقدسة بالعراق.

عنوان المحاضرة استقيته من فكرة جوهرية تتمحور حولها الرسالات السماوية جمعاء.

فبقراءة متأنية لآيات القرآن الكريم، نلحظ أن الهدف النهائي للرسالات السماوية، ولرسالة نبينا محمد بن عبد الله (ص)، يتجلى في تحقيق كرامة الإنسان، كانسان، بغض النظر عن لونه أو جنسه أو اثنيته، والى هذا المعنى تشير الآية الكريمة رقم (70) من سورة الإسراء{ولقد كرمنا بني آدم وحملناهم في البر والبحر ورزقناهم من الطيبات وفضلناهم على كثير ممن خلقنا تفضيلا} وهي إشارة واضحة إلى أن الهدف هو كرامة الإنسان، وليس المسلم فحسب أو الشيعي على سبيل الفرض، إنما الهدف هو كرامة(بني آدم) وهي عبارة تعني كل البشر بغض النظر عن انتماءاتهم وأصولهم ومعتقداتهم، والى ذلك أشار الرسول الكريم بقوله(ص) {من آذى ذميا فقد آذاني}و{من ظلم معاهدا أو انتقصه حقه أو كلفه فوق طاقته أو أخذ منه شيئا بغير طيب نفس، فأنا حجيجه يوم القيامة}أو في قوله عليه وعلى آله أفضل التحية والسلام{من آذى ذميا فأنا خصمه، ومن كنت أنا خصمه، خصمته يوم القيامة}.

السؤال الذي يلح هنا للإجابة عليه هو؛

أين تتجلى كرامة الإنسان؟ وكيف؟.

برأيي، فان كرامة الإنسان تتجلى في ثلاث قيم أساسية واستراتيجية، هي اليوم محور الديمقراطية التي يكتب ويتحدث عنها ويبشر بها العالم، تلك القيم الثلاث هي:

أولا؛ الحرية، والتي تتمثل في حرية العقيدة والرأي والاختيار، وكذلك في حرية التعبير عن الذات.

ثانيا؛ المساواة بين الناس، وعدم التمييز بينهم على أساس خلق الله سبحانه وتعالى، كالتمييز على أساس اللون والجنس والانتماء القومي أو الجغرافي، كما تتجلى المساواة في مبدأ تكافؤ الفرص، إذ لا يحق الاستئثار بالفرص لجماعة وحرمان أخرى منها، إذ لا بد أن يتمتع الجميع بنفس الفرص وعلى كل الأصعدة وفي كل المجالات.

ثالثا؛ الشراكة الحقيقية والواقعية بين الناس في الشأن العام، فلا يجوز احتكار فئة للشأن العام، وحرمان الآخرين منه، بأية ذريعة، ولذلك، ليست الملكية من الإسلام في شئ، وان أي سلطة تقوم على أساس النظام الملكي الذي يفاضل بين الناس في الشأن العام على أساس القبيلة أو العائلة، التي يولد مولودها أميرا يتمتع بامتيازات خاصة على حساب سائر المواطنين، فهي باطلة لا أساس لها من واقع الدين أو الإنسانية أو حتى العقل، في شئ.

إن أي انتقاص من أي واحدة من هذه القيم، يعد بمثابة الانتقاص من كرامة الإنسان.

فتحديد حرية الإنسان، أو سلبها منه، بمثابة اعتداء على كرامة الإنسان، لأن العبودية ضد الكرامة، وان الإنسان إما أن يكون حرا أو أن يكون عبدا، ولا وجود لمنطقة وسط بين الحرية والعبودية، وان السلطة التي تنتقص، ولو ذرة من حرية الإنسان، إنما هي في حقيقة الأمر، تسلب كل حريته وليس بعضها، وبالتالي فهي تسلب كل كرامة الإنسان، لأن الكرامة كالحرية، وحدة واحدة لا تتجزأ، فإما أن يكون الإنسان كريما، أو أن يكون ذليلا.

كما أن التمييز بين الناس على أساس اللغة أو اللون أو الجنس أو ما أشبه، يعد بمثابة انتهاك صارخ لكرامة الإنسان، لأنك، في هذه الحالة، تفاضل بين إنسان وآخر في أمر ليس له رأي فيه، إنما هي فطرة الله التي فطر الناس عليها، لا تبديل لخلق الله عز وجل.

نعم، يمكنك أن تميز بين الناس على أساس العلم والعمل وحسن الأداء والتقوى والصدق والأمانة والنزاهة والخبرة والتفاني والشجاعة، فتلك جميعا قيم وصفات يمكن للإنسان الحر، أي إنسان، أن يجتهد ليكسبها، وبالتالي ليتفاضل بها مع الآخرين، لأنها قيم قابلة للاكتساب، بامكان أي أحد أن يكتسبها، ولذلك لا يجوز لأحد أن يمنع أي إنسان من السعي لاكتسابها، والا فسنقع في المحذور مرة أخرى، ولارتكبنا خطأ التمييز بين الناس مرة أخرى، لأننا لم نفسح المجال أمام الجميع، وبالتساوي، لاكتساب هذه الصفات الحسنة والمهارات الايجابية، على أساس قاعدة مبدأ تكافؤ الفرص، لنفاضل، بعد ذلك، بينهم، فالفرصة أولا ثم التفاضل.

كما أن تكريس الطبقية السياسية في المجتمع، من خلال احتكار الشأن العام من قبل زمر معينة وحرمان الآخرين منه، يعد بمثابة العدوان على كرامة الإنسان، الذي يعبر عن نفسه عادة من خلال المشاركة في الشأن العام، ولذلك فان سلطة الحزب الواحد، تتناقض مع كرامة الإنسان، لأنها تسلبه حق المشاركة في الشأن العام بحرية، كما أن الاستبداد والديكتاتورية، أنظمة حكم تصادر كرامة الإنسان، لأنها تسلبه حق المشاركة في الشأن العام، كما أن الأنظمة الملكية، تتناقض مع كرامة الإنسان، لأنها تبني سقفا سياسيا فوق رؤوس الناس، لا تسمح لأحد تجاوزه، فتقمعه، أو تقتله إذا أصر على تجاوز السقف السياسي المحدد للشعب.

لقد استهدف السبط الشهيد بثورته الإصلاحية في العاشر من المحرم عام 61 للهجرة، إعادة الكرامة التي سلبتها السلطة الغاشمة من الإنسان، من خلال الممارسات المنحرفة التالية:

أولا؛ إنها تعمدت إذلال الإنسان، كما قال شاعرهم معبرا عن ذلك؛

فدع عنك ادكارك آل سعدى فنحن الاكثرون حصى ومالا

ونحن المالكون الناس قسرا نســـومهم المذلـــــــة والنكالا

ونوردهم حياض الخسف ذلا ومــــــا نالـــوهم إلا خبـــــالا

ثانيا؛ التمييز بين الناس، في العطاء أولا، ومن ثم في كل الأمور، تاليا.

ثالثا؛ الاستحواذ على مقدرات الأمة، كما يشير إلى ذلك أحد ولاة السلطة بقوله(سواد العراق بستان لقريش، ما شئنا أخذنا منه، وما شئنا تركناه)، أو كما في قول الآخر(لنأخذن حاجتنا من هذا الفئ، وان رغمت أنوف أقوام).

رابعا؛ قمع المعارضة، والحيلولة دون الإعراب عن رأيها في أية قضية تخص المسلمين عامة، بل وصل حد القمع إلى أن منعت السلطة كبار الصحابة من ترك منازلهم إلا بأذن خاص، وهو أول قرار يقضي بفرض الإقامة الجبرية على المعارضين، للحيلولة دون لقاءهم بالناس والإعراب عن آرائهم، التي كانت تخشاها السلطة.

خامسا؛ الجبر والقهر والفرض، وسلب الناس حرية الاختيار التي تعد جوهر كرامة الإنسان.

ففرضت السلطات البيعة على الناس بالإكراه، كما يعبر عن ذلك نص الرسالة التالية التي بعث بها الطاغية يزيد إلى واليه على المدينة المنورة، الوليد بن عتبة(أما بعد فخذ حسينا وعبد الله بن عمر وابن الزبير بالبيعة أخذا ليس فيه رخصة حتى يبايعوا، والسلام)، ومن المعلوم جيدا فان فرض البيعة يسلب الإنسان حريته وبالتالي ينتقص من كرامته.

سادسا؛ محاربة المعارضة في لقمة العيش حتى ترضخ لقرارات السلطة الغاشمة، فلقد صدرت الأوامر المشددة لحكام الأقاليم، أن(انظروا من قامت عليه البينة أنه يحب عليا وأهل بيته فامحوه من الديوان، واسقطوا عطاءه ورزقه) وفي قرار آخر(من اتهمتموه بموالاة هؤلاء القوم، فنكلوا به واهدموا داره).

سابعا؛ إشغال المعارضة والهاء الناس، لإبعادهم عن التفكير بشؤون الأمة، وقضايا السلطة، والى ذلك تشير نصيحة أحد مستشاري السلطة، والتي أخذت بها لسنوات طويلة، بقوله(رأيي يا أمير المؤمنين، أن تأمرهم بجهاد يشغلهم عنك، وان تجمرهم في المغازي، أي تحبسهم في أرض العدو ببعوث عسكرية طويلة الأمد، حتى يذلوا لك، فلا يكون همة أحدهم إلا نفسه، وما هو فيه من دبرة دابته وقمل فروه).

وان أكبر تجاوز على كرامة الإنسان، تجلت يوم أن نزا على السلطة من لا يستحقها، ومن دون تفويض أو استشارة من الناس، وكأن السلطة ملك خاص لهذه الأسرة أو تلك القبيلة، فعندما حول الطاغية يزيد بن معاوية، الخلافة إلى ملك عضوض، يكون بذلك قد اعتدى على حرية الناس وكرامتهم، وقبل ذلك، يكون قد اعتدى على ابرز نص سياسي من نصوص القرآن الكريم، والذي يقول فيه الله عز وجل{وأمرهم شورى بينهم} فألغى، بالملكية، حرية الناس في الاختيار، وحال بينهم وبين الشراكة الحقيقة في الشأن العام، ولقد عبر السبط الشهيد عن هذه الظاهرة بقوله{على الإسلام السلام، إذا ابتليت الأمة براع مثل يزيد، ولقد سمعت جدي رسول الله (ص) يقول، الخلافة محرمة على آل أبي سفيان}، أو كما في قول الإمام أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام{ولكني آسي أن يلي أمر هذه الأمة سفهاؤها وفجارها، فيتخذوا مال الله دولا وعباده خولا والصالحين حربا والفاسقين حزبا، فان منهم من شرب فيكم الحرام، وجلد حدا في الإسلام، وأن منهم من لم يسلم حتى رضخت له في الإسلام الرضائخ} وتلك هي حالة الأمة والسلطة في ظل حكومة الطاغية يزيد بن معاوية، ولذلك كان لا بد للسبط أن يتحرك لتصحيح الأوضاع مهما كان الثمن، فهو{أحق من غير} على حد قوله عليه السلام.

لقد اعتدت السلطة بكل هذه الممارسات، وأكثر، على كرامة الإنسان التي بعث الرسول الكريم من أجل تحقيقها، ولذلك كان لابد للإمام الحسين بن علي السبط، أن يتحرك من أجل إصلاح الأوضاع لإعادة الكرامة المسلوبة للإنسان في ظل السلطة الجائرة.

وأن أول ما استهدفه الإمام الحسين عليه السلام، في ثورته، هو محاولة استثارة حرية الإنسان الذي غررت به السلطة، فخرج لقتال ابن بنت رسول الله (ص)، ولذلك تركزت أقواله حول قيمة الحرية التي إن تذكرها الإنسان وسعى إلى صيانتها، لم يفقد كرامته، وبالتالي لم يجرؤ على ارتكاب جريمة بشعة كتلك التي ارتكبها الأمويون وجيش البغي في كربلاء.

تعالوا نقرأ ما قاله الإمام الحسين بن علي في هذا الصدد؛

{إن لم يكن لكم دين، وكنتم لا تخافون المعاد، فكونوا أحرارا في دنياكم}{لا والله لا أعطيكم بيدي إعطاء الذليل، ولا أفر فرار العبيد}{موت في عز خير من حياة في ذل}{إنا أهل بيت النبوة ومعدن الرسالة ومختلف الملائكة، بنا فتح الله وبنا يختم، ويزيد فاسق فاجر شارب الخمر، قاتل النفس المحترمة، معلن بالفسق والفجور، ومثلي لا يبايع مثله}{ألا وأن الدعي قد ركز بين اثنتين، بين السلة والذلة، وهيهات منا الذلة، يأبى الله لنا ذلك ورسوله والمؤمنون، وجدود طابت وحجور طهرت وأنوف حمية ونفوس أبية، لا تؤثر طاعة اللئام على مصارع الكرام}.

لقد حاول الحسين الشهيد عليه السلام، استثارة حرية الناس وغيرتهم وكرامتهم، ليعودوا إلى صوابهم فيفكروا بعقولهم دون أهوائهم، وبضمائرهم الحية دون الاستسلام إلى الشيطان الذي أغراهم فأغواهم فأنساهم ذكر الله عز وجل، لأن الإنسان الحر هو الذي يمتلك كرامته، والكرامة عقل سليم يفكر فيه الإنسان فيهتدي به إلى طريق الخير والصواب، وان الحر لا يرتكب جريمة بشعة يندى لها جبين الإنسانية، كجريمة قتل السبط الشهيد ابن بنت رسول الله(ص).

لقد اعتدى الحكم الأموي على كرامة الإنسان فسلب حريته وميز بينه واستولى على السلطة بالقوة، وعندما قرر الإمام الحسين عليه السلام الثورة على هذا الواقع الفاسد، إنما استهدف إعادة الكرامة المسلوبة للإنسان أولا، من خلال إثارة قيم الحرية والمساواة والشراكة الحقيقية في نفوس الناس، لإشعارهم بآدميتهم، لأن إنسان بلا حرية، هو إنسان بلا كرامة، وأن إنسان بلا كرامة، هو إنسان بلا آدمية، لأن آدمية الإنسان بحريته وكرامته، كما أن إنسان لا يمتلك حق التعبير عن نفسه ورأيه وما يعتقد به، لهو إنسان مسلوب الإرادة، أي مسلوب الحرية والكرامة، انه إنسان ميت الأحياء، ولذلك، فان أول ما تستهدفه كل الدعوات التي تدعو إلى تشييد الأنظمة الديمقراطية في أي بلد من البلدان، إنما تدعو، أولا، إلى تحرير حرية الإنسان، وتحرير إرادته، لتحرير كرامته التي يسلبها النظام الاستبدادي والديكتاتوري، ولذلك جاء في القرآن الكريم متحدثا عن فلسفة بعث الرسول الكريم{ليضع عنهم إصرهم والأغلال التي كانت عليهم} لأن أول خطوة في طريق تبليغ الرسالة تتجلى في تحرير الإنسان، ليتمكن من اتخاذ قرار الهدى والرشاد بكامل حريته بعيدا عن الفرض والإكراه والجبر من قبل القوى المتسلطة بغير حق.

من هنا نفهم، أن ثورة الإمام الحسين عليه السلام، لم تكن ثورة طائفية أو أنها تنحصر، في أهدافها، بفئة معينة من الناس دون غيرهم، أبدا، بل أنها ثورة إنسانية أولا وقبل كل شئ، لأنها استهدفت (كما هو الإسلام) كرامة الإنسان كانسان بغض النظر عن أي شئ، لأن الحسين عليه السلام، وهو ترجمان القرآن الكريم، يؤمن بأن للإنسان كرامته التي فطر الله الناس عليها، ولذلك لا يجوز لأحد أن يعبث بها أبدا.

إنها ثورة من أجل الإنسان، وأن من يحاول أن يحصرها بفئة معينة إنما يظلم نفسه أولا، ويظلم الثورة وصاحبها ثانيا.

إن من الجريمة بمكان التعامل مع ثورة الحسين عليه السلام بطائفية، فنقول إنها ثورة شيعية أو أنها تخص الشيعة فقط، كما أن من الجريمة بمكان التعامل معها بأنها ثورة إسلامية أو أنها تخص المسلمين فحسب، إنها في الحقيقة ثورة إنسانية، على البشرية أن تحيي ذكرها كل عام، بل في كل يوم، فلولاها لما بقي شئ من كرامة الإنسان التي سحقتها السلطة الغاشمة، أو كادت، بسياساتها اللاانسانية المتعجرفة.

الحقيقة التي يلزم أن نتذكرها بهذه المناسبة، هي أن كل حركة أو ثورة أو سلطة لا تأخذ في حساباتها كرامة الإنسان، فتسعى لتحقيقها من خلال تكريس حرية الإنسان والمساواة بين الناس والحث والسعي على إشراكهم في الشأن العام، لهي حركة لا تمت إلى الحسين عليه السلام بصلة، وان تزيت بزي الحسين(ع) أو رفعت شعارات حركته الإصلاحية، لأن السبط عنوان كرامة الإنسان، فأية حركة إصلاحية (حسينية) هذه التي تتجاوز على كرامة الإنسان؟ وأية سلطة صالحة تلك التي تسحق حرية الإنسان؟ وأية ثورة إنسانية تلك التي تميز بين الناس وتسلبهم الفرص ولا تمنحهم حق المشاركة في الشأن السياسي العام؟.

إن الحركة الإصلاحية، أية حركة، هي تلك التي تبذل قصارى جهدها من أجل تكريس كرامة الإنسان من خلال احترام حريته وعدم التجاوز على حقوقه في المساواة وحرية الاختيار والمشاركة الحقيقية في الشأن العام، والا فهي حركة أموية مهما تجملت بالشعارات البراقة، وتغنت بالأهداف الحلوة والمعسولة، لأن الفرض والإكراه ليس من وسائل الحركة الإصلاحية الحقيقية، أبدا، وأن الذبح والقتل والتفجير والسيارات الملغومة والأحزمة الناسفة ليست الوسيلة لبناء مجتمع الكرامة الإنسانية، أبدا.

إن الحسين عليه السلام، لم يفرض نفسه وأهدافه على أحد أبدا، إنما حاول إقناع الناس وسعى لكسب إيمانهم به طوعا وليس كرها، ولذلك فهو بذل جهودا جبارة من أجل توضيح وتحديد أهداف حركته الإصلاحية كما في أقواله التالية؛

{فلعمري ما الإمام إلا الحاكم بالكتاب، القائم بالقسط، والدائن بدين الله، الحابس نفسه على ذات الله}في إشارة منه إلى أن السلطة القائمة ليست شرعية أبدا{ألا واني لم أخرج أشرا ولا بطرا ولا مفسدا ولا ظالما، وإنما خرجت لطلب الإصلاح في أمة جدي، أريد أن آمر بالمعروف وأنهى عن المنكر، فمن قبلني بقبول الحق فالله أولى بالحق، ومن رد علي هذا، أصبر حتى يحكم الله بيني وبين القوم بالحق، وهو خير الحاكمين}في إشارة منه إلى أن المطلوب هو قبول الحق فيه وليس قبول شخصه{أما بعد، فاني ادعوكم إلى إحياء معالم الحق وإماتة البدع، فان تجيبوا تهتدوا سبل الرشاد}في إشارة إلى الهدف الأسمى لحركته الإصلاحية{وأنا ادعوكم إلى كتاب الله وسنة نبيه، فان سمعتم قولي واتبعتم أمري، أهديكم إلى سبيل الرشاد}وفيه تخيير بلا فرض أو إكراه أبدا{أيها الناس، إن رسول الله (ص) قال، من رأى منكم سلطانا جائرا مستحلا لحرام الله ناكثا لعهد الله مخالفا لسنة رسول الله، يعمل في عباد الله بالإثم والعدوان، فلم يغير ما عليه بفعل ولا قول، كان حقا على الله أن يدخله مدخله، ألا وأن هؤلاء القوم قد لزموا طاعة الشيطان وتركوا طاعة الرحمن وأظهروا الفساد وعطلوا الحدود واستأثروا بالفئ واحلوا حرام الله وحرموا حلاله، وأنا أحق من غير، وقد أتتني كتبكم وقدمت علي رسلكم ببيعتكم، وأنكم لا تسلموني ولا تخذلوني، فان تممتم علي بيعتكم تصيبوا رشدكم، فاني الحسين بن علي وابن فاطمة بنت رسول الله(ص) نفسي مع أنفسكم وأهلي مع أهليكم، فلكم في أسوة}وهي إشارة واضحة إلى أن بيعتكم لي، هي التي أقامت الحجة علي وعليكم.

هذا من جانب، ومن جانب آخر، لم يكن الإمام عليه السلام، متهالكا على سلطة أبدا، فكان يقول بهذا الصدد؛

{اللهم انك تعلم أنه لم يكن ما كان منا، تنافسا في سلطان ولا التماسا من فضول الحطام، ولكن لنري المعالم من دينك ونظهر الإصلاح في بلادك، ويأمن المظلومون من عبادك، ويعمل بفرائضك وأحكامك}وهو نفس الخطاب الرسالي الذي نطق به أبوه الإمام أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام، عندما انثال عليه الناس يطلبون البيعة للخلافة، فقال{أما والذي فلق الحبة وبرأ النسمة، لولا حضور الحاضر، وقيام الحجة بوجود الناصر، وما أخذ الله على العلماء ألا يقاروا على كظة ظالم، ولا سغب مظلوم، لألقيت حابلها على غاربها، ولسقيت آخرها بكأس أولها، ولألفيتم دنياكم هذه أزهد عندي من عفطة عنز} لماذا؟ لأن السلطة بالنسبة للإمام حق يسترد لمظلوم أو باطل يسقطه عن ظالم، والا فلا خير في سلطة أبدا، والى هذا المعنى يشير الإمام عليه السلام بقوله{الذليل عندي عزيز حتى آخذ الحق له، والقوي عندي ضعيف حتى آخذ الحق منه} فلا محاباة، في قاموس الإمام، ولا أثرة ولا محسوبية ولا رشاوى ولا فساد إداري أو مالي ولا تمييز بين قوي وضعيف، أبدا.

بل أن الإمام السبط عليه السلام، لم يشأ أن يقتتل المسلمون بسببه، ولم يشأ أن تراق الدماء بسببه، ولذلك، عندما وصله خبر استشهاد سفيره إلى الكوفة ابن عمه مسلم بن عقيل عليه السلام، في منطقة بين مكة والعراق تسمى (الزبالة) لم يشأ أن يخفي الخبر على من التحق به في مسيره من المدينة إلى الكوفة، ولذلك جمعهم وأخبرهم بالأنباء غير السارة، وأذن لمن شاء بالانصراف حتى لا يقولن أحد أن الحسين أجبره على مسير أو بيعة أو قتال أبدا، فقال لهم عليه السلام{أما بعد فانه قد أتاني خبر فضيع، قتل مسلم بن عقيل وهاني بن عروة وعبد الله بن يقطر، وقد خذلنا شيعتنا، فمن أحب منكم الانصراف فلينصرف في غير حرج، ليس عليه منا ذمام} لأن الإمام كان واضحا في أهدافه، طاهرا في وسائله وأدواته، ولذلك كانت ثورته رسالية وربانية وإنسانية.

فعل ذلك عدة مرات، وكرره في آخر لحظة سبقت قرار الحرب في يوم العاشر من المحرم، بل أنه بادر إلى عقد عدة اجتماعات سرية وعلنية مع قائد جيش البغي لثنيه عن القتال، ولقد نجح في ذلك، إلا أن الأوامر المشددة التي صدرت عن الدعي بن الدعي عبيد الله بن زياد بن أبيه، والقاضية بقتل الحسين أو استسلامه، وهيهات، هي التي أفشلت كل جهود السلام.

لنقرأ المقطع التاريخي التالي الذي يرسم لنا الصورة التي كانت عليه الأوضاع في كربلاء قبيل بدء الحرب؛

{حتى إذا قدم عمر بن سعد قائد الجيش الأموي، فاوضه الحسين طويلا وأقنعه بأن يمسك الطرفان عن القتال ويرجع الحسين من حيث أتى أو يذهب إلى حيث يريد من بلاد الله، وكتب عمر بن سعد بذلك إلى عبيد الله بن زياد فأبى وكتب إليه: أما بعد فاني لم أبعثك إلى الحسين لتكف عنه ولا لتطاوله ولا لتمنيه السلامة والبقاء ولا لتقعد له عندي شافعا، أنظر فان نزل حسين وأصحابه على الحكم واستسلموا فابعث بهم إلي سلما، وان أبوا فازحف إليهم حتى تقتلهم وتمثل بهم، فإنهم لذلك مستحقون، فان قتل الحسين فأوطئ الخيل صدره وظهره فانه عاق شاق قاطع ظلوم، وليس في هذا أن يضر بعد الموت شيئا، ولكن علي قول، عهد للخليفة يزيد، لو قد قتلته فعلت هذا به}.

لقد حاول السبط الشهيد عليه السلام، أن يلقي الحجة بكل وسائل الحوار والمنطق السليم والحق الواضح، إلا أن القوم قد استحوذ عليهم الشيطان، فأنساهم ذكر الله عز وجل، فارتكبوا جريمة هي من أبشع الجرائم في تاريخ البشرية.

وأن من يريد أن يثأر لكرامته التي اعتدت عليها الإساءات التي تعرض لها الرسول الكريم(ص) في الإعلام الغربي، عليه أولا أن يحيي قيم الثورة الحسينية في نفسه ومشاعره وأحاسيسه، لتتحول إلى كرامة حقيقية تتشبع بها شخصيته، ولا يكون ذلك إلا بإعلان الولاء، أولا، لآل الرسول الكرام الذين قتلوا في كربلاء في العاشر من المحرم عام 61 للهجرة، إلى جانب إعلان البراءة ممن قتلهم واعتدى عليهم، ولولا تلك الإساءة الكبيرة التي تعرض لها الرسول الكريم(ص) بقتل سبطه وسيد شباب أهل الجنة، على يد السلطان الجائر الذي تلبس بلبوس الإسلام، وأمام مرأى ومسمع المسلمين، لما تحولت الطريقة البشعة تلك إلى (ثقافة) تتوارثها أجيال الأمويين، بالانتماء السياسي وليس بالنسب، لتصل إلينا اليوم طرق وأساليب يعتمدونها الورثة في قتل الإنسان على الهوية، كما يجري اليوم في العراق، فيقتل الإنسان العراقي على الهوية والانتماء، وبنفس الطرق والأدوات التي استخدمتها الفئة الضالة التي قتلت السبط الرسول(ص).

وأقولها بصراحة، فلولا استباحة الإرهابيين، الذين يتلفعون بالدين لتنفيذ جرائمهم وتحقيق مآربهم، لدماء الأبرياء، ولولا سكوت (علماء الإسلام) على هذه الجرائم، لما تجرأ أحد على الإساءة إلى مقدساتنا أبدا.

إن تجاوز الإرهابيين على كرامة الإنسان، هو الذي جرأ الآخرين على التجاوز على مقدساتنا، والإساءة للرسول الكريم(ص).

إن اكبر إساءة تعرض لها الرسول الكريم(ص) على الإطلاق، تمثلت في قتل سبطه الشهيد على يد حاكم جائر أساء للرسول عندما نزا على منبره، وهو الذي يعبد الله على حرف.

استغرب حقا، كيف تثور غيرة (المسلم) لكرامة دينه ونبيه عندما يسئ (إعلام الكفار) لنبيه برسم، وهو أمر مرفوض جملة وتفصيلا، ولا تتحرك في جسده شعرة، وهو يمر على ذكرى السبط الشهيد ابن بنت رسول الله (ص)، والذي قتل بتلك الصورة الشنيعة في رمضاء كربلاء، محاولا نسيانها أو تجاهلها، كما هو حال الإعلام (العربي) الذي يوصل الليل بالنهار، في أيام الذكرى، طربا ومجونا وخلاعة؟ ألا يرى (المسلم) في ذلك تناقضا صارخا يا ترى؟ أم ماذا؟ أم أنه لا يرى في قتل السبط أية إساءة للرسول الكريم(ص)، ولذلك لا يعير ذكراها أهمية تذكر؟.


السابع من شباط 2006

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By:Syed-Mohsin Naquvi 3 February 2006


This is the eighth article in the series on Muharram and its significance.

We began this series with an introduction to the concept of Imamat in Islam. The first article in this series introduced that concept from the holy Qur'an. The second article presented a view of the same concept from Hadeeth by way of a book review.

In the third of the series we looked at the historical background of the ceremony of Hajj and its connection to the event of Karbala.

In the fourth article of the series we came back to the direct historical background of the Karbala story itself. We quoted a passage from a Ph.D. thesis on Islamic history and presented to our readers the background of how Yazeed came to power in the month of Rajab of the 60th year of Hijra and he commanded the governor of Madinah to send for Husayn and insist on his Ba'yat. Husayn left Madinah on the 28th of Rajab for Makkah after having refused to that demand.

Husayn stays in Makkah until the month of Zil-Q'adah. During that stay he receives a number of letters from the people of Iraq who were asking him to come to Iraq and free them from the oppressive rule of the Umayyads. Husayn does not respond to those letters for a while. His friends exhort him not to go to Iraq.

In the fifth of this series we discussed how the event of Karbala has been viewed in history. In that we quoted some of the opinions expressed by great scholars in the past both Muslim as well as non Muslim. We ended that discussion with a question. The question posed was: How could different people view Karbala with such different opinions? How could one person view Karbala as the epitome of supreme human sacrifice in a great cause, another would look at it simply as a struggle for power between two parties and yet another would rule that Imam Husayn was killed quite legitimately because he had raised the banner of revolt against a legitimate Muslim government?

In the sixth article we discussed the question as to whether it was Allah's Will that the murderers of Imam Husayn and his companion would kill them. If that was the case then there is no reason to curse the murderers because they were acting on Allah's Will.

In the seventh of the series, we discussed the question as to whether or not Karbala was just a power struggle between two parties.

In this article we would look at one specific book and explore how that author has discussed the event of Karbala. We would then analyse his view about the event of Karbala.



A Review of Abul Fida Imad-ud-Deen Ibn Katheer's Discussion on Karbala in his Al-Bidaya wan-Nihaya

Abul Fida Imad-ud-Deen Ibn Katheer al-Dimishqi was born in 701st year of Hijra and he died in 774th year of Hijra. Ibn Katheer is a disciple of Ibn Taymiyya. Ibn Taymiyya died in 728 Hijrs, so Ibn Katheer must have met Ibn Taymiyya when he was quite advanced in age and Ibn Katheer must have been in his twenties. Ibn Katheer began studying the Maliki religion but in later times he became a Shafe'ee. Ibn Katheer is the author of many works, among them two have acquired great significance. One is his Tafseer, and the other is his chronicle of history known as Al-Bidaya wan-Nihaya.

His well-known book, Al-Bidaya wan-Nihaya, on the one side, is a history of Islamic period beginning from the days of Creation to his own time (upto 768 Hijra). On the other side, Ibn Katheer has analysed many of the controversial issues that were raised during that period of Islamic history. He is not bashful about expressing his opinion about anything. He has tried to clear the names of many personalities of the ancient times whom he loves, reveres and respects and he does not shy away from throwing abuse and curses on those he dislikes and disapproves of.

In the seventh volume Ibn Katheer has discussed the events during the period between the 13th and the 40th years of Hijra. Naturally he discusses the clash between Imam Ali and Mu'awiyya, that resulted in the Battle of Siffeen. He gives his opinion about both those personalities. He maintains both Mu'awiyya and Imam Ali will receive rewards from Allah, because they were both doing Ijtehad. However, Imam Ali will receive the reward twice over because he was also an Imam. However, Ibn Katheer fails to define what he means by the term 'imam' and why and how he thinks that Imam Ali was an Imam and Mu'awiyya was not.

This part of the text in Ibn Katheer is very relevant to our discussion here, because we began this series of articles with the concept of Imamat. And we will, insha Allah, bring it to completion with a reference to that.


In its newest edition, Ibn Katheer's book has been published in fourteen volumes from Egypt in 1987. Volume number eight is the one which contains the details about the event of Karbala in the 61st year of Hijra as well as Ibn Katheer's own view about the event and its after effects.

Ibn Katheer begins his description of that period with the event of the death of Mu'awiya. He then gives the details of Yazeed sending a message to Waleed, the governor of Madina, to ask Husayn and others to accept Yazeed as the legitimate Khaleefa in a public statement. Ibn Katheer adds that Waleed was removed from his position by Yazeed for failing to fulfill that command from Yazeed.

Ibn Katheer is a very pro-Umayyad writer. His book is full of praise for Mu'awiyya. Then in this present chapter on the event of Karbala, he gives many reports which express the glory of Imam Husayn. He quotes many hadeeth reports in that context. However, he gives a heading to this chapter which reads: THE EVENT OF HUSAYN IBN ALI, HIS DEPARTURE FROM MAKKA SEEKING POWER AND HIS MURDER.

In the following pages, which consist of several hundred in number, he gives all the details of Imam Husayn's journey from Makka to Karbala, the arrival of Umayyad forces at Karbala, the killing of Muslim bin Aqeel and Hani bin Urwa in Koofa and the entire story of Karbala as it happened on the day of Ashoora.

The curious fact is that Ibn Katheer's narrative is almost identical to that by Tabari, another Sunni writer and even to that found in Kitab-al-Irshad, a typical Shi'a narrative by Shaykh Mufeed. Tabari's narrative is taken from Abu Mikhnaf and Mufeed's narrative is taken from Muhammad bin Hisham al-Kalbi.

That points to , and confirms the authenticity of the Karbala narrative as it exists today not only in the original Arabic and Farsi books but also in most contemporary books written in English as well as other languages. The specific characteristics of Ibn Katheer's narrative are the various notes that Ibn Katrheer gives as he goes along in the narrative. In those notes he derides and counters many of the comments made by Shia writers and in his opinion, he dispels the mis-understandings and wrong reporting perpetrated by the Shi'a about Karbala.

Ibn Katheer describes the event of Karbala in great detail. He then proceeds to describe the events after the battle of Karbala. He gives some details about the severed head of Imam Husayn.

When the head was presented to Yazid, he hit it with a cane and said:

"Those swords which break the bones, in the skulls of young men who become hard on us, and they were really disobedient and oppressors."

Abu Barza Aslami said to Yazid: Your cane is touching the place which the Prophet of Islam used to kiss. O Yazeed, when he appears before the Prophet he would support him and you would be supported by Ibn Ziyad.

Yazeed proudly said: "Sumaiyya's children have become numerous like the grains of sand and there is no one left in the progeny of the Prophet's daughter."

He then describes the scene when women and children at Karbala were taken prisoners and their camels were herded through the battleground. Zaynab, Husayn's sister, screamed in horror and said: "O Muhammad, O Muhammad, May Allah and angels send Salawat on you; Husayn is lying in dust soaked in his own blood, his limbs have been severed, O Muhammad your daughters are now prisoners and your children have all been killed - the wind is blowing dust over their remains."

Ibn Katheer writes that the lament of Zaynab made every one cry and weep, even the enemies. Then there are all the details of the prisoners being presented to Ibn Ziyad in Koofa and to Yazeed in Damsacus - how Zaynab confronts both rulers with courage and eloquence and how she saves her nephew, Ali bin Husayn, from being killed. The story is completed by the description of the prisoners in Damascus and their eventual release on Yazeed's orders. At the end of the chapter Ibn Katheer quotes some poetry by some ancient poets:

" O son of the daughter of the Prophet, they have brought your head wrapped in your own chadar. O son of the daughter of the Prophet, it shows that they have deliberately killed you; they have killed you in thirst, they have not reflected on Qur'an (verses) about your murder. The recite TAKBEER on your murder, but (they do not know that) they have killed TAKBEER and all TAHLEEL(worship, by killing you)."

In the following chapter Ibn Katheer narrates a hadeeth in detail. He quotes this hadeeth from Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (d. 240 Hijra). The hadeeth is as follows:

One day, the Prophet came to the house of Umme Salama and went into an inner room to rest. Imam Husayn, who was a little boy at that time, came running into the room and began playing with the Prophet. Then the Angel of Rain visited the Prophet and asked him if that little boy was very dear to him. The Prophet replied: 'Yes he is.' Then the Angel of Rain told him that his own people would one day, kill him. He then showed the Prophet the land of Karbala where Husayn would be killed. The angel then gave the Prophet a handful of dust from Karbala. Umme Salama kept that handful of dust with her.

The hadeeth is then repeated four time from Ahmad bin Hanbal. He then gives another report from Abul Qasim Baghavi. Anas bin Harith says that the Prophet of Islam used to say: 'My grandson Husayn would be killed at Karbala, anyone of you who would be around at that time, should proceed to help him.' Anas bin Harith then went to Karbala and he was martyred with Imam Husayn.

Ibn Katheer then narrates two other reports from Ahmad bin Hanbal. These reports are about Imam Ali passing by Karbala at the time of the Battle of Siffeen, and showing his people the place where Imam Husayn would be killed.

Ibn Katheer then relates the story narrated by Ibn Asaakir. Some people went to Ghazwah in the Roman lands, and they visited a church. There was an inscription on the walls of the church which read: "Those people who have killed Husayn, do they hope and expect salvation on the Day of Judgement, and will they expect Husayn's grandfather, the Prophet of Islam, to vouch for them?"

The visitors then asked those around in the church about that inscription. They told the visitors that that inscription had been around for some three hundred years even before the rising of the Prophet of Islam. The Umayyad army on their way to Damascus from Karbala in the 61st year of Hijra, had camped at that place and they drank wine that night and they were carrying the severed head of Husayn with them.

Ibn Katheer then goes on to give some other reports in which various people have had dreams in which the Prophet of Islam appears sad and aggrieved on the murder of Husayn.

Having presented all those reports, Ibn Katheer then gives his own opinion about all those things.

He explains that the Shia have taken Muharram to be the time of mourning. Their women recite NAWHA and they do Matam on the streets in Baghdad. According to Ibn Katrheer, that practice has been going on for the last four hundred years (Ibn Katheer is writing in the late 700's). Ibn Katheer thinks that the Shia do all that only because they want to defame the Banu Umayya.

He then adds that the people of Syrian Khwarij (in opposition to the Shia practice) celebrate the day of Ashoora as an Eed; they prepare good foods, they take a bath and daub themselves in perfume; and generally they express joy and happiness on this day. Their purpose in doing all that is to oppose the Rafidhis. They also explain the killing of Husayn by saying that he (Imam Husayn) was out to destroy peace an harmony in the society, and the one whose B'ayat the whole community had agreed, he had come to depose him.

Ibn Katheer then advocates Yazeed's cause. He says that Yazeed was not happy about Husayn's killing. Ibn Ziyad had perpetrated that crime. If Yazeed had achieved power over Husayn, he would have forgiven him according to his father's last will.

Ibn Katheer then poses a question for the reader.

However, Yazeed did not depose Ibn Ziyad neither did he question him about the killing of Husayn. If he wasn't happy about Husayn's killing, why didn't he?

Ibn Katheer then adds that it is every Muslim's duty to feel aggrieved on the murder of Husayn and actually express that grief. Indeed he was among the SAADAAT AL-MUSLIMEEN, he was an Alim and a Companion (of the Prophet), he was the son of that daughter of the Prophet who was most glorious among his daughters. He was a good worshipper (of Allah), chivalrous and generous. However, the way the Shi'a commemorate his martyrdom by MATAM and uncontrollable sorrow is wrong. His father (meaning Imam Ali) was more glorious than him. He too was killed. The Shi'a do not do MATAM for him neither do they observe the day of his martyrdom as a day of sorrow .

Ibn Katheer then reasons that both the Khaleefa Uthman as well as Umar bin Khattab were murdered. No one observes their days of murder in sorrow and lamentation. And of course, both Umar bin Khattab as well as Uthman were more glorious than Imam Ali. Husayn's death was like the death of the previous prophets. No MATAM is done for those prophets. In Ibn Katheer's opinion, the Shi'a who do all that in memory of Imam Husayn are Jahil Rafidhis .

Having said all that, Ibn Katheer continue to extol the virtues of Imam Husayn and the glory of his martyrdom.

The next chapter in Ibn Katheer's book is dedicated to recording the glories of Imam Husayn. He quotes most of that material from the Hadeeth literature. In that text he describes the QASEEDA of Faraqzdaq saying that once Imam Husayn was doing TAWAF during Hajj and he was trying to reach the Black Stone, but the place was so crowded that he would not find room to get through. Some one at that time asked about Husayn. Then Farazdaq replied in his poetry. Obviously, Ibn Katheer has seriously erred here. Farazdaq's QASEEDA is in praise of Imam Ali bin Husayn and that event took place when Hisham bin Abdul Malik was the heir apparent. Farazdaq had composed and recited his famous QASEEDA in response to Hisham asking about Ali Zayn-ul-Abideen. Actually, Ibn Katheer corrects himself in the next paragraph by quoting Tabrani.


In discussing the event of Karbala, Ibn Atheer tries to strike a balance. However, he cannot hide his hatred of the Shi'a. He does not leave a single opportunity to curse and abuse that community. He also cannot hide his love for the Banu Umayya. On the one hand, he describes the oppression perpetrated by Yazeed, but at the same time, he tries to protect him from any blame for the murder of Imam Husayn. His effort in writing a balanced view would really have been successful if he had not resorted to throwing abuse and curses on other groups. That part of the commentary touches the boundaries of bigotry and hate-mongering.

That stance is very similar to how he feels about the clash between Imam Ali and Mu'awiyya. He feels that both will be rewarded by Allah. They tried to kill each other. They both raised armies to fight each other and a great number of Muslims were killed in the battles. If two people come to fight each other and one kills the other, usually the killer is deemed to be wrong and the victim is taken as Mazloom. Qur'an has decreed QISAS (legitimate retribution) in those cases. How can such a clear ruling of the Qur'an be reversed in case the confrontation turns out to be between two groups of people as opposed to two individuals?

Somehow, that simple logic escapes Ibn Katheer in all his discussion.


The fact is that Ibn Katheer's views have influenced the Sunni majority in a big way. However, the cross-section of the Sunni Muslims is not uniform in their opinion about the event of Karbala. It can be identified as follows:


1. Some Sunnis accept Husayn as an Imam. They observe Muharram very much like the Shia do. They recite the glories of Imam Husayn, then describe the martyrdom at Karbala and actually they weep and cry. How ever, they do not beat their chests (MATAM).

2. Some others feel that the event of Karbala was an skirmish between two parties and the Muslims in this day and time should just forget about it.

3. Some others feel that Husayn was a glorious person in that he was the son of the daughter of the Prophet and he was also a pious person in the community. But he made a serious mistake by rising against the established Khaleefa.

4. Then there are those who consider Imam Husayn a rebel against the established order and extol the virtues of Yazeed and Banu Umayya. Some years ago, the Saudi department of education introduced a book in their high school curriculum. The title of the book is: Haqaiq an ameer al-Mumineen Yazid ibn Muwaiyah (Truth about the rule of Ameer-ul-Momineen Yazeed bin Mu'awiyya).


Ibn Katheer's comment about the Shi'a doing the Matam and lamentation for Imam Husayn only to defame the Banu Umayya is based on his total mis-understanding of the Shi'a Islamic faith and practices.

We will discuss that, insha Allah, in a later article in this series.


Thank you for reading.




Syed-Mohsin Naquvi


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Guest Discussion on above

Got this by mail.



Mr. Naqvi contends that fasting of 9th and 10th Muhrarram

doesn't `make sense' and there is no mention of this in Quran. Would

Mr. Naqvi apply the same logic to the shia rituals that he has

mentioned? Where Ashoora is mentioned in Quran or in the Sharaia of

the Prophet Muhammad (sws)? And how does beating oneself over an

incident that happened centuries ago make sense? And by the way what

is this ritual of seven times stepping up and back? Is it in Quran?






Thank you for your message. As promised, I am writing this note in reply to your message.


First thing, My message was written as a guide to the Shi’a Muslims. For all others, it was meant to be information – so use it if you like, otherwise reject it. I made that very clear in the subject heading of the message. I did not wish to start an argument, at least not in this thread. People have been arguing with me on this topic in other threads.


However, since you have asked an academic question, I feel it is my duty as a Muslim brother to answer your question academically.


I did not mention anything about the fast on the 9th of Muharram. My only mention was about the fast on the day of Ashoora, the tenth day of Muharram, with the niyyat of Sawm.


My entire reasoning was based on one point, that is, the change in the law of Shari’a. If the fasting on the day of Ashoora was made wajib by the Prophet and then it was replaced by the Ramdhan fasting (as the Bukhari Hadeeth contends) that change must have been documented in the Qur’an. I drew a parallel with the law in the change of the direction of the Qibla. That law is documented in the Qur’an. Not only is it documented but also, there is logical reasoning to justify the change.


Another point against the Bukhari Hadeeth is this. Bukhari lived in the third century Hijra. There is a gap of two hundred years between the time of the Prophet and that of Bukhari. Why isn’t the Fast of Ashoora mentioned by any of the scholars in the intervening period? Let me give you an answer.

Bukhari was born and raised in Bukhara (in present day Uzbekistan). He had though traveled all over the Muslim world in his process of collection of hadeeth, he was not influenced by the Madinah school neither by the Koofan school. His main source of hadeeth was the work done by Ibn Shihab az-Zuhri, who was the court scholar of Khaleefa Umar bin Adbul Azeez (99-102 Hijra). The Umayyad court and the entire Syrian population, by this time, had been fully polluted by nearly 60 years of brainwashing by anti-Madinan and therefore, anti-Ahlul Bayt propaganda. Hundreds of reports were fabricated and made current as hadeeth to discredit the family of the Prophet. The fasting of Ashoora hadeeth is coming from that same source. Another lie perpetrated from Syria about the Prophet was that the Prophet had died childless and there was nothing such as the Ahlul-Bayt.


Next I will take your point about the Muharram rituals. Not everything relating to Islamic law and the value system is mentioned in the Qur’an.


However, the following specific things are mentioned in the Qur’an:


All Wajib acts of WORSHIP OF ALLAH are mentioned – Salat, Sawm, Zakat, Hajj, Jihad, Amr bil M’aroof wa Nahi anil munkar,

Major prohibitions – SHIRK, Lie, gambling, drinking, bribery, cheating, usury, pigmeat, deadmeat, back-biting

All major criminal offences and their punishment – QATL, ZINA, FASAD

All major civil laws – marriage, divorce, inheritance, RIDAYAT, how to document a contract, how to mediate between two Muslim parties who have clashed with each other

Major elements in faith – TAWHEED, NABUWAT, QIYAMAT, obedience to the Prophet, Love of the Ahlul-Bayt


The rest of the code of conduct for a Muslim is either taken from the hadeeth or it is deduced by common sense following the law of Amr bil M’aroof wa Nahi anil Munkar.

What is done in Muharram as commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn and his companions in Karbala in the 61st year of Hijra, is an expression of love and solidarity with the martyrs of Karbala. Islam has taught us to side with the Mazloom and show one’s hatred for the Zalim. The mourners show by their various acts that they love Imam Husayn and they would have given their lives for Islam had they lived in that time and place. Every act of every mourner is actually a symbol of his/her unfulfilled desire. None of those acts is actually an ACT OF WORSHIP. No part of Azadari (including weeping with tears and matam) is a Wajib act. It is an expression of love.


Your question about whether or not any of those acts are found documented in the holy Qur’an, therefore, is totally out of place.

Karbala happened fifty years after the passing away of the Prophet. Qur’an had been completed in the Prophet’s lifetime. How could Karbala be found in the Qur’an?

However, the major symbol of Karb! ala, that is the sacrifice of man for the pleasure of Allah is mentioned many times in the Qur’an.





[3:169] Do not think that those who are killed in the cause of GOD are dead; they are alive near their Lord, enjoying His provisions.



3:169 Husayn is a martyr in the way of Allah – he lives on




[37:100] "My Lord, grant me righteous children."




[37:101] We gave him good news of a good child.



[37:102] When he grew enough to work with him, he said, "My son, I see in a dream that I am sacrificing you. What do you think?" He said, "O my father, do what you are commanded to do. You will find me, GOD willing, patient."*




[37:103] They both submitted, and he put his forehead down (to sacrifice him).



[37:104] We called him: "O Abraham.



[37:105] "You have really brought your dream true." We thus reward the righteous.



[37:106] That was an exacting test indeed.



[37:107] We ransomed (Ismail) by substituting an Great Sacrifice.



37:100-107 Husayn’s sacrifice was the completion of Ibraheem’s unfulfilled sacrifice.

The poet of the East, Dr. Iqbal has said:

Ghareeb-o-Saada-o-rangin hay daastaan-e-haram,

Nihaayat iski Husayn, ibtidaa hay Isma'eel.



[108:1] We have blessed you with many a bounty.


[108:2] Therefore, you shall pra! y to you r Lord (Salat), and make sacrifices.


[108:3] Your opponent will be the one cut off.


Inna A’tayna – The Kuffaar of Makka had slandered the Prophet by calling him ABTAR, meaning the one who is cut off. They tried to kill off his progeny. But it was Allah’s Mercy that through the two grandsons, Hasan and Husayn, the Prophet’s progeny spread all across the globe and his enemies are extinct. The sacrifice of Husayn at Karbala was the sacrifice asked of the Prophet in the Qur'an. This has been stated in the famous book SIRRUS-SHAHAADATAYN by Shah Abdul-Azeez, Muhaddith Dehlavi, a Sunni Alim.




Weeping and crying are natural acts for a human being in certain situations. Man is capable of being happy and sad. When he is happy he expresses joy, when he is sad, he shows grief. That grief sometimes turns into crying and weeping with tears. However, there is crying and weeping that is good, and there is that which is bad. Qur’an has identified both.





[12:84] He turned away from them, saying, "I am grieving over Joseph." His eyes turned white from grieving so much; he was truly restraining himself.



The prophet Y'aqoob was weeping for his son, Yusuf, who was still alive. He wept so much that he became blind. But Allah liked his weeping and called him KAZEEM, or teh one who restrains his sorrow and anger.





[9:40] If you fail to support him (the messenger), GOD has already supported him. Thus, when the disbelievers chased him, and he was one of two in the cave, he said to his friend, "Do not grieve; GOD is with us." GOD then sent down contentment and security upon him, and supported him with invisible soldiers. He made the word of the disbelievers lowly. GOD's word reigns supreme. GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.


This is the story of Hijra when the Prophet and Abu Bakr were together in the cave. ABu Bakr wept in the cave, and Allah sent inspiration to the Prophet to ask him to stop weeping.


So there was one weeping that Allah liked, and there was another weeping that Allah disliked.


The mourners of Husayn weep for Husayn in answer to a prayer made by Fatima Zahra. When teh angel of Rain visited the Prophet (when Husayn was still a little boy) and foretold the event of Karbala, teh Prophet wept. Then he told ALi and Fatima and they both wept. Then Fatima Zahra asked the Prophet:"Who would weep for my son?" The Prophet replied that Allah would create a community who would make it their life's purpose to weep for Husayn. Fatima Zahra then prayed for the prosperity of that community.


The mourners are not necessarily all Shia Muslims. Sunni Muslims weep for Husayn all the same. Even Imam Shafe'ee wrote a Marthiyya remembering Imam HUsayn.


I have tried to cover most of the questions you had asked in this message. If there are further points that you think should be clarified, please do write again.


Thank you for writing and reading.




Syed-Mohsin Naquvi


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