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Hussein Bin Ali

Hussein Bin Ali

Author:
Publisher: www.alhassanain.org/english
English

Hussein Bin Ali

Author: DR. Jalali

Table of Contents

PUBLISHER'S WORD. 3

INTRODUCTION. 6

HOW ISLAM IMMORTALIZED IMAM HUSSEIN (A.S.) 7

THE BLESSED INFANT. 7

THE STATUS OF IMAM HUSSEIN (A.S.) 7

1. Verse of Purification (Tathir): 8

2. Verse of Malediction (Mubahala): 8

3. Verse of Affection (Mawada) 8

ASPECTS OF HIS CHARACTER. 10

1. His Relationship With Allah. 10

2. His Relationship With People 10

A. His Humbleness 11

B. His Forgiveness of the Wrongdoers 11

3. Aspects of His Thought 12

IMAM HUSSEIN'S ROLE IN REVIVING ISLAM: PROLOGUE  14

POST-PEACE TREATY EVENTS. 15

WIND OF THE UPRISING. 18

AN ROUTE TO IRAQ. 22

IMAM HUSSEIN (A.S.) IN KARBALA  24

KARBALA' 26

THE DAY OF ASHURA' 27

ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE UPRISING   30

RESULTS OF THE UPRISING. 33

ENDNOTES. 35

PUBLISHER'S WORD

All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. There is no god but Allah, the One. Peace and blessings be with Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah and his pure and sinless Ahlul-Bait.

In the twentieth century, and particularly in the last quarter of it, we have witnessed many revolutions resulting in drastic changes in the geographical, political and sociological faces of the world. Most of these changes, if not all, have affected large groups of Muslims in one way or the other.

World events move quickly and man forgets the lessons of the past. But history is connected by a series of circumstances and continues to repeat itself. Thus, the past affects the present and the present, no less, affects the future. The human conflicts we are witnessing in the world today are merely a reflection of the conflicts of the past. The essence of these conflicts are based on right and wrong, good and evil, truth and falsehood.

We often find the unjust ideologies, regimes and methods of ideology threatening the security of the people and destroying man with the pressure of their interests and enmity. We often find this to be in effect in this land, in Europe, Asia, America and Africa. When we search history we find that what we are suffering today is a continuation of the stories of injustice of long ago and that the oppressors of the world today are the successors of the oppressors of yesterday If we contemplate these and the many other events that are affecting the Muslim world today, we will find that there is a strong parallelism to the subject of our book.

This is a pief account of the life of Imam Hussein bin Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.), the second grandson of the Holy Prophet and the third divinely chosen caliph from the Ahlul-Bait (a.s.).

He was the leader of a movement that was very unlike his illustrious predecessors. Although the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) engaged in war for the sake of Allah, it was at a time when Islam was struggling to establish itself as a divine religion. Later, during the Imamate of Ali bin Abi Tal ib (a.s.), again he was driven to war to protect Islam from the deviators. At the time of the Imamate of Hassan bin Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) his followers had lost much of their power and force and because the bloodshed of war would cause further division in the ummah, Imam Hassan (a.s.) opted for a peace treaty with the enemy in order to protect the religion.

Imam Hussein's (a.s.) approach to Imamate was unique and extraordinary in that he took a position of opposition to the so-called caliph of the ummah. At first his opposition resembled that of his father, quiet seclusion and disassociation during the caliphate of Mu'awiyah who had not only assassinated Imam Hassan (a.s.) in order to override the terms of the treaty, but further poke all its limits in assigning the caliphate to his son Yazid as an inheritance. Later, when Yazid became caliph the pressure on Imam Hussein (a.s.) to give his pledge to this wayward and deviated ruler pought about the open opposition and refusal of Imam Hussein (a.s.) to comply.

The repercussions of his position pought about the horrendous event of the massacre at Karbala' in central Iraq. Unlike his grandfather and father (a.s.), Imam Hussein (a.s.) was not confronting non-Muslims. The killers of Imam Hussein (a.s.), his cousins, his sons, his pothers, his friends and

followers, were the same ones who would join him for prayer and stand behind him as he led it! Yet, we see that even this did not deter these same people from carrying out the most atrocious orders to cut off his head and trample his body, leaving it unburied on the desert sands.

Many books have been written about the revolution of Imam Hussein (a.s.) any many misunderstand his position. It was not one of war. He was not marching to Kufa to organise an army to turn upon the ruler of the time. He was invited to come to lead them in their matters and to do his sacred duty. But he was not al lowed to do so. The political implications of his refusal to give his pledge to Yazid would have weakened the illegitimate leader's position and that was something that Yazid was not prepared to accept. He wanted all power and authority and he accepted no opposition. Thus, the tragedy of Karbala' was not about war, it was about greed and oppression. It was about truth and falsehood, right and wrong, belief and disbelief. The condition of the Muslim world today is so parallel with that time of fourteen centuries ago that one is confirmed to believe that history does repeat itself.

Imam Hussein (a.s.) a revolutionary, a leader, a saint, a pure and pight soul, a human being concerned about his fellow man. The Muslim world has been taken over by kings and presidents and prime ministers with no legitimate right and who desecrate Islamic law every day. Islam had become a source of wealth and power and is in a state of constant turmoil and confusion so that Muslims are being killed by Kuffar and Muslims alike! This was the condition of the ummah during the time of Imam Hussein (a.s.).

He saw the religion established by his grandfather, the Holy Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), defended by his father and pother (a.s.), and now his personal responsibility, being abused and practically discarded for power, wealth and glory. He saw the rule of Muslims in the hands of unbelievers. He saw hypocrisy and oppression and he rebelled. Not unlike what is happening in the Muslim world where the rulers, some in the name of Allah, and some not, have sold out their people and their religion for some of the same reasons. The Muslims of these countries, now and in the past, have made stands against these illegitimate rulers. Why have they not succeeded to take their right to rule as Allah had ordained?

Superficially we can answer this question by saying the now patent phrase, "Muslims are disunited." At a closer look we will find it is because those rulers, of the past and present, have succeeded to innovate Islam to the point that Muslims have no identity or self-esteem. A sad reminder of the warnings of our Prophet and his Ahlul-Bait (a.s.), when they repeatedly commanded us to adhere to them.

Imam Hussein (a.s.) was one of those reminders. He rose up against an illegitimate ruler who was innovating the faith and misguiding the Muslims. This ruler played on the dissentigration of unity that began at the moment of the death of Muhammad (s.a.w.). Imam Hussein (a.s.) took his stand so that we could understand our position. It was a stand or fall situation. He could not win the battle, but he won the revolution. On the fields of Karbala', a

bleak desert plain in central Iraq, he stood and fought and was martyred for the sake of re-establishing what had been forgotten.

This book is about a revolutionary. A righteous man. A religious authority. An Imam of the Muslim ummah. He was killed! By whom? By others Muslims in a struggle for power and rule of the Islamic state. Who was there to help him? Precious few. Why did he take a stand that meant certain death for him and his family and followers? For Allah and Islam. What was he trying to do? Teach us that fighting unto death is more honorable than submitting to injustice. Why have we not grasped the true essence of his message? This final question remains unanswered.

Around the world on the 9th and 10th of Moharram, you will find Muslims of all creeds crying their eyes out for Imam Hussein (a.s.), and then going home to their comfortable beds to have a restful night's sleep while their pothers and sisters starve to death and suffer oppression and aggression in various countries. What a bunch of rubbish! Is that what Imam Hussein (a.s.) sacrificed his pure and blessed blood for? A few tears once a year? Allah perserves us from the ignorant!

We pray to Allah, with all our soul, that upon reading this pief account of the life of Imam Hussein (a.s.), the third rightful caliph of the Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) that the reader will be encouraged to research more deeply into his life and message. Scores of books are available in many languages. A study of his stand may help us to take a more righteous position in our own lives.

An understanding of what Imam Hussein (a.s.) was trying to instill in the soul of the ummah may wake us up before it is too late, if it's not too late already. We suppose the best way to capsulize his message is in his own words:

"It is better to die fighting for truth, than to live under an oppressive ruler."

"Of the believers are the men who are true to what they covenanted with Allah; of them is he who has fulfilled his vow and of them is he who awaits (its fulfilment); and they have not changed in the least," Holy Qur'an (33:23)

If we can honestly include ourselves among any of those mentioned in the above verse, our tears for Imam Hussein (a.s.) may have real content.

With Allah comes success.

INTRODUCTION

Praise be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon our master and leader, Muhammad, and his pure household and the righteous among his companions.

As centuries pass by, the uprising of Imam Hussein (a.s.), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), shines more powerfully, as a medal on the pow of history. It becomes firmly fixed in the conscience of the Muslim ummah, and is more understandable in the view of the historians and researchers.

Similarly, the free faithful get more determined to follow in it's footsteps, and hold firmly to it's noble goals so as to destroy the oppression of the tyrants, and root up the governments of the agents of the east and west all over our great Muslim world.

As in the far past, all efforts made by the sympathizers, and the spiteful alike, to thwart Imam Hussein's determination to begin his blessed and tremendous uprising, which awakened the ummah and pulled down the thrones of the Ummayyad, had failed. Now all the hectic and poisonous plots being made to deflect the revolution from its right path, or obliterate its landmarks, or extinguish its blazing flame, will also certainly fail. There is no way these efforts could succeed, whether they center on distorting the image of the uprising, inventing stories and myths around it, or emptying it of its Islamic meaning and depicting Imam Hussein (a.s.) as a 'rejecting leftist', or an 'ambitious adventurer', or an 'avenger', or a 'mutinist', or employing any other means of diversion, cover-up and distortion.

Imam Hussein (a.s.) rose up. He continued his uprising and stuck to it until its last stages. He sacrificed all that he had, and offered the most dear men and pure souls to Allah for one goal. It was to defuse a 'bomb' which Mu'awiyah expertly timed and planted. That was Mu'awiyah, the son of Hind, the 'Eater of Kidneys'. The 'bomb' was planted to blast off the principle of 'Islamic legitimacy' at the bands of his son Yazid, to root out that principle after being gradually pushed off the stage. This being achieved, it would be an easy task to violate all Allah's bounds and laws, the first of which are the qualifications the Muslim leader should possess to answer the office of leadership, and the last of which is the cancelling of Islamic ritual s and ethics.

It is no wonder, then, that the orientalists, including the Jews and Christians, praise the Ummayyad rule, particularly Yazid, as the strongest leader in the history of Islam!

Al-Balagh Foundation hopes, as it presents to its dear readers 'Rays of Light from the Life of Imam Hussein (a.s.)', the third Imam of the household of the Prophet (s.a.w.), and his second grandson, who, along with his pother, Imam Hasan (a.s.), are the masters of the youths of paradise, that it can spread sweet wafts of the fragrance of the family of the Prophet (s.a.w.), and reach the masses of our Muslim ummah with the momentum of a principled uprising, the match of which history never witnessed.

We beseech Allah, the Most High, to aid and grant success to all the culturally aware vanguards, who reject their corrupt status quo, and believe in their promising Islamic future. He is the best of helpers.

HOW ISLAM IMMORTALIZED IMAM HUSSEIN (A.S.)

THE BLESSED INFANT

On the third of the blessed month of Sha'ban, the fourth year after Hijrah and a year after the birth of Imam Hassan (a.s.), the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) was given news of the birth of Imam Hussein (a.s.). He hurried to the house of Imam Ali and Fatimah al-Zahra' (a.s.).

"O Asma'," he ordered Asma', the daughter of Umays, "ping me my son."

She took the newborn to him. The infant was wrapped in a piece of cloth. The face of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) lit up upon seeing his grandson. He took him in his arms. He recited the call to prayer (adan) into his right ear, and read the shorter version (iqamah) in his left ear. He, then, placed the baby in his lap and wept.

"May my father and mother be your sacrifice," Asma' asked him, "why are you crying?"

"Because of my son," he replied.

"He is a newborn baby," she said.

"O Asma'," he said," After me, the transgressing party will kill him. May Allah never grant them my intercession."

Then he said: "Asma', don't tell Fatimah about this, for she has just given birth to him."(1)

Then the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) turned to Imam Ali (a.s.) and asked him: "What name have you chosen for him?"

"I would never precede you in naming him, O Messenger of Allah," he replied.

At that moment, the revelation descended on the beloved Messenger, Muhammad (s.a.w.), with the name of the infant. Having received the divine order, the Messenger (s.a.w.) looked at Imam Ali (a.s.) and said: "name him Hussein."

Seven days later, the Prophet (s.a.w.) hastened to the house of al-Zahra' (a.s.). He slaughtered a lamb as an offering to Allah and ordered the infant's head shaved, its weight in silver to be given to the poor.

Thus, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) applied the very same Islamic rites he had earlier performed for his pother, Imam Hassan (a.s.).(2)

THE STATUS OF IMAM HUSSEIN (A.S.)

The status of Imam Hussein (Abu-Abdullah) (a.s.) is unparalleled, except by that of his father, mother, pother, and the Imams of his offspring, on all of them be the peace and blessings of Allah. Should a historian make a good research, collecting the stories and traditions concerning Imam Hussein (a.s.), he would certainly end up with the Imam (a.s.) as the top example among the Muslims. He would write a voluminous, great work covering this Imam.

As much as we can, we will delve into the key points which portray the great position of Imam Hussein (a.s.) according to Islamic criteria.

The Glorious Qur'an, the supreme divine document, which falsehood can never reach from before or behind it, expresses in many verses the lofty

position Imam Hussein (a.s.) achieved in the sight of Allah, the Exalted. Following are some of these verses:

1. Verse of Purification (Tathir):

"Allah only wishes to keep away uncleanness from you (Household of the Prophet) and purify you thoroughly."

Holy Qur'an (33:33)

Traditionists say, regarding the reason this verse was revealed, that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) called for a shawl. With it he covered Ali, Fatimah, Hassan and Hussein (a.s.). "O my Lord," he said, "these are the members of my family. Remove uncleanness from them and purely purify them."(3) and so this noble verse was revealed on this occasion. It is a testimony by Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, on the purity of the Prophetic house (Ahlul Bait (a.s.)) and their great stature.

2. Verse of Malediction (Mubahala):

"If anyone disputes with you about it (your prophethood) after the knowledge has come to you, say, 'Come, let us ping our sons and your sons and our women and your women and ourselves and yourselves and pray to Allah to curse the lying party." Holy Qur'an (3:61)

The Qur'anic exegesists and scholars say that this noble verse was revealed when the Christians of the city of Najran agreed with the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) to pray to Allah to destroy the party which stuck to falsehood. As agreed, and on time, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) went out to the place chosen for the contest. He carried Imam Hussein (a.s.) and took Imam Hassan (a.s.) by the hand. Fatimah followed behind while Imam Ali walked in their wake. "Say 'Amen' at the end of my prayer," the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) told them. But, upon seeing those pilliant faces filled with piety and grandeur, the Christians stopped short of entering the contest. They recognized the Prophet's authority, and paid the tribute.(4)

The noble verse called Hassan and Hussein "our sons," mentioned the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), and referred to Ali as "ourselves" and Fatimah as "our women." She symbolizes the whole of womankind in this verse. Had there been other people who had higher status than these people, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) certainly would have pought them along with him.

3. Verse of Affection (Mawada)

"...say: 'I do not ask you f or any payment f or my preaching to you, except the love f or my relatives...'" Holy Qur'an (42:23)

The Qur'anic exegesists state that this verse was revealed concerning Ali, Fatimah, Hassan and Hussein (a.s.).

Jabir bin Abdullah is reported to have said: "A bedouin came to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and said, 'O Muhammad! introduce me to Islam.'

"'You should bear witness,' replied the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) 'that there is no god but Allah, Who is the only God, Who has no partner whatsoever, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.'

"'Do you ask for recompense in return?' asked the bedouin.

"'No,' said the Prophet (s.a.w.), 'except that you should love the relatives.'

"'Mine or yours?' inquired the man.

"'Mine,' said the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).

"'Hold out your hand,' said the bedouin. 'I give you my pledge of allegiance. My Allah curse whoever doesn't love you or your kindred.'

"'Amen,' said the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.)."(5)

It is reported in the Musnad (Book of traditions) of Ahmad bin Hanbal, the two Sahihs (Authentic books of traditions), and the exegesis of al-Tha'alibi and al-Tabarsi, that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, was quoted as saying, "when the verse (say: I do not ask you for any payment for my preaching to you except the love for my relatives) was revealed, Muslims asked the Prophet (s.a.w.), 'O Messenger of Allah! Who are your kinsfolk whom we should love?! 'Ali, Fatimah and their two sons,' answered the Prophet (a.s.)."

Next to the verses of the Glorious Qur'an, we quote certain statements, from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) as additional evidence expressing the lofty position occupied by Imam Hussein (a.s.) in the world of Islam and the Muslim ummah.

1. In the Sahih of al-Tirmidhi, Ya'la bin Murrah is quoted to have said, "The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said,

'Hussein is from me and I am from Hussein. Allah loves whoever loves Hussein. Hussein is a disciple of the disciples."(6)

2. Salman al-Farsi is reported to have said, "I heard the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.) saying, 'Hassan and Hussein are my two sons. Whoever loves them then he loves me. And whoever dislikes them then he dislikes me. And whoever dislikes me then Allah dislikes him. And whomever Allah dislikes, He will throw him into hell f ace downward."'(7)

3. Al-Bara' bin Azib is quoted to have said, "I saw the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) carrying Hussein bin Ali (a.s.) on his shoulder. He was saying, 'O Lord! I do love him so love him.'"(8)

4. Abdullah bin Mas'ood is reported to have said, "The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, concerning Hassan and Hussein, 'These are my two sons, whoever loves them then he loves me. And whoever dislikes them he dislikes me,"'

5. Ali bin Hussein (a.s.) said, on the authority of his father, on the authority of his grandfather (a.s.), 'The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) took the arms of Hassan and Hussein and said, 'Whoever loves me and loves these two and their father, he will certainly be with me on the Day of Judgement.'"(9)

ASPECTS OF HIS CHARACTER

In our latest booklet(10) we referred to the fact that the characters of both Imams Hassan and Hussein (a.s.) have many traits in common. Both of them received their initial stage of training before shouldering the heavy task of propagating and defending the da'wah. Both of them had one and the same education, indoctrination, and spiritual and ideological teachings, under the supervision of their grandfather (s.a.w.), their father and their mother (a.s.).

As a result, the aspects of their characters fused together personifying the message of Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, in thought, action and conduct.

In our booklet on Imam Hassan (a.s.), we cited some examples which put his character into perspective. Here, we do the same regarding Imam Hussein (a.s.).

1. His Relationship With Allah

We can better understand the depth of Imam Hussein's (a.s.) relationship with Allah, the Most High, if we don't lose sight of the fact that the Prophet (s.a.w.) himself taught him the ideology of Islam and pought him up spiritually as he had done with his father, Imam Ali, his mother, al-Zahra', and his pother, Imam Hassan (a.s.). By so doing, his path was defined and his character was formed.

One day he was asked, "How great is your fear of your Lord?"

"No one would be secure on the Day of Judgement except those who feared Allah in this life," he replied.(11)

His face would turn pale, and he would tremble at the time of doing his ablution. He was asked about this and answered,

"Whoever stands in the presence of the Almighty Allah is not to blame if his color turns pale and his limbs shake."

On the night before the tenth of the month of Muharram, Imam Hussein (a.s.) asked the Ummayyad army to delay the battle till the following morning. He said, "This night we want to offer our prayers to our Lord, and we want to ask His forgiveness. He knows that I love to offer my prayer to Him, recite His Book, and pray much asking f or His forgiveness."

During the most critical and horrifying hours of the last day of his earthly life, he realized that it was midday and he had to perform his prayer. The battle of Karbala' was in full swing. He asked the enemies to stop fighting so as to let him and his followers offer their prayer. No better testimony than this can reflect the depth and strength of his relationship with Allah and his love for Him.

He used to recite this supplication, "O Lord! Grant me the desire for the other world, till I realize that it is a real thing in my heart, through my apathy to this world. O Lord! Grant me perception with regard to the other world so much that I will seek the divine reward with acute longing, and flee from the bad deeds out of fearing You, O Lord...".(12)

We Will address this plea more elaborately when we cover the uprising of Imam Hussein (a.s.) and his heroic, and matchless sacrifice for the sake of Allah, the Most High.

2. His Relationship With People

A look at the ethical side of Imam Hussein's (a.s.) character would be enough to shed light on the vividness of his relations with the ummah, for he was the most perfect and exemplary leader during his time. We don't mean that Imam Hussein (a.s.) was different from the other Imams in this respect. The nature of the relationship between the Imam and the ummah is actually outlined by the Divine Message. Imams represent it, as personified in their daily life.

Following are some examples of that great, high and pilliant relationship.

A. His Humbleness

Once Imam Hussein (a.s.) passed by poor men eating crumbs of pead on a mat. He greeted them and they invited him to their meal. He sat among them and said: "If your food were not alms, I would have eaten with you. Come home with me," he asked them. There, he fed them, clothed them and provided them with money.(13)

One could easily detect the depth of his humbleness through examination of this vivid testimony, particularly when we take into consideration that Imam Hussein (a.s.) was the political and ideological figure who was appointed as the legitimate leader of the Muslims by Allah, through His Messenger (s.a.w.).

As for his social position, he was so matchless and unique, that Ibn Abbas, the revered companion of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), used to hold the stirrup of his horse when he would mount it. Ibn Abbas was older than Imam Hussein (a.s.), but he did this out of his respect for him.(14)

It is because of his glorious social status that the people would dismount from their horses and camels, on the way to Mecca to perform their pilgrimage, as long as he would travel on foot.

Another example reflecting his humble nature is that of his acceptance of an invitation to having food with the poor. He encountered a number of poor men. Having had their food they hastened to ask him to share with them. He dismounted from, his horse saying, "Surely, Allah doesn't like the haughty." He partook of their food and said: "I have accepted your invitation. Won't you accept mine?"

"Certainly, we Will," said they. He took them to his house and said to al-Rabab, his wife, "ping us what you have been storing."(15)

He did care for the people. He would always help them, even though, for the most part, they wouldn't recognize his legitimate right. Shu'aib bin Abdul-Rahman is reported to have said: "On the way of al-Taf (battle of Karbala', wherein he was martyred) a mark was seen on the back of Hussein bin Ali (a.s.). Imam Zain al-Abideen (a.s.) (his eldest son, and the son who survived the battle) was asked about it. 'It is the trace,' he replied, 'of the bag, which he puts on his back (carrying food) to the house of the widows, orphans and the poor."(16)

This fact attests to his remarkable humbleness, his care for the ummah, his awareness and deep feeling of his responsibility toward the people.

B. His Forgiveness of the Wrongdoers

This is another one of his key attributes. Once a young servant of his did something which deserved punishment. When Imam Hussein (a.s.) wanted to punish him, the servant said:

"Who curb their anger." "Let him go", said the Imam.

"And those who forgive their fellow-man," added the servant.

"I forgive you," said the Imam.

"And Allah loves the charitable, sir," said the servant.

"I set you free, for the sake of Allah," said the Imam. "Henceforth I am going to give you the double of what I have been giving you."(17)

These are only pief instances of the ethical side of the character of Imam Hussein (a.s.).

3. Aspects of His Thought

We deem it suitable to mention some of his activities in the field of Islamic thought. These texts testify to his great intellectual capacity, polished by the divine message and set on the right track by Allah, the Almighty.

Nafi' bin al-Azraq, the head of the Azraqis who were among the Khawarij (those who mutinied against Imam Ali (a.s.) after the Battle of Siffeen), once asked him to describe his Lord Whom he worshipped.

"O Nafi'!," Imam Hussein (a.s.) started, "Whoever uses symbolism in religious matters will always remain in confusion, deviated as he stumbles off the right path, sticking to deviation wherever he goes, straying off the right course, and saying bad, and worthless things. O son of al-Azraq! I can describe my Lord with the very words He used to describe Himself: Never recognized by the five senses. Never compared to man.

Very close but not to the point of being touched. Very far but not so far that He can't be detected. He is One and can't be partitioned. Known by His signs. Described by His attributes. There is no god but He, the Great, the Exalted."

At that point Ibn al-Azraq wept and said: "What beautiful words are yours."(18)

On his way to Karbala', he assessed the general situation, pointing to the great deviation the ummah had been drawn into, and talked about his determination to win martyrdom, in the following words:

"Life has certainly changed disguises and its good has gone forever. This has continued till the remaining good in it amounts to the thin sediment at the bottom of a drinking untensil. Life is a mean food, a pasture covered with bad grass. Do you not see that the truth is not followed and falsehood not discouraged? The faithful must certainly desire to meet his Lord righteously. I do not deem death other than felicity and life among the unjust other than suffering and boredom. People are certainly enthralled with life. Faith is only something licked by them. They take good care of it as long as it secures their living. But once put to the tests of tribulation, religious men should be rarely found amongst them."(19)

With his sharp awareness, he defines the different levels of the relationship with Allah. He says:

"Some people serve Allah desiring (His rewards). It is the worship of merchants. Some people serve Allah out of fear. It is the worship of slaves.

And some people serve Allah out of gratitude. This is the worship of the free. It is the best kind of worship."(20)

He addressed the people, prior to the battle of Karbala', defining the characteristics of the Ummayyad rule, and analyzing the political and administrative situation from an Islamic point of view He said:

"...O people! the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.) had said: 'Whoever witnesses an unjust ruler considering the prohibitions of Allah as permissible, peaking the covenant of Allah, opposing the practices of the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.), treating His servant sinfully and cruelly, and had seen all these misdeeds but did not oppose him bywords or actions, Allah surely will punish him as He wills.'

"Certainly these people have come to staunchly obey Satan, and given up obeying the Compassionate. They showed mischief, stopped acting in accordance with Islamic laws, took Muslims' property to themselves, made the haram designated by Allah, halal, and turned His halal to haram. I am more entitled than anyone else (to make the change). Your letters arrived, and your envoys came to me carrying your pledge of allegiance that you will not hand me over to my enemy, nor will you f ail me. Should you stick to your pledge of allegiance, you have surely made the right decision. I am Hussein bin Ali, and the son of Fatimah, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.). I am, myself, with you, and my family is with yours. You find a good example in me. But, however, if you will not hold onto your pledge of allegiance, peak your convenant, and throw off my pledge of allegiance, then, by Allah, it is not the first time you do it. You did it with my father, and you have done it with my pother, and my cousin Muslim bin Aqeel. He is certainly gullible who is deceived by you. You are missing your luck and losing your lot. He who peaks his oath, peaks it at his own peril. Allah will certainly compensate me if you leave me."(21)

These are only scattered small examples of his great thought which occupies the center of original, serene Islam. Should the dear reader tend to know more about Imam Hussein (a.s.), he can refer to the books which dealt with his life. He will find out himself how deep and great were Imam Hussein's (a.s.) thought and faith.(22)