Alhassanain(p) Network for Heritage and Islamic Thought

Role of Religious Deviation in Leading to Karbala

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The Islamic community in the year the event of Karbala- took place, had greatly differed from that in the last year of Prophet’s life. The trend of deviation had been however gradual, according to many of researchers, the basis thereof was established from the first years after the Prophet’s departure. The foregoing deviations were in such a way that the politicians could avail themselves of them to not only delude the people but also justify their despotism.
The ones who played a crucial role in the origination and the development of such deviations were the Umayyads. The power notably secured by Yazi-d revealed the fact that never ever had the Umayya believed in a genuine Islam and their belief was merely a covering people had spread in order to justify and concede their sovereignty.
Having accused the Umayya of oppression and enmity,[1] Ima-m Husayn (a) had described them as those who “obey Satan, disobey Alla-h, propagate misdeeds, disregard Alla-h’s specified rules and also encroach upon Bayt al-Ma-l (public treasury)”.[2] In addition to creating corruption and ignoring divine limits, they had distorted a large number of religious concepts and misused them. Here let’s discuss a few of them which had impacts in the course of Karbala- according to historical evidence.
Obedience to Ima-ms, the necessity of Community and unlawfulness of breach of allegiance was three common political terms used by caliphs. It may be claimed that the above-mentioned terms could have guaranteed the base and the persistence of the caliphate. Anyhow, these three terms were right principles among the religious, political and Islamic concepts of which observing for the sake of the community was reasonably incumbent.
Obeying an Ima-m denotes obeying the ruling system. The question raised is that to what extent the ruler should be complied with. Is it imperative that a just Ima-m be followed or an unjust monarch ought to be obeyed too? Earlier we discussed it in detail while considering ‘Uthma-n’s caliphate.
Upholding Community implies avoiding disturbance or taking no action to undermine the unity or pave the ground for the emergence of a shaky Islamic community. The considerable question is whether silence should be kept before despotic monarchism or a libertine ruler under any circumstances; in other words, should any objection be suppressed relying on the fact that it spoils “Community” and causes “disunion”?
Unlawfulness of breach of allegiance, namely fulfilling a pledge is heavily underlined in Islam. Since breaking a pledge or an allegiance is prohibited seriously, it stands to reason how much the role of which in political affairs can be positive. But if the allegiance were not sworn to caliphs like Yazi-d or it were breached and consequently Community was 'spoiled', would it again follow the principle of unlawfulness of breach of allegiance or would it basically be an exception to the rule? As already alluded to, the Umayyad caliphs and later those of Banu- ‘Abba-s by manipulating such concepts distorted and unconditionally compelled the people to acquiesce to their sovereignty.
As stated by Ibn Isha-q, they were doing prayers (perhaps in al-Hara-m mosque) when they noticed that Shimr Ibn Dhil-Djawshan had raised his hands saying: “O Alla-h! You are well-aware of my nobleness, so forgive me.”
“I told him, added Ibn Isha-q, how could you ever be forgiven whereas you have aided and abetted in murdering the Prophet’s son?”
“What have we preformed?” Shimr reacted.
“It was the mandates of our commanders and we could in no way defy them”. Had we disobeyed "we would be far more inferior to water carrier beasts.” [3]
Apprehending him, Ibn Ziya-d told Muslim Ibn ‘Aqi-l: “O outlaw! You have seceded from your Ima-m and have sowed the seeds of discord among Muslims.” [4]
Muslim who never yielded to such a digression, riposted that Mu‘a-wiya not only did not procure the caliphate through the consensus of opinions of the nation at all, but he overcame the Holy Prophet’s successor through deception and usurped his caliphate.
When Ima-m Husayn was about to leave Mecca, the deputies of ‘Amr Ibn Sa‘i-d Ibn ‘A-s, the governor, said, “Do you not fear from Alla-h for seceding from the Muslim congregation and for causing disunion among the nation?” [5]
“We have neverever ignored disobeying Ima-m, nor have we seceded from Community” affirmed ‘Amr Ibn Hadjdja-dj, a commander of Ibn Ziya-d’s.[6]
Advising Ibn Ziya-d’s army, he added, “Not ever fail to remember obedience and union and at no time do you doubt about killing the one seceding from the religion and being at variance with Ima-m (ruler).” [7]
Figures like ‘Abd Alla-h Ibn ‘Umar who was among the Sunnites religious jurisprudents and hadith-narrators, had imagined that if entire people acquiesced to swear the oath of allegiance to Yazi-d, they would consent too.
He had given his assurance to Mu‘a-wiya, “I shall oppose you unless people all swear allegiance to your son, Yazi-d."[8] He also had addressed Ima-m as saying, “Do cause not disunion among Muslims!”[9]
Such individuals as ‘Umar and ‘Abd al-Rahma-n Ibn ‘Awf’s daughter had written to Ima-m to regard obedience with reverence and treat Community and its upholding as urgent.[10]
Another religious deviation in the Islamic community was “belief in fatalism”. Previous to the event of Karbala- this belief has been misused. In Early Islamic Era, however, Mu‘a-wiya had been the reviver of which or according to Abu- Hila-l ‘Askari- he was the initiator of which.[11] Referring to the fact that Mu‘a-wiya is the founder of “fatalism”, Qa-di- ‘Abd al-Djabba-r has quoted Mu‘a-wiya making as remarkable remarks[12] as follows, “This matter concerning Yazi-d is a destiny from among Divine destinies and no one has any volition in this regard.” [13]
‘Ubayd Alla-h Ibn Ziya-d asked Ima-m Sadjdja-d (a), “Was Alla-h not the One who killed ‘Ali- Akbar?”
Ima-m’s response was: “I had an elder brother whom people killed.”[14]
Once ‘Umar Ibn Sa‘d was objected why he killed Ima-m Husayn solely for the sake of the Ray governorship, he replied that such an affair had been predestined.[15]
When alive, Ka‘b al-Ahba-r had been foretelling that under no conditions would authority be secured by the Ha-shimites, (although later both the ‘Abba-sids and ‘Alawites could secure it as an instance in Tabarista-n). It has been quoted from ‘Abd Alla-h Ibn ‘Umar as well, as saying: "Any time you realized that one from the Ha-shimites has secured the authority, conclude that it is that end of the world.” [16]

References:
[1] al-Futu-h, vol.V, p. 137
[2] Ansa-b al-ashra-f, vol.III, p. 171; al-Futu-h, vol.V, pp. 144-15; Ta-ri-kh al-tabari-, vol.IV, p.304; elsewhere, Ima-m had stated, الا ترون أن الحق لا يعمل به وأن الباطل لا يتناهي عنه Not you see how the gospel is not practiced but the credal error is endlessly practiced?
Ta-ri-kh al-tabari-, vol.IV, p.305; Ibn ‘Asa-kir, Tardjamat al-ima-m al-Husayn,p. 214. Also Ima-m had said, فان السنة قد أميتت وان البدعة قد أحييت The Prophet’s Sunnah is dissolved while heresies are revived
Ta-ri-kh al-tabari-, vol.IV, p. 266
[3] Tardjamat al-ima-m al-Husayn, p.197; al-Ima-ma wa l-siya-sa, Lisa-n al-mi-za-n, vol.III, p.151 (Al-Humayr al-saqqa-’a-t)
[4] al-Futu-h, bol.5, p.98
[5] Ta-ri-kh al-tabari-, vol.IV, p. 289; such adverse publicity had made, the majority of people specially those from Damascus to consider Ima-m Husayn as an outsider (the one seceding) and to accuse him of heresy.
[6] Ta-ri-kh al-tabari-, p. 275
[7] Ibid. p. 331
[8] Tardjamat al-ima-m al-Husayn, p. 167, as described by Mu‘a-wiya, Ibn ‘Umar was a coward (Ibn A‘tham, vol.IV, p. 260). He advised Ima-m Husayn saying “Do not rise up, be patient, compromise as others did. See also al-Futu-h, vol.V, p. 39; Tardjamat al-ima-m al-Husayn, p. 166.
[9] al-Ka-mil fi l-ta-ri-kh, vol.IV, p. 17
[10] Tardjamat al-ima-m al-Husayn, p. 167
[11] al-Awa-’i'l, Askari-, vol.II, p. 125
[12] Fadl al-I‘tiza-l wa tabaqa-t al-mu‘tazila, p. 143
[13] al-Ima-ma wa l-siya-sa, vol.I, pp. 183, 187
[14] Tardjamat al-ima-m al-Husayn, p. 188
[15] Tabaqa-t al-kubra-, vol.V, p. 148
[16] Ibn ‘Asa-kir,Tardjamat al-ima-m al-Husayn, p. 193

Source: An extract from 'History of the Caliphs' by Rasul Ja'farian

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Alhassanain(p) Network for Heritage and Islamic Thought