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Islam And Hussain

By: Prof. Maqsood Jafri



The foundation of Islam is the concept of Monotheism.  Islam totally rejects despotism.  When we believe in God we totally negate the self-styled monarchic and temporal powers.  When we bow before God then we do not prostrate before idols.  The icons of beauty, wealth, power, fear and fright are dashed.  About Monotheistic concept the Quran

 emphatically declares in Sura Ikhlas:

                        Say; He is Allah, The one.  Allah, the Eternal, Absolute.  He begetteh not, Nor is He begotten.  And there is none like unto Him.”


Hazrat Imam Hussain presented practical evidence of the existence of God.  He sacrificed his life with the lives of his dear kinsmen and companions in the way of God.  He was slaughtered mercilessly.  On the plain of Karbala he exhibited unprecedented daring feat.  His determination, valor and prowess have left indelible traces on the pages of history.  Dr. Iqbal says:

                        “He wrote the word; no god but Allah on the sands

                        Engraved he the title of our redemption.

                        Until doomsday he cut the roots of fascism

                        The surge of his blood invented a flower bed.”


Yazid asked Imam Hussain for allegiance which he denied.  How could he endorse the un-Islamic rule and regime of Yazid.  He fully knew the aftermaths of this refusal but with robust energy and unyielding will he bore the brunt.   As he had carried the standard of Tawhid he did not bow before a drunkard and debauch who was the tyrant of the time.  The last words on the lips of Imam Hussain, when Shamir Bin Zee Josham was cutting his throat, were Allah, Allah.  While addressing the savage troops of Yazid at Karbala he had said; “If Islam cannot be established without my murder, O, swords come and mangle me in to pieces.”  The survival and establishment of Islamic code of life was the only mission of Hazrat Imam Hussain.  How pathetic verses he chanted on the hot plain of Karbala addressing Allah; “I have left the whole world in your desire.  I accepted the orphanage of my children in your remembrance.  If in your love my body is mangled in to pieces, even then my wounded heart will be in your quest.”


Imam Hussain completed the mission of all Prophets.  When Hazrat Abraham was put to test by Allah and he passed the test, Allah announced to make him the leader of all humankind.  A covenant was made with Abraham, which is referred to in the Quran: “And when his Lord tried Abraham with certain words, and he fulfilled them, He (God) said, ‘I will make thee Imam (a guide) for mankind.’ (Then said he (Abraham) ‘and of my offspring’, said (then the Lord) My (covenant) shall not reach the unjust.” (2:124).


The wording of the reply to Abraham is clear that Imamat will not be conferred on the unjust and iniquitous.  According to the Holy Quran the greatest iniquity (Zulm) is shirk (idolatry).  The Quran says :”verily, ‘shirk, (ascribing partners to God) is the greatest ‘zulm” (iniquity). (23:13).  When we bow before the despots we actually become the victim of idolatry.


Hazrat Imam Hussain sacrificed for God and fulfilled the sacrificial mission of Hazrat Ishmael.  The Quran in Sura “Saffat” says; “And we ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice and we left him among generations (to come) in later times. Peace be upon Abraham.  Thus indeed do we reward who do right.” (37:107-110).


In the Torah the martyrdom of Imam Hussain is prophesized that on the banks of Euphrates a big sacrifice will occur.  The Holy Prophet (PBUH) had also time and again prophesized the martyrdom of Imam Hussain.  When we say that Imam Hussain completed the mission of all prophets by it we mean that Imam Hussain rejected despotism and stood for divine values such as peace, justice, nobility and freedom.


On the 10th of Muharram while addressing to the Yazidian forces he had said; “O people if you have deserted Islam at least you are human beings and I am crusading for your human rights.  I am seeing that the sword of tyranny is on your heads and the morsels of loaves have been even snatched from you.” Imam Hussain was reminding them of human rights.  Islam is the religion of human values and human rights.  In the above-mentioned words of Imam Hussain it is candidly portrayed that he was an exponent of human freedom and justice. 


In the garb of Yazid, Imam Hussain had seen the rule of injustice, inequity and infamy.  About the importance of justice the Quran says in Sura “Nisa”; “And when ye judge between people ye judge with justice” Then in Sura “Maaida” the Quran announces: “Be just that is next to piety”.  Imam Hussain was a standard bearer of Islamic Justice.  His battle was not for scepter, crown and throne.  He only stood to guide his people.  From Medina to Mecca and then to Karbala he said, I have come out to guide the ummah.  I am a peace lover and I have not revolted.  I only desire reformation of ummah and Islamic state and society.  In Kitab-ul-Irshad, Sheikh Mofeed and in Tabari Mohammad ibn Jareer wrote that at “Zuhasin, when the army of Hurr stopped Imam Hussain, he sermonized them in these words;  “It is necessary for a Muslim ruler to act upon Islamic constitution.  He should maintain justice.  He should live with truth and by the will of God.”  By justice Imam Hussain meant the rights of people and by the will of God he meant the rights of Allah.  Hence, it becomes imperative to understand the tragedy of Karbala, which teaches us the real Islam and rejects the monarchic interpretation of Islam.  Imam Hussain and Islam are the two faces of the coin. We cannot understand Islam without understanding the sacrifice of Imam Hussain.  How rightly Dr. Iqbal had said; “ I have learnt the secret of the Quran from Hussain.  From his fire I treasured flames of faith.”




 (The writer is an eminent speaker and scholar and can be reached at         



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