Friday Sermon of
10 December 2010
After reciting the Tashahhud, the Ta’uz and the first chapter of Al Fatiha Imam Zafrullah Domun said:
The month of Muharram 1432 AH has started for some on 7th December and for others on 8th of December. I take this opportunity to wish all Muslim brothers and sisters “Naya Saal Mobarak”. Let us hope and pray that incha Allah the coming year will bring to the Muslim world greater peace, justice and love. Let us also pray that people may understand what we stand for and that they come forward to help in the objectives that we are trying to achieve.
The month of Muharram is well known in Islam for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, one of the grandsons of Hazrat Mohammad saw. As you might all recall the Holy Prophet’s daughter Fatima was married to his cousin Hazrat Ali. Out of this marriage two sons were born. They were Hazrat Hasan and Hazrat Hussein. From history books we understand that Hazrat Hussein was born on 3rd Shabaan, 4th year of Hijri (10.1.626 AD). The Holy Prophet Mohammad saw loved his two grand children dearly. It is reported that he had said 'He who pleases to look at the lord of the Youths of Paradise, let him look at Hasan bin Ali.'" Moreover he considered Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Fatima and Hasan and Hussein to be his Ahlul bayt. When the Christians of Najran came to dispute with him they agreed to do a mubahila with the prophet. So the prophet went and came back with Hazrat Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Hussein and told them “this is my household.” It appeared that the Christian delegation was struck and they refused the mubahila and accepted the conditions imposed upon them by the Holy Prophet saw. If we search for it we will find plenty of hadiths which speak about the love of the Holy Prophet for his two grandsons. Even if we do not read the hadiths at least we can easily imagine what would have been the love of the Holy Prophet saw for his grand children. Yet both of them will be later murdered by those who would declare themselves to be Amirul mo’emeneen and caliphs of the Muslims. It is reported that Mu’awiya will have Hazrat Hasan poisoned and his son Yazid will have Hazrat Hussein butchered. If we read the history of Islam we will meet with many such leaders who had political power and they did everything to eliminate those who were threats to them.
In order to understand how Hazrat Hussein was murdered we need to understand what went on before. We should start with the beginning of the khilafat of Hazrat Ali. He became caliph after the murder of Hazrat Osmanra in 656 CE. His years as caliph was not easy at all. First he will have to fight against Hazrat Ayesha and later he was about to fight Muawiya, the son of Abu Sufyan, the enemy of the Holy Prophet saw who was the governor of Syria. But eventually there was a compromise. But when Hazrat Ali was killed in the year 661 CE, Muawiya declared himself caliph of the Muslim world although some people had declared Imam Hasan to be the caliph. But eventually in order to avoid further bloodshed amongst the Muslims Imam Hasan signed a peace treaty with Muawiya. The terms of the treaty were as follows:
(1) Mu’awiya would be the temporal political head of the Muslim
(2) Mu’awiya would not appoint his own successor, but would leave the
caliphate to the will of the majority (which favored Imam Husain); and,
(3) Mu’awiya would allow the Muslims to live in peace, free from oppression, especially those belonging to the Hashimite tribe (the tribe of the Holy Prophet and his family).
Here we see that someone who was elected caliph, namely Imam Hasan desisted from his caliphate in order to avoid disunity and bloodshed amongst the Muslims. Unfortunately Mu’awiya violated the terms of this treaty and, near his death, designated his son Yazid as his successor. Yazid was an immoral and ruthless man with no sense of justice. He employed bribery and coercion to win support. Muawiya would die in 680 after reigning for about 19 years. At that time Imam Hussein as the protector and guardian of the religion established by his noble grandfather, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), was in Medina and he refused to swear allegiance with a person like Yazid. Yazid realized that he could never legitimize and consolidate his rule without the allegiance of Imam Husain, the grandson of the Holy Prophet. Consequently, he decided that he would either force the Imam to submit to his rule, or else he would have him killed.
the 61st year after Hijra (680 AD), Imam Husain, while performing the
pilgrimage in Mecca, received the news that assassins had been sent by Yazid to
kill him. Desiring to protect the sanctity of the Holy City, he interrupted his
pilgrimage and headed towards Kufa, in modern-day Iraq on invitation of the
people there to come and teach them about Islam. He took with him his family
members and close friends, including his six-month-old infant son, Ali Asghar.
His journey to Kufa was intercepted by a detachment of Yazid’s army, led by a
commander named Hur. Hur had orders to re-direct the Imam to camp in the desert
plains of Karbala, on the banks of the River Euphrates. In order to avoid
bloodshed, Imam Husain chose not to resist, and followed Hur’s directions. He
and his companions were forced to camp at a great distance from the river,
which was the only source of water in the area.
Imam Husain’s six-month-old son, Ali Asghar, was on the verge of death from dehydration. Husain brought him out of the tent to show his pitiful condition to the soldiers in Yazid’s army, pleading for at least enough water to save the infant’s life. The enemy denied his request. A heartless archer from the enemy army shot an arrow that struck the infant, killing him in his father’s own arms.
Soon, Imam Husain was left alone to face Yazid’s army, since all the able-bodied male members of his camp had died fighting one by one. He made a final plea to the army of Yazid, reminding them of his kinship with the Holy Prophet of Islam, the love and respect which the Holy Prophet had used to show him, and the numerous traditions in which the Holy Prophet had warned the Muslims not to disobey or injure him. He reminded them of his desire to uphold the truth and his status as one of the true protectors of the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet. He asked to be allowed to leave the Muslim kingdom, so that Yazid would not perceive him as a threat to his power. Finally, he clearly warned them that by shedding his blood, they would be subjected to the wrath of Allah (S.W.T.) and they would lose any hope of the intercession of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.A.W.). The commanders of the opposing army were unmoved, and reiterated their desire to kill Imam Husain unless he chose to submit to the authority of Yazid. Husain was left with no choice but to take a firm and final stand against falsehood, and to fight for the preservation of Islam. He fought bravely, and in the end he achieved martyrdom. It was on the 10th Muharram 661 A.H (10th October 680 CE).
Many non Muslim historians have commented on these events and they have spoken about the significance of the events of Karbala. The grandson of the Holy Prophet accepted to be killed so that the true spirit of Islam lives. He together with only about 71 persons knew that they were no match for the ruthless, savage and bloodthirsty wielders of power that Yazid and his cohorts were. Yet he died but the principles he died for will live on till the end of time. Islamic leaders whoever they may be , caliphs , kings or presidents should always know from these events that whenever they try to impose their unislamic rule on the people Imam Husseins will meet them in their paths whatever sacrifices such Husseins will have to endure for the spirit of Islam as taught by the Holy Prophet saw might live on. Let me share with you how some people have commented upon the events of Karbala.
- Dr. K. Sheldrake says:
that gallant band, male and female knew that the enemy forces around were
implacable, and were not only ready to fight, but to kill. Denied even water
for the children, they remained parched under the burning sun and scorching
sands, yet not one faltered for a moment. Husain marched with his little
company, not to glory, not to power of wealth, but to a supreme sacrifice, and
every member bravely faced the greatest odds without flinching.”
Charles Dickens , the novelist said:
“If Husain had fought to quench his worldly desires, as alleged by certain Christian critics, then I do not understand why his sister, wife, and children accompanied him. It stands to reason therefore, that he sacrificed purely for Islam.”
Thomas Carlyle said:
“The best lesson which we get from the tragedy of Cerebella is that Husain and his companions were rigid believers in God. They illustrated that the numerical superiority does not count when it comes to the truth and the falsehood. The victory of Husain, despite his minority, marvels me!”
William Muir said:
“The tragedy of Karbala decided not only the fate of the Caliphate, but also of Mohammadan kingdoms long after the Caliphate had waned and disappeared.” -
Sir Mohammad Iqbal, the poet said
“Imam Husain uprooted despotism forever, till the Day of Resurrection. He watered the dry gardens of freedom with a surging wave of his blood, and indeed he awakened the sleeping Muslim nation. If Imam Husain had aimed at acquiring the worldly empire, he would not have traveled the way he did. Husain weltered in blood and dust for the sake of truth. Verily, therefore, he becomes the foundation of the Muslim creed ‘La Ilaha Il-lallah,’ meaning, there is no deity but Allah (God).” -
“A reminder of that blood-stained field of Karbala, where the grandson of the Apostle of God fell, at length, tortured by thirst, and surround by the bodies of his murdered kinsmen, has been at anytime since then, sufficient to evoke, even in the most lukewarm and the heedless, the deepest emotion, the most frantic grief, and an exaltation of spirit before which pain, danger, and death shrink to unconsidered trifles.” –
In Jamaat Ahmadiyya we do not hear much about these events. But there is a deep spiritual connection between Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as and the family of the Holy Prophet Mohammad saw. Incha Allah if we have time we will talk more about it in our next sermon. So let all Muslims and Ahmadis remember that at times one has to sacrifice worldy comfort in order to fight those who try to vitiate the noble teachings of Islam to suit their narrow-minded views. Whenever the situation asks for it Allah will send many Husseins who would refuse to bow to the Yazids of their time so that TRUE ISLAM might live on.