M.Y.A. Fortnightly Gift
15th Muharram 1426 AH: Imam Sajjad [a]
All praise belongs to the Almighty [swt], the Master of the Universe.
After Kerala, it was Imam Ali bin Husayn, Zaibul-Abideen [a] who along with his aunt, Bibi Zaynab [a] took leadership and responsibility for the caravan of Imam Husayn [a]. Muslim Youths must never forget that trial and tribulations that the Ahlul-bayt [a] had to endure during the grueling trip from Kerbala to Kufa, and from Kufa to Shaam.
Imam Sajjad [a] combined in his the trait of the best of worshipers as well as the best of azadaar. Majlisi (in Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. XI) has written a chapter, "His mourning and Weeping on the Martyrdom of his Father, May Grace of Allah be on Both", in which he, inter alia, writes:
"And it is said that he (i.e. Imam Zayn al-'Abidin) continued to weep till his eyes were endangered. And whenever he took water to drink, he wept till the tears filled the pot. Someone talked to him about it and he replied: "Why should not I cry, when my father was denied the water which was free to the beasts and animals?
"As for Ali Ibn al-Husain [a], he cried over Husain [a] for twenty years (after Kerbala); never would any food be placed before him except that he would begin to weep"
- Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq [a]
Therefore, the mourning for Imam Husayn [a], his noble family, and his devout companions is an act that is part of Islam since the Haqq, i.e. Imam of Ahlul-bayt [a] did the same. We therefore pray that Muslim Youths learn to maintain the balance between azadari and other forms of ibadat, both of which should continue to complement each other.
ANNOUNCEMENT: As a tribute to Hazrat Ali Akber and the brave youth of Kerbala, the Muslim Youth Association hereby announces FIVE $1000 Scholarships for Shias in University or College in Canada. Apply today! Click here for details.
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The Muslim Youth Association is a branch of the Islamic Humanitarian Service
Imam Zain Al Abidin A.S The Great Messenger Of Hussaini Revolution
The Umayyad government determined to destroy Islam and to annihilate its foundations and forces. Then it decided to degrade the Muslims, to paralyze their physical and mental activities, and to prevent them from practicing the principles of their great religion. Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, witnessed this severe ordeal as his father, Ima`m al-Husayn, peace be on him, witnessed it during the days of the government of Mu'a`wiya and Yazid.
He shared his father's pain and sorrow. Ima`m al-Husayn was unable to carry out his great revolt during the days of Mu'a`wiya because he understood that his revolt would fail, and that he would be unable to change the situations standing in the country. Because Mu'a`wiya used strong policy and ruled with wisdom, it was impossible for Ima`m al-Husayn to overcome him and abort his plans. When this tyrannical person (Mu'a`wiya) died and Yazid took the reins of government, Ima`m al-Husayn
peace be on him, decided to accomplish his religious duty.
He determined to resist Yazid and to overthrow his government. Accordingly, he would be able to preserve the Muslims' interests and rights. Moreover he would be loyal to the fundamentals of the religion of his grandfather. So he, peace be on him, declared his great revolt through which Allah made the Book clear, and which He made a lesson for the wise. Hence we will briefly mention some sides of this great revolt, which showed terrible events to Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin. Although he was ill, Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin was able to understand all the stages of this tragedy through his sensitive feelings and his careful sentiment. That is as follows:
On the Plateau of Karbala`'
The pure family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, adopted the rights of the oppressed and the persecuted, so they head for Iraq. When they arrived at the Plateau of Karbala`', they were afflicted by ordeals, misfortunes, and disasters, so they were sure of the destructive catastrophe.
This occurred when they found themselves surrounded by the wicked forces who intended to shed their blood and to force them to yield to abasement, but Allah refused to accept that for them.
Ima`m al-Husayn looked at the young men from among the members of his family, they were in the bloom of youth, so he burst into tears and began saying: "O Allah, we are the Household of Your Prophet, Mohammed, peace be on him. We have been banished from the Scared City of our grandfather, and the Umayyads have transgressed against us, so, O Allah, take our right from them, and grant us victory over the oppressive people."
Then he addressed the heroes from among his Household and his companions, saying: "The people are the slaves of this world, and the religion is licking on their tongues. They encompass it (the religion) as long as their livelihoods stream, but when they are tested by tribulation, they are a few in following the religion.(Hayat al-Imam al-Husayn, vol. 3, p. 97).
These brilliant words show the practical reality of the life of the people throughout the stages of history, so they are the slaves of this world at every place and time. As for the religion, it has no shade in their inner selves. When disasters befall them, they deny it and turn away from it, so, indeed, it is licking on their tongues.
Then Ima`m al-Husayn turned to his companions and said to them: "Then after, you have seen what has befallen us, and the world has changed and neglected (us), its kindness has turned away (from us), and nothing has remained of it except a rest like the rest of the container and a mean life which is like an unhealthy food. Don't you see that the (people) do not put the truth into effect and do not prevent each other from (doing) falsehood? Indeed, the believer is desirous of meeting Allah. So, indeed, I see that death is (nothing) except happiness, and that life with the oppressive is (nothing) except boredom.(Al-Tabarani, al-Mu'jam. Ibn 'Asakir, Tarikh, vol. 13, p. 74).
In this speech, Ima`m al-Husayn, peace be on him, showed that all kinds of ordeals and tribulations befell them, and that the thinking of the world toward them changed, for fate brought to them tiresome misfortunes, but the grandson of the great Prophet was brave enough to face them, for he saw that the people did not put the truth into effect and did not prevent each other from doing falsehood, and that life became abominable and martyrdom in the way of Allah was happiness.
When Ima`m al-Husayn finished his speech, all his companions rushed toward death to give people the most wonderful examples of sacrifice for establishing justice and fairness. Each one of them spoke with the words of sincerity, so the Ima`m thanked and lauded them for that.
Imam al-Husayn(A.S.) announced his Death
On the night of Muharram 10th, Ima`m al-Husayn, peace be on him, was sure of death, so he entered his own tent, prepared his own sword, and said:
Time, shame on you as friend! At the day's dawning and the sun's setting!
How many a companion or seeker will be a corpse! Time will not be satisfied with any substitute.
The matter will rest with the Almighty one, and every living creature will have to journey along my path.
In these lines of poetry, the Ima`m announced his death. He was in the tent of Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin and of the granddaughter of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, Zaynab, daughter of Ima`m 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. When Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin heard these lines, he understood what his father wanted, so tears choked him, and he kept silent and knew that tribulation had come upon them, as he said:
"As for my aunt, Zaynab, she felt that her brother and the rest of her Household had determined to meet death and to attain martyrdom. She could not control herself; she jumped up, tearing at her clothes, sighing and went to him." "Then I will lose a brother," Zaynab said to him, "Would death deprived me of life, (for) my mother Fa`tima, is dead, and my father, 'Ali, and my brother, al-Husayn, peace be on them (all)."
"O sister," al-Husayn said to her as he looked at her with his eyes full of tears, "don't let Satan take away your forbearance."
However, Zaynab became pale, and sorrow tore up her gentle, tortured heart, so she lamented to her brother al-Husayn: "O my grief, your life will be violently wrenched from you and that is more wounding to my heart and harsher to my soul."
When she was sure that her brother would be killed, she could not control her forbearance, so she tore her garment, struck at her face, and then she fell down in a faint. Then the granddaughters of the Prophet shared that severe ordeal with her. Among them was Umm Kulthu`m, who lamented:
"Oh Mohammed! Oh 'Ali! Oh Ima`m! Oh Husayn! We will be lost after you!"
That distressing sight had a great effect on the soul of Ima`m al-Husayn, peace be on him. Sorrow and sighs melted his heart, so he walked towards the granddaughters of the Prophet and ordered them to cling to forbearance and to bear the burdens of this severe ordeal, saying:
"O sister, O Umm Kulthu`m, O Fa`tima, O Raba`b, when I am killed, you must not tear your clothes, nor scratch your faces, nor cry out with grief and loss!(Hayat al-Imam al-Husayn, vol. 1, pp. 172-173).
Ima`m al-Husayn, peace be on him, ordered his womenfolk to cling to forbearance during those severe ordeals that had come upon them, and he ordered them not to say obscene words.
The Day of 'Ashura`'
There was no event in history similar to the event that came upon Ima`m al-Husayn, peace be on him, on the Day of 'Ashura`' because all the ordeals of the world came upon the plant of sweet basil of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, talked about that tragic day which is immortal in the world of sorrows.
He said: "No day was more difficult for Allah's Messenger than the Day (Battle) of Uhud in which his uncle Hamza b. 'Abd al-Muttalib, the lion of Allah and the lion of His Messenger, was killed, and after it was the Day (Battle) of Mu'ta in which his cousin Ja'far b. Abi Ta`lib was killed."
Then he (Zayn al-'Abidin) said: "There was no day like the Day of al-Husayn, when thirty thousand men advanced against him (while) they claimed that they belonged to this community, and that they (wanted) to seek proximity to Allah, the Great and Almighty, through (shedding) his blood. He (al-Husayn) reminded them of Allah, but they did not learn (from him) till they killed him out of (their) oppression and aggression.(Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 9, p. 147).
In the world of Islam, throughout history, there is no day more difficult than that of al-Husayn, for this great Ima`m revolted (against Yazid) to establish for all the peoples of the East an honorable life, freedom, welfare, security, and tranquillity. However, those wicked people rose against him and shed his blood in a savage way in which history has never seen. They committed these crimes to live under the yoke of slavery, oppression, and injustice.
Imam al-Husayn's Sermon
Before the fire of the battle broke out, Ima`m al-Husayn thought that he had to establish proof for those corrupt people, to refute their justifications, and to make them understand clearly their affairs, so he, peace be on him, ordered his horse to be brought to him. He rode it and walked toward them in a highly impressive manner which was similar to that of his grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.
He delivered among them his historical sermon, which is the purest and most eloquent one in Arabic literature. He called them at the top of his voice to make them all hear his words. He said to them:
"People, listen to my words and do not hurry (to attack me) so that I may remind you of the duties you have towards me and so that (by telling you the true cir*****stances) I may free myself from any blame in (your attacking me).
If you give me justice, you will become happier through that. If you do not give me justice of your own accord (as individuals), then agree upon your affairs (and your associates); let not your affairs be in darkness to you. Then carry (it) out against me and do not reflect (any further). Indeed my guardian is Allah, Who sent down the Book; He takes care of the righteous."
The air carried Ima`m al-Husayn's words to the womenfolk of the Prophet and they lamented loudly, so the Ima`m sent to them his brother al-'Abba`s and his son 'Ali and said to them: "Calm them. By my life, their weeping will be very much." When they became quiet, he went on delivering his sermon. He praised and glorified Allah, and he called down blessings upon the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and said concerning that countless words.
No speaker has ever been heard before or after him more eloquent in his speech than he was. He continued:
"People, indeed Allah, the Most High, created this world and made it the abode of annihilation and vanishing. It changes its inhabitants from state to state, so the conceited one is he whom it deludes, and the miserable one is he whom it charms. So let not this world delude you because it cuts off the hope of him who has confidence in it and despairs the greediness of him who desires for it. I see that you have unanimously agreed on an affair through which you have made Allah angry with you, turn his Holy Face away from you, and send down his vengeance upon you.
So the best lord is our Lord, and you are the worst slaves! You acknowledged obedience (to Allah) and believed in the Prophet Mohammed, may Allah bless him and his family, and then you have crept against his progeny and his family, you want to kill them. Satan has wholly engaged you, so he has made you forget the remembrance of Allah, the Almighty. So woe to you and to what you want! To Allah we belong and to Him is our return. These are people who have disbelieved (in Allah) after their belief (in Him). So away with the oppressive people!"
Ima`m al-Husayn, peace be on him, preached to the people with these words. He warned them against the delusion of this world and gave them proofs for its unsuccessful final results and prevented them from killing the family of their Prophet, for they would disbelieve in Islam and be worthy of Allah's punishment and vengeance. Then the great Ima`m continued:
"People, trace back my lineage and consider who I am. Then look back at yourselves and remonstrate with yourselves. Consider whether it is right for you to kill me and to violate the honor of my womenfolk. Am I not the son of the daughter of your Prophet, of his testamentary trustee (wasi) and his cousin, the first of the believers in Allah and the man who (first) believed in what His Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, brought from his Lord?
Was not Hamza, the lord of the martyrs, my uncle? Was not Ja'far, the one who flies in Heaven, my uncle? Have you not heard the words of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning myself and my brother: 'These are the two lords of the youths of the inhabitants of heaven'? Whether you believe what I am saying- and it is the truth, for by Allah I have never told a lie since I learnt that Allah hated people (who told) them- or whether you regard me as a liar, there are among you those, if you asked them, would tell you:
Ask Ja'far b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansa`ri, Abu` Sa'id al-Khudari, Sahl b. Sa'ad al-Sa`'idi, Zayd b. Arqam, and Anas b. Ma`lik to tell you that they heard these words from the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning myself and my brother. Is there not (sufficient) in this to prevent you from shedding my blood?"
It was appropriate for this sermon to change the views of the units of that army and to make a military revolt among their ranks. Through this sermon Ima`m al-Husayn, peace be on him, summoned them to return to their intellects, to consider carefully his affair, for he was the grandson of their Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, the son of his trustee, his womb relative, the lord of the youths of the inhabitants of heaven. All these factors were enough to prevent them from shedding al-Husayn's blood and violating the honor of his womenfolk, but that army did not understand such excellent preaching, so it was inclined to crime and drowned in error.
However, the wicked sinner, Shimr b. Dhi al-Jawshan interrupted Ima`m al-Husayn, saying: "If I understand what you are saying, then I only worship Allah (very shakily) on the edge."
Habeeb b. Muza`hir, an excellent Muslim believer, answered Shimr, saying: "I think that you worship Allah (very shakily) on seventy edges, for I testify you are right. You do not understand what he is saying, for Allah has impressed (ignorance) upon your heart."
Then the great Ima`m (al-Husayn) continued: "If you are in doubt about these words, you are in doubt that I am the son of the daughter of your Prophet. By Allah there is no son of a prophet other than me among you and among the peoples from the East to the West. Shame on you, are you seeking retribution from me for one of your dead whom I have killed, or for property of yours which I expropriated, or for a wound which I have inflicted?"
These words shook the ground under their feet. They became perplexed, not knowing what to say. Then Ima`m al-Husayn, peace be on him, called the commanders of the army, who wrote letters to him to come to their city, saying: "Shibth b. Rib'i, Hajja`r b. Abjar, Qays b. al-Ash'th, Yazid b. al-Harth, didn't you write: 'The fruit has ripened; the dates have grown green; come to an army which has been gathered for you'?"
But those wicked sinners did not feel shame in betraying a promise and breaking a covenant; they all unanimously agreed on telling lies, saying: "We didn't do (that)."
The Ima`m was astonished at their answer, so he said: "Glory belongs to Allah! Yes, by Allah, you did it."
Thus, the Ima`m turned his face away from them and addressed the units of the army, saying to them: "People, if you hated me, then let me go to a safe place in the land."
However, Qays b. al-Ash'ath, a wicked sinner in Ku`fa who belonged to a corrupt family, interrupted him, saying: "Submit to the authority of your kinsmen (the Umayyads). They have never treated you with anything but what you liked."
"By Allah, I will never give you my hand like a man who has been humiliated; nor will I flee like a slave," said al-Husayn, peace be on him.
Then he called out: "O Servants of Allah, I take refuge in my Lord and your Lord from your stoning. I take refuge in my Lord and your Lord from every haughty man who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning."
Unfortunately, this excellent sermon did not penetrate their hearts, for ignorance had been impressed upon them, so they were like the cattle, rather they were more straying (than them) in way.
Ima`m al-Husayn, peace be on him, took numerous measures to preserve peace and to avoid shedding blood, but 'Umar b. Sa'd declared public war against him, for he advanced toward the Ima`m's camp, took an arrow, threw it at the Ima`m, and said: "Bear witness for me with the Governor that I was the first to throw (an arrow) at al-Husayn's camp."
This aggressive, mean person ('Umar b. Sa'd) asked his army to bear witness for him with his governor, b. Marja`na (i.e., 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziya`d) that he was the first to throw an arrow at the Camp of the truth, dignity, and honor.
Then his bowmen showered arrows upon al-Husayn and his companions and hit them all, so the Ima`m turned to his companions and said to them: "Noble men, stand up! These are the messengers of the people for you!"
Thus, the vanguards of the truth from among the companions of the Ima`m headed for the battlefield. With that, the battle started between the two armies; it was the most violent battle that ever occurred on the earth.