MUHARRAM SERIES – The people of Kufa reach out to Imam Hussain

As more people learnt about the death of Mu’awiyah and his son, Yazid subsequent claim on the caliphate against that of Imam Hassan, letters came in great numbers to Mecca, all offering unwavering support to AhlulBayt. It has been reported by historians that an estimated 150 letters reached the Imam within days of Sulayman bin Surd’ address.

One letter … one letter among many has withstood the test of time, as its content drew Imam Hussain to the plain of Karbala, where martyrdom would be his fate.

No other event in History has echoed across the ages like Karbala has done. Why? Because Karbala speaks to the very nature if our humanity and our reach towards the divine. Imam Hussain fought not against the tyrant of his time but Evil itself. Our Imam marched onto Karbala with the knowledge that death would be his companion … not for he ambitioned glory and adulation, but because his duty belonged to the Word and the tradition his grandfather, and father imparted him with.

Karbala speaks not just of Resistance against Tyranny but our struggle against the illusions which are power, riches, and grandeur.

Imam Hussain stood where no one could have and would have for his legacy was to be sacrifice, honour, fortitude, loyalty and perfected faith.

If ever words could encompass everything which our Imam was, I would say that he was his grand-father’s pride, his mother’s joy, and his father’ strength. Since his passing, he has become all of our hearts, all of our pain, all of our courage, all of our allegiance … there is no way but that found under Hussain’s banner, no place better than in his remembrance, for in him it is AhlulBayt which we find.

For those who wish still to find faults in our Imam actions than I can only offer pity … Indeed, guidance belongs only to God, and only He, can soften hearts and open minds.

For us Karbala remains forever burn in our hearts as the day of our Imam’s ultimate sacrifice. But we cry not his death, since death must meet us all. It is because we were not there when he cried out for help that we mourn. It is because Evil felt it had its day that we beat our chest, it is because our anger rises before the injustice of men that we demonstrate still.

If you cannot love, he, who the Prophet Muhammad loved most, who has your affection?

Here is the text of the letter which reached our Imam:

“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

This is a letter to Hussain ibn Ali from his Muslim and faithful supporters. Be quick and hurry up, for the people are waiting for you, and they do not look towards anyone other than you. Hurry up. Hurry up. We repeat: Make haste. Make haste. And peace be upon you.

The gardens and the deserts are green and fresh and the fruits have ripened. Proceed whenever you like. Your Iraqi soldiers are ready to receive you. And peace by upon you”.

Imam Hussain answered:

“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

From Hussain ibn Ali to the believers and Muslims of Iraq. Hani and Sa’id, your last messengers, have brought your letters. I have read what you have written and pondered over it. You have written that you do not have an Imam and asked me to come to you so that Allah may perhaps draw you together on truth and guidance through me. Now I am sending to you my cousin Muslim ibn Aqil in whom I have full confidence.

If he writes to me that your elders and wise men confirm what your messengers say and what you have written in your letters I may proceed towards you soon. I swear by my life that a true Imam and leader is only he who takes decisions according to the Qur’an, establishes justice, promotes the Divine religion and dedicates himself to the path of Allah. And peace be upon you.”

The following days Imam Hussain sent several of his trusted companions to Iraq, asking them to keep to the path of piety and assess whether or not the people in fact ambitioned for liberation from the rule of Yazid.

By Catherine Shakdam for Shafaqna

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