The Message of Karbala to the Muslim World
Maulana ‘Ata Al-Nabi Husayni Misbahi
Since the dawn of mankind, truth and falsehood have been engaged in an ongoing battle. When Allah Almighty created Sayyiduna Adam عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام, Iblees’ arrogance drove him to rebel against the divine command, becoming a perpetually cursed and rejected denizen of Hell. From the moment when Sayyiduna Adam عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام set foot in this realm, thousands of confrontations between truth and falsehood have transpired, sometimes manifesting as battles of ideologies, and at other times, as physical encounters between the forces of good and evil. Ultimately, Allah Almighty always grants victory to the truth, and falsehood is always disgraced.
The plains of Karbala witnessed a monumental conflict between truth and falsehood that has become etched in the annals of history and the minds of people. The soul representing truth and justice on that occasion, Imam Husayn رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ, is still remembered as a beacon of truth. At the same time, his adversary, Yazeed, has become a synonym for falsehood. The massacre of Karbala resulted from the worldly ambitions of Yazeed and the treachery of the Kufan people who had sent many letters and invitations to Sayyiduna Imam Husayn رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ. This incident saw the merciless massacre of many members of the Prophet’s family and their supporters at hands of Yazeed’s forces.
May we be sacrificed upon those noble souls who stood for the truth by giving their lives, sacrificing their homes, enduring unbearable pain, and witnessing the painful scenes of their children being martyred before their own eyes. Despite these tragedies, they remained committed to Islam, refusing to surrender to falsehood or to bow before its people. Some of the lessons that we can draw from this tremendous sacrifice are:
1. One must never be hesitant in serving Islam. Rather, whenever the opportunity arises, we must take a stand for Islam and support its growth.
2. We must prioritise Islam and faith. Sacrificing our lives in the way of Allah Almighty must be a price that we are willing to pay for the elevation and preservation of Islam. In fact, it is a privilege to be a firm wall between truth and falsehood in the face of every desire and difficulty.
3. If a person is surrounded by the darkness of calamities, hardships, and difficulties during this short life, they must not become heedless of the divine laws; rather, they should dispel this darkness through the lamp of the Shari’ah.
4. We should offer salah in every state; whether at home or in travel, whether in safety or in the heat of battle, one must become accustomed to lowering his head in the court of Allah Almighty.
5. When faced with difficulties and calamities on the path of serving Islam, we must not worry and complain; rather, we must remember that: ‘اَلصَّبْرُ عِنْدَ الصَّدْمَةِ الْاُولٰی’ ‘Patience is at the first stroke of calamity,’ (Bukhari, vol. 1, p. 441, Hadith 1302).
6. Whenever you make a promise, protect it against the stain of treachery and seal it with the stamp of fulfilment and loyalty.
7. After attaining the everlasting bounty of Islam and faith, one must not place around his neck the chains of lying, backbiting, deception, oppression, and violation of the rights of Allah Almighty or the creation.
8. Islam is a religion of peace, so do not oppress anyone, not even animals. However, one must take measures to protect their own life and honour.
9. The Muslim loves the Quran and revels in its recitation, never abandoning it – just like Imam Husayn, whose blessed head continued to recite the Quran while mounted on a spear.
10. Women should not succumb to wailing and other un-Islamic acts when struck with a calamity. Recall the dignity and grace with which the sanctified women from the Prophet’s family handled cataclysmic events; they witnessed the entire tragedy of Karbala yet, they never wailed, beat their chests, pulled their hair, or unveiled themselves. They instead remained steadfast, manifesting through their conduct that ‘The pleasure of the Creator is above all.’
May Allah Almighty allow us to remember this great favour of the martyrs of Karbala and allow us to walk in their footsteps. اٰمین