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    Imam husain's revolution Imam husain's revolution Document Transcript

    • IMAM HUSAINS REVOLUTION (Analytical Review) BY YUSUF FADHL TEHRAN -IRAN.
    • Published by:World Organization for Islamic Services P.O. Box No. 11365-1545, Tehran - IRAN.
    • Dear Reader, The book you now have in hand is one of themany Islamic publications distributed by this Organ-ization throughout the world in different languageswith the aim of conveying the message of Islam tothe people of the world. You may read this book carefully and shouldyou be interested to have further study on suchpublications you can contact us through a letter.Naturally, if we find you to be a keen and ener-getic reader we shall give you a deserving responsein sending you some other publications of thisOrganization.
    • You may express your views on this publicationand the subject matter discussed in it, and how faryou have benefited from it or which part of thesubject matter has proved useful to you and yourenvironment. You will be able, in this manner, tointroduce yourself as one of our good and activereader. Meanwhile, you can keep our address at thedisposal of your friends and those individuals in-terested in Islamic studies. Publication Secretary World Organization for Islamic Services. ( WOFIS)
    • In the Name of Allah, The All-compassionate, The All-merciful Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all being; the All-compassionate, the All-merciful; the Master of the Day of Judgement;. Thee only we serve, and to Thee alone we pray for succour; Guide us in the straight path; the path of those whom Thou hast blessed, not of those against whom Thou art wrathful, nor of those who are astray. O Allah! send your blessings to the head of your messengers and the last of your prophets,Muhammad and his pure and cleansed progeny. Also send your blessings to all your prophets and envoys.
    • CONTENTS Foreword ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .. .1Introduction ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 3Islamic Message ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 4Who is Imam Husain? ... ... ... ... ... ... 5Who is Yazid? ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .. 9Origins of Deviation ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 10I mam Alis Reforms ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 20 1. Administration 2. Protection of Rights 3. Fiscal and Monetary PolicyMuawiyas Reign ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 23 1. Authority 2. Terrorism 3. Islamic Concepts and Laws 4. Appointing YazidI mam Hasans Policy .... ... ... ... ... ... 28Yazids Claim ... ... .... ... ... ... ... ... ... 30The Revolutions Motives .... ... ... ... ... 31The Revolutions Procedure .... ... ... ... ... 33The Revolutions Results ... .... ... ... ... ... 35
    • I NTRODUCTION This survey of the unique revolution of ImamHusain (p.b.u.h.) is analytical in essence. The purposeof this essay is to give a qualitative rather thanquantative account. It has dealt with the causes,policy and results of this eternal revolution. This isdone in the hope of unveiling the startling aspects ofthe revolutions message which is often neglected inits traditional commemoration. In being confronted with this event, many questionsneed to be answered. First, why did this revolutiontake place? What were its implications and procedures?And what were its conclusive results?The answers may provide a guiding light on which people would formulate their judgements, Although the following account is only a persons viewpoint which is not necessarily the complete answer. Nevertheless, it is based on the most popular and trustworthy authorities on the subject. The answers of the above questions are by nomeans easy, because they involve analysis of theprevailing conditions before and after the revolution.indeed comprehensive answers would require volumesi n order that one may be satisfied. Not to mentionthe stormy and turbulent events of the time whichadd substantial difficulties in the way of objectiveresearch work. 2
    • To understand Imam Husains personality and thecollective culture of the society, a summary of Islamsview of life is necessary. 3
    • THE ISLAMIC MESSAGE Islam is a philosophy of life. It gives reasons and aset purpose for living. Furthermore, it defines the bestways to secure progress and happiness. This is done byelevating the spiritual side and satisfying the materialneeds of people. Islam considers man as a viceroy of God on earth.This status is a fine one, but it is also critical for therequirements must be satisfied. Thus, he is in anenvied position, and consequently his acts andbehaviour are expected to conform with the highlevel he is occupying. The Islamic concepts and laws are inseperableparts of the Islamic ideology. They are the practicalexpression of Islam in society and life in - general.These concepts and laws are essentially concernedwith harmonizing peoples relationships among them-selves, with other beings, and above all with theCreator. The basic Islamic outlook to this life is that ofan introductory course. This worldly life is viewed asa prelude to another eternal life. Therefore, thisworld is a preparatory stage for people in order toattain the spiritual level which permits them to enter 4
    • Paradise. The other side of the picture is the horrorof Hell for people who misuse the powers at theirdisposal. Hence, success and failure are not measuredwith this worldly or materialistic supremacy. TheI slamic measure differs from materialistic standardby accounting for the life hereafter. The satisfactionof God is the sublime aim which surpasses all otheri nclinations and wishes. This is by no accountneglecting materialistic supremacy, but putting iti n its rightful place. It is with the satisfaction of Godthat Muslims seek materialistic supremacy. WHO IS IMAM HUSAIN? Imam Husains life and status in the Islamichistory are formidable. Indeed, it is not of obscuritybut because of the vitality and the significance ofhis contributions. The following account is only avery brief record of his qualities. He was one of two sons of Imam Ali and Fatimah, the daughter.of the Prophet (p.b.u.t.). Hisfather, Imam Ali, needs no introduction. The leastknown of him as to be acknowledged by the far andnear and by his foes and admirers. He was openlydeclared by the Prophet as the Commander of thefaithfulls.Needless to mention his knowledge, bravery,steadfastness, brotherhood to the Prophet, justiceand piety. Fatimah was the dearest daughter to her father (p.b.u.t.). Al-Tirmidhi narrated through Usamah ibn Zaid that the Prophet (p.b.u.h.a.h.f.) said The 5
    • dearest member of my family to me is Fatimah".She was declared by the Prophet as the master ofall women in the whole world. She and her husbandwere members of the family who were signified fortheir qualities and roles. They are examples ofi nterest to Muslims, men and women. Their rolewas an extension of the Prophets role in the senseof leading the great cultural transformation from thedarkness of an infidels culture to the brightness ofheavenly light. Historians recorded the birth of Imam Husain asan exciting event for the Muslims at Madina and especially to the Prophet of God. He was evenconcerned with the name given to his grandsonHusain. And the news flared up in the sky, theMuslims congratulated each other for the new childwhom the Prophet considered as his own son. Thusthe Prophet once declared, "Husain is of myself and Iam of Husain, O, God be pleased with those whoplease Husain". This statement was not accidental orthe result of emotional strains as it is wronglyclaimed sometimes. This declaration came from aresponsible wise leader, the Prophet of God whowould never commit a mistake during the performanceof his Prophetic task. He was delivering the IslamicMessage and informing people of those who will actas springs and guardians for this Message in thefuture. Emotions and sentiments are not loose in aMuslims life, but are controlled by Islamic conceptsand ideals. There is always a criterion for like anddislike which evolves from the deeply rooted Islamic 6
    • concapts. Although Abu Lahab was the Uncle of theProphet, his infidelity made him cursed till the Dayof Judgement. The Prophet of God made anotherstatement which leaves no doubt of Imam Hasansand Husains role. He (p.b.u.h.a.h.f.) said "Hasan andHusain are the masters of youth in Paradise". Thiswas presented as a credential to the Muslim nation inorder to hold firm to their leadership. At a certain time the Muslims at Madina felt theIslamic Messages glory and good results. So that theyintended to reward the Prophet for his effort inguiding them. The gift they presented to the Prophet(p.b.u.h.a.h.f.) was some gold which they had collected.The Prophets answer came in the following verseswhich were revealed during this incident. "Say: Noreward do I ask of you for this except being kind tothose of kin" (23/42). Al-Kashaaf narrated that whenthis verse was revealed, people asked the Prophet"O Prophet of God, who are these of kin which thisverse makes their respect obligatory upon us?" TheProphet answered, "They are Ali, Fatimah, andtheir two sons". However, this did not imply dis-respect for other Muslims, companions or the rest ofkin to him. Looking objectively at the message of theverse it will indicate first of all reluctance to acceptmaterial reward. If a reward was not suitable then itcannot be restricted to material only. Hence, the versewas indicating respect to some specific people, notbecause they are his relatives as such. But the realreason behind this respect was to safeguard theIslamic Message. The role they assumed to play in 7
    • the Islamic history required such respect in order toenable them to perform their task. AI-Hakim narrated through Abu Saaid AI-Khidrithat the Prophet said, "He who dislikes us, we thefamily, God will place him in Hell". This implies thosewho dislike Islamic conduct and life. Jabir narrated that the Prophet in his speech afterperforming the last pilgrimage, said, "O people I amleaving the book of God and my family (Itrah) forguidance. If you hold fast to them, surely you willnever go astray". This Hadith was narrated throughsome twenty different sources of trusted chains ofnarrators. Muslim in his Sahih quoted some of them. Another striking Hadith obtained through AbuDhar where he quoted the Prophet saying, "O people,let my family act as a head of a body of you, and aseyes of a head among you." The last few Hadiths are impressive in manyrespects. First they were narrated by different sourcesof different inclinations which add to them extraweight. Secondly the same content of all indicatesthe consistency of the event. Imam Husain as already stated, was one member of the family of the Prophet. He was brought up in the Prophetic guidance where he received the direct concern of the Prophet. The ideal atmosphere where he had grown up with his grandfather, father, mother and elder brother was the highest level ever attained. 8
    • Thus he acquired wisdom, generosity, bravery, piety and letters. Fie occupied outstanding posts during his fathers reign in the Islamic State. During the terror and corruption which swept the MuslimWorld at the hands of the Umayads, he was the solehope of the Muslims to restore the establishment ofthe Islamic laws which would bring them prosperity,peace and happiness of the two worlds. He neverfailed the Muslims, but acted as expected of a greati dealogical leader and discharged his duty to the best. WHO IS YAZID? Yazid was the son of Muawiya ibn Abu Sufyan, fromthe family of Umayyah, one of Quraishs families.Abu Sufyan was acting as the chief adversary in theinfidels campaign against Islam. Muawiyas mother,Hind, ate the liver of Hamza, the Uncle of theProphet becasue of her burning hatred and beasthood.Muawiya too was an active opponent to Islam.Indeed, Abu Sufyans family was performing thestrategic, financial and boosting morale in the infidelscampaign against the Muslims. Their efforts, wealthand diplomacy were of great burden on preventingthe spread of Islam among Arab tribes. Time had lapsed and Mecca was suddenly beseigedwith enormous forces of the Muslims. The unbelieversat Mecca were struck with seeing the Muslim fighterswho had caught them unprepared. Thus, the infidelshad no choice but to abandon their arrogance whichhad prevented them from accepting Gods sovereignty.During this incident, historians recorded some peculiar 9
    • stories about Abu Safyans family. However, there isone thing certain that they accepted Islam un-willingly, and they were treated in a special way forthat. For instance, they were given extra donationsin order to gain their hearts towards Islam. Butwhether this generosity had any influence to producea change in their materialistic thinking is a differentmatter. Indeed subsequent events revealed no changein their way of thinking and life. Yazid was brought up in a family whose at-mosphere was electrified with emotions of its deadwho fought Islam. Besides seeing those Muslims whokilled them receiving full honour and respect by thewhole society. Not to mention the wasted wealth,i njured pride and stripped privileges of their family.However, Yazid had some unique qualities in theadverse sense. He was known as a playboy during hisyouth. Historians recorded him being drunk, com-mitting adultery and in general leading a verycorrupt life. Some even quoted Yazid saying, "Thefamily of Hashim staged a play to get a Kingdom.Actually there was neither news from God nor arevelation". Even if we discarded this extreme, thereis no escape from facing the rest of his shamefuldeeds and horrifying crimes. Not to mention his illegal claim to rule the Muslim World, or misusingMuslims money, or intrusion upon peoples dignityand lives. ORIGINS OF DEVIATION How did Muawiya ascend the ruling stage,and even 10
    • dare claiming the succession of the Prophet? Whathappened to the Muslim World to be silent at theassumption of power by an ignoble person like Yazid?Indeed, it is astonishing to witness the indifferenceand irresponsibility shown by the vast majority ofMuslims. Islamic values and ideals were as if totallyalien to the society. What has happened to thedynamic forces which had awakened the world? TheProphets voice had not yet died away regarding theresponsibility of Muslims. He once said, "He whosees a cruel governor, violating Gods laws, breakingHis Covenant, acting in contract to the Tradition ofthe Prophet, doing mischief and intruding uponpeoples rights, then does not try to change thatgovernor through action or speech, God has promisedhim a suitable place in Hell". We all may wonder over the causes of deviationwhich led to this deplorable situation. We know forsure that Islam is a perfect and practical religion.I slam is no doubt assured of guiding the Muslims to astable and prosperous life. However, the question ofdeficiency in the Islamic Message, or the way it wasconducted by the Prophet (p.b.u.h.a.h.f.) has no place.Therefore, the only possible errors are confined tothe subsequent status of the Muslims, their handlingof affairs, and their conformity to the Islamic laws;besides the natural obstacles encountered in thesequence of events. This topic is so large that it cannot be dealt withi n this short review. Nevertheless, it is inevitable to 11
    • have a few glances at it. It is well-known that theIslamic State extended its borders to vast areasembracing huge populations. The short time ofconquest made its cultural assimilation near toimpossible. Besides the language difficulties andprimitive means of communications and propa-gation. Many Arab tribes had even fought againstIslam after the Prophets departure to the nextworld, who were under the political influence ofIslam, It is needless to say that any real and thorough cultural transformation needs time as a basic factor.A complete transition from one culture to anothermight require generations before the new culture isfirmly established. The second factor in determiningany cultural change is the presence of the idealogicall eadership. The kind of leadership which has a deepi nsight into the message and potentially ready tosacrifice for its success. Naturally,, the idealogicall eader is expected to conform by the messages ordersotherwise, the aim of his presence would not berealized. The Muslims had elected Abu Bakr as the successorto the Prophet. The confused moves and events whichaccompanied the procedure of election was sadlyrecorded by all historians. This is by no means anobjection to or doubting the ability of a respectedcompanion in the category of Abu Bakr (may God bepleased with him) . But careful observation lead to theconclusion that Abu Bakr himself remarked that therewere other people who were more able than himself 12
    • for the task . it is indeed eye-catching in Islamic history themany incidents and Hadiths which encourage Muslimsto follow and proclaim the leadership of Imam Aliafter the Prophet. For instance, in Tafseer Abi Is-haqAhmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim AI-Nisabouri AI-Thaalibi wno died in 337 A.H. gave a commentaryon the following verse: "Your guardians are God, His Prophet, and the believers who pray and give alms while prostrate to God. Regarding those who disobey God, His Prophet and the believers, the party of God are the victors" ( 5:58,59) He quoted Abu Dhar AI-Ghifari stating, "I heard the Prophet (p.b.u.h.a.h.f.) with these ears or would be deaf, and saw him with these eyes or would be blind; the Prophet once said, "Ali is the leader of the best believers, and the killer of un- believers, victor who supports him, and weak whodoesnt ". Abu Dhar added, "One day we werepraying with the Prophet, a beggar had entered themosque. The beggar was requesting people for helpbut none helped him except Imam Ali. While ImamAli was offering his prayer, he donated his silverring by pointing his finger to the poor man and thel atter took it filled with joy. After this incident theProphet prayed humbly to God and said,"O God, mybrother Moses asked You, "O my God, expand mybreast; ease my task for me; and remove the impe-diment from my speech, so that they may understandwhat I say; and give me a Minister from my family, 13
    • Aaron, my brother; add to my strength through him, and make him share my task that we celebrate thy praise without stint, and remember thee without stint". And You answered: "Granted is thy prayer,O Moses". "O God I am your servant and Prophet. Expand my breast; ease my task; and give me aMinister from my family, Ali, my brother; add to mystrength through him, and make him share my task".Abu Dhar concluded: "By God, as soon as theProphet completed his prayer the trustworthy Gabrielcame with the following verses: "Your guardians areGod, His Prophet and the believers who pray andgive alms while prostrate to God . . . !" (5:58, 59). IbnSinan narrated this incident in Sahih AI Bukhari. IbnAbbas narrated this story in Asbab AI-Nuzol by ImamWahidi. All interpreters of Kanz AI-Umaal held thesame opinion of the cause of the revelation of this. On different occasions, the Prophet (p.b.u.h.a.h.f.)told Imam Ali, "You are to me as Aaron was toMoses, but there is not Prophet after me". The consistency of narrations leave no room fordoubt that Imam Ali was chosen by God and HisProphet to be the idealogical leader after the Prophetsdeparture. A noteworthy point is the number andvariety of people who confirmed the authenticity ofthese stories. Perhaps the most outstanding occasionwhich sank into peoples memories is the Prophetsspeech during his last pilgrimage. In a large con-gregation of Muslims he declared, "He whoever I amhis master, Ali is his master too. O God assist whoeversupports him and disgrace those who have enmity 14
    • towards him". Indeed, these are only a few quotationswhich Imam Ali had from God and the Prophet. Hence it can be safely concluded that Imam Alisexclusion from his assigned duty marked the firstmajor mistake. The inevitable consequences were aslow deviation which ended up in a turbulent streamof events which no one was able to exercise controlover. Abu Bakrs reign lasted two years or so, whichwas an eventful epoch. The dangers beseiging theMuslims were so great that the very existance of theMuslim community was put between two brackets.But that danger was eliminated by the many sacrificesof Muslims in lives and substance. Umar ibn AI-Khattab was appointed by Abu Bakr as the Caliph, and the former ruled for ten years. His reign is particularly important because of the vast changes and events which took place during his time. The conquest of vast areas brought enormous wealth to the Muslims. But the way this wealth was handled had created complex problems which forced Umar to admit their grave conquences. Indeed, he tried to reform the laws but it was too late to act for he was murdered. Umar ibn Al-Khattab was the first personi n charge of Muslim affairs to start uneven donation ofrations among Muslims. He used to prefer some peopleto others for various reasons which generated socialclasses and sparked off enmities and rifts in the Muslimsociety. The laws were not in conformity with the 15
    • Tradition of the Prophet or even with Abu Bakrs pro- cedure. Umar was sad when he saw the unrest and rifts in the Muslim community and declared "I was informed that people have distinct gatherings. When two sit to-gether they talk of the different groupings and separate entities. By God that is harmful to your religion, honour and unity". Realising the causes of this socialphenomenon he added, "I used to allure people in order to gain their goodwill by preferring some toothers. But if I lived this year, the distribution ofwealth will be even among all people as the Prophetand Abu Bakr used to do." A rather serious measure taken by the CaliphUmar ibn AI-Khattab was his appointment of sixnominees to the Caliphate post. This, it is believedhad induced a desire in everyone of the nominees toascend one day to this powerful and honourableposition. Thus it was a matter of time for everyoneand they were engaged in preparing the ground fortheir ascent. Uthman ibn Affan was chosen by Abdul Rahmanibn Auf to be the next Caliph, after being turneddown by Imam Ali. Imam Ali refused to accept theCaliphate post because Abdul Rahman ibn Auf put acondition which meant retaining the status quo andpreventing any radical change. Uthmans policies were resented by the vastmajority of Muslims. His monetary policy was thefocus point of resentment, because he donated large 16
    • amounts of money to his relatives while the rest ofthe people were left empty handed (MurujAl-dhahab2/241 by AI-Masaudi AI-Ansab and AI-Ashraf (5/25,-28,48,52) by AI-Baladhiri). Indeed, the governors whowere assisting in administering the country had neither ability nor piety. It is believed that they were appointed because they were of kin to him. For i nstance, AI-Waleed ibn Aqabah ibn Abi Muaeet was appointed to govern Kufa. AI-Waleed was reputed to be a drunkard and people were very dissatisfiedwith his behaviour. Peoples pressure was tremendousthat Uthman had to yield and finally replaced him byanother one. The new governor was Saaid ibn AI-Aswho had the famous statement "Iraq is Quraishsgarden, we take or leave of it whatever we like" (Muroj AI-dhahab 2/346 by AI-Masaudi). Muawiyawas governing Damascus and Jordan during thereign of Umar, Uthman added to his state Hams,Palestine, and Jazera. Egypts governor was Abdullahibn Abi Sirah. All the previous governors are Uthmansrelatives. The most striking feature of this bunch of rulerswas their contempt for peoples rights and dignity.They simply looked at the whole Muslim country astheir private property, as it is shown in AI-Waleedsstatement. Moreover the principal treasury at Madina was notutilised in its rightful ways. Many Muslims like thetreasurers trust, Ammar ibn Yasir, Abu Dhar and 17
    • similar distinguished companions objected stronglyagainst Uthman"s monetary policies. Uthmans replyto those people was, "We take from the treasurywhatever we want inspite of some peoples objections". These policies were not only foreign to Islamicconduct and ideals but caused tremendous sufferingsand hardships to the majority of Muslims. ResponsibleMuslims played their role in warning Uthman againstthese deviations but their advice was in vain. Thus,the situation reached its danger point one day andexploded which resulted in Uthmans murder. This actof violence as I believe could have been avoided byusing some peaceful method. The chaotic conditions and the deterioration of the Muslims materialandsocialstatusforcedthemtorethink their past, present and future. Perhaps it waslike a film passing in their minds, reminding them ofevents which were connected with their presence. Itis normally the last incident and last speech whichremain alive in peoples memories. Indeed, it was theProphets famous speech in Khum during his lastpilgrimage which was recalled. Muslims rememberedthat significant event where there were more than onehundred thousand Muslims present and the Prophetwent briefing the Islamic message tothem. In the middleof that anxious crowd, listening carefully to everyword i.e. (p.b.u.h.a.h.f) uttered, and watching everysign he made. The Prophet took Ali ibn abi Talibshand and raised it while saying "O, people who- 18
    • ever I am his master, then Ali is his master too. O,God, assist those who support him and disgrace thosewho do not". Thus the Muslims found their way out suddenlyafter the cloud of events disappeared. They hurriedlywent to Imam Ali (p.b.u.h.) calling him to performhisassigned duty. But the abnormal situations existingat the time did not make his task easy. Indeed, thevery acceptance of his duty during such situationswas not healthy. Imam Alis reply to the Muslimswas negative. He (p.b.u.h.) said "Leave me aside andseek someone else. We are heading at a subject whichhas many facets and various colours, neither the heartswould rise to, nor the minds would be firm upon. Thehorizons are black and gloomy while reason is rejected.You should know that my acceptance means what Iknow will he applied and obeyed. I shall not conformto ones ideas or listen to others reproachment. Onthe other hand, leaving measidemeans I am one of you,listening and conforming to whom you have appointedfor your affairs. I am better a minister than commanderfor you". In this speech, perhaps, he (p.b.u.h.)wanted to gauge peoples interests and determination.Moreover, he showed his disinterest for power andruling if that means an aim by itself. But the vastmajority of Muslims were determined to see theProphets words and will implemented. They left nochoice to Imam Ali but to accept his rightful roleof being the idealogical leader to the Muslim com-munity. 19
    • Imam Alis Reform The major problems which were confronted at thetime were the existence of a corrupt and incompetentadministration, unjust social privileges, and wide fin-ancial gap between the rich and the poor. Thus,Imam Alis reforms covered these three major fields.1. Administration All previous governors were instantly expelled fromtheir posts. And the following people were put incharge, Uthman ibn Haneef for Basrah,Sahl ibn Haneeffor Syria, Qais ibn Saad ibn Ubadah for Egypt, andMousa AI-Ashari for Kufa. It is noteworthy that allthe mentioned governors were not from Quraishtribe. This was bitterly taken by Quraish who wereaccustomed to rule andget the lion share of money andauthority It is not out of place to mention that thenew governors were not only known for their pietyand good conduct, but possessed sound administra-tive abilities. However, it must be taken into accountthat the conditions in which they were operating andthe unstable situation of that period gave them nochance to manifest fully their talents. But, stillthe marks which they left in the society were so deepthat they survived and remembered for generations.2. Protection of Rights The rights of Muslims whether social or financial 20
    • were carefully observed and protected. Thus Imam Ali(p.b.u.h.) declared "O people, I have the same rightsand obligation as the rest of you" Therefore, he cutthe way of every intruder who wanted to exploithis position or kinship or religious reputation. ImamAli again stated, "It should be known that whoeveris an immigrant (Muhajir) or a supporter (from Ansar),who accompanied the Prophet (p.b.u.h.a.h.f.), andthink he is better than others for his companionship,then his goodness will be rewarded by God in theHereafter. Every person who believes in God and HisProphet is entitled to the same rights and obligations.Money belongs to God which must be divided equallyamong people. No one will get a greater share thanothers, those pious people would get their reward inthe Hereafter".3. Fiscal and Monetary Policy The extravagent monetary policy of Uthman whichaccumulated the wealth among his relatives andassociates, had seriously imbalanced the society.However, Imam Ali (p.b.u.h.) had to take some drasticmeasures against the existing unnatural imbalance inthe society. Thus he warned all people, "I shall followthe Prophets Tradition and execute whatever he hadcommanded, hence, every gift which Uthman gave,or Gods money which he donated will be returnedto the treasury. Nothing will cancel its belonging to thetreasury even if it was married with, or distributedi n the wide country. Justice must be implemented. 21
    • if someone feels hard to accept justice then injusticeis harder to accept". Moreover, he condemned prodigals who run afterthe pleasures of this life only while disguising inreligious masks. In this respect Imam Ali said, "Thereare some people whom life has absorbed completely.They have built many houses, made rivers, rodebeautiful horses, and took to themselves slave-women which brought disgrace upon them. WheneverI prevent them from indulging in bad deeds and givethem no more than their rights, they turn angry andobject furiously. They say Ali ibn Abi Talib hasprevented us our rights". However these new policies irritated the Quraishite.They no longer enjoyed their garden of Iraq and therest of the Muslim country. Even what they havealready gained was endangered of restoration to theMuslims treasury. Therefore, Imam Alis policieswere aiming at stripping them completely of theirsocial privileges, financial statusand authority. Quraishwas not pleased with the new regime and workedcontinuously to hinder the stabilization of the newauthority. Dissents and wars were launched succes-sively shaking the whole State, economically, sociallypolitically and morally. Meanwhile, the poles ofQuraish who were campaigning against Imam Alisrule, realized that they were fighting Islam again.it was not Imam Ali as a person they were fighting,but it was the ideals and policies which he (p.b.u.h.) 22
    • had advocated. Thus the UmayyadswhoacceptedIslam under various conditions but belief foundthat their materialistic thinking cannot reconcilewith Islamic values. Hence, they decided to distortIslamic values and ideals, since opposing Islam openlywas fatal as they had experienced previously. SoMuawiya had ordered the formation of a committeeto fabricate Hadiths and distort the interpretationof Quran. Five years had lapsed which were full of violent events. The battle of camel in Basrah, Sifsin battle against Muawiya, Nahrawan ballte against Khawarij, and many other campaigns which were continuously on the move. Thus the opposition was able to feed unrest practically in every part of the Islamic State, which shook the authority of the new administration. Imam Ali (p.b.u.h.) was murdered at Kufa mosque, and Muawiya was given access to rule the whole country. The circumstances in which Muawiya assumed power will be discussed later. Muawiyas Reign The following points are the main features of his rule: 1. Authority Muawiya assumed authority by sheer force. He did not hide this fact and put it plainly in his address 23
    • at Kufa. He said "O people of Kofah, do you thinkI fought you to establish prayers or giving alms,( Zakat) or perform pilgrimage?" He continued, "Iknow you pray, pay alms, and perform pilgrimage.Indeed, I fought you in order to command you withcontempt, and God has given me that against yourwishes. You must be certain that whoever has killedany of us, then he will be killed. And the contractbetween us of amnesty is under these feet of mine".2. Terrorism Muawiyas rule was terror in the whole Muslimland. This terrorism was spread by sending manyconvoys in various regions of the country. It wasnarrated that Muawiya summoned Sufyan ibn AufAI-Ghamidi, one of his army commanders, and said,"This Army is under your command, proceed alongthe river Euphrate till Heet. Any resistance in the wayshould be crushed, and then invade Anbar. After thatpenetrate deep into Madaain. O Sufyan, these invasionswill frighten the Iraqis and please those who like us.Such campaigns would attract frightened people toour side. Kill whoever having different opinions fromours, loot their villages and demolish their houses.Indeed, the War against money is similar to killingbut is more painful to their hearts". Another commander, Basar ibn Artat, was sum-moned and ordered to proceed towards Hijaz andYemen. Muawiya instructed him, "Proceed to Madina 24
    • and expel its people, Meanwhile, people in the waywho are not from our camp should be terrorized.When you enter Madina, let it appear as if you aregoing to kill them. Make it appear that your aim is toexterminate them. Then pardon them. Terrorize thepeople around Mecca and Madina and scatter them".3. Islamic Concepts and Laws During Muawiyas reign even basic human rightswere denied to people. No-one is free to express hisopinion. Spies were employed to terrorize people,besides the army and police who spared no opportunityto crush people and silence their voices. There aresome documents which reveal Muawiya"s instructionsto his governors. For instance, the following letterwas addressed to all judges. "Do not accept thewitness of Alis followers or his descendents in courts."Another letter stated "If you have evidence that someperson likes Ali and his family, then omit his namefrom the rations of Zakat". Another letter continued,"Punish whoever is suspected to follow Ali and bringhis house down" Such was the situation of Muawiyasrule. Historians who were recording these waves oTof terror described them as unprecedented in history.People were so frightened that they did not mind beingcalled atheists, thieves, but not followers of ImamAli. Another facet of Muawiyas rule was the discrim-ination between Arabs and non-Arabs. It is an estab-lished fact that non-Arabs during Muawiyas reign 25
    • were treated as third class citizens. Although they embraced Islam but still had to pay Kharaj and Jizyah! Non-Arab soldiers in the state armies used to fight for bare subsistence level. Once a dispute between an Arab and a non-Arab was presented to a court. The Judge was Abdullah ibn Amir. During the procedure, the non-Arab sadly remarked to his op- ponent. "May God does not multiply people of your kind" (meaning Arabs). The Arab answered him light heartedly. "0 God, increase their populationamong us".(meaning non-Arabs). People who werepresent asked the Arab in a state of bewilderment"" How do you pray for their increase while he praysfor your decease?" The Arab answered "Yes indeed,they clean our streets, make shoes for our animals, andweave our clothes ". Perhaps the most dangerous mischief which Mua-wiya had embarked upon was the fabriaction ofHadiths. When he was facing Imam Ali (p.b.u.h) asan adversary, he found his case a hopeless one. Hispast was dark and shameful, while that of Imam Aliwas glorious and shining. In order to sustain hiscampaign and boast his followers, Muawiya had toattract some weak character companions, and em-ployed them to fabricate Hadiths. Naturally, his aimwas to boast his campaign, challenge adversaries, andlegalize his claim to rule. Muawiyas order was not tol et any Hadith or incident in favour of Imam Ali butto fabricate a similar one and attribute it to Uthman,Umar and Abu Bakr. The second phase of thispsychological warfare was to put Hadiths in Muawiyas 26
    • favour. The third phase was to silence people and keepthem calm at what he did whether in wrongingMuslims or his violation of Islamic laws. This trend of fabrication of Hadiths, was constitutinga grave danger to the integrity of Islam. Hadith isconsidered as the second source of Islamic legis-lation after Quran. Therefore, it was very importantto divert this danger. The exposition of this trend tothe Muslims at large was very vital. This was done bydisgracing those who embarked upon this terriblemischief and nurtured it. Thus, Imam Husainsrevolution as I can see it. Few samples of the fabricated Hadiths are thefollowing. Through Abu Hurairah, the Prophet said"God has trusted three for his revelation: myself,Jabriel and Muawiya". I wonder what God was doingfor the revelation when Muawiya was part of theinfidels camp. Again, Abu Hurairah narrated that theProphet had given Muawiya an arrow and told him"Take this arrow until we meet in Paradise". What alucky arrow to enter Paradise. Abdullah ibn Umar claimed that the Prophet said"You will see greed after me, and things which youwould disagree with" People asked "O Prophet ofGod, then what do you order us?" The Prophet said,"Do the governors right and ask God for yours"Another fabricated Hadith said to be narrated byAbdullah ibn Umar "Endure what you do not like of 27
    • your governors, because if you separate from thegroup (Jamaa) one foot and then died, you wouldhave died as an unbeliever" These fabricated Hadiths are not only principallycontradicting the Quran and other verified Hadithsbut are calling Muslims to be slaves of their rulers.This was exactly what the Ummayadswere aimingat.4. Appointing Yazid Muawiya was not ruling as an individual, but wasrepresenting a way of thinking different in naturefrom that of Islam. However, he was not content tol eave the ruling stage without making sure that it wasproperly looked after. His pragmatic and materialisticmind drove him to prepare the crowning of his son,Yazid. Although he made many promises that hewould not contemplate installing Yazid. The con-ditions at the time were not suitable because stillthere were Muslims who were politically concious andwanted to see the restoration of Islamic laws andvalues. Hence, Muawiya had a difficult job to performbefore leaving this world. Indeed, he tried his best forbuying allegiance to his son of Army commanders,chiefs of tribes and distinguished personalities. Buthis efforts failed with many, and he left generalinstructions of the way to deal with them. Imam Hasans Policy Wars and internal strife during five long years 28
    • caused tremendous strain among people. Imam Alisspeeches at Kufa were manifesting this phenomenonclearly. People were tired of wars, because they wereworn out economically. The murder of Imam Ali wasdisastrous in the political sense. The apparent disputebetween the two parties was symbolized by ImamAli and Muawiya. The murder of Imam Ali (p.b.u.h.) gave Muawiya a stronger hand in the politicalfield, since his opponent had disappeared fromthe stage. Although Imam Hasan assumed authority afterhis father, his power was not established. Thus, someIraqi tribes defected to Muawiyas camp when the latter promised them high donations and animated theirhopes of success and good reward. However the scenein Kufa was hopeless, the majority of people werelonging for peace. They did not realize at the timethe price of peace they were wishing. Neverthelessthe political scene required nothing but wise manipu-lation and patience. The Iraqis and the rest of theMuslim World seemed to be in need of direct experi-ence with the Umayyad rule. Imam Hasan (p.b.u.h.) gave them this chance in order to polarize thempermanently against the Umayyads. Besides, in suchconditions, the most daring, Islamically consciouswho would get killed. Imam Hasan wanted to sparesuch people from being killed and utilize them fora greater task. The task which the purity of Islamdepended upon, and the existence of Islamic idealsand practices in the society. Those people were en-trusted with the propagation of Islamic concepts, 29
    • unveiling We un-Islamic character of the Umayyadsand expose their deviation to the society. Thus Imam Hasans answer to Hijr ibn Uday AI- Kindi came "I found people wishing to reconcile and and disliked war. I did not want to go through some- thing which they disliked. I reconciled especially forthe sake of our followersto be spared from being killed. However, I have only postponed the war, and God has a surprise every day". it is noteworthy that Imam Hasans move was pol-itically sound. He actually scored many points againstMuawiya in that incident. First, heshowed his keen con-cern for Muslims lives and well being. Secondly, hedisplayed his integrity and disinterest in power if thatmeant an aim as such. Thirdly, he respected the cont-ract while Muawiya broke it as soon as i t was signed.Fourthly, the very conduct of Muawiyas ruling andhis clique exposed the seriousness of his danger andand put people incontinuous struggle against his power.Thus, Muawiyas religious mask was stripped off, andat least, responsible people had no doubt about hisreal character. Therefore the danger of his deeds waspartly eliminated. Yazids Claim Muawiya was busy preparing the instalment ofYazid as his heir in ruling the Muslim world. Inwriting to Imam Husain he found no pleasant answerto his demands. Thus, Muawiya reminded his son 30
    • to beware of Imam Husain. Yazid took his fathersadvice and promptly wrote to his governor at Madina,AI-Waleed ibn Utabah to secure recognition from ImamHusain. But AI-Waleeds efforts were in vain. ImamHusains reply was definite and direct. He said "We,the family of the Prophet, the essence of the messageand the visiting place of angles . . . . While Yazid is aa corrupt, drunkard, murderer and fostering his sins.A person like me cannot obey a person like him". Yazids ascent to power was arranged by his father.Thus all the power at his disposal was transfered toYazid. And the latter used every means to obtainsubmission for his unholy policies of oppression andaggression. Therefore, Yazid had no legal rightwhatsoever in his claims and demands. On the cont-rary, he was responsible for many illegal deeds whichdemand scorn and required punishment. The Revolutions Motives The motives for revolution were numerous. Somewere direct grievances of the general people whileothers were ideological. The following were the mostapparent:-1. There were many defects and drawbacks but themost urgent one was the attemptto distort Islamicconcepts and ideals. This aspect was of extreme im-portance and preoccupied the minds of responsibleMuslims at the time. The fabrication of Hadithwas all too common, which had a poisonous effect on 31
    • the lives of Muslims. This, was giving the Umayyadsfor a while a free hand to carry out their inhumandeeds and policies. The mask of religion which theyused to hide their un-Islamic conduct was extremelydangerous. In the long run, this could have changedIslamic concepts of ruling and inverted social ideals.Thus, stripping off this mask and exposing the trueUmayyads picture was of utmost necessity.2. The States structure was built on an un-Islamicbasis. Quraish was born to rule, Arabs were secondclass citizens, and non-Arabs constituted the base ofthe societys pyramid. That was the general socialpicture of the Muslim world under the Umayyadsdynasty. Freedom of thought and expression weredenied, When one dared to express an opinioncontrary to that of the Umayyads, prison became hishome, his property was robbed, and even his life wasat stake.3. The Umayyads considered the Muslim world to betheir own property. The alms (Zakat) and otherIslamic dues were collected, but no-one knows or canquestion where that money went. Large gifts anddonations were given to few cruel governors andtribal chiefs in order to secure their allegiance. Largesums of money were wastefully spent on racing,gambling, wine-making, and buying slave women toentertain high-class people in power. Hence, themajority of Muslims were left near starvation levelwhile the ruling group all enjoyed the social andmaterial privileges. 32
    • 4. The Muslims had apparently got used to the un- Islamic rule of the Umayyads as time passed by. Theirresistance slackened and some people began adjustingthemselves to the new conditions. Hence, the revol-utionary spirit of Islam began to disappear graduallyfrom Muslims lives and thoughts. Therefore, a newstimulant to their souls was necessary to activatetheir lives and try to restore, Islamic conduct to thesociety. The Revolutions Procedure Imam Husain made no doubt of his intentions tofight the regime of the Umayyads. The speeches hedelivered at Mecca were consistent. Besides, the willwhich he entrusted to his brother Muh ibn AI-Hanafiawho remained at Madina. That will, in fact, was aformal declaration of the revolution. He (p.b.u.h.).wrote "I am not campaigninq for unwillingness toaccept righteousness, or having intent to do mischiefand suppress people. Indeed, I have decided to reformmy grandfathers nation. I want to enjoin what isright and forbid dishonour. People who accept mycall for being right, then God is the Master of right-eous people. Those who reject my call, then I shall besteadfast till God passes His Judgement. Indeed, Godis the best Judge". During his travels to Karbala, he never ceased callingpeople to strive for the Islamic ideals of socialjustice and government, and to wage war against 33
    • deviation from Islamic conduct. In his speech (p.b.u.h) at Karbala, he quoted the Prophet (p.b.u.a.h.f.)saying "He who sees a cruel governor violating Godslaw, breaking his covenant, acting in contrast to theTradition of the Prophet, mischevous and suppressingpeople, then he does not try to change that ruler byaction or speech; indeed God has promised with anappropriate place in Hell. "O people those Umayyadshave pledged allegiance to the Devil and left Godsobedience. They have spread corruption, suspendedthe application of lslamic laws, and taken to themselvesMuslims wealth. Besides forbidding what is permittedand allowing what is forbidden." Imam Husains speeches were aiming directly atstripping the religious mask of the Umayyads regime.He was introducing himself to people and explaininghis message to the nation. Indeed, the personality ofImam Husain and his religious reputation was beyondquestion or doubt. Therefore, no wonder of carryingsuch a great task while many distinguished peoplewere not ready to raise a finger. Any objective study of this great revolution willshow that something unique about its procedure andresults. The leader predicts his own death before evensetting a foot in the march! But, he goes on carryingout all necessary preparations for his campaign.Imam Husains address to the people at Mecca wasthis: "O people, as if my body be cut to pieces byspears and wolves between Al-Nawawees and Karbala. 34
    • . . . There is no question of the day which was alreadywritten. Gods satisfaction is our aim, we the familyof the Prophet". The way Imam Husain and his Companions foughtwas a glorious record of bravery and nobility. Theywere only seventy fighting men against thousands ofthe Umayyads Army. Even with this imbalance offighting power, the Umayyads Army used the mostvicious and ignoble methods in fighting this tiny camp.The Umayyads Army went to the extent of preventingthem drinking water and kept them for three daystortured in the burning heat of the desert. But, the firmfaith of Imam Husain and his followers in their causewas never shaken. Thus they set an ever-shiningtorch of Jihad against deviation from Islamic conductand smashed, the myth of the Umayyads of keepingallegience to deviated regimes. The Revolutions Results What had Imam Husains revolution meant inhistory? Some people who are not familier with itsmotives, innocently inquire about its results. Othershave even questioned its wisdom that striking at amighty force like the Umayyads was fatal. Although the revolutions motives were alreadydiscussed, but a brief review of the changes in theMuslim World after Imam Husains revolution isappropriate at this stage. 35
    • 1. Murdering Imam Husain (p.b.u.h.) the grandson ofthe Prophet (p.b.u.h.a.h.f.) was a great shock to thewhole Muslim world. This is not to mention the wayhe was murdered or the treatment.given to his familywho had the highest esteem and respect of allMuslims. Consequently, all Muslims dissociatedthemselves from the Umayyads deeds and policies.indeed, who want to share in the certain curse uponthose who murdered the family of the Prophet?Thus, this revolution had done the task of unveilingthe Umayyads un-Islamic character to the generalpublic and left no doubt in any persons heart aboutthe Umayyads substance. Therefore, the conceptswhich the Umayyads were propagating in order todistort the ideals of Islam found no listening ear anylonger. Hence, diverting the Umayyads mischief ofchanging Islamic concepts and ideals.2. Imam Husains revolution set a lively example as tothe duty of Muslims in such conditions. It had deeplypenetrated peoples hearts, and produced great painsfor not doing their Islamic duty. This feeling whichpained people all the time transformed into rep-entence and then to an open revolt against theUmayyads regime. Thus, the revolution provided thestimulant to move their spirit and set it in a dynamicmovement. Indeed, the Islamic movement was put toa new gear throughout the rest of the Islamic history.A series of revolutions manifesting Imam Husainsrevolutionary spirit and reforms emerged atsuccessiveintervals. Tawabeens revolution took place immed- 36
    • iately after Karbalas tragedy. Another revolution atMadina was aiming at doing away with the Umayyadsdeviated regimeAl-Mukhtar Al-Thaqafi led another revol- ution which stormed the Umayyads regime in Iraq. He was able to punish all principal collaborators in thecampaign against Imam Husain in Iraq. Mitraf ibn AI- Mughiras revolution against Hajjaj and Abdul Mal- ik was another result. However, there were a chain of revolutions in all parts of the Muslim world whicheventually had done away with the Umayyads regime. Imam Husains revolution was the principalslogan of the revolutionaries against the Umayyads. The Abasides came and soon their conduct was ex-posed as not that which the family of the Prophetwere advocating. They realized that the revolutionresults were stolen and before they could do anything,the main peisonalitieswhich carried the revolt throughwere treacherously eliminated by murder, poison andimprisonment. The attempts to restore Islamic conduct were neverceased throughout Islamic history. Bitter experiencesand intermittent material failures are natural results ofstruggle. Most important is the triumph of the Islamicspirit against intimidation and attempts to obscure itsshining face and glory. A ceaseless revolution in Muslimlives is a reality, which the enemies of Islam failed toextinguish. The secret key of this blessed revolutionlies in the firm faith in God. The unshakable convictionwhich puts material supremacy and gain in an inferiorposition to Gods satisfaction. These ideals were dem- 37
    • onstrated by Imam Husain when the Muslims wese inneed of such an example most. The revolution of Imam Husain was not solely forchanging a government. If it was so, then it would bewrong to call it a revolution. Imam Husain wasadvocating a drastic change in the social set up, theeconomic and political structures, and refining Islamicconcepts from foreign ideas which had crept intoMuslims minds and thoughts. In other words, ImamHusain wanted to change the life of Muslims to be inconformity with Islamic laws and ideals. Indeed, thisexplains one main reason for why Imam Husain waslet down by the tribes of Kufa after being promisedsupport, and his call was ignored by the rest of theMuslim world. Hence, a revolution means a drasticchange in ones life or the collective life when appliedto a large scale. 38
    • REFERENCES 1. Quran Interpreted - Arberry Glorious Quran - Pickthall. 2. Imam Husains revolution (Arabic) - Muhammad Mahdi Shams AI-Din. It is the most up-to-date account on the subject. Its material has been used extensively for the booklet. 3. Imam Husains revolution (Arabic) - Abdul Hadi AI- Fadhli. It is a small book but praisworthy for its quality. 4. Sayyid Al-Shuhadaa (Arabic) - Abbas Mahmod AI-Aqqad. 5. Batalat Karbala (Arabic) - Bint Al-Shatia 6. AI-Murajaat (Arabic) - A.H. Sharaf AI-Din. 7. Al-Sharaf Al-Muabad li ali bait Muh. (Arabic) AI-Nabhani. 8. The Light Magazine - S.S. Akhtar. 9. Nahj AI-Balagha.10. Social Justice in Islam - Sayyid Qutb. The End