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Tragedy Of Karbala For Jewish/christian Friends


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#1 baqar

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 11:15 PM

Unlike any other, the Muslim New Year begins sadly, with the rememberance of a tragedy inflicted on a noble and courageous family. I am posting below a small article written by me, on the sad story of Imam Hussain, younger son of Hazrat Ali and Lady Fatima and grendson of our Holy Prophet. Mods, please don't move this post. It is being made here intentionally for our Christian and Jewish friends. Thanks

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The Savior Of Islam, Imam Husain (a.s.)

By Baqar


Ever since man first set foot on this planet, the commitment of some honest men to uphold the values of truth and justice, has not been viewed very kindly by others, in particular by those who found their ill-gotten privileges and their barbaric life style under threat. The powerful among them have responded with oppression and tyranny. The sad finale for the righteous in these stories has been one of pain and suffering, of sorrow and pathos. Yet the illustrious name and extraordinary heroism of such people has lived on, their memory etched in the pages of history for all time to come. Such heroism may relate to a religious figure, a freedom fighter or a national hero. But the truth is that such men belong to all humanity. Clearly, the human race owes in no mean measure to these formidable men. Their indefatigable commitment is undoubtedly worthy of an honorable place in our memories.

Among these stalwarts, we find one who goes where few have gone before, to the heights of sacrifice and steadfastness, bequeathing to history the pathos and philosophy of an extraordinary sacrifice - a tragic story laced as much with sorrow and suffering as with dedication, commitment, patience, fortitude, singularity of purpose, and astonishingly with a remarkable presence of mind. Our hero in the story is Imam Husain, second son of Hazrat Ali and Lady Fatima, daughter of our beloved prophet.

Imam Husain was born on the 3rd day of the 8th month (Shaban) of the 4th year of the Arabic calendar. This would correspond to a date in or around 625 AD in the western calendar. The two brothers, Imam Hasan and Imam Husain were the apple of their grandfather's eye. Imam Husain was only about 7 when the holy grandfather and their beloved mother passed away. The children were then brought up by their father, Hazrat Ali.

Along with their father, the brothers suffered the vicissitudes of the times, following in his illustrious footsteps, in thought, word and deed. They assisted and supported him in every possible way, emulating his extraordinary nobility, forbearance and commitment. The historical perspective of the times needs to be placed here before our story unfolds. At the time of Hazrat Ali's tenure in office, a parallel 'opposition' government was in place with the infamous Moavia as its head. Hazrat Ali's seat of government was in Kufa, Iraq whereas Moavia's was in Damascus, Syria. The two armies met in battle in a place called Siffin, but the encounter was a stalemate. Moavia tried his best to bring the name of his opponent to disrepute, but to no avail. The extraordinary difference in their personalities can be seen from the following story. In the course of battle, at one point in time, Moavia's forces took control of the river, and when they did so, they blocked all access to the water, depriving Hazrat Ali's men of much needed water. Hazrat Ali ordered a counterattack and regained control. And when he did, Â he generously allowed the enemy complete access to the waters of the river. In very brief, this illustrates the difference in their character.

After the assassination of Hazrat Ali in 40 hijri, his older son, Imam Hasan, became caliph, with his seat of government at Kufa. Moavia was anxious to perpetuate his own dynasty. It would be worth his while to try and pressure Imam Hasan to relinquish his claims. The cunning Moavia did not ask Imam Hasan for allegiance - merely abdication of temporal powers. With little regard for worldly goods, Imam Hasan decided in favor of a truce, under conditions which Moavia would soon show little respect for. In his valedictory speech, Imam Hasan predicted that the temporal authority he was transferring would be short-lived. Among the terms of the treaty, Moavia would have no dominion over spiritual leadership. He would not appoint a successor and the choice was to be left to the people. Some years later, Imam Hasan passed away. It was never Moavia’s intention to honour the terms of the treaty and when his end was close, he decided to go back on his word and appointed his renegade son, Yazid, as his successor.

Moavia was aware of the mettle of Hazrat Ali's family. He knew that like his father and brother before him, Imam Husain would have no ambition for worldly gain and he would not be a threat to his son in any way whatsoever. He therefore instructed Yazid to leave Imam Husain alone. But when Yazid finally took charge, he forgot his father's words and decided to press for the Imam’s allegiance.

We are now in the month of Rajab, the seventh month of 60 hijri, corresponding perhaps to the early part of 680 AD. Moavia has just passed away. According to his will, and in contravention of the treaty between his father and Imam Hasan, Yazid has assumed the control of the Islamic republic in Damascus. Yazid was a man given to the pleasures of life, completely unfit for leadership of any kind - temporal or spiritual. Imam Husain happens to be in Madina at the time, and receives scores of letters from his father's followers in Kufa, Iraq to come and save them from the yoke of Yazid. Imam Husain responds to their call and heads for Kufa. Before he does so, he sends his cousin, Muslim, to report on the situation. Meanwhile, in Madina, Yazid’s governor in that town summons the Imam and demands allegiance to Yazeed. The Imam refuses.

The Imam is now on his way to Kufa, with a stopover in Mecca, where he stays about five months. He leaves Mecca just before the Haj, when he found evidence of men disguised in the haji’s garb, on a mission to kill him. The stopover in Mecca comes to an end. He is on the road again - to Kufa. He will never arrive in Kufa, of course. Three weeks later he would reach his final destination - a place called Karbala.

In the meantime, Yazid has appointed an extremely harsh man, by the name of Ibnay Ziad as governor of Kufa. When the Imam’s emissary, Muslim arrives in Kufa, the governor, Ibnay Ziad has Muslim arrested and killed. Two of his sons, both around ten, who had accompanied their father, are also killed. Their story is also one of great bravery and pathos, but for brevity we shall move on.

Imam Husain hears of Muslim's death on his way but is undeterred. He has embarked upon his noble task and cannot not possibly justify abandoning it. Shortly before the Imam would complete his journey, he would be intercepted by a division of Yazid's army, led by an officer by the name of Hur. Hur was under orders to take the Imam under escort to Kufa. Imam Husain refused to be intimidated; a compromise was, however, reached whereby the Imam agreed to let Hur accompany him. Arriving at Karbala, Imam Husain stopped and decided to pitch his tents there. Hur's forces also set up camp. This was on the 2nd day of Moharram, 61 Hijri. Very soon, legions of Yazid's forces, totalling tens of thousands, converged on Karbala. Umar-e-Saad, the chief of Yazid's army, asked for Imam's allegiance to Yazid. As in Madina before, the Imam again refused.

Fortunately for history, much of our information of the carnage at Karbala comes not from a Shia, but from a chronicler by the name of Hameed ibnay Muslim, appointed to the task by none other than Yazeed hismelf. What followed was one of the most heart-rending tales ever told. In the next few days, all access to supplies (water and food) was blocked. On the 7th Moharram, there was not one single drop of water in Imam Husain's camps. Asked again for allegiance, the prince of peace responded by making three counter-offers :

Let me talk to Yazid in person,

Let me return to Madina,

Let me depart to a distant land.

The offers were, of course, refused. The response - 'Either accept Yazid as your master or suffer death'.

For over three days, members of his entourage, including women, children and about seventy men had to make do without food and water. On the evening of the 9th Moharram, commonly known as Shab-e-Aashoor, after all negotiations had failed, the enemy staged an attack. Imam Husain sent his brother Abbas to ask for another night of reprieve, so he could spend one more night in worship to his master. They laughed and joked saying that another day would not spare Husain from his final destination, which would (nauzo billah) be hell anyway, but they granted his request.

Hostilities resumed the next morning. That was on the 10th of Moharram, Islam's great day of shame. On this day, the grandson of the founder of the faith would be slaughtered along with 18 members of his close relatives, and 50 or more of the faithful. The battle started early in the morning. Battle in 6th century Arabia was often a two-man affair. Each side would send one man to combat.

One by one, every single member of Imam Husain's small band of the faithful would ride up to the killing grounds to face the enemy, consisting of many thousands of men. Each encounter was a magnificent show of spirit among the soldiers of Imam Husain. Imam Husain's small band proved too formidable for Yazid's men and they decided to switch to general warfare. A man-to-man combat was getting them nowhere and had to be abandoned. Imam Husain, unfortunately, could not afford to send all his men together - he was short on numbers. This meant that each person on Imam Husain's side had to face the entire strength of Yazid's forces. Hameed bin Muslim has chronicled the extraordinary bravery and steadfastness of Imam Husain's men, even though they had not had a drop of water or a morsel of food for more than three days.

By early afternoon, there was hardly anyone left on Imam Husain's side - a count of three included a six month old baby son, an older son, 24 - bedridden with fever, and the Imam himself. The baby son was called Ali Asghar. The child, like the adults, had not had a drop of water for over three days. Imam Husain decided to take the baby to the forward fence to ask for water for the child. Some among the enemy were moved to see the baby’s parched lips. The army commander sensed the danger - the baby’s innocent face could lead to a betrayal. He quickly commissioned a sharp shooter called Hurmula to take aim. The first two arrows missed. The third struck the baby in the throat. It would be difficult for anyone to describe or even perceive what would have gone through the distraught father's heart. Imam Husain had taken the child from the apprehensive mother, who must now be told that the child had been killed, with his throat still dry. The Imam dug a small hole in the ground with his sword and buried the child. A short while later, it will be his turn. He would go to fight, and despite the thirst, the hunger and the mountain of grief, like the rest of his men, he would fight valiantly and die.

One of the last things the noble Imam told his sister was : ' Sister, (after I am gone), do not pray for evil to befall the enemy'.

As the sun descended over the horizon on the hot and sandy plains of Karbala that memorable day in the year 61 hijri, all male members of Imam Husains' entourage, except one, had been killed. Apart from distraught women and children, the survivors included just one male member, Imam Husain's son Ali, in bed with fever - the fever which effectively saved his life. At final count, the dead included two sons - the six month old baby and an 18 year old, five brothers, several nephews and cousins. In all, 18 members of his immediate family had perished in the space of just a few hours. Apart from these, his small band of the faithful who were killed along with him, included another four or five dozen, all confronting a formidable army of tens of thousands.

The survivors - women and children - were then taken prisoner, and on an agonizingly painful journey from Karbala to Kufa and Kufa to Damascus where they were imprisoned for a year or more, before being allowed to return home to Madina. The prisoners were treated in a very inhumane manner. Some were taken on foot and some on the bare backs of camels. Many of the children had to walk tied to one another with ropes. To add to the horror, the severed heads of Imam Husain and his men were taken along with the procession of prisoners, impaled on spears. Yazid's propaganda machine had let out that some rebels had been captured and been suitably dealt with, and the survivors, were being taken to the caliph in Damascus. People had assembled on the caravan route to watch the pageant. It is difficult to imagine the pain and humiliation the noble family must have gone through.

After being released, they were arrested again, brought back to Damascus, where most died of grief and deprivation. The graves of Imam Husain and his men are in Karbala, Iraq. The women and children - the survivors of the tragedy - lie buried in Damascus.

And despite their immense grief and hardships, as long as Imam Husain's sisters lived, they never prayed for evil to befall the enemy, just as their brother had wished.



#2 NoorFatima

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 02:27 AM

(salam)

Ya Hussayn :cry:

New years begins Sunday, and so does the tragedy.

(salam)

#3 yonus

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 03:29 AM

(salam)

Ya Hussayn :cry:

New years begins Sunday, and so does the tragedy.

(salam)


Christians holocost is Jesus crucifixion .

Jews holcost began in the first century .

Muslim shia holocost is tragedy of imam Hussein.

I think muslim sunnis need holocost .

#4 IMAnonymous

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 04:32 AM

Unlike any other, the Muslim New Year begins sadly, with the rememberance of a tragedy inflicted on a noble and courageous family. I am posting below a small article written by me, on the sad story of Imam Hussain, younger son of Hazrat Ali and Lady Fatima and grendson of our Holy Prophet. Mods, please don't move this post. It is being made here intentionally for our Christian and Jewish friends. Thanks

After reading this I was moved to read more about it. Most articles linked it to the division between Sunni and Shia and some use it to cast Shia in an unfavorable light. I couldn't help but notice that the historical presentations changed with every author in order to reflect and/or support his own views. I don't think I ever read the same facts twice. It made it hard for me to draw a conclusion. It seemed the hero of your story was in rebellion to the Caliph. He refused to accept him and rode against him. Religiously speaking, he had about as much chance when he rode into Karbala of being accepted as Caliph as Jesus had of being accepted as the Messiah when he rode into Jerusalem. It is a story of tragedy, despair, and hopelessness. Its the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Yet I don't understand the significance. Does the Quran call for a caliph? Did Muhammad appoint a successor? It seems the differences between Sunni and Shia are man made, particularly along tribal lines. The latter is a consistent theme dating from the third Caliph who appointed his own tribal members to governorships, governors the rest of Islam rejected for not practising the Quran (At least, that's how I read it. Again, views changed with every author.). I don't think Ali objected to the Caliph's assassination (Although he didn't initiate it either). I suspect Ali rode away from the Caliph in order to not be connected to what happened to the Caliph afterwards (Why else would Ali leave the city?) and those he left behind who assassinated the Caliph did so to make Ali the next Caliph - And it worked.

Now no insult is intended by me towards Ali. He seemed to me to be the best man for the job from day one. Yet somehow, for the #2 choice, he ended up fourth in line. When he left the city I expect he was thinking that maybe this was God's will. If so, then he would have to also believe that it was God's will that he be assassinated next - Which he was. Yet he failed to appoint one of his sons Caliph to replace himself. He too was unable to establish tribal heritage as the deciding factor of who became the next Caliph. Had he succeeded, the descendents of Muhammad would have been royalty versus elected popes.

All chance of a royal lineage from Muhammad ended with the Battle of Karbala. Is this what the Shia lament?

Again, I'm not critical. I'm just curious. I spent a couple of hours reading up on this and got no two viewpoints the same. I suppose I could have kept on reading a couple of more hours but it's getting late and I'm giving up. What I did learn is that Muslim historians seem to suffer from the same problems as Christian and Jewish historians. Ultimately, history is whatever the recorder wants it to be.

Anyway, here are the questions I did not find answers for:

1) Why should there be a Caliph?
2) Why should he be a descendent of Muhammad's?
3) Did not Ali accept the first three Caliphs? How is that explained?

Educate me. It's not a challenge (except to my stupidity). I figure you can tell me faster than I can look it up.

#5 Spriglief

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 05:08 AM

I am always intrigued by the fact that there was one male survivor, which it turns out was all that was needed. In my study of history I have often seen this as how God chooses to work in his mysterious ways. It was the inspiration for my poem, “Allah’s Tears.”

http://www.deviantar.....me -in:s[Edited Out]s

#6 OnelifeliveIt

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 05:24 AM

You drove me to the brink of tears. :(

#7 Islamic Salvation

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 07:48 AM

Imanonymous It was not unsuccesful at all.
In fact it is the event which caused The collapse of Umayyad caliphate.
Uprising started throughout the major Cities The Group TAWABUN was formed As a result of the Deep emotions among Muslims on the massacre to Rightful Imam.
Infact the Abasids who ruled for centuries came to power with the slogan of "Never again" will this occur to the holy family Only to fall for lust and start prosecuting the rest of our imams progeny due to fear of their influence.

#8 Ali Mahdi

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 11:58 AM

(salam)
(bismillah)

That was a beautiful and touching poem, Spriglief! Thanks.

#9 Ali Mahdi

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 02:01 PM

(salam)
(bismillah)

Mourning Imam Husain (as)

ibn ‘Abbas reports from Imam Amir al-Momenin, ‘Ali ibn Abi Taleb (as) who said:

"Once Prophet Jesus (as) was passing by Karbala when he sat down and began to weep. His disciples (hawariyoun) who were observing him, followed suit and began weeping too. But not understanding the reason for this behaviour, they asked him:
'Oh Spirit of God! What is that which makes you weep?'
Jesus (as) said:
'Do you know what land this is?'
The disciples replied: 'No'
He then said:
'This is the land on which the son of Prophet Ahmad (Mohammad) (pbuh) shall be killed.'"

Behaar al-Anwaar
Volume 44, page 252

  • Danyal Zia and Çåá ÇáÈíÊ like this

#10 baqar

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 04:08 PM

[quote name='Spriglief' post='1314378' date='Jan 20 2007, 10:08 AM']I am always intrigued by the fact that there was one male survivor, which it turns out was all that was needed. In my study of history I have often seen this as how God chooses to work in his mysterious ways. It was the inspiration for my poem, “Allah’s Tears.”

http://www.deviantar.....me -in:s[Edited Out]s[/quote]

What a beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing. God bless.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']I don't think I ever read the same facts twice.[/quote]
If you read the story of the British annexation of India by British and Indian historians, you will find wide variances. Now if you read my article again, you might notice that much of the story of Karbala was chronicled not by somebody on Imam Hussain's side, rather a person by the name of Hameed ibnay Muslim who had been appointed by none other than Yazeed himself. So the facts of the story should not be radically different, regardless of where you read them, but opinions and some details are, unfortunately, often tarnished by the Shia-Sunni rivalry and confuse the unsuspecting reader.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']After reading this I was moved to read more about it. Most articles linked it to the division between Sunni and Shia and some use it to cast Shia in an unfavorable light.[/quote]
Yes, that is unfortunate.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']It seemed the hero of your story was in rebellion to the Caliph.[/quote]
If an incompetent pleasure loving self-indulgent man attains Presidency of the United States, would you sit back in silence and relax.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']He refused to accept him and rode against him.[/quote]
Not quite the way you put it. Imam Hussain received invitations from his father's followers in Kufa to come and garner relief for them from Yazeed. He never arrived in Kufa. He was intercepted and forced to change course, finally arriving in Karbala, his last station.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']It is a story of tragedy, despair, and hopelessness. Its the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.[/quote]
It is a story of courage, fortitude and unparalled nobility of character.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']Does the Quran call for a caliph?[/quote]
The Quran left it to Mohammad to work out those details.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']Did Muhammad appoint a successor?[/quote]
We Shias believe he did.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']Yet I don't understand the significance. Does the Quran call for a caliph? Did Muhammad appoint a successor? It seems the differences between Sunni and Shia are man made, particularly along tribal lines.[/quote]
This is not the right place to discuss Shia-Sunni differences. However, discord is natural when the motives of some would be to acquire power.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']The latter is a consistent theme dating from the third Caliph who appointed his own tribal members to governorships, governors the rest of Islam rejected for not practising the Quran[/quote]
Again this is not the right place for this discussion. The caliph is appointed by God through the prophet. Anyone else seeking it or orchestrating it is an usurper. We believe the Prophet had appointed Ali as his rightful successor. Ali had appointed his son Hasan. Hasan had appointed his brother, the hero of our story. And so on.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']I don't think Ali objected to the Caliph's assassination (Although he didn't initiate it either).[/quote]
A bag of carrots. If you are talking about the assasination of Uthman, the third caliph, Shias and Sunnis both agree Ali had nothing to do with it.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']I suspect Ali rode away from the Caliph in order to not be connected to what happened to the Caliph afterwards (Why else would Ali leave the city?) and those he left behind who assassinated the Caliph did so to make Ali the next Caliph - And it worked.[/quote]
Ali did not ride away anywhere. He was in Medina at the time of Uthman's assasination. He even sent both his sons to protect Uthman from those who had laid siege to his house.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']And it worked.[/quote]
Outrageous and appalling. Where did you get those carrots !

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']Now no insult is intended by me towards Ali. He seemed to me to be the best man for the job from day one. Yet somehow, for the #2 choice, he ended up fourth in line.[/quote]
Doesn't mean anything. This is what is called politics.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']When he left the city I expect he was thinking that maybe this was God's will. If so, then he would have to also believe that it was God's will that he be assassinated next - Which he was.[/quote]
What is all this about leaving the city ? What are you talking about ?

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']Yet he failed to appoint one of his sons Caliph to replace himself.[/quote]
Carrots again. He appointed his son Hasan as caliph.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']Had he succeeded, the descendents of Muhammad would have been royalty versus elected popes.[/quote]
Please don't use the word 'royalty'. Prophets are not royalty. At the same time, we don't believe in elected popes. We believe in God-appointed popes - 'royalty' as you prefer to call it.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']All chance of a royal lineage from Muhammad ended with the Battle of Karbala. Is this what the Shia lament?[/quote]
Obviously you need far more reading than you have had the opportunity to do. We do not lament the loss of the royal lineage, to use your words. We lament the extreme sufferings our Imam and his family were subjected to. And we don't really believe in a 'royal' lineage. We believe in God-appointed popes. We believe that Mohammad had appointed Ali , Ali appointed Hasan, Hasan appointed Husain, as successor, and so on. This is what we believe in. We don't believe in a historical man-made scheme of succession. The quality of a man-made product cannot match one ordained by God.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']Ultimately, history is whatever the recorder wants it to be.[/quote]
You begin your learning with a doubt in your mind. How can you learn ? We don't blindly believe what the chronicler has set out. Our scrutiny has its checks and balances. Islamic history has indeed been corrupted but the story of Karbala and its human and inhuman aspects, which this thread is all about, regardless of the political and historical connotations, are history.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']1) Why should there be a Caliph?[/quote]
OK, there does not have to be a caliph at all if God does not want it. But we believe God asked Mohammad to declare one. He appointed Ali. Ali appointed Hasan and so on.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']2) Why should he be a descendent of Muhammad's?[/quote]
In essence, the caliphate does not have to be in the family of the Prophet. But apparently God so chose it to be. After all, God appointed Abraham's seed to carry on his mission after Abraham for many generations. Why shouldn't it be so for Mohammad ?

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']3) Did not Ali accept the first three Caliphs? How is that explained?[/quote]
As historical caliphs, yes. As God-ordained rightful successors to the prophet, no.

[quote name='IMAnonymous' post='1314367' date='Jan 20 2007, 09:32 AM']Educate me. It's not a challenge (except to my stupidity). I figure you can tell me faster than I can look it up.[/quote]

You are welcome. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Edited by baqar, 20 January 2007 - 05:56 PM.


#11 Wise Muslim

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 04:16 PM

Salam.

That was a very enlightening post bro Baqar. Jaizk Allah Alif Kheir.

#12 baqar

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 04:44 PM

That was a very enlightening post bro Baqar. Jaizk Allah Alif Kheir.

Thanks, brother

And here is what two non-Muslim Indians have said about Imam Hussain

Shri Mohinder Singh Bedi (Indian Sikh poet) :

(Urdu couplet : Jee kay marna to sabko aata hai Murr kay jeena sikha diya too nay)

Translation :

Everyone knows how to encounter death after living
You (Hussain) taught us how to live after death.

Shri Jai Singh (Indian Hindu poet) :

If he (Imam Hussain) had come to India, we Hindus would have called him Bhagwan (deified him).

#13 baqar

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 04:46 PM

And this is what some Western scholars say about Imam Hussain


1. Reynold Alleyne Nicholson

(1868-1945) Sir Thomas Adams Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge.

"Hussain fell, pierced by an arrow, and his brave followers were cut down beside him to the last man. Muhammadan tradition, which with rare exceptions is uniformly hostile to the Umayyad dynasty, regards Hussain as a martyr and Yazid as his murderer."
[A Literary History of the Arabs, Cambridge, 1930, p. 197]

2. Robert Durey Osborn

(1835-1889) Major of the Bengal Staff Corps.

"Hussain had a child named Abdallah, only a year old. He had accompanied his father in this terrible march. Touched by its cries, he took the infant in his arms and wept. At that instant, a shaft from the hostile ranks pierced the child's ear, and it expired in his father's arms. Hussain placed the little corpse upon the ground. 'We come from God, and we return to Him!' he cried; 'O Lord, give me strength to bear these misfortunes!' … Faint with thirst, and exhausted with wounds, he fought with desperate courage, slaying several of his antagonists. At last he was cut down from behind; at the same instance a lance was thrust through his back and bore him to the ground; as the dealer of this last blow withdrew his weapon, the ill-fated son of Ali rolled over a corpse. The head was severed from the trunk; the trunk was trampled under the hoofs of the victors' horses; and the next morning the women and a surviving infant son were carried away to Kufa. The bodies of Hussain and his followers were left unburied on the spot where they fell. For three days they remained exposed to the sun and the night dews, the vultures and the prowling animals of the waste; but then the inhabitants of a neighboring village, struck with horror that the body of a grandson of the Prophet should be thus shamefully abandoned to the unclean beasts of the field, dared the anger of Obaidallah , and interred the body of the martyr and those of his heroic friends."
[Islam Under the Arabs, Delaware, 1976, pp. 126-7]

3. Sir William Muir

(1819-1905) Scottish scholar and statesman. Held the post of Foreign Secretary to the Indian government as well as Lieutenant Governor of the Northwestern Provinces.

"The tragedy of Karbala decided not only the fate of the caliphate, but of the Mohammedan kingdoms long after the Caliphate had waned and disappeared."
[Annals of the Early Caliphate, London, 1883, pp. 441-2]

4. Peter J. Chelkowski

Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, New York University.

"Hussain accepted and set out from Mecca with his family and an entourage of about seventy followers. But on the plain of Karbala they were caught in an ambush set by the … caliph, Yazid. Though defeat was certain, Hussein refused to pay homage to him. Surrounded by a great enemy force, Hussein and his company existed without water for ten days in the burning desert of Karbala. Finally Hussein, the adults and some male children of his family and his companions were cut to bits by the arrows and swords of Yazid's army; his women and remaining children were taken as captives to Yazid in Damascus. The renowned historian Abu Reyhan al-Biruni states; "… then fire was set to their camp and the bodies were trampled by the hoofs of the horses; nobody in the history of the human kind has seen such atrocities."
[Ta'ziyeh: Ritual and Drama in Iran, New York, 1979, p. 2]

5. Simon Ockley

(1678-1720) Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge.

"Then Hussain mounted his horse, and took the Koran and laid it before him, and, coming up to the people, invited them to the performances of their duty: adding, 'O God, thou art my confidence in every trouble, and my hope in all adversity!'… He next reminded them of his excellency, the nobility of his birth, the greatness of his power, and his high descent, and said, 'Consider with yourselves whether or not such a man as I am is not better than you; I who am the son of your prophet's daughter, besides whom there is no other upon the face of the earth. Ali was my father; Jafar and Hamza, the chief of the martyrs, were both my uncles; and the apostle of God, upon whom be peace, said both of me and my brother, that we were the chief of the youth of paradise. If you will believe me, what I say is true, for by God, I never told a lie in earnest since I had my understanding; for God hates a lie. If you do not believe me, ask the companions of the apostle of God [here he named them], and they will tell you the same. Let me go back to what I have.' They asked, 'What hindered him from being ruled by the rest of his relations.' He answered, 'God forbid that I should set my hand to the resignation of my right after a slavish manner. I have recourse to God from every tyrant that doth not believe in the day of account.'"
[The History of the Saracens, London, 1894, pp. 404-5]

6. Edward G. Brown

Sir Thomas Adams Professor of Arabic and oriental studies at the University of Cambridge.

"… a reminder of the blood-stained field of Karbala, where the grandson of the Apostle of God fell at length, tortured by thirst and surrounded by the bodies of his murdered kinsmen, has been at anytime since then sufficient to evoke, even in the most lukewarm and heedless, the deepest emotions, the most frantic grief, and an exaltation of spirit before which pain, danger and death shrink to unconsidered trifles."
[A Literary History of Persia, London, 1919, p. 227]

7. Ignaz Goldziher

(1850-1921) Famous Hungarian orientalist and scholar.

"Ever since the black day of Karbala, the history of this family … has been a continuous series of sufferings and persecutions. These are narrated in poetry and prose, in a richly cultivated literature of martyrologies - a Shi'i specialty - and form the theme of Shi'i gatherings in the first third of the month of Muharram, whose tenth day ('ashura) is kept as the anniversary of the tragedy at Karbala. Scenes of that tragedy are also presented on this day of commemoration in dramatic form (ta'ziya). 'Our feast days are our assemblies of mourning.' So concludes a poem by a prince of Shi'i disposition recalling the many mihan of the Prophet's family. Weeping and lamentation over the evils and persecutions suffered by the 'Alid family, and mourning for its martyrs: these are things from which loyal supporters of the cause cannot cease. 'More touching than the tears of the Shi'is' has even become an Arabic proverb."
[Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law, Princeton, 1981, p. 179]

8. Edward Gibbon
(1737-1794) Considered the greatest British historian of his time.

"In a distant age and climate the tragic scene of the death of Hussain will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader."
[The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, London, 1911, volume 5, pp. 391-2]

9. Thomas Carlyle has relayed this about the Tragedy of Karbala:

"The best lesson which we get from the tragedy of Karbala is that Hussain and his companions were the rigid believers of God. They illustrated that numerical superiority does not count when it comes to truth and falsehood. The victory of Hussain despite his minority marvels me!"

Edited by baqar, 20 January 2007 - 04:50 PM.


#14 yonus

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 04:47 PM

Anyway, here are the questions I did not find answers for:

1) Why should there be a Caliph?
2) Why should he be a descendent of Muhammad's?
3) Did not Ali accept the first three Caliphs? How is that explained?

Educate me. It's not a challenge (except to my stupidity). I figure you can tell me faster than I can look it up.



Hi Imanonymous and w/b,

I answer the questions inshallah .


1] Acaliph [khalifah] means leader like any leader in the current time , the nation nead a leader after death of prophet
but the case is was he appointed by God or nation who chose him . Umayad made it heritage like empyre of Rome.
Nevertheless ,

When Amir al-mu'minin heard the cry of Kharijites that "Verdict is only that of Allah" he said:

The sentence is right but what (they think) it means, is wrong. It is true that verdict lies but with Allah, but these people say that (the function of) governance is only for Allah. The fact is that there is no escape for men from ruler good or bad. The faithful persons perform (good) acts in his rule while the unfaithful enjoys (worldly) benefits in it. During the rule, Allah would carry everything to end. Through the ruler tax is collected, enemy is fought, roadways are protected and the right of the weak is taken from the strong till the virtuous enjoys peace and allowed protection from (the oppression of) the wicked.

2] There are hadiths talke about 12 imams from quraish tribe ,and when we count omayad and abaside califs we find
them more than 12 ,besides some of them drinkers,and killers .Today if any one [polititian ]claim that he is a descendent of Muhammad's wheather he was sunni or shii ,most people will follow him because there is love and sympathy to muhammads family .

Imam Ali says : Look at the people of the Prophet's family. Adhere to their direction. Follow their footsteps because they would never let you out of guidance, and never throw you into destruction. If they sit down, you sit down, and if they rise up you rise up. Do not go ahead of them, as you would thereby go astray and go not lag behind of them as you would thereby be ruined.




When after the death of the Prophet news reached Amir al-mu'minin about the happening in Saqifah of Bani Sa`idah,[1] he enquired what the ansar said. People said that they were asking for one chief from among them and one from the others, Amir al-mu'minin said:

Why did you not argue against them (ansar) that the Prophet had left his will that whoever is good among ansar should be treated well and whoever is bad he should be forgiven.

People said: "What is there against them in it?"

Amir al-mu'minin said:

"If the Government was for them there should have been no will in their favour."

Then he said:

"What did the Quraysh plead?"

People said: "They argued that they belong to the lineal tree of the Prophet.

Then Amir al-mu'minin said:

"They argued with the tree but spoiled the fruits."




He also says : Where are those who falsely and unjustly claimed that they are deeply versed in knowledge, as against us, although Allah raised us in position and kept them down, bestowed upon us knowledge but deprived them, and entered us (in the fortress of knowledge) but kept them out. With us guidance is to be sought and blindness (of misguidance) is to be changed into brightness. Surely Imams (divine leaders) will be from the Quraysh. They have been planted in this line through Hashim. It would not suit others nor would others be suitable as heads of affairs.


3] Yes he accepted the first 3 caliphs and he said :



When the Consultative Committee (or Shura) decided to swear allegiance to `Uthman, Amir al-mu'minin said:

You have certainly known that I am the most rightful of all others for the Caliphate. By Allah, so long as the affairs of Muslims remain intact and there is no oppression in it save on myself I shall keep quiet seeking reward for it (from Allah) and keeping aloof from its attractions and allurements for which you aspire.

#15 yonus

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 05:55 PM

I suspect Ali rode away from the Caliph in order to not be connected to what happened to the Caliph afterwards (Why else would Ali leave the city?) and those he left behind who assassinated the Caliph did so to make Ali the next Caliph - And it worked.

Very good question !

Yes Ali has gone from the city by Uthman commands , When he saw people [protests ] gathered with Ali
and they cry [ we want Ali] ,he said to him go out of the city to your farm and when he saw people surround his house
he sends to Ali to come quickly . Muawiyah the Amir of syria was waiting for the end and he was very slow to send
soldiers to protect Uthman ,while Ali kept his sons Hasan and Hussein and hashumites to protect Uthmans house.

When `Uthman ibn `Affan was surrounded, `Abdullah ibn al-`Abbas brought a letter to Amir al-mu'minin from `Uthman in which he expressed the desire that Amir al-mu'minin should leave for his estate Yanbu` so that the proposal that was being mooted out for him to become caliph should subside. `Uthman had this request earlier also. Upon this Amir al-mu'minin said to Ibn al-`Abbas:

O' Ibn al-`Abbas! `Uthman just wants to treat me like the water-drawing camel so that I may go forward and backward with the bucket. Once he sent me word that I should go out then sent me word that I should come back. Now, again he sends me word that I should go out. By Allah, I continued protecting him till I feared lest I become a sinner.

#16 yonus

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 06:25 PM

Disclosing real facts about assassination of `Uthman Ibn `Affan[1] Amir al-mu'minin said:

If I had ordered his assassination I should have been his killer, but if I had refrained others from killing him I would have been his helper. The position was that he who helped him cannot now say that he is better than the one who deserted him while he who deserted him cannot say that he is better than the one who helped him. I am putting before you his case. He appropriated (wealth) and did it badly. You protested against it and committed excess therein. With Allah lies the real verdict between the appropriator and the protester.

....................................................................................................
.....................................................................................

.`Uthman is the first Umayyad Caliph of Islam who ascended the Caliphate on the 1st Muharram, 24 A.H. at the age of seventy and after having wielded full control and authority over the affairs of the Muslims for twelve years was killed at their hands on the 18th Dhi'l-hijjah, 35 A.H. and buried at Hashsh Kawkab.

This fact cannot be denied that `Uthman's killing was the result of his weaknesses and the black deeds of his officers, otherwise, there is no reason that Muslims should have unanimously agreed on killing him while no one except a few persons of his house stood up to support and defend him. Muslims would have certainly given consideration to his age, seniority, prestige and distinction of companionship of the Prophet but his ways and deeds had so marred the atmosphere that no one seemed prepared to sympathise and side with him. The oppression and excesses perpetrated on high ranking companions of the Prophet had roused a wave of grief and anger among the Arab tribes. Everyone was infuriated and looked at his haughtiness and wrong doings with disdainful eyes. Thus, due to Abu Dharr's disgrace, dishonour and exile Banu Ghifar and their associate tribes, due to `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud's merciless beating Banu Hudhayl and their associates, due to breaking of the ribs of `Ammar ibn Yasir, Banu Makhzum and their associates Banu Zuhrah, and due to the plot for the killing of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, Banu Taym all had a storm of rage in their hearts. The Muslims of other cities were also brimful of complaints at the hands of his officers who under intoxication of wealth and the effects of luxury did whatever they wished and crushed whomever they wanted. They had no fear of punishment from the centre nor apprehension of any enquiry. People were fluttering to get out of their talons of oppression but no one was ready to listen to their cries of pain and restlessness; feelings of hatred were rising but no care was taken to put them down. The companions of the Prophet were also sick of him as they saw that peace was destroyed, administration was topsy turvy and Islam's features were being metamorphosed. The poor and the starving were craving for dried crusts while Banu Umayyah were rolling in wealth. The Caliphate had become a handle for belly-filling and a means of amassing wealth. Consequently, they too did not lag behind in preparing the ground for killing him. Rather, it was at their letters and messages that people from Kufah, Basrah and Egypt had collected in Medina. Observing this behaviour of the people of Medina, `Uthman wrote to Mu`awiyah:

So now, certainly the people of Medina have turned heretics, have turned faith against obedience and broken the (oath of) allegiance. So you send to me the warriors of Syria on brisk and sturdy horses.

The policy of action adopted by Mu`awiyah on receipt of this letter also throws light on the condition of the companions. Historian at-Tabari writes after this:

When the letter reached Mu`awiyah he pondered over it and considered it bad to openly oppose the companions of the Prophet since he was aware of their unanimity.

In view of these circumstances to regard the killing of `Uthman as a consequence of merely enthusiasm and temporary feelings and to hurl it at some insurgents is to veil the fact, since all the factors of his opposition existed within Medina itself, while those coming from without had collected for seeking redress of their grievances at their call. Their aim was only improvement of the position, not killing or bloodshed. If their complaints had been heard then the occasion for this bloodshed would not have arisen. What happened was that when, having been disgusted with the oppression and excesses of `Abdullah ibn Sa`d ibn Abi Sarh, who was foster brother of `Uthman, the people of Egypt proceeded towards Medina and camped in the valley of Dhakhushub near the city. They sent a man with a letter to `Uthman and demanded that oppression should be stopped, the existing ways should be changed and repentance should be offered for the future. But instead of giving a reply `Uthman got this man turned out of the house and did not regard their demands worth attention. On this these people entered the city to raise their voice against this pride and haughtiness, and complained to the people of this behaviour besides other excesses. On the other side many people from Kufah and Basrah had also arrived with their complaints and they, after joining these ones, proceeded forward with the backing of the people of Medina and confined `Uthman within his house, although there was no restriction on his going and coming to the mosque. But in his sermon on the very first Friday he severely rebuked these people and even held them accursed, whereupon people got infuriated and threw pebbles at him as a result of which he lost control and fell from the pulpit. After a few days his coming and going to the mosque was also banned.

When `Uthman saw matters deteriorating to this extent he implored Amir al-mu'minin very submissively to find some way for his rescue and to disperse the people in whatever way he could. Amir al-mu'minin said, "On what terms can I ask them to leave when their demands are justified?" `Uthman said, "I authorise you in this matter. Whatever terms you would settle with them I would be bound by them." So Amir al-mu'minin went and met the Egyptians and talked to them. They consented to get back on the condition that all the tyrannies should be wiped off and Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr be made governor by removing Ibn Abi Sarh. Amir al-mu'minin came back and put their demand before `Uthman who accepted it without any hesitation and said that to get over these excesses time was required. Amir al-mu'minin pointed out that for matters concerning Medina delay had no sense. However, for other places so much time could be allowed that the Caliph's message could reach them. `Uthman insisted that for Medina also three days were needed. After discussion with the Egyptians Amir al-mu'minin agreed to it also and took all the responsibility thereof upon himself. Then they dispersed at his suggestion. Some of them went to Egypt with Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr while some went to the valley of Dhakhushub and stayed there and this whole matter ended. On the second day of this event Marwan ibn al-Hakam said to `Uthman, "It is good, these people have gone, but to stop people coming from other cities you should issue a statement so that they should not come this way and sit quiet at their places and that statement should be that some people collected in Medina on hearing some irresponsible talk but when they came to know that whatever they heard was wrong they were satisfied and have gone back." `Uthman did not want to speak such a clear lie but Marwan convinced him and he agreed, and speaking in the Holy Prophet's mosque, he said:

These Egyptians had received some news about their Caliph and when satisfied that they were all baseless and wrong they went back to their cities.

No sooner he said this than there was great hue and cry in the mosque, and people began to shout to `Uthman, "Offer repentance, fear Allah; what is this lie you are uttering?" `Uthman was confused in this commotion and had to offer repentance. Consequently, he turned to the Ka`bah, moaned in the audience of Allah and returned to his house.

Probably after this very event Amir al-mu'minin advised `Uthman that, "You should openly offer repentance about your past misdeeds so that these uprisings should subside for good otherwise if tomorrow people of some other place come you will again cling to my neck to rid you of them." Consequently, he delivered a speech in the Prophet's mosque wherein admitting his mistakes he offered repentance and swore to remain careful in future. He told the people that when he alighted from the pulpit their representatives should meet him, and he would remove their grievances and meet their demands. On this people acclaimed this action of his and washed away their ill-feelings with tears to a great extent. When he reached his house after finishing from here Marwan sought permission to say something but `Uthman's wife Na'ilah bint Farafisah intervened. Turning to Marwan she said, "For Allah's sake you keep quiet. You would say only such a thing as would bring but death to him." Marwan took it ill and retorted, "You have no right to interfere in these matters. You are the daughter of that very person who did not know till his death how to perform ablution." Na'ilah replied with fury, "You are wrong, and are laying a false blame. Before uttering anything about my father you should have cast a glance on the features of your father. But for the consideration of that old man I would have spoken things at which people would have shuddered but would have confirmed every such word." When `Uthman saw the conversation getting prolonged he stopped them and asked Marwan to tell him what he wished.

Marwan said, "What is it you have said in the mosque, and what repentance you have offered? In my view sticking to the sin was a thousand times better than this repentance because however much the sins may multiply there is always scope for repentance, but repentance by force is no repentance. You have said what you have but now see the consequences of this open announcement, that crowds of people are at your door. Now go forward and fulfil their demands." `Uthman then said, "Well, I have said what I have said, now you deal with these people. It is not in my power to deal with them." Consequently, finding out his implied consent Marwan came out and addressing the people spoke out, "Why have you assembled here? Do you intend to attack or to ransack? Remember, you cannot easily snatch away power from our hands, take out the idea from your hearts that you would subdue us. We are not to be subdued by anyone. Take away your black faces from here. Allah may disgrace and dishonour you."

When people noticed this changed countenance and altered picture they rose from there full of anger and rage and went straight to Amir al-mu'minin and related to him the whole story. On hearing it Amir al-mu'minin was infuriated and immediately went to `Uthman and said to him, "Good Heavens. How badly you have behaved with the Muslims. You have forsaken faith for the sake of a faithless and characterless man and have lost all wit. At least you should have regard and consideration for your own promise. What is this that at Marwan's betokening you have set off with folded eyes. Remember he will throw you in such a dark well that you will never be able to come out of it. You have become the carrier animal of Marwan so that he can ride on you howsoever he desires and put you on whatever wrong way he wishes. In future I shall never intervene in your affair nor tell people anything. Now you should manage your own affairs."

Saying all this Amir al-mu'minin got back and Na'ilah got the chance, she said to `Uthman, "Did I not tell you to get rid of Marwan otherwise he would put such a stain on you that it would not be removed despite all effort. Well, what is the good in following the words of one who is without any respect among the people and low before their eyes. Make `Ali agree otherwise remember that restoring the disturbed state of affairs is neither within your power nor in that of Marwan." `Uthman was impressed by this and sent a man after Amir al-mu'minin but he refused to meet him. There was no siege around `Uthman but shame deterred him. With what face could he come out of the house? But there was no way without coming out. Consequently, he came out quietly in the gloom of night and reaching Amir al-mu'minin's place, he moaned his helplessness and loneliness, offered excuses, and also assured him of keeping promises but Amir al-mu'minin said, "You make a promise in the Prophet's mosque standing before all the people but it is fulfilled in this way that when people go to you they are rebuked and even abuses are hurled at them. When this is the state of your undertakings which the world has seen, then how and on what ground can I trust any word of yours in future. Do not have any expectation from me now. I am not prepared to accept any responsibility on your behalf. The tracks are open before you. Adopt whichever way you like and tread whatever track you choose." After this talk `Uthman came back and began blaming Amir al-mu'minin in retort to the effect that all the disturbances were rising at his instance and that he was not doing anything despite being able to do everything.

On this side the result of repentance was as it was. Now let us see the other side. When after crossing the border of Hijaz, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr reached the place Aylah on the coast of the Red Sea people caught sight of a camel rider who was making his camel run so fast as though the enemy was chasing him. These people had some misgivings about him and therefore called him and enquired who he was. He said he was the slave of `Uthman. They enquired wherefore he was bound. He said Egypt. They enquired to whom he was going. He replied to the Governor of Egypt. People said that the Governor of Egypt was with them. To whom was he going then? He said he was to go to Ibn Abi Sarh. People asked him if any letter was with him. He denied. They asked for what purpose he was going. He said he did not know that. One of these people thought that his clothes should be searched. So the search was made, but nothing was found on him. Kinanah ibn Bishr at-Tujibi said, "See his water-skin." People said, "Leave him, how can there be a letter in water! Kinanah said, "You do not know what cunning these people play. " Consequently, the water-skin was opened and seen. There was a lead pipe in it wherein was a letter. When it was opened and read, the Caliph's order in it was that "When Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr and his party reaches you then from among them kill so and so, arrest so and so, and put so and so in jail, but you remain on your post." On reading this all were stunned and thus began to look at one another in astonishment.

A Persian hemistich says:

Mind was just burst in astonishment as to what wonder it was!

Now proceeding forward was riding into the mouth of death, consequently they returned to Medina taking the slave with them. Reaching there they placed that letter before all the companions of the Prophet. Whoever heard this incident remained stunned with astonishment, and there was no one who was not abusing `Uthman. Afterwards a few companions went to `Uthman along with these people, and asked whose seal was there on this letter. He replied that it was his own. They enquired whose writing it was. He said it was his secretary's. They enquired whose slave was that man. He replied that it was his. They enquired whose riding beast it was. He replied that it was that of the Government. They enquired who had sent it. He said he had no knowledge of it. People then said, "Good Heavens. Everything is yours but you do not know who had sent it. If you are so helpless, you leave this Caliphate and get off from it so that such a man comes who can administer the affairs of the Muslims." He replied, "It is not possible that I should put off the dress of Caliphate which Allah has put on me. Of course, I would offer repentance." The people said, "Why should you speak of repentance which has already been flouted on the day when Marwan was representing you on your door, and whatever was wanting has been made up by this letter. Now we are not going to be duped into these bluffs. Leave the Caliphate and if our brethren stand in our way we will hold them up; but if they prepare for fighting we too will fight. Neither our hands are stiff nor our swords blunt. If you regard all Muslims equally and uphold justice hand over Marwan to us to enable us to enquire from him on whose strength and support he wanted to play with the precious lives of Muslims by writing this letter." But he rejected this demand and refused to hand over Marwan to them, whereupon people said that the letter had been written at his behest.

However, improving conditions again deteriorated and they ought to have deteriorated because despite lapse of the required time every thing was just as it had been and not a jot of difference had occurred. Consequently, the people who had stayed behind in the valley of Dhakhushub to watch the result of repentance again advanced like a flood and spread over the streets of Medina, and closing the borders from every side surrounded his house.

During these days of siege a companion of the Prophet, Niyar ibn `Iyad desired to talk to `Uthman, went to his house and called him. When he peeped out from the above he said, "O' `Uthman, for Allah's sake give up this Caliphate and save Muslims from this bloodshed." While he was just conversing, one of `Uthman's men aimed at him with an arrow and killed him, whereupon people were infuriated and shouted that Niyar's killer should be handed over to them. `Uthman said it was not possible that he would hand over his own support to them. This stubbornness worked like a fan on fire and in the height of fury people set fire to his door and began advancing for entering, when Marwan ibn al-Hakam, Sa`id ibn al-`As and Mughirah ibn al-Akhnas together with their contingents pounced upon the besiegers and killing and bloodshed started at his door. People wanted to enter the house but they were being pushed back. In the meanwhile, `Amr ibn Hazm al-Ansari whose house was adjacent to that of `Uthman opened his door and shouted for advancing from that side. Thus through this house the besiegers climbed on the roof of `Uthman's house and descending down from there drew their swords. Only a few scuffles had taken place when all except people of `Uthman's house, his well-wishers and Banu Umayyah ran away in the streets of Medina and a few hid themselves in the house of Umm Habibah bint Abi Sufyan (Mu`awiyah's sister) the rest were killed with `Uthman defending him to the last. (at-Tabaqat, Ibn Sa`d, vol. 3, Part 1, pp. 50-58; at-Tabari, vol. 1, pp. 2998-3025; al-Kamil, Ibn al-Athir, vol. 3, pp. 167-180; Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, vol. 2, pp. 144-161).

At his killing several poets wrote elegies. A couplet from the elegy by Abu Hurayrah is presented:

Today people have only one grief but I have two griefs - the loss of my money bag and the killing of `Uthman.

After observing these events the stand of Amir al-mu'minin becomes clear, namely that he was neither supporting the group that was instigating at `Uthman's killing nor can be included in those who stood for his support and defence but when he saw that what was said was not acted upon he kept himself aloof.

When both the parties are looked at then among the people who had raised their hands off from `Uthman's support are seen `A'ishah, and according to the popular versions (which is not right) the then living persons out of the ten Pre-informed ones (who had been pre-informed in this world by the Prophet for their being admitted in Paradise), out of those who took part in the consultative committee (formed for `Uthman's selection for Caliphate), ansar, original muhajirun, people who took part in the battle of Badr and other conspicuous and dignified individuals, while on the side (of Uthman) are seen only a few slaves of the Caliph and a few individuals from Banu Umayyah. If people like Marwan and Sa`id ibn al-`As cannot be given precedence over the original muhajirun their actions too cannot be given precedence over the actions of the latter. Again, if ijma` (consensus of opinion) is not meant for particular occasions only then it would be difficult to question this overwhelming unanimity of the companions.

#17 IMAnonymous

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 06:38 PM

Thanks for the replies. And - Yes - I knew I was not getting what I was searching for in my reading. The first three articles I read assumed I already had some familiarity with the basics - Sort of like reading an article on any battle. Most authors don't bother to explain the war in order to explain the battle. Thus, I had no idea why Imam faced 4,000 with 72. I just knew he did it. One problem in resolving this was in the name spellings. Few authors agreed on the spelling of the names involved. This made it difficult to look any individual up when his name is spelled 3-4 or even 5 different ways. I also noted authors chose their words very carefully so as not to insult their Muslim reader. Our hero refused to recognize the Caliph. That's a rebel. But no one called him that and exactly what our hero intended to do about the Caliph goes unmentioned - But he was going to do something and whatever it was it got him killed by the Caliph's men. Sure sounded like he was in rebellion (Certainly hinted at but never said.)That's about all I knew.

So I went back in time to his father, Ali, figuring this would get me to the original problem. This got confusing again. Ali sounds like a good man and yet he's assassinated by Muslims in the name of God. And I see that he became Caliph after the third Caliph was assassinated by supporters of Ali. So I looked to see if Ali was behind the third Caliph's assassination and - No - he was not. He even supported the Caliphs. But confusion again in that one article said that Ali left the city after leaving his two sons to guard the Caliph (Don't know which article that was). I wondered then if Ali realized what would happen next and left so as not to be considered a part of it? So I read about the third Caliph to see why he was assassinated and eventually concluded it was for appointing governorships to his tribal members who then enriched themselves. Here I ran into contradiction again - the third Caliph is spreading the Quran and refusing to shed Muslim blood. But what's a good Caliph making bad appointments for? Muslim explanations of their own history seem to be rather open ended and brief on politics.

By this time it was one in the morning and I had gotten nowhere. So it was either start again tomorrow or just ask here and hope not to insult? I took the chance Baqar would know I meant no disrespect, wrote what I'd read, what I'd thought, and hoped for the best.

And I got the best.

Thanks again - And I will keep reading. Is there a thread in one of the other forums here that applies to what I've read? It would be interesting to get more than one view. I'm really behind on this issue.
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#18 baqar

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 08:07 PM

That's a rebel.

No more than Moses was to the Pharoahs.

The third Caliph is spreading the Quran

There are a lot of people appearing to be spreading the Quran. That does not right other wrongs they might do.

Muslim explanations of their own history seem to be rather open ended and brief on politics.

A lot of people try to put the cart before the horse. They make claims based on what they like to see in the caliphs.

I took the chance Baqar would know I meant no disrespect, wrote what I'd read, what I'd thought, and hoped for the best.

We know you meant no disrespect. But I had to show firmness in debunking the mis-information you posted.

Thanks again -

Please feel free to ask any questions you wish. Since you have been reading in this area, I suggest you read this letter from Ali to one of his governors. http://al-islam.org/...53.htm#letter53

Is there a thread in one of the other forums here that applies to what I've read?

There probably is but I will let someone else answer this.

#19 Maimonides

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 09:29 PM

A very moving story.

It got me thinking about how the group psychology of different religions is affected by formative experiences, especially tragedies.

For Jews, our national history essentially begins in slavery, climaxes at Sinai, and then instantly sort of goes downhill with squabbling. Over the course of about 1400 years of national existence in our land (the first time), we had four good kings, a large number of mediocre to bad ones, and pretty much everything that could go wrong, did. Our Temple was destroyed (twice - which we mourn every day), we were exiled (twice - once for only 70 years, but the second time for 1900 years). So we've spent most of our history experiencing slavery, destruction, and exile.

For Christians, I suppose the formative experience is the death of Jesus, although most of them weren't there when it happened (i.e. most Christian communities were not formed from the descendants of Jesus's disciples, but rather from people who first heard of him after he was long dead).

For Sunni Muslims, I once read a book by a professor of Islamic history who was trying to explain to Westerners precisely why the Islamic world was so traumatized by having lost its world preeminence over the past 300 years. The way he put it was: "Moses died having been forbidden to enter the Promised Land; Jesus died on the cross; but Muhammad saw many victories, led a successful state, and died happy." His point was that Muslims (Sunni) were used to success, and not at all used to failure.

But for Shia, it seems that the unique formative experience is that of being persecuted by your own supposed co-religionists. That is, your ancestors were persecuted by people waving the exact same book that you hold holy, both claiming to be the legitimate heirs of the prophet you revere. I imagine there's a feeling of betrayal there that you don't find in the collective psychology of Jews, Christians, or Sunni Muslims.

Is it Shia belief that God desired for the events described above to happen, or that God somehow made those events happen? Jews believe that our past sufferings at the hands of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, etc. were divine punishment for various national sins (our prophets and sages are quite explicit about this).

#20 baqar

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 01:44 AM

A very moving story.

It has fired the pens and poetical skills of Muslims and non-Muslims alike. As an example, I will reproduce a poem and its English translation by a Hindu poet by the name of Jai Singh, and you may find it extraordinary how a non-Muslim could write a poem so full of love about a Muslim savant.

I once read a book by a professor of Islamic history ........... Muhammad saw many victories, led a successful state, and died happy." His point was that Muslims (Sunni) were used to success, and not at all used to failure.

I don't agree with the professor. I believe the prophet underwent extraordinary hardships and among his flock, there were many more Osamas and Saddams than Mother Teresas. His so-called successes were forestalled and foreshadowed by far greater sorrows and trials. Full details on that would require more than just a few posts here.

But for Shia, it seems that the unique formative experience is that of being persecuted by your own supposed co-religionists.

Our persecution is irrelevant and has no place in our faith, even though it too did take place. What matters is the immense grief and sufferings the family of our Holy Prophet was put through by so-called Muslims, for generation after generation after generation and generation. That is why we mourn. That is why we lament and beat our breasts, sometimes in unseemly frenzy, while many of our fellow-men view our practices with scorn and derision.

That is, your ancestors were persecuted by people waving the exact same book that you hold holy, both claiming to be the legitimate heirs of the prophet you revere.

Not ancestors but masters. Some of us (a very small percentage) may be descended from them but that is irrelevant. We regard the holy family as our masters and role models.

I imagine there's a feeling of betrayal there that you don't find in the collective psychology of Jews, Christians, or Sunni Muslims.

Again, our betrayal is irrelevant. What matters is the unending spiral of agonies and anguish the noblest family we know of went through.

Is it Shia belief that God desired for the events described above to happen?

Prophets and men of God are made to suffer so that the world can see their mettle and strive for the better.

Is it Shia belief that God somehow made those events happen?

Not somehow but according to a master plan.

Jews believe that our past sufferings at the hands of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, etc. were divine punishment for various national sins (our prophets and sages are quite explicit about this).

That may be true for ordinary human beings. But the sufferings of great men are for the world to see their worth. And then may be to work a little harder to achieve better results for themselves.

As Shakespeare has said "Great men great losses must endure".

#21 baqar

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 01:48 AM

A very moving story.

As promised in my last post, here is a poem on Imam Hussain, by an Indian Hindu, followed by an English translation. I had presented only one verse of this poem in post no. 12. Now here is the full poem. The translation is perhaps not as forceful as the original, but one can see the extraordinary love this Indian non-Muslim has for our Imam.

ORIGINAL POEM

Hai aaj bhi zamanay maeyn charcha Husain ka
Chalta hai kaayenaat maeyn sikka Husain ka

Bharat maeyn gar wo aatay, Bhagwan kahtay hum
Har Hindu Naam Pooja maeyn japta Husain ka

Is maeyn naheen kalaam kay hum but parast haeyn
Ankhon say apnee choomaeyn gay roza Husain ka

Hum Papiyon kay saamnay Hur ki misaal hai
Chamkaata hai naseeb ishara Husain ka

Ahlay Wila to parrhtay haeyn kalma Rasool ka
Hum Hindu-oan nay parrh liya kalma Husain ka

Sar apna jo patakti hai piyason ki yaad maeyn
Laytee hai naam Gunga aur Jumna Husain ka

Jai Singh panaah mangay gee mujh say narad ki aag
Maeyn Hindu hoon magar hoon maeyn shaida Husain ka

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Even today Hussain's name is very well known
Hussain's name is common currency for the whole world

Had he come to Bharat (India) we would have called him Bhagwan
Every Hindu would have reverred the name of Husain in his pooja (worship)

There is no doubt that we do worship idols
So we will kiss his grave with all devotion

For us sinners, there is the example of Hur
Husain's cause brings Hur to the truth

(Note : Originally an officer in the enemy forces, Hur saw the animal in them. He defected, joined Imam Hussain and was killed in action).

Muslims read the kalma (Shahada) of the Prophet
We Hindus have already read the kalma of Husain

(Note : The kalma is the Islamic declaration of faith)

In memory of Husain, the waves lash on to the banks
Of the Gunga and the Jumna, remembering Husain

(Note : The Gunga is the Indian name for the river Ganges, Jumna is a famous tributary)

Jai Singh, the fire of hell will never touch me
I am a Hindu but also a lover of Husain

(Note : Jai Singh is the author of the poem)

#22 IMAnonymous

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 04:49 PM

Thank you for your posts, Yonus. It presents yet another view of what I'd read.

#23 Maimonides

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 10:19 PM

Our persecution is irrelevant and has no place in our faith, even though it too did take place. What matters is the immense grief and sufferings the family of our Holy Prophet was put through by so-called Muslims, for generation after generation after generation and generation. That is why we mourn. That is why we lament and beat our breasts, sometimes in unseemly frenzy, while many of our fellow-men view our practices with scorn and derision.
....
Not ancestors but masters. Some of us (a very small percentage) may be descended from them but that is irrelevant. We regard the holy family as our masters and role models.
...
Again, our betrayal is irrelevant. What matters is the unending spiral of agonies and anguish the noblest family we know of went through.


Interesting. You do realize that in this respect -- mourning for your leader/master's suffering -- Shia Muslims are surprisingly parallel to Christians?

As an analogy, I once heard a talk by a rabbi who had himself been involved in some interfaith meeting with Christian pastors. They decided to study together a section (I don't remember which) of their common text -- the Hebrew Bible. The participants very quickly realized that where Jews read a passage about one of our ancestors, we view it in light of our experience, whereas when Christians read the same passage, they view it in light of Jesus's experience.

Most of the greatest leaders of the Jewish people -- Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Judah Maccabee, Hillel, the Vilna Gaon, the Baal Shem Tov, you name it -- didn't die as martyrs. While Jews do have tales of specific individual martyrs -- e.g., Rabbi Akiva, who was flayed alive by the Romans for teaching Torah -- by and large we do not focus very much on their sufferings (there is a reading in the Yom Kippur liturgy, but that's mainly it). Because if you want to go looking for Jewish suffering, you don't have to look very far -- our history is replete with it. From slavery to exile to near-genocide a couple of times to another exile to the destruction of our Temple to the Crusades to expulsions to persecutions to pogroms to the farhud to the Holocaust and on and on, every Jew has, besides specific family members who were killed by the oppressor of the generation, deep within his bones the knowledge of our national suffering. Specific individual martyrology is just not that big a part of our collective psychology; national martyrology is. We don't mourn that someone else suffered; we mourn that we suffer (and continue to suffer) -- although, at least in one or two countries, we are very fortunate in the current era to have a lot less suffering than in years past (and maybe years future).

Just a point of comparison.

#24 baqar

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 01:51 AM

Interesting. You do realize that in this respect -- mourning for your leader/master's suffering -- Shia Muslims are surprisingly parallel to Christians?


A comparison might be valid. However, I believe Christians don't mourn nearly as passionately as we do. But our mourning has several reasons and if I may, I would like to try and explain.

Firstly, one needs to understand the backdrop to the story of Karbala. While Jesus's suffering was at the hands of non-Christians, Imam Hussain and in fact, all our Imams suffered at the hands of so-called Muslims. Secondly, Imam Hussain's suffering was not an isolated incident, but the culmination of a master plan, again crafted by so-called Muslims. Thirdly, the suffering itself brings forth an enormous insight into the almost infinite capacity of our Imams and the Prophet's family to take suffering without giving in.

For subsequent generations of those so-called Muslims and their supporters, it would be a godsend if the story of Imam Hussain was left just to historians and history books. It would then be easier to manipulate and distort the facts, to their advantage.

Also, justice is a prime principle in Shia Islam, according to which every offender must be suitably reprimanded or dealt with, and every sufferer likewise compensated. Time has moved on and sadly, we cannot provide water for the parched children of Karbala. But the dimensions of the Karbala tragedy almost approaching infinity, it is only meet that it be remembered for a long long time.

Just a note to expand on the last sentence. The pathetic story of Karbala did not end with the death of Imam Hussain. While no male family member (except one) survived, the story of the survivors, mostly women and children, is again as heart-rending and horrific as you can imagine.

One does not have to be a Muslim or for that matter a Shia Muslim to feel the pain. That is why I quoted a poem from a Hindu. And as the British historian Gibbon has said "In a distant age and clime, the tragic scene of the death of Hussain will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader." (see post no. 13)

Educate me. It's not a challenge (except to my stupidity). I figure you can tell me faster than I can look it up.


You are welcome. Please feel free to ask if you have any further questions.

#25 yonus

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 03:14 AM

Thank you for your posts, Yonus. It presents yet another view of what I'd read.


You are welcome ,

You don't know how much I admire your knowledge and I consider you as one of the leaders in this forum .

Abbas Mahmud Al-`Aqqad (1889-1964 A.D.)

An Egyptian critic, journalist, and poet, he participated in the Renovation Movement. He wrote Siar A`lam Al-Islam [Biography of Great Islamic Figures], `Abqariyt Muhammad [The Genius of Muhammad] , and `Abqariyt `Umar [The Genius of `Umar].
The genius of Ali and the genius of Khalid.

He also wrote Abushuhada Father of the martyrs hussain ,unfortunately these books are not translated to English while
we see shakspeare ,victor hugo ,alpere camo and most western writers books translated to Arabic .



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