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baqar

Tragedy Of Karbala For Jewish/Christian Friends

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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.

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(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 .

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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.

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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.deviantart.com/deviation/397566...me+-in%3As[Edited Out]s

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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.

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(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

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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.deviantart.com/deviation/397566...me+-in%3As[Edited Out]s

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

I don't think I ever read the same facts twice.

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.

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.

Yes, that is unfortunate.

It seemed the hero of your story was in rebellion to the Caliph.

If an incompetent pleasure loving self-indulgent man attains Presidency of the United States, would you sit back in silence and relax.

He refused to accept him and rode against him.

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.

It is a story of tragedy, despair, and hopelessness. Its the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

It is a story of courage, fortitude and unparalled nobility of character.

Does the Quran call for a caliph?

The Quran left it to Mohammad to work out those details.

Did Muhammad appoint a successor?

We Shias believe he did.

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.

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.

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

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.

I don't think Ali objected to the Caliph's assassination (Although he didn't initiate it either).

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.

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.

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.

And it worked.

Outrageous and appalling. Where did you get those carrots !

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.

Doesn't mean anything. This is what is called politics.

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.

What is all this about leaving the city ? What are you talking about ?

Yet he failed to appoint one of his sons Caliph to replace himself.

Carrots again. He appointed his son Hasan as caliph.

Had he succeeded, the descendents of Muhammad would have been royalty versus elected popes.

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.

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

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.

Ultimately, history is whatever the recorder wants it to be.

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.

1) Why should there be a Caliph?

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.

2) Why should he be a descendent of Muhammad's?

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 ?

3) Did not Ali accept the first three Caliphs? How is that explained?

As historical caliphs, yes. As God-ordained rightful successors to the prophet, no.

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

Edited by baqar

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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).

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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

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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.

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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.

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