The Aims and Objectives of Imam Hussain’s Stand
What was the course of Imam Hussain’s (A) revolution? What reasons prompted him to stand up against the ruling regime? Did he intended to overthrow the Yazid regime? Or did he wish to end the Umayyid dynasty? These and similar other questions keep lurkingin the mind and everyone wants to know the satisfactory replies, especially the mourners of Imam Hussain (A) are more eager in this regard.
When Imam Hussain (A) was preparing to leave on his longest journey, he bid adieu to the grave of his grandfather, the Holy Prophet (S.AW). Then he wrote a legacy addressing his brother Mohammed Bin Hanafiyyah in which he explained the aims and objectives of his mission. We are quoting an extract from the same legacy hereunder. He wrote thus:
“And surely the aim of my stand is not inspired by vain exultation and it is also not for the quest of kingdom, Neither it is to cause dissension and corruption nor it is to wrong anybody unjustly.”
These sentences of Imam Hussain (A) are sufficient enough to beat all the criticisms and accusation leveled against him by the enemies of Islam and the enemies of Imam Hussain (A). Now the question arises if these were not the motives of Imam’s mission then what did he stand up for? What were the aims of his mission? Thus continued Imam Hussain (A):
“The purpose of my stand is the reformation of my grandfather’s nation. I intend to enjoin goodness and forbid evil. I want to emulate my grandfather, the Holy Prophet (S)and my father Ali Bin Abu Talib (A). Whosoever accepts me by accepting the truth, then Allah is higher than the truth. And whosoever rejects me then I will bear patiently until Allah adjudges between me and them and He is the best Judge.”
In this legacy the chief of martyrs has explained three purposes for his stand:
1. The reformation of his grandfather’s nation
2. Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil
3. Renewal and Revival of the tradition of the Holy Prophet (S)
These purposes are not different than each other rather these are complementary to each other because a nation can be reformed only by means of bidding good and forbidding evil. The tradition and path of the Holy Prophet (S) and Imam Ali (A) is goodness and anything other than that is evil. Some facts are stated by Imam Husain (A) in his other sermons and letters in similar other words. When he reached Mecca he wrote a letter to the people of Basra saying:
“I invite you towards the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S) because indeed the Sunnah has been mutilated and hereby is revived. Whoever will accept my words, then I will guide him towards the straight path”. (Tarikhe-Tabari vol.7, pg.240)
In another letter to the people of Kufa he wrote thus:
“By God, an Imam is the one who acts on the commands of the Book, deals with Justice, followed the truth and reserves him self for the pleasure of Allah.”
These words of the Imam imply that only he can be an Imam who possesses these characteristics and the one who does not possess them cannot be an Imam. Hence Yazid Bin Muawiyah has had no right to the caliphate. When he reached at ‘Baiza’, a place near Karbala and was besieged by the contingent of Hur, then he addressed his men and the army of Hur in these words:
“The one who sees a tyrant King who is making unlawful as lawful, violating the pledge (of God), opposing the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S) ruling on the servant of Allah with sins and oppression. And by his words and actions does not oppose the King and does not strive to reform the circumstances, then it behooves Allah to hurl him into Hell along with the King.”
Then he continued about the Yazidi regime saying:
“They have shunned the obedience of Allah and acted following Shaitan. They are instigating commotion and dismissing the divine laws. They are expending from the public exchequer for their selfish end and are changing the prohibited things to permissible thing.”
In the first sermon at Karbala he spoke these words:
“Can’t you see that the truth is not followed and the falsehood is not shunned? In such circumstances a believer should desire to meet Allah. Surely I regard death as nothing but an honour and life with Oppressors as anything but disgrace.” (Tarikhe-Tabari, vol.-7pg. 300)
Nevertheless the unique and unparalleled mission of Imam Hussain (A) which began in Rajab 60 AH. and apparently ended with the glorious martyrdom of Imam Hussain (A), his kith, kin and companions was not in vain. The purpose of this mission was to revive and rejuvenate Islam (which was distorted and Yazidi regime wanted to annihilate it), and also to reform the nation of the Holy Prophet (S). Some of the Sunni Traditionalists have added a phrase of ‘and on the path of Khulafa Rashedeen’. It is an addition made in the reign of Umayyid dynasty because the term ‘Khulafa-Rashedeen’ was coined by the Historians and Scholastic Theologians of that time and this term was not in use at the time of Imam Hussain (A).
Moreover, Imam Hussain (A) was critical about the behavioural pattern of the caliphs, then how he could have desired to follow their paths ?