Hawzah News Agency- Imam Husayn's refusal to accept the tyrant Yazid's allegiance triggered the Battle of Karbala on the Day of Ashura. Imam Husayn, grandson of Prophet Muhammad, along with his family members and companions, were martyred on the plains of Karbala, and this marks a turning point for Shi'a Muslims.
Year after year, millions of people worldwide commemorate this tragedy to express their sorrow and remind themselves to firmly stand against oppression as Imam Husayn did. This article focuses on the Imam's bravery and steadfastness as seen in his encounters with the enemy, his sermons to all people, and on the battlefield.
The heroic struggle of Imam Husayn
The great event of Ashura is replete with steadfastness and heroism of Imam Husayn and his companions. Therefore, this aspect of that great event has been more impressive than its other aspects, and it has a particular significance. Most people look at Karbala from this perspective and identify it with this characteristic. The steadfastness and gallantries were demonstrated by both Imam Husayn and his companions. Regarding the bravery of Imam Husayn, it suffices to mention his sayings from his journey to Medina until his martyrdom.
His encounter with the governor of Medina
After Mu'awiyah's death, Walid ibn 'Utabah ibn Abi Sufyan, the governor of Medina, called Imam Husayn to the Medina headquarters and ordered Imam Husayn to swear allegiance to Yazid. In this meeting, which was the beginning of the Imam's uprising initiated before the public announcement of Mu'awiyah's death, Imam Husayn spoke about his own virtues versus Yazid's immoralities, and said, "A person like me would not swear allegiance to a person like him."1 Also, in some versions of this quotation, the Imam added, "I heard the Prophet say: 'Caliphate is forbidden to Abu Sufyan's descendants.' Then how shall I ever give allegiance to him?"2
2. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 44, p. 325.
3. Ibid., p. 325. It is also noteworthy that when the Walid ibn 'Utabah (that is, Muawiyyah's nephew) was the governor of Medina, there was a dispute between him and the Imam over a garden. Imam Hussain grabbed his turban and wrapped it around his neck. Walid did not dare to say anything. Marwan was a witness to the scene and said: "By Allah, I have not seen a person who dared to engage in dispute with the governor." Walid (who felt humiliated) said: "You did not say this sympathetically and in order to help me, but for your envy of me and my restraint before Hussain. The truth is that the
garden belongs to Hussain (and he did so rightfully)." Saying so, Walid wanted to make up for his lost reputation. Hearing that, Imam Hussain said: "Keep the garden." He said this and left. (Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 44, p. 191).
A similar event happened to Marwan. Out of his rancor to the household of the Prophet, once he told Imam Hussain, "If you do not take pride in your mother, Fatimah, how will you be superior to us?" In response, Imam Hussain grabbed his neck and pressed it usually when he grabbed something; he did so firmly and did not release his grip on it. He wrapped Marwan's turban around his neck so strongly that he fainted.
Finally, Imam Hussain released his grip on him and told the Qurayshites there, "By Allah, I want you to confirm me if I tell the truth. Is there anybody on the earth more beloved than my brother and I by the Prophet Muhammad? Except my brother and I, do you know anybody to be the sons of the Prophte's daughter?" They responded, "No." Then he added, "I do not know any cursed one, son of the cursed one except Marwan whose father was exiled on orders of the Prophet. By Allah, there is nobody found in the whole world who claims to be a Muslim and at the same time is more hostile than this man and his father to Allah, the Prophet and his household," (Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 44, p.206).
Ayatullah Jawadi Amuli, Heroic Manifestations of Ashura, Journal: Vol. 15, no. 3, Autumn 2014,Translated by Mohammad Reza Farajian,Published by Ahlul Bayt World Assembly.