The tragedy of Karbala happened in AH 61, since that time more than a millennium has passed. The world has seen many tides and oscillations of different regimes rising to power and also falling to irrelevancy. During this long time, many mighty empires rose to glory and then fell to oblivion as if they had never existed. In these momentary and instantaneous episodes of the rise and decline of powerful empires, when one nation rose to power, its awe and grandeur captivated the hearts of men. But as soon as this bubble burst, the awe and grandeur was obliterated from the hearts. The glory and grandeur vanished, the hearts which used to bow in awe did not feel so anymore. All the warmth in hearts became cold and the majestic glory transformed into ruins.
But there is this warmth of Imam Hussein’s (AS) love, the glory of his shining visage, the light of his pure soul, the fragrance of his blessed existence which are only rising like a sun rises every day. As the days are passing, the enchantment of love is increasing. With each passing year his lovers are becoming more and more enraptured. For this love, they are ready to defy threats of death. They are ready to encounter attacks of enemies. They are ready to accept loss of life. But they are not ready to abandon him. They are not ready to stop visiting his grave. They are not ready to prefer their lives in response to the threats of attacks and deaths.
The world was amazed when millions thronged his mausoleum on the fortieth day (Arbaeen) after Imam Hussein’s (AS) death after the tyrannical regime of Saddam met its inevitable destiny as all tyrannies have (and will). What kept this flame going during centuries of tyrannical dominance? How has this spirit survived the many storms of different invasions? Why didn’t this fire extinguish when the world was submerged in the coldest period of anti-God communism?
This happened because the love of Imam Hussein (AS) is connected to the love of Everlasting, Allah. This happened because Imam Hussein (A.S) is among the largest towers of light shining the message of tawheed (oneness of God). As mankind is traversing on the path of evolution, their collective conscious is shunning false gods. This happened because Imam Hussein (AS) is lamp of guidance and with each passing day, humanity’s numbers are consequently growing in flocks to the glow of guidance. This happened because Imam Hussein (AS) is the ark of salvation and as the man is awakening, his desire for attaining salvation is rising. This happened because Imam Hussein (AS) is the model of valor and fearlessness and as oppressed masses are revolting against the tyrannical regimes, they need strongest models of valor and defiance against their unjust rulers. This happened because the Imam Hussein (AS) sacrificed his everything for truth and seeking truth is engraved in our souls. And this happened because Imam Hussein (AS) submitted before the will of Allah (swt), became pleased with His decree and command, and endured unfathomable sorrows and pains for His cause, so Allah made him living in the hearts of people forever.
The holy Prophet (PBUH) predicted that the mourning of Imam Hussein (AS) will generate a warmth in the hearts of believers. This warmth is connected to our own levels of faith and purity. The hearts with stronger faith and purer souls will experience more warmth. This warmth softens the hearts and fills them with vigor and energy of spirituality. This energy and vigor must be channelised into formative and constructive purposes. This spiritual power must be used to imbibe and propagate the goals and purpose of Imam Hussein (AS) martyrdom. From Medina to Karbala, on numerous occasions, Imam Hussein (A.S) emphatically made clear the purpose of his uprising:
“This movement of mine is not on account of stubbornness, rebellion, worldly passions or instigation by Satan. It is also not my object to create trouble or to oppress anyone. The only thing which invites me to this great movement is that I should reform the affairs of the followers of my grandfather, eradicate corruption, undertake enjoining to do good and restraining from evil and follow the tradition of my grandfather, the Prophet of Allah and my father, Ali.”
The holy Quran has clearly stated that the creation and life in this world was not without purpose: “And We did not create the heaven and the earth and what is between them in vain;” (38:27) Not only was man created with purpose but also that of all other creations of Allah (swt). A believer understands the purpose of an action he takes and does the act in a way that is in harmony with the total purpose of life, to serve and obey Allah (swt). So, in mourning of Imam Hussein (AS) also, we should never lose the purpose of doing it. Let’s not be passive mourners who have no goals except aimless lamenting. Unfortunately with passage of time, the rituals of mourning seem to lack true understanding of Imam’s martyrdom. Let us shun the lifeless rituals and do mourning of Imam Hussein (AS) as the Ahl-ul-Bayt (AS) used to do. Let us revive the spirit of Karbala in our lives, the spirit of struggling against injustice, the spirit of bidding what is good and forbidding what is evil, the spirit of reformation against corruption. Let us revive the spirit of being flag bearers of tawheed, the spirit of patience, and endurance. Let us revive the spirit of submission before the will of Allah, the spirit of remembering Allah. Let us revive the spirit of seeking Allah’s pleasure and Allah’s pleasure alone, so that our Karbala rises above the aimless rituals and becomes harmonious with the goals and purposes of Imam Hussein’s (AS) uprising and it comes in sync with aims of our creation in this world. Let this Arbaeen when we visit the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) in Karbala, we do not go as passive, aimless mourners but as revolutionary, awakened and aware ones who know the purpose of his martyrdom and we make our mourning in sync with his goals of uprising.