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Thursday, 17 December 2015 06:10

The Epic of Imam Husain (Part 63)

The Epic of Imam Husain (Part 63)

In this, the sixty-third and final episode of our daily series, we look at the philosophy of mourning the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS), his family members and his companions (SAWA). Why do we continue to commemorate the tragedy of Karbala and the heart-wrenching events of the Day of Ashura, and its equally tragic aftermath?


The uprising and the movement of the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny) is in itself a very important event and has a vital significance in the history of Islam, which should be studied carefully keeping in view its value and worth. Shedding tears for anyone, particularly in mourning, is a good indication of that person’s reverence and esteem. Weeping for Imam Hussein (AS) and lamenting on the day of Ashura, is a way of intertwining the movement of Imam Husain (AS) with the collective emotion of the masses.

Weeping for Imam Husain (AS) is in effect a bridge which connects us to the blessed Household of the Prophet of Islam – a bridge of kindness and affection which will connect us to the Immaculate Ahl al-Bayt (AS), and it will also make us think more deeply about the events of Ashura on the plain of Karbala. It should be noted that shedding tears for the martyrs of Karbala is not an objective in itself – rather, those tears will hopefully help establish an emotional link between us and the Epic of Ashura, and will help us to gain a deeper understanding of events of Karbala.

Many narrations or hadith indicate the importance and rewards of weeping for Imam Husain (AS). How can these hadith be understood?

- For every hadith, Islamic scholars have set forth three criteria by which it should be examined: a) Who narrated it b) What were the conditions under which it was narrated and c) How does its content correlate with the Qur'anic message?

- By looking at what the Holy Qur'an states about those who attain paradise, one can conclude that the mourning for Imam Husain (AS) causes one to be in a state where he/she can then go on to adopt those other characteristics which will ensure us entry into Paradise. The mere crying, without observing the obligatory acts prescribed by Islam, will not help one to attain Paradise.

To remember Ashura is to remember those who stood unflinchingly in defense of Islam and the Holy Qur’an, gave up everything they had in the way of the Lord, endured enormous hardship, endured thirst and hunger, for the sake of Islam.

To remember Ashura is to remember those whose basic yardstick was always “the truth”; truth in everything they said and in everything they did.

To remember Ashura is to remember those who sacrificed everything in the way of the Lord.

To remember Karbala is to remember a path which will lead directly to the Lord, to truth, and to the bliss of paradise. How nice it would be, if we, too, remembered Ashura and Karbala, and if we mourned, supplicated and prayed for the Martyrs of Karbala!!

Here, we present some statements from the Prophet and the Infallible Imams on the rewards for weeping for Imam Husain (AS).

The Prophet once told his dear daughter, Hazrat Fatemah Zahra (SA):

“O Fatemah! Every eye shall be weeping on the Day of Judgment except the eye which has shed tears over the tragedy of Husain (AS) for surely, that eye shall be laughing and shall be given the glad tidings of the bounties and comforts of Paradise.”

A famous statement from Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS), the son and successor of the Martyr of Karbala, says:

“One who cries over us and sheds (even) on tear over us will be rewarded by Allah for that tear. He will be made to dwell in rooms in Paradise where he will stay for ages and ages.”

Another famous hadith, and this time from the Prophet’s 6th Infallible Heir, Imam Ja’far Sadeq (AS) reads:

“Those who shed tears when Husain (AS) is mentioned in front of them will be rewarded by Allah Himsef, even if their tears are as small as the wing of a fly. And Allah will not be pleased with any reward for them less than Paradise.”


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