The event of Karbala: The paradigm to humanity.

And so he came, he fell and he conquered….   

Br. Husseinali Datoo

History records that there have been two types of response when a society reaches the brink of moral collapse. The first is the destruction of the whole society- this we have seen during the deluge that overcame the people of Nuh.(A.S). The second is the martyrdom that strikes at the conscience of the society to restructure it on a new ethical foundation as was in evidence in Karbala.

How did the tragedy of Karbala occur and what relevance has it in the present day and Age? The question is on many a mind as this tragedy happened in present day Iraq some 1400 years ago. The tragedy of Karbala, being unique in nature and form has had many causes and purposes for its occurrence. The tragedy of Karbala reflects the collision between good versus the evil, the truth versus
falsehood, the variance of Imam Hussein.(A.S). versus Yazid the tyrant of that time.

Imam Hussein.(A.S). wanted to secure Islam original whilst Yazid ruled as a tyrant who violated every Islamic tenet to rule over the people. More so this is all too evident in the present day world. Arrogance and combative, half truths and domination is the hallmark of the present champion of Human rights. Karbala signifies a collective demonstration of courage and conviction of determination to full dedication to humanity exemplary.

Indeed a final stand had to be made to draw a line against evil if eternal values had to be sustained and saved. It was on the banks of Euphrates that the encounter took place amidst the unshakable force of human will not to surrender to the evil empire of that time that wore Islam as a mask (using it only as a means to power and wealth) and used the Qur’an as a wrapping to conceal their inner corruption.

Martyrdom exists as an active and powerful force in the ideology of Islam and to understand why it has such powerful roots and such symbolic weight, it is necessary to examine the different levels at which the perception itself manifests It is interwoven at the Quranic level and then takes on the active life in Islamic history.

Imam Hussein.(A.S). was quick to realize that giving allegiance of loyalty to Yazid would serve no purpose but to annihilate Islam. To safeguard Islam he would rather face death than submit to outrageous tyranny and the ways of tyrant Yazid.

While there have been numerous examples of tragic massacres and killings in history, no comparable historical episode comes readily to mind of a whole group deciding not in the heat of passing moment, but after due deliberation and choice to court certain death and torture for the sake of a cause, more so the conviction that Karbala saved humanity does not imply that evil forces came to an end. Indeed the forces of tyranny and unjust are as active today as they were during that time. But by challenging the mighty army of Yazid Imam Hussein.(A.S). performed a signal service of distinguishing from all time evil and this unique action has kept alive the pristine spirit and foundation of Islam.

This is what makes the event of Karbala a great institution of Martyrdom and the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.(A.S). is permanent on the larger society as firstly, there is a deep religious, political and moral impact of this tragedy on the oppressed people and still has an inherent potential to generate revolutions.

Secondly imam Hussein(AS) launched a great movement against moral decay and evil trends in society. Yazid’s aim was twofold to uphold the tyranny over freedom, to humiliate the guardians of morality and to usurp power in the hands of few who claimed to be the guardians of Islamic Ummah.(Community).

In the opinion of imam Hussein(AS) it was an unforgivable offence to let it prevail and perpetuate such a situation, ready himself to put at stake all that one can cherish in the material life, expose himself, his family including a six month old suckling baby – Aliasger, John his Christian devoted companion, friends and supporters to every type of mental anguish and torture and physical hardships to save Islam.

Who else than imam Hussein had the unwavering courage and faith like prophet Ibrahim to dare sit on a
volcano and march up to a canon’s mouth!


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