The writer, Alhaj Murtaza Somji (Nairobi, Kenya) is the Director of Eyestyle Opticians and someone who has held many diverse roles in community service.
Imam Husain: While the world rightfully and respectfully commemorates his lofty sacrifice on the searing-hot plains of Karbala; and eminent authors advance awe-inspiring tributes in his honor; there are innumerable credits that this cherished personality exhibited throughout his life and beyond. His unrivalled and iconic stance on Social justice, Morality, Humility, and Resilience are seen as avid examples of a person who refused to give allegiance to a maliciously corrupt leadership that lacked moral intent and integrity. As a monumental exemplar of struggle and sacrifice; Al Husain continues to resonate handsomely with the repressed global population, century after century, and will continue doing so for eternity.
History is awash with educative editorials of altruism, religiosity, and morality that he propounded on every occasion; furthering the cause of Reforming Humanity. Lessons gained from his mission enlighten the propagation of Freedom, Dignity, Justice, Patience, and much more. However, the crowning glory of all attributes was his portrayal as the beacon of faith and hope in the face of abject calamity and heart-wrenching tribulations.
Busy plotting clandestine conspiracies of diluting the doctrines of the Glorious Qur’an and the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), his craven enemies were covertly entertaining feverish musings of morbidly elasticating the principles of religion thus, banishing the Islamic Nation to the crypts of abasement and denigration. Using bipartisan cooperation; they succeeded in creating systemic abuse of the system; blurring the lines between Right and Wrong and reducing the religion to disintegrate into political fissures and moral fault lines.
Amidst all this maze, there rose a man who re-assembled the priceless pearls of Divinity and the sublime teachings of the Prophet (PBUH) and embedded them into the Human psyche for eternity. His clarion call for the Reformation of human values and justice echoes through every century and grows louder with the passing of each day. His ideological foundations of defining, defending, and destroying the oppressors still stand tall to this day. So powerful is his compelling approach that intellectuals, Philosophers, and Academicians are beholden by the simplicity of its holistic tenets and philosophy. His Universal message that transcends all Faiths was simple: Enjoin Good and Forbid Evil. He, therefore, left a legacy that has become synonymous with noble values and has encouraged humankind to successfully navigate the marshlands of plague and pestilence and nestle onto the firm ground of sanity and sobriety.
So, what was Al-Husain’s certitude anchored upon?
Apart from the innumerable dignified principles, the two leading majors in my opinion are Faith and Hope.
His Faith in the Lord Almighty and the quest of restoring enriched ethics & Ideals were the cornerstones of his unshakable belief. He was sure that his faith, sustained by prayer and fueled by God’s Word could turn chaos into clarity, a trial into a triumph, and a test into a testimony. He was convinced that with time, people would be able to discern the genetic footprint of the oppressor, bring a root-and-branch reform and attain a high moral plateau full of good-standing qualities.
The second admirable attribute is his eternal Hope in the face of abject hopelessness. Faith is a pre-link to optimism and is the power that promotes Hope in Humanity. On the dusty plains of Karbala; Hope worked in a binary fashion. Aptly demonstrated by the Imam (A.S) as the catalyst to his movement, it extended to the world as a source of redemption for many issues that humankind faces today. Mental illness, physical challenges, egoistic traits, validation, etc are some of the maladies that can be overcome if one clings on to Hope. It is the single most important aspect of the shackled liberation of a human being.
Nay, Imam Husain (A.S) was not a celebrity but a legend who held the lantern that could define and defy darkness; and spread the light of liberation to emancipate humankind from the clutches of tyranny and repression. Angelic in nature, personified in human form, he was a living expression of values and a compass that even today keeps us moving in the right direction. Whilst demonstrating Faith and Hope in his mission, he has become a symbol of freedom for the human race as he continues to instill resilience and commitment by advocating the tenets of integrity and Social Justice.
Historians can chronicle a lesson from the two lofty brothers – Whilst Imam Hassan (A.S) taught humanity that the pen can be powerful in promoting peace, unity, and guidance; Imam Husain (A.S) submitted that when there are no other alternatives, self-sacrifice for the truth is the ultimate empowerment.
Let our ‘Time for Remembrance’ be our ‘Time for Reflection’ as we ponder over the entire episode of Karbala and beyond. These are moments where we as a Community need to reflect on the values and mores imparted by this champion of social justice through his humble attitude and simple demeanor.
May we be guided by the timeless teachings of Imam Husain in ensuring that we too Enjoin Good, Forbid Evil and hold on to Faith and Hope in our daily lives – Ameen!
When the elderly die, a library is lost and volumes of wisdom and knowledge are gone! When humanity is martyred, libraries re-emerge and volumes of wisdom and knowledge resurface!