The writer, Zamena Manekia Manji (Bujumbura, Burundi) is a bookworm with a passion for writing and community service.
A celebrity by definition, is a famous person usually associated to the entertainment sector, whereas a legend is someone who leaves an everlasting impression or influence on someone, but what do you call someone whose mere name surges a mixture of pride, pain and admiration in the hearts of millions even thousands of years later?
Imam Husain ibn Ali, has set a timeless example for everyone regardless of their religion. His very bold stand in the face of tyranny has left historians dumbfounded, for even the bravest of warriors have not reached the epitome of strength the way Husain had in one afternoon. But leaves the masses awestruck, is his patience, kindness and generosity in the face of the harshest of adversities to ever befall on mankind.
Husain’s ultimate sacrifice is even capable of brimming a stone hearted person’s eyes with tears, for the agonies he endured surpass the realm of tolerance. In order to preserve the teachings of Islam which shape the very fabric of Humanity, Husain had to pay a very heavy price. He had his had severed from his body but never did he bow down to the tyrant ruler of his time Yazid ibn Muawiyah.
Several kings and emperors have caused bloodshed in a quest for power, but no peacemaker took such a bold stand, the kind that sacrifices their family and friends too. There had to be a reason behind Husain’s stand which has a rather profound effect till today, for without Husain, the World wouldn’t have been the same.
Yazid ibn Muawiyah was an open drunkard, a womanizer and an oppressor who would behead anyone opposing his system. People were being butchered in masses simply because they loved the prophet and his family. Unlike his ancestors, Yazid openly transgressed all the teachings of the Holy Prophet, caused fear into the hearts of people and sought to demolish every moral act established by the Prophet. Hadn’t Imam Hussain stood up against this cruel regime, Islam would have never existed today. Hence the stand was of utmost importance in order to preserve the morals set by the Prophet, which shaped humanity.
The dominance of such a tyrant gripped peoples’ hearts with fear and soon, a lot of them fell prey Yazid’s trap, slowly seeping out of their Islamic values and succumbing to their worldly desires. That’s when Imam Hussain decided to set his government elsewhere as the rightly chosen caliph. He moved out of Madina with his entire family including his youngest children and decided to settle in Kufa. Refusing the pledge of allegiance from Yazid, Imam Husain knew he won’t be spared.
Yazid deployed thousands of his soldiers and ferocious commanders to divert Husain’s route from Kufa, and forced Husain’s caravan to camp in a rather desolated area, Kerbala. Upon Yazid’s orders, his commanders tortured the Husain and his comrades atrociously. From denying them food and water for three days without caring that Husain’s camp had several little children, they eventually massacred his entire army, who only summed up to 72 against over 20,000 soldiers. Under the harshest of conditions to ever befall on mankind, each person fought valiantly and achieved martyrdom. Among the fallen Heroes were Imam Hussain’s teenage nephews and his 6-month-old son whose tiny neck was shot with an arrow used to sacrifice cows.
Almost every if not all of Husain’s comrades and family members breathed their last in Husain’s arms including his 6-month-old infant who just needed some water. Despite the insurmountable grief that befell Husain in one day, he didn’t waver for even a second and fought against thousands till the very end. The enemies severed his head, while he was still alive and terribly injured, put his head and the heads of his 72 martyrs including his 6-month-old baby on spears and paraded them across the desserts for days at stretch with no rest and very little food.
They even held Imam Hussain’s sisters, wives, daughters and ailing son as captives, causing immense difficulty for them by chaining them and dragging their grieved selves to Syria- to mention a few. Imam’s son, sisters and family then carried on spoke out against the horrendous crimes that took place in Kerbala, at Yazid’s kingdom, Syria, and exposed him in minutes by telling the thousands of onlookers about the killing of Husain, his family and companions. This ultimately toppled the throne of the most tyrannical ruler history has ever seen- Yazid Ibn Muawiyah.
Hussain’s motive was not based on gaining popularity for had that been the case, he wouldn’t have taken the women and young children of his family along with him. It clearly shows he went to make a stand for humanity.
This very man, Husain is no celebrity or a legend, for he is the kind that surpasses the concept of time and dwells in the hearts of millions without anyone ever seeing a picture of him but are willing to give their lives in his cause. This is Husain, the savior of Humanity and a revolutionary hero like no other.