Youth Awareness











{November 28, 2011}   Safar-e-Karbala

- اے چاند کربلا کے ، تونے تو دیکھے ہوںگے - اترے تھے اسی زمیں پر عرش بریں کے تارے

HIGHLIGHTS OF KARBALA:

The events of Karbala reflect the collision of the good versus the evil, the virtuous versus the wicked, the collision of Imam Husain (the head of virtue) versus Yazid (the head of impiety). Al-Husain was a revolutionary person, a righteous man, the religious authority, the Imam of Muslim Ummah. As the representative of his grandfather Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Imam Husain’s main concern was to safeguard and protect Islam and guide fellow Muslims. On the other hand, the staying power of the rulers (Mu’awiya and his son Yazid) depended solely on the might of the sword. They used brute force to rule over the Muslim empire even by all possible illicit means.

Imam Husain as head of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) never recognized Mu’awiya nor his followers. Before him Imam Ali (a.s.) had fought battles against Mu’awiya because Mu’awiya continuously violated the Islamic principles. Imam Al-Hasan (a.s.) had to swallow the bitter pill of making a peace agreement with Mu’awiya, in order to safeguard the security of the Ummah which was at stake. When Yazid son of Mu’awiya declared himself as a ruler over the Ummah, he demanded Imam Al-Husain’s (a.s.) allegiance of loyalty. Imam Husain on his part flatly rejected Yazid’s rule and behavior, for there was no way Yazid could represent Islam, it would be blasphemy. But Yazid, the tyrant ruler over the Ummah, was adamant in his demand, and tension between the two parties increased day by day.

Imam Husain was quick to realize that giving allegiance of loyalty to Yazid would serve no purpose but to jeopardize the survival of Islam. To safeguard and protect Islam, therefore, the Imam had no choice but to confront and collide with Yazid’s rulership irrespective of consequences. Since Yazid had ordered his commanders to seize the Imam’s allegiance of loyalty at any cost, even by brutal force, the commanders had to assemble a relatively large army, surrounding Imam Husain’s camp in a desert called Karbala. Then they cut off the basic necessities to the camp, including access to water. The camp consisted of Imam Husain, his family, friends, and companions, all of whom stood fast and firmly with him. These braves would rather face death for the noble cause of Islam, than submit to the outrageous tyranny and the un-Islamic ways of Yazid.

Thus, Karbala proved to be a clash involving Islamic truths versus falsehood, right versus wrong, belief versus disbelief, the oppressed versus the oppressor, faith against brute force. Karbala was about standing in the face of oppression, regardless no matter the cost. Thus, in Karbala, Al-Husain the 57 year old grandson of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), sacrificed his totality and all he had, for one goal. This goal was to let the truth triumph over falsehood eventually, and he did that brilliantly. His goal was to foil the plan that Mu’awiya had expertly developed for his son, Yazid, which was to establish a permanent Benu Umayya rulership over the Muslim Ummah (even by sacrificing the Islamic principles), but doing it in the name of Islam. Brilliantly, Imam Husain succeeded in foiling this plan and he exposed the disreputable nature of Benu Umayya though this was at the expense of his life.

WHO WAS MU’AWIYA?

Mu’awiya was son of Abu Sufyan, a leader of Benu Umayya clan which was one of the clans of Quraish tribes. Mu’awiya grew up in a family known to be cunning, worldly, materialistic, and power hungry. Mu’awiya became Muslim only when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) triumphed over Mecca. Those who became Muslim in this manner were called Tulaqaa, (a term scornfully used for the disbelievers who became Muslims to save their lives). Mu’awiya, his father Abu Sufyan, his mother Hind, and his brother Yazid son of Abu Sufyan were all Tulaqaa’; Mu’awiya never forgot this stigma for the rest of his life; he could never shake it from his mind, thus a feeling of malicious vengeance always existed in his heart. Mu’awiya’s character and aspirations were entirely opposite to that of his sister, Umm Habiba, who was one of the wives of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Unlike Mu’awiya, Umm Habiba was a sincere believer and a pious person.

Omar, the second Khalifa, appointed Mu’awiya’s brother, Yazid son of Abu Sufyan, as the Governor of Syria when the Muslims captured that territory from the Byzantines. Within a few years, Yazid son of Abu Sufyan died of a disease, and Omar appointed Mu’awiya in his brother’s place as the Governor. Upon coming to power, Mu’awiya took advantage of the rich public treasury of Syria using it personally to buy favors and influence people. Thus he built a large base of support among some tribes, almost to the fanatic level. He used this to his advantage in later years to form a network of informants (spies) against Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and their devotees.

JAMAL CONFRONTATION:

When Imam Ali (a.s.) became Khalifa, he decided to remove Mu’awiya immediately, notwithstanding Mu’awiya’s strong base of support. At that time, Mu’awiya had been the governor of Syria, Palestine, and Jordan for 17 years. Mu’awiya became defiant, he refused to obey Ali’s orders. Brazen and unabashed, he even declined to recognize Ali or give allegiance of loyalty to him. Also in defiance, Mu’awiya established a parallel government in Greater Syria, and started a campaign of treacherous accusations and malicious rumors against Imam Ali (a.s.). He falsely blamed Imam Ali for the killing of Uthman, the third Khalifa, and urged people to take up arms against the Imam. He spread these notorious accusations constantly to incite an uprising against Ali (a.s.).

At the same time A’isha, the Prophet’s widow, became highly vocal against Imam Ali (a.s.). She called for taking revenge for the blood of Uthman. As a result, a party of 3,000 insurgents supported by Sahaaba (Companions) such as Talha and Zubair, along with A’isha headed toward Basrah. The insurgents upon reaching Basrah clashed with the local authorities and finally occupied a portion of Basrah. Soon after the occupation these insurgents spread a reign of terror among the people, killing no less than 600 local Muslims, pilfering the treasury and stealing the arms supplies of the armory.

As a Khalifa in charge, Imam Ali (a.s.) could not ignore the situation, he had to act and restore peace and order. He ordered his forces to proceed to Basrah. As the Imam’s forces reached near Basrah, Imam Ali (a.s.) tried to persuade the insurgents led by A’isha, Zubair and Talha to change their minds and avoid confrontation, but he did not succeed. A battle broke out though Zubair elected not to fight. Talha was wounded then bled to death. Thousands of people lost their lives. A’isha fell down from the camel after it was disabled; but luckily she was not hurt. Imam Ali asked Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, (A’isha’s brother), to take A’isha to Basrah for a few days, and from there to escort her to Medina with full honor and dignity. Upon leaving Basrah Al-Hasan (a.s.) and Al-Husain (a.s.) accompanied the Prophet’s widow for some distance before bidding her farewell. Imam Ali (a.s.) stayed in Basrah for a few weeks to restore law and order. He compensated for the dead, and decided to forgive and absolve all who fought against him, exactly as the Prophet (pbuh) had done when he triumphed over Mecca 40 years earlier.

BATTLE OF SIFFIN:

Upon returning to Kufa, Imam Ali (a.s.) immediately prepared for the anticipated clash with Mu’awiya. The defying Mu’awiya continued to violate the Islamic principles by personally using the public treasury for espionage and buying peoples’ loyalty. The people of Syria fully believed him and the in false picture he presented. Ultimately this resulted in a confrontation called Battle of Siffin when the troops of the two sides met at Siffin. The battle saw ferocious fighting for nine days when Mu’awiya’s forces were near collapse. His troops were fleeing and in disarray, and their retreat was in massive disorder, running helter skelter. Mu’awiya, alarmed, tense, and frightened, preparing to run away, when he learned of a clever trick. The trick was indecent and unbecoming, it was to make the Holy Quran as an instrument and exploit it, to use it as a tool to his advantage. Mu’awiya seized on this immediately and commanded his fighters to raise 500 Holy Qurans on tips of spears, in order to stun the troops of Imam Ali. As jolting as it was, this maneuver did break the onslaught and the momentum of Ali’s fighters, for they were very pious men. But Imam Ali was quick to recognize this deceit, he knew how deceptive Mu’awiya was, and now that being near collapse, Mu’awiya wanted to save his neck at the expense of the Quran itself.

With that in mind, Ali (a.s.) urged his generals not to halt, but to keep fighting since victory was almost at hand. Alas, Ali’s generals and fighters were in shock, for the sight of the Holy Quran high on spear heads was startling to say the least. They could not take it. Not willing to fight, they wanted to accept Mu’awiya’s offer to halt the fighting and negotiate instead. The termination of the battle in this manner and the consequences thereof proved to be disastrous to say the least, especially for Ahlul Bayt and Islam.

It is said that there was a conspiracy between Amr Ibnil Aas of Mu’awiya’s side, and Ash’ath Ibn Qais, a General in Imam Ali’s camp, who was working as a spy against Ali, secretly working as an agent for Mu’awiya. In this battle 45,000 men lost their lives in Mu’awiya’s camp, and about 25,000 in Ali’s (a.s.) camp. Many men of high caliber from both sides died, especially Ammar Ibn Yasir, the great Companion of the Prophet (pbuh), who was 90 years old and fought on Imam Ali’s side against Mu’awiya.

AFTER SIFFIN:

Imam Ali’s (a.s.) generals, who stopped the battle to negotiate with Mu’awiya, did not pick the right person for the negotiation. They unyieldingly refused to accept Imam Ali’s choice, instead they picked Kufa’s Governor, Abu-Musa Ash’ari, an incompetent Governor who had been previously dismissed from office by Imam Ali. Mu’awiya appointed Amr Ibnil Aas, a shrewd and cunning man, to be his representative in the negotiation. Negotiation between the two sides did not take place for about one year.

When the two negotiators came face to face, it was clear that Ash’ari’s capability was no match for his opponent Ibnil Aas. In the negotiations, Ash’ari proposed that, both Mu’awiya and Imam Ali (a.s.) were to abdicate and to let the people hold election for the Khilaafah. Amr Ibnil Aas, a deceptive man at best, quickly agreed to Ash’ari’s proposal and asked Ash’ari to first announce the agreement. Ash’ari stood up and announced, “O people, we have agreed not to consider Ali or Mu’awiya for Khilaafah. You may choose or elect whomever you think is fit.” The cunning Amr Ibnil Aas stood up next to say, “O people! I won’t consider Ali for the Khilaafah. But Mu’awiya, in my opinion, is the person for that office!” Upon hearing this (and feeling deceived), the people screamed disapprovingly, an uproar was the result. Imam Ali’s (a.s.) camp was in shock, they were double-crossed, deceived and lied to, they felt deeply cut. Amr’s double crossing and deception was simply beyond their imagination. They left the place bewildered and utterly disappointed. Because of this a large group of Imam Ali’s supporters defected to form a separate group called Kharijies, meaning the Outsiders.

The Khariji became fanatically opposed to Imam Ali and Mu’awiya. Some of their members met secretly in Mecca and drew a plan to assassinate Ali (a.s.) in Kufa, Mu’awiya in Syria, and Amr Ibnil Aas in Egypt. Three fanatics took the responsibility, they were to attack their victims in the morning, the same day, as the would-be victims were going to the mosque to lead the morning salat. Ibn Muljim attacked and fatally wounded Imam Ali (a.s.), whereas Mu’awiya escaped with a light wound of his buttock. Amr Ibnil Aas was ill that day and his replacement was killed by the Khariji. Imam Ali (a.s.), in wounded condition, conferred the Imamah and the reign of the Islamic nation to his 37 years old son Al-Hasan.

PEACE AGREEMENT BETWEEN IMAM AL-HASAN AND MU’AWIYA:

Imam Hasan (a.s.) faced extremely difficult conditions from the start. He observed that fear, anxiety and much distress were ever present in Kufa, Basrah, Medina and other towns. The anxiety, uncertainty and insecurity were caused by Mu’awiya’s ill dealing of sincere Muslims. Mu’awiya had spread secret agents all over to defame Ahlul Bayt. Imam Hasan knew that his father Imam Ali (a.s.) had stood like a lion in all difficulties and fought battles against Mu’awiya, but these confrontations had resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. A mass scale family devastation was visible everywhere. Considering all circumstances, Imam Hasan (a.s.) discussed the matter with his brother Husain (a.s.) and other relatives. He revealed to them that in order to end the bloodshed and to provide a reasonable safety and security to the Ummah, he would make a peace agreement with Mu’awiya and abdicate until after Mu’awiya’s death. After a few days of careful consideration, Imam Hasan (a.s.) accepted an agreement as per the terms dictated by the Imam and agreed to by Mu’awiya. Four noteworthy terms of this agreement were:

  • People of Syria, Iraq, Hijaz, Yemen and other places shall enjoy amnesty against persecution,
  • Friends and companions of Imam Ali (a.s.) and all their women and children shall be protected from all dangers,
  • Mu’awiya is to immediately stop the use of abusive language with reference to Ahlul Bayt (cursing Imam Ali) after Salat of Jumu’a), and
  • Mu’awiya shall not appoint anyone as his successor.

Once the treaty was signed, Imam Hasan (a.s.) and brother Husain (a.s.) moved out of Kufa and settled in Medina. Over there both Imams lost no time in holding nightly meetings for Islamic discussions. The nightly meetings proved very successful and gained tremendous popularity. More people started to attend, to hear the Imams give of their fountain of knowledge on Islam and humanity. The reputation of these meetings began to fly to far away places. People from as far away as Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, and other distant areas travelled to Medina to learn about the Islamic values. As years passed, the knowledge thus given started to bear fruits. The number of Islamic scholars multiplied and increased considerably.

In the meantime Mu’awiya, unabashedly elected to disregard the terms of his treaty with Imam Al-Hasan. a) He sent secret agents to terrorize, kidnap, or even kill innocent people specially those who were loyal to Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). b) Instead of helping the needy with the public treasury, Mu’awiya’s governors and their surrogates used the public treasury for personal use, freely and excessively as they wished. c) Freedom suddenly died, and dictatorship took its place. d) Mu’awiya gathered a very large number of collaborators who unabashedly would do any thing for money.

MU’AWIYA’S PLOT TO POISON IMAM HASAN (a.s.):

It was Mu’awiya’s ardent desire to impose his son Yazid (who had been named after his uncle) upon the Muslims by making him the succeeding Khalifa, despite the fact that Yazid was the playboy of the time, with many evil habits including gambling, heavy drinking, and indulgence in the pleasures of the flesh. But the peace agreement would not permit Mu’awiya to appoint Yazid as his successor, (According to the agreement Imam Hasan would immediately become Khalifa upon Mu’awiya’s death). Therefore, it was obvious to Mu’awiya that, if Al-Hasan did not outlive him, Mu’awiya could do as he pleased. Thus Mu’awiya planned to kill Imam Al-Hasan in order to pave the way for his son Yazid to be his successor.

Mu’awiya sent one of his agents to contact Imam Al-Hasan’s wife Joda who was the daughter of Al-Ash’ath (once a secret agent for Mu’awiya against Imam Ali in the Battle of Siffin). Joda was asked a small favor, i.e., to put a little poison in Al-Hasan’s food, and in return Mu’awiya would give her a large sum of money and also make her wife of his son Yazid. She found the offer too attractive to ignore, and foolishly agreed to accept it. A few days later, she mixed poison in honey and gave it to the Imam. As soon as the Imam took the poisoned honey he became seriously ill. Sensing that his death was imminent, the Imam designated his brother Al-Husain (a.s.) to be the third Imam. Although Imam Al-Hasan knew he was poisoned, he did not reveal that to anyone but to his brother Al-Husain.

One thing Al-Hasan had wished was to have his burial by the side of his grandfather, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Imam Husain made all the arrangements to fulfill that wish but Mu’awiya’s governor over Medina did not let that happen and used military force to stop it. Imam Al-Hasan was 47 year old when he died of poisoning.

Medina was never the same without Imam Hasan (a.s.). Everyone missed him dearly. People at first did not believe Mu’awiya poisoned Imam Al-Hasan, but soon found out the truth.

When Husain (a.s.) was designated as the 3rd Imam he was 46 years old. Imam Husain (a.s.) carried on with his mission of teaching Islam as before. A large number of people kept coming to see him and to learn from him. This process continued for several years when people began to hear an ugly rumor that Mu’awiya wanted his son, Yazid, to succeed him.

MU’AWIYA DESIGNATES YAZID AS SUCCESSOR:

Mu’awiya began a campaign to introduce Monarchy into the structure of Islam. To have Monarchy, by force or otherwise is alien to Islam, an innovation in religion, simply not acceptable. Everyone knew that, for Islam does not subscribe to any form of Royalty through inheritance or Monarchy. In Islam it is supposed to be Shura.

Nevertheless, Mu’awiya sent his agents to the prominent members of the communities to obtain allegiance of loyalty to his son Yazid. But Yazid was evil, of the drinking type, incompetent, contemptible, and a pleasure-seeking person. People knew that. So the people protested vigorously. There was anger everywhere. Emotions went sky high. To calm people down, at least temporarily, Mu’awiya decided to send his son Yazid to Mecca for the pilgrimage. Yes, Yazid did go to Mecca but only after taking alcohol with him as well as a chorus of girls for his entertainment.

MU’AWIYA DIES

Mu’awiya was getting older day by day. At the age of 75, he became seriously ill. He was nearing death. He lay weak and lifeless as if something was choking and strangling him. He felt tortured and tormented, and continuously cried for mercy. He was in terrible pain. He wanted to die but death would not come close to him. His conscience tormented him for the calamities that he brought upon the Islamic Ummah specially Ahlul Bayt. Mu’awiya suffered in agony for many many days. His suffering continued until he breathed his last. At the time of his death, the 30 year old Yazid was nowhere near him, he had gone for fun on a hunting trip.

(Please note that Mu’awiya’s brother was by the name of Yazid, and he had named his son after his brother.)

YAZID BECOMES RULER:

Upon Mu’awiya’s death, Yazid, 30 years old, managed to impose himself on the people and become the Khalifa. At first people refused to accept him as a representative of the Prophet (pbuh) and Islamic Ummah, but Yazid approached people in mosques for their favors. Like his father Mu’awiya, Yazid used all possible means like bribery, coercion, pressure, threats, and force to receive the people’s acceptance of him as the legitimate ruler. Many people were worried, threats to their lives and livelihood was too menacing, so they grudgingly and reluctantly gave in. But, Imam Husain (a.s.) and his family (who practiced Islam in its true sense), did not give in. As the true representative of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Al-Husain flatly refused accepting Yazid either as a Khalifa or a leader of Islam. Despite Yazid’s intimidating military power the Imam stood firm in his resolve and chose to challenge Benu Umayya’s authorities.

Yazid commissioned Waleed Ibn Ut’ba, his Governor over Medina, to ask for Imam Husain’s allegiance of loyalty or else upon refusal, his head. Waleed invited Al-Husain to a meeting for the purpose. Imam Husain did not give his word at the meeting and decided to leave Medina along with his family to proceed to Mecca. When Al-Husain reached Mecca he received 12,000 letters from Kufa urging him to go to Kufa to be their leader, and be the Khalifa. Imam sent an emissary, his cousin Muslim Ibn Aqeel, to Kufa to ascertain first-hand information about the situation in Iraq. In the mean time Yazid spread a network of informants and secret agents in Mecca to assassinate the Imam during pilgrimage. Imam learned about the spies, and carefully evaluated the situation in Mecca. Imam Husain knew that Yazid son of Mu’awiya had no regard for Islamic values and teachings, that he would do anything to enforce his tyrannical rule. Imam Husain also knew that giving allegiance of loyalty to an imposter like Yazid would certainly place Islam at great jeopardy. Therefore he decided to leave Mecca for Kufa to prepare for a confrontation with Yazid and his forces.

Many friends and relatives urged Imam Husain not to go to Kufa, but he insisted on going. Imam Husain, along with family, friends, and companions began the journey toward Kufa (1,100 miles) in a long caravan in the blistering heat of summer.

ON THE WAY TO KARBALA:

During the early phase of the journey the caravan met Al-Farazdaq (a famous poet) at a place called al-Sifah. Al-Farazdaq advised the Imam not to go to Kufa because though people’s hearts were with him (Imam), their swords would be against him. But the Imam continued with the journey, and he received the first letter from his emissary Muslim Ibn Aqeel with good news. The letter indicated that the people were more than ready to welcome the Imam in Kufa and were looking forward to his leadership. Imam Husain decided to send another emissary to Kufa with a message. The caravan kept proceeding toward Kufa. Many days passed but the Imam did not receive any more responses from Muslim Ibn Aqeel.

In Kufa Muslim Bin Aqeel with the help of Mukhtar Al-Thaqafi and Hani Ibn Urwah continued to hold secret meetings with the supporters of the Imam. Within a short time the gatherings started to gain momentum. Yazid through his spies and informants learned about Muslim’s successes in Kufa. He appointed the tyrant Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad to replace al-Nu’man Ibn al-Basheer as Governor of Kufa.

Meanwhile, as Al-Husain’s caravan got closer to its destination (Kufa), coming to a place called Zubalah, Imam Husain unexpectedly received shocking news. The shocking news was about Muslim Ibn Aqeel and the person who provided him shelter, Hani’s Ibn Urwah, both of whom were arrested and beheaded by the Governor Ibn Ziyad. Mukhtar was also arrested and imprisoned and tortured by Ibn Ziyad.

Imam Husain gathered his companions and disclosed to them about the bad news, and said, “Our Shi’a have deserted us, those of you who prefer to leave us may do so freely and without guilt.” Becoming scared, some companions left the caravan. Imam Husain continued with the journey along with close companions and family members until he was face to face with 1,000 horsemen led by Hur al-Riyahi representing the enemy. The enemy army blocked the camps of Imam Husain (a.s.) from advancing. Tension started to rise between the two. The Imam addressed the enemy explaining to them his motives for going to Kufa, that it was in response to the invitation of the people. He even showed them a bagful of letters he received from Kufa. Hur said that he and his men were not the writers of those letters. Imam told them that if they did not like him to advance with the journey, he was prepared to return to Hijaz. Hur replied, “We are commissioned to follow you until we take you to Governor Ibn Ziyad, and suggested to the Imam to go towards a station which is neither Kufa nor Medina.” Imam Husain found the proposal fair and turned the caravan away from Kufa. Hur and his army marched parallel to the Imam. The two sides reached a village called Nainawa where Ibn Ziyad’s messenger (Yazid’s governor over Kufa) delivered a message to Hur. The message read, ” …force Husain to a halt. But let him stop in an open space, without vegetation or water.” Hur conveyed the contents of the letter to Imam Husain. The Imam, his family and companions defiantly resumed their journey and reached a place where another enemy force blocked their move and forced them to stop. When Imam Husain learned that the place was called Karbala, he felt he reached the destination and ordered his camp to be setup. That day was 2nd of Muharram, Hijri 61.

KARBALA:

Upon learning that his army had succeeded to lay a siege around the Imam’s camp, Governor Ibn Ziyad sent additional military units to Karbala and appointed Umar Ibn Sa’ad in charge. Imam Husain (a.s.) opened a dialogue with Umar Ibn Sa’ad and convinced him to lift the siege so that the Imam with his family and companions could leave Iraq. Umar Ibn Sa’ad liked the Imam’s proposal and sent a message to Governor Ibn Ziyad notifying him about the results of the talks with Imam Husain (a.s.). Ibn Ziyad also found the Imam’s proposal acceptable. However before agreeing to it officially, Shimr Bin Dhil-Jawshan, opposed it strongly. As a result Ziyad wrote a letter to Umar Ibn Sa’ad commanding him to either go to war with Imam Husain (a.s.) or be relieved of his duties as commander of the army and Shimr would not only replace him but despatch Ibn Sa’ad’s head to Kufa.

Umar Ibn bin Sa’ad got the letter. After pondering over the consequences he decided to fight Imam Husain (a.s.). On the 7th day of Muharram he moved his troops closer to the camp and began to surround the Husaini camp. Ibn Sa’ad laid a blockade around the camp to cut it off from access to the river Euphrates, to deprive it of water in a move to force them to surrender.

Two days later, (on the 9th of Muharram), the enemy’s military forces closed in on the camp of Imam Husain (a.s.). Imam asked his brother, Abbas, to talk to Ibn Sa’ad and request a delay of the aggression by one night. Umar Ibn Sa’ad agreed to the demand. He ordered his troops to delay the aggression till next morning. Imam Husain and his pious companions spent that night in prayers. During the night the Imam told the companions, ” ….the enemy is interested in none but me, me alone. I’ll be most delighted to permit each and every one of you to go back, and I urge you to do so….” All companions screamed in response, “By Allah, never, never! We will either live with you or die together with you.”

ASHURAA:

Finally, the day of Ashuraa dawned upon the soil of Karbala. It was the day when Jihad would be in full bloom, blood would be shed, 72 innocent lives would be sacrificed, and a decisive battle would be won to save Islam and the Ummah.

It had been a few days since the water supply was cut off by the enemy. Children were crying for water, the women were desperate for water, Zainul-Abideen, the son of Imam Husain (a.s.) was sick with fever. The suffering from the thirst was too painful to bear. And despite this, not a single person in the camp made any complaints or even questioned the mission of Imam Husain. Each member supported the Imam wholeheartedly and enthusiastically.

Next morning Imam Husain (a.s.) went out of the camp and saw Umar Ibn Sa’ad mobilizing his troops to start the hostility. He stared at the intimidating army, and as large as it was Imam Husain showed no signs of compromise. Imam Husain raised his hands in prayer:

“O Allah! It is Thee in whom I trust amid all grief. You are my hope amid all violence. Thou are my refuge and provision in everything that happens to me. How many grievances weaken the heart, leaving me with no means to handle them, during which friend deserts me, and enemy rejoices in it. I lay it before Thee and complain of it to Thee, because of my desire in Thee, Thee alone. You relieve me of it and remove it from me. Thou are the Master of all Grace, the Essence of Goodness, and the Ultimate Resort of all Desire.”

Before the actual engagement was to take place, Hur, the previous commander of the enemy force, felt his conscience violently stirring, he was in turmoil. Upon realizing the gravity of the situation, he suddenly broke away from Umar Ibn Sa’ad’s camp (along with two others). They rushed toward Imam Husain (a.s.) to join his camp. Hur’s heart was jumping with joy, his mind relieved of an agonizing tension. Hur’s defection worried Umar Ibn Sa’ad very much, lest others do the same and defect. So Umar Ibn Sa’ad threw an arrow in the air to indicate the start of the battle. This was the outset of a catastrophe and a tragic event that Mu’awiya had once conceived to happen.

THE BATTLE:

Imam Husain’s supporters insisted on being the first to fight. Therefore, they took the brunt of the enemy attack. The battle was ferocious. Within a short time the Imam’s supporters slay a large number of the enemy fighters, they were on the offensive and the enemy on the defensive. This caused apprehension and confusion in the enemy military, the 72 of Husain’s against the 5,000 of the enemy (some say 30,000) being on the defensive. So worried and nervous, the enemy commander-in-chief ordered his army not only to set fire to the Imam’s tents (which were occupied mostly by frightened females and children), but at the same time reinforced his fighters with more troops.

The heroes began to fall, they were men of valor welcoming martyrdom, they fell one after another, for the enemy was overwhelming in number. By noon time the Imam stopped the fight to perform the Salat. By this time those left were mainly his family and a few supporters. They performed the Salat together. Two supporters were guarding the performers of Salat. The enemy was standing still, watching!! When Salat was finished one of the guards fell dead; there were 17 arrows in his back.

Ali Akbar, Husain’s son obtained permission to fight and dashed toward the enemy. He engaged them in fierce fighting, falling on them like thunder, slaying numerous fighters. He continued to move forward, deep inside the enemy. The enemy was overpowering in number, it overwhelmed him cutting him with swords and spears, and his body became nothing but wounds gushing blood, until he died. Imam Husain (a.s.) rushed to the area and picked up the wounded limp body and brought it to the appalled camp. His sister and others in the camp were horrified and shocked at the scene.

Abbas and five other brothers of Imam Husain went to fight. They also engaged the enemy in a fierce fighting, almost doing the impossible. Abbas went toward the river to bring some water for the thirsty children. While he was returning on his horse with the water, he was attacked by a large horde of the enemy, overwhelming and severely wounding him. As much as he tried Abbas could not save the water, he fell from his horse to breath his last.

Next to the battle field went the sons of Imam Al-Hasan and Zainab and their cousins (about 17 of them). They were all in their teens but each stood bravely, believing in the mission, facing a formidable enemy, and showed no less enthusiasm in their quest to embrace the martyrdom.

AL-HUSAIN AND HIS BABY:

By the afternoon 70 brave persons had sacrificed their lives in Karbala to save Islam. All had fought under nerve racking conditions, severe thirst, dehydration, exhaustion, and agonizing feeling of what would happen to the family of the Prophet (pbuh) afterwards. Husain endured all that and more, for he saw all his beloved ones brutally cut to pieces, including children. Remaining the only one, Imam Husain was to face the enemy head on. Precisely at that moment Imam Husain heard his baby crying incessantly, agonizing because of the thirst. Imam Husain’s love for his family was unbound, especially for a suffering baby. He held the six months old baby, his youngest son (Ali Asghar) in his arms, and appealed to the enemy fighters for some water for the baby. Imam wanted to awaken their conscience and stir their human feelings but the stone-hearted enemy, instead of giving water, zoomed an arrow toward the agonizing baby and killed him instantly. Imam Husain was shocked. He felt an unbearable wave of pain. The sight of the limp baby in his arms was agonizingly painful. He filled his palm with the blood of the baby, and threw it upwards toward the sky, complaining to Allah (swt),

“O’ Allah, O’ my Lord! My consolation is the fact that Thou in Thine Majesty are witnessing what I am going through.”

AL-HUSAIN BY HIMSELF:

Imam Husain (a.s.) was alone, one man against thousands. He took them on, fighting them bravely, and kept fighting, receiving many wounds in the process. Thousands of enemy fighters were surrounding him but none dared to move toward him. The silence was broken when Shimr screamed for an attack, then screamed again, threatening, and in response they attacked collectively, and one sword fell on Imam Husain’s left wrist and deeply cut his left hand. The blood gushed like a fountain. Another sword was soon to follow and it hit his upper back. Imam Husain (a.s.) felt numb as he fell to the ground, bleeding profusely. He was near the point of shock, even though staggering he tried to stand by leaning on his sword. Then he received the fatal blow.

It was at this point, that Shimr whose mother was a disbeliever, came forward and severed Imam Husain’s noble head from the body, the noble head kissed often by the Prophet (pbuh)! Shimr and others had the audacity to carry it on the tip of a spear to Yazid, 600 miles away!

Umar Ibn Sa’ad ordered the horsemen to trample upon the supine bodies of Imam Husain and all others killed, to disfigure them even further, as if the wounds, the bloodied bodies, and the headless forms were not enough.

For three days the exposed bodies of the martyrs were left lying in the desert of Karbala. Afterwards, the people of the tribe of Bani-Asad, who were not far away from the battle field, helped bury them.

Umar Ibn Sa’ad and his forces (representing Benu Umayya) took the women and children as prisoners in shackles, put them on camels, and proceeded in a caravan from Karbala to Kufa. At the forefront of the procession were the heads of Imam Husain (a.s.) and his followers on the tip of spears. The scene was both grotesque and pathetic. This was the leftover of the beloved family of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), in such a deplorable unimaginable condition, all caused by people who called themselves Muslims!

LESSONS FROM THE TRAGEDY Of KARBALA:

Karbala is the cruelest tragedy humanity has ever seen. Yet, the startling (though appalling) events in Karbala proved like a powerful volcano that shook the very foundation of Muslims, it stirred their consciousness, ignorant or learned alike. For sincere Muslims, Karbala turned into a triumph. The tragic event became the very beacon of light to always remind Muslims to practice Islam honestly and sincerely, to do what is right irrespective of consequences, and fear no one except Allah (swt).

On the other hand, Yazid never achieved what he and his father had planned to achieve, for within three years, Allah’s wrath fell upon him, causing him to die at the age of 33 years. And within a few decades the rule of Benu Umayya crumbled and came to an end. The tragedy of Karbala taught humanity a lesson that standing for the truth and fighting unto death for it is more honorable and valuable than submitting to the wrongful, especially when the survival of Islam is at stake.

Distance between Medina and Karbala about 1,100 miles.

Distance between Ibn Ziyad in Kufa and Yazid in Damascus about 750 miles.

Average travel by camel per day: 30-45 miles.

SOURCES

1. Mowlana Rafiq H. Naqvi, Khutbas at Salat of Jumu’a, Idara

2. Mowlana Amir M. Faizi, Muharram Majlis, Idara

3. Dr A.S. Hashim’s Books: Ahlul Bayt and Al-Khulafaa Al-Rashidoon
4. Al-Balagh Foundation: Ahlul Bait #5, 1993 (Iran)

GLOSSARY

A’isha: Widow of the Prophet (pbuh) and a leader during Jamal Confrontation.

Abbas: Brother of Imam Husain, flag-bearer during Karbala.

Abu Sufyan: Leader of Benu Umayya, Mu’awiya’s father, was inveterate enemy of Islam.

AbuMusa Ash’ari: Governor fired by Imam Ali, was selected to arbitrate after Siffin.

Ahlul Bayt: The household of the Prophet (s), consisting of Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan, al-Husayn and the 9 Imams descending from al-Husayn (peace be upon them all).

AlFarazdaq: A famous poet.

AlNu’man Ibn alBasheer: Governor over Kufa replaced by Ibn Ziyad through Yazid’s order.

Ali Akbar: Son of Imam Al-Husain, martyred in Karbala.

Ali Asghar: Baby of Imam Al-Husain, martyred in Karbala.

Ammar Ibn Yasir: A famous highly revered Companion, on Ali’s side, killed in Siffin.

Amr Ibnil Aas: A cunning deceptive person, in Mu’awiya’s camp, arbitrator after Siffin.

Ash’ath Ibn Qais: A spy General in Ali’s armed forces, also the father of Joda (wife of Al-Hasan).

BaniAsad: The tribe that buried Al-Husain and the other martyrs of Karbala.

Basrah: An important town in south of Iraq.

Benu Umayya: A clan known to be power hungry, greedy, and materialistic, of Mu’awiya.

Byzantines: The Christian superpower ruling over Syria and Egypt that lost to Islam.

Hani Ibn Urwah: The man who helped Muslim Ibn Aqeel in Kufa and lost his life for the cause.

Hur Ibn Yazid alRiyahi: The Commander of the enemy force who defected to the side of Imam Husain.

Ibn Muljim: The killer of Imam Ali while Ali was performing Salat Al-Subh.

Ibn Ziyad: The Governor over Kufa responsible for the atrocities of Karbala.

Imam: The 12 Divinely Commissioned leaders of the Ummah after the Prophet (pbuh).

Imam AlHasan (a.s.): The second Divinely Commissioned Imam, and the brother of Imam Husain.

Imam Ali (a.s.): The first Divinely Commissioned Imam, and the father of Imam Hasan and Husain.

Imam Husain (a.s.): The third Divinely Commissioned Imam, hero of Karbala, brother of Imam Hasan.

Iraq: Country in which Imam Husain suffered at the hands of its military.

Jamal: Battle imposed on Ali by A’isha, Talha, and Zubair.

Joda: Wife of Imam Al-Hasan, who poisoned him when enticed by Mu’awiya.

Karbala: The site of the ugliest atrocities committed against Al-Husain, his family and devotees, but Karbala saved Islam from disintegration in an indirect way.

Khalifa: Head of state after the Prophet (pbuh).

Kharijies: The outsiders who turned against Ali, then killed him while he was praying.

Medina: Famous town of the Prophet (pbuh) in Arabia.

Mu’awiya: Of Benu Umayya clan, brother of Yazid, also father of the infamous Yazid of Karbala.

Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr: Brother of A’isha who fought on Ali’s side during Battle of Jamal.

Mukhtar AlThaqafi: Loyalist of Ahlul Bayt.

Muslim Ibn Aqeel: Cousin of Al-Husain and his emissary to Kufa, killed by Ibn Ziyad.

Omar: The second Khalifa who appointed Mu’awiya as the Governor over Syria.

Quraish: The clan of the Prophet (pbuh).

Shimr Bin DhilJawshan: The killer of Imam Husain, his name will remain in infamy.

Siffin: Battle imposed on Ali by Mu’awiya.

Syria: Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine nowadays used to be called Syria.

Talha: Sahaabi, leader during Jamal Confrontation, killed during that battle.

Tulaqaa’: Denigrating term used by Muhammad (pbuh) for the disbelievers who had to become Muslims after Mecca was triumphed over.

Umar Ibn Sa’ad: Commander-in-chief of the military forces against Imam Husain in Karbala.

Umm Habiba: Sister of Mu’awiya, daughter of Abu Sufyan, wife of the Prophet (pbuh).

Uthman: The third Khalifa killed by the protesting Muslims.

Waleed Ibn Ut’ba: Governor over Medina when Yazid son of Mu’awiya declared his rulership.

Yazid son of Abu Sufyan: Brother of Mu’awiya, governor of Syria for a few years until he died.

Yazid son of Mu’awiya: Son of Mu’awiya, the infamous despicable ruler, cause of Karbala tragedy.

Zainab: Sister of Al-Husain, heroin of Karbala, losing her children for the cause.

Zubair: Sahaabi, leader during Jamal Confrontation, refused to fight during that battle.



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By: The Hindu

China and Pakistan on Sunday decided to strengthen communication  and coordination in regional affairs  on “hotspot issues” like Afghanistan, and agreed to “advance pragmatic cooperation” in pursuit of common development and enhance collaboration in border management.

In a joint statement issued at the end of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s three-day visit to Pakistan, the two countries reiterated their resolve to work in tandem on major

international issues including United Nations reform, climate change, and food and energy security. Earlier, addressing a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament, Mr. Wen assured Pakistan of China’s steadfast support while maintaining that terrorism should not be linked to any one country or religion.

Acknowledging Pakistan as an important member state of the region, the Chinese leader said Islamabad played a vital role in safeguarding peace, security and stability. “The Chinese side held the view that Pakistan has made great efforts and endured great sacrifices in fighting terrorism, and reiterated that it respects the counter-terrorism strategy constituted and implemented by Pakistan in light of its own national conditions,” said the statement.

The two countries reaffirmed their resolve to cooperate through bilateral and multilateral frameworks to fight terrorism, separatism and extremism — all of which threaten regional peace, stability and security. On the specific issue of Afghanistan, the two voiced support for the unity and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, and also Kabul’s bid to advance peace, reconstruction and national reconciliation.

Rejoicing in their enduring relationship that turns 60 next year, China and Pakistan shared the view that “against the backdrop of a complex and ever-changing international and regional situation, it is of high significance to consolidate and deepen the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation”.

In keeping with this spirit, both voiced respect for each other’s territorial integrity and the joint statement reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the One China policy. Pakistan also supported the “peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and China’s reunification” and the efforts made by the Chinese government to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

On developmental matters, China and Pakistan have decided to intensify cooperation in infrastructure development, energy and agriculture on a priority basis. Currency swap arrangements will be established and qualified Pakistani banks will be allowed to open branches in China.

While the possibility of establishing trans-border economic zones will be explored by both sides, Pakistan has decided to establish a Special Economic Zone for Chinese businesses to attract more investment from China.

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{December 13, 2010}   Tips for Success in Interviews

  • First impression is the best impression. You will be judged by ; the way you dress, your educational qualification, work experience, body language, manners, ability to absorb the information and interpret it intelligently and clearly. So take care to be at your best.
  • Carry your relevant documents in order – like certificates, copy of application sent, bio-data etc. in a folder so that it can be easily shown when asked. Take a pen also.
  • Present the documents only if the interviewer ask for it.
  • Never be late for an interview.
  • Greet the interviewers as soon as you enter.
  • Sit down only when you are asked to. It is better not to pull the chair, either lift it or move it and always enter from the right side of the chair.
  • Say ‘please and thank you’ whenever required.
  • Listen carefully and pay attention to the question. If the question is not clear to you ask politely for a repeat.
  • Reply confidently and immediately to the point, keeping your answers short unless asked for a longer description.
  • While answering, look directly at the person asking the questions and try to be pleasant.
  • Replies connected to any details regarding your bio-data should be authentic.
  • It is better to admit if you don’t know something.
  • Remember to say ‘sorry’ if your opinions or answers are rejected.
  • Avoid indulging in certain mannerisms in your speech or behavior.
  • You can ask when you can expect to hear from them before you leave.
  • Don’t forget to say “Thank you” at the end of an interview to every interviewer before leaving.
  • Shake hands only if the interviewer initiates the gesture.
  • Walk out confidently without looking back.
  • Gently shut the door behind you as you leave.

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Review these typical interview questions and think about how you would
answer them. Read the questions listed; you will also find some
strategy suggestions with it.

(Excerpted from the book The Accelerated Job Search by Wayne D. Ford, Ph.D, published by The Management Advantage, Inc.)

1. Tell me about yourself:
The most often asked question in interviews. You need to have a short
statement prepared in your mind. Be careful that it does not sound
rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items unless instructed otherwise.
Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that relate to
the position you are interviewing for. Start with the item farthest
back and work up to the present.

 

2. Why did you leave your last job?
Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Never refer to a major
problem with management and never speak ill of supervisors, co-workers
or the organization. If you do, you will be the one looking bad. Keep
smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an
opportunity, a chance to do something special or other forward-looking
reasons.

3. What experience do you have in this field?
Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for.
If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you can.

4. Do you consider yourself successful?
You should always answer yes and briefly explain why. A good
explanation is that you have set goals, and you have met some and are
on track to achieve the others.

5. What do co-workers say about you?
Be prepared with a quote or two from co-workers. Either a specific
statement or a paraphrase will work. Jill Clark, a co-worker at Smith
Company, always said I was the hardest workers she had ever known. It
is as powerful as Jill having said it at the interview herself.

6. What do you know about this organization?
This question is one reason to do some research on the organization
before the interview. Find out where they have been and where they are
going. What are the current issues and who are the major players?

7. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A wide
variety of activities can be mentioned as positive self-improvement.
Have some good ones handy to mention.

8. Are you applying for other jobs?
Be honest but do not spend a lot of time in this area. Keep the focus
on this job and what you can do for this organization. Anything else is
a distraction.

9. Why do you want to work for this organization?
This may take some thought and certainly, should be based on the
research you have done on the organization. Sincerity is extremely
important here and will easily be sensed. Relate it to your long-term
career goals.

10. Do you know anyone who works for us?
Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organization. This
can affect your answer even though they asked about friends not
relatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if they are well thought
of.

11. What kind of salary do you need?
A loaded question. A nasty little game that you will probably lose if
you answer first. So, do not answer it. Instead, say something like,
That’s a tough question. Can you tell me the range for this position?
In most cases, the interviewer, taken off guard, will tell you. If not,
say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then give a wide
range.

12. Are you a team player?
You are, of course, a team player. Be sure to have examples ready.
Specifics that show you often perform for the good of the team rather
than for yourself are good evidence of your team attitude. Do not brag,
just say it in a matter-of-fact tone. This is a key point.

13. How long would you expect to work for us if hired?
Specifics here are not good. Something like this should work: I’d like
it to be a long time. Or As long as we both feel I’m doing a good job.

14. Have you ever had to fire anyone? How did you feel about that?
This is serious. Do not make light of it or in any way seem like you
like to fire people. At the same time, you will do it when it is the
right thing to do. When it comes to the organization versus the
individual who has created a harmful situation, you will protect the
organization. Remember firing is not the same as layoff or reduction in
force.

15. What is your philosophy towards work?
The interviewer is not looking for a long or flowery dissertation here.
Do you have strong feelings that the job gets done? Yes. That’s the
type of answer that works best here. Short and positive, showing a
benefit to the organization.

16. If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?
Answer yes if you would. But since you need to work, this is the type
of work you prefer. Do not say yes if you do not mean it.

17. Have you ever been asked to leave a position?
If you have not, say no. If you have, be honest, brief and avoid saying
negative things about the people or organization involved.

18. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization
You should be anxious for this question. It gives you a chance to
highlight your best points as they relate to the position being
discussed. Give a little advance thought to this relationship.

19. Why should we hire you?
Point out how your assets meet what the organization needs. Do not
mention any other candidates to make a comparison.

20. Tell me about a suggestion you have made
Have a good one ready. Be sure and use a suggestion that was accepted
and was then considered successful. One related to the type of work
applied for is a real plus.

21. What irritates you about co-workers?
This is a trap question. Think real hard but fail to come up with
anything that irritates you. A short statement that you seem to get
along with folks is great.

22. What is your greatest strength?
Numerous answers are good, just stay positive. A few good examples:
Your ability to prioritize, Your problem-solving skills, Your ability
to work under pressure, Your ability to focus on projects, Your
professional expertise, Your leadership skills, Your positive attitude

23. Tell me about your dream job.
Stay away from a specific job. You cannot win. If you say the job you
are contending for is it, you strain credibility. If you say another
job is it, you plant the suspicion that you will be dissatisfied with
this position if hired. The best is to stay genetic and say something
like: A job where I love the work, like the people, can contribute and
can’t wait to get to work.

24. Why do you think you would do well at this job?
Give several reasons and include skills, experience and interest.

25. What are you looking for in a job?
See answer # 23

26. What kind of person would you refuse to work with?
Do not be trivial. It would take disloyalty to the organization,
violence or lawbreaking to get you to object. Minor objections will
label you as a whiner.

27. What is more important to you: the money or the work?
Money is always important, but the work is the most important. There is
no better answer.

28. What would your previous supervisor say your strongest point is?
There are numerous good possibilities:
Loyalty, Energy, Positive attitude, Leadership, Team player, Expertise,
Initiative, Patience, Hard work, Creativity, Problem solver

29. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor
Biggest trap of all. This is a test to see if you will speak ill of
your boss. If you fall for it and tell about a problem with a former
boss, you may well below the interview right there. Stay positive and
develop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor.

30. What has disappointed you about a job?
Don’t get trivial or negative. Safe areas are few but can include:
Not enough of a challenge. You were laid off in a reduction Company did
not win a contract, which would have given you more responsibility.

31. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
You may say that you thrive under certain types of pressure. Give an
example that relates to the type of position applied for.

32. Do your skills match this job or another job more closely?
Probably this one. Do not give fuel to the suspicion that you may want
another job more than this one.

33. What motivates you to do your best on the job?
This is a personal trait that only you can say, but good examples are:
Challenge, Achievement, Recognition

34. Are you willing to work overtime? Nights? Weekends?
This is up to you. Be totally honest.

35. How would you know you were successful on this job?
Several ways are good measures:
You set high standards for yourself and meet them. Your outcomes are a
success.Your boss tell you that you are successful

36. Would you be willing to relocate if required?
You should be clear on this with your family prior to the interview if
you think there is a chance it may come up. Do not say yes just to get
the job if the real answer is no. This can create a lot of problems
later on in your career. Be honest at this point and save yourself
future grief.

37. Are you willing to put the interests of the organization ahead ofyour own?
This is a straight loyalty and dedication question. Do not worry about
the deep ethical and philosophical implications. Just say yes.

38. Describe your management style.
Try to avoid labels. Some of the more common labels, like progressive,
salesman or consensus, can have several meanings or descriptions
depending on which management expert you listen to. The situational
style is safe, because it says you will manage according to the
situation, instead of one size fits all.

39. What have you learned from mistakes on the job?
Here you have to come up with something or you strain credibility. Make
it small, well intentioned mistake with a positive lesson learned. An
example would be working too far ahead of colleagues on a project and
thus throwing coordination off.

40. Do you have any blind spots?
Trick question. If you know about blind spots, they are no longer blind
spots. Do not reveal any personal areas of concern here. Let them do
their own discovery on your bad points. Do not hand it to them.

41. If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?
Be careful to mention traits that are needed and that you have.

42. Do you think you are overqualified for this position?
Regardless of your qualifications, state that you are very well
qualified for the position.

43. How do you propose to compensate for your lack of experience?
First, if you have experience that the interviewer does not know about,
bring that up: Then, point out (if true) that you are a hard working
quick learner.

44. What qualities do you look for in a boss?
Be generic and positive. Safe qualities are knowledgeable, a sense of
humor, fair, loyal to subordinates and holder of high standards. All
bosses think they have these traits.

45. Tell me about a time when you helped resolve a dispute betweenothers.
Pick a specific incident. Concentrate on your problem solving technique
and not the dispute you settled.

46. What position do you prefer on a team working on a project?
Be honest. If you are comfortable in different roles, point that out.

47. Describe your work ethic.
Emphasize benefits to the organization. Things like, determination to
get the job done and work hard but enjoy your work are good.

48. What has been your biggest professional disappointment?
Be sure that you refer to something that was beyond your control. Show
acceptance and no negative feelings.

49. Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job.
Talk about having fun by accomplishing something for the organization.

50. Do you have any questions for me?
Always have some questions prepared. Questions prepared where you will be an asset to the organization are good. How soon will I be able to be productive? and What type of projects will I be able to assist on? are
examples.

 

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{December 12, 2010}   When in the hot seat

By: Mariam Naeem Khan

Interviews can be nerve-racking especially when you have little clue on what might impress the interviewers. A weak performance in answering questions can sabotage your chances of getting the job, hence read between the lines. While answering, be specific and match your skills with the company’s requirements, staying within the parametres of your job description.

A fter submitting your resume to numerous vacancy advertisements in the newspapers, networking with many contacts and filling thousands of on-line application forms, you finally receive that long awaited interview call.

However, are you ready to make the impression of a lifetime? Here are a few interview tips that can help you make a lasting impression and can increase the likelihood of landing you a job offer: Choose your outfit carefully In lots of cases, interviewers make a mental decision in the first 10 seconds of the interview whether a candidate is right for the position. This is why personal presentation is essential.

Select an outfit that fits nicely and makes you feel confident. Avoid wearing dark colours as they generally represent authoritative personalities; medium shades are more approachable and pleasant. Remember to cut and file your nails; if you wear them long and like applying nail varnish, make sure they are manicured.

Also, while you should always wear a deodorant or a perfume, don’t over-use them. Your employer/s may be allergic or the scent may simply make them uncomfortable. Shoes must be polished, hair combed and adorned with sober accessories to give you a professional look. Go prepared Before appearing for an interview, it is essential for the job seeker to do some primary research about the company and learn about its projects, its products, its services and most importantly its recent development in the industry. An interviewee should be prepared to respond to the most common question a majority of employers like to begin their interview with, “What do you know about our company?” A wrong or misinformed answer can be disastrous.

Next, know your job description. Why? Because most of the interview questions are likely to revolve around your job description and the skills needed to deliver the tasks. Match your skills with those mentioned in the job description and evaluate which skills you’ve used on your previous job. This will save you from any unannounced hiccups during the interview. Also, do not forget to take your CV along. Remember your manners Punctuality and good manners can take you to your dream job! Be punctual and arrive only five to ten minutes before the interview time.

“Reaching too early makes a candidate anxious and they keep rehearsing the interview in their head. It’s a bit frustrating on the interviewer’s part too, as they need to rush things to facilitate this individual who’s been waiting for long. This could affect the performance of both the parties,” says a top recruiting manager from a multinational company.

Smile a bit and be courteous. Don’t appear shy or confused. Politely ask the receptionist for the officer who will be interviewing you. Greet and shake hands firmly when they appear. Don’t take a seat until asked and thank the panel after being seated. Interviewers usually start by introducing themselves, so listen attentively and acknowledge each one of them. Your body language counts The old adage, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it,” is still a relevant motto. Slouching back in the seat with disinterested eyes will not help your application even if you’re giving the best possible answer. Similarly, leaning too much in the chair with clasped hands and an extremely earnest look will put the interviewers off.

The best position is to sit up straight and slightly lean towards the interviewer when they ask a question. If there is more than one interviewer, change your body direction to the individual who’s putting forth the question. Carry an interested countenance and nod moderately to show your enthusiasm. Maintain a direct eye contact with the interviewer whose question you’re answering, but also, occasionally, look at other examiner.

Do no fidget about as it shows nervousness. Sitting crossed-legged with one shaking above the other is bad manners. Also, folding your hands on your chest implies that you’re getting defencive. Interpret the meaning of questions Interviews can be nerve-racking especially when you have little clue on what might impress the interviewers. A weak performance in answering questions can sabotage your chances of getting the job, hence read between the lines and hit the nail on the head.

A common interview question is, “Why do you want to work for us?” This is a tricky question. While answering, be specific and match your skills with the company’s requirements, staying within the parametres of your job description. A detailed response would show the interviewer you’ve done your research and that you are worth investing in.

For instance, they may ask you about your greatest weakness. You may reply that you have none or that you’re weak at Math. But a better response would be to identify a weakness during your inter view preparation phase and say, “I’m emotional, but I’m practising self-reflection on my behaviour, responses and thinking patterns.” Such a response would show the employer you’re self-aware, are willing to take feedback seriously and will take action in the areas that need improvement. Always ask a question when they give you a chance Towards the end of the interview, employers always give candidates a chance to ask questions. Sadly, many job seekers don’t realise the importance of the questions they ask. The kind of question you ask will give interviewers a fair idea of how professional you are. Asking either silly questions or no questions is a mistake.

A common question that interviewees do ask is, “When can I expect the result of this interview?” Please, ask something more productive and informative. Ten candidates before you have asked the same question and this leaves no difference between you and them. A few good interview questions can be:

“How would you describe your management style?” This will give you an insight of how things work in this company.

“Can you please describe the qualities that you’re looking for in the ideal candidate?” This will give you a chance to evaluate your answers during the interview.

“What do you like the best about this firm?” He/she gives his/her opinions and feels valued. ¦

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{December 12, 2010}   Chaotic Karachi

By: Naushaba Burney

W hen, as an excited schoolgirl, I first arrived in Karachi from the big and beautiful New Delhi, I was delighted. The first capital of newly-independent Pakistan was relaxed, uncrowded and with the added attraction of a breezy seaside. It was also as clean and safe as can be.

It didn’t take Karachi very long to change and we are all familiar with our thrusting, jostling metropolis that has bloated into one of the world’s largest cities. Until recently though, this port city was an exciting place with people of every hue and variety engaged in trade and industry, art and cultural activities and a host of other professions. Job-seekers, not just from the four corners of the country but from across our borders east, west, north and south flock to this metropolis to earn a livelihood.

The focus of these enmeshed and inter-connected millions started to change some years back and today the countless divisive groups are at each other’s throats. Violence, in other words, has become endemic. Newspapers print a daily tally of death — young men mostly plus a woman or two — that is going up alarmingly. That large numbers of highly trained and heavily armed Taliban are holed up in various parts of the city today is no secret. Their ferocity and total absence of humanity, the bloodletting of countless innocent souls including children are no longer unknown to Karachiites.

I heard an interesting story about tolerance at a recent meeting I attended. At a new housing development for people of average means there was only one mosque. All the different groups that constitute Islam today wanted to take over the mosque for their exclusive use. Since that was not possible and violence loomed, sensible leaders from all the diverse factions got together and actually, yes actually, agreed to share the mosque. Harmony was restored without a shot being fired or a head broken.

But let’s focus at this point at the daily struggle we wage on the city roads as we head towards offices, schools, markets, whatever. Homeward bound in the evening, it’s the same story. In other big cities the incessant traffic flow, even heavier than Karachi’s, appears well-managed since everyone obeys the traffic rules. Nobody, not even the police, bothers about road rules and regulations here and push, shove and thrust forward as if moving ahead of the other drivers is a matter of honour and pride, even if it means scraping or knocking down other road users.

The staggering escalation in the number of motorbikes swarming on Karachi roads, exacerbated by the recent explosion of modernised motor rickshaws has made getting anywhere not just a difficult but dangerous activity. Especially since the bikers insist on crowding in the fast right lane normally designated for automobiles. Karachi must be the only giant metropolis without a mass transit system. All three big cities in neighbouring India now have acquired mass transit systems. Even tiny Dubai has launched mass transit, can you believe that. The bridges, flyovers and underpasses that have appeared on the Karachi road network in the last few years are a boon no doubt. But they cannot substitute for a mass transit system, preferably underground.

The traffic police who look so smart in their starched white outfits tend to act as if modelling their uniforms on the city roads is their sole function. Getting nearly killed by a speeding car which drove right through a red light, I stepped up to a nearby traffic policeman and asked him why he hadn’t hauled up the offending driver. His reply: ‘What can I do? It is big people like yourself who should write in the media about drivers who break traffic rules.’ While quite baffled by his response, and upset too, I suppose the traffic policeman should be commended for at least being aware of the power of the media. It would help, of course, if traffic policemen were also aware of their own power. But wait a minute! Haven’t we all seen people break all kinds of rules and laws and get away with it simply by dropping a few big names? So until this city gets a mass transit system, it would help if the police strictly enforced the traffic rules. Also, shouldn’t the educated, or at least literate, white-collar types also stop cutting corners when driving and scrupulously obey traffic regulations?

Introducing any kind of change in a monolithic metropolis like Karachi is a laborious process, but the crazy wedding scene which had broken all bounds, with rukhsattis taking place at 3am, has, of late, improved markedly. The lights-out-at-midnight rule has taken hold, and with food being served on time guests start to leave around 11pm. But then event managers or wedding planners have moved in and what a difference that can make. Wedding spaces are now decorated with such flair and taste that they compete with the bride for your attention. And the profusion of flowers, with heaps of roses massed in elaborate arrangements, can only be called dazzling. Life in Karachi during this heavenly winter weather can be great if only the violence and crime graph could be lowered. ¦

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{December 8, 2010}   Sayings of Imam al-Hussain (as)

Sayings of Imam al-Hussain (as)

1 – How can a thing the existence of which is dependent on you be taken as a proof for your existence? Is there anything more evident than your “self” disclose you? Are you hidden to need a guide to find you? Surely you are not. Are you far-away to need your footprints to find you? Surely you are not! Blind may the eyes be which do not see you watching and guarding your “self” (Arafa prayer; Biharol Anwar, Vol. 98 , P. 226)


2 – He who has you , has everything , and he who has deprived himself of you is the poorest in the world. Loser is the one who chooses and be content with anyone or anything other than you. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 98 , P. 228)


3 – Never will be salvaged the people who win the consent of the creature at the cost of the dissatisfaction of the creator. (Maktal Khawarazmi , Vol. 1 , P. 239)


4 – No one will feel secured on the Resurrection Day except those who feared God in this world. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 44 , P. 192)


5 – The Almighty God said : “The believing men and the believing women , they are guardians of each other , enjoin good and forbid evil… “God attaches primary importance to enjoining good and forbidding evil ” as a duty for men and women. For he knows that if it were fulfilled all the other duties , easy or hard , will be accomplished. That is because “enjoining good and forbidding evil” is a call for Islam , it regains the rights of the oppressed and opposes tyrants. (Tohaf-al- Uqoul , P. 237)


6 – O’ people , the Messenger of God said : Whoever sees an aggressive tyrant legalizes the forbiddens of God , breeches divine laws , opposes the tradition of the Prophet , oppresses the worshippers of God , but does not concede his opposition to God in word or in deed , surely Allah will place that tyrant ( in the Hell ) where he deserves. (Maktal Khawarazmi , Vol. 1 , P. 234)


7 – People are slaves to the world , and as long as they live favorable and comfortable lives , they are loyal to religious principles. However , at hard times , the times of trials , true religious people are scarce. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 117)


8 – One who pursues a goal through sinful ways , will ironically distance himself from that goal , and will approach what he was afraid of. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 120)


9 – Don’t you see that the right is not conveyed and the wrong is not prohibited. Let believers wish to die and righteously meet their God. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 117)

10 – To me , death is nothing but happiness, and living under tyrants nothing but living in a hell. (Tohaf-al- Uqoul , P. 245)


11 – Your difficulties are worse than others , because you were deprived of the rank of the scholars – considering your legitimacy and merit -(These difficulties are) because administering the affairs of the society and conveying the ( religious ) rules must be done by scholars who truly believe in God and know what is permitted and what is forbidden by God. But you were deprived from this position and rank for you withdrew from (supporting) the truth. You changed the tradition of the prophet ,despite the clear and disclosed proofs. If you had withstood and were patient against the torture and annoyance ( of the tyrants ) for the sake of God , then the divine affairs would have stayed in your hands , and you were the ones to whom would be referred. But you made the tyrants dominant on you and left the divine affairs in their hands, while they shamelessly do the forbidden and notoriously live a licentious life. Your (fear) from death and attachment to this world have encouraged the tyrants to establish dominance over you. (Tohaf-al- Uqoul , P. 238)


12 – O’ God! Surely you know that whatever we did was not a competition to gain worldly positions and not for the worthless physical attractions of the world. But to show the signs of religious ways and to remove corruption from your lands , so that the oppressed feel secured and act according to your traditions and rules. (Tohaf-al- Uqoul, P. 239)


13 – I never revolted in vain, as a rebel or as a tyrant, but I rose seeking reformation for the nation of my grandfather Mohammad. I intend to enjoin good and forbid evil, to act according to the traditions of my grandfather, and my father Ali Ibn Abi-Talib. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 44, P. 329)

14 – If the world is counted valuable; surely the house of God’s rewards is higher and more worthy. If bodies were created for death; surely being killed with swords in the way of God is a more honorable death. If the share of daily sustenance, of each creature is provided by the creator, surely it is not descent for man to be greedy for gaining and eating too much. If wealth is amassed for one day to be left. Then why a free man becomes so miser on something he has to leave. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 44, P. 374)


15 – If you don’t believe in any religion and don’t fear the Resurrection Day, at least be free in this world. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 45, P. 51)

16 – Those who worship God for the hope of gaining , they’re not real worshippers ,they’re merchants. Those who worship God out of fear ( of punishment ) , they’re slaves. And those who worship God to be grateful towards their creator , they are the free people , and their worship is a real one. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 117)

17 – Beware that the need of people to you is among the blessings of God to you. So do not scare away the needy people when they come to you, as the God’s blessings will return and go elsewhere. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78, P. 121)

18 – O’ people take a lesson from the advice that God gave to His true believers, among which reproaching the Jewish scholars where he said:” Why do Jewish scholars not prohibit their people from saying sinful words? “And also (the Almighty) said:” Those who turned into atheists, from among the descendants of Israel, were cursed”… his Almighty added:” certainly evil was that which they did. “Surely the God criticized them for they turned a blind eye to what they saw of evil and corruption from the tyrants of their time out of greed or fear. The Almighty God says: ” Do not fear people, rather, fear me! “The Almighty said: “The believing men and the believing women, they are guardians of each other; they enjoin good and forbid evil.” (Tohaf-al- Uqoul , P. 237)

19 – Whoever seeks the satisfaction of people through disobedience of God; Then God subjects him to people. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78, P. 126)

20 – Avoid oppressing the one who does not have any supporter against you, other than the Almighty God. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78, P. 118)

21 – One who reveals your faults to you like a mirror is your true friend, and one who flatters you and covers up your faults is your enemy. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 128)

22 – Wisdom will not be complete except by following the truth. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78, P. 127)

23 – Associating with corrupt people makes you subject to suspicion. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78, P. 122)

24 – Crying out of fear from God is salvation from the hellfire. (Mostadrakol Wasael, Vol. 11, P. 245)

25 – A man came to Imam Hussain (Master of the martyrs) and said: I am a sinful man and can’t avoid doing sin, please advise me. Imam (as) said: If you can do these five things, then commit sin as much you like. First of all: don’t eat the sustenance of God and commit sin as much you like. Second: go beyond the domain of God and commit sin as much you like. Third: seek a site where God can not observe you and commit sin as much you like. Fourth :if the Angel of death comes to you to take away your soul, expel him away from yourself and commit sin as much you like. Fifth: If the Angel of Hell was about to throw you into the hell-fire, stop him and commit sin as much you like. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78, P. 126)

26 – Avoid doing what makes you obliged to apologize for it. True believers never do anything for which they have to apologize. Fake believers , on the contrary , keep doing wrong and say they are sorry in the aftermath. (Tohaf-al- Uqoul , P. 248)

27 – Hastiness is foolishness. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78, P. 122)

28 – Do not permit anybody (to come in) before saying Salam (greetings). (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 117)

29 – Among the signs of ignorance is arguing with irrational people. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78, P. 119)

30 – Among the signs of a learned man is criticising his own words and being informed of various viewpoints. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78, P. 119)

31 – Imam Hussain (as) was asked: O ‘the son of the prophet how is life going on? Imam replied: Life is going on , in such a way that I have a God over me, the hell-fire in front of me , death is looking for me, there is no escape of the Day of Judgement, I am taken as a hostage by my own deeds, things do not turn out to be the way I like , I cannot repel what I hate, the affairs are in someone else’s hands. He tortures me if he likes and he forgives if he wishes. Therefore, is there anybody poorer than me? (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 116)

32 – Whoever becomes generous becomes a noble; and whoever becomes stingy becomes vicious and mean-spirited. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 121)

33 – The most generous person is the one who offers help to those who do not expect him to help. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 121)

34 – Whoever sorts out a problem of a believer, God sorts out his difficulties of this world and the here-after. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 122)

35 – If you heard a person discredits the dignity and the honour of people ,then try not to get introduced to him. (Balagatol Hussain ( as ) , P. 284)

36 – Never raise your need except to three ( kinds of people ): to a religious , to a brave man or to a nobleman. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 118)

37 – Seventy rewards are for Salam ( Islamic greeting ) ; sixty nine for the starter and one for the one who replies. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 120)

38 – Act like the one who believes in punishment for sin and reward for good deeds. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 127)

39 – Should poverty , illness , and death not exist , man would not bow to anything. (Nozhatol Nadher wa Tanbeehel Al – Khatir , P. 80)

40 – You deserve the Paradise , don’t sell yourself for anything less. Whoever is content to the worldly pleasures , has sufficed to something base and low. (Balagatol Hussain ( as ) , P. 308)

41 – Being thankful for a grace of God makes God reward you with another grace. (Nozhatol Nadher wa Tanbeehel Khatir , P. 80)

42 – Never trust anybody but those who fear God. (Balagatol Hussain ( as ) , P. 292)

43 – Imam (as) was asked: What causes noble & eminent personality. He replied : ” controlling your tongue and doing good deeds. (Balagatol Hussain ( as ) , P. 332)

44 – O’ people do compete in good deeds and haste in grabbing the good chances. By delaying good deeds , you reduce their value. By gaining victory win the respect and praise of others , and do not let others blame you for being lazy. If one does a favour to another but he does not thank him for it , be sure that God will reward him instead , and surely the God’s reward is greater and more generous. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 121)

45 – Beware that the need of people for you is among the graces of God, so do not neglect the needy as the graces will turn into difficulties. Do know Good deeds bring you people’s respect and praise and God’s rewards. If you could personify and visualise good deeds as a human being you would see him as kind and good looking , whose sight is pleasant for everyone to see. And if you could picture evil acts , you would see him ugly and disgusting , hearts detesting him , and eyes closing to his sight. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 121)

46 – The most merciful person is the one who forgives when he is able to revenge. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 121)

47 – Your best relation is the one who comes to you and helps you when you have severed relations with him. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 121)

48 – Whoever sorts out the difficulty of a believer God will sort out his difficulties in this world and in the hereafter. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 122)

49 – Tolerance is man’s ornament , keeping promises is a sign of nobility , and bonding with others is a grace. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 122)

50 – Arrogance is a sign of selfishness rashness is a sign of foolishness and foolishness is a sign of weakness and exaggeration causes destruction. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 122)

51 – Thinking of war is spine-chilling and its taste is extremely unpleasant. A true warrior is one who steps into the scene of war, fully armed, with no fear of the enemy. Whoever starts fighting at an inappropriate time , or when he is not fully equipped and prepared , or without having made plans about it , he will not be helpful for his people and he will die in vain. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 32 , P. 405)

52 – I advise you to keep piety and chastity and warn you of the days of Resurrection and death , and hoist you his ( threatening ) flags : Imagine death with its terrible frightening looks , its unwanted arrival, and its bitter taste has clawn at your soul and has made an obstacle between you and your deeds. Still you care more about your body ( rather than soul ). I can see the calamity of death grabs you suddenly and drags you from the surface of the earth to its depth and from the heights of the earth to its lower places and from the joy and familiarity of the earth to the horror of the grave , from the prosperity and illumination of earth to the darkness and pitch blackness of the grave and from the vastness of the earth to the tightness of the grave. It takes you to that prison to which your nearest relative is not allowed to visit you , to a place where patients have no right to be visited , to a place where there is no response to any cry or scream. May the Almighty God save us from the difficulties and problems of this day and salvage both we and you from the punishment of that day , and makes us deserving his great rewards. (Biharol Anwar, Vol.78 , P.120)

53 – I advise you to keep the divine piety. Surely the God has ensured for the one who keeps his piety to transfer him from what he dislikes to what he likes ;and provides him with sustenance form an unexpected way. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 121)

54 – Beware not to be among those who fear that people might face punishment for their sins but they feel secured from their own sins. Surely the glorious God can not be cheated and no reward can be achieved from him except by his obedience ; God willing. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 121)

55 – O’ the son of Adam ! Think for a while and ask yourself : Where are the kings and emperors of the world ? Where are those who re-built the ruins , dug ditches and wells , planted trees and set up habitable towns ? Where are those who gathered wealth ? They had to part with their wealth and properties and leave them to other reluctantly. We, too, will have the same fate. (Ershadol Kuloob , Vol. 1 , P. 29)

56 – O’ the son of Adam! lmagine your death bed , your grave , imagine the Day of Judgement when all parts of your body will testify against you ; the day when knees will tremble , hearts will be squeezed inside tight chests ;the day secrets will be disclosed , people will be unmasked , some will come out victorious and dignified and some will be disgraced , and the divine justice will gauge people’s deeds. (Ershadol Kuloob , Vol. 1 , P. 29)

57 – O’ the son of Adam! Remember the death of your fathers and your children ,where they were , and to where they went. I can foresee that you , too ,will join them very soon and provide a lesson for others. (Ershadol Kuloob , Vol. 1 , P. 29)

58 – We are the victorious party of God , we are the household of the Messenger of God and the relatives of him. We are the dignified and chaste family of the prophet , we are one of the two great weights of which the prophet of God has appointed us as the second to the book of God ( which is the first of the two weights ).The book in which there are explanations for everything. There is no wrong init. The Holy Koran for which we have been trusted to interpret. We will never be helpless in its interpretation. In our interpretation , we follow the facts of the Holly Quran. O’ people do obey us, because obeying us is compulsory for you, and is tantamount to obeying God and his Messenger. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 44 , P. 205)

59 – A person asked Imam Hussain (as): ” O’ the son of the messenger of God, how can we know God Almighty? ” Imam replied : ” By knowing and obeying the Imam of your time. “(Biharol Anwar, Vol. 5 , P. 312)

60 – Divine laws and Islamic principles must be carried out only by us Imams , the divine scholars , who have thorough knowledge of the permitted and forbidden things by God. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 97 , P. 80)

61 – O’ God! , you know my revolt against the rule of Bani Omayah did not stem from any greed for power, or for taking revenge. I stood against the tyrant of my time to reveal the genuine image of your divine religion , and to make social reforms in order to save the oppressed and pave the way for them to act according to your rules. And you people ! If you don’t support us and treat us fairly , tyrants and oppressors will dominate you to blow out divine illumination. Surely God Almighty is our strong supporter , upon whom we rely , from whom we seek help , and towards whom is our return. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 97 , P. 80)

62 – Thanks to God , whatever God wills will happen , there is no power except stemming from Allah ( God ). Death has been written on the son of Adam( human being ) in such a suitable way like the elegance of a necklace around the neck of a young girl. I am so eager to meet my ancestors like the enthusiasm of Jacob to see Joseph. The divine fate has destined for me a place of killing to which I have to go. As if ( I can see ) my body parts and members are torn by the hungry wolves of a district between Nawawis and Karbala to quench there thirst and hanger by killing me. There is no escape from such a divine fate. We , the household of the Prophet , are subservient to whatever God has destined us. We will be patient on this calamity which he has planned for us. Of course his Almighty will give us the reward of the patients. We are ( as ) the body parts of the Prophet and his body parts will not separate from him. We will be surrounding the Prophet in the Paradise. By our departure from this world the Prophet will be delighted. The promises that have been given to us will be fulfilled. Now , whoever among us is ready for martyrdom and has prepared himself for death and is fond of meeting God , will move with us. We will set out tomorrow ; God willing. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 44 , P. 366)

63 – O’ people do know that this world is a mortal/house. (Nasikh At’tareekh , Vol. 6 , Part. 2 , P. 243)

64 – I do not know companions more loyal and better than my companions ,neither do I know a household more honourable and passionate than my household. May the Almighty rewards you for the favors you have done me. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 44 , P. 392)

65 – The Almighty God elevates His worshippers for their patience in enduring difficulties. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 45 , P. 90)

66 – Know that Surely the world’s sweetness and bitterness are all ( nothing but )dreams. Awareness is solely in the hereafter. The winner is the one who wins the other world and the wretched is the one who becomes wretched in it ( the hereafter ). (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 45 , P. 91)

67 – Praise to God who created the world and made it a mortal, unstable and uncertain house the residents of which keep changing and under going ups and downs , wretched and miserable are those who are deceived by the fleeting and transient pleasures and attractions of this world. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 45 , P. 5)

68 – No way ! By God I will never surrender to them like a humiliated person and never pledge allegiance to them like slaves.” I seek refuge to my God from you stoning me to death “. ” I seek refuge to my God and your God from any arrogant who does not believe in the day of Resurrection “. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 45 , P. 7)

69 – Be patient O ‘ the son of the nobles. Death is only a bridge which takes you from misery and loss to the vast Paradise and the eternal graces. Then , is there anyone among you who dislikes to be transferred from a prison to a palace? For your enemies death is the opposite , it is like being transferred from a palace to a prison to be tortured. As my father quoted the Prophet assaying : ” Surely, this world is a prison for the believer and a Paradise for the infidel.” Death is a bridge to take some to their Paradise and some to their hell. I have never told lies and never was told lies. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 44 , P. 297)

70 – Yazid , the natural son of an illegitimate has placed me in a dilemma , drawing my sword and fighting or being humiliated by allegiance to him. But it is impossible for us to be humiliated , God , his messenger , the believers, my respectable family would not prefer obedience to mean people. To dying with glory. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 45 , P. 83)

71 – Those who seek to win God’s favor and satisfaction, no matter if it evokes people’s wrath , God will make them dispense with people. But those who win contentment of people at the cost of enraging God , the Almighty will make them dependent upon people. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 126)

72 – Best of wealth is that with which one protects his fame and dignity. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 44 , P. 195)

73 – Swear by God , I did not rise against the tyrannical rule of Bani Omayah out of selfishness or with the aim of oppression or corruption. My revolt only aimed at reviving the religion of my grandfather , the holy Mohammad and the traditions of my father Ali ibn-Abi Talib , to enjoy good and forbid evil. So, whoever accepts me by accepting the truth , surely God rewards him for supporting the truth. And whoever rejects me , I will be patient until God judges between me and these people justly. Surely , His Almighty is the Best Judge of the judges. (Biharol Anwar Vol. 44 “, P 329)

74 – ( Since the world is mortal,) imagine as if there has been no world from the beginning ; and ( since the here after is eternal ) as if it has ever been existing. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 45 , P. 87)

75 – Swearing by my own soul : Imam can be nobody except the one who rules according to Koran , rises for justice, affiliates to the true religion and contains himself to all that for the sake of God. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 44 , P. 334)

76 – Those who worship God sincerely will be rewarded far more than what they had wished and even more than what they deserve. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 71 , P. 184)

77 – Association with the wicked people is evilness , and association with the corrupted people brings doubts to oneself. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 122)

78 – Imam Hussain(as) said : ” whoever comes to us will find at least one of these four : he will hear sound reasoning , will see fair judgement , will face a helpful brother , and will enjoy the company of learned men.”(Biharol Anwar, Vol. 44 , P. 195)

79 – Imam Hussain (as) said to a man who was backbiting someone in Imam’s presence : ” Stop this evil act , for your backbiting will be the food of dogs in the hell.” (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 117)

80 – Sometimes God Almighty showers a man with grace and favor , instead depriving him of the blessing of being grateful , this is how God tests his mortals. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 117)

81 – “Those stingy people who economize on even greeting are real misers.” (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 120)

82 – Addressing his son Ali, Imam Hussain said : ” O ‘ my son be afraid of oppressing the one who has no defender except God. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 118)

83 – A man from the Ansaar group came to Imam. He had a request. Imam told him to write his request if he was too shy to say it. The man wrote :” I owe someone 500 dinars and he is pressuring me for returning it. Please talk to him and ask him to give me more time. ” When Imam read the request , he bestowed the man a purse. The purse contained 1000 dinars. He said , ” 500 to pay your debts , and the rest for improving your living conditions. “Then Imam said , ” Avoid asking for help from anyone but three types of people : the religions , the generous , and the noble ;The religions for their fear of God , the generous for their charitability ,and the noble for their dignity, will not let you down. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 118)

84 – Among the signs of having won the approval & acceptance of God Almighty is keeping the company of the learned. Among the signs of ignorance is fighting with true believers. And among the signs of a learned person is his thinking before saying, and his being well informed of the scientific facts of his day. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 119)

85 – Avoid doing what you might later be asked to apologies for it! Because the believer does not harm and does not ask for apology , while the hypocrite always harms and apologizes. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 120)

86 – When a poor man begs for your help , his pride is hurt. Then you don’t deal another blow to his pride by letting him down. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 44 , P. 197)

87 – Imam(as) said : “Whoever likes us for the sake of God , we will join the Prophet(pbuh) together like these two ( and stuck two of his fingers together ). And whoever likes us for this world he will be rewarded only in this world which contains both good and evil people.” (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 27 , P. 84)

88 – When you are frustrated and do not know a way out , only flexibility and moderation towards difficulties will save you. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 128)

89 – Shifter are the orphans of Mohammad’s household. Whoever takes an orphan of ours under his protection and guides him , the Almighty God Will tell him , O My generous mortal , you deserve my grace. Then he will order his angels to give him one thousand palace , for each word he how taught. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 2 , P. 4)

90 – If it were not the realization of the Moslem brothers’ rights , for whatever evil you did ; you would have been punished. But the glorified God says :” Whatever affliction befalls you , it is on account , of what your hands have wrought , and (yet) He pardons most (of your faults)”. (Biharol Anwar Vol. 75 , P. 415)

91 – A man told Imam Hussain: O’ the son of the Prophet! I am your Shi’a (follower)! Imam replied: “Fear God and don’t claim this, otherwise God will tell you : You are a liar in what you claimed. Surely our Shi’as ( followers ) are those whose hearts are pure and free from insincerity and treason , you had better say you are an admirer and friend”. (Biharol Anwar Vol. 68 , P. 156)

92 – Brothers are of four kinds : A brother who cares both about you and about himself , a brother who is only concerned about you , a brother who is only after harming you , and a brother who benefits neither you nor himself. When asked to clarify this , Imam said , ” A brother , who cares about you and himself , is beneficial for both you and himself. such a brother maintains friendship with you , as in a perfect friendship , the two friends live together happily , but in a deficient one relations sour soon. The brother who is only concerned about you, he does not seek any material gains in his friendship with you. Rather , he will make every effort to help , and that is true friendship. The brother who constantly seeks to harm you : such a brother is in fact an enemy disguised and masked. He looks for an opportunity to harm you. He cleverly hides his real face from you. He lies about you in your absence , and he is jealous of you. May he suffer eternal damnation : And the brother who benefits neither you nor himself , he is a truly stupid person. Avoid making friends with his type. Such a friend seeks superiority to you and plots to possess whatever you have. (Biharol Anwar Vol. 78 , P 119)

93 – Imam Hussain (as) said to one of his followers : Which one is preferred to you? Saving the life of a weak man who is being killed by an oppressor , or saving a poor believer from among our Shi’as , who is being misled by an unbeliever and an enemy to the household of the prophet , through false reasoning and arguing ?Then Imam himself replied : Certainly saving the poor believer , as God Almighty says. ” Reviving a misguided man by enlightening him , is tantamount to reviving all the world’s people. “(Tafseer Al – Askari or Biharol Anwar, Vol. 2 , P. 9)

94 – For a king , the worst characteristics are three :fearing enemies , oppressing the weak , and being ungenerous. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 44 , P. 189)

95 – “Avoid embarking on a task that is beyond your tolerance.”(Aaian Ashi’a , Vol. 1 , P. 621)

96 – ” Do not try for what you cannot win. “(Aaian Ashi’a , Vol. 1 , P. 621)

97 – ” Spend as much as you earn , not more. “(Aaian Ashi’a , Vol. 1, P. 621)

98 – “Do not expect to be rewarded more than you deserve.” (Aaian Ashi’a , Vol. 1 , P. 621)

99 – Do not be pleased save to what you have got of Allah’s obedience. (Aaian Ashi’a , Vol. 1 , P. 621)

100 – Do not assume responsibility for a task , unless you are sure you can handle it competently. (Aaian Ashi’a , Vol. 1 , P. 621)

101 – Do not prescribe a medicine for a king , because if it cures him he will not thank you , and if it worsens his condition, he will blame you. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 127)

102 – Referring to a follower who had refrained from joining a war and then had apologized for it and sought to bring an excuse to justify it , Imam said :Apologizing for a sin committed consciously is worse than the sin itself. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 128)

103 – If you gather wealth but do not use it , you are not the owner of your wealth , rather , you are owned by it. So benefit from your possessions and do not let them benefit from you. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 127)

104 – Whoever accepts your grant , he has helped you with your generosity. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 127)

105 – Telling the truth brings about honor. (History of Yakoobi , Vol. 2 , Najaf prees , P. 246 , line 9)

106 – Telling lies , is a sign of weakness. (History of Yakoobi , Vol. 2 , Najaf prees , P. 246 , line 9)

107 – ” People’s secrets are properties held in trust with you.” (History of Yakoobi , Vol. 2 , Najaf prees , P. 246 , line 9)

108 – “Your neighbours are like your relatives.” (History of Yakoobi , Vol. 2 , Najaf prees , P. 246 , line 9)

109 – Aiding ( others ) is ( a sign of ) truthfulness. (History of Yakoobi , Vol. 2 , Najaf prees , P. 246 , line 9)

110 – ” Working grants you experience. “(History of Yakoobi , Vol. 2 , Najaf press , P. 246)

111 – Good manner is ( counted as ) a worship. (History of Yakoobi , Vol. 2 , Najaf press , P. 246 , Line 9)


112 – Silence is an ornament ( for man ) (History of Yakoobi , Vol. 2 , P. 246)

113 – Greediness is poverty. (History of Yakoobi , Vol. 2 , P. 246)

114 – Generosity is prosperity. (History of Yakoobi , Vol. 2 , P. 246)

115 – Moderation is wisdom. (History of Yakoobi , Vol. 2 , Najaf press , P. 246 , Line 9)

116 – Once Imam(as) advised Ibn- Abbas :” Do not talk about something which does not concern you , because I fear that you commit a sin , and do not talk in what concerns you unless there is an occasion for it. Very often a speaker is criticized for telling the truth (for it was not on the right occasion.) (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78, P. 127)

117 – Do not argue with two types of people : the patient and the stupid; the former will beat you , and the latter will bother you. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 127)

118 – In your friend’s absence , speak of him the way that you like him to speak of you in your absence. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 127)

119 – Death with dignity is better than life with humility. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 44 , P. 192)

120 – Continuous experience increases intellect , honour and piety. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 128)

121 – Contentment causes the comfort of body. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78, P. 128 , Line 9)

122 – Imam (as) was asked why the Almighty God made it compulsory to fast. He replied. ” To make the rich taste hunger and be merciful towards the needy. “(Manakib Aal Abi-Talib by Ibn Shahrashoob , Vol. 4 , P. 68)

123 – Imam Hussain (as) was asked : How great your fear of God is? He said : “Nobody will be safe in the Day of Judgement except those who fear God in this world. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 44 , P. 192)

124 – Imam was asked about Jihad, striving in the way of God, recommended or compulsory ? He said , ” Jihad in Islam is of four kinds : two of them on compulsory , one of them is recommended but cannot be performed except with a compulsory one , and one is solely recommended. One of the first two compulsory ones is striving of a man with himself to avoid committing sins which is greatest kind of Jihad. The second compulsory Jihad is fighting infidels. The third kind of Jihad which is recommended but cannot be carried out unless with a compulsory Jihad , is Jihad of the Islamic nation against their enemy which is compulsory on all the Muslim nation. If they live it away ,God’s punishment will come , and this is a sort of nation punishment. But this Jihad is recommended for the Imam , leader of the Muslims , alone.
He is to come to the nation , and they together. Go for striving against the enemy. The fourth Jihad which is recommended is when a good tradition is initiated or revived by a person who strives for safeguarding it or improving it. This is among the best deeds , as it is reviving a good tradition. Surely , the Prophet( Peace be Upon Him and his Family ) said , ” Whoever establishes a good tradition , he will be rewarded for it , and in addition , he will be rewarded for every other individual who has followed his tradition. (Tohaf-al- Uqoul , P 243)

125 – O’ the son of Adam ! Your life comprises of passing days , with each day passing , a part of you goes away for good. “(Ershadol Kuloob by Dailami , P. 40)

126 – The Holy book of the Almighty contains four items : words , implications, esoteric points, and realities. Words for common people , implications for special people , esoteric points for divine leaders, and realities for the prophets ( May peace be upon them all )(Jame-ol Akhbar by Sadook , P. 47)

127 – Those who are reduced to tears after hearing sufferings of my family , their tears will protect them from hell and God will place them up in Paradise. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 44 , P. 279)

128 – Tears of the eyes and fear of the hearts are among graces of the Almighty God. (Mostadrakol Wasael vol. 11 , P. 245)

129 – Do not try to find fault with others. Instead , when someone makes a small blunder , try to cover up for him and justify his mistake. (Nozhatol – Nodhir wa Tanbihol – Khater , P. 80)

130 – Endure difficulties when you walk on a divine path , and resist the temptation of worldly pleasures. (Nozhatol – Nadher wa Tanbihol – Khater , P. 85)

131 – Aban Ibn Taglib said he once heard the martyred Imam (as) as saying:” Whoever likes us ( the household of the Prophet ) he becomes from us the house hold ” ( of the prophet ).He had asked Imam: ” From you the household ? ” Imam answered,” From us the household,” and repeated it three times. Then Imam went on to say, “Did you not hear the saying of the prophet Ibraham( in the Holy Koran ) : ” And whoever follows me , he is from me? “(Nozhatol Nadhir wa Tanbihol – Khatar , P. 40)

132 – Nothing is more disgraceful for old people than being slaves to their worldly desires. (Kefayatol Athar fi An – nass Ala Al – Aemma Al – Ethnai – Ashar , P. 233)

133 – Nothing is more disgraceful for rulers than treating their subordinates cruelly. (Kefayatol Athar fi Al – Nas Ala Al – Aemma Al – Ethnai Ashar , P. 233)

134 – Nothing is more disgraceful for noble people than telling lies. (Kefayatol Athar fi Al – Nass Ala – Al – Aemma Al – Ethnai Ashar , p. 233)

135 – Nothing is more disgraceful for the learned than greed. (Kefayatol Athar fi Al – Nass Ala Al – Aemma Al – Ethnai Ashar , P.233)

136 – Amir al-Mo’menin ( leader of believers ) asked his son Hussain :” O’ son ! what is being honorable ” ?He replied : ” Benevolence to family members , and bearing their losses. “(Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 102)

137 – Imam (as) was once asked : what is affluence ?He said : ” Decreasing your wishes , and being satisfied with what is enough for you. “(Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 102)

138 – What is poverty ?” Being covetous and hopeless. “(Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 102)

139 – What is being low and base ?” Saving yourself but leaving your spouse to grapple with difficulties at hard times. “(Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 102)


140 – What is stupidity? ” Hostility to one’s powerful and efficient commander , or to someone who can harm you or benefit you.” (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P.102)


141 – A man told Imam Hussain (as): “I have built a new house. I like you to enter it and pray to God for me. Imam accepted. After entering the house, Imam had a look at it and said,” You have demolished your house and have built a larger and more luxurious house. People on the earth admire you and respect you for that house , while those up in the Heavens despise you. (Mostadrakol Wasael , Vol. 3 , P. 467)

142 – The Holy Koran has an elegant outward and a profound inward (Jame- ol Akhbar by Sadook , P. 47)

143 – The intelligence of Muawiyah was being discussed when Imam said :” Man’s intelligence would not be perfect unless truth is followed”. (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 78 , P. 127)

144 – Imam Hussain (as) said : ” Our enemy is the enemy of my grandfather Mohammad “(Ihqaqol Haq , Vol , 11 , P. 592)

145 – Habeeb Ibn Madaher narrated that once he asked Imam Hussain : “What were you before the creation of Adam ? “. Imam replied : ” We were spiritual lights orbiting the highest Heaven , and teaching the angels praising and glorification. “(Biharol Anwar, Vol. 60, P. 311)


146 – Twelve Mahdis are to be from us. First of them is Amir al-Mo’menin Ali Ibn Abi Talib , and the last is the Imam who rises by justice. Through him, God will revive the earth after its death , and let the real belief overcome other beliefs , in spite of the polytheists’ dislike. He has a long occultation ,during which some will abandon their faith , and some will firmly stay in their belief. Then, they will be annoyed and asked : ” When will this promise be fulfilled, if you are telling the truth ? ” Truly , whoever withstands annoyance and denial of others during the occultation of Mahdi is like the one who fights by sword alongside the prophet (pbuh ). (Biharol Anwar, Vol. 51, p. 133)


147 – Imam (as) was asked what virtue is. He said : ” Holding your tongue, and good deed.” Then he was asked what defect is. He said : ” Involving yourself in a futile task.” (Mostadrakol Wasael , vol. 9 , P. 24)


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{December 8, 2010}   Nohay For the year 2011

Nadeem Sarwar

Ali Safdar

Shahid Biltistani

For all 2011 noha collection please click here

for noha and majalis of 2011. don’t need to go any where just visit -> www.hussainiat.com or

www.azadari.com both are same web.

more than 100 zakirs and zakiras majalis available here (urdu + english)
and biggest noha collection also avaialbe

———————————-
noha of 2011 (pak) uploaded mp3
noha of farhan ali waris,, irfan haider (karwan e aza), shahid baltistani,, meesam,, shabab ul momineen
————————————

majalis of 2011 (pak) uploaded mp3
first muharram

moulana aqeel ul gharavi
moulana zaki baqri
ali murtaza zaidi
—————————–

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{December 7, 2010}   KARBALA – Chain of events

HIGHLIGHTS OF KARBALA:

The events of Karbala reflect the collision of the good versus the evil, the virtuous versus the wicked, the collision of Imam Husain (the head of virtue) versus Yazid (the head of impiety). Al-Husain was a revolutionary person, a righteous man, the religious authority, the Imam of Muslim Ummah. As the representative of his grandfather Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Imam Husain’s main concern was to safeguard and protect Islam and guide fellow Muslims. On the other hand, the staying power of the rulers (Mu’awiya and his son Yazid) depended solely on the might of the sword. They used brute force to rule over the Muslim empire even by all possible illicit means.

Imam Husain as head of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) never recognized Mu’awiya nor his followers. Before him Imam Ali (a.s.) had fought battles against Mu’awiya because Mu’awiya continuously violated the Islamic principles. Imam Al-Hasan (a.s.) had to swallow the bitter pill of making a peace agreement with Mu’awiya, in order to safeguard the security of the Ummah which was at stake. When Yazid son of Mu’awiya declared himself as a ruler over the Ummah, he demanded Imam Al-Husain’s (a.s.) allegiance of loyalty. Imam Husain on his part flatly rejected Yazid’s rule and behavior, for there was no way Yazid could represent Islam, it would be blasphemy. But Yazid, the tyrant ruler over the Ummah, was adamant in his demand, and tension between the two parties increased day by day.

Imam Husain was quick to realize that giving allegiance of loyalty to Yazid would serve no purpose but to jeopardize the survival of Islam. To safeguard and protect Islam, therefore, the Imam had no choice but to confront and collide with Yazid’s rulership irrespective of consequences. Since Yazid had ordered his commanders to seize the Imam’s allegiance of loyalty at any cost, even by brutal force, the commanders had to assemble a relatively large army, surrounding Imam Husain’s camp in a desert called Karbala. Then they cut off the basic necessities to the camp, including access to water. The camp consisted of Imam Husain, his family, friends, and companions, all of whom stood fast and firmly with him. These braves would rather face death for the noble cause of Islam, than submit to the outrageous tyranny and the un-Islamic ways of Yazid.

Thus, Karbala proved to be a clash involving Islamic truths versus falsehood, right versus wrong, belief versus disbelief, the oppressed versus the oppressor, faith against brute force. Karbala was about standing in the face of oppression, regardless no matter the cost. Thus, in Karbala, Al-Husain the 57 year old grandson of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), sacrificed his totality and all he had, for one goal. This goal was to let the truth triumph over falsehood eventually, and he did that brilliantly. His goal was to foil the plan that Mu’awiya had expertly developed for his son, Yazid, which was to establish a permanent Benu Umayya rulership over the Muslim Ummah (even by sacrificing the Islamic principles), but doing it in the name of Islam. Brilliantly, Imam Husain succeeded in foiling this plan and he exposed the disreputable nature of Benu Umayya though this was at the expense of his life.

WHO WAS MU’AWIYA?

Mu’awiya was son of Abu Sufyan, a leader of Benu Umayya clan which was one of the clans of Quraish tribes. Mu’awiya grew up in a family known to be cunning, worldly, materialistic, and power hungry. Mu’awiya became Muslim only when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) triumphed over Mecca. Those who became Muslim in this manner were called Tulaqaa, (a term scornfully used for the disbelievers who became Muslims to save their lives). Mu’awiya, his father Abu Sufyan, his mother Hind, and his brother Yazid son of Abu Sufyan were all Tulaqaa’; Mu’awiya never forgot this stigma for the rest of his life; he could never shake it from his mind, thus a feeling of malicious vengeance always existed in his heart. Mu’awiya’s character and aspirations were entirely opposite to that of his sister, Umm Habiba, who was one of the wives of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Unlike Mu’awiya, Umm Habiba was a sincere believer and a pious person.

Omar, the second Khalifa, appointed Mu’awiya’s brother, Yazid son of Abu Sufyan, as the Governor of Syria when the Muslims captured that territory from the Byzantines. Within a few years, Yazid son of Abu Sufyan died of a disease, and Omar appointed Mu’awiya in his brother’s place as the Governor. Upon coming to power, Mu’awiya took advantage of the rich public treasury of Syria using it personally to buy favors and influence people. Thus he built a large base of support among some tribes, almost to the fanatic level. He used this to his advantage in later years to form a network of informants (spies) against Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and their devotees.

JAMAL CONFRONTATION:

When Imam Ali (a.s.) became Khalifa, he decided to remove Mu’awiya immediately, notwithstanding Mu’awiya’s strong base of support. At that time, Mu’awiya had been the governor of Syria, Palestine, and Jordan for 17 years. Mu’awiya became defiant, he refused to obey Ali’s orders. Brazen and unabashed, he even declined to recognize Ali or give allegiance of loyalty to him. Also in defiance, Mu’awiya established a parallel government in Greater Syria, and started a campaign of treacherous accusations and malicious rumors against Imam Ali (a.s.). He falsely blamed Imam Ali for the killing of Uthman, the third Khalifa, and urged people to take up arms against the Imam. He spread these notorious accusations constantly to incite an uprising against Ali (a.s.).

At the same time A’isha, the Prophet’s widow, became highly vocal against Imam Ali (a.s.). She called for taking revenge for the blood of Uthman. As a result, a party of 3,000 insurgents supported by Sahaaba (Companions) such as Talha and Zubair, along with A’isha headed toward Basrah. The insurgents upon reaching Basrah clashed with the local authorities and finally occupied a portion of Basrah. Soon after the occupation these insurgents spread a reign of terror among the people, killing no less than 600 local Muslims, pilfering the treasury and stealing the arms supplies of the armory.

As a Khalifa in charge, Imam Ali (a.s.) could not ignore the situation, he had to act and restore peace and order. He ordered his forces to proceed to Basrah. As the Imam’s forces reached near Basrah, Imam Ali (a.s.) tried to persuade the insurgents led by A’isha, Zubair and Talha to change their minds and avoid confrontation, but he did not succeed. A battle broke out though Zubair elected not to fight. Talha was wounded then bled to death. Thousands of people lost their lives. A’isha fell down from the camel after it was disabled; but luckily she was not hurt. Imam Ali asked Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, (A’isha’s brother), to take A’isha to Basrah for a few days, and from there to escort her to Medina with full honor and dignity. Upon leaving Basrah Al-Hasan (a.s.) and Al-Husain (a.s.) accompanied the Prophet’s widow for some distance before bidding her farewell. Imam Ali (a.s.) stayed in Basrah for a few weeks to restore law and order. He compensated for the dead, and decided to forgive and absolve all who fought against him, exactly as the Prophet (pbuh) had done when he triumphed over Mecca 40 years earlier.

BATTLE OF SIFFIN:

Upon returning to Kufa, Imam Ali (a.s.) immediately prepared for the anticipated clash with Mu’awiya. The defying Mu’awiya continued to violate the Islamic principles by personally using the public treasury for espionage and buying peoples’ loyalty. The people of Syria fully believed him and the in false picture he presented. Ultimately this resulted in a confrontation called Battle of Siffin when the troops of the two sides met at Siffin. The battle saw ferocious fighting for nine days when Mu’awiya’s forces were near collapse. His troops were fleeing and in disarray, and their retreat was in massive disorder, running helter skelter. Mu’awiya, alarmed, tense, and frightened, preparing to run away, when he learned of a clever trick. The trick was indecent and unbecoming, it was to make the Holy Quran as an instrument and exploit it, to use it as a tool to his advantage. Mu’awiya seized on this immediately and commanded his fighters to raise 500 Holy Qurans on tips of spears, in order to stun the troops of Imam Ali. As jolting as it was, this maneuver did break the onslaught and the momentum of Ali’s fighters, for they were very pious men. But Imam Ali was quick to recognize this deceit, he knew how deceptive Mu’awiya was, and now that being near collapse, Mu’awiya wanted to save his neck at the expense of the Quran itself.

With that in mind, Ali (a.s.) urged his generals not to halt, but to keep fighting since victory was almost at hand. Alas, Ali’s generals and fighters were in shock, for the sight of the Holy Quran high on spear heads was startling to say the least. They could not take it. Not willing to fight, they wanted to accept Mu’awiya’s offer to halt the fighting and negotiate instead. The termination of the battle in this manner and the consequences thereof proved to be disastrous to say the least, especially for Ahlul Bayt and Islam.

It is said that there was a conspiracy between Amr Ibnil Aas of Mu’awiya’s side, and Ash’ath Ibn Qais, a General in Imam Ali’s camp, who was working as a spy against Ali, secretly working as an agent for Mu’awiya. In this battle 45,000 men lost their lives in Mu’awiya’s camp, and about 25,000 in Ali’s (a.s.) camp. Many men of high caliber from both sides died, especially Ammar Ibn Yasir, the great Companion of the Prophet (pbuh), who was 90 years old and fought on Imam Ali’s side against Mu’awiya.

AFTER SIFFIN:

Imam Ali’s (a.s.) generals, who stopped the battle to negotiate with Mu’awiya, did not pick the right person for the negotiation. They unyieldingly refused to accept Imam Ali’s choice, instead they picked Kufa’s Governor, Abu-Musa Ash’ari, an incompetent Governor who had been previously dismissed from office by Imam Ali. Mu’awiya appointed Amr Ibnil Aas, a shrewd and cunning man, to be his representative in the negotiation. Negotiation between the two sides did not take place for about one year.

When the two negotiators came face to face, it was clear that Ash’ari’s capability was no match for his opponent Ibnil Aas. In the negotiations, Ash’ari proposed that, both Mu’awiya and Imam Ali (a.s.) were to abdicate and to let the people hold election for the Khilaafah. Amr Ibnil Aas, a deceptive man at best, quickly agreed to Ash’ari’s proposal and asked Ash’ari to first announce the agreement. Ash’ari stood up and announced, “O people, we have agreed not to consider Ali or Mu’awiya for Khilaafah. You may choose or elect whomever you think is fit.” The cunning Amr Ibnil Aas stood up next to say, “O people! I won’t consider Ali for the Khilaafah. But Mu’awiya, in my opinion, is the person for that office!” Upon hearing this (and feeling deceived), the people screamed disapprovingly, an uproar was the result. Imam Ali’s (a.s.) camp was in shock, they were double-crossed, deceived and lied to, they felt deeply cut. Amr’s double crossing and deception was simply beyond their imagination. They left the place bewildered and utterly disappointed. Because of this a large group of Imam Ali’s supporters defected to form a separate group called Kharijies, meaning the Outsiders.

The Khariji became fanatically opposed to Imam Ali and Mu’awiya. Some of their members met secretly in Mecca and drew a plan to assassinate Ali (a.s.) in Kufa, Mu’awiya in Syria, and Amr Ibnil Aas in Egypt. Three fanatics took the responsibility, they were to attack their victims in the morning, the same day, as the would-be victims were going to the mosque to lead the morning salat. Ibn Muljim attacked and fatally wounded Imam Ali (a.s.), whereas Mu’awiya escaped with a light wound of his buttock. Amr Ibnil Aas was ill that day and his replacement was killed by the Khariji. Imam Ali (a.s.), in wounded condition, conferred the Imamah and the reign of the Islamic nation to his 37 years old son Al-Hasan.

PEACE AGREEMENT BETWEEN IMAM AL-HASAN AND MU’AWIYA:

Imam Hasan (a.s.) faced extremely difficult conditions from the start. He observed that fear, anxiety and much distress were ever present in Kufa, Basrah, Medina and other towns. The anxiety, uncertainty and insecurity were caused by Mu’awiya’s ill dealing of sincere Muslims. Mu’awiya had spread secret agents all over to defame Ahlul Bayt. Imam Hasan knew that his father Imam Ali (a.s.) had stood like a lion in all difficulties and fought battles against Mu’awiya, but these confrontations had resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. A mass scale family devastation was visible everywhere. Considering all circumstances, Imam Hasan (a.s.) discussed the matter with his brother Husain (a.s.) and other relatives. He revealed to them that in order to end the bloodshed and to provide a reasonable safety and security to the Ummah, he would make a peace agreement with Mu’awiya and abdicate until after Mu’awiya’s death. After a few days of careful consideration, Imam Hasan (a.s.) accepted an agreement as per the terms dictated by the Imam and agreed to by Mu’awiya. Four noteworthy terms of this agreement were:

  • People of Syria, Iraq, Hijaz, Yemen and other places shall enjoy amnesty against persecution,
  • Friends and companions of Imam Ali (a.s.) and all their women and children shall be protected from all dangers,
  • Mu’awiya is to immediately stop the use of abusive language with reference to Ahlul Bayt (cursing Imam Ali) after Salat of Jumu’a), and
  • Mu’awiya shall not appoint anyone as his successor.

Once the treaty was signed, Imam Hasan (a.s.) and brother Husain (a.s.) moved out of Kufa and settled in Medina. Over there both Imams lost no time in holding nightly meetings for Islamic discussions. The nightly meetings proved very successful and gained tremendous popularity. More people started to attend, to hear the Imams give of their fountain of knowledge on Islam and humanity. The reputation of these meetings began to fly to far away places. People from as far away as Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, and other distant areas travelled to Medina to learn about the Islamic values. As years passed, the knowledge thus given started to bear fruits. The number of Islamic scholars multiplied and increased considerably.

In the meantime Mu’awiya, unabashedly elected to disregard the terms of his treaty with Imam Al-Hasan. a) He sent secret agents to terrorize, kidnap, or even kill innocent people specially those who were loyal to Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). b) Instead of helping the needy with the public treasury, Mu’awiya’s governors and their surrogates used the public treasury for personal use, freely and excessively as they wished. c) Freedom suddenly died, and dictatorship took its place. d) Mu’awiya gathered a very large number of collaborators who unabashedly would do any thing for money.

MU’AWIYA’S PLOT TO POISON IMAM HASAN (a.s.):

It was Mu’awiya’s ardent desire to impose his son Yazid (who had been named after his uncle) upon the Muslims by making him the succeeding Khalifa, despite the fact that Yazid was the playboy of the time, with many evil habits including gambling, heavy drinking, and indulgence in the pleasures of the flesh. But the peace agreement would not permit Mu’awiya to appoint Yazid as his successor, (According to the agreement Imam Hasan would immediately become Khalifa upon Mu’awiya’s death). Therefore, it was obvious to Mu’awiya that, if Al-Hasan did not outlive him, Mu’awiya could do as he pleased. Thus Mu’awiya planned to kill Imam Al-Hasan in order to pave the way for his son Yazid to be his successor.

Mu’awiya sent one of his agents to contact Imam Al-Hasan’s wife Joda who was the daughter of Al-Ash’ath (once a secret agent for Mu’awiya against Imam Ali in the Battle of Siffin). Joda was asked a small favor, i.e., to put a little poison in Al-Hasan’s food, and in return Mu’awiya would give her a large sum of money and also make her wife of his son Yazid. She found the offer too attractive to ignore, and foolishly agreed to accept it. A few days later, she mixed poison in honey and gave it to the Imam. As soon as the Imam took the poisoned honey he became seriously ill. Sensing that his death was imminent, the Imam designated his brother Al-Husain (a.s.) to be the third Imam. Although Imam Al-Hasan knew he was poisoned, he did not reveal that to anyone but to his brother Al-Husain.

One thing Al-Hasan had wished was to have his burial by the side of his grandfather, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Imam Husain made all the arrangements to fulfill that wish but Mu’awiya’s governor over Medina did not let that happen and used military force to stop it. Imam Al-Hasan was 47 year old when he died of poisoning.

Medina was never the same without Imam Hasan (a.s.). Everyone missed him dearly. People at first did not believe Mu’awiya poisoned Imam Al-Hasan, but soon found out the truth.

When Husain (a.s.) was designated as the 3rd Imam he was 46 years old. Imam Husain (a.s.) carried on with his mission of teaching Islam as before. A large number of people kept coming to see him and to learn from him. This process continued for several years when people began to hear an ugly rumor that Mu’awiya wanted his son, Yazid, to succeed him.

MU’AWIYA DESIGNATES YAZID AS SUCCESSOR:

Mu’awiya began a campaign to introduce Monarchy into the structure of Islam. To have Monarchy, by force or otherwise is alien to Islam, an innovation in religion, simply not acceptable. Everyone knew that, for Islam does not subscribe to any form of Royalty through inheritance or Monarchy. In Islam it is supposed to be Shura.

Nevertheless, Mu’awiya sent his agents to the prominent members of the communities to obtain allegiance of loyalty to his son Yazid. But Yazid was evil, of the drinking type, incompetent, contemptible, and a pleasure-seeking person. People knew that. So the people protested vigorously. There was anger everywhere. Emotions went sky high. To calm people down, at least temporarily, Mu’awiya decided to send his son Yazid to Mecca for the pilgrimage. Yes, Yazid did go to Mecca but only after taking alcohol with him as well as a chorus of girls for his entertainment.

MU’AWIYA DIES

Mu’awiya was getting older day by day. At the age of 75, he became seriously ill. He was nearing death. He lay weak and lifeless as if something was choking and strangling him. He felt tortured and tormented, and continuously cried for mercy. He was in terrible pain. He wanted to die but death would not come close to him. His conscience tormented him for the calamities that he brought upon the Islamic Ummah specially Ahlul Bayt. Mu’awiya suffered in agony for many many days. His suffering continued until he breathed his last. At the time of his death, the 30 year old Yazid was nowhere near him, he had gone for fun on a hunting trip.

(Please note that Mu’awiya’s brother was by the name of Yazid, and he had named his son after his brother.)

YAZID BECOMES RULER:

Upon Mu’awiya’s death, Yazid, 30 years old, managed to impose himself on the people and become the Khalifa. At first people refused to accept him as a representative of the Prophet (pbuh) and Islamic Ummah, but Yazid approached people in mosques for their favors. Like his father Mu’awiya, Yazid used all possible means like bribery, coercion, pressure, threats, and force to receive the people’s acceptance of him as the legitimate ruler. Many people were worried, threats to their lives and livelihood was too menacing, so they grudgingly and reluctantly gave in. But, Imam Husain (a.s.) and his family (who practiced Islam in its true sense), did not give in. As the true representative of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Al-Husain flatly refused accepting Yazid either as a Khalifa or a leader of Islam. Despite Yazid’s intimidating military power the Imam stood firm in his resolve and chose to challenge Benu Umayya’s authorities.

Yazid commissioned Waleed Ibn Ut’ba, his Governor over Medina, to ask for Imam Husain’s allegiance of loyalty or else upon refusal, his head. Waleed invited Al-Husain to a meeting for the purpose. Imam Husain did not give his word at the meeting and decided to leave Medina along with his family to proceed to Mecca. When Al-Husain reached Mecca he received 12,000 letters from Kufa urging him to go to Kufa to be their leader, and be the Khalifa. Imam sent an emissary, his cousin Muslim Ibn Aqeel, to Kufa to ascertain first-hand information about the situation in Iraq. In the mean time Yazid spread a network of informants and secret agents in Mecca to assassinate the Imam during pilgrimage. Imam learned about the spies, and carefully evaluated the situation in Mecca. Imam Husain knew that Yazid son of Mu’awiya had no regard for Islamic values and teachings, that he would do anything to enforce his tyrannical rule. Imam Husain also knew that giving allegiance of loyalty to an imposter like Yazid would certainly place Islam at great jeopardy. Therefore he decided to leave Mecca for Kufa to prepare for a confrontation with Yazid and his forces.

Many friends and relatives urged Imam Husain not to go to Kufa, but he insisted on going. Imam Husain, along with family, friends, and companions began the journey toward Kufa (1,100 miles) in a long caravan in the blistering heat of summer.

ON THE WAY TO KARBALA:

During the early phase of the journey the caravan met Al-Farazdaq (a famous poet) at a place called al-Sifah. Al-Farazdaq advised the Imam not to go to Kufa because though people’s hearts were with him (Imam), their swords would be against him. But the Imam continued with the journey, and he received the first letter from his emissary Muslim Ibn Aqeel with good news. The letter indicated that the people were more than ready to welcome the Imam in Kufa and were looking forward to his leadership. Imam Husain decided to send another emissary to Kufa with a message. The caravan kept proceeding toward Kufa. Many days passed but the Imam did not receive any more responses from Muslim Ibn Aqeel.

In Kufa Muslim Bin Aqeel with the help of Mukhtar Al-Thaqafi and Hani Ibn Urwah continued to hold secret meetings with the supporters of the Imam. Within a short time the gatherings started to gain momentum. Yazid through his spies and informants learned about Muslim’s successes in Kufa. He appointed the tyrant Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad to replace al-Nu’man Ibn al-Basheer as Governor of Kufa.

Meanwhile, as Al-Husain’s caravan got closer to its destination (Kufa), coming to a place called Zubalah, Imam Husain unexpectedly received shocking news. The shocking news was about Muslim Ibn Aqeel and the person who provided him shelter, Hani’s Ibn Urwah, both of whom were arrested and beheaded by the Governor Ibn Ziyad. Mukhtar was also arrested and imprisoned and tortured by Ibn Ziyad.

Imam Husain gathered his companions and disclosed to them about the bad news, and said, “Our Shi’a have deserted us, those of you who prefer to leave us may do so freely and without guilt.” Becoming scared, some companions left the caravan. Imam Husain continued with the journey along with close companions and family members until he was face to face with 1,000 horsemen led by Hur al-Riyahi representing the enemy. The enemy army blocked the camps of Imam Husain (a.s.) from advancing. Tension started to rise between the two. The Imam addressed the enemy explaining to them his motives for going to Kufa, that it was in response to the invitation of the people. He even showed them a bagful of letters he received from Kufa. Hur said that he and his men were not the writers of those letters. Imam told them that if they did not like him to advance with the journey, he was prepared to return to Hijaz. Hur replied, “We are commissioned to follow you until we take you to Governor Ibn Ziyad, and suggested to the Imam to go towards a station which is neither Kufa nor Medina.” Imam Husain found the proposal fair and turned the caravan away from Kufa. Hur and his army marched parallel to the Imam. The two sides reached a village called Nainawa where Ibn Ziyad’s messenger (Yazid’s governor over Kufa) delivered a message to Hur. The message read, ” …force Husain to a halt. But let him stop in an open space, without vegetation or water.” Hur conveyed the contents of the letter to Imam Husain. The Imam, his family and companions defiantly resumed their journey and reached a place where another enemy force blocked their move and forced them to stop. When Imam Husain learned that the place was called Karbala, he felt he reached the destination and ordered his camp to be setup. That day was 2nd of Muharram, Hijri 61.

KARBALA:

Upon learning that his army had succeeded to lay a siege around the Imam’s camp, Governor Ibn Ziyad sent additional military units to Karbala and appointed Umar Ibn Sa’ad in charge. Imam Husain (a.s.) opened a dialogue with Umar Ibn Sa’ad and convinced him to lift the siege so that the Imam with his family and companions could leave Iraq. Umar Ibn Sa’ad liked the Imam’s proposal and sent a message to Governor Ibn Ziyad notifying him about the results of the talks with Imam Husain (a.s.). Ibn Ziyad also found the Imam’s proposal acceptable. However before agreeing to it officially, Shimr Bin Dhil-Jawshan, opposed it strongly. As a result Ziyad wrote a letter to Umar Ibn Sa’ad commanding him to either go to war with Imam Husain (a.s.) or be relieved of his duties as commander of the army and Shimr would not only replace him but despatch Ibn Sa’ad’s head to Kufa.

Umar Ibn bin Sa’ad got the letter. After pondering over the consequences he decided to fight Imam Husain (a.s.). On the 7th day of Muharram he moved his troops closer to the camp and began to surround the Husaini camp. Ibn Sa’ad laid a blockade around the camp to cut it off from access to the river Euphrates, to deprive it of water in a move to force them to surrender.

Two days later, (on the 9th of Muharram), the enemy’s military forces closed in on the camp of Imam Husain (a.s.). Imam asked his brother, Abbas, to talk to Ibn Sa’ad and request a delay of the aggression by one night. Umar Ibn Sa’ad agreed to the demand. He ordered his troops to delay the aggression till next morning. Imam Husain and his pious companions spent that night in prayers. During the night the Imam told the companions, ” ….the enemy is interested in none but me, me alone. I’ll be most delighted to permit each and every one of you to go back, and I urge you to do so….” All companions screamed in response, “By Allah, never, never! We will either live with you or die together with you.”

ASHURAA:

Finally, the day of Ashuraa dawned upon the soil of Karbala. It was the day when Jihad would be in full bloom, blood would be shed, 72 innocent lives would be sacrificed, and a decisive battle would be won to save Islam and the Ummah.

It had been a few days since the water supply was cut off by the enemy. Children were crying for water, the women were desperate for water, Zainul-Abideen, the son of Imam Husain (a.s.) was sick with fever. The suffering from the thirst was too painful to bear. And despite this, not a single person in the camp made any complaints or even questioned the mission of Imam Husain. Each member supported the Imam wholeheartedly and enthusiastically.

Next morning Imam Husain (a.s.) went out of the camp and saw Umar Ibn Sa’ad mobilizing his troops to start the hostility. He stared at the intimidating army, and as large as it was Imam Husain showed no signs of compromise. Imam Husain raised his hands in prayer:

    “O Allah! It is Thee in whom I trust amid all grief. You are my hope amid all violence. Thou are my refuge and provision in everything that happens to me. How many grievances weaken the heart, leaving me with no means to handle them, during which friend deserts me, and enemy rejoices in it. I lay it before Thee and complain of it to Thee, because of my desire in Thee, Thee alone. You relieve me of it and remove it from me. Thou are the Master of all Grace, the Essence of Goodness, and the Ultimate Resort of all Desire.”

Before the actual engagement was to take place, Hur, the previous commander of the enemy force, felt his conscience violently stirring, he was in turmoil. Upon realizing the gravity of the situation, he suddenly broke away from Umar Ibn Sa’ad’s camp (along with two others). They rushed toward Imam Husain (a.s.) to join his camp. Hur’s heart was jumping with joy, his mind relieved of an agonizing tension. Hur’s defection worried Umar Ibn Sa’ad very much, lest others do the same and defect. So Umar Ibn Sa’ad threw an arrow in the air to indicate the start of the battle. This was the outset of a catastrophe and a tragic event that Mu’awiya had once conceived to happen.

THE BATTLE:

Imam Husain’s supporters insisted on being the first to fight. Therefore, they took the brunt of the enemy attack. The battle was ferocious. Within a short time the Imam’s supporters slay a large number of the enemy fighters, they were on the offensive and the enemy on the defensive. This caused apprehension and confusion in the enemy military, the 72 of Husain’s against the 5,000 of the enemy (some say 30,000) being on the defensive. So worried and nervous, the enemy commander-in-chief ordered his army not only to set fire to the Imam’s tents (which were occupied mostly by frightened females and children), but at the same time reinforced his fighters with more troops.

The heroes began to fall, they were men of valor welcoming martyrdom, they fell one after another, for the enemy was overwhelming in number. By noon time the Imam stopped the fight to perform the Salat. By this time those left were mainly his family and a few supporters. They performed the Salat together. Two supporters were guarding the performers of Salat. The enemy was standing still, watching!! When Salat was finished one of the guards fell dead; there were 17 arrows in his back.

Ali Akbar, Husain’s son obtained permission to fight and dashed toward the enemy. He engaged them in fierce fighting, falling on them like thunder, slaying numerous fighters. He continued to move forward, deep inside the enemy. The enemy was overpowering in number, it overwhelmed him cutting him with swords and spears, and his body became nothing but wounds gushing blood, until he died. Imam Husain (a.s.) rushed to the area and picked up the wounded limp body and brought it to the appalled camp. His sister and others in the camp were horrified and shocked at the scene.

Abbas and five other brothers of Imam Husain went to fight. They also engaged the enemy in a fierce fighting, almost doing the impossible. Abbas went toward the river to bring some water for the thirsty children. While he was returning on his horse with the water, he was attacked by a large horde of the enemy, overwhelming and severely wounding him. As much as he tried Abbas could not save the water, he fell from his horse to breath his last.

Next to the battle field went the sons of Imam Al-Hasan and Zainab and their cousins (about 17 of them). They were all in their teens but each stood bravely, believing in the mission, facing a formidable enemy, and showed no less enthusiasm in their quest to embrace the martyrdom.

AL-HUSAIN AND HIS BABY:

By the afternoon 70 brave persons had sacrificed their lives in Karbala to save Islam. All had fought under nerve racking conditions, severe thirst, dehydration, exhaustion, and agonizing feeling of what would happen to the family of the Prophet (pbuh) afterwards. Husain endured all that and more, for he saw all his beloved ones brutally cut to pieces, including children. Remaining the only one, Imam Husain was to face the enemy head on. Precisely at that moment Imam Husain heard his baby crying incessantly, agonizing because of the thirst. Imam Husain’s love for his family was unbound, especially for a suffering baby. He held the six months old baby, his youngest son (Ali Asghar) in his arms, and appealed to the enemy fighters for some water for the baby. Imam wanted to awaken their conscience and stir their human feelings but the stone-hearted enemy, instead of giving water, zoomed an arrow toward the agonizing baby and killed him instantly. Imam Husain was shocked. He felt an unbearable wave of pain. The sight of the limp baby in his arms was agonizingly painful. He filled his palm with the blood of the baby, and threw it upwards toward the sky, complaining to Allah (swt),

    “O’ Allah, O’ my Lord! My consolation is the fact that Thou in Thine Majesty are witnessing what I am going through.”

AL-HUSAIN BY HIMSELF:

Imam Husain (a.s.) was alone, one man against thousands. He took them on, fighting them bravely, and kept fighting, receiving many wounds in the process. Thousands of enemy fighters were surrounding him but none dared to move toward him. The silence was broken when Shimr screamed for an attack, then screamed again, threatening, and in response they attacked collectively, and one sword fell on Imam Husain’s left wrist and deeply cut his left hand. The blood gushed like a fountain. Another sword was soon to follow and it hit his upper back. Imam Husain (a.s.) felt numb as he fell to the ground, bleeding profusely. He was near the point of shock, even though staggering he tried to stand by leaning on his sword. Then he received the fatal blow.

It was at this point, that Shimr whose mother was a disbeliever, came forward and severed Imam Husain’s noble head from the body, the noble head kissed often by the Prophet (pbuh)! Shimr and others had the audacity to carry it on the tip of a spear to Yazid, 600 miles away!

Umar Ibn Sa’ad ordered the horsemen to trample upon the supine bodies of Imam Husain and all others killed, to disfigure them even further, as if the wounds, the bloodied bodies, and the headless forms were not enough.

For three days the exposed bodies of the martyrs were left lying in the desert of Karbala. Afterwards, the people of the tribe of Bani-Asad, who were not far away from the battle field, helped bury them.

Umar Ibn Sa’ad and his forces (representing Benu Umayya) took the women and children as prisoners in shackles, put them on camels, and proceeded in a caravan from Karbala to Kufa. At the forefront of the procession were the heads of Imam Husain (a.s.) and his followers on the tip of spears. The scene was both grotesque and pathetic. This was the leftover of the beloved family of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), in such a deplorable unimaginable condition, all caused by people who called themselves Muslims!

LESSONS FROM THE TRAGEDY Of KARBALA:

Karbala is the cruelest tragedy humanity has ever seen. Yet, the startling (though appalling) events in Karbala proved like a powerful volcano that shook the very foundation of Muslims, it stirred their consciousness, ignorant or learned alike. For sincere Muslims, Karbala turned into a triumph. The tragic event became the very beacon of light to always remind Muslims to practice Islam honestly and sincerely, to do what is right irrespective of consequences, and fear no one except Allah (swt).

On the other hand, Yazid never achieved what he and his father had planned to achieve, for within three years, Allah’s wrath fell upon him, causing him to die at the age of 33 years. And within a few decades the rule of Benu Umayya crumbled and came to an end. The tragedy of Karbala taught humanity a lesson that standing for the truth and fighting unto death for it is more honorable and valuable than submitting to the wrongful, especially when the survival of Islam is at stake.

Distance between Medina and Karbala about 1,100 miles.

Distance between Ibn Ziyad in Kufa and Yazid in Damascus about 750 miles.

Average travel by camel per day: 30-45 miles.

SOURCES

1. Mowlana Rafiq H. Naqvi, Khutbas at Salat of Jumu’a, Idara

2. Mowlana Amir M. Faizi, Muharram Majlis, Idara

3. Dr A.S. Hashim’s Books: Ahlul Bayt and Al-Khulafaa Al-Rashidoon
4. Al-Balagh Foundation: Ahlul Bait #5, 1993 (Iran)

GLOSSARY

A’isha: Widow of the Prophet (pbuh) and a leader during Jamal Confrontation.

Abbas: Brother of Imam Husain, flag-bearer during Karbala.

Abu Sufyan: Leader of Benu Umayya, Mu’awiya’s father, was inveterate enemy of Islam.

AbuMusa Ash’ari: Governor fired by Imam Ali, was selected to arbitrate after Siffin.

Ahlul Bayt: The household of the Prophet (s), consisting of Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan, al-Husayn and the 9 Imams descending from al-Husayn (peace be upon them all).

AlFarazdaq: A famous poet.

AlNu’man Ibn alBasheer: Governor over Kufa replaced by Ibn Ziyad through Yazid’s order.

Ali Akbar: Son of Imam Al-Husain, martyred in Karbala.

Ali Asghar: Baby of Imam Al-Husain, martyred in Karbala.

Ammar Ibn Yasir: A famous highly revered Companion, on Ali’s side, killed in Siffin.

Amr Ibnil Aas: A cunning deceptive person, in Mu’awiya’s camp, arbitrator after Siffin.

Ash’ath Ibn Qais: A spy General in Ali’s armed forces, also the father of Joda (wife of Al-Hasan).

BaniAsad: The tribe that buried Al-Husain and the other martyrs of Karbala.

Basrah: An important town in south of Iraq.

Benu Umayya: A clan known to be power hungry, greedy, and materialistic, of Mu’awiya.

Byzantines: The Christian superpower ruling over Syria and Egypt that lost to Islam.

Hani Ibn Urwah: The man who helped Muslim Ibn Aqeel in Kufa and lost his life for the cause.

Hur Ibn Yazid alRiyahi: The Commander of the enemy force who defected to the side of Imam Husain.

Ibn Muljim: The killer of Imam Ali while Ali was performing Salat Al-Subh.

Ibn Ziyad: The Governor over Kufa responsible for the atrocities of Karbala.

Imam: The 12 Divinely Commissioned leaders of the Ummah after the Prophet (pbuh).

Imam AlHasan (a.s.): The second Divinely Commissioned Imam, and the brother of Imam Husain.

Imam Ali (a.s.): The first Divinely Commissioned Imam, and the father of Imam Hasan and Husain.

Imam Husain (a.s.): The third Divinely Commissioned Imam, hero of Karbala, brother of Imam Hasan.

Iraq: Country in which Imam Husain suffered at the hands of its military.

Jamal: Battle imposed on Ali by A’isha, Talha, and Zubair.

Joda: Wife of Imam Al-Hasan, who poisoned him when enticed by Mu’awiya.

Karbala: The site of the ugliest atrocities committed against Al-Husain, his family and devotees, but Karbala saved Islam from disintegration in an indirect way.

Khalifa: Head of state after the Prophet (pbuh).

Kharijies: The outsiders who turned against Ali, then killed him while he was praying.

Medina: Famous town of the Prophet (pbuh) in Arabia.

Mu’awiya: Of Benu Umayya clan, brother of Yazid, also father of the infamous Yazid of Karbala.

Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr: Brother of A’isha who fought on Ali’s side during Battle of Jamal.

Mukhtar AlThaqafi: Loyalist of Ahlul Bayt.

Muslim Ibn Aqeel: Cousin of Al-Husain and his emissary to Kufa, killed by Ibn Ziyad.

Omar: The second Khalifa who appointed Mu’awiya as the Governor over Syria.

Quraish: The clan of the Prophet (pbuh).

Shimr Bin DhilJawshan: The killer of Imam Husain, his name will remain in infamy.

Siffin: Battle imposed on Ali by Mu’awiya.

Syria: Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine nowadays used to be called Syria.

Talha: Sahaabi, leader during Jamal Confrontation, killed during that battle.

Tulaqaa’: Denigrating term used by Muhammad (pbuh) for the disbelievers who had to become Muslims after Mecca was triumphed over.

Umar Ibn Sa’ad: Commander-in-chief of the military forces against Imam Husain in Karbala.

Umm Habiba: Sister of Mu’awiya, daughter of Abu Sufyan, wife of the Prophet (pbuh).

Uthman: The third Khalifa killed by the protesting Muslims.

Waleed Ibn Ut’ba: Governor over Medina when Yazid son of Mu’awiya declared his rulership.

Yazid son of Abu Sufyan: Brother of Mu’awiya, governor of Syria for a few years until he died.

Yazid son of Mu’awiya: Son of Mu’awiya, the infamous despicable ruler, cause of Karbala tragedy.

Zainab: Sister of Al-Husain, heroin of Karbala, losing her children for the cause.

Zubair: Sahaabi, leader during Jamal Confrontation, refused to fight during that battle.



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{December 7, 2010}   10 Moharram – Youm-e-Ashur

It commemorates a struggle that is steeped in deep spiritual meaning, not only for Islamic history but for all humanity. It is a struggle between good and evil, between just and unjust, between weak and powerful, between immediate and the eternal, between principle and ambition. The power of Ashura is not only in the epic events that it commemorates, it is in the narrative of those events, in the symbolisms that we construct. Ultimately, it is in the meanings that we derive from those events.

Muharram is, of course, of special significance to Shias. But the events and meaning of Ashura is of significance and relevance to all Muslims, and I would suggest, to all humans everywhere.

Like so many others growing up in a Sunni household I grew up observing ehteram-i-Muharram and am always drawn in the days leading up to Ashura towards thinking about the meaning of religion and of faith. To me these have always been days of deep spiritual reflection; especially of intellectual enquiry into the meaning of justice (the concept of ‘adl’ holds a deep significance to me given the name I was given at birth and therefore I have always interpreted Ashura particularly as a time to reflect on what justice is).

Growing up in Pakistan, the night of Ashura was always defined for me by the Majlis i Shaam i Gharibaan (often by Allama Naseer ul Ijtihaadi) on PTV on the night of dasveen Muharram, which was followed immediately – and at right about midnight – by Syed Nasir Jahan’s soulful recitation of Salam-i-Akhir.

Bachay to aglay baras hum hain aur yeh gham phir hai
Jo chal basay tou yeh appna salam-i-akhir hai

His soulful voice, so pregnant with a deep and heartfelt pain, always echoes in my head when I read of continuing sectarian violence and the instigation of sectarian hatred.

Also echoing in my head are memories of the eloquent narratives of those PTV Shaam i Gharibaan’s. What I took from my yearly ritual of sitting glued to the screen was that the message of Ashura, of Karbala, is a universal and humanist messages. Justice is a universal message. Courage is a universal message. Conviction is a universal message. Sacrifice is a universal message.

It is the universality of the messages of Ashura that I hope we will all reflect upon. Every one of these messages is literally torn asunder each Muharram when the merchants of sectarianism highjack these commemorations with their vitriolic politics of fear, of difference, of hatred.

While these are universal messages, they are also – as they must be – messages of Pakistaniat. Yasser Hamdani sent me this quote from Mohammad Ali Jinnah published in a souvenir commemorating the 1300th anniversay of Imam Hussain’s shahadat.

There cannot be a better and more illustrious example than that of Husein who was the greatest embodiment of courage, conviction and sacrifice and every Mussalman in particular should take the great example of his life and service and follow it.

Jinnah was right. He would probably be pained to see how not only his own message, but that of Imam Hussain’s life -and death – have been so very lost on so many of his countrymen today.

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