Imam Hussein’s Martyrdom. Who to Blame?
Hi Mr Sina,
I haven’t seen anything on your site about Imam Hussain and his war against Yazid fought at Karbala. Did Imam Hussain sacrifice himself and his clan in vain or was he really trying to save Islam. Please answer
After caliph Othman was assassinated, some Muslims chose Ali as their caliph and others who did not like him pledged their allegiance to Mu’awiyah son of Abu Sufyan. Mu’awiyah was a cousin of Othman and had been appointed by him as the governor of Syria.. This division among Muslims caused many wars and bloodshed that lasted until the assassination of Ali. In the reason for the assassination and Ali and the failed attempt at the life of Mu’awiyah was to end the fratricide war between the Muslims.
When Ali was assassinated, his followers picked his son Hassan as his successor. However, Hassan was reluctant to fight against Mu’awiyah. He agreed to renounce his claim to caliphate for a large sum of money. Hassan was a womanizer and loved luxury and easy life. Hence, Mu’awiyah became the only caliph of Muslims.
Upon Mu’awiyah’s death, his son Yazid became his successor. At that time Hussein ibn Ali was in Medina and Walid ibn Otbah ibn Abu Sufyan (a cousin of Yazid) was the governor of Medina. Walid called Hessein to come and offer his allegiance to Yazid. Hessein told the messenger to go back and that he would come a little later. He then escaped and went to Mecca where he had his clan and many supporters. Meanwhile, people of Kufah sent a message to Hessein saying they dislike Yazid and have not offered their allegiance to him and if he comes to Kufah they will make him their caliph.
Husssein sent his cousin Muslim ibn Aqeel to investigate the situation. When Muslim went to Kufah 18000 inhabitants of Kufah pledged their allegiance to Hussein. Muslim informed Hessein and he decided to go to Kufah.
The news reached Yazid. He asked his cousin Abidulah ibn Ziad who was the governor of Basrah to go to Kufah and deal with the problem. Abidullah, like his father, was a fearless and ruthless man. He went to Kufah with a handful of his men and threatened the people of the consequence of their betrayal if they turn against Yazid. He warned them that treason against the caliph is treason against Allah and his messenger and their punishment will be severe both in this world and the next. Note that his is the Sharia. Muhammad had devised laws that brought the death of his grandson over 50 years later.
Ibn Aqeel was a guest of one of the dignitaries of Kufah by the name of Hani. Abidullah captured Hani, beat him and beheaded him in the market in front of his people. No one intervened. Although Abidullah was one man with a handful of protectors, the entire population of Kufah was so scared of him that they let him kill their leader Hani and abandoned Ibn Aqeel altogether. Ibn Aqeel was in a mosque leading them in prayer. When he finished the prayer he did not find anyone behind him. He went into hiding in a house of a woman who took pity on him, but her teenager son reported his whereabouts to Abidullah who sent people to capture him and spill his blood.
Meanwhile, Hussein, disregarded the counsel of his well-wishers in Mecca who advised him not to go or at least not to take his family along. He went to Kufah with his women and children. On his way he met a caravan coming from Yemen going to Syria carrying some goods for Yazid. He took passion of it but did not kill the men. He told the caravan men he is now the Caliph and they are free to join him or go.
When Muslim ibn Aqeel was in hiding, he sent a second message to Hussein informing him of the betrayal of the people of Kufah asked him to return. Hussein received that message when he was four stations away from Kufah but disregarded it. He said his fates is in the hand of Allah. Meanwhile Amro ibn Sa’id, sent his son Yahya and Abdullah ibn Ja’far, a cousin of Hussein with a letter warning him of the danger of going to Kufah. Hussein ignored their counsel too. He said that he had a dream in which he saw the Prophet who encouraged him to go to Kufah, He did not reveal the details of that dream. On his way to Kufah he met a man named Hur ibn Yazid Tamimi who asked Hussein about his destination and when learned he was going to Kufa told him not to go and told him that Muslim was killed.
Hussein’s faith in his dream was so great that he ignored all the warnings and proceeded into the mouth of death. The soldiers of Abidullah, confronted him and and his companions and killed them all.
Tabari says upon receiving the news of the death of Muslim, Hussein wanted to return but Muslim’s father Aqeel and his brothers who were with him said they are not going back until they had taken their revenge, and Hussein said he will not abandon them and carried on. That was a foolish decision. They could have returned and took their revenge when they had a better chance of winning. No sane person goes to war carrying with him his wives and children. Hussein was killed because of his stupidity.
The story is more detailed, but as you can see Hessein did not go to kufah to save Islam but to gain the caliphate that his brother Hassan had sold to Mu’awiyah. Lacking political sagacity and his blind trust on his dream made him ignore the danger which resulted in his death and the death of 145 members of his family and companions. He was obviously, as inept as a general as was his father, who brought nothing but war and fratricide upon Muslims.
Did Allah trick Hussein with a false dream? Was this dream sent to him by Satan and Allah and his messenger failed to warn him in time? Whatever may be the case, this shows that Allah did not care for or could not save Hussein. He laid his trust and fate in the hands of Allah and Allah ignored him or could not help him. Most likely Allah did not know because what was going on because Allah does not exist.
Even when Hussein was surrounded, Abidullah invited him to offer his allegiance to Yazid and spare his and his people’s lives. Hussein said he would rather fight. He either had a death wish or had placed too much faith on his dream of victory.
So who is responsible for his death and the death of his family? No one but him. And 1300 years later the Shiites still beat themselves for his death. Hussein died because he was stupid. Had he become a caliph, probably more people would have been killed.
The struggles between different factions of Muslims throughout the history were never over saving Islam. They were always over power. However, they all claimed to be the defender of Islam. Islam has always been used as a political tool. Even today, the feuding factions in the Muslim world claim to be defending Islam.
Hope this brief explanation answers your question.