Abdullah Akber :
The Muslims all over the world observe the Day 10 of the Arabic month of Muharram in memory of Imam Husain (Ra) and his 71 companions, who died for the cause of Truth and Justice. They fearlessly courted martyrdom at Karbala in Iraq in the year 679 AD, but did not compromise with Yazid, the evil. Imam Husain, son of Hazrat Ali (Ra) and Hazrat Fatima (Ra), grandson of Hazrat Muhammad (Sm) was six years old when the Prophet died in 633 AD.
However, with the death of Hazrat Muhammad (Sm), history witnessed sharp division among the Muslims centering the election of the Caliph of of the Republic of Madina. The members of Hashemite argued for Hazrat Ali (Ra) saying that the Prophet prior to his Tabuk expedition in 630 A.D. appointed Hazrat Ali (Ra) administrator of Madina Republic. Hazrat Ali (Ra) asked the Prophet (Sm) : Do ye consider me among the women and the children that you are leaving me at Madina? In reply, the Prophet said: You are in such a position with me as was Haraun with Musa (As). But after me there will come no prophet. Hazrat Saad-bin-Abi Wakkas narrated the event, recorded in the Bukhari Sharif.
According to the holy Quran, Hazrat Harun (As) was Prophet of Allah as well as Chief Adviser of his brother Hazrat Musa (As).
The second reason may be referred to the strategic flight of Prophet Muhammad (Sm) from Makka in June 622 A.D. Prior to journeying, the Prophet summoned Ali and said: I am leaving Makka for strategic reason. You will sleep in my bed throughout the night to confuse the eyes of the Quraish. Ali responded spontaneously and slept in his bed until the rise of sun in the following morning.
Hazrat Ali's obedience was sign of total allegiance to Allah and His Prophet. The next morning eight men of the Quraish, who surrounded the house to foil Prophet's flight to Madina, awoke Ali breaking open the door and wanted to know about the location of the Prophet. Ali refused to say anything. He was undaunted.
Yet, some influential members of the Banu Tamim and the Banu Umayyad met together secretly and Hazrat Umar (Ra) proposed the name of Abu Bakr, a trusted lieutenant of the Prophet, as the Caliph of Islam.
Hazrat Umar (Ra) succeeded him as the Caliph and ruled for 10 years. It is during this time that Muawiah, son of Umayyad leader Abu Sufian became the Governor of Syria. He became more powerful after Hazrat Uthman (Ra) brought several changes in the administration, some of which proved ineffective. He appointed Walid bin Ukba, Governor of Kufa, dsmissing Saad bin Wakkas, removed Abu Musa Ashkari from the key post of Basra and posted Abdullah bin Amer there. Hazrat Uthman (Ra) sent his foster brother Abdullah-bin-Saad to Egypt as governor and dismissed Aamar-ibnul-Aas. But to utter surprise within a short period, Aamar forgot the humiliation and joined Muawiah, the rebellious governor of Syria.
All these changes sown the seeds of division in the republic. The situation became serious when Hazrat Uthman (Ra) made his cousin Marwan bin Hakam his secretary. Marwan was an evil man, lustful, greedy, conspirator, libidinous and feudalist. Historians castigated him as the man behind all anarchism and civil wars in the Arabian peninsula. In truth, he was devising to establish Umayyad dynasty under the banner of Islam. About the ill motives and conspiracies of Marwan, on several occasions Hazrat Uthman (Ra) was apprised, but no action was taken, and he became desperate.
In fact, When Hazrat Ali (Ra) as Caliph of Islam did some administrative and economic reforms, the rich and the feudalists among other clans deadly opposed. They began to conspire and rallied round Syria's rebellious governor Muawiah raising the issue of the murder of Hazrat Uthman (Ra), the 3rd Caliph.
One of the conspirers was Marwan-bin-Hakam, former adviser of Hazrat Uthman (Ra) . In the battle of Camel, Marwan joined Talha and Zubair's combined forces against the central government of Hazrat Ali (Ra). But the moment Talha and Zubair saw Arnmar-bin-Yasir in the camp of Ali (Ra) they withdrew from the war field. But Marwan did not spare them.
He himself killed Talha and by mercenary murdered Zubair. The reason of Talha and Zubair's late decision was that the Prophet once said to Ammar-bin-Yasir: Sadly, the rebel Muslims will kill you." So, seeing Ammar with Ali, Talha and Zubair left the battlefield.
But Ammar's life was short, as the troops of Muawiah killed him in the battle of Siffin in 661 A.D. It is Marwan who provoked Muawiah to nominate his notorious son Yazid as the Caliph, burying the agreement signed between Imam Hasan (Ra) and him. Imam Husain in order to remind Yazid about the clause of the agreement, organised a peaceful Road March towards Kufa in Iraq. He had no intention to go to war against Yazid, as all his 71 companions were unarmed men, women and children.
But the Syrian troops loyal to Yazid intercepted him at Karbala near the river of Euphrates and asked him to accept Yazid as the legal ruler. But the Imam rejected the proposal. The Syrian troops killed them all except Imam Joynul Abedin (Ra) and few women whom they sent to Damascus.
History reveals that Imam Husain (Ra) was the symbol of truth, champion of human rights and social values, equality and justice. He just demanded the implementation of the agreement that Imam Husain would become the Caliph after the death of Muawiah. But the Umayyad ruler dishonoured the agreement and nominated his worthless son Yazid Caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate. The three most nefarious devices of the reign of Yazid were: To set the Ka'ba to fire, ii) to kill the members of the House of the Prophet (Sm), and iii) to plunder the city of Madina-the city which sheltered Prophet Muhammad (Sm) during the most critical time of his life.
It was during the reign of Yazid that feudalism and monarchy got institutional shape, contrarily the ideology of Islam that every man shall work according to his capacity and that the State will give every one his due. Imam Husain (Ra) and his associates were the soldiers of that ideology.