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Hussain: The Universal Leader

Hussain - The Universal Leader It is in the very nature of great reformers that they belong to everybody, everywhere. Hussain’s noble deed is so relevant to the entire human race that I am sure there is a far bigger audience waiting for him somewhere than the one he already has. All that is required is to draw people’s attention. Contemporary society, irrespective of race and religion, would do well to have a closer look at the Hero of Karbala as his message transcends the barriers of caste creed, race and religion. His message is certainly not an exclusive preserve of any particular group. It embraces the entire human race. It was not a power struggle. Hussain persistently and explicitly expounded; what matters to me is to “correct not conquer”.

It is in the very nature of great reformers that they belong to everybody,
everywhere. Hussain’s noble deed is so relevant to the entire human race that I
am sure there is a far bigger audience waiting for him somewhere than the one he
already has. All that is required is to draw people’s attention.

Contemporary society, irrespective of race and religion, would do well to have a
closer look at the Hero of Kerbala as his message transcends the barriers of
caste creed, race and religion. Advocates of human rights, sociologists,
reformers, theologians, all included, will find “delightful wisdom, sweet
instructions, and a meaning suited to their mind”, in his story. His message is
certainly not an exclusive preserve of any particular group. It embraces the
entire human race. It was not a power struggle. Hussain persistently and
explicitly expounded, “ What matters to me is to “correct not conquer” – An
affirmation that he would die in the firm belief that a despot’s idiosyncrasies
could never be an effective instrument of religious policies.

Yazid became too big for his boots and assumed the characteristics of a despot
who, almost as a condition of his position, made boastful and frivolous claims
that he alone could lead the nation [ummah].

Hussain was, however, committed to redeeming Islam and maintaining the faith
intact.

He hoped that matters would improve and kept a low profile to preserve amity. He
had a clear choice: stand aside and let Yazid act according to his whims; (and
thus join in and implicitly justify his abominable escapades) or counter his
devious bluster. Hussain had to decide: to take the situation in its stride as a
price worth paying for the “status quo”; or view it as an ominous foretaste of
the consequences of the extensive damage done by the far-reaching anti-Islamic
activities of Yazid, the mammon of unrighteousness, whose lust for power
prompted him to beat the nation into the mould he favoured. He and his profane
crew conspired to scuttle the ship of Islam by worse than heinous deeds,
violating the aims for which Islam was born.

Hussain had no desire to live under such a corrupt Caliph. He wanted to act as
quietly and as “spontaneously” as possible so as to limit the possibilities of
an open clash with the Caliph. But Yazid bargained hard. Hussain could not take
his effervescent nonsense perpetually and did what was right.

If the moral standards of human behaviour were as high as they were in the
person of Hussain the world would be a better place to live in, is the obvious
inference. His incredible cool and superhuman moral courage to achieve his
mission stirs our deepest emotions. His exemplary conduct, throughout, and
adorable conscience tore Yazid’s monstrous designs to shreds.

The virtuous people will continue to do their duty to maintain righteousness in
this world and in this they are entitled to universal recognition and support.
Hussain’s acceptance of persecution in the cause of humanity was most convincing
and moving proof of God’s immanence in men. He was a man par excellence who
maintained the highest standards set by the martyrs and heroes of all ages. With
a courage that was more than human he managed to leave a message for the entire
world, “Do not submit to exploitation, of any kind; maintain a tenacious grip on
veracity; better die with honour than live in shame”. He surely deserves
universal recognition. “He is an immortal heir of universal praise”. More than
Fourteen hundred years have passed but the memory of that adorable hero, who
resolutely faced the soul-searching trials and tribulations, has not diminished.
On the contrary, it has grown in intensity. Imbued with exemplary fortitude,
moral fibre and aplomb, Hussain has emerged as the most revered and meritorious
martyr the world has produced, who established the highest standards of
excellence of which humanity prides itself.

Selected Chapter from The Truth About Al-Hussain’s Revolt by Shaheed Murtadha Mutahhari

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