Martyrs’ blood’s Graces: Imam Husayn, a paradigm
The main axes of the subject:
– The value of martyrdom and the dignity of the martyrs
– Husayn’s blood: A school of “Our submission is impossible”
– Husayn’s blood: A school of “sacrifice and martyrdom—No pledge to the tyrants”
– Husayn’s blood: A school of “remaining steadfast to the truth”
We will define the graces of the blood of the martyrs especially the pure blood of Imam Abu Abdullah al Husayn (a.s.).
Exporting the subject:
Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “Allah treasures six qualities for the martyr: He will forgive him and show him his position in the heaven. He will be saved from the grave’s world of torture. He will be secured from the greatest fear. He will be crowned with reverence. One of his rubies is more graceful than the world and its possessions. He will be wedded to seventy two fair women with fascinating eyes. He will intercede for seventy people of his relatives – in other words – his household and closest family.”
The value of martyrdom and the dignity of martyrs:
Martyrdom is a grade to which Allah (The Exalted) upgrades his chosen servants. If Allah wishes to upgrade a human being he will choose him as a martyr. Allah (The Exalted) said: “…and [may] take to Himself from among you martyrs.”1 A martyr is one of the attendants, the audience. This means the angels will witness or be present at the time of his death as a way of dignifying him. There are other witnesses that will witness his death on the Day of Judgment, which is his blood and wounds. The meaning of martyrdom is associated with man’s will to sacrifice himself in the way of Allah in any stance he wishes to defend the religion and exalt the word of Allah. This is why martyrdom was a life, as the holy book reads: “And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision.”2 It also reads: “And do not say about those who are killed in the way of Allah, ‘They are dead.’ Rather, they are alive, but you perceive [it] not.”3
This is exactly what the history of the prophet’s household (a.s.) teaches us, they proclaimed the love of martyrdom. Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “I swear in he who holds my soul, I would have wished to conquest in the cause of Allah and get killed after which I conquest again and get killed, after which I conquest again and get killed…”4 In addition, Imam Ali (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “… I swear in Allah, I am with the truth and I love martyrdom.”5
In the accounts, martyrdom in the cause of Allah wipes all sins. This issue was narrated quoting Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) as saying: “Martyrdom expiates everything except debt.” And, “The minute a martyr’s blood is spilt his entire wrongdoings will be atoned except debt.”6
In addition, Imam al Sadiq (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “A man killed in the cause of Allah will not be presented to his wrongdoings by Allah.”7 Besides, Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “A man from the residents in the heaven will be brought and asked: O son of Adam, how do you find your home? He replies: O Allah, it is the best home. He says: Ask and wish. And he replies: What can I ask or wish for more. I can only ask you to take me back to the earthly world so that I can be killed for your cause ten times.”
Also the prophet (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “No one from those who enter the heaven would wish to return to the earthly world but the martyr; he wishes to be returned in order to be killed ten times due to the graces that he witnesses.”8
2- The graces of the blood of Imam Husayn (a.s.):
None of the human beings can cognize or count the graces of the Hussaini blood and Hussaini martyrdom coupled with their effects and outcomes in the history of Islam. That is, the bloods of Imam Husayn (a.s.) and his household and companions have stabilized for the entire history of mankind an illuminating path for all the free people in the world. We will examine some of his principles and blessings:
a- Our submission is impossible:
These words were not a formal motto that was adopted by Imam Husayn (a.s.); rather, it was a method that he designed for all future generations, explaining that submissiveness to the tyrant has no place in the dictionary of the Husaynists (Husayn partisans). This is because glory belongs to Allah, his messenger and the believers. Therefore, when the intentions of betrayal, failure and deception toward the Imam became obvious whereas Yazid was finding support, the Imam (a.s.) declared: “May you be crushed ye slaves of this nation, deviants of the parties, rejecters of the holy book, expedients of the devil, wrongdoings bandit, distorters of the holy book, extinguishers of the laws, killers of the children of the prophets, and exterminators of the progeny of the guardians ….” He (a.s.) added: “Knoweth that the whoreson, the son of a whoreson, has concentrated on two issues, either death or submission; and our submission is impossible! Allah does not accept it for us nor will his messenger, the believers, the ancestors, the purified laps, and the self-esteemed souls, all of which would rather prefer the death of the nobles than being obedient to the villains…”9
b- A school of “remaining steadfast to the truth”:
Imam Husayn (a.s.) proclaimed in several occasions his advanced knowledge of Umayyah sons’ determination to kill him. He declared to his brother Muhammad Ibn al Hanfiyyah saying: “If I enter the burrow of any pest of these pests, they will not stop until they extract me in order to kill me.”
He (a.s.) also said to Jaafar bin Suleiman al Dabei: “I swear in Allah, they will never leave me in peace until they extract this organ (his sacred heart) from my chest.”
It was also narrated that when he decided to leave the city of Medina Um Salamah (a.m.h.s) came to him and said: O son, do not sadden me by your departure to Iraq. I heard your grandfather saying: My son Husayn will be killed in the land of Iraq, a land that is called Karbala. He said to her: “O mother, I swear in Allah that I am aware of this and that I am to be killed without any escape. This is a must of mine. I swear in Allah that I even know the very day when I will be killed, and I know my killer and the spot of my burial. I also know who will be killed of my family, relatives and followers. He has ordained for my spouses, troops, and women to face homelessness and for my children to be wrongfully slaughtered, captured and chained as they ask for help and find no one to come for their rescue.”10
In spite of this knowledge of his, none has changed of the stances of Imam Husayn (a.s.) toward Umayyah sons who represented the best examples of tyranny and oppression regarding religion, politics, regime and other affairs of the public. Rather, this fact increased his faith and strength to defend the truth and practice the divine obligation to face the tyrants. The stage in the eyes of Imam Husayn (a.s.) fitted with his saying: “He, who witnesses a tyrant ruler that allows the prohibitions of Allah and breaks his oath against the law of Allah’s messenger, and practices wrongdoings and aggression on the servants of Allah, without opposing him with deeds or words, Allah has every right to ordain him to his same destiny.”11
c- The slogan of the school of sacrifice and martyrdom, no pledge to the tyrants:
As soon as his father died, Yazid wrote to al Walid Bin Ataba Bin Abi Sufyan – who was assigned by Muawiyah as the governor of Medina – to obtain the pledge of allegiance from Husayn (a.s.) without any delay regarding this issue. Other historic sources narrated that the letter content read: “If you receive this book of mine, bring Husayn Bin Ali and Abdullah Ibn al Zubeir and take the pledge of allegiance from them. If they abstain strike their necks and send me their heads and ask the people for the pledge of allegiance; and anyone who abstains execute the same rule in him.”12 Imam Husayn (a.s.) replied openly saying: “We are members of the household of prophecy, core of the message, Kaaba of the angels, and place of mercy. With us Allah started and with us He will conclude. Yazid is a debauchee, wine drinker, killer of the innocent, and brags about his debauchery. Someone like me will not induct someone like him. Tomorrow, you and we shall see who has the right for the caliphate and the pledge of allegiance.”
Therefore, since Imam Husayn (a.s.) refuses to give the pledge of allegiance to Yazid apart from of the reasons, there is no other way for Husayn (a.s.) but martyrdom. The Imam’s attitude in abstaining from giving the pledge to Yazid was public and clear without any doubt or question. The Imam (a.s.) said to his brother Muhammad Ibn al Hanfiyyah: “O brother, I swear in Allah, if there were no shelter or refuge in this world still, I will never give the pledge to Yazid Bin Muawiyah, never.”
– Martyrdom is a beautiful way of dying:
After receiving the news on Yazid’s deployment of his secret men to assassinate and shed Husayn’s blood while he was in Makkah just before his travel to Iraq, he addressed a speech with the following introduction: “Death was destined for the children of Adam like the necklace was destined for the neck of the girl. I do miss my ancestors just like Yacoub missed Yusuf. The death that comes to me is better for me. I can honestly anticipate the severance of my joints, severed by the wild in the wilderness in an area between al Nawawis and Karbala.”13 This issue indicated awareness and martyrdom quest as well as death wish in the cause of Allah; and that martyrdom is beautiful for the great men like the beauty of the necklace that shines on the neck of the girl.
In another attitude he (a.s.) said: “I see death as nothing but bliss and life with tyrants as nothing but boredom.” In such a great image, Imam Husayn (a.s.) enacted the laws of the ancestors for all those who embrace the religion of the values of the heavens with belongingness and security. And he embarked on with this rule in order to change the corrupt reality. Certainty of death does not weaken the endeavors.
1- Holy Quran: Surat A’l Imran: verse 140.
2- Holy Quran: Surat A’l Imran: verse 140.
3- Holy Quran: Surat A’l Imran: verse 169.
4- Sahih Muslim: 1876.
5- Nahjul Balagha explanation, by Ibn al Hadid: 6/100.
6- Al Ershad, by al Mufid, 1/238.
7- Wasa’el al Shia, 11/9/19.
8- Sahih Muslim: 1877.
9- A’yan al Shia: 1/603
10- Bihar al Anwar: 44.
11- Waqeat al Taf: 172. Imam Husayn words encyclopedia: 36.
12- Tarikh al Yacoubi: 2/215.
13- Bihar al Anwar: 44/366. Husayn’s death, by Maqram: 193.