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Lectures On Ashura

INTRODUCTION

lectures on Ashura


Lectures on Ashura

Ayatullah Mehmood Moosavi TaJiqani
Ayatullah Sheikh Murtaza Mutahheri
Ayatullah Muhammad Husayni Behishti
Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Ayati

  Contents
About The Islamic Seminary
Introduction Of Imam Husayn (P)
Lecture On 'Ashura (Introduction)
Causes Of Husayni Jihad
The Successful Effort
Jihad And Martyrdom
What Made Imam Husayn (P) Rise
Khutba (Sermon) And The Pulpit (1)
Khutba (Sermon) And The Pulpit (2)
 

About The Islamic Seminary


 

This international organization named THE ISLAMIC SEMINARY, established, under the patronage of His Eminence Imam Khui (Rehmatullah alaih of Najaf of Iraq) in 1977, is endeavouring to convey authentic Islamic literature to the people of the world. 

The object of this organization is to meet the spiritual needs of the present age, to draw the attention of the people to real and solid Islamic learning and to safeguard the valuable treasure of knowledge which has been entrusted to us by the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad and by his Holy Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them). 

This organization has so far published more than one hundred books in English, Urdu, Arabic, French, Malay, Hausa, Sindhi and Gujrati which enjoy a high position among the publications on Islamic literature. If Allah Wills this process of publication will continue and will show the Straight Path to the humanity. 

Moreover, many madaris which are being run under the supervision of the Seminary are playing their role in spreading Islamic education among the youths of the community. 

Furthermore, the Seminary also participates in the establishment and development of social and welfare projects of the community. 

Spreading the message of slam is a task which needs cooperation by all of us. The Seminary invites you to participate in this noble task so that the teachings of slam may be spread round the globe. 

I pray to Almighty Allah to favour us with His Kindness and Blessings.

 

Agha YusufAli Nafsi, Representative of 
Ayatullah-al-Uzma Sistani (Najaf- Iraq) 

 

Introduction Of Imam Hussain(a.s) In Lectures On Ashura


 

It cannot be gainsaid that the Ashura Day or the Tragedy of Karbala has no parallel in the history of the world. Though its significance has been realized by a large number of people, yet it requires to be brought home to the ignorant masses and the educated persons, who are desirous of learning the true concepts of Islam, but have been handicapped by hearing or listening to only one-sided or biased accounts. 

This tragedy occurred (61 A.H) 50 years after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (11 A.H). The hero of this tragedy was Husayn bin Ali bin Ali Talib (P) the grandson of the Holy Prophet. 

The Holy Imam [ Husayn (P) ] was martyred on the l0th of Muharrum (Ashura day 61 A.H) at the plains of Karbala (Iraq). 
Why was he martyred? It was because he refused to pay allegiance to Yazid who was nominated Caliph by his father Muawiyyah. Muawiyyah, who belonged to the Umayyad clan was the worst enemy of Ali (P) who, like the Holy Prophet, belonged to the Hashimiite clan. The enmity between the Umayyad and the Hashimiites was proverbial. In the battle of Badr most of the Umayyad were killed and Islam was now on a firm footing. Abu Sufyan who was always trying to kill the Holy Prophet and destroy Islam, was the leader of the Umayyad. Although later he apparently professed Islam, he was at heart the bitterest enemy of Islam and the Prophet. 

When Yazid, the vilest of the vile, son of Muawiyyah and grandson of Abu Sufyan, declared himself to be the Caliph of Islam, he got martyred Husayn son of Ali and Fatima, the dearest daughter of the Prophet of Islam. 
The fight between Husayn (P) and Yazid (L) was really a fight between Truth and Falsehood, and between Faith and Infidelity .Had Husayn (P) any desire for power, he would not have gone forward to sacrifice his life along with a band of less than hundred of his kith and kin including his children and women. 
This tragedy occurred within fifty years of the passing away of the Holy Prophet. During the twenty-three years of the Prophetic mission an unparalleled revolution had taken place. The Holy Prophet suffered extreme troubles in propagating Islam which gloriously spread by leaps and bounds with the support of his real uncle Abu Talib who had nurtured him in his childhood and protected and defended him from his inveterate enemies. 

After the demise of Abu Talib the Holy Prophet pursued 
his preaching with his cousin Ali bin Abi Talib (P) at his support, until the task was accomplished in 10 A.H. It was then that after receiving Allah's command Proclaim what has been sent down to you and if you do not, you would not accomplish the mission at all. -(5 : 67). The Prophet of Islam, returning from his Farewell Hajj, ordered a halt at Ghadir-e-Khum on 18th Zil Hij, mounted the pulpit and taking Ali's(P) hand in his own proclaimed amongst multitudes of muslims. "I leave behind two grand things -Allah's Book (the Qur'an) and my Progeny (Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husayn). Beware! how you behave to them when I am gone from amongst you. Both of them will never separate from each other until they reach me in Heaven at the fountain of Kauther". Then he reiterated taking Ali's hand in his hand "Whomsoever I own the guardian- ship Ali also owns his guardianship?" The Divine Mission was accomplished and shortly afterwards the Holy Prophet passed away in Madina on 28th of Safer or 12th of Rabiul Awwal. 

Thus ended the revelation of Wahi,since the Holy Prophet was the last Prophet and the Holy Qur'an is the last Book of Allah. 

The Holy Prophet in his lifetime had forewarned the people of the atrocious activities of Bani Umayya against his progeny. The Holy Qur'an also said: Say O Prophet! I do: not require any recompense from you except love for my kin. Allah also said about the Prophet's Ahlul Bayt: Verily Allah intends but to keep off from you, O' the People of the House, every kind of uncleanness and purify you with a thorough purification. (33: 33) 

The Prophet of Islam had repeatedly expressed his extreme love for his Ahlul Bayt and had announced their supreme merits. About Ali (P), he said "I am the City of Knowledge and Ali is its Gate. " About Fatima he said, "Fatima is a part of mine; whoever grieves her grieves me." He also said "Hasan and Husayn are the two youths of Paradise." He said, "Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn; Allah loves him who loves Husayn." 

Now we can see what happened to Islam within fifty years of the demise of the Holy Prophet. Islam was almost metamorphosed into irreligion. Was it due to bad teachings of Islam or was it due to those in authority who held the reins of Islamic Government? The worst period, however, came when one who assumed the Caliphate proclaimed -"Neither there was any Wahi (revelation) nor there came any angel; I have taken revenge for the killings of my ancestors at Badr ."- yazid bin Muawiyyah. 

And it was Husayn bin Ali and Fatima, and grandson of the Holy Prophet, who rose against that tyrant and was martyred at Karbala on the Ashura Day on the l0th of Muharram 61 A.H. along with his 72 kith and kin including a six-month-old babe Ali Asghar, who was shot dead thirsty. 

The echoes of the martyrs' sufferings and the wailings of the children and women of the Prophet's Household, who were later taken prisoners, are still resounding throughout the world. A deep and unbiased study of the history of Ashura will convince the reader that Karbala has put into the shade the atrocities the world has ever seen.

Introduction Of Karbala


 

Karbala presents a clear and inspiring example of a great sacrifice for Islam and humanity. The example of martyrdom set by Imam Husayn (Peace be upon him), the members of his family and his companions will continue to provide lofty values to human hearts which make man attain that exalted position of humanity which Allah expects from a true Muslim. 

Islam is the name of a continual movement and revolution which is a perfect system in the ideological field -a living movement in the journey of historical continuity. 

The following Qur'anic verse goes to show that ideologically Islam is a perfect system: ...On this day I have perfected your religion, completed my favours to you and have chosen Islam as your religion. ...(Surah Mai'dah, 5:3) 
In the passage of history the following Divine verses bear witness to Islam being a perpetual movement: you are the best of the nations that existed among men. You command people to follow the Law and prohibit them from committing sins and you believe in Allah. (Surah Ali Imran, 3:111) 

Let there be a group among you, who will invite others to do good deeds, command them to obey the Law, and prohibit them from committing sins. (Surah AI-e-Imran, 3:104) 

As in the caravan of history Islam is a perpetual movement and a constant revolution, it offers unending sacrifices. From its very beginning it presented martyrs to combat the forces and evils of ignorance to achieve success and even after the perfection of religion it made sacrifices successively against the powers of alteration and destructive elements to safeguard its success; During every revolution the number of martyrs continued to increase and opposition to its aims and objects also increased. The object of this opposition was to annihilate the revolution and its future. And it is here that the greatness of martyrdom against the forces inimical to revolution becomes manifest, because it was the martyrdom of those 'victors' 'who were not avaricious of the honors of victory but who stuck to their ideal even after achieving victory so that they might attain the great blessing of martyrdom. 

Imam Husayn (P) belonged to this very 'victorious' family and taking advantage of the honors of 'victory' he could lead a comfortable life in the Islamic society. However, he saw that anti-Islamic movement was progressing in the guise of Islam itself, Islam had fallen a prey to intellectual pollution and profanity and as the Holy Prophet had warned the Muslims, the Islamic Caliphate had changed into despotic anarchism. 

Islam which according to Imam Husayn's concept is a perpetual revolution was always faced with the danger of being desecrated and destroyed by the anti- Islamic forces of the suppressive movement of autocratic rule. It was on the basis of this concept that Imam Husayn chose the path of martyrdom so that the spirit of Islam might remain alive and be protected from the pollution of the anti-Islamic government. 

Islam, for the sake of which Imam Hu'sayn (P) chose martyrdom, is not an idle concept but a perfect system, which has been introduced for the benefit of Mankind. It brings into existence a Muslim society which looks after the needs of the people, protects their human rights and promises a life of prosperity in this world and the Hereafter. 

Imam Husayn (P) and his companions did not become martyrs after being slain, but they were martyrs even during their lifetime. Martyrdom is not attained only through death but it also takes place during one's life. To take a just stand and to stick to it firmly for the welfare of the entire society, rising above personal, family and party interests, to make it the stand for the present and future generations of the entire Ummah, to connect that stand with Allah according to the Divine teachings and to follow the principles of political virtue, gives the meaning of martyrdom to life, and it is this act which adorns them with martyrdom. 

The material life is for all the people, but the future of a martyr is connected with the spiritual uplift of man. It is this thing which gives man the distinctive sign of martyrdom and this is the reality of the highest rank of martyrdom of the martyrs of Karbala. This martyrdom is a landmark in- the history of human dignity defying all sorts of communalism, regionalism or nationalism. It was the noblest feat of humanity because it was the interpreter of the stand taken by an honourable creation like man -the same man who is entitled to honour, prosperity -and good future. The Almighty Allah says: We have exalted the children of Adam, carried them on the. land and on the sea, given them pure sustenance and exalted them above most of My creatures. (Surah Bani Israel, 17: 70) 

Hence, it is the universal recognition of the Tragedy of Karbala,which has made it everlasting (and) (it is present) in the annals of History as a living memorial ( of the martyrs) till today and leads them to those sublime human values which take man out of the narrow circle of his ego and bring him into the field of effort and action for the honour, welfare and future of the entire society. The Holy Prophet says: "Every one of you is responsible and every one will be questioned about his subordinates." 

When we study the revolution., brought about by Imam Husayn (P) and the martyrdom of his kith, and kin we understand the reality of the events which have taken place in the world of Islam and we also come to know where it has reached now and what dangers threaten it. Under the manifest spirit of human sacrifice staged in Karbala, a Karbala is taking place for every man and every group of men even today. Today man is standing at the parting of the ways: Either he should remain steadfast in his belief in Monotheism and should, relying on Allah, lead his life on His Path by turning away his face from the East and the West, controlling his temptations, helping the weak in seeking proximity to Allah, defending the faith, fostering brotherhood, love and unity, and make Islam honoured, or he may submit to Satan and choose the path of cruelty, treachery, fanaticism and dissension. In any case every one of us is standing at the crossroads to decide his line of action. 

In the past many persons who were at the crossroads, failed. However, if we fail it will be the death of our religious existence because the deceitful enemy is sitting in ambush.

Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Shamsuddin Vice President, Al-Majlis-al-lslami al Shi'ie al-A 'la (Lebanon)

 

Causes Of Hussaini Jihad


 

Dr. Ibrahim Ayati

I seek refuge in the Hearer and the Omniscient Allah from the accursed Satan. 

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.


Do not think of those slain for the cause of Allah as dead. They are alive with their Lord and receive sustenance from Him. (Surah Al Imran, 3: 169) 

The subject of today's speech is the causes which obliged Imam Husayn (P) to take a stand and the events on account of which he decided that it would be a sin to sit quiet under those circumstances. I must mention at the very outset that those events did not take place all of a sudden. In other words it did not so happen that after the death of Mu'awiyyah son of Abu Sufyan in the month of Rajab in 60 A.H. a critical state of affairs appeared in the Islamic society, and obliged Imam Husayn (P) to rise to the occasion and before that there was nothing in Islamic history , which might be considered to be the introduction and prelude to the Imam's stand. In fact this is not the position and a search for the causes of Imam Husayn's (P) decision should be made in the history of at least thirty years ago. This is as regards the direct causes. If indirect causes are also taken into account we shall have to go back even beyond that. However, it is neither intended to mention these indirect causes nor is this the .proper occasion for that. 

However thirty years before 60 A.H. i.e. in 29 A.H. or 30 A.H. the causes for this sacred movement had come into existence. As is known the Umayyad Caliph, 'Uthman son of, Affan ruled the Muslims and occupied the Islamic Caliphate for about twelve years. As you have read in history the trend of the Islamic Government underwent a change during the last six years of 'Uthman's Caliphate. What should take place in the Islamic Government is that the people should enjoy full freedom in all matters except that it should be necessary for everyone to obey law. None should be under obligation to do anything except to remain within the limits of his rights and to observe law, so much so that none should be bound to act according to the Caliph's personal wish and pleasure. It was this form of government which had undergone a change. The Muslims became free from obeying law and instead of that it became necessary for them to respect the desires and policies of the Caliph. In other words the trend of the Islamic Government had become such that it became necessary for every person to act according to the policies and wishes of the Court of the Caliphate even though this might result in violating the law. Whoever took a step against the wishes of the Court of the Caliph was taken to task and considered to be a culprit, although he might be innocent and obedient to law. As you are aware ' Ammar Yasir (a renowned companion) was punished during the Caliphate of Uthman and Abuzar Ghifari (another renowned companion) was justice but protected religion and took care about lawful and unlawful things were imprisoned and tortured because they did not act according to the wishes and interests of the Caliph and his Court and did not care even for the displeasure of the Caliph in the matter of truth and justice. Contrary to this there were those who supported the policies and wishes of the court. As regards those people not only that their interests remained safe but the rights and interests of others also went into their pockets. It is evident from the history of Islam that during the last six years of the Caliphate of 'Uthman bin' Affan those who were 'People of Paradise' in the eyes of the common man had, by usurping the property of the widows and orphans, accumulated so much wealth that one wonders at it. When the activities of those who were called the 'People of Paradise' were such, it is evident as to what must have been done by those who were the 'People of Hell'. As is well-known the non-Shi'ah sources have quoted a tradition (Hadith) from the Holy Prophet. On the basis of decisive proof the Shi'ah consider this tradition to be wrong and forged and deny its authenticity. In this tradition it has been insinuated that the Holy Prophet conveyed the . good news to ten of his companions that they were the 'People of Paradise'. It can very well be seen what calamities these 'People of Paradise' let loose during the last six years of the Caliphate of 'Uthman. They usurped the rights of the helpless Muslims and misappropriated the assets of Baytul Mal (Public treasury). It was the same wealth on which Imam' Ali bad exercised strict control during the period of his Caliphate and the two Caliphs preceding 'Uthman as well as Uthman himself during the early days of his Caliphate had also considered it necessary to spend it carefully. As an example I have noted from an authentic source of the history of Islam some facts about these so-called 'People of Paradise' during the period of 'Uthman. I shall relate these facts to you so that you should also know that what I am saying is not on account of prejudice or personal fanaticism but my object is that you should study the events which took place gradually after 29- 30 A.H. You may know the reason which made: lmam Husayn's (P) action necessary and why he came to the conclusion that there was no remedy to counteract the tendency of deviation from truth which had been looming large in the minds of the people except by sacrificing his and his companions lives. God-willing my speech will make this matter sufficiently clear. 

Those persons who are. acquainted with the history of Islam and its primary sources know Mas'udl very well. ' All bin al-Husayn al-Mas'udi .is a notable Islamic historian and geographer, who is relied upon by all the five-Islamic schools of thought. His book entitled 'Murujuz Zahab' is interesting, exquisite and reliable. 
Writing about the Caliphate of 'Uthman, Mas'udi says: When the Caliph 'Uthman bin' Affan was murdered he left behind 150 gold dinars and 1,000,000 dirhams in cash. After 'Uthman Imam Ali (P) became the Caliph. When he was martyred Imam Hasan (P) declared from the pulpit: 'My father has not left behind any gold or silver coin as legacy except 700 dirhams. 

This amount was also saved by him out of his stipend to make payment to a servant for household work'. (Murujuz Zahab (Vol. 11, p. 426; Printed in Egypt, 1948). According to a tradition Imam' Ali (P) left 250 dirhams, the Holy Qur'an and a sword as inheritance for his family.) On the other hand besides lakhs of dirhams and dinars mentioned above 'Uthman owned property in Wadi'ul-Qara, Hunayn etc. which was worth one lakh gold dinars. Moreover, he possessed innumerable horses and camels. (Murujuz Zahab, Vol. 11, p. 341.) 

According to the tradition of 'Ashra-e-Mubashshira, (the ten who were given the good news) 'Uthman was a 'Man of Paradise'. As the head of the Islamic state the Holy Prophet could not collect even ten dirhams. Imam Ali (P) and Abu Bakr and 'Umar did not also make any material gain from the Office of the Caliph. However, 'Uthman gained a good deal from it. 

Mas'udi also writes: Zubair bin al-' Awwam got constructed a famous palace in Basra. Besides this he also possessed many houses in Basra, Kufa and Alexandria (Egypt). According to the said tradition and in my words this Zubair was also a 'Man of Paradise'. Zubair"s legacy consisted of 50,000 gold dinars, 1000 horses, 1000 slaves and slave-girls and a large quantity of immovable property in different cities. It is 'an indisputable fact that so much wealth could not be accumulated by lawful means. A large part of it was the right of those deprived persons who were not in the good books of the government. Hence, these people appropriated their share as well. 

Mas'udi also writes that Talha bin Ubaydullah Taymi who was another 'man of Paradise' got constructed a well-known palace in Kufa. 

Mas'udi says: The income of Talha bin Ubaydullah Taymi from his property in only Iraq was 1000 gold dinars and according to a narration it was even more than that. Talha got his house constructed in Madina with baked bricks, lime, and costly timber. 

Mas'udi says further: Abdur Rahman bin' Awl Zuhari who was another 'Man of Paradise' got a spacious house built. There were 100 horses in his stable and he also owned 1000 camels and 10,000 goats and sheep. Moreover, he had four wives at the time of his death. When a person who dies has children the eighth part of the property left by him goes to his wife or wives (i.e. whether the number of wives be one, two, three or four) She or they get only the eighth part. As Abdur Rahman bin ' Awf had f our wives each wife got 1/32 of his property and this 1/32 amounted to 84,000 gold dinars. He, too, was a man of Paradise. 

Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas was also a 'Man of Paradise'. Mas'udi writes that he got a lofty and splendid palace built. Of course, Zayd bin Thabit is not included in the ten 'People of Paradise'. However, he also left so much gold at the time of his death that it had to be broken with hammers for being distributed among his successors. His movable and immovable property was worth 100,000 dinars. 

Mas'udi writes further: Ya'la bin Umayyah who is also called Ya'la bin Munayyah (Munayyah was his mother's name and Uinayyah was his father) held important political and administrative offices during the period of the Caliphate of 'Uthman. In our terminology he was the Finance Minister. Mas'udi says: Ya'ala bin Umayyah left 500,000 gold dinars at the time of his death. Moreover, the people owed him a large amount of debt. His property and other legacy valued 300,000 dinars. Thereafter, Mas'udi says: "This was not the state of affairs during the period of 'Umar bin Khattii.b and the policy at that time was straightforward and clear'. As you know both you and I are Shi'ah. However, this is the true position and what Mas'udi says is correct. As I have said it was during the period of Uthman that in the event of one being faithful to government one could violate the law to any extent. When a person won the favor of the court. he had nothing to fear if he infringed the law. Anyhow Mas'udi says that this was not the position during the Caliphate of 'Umar i.e. the system of government and the method of collection and distribution of wealth was such that Talha, Zubair, Sa'd bin Abi 'Waqas and others could not pick up courage to appropriate the property of the Muslims and accumulate such a large quantity of wealth. (Murujuz Zahab vol. II p. 342 - 343.) 

As you are aware the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (P) became Caliph after the murder of 'Uthman. The difficulty which Imam Ali (P) had to face was as to how he could eradicate greed and other bad habits which had taken root in the society. During the four years and six months' period of his Caliphate he continued to campaign against this difficulty. His confrontation was with those very people who wished to accumulate wealth during the Caliphate of Imam Ali (P) as well. Imam Ali (P) did not accept this position and said: "This is not possible. On the other hand I shall take back from you the wealth which you have acquired by unlawful means and shall deposit it in Baytul Mal (Public Treasury). It was this tussle which eventually cost Imam Ali (P) his life. 

As you are aware, after Imam Ali (P) the Caliphate was transferred to Imam Hasan (P) and he became his father's successor. You must be knowing that during the time of Imam Hasan (P) the social and political conditions of the Muslims had assumed a special shape. If Imam Hasan (P) had continued fighting against Mu'awiyyah bin Abu Sufyan at that time none of the two parties could achieve easy success, because the strength of the Muslims was almost equally divided in the two armies. In the circumstances no alternative was left for Imam Hasan (P) but to abandon fighting in order to avoid futile blood- shed. This futile bloodshed could only benefit the Eastern Roman Empire or internally the Khawaraj. If as a result of fighting four or five lakh Muslims had lost their lives only Allah knows what the fate of the Muslims would have been if they had fought against the Romans, what shape the danger from Khawaraj would have assumed and what course the Islamic history would have adopted. This is my explanation of the situation. You should also ponder over it. This is not the subject of our discussion at present and I do not, therefore, wish to go into detail. Anyhow, Imam Hasan (P) secluded himself from Caliphate. However, it does not mean that he submitted to Mu'awiyyah and accepted him as Caliph and Commander of the Faithful. One of the terms of the peace pact which was concluded between Imam Hasan (P) and Mu'awiyya was this: 

"Imam Hasan (P) hereby makes peace with Mu'awiyya and retires on the condition that he will never address Mu'awiyya as Commander of the Faithful i.e. he does not acknowledge Mu'awiyya to be the Caliph of the Muslims and Commander of the Faithful." I conclude this discussion here. In my view this matter is a decisive proof against those who think that Imam Hasan (P) had submitted to Mu'awiyyah, acknowledged him Caliph of the Muslims and became one of his obedient subjects. This did not happen at all. I have noted an extract about this matter from Kamilut Tawarikh of Ibne Athir which I would like to narrate before you. Ibne Athir is the author of Kamilut Tawarikh and Usudul Ghabah Ma'rifatis Sahabah. Both of these books are valuable Islamic writings. Ibne Athir writes that when Imam Hasan (P) retired and Mu'awiyya assumed the reins of the office of Caliph, the Kharijite Farwah bin Naufal Shuja'ie, who had previously separated and gone to Sehrzur along with five hundred men said: "There is no doubt about it that it is now necessary to fight against the government of the time, and after Mu'awiyyah's coming to power and becoming Caliph, war has become obligatory for us." Then these people proceeded to Iraq and reached the palm-grove of Kufa. By that time Imam Hasan (P) had left Iraq and was on his way to Madina. When Mu'awiyyah came to know that the Khaijite Farwah, along with , his five hundred men, was ready to revolt, he, in order to strengthen the peace made with Imam Hasan ( as thought by him) sent a message to Imam Hasan (P). This letter was written when Imam Hasan was on his way to the Hijaz. Mu'awiyyah said: "The Kharijite Farwah bin Naufal is proceeding to Kufa along with five hundred companions. You are directed to go there and fight against him and save Kufa. Thereafter, you will be free to proceed to Madina." 

When Mu'awiyyah's letter was delivered to Imam Hasan(P) he was in Qadisiyyah. In his reply the Holy Imam wrote the following bold letter to Mu'awiyyah: "If I had wished to fight against one of the people of Qibla I would first of all have fought against you. I have left you only for the sake of the welfare of the Ummah and to save it from bloodshed. 
"O Mu'awiyyah! You wish that Hasan bin Ali (P) should quell the revolt of a Kharijite in the capacity of one of your officers. I have renounced the Caliphate in the interest of the Muslims. If I had wished to fight against the people of the Qibla or against one who is apparently a Muslim, I would first of all have fought against you (i.e. you are worst amongst the Muslims)." 

Ponder on the word 'taraktuk' (1 have left you). The Imam says: "I have left you and have not fought against you." The meaning is the same which I have stated and in my view it is the best meaning here i.e. '1 abdicated and left you in the interest of the Ummah and to save it from bloodshed.' As I have already stated the reason of the Holy Imam's action was that it was useless to fight, because the armies of the two sides were almost equally strong and if they had weakened each other by fighting and shedding blood, both of them would have been annihibilated. Only the enemy could benefit from this state of affairs and that was what Imam Hasan (P) had written to Mu'awiyyah. [ Tarikh al Kamil, Vol. III, p. 205 (Printed at Muniriyah Press, Egypt) ]

It should not be thought that after the martyrdom of Imam Hasan (P), Imam Husayn (P) sat calm and quiet during the period of ten years when Mu'awiyyah was still alive (i.e. from 50 A.H. to 60 A.H.). It is true that during this period he did not consider it necessary to draw his sword against Mu'awiyyah as he considered it necessary to draw it against Yazid. However, he continued to point out the mistakes of Mu'awiyyah and to criticize him. His brother Imam Hasan (P) had also rejected the validity of the Caliphate of Mu' awiyyah in the sentences which you have just heard and Imam Husayn (P) also did the same thing. 

Now I would like to narrate one or two sentences of Ibn-e-Qutaibah Dinori. Ibn Qutaibah is one of the distinguished ulema of Islam and definitely a Sunni and not a Shi'ah. In his famous book' AI-Imamah wal Siyasah' he writes: "This is the letter which Imam Husayn (P) wrote to Mu'awiyyah."I mention a few sentences of this letter "so that it may become clear as to what attitude Imam Husayn (P) had adopted towards Mu'awiyyah and whether he acknowledged him to be a Caliph and an honourable head of the State. During the said period of ten years had he really acknowledged the Caliphate, government and leadership of Mu'awiyyah? Or is it correct what Ibn Qutaibah writes? Now I reproduce a few sentences of this letter. Imam Husayn (P) writes to Mu'awiyyah: 

"Did you not murder Hujr bin Adi and his companions although they were devout and pious? They hated heresies and ordered the people to do good and restrained them from doing bad deeds. You murdered them cruelly and broke' promises while earlier you had granted them security. This was boldness against the Command of Allah and infringement of your promises. Did you not murder' Amr bin alHumuq who was a distinguished companion of the Holy Prophet? Amr bin al. Humuq was the man whose body was melted by worship. You murdered him after granting him security and making such promises that if those promises had been made to the deer of the desert they too would have come down from the mountains. Did you not declare the pretender Ziyad to be the son of Abu Sufyan although the Holy Prophet had declared that the child belonged to the person in whose house it is born and the adulterer should be stoned to death. Then you set Ziyad over the followers of Islam so that he might kill them, amputate their hands and feet and hang them on palm trees. Praise be to Allah! O Mu'awiyyah! It appears that neither you have any connection with this Ummah nor this Ummah has any connection with you. O Mu'awiyyah! fear Allah and understand that Allah has a Record Book in which everything, whether big or small, is recorded. O Muawiyyah! Know it for certain that Allah cannot ignore the fact that you accuse the people merely because they resent that you have nominated an ignorant and inexperienced boy ruler, who drinks wine and plays with the dogs. I think you have destroyed yourself, lost your faith and twined the subjects. Peace be upon you." (AI-Imamah wal Siyasah, Vol. I, p. 190, written by Ibn-e-Qutaibah Abdullah bin Muslim (died 287 A.H.) Printed in Egypt 1356 A.H). 

This was the manner in which Imam Hasan (P) and Imam Husayn (P) addressed Mu'awiyyah and criticized his policies and government. Ali bin al- Husayn Mas'udi has written some sentences which explain the last sentences of Imam Husayn (P) about Yazid and have a great effect on Islam and the history of Islam. He says: "Yazid was a pleasure-seeking man. He had with him hunting animals, dogs, monkeys and leopards. He arranged parties in which wine was served. One day after the murder of Imam Husayn (P) wine was being drunk. Ibn-e-Ziyad was sitting on the right hand side of Yazid. Addressing the cup-bearer Yazid said: "O Cup-bearer! Give me a cup of wine which should quench my thirst thoroughly. Then give another cup like that to Ibn-e-Ziyad who is my confidant and who strengthens my successes and efforts." 

Thereafter, mentioning the cruelty and injustice of Yazid Mas'udi writes (Maroon al Sahib, Val. III, p. 77-78.): "For his subjects Yazid was like Pharaoh," Then he says: "Rather Pharaoh treated his subjects more equitably and, as compared with Yazid, was more just with the upper classes as well as the common people. In other words he was better thanYazid." Then Mas'udi says: "The common Muslims also began to be affected by the extravagance, shameless intrepidity and irreligiousness of Yazid. It means that according to the proverb "The people follow the religion of the rulers" the sins which were committed by Yazid were also committed by the dignitaries of the State. It was during his time that music became prevalent in Makkah and Madina. When the dignitaries of the State and the Caliph himself followed the path of sin, the common people also went the same way. In Makkah and Madina the people became habituated to singing and hearing songs. The instruments of amusement began to be used. As the Caliph himself was a drunkard the people also began to drink wine openly." Mas'udi says that Yazid, i.e. the man who called himself the Caliph of the Muslims, had a monkey whose "Kunyah" (Patronymic appellation) was Abu Qays. This monkey was brought in the parties in which wine was drunk and wine was put for it in a basin. This monkey was very wicked. It was made to ride a trained wild she-ass which took part in horse race. The she-ass was saddled and the rein was given in the hand of the monkey and thus the she-ass of Abu Qays took part in the race. At times the monkey won the race. Abu Qays was made to wear a red and yellow silken garment and the lap of the garment was tied to its waist. A coloured silken cap was placed on its head. The she-ass was also adorned with multicoloured clothes. This is referred to in the sentence which Imam Husayn (P) wrote in his letter to Mu'3wiyyah about Yazid. 

Muawiyyah died in Rajab 60 A.H. and as you are aware Yazid succeeded him. I saw a strange sentence in a book. It was written in it: "The correct answer to the question as to why Imam Husayn (P) accepted martyrdom and did not swear allegiance to Yazid is that he realized that whether he swore allegiance to Yazid or not he would be murdered. And when he saw that his death was certain in either case he decided to die honourably in the path of Allah." This curious remark is absolutely baseless. The martyrdom of the Doyen of the Martyrs is something much higher than this that, when he felt that he was sure to be killed, he thought of dying respectably and to acquire the honour of martyrdom for the sake of Islam. After studying the circumstances and events, which had taken place during at last thirty preceding years, Imam Husayn (P) came to the conclusion that the deviation of the government and the Muslims from the path of religion had become so acute that it could not be remedied by sermons and speeches or by writing books and treatises. This acute deviation could not be corrected by these methods. An ordinary deviation and especially of an individual can be remedied by means of a brief movement and a brief action and effort and the misguided person can be brought to the right path. However, if the deviation is acute and unusual and concerns the basic problems of the Islamic society and especially if it expands and becomes common, no result can be achieved from an ordinary movement or usual writing and speech. Imam Husayn (P) had realized it fully that in order to make fruitful the steps taken by Imam Ali (P), the Commander of the Faithful and Imam Hasan (P) it was necessary that a pungent rising and an unusual bloody movement should be resorted to, because without it, it was not possible to combat the activities of Mu'3wiyyah and others like him. Evidently none can narrate the causes of the rising of Imam Husayn (P) in the manner in which they can be narrated by the Imam himself. From the writings and speeches of Imam Husayn (P) collectively and especially from their arrangement I have come to the conclusion that from the very beginning of his movement Imam Husayn (P) had started acquainting the people with the causes of the step taken by him and the spirit of his movement. I have noted some extracts from certain writings and speeches of Imam Husayn (P) which I shall narrate. Beginning with the will which he wrote in Madina for his brother Muhammad bin Hanafiyah up to the last and clear and unambiguous sermon which he delivered at the halting-place called 'Baiza' before Hur bin Yazid Riyahi and his companions (which, God willing, I shall mansions later) Imam Husayn (P) had made it clear to the Muslims that the perverseness resorted to by the Islamic Government and the breach which had appeared in all the social affairs the province gets so little rains that cultivation is not possible not self-sacrifice and unique rising. In the third volume of Bihourly An war Allama Majlisi has quoted a tradition from the "Maqtal" of Muhammad bin Abi Talib Moosvi, who is one of the Imamiyyah Ulema. It is possible that this tradition may have been quoted in other books as well. It has been said in that tradition that when the governor of Madina pressed Imam Husayn (P) to swear allegiance to Yazid he (Imam Husayn) visited the grave of the Holy Prophet a number of times that night, offered prayers there, made supplication and perhaps slept there. During the next night also he went there and offered prayers and then uttered the sentences wherein he pointed to the reasons for his rising. He said: "O Lord, this is the grave of your Prophet and and I am the grandson of Your Prophet. The situation with which I am faced is known to You." The last sentence is in the book whose name I have not mentioned and it is also not necessary to mention it. Evidently this sentence means: 'O Lord, these people want to kill me and I have no alternative left but to get ready for being killed although personally I am not willing to be killed.' However, 
I would not like that some Muslim may take this sentence to mean that feeling the danger of martyrdom in the path of Allah Imam Husayn (P) was complaining and crying and was betraying despair and weakness by the grave of the Holy Prophet. 

O Muslims! Amr bin Jamuh was a Muslim who was previously an idol- worshipper and the custodian of one of the idol temples in Madina. He spent a large part of his life as an idol worshipper and embraced Islam in his old age. When he became a Muslim he advanced spiritually so much that when he came out to. Participate in the battle of Uhud he raised his hands in prayer and said: 'O Lord! Grant me martyrdom. O Lord! Grant me martyrdom. O Lord! Let it not be that I may return from this journey alive without achieving my object.' (Seerate Rasullah, al Istiab, Usudul Ghibah, al-lsibah.) When the spirit of a Muslim who had spent most of his life in worshipping idols is elevated by Islam to such an extent that he considers returning alive to his family from the battle-field to be a failure and privation how is it possible that Imam Husayn (P). should complain to his grandfather and say: 'O Prophet of Allah, save me. These people are going to kill me!' It does not mean this. Standing by the side of the grave of the Holy Prophet the Holy Imam said: "O Lord, You are aware of the situation with which I am faced." That situation was the same which Imam Husayn (P) had assessed. That situation was the deplorable deviation in which the Muslim society was plunged. After making a deep study of this deviation and carefully examining the government and all aspects of its system Imam Husayn (P) arrived at the conclusion that the Islamic society could not be delivered from this danger and acute deviation without sacrifice and martyrdom. 

Then the Imam said: "O Lord! You know that I like good deeds and hate bad deeds. " In this sentence the Imam comes nearer to the subject matter, but, in spite of this, the common people cannot understand what he means to say. The Imam added: "O Almighty Allah! I request you to make, for the sake of this sacred grave and the master of this grave, the circumstances which You have chosen for me, the means of Your pleasure as well as that of Your Prophet." 

So far the Imam has indicated only that the object of his rising was 'to order the people to do good and to restrain them from evil.' What did he mean by ordering to do good and restraining from evil? Perhaps after reading his 'will' or hearing these sentences some persons may think that Imam Husayn (P) wanted to go to Kufa and to ask the traders and the bakers of that city not to weigh less and direct the merchants not to charge interest (restraining from evil) and to tell the young men of Kufa not to be careless about their prayers (ordering to do good). In fact the matter is much more important than this. Such 'ordering to do good' and 'restraining from evil' could be done even by the preachers of Kufa. In the tenth volume of "Behar" it has been quoted from the "Maqtal" of Muhammad bin Abi Talib Moosvi that at the time of his departure from Madina Imam Husayn (P) wrote this will to his brother Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. This is the will of Husayn (P) son of Ali (P) son of Abi Talib (P) to his brother Muhammad, known as Ibne Hanafiyyah. 

"Husayn (P) son of Ali (P) testifies that Allah is One and has no partner and there is no god other than Him and that Muhammad (P) is His servant and Messenger who has brought the true religion from the True Lord. Paradise is True and Hell is also True and there is no doubt about it that the Day of Judgment will come. On that Day Allah will raise the dead from their graves and will bring them to life once again and accounting of their deeds will take place." 

Then the Imam speaks about the real matter and says: "My rising is not an ordinary one. My movement is not based on worldly desires, nor do I intend to oppress anyone, " He says further: "I am going to reform the Ummah of my grandfather". In this sentence the Imam made it clear that a dangerous deterioration had taken place and it could not be corrected without rising and making sacrifice. The deterioration was such that none other than Husayn (P) could reform it. The deviation had become so acute that it could not be remedied by only speeches, writings, sermons and preaching. However, it was still not clear as to what the Imam meant to say. He adds: "During this rising I intend to call the people to do good and to restrain themselves from evil and follow the ways of my grandfather, the Holy Prophet of Allah and my father Ali ibne Abi Talib (P). Hence, if any person accepts truth nothing can be better than this because Allah likes truth. However, if none accepts truth even then I shall have patience, but it does not mean that I shall sit idle i.e. if need be I shall cover this path alone till Allah decides between me and these people according to truth. He is the Greatest of all judges. This is my will to you and success is in the hands of Allah. I rely on Him and I have to return to Him." 

I have been speaking to you for an hour. I have also to keep the time in view. I shall, therefore, speak on the remaining points of this subject in some other meeting. 

In the book entitled 'Kashf-al-Ghummah' of Ali bin Isa Arbali it has been narrated by Muhammad bin Talha and similarly Syed Ibne Tawoos has quoted in his book 'Lahuf' that Imam Husayn (P) arrived in Mecca on the third of the month of Sh'aban and stayed there till the eighth of Zil-Haj. None could imagine that the son of the Holy Prophet would suddenly leave Mecca on the eighth of Zil-Haj and would come out of the state of 'ehram' after performing Umra and without performing the ceremonies of Haj. When he decided to proceed to Iraq he delivered a sermon. Here I would request you to be attentive. It is possible that many persons may be able to understand the object of the Holy Imam from the sentences which he uttered on this occasion. After praising Allah and sending greetings to the Holy Prophet, Imam Husayn (P) said: "Death has marked the children of Adam (P) just as a necklace marks the neck of a young woman." It appears that in Mecca the Holy Imam said the real thing more openly and told the people what the state of affairs was and what was going to happen in future. He talked about death and martyrdom which clearly shows that the Islamic society had deteriorated so much that it could not be reformed by spending money or by writing treatises or holding religious meetings or delivering religious speeches. Even Imam Husayn (P) could not perhaps bring about reformation by such means. Now the only means of reformation was martyrdom and that too of a person like Husayn (P) son of Ali (P). In this sermon the entire talk is about martyrdom. It is about death and joining the Holy Prophet (P) and falling a prey to the wolves of Karbala and the journey which would culminate in martyrdom, although we are aware that Imam Husayn (P) most probably delivered this sermon on the seventh of Zil Haj in Masjid-al-Haram before a public gathering, when the conditions were apparently favourable for him. Many people thought that Yazid bin Muawiyyah would soon abdicate and the Caliphate would be transferred to Imam Husayn (P). The Imam's special representative Muslim bin Aqueel had informed him from Kufa that all the people were with him and did not consider anyone other than him (the Holy Imam) to be deserving of Imamate and Caliphate. He, therefore, asked Imam Husayn (P) to reach Kufa as early as possible. This situation was apparently agreeable and the conditions were favourable and satisfactory. In spite of this Imam Husayn (P) was talking about death, martyrdom and the wolves of Iraq. What it means is that he had arrived at the conclusion that in the circumstances nothing except martyrdom could produce the desired result. 

Today I conclude my submissions with this address. The necklace puts a mark on the neck of a young girl." That is to say man is destined to die. 

At present I do not wish to comment on the beauty of this sentence, nor do I want to mention the. euphemism present in the word 'Khut'. This sentence means that death is the "necklace" (ornament) of man. The Holy Imam says further: "How fond I am of meeting my ancestors. " He means to say 'according to my assessment the present social perverseness cannot be remedied unless I adopt the way which was adopted by my father Ali (P) and my grandfather the Holy Prophet and join them.' He says further: "I am as fond of martyrdom as Prophet Yaqub (P) was fond of his son Yusuf (P). The site of my martyrdom has been selected by Allah and I am now going there. " 

From this sentence we conclude that his entire plan was arranged by the Almighty Allah and Husayn (P) bin Ali (P) had no 'hand in it. For the reformation of the dangerous social perverseness Allah had chosen Husayn (P) from eternity for martyrdom and self-sacrifice. The said sentence may be taken to mean that Allah had predestined martyrdom for Imam Husayn (P) or that, keeping the exigencies of time in view, the Holy Imam had himself embraced martyrdom. It can be said that both the meanings are correct. Thereafter, the Holy Imam mentions the matter in clearer terms and says: "It seems that I see the wild wolves of Iraq tearing my body into pieces between Nawawis and Karbala and filling their hungry bellies and empty baskets. Their task is to fill their bellies and my task is to campaign against this acute social perverseness." Again the purport is the same. It is the same plan which the Almighty Allah had chalked out to remedy the dangerous social perverse- ness of the Muslims in the shape of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (P). Then the Holy Imam says: "There is no escape from that which is predestined. We Ahl-al-Bayt are pleased with that which Allah wills. We like that which He likes for us. We bear with patience whatever calamity comes upon us from Allah and He gives us good reward fot it." 

Now I omit a few sentences. However, the last sentence also deserves special attention. The Holy Imam says: "Whoever is prepared to sacrifice his life for us and to meet Allah should come with us. Allah willing I am leaving tomorrow morning. " 
This sentence means that the problems regarding the religion of Allah and human rights and defence of the Islamic society are different in different periods. At times it is necessary to spend money in the path of Allah. At other time preaching and admonitions are required. And still at another time it becomes necessary to write articles in newspapers, magazines and books so that the Muslims may read those articles and become aware of the necessities of religion. In this sentence Imam Husayn (P) made it clear that that was not the occasion when Islam might be helped with money, Jihad with the pen or verbal admonition and advice. At times social perverseness reaches a stage at which it is not possible to remedy it except by means of martyrdom and self-sacrifice. By saying: "Whoever is prepared to sacrifice his life for us:' the Holy Imam made it clear that none should think that as Imam Husayn (P) was going to rise in the path of Allah he, too, would give a subscription of fifty dirhams or Obaidullah bin Hur Ja'afi should say that he would present a strong horse or someone else might say that he would give five swords, seven coats of mail and four spears. Imam Husayn (P) did not need swords or coats of mail or spears. The deterioration of the Islamic society had become so acute that the conditions could not improve by these means. He wanted only life and, therefore, said: "Whoever is prepared to sacrifice his life and to shed his blood in this path and to meet Allah should accompany us. I am leaving tomorrow morning." 

It is the eighth night of Muharram today. The speech has perhaps become more lengthy than you expected. Give me another five minutes so that I may mention the sufferings of Ahl-al-Bayt. 

"...... Hisham bin Muhammad bin Saib Kalbi (Tad Kara tool Khawas, Sibt ibn-e-Jauzi) who was one of the companions of Imam Jafar al Sadiq (P) quotes in his Maqtal that when Imam Husayn (P) realized on the day of Ashura that the people of Kufa were determined to kill him he opened the Qur'an, placed it on his head and said with a loud voice: "O people! The Book of Allah is here to decide between you and me. My grandfather is Muhammad (P), the Prophet of Allah. O people! for what offence do you consider killing me lawful? Study the verse of 'Purification', the verse of 'Mubahila' and the verse of 'Hal Ata' in the Qur'an and look into the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet. Thereafter, if you think that it is lawful to kill me you may kill me, but if you realize that it is unlwful to kill me you should refrain from this heinous act. " 

What a unique and inspiring act it was that Imam Husayn (P) was stirring the religious sentiments of the people of Kufa! However, when he saw that they were devoid of religious sentiments, he decided to rely on their human sentiments. Meter all even if the people of Kufa were not interested in religion and did not fear the Hereafter they were at least human beings and a human being, too, has sentiments which can be stirred up. The Holy Imam saw that a child was crying owing to extrme thirst. I do not know who this child was -whether it was a boy or a girl and whether it was a suckling who had been brought out of the tent by some slave or slave-girl or a young one who had walked out of the tent himself. However, it is known that it was a child of Imam Husayn (P) himself. When Imam Husayn (P) saw that the religious sentiments of the people of Kufa could not be aroused and in the meantime he saw that one of his children had been brought out of the tent by some one or had come out himself and was crying on account of acute thirst he, in my words, relied on the human sentiments and said: "O people of Iraq! If you do not take pity on me, at least take pity on this innocent child.' However, their response was very strange. They proved that they were devoid of the human sentiments also as they lacked religious sentiments. The proof of this was the arrow which left the bow and settled in the throat of the child and the child met martyrdom.

 

The Successful Efforts


 

Dr. Husaini Bahishti

I seek refuge in the Hearer and the Omniscient Allah from the accursed Satan. 

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. 

Believers, shall I show you a bargain which will save you from the painful torment. Have faith in Allah and His Messenger and strive hard for His cause with your wealth and your selves. 

This is better for you if only you knew it. 

Allah will forgive your sins and admit you into Paradise wherein streams flow, and you will live in the lofty mansions of the Garden of Eden. This is indeed the greatest triumph. {Besides forgiveness) you will receive other favours which you will love: Help from Allah and an immediate victory. O Prophet, give such glad news to the believers. (Surah Saf, Verses 10 -13) 

Ever since man was created he has been destined to make continuous efforts. In his very nature factors opposed to one another are at work. He is a compound of various passions and desires. Some of his inclinations fall under the category of perverted desires which may also be called baser animal instincts. Their object is to avail oneself of animal enjoyments like eating, drinking and reveling. There are other inclinations in him which divert him from the sensual enjoyments to higher spiritual, intellectual and human perfections. The power and will of man is the arena of his contrary and varied desires. It is due to his conflicting desires that man is always perplexed. For example if a person wants to do an ordinary task and if he is habituated to do it, he does it quite easily on account of his habit. However, if the task is new and he is not accustomed to it, he cannot do it straightaway. Many doubts rise in his mind. 

At one time he thinks that he should perform the task and at another time he thinks that he should not. Sometimes he says that the task is right and sometimes he imagines that it is not right. Desire demands that he should perform that task but reason advises him that he should not do it. Or reason demands that he should perform a task but desire insists that he should not. A conflict of this kind continues between his mind and heart for sometime. Eventually, however, one of the inclinations dominates and he utilizes his power and determination according to it. Desire and reason and materialism and spiritualism are at war with each other since eternity and the foundation of life has been laid on this conflict. Besides this internal conflict man has to face innumerable difficulties and obstacles in the outer world also in the fulfillment of his desires and achievement of his objects. As we have got accustomed to these difficulties and they are not new for us, we do not even feel them in every day life. However, if observed carefully, it becomes known that during a day a man has to face various obstacles against which he has to combat. 

In every environment human life has to face a continuous conflict and dispute. Not to speak of the life of an individual this way of conflict and opposition continue to be present in the life of every tribe, every society and every nation. Dispute and confrontation continue between persons belonging to one profession and another profession, between one brotherhood and another brotherhood, between one nation and another nation, between one society and another society and between one class and another class. As a result of this, civil wars and international wars take place from time to time. It is not wrong to say that disputes and confrontations are inevitable reality of human life. Where are those, who think that from the time they arrive in this world they should spend a very happy life for fifty, seventy or one hundred years and eat, drink and be merry .In the morning they should take rest at home till 10 O'clock and thereafter they mayor may not perform any task. If they go out to do some work they return home by noon, have a siesta and then go to sleep at night at the usual time. Although it may not be seen by us, such a person is also faced with an internal conflict. If observed carefully it becomes known that such a person does not possess that joy and cheerfulness which is possessed by one who makes effort. No doubt he walks, eats and drinks but he is like a dead person who is devoid of enthusiasm and ambition. In spite of this he suffers from an internal strife and worry .It is possible that owing to his having become accustomed to this strife he may not feel it. However, the thought always crosses his mind as to why he is sitting idle Why has he lagged behind others? Why does he not possess honor and renown? What is the use of this futile life? Why does he lack enthusiasm and ambition? He spends most of the moments of his idleness and leisure in a dilemma. The fact is that it is not possible to live without effort and striving. Whether it be the life of an individual or of a society the law of competition, effort and conflict applies everywhere. And as it is the law and it is the fate of man that strenuous effort is unavoidable, it is necessary that we should select a work which is useful, and our competition in the field of our choice should be honourable, fruitful and purposeful. And this is the topic of today's speech. This topic that is "Successful striving" has taken into account the historical events which took place on certain dates. 

There are some pre-conditions for a successful effort which it is necessary to know and to keep in mind in, the struggle of life: 

The first thing is that there should be a specific and clear aim of our effort. An aimless effort is meaningless. Every effort has no doubt an aim but that aim is usually ambiguous and not clear. It is often seen that a person struggles throughout his life but eventually achieves nothing. Why? It is because his struggle and effort did not have a specified path. He worked and made effort but his aim was not clear and fixed. He roamed about in a blind alley. His labor was lost and he got nothing. If the history of the nations of the world is studied, numerous examples of futile and purposeless efforts will be found. It is possible that everyone of you may have seen the examples of aimless effort in your own life or in the life of your nation or you may have read about them in books. It is necessary that the target and aim of the effort should be clear and unambiguous and at the same time it should be sublime and meaningful. At times it is seen that the object is clear and fixed and the person concerned can also spend his time to achieve it but does not agree to spend money for it. At times, however, he considers his object to be more important than wealth and does not mind spending money to achieve it, but steps back if his health is to be staked. At times a person is prepared even to sacrifice his health but when he finds his life to be in danger he becomes nervous and withdraws from the field. At times, however, the object is so lofty that a person gets ready to sacrifice not only his own life but also to sacrifice, with perfect sincerity, the lives of his most dear ones. This is the precious object to which every human being should pay attention. This object is acquires the pleasure of Allah. 

This is the first condition of successful effort. The second condition is that the person concerned should be talented, fond of his work and be steadfast. Allah Himself says in the Holy Qur'an: To those who have said, "Allah is our Lord" and who have remained steadfast to their belief, the angels will descend saying, Do not be afraid or grieved. Receive the glad news of Paradise which was promised to you. We are your guardians in this world and in the life to come, where you will have whatever you call for, a hospitable welcome from the All-forgiving and All- merciful Allah. (Surah Ha Mim Sajdah, Verses 30 -31) 

O Believers! i.e. O those persons whom the prophet invited to the Unity of Allah for thirteen years in Mecca you did not accept his invitation (except a small number from amongst you) but when he arrived in Madina and set up the Islamic government you also became the lovers of Islam and began supporting it! why do you preach what you do not practice ? It is most hateful in the sight of Allah if you say something and do it not. Allah loves those who fight in His way in ranks as if they were an unbreakable metalled rock. (Surah Saf, 2- 4). 

Some Muslims saw that the martyrs of Badr enjoyed great honour and position in the eyes of Allah, the Holy Prophet and the Muslims, and acquired the spiritual as well as the worldly blessings and respect and would get spiritual reward in the Hereafter, they sat together and said: Would that we too had participated in the battle of Badr and performed Jihad and enjoyed the honour which has fallen to the share of those who took part in that battle. It was just as the Shi'ah of today address the martyrs of Karbala occasionally and some of them perhaps every day and say: "Would that we had been with you and this great blessing had also fallen to our share!" Whenever they sat together after the battle of Badr, they said the same thing. 

It so happened that after some time the battle of Uhud took place. During this battle some of those persons who had been saying continuously: 'Would that we had attained the blessing of martyrdom in the battle of Badr' retreated at the very outset and at last it so happened that the life of the Holy Prophet was endangered. When the Holy Prophet and the Muslims were faced with danger those very people who had desired martyrdom thought of saving their own' lives and seeking refuge here and there. 

On this occasion Allah says: What has happened to your desire for martyrdom? You used to say: Would that the battle of Badr had taken place once again so that we could be blessed with martyrdom! Why do you preach what you do not practice? Allah is very much annoyed with those who only speak and say: 'We are ready to make sacrifices' but at the time of action they hide themselves and seek refuge. Allah hates such people because they deceive their leaders and lower the name of successful effort. Allah loves those who fight for His cause in ranks firm as an unbreakable concrete wall. It is they who make the campaign successful. 

Another condition, which is very important and is rarely seen amongst us people, is the selection of the correct method of making effort. There are numerous kinds of effort e.g. individual effort, collective effort, secret effort, open effort mild effort, hard effort, armed effort, unarmed effort, effort with cold weapons, effort with hot weapons, local effort away from the battlefield, effort in the battlefield etc. Every one of them has its own occasion, time, and method. In European terminology every effort has its own tactics. Those persons who undertake to make effort to achieve an object should also know its method. Relationship between the object and the manner and method of the effort are absolutely necessary. It is very unfortunate that we see that, in order to achieve an object some people spend money and time and at times sacrifice even their lives but, in spite of their sincerity and good intention their method is not correct. According to their own thinking they do all this for a good purpose but their method is wrong and there is no congruity between their object and their way of working. 

I say once again that congruity of an object with the method adopted to achieve it is absolutely necessary and important. Many efforts have failed because the correct method for their achievement was not adopted. Now if you keep these three conditions in mind it, will not be difficult to understand what course the tragedy of Karbala adopted. After Muawiyyah, Yazid, whose debauchery was no secret, ruled the Muslims as the King of Islam and successor of the Holy Prophet. He drank wine and gambled openly and created class and family distinction in the classless Muslim society. This was the result of his rule. 

On such a drunkard and an ignorant person becoming the Caliph some brave men declined to acknowledge his corrupt government. They were not prepared to cooperate with him. However, Yazid was not prepared to leave them alone. He issued orders to all his functionaries, officers and governors to obtain bay'at (allegiance -i.e. promise to cooperate) for him from all the people and especially the distinguished persons. In Madina, which was the cradle of Islam some distinguished and famous persons declined to acknowledge Yazid's government formally and to take oath of allegiance to him at the hands of his representatives. One amongst them was Imam Husayn (P). 

In the meantime some persons gathered together in Kufa. It will be better if I introduce Kufa to you briefly. Kufa was a bad city as well as a good city .It was bad because a large number of its residents were cowardly; they wavered in taking decisions, and were, therefore, unreliable. And it was good for the reason that there also lived those brilliant personalities of Islam, who had been educated and trained under the patronage of Imam Ali (P). Although their number was small, they reflected as to whether it was proper to swear allegiance to Yazid. Then they consulted the people. All of them replied in the negative and said that Yazid was not at all fit for the office of Caliphate. Now the question arose as to who should be approached in the matter. On making enquiries they came to know that in the Hijaz two or three and even more distinguished persons had declined to swear allegiance to Yazid, and the most towering personality among them was Imam Husayn (P). They, therefore, started correspondence with him and invited him to come to the capital of his father. They wrote: "We wish to fight under your command against the Yazid's government. The circumstances are favourable for the purpose. Imam Husayn (P) received one letter and then another and then the fourth, so much so that a chain was formed of the messengers bringing the letters. They brought ten, twenty or hundred letters. Some letters bore the signatures of one man, others of two and still other of five or ten. Thus a stack was formed of the letters received by Imam Husayn (P) from different places. In short. as you know very well the Holy Imam sent Muslim bin Aqueel to Kufa so that after finding out the correct situation he might obtain bay'at for the Holy Imam from the people of Kufa and send a report to him to enable him to decide the future line of action. This was the beginning of the rising and campaign of the Holy Imam. 

But what was the object of Abu Abdullah Imam Husayn (P)? Did he want to take possession of government? Did he want to rule the Islamic territories, especially Iraq and Kufa? No. It was not his object to possess government. His object was to exalt truth and to differentiate between truth and falsehood. It was his wish that, whether he attained ruler ship or not. it might become quite clear to the people as to what is truth and what is falsehood. If he attained government well and good. In that event he could utilize the power of government for performing those tasks, which are liked by Allah. But even if he did not get government he would achieve his object. The events which took place in Karbala have been recorded by history in golden words for all times to come. The Jihad of the Muslims in Karbala has become the greatest model of fight between truth and falsehood till eternity. Allah be praised! How lofty was the object of the Holy Imam and at the same time how clear and decisive! 

Who were the persons that were selected by the Holy Imam for the battle? They were those steadfast men who were keen to take the lead in the collective effort and wanted to learn a lesson from the Holy Imam . 

Two kinds of persons were participating in this campaign. One group consisted of those who were playing the central role in the battle. It was necessary that they should be experienced and reliable; their arms should be strong' and their spirits high. They should be steadfast and should know their duty. They should be obedient and sincere. One specimen of theirs is Muslim bin Aqueel and the other was Qais bin Mashar Saidavi who delivered the Holy Imam's letter in Kufa. Imam Husayn (P) had selected these persons very carefully. 

There was another group which consisted of the syrnpathisers of the movement Their assistance could be sought when necessary but deep investigation was not possible in their selection. Their task was only to obey. Some of them had joined the caravan of Imam Rusayn (P). 

When Muslim left Madina and reached Kufa some new events took place. A large crowd gathered round him. Noman bin Bashir, the governor of Kufa, was dismissed from office and was replaced by Ibne Ziad. Ibne Ziad was a blood -thirsty and cruel person. Now within twenty four hours the circumstances took a new turn. In the afternoon of 8th Zil-Raj Muslim received the news that through some weak-minded persons his host Rani bin Urwah had been taken deceitfully to the Governor's Rouse. There Ibne Ziad insulted Rani very much, struck him on his head and face with a stick and then imprisoned him After Rani's imprisonment Muslim asked his special men to inform the supporters of the movement to gather in the Masjid of Kufa and around it so that he might address them there. The Governor's Rouse was situated opposite the Masjid. 

Ibne Ziad had been the ruler of Kufa for many days then and was busy in his work but he did not have more than thirty policemen. Besides them there were twenty supporters of Bani Oma'yyah who were with him at that time. Ibne Ziad and about fifty of his companions went on the upper story of the house to see what was happening in the Masjid. As soon as the people saw Ibne Ziad and his friends they raised slogans against them and began to pelt stones and abused Ibne Ziad and the government of Yazid. At that time this was the position of Ibne Ziad vis-a-vis Muslim 

In the evening of 8th Zil Haj Ibne Ziad studied the situation carefully. At last he took some clever steps which cannot be narrated here in detail. He sent some persons each of whom took away one, two or four persons out of the Masjid. A mother came and took away her son. A father came and he also took away his son. A mother-in-law came and took away her son-in-Iaw. An uncle came and took away his nephew. If one was taken away by making alluring promises another was taken away by means of threats. When it was time for evening prayers Muslim decided to offer prayers. By that time there were only thirty men, who offered prayers with him. When the prayers were over Muslim wished to come out of the Masjid and" found that no human being could be seen anywhere. He did not even know the road leading to the place where he was staying. He was a new-comer to Kufa and was not acquainted with its roads and lanes and there was none who might guide him to his destination! There were the unreliable and worthless people of Kufa. These people were not at all fit for being relied upon to initiate an effort. This is a specimen of those unreliable persons about whom Muslim had Written to Imam Husayn (P) as a consequence of which the Holy Imam had departed from Mecca. On the way many persons joined the caravan of Imam Husayn (P). The people continued to come. However, when the Holy Imam reached near Iraq news was received by him that the conditions were no longer the same as were reported by Muslim. Muslim and Hani had been killed. Abdullah bin Yaqtar who was carrying a letter sent by Imam Husayn (P) to Muslim and the people of Kufa was arrested on the way and put to death. 

Shaykh Mufid has written in 'Irshad' (Printed in Isfahan, page 198) that Muslim reached Kufa on Tuesday the 8th of Zil-haj and was martyred on Wednesday the 9th of Zil-Haj. In any case the Husayni movement did not stop in spite of these dreadful news but its modus operandi no doubt underwent a change. Now that the conditions had changed the Holy Imam ordered his companions to assemble at one place. Then he came there and read out a writing. After praising the Almighty Allah he said: You must have heard the dreadful news which are being received from Kufa. Muslim, Hani and Abdullah bin Yaqtar have been killed. The people have betrayed us. I want to continue my journey so that I, too, may be killed. Whoever has come with me with the hope of wealth, position, office and happy life should go away. Thereupon most of those who had joined the caravan on the way went away. Only Imam Husayn (P) and those who had come with him from Madina were with him. Besides them only a few persons who had joined them on the way remained steadfast. Naturally others lost heart. As the plan of the effort was now changed, only people of pure nature and firm faith could accompany the Imam. 

In fact it was those persons who were needed in Karbala - persons who should be daring and brave, should have firm faith in their object and should be prepared to sacrifice their lives. 

In the case of war and confrontation one thing is very important and it is that the persons who are used to maintain courage should be honest and reliable, and the entire personnel should consist of experienced and sincere persons who should be faithful to the object. An example of a respectable personality suited to act as intermediary was Qais bin Mashar Saidavi. While he was carrying a letter from Imam Husayn (P) to the people of Kufa Haseen bin Nameer, an officer of Ibne Zi'ad arrested him near Qadsiyah and sent him to Ibne Ziad. Ibne Ziad told him that if he wanted his life to be spared he should mount the pulpit and abuse Imam Husayn (P). Qais stood on the pulpit and said: " All praise is for Allah. Husayn (P) bin Ali (P) is the best among all creatures. He is the worthy son of Lady Fatima (P), the beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet. He has sent me a message and asked me to convey that message to you. All of you should rise immediately to help him. " Then Qais sent greetings to Imam Ali (P) and Imam Husayn (P) and cursed Mu'awiyyah, Yazid and Obaidullah ibn Ziad. As soon as he finished his speech Obaidullah ordered him to be brought down from the pulpit. He was, therefore, seized and thrown down from the roof of the palace, as a consequence of which he met martyrdom. Anyhow Imam Husayn (P) continued his journey towards Kufa along with his small group. On the way he met Hur. Thereafter, he changed his course and pursued a path which led neither to Kufa nor to Madina so that he might think about the future line of action. Just ponder over the events. In the first instance the Holy Imam went from Madina to Mecca and then proceeded to Karbala. His object was quite clear. It was to defend the true religion, reality and the Divine law and to seek Allah's pleasure. The method and the policy was also determined. Imam Husayn (P) knew that he should tread the path from which there should be no question of return. If on the way and even on the day of Ashura he said to the functionaries of Ibne Ziad that, if the people of Kufa did not wish that he should come to their city, he might be left alone so that he might return to the place from where he had come, there were some other aspects of this matter, because on the way the Holy Imam had said time and again that there was no return from the path which he was pursuing. 

The Holy Imam was leaving the halting place called 'Qasr-e- Bani Maqata1'. No reply had yet been received to the letter which Hur had sent to Ibne Ziad and the position was not, therefore, clear as to what the final decision would be. Aqbah bin Sam'an says: I was near the Holy Imam. I saw him sleeping on the back of his animal of riding. Shortly after he woke up and said: "We are from Allah and we have to return to Him and all praise is for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds." He repeated these words thrice whereupon his son Ali Akbar stepped forward and enquired about the reason for it. 

The Holy Imam said: My son! I went to sleep while riding and dreamt that the people of my caravan were going and death was pursuing them. 

Do you know what Ali Akbar had said? He said: " Are we not on the true path?" The Holy Imam replied: "Yes, certainly we are". Thereupon Ali Akbar said: ""Then why should we fear death? We shall not abandon the true path till our last breath. We welcome death". Imam Husayn (P) needed persons of this caliber. Before reaching Nainavah and Karbala the Holy Imam said once again that he was going to meet death. This was also necessary so that the people might understand clearly that he had not come to acquire the ruler ship of Kufa and they might not say later that he had come on the invitation of the people of Kufa, but when he realized that it was not possible for him to occupy Kufa, his sense of honor was aroused and he preferred an honorable death to an abject life. It was not that he could not tolerate the bitterness of being deprived of rulers hip. 

It was for this reason that he said again and again: "If you do not like my coming, I am prepared to go back. Do not think that my sense of honor has been aroused and life has become intolerable for me after being deprived of rulers hip and that I am now prepared to commit suicide. " He repeated this sentence again and again so that someone might not read the verse Don't endanger your life yourself about him. 

For the true explanation and interpretation of the event of Karbala it is necessary that this sentence should remain in history and should be repeated again and again. By this means it is possible to understand all the minor events which took place during this period till the day of Ashura. You people should understand very clearly as to what the Holy Imam desired. In spite of all the alterations made by the enemy in the event of Karbala there is a lesson in the details which have come down to the succeeding generations, On the day of Ashura, after it had become known that 'fighting was inevitable, Imam Husayn (P) ordered, after arraying the troops, all the tents to be collected at one place. He also ordered sufficient quantity of fire-wood to be thrown in the ditch which had been dug at the back of the tents and put on fire so that the enemy might not attack from behind. Then he arranged his army consisting of seventy-two persons and established the right wing, the left wing and the center according to the military methods of that time. He also appointed the standard- bearers of the army. 

While Imam Husayn (P) was arranging his army some foot- soldiers and horsemen of the enemy's army held mutual consultations and decided to attack the tents of the Holy Imam from behind. One of them, rather their ring-leader, was Shimr. When they came to attack according to the plan, they were surprised to see that a ditch had been dug and fire was burning in it. It showed that the Imam had made preparations for a fierce fighting. They were very much disappointed on account of the step taken by Imam Husayn (P). Shimr shouted: "O Husayn! You have not waited even for the Day of Judgment and. have prepared fire for yourself in this world, itself. These w6rds of Shimr were very painful for the supporters and well-wishers of Imam Husayn (P). Muslim bin Ausajah said to the Imam: "O my Master! Permit me to send this Villain to Hell by shooting an arrow from here. " 

Please ponder over what the Holy Imam said in reply. He said: "No. I do not agree that fighting should be started by us. I wish that the world should see that I am following the Holy Prophet who fought all the battles for the defence of Islam. None should muster' up his courage to say that the Holy Prophet and his family tried to gain superiority through sword. I wish that the world should see that I have not started fighting. " Addressing Muslim bin Ausajah he said: "Do not shoot an arrow. Let them start fighting. Then he arrayed the troops once again and said thereafter: "Let me speak to these people in the first instance". Then he mounted his animal of riding and proceeded towards the army of the enemy with great dignity Standing before the enemies he asked them with a loud voice to keep quiet and hear him. When all of them became silent and attentive the Holy Imam began his speech. Two or three sentences in his speech were very important. Firstly he said: '"0 people! If you do not recognize me, go and ask those amongst you who are acquainted with the family of the Holy Prophet. They will introduce me to you. You are aware that I am the son of the Holy Prophet." Just reflect as to why Imam Husayn (P) was introducing himself in Karbala on the day of Ashura. He did so lest some treacherous hypocrites should say later deceitfully: 'Ibne Ziad befooled and betrayed us. We thought that the man who came was someone else. If we had known that it was the son of the Holy Prophet we would not have fought against him at all. On the other hand we would have helped him.' 

Gentlemen! Do not wonder at all at the point which I have mentioned before you. You must have seen very often how people distort facts while presenting them before others. In those days the means of communication were limited and people had very little knowledge of facts. All the means of communication were then in the hands of government and it was very easy to distort facts. Is it not true? Just see how Mu'awiyyah abused Imam Ali (P) in Syria! Then why wonder that Imam Husayn (P) feared that the same people might say later: 'Had we known that the traveler who had been invited was Imam Husayn (P) son of Ali (P) we would have sacrificed our lives to defend him.' This was the reason why Imam Husayn (P) introduced himself to them. 

Then the Holy Imam said: "O people! You have come here to fight against me. Did you yourselves not invite me? What has happened to your invitation and what do you mean by con- fronting me? Have I committed anything wrong during this period which makes the shedding of my blood lawful? Have I killed anyone of you? After all why are you bent upon taking my life?" He said this, so that some dubious persons might not try later to explain away the action of the people of Kufa by saying that whoever rises against the government of the time is a rebel and it is lawful to shed his blood. 

As regards the position of the Holy Imam vis-à-vis these people they themselves had called him. He, therefore, wanted to make them understand thus: 'It was you who invited me and I have accepted your invitation. It was you who said that Allah's religion was being trampled upon. I have, therefore, come here to defend Islam. Now how will you say that in the first instance you invited Husayn and pretended to be his supporters and then killed him in Karbala.' Are these the ways of historical decency? 

These are some points about the event of Karbala which are instructive and worthy: of attention. I have said what I had to say. Now let us mourn the death of the martyrs of Karbala tonight. Let every one perform this task. The gist of what I have said so far is that all the Muslims and all the supporters and lovers of Imam Husayn (P) and all the followers of Islam should understand that conflict is unavoidable in life and effort should always continue. The most delicious and palatable effort is that which is made in support of truth and against falsehood. It is necessary to keep the thinking about truth alive and to try to enforce the law of truth. You should understand it clearly that making effort is a brilliant Islamic tradition and if it is desired that we should succeed in our efforts our objective should not only be above any doubt but should also be clear and reliable, so that when this principle is presented before the people they should accept it and try whole-heartedly to achieve it and should not refrain from sacrificing their lives and property for it, when they are called upon to do so. It is also necessary that the policy is chalked out, keeping in view the conditions of the time, and a line of action should be adopted taking into account the needs of the time and place. 

If all these things are kept in mind success is certain and Divine help will surely come to us. Allah says: Believers, if you make effort Allah will help you and make you steadfast. (Surah Muhammad, Verse 7) 

In other words it means: If you sacrifice your lives and property in the path of Allah you should know that firstly you will acquire the prosperity and success of the faith and the world; and secondly you will become entitled to Paradise; and thirdly: You will get the thing which you like and that is the help of Allah and a speedy victory. Hence convey this good news to the believers. (Surah Saf, Verse 13).

 

Jihad And Martyrdom


 

Ustaz Moosvi

I seek refuge in the Hearer and the Omniscient Allah from the accursed Satan. 

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. 

The believers fight for the cause of Allah. The unbelievers fight for the cause of the Devil. So fight against the friends of Satan, for the evil plans of Satan are certainly weak. (Surah Nisa, verse 76). 

One of the important Islamic subjects which have often been discussed is Jihad. If most of the Quranic verses are studied carefully and in a proper manner it will be observed that every time after a few verses there occurs a verse which contains an order regarding Jihad. On the one hand fighting and Jihad has been mentioned on one ground or another in the verses containing religious, social and moral principles and orders, and on the other hand the propaganda is being carried on for a few centuries that Islam spread through sword and made advances and con- quests so much so that this vicious propaganda has impressed even our educated young men. The Muslim and impartial non-Muslim scholars have also written books on the Islamic principles of defence and Jihad. What does Jihad mean in Islam and how did Islam make progress? Did a revolution take place in the Arabian Peninsula? How many lives did each party lose in this intellectual, moral and social revolution? Were the battles fought in the early days of Islam defensive or offensive? All these questions are important m themselves. However, if we start discussing these matters it is feared that we shall he digressing from our real subject and the things which it is proposed to narrate now will he left unsaid 

Apart from the religious and social orders, laws and rules, defence is a natural and psychological matter Allah has created a power m human nature which is called the power of anger This power is also present in animals in different forms and its object is the defence of their life Every animate being has a right to live and in order to defend this right it makes use of its limbs. The Almighty Allah has not only deposited this power in every animate being hut has also created it m the plants It appears that some kinds of vegetations are meant for the living beings like fruits and flowers, and there are some other kinds which exist only for procreation although other beings are no doubt pleased with their beauty and they enjoy it. It is for this reason that there are sharp and dry thorns m some fruit-hearing r trees Similarly there are sharp thorns in some flowers Dagger like thorns around a flower indicate its internal power which says with dumb language that its beauty, elegance and sweet smell demand that the hand of an oppressor should not reach it.

In yesterday's meeting a young man recited some verses. (These verses are of Nizami of Ganja. (The translation of) the first verse is as follows: How long will you be frozen like ice and be like a rat which is dead in water.) In any case some one has said well "Man falls a prey to disorder (Khalal) owing to abject life and becomes helpless as a result of cruelty and oppression If you wish to have a hunch of flowers in your lap remain armed and ready for defence like a thorn" 

From the point of view of eloquence these verses are in a way a miracle and express a reality in the form of poetry. It is a fact that owing to abjectness and humiliation the psychological equilibrium of a person is destroyed It is possible that those who live the life of abjectness and humiliation may very well perceive the realities, but they cannot express them with their hands and tongue. This is what 'Khalal' (disorder) means. No doubt it cannot be explained in a better way. 'Disorder' means that harmony ceases to exist between man's powers of deliberation, understanding and action. Humiliation creates psychological disorder. If the flower wants to preserve its freshness and beauty and remain fixed to the branch, it is necessary that the thorns should not allow the hand of an oppressor to approach it. Hence this is the natural law of defence which appears in the animals in the shape of horns, paws and teeth, and in the human beings in the shape of the power of anger. As man has been granted reason which is responsible for utilizing all his natural powers in a correct manner he uses his power of anger to safeguard his right, honour, reputation and national interest. Hence, if we suppose that some law- giver or prophet comes and says that a nation should be deprived of competence to fight and to defend itself, it will be just like a reformer saying that as sexual power is the cause of bad conduct and occasionally of harm, the men and women should be totally deprived of this power. This example shows that the power of anger should continue to exist in the human beings although it should, no doubt, be put on the right path. Allah has created various powers and abilities in man, but has also advised that they should be utilized in a correct manner for the benefit and welfare of mankind. For example the object of the creation of sexual power is the procreation of human species. Similarly desire for food and hunger have been created in man so that he may eat enough food to remain alive. If the sexual power is not used properly it can, instead of becoming the cause of procreation of species, become the cause of extinction of species. The result of gluttony and sensuality is that instead of living for eighty or one hundred years one passes away at the age of thirty or forty years which is a sort of suicide. If the sexual power is used in an unlawful manner a man instead of being the agent of reproduction falls a prey to gonorrhea and syphilis and his power to generate comes to an end. 

Same is the case with the power of anger. When this power appears in man he should use this weapon in a proper manner and should defend his right, honour, reputation and country. However, if this power is used in a manner other than the one prescribed by Allah, for example, if wars are started on lame excuses or an effort is made to attack and occupy the territories of others without just cause, this very power will become the source of genocide. As the power of anger is present in man, it should be bound by rules, and the manner in which it should appear should be wise and healthy. Even if religion and law had not existed the wise and righteous men of the world would have desired to sit together and find out ways and means for reformation. Now as regards the question as to what they would have done 'we can say that it is possible that they might have thought of a plan to eliminate war totally from the world. However, this is more easily said than done. Even today such claims are made. Arms reduction and control committees and reconciliation commissions work day and night. This is, how- ever, in conference rooms and palaces, but the underground factories remain busy in manufacturing most destructive arms. Meetings are held to discuss peace, banning of wars and stopping of atomic experiments and right under the very nose of the participants of those meetings atom bombs are manufactured. Then what should be done? What should be done is that the power of anger should be spent in the path of Allah. 

This is what Islam says. Islam has given dispute and fighting the name of Jihad and has also imposed the condition of its being in the path of Allah. Jihad in the path of Allah has been ordered in the Quran, Hadith and our religious teachings. Now where and on which side is the path of Allah? Is it towards the sky, towards the Ka'abah or towards Jerusalem? In fact the path of Allah means the path of human welfare i.e. the path of truth and justice. It means the path of human freedom in which some people or some persons belonging to a particular class should not dominate others. The general public should have equal opportunities in the acquisition of knowledge. N o particular class should monopolize the natural resources which have been created by Allah for all. Allah has bestowed internal strength and spiritual competence on all human beings. He has created this air, this atmosphere and this light for the benefit of all, so that they may make use of their capabilities and corporeal and spiritual powers. It is to maintain this freedom that the believers have been ordered to perform Jihad in the path of Allah. In our jurisprudence there is a chapter on Jihad, which may please be looked into. Jihad is discussed in connection with the Articles of Worship. There are two parts of our Jurisprudence out of which one deals with the Articles of Worship and the other with Transactions. The difference between Articles of Worship and Transactions is that in the Articles of Worship intention of proximity to Allah is necessary .For example, prayers, fasting, Hajj, Zakat, Khums, ordering to do good and restraining from evil, and Jihad are all Articles of Worship. Hence if a person draws his sword and fights with the unbelievers but not with the intention of proximity to Allah, he will no get spiritual reward. Even if he is killed he will get no reward. He will get spiritual reward only if he performs Jihad with the intention of proximity to Allah. Proximity (qurbat) means being near to Allah. Now let us see once again what 'in the path of Allah' means, where is Allah so that we may come near to Him? Allah is Omnipresent and Omniscient. His Intention and Attributes are apparent in the world. His proximity is achieved when the individuals and the society act to please Him according to His commands. Allah is Just and Wise. Hence practicing justice and wisdom and making the people utilize the springs of goodness and blessings is Jihad in the path of Allah. It is for this reason that Jihad has been described as one of the Articles of Worship. When we glance at the Quranic verses we find that wherever the word 'fighting' or 'Jihad' occurs the condition 'in the path of Allah' has invariably been imposed. In the verse, which I recited in the beginning as the title of my speech, the Almighty Allah says: The believers fight for the cause of Allah. The unbelievers fight for the cause of the Devil (Taghut). So fight against the friends of Satan, for the evil plans of Satan are certainly weak.

It seems that one part of this proposition is an admitted fact. Dispute and fighting not only exist but they are inherent in human nature. The real thing is the other part thereof. There are two kinds of human beings -the believers and the unbelievers. 

Life consists of fighting and effort. Those, who are true believers and whose object is high and exalted, fight for the cause of Allah and those, who are otherwise, fight for the cause of Taghut. You will ask: What does 'Taghut' mean? What kind of word is this? Have those people who read the Qur'an pondered over this word? 'Taghut' is the hyperbolical form of 'Tughyan'. Tafa-alma'o (overflowing of water) means that water became so abundant and its pressure became so much that it over flowed its banks. Consequently there was flood which destroyed the houses in the area and ruined the trees and farms. This is the meaning of the flood of water. 'Taghut' means the headstrong person who transgresses the bounds. This word is more comprehensive than the words 'despot' and 'dictator', coined by the Greek philosophers and the scholars of sociology, which are still in use. This is so because 'despot' means a headstrong ruler who may possibly rule over himself and may suppress his own desires, but 'Taghut' is that obstinate and headstrong person who transgresses all bounds of decency and tramples upon the rights of all others; his sensual desires increase so much that he may go to any extent. Some people are of the view that 'Taghut, means idol. It is true that idol is also a meaning of 'Taghut: but this meaning is not quite correct from the literal point of view and it does not also carry this meaning. Literally AI-Taghiah means headstrong, cruel and proud and Al- Taghut means one who transgresses the limit; very misguided; that is, Satan, who restrains others from doing good deeds. Idol may be statute or image of the Roman Emperors or of some other monarch.

In the 60th verse of Surah Nisa the Almighty Allah says: They choose to take their affairs to Taghut for Judgment even though they are commanded to deny him. 

Evidently none takes his case to an idol for judgment. This shows that the word 'Taghut' does not mean 'idol'. The word 'Taghut' has occurred in the Quran at perhaps nine or seven places. It has occurred in Surah Baqarah at two places in Aayat-al-Kursi alone. As we all know recitation of Aayat-al- Kursi, especially after prayers, carries great spiritual reward. 

Aayat-al-Kursi: There is no compulsion in religion. Certainly, right has become clearly distinct from wrong. who- ever rejects Taghut and believes in Allah has firmly taken hold of a strong handle that never breaks. Allah is All-hearing and All-knowing. Allah is the Guardian of the believers and it is He who takes them out of darkness into light. Taghut is the guardian of those who deny the Truth and he leads them from light to darkness. (Surah Baqarah, Verse 256 & 257) 

Man possesses one of the two conditions. Either his acts, his intention and his thinking are for the sake of Allah, in which case he gradually comes out of the darkness of worldly desires into the light of knowledge and learning and sees his future to be bright, or the Devil (Taghut) dominates over him. Man cannot live without a guardian. His guardian will be either Allah or the Devil (Taghut). The Prophets and the Imams are also guardians. We call them wali (guardian) because they implement the Divine Will. Hence they are Aulia of Allah. The Holy Prophet said to the people: " Am I not nearer to you than you are to yourselves? You wished to be idolaters; you wished to remain ignorant; you wished to shed the blood of one another; you wished to remain weak, abject and helpless and subservient to the neighbouring nations. You have seen that when I took your affairs in my hands you got everything. " In the same way on the day of Ghadir the Holy Prophet presented the people with the last warning. As the revolution which had taken place was before the eyes of the people and all of them were aware of it, he said: " Am I not nearer to you than you are to yourselves?" If man does not follow the teachings of Allah and the guardians he will inevitably come under the control of 'Taghut'. Its sign and its result have also been referred to thus: 'Taghut will gradually deprive him of the light of nature, reason and perception and push him into the darkness of ignorance, sensuality and wrong thinking.' 

As has been said in the Quran the believers fight for the sake of Allah whereas the unbelievers fight for the sake of Taghut. In this world fighting is an unavoidable reality. If fighting ceases to take place in the world the result will be that either the world will cease to exist or it will be transformed into an absolutely new world. In other words if fighting ceases to exist the human nature will undergo an absolute change. In that case his life will be a different life. In any case so long as human nature is as it is, fighting will continue to take place. The fact is that those who are believers fight for the sake of Allah and those who lack faith fight for the sake of Taghut, and they may be cruel and headstrong. Those who transgress the limits ask afterwards: "What is the object of this fighting?" This is another point. So far I have mentioned so many points. The first point was that fighting is inherent in human nature and it is not possible to eradicate it from the world. The second point was that religion is not opposed to fighting. By religion I mean the perfect religion and not Christianity. Apparently Christianity instructs that there should be no fighting. It is well-known that Prophet Jesus (P) said: 'If some one slaps you on one cheek put the other cheek also before him " But has this ever been followed in practice? What is the source of the wars which take place every now and then? Are they initiated by us, Muslims? Who was responsible for the bloodshed which took place during the last one century in the shape of civil wars or world wars? Christianity says that if you want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven you should lead a single life; neither a man nor a woman should marry. Has this recommendation ever been acted upon? Has the Christian Europe not become the centre of sensuality? This is the reaction of this restraint. Only a few nuns and monks have occupied the monasteries and subdued their corporeal faculties in the name of Christianity. If it is a fact that Christianity .has given such an order it must be a temporary order. Otherwise this claim is not true. No doubt Islam confirms the Prophethood of Jesus Christ (P). It must, therefore, be believed that all such things are mere concoctions. The Qur'an says: We did not command them to lead the monastic life. This was their own method of seeking the pleasure of Allah. (Surah Hadid, Verse 27) 

Monasticism is not the name of leading a single life only. Sequestering oneself from the world, not defending truth and reality and abandoning the right and law of defending oneself is 
also in fact monasticism. It is for this reason that monasticism cannot become the general law of the world. The administration of the world can be run only by means of that law, which in the first instance builds human disposition and regulates the society according to human nature, and should say simultaneously that natural preferences form part of human disposition, but they should not be used for homicide, plundering, sensuality, invasion and exploitation, but they should be only for goodness and welfare work. You should defend your right, your honour and your country. Defend the constitution and laws. Develop this disposition gradually and make it proceed in the right direction.

Fight them (the unbelievers} so that there will be no disbelief in Allah and Allah's religion becomes dominant. If, change their behaviour there would be no hostility against any one except the unjust. (Surah Baqarah, verse 192 -Surah Anfal, Verse 39) 

There are the two aspects of 'in the path of Allah ', one of which is positive and the other is negative. Fight, but with what pose? Should it be for the sake of conquest and to acquire booty? No. On the other hand convey the message of Allah to the people and free them from the servitude of the oppressors. Remove the hardships of human life. Eliminate those powers and classes which are opposed to the rights of the masses and which suppress their rights and speech. These are the meanings of 'in the path of Allah'! Relieve the people of the tightness of the atmosphere so that they may become acquainted with the Source of the Universe i.e. the Almighty Allah. Fight with the powerful classes who deceive the weak to achieve their own ends and who make their lives miserable -those who make the people go astray from the right path, ensnare them in falsehood, make them deviate from the Unity of Allah and put them on the path of polytheism, idolatry and worship of power. These are the difficulties and troubles of human life which must be removed from the path. We should eliminate those special classes, who lead luxurious lives at the cost of the hard labour of the common people and who trample upon the rights of millions of people as the Caesar and Kisra used to do. Just see what a Muslim soldier once said. 

When this bare -footed Arab soldier came to the Commander of the Iranian forces, the Commander said to him: "Have you come to occupy this country? Have you come to loot wealth? Are you hungry? Are you in need of dress? We shall let you have your fill. We shall give money to your officers as well as to your soldiers. So you should go back to your country." 

The Iranian Commander thought that he had sufficiently impressed the Muslim soldier. But just see what reply he gave and how his words were recorded in history. He said to the Iranian Commander's face something very meaningful. He said: "We have been deputed by our Prophet to liberate the nations of the world from the man -made laws and religions, which have been made in the interest of some special classes and instead of that to make everyone get his right and to elevate the common people by means of Islam to the position of dignity and respect. (This refers to the Battle of Qadsiya that was fought in 637 A.D. during the Caliphate of Umar, the Second Caliph and wherein Rustam Farrukhzad was killed) This is Islamic Jihad and this is what Jihad means i.e. spreading the truth and endeavouring to preserve one's right. Islam does not call this effort 'fighting' or 'war', but gives it the name of Jihad i.e. effort for the sake of Truth. The jurists mention 'the path of Allah' with it. 

Some one asked the Holy Prophet: "What will be the position of a person who goes in the field of Jihad so that he may acquire some booty?" The Holy Prophet said thrice: " Allah will not grant him any spiritual reward." 

Another person asked: "If a person participates in a battle to display his bravery, So that people may see his feats and he may become famous, is such a person a mujahid in the path of Allah?" The Holy Prophet replied: " A mujahid is he, who performs Jihad so that Allah's cause may stand supreme and His will may prevail."(Surah Taubah, Verse 40) 

This is the path of Allah and this is what Islamic Jihad means. This is not the occasion to narrate all the relevant verses and to explain them. 

Of course, it is true that after the early period of Islam crookedness took place among the Muslims. During the period of the Omayyad Caliphs Islamic Jihad was also metamorphosed like everything else of Islam, because it also forms part of the basic principles of Islam. The British historian Carlyle has said very well. I do not remember his exact words (We reproduce Thomas Carlyl's statement from his book "On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History" after end of this chapter - Publisher) but while defending Islam against the accusation that it has spread by means of sword he says: "This matter needs to be studied from a still higher angle. Is Islam true or not? If it is the code of monotheism and Godliness; if it has its own system which is based on just laws and if it enjoins working for the betterment and welfare of the the people it is a true religion and it is from Allah; if it is true it should spread and flourish -if not by means of sword let it be by means of teeth and claws." It cannot be asked as to why Islam spread by means of sword. The real question is as to what spread -truth or falsehood? Your argument is that as this religion has spread by means of sword it is false. We say that it is not correct. As it is a true religion the sword should necessarily be used for its advancement. Why do you think the other way? If you have no enmity against Islam and if you do not want to calumniate it and humiliate it in the eyes of a handful of fanatic persons of Europe why do you say that Islam is a false religion as battles were fought to spread it. You should say that as Islam is a true religion it has ordered its followers to fight. If a plant does not bear flowers why should thorns be sown around it? If man does not possess the individual right to live and to defend himself why has he been given the power of anger? As man has been given this power a right of his is established and when he possesses this right it is necessary for him to use this power. Of course this power should be used by him to defend his right and not for an invalid purpose. This is the reality of Jihad. Hence it is absolutely incredible that a religion which is true and has come from Allah should. have no defensive and propagative aspect and there should be no arrangement for its advancement. If there were a religion, which did not have its defensive system, we do not believe that it would have said that it was from Allah and for the welfare of mankind and its object was the guidance and betterment of the people till the Day of Judgment. 

Islam is the religion which desires the reformation of humanity. It turns the face of man from animal desires and makes him pay attention directly to Allah. It wants that the cause of justice may stand supreme. It wants the end of those powerful persons who make the people tools for murder and plundering on various national and other pretexts. In this way it wants religion may become exclusively for Allah. Islam is a religion which aims at becoming the code of our life with its real spirit. Only then will it make us say that Allah is One and He has sent a Prophet for our guidance. 

If some one asks you as to how the deviated world can be reformed, you should tell him that the way of its reformation is that the people of the world should wage war against those tyrants who play with the lives, property and honour of the people and plunder their rights. If a sacred battle is fought by means of which the Pharaohs of the time are obliterated from the face of the earth it will not be a bad thing. This is religion. 

When some one says: "It is truth" then he should have a sword in his hand and say "It is truth and this truth should advance". Evidently the people will ask: "How far should it advance?" Tell them that it should advance up to the point the religion advances and falsehood surrenders before truth. Now they are Muslims and your brethren. 

However, if they say that they wish to continue to hold their beliefs and will pray in their own way, but agree to submit to the general Islamic law, they will be called 'Zimmi' (Non-Muslims in an Islamic State are called 'Zimmi!). 

Whoever becomes a Zimmi also enjoys the same rights as a Muslim does. Now an Arab cannot say that as Islam first appeared in his land he is superior to a non-Arab. On the other hand if a non-Arab becomes a Muslim, he becomes equal to an Arab and even superior to him if he is comparatively more pious. Similarly a person, who is more acquainted with the principles and teachings of Islam, enjoys a higher position. This is the criterion of superiority. 

To whatever colour or creed a man belongs whether he is a Chinese, a Roman or a Zanzibari, if he admits the reality, he becomes a Muslim and all Muslims enjoy equal rights. None is entitled to tell another: " As I am an Arab and have embraced Islam earlier than you, I enjoy a prior right as compared with you and as you have embraced Islam later, your right is superseded." 

The basic reason: for the deterioration which took place after the early days of Islam was that gradually the Arabs became proud and thought that as they were the first to embrace Islam and their country was the birth place of this religion they enjoyed superiority over others. On this basis the Arabs began usurping the rights of others and pushed them back. Later also this national and racial discrimination continued and became the cause of various calamities. 

Even today it is the same national and racial bias, which is I found among the foreign rulers and foreign organizations, who are prejudiced against the Muslims, and are creating dissensions I among them and placing obstacles in their path. Would that the Muslims had become brothers like the devoted followers of the early days of Islam ! All of them should be equal and if they fight they should fight to secure freedom for the weak.

To sum up is it possible that there. is a religion in the world which has come from Allah but no order has been given about its advancement and defence? Even if we suppose the existence of such a religion, it will not be correct. After all against whom should fighting take place? Against whom has Jihad been ordered? Jihad means that in the first instance the people should be invited to Islam. As this invitation is exactly in conformity with nature, they will certainly accept it, especially those who live freely. However, there is a group which includes the. ruling clique and the opportunist class. This group knows that its interest lies in the position that people should not gather together on truth and, therefore, naturally opposes this invitation. It is at this stage that fighting starts and its object is to eliminate this class. Thus those persons, who possess Islamic capabilities, come in the forefront. Did this very thing not happen in Iran? A study of history will show that the people were: happy on being' invited to embrace Islam. Only those military I officers who received pension from the rulers opposed the Muslims and the general public was supporting the Muslims. There are many examples in history which go to show that the Roman and Iranian public cooperated with the Muslims and helped them. The people used to say: "If your slogan is really , Allah o Akbar' (Allah is Great) we are glad to receive you."

They said: " All human beings are equal before Allah and we are, therefore, ready to help you." They, too, therefore, participated in the battle from the side of the Muslims with the object of removing that deteriorated and corrupt class which had suppressed the thinking and capabilities of the people. As a consequence of this the latent capabilities of the Iranians suddenly made their appearance. Turn every leaf of the history of Iran before Islam and after Islam. How did all these poets, scholars, writers, researchers and orators come into existence all of a sudden? It was the blessing of Islam which washed and purified the dirty society. 

Islam says: "Preach the truth. If there is any obstacle in the way remove it. If the opponents attack you, you are also entitled to defend yourselves. Your mission is to convey the message of Islam to the people. As Islam is the religion of Allah it is necessary to remove every impediment and obstacle from its way." The second question is that of defence. If the infidels or some other foreign powers attack a Muslim country it is the duty of all Muslims to defend the Muslim country. 

Thus there are two kinds of war. The object of one is to advance whereas the other is defensive war .There is also another kind of war and Jihad which is called 'Civil war'. A religious minority may accept the guardianship of the Muslims and acquire the status of "Zimmi" in a country in which Islamic government is established and Islamic laws are promulgated, Islamic penalties are imposed and its administration is run with the money provided by the Muslim tax -payers. As regards the Jewish or Christian minority living in such a country Islam says: 
'If the Zimmis remain within the limits of their responsibility and act according to their promise they are free to perform worship in their own way like any Muslim.'

If the Zimmis pay 'Jazyah' (a sort of tax) their life and property will be safe like that of a Muslim. None will be entitled to attack their property and honour. However, if they violate the promise made by them they will no longer remain Zimmis but will become 'Muharib' (Combatant rebels). Since they have transgressed the limits, war will be waged against them within the Islamic country till they obey truth and law and submit once again to the Islamic government. 

Now let us see in the light of Islamic Jurisprudence as to what the duties and responsibilities of a Zimmi are, and to what extent the Muslims are under obligation t() mete out good treatment to him. This information is available in detail in our books on Jurisprudence. I, however, quote below an extract from the book entitled 'Mukhtasar-al-Nafe' of Allama Hilli. He says that there are five conditions for being a Zimmi: 

(1) The Zimmi should pay Jazyah i.e. he should pay a special tax to" the Islamic public treasury so that his rights are secured and the Muslims do not harm him. 

(2) He should not harm the Muslims, should not commit adultery with a Muslim woman, should not steal the property of the Muslims and should not maintain liaison with the enemies of the Muslims. 

(3) He should not perform openly those acts which have been declared unlawful by Islam such as drinking wine, adultery and marrying those women to whom marrying is not permissible in Islam. 

(4) The non-Muslims should not construct new Churches and. Synagogues, should not ring bells (in the temples) and should follow the general laws in this behalf. (Churches, Masjids and Houses have been discussed and orders relating to them have been narrated). In any 'case the non-Muslims cannot construct new places of worship and if they construct any, the same would be pulled down. At places where the sound of the Azan of the Muslims is raised the sound of bell should not be raised.

(5) No Zimmi is entitled to construct a building which is higher than that of the Muslim. 

To whom do the multi-storied buildings situated on our main roads belong? Who are those who are cooperating with the enemies of the Muslims in this country when the Islamic law exists? Is it Islamic jurisprudence:! I wish that you yourselves should admit as to who are usurping the wealth of the Muslims and helping Zionism and all the Jews in the world. Who are they who become the cause of the modesty of Muslim women being outraged? Are they Zimmis or combatant rebels? Only a Jurist can give judgement about it. 

If, according to the orders narrated by the Sunni and Shi'ah Ulema in this behalf, a government itself (supposing that this is not the state of affairs in our country) is involved in these matters what is the responsibility of the Muslims and what attitude should they adopt towards that government? What is the order of the Islamic jurisprudence? I do not wish that fanaticism should be involved in narrating this order. 

On the one hand they push the Muslims into deserts and violate the limits prescribed by Islam and on the other hand they grab and continue to grab the wealth of the Muslims on different pretexts and are spending it to propagate immodesty instead of utilizing it for productive and development works. I do not name anyone. If a foreign government opens an embassy , the high officers and Ministers of this Islamic country also go there and eat and drink and spend their time in revelries. What should be the attitude of the Muslims to such a government? This you should decide yourself. 

Is a government which does not follow the laws of Islam entitled to rule the Muslims? 

Please ponder over it. If it is false, refute it; and if it is true, this state of affairs does not conform to the Islamic principles. Today Zionism is the second face of imperialism. In its real shape imperialism has been defeated. Now it has put on the garb of Zionism, and Zionism has assumed the shape of Israel. In Iran Israel has disguised itself in another manner and has appeared in the shape of Bahaism. (Iran is a Shi'ah Islamic country but here only good wishes can be expressed for Islam, because the Bahais dominate all the departments and Ministries of this country)

I address the government officers who are present here openly or secretly and say: "Sir, it is a matter which concerns Islam. It concerns religion and religion wants that the supervision of the country should be in its own hands. It should be above the Head of State and it should also be below him. Now please consider yourself as to why I am inconveniencing you with these words. Do not allow me to speak. Silence me. Then my responsibility will come to an end. However, when I come here I shall be obliged to narrate the Islamic laws. I am not the employee of anyone. I am not in the pay of anyone. I do not wish that the administration of the country should be entrusted to me. I do not want any title. I am what I am, whether you like it or not. 

I have been worried very much since yesterday and this has been only due to the fact that yesterday evening some young Muslims had arranged a 'Majlis' in Wazashib. What is all this. Why am I not told clearly not to mount the pulpit and not to address a Majlis. 

I am saying all this because I am worried. I myself am responsible for what I say. I am afraid lest tomorrow you should catch hold of the :master of the house, interrogate him and begin playing with his life. He is not concerned. Tell me that I have told a lie, I speak against Islam, I am guilty of sabotage and I maintain liaison with the foreign missions. Say what you like; charge sheet me. 

People know what I am and what is the shape of an Islamic government. Are these people fit to be called the protectors of faith? We could not raise our heads when we were told in Motmar-i-lslami as to what kind of relations we have with other countries. 

I ask the Minister of Agriculture: Sir is there no Muslim adviser in this country? Is there no engineer here? If there is . none borrow them from Switzerland, India or Germany. But is it necessary that the adviser for the division of land should be a Zionist Jew? After all about how many things should one complain? I say this because I know it and I have proof about it. Refute me if you can. I know about the celebration which was held a month ago, where it was held and who its organizers were. I know their names. I also know the advisers. We were informed about it, but I said that we were not concerned. You know how much publicity is given in the newspapers when some one proceeds on a journey or returns from it. However, when a conference was held about al-Quds none wrote even a word about its participants or about the discussions held in it. Whose hand can be in it except that of the agents of Israel -the same agents of Israel who are busy destroying morals, modesty, economy, ambition and aspiration and everything else in this country. As Aqa-i-Motaheri has said their aspiration is above every danger. Today I want to warn all of you -all the Muslim brethren and Ulema and elders about the danger ahead. Then you may know better what to do. Or let the government refute me and say that what I am saying is all a bundle of lies and mere propaganda. We cannot raise our head before the world on account of shame. 

This is also a stage of Jihad and that too ,is Jihad which is performed against the infidels for the advancement of Islam. Defence of Islam and the Islamic country is also Jihad. The object of one Jihad is that a Zimmi may not become a muharib (combatant rebel). There are three kinds of Jihad ordered by Islam. The campaign against despotism and dictatorship is also Jihad so that none should act arbitrarily in an Islamic country and should not become a Devil. It is the duty of every Muslim to correct a despot and a dictator and tender him good advice. Despotism or dictatorship is not a good thing in itself. It is not in the interest of the country. It is not in the interest of the society. No dictator can remain in position forever. He should be admonished. If he does not listen to advice he should be confronted and force should be used against him. It is possible that you, who are Muslims, may say that if the position is this why don't the Ulema mention these things in connection with Jihad. Why have different things been said in our traditions and Hadith in this regard? When we look at the early history of Islam we see that in the early days of Islam the Commander of the Faithful treated valid all those battles, in which the Muslims had participated. He not only was on the side of the Mujahids (fighters) but also sent his sons to fight some battles. But what happened thereafter? Thereafter came the period of Muawiyyah and Yazid. According to the traditions about Jihad which have come down to us one of the conditions of Jihad is that it should be performed under the leadership of a righteous Imam or a righteous ruler. It has been stated specifically in the traditions and Hadith that warfare should not be for strengthening the authority of an oppressive ruler or an oppressive leader. Hence it has been ordered that fighting and defence should be under- taken under the leadership of a just ruler. What were the conditions during the time of the Imams? The Muslims fought and the Islamic territories expanded, but to whose benefit? If a Muslim goes and conquers China and as a result of that Abdul Malik bin Marwan, or Sulaiman bin Abdul Malik or some Abbasid Caliph benefits and becomes the Commander of the Faithful and Caliph of the Muslims, Islam does not want such a conquest. It is for the reason that the permission of a righteous ruler for Jihad has been insisted upon again and again in the Hadith. This is the real matter. It is just as has been said in the Hadith about Friday prayers which needs attention. Friday prayer is the sign of rulership. If it had been said that it was valid to offer Friday prayers led by any person it would have meant acknowledging the government of Walid bin Abdul Malik or Mutawakkal Abbasl or any Omayyad as valid, because Friday prayers were led by their representatives. However Friday prayer is not like other prayers. Hence it has been said: Offer Friday prayers if there is a righteous Imam to lead it; otherwise do not offer it. Do not support and acknowledge a despotic government. However, if the Muslims themselves gather together and offer prayers and the said obstacle is not there, there is no reason why Friday prayers should not be obligatory. When we study the Hadith regarding Friday prayers we find that it is similar to Jihad. The Holy Imams of Ahl-al- Bayt used to say: 'For what purpose do you perform Jihad? Do you perform it so that the people may get more war booty? Or that luxuries may increase in the palace of Haroon-al-Rashid? Or that the number of the singing girls should rise from one thousand to five thousand?' The Imams did not accept such an Islam. Such an Islam is not admissible. There is no result of such a development except that the reality of Islam is hidden. When Umar bin Abdul Aziz became Caliph he tried to reform the state of affairs. However, when he restrained the usurpers opposition began from all sides. It was perhaps the governor of Turkistan who wrote at that time: "People are coming in large numbers and wish that we may accept their Islam so that they may not have to pay tribute or Jazyah. Permit us not to accept their Islam so that we may continue to charge Jazyah from them. " Umar bin Abdul Aziz sent a representative of his with instructions to go there and whip the governor. He also wrote to him: " Allah sent His Prophet as a guide and not as a collector of revenue." It was written from Egypt: "The Copts are becoming Muslims Permit us to circumcise them. We may accept the Islam of those who agree to be circumcised and we may charge Jazyah from others." On this occasion also Umar bin Abdul Aziz sent a representative of his and wrote: " Allah sent Muhammad (P) as the last of the Prophets to guide the people and not to circumcise the people. " 

In short the Islamic conquests had assumed this shape. At last it so happened that one Islamic country began attacking the other. The object of these attacks was to grab the wealth of the other country .The Holy Imams have, therefore, said that Jihad is permissible, only when a righteous Imam or a righteous ruler issues its order. Some jurists have said- that righteous Imam means an infallible Imam. However, if that had been so, the word "righteous' (Adil) would not have been used for him. Righteousness and infallibility are the inseparable attributes of the Holy Imams, that is to say every infallible person is righteous, but every righteous person is not infallible. Hence, if the leader- ship of Muslims is in the hands of a righteous person, Jihad is obligatory for all of them. In my opinion this is a subject, which the great Ulema, scholars and orators should discuss and conduct further research. It is not possible that a true religion, which has its own discipline should be devoid of Jihad and defence and with whatever calamity Islam and the Muslims are faced the Muslims should sit still, waste the power of advancement of Islam and make it lifeless and static. I re- collect a Hadith which I want to narrate before you: "Once, when Imam Sajjad (P) was going to perform Hajj, a man named Ibad Basri who was fond of criticism and dispute, came to him and said: 'You have abandoned the difficult task of Jihad and adopted the easy task of Haj, although Allah says: Allah has purchased the souls and property of the believers in exchange for Paradise. They fight for the cause of Allah to destroy His enemies and to sacrifice themselves. This is a true promise, which He has revealed in the Torah, the Gospel and the Qur'an. No one is more true to His promise than Allah. Let this bargain be glad news for them. This is indeed the supreme triumph. " (Surah Taubah, verse 111) 

The Imam said with great coolness, which was peculiar to him: 'Read the other verse following that verse. The verse does not end in its meaning here. Read its remaining part also. ' He read: (The believers) who repent of their sins, worship Allah, praise Him, travel through the land (for pious purposes). kneel down and prostrate themselves in obedience to Allah, make others do good and prevent them from sins and abide by the Laws of Allah, will receive a great reward. Let this be a glad news to the believers. (Surah Taubah, verse 112) 

According to this verse the condition for performing Jihad is that the Mujahid should repent his sins, should worship Allah, should come out of his home, should kneel down and prostrate himself before Allah, should make others do good and prevent them from sins and should abide by the Laws of Allah. The Imam Said to that man: "Have you seen anywhere persons possessing these qualities. Participating in Jihad along with such persons is superior to Hajj." That is, the question is for what purpose and in whose company Jihad should be performed. During the time of the Holy Imams such conditions were created that it was necessary to ponder over the manner of their reasoning about Jihad and to understand fully the words used by them. Do they mean to say that the power of defence and ambition for development of the Muslims should be eliminated and they should become sycophants, abject, helpless and weak? Was it not their object that the Muslims should not lose their lives without cause? The people should rise for Jihad when truth is evident and it is known who the opponent is. They should rise when the intentions are good and Jihad is in the path of Allah, otherwise Islam, notwithstanding the importance attached by it to Jihad and fighting, considers human lives more valuable. It does not desire that the people should be carried away by sentiments and lose their lives, or their blood may stir and they may sacrifice themselves, for the benefit of a particular group. 

When the people are asked to defend the country for its security and permanence or for the honour of the nation, a Muslim will inevitably ask: 'For whom and for which country? 
Have I gone mad that I should defend the country so that the hold of a few persons should become more strong and they should loot more than before? Of course, if I am asked to step forward in the path of Allah to support Truth, I am ready to do so.' 

If a true Muslim is asked whether he would fight for the sake of a particular material school of thought which guarantees food and dress his reply will evidently be: 'These people are madly going after the world. The Jihad of those wise people, who are above these things and follow the Islamic teachings, is for Truth and for the sake of Allah. Islam has prepared permanent paths for it.' 

Here are a few sentences of the sermon which Imam Husayn (P) delivered after reaching near Karbala. Abu Mukhnaf Tabari quotes it from Uqbah bin Abi-al-'Ezarat. I am not aware whether or not some persons will be able to digest this tradition. In any case at the halting-place called 'Baizah " when soldiers of Hur (who later joined the Holy Imam) were also present before the Imam, he stood up and uttered these words so that his object might become clear to all. This is a matter of principle. After praising Allah he said: "0 people! The Holy Prophet has said: It was the method of the Imams that when they had to communicate something special to their Shi'ah and devotees and followers, they said it from their own side but when those addressed were not devoted to them or were double -minded they (the Imams) quoted the Hadith of the Holy Prophet. [ In both the cases, however. the words were of the Holy Prophet (P). ] 

"If a person sees a despotic ruler who treats lawful the things made unlawful by Allah, violates the covenant of Allah, opposes the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, oppresses the servants of Allah, and treats them disgracefully and he does not endeavour to change his (the ruler's) conduct by means of his words and deeds (i.e. remains silent) Allah is entitled to throw that tyrant in whichever layer of Hell He likes, and send to Hell along with him the person who remains silent, because owing to his silence he also becomes a partner in his injustice and crime." This is what the Holy Prophet has said. 

Then the Holy Imam said: "See and beware of the fact that these people (i.e. the government and its agents) have submitted to Satan and have ceased to obey the Beneficent Allah. They are spreading evil openly. They have suspended the penal laws. They have appropriated public property. They have made lawful the things made unlawful by Allah and made unlawful the things made lawful by Allah. If all other Muslims remain silent it is my primary duty to change this state of affairs. " 

Then he addressed the people further and said: "You sent letters and messages to me. Your representatives came to see me. and said that you had made a covenant to help me and not to desert me. Now, if you remain faithful to your covenant and oath, it will be something wise, because I am Husayn son of Ali and son of Fatima (P), the beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet. I myself am with you and the members of my family are with the members of your families.

"We do not consider ourselves separate from you nor do we desire any distinction. We are with the people. We shall suffer what the people suffer and the people will suffer what we suffer. Our life is with the lives of the people. We do not want to rule the people and to enjoy any distinction between you and us. We consider ourselves to be one of you. Our wives and children are like your wives and children (Tarikh-i-Tabari. Vol. IV). 

These words of the Holy Imam could not surprise anyone, because the people had before them the specimen of a few years' government of Imam Ali (P). When anyone saw him in the streets and bazars of Kufa, did he feel any difference between him and an ordinary citizen? Did anyone, who visited his house, find his house and household furniture better than that of others? Did the members of his family enjoy any distinction between them and the families of others? This is an excellent specimen of an Islamic government and an Islamic ruler. This is not the government of any individual. It is the government of Allah. As a matter of principle none enjoys sovereignty in Islam except Allah. Sovereignty belongs to Allah only. (Surah An'am, verse 57). The Prophet, the Imams and after them the Mujtahids and even the Common Muslims only enforce the Divine laws. It was for this reason that Imam Husayn (P) said: "I myself am with you and the members of my family are with the members of your families." i.e. 'you should not think that I wish that my own life as well as the lives of the members of my family should remain safe whereas I should make others lay down their lives. , The apparent difference between Imam Ali(P) and MJl'3.wiyyah was also the same. Mu'3.wiyyah used to remain behind the front resting on a big pillow, and a soft mattress was spread under his feet. Sweets of all kinds were placed before him. He ate the sweets and laughed and sent the unlucky persons to face the swords. He ordered them: "Go and be killed". Imam Ali (P) also used to give orders but he remained ahead of others on the front, faced the swords and arrows, advised and guided others and raised slogans. 

When we imagine the scene of the battle of Siffin we see Mu'3.wiyyah sitting in his seat and ridiculing others. He is happy that he has befooled the simpletons, roused their sentiments by means of misleading propaganda and sent them to the front so that he himself might rule peacefully. When Imam. Ali (P) gave some orders he himself was the first to step forward. This is the specimen of: "I myself am with you and the members of my family are with the members of your families. " 

Then the Holy Imam said: "If you have broken the oath of allegiance (bay'at) and now are regretful, and have turned away from your covenant it is not strange on your part. You did the same thing with my father, my brother and my cousin Muslim. Whoever relies on you will be deceived. If you do not fulfill your promise you will not only harm me but will also be the losers yourselves. Whoever breaks his promise harms himself. Allah will soon make me independent of you, when He will provide me place in the neighbourhood of His blessings." 

It has been quoted in Behar-al-Anwar from "Manaqib-e-Ibne Shahre Ashobe" that when Hur ibn Yazid Riahi made the Holy Imam dismount in the land of Karbala in compliance with the orders of Ubaidullah ibne Ziad and himself also dismounted along with his one thousand soldiers, Imam Husayn (P) asked for pen and paper and wrote a letter to the elders and distinguished persons of Kufa. 

"From Husayn ibne Ali (P) to Sulaiman bin Sard, Mussayyab bin Najyah, Rafa'ah bin Shaddad, Abdullah bin Wal arid other believers."(The distinguished Shi'ah who were addressed by the Holy Imam, were either in prison or had been exiled or could not come to him for some other reason. The letter begins with these words: You know that the Holy Prophet said: " If a person sees a despotic ruler...." Perhaps he reproduced the sentences of the sermon mentioned above and sent them to the people of Kufa. 

The winding up of this discussion concerns a martyr. The conditions of martyrdom and its effects have been discussed in detail in Jurisprudence. Whoever understands its reality and its object and then sacrifices his life, remaining steadfast, is a martyr according to the terminology of the Holy Qur'an i.e. a martyr is one, who observes Truth and sacrifices his life after observing Truth and whose object of being killed is not on account of some one's mistake or instigation or rousing of sentiments. A martyr does not lay down his life on account of avarice or personal benefit but with the intention of acquiring proximity to Allah. He is above personal wishes and desires. He is well aware of the value and worth of Truth and it is for this reason that he courts death for the sake of Truth. This is the reality of self -sacrificing. It is not that a sufi should sit in a monastery and repeat the name of Allah and should think that he has become one with Truth. To be in proximity with Truth means: 
If you sacrifice your feet and your head in the path of Allah your entire body (from top to bottom) will become the light of Allah. 

A martyr is he, who surrenders his life for the sake of Truth, forgets his self in the path of Truth and after observing Truth gets ready to sacrifice his life to establish Truth. 

Everyone who is killed is not a martyr. A person, who is .killed on account of some error or in connection with some matter which has a worldly aspect, is one, who is a loser in this world as well as in the Hereafter. 

A martyr is one, who strengthens his faith, recognizes Allah, believes in the Hereafter, believes in its permanency and sets his face against the worldly connections after fully understanding his aim and object. As such, a person, who observes Truth, is not afraid of death. Death is easy for him. Some Sufis say that while offering prayers one should pay attention to the Pole. They say that as man is material he cannot pay attention to Allah who is Absolute. Hence, in order to pay attention to Allah he should rely on some material manifestation. This view of the Sufis is wrong. The fact is that attention can be paid to the Absolute only after gradually com1ng out of the material limits. Incidentally, however, we allude to a particular group. While offering prayers we say: You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek assistance. Guide us to the right path. (Surah Hamd, Verse 4) and then say invariably: The path of those to whom You have granted blessings. Which blessings? Are they wealth and power? In another verse it has been said: Those who obey Allah and His Prophet. They will be with those who have been granted blessings by Allah. Then there comes the details of those blessed groups. The first of them are the Prophets. Then come the Siddiqin (Truthful) i.e. those who have observed Truth with their heart and intellect and testified it with their lives and property. And then the Shuhada (martyrs) i.e. those who laid down "their lives in the path of Allah. Their rank is very high. And then there are Saliheen (the Righteous) who come after the first three groups and follow them during their lives. These are the four groups upon whom Allah

What Made Imam Hussain (a.s) Rise !


 

Dr. Ibrahim Aayati

I seek refuge in the Hearer and the Omniscient Allah from the accursed Satan. 

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. 

Think not of those who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead. Nay, they are living. With their Lord, being sustained; Jubilant (are they) because of that which Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty, rejoicing for the sake of those who have not joined them but are left behind: that there no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve. They rejoice because of favour from Allah and He kindness, and that Allah does not wastes the reward of the believers. (Surah Ale Imran, 3: 169 -171)

In the first instance I apologies to those respectable hearers who are standing or are sitting on the ground owing to lack of space. 

On the eighth night I spoke about 'the causes which obliged Imam Husayn (P) to rise.' Today I intend to speak about 'the reasons of the rising of Imam Husayn (P). It is perhaps necessary to remind that the subject of the speech delivered on the eighth night and that proposed to be delivered today is one and the same, although in the advertisements two different titles have been given to it. Its reason is that the wording of the title was not proposed by me. On the other hand I briefly mentioned the subject of the speech and said that an announcement about it might be made in appropriate words. Consequently Maktab-i-Tauhid published the former title in their advertisement whereas in the advertisement published by' Anjuman-i-Muhandesin-i-Islami' the latter title was given. It will be appropriate to say here: 

(Your beauty is only one. We mention it differently in our own words but everyone points to the same one beauty). 

I pray to Allah that this verse may apply to every step and to every stage of every movement of the Muslim Ummah. 

It is necessary to repeat briefly what I said on the eighth night. I do not consider it proper that the hearers who were not present on that night may not pay attention to the point which in my view is very important. I had said that it is very surprising that some scholars and distinguished writers have asked as to why Imam Husayn (P) did not swear allegiance to Yazid bin Mu'awiyyah and resorted to such an instant rising as a result of which he himself and he companions were martyred and the members of his family were made prisoners. The following reply is given to it. 

On account of the experience which Imam Husayn (P) had regarding the government of Bani Sufyan and the people of that time and keeping in view the treatment which these people had meted out to his father, the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (P), and his brother Imam Hasan (P), he was certain that if he submitted and swore allegiance to Yazid he would be killed, and if he did not submit, even then he would be killed. Hence he courted martyrdom willfully. (I am ashamed to have mentioned the interpretation). 

I explained in detail that night that such a remark is absolutely baseless and totally opposed to the greatness of the sacred movement of Abu Abdullah. J No matter who said this, it is quite baseless and inconvincible. If it is said that there was 
For details see Dr Ibrahim Ayati's book Tarikh-e-Ashuraand Dr.Jafar Shaheedi's book Bina-e-karbala no chance for Imam Husayn (P) to live and even if he had submitted to Yazid he would have been killed by poisoning or by some other means and seeing no way out he got ready to be killed, what will be the value of Imam Husayn's (P) action and how is it possible that the world should admit this sacred movement to be the most sacred movement of the History of Islam and basically the best of all religious movements whether they pertain to the period preceding Imam Husayn (P) or after him? The real thing is not this. In fact Imam Husayn (P) assessed the condition of the Islamic society in 60 AB. and came to the conclusion that the Muslims had deviated so much that their reformation and the removal of the dangerous social evils were not possible without such a rising and such a sacred movement. Imam Husayn (P) was feeling that the religion of Islam and the Muslim Ummah could not survive without a bloody rising. It was, therefore, necessary that he should be martyred and his relatives and sisters who may be called the best orators of Islam (of whom one is Zaynab (P), another Umme Kulsum (P), another Fatima bint al-Husayn (P) and another Ali-ibn-al-Husayn (P) should be taken prisoners and be made to pass through the streets so that they might invite the attention of the Muslim Ummah to the disgraceful state of affairs of that time, and save the Muslims for ever from the danger of death and extinction, might keep alive the sacred movement, which existed since the time prior to Husayn bin Ali (P), and might pave the path for such sacred movements in future. I wish that if possible I may also allude to the movements which existed before Husayn bin Ali (P). It will be better if we infer the causes of and the incentives to the movement of Karbala from the speeches and writings of Imam Husayn (P) himself. As I said, the causes for the rising of Imam Husayn (P) had begun to appear gradually during the last part of Uthman's Caliphate. In this connection I had quoted some reliable historical references and had also explained some extracts from the speeches and writings of Imam Husayn (P), which throw light on the causes which obliged him to rise. Passing systematically through different stages we had reached the stage at which on the 7th of Zil-Haj of 60 A.H. Husayn ibne Ali (P) delivered a speech before the pilgrims of the Holy Ka'abah in which he explained his movement to some extent. I had said that the rising was not such that anyone might have participated in it by giving subscription, or making a speech, or by writing in newspapers or a pamphlet about it and introducing it to the people. There was only one way of participation and that was martyrdom and self -sacrifice. I had finished my address with what Imam Husayn (P) had said at the end of his speech. 

He said: "I do not want financial aid from the traders and merchants. I do not need writers. I need only those fighters who are sincerely prepared to sacrifice their lives in the path of Allah." 

Thus in the historical journey which we commenced in the night of the eighth we reached Mecca on the 7th of Zil-Haj. Now, with your permission I shall take one step back. However, taking one step back means, so to say, going two steps forward if Allah so wills. I go back to Madina and quote that sentence in which Imam Husayn (P) himself had stated the object of his rising in more explicit and clear words. 

As you are aware Walid bin Utbah bin Abi Sufyan, the Governor of Madina, had pressed Imam Husayn (P) under Yazid's orders to swear allegiance to Yazid. The incident had taken place on the 27th of Rajab at night in the house of Walid. Imam Husayn (P) did not swear allegiance but said that he would inform him of his final decision in the matter after one or two days. On the following day Abdullah bin Zubayr ran away from Madina on account of fear but Husayn bin Ali (P) stayed on in Madina till the night of 28th Rajab, 60 A.H. 

Sayyad Ibne Tawoos writes in his book 'Luhoof': "When morning came Imam Husayn (P) went out of his house to find out 
what the political conditions were and how the people had reacted to the death of Mu'awiyyah, the succession of Yazid and the demand of Walid that Imam Husayn (P) should swear allegiance to Yazid. In the street he met Marwan bin Hakam. It was the 27th of Rajab. Marwan said: "O Aba Abdullah! I tender you a sincere advice. If you agree to what I say it will be good". His manner of speech was strangely presumptuous. Imam Husayn (P) said: "What is your advice? Let me hear it." 

Look at the boldness of this impudent man. He said: "O Husayn ibne Ali (P)! I, Marwan bin Hakam order. you to swear allegiance to Yazid bin Mu'awiyyah, to acknowledge his Caliphate, Imamate and leadership and to accept him as the Head of the Ummah, for, in my opinion, therein lies the goodness of your religion as well as your world. If you do not swear allegiance to Yazid, your faith as well as your world will be ruined. " 

Imam Husayn (P) said: "We are from Allah and we have to return to Him. " This sentence is read when a calamity befalls a person. I do not know what the tragedy was. 

I think the great tragedy on account of which Imam Husayn (P) recited "We are from Allah " was the intellectual deviation of the Muslims. They had gone astray to such an extent that Marwan said that the faith and the world of Imam Husayn (P) could remain safe only if he swore allegiance to Yazid! Then the Holy Imam said: "Then good bye to such an Islam. " This is the sentence which throws more light on the cause of his rising and movement than all those sentences which I quoted in the eighth night. I had said: Imam Husayn (P) said: "I want the people to do good and to restrain from evil. " It is possible that some one may think that Imam Husayn (P) wanted to ask the green-grocers of Kufa not to weigh less, to instruct the merchants not to charge interest, to ask the preachers of Kufa not to tell false things from the pulpit, not to flatter others and not to waste the time of the people by telling them baseless things. However, the task which Imam Husayn (P) wanted to perform was not this. The problem which was before him was much more important than this. This task could very well be performed by the preachers of the city. What Husayn bin Ali (P) wanted to do was to improve the deplorable condition of the Muslim Ummah and to correct the perverseness of the society by means of an effective rising. This sentence throws light to some extent on the stimuli of Imam Husayn's (P) rising. He said: "If matters have really taken such a turn that a person like Yazid bin Mu'awiyyah has become the leader of the Ummah and the chief of the Muslims of the world, in other words their Imam, then good bye should be said to such an Islam for I have heard my grandfather, the Prophet of Allah, saying that caliphate is unlawful for the family of Abu Sufyan because they are not fit to become the chiefs of the Muslims and to rule over them." 

However dispute arose between Imam Husayn (P) and Marwan and after exchange of hot words Marwan went away filled with anger. 

We come across another instance similar, to this at another place. It is a letter of Imam Husayn (P). The people of Kufa had sent all their letters to the Holy Imam at Mecca in three installments. This point is also worth remembering that all the letters, which the people of Kufa had sent to the Holy Imam and in which they had expressed willingness to assist him and to support his sacred movement, were received in three installments and there was no sundry letters besides those. The first installment was received on the l0th of Ramzan and the second on the l2th of that month. As regards the third installment I have not come across a specific information as to when it reached, although it has been specified that it was sent from Kufa two days after the second installment was sent. As a rule it should have reached Mecca two days after the arrival of the second installment. There is another proof also of this fact but this is not the occasion to mention its details. In any case, however, the third installment of the letters of the people of Kufa must have reached Mecca on the l4th of Ramzan of 60 A.H. Thus in three installments and within six days all the letters, covenants and affidavits were received and in the meantime Imam Husayn (P) also decided to send Muslim bin Aqueel to Iraq. The date of the departure of Muslim bin Aqueel is definitely known. It was the 15th of Ramzan. It means that the Holy Imam sent Muslim to Kufa on the day following that on which the last installment of the letters was received. Now this is a letter which Imam Husayn (P) sent to the people of Kufa through Saeed bin Abdullah Hanafi and Hani bin. Hani Sabi'ie in reply to their letters before sending Muslim bin Aqueel to Iraq. It should be remembered that the first man, who carried the letter viz. Saeed bin Abdullah, is one of the martyrs of Karbala. 

In this letter also Husayn bin Ali (P) writes stating the purpose of his movement: "I swear by my life that an Imam is he, whose decision is always according to the Qur'an." It means that the object of this rising and movement was not to teach the craftsmen of Iraq the religious rules and laws, for the matter was different from that. The condition of the Islamic government and the Muslims of the world had become so deplorable that it could not be corrected except through a rising by a personality like Imam Husayn. (P) He wrote: 

Whether the word used is 'Imam' or 'Ra'ie' (literal meaning shepherd) or 'Maula' (as in the Hadith " Ali is Moula of whomever I am Maula"). or 'Sultan' (its meaning in the terminology of religion is the man who rules the Muslim Ummah in the capacity of the successor of the Holy Prophet) his decisions are according to the Holy Qur'an. He should be just. (Al-Qaymu bilqist) He should follow the true faith or make others follow the true faith (both the meanings are correct). He should dedicate himself to Allah. Only that person whose object is only to seek the pleasure of Allah is fit for Imamate. The phrase " Ala Zatullah" also carries the same meaning as "Fi Sabilillah ". Every act which is for the benefit and welfare of the Ummah is considered to be in the path of Allah. The path of Allah is not limited to offering prayers, fasting and performing Haj. What- ever step is taken for the welfare and advancement of the Muslim Ummah and whatever action brings the Muslims of the world nearer to their Islamic objects and helps them in becoming a power befitting the followers of the Holy Qur'an is the path of Allah and following that path is dedicating oneself to Allah. 

In his famous book entitled 'Tarikhul Umum wal Muluk' Muhammad bin Jarir Tabari has quoted another brief speech of Imam Husayn (P) which he delivered at a halting place called "Zi Hasam. " There is some difference of opinion regarding the pronunciation of this name and possibly the pronunciation adopted by me is more correct. It is the place where the vanguard of the enemy arrived and there was a danger of Imam Husayn (P) being besieged by the Iraqi army. Here the Imam delivered a speech wherein he stated the reason for his rising. 

He said: "Don't you see that Truth is not being followed and falsehood is not being avoided?" 

And when the condition of the Ummah becomes like this, rising becomes obligatory for a responsible personality like the Doyen of the Martyrs. He said, "Don't you see yourself? Why do you ask me as to why I don't swear allegiance to Yazid and why I do not accept this Islamic government and why I do not acknowledge Yazid son of Muawiyyah bin Abu Sufyan as the leader and Head of the Muslim Ummah? In short it is not necessary to ask me this question. Why don't you see the present condition of the Ummah yourselves? Don't you see yourselves that truth is not being followed? It does not mean that the people have begun telling lies or while in their homes they resort to excessive backbiting. Such sins have always been committed by the people. But don't you see how much the Islamic leadership has deviated from Truth and justice, and oppression and lending support to the oppressors have become its business. Don't you see that truth is not being followed and falsehood is not being refrained from?" 

He meant to say that a believer is desirous of meeting Allah or, as it appears to be more appropriate, he meant that in such deplorable circumstances a believer should get up with a strong desire for martyrdom and should get ready to sacrifice his life and to meet Allah. 

It is the same thing which the Holy Imam had said in Masjid-al-Haram. As has been quoted by Syed Ibne Tawoos in 'Luhoof' and by Ali bin Isa in "Kashf-al-Ghammah' there also he had talked about martyrdom and self-sacrifice and here also he said: "I consider laying down my life in this path to be a blessing for me and it is extremely painful to me to live with the oppressors arid tyrants." 

Dear hearers! I wish to be brief in saying what I have to say and thus to honour to some extent the promise made to you by the organisers of the Majlis that the Majlis will come to an end by 10 O'clock. Of course, I can also say that wise men are themselves responsible for their words and as I myself had made no such promise it is not obligatory for me to fulfill the promise made by others. However, I have to look after their honour as well. Ibne Athir Jazri, the author of "Usud-al-Ghabah" has also written a book named 'AI-Kamil fit Tarikh'. Truly speaking both of these books are a valuable capital of Islamic literature. Ibne Athir says in Al-Kamil: " After having come face to face with Hur bin Yazid Riahi Imam Husayn (P) delivered two sermons -one before the noon prayers and the other after the afternoon prayers. After the afternoon prayers the Holy Imam got up and made a speech. Addressing Hur bin Yazid Riahi and his companions he said: ,"0 people! If you fear Allah and give the rightful persons their rights, it will be the means of Allah being more pleased with you." Here by the word 'right' he does not mean that kind of right which is infringed when a person damages the wall of the house of his neighbour or when he boards a bus earlier than others without standing in a queue and waiting for his turn. Here right means that right which is the basis of all rights. If that right is injured all other rights are injured and if that right is safe the safety of other rights is also ensured. That right is the right of the guardianship and leadership of the Muslim Ummah. And then he said more explicitly: "We, the members of the Holy Prophet's household and his heirs, are more entitled to be your rulers and your leaders and guardians in the matter of your faith and your world. We are more rightful than the pretenders who wrongly claim this office and who have no concern with it. They are those who treat you cruelly and oppress you (i.e. these people cannot be accepted to be the successors of the Holy Prophet and the guardians of the Qur'an)." 

Ibn Jarir Tabari has also quoted a serm6n of Imam Husayn (P) which he delivered at the halting-place called 'Baiza'. 'Baiza is a halting place between the Hijaz and Iraq and is perhaps a part of Iraq. According to Ibne Jarir Tabari Imam Husayn (P) delivered this sermon at this place before his own companions as well as those of Hur bin Yazid Riahi. It was quoted later by others as well. I may mention here that on this occasion the Holy Imam explained his object further and informed those present how and why he had decided to rise. 

The Imam said: My grandfather and your Prophet has said: "If a person sees a cruel ruler or leader who treats as lawful the things made unlawful by Allah, violates the covenant made with Allah and opposes the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet and keeps silent and does not move, his end will be like that of the same tyrant ruler (in the Hell). The allusion was towards Yazid who possessed all these criminal qualities. Yazid was one of those cruel leaders about whom the Quran says: Wa minhum aimmatun Yad 'una ilan nar. All leaders do not take their people to Paradise. There are some leaders who do take their followers to Paradise i.e. towards advancement and prosperity, but according to the Holy Quran there are some "who push their people into torture, fire and destruction. " An apt example of such leaders IS Yazid bin Mu'awiyyah (and here the allusion is towards him), who oppressed the people, was accustomed to crime and sin and who violated the rights of the people. After observing that state of affairs the Holy Imam said: "I (Husayn bin Ali) am observing in the government of Yazid, the Muslim (who observes these conditions) who does not endeavour to change the conditions by means of his words and deeds, does not rise against the cruel ruler, does not take any practical step against him or does not oppose him at least with his tongue Allah is entitled to send that Muslim to the place, where he sends the cruel ruler, and to mete out identical treatment to both of them." 

Then the Holy Imam said: "Now in 60 A.H. the Muslim Ummah is also faced with the same situation. You can see that these people (Yazid and his agents) have become permanently subservient to Satan and have ceased to obey Allah. They are committing heinous acts openly and have suspended the penal laws. If a merchant or an ordinary man commits a crime they punish him according to Islamic penal laws, but if their favourites and those who work in their interest commit one hundred crimes they are not administered even one lash. " 

As I had said this practice had been started during the second half of the Caliphate of Uthman and protest and rising against the government had also started at the same time. I shall present a list of those protests. As regards suspension of penal laws it does not mean that they did not punish anyone. Even during the time of Yazid the hands of the people were amputated. The adulterers were also punished. I am not aware whether the dacoits were executed or were awarded some other punishment. In any case it is an admitted fact that at that time the entire administration was run negatively as well as positively -on the' basis of personal policies and interests of the rulers i.e. they let off or punished one at their discretion. Imam Husayn (P) says: "These are the deviations and irregularities which have become the cause of my rising. One of the great misdeeds of Yazid's government is that the public wealth, which should have been spent for the benefit of the people and to remove their difficulties has been appropriated by the persons in authority for their own benefit. They have made lawful the things which Allah has made unlawful and have made unlawful the things which Allah has made lawful."

Then the Holy Imam said: "When the state of affairs is this and the order of the Holy Prophet in these circumstances is as mentioned by me, who can be more suitable to change this position than I. I am the son of Lady Fatima (P). I am one of the people of the Cloak. I am one of those about whom the Verse of Purification and the Verse of Mubahila have been revealed. I am the son of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (P). Then who is more suited than me to change the condition in which all the causes and factors of the downfall of the Ummah have gathered together?" 

Who is better than Husayn (P) who should come and stage a rising. Ibne Abbas does not enjoy that position. Muhammad bin Hanfiyyah, too, does not enjoy that position. Habib ibne Mazahir is a companion of the Holy Prophet but even he cannot perform the task which can be performed by me. Similar is the case with Muslim bin Ausjah and Hani bin Urwah Muradi. Husayn's (P) cousin Muslim bin Aqueel and his own brother Abul Fazal Abbas are persons who can lay down their lives for the achievement of the object of this rising but even they cannot become its central figure. Only the personality of Husain bin Ali bin Abi Talib (P) is the central point of this movement. 

In spite of the fact that on the day of Ashura Imam Husayn (P) could see that the enemies were bent upon killing him and also knew that they would achieve their end soon, he was satisfied that events were taking place as he had desired. Still he began one of his sermons with this very subject. 

As you are aware Imam Husayn (P) delivered many sermons and made many speeches on the day of Ashura. All these sermons are very eloquent and impressive. It is surprising that these sermons were delivered by an orator who knew very well that after these speeches he would not only be called to account but would be called to account with the aid of thirty thousand spears. 

These are the sermons of an orator who was thirsty and did not have even a drop of water to moist his lips. He knew that after some time his women and children were going to be made prisoners by the impudent and stone-hearted enemies. He was hungry and though he complained of thirst his self - respect prevented him from complaining of hunger. Imam Sajjad (P) says: "The grandson of the Holy Prophet was martyred when he was thirsty as well as hungry."
A hungry and thirsty orator delivers a speech before thirty thousand soldiers of the enemy, whose spears are ready to kill him and whose horses will trample upon his body after some time. Notwithstanding this he delivers a speech and a solid speech, too. In his speech there is eloquence and maturity. He does not betray any weakness or helplessness. As the number of his companions decreases his speech becomes more forceful and he begins speaking more clearly and more explicity. Has the entire human history seen an orator, whose manner of speech should not be affected by any development, who should not get worried in any circumstances and the flow of whose speech should not undergo any change? 

In his speech the Holy Imam said: "You accursed! Woe be to you! Have you gathered here to kill me and to earn disgrace for yourselves? 

" Are you not those people who had requested me earnestly' a month ago to come to your rescue and had said that you were not prepared to accept Yazid bin Muwaiyyah as Your ruler? I responded to your request sympathetically and came up to you. What ate you doing now?" 

Please pay attention to this point. It is a very strange sentence. The Holy Imam said: "Do you know which swords you are drawing against Husayn, son of Ali (P) and the best and most sincere soldier of Islam? These are the same swords which the Holy Prophet gave in your hands. You are trying to burn and destroy us. You are trying to burn and destroy us with the same fire which we had kindled to burn and reduce to ashes your and our enemy. 

The Holy Imam means to say: 'Yazid bin Mu'awiyyah who has now become the Caliph of you Muslims, is not your friend but your enemy. You have lost the competence to distinguish between your friend and your enemy and consequently you do not know siding with whom is in your interest and support to whom is injurious for you. All of you have joined hands against your friends in order to serve the interest of your enemies although they have never done justice to you nor can you expect it from them in future. 

On the day of Ashura he said in his sermon another important thing. It should not be forgotten that when Imam Husayn (P) was delivering his speech on the day of Ashura he was fully besieged by the blood- thirsty enemies and there was none there to support him except a few companions of his. In fact most of his companions had been martyred as a result of the severe attack in the morning and shooting of the arrows and those who remained were badly wounded. In these circumstances he addressed his enemies saying: 

By Allah even if Husayn bin Ali (P) had possessed no other attribute on account of which the free people might have loved him, his manner of reasoning in justification of his movement and rising would have been sufficient to acknowledge him as the chief of all those persons who will rise till the Day of Judgment to support Truth and justice and to suppress injustice. He said: "O people of Kufa! Hear me. I have studied the state of affairs of the society carefully and I understand what the matter really is. This illegitimate son of an illegitimate, Obaidullah ibne Ziad bin Abih, has cornered me in such a way that I have no alternative left except to do one of the two things: Either I should unsheathe the sword and start fighting or I should accept abjectness and humiliation." 

I (the speaker) may submit that the Holy Imam's saying that he should accept abjectness and humiliation does not mean only that he should accept humiliation for himself but it also means that he should open the path of humiliation, helplessness and weakness for the Ummah -the same Ummah which has been honoured and elevated by Allah and His Prophet. It is not, however, possible that Husayn bin Ali (P) should allow this honourable Ummah to be humiliated during the period of his Imamate. He says: "But you should know that my decision is final and irrevocable. I have chosen the path of fighting because we are not going to be humiliated. In other words the Muslim Ummah is far away from humiliation. Allah has made it honourable. That we should be humiliated is not liked either by Allah or by His Prophet or by the believers. It is not acceptable to us, who have been bought up in the pious laps of our mothers that we should open the door of abjectness, humiliation, despair and despondency for ourselves or for the Ummah." 

Here how wonderful is his reference to obedience to the nasty and mean people! The Holy Imam said: "The brave and dauntless persons who belong to me and who are arrayed with me would not like their own humiliation or that of the Ummah. They are not the people who would prefer submission and obedience to the nasty and mean persons, to martyrdom and self-sacrifice. 

When Ali bin Al-Husayn (P) (i.e. Ali Akbar (P) read rajaz (epic verses) on the day of Ashura he made the words of his father the title of his rajaz and said: "I am the son of Husayn bin Ali (P). We and the House of Allah are nearer to the Holy Prophet. I shall continue to pierce my spear into your bodies till it becomes crooked. I shall administer you a blow with my sword which will be severer than the blow of my father. This will be the blow of a Hashimi and an Arabian young man. By Allah, the son of a bastard cannot rule over us." 

I quoted some remarks and writings of Imam Husayn (P) that night and some have been quoted by me today. In the end I may mention that in one of the speeches delivered by the Holy Imam on the day of Ashura he also read some couplets. The reasons for the mission of Imam Husayn (P) have become more or less clear. He was perfectly sure of his success at every stage. He was sure that the sacrifices made by him and his companions would bear fruit. He quoted the verses of Farwah bin Museek Muradi. Farwah bin Museek was a distinguished companion of the Holy Prophet. These verses of his are very animating and meaningful. By reading these verses before the enemies, Imam Husayn (P) proved it definitely that it was he, who would be successful and his efforts would bear fruit: "If we defeat the enemy, it has been an old practice with us and we have always smashed the heads of our enemies. But if we are apparently defeated and are killed and they gain the so-called victory, even then the defeat will not fall to our share and we shall not be overcome. Whether we kill the enemy or are killed the victory will be ours in either case." 

We are not cowardly and chicken-hearted. We are chiefs of the brave in the world. If we are killed it will not be because we are cowardly, but it will be because the time of our martyrdom has come. 

This is what usually happens: Death attacks one at one time and another at another time. (i.e. if we are going to die today, our enemies will meet death tomorrow). 

Just as death has taken the past generations in its arms, it will, in the same way, take us and our companions in its arms. 
And then comes a wonderfully unique verse: 

If the Kings of the world had lived eternally we, too, would have lived eternally, because we are the Kings of the Kingdom of heaven. And if the noblemen and the most distinguished persons had got permanent life, we would have got it earlier than everyone else. 

In short Imam Husayn (P) was fully satisfied with the result at every stage. In the end I wish to draw your attention to another point. It is possible that, from what I have said or what has been said elsewhere, some persons may draw the conclusion that the rising of Imam Husayn (P) and his movement were the only sacred "and armed campaign in Islam and there is no possibility of a similar effort being made till the Day of Judgement. However, that is not the correct position. Examples of movements similar to that of Imam Husayn (P) are found before and after the Holy Imam and will continue to be found in future. As I have said the sacred personality of Imam Husayn (P) is the central point of the Islamic movements. 
His rising confirmed the earlier movements and set an example for future. 

If someone explains the rising of Imam Husayn (P) by saying that his rising has absolved the Muslim Ummah from the obligation for every movement and effort and now only in his ninth generation Imam Mahdi (P) will come one day and start such a movement and the responsibility of all other Muslims of the world in the behalf has ended, it is not correct. Such a thinking is in fact totally opposed to his aim and object. 

I said in the eighth night that during the second half of the caliphate of Uthman the Muslims had deviated a great deal from the right path and the rising also commenced at that time. 

I had given my speech the title: "The causes which obliged Imam Husayn (P) to rise" or "The factors responsible for the rising of Imam Husayn (P)". It will, therefore, be inappropriate if I do not explain that even before Imam Husayn (P) some great personalities had been making efforts with the same object for which Imam Husayn (P) rose and started their movement and these efforts continued even after Imam Husayn (P). If people do not or cannot understand the value of such efforts, it is due to their ignorance. 

Abu Zar Ghiffari possessed an extraordinary personality. When he felt that the system of government had deviated from the right path, he, notwithstanding his old age, rose to oppose it. He opposed it severely and criticised the government with harsh words. He made speeches, quoted the Hadith of the Holy Prophet and criticized Uthman in his presence as well as in his absence in the bazars and streets. It can be said that from the historical point of view Abu Zar, a great Companion of the Holy Prophet, was the pioneer of all these efforts and movements. Consequently he was exiled and suffered hardships and at last died in a state of helplessness at a place called 'Rabzah', away from his homeland. 

When, after Abu Zar and Uthman, the Commander of the Faithful Ali (P) was martyred and Mu'awiyyah was at the helm of affairs, the people resorted to their former practice. When Abu Zar passed away Hajar bin Addi Kindi took his place. While Abu Zar was alone, Hajar had thirteen other companions also from amongst the distinguished Muslims who raised their voice against the malpractices of Mu'awiyyah. These fourteen men were chained and taken from Iraq to Syria. There two of them were let off and the remaining twelve were sent to a place named 'Marj-al-Azra Mami'. There six of them were executed, four were released on the recommendation of some persons and the remaining two requested that they might be taken before Mu'awiyyah so that they might repent in a regular manner. There one of them apologized and was released, but the other began criticising Mu'awiyyah to his face more severely. Mu'awiyyah said: "This man is' the worst of them all. Why has he been brought here?" Simultaneously he wrote a letter to Ziad bin Abih, the governor of Iraq. This man was named Abdur Rahman bin Hasan Anzi Shaheed. Mu'awiyyah sent him to Iraq and wrote to Ziad: "Kill this man in the worst manner." When Mu'awiyyah's order reached Ziad he said to Abdur Rahman: "The Commander of the Faithful has ordered me to kill you in the worst manner. In my opinion the worst manner of killing is that I should dig a grave and bury you alive. " This magnanimous person is reckoned to be one of the great martyrs of Islam. He was a companion of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (P). His only offence was that he used to criticize the disgraceful state of affairs which was prevailing at that time. A grave was, therefore, dug and he was buried alive. This is not a concoction and this story can be seen in 'Kamil' of Ibne Athir and other authentic books. 

When the time of Imam Husayn (P) came he also began acting according to the old practice. In the end, however, his effort adopted a purely unusual direction, which was proper according to the conditions prevailing during his time and was also worthy of him. Hence, he himself and his near ones were martyred and from many points of view his rising acquired a central position among all the previous and later sacred movements in the history of Islam. 

I may also say that when I speak about rising, effort and movement from this pulpit and in this very respectable Majlis, it does not mean creation of any disturbance or disorder. 011 the other hand it is to explain those sacred movements which were conducted in the history of Islam by worthy and respectable personalities for the betterment of the Muslims and improvement of their conditions. Imam Husayn (P) did not close and seal the book of rising and movement. 

As you are aware just as Imam Husayn (P) rose against Yazid, his grandson Zayd bin Ali (P) rose against Omayyad ruler, Hisham bin Abdul Malik. Zayd bin Ali (P) was killed. His body was sent to the gallows His supporters buried his dead body at night and submerged his grave in water, but the spies informed the enemy about it. His body was, therefore, exhumed on the following day, stripped of its clothings and hanged at the place where the garbage of the city of Kufa was dumped. The body of Zayd bin Ali (P) remained hanged on the gallows for four years. Those people thought that Hisham would stand to gain if the body of Zayd bin Mi (P) remained hanged and the descendants of the Holy Prophet would sustain loss. However, history gave the final judgment that this entire matter was beneficial only for Truth and the Truthful people. 

After Zayd bin Ali (P) his son Yahya bin Zayd rose and his dead body remained suspended on the gallows for seven years. 

There were various standard-bearers of the risings of the history of Islam which were spread over a long period during the Omayyad and Abbasid Caliphates. The first rising was staged by Abu Zar. On one day the standard-bearer was Hajar bin Addi; on another day it was Husayn bin Ali (P) who became the centre of all sacred movements; on another day it was Zayd bin Ali (P); on another day it was Yahya bin Zayd and on another day it was Husayn bin Ali bin al Hasan bin al-Hasan bin Ali (P) bin Abi Talib (P), who was the leader of the martyrs of "Fakh " Similarly on one day the standard- bearer was Musa bin Jafar (P) and on other days there were others. If there is a person who does not wish to understand the importance and value of these movements but raises some legal objections also in some cases, it can only be said about him with regret that he is a nincompoop. 

Was the action and the rising of Zayd bin Ali (P) right or not? 
Was the rising of Yahya bin Zaid according to law or otherwise? It is sufficient to say in this regard that Imam Sadiq (P) declared the rising of Zaid bin Ali (P) to be in order and confirmed it. After his martyrdom Imam Sadiq (P) said: "My uncle Zaid bin Ali (P) adopted the same path as was adopted by the martyrs of Badr during the time of the Holy Prophet. Their object was the same. Zaid bin Ali (P)'s aim was the same as that of the martyrs of Badr. 

Now no ijtihad (decree) which is opposed to 'nass' i.e. explicit order (text) can be correct nor can ignorance about self-sacrifice and rising being necessary for a nation be in order. All that can be said about such persons is that they stand helpless on account of their ignorance. 

I have studied the history of Islam to some extent. As regards the history of other nations I have not studied it thoroughly and cannot, therefore, say anything with certainty. Generally speaking, however, there is no doubt about the fact that not only the Muslims but every other nation (like the Christians, the Jews and others) which exists on the face of the earth is alive only as a result of its efforts and dedicated movements. At the most it can be said that a special situation has arisen in the history of Islam. 

It will not be out of place to mention here another point. Although that point is not connected directly with my today's speech, it will be wrong to ignore it. 

That point is this: What is the reason that the tragedy of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (P) has acquired the central position among all the events, movements and armed campaigns of the history of Islam? N o other rising, movement and collective martyrdom has acquired that renown and importance which has been acquired by the event of Karbala. This tragedy is the greatest among all the tragedies of the history of Islam.

According to my counting more than eighty persons were martyred in the battle of Uhud. It was a very great tragedy. The bodies of the martyrs of Uhud were mutilated. Their noses, ears and lips were cut off. Their dead bodies were metamorphosed in such a way that the sisters could not recognize their brothers. In spite of this, however, the tragedy of Uhud cannot equal the tragedy of Karbala.

Another great tragedy was that under the orders of Mansur Dawaniqi sixteen persons from amongst the Hasani Syeds were imprisoned in the Hashimite Jail of Kufa. They died there one after the other but Mansur did not permit the dead body of any of them to be brought out till all of them breathed their last. The dead bodies of those who died remained under the roof of the jail which fell on the bodies of the sixteen martyrs -the descendants of the Holy Prophet. They were neither bathed nor shrouded nor buried. This tragedy cannot also equal the tragedy of Karbala. 

O Abu Abdullah! Your tragedy has no parallel in the history of mankind. This is a true and admitted fact. Certainly this is the position. But why is it so? In spite of the fact that the time for my speech has now come to an end I shall say at least in reply to this question that it is definite and certain that a very important cause of the superiority of the movement and rising of Imam Husain (P) was those events which took place immediately after his companions' martyrdom. On the one hand this rising became universally known by means of the prisoners belonging to Ahl-al-Bayt and on the other hand the killers of Imam Husayn (P) played an important role in making it so known. After the martyrdom of the Holy Imam (P) and the end of the campaign the enemies showed utmost meanness. They cut the bodies of the martyrs to pieces and looted their clothes. They ransacked the tents and set them on fire. They trampled the bodies of the martyrs with the hooves of the horses and raised their heads on spears. They treated the bereaved prisoners harshly and struck their dry lips with batons. These shameful acts commenced from Karbala and continued till their arrival in Syria. And Yazid took part in such heinous activities himself. However, wherever the prisoners belonging to Ahlay Bayt went, they talked about their own success and disgrace of the enemy with such dignity and seriousness as if nothing had happened. At the time when all the people considered them to be defeated and their enemies to be successful they made it known that ,in fact it was they who had been successful and victorious and nothing except disgrace had fallen to the lot of the boastful and shameless enemy. 

Speeches were delivered by Imam Zayn-al-Abideen (P) in the outskirts of Kufa and by Lady Zaynab (P) and Umme Kulsum (P) in the bazaars of the city and contrary to the assessments and expectations of the common people they predicted the decline of the Ommayyad government. 

On another occasion Zaynab Kubra (P) delivered a speech in the court of Yazid and accused him of heresy thrice in clear words. Imam Zayn-al-Abideen (P) delivered a sermon in Damascus where he introduced himself fully and created difficulties for Yazid. When Imam Abid (P) was in a bazaar of Damascus in the capacity of a prisoner Ibrahim bin Talha bin Obaidullah approached him and said to tease him: "O Ali bin al-Husayn (P)! Tell me who has won." The Holy Imam (P) said in reply: "When it is time for prayers pronounce Azan and say Iqamat. Then you will come to know who has won". i.e. although you belong to the family of Tayyam and are an enemy of Bani Hashim, unless you apostatize from Islam you will have to say in Azan and Iqamat: 'I certify that Muhammad (P) is the Prophet of Allah'. 'We and not others are the descendants of Muhammad (P). So long as Islam lasts the dignity of ours, the progeny of Muhammad (P), will remain established and cannot diminish. " 

I am sure that if Ibne Sa'ad and Ibne Ziad had, even as a measure of self-interest, behaved respectfully towards Imam Husayn (P) and after his martyrdom towards the Ahl-al-Bayt and if they had not prevented the burial of the martyrs and had sent the Ahl-al-Bayt from Karbala to Madina direct, and if the Caliph's court had not resorted to absurdities, and if the Ahl-al- Bayt had not been able to conduct effective propaganda in their own favour, the picture of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (P) and his magnanimous companions, which has emerged in the world now, would not have taken such a shape and their enemies would not have been humiliated and disgraced in the manner they have been.

 

Sermon And The Pulpit(1)


 

Ustaz Murtaza Mutahhari

I seek refuge in the Hearer and Omniscient Allah from the accursed Satan.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

The Beneficent (Allah) has taught the Qur'an (to Muhammad (P)). He created man and has taught him intelligible speech.

The subject of todays speech is Khutba and the Pulpit'. As Khutba' also means speech, the subject of this speech is "speech" i.e. it is its own subject. In the literary sense delivering a speech is called oration. The logicians have mentioned five kinds of speech which are called the 'Five Arts' One of these is oratory.

This division has been made by Aristotle. This is not the occasion to narrate the history of oratory or to discuss what has been said about the technical merits of oratory. Some logicians have mentioned it in detail. A voluminous book can be prepared only if we take into account the details given in Avicennas' book 'Shifa'. 

However, it is not proposed to discuss here these matters, because I wish that discussion should not take place only from the theoretical point of view. As the subject of our today's address is 'oration and the pulpit' and pulpit means speech on religious matters, our today's talk is about religious oratory and we are not concerned here with oratory in general and other kinds of speech. Today I wish to throw light on the relationship of oratory with Islam.

Oratory is connected with Islam in many ways. Firstly, oratory is an art and any art or craft can be used to strengthen a view or belief as well as to weaken it. As regards the difference between an art or a craft it is altogether a different matter. 

If you go to Masjid-i-Shah in Isfahan and look at the Dome of Sheikh Lutfullah, you will see how art, craft and artistry have assisted religion i.e. how religious feelings and artistic talent have helped each other and how a religious slogan has assumed the shape of art and craftsmanship. Calligraphy is also an art. Exquisite Quranic writings e.g. the one written by Baysanqar in the hall of Maqsurah-i-Mashhad go to show how art and skill can become the means of strengthening religious feelings. 

Oratory, too, is an art and a skill, and art and skill have their effect on the society and they are reckoned to be social factors; therefore, oratory is also one of the social factors. As a matter of fact no other art has as much effect on the society as oratory has. Hence, if you look at the art of oratory from this point of view, you will feel that this art, too, is related to it. 

Just as stone-cutters were born in Islam and stone-cutting flourished; glass-makers were born and glass-making flourished; floriculturists were born and mosaic and flower-work flourished, in the same way Islam nourished great orators in its lap. There were many amongst them who became known with the name of Khateeb (Orator). 

You will observe that in the books on 'Asma-i-Rijal' (Names of Men) and in their Translations there have been many persons who became known as 'Khateeb'. One of them was Khateeb Razi, and another was Khateeb Basri. There were others who were called Khateeb Damishqui, Khateeb Tabreezi and Khateeb Hasfaki. There were persons who became famous as 'Khateeb' during their life-time or afterwards. Fortunately even today some great religious orators are present among us. The late Syed Jamaluddin Mghani, besides possessing other qualities, was a great orator. He brought about a revolution in Egypt by means of his speeches. He made the people weep not on account of anything but on their own deplorable condition. Islam has brought up some great orators. It has a history of its own. I only wanted to make a reference to it, because it is not possible here to go into details. 

In any case oratory is also related to Islam in the same manner in which other arts are related. Islam has produced various kinds of artists and craftsmen and one group out of them consists of orators and poets. 


ROLE PLAYED BY ISLAM IN THE ADVANCEMENT OF ORATORY: 

The direct influence exercised by Islam on the progress and advancement of oratory is another aspect of the relationship between oratory and Islam. Islam not only influenced the art of oratory but also bestowed upon it a high position. Out of the arts which are associated with the language (i.e. poetry, writing and speaking) the Arabs were conspicuous in composing verses of highest merit. The Arabs are poets by nature. Before the advent of Islam also distinguished poets were present among them. The fact is that owing to their limited information they could express only limited ideas in their verses, but remaining confined to the ideas, which were within their reach, they wrote very good verses. In the field of oratory, however, the Arabs did not possess such excellence. Although we possess a large stock of verses pertaining to the Age of Ignorance, we come across very few specimens of their oratory. However, some of their specimens are available. As regards the third art, viz writing, no specimen is available. We do not have any book relating to the Age of Ignorance which may serve as an example of the method of writing of that age. 

Islam developed all these three arts. The meaning of the verses expanded. If the verses of the period of Islam are compared with those of the Age of Ignorance considerable difference will be found between them from the point of view of vastness of ideas. As regards the field of oratory Islam brought about a great revolution in it. It was Islam, by means of which composition and compilation of books started. 

There is a book named "Jamharut Khutba al-Arab". This compilation contains the orations of the Arabs relating to the Age of Ignorance and the period of Islam. If you glance at the orations of the Age of Ignorance, you will find that from the point of view of ideas they are very simple and unsophisticated. However, when you see the orations of the period of Islam you will find a sort of revolution. Out of the orations of the Age of Ignorance some sentences of Aktham bin Sayfi and of the renowned Arab orator named Qus bin Sa'adah Ayadi have been quoted, but you will observe that they are quite ordinary and unadorned. However, as soon as you enter the Islamic period and look at the sermons delivered by the Holy Prophet, you will come across a new manner of speech. In these sermons the ideas are different; various learnings are narrated; there is spirituality; there are social and moral problems and there is knowledge and wisdom, whereas in the orations of the Age of Ignorance no such things were present. Islam has developed all the three arts associated with the language. The Holy Qur'an itself is an excellent specimen of miraculous linguistics and eloquence and declares speech to be a blessing of the Almighty Allah: 

The Beneficent (Allah) has taught the Qur'an to Muhammad (P). He created man and taught him intelligible speech. 
The very first verses which were revealed to the Holy Prophet of Islam related to pen and speech. 

Muhammad (P)! Read in the name of your Lord who created (all things). He created man from a clot of blood. Recite! Your 
Lord is the most Honourable One, Who, by the pen taught man which he did not know. (Surah Alaq, 96: 1-4)

As a result of this education not only a revolution took place in the art of oratory but the art of writing also flourished. It was not without reason that the Muslims invented things related to language and rules about the science of eloquence and rhetorics. 

Furthermore, the Holy Prophet and the Commander of the Faithful are acknowledged to be the greatest orators of the world. This is not the occasion when I should quote some extracts from their speeches and compare them with the speeches made by the Arabs of the Age of Ignorance. 

The point on which I propose to speak today is that there is a very firm relationship between Islam and oratory and that relationship is that on a special occasion oratory has been made a part of faith. If you are asked as to which that occasion is can you tell it? Of course, there is an occasion when oratory also becomes obligatory like Prayers, Fasting, Haj, Zakat, Khums, etc. That occasion is Friday prayers. 

In Islam there is a weekly prayers which is called 'Friday prayers'. In Surah Jum'ah of the Holy Qur'an itself this prayers has been specially mentioned: 

"Believers! on Friday when the Call for prayer is made, try to attend prayers (Zikr -remembering Allah) and leave off all business. This would be better for you if only you knew it. " 

All the Sunni and Shiah exegetists agree that here 'zikr' means Friday prayers. 

What is Friday prayers? It is the noon prayers which is offered on Friday, but it is different from other prayers. Firstly noon prayers offered on all other days consists of four rak'ats but Friday prayers consists of two rak'ats only. As regards the reason for Friday prayers consisting of two rak'ats I shall mention it later. In any case there are only two rak'ats of -Friday prayers. The other thing is that it is obligatory to offer this prayers in congregation, but it is not obligatory to offer other prayers (i.e. dawn, noon, afternoon, evening and early night prayers) in congregation. The third thing is that when Friday prayers is offered at a place, it is obligatory for those living within a radius of two farsangs of that place to participate in the prayers, unless they are unable to do so on account of some valid reason. The fourth thing is that if Friday prayers is arranged at a particular place it is unlawful to arrange such prayers at another place which is situated within a radius of one farsang of the first place. There should be only one prayer. 

What a magnificent prayers it will be if it is offered in this manner. For example, if Friday prayers is arranged In Tehran at the place where we are gathered at present and people belonging to places up to Shamiran In the north and up to the city of Ray in the south and up to a distance of twelve kilo- meters in the east as well as in the west (because two legal farsangs are equal to twelve kilometers) participate in that prayers and Friday prayers IS not offered anywhere else up to a distance of six kilometers from here, you can very well imagine what a large gathering it will be. 

There are two rak'ats of this prayers instead of four because it has been said frequently in the Hadith and traditions and it is an established fact that in the Friday prayers which is offered in congregation, it is obligatory to deliver two sermons and these two sermons replace the other two rak'ats. 

It is the same thing which I said i.e. in the religion of Islam there is an occasion when speech or sermon is a part of faith and a part of prayers. 

The Commander of the Faithful Ali (P) has said that the sermon itself is prayers. So long as the Imam delivers the sermon and does not dismount the pulpit, t4e people should listen to him quietly as if they were in the state of offering prayers. However, there are some exceptions also. For example, it is not obligatory that one should sit facing the Qiblah while hearing the sermon or that the Imam should face the Qiblah while delivering it. Anyhow the two sermons which are obligatory on this occasion are in place of two rak'ats of the noon prayers. 

You will wonder at these Islamic orders, which you have not heard before or have heard very rarely and will ask as to what is the object of this Friday gathering and all its ceremonies. And you will wonder all the more when you learn that the main object of this gathering is hearing these sermons. You will realize from this how necessary and important these sermons are. They are so important that as soon as the- muezzin pronounces 'Takbir' it is necessary that every person, wherever he may be, and whatever he may be doing, should leave his work and hurry up for Friday prayers, and should first hear the two sermons and then offer two rak'ats of prayers. After this he is free. This has been mentioned by Allah in Surah Jum'ah in these words: 

Believers, on Friday when the call for prayers is made, try to attend prayers (remembering Allah) and leave off all business. This would be better for you if only you knew it. When the prayers ends, disperse through the land and seek the favour of Allah. 

I may also mention that as regards the noon prayers the Azan is pronounced in the first instance at noon and then prayers is offered, but on Friday, , if it is proposed to offer Friday prayers, the Azan is pronounced before noon. What should be done is that Azan should be pronounced at such a time that both the sermons should be completed before the sun begins to decline. 

As soon as the voice of the muezzin rises for Friday prayers buying and selling become unlawful. The Holy Qur'an says: "Leave off all business ". This is one of the indisputable orders of Islam. There is no difference of opinion between the Shiah and the Sunnis in this respect. If Friday prayers is offered at a place in the correct manner and Azan is pronounced, and a shopkeeper is sitting or standing near the weighing scales and a customer, for example, is purchasing cheese from him, and he (the shopkeeper) is cutting cheese with a knife, it is obligatory for both of them that as soon as they hear 'Allaho Akbar' they should suspend the transaction and hurry up to attend the prayers. i.e. hurry up to attend the prayers and leave off all business. 

At that time buying and selling is unlawful. It is obligatory for the people to go immediately and hear the sermon. 
In Friday prayers there are two sermons and not one. After delivering one sermon the Imam sits down and remains quiet for a while. Then he stands up again and delivers the second sermon. 

It has become known that the Friday sermons are so important that the main object of this gathering is to hear these sermons. As regards the contents of these sermons and speeches they should consist of the praise of Allah and thereafter greetings to the Holy Prophet and the Holy Imams, then preaching and some important matters which I shall explain later and then recitation of a Surah of the Holy Qur'an. This is the material prescribed by Islam for these sermons. 

In order to understand how important the presence of the people in this gathering is, please ponder on the tradition according to which it is obligatory that the officials of the Police, and Jail Departments should bring the prisoners also along with them and provide them the opportunity to participate in this weekly general gathering. They should bring them in, their custody and should keep an eye on them so that they may not run away. In other words it is necessary that a prisoner should also be brought out of jail so that he may offer Friday prayers along with the congregation and may then return to his place. 

Some formalities have also been prescribed for the Imam of Friday prayers. One of them is that he should wear a turban. It means that he should tie on his head a small scarf with two or three folds like the turban of the Holy Prophet. 

May Haji Rahim Arabab Isfahani live long.

It is possible that many of 'you may be knowing him. He is one of the greatest scholars of Jurisprudence, Usul, Philosophy and old Mathematics and has been the pupil of the late Jahangir Khan Qashqai. Like the late Jahangir Khan he also still wears a leather cap. In all other respects his dress is like that of other Ulema and his coat, cloak and appearance resemble theirs. The only difference is that he wears a leather cap. He has a firm faith in Friday prayers and himself leads Friday prayers in Isfahan. However, as the people do not take interest in Friday prayers it is not as splendid as it ought to be. When he comes for Friday prayers he wears a small turban i.e. a scarf with two or three folds. 

I remember that when I met him in Isfahan in 1339 a reference was made to him of Friday prayers. He said: "I don't know when the Shi'ah will absolve themselves from the accusation that they have abandoned Friday prayers. All Islamic sects criticize us and reproach us from the religious point of view saying that we have forsaken Friday prayers." He wished that a few million humans might be spent on the largest Masjid in Qum and Friday prayers might be offered there in a befitting manner. 

The other thing is that the Imam should be standing while delivering the sermon. The Holy Qur'an says: When they see some merchandise or some sport, they rush towards it and leave you alone standing. Say: "(Allah's rewards for good deeds) are better than merriment or merchandise; Allah IS the best Sustainer. " (Surah Jum'ah, 62: 11) 

i.e. the habits and customs of the Age of Ignorance still persist in untrained people. As soon as their eyes fall on merchandise or the sound of a drum reaches their ears they rush towards it and leave you alone standing. 

This verse refers to the following incident: One day while the Holy Prophet was delivering Friday sermon the sound of a drum was heard. This was a signal of the fact that merchandise had arrived. ,The people, fearing that the merchandise might be sold out, went away leaving the Holy Prophet standing. 

The point to which it is proposed to allude by narrating this event is that 'they left the Holy Prophet standing' which means that he was standing while delivering the sermon. It is said that the innovation of delivering the sermon in a sitting posture was introduced by Mu'awiyyah. 

As regards the question whether the Imam (i.e. one who leads the Friday congregational prayers) and Khateeb (who delivers the Friday sermon) should be one and the same person or it is possible that the Khateeb should be one person and the Imam should be another, there is a difference of opinion about it. The majority of the Ulema believe that the Khateeb and Imam should be the same person. In fact according to some Ulema the foremost condition for a person being Imam of Friday prayers is that he should be able to deliver a sermon. In many traditions this thing has been narrated under the title of 'Imam-i-Yakhtab: 

Another thing is that when the Imam stands up to deliver the Friday sermon he should lean on a sword, a spear or a staff and should deliver the sermon in that state. 

In Friday sermon it is necessary that, besides praising Allah, remembering the Holy Prophet and the Holy Imams and reciting a Surah of the Holy Quran, the Khateeb should exhort and admonish the Muslims and narrate things which are necessary for them. In order to know what subject should be narrated in a Friday sermon we are guided by a Hadith. 
In the first volume of Wasail-ush Shiah ahadith has been quoted with reference to "Ila-Iush-shara'e" and " 'Uyun-ul-Akhbar ul-Riza" among the Hadith which are related to Friday sermon. This Hadith has been quoted from Imam Riza (P) by Fazal bin Shazan Nishapuri, who is one of our distinguished and reliable narrators. It has been said in this Hadith. 

"The sermon has been prescribed for Friday, because Friday is a day of general gathering and on that day all persons should participate in this gathering. 

" Allah has prescribed this rule so that the chief of the community may preach before the people and invite them to obedience to Allah and warn them against the evil consequences of sins. 

"And he may also inform them as to what their spiritual and material interests demand and may tell them in what their welfare really lies. 

"Moreover, he (the Imam) should be able to tell the people what happens to the Muslims in the far off places." 
Different events take place in the world of Islam. Sometimes they are a sort of good news for the Muslims e.g. when Islam achieves a success or advancement. In that case it is proper that the people should be informed about it. And at other times the world of Islam meets a mishap. In that event also it is necessary that the Muslims should be aware of the condition of one another. For example they should know as to what happened to the Muslims in Palestine and at other places during the preceding week. 

As regards the question as to why two sermons should be delivered and why one sermon is not sufficient and whether there is any difference between the two sermons this Hadith provides a reply to this question as well. 

Two sermons have been made obligatory so that in one of them Allah is praised and His Reverence and Greatness is mentioned and in the other the needs of the people are narrated, and they are properly advised and admonished. However, as the author of 'Wasail-ush-Shiah' has said it is not always necessary.

Today I have said all this in connection with discussion about 'Sermon and the Pulpit' to make it known that in Islam there is an order according to which sermonizing is treated to be a part of faith. As regards the question as to why it is not current among. the Shiah it is a different matter. I cannot understand as to why the conditions of this blessed and important prayers have been considered to be so severe that practically it has been abandoned and almost abolished. 
I have to say one thing more and it concerns preaching. 

There is some difference between preaching and oration. Oration is an art and it has a technical aspect. Furthermore, the object of oration is to rouse the sentiments and feelings in one way or the other. However, the object of preaching is to pacify the passions and its apparent aspect is to restrain the people from doing evil deeds and to warn them against their consequences. If we admit that the object of oratory is absolutely to convince, then preaching is also a kind of oratory .In any case the word 'preaching' is used when we employ those sentences whose object is to warn or restrain and subdue lust and anger where necessary. Raghib Isfahani says: 

'Preaching means to restrain along with warning i.e. warning against the consequences.' Then he quotes the words of the famous linguist Khalid bin Ahmed who says: 

'Preaching' is to remind the people of good deeds in such a way that the heart may become mild. Hence preaching is that speech which brings about tenderness of heart. 

To restrain the people from selfishness, sensuality, usury and hypocrisy and to remind them of death, the Day of Judgment and the good or evil consequences of their deeds in this world and in the Hereafter is 'preaching'. 

As compared with this there are many kinds of oratory. Sometimes its object is to rouse the people and to prepare them for fighting. Sometimes its object is political. Sometimes it is employed to impress the court of law. Sometimes it is used for religious and moral purposes. Sometimes it is used to build up the morale of the soldiers in the battlefield. Sometimes it is meant to inform the people of their political and social rights. Sometimes it is resorted to invoke pity e.g. the speech made by a lawyer in the court for the reduction of the punishment of a criminal or in connection with a mercy petition. Similarly at times its object is to arouse the religious and moral sense of the people. In our society preaching is more current than oratory, although as I have just said there are many kinds of oratory. 

Perhaps it is because of this that our 'majalis' have mostly the aspect of preaching and the Friday prayers, the sermons whereof can have various aspects, has been abandoned by us. 

The thing which still exists among us in the name of 'majalis-i-wa'z ' (meetings for preaching) commemorates the majalis which were established by the sufis. It means that a regular majlis should be arranged; some persons should assemble to hear and a person should address them in the capacity of a regular preacher and admonisher. Apparently it is a creation of the sufis. It was a good thing and later others also held such majalis. For centuries we have had books which have been compiled with the name of 'majalis-i-wa'z' e.g. Majalis-i-Sa'di, Majalis-i-Rumi etc. This was a good thing and later others also followed them. The Shiah gave currency to the majalis of the mourning of Imam Husayn (P) reciting "marsiyah"(Elegy). This, too, was a very good thing to do. 

I think that as the 'majalis-i-wa'z' were originally started in imitation of the sufis and as sufiism is based on suppression of carnal desires and refining and purification of self, this subject is more in harmony with preaching. Although our Khateebs are not sufis, they also insist more on abstemiousness and abandonment of material desires. 

Nehj-al-Balagha, which is a compilation of some sermons of the Commander of the Faithful AIi (P), contains different kinds of sermons. In it there are impressive preachings as well as zealous sermons. Sheikh Muhammad Abdohoo, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, has written a brief commentary on Nehj-al Balagha and its preface. In his preface he writes thus: 

"When I began studying this book I came across different kinds of expressions in it, which impressed me very much. While studying this book I felt that after one scene another was coming: before my eyes. At times it seemed as if persons wearing hides of lions and leopards were ready to attack. I myself was so much impressed that I wished that I might go into the battle- field, shed the blood of the enemies and also receive wounds myself. Then I saw that the scene had changed. I was before a preacher who was making the hearts elegant and tender with his words and was bestowing purity and neatness on them. Then suddenly another scene appeared. I felt that a politician and a social reformer was speaking about the welfare of the people. At times it so seemed that an angel had stretched his hand from the celestial world and wanted to pull the people up to the heavens." 

It is a fact that sermons of different kinds are found in Nehj-al-Balagha. They contain preaching and admonition as well as narrations about the Unity of Allah and cognition. Amongst them there are political sermons as well as epic sermons. Here I quote, as a specimen, a small extract from an epic sermon. 

The armies of Imam Ali (P) and Mu'awiyyah came face to face with each other in the Battle of Siffin. Imam Ali (P) was informed that Mu'awiyyah's army had advanced and occupied the watercourse and had stopped supply of water to them. The soldiers, therefore, sought permission from the Holy Imam to start fighting at once so that they might occupy the channel once again. 

The Holy Imam said: "Wait. It is possible that we may be able to solve this problem by means of a dialogue." He then sent a letter to Mu'awiyyah through a messenger saying: "I have reached here but it is my earnest desire that instead of using arms we may resolve our differences by means of a dialogue. You have advanced and stopped the supply of water to my soldiers. It will be proper if you should order your men immediately to release water." Mu'awiyyah did not pay any heed to the matter. On the other hand he considered the occupation of the source of water supply to be a success for him. Amr bin 'As who was Mu'awiyyah's minister and counsellor said to him: "Issue orders (as desired by Ali (P" and do not cause him inconvenience. Ali (r) is not such a person that he would remain thirsty and would not use force. " But Mu'awiyyah did not agree with him. After the coming and going of messengers a number of times Imam Ali (P) was obliged to order an attack to be launched, so that Mu'awiyyah's soldiers might be pushed back. 

This was the time to rouse the enthusiasm and sense of honour of the soldiers. With only three or four sentences Imam Ali (P) created such a zeal and enthusiasm among his men that within a short time Mu'awiyyah's soldiers had to retreat. Whenever I read those sentences my body begins to tremble. Those sentences are as follows: 

"These people have initiated the fight and they want to attack you like a hungry beast falling on its prey." 

"Hence, there are only two ways: either you should endure abjectness, humiliation and retreat, or quench the thirst of your swords with the blood of these wretched devils, so that you may quench your own thirst with water." 

"The purpose of life lies in this that you should lay down your life for a righteous cause and should prevail over the enemy with success, and death lies in this that you live a disgraceful life." 
These sentences aroused the sense of honour of the soldiers of the Holy Imam's army, so much so that they pushed back Mu'awiyyah's men within a short time. 

Now I wish to present as specimen one or two sentences out of the sermons of Imam Ali's beloved son Imam Husayn (P). Nowadays Friday sermons are not current among us, but by the blessing of Imam Husayn (P) orations and pulpits continue to exist. Sermons are delivered in other countries also but in our country religious sermons are based on the mourning majalis of Husayn bin Ali (P). 

Abu Abdullah (P) followed in the footsteps of his magnanimous father in all matters, and his oratory, too, was of the same pattern. However, Abu Abdullah (P) did not get even as much time to address the people as became available to the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (P) during the period of his Caliphate. The brief opportunity which Abu Abdullah (P) could avail himself of in this behalf was during his journey from Mecca to Karbala and then during the eight days which he spent in Karbala. It was during this short period that his ability as an orator became conspicuously evident. The Holy Imam 's sermons which are available at present were mostly delivered during this period. The sermons of Imam Husayn (P) are an exact specimen of the sermons of his illustrious father. Their spirit is the same and the same meanings flow in them. Imam Ali (P) himself said: "The tongue is the tool of the spirit. If meanings do not descend on the tongue what can the tongue do? But if the meanings are flowing in the spirit the tongue cannot withhold them " . He also said: 

"We are the masters of speech. Its roots are connected with ourselves and its branches cast their shadows on our heads." 
The first sermon of Imam Husayn (P), which is a manifestation of perfect eloquence and is replete with, sagacity, bravery, high-mindedness and belief in the unseen, is the one which he delivered in Mecca before his departure for Karbala. In this sermon he announced his determination and incidentally declared: "Whoever has a feeling that I have a right cause before me can join me in my mission." 

"Death has marked off the descendants of Adam in the same manner in which the sign of a necklace appears on the neck of a young woman. I am eager to meet my ancestors just as Yaqub (P) was eager to meet his son, Prophet Yusuf (P). 
"Whoever is prepared to sacrifice his life for us and is ready to meet his Lord should accompany us. God willing I shall depart tomorrow morning." 

During the course of his journey he delivered a number of sermons, each one unique in its place. Here I want to remember his sermon on the night of Ashoora. As the day of ninth Moharram came to an end, a stern message was received from ibn-Zyad to finish up the matter. At that juncture Imam (P) sought respite for a night saying: " Allah knows that I want respite not to prolong my life for one more night, but for that I may pass the last night of my worldly life in prayers, and supplications. Allah knows very well how dearly I love these acts." 

A nights respite was reluctantly granted. Imam Husayn (P) gathered his companions in a tent where water-containers were generally kept. Thus he addressed the gathering: 'I praise Allah from the bottom of my heart, whether there is ease or difficulty I praise Allah under all circumstances. O Allah! I praise you! You bestowed upon us Quranic knowledge and insight into religious matters. " 

As he was speaking these words he was fully aware that he was surrounded by an army of blood-thirsty enemies, and that he along with his staunch companions would be mercilessly killed the next day. He knew very well that his wives and children would be taken prisoners by the ruthless enemies. But, his words reflect his poise and his confident spirit. Just ponder over his thankfulness to Allah! As he had knowledge that his difficulties were predestined he was carefree. He was expressing thankfulness to Allah and praising Him. He was declaring that whatever were the conditions, whether it was happiness or grief, whether the circumstances were favourable or adverse, he was always grateful to Allah. His fondness for Allah was the same when he was under the patronage of his grandfather the Holy Prophet (P) and it was the same when his body was writhing on the hot sands of Karbala and his lips were dry with extreme thirst. He continued: "There were days when the Prophet of Allah was kissing my lips and I thank Allah for that, and there will come a day when these very lips will be hit by a staff and I shall be thankful to Allah at that time also, because He has destined it to be so. My position is not only that of infinite patience; it is also that of extreme thankfulness to Allah. " 

The Imam then began to enumerate the graces of Allah one by one -the graces which are peerless. He expressed gratitude to Allah for the graces bestowed upon him and said: "I praise You O Allah that You graced my family with Prophet-hood and thus made it distinct. And, there is no position loftier and higher than prophethood! I praise You O Allah! that You taught us the exegesis of the Holy Quran and chose us for that knowledge. I praise you that you gave us insight into religious matters. If all the bounties of the world are put together, they can't compare with your grace that you chose us for the knowledge of the Holy Qur'an. Nothing can compete with the position that we have got through our physical and spiritual relationship with the Holy Prophet (P). And, all the bounties of the world combined cannot equal your grace that you have given me insight into the spirit and meaning of religion." 

After this the Imam turned to his family men and companions thanking them for their unflinching loyalty and adherence. He said: "I have never seen a body of persons more loyal and faithful than my companions, and a family more loving and kind than my own family. May Allah grant you better recompense." 

Let us now see the acme of renunciation! He permitted all his faithful followers and family men to leave him saying:' These fellows are bent upon killing me and they won't nurse grudge against any body if they succeed in killing me. You may take advantage of the darkness of night and go away." 

Saying this the Imam lowered his head so that anybody desiring to depart would not have to face humiliation. But his gallant companions were steadfast. Hazrat Abbas stood up and declared: "How can it be possible that we leave you amidst danger and mind our own safety? How can we face Allah if we do this? What answer may we produce before the Holy Prophet (P) if he enquires about you? Anyhow life is worthless if we lose you:' 

After that Muslim ibn Awsja rose and said: "Can I leave you? No by Allah no! I shall continue to fight your enemies till I thrust the edge of my lance into their hearts and as long as I can hold my sword in my hand. Even when I am left with no weapon in my hand I shall continue to hit your enemies with pebbles and thus discharge my duty regarding you and that I may rightfully claim before the Almighty that I haven't budged from the duty which the Holy Prophet (P) had reposed in me. Even if it be so that I get killed and my corpse be burnt and the ashes be blown in the wind, and this process is to be repeated seventy times I won't leave you alone. To sacrifice life for you is earning permanent glory forever." 

These were the talks that solaced the heart of Imam Husayn (P) and these were the true sentiments of his staunch followers! 

And there is no power and strength save with Allah the Most High, the Grand.

 

Sermon And The Pulpit(2)


 

Ustaz Murtaza Mutahhari

I seek refuge in the Hearer and Omniscient Allah from the accursed Satan.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

The Beneficent (Allah) has taught the Quran [to Muhammad (P)] He created man and has taught him intelligible speech. (Surah Rahman, 55:1-4) 

In the previous lecture I talked about oratory and its relationship with Islam and about the change which Islam brought about in it. In this connection I also mentioned an Islamic order according to which Islam has declared a special kind of oration to be an integral part of Islamic teachings. In our country oration and pulpit exist on account of the tragedy of Karbala, but, as I wanted to speak on different aspects of this subject, the discussion about Friday prayers was necessary in this regard. Furthermore, I talked about the ceremonies and rules which have been prescribed for Friday sermon. My object in doing so was that when I talked about 'Khutba' again I might propose that in these days also we should follow these orders. 

I had said that in our country oratory and pulpit owe their existence to the Great Martyrdom of Imam Husayn (P). It may be asked as to how it is so. It is so because, as all of us know, Imam Husayn (P) started a movement against the system which was current during his time and was martyred. That there are Hadith, which lay stress on mourning for him, cannot be denied. Mourning is one of the indisputable articles of faith of Shiah Islam. The" Holy Imams have recommended it very strongly that the memory of Ashura should be maintained. The poets have been advised to write verses on this subject and to move the feelings of the people. Shedding tears over the heart-rending tragedy of Ashura is considered to be a holy act. In many Hadith weeping and crying has been reckoned to be very virtuous. I do not intend to narrate those Hadith today but briefly say that it is not possible for any Shi'ah to deny that our religion has given these orders. 

Here it is necessary to discuss several questions: What was the philosophy of Imam Husayn's (P) rising? Why did he rise? What was the stimulus for his rising? Why have the Holy Imams made the recommendation that the memory of the rising of Imam Husayn (P) should be kept alive and should not be forgotten? After all what is the philosophy behind keeping the subject of Ashura alive? 

According to the belief of us Shi'ah none of the religious orders is devoid of philosophy. Hence the philosophy under-lying these two things should be known. When that philosophy becomes known, it will be realized as to what the importance of these orders is and how much we should profit from the orders relating to the tragedy of Karbala. 

Why did Imam Husayn (P) rise? This can be explained in three ways. Firstly, we may say that the rising of Imam Husayn (P) was an ordinary event the object of which was (God forbid) an effort to achieve personal gain. However, this is an explanation which cannot at all be accepted by any Muslim and it is also not supported by historical events. 

The second explanation which is usually given by the common people is that Imam Husayn (P) sacrificed his life and attained martyrdom for the salvation of this Ummah i.e. " in fact, his martyrdom is an atonement for the sins of the Ummah. This thinking is exactly like the belief coined by the Christians about Christ (P) who, they say, got himself crucified so that he might make atonement for the sins of his followers. In other words Imam Husayn (P) was martyred so that the sinners might escape the punishment which was to be awarded to them on the Day of Judgment and might, therefore, commit sins freely. This belief would mean that Imam Husayn (P) saw that although some Yazids, Ibne Ziads, Shimrs and Sinans were present in the world, their number was small. He there- fore, thought of doing something which might increase their number. Hence he set up a factory for manufacturing Yazids and Ibne Ziads so that they might form large numbers in the following days. This way of thinking and this explanation is extremely dangerous. No method can be more effective than this way of thinking to eliminate the effect of the movement of Imam Husayn (P), to fight against his aims and objects and to make ineffective and prove irrational the orders which we have received regarding mourning for him. Believe me, one of the reasons for our being reckless and remiss in our acts is that the movement of Imam Husayn (P) has been explained so wrongly and its result is before your eyes. I have said 'One of the reasons' because there are other reasons also which are connected with the national and racial aspect. 

Murjia were of the view that faith and belief are sufficient for salvation and good deeds are not necessary. If the belief is true the Almighty Allah will forgive every misdeed. Zayd bin Ali bin Al-Husayn (P) said about this sect: 

"Owing to the propaganda of these people with the hope that Allah will forgive sins, the sinners have become encouraged to commit any sin they like." This was the belief of Murjia' at that time and the belief of the Shi'ah was its opposite. However, nowadays the Shi'ah say what Murjia' used to say in olden times. At that time the belief of the Shi'ah was in accordance with this Qur'anic text: 

"Faith is necessary and good deeds are also necessary. " The third explanation is that the circumstances had taken such a turn in the world of Islam that Imam Husayn (P) considered it his duty to rise. He was of the view that it was necessary for him, rather it was his duty to rise for the safety of Islam. His difference and dispute with the caliph of the time was not as to who from between them should be the Caliph and whether the Holy Imam was entitled to hold the office which was held by Yazid. Their difference was basic and fundamental. If instead of Yazid another person had done the same deeds and adopted the same ways and manners, Imam Husayn (P) would have risen against him as he rose against Yazid whether the treatment meted out by him to the Holy Imam himself had been good or bad. Yazid and his supporters were prepared to render every assistance to Imam Husayn (P) provided that he did not interfere with what they did and confirmed their conduct. If the Holy Imam had asked for a territory e.g. if he had demanded that the rulership of the Hijaz and Yemen might be given to him or the administration of the provinces of Iraq and Khorasan might be placed at his disposal they would certainly have entrusted these territories to him. He would also have been given full control on these territories. He might have collected as much revenue as he liked and might have spent it ill the way he wished. It would have been at his discretion to send any money to the central government or not. In fact the battle of Imam Husayn (P) was the battle of principle and faith. It was the battle between truth and falsehood. And in this battle of truth and falsehood the position of Imam Husayn's (P) own person was secondary .He had made this thing clear to his companions in a few words. He uttered these words in a sermon which was most probably delivered when Hur and his companions had arrived and on this account it was a general address. He said: 

"Don't you see that truth is not being followed and false-hood is not being avoided. In the circumstances it is the duty of every believer to get ready for martyrdom." He did not say: 'It is the duty of the Imam to get ready for martyrdom'. He did not' also say: 'It .is the personal duty of Husayn (P) to get ready for martyrdom.' On the other hand he said: "It is the duty of every believer" i.e. in such circumstances a believer should prefer death to life. When truth is not being followed and there is no restraint on falsehood it becomes obligatory for a Muslim to rise and get ready to face martyrdom. 

Out of these explanations one is that which can be put forward only by an enemy of Imam Husayn (P). Another explanation is that which has been given by the Holy Imam himself i.e. he rose in the path of Allah, And another explanation is that which is offered by the ignorant friends of Imam Husayn (P). This explanation is more dangerous and misleading than the one given by the Holy Imam's enemies and is very much remote from his aim and object. 

Now the second part of the question is 'Why did the Holy Imams (P) recommend that meetings should be held to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (P)? Its reason is also the same as stated by me just now. Imam Husayn (P) did not embrace martyrdom to achieve any personal end or to atone for the sins of the Ummah, but laid down his life in the path of Allah and was martyred fighting against falsehood. Hence, the Holy Imams of Ahlul Bayt wished that the school of Imam Husayn 's (P) martyrdom might continue to exist and his movement might remain alive (The great leader Imam Ayatullah Khomeini has said: "To arrange a majlis of mourning for Imam Husayn (P) is a means of the existence of Islam. Those who oppose the majalis of the Doyen of the Martyrs are absolutely unaware of the reality of Islam. Mourning for Imam Husayn (P) has safeguarded Islam till the present day.") As the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (P) was a movement of campaign between truth and falsehood it is necessary that it should continue to exist forever. Otherwise it is immaterial for lmam Husayn (P) whether we weep for him or not and it does not also benefit us that we may only sit together and weep and then disperse. What the Holy Imams wanted was that the rising of Imam Husayn (P) should continue to exist for ever as a living monument and a beacon light, because it generates the love for truth and seeks truth and freedom. The lesson of this movement of freedom and independence and the campaign against aggression and despotism should continue to remain in our hearts all the time. 

The result of this order was that a revolution took place during the time of the Holy Imams (P) themselves, and the name of Imam Husayn (P) became a slogan of revolution against oppression. Many revolutionary poets made their appearance. Kumait Asadi was born. De'bol Khuza'i came into existence. Do you know who Kumait Asadi was and who De'bil Khuza'i was? They were rauza Khawans (narrators of the tragedies of Karbala) but not rauza Khawans like me. They were poets who composed elegies but not like Mohtashim Kashani. I wish to narrate before you some Arabic verses of Kumait Asadi, De'bil Kuza'i Ibn-al-Rumi and Abu Faras Hamadani so that you may compare them with the verses of Mohtashim which are praised abundantly by the people. However, there can be no comparison between them. The verses of these poets reflect the teachings of Imam Husayn (P). Only the verses of Kumait Asadi were more harmful for Bani Omayyah than an army. Who was this man? He was a poet who wrote elegies but was not one of those elegywriters who recite some doggerels, pocket some money in lieu of that and go away. When he composed verses he shook the world and made the court of the Caliph tremble. 

Abdullah bin Hasan bin. Ali (P), popularly known as Abdullah Mehz was impressed so much by the forceful verses of Kumait that he brought the title-deed of his piece of land and presented it to him. Kumait said: "It is not at all possible for me to accept it. I read elegies for the Doyen of the Martyrs and compose those verses to seek the pleasure of Allah. I do not compose verses to earn money." However, on Abdullah's insistence he had to agree and he accepted the title-deed. After a few days Kumait went to see Abdullah bin Hasan bin Ali (P) and said to him: "I have a request to make to you and hope that you will accept it. " Abdullah said: "I shall certainly accept it. Let me know what it is." Kumait said: "I shall tell you only after you have made a firm promise." Thereupon, Abdullah made the promise and possibly swore as well. As soon as he made the promise Kumait returned the title-deed to him and said that he could not accept it.

On another occasion Bani Hashim collected some money and presented it to him. He, however, flatly refused to accept the money and in spite of their best efforts they could not make him agree to take it.

This man suffered great hardships on account of his verses and because of reciting such elegies but he remained steadfast and firm. At last he was caught and taken to the house of Yusuf bin Umar Thaqfi, the governor of Kufa and he appointed eight men to torture him physically and mentally.

The last words which he uttered at the time of his death were: (O Lord! members of the Prophet's Household. O Lord! members of the Prophet's Household!).

You do know De'bil bin Ali Khuza'il He used to say: "I have been a nomad for the last fifty years."

How can it be possible to assess and evaluate the value and worth of the literary contributions made by those elegy writers who were educated and trained by the Holy Imams themselves? They only composed and recited elegies. They wrote elegies but there were no wailings and lamentations in their elegies. They composed epic elegies. Their panegyrics were impressive like the articles of a revolutionary thinker. Under the auspices of the Doyen of the Martyrs Imam Husayn (P) they criticized Bani Omayyah and Bani Abbas so severely that the latter had to suffer extremely on account of that.

You must have heard that Mutawakkil had ordered the grave of Imam Husayn (P) to be submerged in water and none was be allowed to approach it. He also ordered that if anyone went near the grave, his hand would be cut off and one who uttered the name of Husayn (P) would be awarded severe punishment. You must be thinking that Mutawakkil was suffering from some psychological ailment and it was for this reason that he nursed irrational and uncalled-for enmity against Imam Husayn (P) in his heart. However, the real position was different from this. As a result of the recommendation made by the Holy Imams of Ahlul Bayt for mourning the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (P) and the appearance of poets like Kumait and De'bil Khuza'i Imam Husayn's (P) name had caused such a reaction that his very name was instrumental in bringing about the causes of the decline of Mutawakkil's father. Mutawakkil could see very clearly that every poet wielded more power against him than an army and even after his martyrdom Imam Husayn (P) was as competent to frustrate his (Mutawakkil's) schemes as he was during his life. As the instructions and orders given by the Imams of Ahlul Bayt that the memory of Imam Husayn (P) should be kept alive had given his name the shape of a doctrine and belief against oppression, Mutawakkil, after due deliberations, decided to get this article of faith put to an end. He did not wish that the memory of Imam Husayn (P) should remain alive in any form. Otherwise, however, Mutawakkil was quite an intelligent person. He also pretended to be a pious man and did not also suffer from any complex in respect of Imam Husayn (P). But he could see that recital of elegies had assumed the form of an ideology which he could not afford to suppress at any cost. 

There are many other stories also. If they are compiled it will become known that so long as the poets who composed elegies for Imam Husayn (P) followed the teachings of the Holy lmams their role in the society remained laudable. If these things are understood and it is no doubt necessary to understand them, it will be possible to benefit properly from the mourning for Imam Husayn (P). 

Nevertheless I say that in spite of all their shortcomings the sentiments and feelings of the people for the Doyen of the Martyrs are sincere and pious even today of course. There are some persons whose intention is not bad but when they see that 'mourning' has been interpreted wrongly they say that it will be better if this practice is ended, because, according to them, some people weep and cry, because they have heard that sins are forgiven by doing so, and, if it is not so, they will not weep at all. However, this view is held owing to misunderstanding and the reality is not this. No one can be made to weep by offering a reward. If you do not believe in this, you may collect some parsons and ask them to weep for another person say for Shah Abbas, for half an hour and promise them one thousand tumans per head for doing so. Is it possible to do so? Weeping needs sentiments. So long as a person is not moved he cannot weep. A person can weep only when he is sad or his heart is touched. The sentiments of the people in respect of Imam Husayn (P) are in a way truly real. The people love Imam Husayn (P) sincerely and are devoted to him and shed tears for him from the bottom of their heart. Lots of tears are shed during the months of Moharram and Safar. It is not possible to weep without grief, love, feelings and sentiments. These sentiments are very precious but we have not so far profited from them as we should have. As regards the reason for our not profiting from the sentiments adequately it is a different matter. 

We have many things from which we do not profit. We have the river Karoon from which we have not benefited so far. Then can it be said that the river Karoon is of no use? We had underground deposits of oil which we did not exploit for centuries. There were and are thousands of mineral deposits in our country which we have not utilized so far. 

If it is desired that our country should be happy and prosperous, we should develop educationally and industrially and should proceed on the path of freedom and independence which is the best and the easiest way, and in my opinion the only way to achieve this object is that the true sentiments of the people regarding Imam Husayn (P) should be utilized. [This was the slogan which was raised to bring about Islamic revolution In Iran: Nuzhzat-e-ma Husayni-Rahbar-e-ma Khumayne. (Our movement is Husayni (P) and our leader is Khomeini)]. These sentiments are real and relate to a personality who really deserves them and who has presented a viewpoint which is lofty and great. 

Why should we not act according to the guidance provided by our religion and faith? It is a very good guidance which must be followed and benefit should be derived from it. 

In any case 'the oration and the pulpit' current amongst us is the result of the tragedy of Karbala and the emphatic recommendation made by the Holy Imams for mourning the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (P). It is the blessing of this mourning that intelligent and religious persons deliver speeches in the majalis. Now as the majalis are arranged in the name of Imam Husayn (P) and as the people gather together for his sake why should we not avail ourselves of this opportunity to derive another benefit and why should we not act incidentally on another principle? That principle is, that of ordering to do good and restraining from evil. Thus there will be two pulpits of Imam Husayn (P). One will be meant for reciting elegies and expression of sentiments in support of the oppressed and against the oppressor. This pulpit, if used properly, will produce all the great results mentioned by me earlier. As regards the second pulpit it will be that of 'ordering to do good and restraining from evil.' The system of preaching and guidance which is prevalent in our country and the 'ordering to do good and restraining from evil' which is done verbally is all due to the sacred name of Imam Husayn (P). This is a very appropriate method and a good custom. It is a very good thing that the pulpit of Imam Husayn (P) is used implicitly for 'ordering to do good and restraining from evil' and for imparting instructions in principles and secondary matters of faith to some extent, and some use is made of the real sentiments of the people in respect of Imam Husayn (P). 

Many people do not gather in the name of any other person as they do in the name of Imam Husayn (P). It is, therefore, a very good thing that such a system exists. Now as regards the question as to how it is acted upon it depends on the ability and competence of the speaker and on whether he can narrate the beliefs and the principles of faith, whether he can exhort and admonish the people, whether he can explain what is lawful and what is unlawful and whether he can inform the people about their religious and worldly interests. In any case, the people are prepared to hear the speaker on account of the blessings of Imam Husayn (P). Now it depends on the speaker whether or not he is able to narrate these facts. 

When the position is this, it is necessary that the matter should be given careful consideration and efforts should be made to reform the narration from both the points of view -from the point of view of reciting elegies as well 'as from the point of view of admonition and guidance. 

As regards elegies it is necessary for those who recite them that they should pay heed to the real spirit of the movement of Imam Husayn (P) and its object, and should keep in mind the real reason for the Imams having given orders and instructions in respect of mourning. As these instructions have not been given without reason they (the reciters of elegies) should inform the people about the object of the Karbala movement and the philosophy underlying mourning for Imam Husayn (P). This thing should reach the ears of the people not only once or twice or even hundreds of times but for ever. It is, therefore, necessary that the speakers themselves should be clear-sighted and well-informed. Their information should not be limited to a few commonplace 'Jang-namas' (Epic poems) and they should not be master pieces of self -styled orators. These people narrate many things after hearing them from one another. If they are asked as to where they learnt a particular thing from, they say: 'It was narrated by such and such great orator.' It means that it has not been seen in any book but is only hearsay. There are many funny incidents in this regard. If I had the requisite time at my disposal I would have narrated some of them before you and you would have learnt that when a person coins a lie how rapidly it spreads and how by passing from one person to another it eventually reaches from one city to another city and from one region to another region. It is necessary that historical events should be quoted only from reliable historical books and according to the credible reports of the historians. 

We have amongst us a historian named Dr. Ayati (the late Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Ayati, author of the book entitled 'Tarikh-i-Ashura published by the Islamic Seminary) who was fully conversant with the history of early Islam. I daresay that perhaps in the whole of Tehran, rather in the entire country, there is none else who is as conversant with the history of early Islam as he was. There is no other ,person who may possess as wide an information about that period of history as he did. He had thorough knowledge of all the history books and historical details relating to that period. For example, if you asked him something about the battle of Badr he could supply you detailed information about each person who participated in that battle. In fact in most cases he could also tell as to who the parents and the near relatives of an individual participating in the battle of Badr were. Whatever he says serves as an authority. However, it cannot be helped that you people of Tehran are not accustomed to hearing thil1gs based on research. His latest writing which has been published by the University relates to the history of Undlus (Spain) and its name, too, is Tarikh-i-Undlus.' In this book an account has been given of a tragedy of the history of Islam about which we Muslims and especially the Iranian have been most negligent. This book is worth reading and you must read it. 

In any case it was being said that the object of Imam Husayn's (P) rising and the philosophy behind mourning should be announced from the pulpits continuously, so that profit and object may be achieved for which Imam Zayn-al-Abideen (P), Imam Baqir (P), Imam Sadiq (P) and Imam Kazim (P) had been recommending mourning, and poets like Kumait and De'abil may appear and their elegies may produce the required results. We should not do any such thing as may cool down sentiments. On the other hand we should do those things which make the sentiments more intense and by which the love of the people for truth and hatred for falsehood increases. 

There has always been strife in the world between truth and falsehood and it will continue forever. Prophet Musa (P) and Pharaoh have always been in the world. Prophet Ibrahim (P) and Nimrud have always been in the world. Prophet Muhammad (P) and Abu Jehl have always been there. Imam Ali (P) and Mu'Awiyyah have always been in the world. Imam Husayn (P) and Yazid have always been there.

Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, the poet of the East, says: 
[Musa (P) and Pharaoh; and Shabbir (P) and Yazid are the two forces which appear in life].

It is not meant that people of the position of Prophet Ibrahim (P), Prophet Musa (P), Prophet Muhammad (P), Imam Ali (P) and Imam Husayn (P) have always been there. What is meant is that truth and falsehood have always been at war with each other. There have always been two paths before the society -one is that of truth and the other is that of falsehood. This is one aspect of 'majlis' and elegy, in which we participate. 

The other aspect is that of instruction and guidance and ordering to do good and restraining from evil. The question is: What should be done in this regard and what should be the method of action? I think we should act according to the method proposed for us in respect of Friday sermon and about which I quoted a hadith of Imam Riza (P) last night. This order of the Holy Imam (P) is very comprehensive. However, in our society Friday prayers is not generally offered so that this order may be followed in Friday sermons. [Praise be to Allah. After the end of the Satanic government of the Shah, matchless gatherings for Friday prayers take place in every city of Iran. Only in Tehran forty to fifty lakh persons offer Friday prayers at one place. In today's Iran this sentence of Imam Khomeini is seen written on the walls: "Friday prayer is not an ordinary prayer."] Hence it can be done in those sermons and speeches which are current amongst us by the blessings of Imam Husayn bin Ali (P). 

In the hadith of Imam Riza (P), the Eighth Imam, which I narrated last night the duties of a khateeb (preacher) have been divided into three parts. 

About the first part it has been said: Friday is the day on which all people gather together and a large gathering of the Muslims is formed. Islam wishes that on this occasion the leader of the Muslims should preach, invite people to obey Allah and warn them against sins. 

There is not a single person who may not stand in need 'of preaching and advice. It is possible that a person may not stand in need of receiving education from another, but there is none who may remain unaffected by any suggestions and pieces of advice. This is so because it is one thing to know something and it is another to be impressed by the instruction of a religious and pious preacher. It is said that Imam Ali (P) used to ask some one from amongst his companions to give him advice and he also said that hearing is more effective than knowing. 

It is necessary that the person who possesses the capability and competence to perform this task should always exhort and advise the people, should make them remember Allah, should not allow them to become oblivious of death and should warn them against the consequences of sin, should speak about the grave and the Day of Judgment, and should invite the attention of the people to Divine Justice. These are necessary things and the society can never do without them. In the past there have been some very good preachers amongst us and by the grace of Allah they are present even now. The more the competent and qualified preachers there are the better. This thing is necessary in connection with Khutba (oration) and the pulpit. 

The second part of the duties of a Khateeb is that &bout which Imam Riza (P) has said: 
"It is the duty of a Khateeb to inform the people of the things which are in their interest from the religious and worldly points of view and to tell them as to what they should do in the prevailing circumstances and what their religious and worldly interests demand." 

Evidently this is a very huge task and is more difficult than admonition, exhortation and general preaching. If a person is pious, righteous and sincere and if he knows a few sentences of preaching he can preach, and his preaching will also be useful to some extent. If a person pious, righteous and sincere, it' will be sufficient if he narrates a few sayings of the leaders of the faith. However, if a person wishes to narrate the large religious and worldly problems of the people and to inform them about all these things, it is a very difficult task. 

Two difficulties arise in this task. Firstly it needs vast information and secondly sincerity is very necessary so that the speaker may inform others clearly about what he considers to be in their religious and worldly interest. 
As regards information the preacher should have sufficient knowledge of the principles and bases of faith and should be aware of the spirit of Islamic teachings. He should also be competent to distinguish between the apparent and latent contents of Islamic teachings so that he may be able to understand the religious interests and to explain them. Only general religious information is not sufficient for this purpose. Furthermore, it is also necessary for him to understand the society and to know what is happening in the world and what the interests of the Islamic society demand in the present circumstances, so that he may be able to acquaint the people with the latest developments taking place in the world and the interests of the Islamic society. 

Unfortunately this aspect of our preaching is weak. There are many preachers, and other aspects of preaching are not weak or at least not very weak. However, this aspect is very weak and this is due to lack of study. What Imam Riza (P) has said in this behalf is very valuable. He said that the people should be made aware of their religious and worldly interests. A person who has been concerned with only a few books pertaining to a particular branch of knowledge (e.g. Jurisprudence, literature or philosophy) and who has spent his life in a corner of the school, cannot understand what the condition of the society is and what its needs are. A person cannot keep an eye on the interests of the society while sitting in a corner of the school. It is also necessary to possess knowledge of the changing conditions of the world. A very sharp perception is necessary to assess what is going to happen in future and how the society should deal with it to escape any danger. It is not possible to lead or guide without possessing foresight. 

What does guidance mean? Guidance means to show the right path. When a caravan is going to a destination its members ask some one: Which is the way towards such and such place? And he replies: "Go this way. " This is guidance. Who can be the guide of the caravan? Only that person, who knows on which path the caravan is and where it is going, can be a guide. The society, too, is like a caravan which "is always in motion. Whether we like it or not, this caravan moves on. We should know in which direction this caravan should be taken. 

For example, suppose that a motor car driver is driving a car. In this condition the steering wheel should be in his hands. At some place he has to stop the car and at another place he has to increase its speed. At some place he has to turn the steering wheel and at another place he has to change the gear Or to apply the brakes. All these things are necessary for driving the car properly. Same is the case with the society .All such things are to be done to make it proceed in the right direction. At times its direction is to be changed. At times its speed is to be increased. And at times it is to be brought to a standstill. Everything is to be done at the appropriate time. This is what is called 'understanding the interest of society.' A person who does not understand this thing can neither become the guide of the society nor can he talk about its interest. 

We can become the guides and leaders of the society only when we understand all these things and know when a particular thing is to be done -where a brake should be applied to the society and where its direction should be changed. The society continues to proceed. There are turns and curves on the way. At times social turnings appear and the society reaches a place where it has to turn very carefully. Our society, too, is now faced with such conditions. A new civilization is emerging and new thoughts and ideas are occurring. There're obstacles in our way and we have to walk very carefully so that we may pass every turning easily and without facing any danger The steering should be turned very slowly so that no dangerous situation should arise. There is so to say, a wall or barrier before us. We have to proceed on our way escaping this wall. It is not possible to walk on with closed eyes as we walked before. Previously there was no obstacle but now there is an obstacle. The river has come. We have reached the pass of the mountain. In any case it is for the leader of the society to decide after careful deliberation as to where the society has to turn and which new path it has to adopt to reach the destination. Similarly we should know where to increase the speed. Now a days the world has become a racecourse. All are endeavouring to go ahead of others and to win the race. Hence it is necessary to increase the speed. Now a days there is a race of science and industry. In the circumstances it is necessary that the society should be brought in motion so that it may not lag behind in the race. All these things show that mere criticism and raising objections cannot be called guidance.

One day, while speaking to some students in Madresa-i-Marvi on the subject I said: Being the guide of the nation does not mean that we should make prohibiting the people our profession. Whenever there is some thing we may say: 'Don't do that. Don't do this' and thus subject the people to difficulties. Sometimes we should also encourage the people and prepare them to do work. I gave this very example of motor car and said: Like the motor car driver we should at times increase the speed, and at times turn the steering wheel and at times apply the brakes, and at times turn the bright light. Every occasion has its own exigencies. Then I said by way of jest: We should not always be Mr. Brake so that we may apply brake everywhere. Only applying the brake is not enough. At' times we should become Mr. Steering and Mr. Gear also. Upon this one of the students said: We are nothing but only a reverse gear. 

In any case understanding different situations necessitates vast knowledge and abundant information. One should try to find out where the fortification is. The fortification should be occupied. Whatever opportunity becomes available should be availed of. The Holy Prophet has said; 

The breeze of Allah's blessing blows occasionally. Allah's blessing is like the zephyr about which it is not known as to when it will come. Remain alert so that whenever that fragrant air comes you may benefit from it. A good and proper opportunity is like a wave of transient air which comes and passes away. If it escapes from one's hand, it cannot be caught. Woe be to us, for we lose opportunities. 

The materialists in our country and those misled persons who have put the label of religion on their creed are very clever. They go on grabbing one social post after another and one fortification after another from our hands and go on occupying sensitive centres and thus achieve their ends. On the other hand we do nothing but only say: "Don't do this, don't do that, apply the brake" and are very happy and satisfied with this achievement. 

The statement of Imam Riza (P) means that the people should be informed about their religious and worldly interests. 
As I have already said there are two conditions for this viz. Knowledge and sincerity. Knowledge is required for faith as well as for the world. The preacher should be acquainted with faith and should also be aware of the present conditions and the social events, changes and present inclinations in the modern world. 

"Unless you know the way how can you guide?"

Now as regards sincerity, the late Haji Noori has written a book entitled "Lulu-wal-Marjan'. I heard the name of this book previously but read it only this year. This book is about the recitation of elegies and the reciters of elegies and has nothing to do with preaching and oratory or with preachers and Khateebs. Haji Noori has mentioned two conditions for reciting an elegy viz sincerity and truth and has discussed both these points very ably. Truly speaking I have liked this book very much and as such my regard for Haji Noori has increased. He was a traditionalist and a very pious man. He had a profound knowledge of religious law. He was the teacher of the late Haji Sheikh Abbas Qummi. Sheikh Abbas and many others have admitted that in the matter of following religious law they have not attained the position which was occupied by their teacher. I had read the important books written by Haji Noori and was devoted to him. To tell the truth, however, my devotion to him increased further after reading this small book. 

In the preface of this book he mentions the name of an Indian scholar with great respect and says: "That gentleman wrote a letter to me wherein he complained about the condition of majlis and pulpit in India and said that the reciters of elegies there mostly related false stories." He adds that the Indian scholar requested him to write a book in this behalf so that the falsehood of these people might be forestalled. Haji Noori says further: "Perhaps the Indian scholar thought that it was only in India that the reciters of elegies told false stories and such a thing must not be happening in Iran and Iraq and only true and reliable traditions must have been recited there. He is not aware that the centre of the publication of falsehood is here and it is from here that false stories reach India." Then Haji Noori says: The entire fault in this regard lies with the Ulema who do not criticize and raise objections. If they had not been so careless and had kept an eye on the truth and falsehood of these people and had restrained them from narrating lies, the state of affairs would not have been so bad; these people would not have become so bold and dauntless, and would not have published such plain falsehoods; the true lmamiyyah religion would not have become a butt of ridicule to such an extent and the majalis would not have been so dull and unblessed. "

In any case it is a very nice book on the particular subject and I wonder why it has not acquired that popularity which it deserves. Haji Noori has mentioned two conditions for composing and reciting elegies viz. sincerity and truth and has discussed both of them admirably. Especially as regards different kinds of truth and falsehood he has discussed them in detail which shows how well conversant he is with the traditions and Hadith. I have not seen such a detailed discussion on this subject anywhere else. 

Discussing sincerity (lkhlas) he has spoken about narrating the tragic events (of Karbala) on remuneration. Sincerity means that an act should be performed to seek the pleasure of Allah and there should be no other motive. 

There are many kinds of acts which are performed for purposes other than the pleasure of Allah. One of them is earning money as mentioned above. There are other kinds also which I would like to mention. In my view they are more important and much more dangerous than taking wages and remuneration. 

One kind of such acts is that some person, after occupying the chair of oratory or the pulpit of Imam Husayn (P) instead of preaching religion, assumes the role of a broker of some one and makes the pulpit the means of propaganda for certain personalities. Unfortunately this thing is present in our society and the pulpits are misused. It is immaterial whether the personality for whom the speaker is acting as an agent is a political personality or a spiritual personality or some one else, and similarly whether the person who is acting as an agent is the organiser of the majlis or the person who leads prayers or a person holding a higher position than the leader of the prayers. 

Such acts lower the position and dignity of the pulpit. Evidently when a person performs an act he also coins some explanation for it. However, there is no doubt about it that one of the things which have deprived the pulpit of its dignity is this very acting by the orators as agents. For this reason the pulpit has become the chair of the agent and it is necessary to purify it of this pollution. 

There is one thing more and it is that, if it is proposed to narrate. the religious and worldly interests according to the saying of the Eighth Holy Imam cited above, it should be remembered that talking about what is expedient is one thing and saying interesting things is another. Talking about expedient things does not mean that we should say what is liked by the people and that they should applaud us. 

Perhaps you are aware as to why the people were opposed to the Prophets of their times. Why did so many people oppose every Prophet, who was sent to this world? Why did the number of the followers of the Prophets remain less during their own time? There is a special reason for it, and it is that the Prophets campaigned against the weaknesses and shortcomings of the people whereas we try to take advantage of the weaknesses of others. They (the Prophets) wanted to correct the weaknesses and shortcomings of the people whereas we want to take undue advantage of their weakness and shortcomings. We do not talk about their benefit but want to please the organiser of the majlis and the audience. We do not speak according to their interest but speak according to their inclinations. We know that such and such story is false and will mislead the people, but we narrate it to please them. 

For example we know that the following story is a mere concoction and the creation of the imagination of the story - tellers, still we narrate it to please the audience. 

The story:- 
There was a Christian who was very sinful and was immersed in .all moral and sensual defects. It so happened that on one occasion he joined the pilgrims of Karbala, When they reached the gate of the city all others dismounted and proceeded for Ziarat but the Chirstian, being a non-Muslim, stopped outside the gate, lay down on his luggage and went to sleep. The caravans of the pilgrims continued to pass by and the dust raised by them settled on the body of the Christian. The Christian dreamt that it was the Day of Judgment and the people came in groups and obtained certificate of salvation from Imam Husayn (P). The angels came and introduced each group saying: ' These people used to weep. These people used to beat their breasts. These people used to mourn with chains. These people used to distribute offerings in the majalis. These people used to set up sabils etc. etc." 

Imam Husayn (P) gave certificates of salvation to all the groups and none was left before the angels. The Holy Imam (P), however, said to them: 'One man is still left. You have not brought him before me.' The angels said: 'Now none is left. We angels cannot commit a mistake. We have complete record with us.' The Holy Imam (P), however, -said: 'You are certainly mistaken. A Christian was sleeping outside the gate of the city. When the caravans of the pilgrims passed by him their dust settled on his clothes. Any person, on whose body or clothes this dust settles, cannot go to Hell. Hence, a certificate of salvation should also be given to that Christian. ' There are similar other stories as well. 

As I have already said all this amounts to taking undue advantage of the ignorance and weaknesses of the people and increasing their deviation and baseless pride. The Prophets did not do this. They used to fight against the weaknesses of the people. They took their interests into consideration but not their inclinations and their pleasures. It was for this reason that only a small number of persons became devoted to them during their times. 

In short two things are necessary to carry out the order: of the Holy Imam Riza (P) -one of them is knowledge and information and the other is sincerity. 

The necessary information too is of two kinds: Firstly complete information about religion and secondly acquaintance with the conditions and social events of the world. In the case of sincerity also I have invited attention to two things which we need at present: Firstly, the pulpit should not be allowed to become the chair of agency and secondly, the weaknesses of the society should be combated and undue profit should not be derived from them. 

The third part of the hadith of Imam Riza (P) was this: 
"The Khateeb should inform the people of the news received from the far-off places, inhabited by the Muslims, about the good or bad events taking place there." 

It is the duty of the Khateeb to inform the people about the events, faced by the Islamic society at far off places, of which they are not aware. In short he should narrate the internal and foreign affairs. Are you aware of what is happening to the Muslims in the world? Are you aware of the foreign policy of the world of Islam? The Khateeb should inform the people about all these things. 

Just take the example of the tragedy which has taken place .in Algeria. [This lecture was delivered when the Algerian war 'of independence was going on.] Our Khateebs should communicate the latest news about this tragedy to the people. It should not be that the Khateebs either remain absolutely quiet or if they do say something, it should be at the time when the news has spread through- out the world or they may repeat only those things which are published in the newspapers every day. They should send their special correspondent to Algeria to obtain the latest news himself or at least obtain the latest news from the news agencies. It should be remembered that the French Secret Service is like Yazid's amly. When the atrocities committed by Yazid's army are narrated, why should their atrocities (i.e. of the French Secret Service) not be narrated? What is the difference between these two? They, too, are not in any way behind them in the matter of villainy. They have also not left anything undone. They have not spared even the women and children. They have burnt the books and libraries, ruined the populated areas, destroyed the farms and have been guilty of genocide [The same atrocities are being committed today by Israel in the Sabrah and Shatila camps of the Palestinians and the same thing is being done by the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The American imperialism is also committing similar atrocities in different parts of the world.]. They are also performing the same acts as have been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an about some people: As soon as they leave you, they quickly commit evil in the land, destroying the farms and the people. (Surah Baqarah, verse 205)

The martyrdom of Imam Husayn (P), whose memory must be kept alive by us, is in fact a warning for us, so that we should see as to what calamity befell Islam on that occasion. Keeping the memory of this tragedy alive means that we should remain alert lest Islam should be faced with another similar calamity. On the contrary, however, we have not learnt any such lesson. Calamities much greater than the tragedy of Algeria befell Islam but all of us remained quiet and did not at all stir. 

Sometime back I had a talk with a great scholar, who is also a Mujtahid of great following, about the Tragedy of Undlus. During our conversation I said to him: Five hundred years ago a great tragedy befell Islam and the Muslims (This tragedy ended in 1498 A.D.). They lost a great centre of Islamic Civilization. Most of the Muslims were either killed or burnt alive. At one place the Christians burnt three thousand persons alive. Out of two lakh Muslims who wanted to migrate from the country (the Christians themselves had permitted them to leave) one lakh were killed on the way. Gustav Loubon (the famous French historian of the 17th Century) who was himself a Christian says: "The horrible sufferings to which the Christians subjected the Muslims in Spain have no parallel in the world history." Such great cruelties were committed but you will see that in the books written by the Iranians from that time till today, whether in Arabic or in Persian, not even one person has mentioned the calamity which befell Islam, not to speak of expression of sorrow or sympathy with the Muslims of Spain. There was none who might have informed the people about this tragic event. Apparently the first book on the history of Undlus written in Iran is the one written recently by Dr. Ayati. It has been published by the University. 

It is necessary that such events be narrated from the pulpits and the people may be informed about them. Do you know even now as to what hardships are being suffered by our Muslim brethren living in the cities which were previously a part of Iran but have since been merged in communist countries. Do you know the present condition of the Muslims of Eastern Turkey? Do you know the condition of the Muslims in Kashmir? Do you know anything about the Palestinian refugees? Do you know what a great danger Israel is for the Muslim world today? 

At present the world of Islam is faced with great dangers. Notwithstanding its importance the Algerian problem is of a local nature. However, the nature of two other dangers has assumed unusual importance in the foreign policy of the Islamic world. One of these two dangers is communism and the other is Zionism. [Communism is controlled by Russia and Zionism is supported by USA.] One of them is explicit blasphemy and the other is the latent one. Both of them have spread a network of spying in all Muslim countries. Only Allah knows how many millions of dollars are spent by them on their mischievous activities. Both of them are bent upon cutting the Jugular vein of Islam. You should be vigilant and fully cautious against these dangers. You often hear that such and such Arab country is not on good terms with such and such Arab country, or the relations between Syria and Egypt are strained, or Jordan does not have good relations with Syria, or the conditions in Saudi Arabia are not good. You should know that Israel has its hand in all these disputes. 

It is necessary to warn the people against this danger. But who should inform them? Should it be government? Well, government is not in a position to perform its own duties. Should they be the political parties? No such thing is included in the constitution of the political parties. It is the duty of the Khateebs to inform the people about this danger. They should perform their duty, because they are considered to be the spokesmen of Islam.

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