Impacts of Karbala on the Vigilance of Muslims
Unlike a hasty approach to the event of Karbala which may reflect the idea that the revolution of Imam Husain was unfulfilled and it was an unsuccessful struggle, when we carefully study the historical events after the tragedy of Karbala we will, no doubt, come to the conclusion that the revolution of Imam Husain was not only successful in its own nature, but was also the major cause of all the revolutionary movements which took place after Karbala. In fact, Karbala, in the history of Islam should be regarded as a turning point in the reforming of Muslims. It was only after the tragedy of Karbala that Muslims were encouraged to revolt against all tyrannical regimes, especially the followers of Ahlul-Bait who found their ideal role model. 'When the Master of the youth of Paradise was willing to sacrifice his life and shed his blood to reform the corrupted society, of course my blood is not more respected than his'. Such medicine was injected into the semi-dead body of the whole Islamic Ummah by the revolution of Imam Husain. As a result, all salvation movements, initiated one after the other, right after the tragedy of Karbala were, and still are, inspired by the great revolution of Imam Husain (a.s.).
To this end, Karbala is the luminous torch of human salvation which is lighting forever the high peak of Islamic history to awaken all people throughout the ages.
The difference between Jesus & Imam Husain
Imam Husain and Jesus Christ have something in common. Both were reformers, and according to Christian belief, both were martyred. However, there is a main point which makes Imam Husain different from the Jesus of present Christianity, i.e. the martyrdom of Jesus in Christianity is a personal issue. Jesus, in Christian belief, has been crucified to save his believers. There is no more responsibility on his followers. Whereas, our Imam Husain was martyred to awaken people, and his mission was not a personal mission. His role in the history of mankind is as a role model that must be followed, whereas the role of Jesus, according to Christianity, was to descend to Earth as an embodiment of God, the Father, to be sacrificed for the guaranteed salvation of his believers. Jesus, according to this doctrine, is the personification of God and a ransom and hence
his embodiment is impossible to be followed.
A Glance at some of the major revolutionary movements after Ashoora
There is no doubt that the martyrdom of Imam Husain had a great impact on the then Islamic Ummah. It was such a great catastrophe that shocked the whole Ummah, to the extent that it not only awakened many Muslims, but some of the Bani-Omayyah were also impressed by the tragedy of Karbala. Historians such as Dr. Hassan Ibrahim in his book 'The History of Islam', Kharbotali in ' The History of Iraq', and Philip Hatti in 'The History of Arabs' have all asserted that the event of Ashoora increased drastically the number of Shiites, to the extent that as P. Hatti says: "We may be able to claim that Shiite movements initiated from the tenth of Moharam 61 A.H."
Nicolson, the famous orientalist holds in his book ' The Political History of Islam' that "the tragedy of Karbala made Bani-Omayyah feel regretful for what they had done, for it united the Shiites to revenge unanimously, especially in areas such as Iraq and Iran, where the new Muslims would like to be rid of the influence of Arabs."
Mind you, the policy of race discrimination and the privilege given to Arabs by Bani-Omayyah, had annoyed many new Muslims. Among all Muslims, the followers of Ahlul-Bait were the first to be shocked.
The following are some of the main revolutionary movements which took place after the tragedy of Karbala which were inspired by Ashoora.
1. The event of Harreh ( The massacre of Madina):
All reliable historical sources have narrated this tragedy which took place almost 3 years after Ashoora.
Although right after the catastrophe of Karbala so many protests were mobilized against Yazid, Madina the centre of revelation and the main base of the Prophet (s.a.w.w) in which hundreds of the companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.w) were still living, rebelled against the tyranical government of Bani-Ommaya. Abdullah son of Handhaleh (bathed by the angels)1 who later on led the movement, upon receiving the news of Karbala, paid a visit along with a delegation from Madina to Damascus, the capital of Yazid. He reported later on, out of what he had observed in Damascus, that the extent of the corruption had gone so far, he wouldn't be surprised if they were stoned in Damascus from the sky.
As a result, upon his arrival to Madina, he mobilized an army against the government. They captured the House of the Governor in Madina, deported the governor, Othman Ibn Mohammad Ibn Abu-Sofyan from the city and declared an autonomy. By doing this, the first capital of Islam was released from the influence of Bani-Omayya. However, as soon as the news was reported to Syria, Yazid dispatched one of his most vicious and murderous officers named Muslim Ibn Aqabeh along with his troops which consisted of 5000 soldiers to suppress the revolt.
In spite of a heroic defense from Madinians, the barbaric troops of Yazid ultimately conquered the city. According to Mas'odi, the famous historian, so many people including Bani-Hashim and the companions of the Prophet were killed.
In short, Yazid had permitted his troops to enjoy their total freedom for 3 days in Madina, meaning no chastity, no property and no blood was respected. Tens of pages in the history of early Islam consist of descriptions of the Massacre of Madina.
Al-Fakhri in his History describes this bitter part of Islamic history as: during those 3 days, hundreds of the Prophet's companions were killed. The troops of Yazid entered the Masjidul-Nabi, and polluted the mosque. Around 900 girls were raped. For many years, Madinians would not guarantee the virginity of their daughters when marrying them.
By the way, although the people of Madina were defeated in that battle, the protesting flag was transferred to Mecca, where the Holy Mosque and the Qibla of Muslims were.
2. Revolution in Mecca
Right after the Massacre of Madina, Meccans had an uprising against the central government. Although this movement was also inspired by the revolution of Imam Husain, the leader of the revolution of Mecca, Abdullah Ibn Zobair, had no intention of vengeance for Imam Husain. In order for Yazid to suppress this movement too, he also ordered Muslim Ibn Aqabeh to attack Mecca, though Allah, the Almighty did not give him any further opportunity and he died on the way to Mecca.
At that stage, Hosain Ibn Nomayr, the murderer of Abbas at Karbala, led the army of Yazid. Ibn Zobair who failed to continue the defense, sought refuge in the Holy Mosque. However, the troops of Yazid had no respect and hence they started firing at the Mosque. As a result, the curtains of the Mosque were set on fire and some parts of the walls of the Ka'ba were destroyed by fire.
This event also took place in the year 63 A.H. and Yazid, the most vicious figure of Bani-Omayya's tyranny died 11 days after the event of Mecca.
Apparently, Meccans again were defeated in that battle. However, the more the crimes of Bani-Omayya increased, the more the people rose up against Bani-Omayya. The kingdom of Bani-Omayya began shaking day by day until the beginning of the year 65 when the Bani-Omaya'n dynasty fell into the rubbish bin of history forever.
1. Handhaleh, the father of Abdullah was among the martyrs of the battle of Ohod who had just married one night before the battle. Since he had directly gone from his wedding night to the battle without having his ritual bath done, the Prophet gave him the title of 'being bathed by the angels'. Abdullah, his son was the only child he left behind as a result of the one and only communication he had with his wife.
2. Due to his numerous crimes, some historians have named him instead of Muslim ' Mojrem' (meaning criminal).
Source: Selected from Revolution of Imam Husain by Sheikh Mansour Leghaei
This article originally appeared on the AhlulBayt Islamic Mission website [www.aimislam.com]. It has been republished here with permission.