The life of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his nonpareil sacrifice to uphold the true Islamic principles of meritocracy, justice and impartiality are not only beacons of life for Muslims, but his exemplary character has been a source of inspiration for followers of other faiths as well.
Despite his party and him numbering just over a 100 on that fateful day of 10th Muharram, AH 61 when faced with a tyrant army of more than 30,000 soldiers, Imam Hussain (RA) stood his ground for principles that he considered crucial for the survival of Muslim faith and ummah. And that is precisely the reason that his oppressors have perished in the annals of history like a droplet in a sea, but the names of Imam Hussain (RA) and his family have become immortal until the end of time.
Imam Hussain’s life and death are replete with lessons about life; lessons that we need to learn more than ever before. Here are some lessons we think each one of us: students, parents, teachers and every other member of society, must learn from the amazing life of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA).
Go out on to the streets across the country and you see young kids in the driving seat of their fathers’ fancy cars acting oh-so-important. Their only reason for pride? A big car. Imam Hussain (RA) was the grandson of Muhammad (PBUH), the final of Allah’s prophets, plus he was the son of Ali Ibn Talib (RA), one of the most revered of companions of the holy prophet. And yet, Hussain’s (RA) life was humbleness personified. Besides his ancestry, Hussain was himself a man of exemplary character. In spite of all of his moral superiority, Hussain (RA) had no air of privilege and never threw the weight of himself or his family around onto his peers. If only we could be a fraction as humble.
A key lesson – and one that is probably the most important for Pakistan nowadays – that we must learn from Imam Hussain’s (RA) life should be that of exercising patience, even when things are not going your way. From the breach of contract that initiated tensions with Muawiyah to the time he was denied water at the banks of Euphrates, Imam Hussain never let go of his hold on patience. He had the forbearance to leave his matters with Allah even when the tyrants killed a six-month-old Ali Asghar, the imam’s youngest child. Today, we Muslims engage in the harshest of quarrels and lose faith over the most trivial of things, hence the condition of our society. Imam Hussain’s life teaches us to be patient in adverse times, whether they be bad grades, loss in business or domestic problems.
No matter the enormity of challenges, Imam Hussain (RA) was not the one to back down from his rightful stance. He was offered to swear allegiance to Yazid in return for security of the life of him and his family on several occasions, even at Karbala. Yet, Imam Hussain (RA) knew it would defy the principles of Islam and stayed put on his decision of not to do so. Even when faced with death. Even when threatened with the life of his family and children. Such is a steely determination we must learn to develop if we are to succeed in life.
No matter how hard you look, there is hardly an example of courageousness throughout the pages of history that can be half compared to the valor of Imam Hussain (RA). Despite being surrounded by an army of 30,000 and faced with certain death, Imam Hussain (RA) did not bow down to a corrupt ruler’s unjust demands. Comparing that with ourselves, even the smallest of threats by a professor of an unjust marks’ deduction makes most of our student’s tremble. We trade short term gains for moral turpitude and get trapped in a vicious cycle of cowardice to get petty benefits. We must learn to be more courageous; for ourselves, for our friends and for our society. Only then can we hope to see the improvement that we want to see in our society.
Imam Hussain (RA) forgave even the worst of his enemies. Despite him leading Imam Hussain and his party to the battle site of Karbala, Imam Hussain (RA) did not hesitate once when Hurr bin Yazid realized his mistake and sought repentance. Imagine any of us in a situation one tenth as bad as that of Imam Hussain (RA). Would we be willing to forgive so easily? I guessed so. Today Muslims are killing other Muslims for unpaid debts of as little as Rs 100, and then claim to be Muslims still. Hazrat Ali (RA) said, “the first to forgive is the strongest”. And Imam Hussain (RA) showed the world he was the strongest among mere mortals.
So, a little at a time, let us strive to gain that strength. Let us try to become a little better each day. Let us try to be more like Hussain (RA), the greatest martyr the world has ever known.