The Battle of Karbala: Unveiling the Clash Between Truth and Falsehood
Ever since the existence of man, there have been conflicts between right and wrong. Since the arrival of Prophet Adam in this world there have been thousands of clashes between right and wrong but every time Allah gave victory to the truth and falsehood was humiliated every time.
One of the most important and painful battles in the history of Islam is Karbala. It is such a distinctive battle that no other battle in human history equals its superiority.
Karbala is the name of a great sacrifice for a great purpose whose aims and objectives, thoughts and ideas, truthfulness and spirituality has left everyone in awe.
The battle of Karbala has become a symbol of distinction between truth and falsehood. Imam Hussain represents truth and Yazid represents falsehood.
Battle of Karbala
This great battle took place at Karbala (present day Iraq) on 10th Muharram 61H (9th or 10th October 680AD). This battle took place between the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and the Yazidi forces. The Yazidis ruthlessly martyred Hussain ibn Ali, his family members and his followers.
Imam Hussain set an example of bravery. He stood up against the oppressive and tyrannical ruler. He showed the world that Islam is the religion of truth and does not endorse any form of monarchy, kingship or similar systems. Thus, he conveyed the message that a true believer (Momin) cannot bow down before oppression, coercion, power, or force.
Yazid – A Wicked Ruler
Yazid was inherently irreligious, rebellious, arrogant and immoral. On the other hand Hussain ibn Ali was the Universal Divine Man of his era. He was a mercy for the umma, while Yazid was a torment for the same umma. Imam Hussain was the embodiment of Faqr whereas Yazid had no knowledge of this sacred path.
The exalted Imam rejected Yazidi rule, sovereignty, and governance. He never accepted obedience to any form of Yazidi government. He proclaimed:
مردِ حق باطل سے ہرگز خوف کھا سکتا نہیں
سر کٹا سکتا ہے لیکن سر جھکا سکتا نہیں
Explanation: A Momin (believer) does not fear falsehood. He can sacrifice his life but cannot accept false rule.
Hussain ibn Ali did not show even a slightest hesitation in sacrificing his life for the sake of the Islam. It is worth mentioning here that Imam Hussein himself had granted permission to the people of his caravan to return if they desired so, but his companions and followers demonstrated their utmost loyalty to him. Imam Hussain (Husayn) addressed the commanders of the Yazidi army and his troops with a sermon:
Sermon of Imam Hussain to Yazidi Army
Behold! These people are the followers of Satan, they are going against their Lord. They transgress the Divine boundaries, they declare the lawful as unlawful and the unlawful as lawful. I want to change their rebellion with justice and fairness, and I am the most rightful person to do so. If you remain steadfast in pledging allegiance to me, then it is guidance for you. Otherwise, breaking or nullifying the oath is a great sin. I am Husayn, the son of Ali, the son of Fatimah, and I am the grandson of the noble Messenger (pbuh). Make me your leader, do not turn away from me, and do not abandon my path. This is the straight path.”
This sermon had a profound impact on the people, but they remained silent due to worldly greed and fear of Yazid.
The Night Before the Battle of Karbala
It was the night of the 9th of Muharram. Imam Hussain remained engaged in worship throughout the night. The sun of the 10th of Muharram dawned. The formation of the Yazidi army was underway. After the Fajr prayer, Amr ibn Saad led his army. On the other side, Imam Hussain was also prepared with his companions. There were 72 sacred individuals, including children, elderly, and women, forming a small army of the beloved grandson of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). On the other side, the Yazidi army was fully equipped with twenty thousand soldiers. The bravery and valour displayed by Imam Hussain and his companions in facing this army has no comparison in history.
The Day of the Battle of Karbala
The brave soldiers of Imam Hussain faced the Yazidi army, which scattered like sheep and goats. The situation prolonged and became intense. The companions of Imam Hussain began to offer their lives for their Imam. The thirsty and hungry grandson of the Holy Prophet stood like a mountain of patience in the field of Karbala. The Yazidi forces continued to shoot arrows from a distance, but then came a moment when the ill-fated Shimr ibn Dhil-Jawshan approached the exalted Imam. Imam Hussain recognised that this was the wretched one with the white mark, as predicted by the Holy Prophet, who said, “I see his mouth stained with the blood of People of Cloak.” And Holy Prophet’s prophecy was proven true.
Misfortune forever became his destiny as a vile individual. Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Holy Prophet fell on the ground with his body wounded by arrows. It was the sword of Shimr, the cursed one that severed the blessed head of Imam Hussain from his sacred body.
سجدے تو سب نے کئے تیرا نیا انداز ہے
تو نے وہ سجدہ کیا جس پر خدا کو ناز ہے
Explanation: Everyone prostrates but O exalted Imam, your prostration is unique. Even Allah takes pride on your sacrifice.
قتلِ حسینؓ اصل میں مرگِ یزید ہے
اسلام زندہ ہوتا ہے ہر کربلا کے بعد
Explanation: Martyrdom of Imam Hussain is in fact the death of Yazidism. Islam revives after every Karbala.
Battle of Karbala is a Lesson for Divine Seekers
Imam Hussain exposed in Karbala the evil intentions and mischief of hypocrites, unveiling hypocrisy and wickedness from their faces. He not only revived the soul of Islam with vitality but also bestowed upon humanity a dignity and honour that surpasses all levels of pride. Imam Hussain was a Divine seeker. He was eager to bow down in complete submission to Allah’s pleasure, longing for union and Divine vision. Only those who sacrifice their life for Allah are true Divine seekers. They are the ones who fulfil the obligations of Divine love, who remain content with the will of their beloved. The life of Imam Hussain is a beacon of light for the seekers of Divine path. May Allah grant us all the ability to learn the lesson of Divine love from the event of Karbala.
1: Syed ul Shuhada Hazrat Imam Hussain Aur Yazidiat – Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman
2: Shaan e Karbala – Mohammad Ilyas Adil
3: Saniha Karbala – Khursheed Ahmed Gilani