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The essence of jihad

Ghulam Rasool Dehlavi | 26th Nov 2012

The 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram marks the triumph of truth over falsehood. The Umayyad regime mobilised a large army to besiege a small group of 72 pious persons and to force them to pay allegiance to the autocratic Caliph Yazid.

However, despite being made to suffer intolerable forms of persecution, they did not cave in to the autocracy of the time and clearly refused to submit to Yazid’s authority. As a result, a fierce battle took place in which they were all killed and rewarded martyrdom.

The leader of this small band of men, the martyrs of Karbala, was none other than Imam Hussein, son of Hazrat Ali and grandson of Prophet Moha­m­med. After the demise of his elder brother Hasan, he bec­ame the leader of the Prophet’s household.

He respected the agreement of peace signed by Hasan and Muawiya and did not undertake any activity that might threaten the political status quo.

In fact, he spared no effort to provide for the social and religious needs of the people. He was an epitome of wisdom, knowledge, piety and generosity.

On the other hand, Yazid was a pleasure-seeking person, a drunkard, a killer of innocent people, a warmonger and mischief-maker who used to openly indulge in sinful acts. Seeing his terrible character and misdeeds, Hussein refused to pay allegiance to Yazid.

He distinguished the truth from the falsehood once and for all when he said to the ambassador of Yazid, “A person like me would not take the oath of allegiance to a person like Yazid.” This implies that truth cannot bow down to falsehood or evil, no matter how powerful the tyrant or the dictator is.

The revolution of Karbala was an Islamic movement spearheaded by Hussein. The principles of Islam demanded that Hussein warn Muslims of the dangers of the autocratic regime and stand in the way of the deviating ruler.

Hussein made it clear when he left Madina and said, “I am not rising against Yazid as an insolent or an arrogant person.

I have risen against him to reform the ummah (community) of my grandfather. I wish to enjoin the good and forbid the evil.”

This statement serves as a reminder today to tell people about the real objective of their sacrifice.

So the Muslim militants who make false claims of being Mujahideen are terrorists as these acts go against the true essence of Imam Hussein’s jihad.

Ghulam Rasool Dehlavi is a graduate from a traditional Sufi Islamic seminary. He is a Delhi-based writer

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