Imam Hussein (peace be upon him): The Rising Sun - Part one
Supreme Leader, Sayyed Ali Khamenei
"If we consider this incident carefully, perhaps [we] might say: A person can count more than one hundred important lessons in this movement [of] Imam Abu Abdelah (peace be upon him) in a few months- from the day he departed from Medina toward Mecca until the day he drank from the sweet cup of martyrdom in Karbala. [We] can say thousands of lessons! Every gesture from that great Imam is considered to be a lesson. However, when we say more than a hundred lessons, we mean that if we want to consider [his] actions, we can explore one hundred titles and sections. Every section is considered to be a lesson for a nation, for history, for a country, for the discipline of the self, for administering society, and coming close to Allah. If the Prophets, Imams, martyrs, and righteous individuals are like moons and stars, then Hussein (peace be upon him) is like a rising sun among them due to all of these matters.
In addition to the one hundred lessons, there is a main lesson in this movement and uprising [of] Imam Hussein (peace be upon) which I will strive to clarify for you. All of the other lessons are like margins in the face of this [lesson] which is like the main text. Why did Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) revolt? This is the lesson. O Hussein, why did you revolt though you were a respected figure in Medina and Mecca, and had followers in Yemen? Go to a place where you have nothing to do with Yazid and Yazid has nothing to do with you- [where] you live and worship Allah and preach. This is the question and the main lesson, and we don’t say that no one referred to this matter before. They have investigated and spoken a lot about this issue. To be fair, what we want to say today –and which is in our opinion a comprehensive conclusion and a new perspective to [this] issue- is that some people wish to say that the goal of the revolution of Abu Abdelah Hussein (peace be upon him) was to overthrow the corrupt government of Yazid and to establish a substitute government. This statement is part true and not false, [but] if the intention of this statement is that Hussein (peace be upon him) revolted in order to establish a government, and that if he had perceived that he wouldn't reach a result he would have said: We did what we had to do, now let us retreat, then this is wrong. If the goal was to establish a government, then it is alright for a person to proceed as long as there is a possibility, and thus he can retreat when [this possibility] is lost. If one says: The goal of the Imam (peace be upon him) from this revolution was to establish the rightful government [of Ali], then this is not true because the total movement doesn’t point out to this.
On the contrary, some said: What government? Hussein (peace be upon him) knew that he wouldn’t be able to establish a government. He came in order to be killed and martyred. For a while, this statement circulated a lot on the tongues of many, and some [people] presented this with beautiful poetic expressions. I have even [noticed] that some of our noble scholars have said this as well. The saying that the Imam (peace be upon him) revolted in order to become martyred because he saw that he could do nothing by remaining [alive] and so he said: I have to do something through martyrdom, was not a new saying. As for this statement as well, we don’t have anything in Islamic sources and references which permits a person to cast himself into [being murdered]. We have nothing of the sort.
Martyrdom which we know [through] the holy Sharia, and [Quranic] verses, and hadiths means that a person moves and greets death for a sacred obligatory or preferable goal. This is the correct Islamic martyrdom. As for a person moving toward being killed or according to the poetic expression: 'To make his blood a means of making the oppressor slip and throwing him to the ground', [then] such things have nothing to do with an event of such greatness. Even though this [matter] has an aspect of truth, but it wasn’t Imam Hussein's goal. Briefly, we can't say that Hussein (peace be upon him) revolted in order to establish a government, nor can we say that he revolted in order to be martyred. There is something else in between. I think that those who said that the goal was government or the goal was martyrdom have mixed between the goal and the result. Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) had another goal, and reaching it required a path and movement which ended in one of two results: Government or martyrdom. The Imam (peace be upon him) was ready for both results. He had prepared the preludes of government and the preludes of martyrdom as well, and had made himself ready for this or that. If any of the two occurred, it [would be] right, but none of them was a goal. Rather, they were two results. As for the goal, it was something else.
To be continued…