'O God, carry us in the ships of Thy deliverance, give us to enjoy the pleasure of whispered prayer to Thee, make us drink at the pools of Thy love, let us taste the sweetness of Thy affection and nearness, allow us to struggle in Thee, preoccupy us with obeying Thee, and purify our intentions in devoting works to Thee, for we exist through Thee and belong to Thee, and we have no one to mediate with Thee but Thee!' Imam Sajjad ('A); Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The Great tribulations for the People of Islam

ya aba `abdillahi
laqad `adhumat alrraziyyatu
wa jallat wa `adhumat almuseebatu bika
`alayna wa `ala jami`i ahli al-islam
wa jallat wa `adhumat museebatuka
fi alssamaawaati `ala jami`i ahli alssamawaat
O’ Aba 'Abdillah! Surely the tribulations are great and unbearable and your tragedy is great for us, and for all of the people of Islam; it is unbearable and great is your tragedy in the heavens and for all of the dwellers of the heavens.
[Ziyarat al-Ashura]

In this section of the ziyarat, we address our Imam (as) directly and recall the tragedies which befell him, and our grief and remorse at what occurred on the plains of Karbala. The historians have stated that from the first day of creation until the Resurrection comes, the tribulations which Imam Husayn (as) faced are the greatest and the most severe – and there is no other historical event which comes close to what he went through [events such as what transpired to the daughter of the Prophet, Fatimah az-Zahra (as) and her husband Imam 'Ali (as) are also tragic events in the life of the Ahlul Bayt and have their own ranking in terms of the tragedy and loss]. However, why such an emphasis on recalling this tragedy in this particular way and with such words?
The late scholar, Ayatullah Murtaza Mutahhari has written that, “Once, I sat down and tried to count the number of reasons why this event was so unbearable and I was able to come up with around twenty-one reasons and I do not think that there is any other single event in this world which could compare to this injustice...”

When we study the event of Karbala we see that no one was spared – the infant child, the young adults, the grown men, the elderly people and even the women of the camp! Not only were they murdered in cold blood, but even after their death, they were not shown respect and this is evident from the trampling of their bodies by the horses and their decapitation and parading through the streets of Kufah and Sham (present day regions of Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon)!

In addition, we read in the ziyarat that this is a tribulation that not only the people of the Earth feel grief and cry about, but even the angels in the Heavens express remorse about! In this regards, we have numerous Hadith, however it suffices us to quote the following from the 6th Imam, Jafar b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) where he said, “What is wrong with you that you do not go (to the ziyarat of the grave of al-Husayn)? Surely 40,000 angels are at his grave, crying, until the Day of Resurrection.”

'Ali Asghar 'Azizi Tehrani; The Torch of Perpetual Guidance; Summarized and Translated by Saleem Bhimji