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The life of a Shaheed and its implication
One of the meanings of “Shaheed” is “someone who is a witness” and here it would mean just that. A “Shaheed” is that person who does not merely sacrifice his finger, but someone who sacrifices his head to prove the Divine Greatness of Allah Almighty. In other words, he proves beyond a shadow of doubt that for him to give his head in the Path of Allah Almighty is one of his greatest achievement. He is certain that Allah Almighty exist and if he was not certaint, he would not have given such a major sacrifice.
Another meaning of “Shaheed” is also “someone who helps and assist”. We see this in the Holy Qur’an when Allah Almighty challenges people to bring their helpers to see whether they can bring something like the Holy Qur’an. The question is: if someone gives his life, how can he help and assist someone else? The answer is that by giving his life, he had managed to protect the life of thousands. He has taught others how to live. In other words, he was oppressed and saved others from oppression.
One of the major differences between his martyrdom and others is that all of them were certain of the Divine Existence of Allah Almighty but they were unaware of whether they will be martyred. As for Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him -, from a little age, he already knew that he will be martyred one day. As a matter of fact, the entire Ummah was also aware that he will be martyred one day. Some people read the Holy Qur’an and become a martyr, while Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – was reading the Holy Qur’an already knowing that he would be martyred. In other words, he was already proving that a martyr is someone who is always alive.
Theory and practical
If someone is told to mix hydrogen and oxygen and create water, there is a possibility he might have a doubt. However, if this person is taken into a laboratory and shown the truth of this, he will certainly accept and believe it. In the same manner, for someone to believe that a martyr is alive might still seem to be a theory to some, however Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – gave his life to show this in a practical manner. In other words, if someone has this doubt that here is someone who had been buried, someone whose Janaza has been performed, whose children have become orphans, whose wives have become widows, how can they still be living? The miracle of Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – reading the Holy Qur’an while his blessed head was on a spear clearly proved this beyond a shadow of doubt.
Animal which died thrice over and spoke
There have been many martyrs in Islam, however, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – and his martyrdom is something totally unique. Bear in mind that this is the blessed grandson of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him –. Bear in mind that during the Battle of Khyber, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – placed his hand on an animal, it came alive. This animal revealed that it had been poisoned and it cooked, but it spoke to Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah be pleased with him –. How? First it was slaughtered. That was it first death. It was then roasted. That was its second death. Lastly, it was poisoned. However, when the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – placed his hand on this animal, it began to speak and informed the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – not to eat it because it had been poisoned. Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – is from the same blessed blood of the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him –, therefore he will always remain alive. As for those who killed him, their remembrance has been murdered till the Day of Judgement.
The blessed body of a martyr is always protected by Allah Almighty
In the Holy Qur’an, Allah Almighty declares that he who comes with one single good, he will be rewarded ten times. He can also be rewarded seven hundred times over. Therefore, how is it possible that when you spend a single coin in the Path of Allah Almighty you are rewarded ten times and even seven hundred time, but when you spend your precious life, how can you not be rewarded? Remember that death is something which affects the body while the soul remains alive and it was also alive before entering the body. The reason is that this is the Command of Allah Almighty. We also know that even after a long period, at times when the body of a martyr has been found, even his clothing was still intact and undamaged.
Imam Malik – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates even after nearly forty years when they found the blessed bodies of Hadrat Sayyiduna Amar bin Al Jumhu – may Allah be pleased with him -, who had been martyred in Uhud, and Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Zubair – may Allah be pleased with him – both of whom were buried in one grave. Their blessed bodies were still the same as if they had been buried only the previous day. In fact, their graves had become visible because of strong rains.
In the same manner, in the 14th century, the blessed bodies of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Jaabir – may Allah be pleased with him – and various other companions were also retrieved from the banks of the river Dajlah in Iraq. This was because the water was entering their graves. In fact, this incident is a living reminder to the Muslims to give their lives in the Path of Allah Almighty and to be able to live forever. The government in Iraq at that time decided to bury them near the blessed grave of Hadrat Sayyiduna Salman Farsi – may Allah be pleased with him –. The most amazing thing is that when their graves were opened and blessed bodies shown, their kafan (shroud) was seen to be untouched as if they had just been buried. Hundreds of people were also able to see this miracle with their own eyes.
The same has been mentioned in the Sharahus Sudoor about three martyrs. In the 14th century Hijrah, while the Masjidun Nabawi was been expanded, the blessed body of the father of the Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – was also found. The blessed body was still the same and had remained untouched for centuries. In fact, some of those who saw the blessed body are still alive today. Therefore, the miracle displayed by Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – after his martyrdom is nothing to be surprised about.
A few interesting points
It is mentioned that when Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – saw everything around him he smiled. When the Yazeedi forces observed this, they were shocked, scared and terrified. They could not figure out that a person who had just lost most of family and friends was smiling. It was something beyond their comprehension. However, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – may have given this answer, “If nothing remains, nothing will remain for anyone. The only Being that will remain is Allah Almighty. At the same time, if I smile what else can I do? I have become successful. Not one single drop of blood from any one of my family and friends have been wasted. In other words, I have given my last drop of blood in the Path of Allah Almighty.”
At the same time, the great Imam must have been saying, “Why should I not smile? After all, I am a Sayed. I am from the blessed family of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him –. I am from the grandson of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him –. After receiving all of this blessing from Allah Almighty, why should I not smile? When Nabi Moosa ‘Alayhis Salaam climbed the Mount Thur, he was also ecstatic and when I climbed the blessed shoulders of the Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him –, I was also joyous.”
If Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – did not smile, who would smile?
An amazing incident in the time of Sultan Aurangzheb Alamgeer
It is reported that once a soldier from the army of Sultan Auranghzheb Alamheer was captured by the enemy. He was a young man as well. The enemies tried their level best to get information from him but they could not succeed. They offered him wealth, they frightened him, they abused him, punished him and used all sorts of method, but they could not get a single piece of information from him. Finally, the soldier said to them, “This young man who is with me, he is the son of my enemy. I advise you people to kill him. Let is not be said that I revealed some secret information to your people, and he goes and reveal what I have done. At the same time, I am also fearful for my life as long as he is alive”.
The enemy became very happy with this and thinking nothing of it. They killed the young man instantly. The old soldier began to smile. The enemy also had this false notion that perhaps he was smiling because his enemy had been killed and that now he will start to reveal the secrets of the Sultan’s movement. However, what he mentioned completely shocked them. He told them that this young man was actually his own son and that he loved the young man very much. “The reason that I am now happy is that as long as he lived, because of the love for him I may have been forced to reveal the secrets. In other words, his living would have made me helpless. Now, I am smiling because I have no concern at all with what happens with me, Even if you cut me to pieces now, I will never reveal anything to you people.”
Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – may have smiled thinking that, “I was afraid about my small band of supporters perchance they may have become misled or frightened and because of this, they may have extended their hand to Yazeed. However, now this concern of mine no longer exists and obviously, I will never slip on this path.”
They threatened Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – that they would make him suffer such oppression that even oppression would seek safety. His response was that he will display such patience that even patience would be awed. Even in the last minute on this earth, he never wavered.
They could not frighten Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – with death because those people are scared of death who are hungry for power and influence. He did not need power and influence. He already had that. In fact, his brother, Imam Hasan – may Allah be pleased with him -, had given away the chair of power to Ameer Mu’awiyah – may Allah be pleased with him –. Therefore, his family was not hungry for power.
Four qualities of a true believer
If a person has four qualities in him, there is no doubt that he will achieve a most supreme position in both worlds. They are: supremacy in Ibadah and serving Allah Almighty, supremacy in kindness and charity, supremacy in bravery, and supremacy in achieving martyrdom. The great Imam embodied these four supreme qualities.
Supremacy in Ibadah was such that Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – gave his life while in sajdah. Supremacy in charity is that Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – sacrificed his entire family on the path of Allah Almighty. Supremacy in bravery in such a manner that until the present day, the supporters of Yazeed still hide their heads in shame instead of revealing themselves. Until the present day, no one actually comes forward and says openly that he is an offspring of Yazeed. Yet, the children of Imam Zainul Aabideen – may Allah be pleased with him – are found all over the world and are also respected and revered. The soldiers of Yazeed numbered hundreds, but until the present time, no offspring of any of these soldiers are to be found. This is besides the offsprings of Yazeed, ibn Ziyad or Shimr who are most certainly never to be found.
To remember his martyrdom
There is no doubt that we remember the day on which Nabi Ismail ‘Alayhis Salaam was presented as a sacrifice, yet, bear in mind that not one drop of his blessed blood was spilled. How can we ignore the occasion of the 10th of Muharram when Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – sacrificed everything he had including his blessed family for the sake of Islam? In fact, we consider remembering Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – as an act of Imaan. We also consider it a part of our Imaan to remember every member on the side of Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – who gave their lives for Islam.
This blessed family gave everything because they understood that they had sold their lives to Allah Almighty and whenever He called for their lives, they were prepared to give it in His path. In the Holy Qur’an also, Allah Almighty has clearly stated that He has purchased the lives of the believers and their property and for them is Jannah.