The month of Muharram marks the start of the Hijri calender. All the twelve months of this calendar are significant but the Quran has declared four months as sacred: Zulqadah, Zulhijah, Rajab, and Muharram. In 680 AD, 10th Muharram turned out to be a gloomy and a tragic day when the beautiful flowers of Prophet Muhammad’s garden were trampled upon by the army of Yazid in the Battle of Karbala. It was a battle between forces of good and evil. Hazrat Imam Hussain was martyed along with his family and friends but not before setting an example of courage and forbearance against a cruel enemy. The message of Karbala is vivid and clear. The battle of Karbala was not meant to grab a patch of land but to serve and uphold human values. It was a battle between right and wrong, justice and oppression. The battle was not merely a conflict between two individuals but was a clash between two conflicting ideologies.
Yazid posed an existential threat to Islam, so Hussain instantly appeared to confront and contain him. He came forward to rescue Islam and to prevent the Muslim polity from plunging into darkness. The blazing desert, the sizzling sun, the formidable army of Yazeed could not weaken the courage of Hazrat imam Hussain. The heroic sacrifice of Imam Hussain has no parallels in the history of mankind. It teaches us that when we are up against evil forces, we must never yield and rather stand our ground firmly. The stellar sacrifice of Imam Hussain has become the emblem of resistance to injustice, tyranny and oppression.
In this contemporary world, where injustice prevails, dishonesty has suppressed honesty, morality is degraded, where we have lost the ability to differentiate between good and bad, Karbala is a clarion call to people to not accept this system. It teaches us to not be neutral or silent when faced with tyranny, oppression and injustice. Karbala will continue to be a metaphor of hope and light for people mired in darkness, cruelty and oppression. It will continue to reinforce our faith in the ideals of humanity and above all in the potency of truth to defeat falsehood.