Ashura, The research and analysis on the Uprising of Imam Husayn (as) from Hijaz to Iraq

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The book Ashura, The research and analysis on the Uprising of Imam Husayn (as) from Hijaz to Iraq, analyzes uprising of Husayn, which is replete with ideas, concepts, values and beautiful scenes, the like of which are rarely witnessed in the words and deeds of others.

About the author[edit | edit source]

Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Al-Asifi (b. 1356/1937-38 - d. 1436/2015) was a Shiite scholar and mujtahid in the Islamic seminary of Najaf and a political activist in Iraq. Al-Asifi was a scholar of fiqh, Usul al-fiqh, the exegesis of the Qur'an, Islamic philosophy, and some economic and social issues, and he wrote on these topics. He was active against the Ba'th regime in Iraq, and was one of the main members of Hizb al-Da'wa al-Islamiyya (Islamic Da'wa Party) for a while. Al-Asifi had religious and social activities in Iran and Kuwait, and when the Ba'th regime was toppled down, he returned to Iraq. Ayatollah al-Asifi was also a member of the Higher Council of Ahl al-Bayt (a) World Assembly and its Secretary General for a while.

About the book[edit | edit source]

This book written by Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Al-Asifi and translated by 'Umar Kumo is published in CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017. It has 156 pages, and enriches the speakers who talks about Imam Hussain with a greater knowledge of Islam and Qur'anic concepts; new horizons of thought, understanding and analysis of Husayn's words, speeches.

Abstract of chapters[edit | edit source]

Chapter 1: Critical Juncture In The Life Of Mankind[edit | edit source]

When people have to take a decision on war or peace; whether to continue their relationships or sever them; whether they will turn towards God or away from Him they are experiencing the days of separation. Ashura is among these days in Islamic history. It divided the people into three groups:

  1. First class are the group that failed the test.
  2. Second class are the group who reached the point of safety although with much difficulty.
  3. Third class are the group who rushes to meet God with great ease. Its members leave the world and its attendant tribulations without difficulty as though they had never entered it, so that the need to exit from it is does not exist.

The author in this chapter analyses these groups and compare them.

Chapter 2: Meditations On Husayn’s Speech On The Day Of Ashura[edit | edit source]

This chapter begins with Husayn’s speech on the Day of Ashura. It was a strange speech which he gave at that critical hour before they drew their swords on him. This address carries boundless grief on account of those people who drew their swords against the son of the daughter of the Messenger of God.  The author talks on a number of points regarding this speech. He also discusses the difference came from the determining factor in biological inheritance that does not apply to the inheritance of actions and values, which follow will and choice.

Chapter 3: Political Goals Of Imam Husayn (As)'S Uprising[edit | edit source]

In this chapter the author examines Imam Husayn’s uprising. He believes that it was a revolt against Yazid in the form of an armed struggle that was followed by a tragic and pathetic sacrifice unparalleled in Islam’s history, and not a military campaign that was aimed at overthrowing the system. The Imam was not seeking a military conquest but to stir the conscience of the misled Muslims and sentiments through the tragedy he would meet at the hands of the Umayyad army in Karbala.

Chapter 4: Husayn (As)’S Letter From Karbala To His Brother, Muhammad[edit | edit source]

This chapter deal with Imam Husayn’s letter to his brother Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah about the reason behind all the widespread defeatist tendency that was affecting the Muslims and its reason, which was love for the world and neglect of the hereafter. He divides mankind Based on the conception of the world and the hereafter into four classes:

  1. The first class, which moves from the world to the world.
  2. The second class which moves from the hereafter to the world
  3. The third class which moves from the world to the hereafter.
  4. The fourth class which moves from the hereafter to the hereafter.

The author also explains about two points in Imam Husayn’s prescription

Chapter 5: Defying Death On The Day Of Ashura[edit | edit source]

The author in this chapter dwells, to some extent, on two situations (fear of death and challenging death) which play a significant role in organizing people’s lives and in determining their destiny. He believes if a nation is afraid of death oppressive rulers will not need much effort to subjugate and cow them down. Their lives become subservient to the despot and they gradually lose their innate nature and conscience, which form the basis of a decent life. However, a nation which has the power to face death without fear and proves it, cannot be made to bow down to the will of tyrants. It is impossible to rob such people of their will and goals.

Chapter 6: Some Instances Of Loyalty In The Supplication: Ziyarat Al-Warith[edit | edit source]

In this chapter the author discusses three aspects of loyalty which appear in Ziyarat Al-Warith:

  1. Salutation: that is “Peace be on you, O heir to Adam, God’s chosen one.”
  2. Testimony: that is “I bear witness that you are the pious and devout Imam”
  3. Stand: that is “My heart is in submission to your heart and my actions follow yours.

Chapter 7: Loyalty And Repudiation In The Supplication Of Ziyarat Ashura[edit | edit source]

In this chapter the author discusses the concepts of loyalty and repudiation, association and separation, greetings of peace and cursing which is in Ziyarat Ashura.

He believes that among all the paths and stairways which raise man towards God, none requires as much effort, the endurance of sufferings and oppression, sincerity and spending in the way of God as do loyalty and repudiation, and with them man soars towards him and attains His pleasure.

Chapter 8: Imam Husayn (As)’S Portrayal of Islamic Society During Umayyad Rule[edit | edit source]

The author discusses three points deferred from one of the Imam Husayn’s speech that portray for us an exact picture of the period Imam Husayn lived and the misfortunes and catastrophes that befell the Muslims in it. He comprises three points in this speech that deserve reflection:

  1. The condition of the world at that time (the social, political and spiritual situation).
  2. The people’s disregard of truth and inclination towards falsehood.
  3. Need for aversion towards the world and desire to meet God.

Chapter 9: The Four Unchangeable Aspects of Imam Husayn (as)’S Uprising[edit | edit source]

In this chapter the author examines four fundamental issues that could be regarded as constants in the uprising of Imam Husayn, in his brief letter which wrote from Mecca to Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah.

  1. Inevitability of getting martyred for anyone who accompanied Husayn.
  2. Certainty of victory for anyone who would be present in Karbala together with Husayn.
  3. Relationship between victory and martyrdom.
  4. This victory would never be repeated again

Chapter 10: Loyalty and Repudiation on the Day of Ashura[edit | edit source]

This chapter examines this dimension of Ziyarat Warith of Imam Husayn that makes one’s loyalty with the divine pole more profound and separating one from all the artificial poles created by Taghut.

Chapter 11: The First Speech of Imam Husayn's (as) Uprising[edit | edit source]

This chapter is about Imam Husayn’s speech on the night before he left Mecca, in which he addressed a gathering of Muslims where he informed them that he was about to die. He also appealed for their support and invited them to join him in his revolt against the Umayyad government.