Ashura; the 10th of Muharram, marks the day that Imam Hussein (A.S), the grandson of the holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) along with his 72 companions embraced martyrdom in the blazing desert of Karbala for reviving the religious beliefs, cultural values and social norms of Islamic societies.
He revolted against the dictatorial regime of Yazid, rather than agreeing to a humiliating pledge of allegiance. He added, “To die in glory is far more honorable than to live in humiliation.” Left with two choices namely death or allegiance, Imam chose the glory of death.
Imam Hussein (AS) is highly regarded by Muslims as a martyr because he refused to pledge allegiance to Yazid who had evil intentions towards the religion of Islam. His decision to fight for justice is considered a guideline not only for Muslims but for all human beings. According to Imam Hussein (AS), life without justice is meaningless. We must live to establish peace and justice in all aspects of our life. If we cannot do this, there is no need to live. Fight against Yazid does not mean anything except protecting peace and justice.
Imam Hussein (AS) laid emphasis to the freedom of man when he said, “If you do not abide by religious values and you do not believe in a creed, at least be free. The free man is the one who does not sell himself or his position or opinion in return for money or positions. Do not be slaves, because you are fighting to obey those who enslave you.”
For the people of Afghanistan, who have been suffering the worst consequence of war and brutality, the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) has thousands of invaluable lessons. If a nation truly follows the path shown by Imam Hussein (AS), no one can damage its independence and its religious and cultural values.
The holy religion of Islam is peace, negotiation, expressing love and respect. But today, many insurgents, including the Taliban and the IS militants that calling themselves the real followers of the religion, are indeed misusing Islam and having no mercy on children, women and elders. Their aggressive and killing acts show that they are not following teachings of the holy religion of Islam.
Muslims, in the course of history, has accepted martyrdom, but never attacked civilians and have never killed an individual whether they were Muslim or none-Muslim. But today Taliban insurgents and Deash militants are martyring Afghan security forces, attacking villages, kidnapping and killing innocent masses in each and every corner of the country. They are carrying out suicide attacks in most populated areas to inflict casualties among the civilians.
Therefore to disseminate the real message of Ashura, religious preachers, scholars and intellectuals have a heavier responsibility, comparing to other layers of society, to emphasize the cultural aspect of this issue and pave the ground for the media to explain the true spirit of the teaching of Ashura and point out the issues which will lead to coexistence.
Meanwhile, religious scholars must not let mosques be changed into tribune for the individuals who have less knowledge or those who might hurt the feelings of others through blasphemy. They must not let those who seek to promote their anti-human intention through sowing the seeds of hatred and disunity.
Afghanistan’s enemies have spared no efforts to bring about disunity among Afghan masses, in particular among the Shia and Sunny Muslims, through attacking mosques and their worshiping places. But they could not succeed, as there is enhanced mutual understanding and respects among Afghan tribes and groups.
It’s clear that militants are in wrong path, and the Afghan masse will always stand united as Imam Hussein and his followers did in Ashura, a day of resistance against injustice.