14 August 2021 (5 Muharram 1443)
Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider
Ahlul Bait (a.s) Masjid, Ottery, Cape Town
Once again, we are in the service of the school of Karbala and learning about the manifestation of the core concepts of the Holy Quran, from the practical examples in Karbala. In the previous discussion, we explained the concept of Tauba (repentance) in the Holy Quran, and how this manifestation of divine love and mercy flourished in Karbala.
Tonight, we will discuss another major Quranic subject, namely our relationship with this world in which we live and enjoy. Normally, in Arabic and similarly Quran and Hadith, the word Dunya is used to in reference to this material world we currently live in. In contrast to this is the world after death, which the Holy Quran refers to as the Akhirah.
I think we all understand very well what the terms Dunya and Akhirah refer to, namely the material world and Hereafter, respectively.
The position of Islam towards our relationship with this material world is often misunderstood and the intent of this discussion is to address some crucial questions on this subject:
1. What is the position of the Holy Quran towards this material world?
2. Is this nature of this material world evil by its design?
3. Is desiring a nice comfortable life part of our innate nature?
4. Why does the Holy Quran express a negative bias towards this material world?
5. Should we simply abandon our ambition in this Dunya and only focus on the Akhirah?
6. Selling Dunya for Akhirah versus selling Akhirah for Dunya!
We will then also apply the lessons from the above to the Tragedy of Karbala, by expanding on the following points:
7. Imam Husain (a.s): Love of Dunya creates a transactional God who gets a bad review when we are tested!
8. Imam Hasan (a.s) lays the platform for Imam Husain (a.s) to make the everlasting stand
9. Why did people come to fight Imam Husain (a.s) if they knew very well who he was?
10. Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi: Obsessive love of Dunya constantly lets him down
11. Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi: His incurable love of Dunya ultimately results in his suicide
12. Where does religious commitment feature in our to-do list?
13. Zuhayr ibn Qayn: Hero of Karbala inspired by his wife towards the right choice
14. Heroes of Karbala are unique for their courageous choice in the face of merciless brutality
1. WHAT IS THE POSITION OF THE HOLY QURAN TOWARDS THIS MATERIAL WORLD?
In the Holy Quran, Almighty Allah (SWT) has extensively addressed this issue of our relationship with this Dunya (material world). In preparing for this discussion, I came across more than 100 verses of the Holy Quran where this relationship between us and the Dunya has been discussed. This gives us an indication of how crucial this subject is!
One thing is very clear, that the majority of these 100 verses which explain our relationship with this Dunya, is in a negative tone. We find a similar trend in Hadith from our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and his holy Ahlul Bait (a.s) when they explain our relationship with this Dunya in a negative way.
Therefore, it is really very important for us to understand our relationship with this Dunya, in order for these negative references in the Holy Quran and Hadith narrations to make sense to us. The general theme which emerges is that this Dunya is bad, evil, the source of problems and quite frankly, loyal to nobody!
However, if you look at this subject of our relationship with Dunya in a holistic manner, rather than each of the 100 verses from the Holy Quran in isolation and try to extract a structured picture about Dunya from the perspective of Quran and Hadith, we will conclude with a few very important points.
2. IS THE NATURE OF THIS MATERIAL WORLD EVIL BY ITS DESIGN?
Firstly, this Dunya is condemned, and our relationship with this Dunya is most of the time attacked in Quran and Hadith. At the same time, from our Islamic ideology, we can never say that this material world is by its nature evil or malicious. The reason is that this material world is created by Almighty Allah (SWT), and therefore it cannot be evil because He does not create evil.
So, this world in its pure construct is not evil. To support this, there are plenty of verses in the Holy Quran where Almighty Allah (SWT) praises this world, and even takes oath by this world and expresses His power and greatness through different expressions of this world. An example is the verses which start with “Subhanalladhee” (Glory be to Him Who made).
Therefore, this material world is not by its very nature evil, as it is the creation of Almighty Allah (SWT).
3. IS DESIRING A NICE COMFORTABLE LIFE PART OF OUR INNATE NATURE?
The second important point is our love for this Dunya. We all love to have a nice life, money, power, fun, amusement, entertainment etc. The question is whether this is evil by its very nature?
Again, this is something natural in all of us, created by Almighty Allah (SWT), and therefore is not inherently evil. Otherwise, one would rightfully ask why Almighty Allah (SWT) placed this love for the material world in our nature if it is bad, as creating bad goes against His attributes.
An example is a mother’s love for her child. It is natural love which Almighty Allah (SWT) has placed in the core essence (fitra) of the mother. However, at the end of the day, love for our children is the love of Dunya, as it is one of the phenomena of this material world.
While this may be the most beautiful example of love for this world, I don’t think any of us can honestly claim that we do not desire a nice comfortable life. Frankly speaking, who does not want a nice comfortable life? And all of us strive day and night running around in this world struggling to achieve this!
Again, the Holy Quran does not deny this desire in human beings. We read this very clearly in verse 14 of Surah aal-Imraan (chapter 3 of the Holy Quran):
زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَاطِيرِ الْمُقَنْطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَالْخَيْلِ الْمُسَوَّمَةِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ وَالْحَرْثِ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَاللَّهُ عِنْدَهُ حُسْنُ الْمَآبِ
“The love of desires, of women and sons and hoarded treasures of gold and silver and well-bred horses and cattle and tilth, is made to seem fair to men; this is the provision of the life of this world; and Allah is He with Whom is the good goal (of life).”
This verse makes it crystal clear that it is in our nature to love nice things and a good life, which Almighty Allah (SWT) has decorated this world with and created us with this desire as well. So then, we conclude that our love for this world cannot be inherently evil.
4. WHY DOES THE HOLY QURAN EXPRESS A NEGATIVE BIAS TOWARDS THIS MATERIAL WORLD?
After dissecting these two principle points, the question in our minds will be, what is evil?
We find that the Holy Quran speaks in reference to its critique of temptations and attractions of this Dunya with various terms.
The first is MATA’UN QALEEL: this Dunya is a short-term enjoyment. So, the Holy Quran is saying that this enjoyment is short, when we get duped into believing this enjoyment is long-term! The end of verse 77 of Surah Nisaa’ (chapter 4 of the Holy Quran) serves as reference:
قُلْ مَتَاعُ الدُّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ وَالْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ
“Say: Short is the enjoyment of this world: the Hereafter is the best for those who do right.”
Enjoyment of this material life is short-lived, while the Hereafter is much better.
The second issue described in the Holy Quran, as a critique of this Dunya is MATA’UL GHUROOR: it is very deceptive and delusional. It appears to be very nice, but the reality is the opposite. We read this in the last part of verse 185 from Surah aal-Imraan (chapter 3) and also the last part of verse 20 from Surah Hadid (chapter 57):
وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ
“The life of this world is nothing but an Illusion.”
So, the Holy Quran draws our attention to the fact that this Dunya is short-term, delusional and deceptive, and then establishes another very important point in this regard, namely “Gharat kumuddunya”. This term is used overwhelmingly, and because of the delusional nature of this Dunya, it deceives the people. In simple terms, it makes us fools!
5. SHOULD WE SIMPLY ABANDON OUR AMBITION IN THIS DUNYA AND ONLY FOCUS ON THE AKHIRAH?
People constantly fall into the trap of this Dunya, because they think it is everlasting! This is where we now see the long extent of condemnation in the Holy Quran, when we are deluded into a false sense of permanency for this material world. This is where the Holy Quran considers those who have this approach as being the worst people.
Now, the absolutely critical point that we all MUST understand is that the Holy Quran is not saying we should not earn Dunya. Nor is the Holy Quran saying that we should not have ambition to achieve in this material world. The Holy Quran is critical of us becoming enslaved by this material world but is in no way restricting us from achieving excellence in this world.
In fact, we all know that dua (supplication) which is commonly read in the Qunoot of our salaah, from verse 201 of Surah Baqarah (chapter 2 of the Holy Quran):
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
“Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and defend us from the torment of the Fire!”
This clearly proves that this Dunya is not inherently bad, otherwise Almighty Allah (SWT) would not command us to make such a dua! This dua therefore makes it crystal clear that there is something good in this material world that we should ask for.
The Hadith narrations from the Ahlul Bait (a.s) explain this position by saying that if we are going to work hard in this Dunya, we should live as if we are going to live here forever, but also reflect on this world as if you will not be around tomorrow!
It is therefore about striking an equilibrium. On the one side, you find hadith narrations from the Ahlul Bait (a.s) which command us to do things properly in this Dunya, to achieve excellence. Yes, we are commanded to achieve excellence in our field of interest in this Dunya, whatever honorable field it is that you pursue. At the same time, the Ahlul Bait (a.s) warn us to not be deceived by this Dunya!
The Holy Quran compares Dunya and Akhirah, explaining the position of each. The problem is when you replace the one with the other. The Holy Quran regards Dunya as limited, delusional, short-term. In diametric contrast, the Holy Quran regards Akhirah as everlasting. Verses 16 – 19 of Surah A’ala refers:
بَلْ تُؤْثِرُونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا
16. “Nay! you prefer the life of this world,
وَالْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَىٰ
17. But the Hereafter is better and more enduring.
إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَفِي الصُّحُفِ الْأُولَىٰ
18. And this is in the Books of the earliest Revelation,
صُحُفِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ
19. The scriptures of Ibrahim and Musa.”
Indeed, the message from these verses is that the Mu’mineen (true believers) are those who sacrifice their Dunya for Akhirah, because this Dunya is short-lived and delusional, while Akhirah is pure goodness and sustaining.
6. SELLING DUNYA FOR AKHIRAH VERSUS SELLING AKHIRAH FOR DUNYA!
What the Holy Quran is therefore saying is that this Dunya is a problem when you regard it as the final destiny and the purpose of your existence. However, there is nothing wrong in treating this Dunya as a short-term goal.
There is absolutely no doubt that this Dunya is a pathway to the Akhirah! In fact, there is a famous Hadith by Imam Ali (a.s) where he confirms that we cannot achieve Akhirah without Dunya! Our pathway towards Akhirah is through the good we do in this Dunya.
The critical point to always remember is that our approach to this Dunya should always be short-term as it is delusional. The destiny and final goal should always be the Akhirah.
The key question to ask ourselves is, in which group are we – are we from those who sell their Dunya for Akhirah, or are we from those who sell their Akhirah for Dunya? This is where the love of Dunya takes over our pursuit of Akhirah.
Unfortunately, this is the reality of human beings and mankind, as they start going after Dunya for the sake of living a dignified life and being able to take care of their family, but the problem is that gradually we become trapped in this Dunya if we are not conscious of its dangers, and in so doing, we forget about Akhirah, to the point where we eventually believe there is no Akhirah!
It is a matter of priorities in life. The Quran very beautifully explains in verse 46 of Surah Kahf (chapter 18 of the Holy Quran):
الْمَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَالْبَاقِيَاتُ الصَّالِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلًا
“Wealth and children are an adornment of the life of this world; and the ever-abiding, the good works, are better with your Lord in reward and better in expectation.”
There is no doubt that money, family and having a nice life are decorations of this material life. However, this verse takes it a step further by explaining that good deeds are better regarded by Almighty Allah (SWT). They are also everlasting.
7. IMAM HUSAIN (A.S): LOVE OF DUNYA CREATES A TRANSACTIONAL GOD WHO GETS A BAD REVIEW WHEN WE ARE TESTED!
Love of this material world (Dunya) becomes the most serious problem of mankind. Now, if you look at the wars, conflicts and bloodshed in this world, you will realize why the Holy Quran is emphasizing so much about the dangers of love of Dunya and selling our Akhirah for this Dunya. Yes, the constant battle is over this material world, which is in a nutshell, the message of the Holy Quran regarding this material world.
Now, let us understand this in the context of Karbala. There are many different factors which accumulated into the tragedy of Karbala. Someone very truly stated that Imam Husain (a.s) was already killed in Saqifa! But how did it reach the point where people would not mind slaughtering the grandson and beloved of their Prophet (SAWA) in this brutal manner?
There were various factors, ranging from social, communal and individual. However, the common fibre across all these factors which resulted in this tragedy is the love of Dunya! In Karbala, nothing played a more terrible role than the love of Dunya. This is the analysis directly from the blessed tongue of Imam Husain (a.s), where he so accurately reflects by saying that:
“People are slaves of this (material) world and religion is like saliva in their mouth. They rotate it inside their mouth, as long as their life is comfortable, but when they are surrounded by tests and hardships, very few are those who are committed to religion.”
What a most accurate description! We should all make a concerted effort to memorize this statement and even have it framed in our homes to remind ourselves constantly!
8. IMAM HASAN (A.S) LAYS THE PLATFORM FOR IMAM HUSAIN (A.S) TO MAKE THE EVERLASTING STAND
In the tragedy of Karbala, people knew very well who Imam Husain (a.s) was, but they still came forward to kill him! The majority of the 30,000 people in the enemy’s army were from Kufa, the capital city of the Islamic Peninsula when Imam Ali (a.s) was the Head of State as the 4th Caliph of Islam!
This is the same city which enjoyed the justice, kindness, love and care, and governance of Imam Ali (a.s). They knew very well who Imam Ali (a.s) is and they knew very well who Imam Husain (a.s) is!
When it comes to the time of Imam Hasan (a.s), one may argue that there is a bit of a grey area, because the propaganda machinery of Mu’awiya and Bani Umayyah were in full force to distort the image of Imam Hasan (a.s). So, there may be an excuse that people were confused as a result.
However, this was not the issue in the time of Imam Husain (a.s), because Imam Hasan (a.s) exposed the dirty tricks of Mu’awiya and Bani Umayyah through the peace treaty he signed. This was the job of Imam Hasan (a.s), which is nothing less than job of Imam Husain (a.s) in Karbala. One can very easily get confused on this point.
The position which Imam Husain (a.s) took in Karbala would not have been possible if Imam Hasan (a.s) did not make the visionary, landmark decisions during his time.
9. WHY DID PEOPLE COME TO FIGHT IMAM HUSAIN (A.S) IF THEY KNEW VERY WELL WHO HE WAS?
It all comes down to their love of this Dunya! They were hopeful of attaining worldly gifts, money and prominent positions. There are plenty examples to study in this regard but let us go through a couple in this discussion.
There is a person by the name of Hirsamat ibn abi Salim, who was, interestingly, among the supporters of Moula Amir al-Mu’mineen Imam Ali ibn abi Talib (a.s) and fought alongside him in the Battle of Siffin against Mu’awiya.
Now, in Karbala, he was part of the enemy’s army! On the Day of Ashura (or the day before), this man defected from the army of Umar ibn Sa’ad and came to Imam Husain (a.s). He explained to Imam Husain (a.s) who he was, and his history as a soldier in the army of Imam Ali (A.s) and having fought alongside Imam Ali (a.s) in the Battle of Siffin.
He then explained that upon return from the Battle of Siffin, they passed through this place where the two of them are currently standing! He then explained that Imam Ali (a.s) picked up a handful of sand from this ground and told him that there will be a battle of Truth (Haqq) versus Falsehood (Baatil) to be fought on this very land.
He then concluded his recollection to Imam Husain (a.s) by saying that Imam Ali (a.s) guaranteed that those who fight on this land in defence of truth will have a ticket to Paradise reserved for them.
Curiously, Imam Husain (a.s) then asked this person whether he will join them in defence of truth or whether he will join the enemy’s camp of falsehood, since he heard this directly from Imam Ali (a.s)?
Now, this person is at a crossroads and needs to make a decision. He then tells Imam Husain (a.s) that he is very sorry for not being able to join him, as he has a family in Kufa and ibn Ziyad will kill them all brutally, including his children.
This was Hirsamat ibn abi Salim, who knew first-hand from the guarantee of Paradise which Imam Ali (a.s) promised to those who fight along with Imam Husain (a.s) on this very land for the sake of defending the truth. However, his love for his children made him decide that it is okay to leave the children of the same Imam Ali (a.s) abandoned! This reminds us of verse 15 of Surah Taghaabun (chapter 64 of the Holy Quran):
إِنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ ۚ وَاللَّهُ عِنْدَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ
“Your possessions and your children are only a trial, and Allah it is with Whom is a great reward.”
After knowing now who this man was, having heard directly from Imam Ali (a.s), Imam Husain (a.s) told him to please run away as far as possible, such that he should be sufficiently far away to not here the plea from Imam Husain (a.s) when he calls:
“Hal min Nasirin Yansorona?”
‘Is there any helper to help us?’
“Hal min zabbin yazubbo an Harame Rasoolullal?”
‘Is there any defender to repulse the enemy from approaching the tents of the family of the Holy Prophet?’
This man ran far away, because if he would be in hearing proximity of this plea, then Almighty Allah (SWT) will ensure he is enveloped in the bottom of the Hellfire!
10. UBAIDULLAH IBN HUR JA’FI: OBSESSIVE LOVE OF DUNYA CONSTANTLY LETS HIM DOWN
Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi is a well-known character in history, known for being a “double agent”! He sways back and forth, from being in the camp of Imam Ali (a.s) to the opposition of Imam Ali (a.s). Example, in the Battle of Siffin, he was in the camp of Mu’awiya against Imam Ali (a.s)!
Anyway, this person was in Kufa and heard the declaration by ibn Ziyad that everyone should take up arms against Imam Husain (a.s) in Karbala. This person knew that he will be paving his way to a guaranteed place in Hell if he fights the blessed grandson of Rasulullah (SAWA). He didn’t agree with this and therefore ran away from Kufa and set up his camp somewhere outside Kufa.
Coincidentally, Imam Husain (a.s) came across this person while on the journey towards Kufa. They happened to meet at a station known as Qasr Bani Muqatil. Imam Husain (a.s) naturally invited this person to join him in this all-important battle to save Islam, justice and humanity. Imam Husain (a.s) therefore advised this person to rescue himself, as he was well aware of what is Truth and Falsehood.
Now, here is the clear, timeless lesson for us all! Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi responded to Imam Husain (a.s) saying that there is absolutely no doubt that he is correct in fighting to defend Truth, but he (Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi) has too much going on in Kufa to take care of, such as business, family etc. So, he apologized to Imam Husain (a.s) but said he can definitely offer his horse, which he claimed was the best of horses available that anyone can wish to have!
Imam Husain (a.s) replied to Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi saying that he does not need him, nor does he need his horse! Imam Husain (a.s) then rendered that statement, saying that he will never ask for help from those who are misguided!
The scary reality that we can all relate to is, how the love of this Dunya takes you away from the right path, after knowing full well what the right thing is to do. This Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi was not ready to sacrifice his material world for the sake of Truth. Are we?
11. UBAIDULLAH IBN HUR JA’FI: HIS INCURABLE LOVE OF DUNYA ULTIMATELY RESULTS IN HIS SUICIDE
What happened was that after the tragedy of Karbala, this man regretted very heavily on the wrong choice he made. Will you believe it, Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi was the first person who came to visit the grave of Imam Husain (a.s) after the tragedy of Karbala!
He was also the first person to read poetry on the grave of Imam Husain (a.s), where he stated that he will carry this regret of abandoning Imam Husain (a.s) for as long as he is alive, as the love of this Dunya took him away from the right path!
The tragedy of Karbala occurred in the year 61AH. The following year (62AH) was when the movement of Mukhtar was formed, to avenge the tragedy of Karbala. Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi joined this uprising of Mukhtar and was very active, since he had natural bravery in combat.
The reason I am going into the details of this story is because the disease of loving this material world is not easy to get rid of. This very person Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi became one of the commanders of Mukhtar’s army to avenge the blood of Imam Husain (a.s) and was sent along with Ibrahim ibn Malik al-Ashtar to fight against ibn Ziyad.
The two of them led the fight against some of the Umayyads in the Northern part of Iraq, and they grabbed the spoils of war upon their success here. Guess what? This Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi again started squabbling over material things, protesting with Ibrahim ibn Malik al-Ashtar that he took too much and gave him too little!
Mukhtar became aware of this message while in Kufa and sent a message to Ibrahim ibn Malik al-Ashtar that the main problem of Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi is his love of Dunya! Mukhtar ordered Ibrahim ibn Malik al-Ashtar to give more money to Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi, but this man was still not satisfied!
As a result, Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi broke away and joined Abdullah ibn Zubayr and company, who attacked on Mukhtar and committed the worst crimes there! And then, true to form, he again repented for having made the wrong decision!
It is reported that he committed suicide in the year 68AH, after jumping into the Euphrates River.
12. WHERE DOES RELIGIOUS COMMITMENT FEATURE IN OUR TO-DO LIST?
If one reflects on the life of Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi, he had a chance to become one of the greatest martyrs in Karbala in the year 61AH. We would have remembered him as a hero today, 14 centuries later. Instead, he is remembered as an evil villain due to his obsessive love of this Dunya!
He only lived for seven years after the tragedy of Karbala, but he sold his Akhirah for this Dunya! This is the danger which the Holy Quran constantly reminds us of. This is the unfortunate destiny which results from the love of Dunya.
Now, in diametric contrast to this, we have people like Zuhayr ibn Qayn in Karbala. He is not even Alawi, as his affiliation is Uthmani ie. from the opposition camp! Let us learn from this pristine example, because we are very often faced with a similar crossroads, where we have religion on the one side and Dunya on the other side, and we need to choose between the two.
We then have to choose whether we are in the camp of people like Hirsamat ibn abi Salim and Ubaidullah ibn Hur Ja’fi on the wrong side, or in the camp of people like Zuhayr ibn Qayn and Hurr ibn Yazid ar-Riyahi on the right side.
Dunya is not bad in principle, but we are tested with the choice we make when it clashes with Truth (Haqq). When we wake up in the morning and prepare our to-do list, we need to ask ourselves whether religion is priority number 1 for us or is it last on the list (if at all)! Is our to-do list fully consumed with worldly pursuits without any consideration for religious commitment?
This is our test of whether we are truly in the camp of Imam Husain (a.s)!
13. ZUHAYR IBN QAYN: HERO OF KARBALA INSPIRED BY HIS WIFE TOWARDS THE RIGHT CHOICE
Studying the choice made by Zuhayr ibn Qayn is so crucial, because he was politically affiliated with an opposition camp, but displayed exemplary Akhlaq (moral character). His ideological position is not with the Ahlul Bait (a.s), but what helped him make the right choice was that he did not have the obsessive love of Dunya. This was the Akhlaq which saved Zuhayr ibn Qayn!
So then, when Imam Husain (a.s) reached out to Zuhayr ibn Qayn, saying that the son of the daughter of Rasulullah (SAWA) is calling, he is double-minded. Zuhayr ibn Qayn now needs to decide which way he is going to go!
This is when his wife gives him clear perspective, which is yet another example of the exemplary greatness of the women of Karbala! She challenges her husband Zuhayr ibn Qayn, asking him what he is waiting for, since the son of the daughter of Rasulullah (SAWA) is calling!
Zuhayr was a very affluent man, having accumulated significant wealth in this world. He could easily have been driven by this Dunya to make the wrong choice. However, in his private meeting with Imam Husain (a.s), we see that Zuhayr underwent an internal revolution in the space of minutes!
He emerged from this meeting stating that he will join Imam Husain (a.s), and hence divorced his wife so that she can be free to remarry. He also gave instructions on how his estate should be managed.
People were shocked at witnessing what had changed Zuhayr ibn Qayn instantly, but it was all due to fear of Almighty Allah (SWT) and dissociating himself from the delusion of this Dunya. This is how Zuhayr ibn Qayn became an important hero of Karbala!
14. HEROES OF KARBALA ARE UNIQUE FOR THEIR COURAGEOUS CHOICE IN THE FACE OF MERCILESS BRUTALITY
There is no place for the lovers of Dunya in the camp of Imam Husain (a.s)! A similar trend of Zuhayr ibn Qayn is witnessed with the internal revolution which Hurr ibn Yazid ar-Riyahi underwent, leaving everything behind in the enemy’s camp, and committing himself fully to Imam Husain (a.s).
Then there was also another companion of Imam Husain (a.s) who received the news on the afternoon of 9th Muharram, regarding his son being arrested on the borders. Imam Husain (a.s) heard about this news and suggested to this companion that he has permission to go and take care of his son.
Imam Husain (a.s) told him that he is free to go, but the response from this noble companion was that it would be the greatest shame if he were to leave and take care of his son, while leaving the son of Lady Fatima (s.a) abandoned!
Umar ibn Sa’ad is another classic example, and Imam Husain (a.s) challenged him right till the end, regarding his choice of selling his Akhirah for this Dunya. Umar ibn Sa’ad listed all the prizes he was going to get, which included the post as Governor of Rey (Tehran).
Becoming the Governor of Rey was quite a bid deal, due to its strategic position and vast resources. Imam Husain (a.s) warned Umar ibn Sa’ad that he will be a loser in this world and the Hereafter, and he will not even be able to taste the well-known wheat of Rey!
That is why the Holy Quran describes obsessive love of this Dunya as delusional! We can continue running after it and it will continue to let us down!
All the heroes of Karbala were able to control this love of Dunya!
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