This evening Moulana Sayed Aftab Haider focussed on the third ideal of Imam Husayn’s movement, namely that of akhlaq (morality) and taqwa (fear of God). Moulana introduced his topic by saying that Imam Husayn (AS) maintained a deep sense of akhlaq and taqwa under all circumstances. Moulana said that in the spirit of Imam Husayn (AS), the ends do not justify the means, i.e. one cannot use immoral tactics as a means to achieve justice. Moulana asserted that this aspect of respect for ethical guidelines is unique to Karbala.
After citing a hadith in which the Holy Prophet (SAWA) described himself as the one who perfects akhlaq, Moulana said that it was indeed natural that Imam Husayn (AS) conducted his struggle with the best of morality. Moulana asserted that Imam Husayn represented the akhlaq of his grandfather (SAWA).
Moulana stated that the akhlaq of Imam Husayn (AS) differentiates Karbala from any contemporary revolutionary movement. The difference lies particularly in the sphere of the personal lives of and the strategies adopted by many revolutionary leaders. Yet again emphasizing that Imam Husayn refused to compromise on morality, Moulana said that Imam’s sense of transparency defined his movement. Moulana added that in the politics of Imam Husayn, deception did not feature.
Referring to this transparency, Moulana said that Imam Husayn had made the aims of his movement crystal clear from day one. In this regard Moulana cited a few lines from Imam’s famous parting words to the pilgrims in Makkah. Imam Husayn told the pilgrims, “Whoever wants to join us should know that only those who are ready to meet Allah should come with me”. From this citation Moulana argued that Imam Husayn (AS) did not want to gather supporters through deceiving them.
Further emphasizing the transparency of Imam Husayn, Moulana said that on his way to Karbala, people came to deliver news to Imam in secret. Imam would in turn insist that this news not be given in secret and that all his followers are present. Citing another example of Imam’s honesty sincerity with people, Moulana added that on the night of ‘Ashura Imam gave his companions the choice of leaving Karbala if they so wished.
Moulana then pointed out that another aspect of Imam’s akhlaq was his commitment to promises. Moulana said that well before Karbala Imam manifested this beautiful aspect of his ethical character. Moulana said that when Hujr bin ‘Udday asked Imam to fight Muawiyah, soon after Imam Hassan (AS) had signed a peace treaty with Muawiyah, Imam refused and replied: “We have already signed a peace treaty. What you ask is not possible”.
Moulana said that Imam Husayn (AS) had inherited this firm stance against deception from his father, Imam Ali (AS). Moulana stated that when people used to tell Imam Ali that he has no knowledge of how to operate in the political sphere, Imam Ali would reply, “By Allah Muawiyah is not smarter than me. But my hands are tied with fear of Allah, while he is free to do as he pleases”.
Moulana said that unlike the politics of Ahlul Bayt (AS), the politics of Banu Ummayyah was the politics of deception. It was a politics that lacked transparency. Yet again citing an example of Imam’s commitment to promises, Moulana related Imam’s dialogue about the people of Kufa with Rimah. Before Imam arrived at Karbala, Rimah told Imam Husayn that the people of Kufa are not reliable and that he must not take heed of their request. Imam (AS) replied to Rimah, “I know this. But I have a pledge with the people of Kufa that cannot be broken”.
Moulana then alluded to Imam Husayn’s non-aggressive approach by shedding light on the beginning of the actual battle at Karbala. Moulana said that on the morning of Ashura, the battle commenced with an arrow being fired from the enemy camp. At that moment Imam Husayn (AS) stood up and said, “Bear witness that we did not start the war”.
Pointing to Imam Husayn’s spirit of humanity, Moulana related parts of an interview which a Lebanese website had with a Lebanese Christian poet, George Shakkor. Shakkor recently wrote a compilation of poetry in praise of Imam Husayn (AS). When asked as to why he as a Christian, yet still expresses so much love for Imam Husayn, George Shakkor said that if he was present at Karbala he would have fought and died for Imam Husayn. Waquf added, “Husayn is the pride of humanity and I find the spirit of Jesus in Husayn”.
Moulana then discussed the kindness of Imam Husayn (AS). Stating that the message of Imam Husayn (AS) was not one of hatred. Moulana underlined the fact that Imam Husayn even extended his kindness to his enemies. Moulana said that Imam Husayn gave water to the enemy soldiers when they were thirsty. He added that Imam even sought out a soldier who was late in coming to receive water. Imam (AS) went on to quench the thirst of the soldier’s horse as well.
Moulana also briefly touched on Imam’s devotion to Allah (SWT). In this regard he said that even when Imam Husayn was carrying the bodies of the martyrs, he broke for the afternoon prayers because, as their final wish before dying, his followers wanted to pray behind him.
Moulana concluded the lecture by painting a picture of our selfless mother, Sayyidah Zaynab (AS) when she saw the bodies of her sons, Aun and Muhammad being carried away after the battle. The majlis ended with the recital of ma’tam in memory of the martyrdom of Aun and Muhammad.