Imam Hussein in the Vision of Non-Muslim Scholars (pt. 1)
Publish Date: 10/5/2018 Code: 54699

Imam Hussein in the Vision of Non-Muslim Scholars (pt. 1)

Edward G. Brown says: The event of Karbala marks the greatest sacrifice for the sake of God in the human history. For the last fourteen hundred centuries, the battle of Karbala reflects the collision of the good versus the evil, the virtuous versus the wicked, right versus the wrong.

AS you might have already heard some of these quotes before, not only Muslims and Shia scholars admire Imam Husain but also there a lot of non-Muslim authors and scholars who had  fascinating opinion about the great sacrifice of humanity. 

Edward G. Brown, the professor of Arabic and oriental studies at the University of Cambridge, praises Imam Husain in these words:

The event of Karbala marks the greatest sacrifice for the sake of God in the human history. The minute and stunning details of this great event have been written and survived from the very first day by the eye witnesses. For the last fourteen hundred centuries, the battle of Karbala reflects the collision of the good versus the evil, the virtuous versus the wicked, right versus the wrong, and the collision of Imam Husain (the head of virtue) versus Yazid (the head of impiety).

[A Literary History of Persia, London, 1919, p. 227]

“… a reminder of the blood-stained field of Kerbela, where the grandson of the Apostle of God fell at length, tortured by thirst and surrounded by the bodies of his murdered kinsmen, has been at any time since then sufficient to evoke, even in the most lukewarm and heedless, the deepest emotions, the most frantic grief, and an exaltation of spirit before which pain, danger and death shrink to unconsidered trifles.”

As the Imam of the time and true representative of his grandfather Prophet Muhammad (S), Imam Husain (A) stood up against the tyrant of the time to safeguard and protect Islam and guide fellow Muslims. On the other hand, the staying power of the rulers (Mu’awiya and his son Yazid) depended solely on the might of the sword. They used brute force to rule over the Muslim empire even by all possible illicit means.

By the time the sun was set, the day of Ashura in the plains of Karbala, witnessed Imam Husain (A) giving up everything humanly possible in the way of God including his 72 brave and loyal followers and his 6 months beautiful baby, Ali Asghar. In the wake of such a great sacrifices, the Quran praises as:

“Think not of those who are slain in God’s way as dead. Nay, they are living, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord” (Qur’an 3:169).

Before the battle of Karbala, the world knew only the rule that “The Might is the Right”. However, the day of Assura introduced even more powerful rule to this world; “The Right is the Might”. Now, the blood of the innocent could win over the sword of a tyrant.

Mahatma Gandhi (Indian political and spiritual leader) writes:

“I learned from Hussein how to achieve victory while being oppressed.”

According to the great poet Rabindranath Tagore,

Hussain’s sacrifice indicates spiritual liberation. He writes: “In order to keep alive justice and truth, instead of an army or weapons, success can be achieved by sacrificing lives, exactly what Imam Hussain (A.S.) did”

Such an everlasting victory can only be achieved by the one who totally believes and trust in the Almighty God.

Thomas Carlyle (Scottish historian and essayist) explains:

“The best lesson which we get from the tragedy of Karbala is that Husain and his companions were rigid believers in God. They illustrated that the numerical superiority does not count when it comes to the truth and the falsehood. The victory of Husain, despite his minority, marvels me!”

Imam Hussain (A.S.) explains the mission of his sacrifice in his own words: “I have taken this stand not out of arrogance or pride, neither out of mischief or injustice. I have risen to seek reform in the community of my grandfather. I would like to bid good, forbid evil, and follow the tradition of my grandfather and my father ‘Ali bin Abi Talib.”

Charles Dickens (English novelist) writes:

“If Husain had fought to quench his worldly desires…then I do not understand why his sister, wife, and children accompanied him. It stands to reason therefore, that he sacrificed purely for Islam.”

In spite of all the painful aspects of Karbala, it holds a great significance in the Islamic history, for the revolution of Imam Husain (A) was not merely an event which had taken place by chance. It was rather a movement for the revival of Islam. Imam Hussain (A) declared his noble mission right from the day one.

Antoine Bara (Lebanese writer) writes:

“No battle in the modern and past history of mankind has earned more sympathy and admiration as well as provided more lessons than the martyrdom of Husayn in the battle of Karbala.” (Husayn in Christian Ideology)

History has seen numerous massacres of innocent people, but the tragedy of Karbala is one of the few where men, women and children voluntarily allowed themselves to be subjected to hunger, thirst, humiliation and death on the burning sands of Karbala because they believed that Imam Hussain (A) stood for righteousness. Little wonder that for over 1400 years Muslims, have been nurturing the tale of Karbala in their hearts like an open wound, lest they should forget the supreme sacrifice of Imam Hussain (A) and his followers.

Great spiritual leaders are known to make great sacrifices, but at Karbala, common men and women with infants at their bosom, their hearts and souls aflame with righteousness, chose death rather than evil and weakness. Such was the greatness of Imam Hussain (A); such was his spiritual power, which could uplift common mortals to heights of supreme courage and sacrifice.

Resource : Hawzah News Agency