Rafed English

The Humiliation of Quraysh and the Humiliation of Islam and the Muslims

Adapted from: "The Revolution of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.)" by: "Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Shams ad-Din Al-Amili"

From the first century of the hijra, the poet of lamentation poetry for al-Husayn regarded the killing of al-Husayn and his family and followers as a humiliation of Islam and Muslims. On rare occasions the poet considers that the killing of al-Husayn has brought humiliation to Quraysh or to the Hashimites.

Abu Rumayh, Umayr ibn Malik al-Khuza'i (d.c. 100) wrote a poem in which he declared that clouds of tears were racing across his eyes. They would not dry up after the tears were shed until they flowed with tears again. They were weeping for the family of the Prophet Muhammad.

How many were these tears, yet how few in view of what happened! Those people had not drawn their swords while their enemies killed them when they were drawn. The man from the Hashimites killed on the bank of the Euphrates was the most humiliated man of Quraysh and Quraysh were humiliated as well.

Perhaps this poet and other like him were giving expression to a tribal view of the subject and regarding what happened as a personal struggle. Soon, however, this misleading view gave way to the correct view of the subject.

Throughout the Islamic era the poet of lamentation poetry has considered what happened as an Islamic concern, meaning Islam as a religion and the Muslims as an umma. What happened at Karbala ' was sacrilege against Islam and an act of aggression against Muslims.

When Abu al-Rumayh recited these verses, previously mentioned, to Fatima, daughter of al-Husayn and she heard the words,'. . . the most humiliated man of Quraysh and Quraysh were humiliated as well,' she said to him, 'Abu Rumayh, do you speak of it like that?' 'How should I speak of it, may God make me a ransom for you?' he asked. She replied, 'Say: . . . the most humiliated man of the Muslims and the Muslims were humiliated as well.' He is reported to have said that after that day he only recited verses in the way she told him.

The poet of lamentation considered that al-Husayn was a hope for Islam which had been extinguished when the Umayyads killed him. Therefore Muslims were humiliated by his death.

Abu al-Aswad al-Du'ali (d. 69) had said: 'O conveyor of the news of the death of religion, who announces the death of piety, arise and announce his death and the death of his family ....'

Ja'far ibn'Affan (d. 150) had said: 'Let whoever can weep, weep for Islam. Its laws have been lost and misappropriated. In the morning al-Husayn was defiled by spears. Swords drunk from his blood and took a second draught.'

Mansur al-Numayri (d. 190 or 193) had said: 'I would have sacrificed my life for al-Husayn when he went out towards death never to return. That was a day which advanced with the sword against the summit of Islam ....'


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