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The Truth about Imam Hussein’s Revolution - Part 1

By: Martyr Murtadha Mutahhari

Different phenomena vary as to their realities. Similarly, every uprising or revolt is unique as to the truth/s underlying its eruption [and eventual success or otherwise].

In order to understand a particular matter, or a state of affairs, you should know the deeper reasons underling its existing form and the characteristics that gave it that specific appearance. You should also be conscious of the material causes of that matter, or issue, i.e. its constituents or ingredients. In other words:

1. The forces/causes that produced the revolt or uprising, which signify its truth are called “the causes at work”.

2. The nature of the revolt and its goals represent “its intents and purposes”.

3. The actual action plan, implementing it and all what goes with it represent “its material causes”.

4. The end result that the revolt has come to produce represents its “overall picture”.

[Applying these parameters], was Imam Hussein’s uprising a result of an angry outburst?

Islam is different from some other movements for change or reform that took place as a result of certain circumstances that in turn led to eruptions. Dialectics, for example, encourages heightening disagreements, inciting discontent, and showing opposition even for genuine reforms in order to bring things to a head on collision, i.e. an explosive revolution, not a conscious one.

Islam does not subscribe to these types of revolutions. The history of most Islamic revolts or uprisings speaks of the rationale behind such revolts, in that they came as a result of a complete understanding of the status quo they were determined to change.

Thus, Imam Hussein’s revolt was not a result of an angry outburst, prompted by the pressures exerted by the Umayyad rule, especially during the reigns of Mu’aawiyah [the founder of the dynastic rule], and his son, Yazid. Rather, it was a very well calculated move.

What substantiates the position the Imam (A.S) took in this regard was the letters he exchanged with both the men; and the sermons he gave on different occasions, especially that one he addressed the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) in Mina, [in present day Saudi Arabia] with. All this evidence points in the direction of one conclusion. That is, the Imam was fully aware of what he was intending to do, viz. taking on the ruling establishment. His revolt was free from any angry reaction; rather, it was a purely Islamic uprising.

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