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Arbaeen: An Opportunity to Display a Strong Will against Tyranny and Injustice

Prophets (as) and Imams (as) are the vivid examples and leaders that true Mu’mins (believers) should practically follow and not just worship. The example of Imam Hussain (as) is the lesson of uprising against tyranny and injustice, the movement of honorable believers who preferred martyrdom to humiliation, and who have shown us what it means not to surrender.

Commemorating Arbaeen: How Can We Follow Imam Hussain (as) at the Present Era?

Arbaeen is indeed an excellent occasion to think over the meaning of the uprising of Imam Hussain (as). Millions of people gather for Arbaeen processions on the way to Kerbela, carrying colorful flags, some wearing funeral clothes; the movement displays the magnificence of Imam Hussain’s (a) path. Meanwhile, other worshippers gather at special meetings devoted to Arbaeen in order to read Ziyarah and the Holy Qur’an, also singing mourning Latmiyyas.

Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, has pointed to this event: “Have you seen that gathering? Have you seen the great movement, comprised of millions of people, between Najaf and Karbala? Have you seen the movement between Najaf and Imam Hussein (a.s.)? Have you seen that excitement and enthusiasm? Have you seen that movement? When such movements are necessary to be launched even if some danger is involved, the same excitement and enthusiasm exists in our nation, in our people and in our youth. This should be preserved. This is what guarantees the survival of this country”. And surely it also guarantees the survival and self-reproduction of the global Shia community whose sacral axis is the tragedy of Karbala and the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as).

Even post factum Arbaeen is worth some reflection. The question arises: is this just an ordinary act of worship limited within a mosque, a hussainiyyah or some sacred places? Really, for some people Ashura and Arbaeen is just about crying, screaming, even beating themselves, and they even think they worth some kind of reward from Allah for that, and they strive to get this reward – in fact, often they do it just to improve their worldly private affairs.” Of course, reading duas for improving somebody’s life is legitimate. But isn’t it a kind of hollowing-out the meaning of Imam Hussain’s (as) revolution?

Prophets (as) and Imams (as) are the vivid examples and leaders that true Mu’mins (believers) should practically follow and not just worship. The example of Imam Hussain (as) is the lesson of uprising against tyranny and injustice, the movement of honorable believers who preferred martyrdom to humiliation, and who have shown us what it means not to surrender.

Islam is not the religion of self-humiliation. Islam doesn’t see anything praiseworthy when people act themselves like voiceless sheep submitting to corrupt and unjust rulers calling this “piousness” and “patience”. Islamic patience is something vice versa: it’s patience in obtaining a victory over tyrants and transgressors and relying on Allah Who is the only King (Al-Malik) and Master. In its very essence Islam is a revolutionary doctrine. It’s a religion of strong and free people who don’t surrender and don’t allow to humiliate themselves. And Imam Hussain (as) is a Leader of such people. His Eminence has said: “Death with dignity is better than a life of humiliation”. The slogan of Ashura uprising was: “Go far from us, humiliation!” (Never to humiliation!)

Who challenges the tyrants refusing to surrender to humiliation at the present era? Who demonstrates a strong will to resist against the arrogant and oppressive powers nowadays? Who are not broken with wars, sanctions, aggressive and unlawful pressure? Who follows Imam Hussain (as) not just in some acts of worship, but in practice?

Surely it’s the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as movements inspired by the Islamic Revolution – like Hezbollah in Lebanon. Of course, the basic reason of this spiritual strength is Iman (faith) and reliance on God who has blessed the Revolution and the Resistance. However, the sole factor of Iman alone is not enough, even though it is magnificent. An appropriate guidance is also necessary. Basically it’s a guidance of the Prophets (as) and the Infallible Imams (as), but secondly, in the era of the Major Occultation, these are the guidelines of just, smart and pious mujtahids who explain the message of Infallibles (including Imam Hussain (a)) in the terms of our modern era and the contemporary situation.

For example, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Sayyid Ali Khamenei, has explained what it means to be steadfast and what it means to resist. Hereby I will refer to some of his useful quotations.

First of all, his Eminence has always praised Hezbollah as the example of steadfastness, iron will and courage. It is especially important now when new challenges and enemies’ schemes are actively turned into existence. Shapes of new aggressive war against the victorious Resistance with its triumph in Syria arouse on the horizon. The scenario, the action and the intrigue of the upcoming conspiracies worth box office hitters, and it would be amazing if it wasn’t that mean and sad. “Do you want to launch a destructive war against the Lebanese to save them following your approach in Yemen?” – Hezbollah Secretary general Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah asked the Saudis, adding that Zionist enemy doesn’t possess military possibilities to attack Lebanon and the Resistance.

After some Arab states forming the so-called Arab League made a treacherous act against Palestine and Resistance putting Hezbollah into the list of “terrorist organizations”, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution delivered a brilliant speech titled as: “Hezbollah is shining like a sun”, where his Eminence said:

“Take a look at the world of Islam and see what they did to revolutionary and religious youth in Lebanon and Palestine. What could they do? How many promotional and practical activities they did against Hezbollah of Lebanon! They issued threats and they put them into practice. However, Hezbollah is showing its magnificent stature in the world of Islam. Let us assume that such and such a dependent, corrupt, hollow and empty government condemns Hezbollah in such and such a manifesto and with its money and oil revenues. Well, the hell they do that! Who cares? Over there, Hezbollah is shining like a sun! Hezbollah is a source of pride for the world of Islam! The youth and members of Hezbollah of Lebanon are a source of pride for the world of Islam!

They made such an achievement that could not be achieved by the armies of three Arab countries in two, three wars. They defeated Israel. Before inflicting such a defeat on Israel, the armies of three countries – countries like Egypt and Syria, that had strong armies, and Jordan – deployed their forces against the Zionist regime at least in two wars and they were defeated in those wars. In the first war, not all countries participated, but in the second war, Egypt, Jordan and Syria deployed their armies against Israel and were defeated.

However, Hezbollah managed to defeat the Zionist regime – which had become stronger after those wars – in the course of just 33 days. Is this a small feat? Is it a minor achievement? Is it wrong to say that they are a source of pride for the world of Islam? Now, even if a piece of torn paper condemns them somewhere, who cares? The truth is growing and blossoming. The truth might face some difficulties on its path, but it will eventually become victorious. The Holy Quran says, ‘But the torrent bears away to foam that mounts up to the surface’ [The Holy Quran, 13: 17]. Foam has an eye-catching appearance on the surface of water. When you take a look at the surface of a river, foam catches your eye when the water bubbles, but this foam does not survive: “But the torrent bears away to foam that mounts up to the surface.” The foam goes away and is destroyed: ‘While that which is for the good of mankind remains on the earth’ [ibid]. The thing that is beneficial and the thing that is a source of life for people – that is to say, flowing, clear water – will remain.”

Aggressive actions against Hezbollah should not be perceived just like a domestic initiative taken by some local traitors. It is inspired by the world order that can be truly called Yazidi.

To follow Imam Hussain (as) is not just to slander that corrupt and cursed ruler who ordered to kill the Imam (as) and his followers. Ashura is not a kind of historical theatrical performance related to distant eras. The light of Imam (as) and the spirit of his uprising is present with us. To follow Imam Hussain (as) means to resist against the collective “Yazid” of our time whose embodiment is world US-Zionist usurious order. This is how the Supreme Leader describes the crimes made by this corrupt system in order to achieve its low material goals:

“One of the things that is necessary today is political insight. Political insight! Notice that when insight exists, we can understand our surrounding environments and the environments that are near to and far from us. Insight means this. When insight does not exist, one becomes attracted to something that is really not attractive at all. Some people are infatuated with America, but this infatuation is false because America does not have any attraction. We used to speak about these matters, but you witnessed that in the recent elections, the most prominent personalities from that country said more things that we said. The things that they said were two or several times more than the things that we said!

The President who has been elected in America has said that, if we Americans had allocated the money that we spent on war in recent years on building America, we could have built America twice over and we would not have so many roads, bridges, dams and cities that need repair and we would not have so many poor people! Are those individuals who are attracted to that fantasy place prepared to understand these things?  There is such destructions in that country, but its money is being spent on dishonorable affairs.

Were the wars that have cost several trillion dollars according to what he says – he says that they have spent several trillion dollars on those wars – honorable wars? There are two kinds of war. One is an honorable war during which one respects human laws. Well, imagine that an enemy attacks you. You have to fight against him. This war is an honorable war. But the war that America waged in the region in recent years was not an honorable war. They destroyed the people’s homes. They killed tens of thousands of civilians. They killed women and children and they dropped bombs! They bombarded funeral and wedding ceremonies and they destroyed the infrastructure of several countries. Notice what they did to Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan!

Those several trillion dollars have been spent on such things. These are the things that we used to say all the time. Insight means knowing whom you are faced with. It means knowing what he thinks about you. It means knowing that if you close your eyes and stop thinking, you will receive a strike! This is insight. We expect political and non-political personalities of the country to have such insight. The people fortunately have this insight, surprisingly. Ordinary individuals and the masses of the people have this political insight, but some of our outstanding personalities do not have it because of insistence on their delusions!

I do not have any opinion about the election that has been held in America. America is America. Neither of the two existing parties in America did anything good for us whenever they held office. On the contrary, they only did bad things against us. One imposed sanctions and the other struck our airplane. One attacked our oil platforms, and the other helped our enemies. We do not have any concerns for either. By Allah’s favor, we are ready to face any possible incident. Some people in the world are mourning because of the results of the elections in that country and some people became happy and celebrated it. We do not do either of these things. We neither mourn nor celebrate because it does not make any difference to us!”

Meanwhile, following Imam Hussain (as) means to preserve the Islamic order and the achievements of the Islamic Revolution:

“What I consider as today’s need is primarily insistence on the principles of the Revolution. The principles of the Revolution are the same things that exist in Imam Khomeini’s (r.a.) testament and statements. These are the foundations and pillars of the Revolution. I advise the youth to read Imam’s (r.a.) testament. You did not see Imam (r.a.), but he is manifested in that testament. He is manifested in those statements and words. The content of Imam (r.a) – who managed to shake the whole world – is the same things that exist in that testament and in his statements. Imam (r.a.) cannot be distorted. He cannot be defined against what he was. His statements are available. So, insistence on the principles of the Revolution is necessary”.

“What do we want for our country and for our people? Where do we want our people and our country to go? What we want for the people is national security, national dignity, public health, public welfare, comprehensive progress, independence from global domineering powers, the cultivation of talents, and freedom and salvation from social detriments such as addiction, corruption and other such detriments. We want these things for the country”.

To follow the path of Imam Hussain (as) means to be steadfast and independent, well-educated and vigilant. And all these qualities are obtained through another important feature: working efficiency and being hardworking.

Lack of such qualities among the younger generation has become a real worldwide disaster. Not only economy suffers, but also many families are ruined, because individuals have turned irresponsible and sluggish.The Supreme Leader has specially pointed to this problem:

“Another scenario is that he is a lazy individual. He wants to rest and to sleep. Or he is addicted to drugs, to lustfulness and to these computer games that have become common nowadays. I have heard that some people become addicted to such games. So, he is indifferent to his own fate and the fate of those who have pinned their hopes on him. Another scenario is that he is busy with his base instincts. For example, this officer thinks about satiating his material and animal desires. He busies himself with self-indulgence. So, this officer can be imagined with this form and this attitude as well. What will the result of the war be then? It is clear what the result will be. Therefore, the identity of officers in soft wars can be defined in two different ways”.

Of course, in his speeches Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei thoroughly touches many of domestic problems, like improving management, economy and opposing American schemes against Iranian independent policy. Nevertheless, in fact the quoted guidelines are universal, and the Iranian experience is just a bright sample of resisting the oppressive Yazidi order of our time. Note that this resistance lasts for decades, and, despite sanctions, Iran has managed to make great progress and numerous achievements in education, science, medicine, industry, culture, etc.  The Islamic Republic of Iran is not a specific and exotic country whose stance and lifestyle can be applied only to itself. Islamic Republic is an example for all individuals and nations, both Muslims and non-Muslims to be independent and not to surrender. And it’s as universal as Imam Hussain’s (as) life and message.

On the other hand, the contemporary world is burning like the sands of Karbala where the blood of the martyrs spilled. Takfiri terrorists use exactly the same methods the Yazidi thugs used to employ. Palestine, Yemen, Iraq, Syria are starving from massacre organized by the same Yazidi world order. In such conditions what should be more topical then the call of Imam Hussain (a) heard by us through distances in time and space?

The article was written by Anastasia (Fatima) Ezhova and first published in Khamenei.ir. Anastasia (Fatima) Ezhova is a Russian political analyst, writer and journalist. She was born in 1983. After a long journey, Ms. Ezhova converted to Islam in 1999. She graduated from Moscow State University (faculty of philosophy) in 2005. Ezhova is also the editor-in-chief of “The Axis of Resistance” website (www.mihwar.ru) and a member of an editorial board of “Musulmanka” Islamic female magazine.

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One comment

  1. Salam, it seems that ” the word “worship ” as put forth above , Prophets, and Imams we should practically follow not just worship! is misleading , instead apply revere or what suits not this one.

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