The event of Karbala is a strange event. It is a glorious panorama in history which has been presented to the entire humanity. Imam Hussein (a.s.) prepared himself for such a day, said Ayatollah Khamenei in his speech.
Many people were martyred in the way of God and alongside the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.), the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) and divine prophets. But none of these events is comparable to the event of Karbala. There is a difference between a person who enters the arena with the praise and encouragement of friends and companions and with a hope of victory and who is martyred in such conditions – of course, such martyrdom will bring great rewards for him – and a person who enters the arena in a dark and gloomy world while not only do all the great personalities of the world of Islam refuse to accompany him, but they also blame him for engaging in battle. The latter enters the arena while there is no hope of assistance from anyone and while people like Abdullah ibn Abbas and Abdullah ibn Ja’far try to prevent him from fighting. He enters the arena with a few sincere friends and with his family – including his wife, his sister, his nieces and nephews, his six-month-old son and a few young members of his family – while his friends and supporters in Kufa refuse to accompany him. This is a strange event. It is a glorious panorama in history which has been presented to the entire humanity. Imam Hussein (a.s.) prepared himself for such a day.
Of course, the entire 50-plus-year life of Hussein ibn Ali (a.s.) is a lesson. His childhood is a lesson, his youth is a lesson, his behavior during his imamate is a lesson and his behavior after the martyrdom of Imam Hassan (a.s.) is a lesson. It was not the case that Imam Hussein’s (a.s.) responsibility was confined to the last day. However, the event of Karbala enjoys such greatness and brightness that like a sun, it overshadows all the other lights.
The lofty speech of Imam Hussein (a.s.) which was addressed to ulama, outstanding personalities, Sahabah [companions] and Tabi’un [followers] in Mina and which has been narrated in hadith collections is a historical document. His letter which was addressed to ulama and religious personalities of his time and which has been narrated in reliable hadith collections is an important historical document as well: “You who are well-known for your knowledge and for your good deeds… does all of these characteristics that I mentioned not mean that you should spark an uprising to defend divine rights” [Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 97, page 79]. The behavior of that great Imam, particularly his behavior towards Muawiyah and his letter to him and his presence by his father’s side during the short caliphate of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) are all lessons. However, the event of Ashura is a different event.