True Islam is that of Imam Hussayn’s (A.S), and that’s why visiting lmam Hussayn (A.S.) with full awareness of him is far superior for followers of the Imam (A.S) to thousands of the Hajj pilgrimages performed by Yazīdi people.
During the Hajj period, i.e. the Dhu al-Hijjah month when the rituals of Hajj is commenced, Ziyara of Imam Hussayn (A.S) is recommended. During the Umrah period which begins from the first day of Rajab month and reaches its pinnacle in the middle of the same month, visiting Imam Hussayn (A.S) is also recommended. There is a mystery behind this which should be discovered and understood. The answer could be found in a strong relationship between Imam Hussayn (A.S) and the Hajj which is considerable in several aspects:
First, as you may know, Imam Hussayn (A.S) stayed in Mecca from Sha’ban to Dhu al-Hijjah 7, and on the 8th of Dhu al-Hijjah which is known as Tarwiyah Day when all Hajjis congregate at Mecca, he left the city. Why? The reason is clear. First of all, Imam Hussayn (A.S) stated that a group of armed rebels with their swords hidden under their Ihram clothing were missioned by Yazīd ibn Mu’āwiya to assassinate him in the holy Mosque of Mecca (Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām). However, the Imam (A.S) was reluctant to be killed in the mosque even if orchestrated by Yazīd as the imam didn’t want the Kaaba to be disrespected by such an event. He left Masjid al-Ḥarām to avoid such a problem (his being killed in Kaaba) so that disrespecting the Kaaba would not become a custom in future especially by cruel rulers. In other words, killing the grandson of the holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.) in Masjid al-Ḥarām would normalize disrespecting Kaaba, let alone others.
Of course, there have been some other individuals such as Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr who have been killed in Masjid al-Ḥarām, but there is a great difference between the social status, personality and character of Imam Hussayn (A.S) and a person like ibn al-Zubayr. Moreover, the ultimate objectives and the method of their protests and fighting were much different from each other. Imam Hussayn (A.S) was the son of the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) and the same time he was the religious leader and the guide of the Islamic Ummah and the narrator of the Hadiths uttered by the Allah’s Prophet (P.B.U.H.). Thus, he attempted to prevent the Kaaba to be disrespected.The killing of ibn al-Zubayr in Masjid al-Ḥarām, though considered as disrespect of the Kaaba, would not turn into a custom. In fact, nobody would make murdering others in Masjid al-Ḥarām a custom by killing ibn al-Zubayr, but the case would totally be different if it had been occurred for Imam Hussayn (A.S). That is why the Imam (A.S) decided to leave Kaaba to save its respect and status.
Second, as we all know, Imam Hussayn (A.S) saved Islam by his revolution, protest, and martyrdom. The version of Islam which the Umayyads sought for, was not a true Islam; It was a tool for governing over people. That was why there was no difference between Yazīd who ruled over people in the name of Islam and the Prophet, and other tyrants.The Umayyads did not say prayers; they would drink wine collectively, shed the bloods of innocent people, and raped the female members of the family of ordinary people. Considering all these matters, is there any real difference between Yazīd and other infidel and non-Muslim rulers? In this regard, the type of Islam through which Yazīd ascended to the caliphate is a fake Islam; it is a type of Islam which was misused by Yazīd so that he could rise to power. What type of Islam is it which could easily be misused? It is totally clear that it is a fake Islam; a type of Islam which do not prevent individuals from perjury, raping the female members of the family of people, disrespecting the House of God, pillaging the properties, lives, and female members of people’s family for three consecutive days with impunity; the type of Islam which allows killing hundreds of people by the caliph. This is not Islam. It is a fake Islam. If we claim to be a Muslim but do not practice its instructions, our Islam would also be a nominal one; it only carries the name of Islam; it is actually the idol of Islam, if it could be regarded as a correct interpretation in this case.
The Islam which Yazīd believed in was not Islam at all. If Imam Hussayn (A.S) had remained silent on the degradation of Islam which had begun since the departure of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) and continued to the Yazīd caliphate, Islam would have been so degraded gradually that nothing would have remained of it. Even the name of Islam would have been wiped out.
As reiterated frequently, Imam Hussayn (A.S) awakened the public opinion of the Muslims and mobilized them with his martyrdom, pumping fresh blood full of sincerity, faith, and affection into their hearts and blood vessels. It was after his martyrdom that a number of revolutions and uprisings broke out, making troubles for the Umayyads and finally overthrowing their caliphate and removing the type pf Islam that they practiced.
Imam Hussayn (A.S) revitalized Islam through his martyrdom and that is why the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) says: “Hussayn is from me and I am from Hussayn” (حسینٌ مِنّی وَأنا مِن حُسَین). Why does the prophet say that he is from Hussayn? Because Islam is from Hussayn and it was due to his martyrdom that the Islam was reborn; That’s why we call Imam Hussayn (A.S) “Allah’s Blood” (ثار الله), meaning that Allah Himself is the blood money of Imam Hussayn (A.S). The martyrdom of the Imam (A.S) saved Islam from total degradation and irritated its dying tree.
As stated in the Hadiths, Kaaba is the heart of Islam: “This religion (Islam) will continue to exist until the Kaaba exists” ( لایـزالُ هـذا الـدّینُ قائِماً ماقامَتِ الکَعبـَة). Kaaba is the heart and symbol of Islam, and until it is respected by Muslim and remains as their Tawaf place, Islam will continue to exist. Imam Hussayn (A.S) revived Kaaba and Islam and prevented this heart from stopping by this martyrdom, filling it with beneficence, blood, and dynamism.
There is, therefore, a relationship between Imam Hussayn (A.S) and the Hajj. The Imam (A.S) left the Yazīdi Hajj to perform the Hajj in Karbala with his blood.Those who had intended to assassinate the Imam (A.S) were carrying swords under their Ihram garment, seeking a suitable opportunity to murder him.the Imam (A.S) left such a nominal and Yazīdi Hajj to Perform Hussayni Hajj. He sacrificed his life to keep the true Hajj alive.Thus, there is a relationship between Kaaba and Imam Hussayn (A.S); that’s why the times of Hajj and Umrah are also the time for the pilgrimage of Imam Hussayn (A.S), as he was the one who saved such rituals and tradition and revitalized both Islam and the Kaaba.
The reason that the pilgrimage of Imam Hussayn (A.S) has been recommended to be performed on the first and fifteenth of Rajab is to reject nominal and Yazīdi Islam and to emphasize that the true Islam is the one whose Hajj unites all Muslims, its Salat prevents the believers from committing vices and wrongdoings, and its fasting (Sawm) shields the believers from the fire of the hell, as referred to in Hazrat Zahra’s sermon. The Islam which is led by Imam Hussayn (A.S) is the true Islam. Yazīd did not seek true Islam, he wanted that kind of nominal and fake Islam so that he could rule over people.Islam does not accord with humility and surrender against the hardships, despairing of victory, and feeling weakness against the enemy, even if the enemy is Yazīd.
True Islam is that of Imam Hussayn’s (A.S), and that’s why visiting Imam Hussayn (A.S) with full awareness of him is far superior for followers of the Imam (A.S) to thousands of the Hajj pilgrimages performed by Yazīdi people. This is the meaning of the saying which reads that the pilgrimage of Imam Hussayn (A.S) is superior to the Hajj and Arafat; otherwise, we know that Imam Hussayn (A.S) owes all his honor, greatness and dignity to Islam and the Hajj, and that nothing could be superior to Islam and the Hajj. Yes, thousands of Hajj pilgrimages do not equal visiting Imam Hussayn (A.S) because the true Hajj and the real Islam were revived, developed, and flourished by him.
The book “Martyrdom Travel”, p.p. 81-92, written by Imam Musa Sadr.