After the death of Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan, Yazid ibn Mu'awiya sent a letter to the governor of Medina to take an allegiance from Husain ibn Ali and others. But Husain bin Ali did not swear allegiance to Yazid, and nightly moved with his family to Mecca.  When Imam Husain (AS) stayed in Mecca, many people of Kufa invited him to guide and lead them. Despite the opposition of some people such as Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr and others, Imam Husain (AS) accepted the invitation of the people and moved toward Kufa. Unfortunately, before Imam Husain (AS) arrived to Kufa, he heard that his representative, Muslim bin Aqeel, was martyred by Ibn Ziad, so he did not continue going to Kufa rather he moved towards Karbala. Imam (AS), his children such as Ali Akbar and Ali Asghar as well as his seventy-two of the best companions were martyred in Karbala.
Imam Sadiq (A.S), the immaculate Imam and great scholar and unique figure of knowledge in the world, always appreciated his uncle, Hazrat Abbas (A.S). He always remembered him by praising and admiring him. He was highly grateful to his heroic stances and sacrifices he made during the event of Ashura. In what follows, some of Imam Sadiq’s sayings about Hazrat Abbas also known as Ghamar-e-Bani Hashem are mentioned:
“My uncle, Abbas Ibn Ali (AS), had a strong faith and profound insight. He fought for the sake of God along with his brother, Imam Hussein (AS). He was able to successfully pass the test and was eventually martyred…”
Imam Sadiq (A.S) also names his uncle’s greatest characteristics which is an astonishing one as follows:
B. Strong Faith
In fact, Imam Hussein was the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s dear grandson; Hazrat Abbas accompanied his brother in order to win the almighty Allah’s pleasure and satisfaction. In his boasting on the day of Ashura, he said he didn’t have any material reason for his self-sacrifice which clearly represents his strong faith.
C. Jihad Alongside Imam Hussein (A.S)
Another virtue by which Imam Sadiq (AS) describes his uncle, Abbas (A.S), the hero of Karbala, was Jihad under the commandership of Lord of martyrs, grandson of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the head of youth in heaven. Fighting for the sake of God and his brother’s goal was the greatest virtue of Hazrat Abulfazl (A.S); he successfully passed the test and on the day of Ashura, he acted so heroically that was unique and incomparable in the arena of braveness and courage.
Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi
Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) did not give allegiance to Yazid.
This is the generic message that most of us have been taught as kids, whether at Sunday school, at our own homes, or even at those Muharram classes for kids during the first 10 nights. Then we go on to learn, "Every day is Ashura, and every land is Karbala."
Really? How can that be? But Imam Hussein is not being martyred every day. Lady Zeinab and Lady Sakina (peace be upon them) are not being beaten and deprived of their Hijabs every day. Yazid is not usurping the rights of Islam every day. Or is he?
When it comes to Islam, be it historical events or the thought-provoking laws of jurisprudence, there is more to understand and learn than what the eye sees or what the ear hears.
When Imam Hussein called out Hal min nasirin yansurna ("Is there anyone to help us?") he was quite aware that his family members were no more. As we all should know by now, this call was being made to us.
And we all should also know by now, Islam is a religion for all times and all ages, until the end of time. So what is the wisdom behind our dear Imam Jafar Sadiq (peace be upon him) saying, "Every day is Ashura, and every land is Karbala"?
How is it possible that every place is Karbala and every day is Ashura? Are not the concepts of time and space present in Karbala? Of course not! Time and space are ‘relative’ matters. They do not exist in an ‘absolute’ situation.
Karbala is the heart of earth and Ashura is the heart of time. In other words, Karbala is the absolute on the earth and Ashura is the absolute in time. That is where the heavenly paths start and the gate to the world of absolute is opened.
There is no time and space in Karbala. In order to get to Karbala, one should go beyond the self, beyond the attachments of this world and further than time and place; to let go of the attractions of this world and to leave. A selfish heart can never understand what it means to be in love with the school of thought of Hussein (AS).
Ashura is still here and the caravan of Karbala is still on its way. This caravan of love traverses the path of history, and is with this caravan anyone who let go of the worldly attachments because of it.
Many years have lapsed since Ashura, but the rulers of the world are still people like Yazid. Karbala will be here as long as the people of Yazid are here. This battle between good and evil never ends.
This is what distinguishes human from all the other beings, as it is the personification of truth.
Karbala and Ashura, being out of the boundaries of time and space, are measures for us to judge ourselves before it comes the Doomsday, so that we could realize if we are fighting for the right or for the wrong front in this battle.
By: Hojjatuleslam Seyed Javad Hosseini
Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi
We call on humanity to carry the love of Imam Hussain (AS) and sprinkle it on the world. It is only with love that we can establish a world that enjoys peace, tranquility and justice.
On the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram, in the year 61 A.H., Imam Hussain (AS) made an unprecedented sacrifice. He sacrificed his life, the life of his family members, and the life of his companions to repel injustice.