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 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"?
Millions of Shia Muslims in Iran and across the globe are holding mourning rituals in commemoration of the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shia Imam, Imam Hussein (PBUH).
Millions of black-clad mourners in Iran and many Muslim countries are holding mourning ceremonies to pay homage to Imam Hussein (PBUH), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and to a number of his loyal companions who were brutally killed while fighting for justice in Karbala, Iraq, around 1,300 years ago.
Muslims in Iran have also been commemorating the occasion during the days leading up to Ashura, the tenth day of the first month of the lunar calendar year, Muharram.
Many devout Muslims across the world are also holding ceremonies to mourn the event which is one of the most important occasions on the Shia calendar.
Ashura, which falls on December 6 this year, marks the day when the forces of the second Umayyad caliph Yazid martyred Imam Hussein (PBUH) and 72 of his companions in Karbala.
Iranian mourners usually congregate at mosques for lamenting, poetic recitations of the tragic event or Ta’zieh, performed in the memory of the Imam Hussein (PBUH)’s martyrdom.
Hussein bin Ali was a great person, who, through his sacrifices, taught many lessons to the coming generations.
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
Imam Hussein (A.S) started a battle that is still going on and it could lead to the abolishment of injustice and oppression all over the world, if God wills. His movement consisted of selflessness and sacrifice. The path of martyrdom, which means to sacrifice one’s life for the greater ideals, does not require any especial tools or skills. Imam Hussein opened this path for all the people in all times; and anyone who is a devotee of Imam Hussein can traverse this path. This is the secret of our strength and the enemy’s weakness; they need tools and skilled men to fight against us, but all we need is our faith.
The enemies consider the worldly life very valuable and would do anything just to have a better and a more comfortable life in this world. They are even willing to let go of their humanity and to fall to the level of subhuman for this purpose, while this world is just the appearance and the truth cannot be found here. But only one understands this who is enlightened enough to see where the truth lies. The enemy is blind to this fact. That is why the men of God fight with more zeal and passion.
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.