Why Zainab’s (SA) mandate is heavier than Hussain’s (AS)

TEHRAN, Sep. 23 (MNA) – Ashura was marked across the world with tremendous religious fervor this weekend. Massive processions were taken out in different countries to pay glowing tribute to the martyrs of Karbala. Mourners wore black dresses, recited soul-stirring elegies and reaffirmed their pledge to uphold the sacrosanct principles exemplified by the grandson of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) on the desert plains of Karbala more than 1400 years ago.

Ashura is over but Muharram is not. The tragedy of Karbala does not culminate with the killing of Imam Hussain and his companions. It begins after that. Imam Hussain’s (AS) mandate is over. The ‘Master of the Martyrs’ has returned to his Lord, well pleased, obliging the command of his creator in Surah Fajr.

Hussain (AS) chose death with dignity rather than life with humiliation, raising the slogan of ‘Hayhaat mina Zilla’ (never to humiliation). He gave blood to revive human values, to uproot despotism, to pave the ground for Islamic awakening and social reformation. He accomplished his task.

Zainab bint Ali’s (SA) mandate has now begun. Her ordeal has also begun. She will be paraded through the crowded marketplaces of Kufa and Shaam, manacled and chained, along with other female members and children of the holy household. Yet, she sees beauty in her ordeal. The beauty of God.

Zainab (SA) is no ordinary woman. She is the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) and Fatima bint Mohammad (SA). She is Fasihah (skillfully fluent), Balighah (intensely eloquent) and Alimah Ghayr Mu’allamah (who has knowledge without being taught).

Her mission is equally important, to reveal the truth, to unmask the tyrants, to be an eloquent tongue of her brother’s blood.

Martyrs gave blood and now survivors have to convey the message of that blood to future generations. Zainab’s (SA) mandate is heavier than her brother’s mandate. If blood has no message, it remains unspoken in history. She is well aware of her mandate and responsibilities.

As Dr. Ali Shariati reminds us, those who died committed a Hussainic act, those who remain must perform a Zainabic act. Hussain (AS) is the martyr of Karbala and Zainab (SA) is the messenger of Karbala. We have to choose either blood or the message, to be a martyr like Hussain (AS) or a messenger like Zainab (SA). Fence-sitters have no place in this revolutionary movement that has gripped hearts and minds of people for more than fourteen centuries.

The caravan Hussain (AS) led from Medina to Karbala was led by Zainab (SA) from Karbala to Syria. When the caravan halted in Kufa, Zainab (SA) courageously confronted the people of Kufa who had betrayed her brother after inviting him.

“O people of Kufa! Do you know whose heart you have burned, what blood you have shed, and what sanctity you have violated? You have done a monstrous deed, something for which the heavens are about to split asunder and so is the earth, and for which the mountains crumble. You have done something most defaced, duskiest, most horrible as much as the fill of the earth and of the sky,” said the daughter of ‘the leader of faithful’.

When the caravan reached Yazid’s court in Damascus, Zainab (SA) stood up and spoke with the valor and eloquence of her father and the indomitable spirit of her brother. Her sermon shook the foundation of Yazid’s mighty empire.

“O Yazid! I swear by Allah that I do not fear anyone except Him and do not complain to anyone but Him. You may employ your deceit and trickery, but I swear by Allah the shame and disgrace you have earned by the treatment meted out to us cannot be eradicated,” she said. The people present in the court were astonished, some were crying and some others were feeling remorseful.

Zainab (SA) carried out many responsibilities in the aftermath of Karbala. She protected the ailing son of her brother when the tents were set ablaze by the marauding soldiers of Yazid. She consoled little children like Roqayya and Sukaina when everything that belonged to them was forcibly snatched away. She led the caravan that was accompanied with the severed head of her brother perched atop a spear.

Zainab was crestfallen with grief but she stood firm because the mandate given to her was heavy. She wrote and recited marsiyas (poetic elegies) that jolted people out of their slumber and eventually led to the decline and fall of Yazidi empire. Today, nobody remembers Yazid, Ibn Ziyad, Umar Saad or Shimr. And everyone remembers Hussain, Abulfazl Abbas, Ali Akbar, Qasim, Asghar. Zainab is the savior of Karbala, who redefined patience and resilience in the face of insurmountable odds.

Zainab (SA) kept alive the movement of Karbala and inspired future generations to unmask Yazids and Ibn Ziyads of their time.

Her courage, steadfastness and resilience give a sense of hope and optimism to those who believe in the righteousness of their cause, like the women in Kashmir, women in Yemen, women in Palestine, women in Syria, women in Afghanistan. They are the flagbearers of Zainab (SA).

Last week, on Muharram 8, pictures of police personnel beating women during a Muharram procession in Indian controlled Kashmir, leading made it to newspapers and news channels across the world. Muharram processions remain banned in Kashmir since 1990, which human rights defenders have termed ‘blatant mockery of religious freedom’.

These women, part of a peaceful Muharram procession, carried banners of ‘Ya Hussain’, when they were confronted by a battalion of policemen carrying guns and sticks. The women stood their ground even when the shameless policemen started to smash them with big sticks. They reminded one of Zainab’s (SA) struggle in carrying the same flag through Kufa and Shaam.

As Dr. Shariati reminds us, it was Zainab (SA) who stood against and confronted the ruling oppressive power and who destroyed all resistance, and it was Zainab (SA) who spread the thoughts and ideas of Hussain’s (AS) school of revolution and martyrdom everywhere. She took the drops of the blood of Karbala as a symbol of courage and justice to all places and all times.


News Code 138002


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