What had Imam Husayn's revolution meant in history? Some people who are not familiar with its motives, innocently inquire about its results. Others have even questioned the wisdom of striking at a mighty force like the Umayyads, which was fatal. Although the revolution's motives have already been discussed, a brief review of the changes in the Muslim World after Imam Husayn's revolution is appropriate;
1. Murdering Imam Husayn (as) the grandson of the Prophet (S) was a great shock to the whole Muslim world. This is not to mention the way he was murdered or the treatment given to his family who had the highest esteem and respect of all Muslims. Consequently, all Muslims dissociated themselves from the Umayyad's deeds and policies. Indeed, who wants to share in the certain curse upon those who murdered the family of the Prophet?
Thus, this revolution had done the task of unveiling the Umayyad's un-Islamic character to the general public and left no doubt in any person's heart about the Umayyad's substance.
Therefore, the concepts which the Umayyad's were propagating in order to distort the ideals of Islam found no listening ear any longer, diverting the Umayyad's mischief of changing Islamic concepts and ideals.
2. Imam Husayn's revolution set a lively example as to the duty of Muslims in such conditions. It had deeply penetrated peoples’ hearts and produced great pains within them for not doing their Islamic duty. This feeling which pained people all the time transformed into repentance and then to an open revolt against the Umayyad's regime. Thus, the revolution provided the stimulant to move their spirit and set it in a dynamic movement. Indeed, the Islamic movement was put to a new gear throughout the rest of the Islamic history.
A series of revolutions manifesting Imam Husayn's revolutionary spirit and reforms emerged at successive intervals. Tawabeen's revolution took place immediately after Karbala's tragedy. Another revolution at Madina was aiming at doing away with the Umayyads deviated regime. Al-Mukhtar Al-Thaqafi led another revolution which stormed the Umayyad's regime in Iraq and he was able to punish all principal collaborators in the campaign against Imam Husayn in Iraq. Mitraf ibn Al-Mughira's revolution against Hajjaj and Abdul Malik was another result.
However, there were a chain of revolutions in all parts of the Muslim world which eventually did away with the Umayyad's regime. Imam Husayn's revolution was the principal slogan of the revolutionaries against the Umayyad's. The Abasides came and soon their conduct was exposed as not that which the family of the Prophet was advocating. They realized that the revolution’s results were stolen and before they could do anything, the main personalities which carried the revolt through were treacherously eliminated by murder, poison and imprisonment.
The attempts to restore Islamic conduct have never ceased throughout Islamic history. Bitter experiences and intermittent material failures are natural results of struggle. Most importantly is the triumph of the Islamic spirit against intimidation and attempts to obscure its shining face and glory. A ceaseless revolution in Muslim lives is a reality, which the enemies of Islam failed to extinguish.
The secret key of this blessed revolution lies in the firm faith in God, the unshakable conviction, which puts material supremacy and gain in an inferior position to God's satisfaction. These ideals were demonstrated by Imam Husayn when the Muslims were in need of such an example most.
The revolution of Imam Husayn was not solely for changing a government, if it was so, then it would be wrong to call it a revolution. Imam Husayn was advocating a drastic change in the social set up, the economic and political structures and refining Islamic concepts from foreign ideas which had crept into Muslims' minds and thoughts.
Imam Husayn wanted to change the life of Muslims to be in conformity with Islamic laws and ideals. Indeed, this explains one main reason for why Imam Husayn was let down by the tribes of Kufa after being promised support, and his call was ignored by the rest of the Muslim world. Hence, a revolution means a drastic change in one's life or the collective life when applied to a large scale.