From the view of Qur’anic logic Imam Al-Husayn (A) is Muhajir as well as Mujahid. He migrated from his city and country like Prophet Musa (A). Prophet Musa’s (A) homeland was Egypt. He left it and went to Madayn.1 However Prophet Musa (A) was only a Muhajir and not a Mujahid.
Prophet Ibrahim (A) was also a Muhajir for he had left his homeland, Babel.2
However, Imam Al-Husayn (A) is unique; for he was a Muhajir as well as Mujahid. During the early days of Islam, some people were Muhajir but they were not holy fighters because the commandment of Jihad was not enforced on them. Hence, they were only Muhajirs. Afterwards, the commandment of Jihad was enforced and the Holy fighters also came out of the Muhajirs.
However, Al-Husayn (A) is the only one who was a Muhajir as well as Mujahid from the very first day.3
Imam Al-Husayn (A) lived as an immigrant for approximately 23-24 days i.e. from on 8th Zilhaij when he left from Mecca till he reached Karbala on the 2nd of Muharram and then from the time he entered Karbala till the Ashura day.
Imam Al-Husayn (A) delivered a famous sermon on the day he departed from Mecca. The Imam discussed about Hijrat as well as Jihad in that sermon and said:
“O people! Death has left a mark on the progeny of Adam like a mark of necklace on a virgin’s neck. I am as eager to meet my ancestors as Yaqoob was to meet Yusuf. Death is certain for a human being. No one is exempted from death. I do not fear death. Getting martyred in the way of God is a crown of pride on the head of a person.
Death is forehead trinket for a martyr like a necklace worn by a virgin. O people! I foresee that wild beasts are tearing my flesh between Karbala and Nawawis. The happiness of we Ahl al-Bayt, lies in Allah’s pleasure. Whatever is liked by Allah is also liked by us.6 If He is pleased with our safety, we are pleased with safety and if He is pleased with our illness, we would love illness.
If He wants us to keep quiet, we would keep quiet and if He wants us to speak, we would speak. If He likes us to rest, we would rest and if He wants us to move, would move like waves.”
Imam concluded his sermon alter announcing his intention of migration:
“Whoever wants to sacrifice in the way of Allah like us, whoever wants to join his voice with our voice, whoever wants to migrate in the way of Allah and meet his God should accompany us. God willing. I shall depart tomorrow.”7
When Imam Al-Husayn (A) departed from Mecca, a large number of people accompanied him. In the beginning, many people thought that Al-Husayn Ibn Ali (A) is exaggerating his speech and it is possible that there would be peace everywhere in future. Many people joined him on the way but Imam Al-Husayn (A) did not want greedy people to accompany him.
He used to filter his companions through his words during the journey so that those people who are not worthy of being included in the battle along with him get separated. After filtering out a number of times whoever passed the test of purity as per the standard remained as a loyal companion of the Imam and others left him.
Now, only those companions were left along with Imam Al-Husayn (A) about whom the Imam had testified that he had not seen companions better and more loyal than those. Thus, if a comparison is made between the companions of the Holy Prophet (S) in Badr and the companions of the Imam in Karbala, Imam Al-Husayn’s (A) companions in Karbala will be said to be crown of all martyrs.
Imam Al-Husayn (A) had given permission to his companions on Ashura eve and cancelled their allegiance. Thus, he had made it clear that the enemy wanted to shed only his blood and had nothing to do with his companions. At that time, all said, “We have chosen to get martyred in your way only. Life is nothing compared to your sacrifice. We wish we had a thousand lives and would have sacrificed all on you.” The first to say this was the Imam’s brother, His Eminence, Al-Abbas (A).8
How happy Imam Al-Husayn (A) would have been when he saw that such companions had accompanied him who agree with his purpose. Hearing this, Imam Al-Husayn (A) told them, “'Now that you have taken a decision, I would inform you about the incidents to happen tomorrow. The battle would certainly be fought tomorrow and none of us will remain alive.”9
Imam Al-Husayn (A) granted such an honour to his companions on Ashura day, that it will be remembered in history forever. Those were the final moments and everybody was martyred. None remained except Imam Al-Sajjad (A) who was lying on his bed in his tent because of his illness. Imam Al-Husayn (A) was standing alone surrounded by the enemies.
The Imam looked to his left and right but found nothing except his martyred companions. Seeing this, the Imam uttered a sentence whose purport was, “I am not seeing any of the bodies lying on the ground alive.” Then the Imam said:
“All those buried in the earth and those who sleep on this earth are alive.”
Then the Imam called out for help (Istighatha). The Imam sought help. Who was alive to help the Imam? Who were those living persons? Are they bodies, which were lying dead on the ground? Imam (A) called his companions loudly paying homage to them, “O my loyal and courageous ones! O my loyal and brave ones! Wake up from sleep.
Get up! Move ahead! These immoral ones want to attack the sanctity of the Holy Prophet (S). These shameless ones are coming forward to rob the tents of the progeny of the Holy Prophet (S).”10 Then he said: “Go to sleep! Go to sleep. I know that your heads have been separated from your bodies.”11
فَخَرَجَ مِنْهَا خَائِفًا يَتَرَقَّبُ ۖ قَالَ رَبِّ نَجِّنِي مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ
So he went forth therefrom, fearing, awaiting, (and) he said: My Lord! deliver me from the unjust people. (Surah Qasas 28:21)
وَلَمَّا تَوَجَّهَ تِلْقَاءَ مَدْيَنَ قَالَ عَسَىٰ رَبِّي أَنْ يَهْدِيَنِي سَوَاءَ السَّبِيلِ
And when he turned his face towards Madyan, he said: Maybe my Lord will guide me in the right path. (Surah Qasas 28:22)
- 2. Surah Saffat 37:99.
- 3. Surah Nisa 4:100.
- 4. Surah Nisa 4:100.
- 5. Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 44, Pg. 313.
- 6. Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 44, Pg. 366; Mausuat al-Kalimat al-Imam al-Husayn, Pg. 328.
- 7. Lohoof, Pg. 60; Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 44, Pg. 366; Mausuat al-Kalimat al-Imam al- Husayn, Pg. 328.
- 8. Irshad, Shaykh Al-Mufid, Pg. 231; Muntahai ul-Amaal, Vol. 1, Pg. 626.
- 9. Allamah Majlisi says that Imam Husayn (A) made them see their places in Paradise. Thus, they saw their palaces and gardens and bounties of Lord in Paradise. Muntahai ul-Amaal, Vol. 1, Pg. 626.
- 10. Mausuat al-Kalimat al-Imam al-Husayn, Pg. 484 “O martyrs! Wake up. Wake up from your sleep and keep these mischief-mongers from the sanctity of the Holy Prophet (S)”
- 11. Guftar Hai Maanawi, Pg. 250-255.