The sayings of Imam Al-Husayn (A) are full of the values of respect, modesty and magnanimity. The reason why this condition is found more in his sayings in comparison to those of the other infallibles is that the Karbala tragedy had occurred so that Imam Al-Husayn’s (A) holy spirit could reflect its aspects well.
It is narrated that when the chief of the martyrs was coming towards Karbala, he met numerous people on the way who advised him in different ways against proceeding ahead and informed him about the danger to his life. Eventually, the Imam too replied them in different manners and made clear his aim that he would surely go on.
When one of them told the Imam that the circumstances were bad and it was not advisable for him to go on, the Imam replied, “My reply to you is same that a Prophet’s companion gave to one who was stopping him from taking part in Jihad.” After that, the chief of martyrs quoted the following verses:
“I would surely go. Death is not a cause of disgrace for a brave person (whose intention is to perform Jihad like a true Muslim). If someone fights in the way of truth and gets killed then such a death is not a cause of shame because he has stepped on a path of virtuous servants of Allah. Supporting virtuous servants, walking with them and getting united with them is not worth condemning. Opposing a sinner is a cause of pride.”
After that, the Imam said:
“I am going. Death is not a cause of disgrace for a person who has an intention of Fighting in the way of right like a Muslim. Jihad is not a cause of disrespect because this is such a death that makes one meet the virtuous. It is an honour to sacrifice one’s life while fighting with the enemies of the right path. Either I would remain alive in this battle or die. If I remain alive there is no chance of being disgraced and if I die 1 would have no worries.”1
“Either I would remain alive or get martyred. There is no third possibility. The path I have chosen has reward on both ends. If I remain alive it is not a cause of shame because I have embraced death. If I get killed, then too I would not regret.
A life free from fear of death is one, which is not a cause of disgrace. If I get killed my death would not taunt at all. (The other lines mention the same point that is said in the first two lines.) It is sufficient disgrace for you that you are alive and have got an insulting defeat. I would never bear this.”
“A prisoner of this world is unaware of other worlds.”
There are a few more couplets, which are either composed by Imam Al-Husayn (A) or his holy father, the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (A), which are quoted from the Collection of Amir ul-Mu’minin (A). Regarding them also it is narrated that these couplets were also recited by Imam Al-Husayn (A):2
“The world seems so beautiful that man is enamored by it but the world of Hereafter is far better and greater than this world. A prisoner of this world is unaware of other worlds.”
“If a person has to leave behind all his wealth before going away from this world, is it not better that he helps others with it as long as he is alive?”
“If one has to die, what difference does it make whether he dies on his bed or in the battlefield or due to fever? But how nice it would be for a man to die a good death! Getting martyred in the way of Allah with sword is not only good but also best for a human being.”3
You should estimate the spiritual state and ecstasy of the person who has recited the above verses. I am sure that only one personality would come to your mind who handed over his self to such an abode where he would be beautified even more.
How pleased Imam Al-Husayn (A) would have been on seeing that his blood, which was destined to flow on the earth was flowing in the way of Allah, his forehead split in Allah’s way and arrows hitting his chest in the way of Allah!
It is narrated that Imam Al-Husayn’s (A) body had one thousand nine hundred fifty-one injuries. If you can feel the pleasure of being broken into pieces in the way of Allah, the injuries on Imam Al-Husayn’s (A) chest would seem like medals, which increase his honour.
During the last moments Imam Al-Husayn (A) lay in a depression of land. He had no energy to stand up. The place where Imam Al-Husayn (A) was martyred was a sort of lowland. It was called “Low-land of martyrdom”.
If Imam Al-Husayn (A) had been a little away from this place his family members would not have been able to see him. Imam Al-Husayn’s (A) body had so many injuries and so much blood had flowed from his body during last moments that he could not bear his thirst and his vision became blurred.
In this state also, the enemies could not dare to attack his family members. They thought that Imam Al-Husayn (A) would trap them by acting like that. The enemies were sure that the Imam would attack them fiercely as long as there is life in his body.
A mercenary moved forward to behead the Imam but could not dare to go near him. Narrators of this scene say that Imam Al-Husayn (A) was a dignified person. He was the dignified one of Allah. It was impossible for him to bear that enemies attack his camp as long as there was life in his body.
Thus, when the enemies thought that Al-Husayn has become lifeless, they marched towards his camp. When the Imam sensed this move, he gathered all this energy and stood up with the support of his sword and called out condemning his enemies:
“O followers of the progeny of Abu Sufyan! O those who have sold their consciences to the progeny of Abu Sufyan! I am fighting you and you must fight me. What harm have those women and children done to you? If you don’t recognize God, if you don’t fear the hereafter, what has happened to your human respect and nobility?”45