وَلَعَنَ اللّهُ أُمَّةً أَسْرَجَتْ وَأَلْجَمَتْ وَتَنَقَّبَتْ لِقِتالِكَ
“And may the curse of Allah be upon the nation that carried out, saw and were silent at your killing.”
How many people make up this ‘nation’ mentioned in this section who saw, carried out and were silent at the massacre of Karbala’? Some historians state that this number exceeded 80,000 people however the most famous account which has come to us directly from the Masumeen is 30,000.
The entire city of Kufah was mobilized for this act of terrorism and ‘‘Ubaydullah b. Ziyad ensured that everything needed to finish this battle was brought to the war front.
Those who participated in this event and even those who did not however remained silent are all cursed – just as those who even today hear of this tragedy and of other acts of oppression throughout the world are cursed even if they are not directly responsible for what happens.
There are three main reasons why the Imam did not receive the support he should have gotten from the Muslims, and upon review we see that they are definitely not ‘valid excuses’:
1. The people’s own personal gain and profit: When Imam Husayn, while in the Hajj asked a person who had just arrived from Kufah about what the people were talking about, this man said, “The hearts of the people are with you, however their swords are with Bani Umayyah...” To this, the Imam replied, “Surely the people are the servants of the transient world and the religion is something which they pay lip service to. They hold on to it when it serves their purpose however when they are plagued with difficulties, then very few hold firm to it.”
2. Fear of the government in power: Mua’wiyah, Yazid and his gang were very effective in striking terror and fear into the hearts of the people. The propaganda of Yazid, b. Ziyad and others infused deep into the psyche of the people such that they shook at the thought of going against their ‘leaders’ let alone even question their actions.
3. Ignorance of the truth: In all times, we see that those who are misled are the people who lack true knowledge and awareness of what is going on in the world, just as Imam ‘Ali has said, “Ignorance is the root of all evil.” Again, the propaganda machine of Yazid was so strong that people thought him and his forefathers to be the true Muslims and leaders, while the Commander of the Faithful and his family were considered to be out of the fold of Islam!
One wonders if these same things can not be seen in all ages where truth is pitted against falsehood...