The color (or dye) of Allah, and who colors better than Allah.
(Surat al-Baqara: 138)
The army that attacked and murdered in cold blood the 72 shuhadaa’ of Karbala carried “the banner of Islam.” They were the army of Yazid, to whom Imam Husain refused to give allegiance. Yazid’s army was of thousands; Imam Husain’s army was of 72.
Though the assaulting army carried the banner of Islam, they did not accept Sahib-uz-zamaan, the one who is in Rasulullah’s position in their time. Instead, they accepted Yazeed, the son of Mu’awiyah and the grandson of Abu Sufyaan (both had fought against Rasulullah SA in battles in the early days of Islam).
We remember these 72 shuhadaa’ on every occasion, every waaz, every bayaan, every marsiya, because their actions, choices, and sacrifices epitomized complete dedication, faith and conviction in Dawat, and in Sahib-uz-zaman, Imam Husain. It would have been so convenient for those in the 72 who were looking at material and worldly expediency to say that the opponents also proclaim the shahaadat of Islam – la ilaha illa allah muhammadun rasulullah – why fight them. The shuhadaa’ of Karbala gave themselves to a cause untethered by worldly ties, they broke free from their attachment to material and worldly things. They became a part of something bigger than themselves. The others who did join the Imam, survived in this world, but chained to their material possessions. The shuhadaa’ in return for their sacrifice in this world attained a freedom beyond imagination in the Afterlife.
It is easy to take refuge in the past, and hide from controversy, afraid to affront the reality – not very different from those who abandoned Imam Husain at Karbala did. They comforted themselves as being ‘Muslims’, and as following an authority figure with all the trimmings of power, no matter how corrupt and illegitimate that figure was. All this so they would not have to remove themselves from their comfort zone and disrupt their livelihoods. The martyrs of Karbala did not hide in the shadows of confusion, afraid to recognize the light. They stood by Imam Husain with conviction and pride.
As we remember Imam Husain SA in Chehlum, we pray that our children and generations continue to remember Aqa Husain SA. But we cannot simply take Imam Husain’s name and yet ignore the principle for which he gave his life.
We pray that we may all have the courage to come out of the unreliable refuge of confusion and indecision in which many followers of Syedna Burhanuddin are cowering in today. We pray that they may have the courage to step out of the darkness and into the light and enter the true safe haven of truth, may we be worthy of the shafaqat of Syedna Qutbuddin.
We remember Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA and his loss is still seems unbelievable. Our love for him lives on with us. But today after the sad reality of Syedna Burhanuddin’s wafaat, clinging onto that without giving allegiance to his successor is not very different from those who say that we believe in Rasulullah and it does not matter whether you believe in his wasiyy Ali or not. As per our faith, we must give our Misaaq and allegiance to Syedna Burhanuddin’s successor.
Each one of us has been taught the lesson of Karbala and the shuhadaa’ since early childhood. It is now a choice whether to apply that lesson to our lives, or whether we simply choose to wait along the sidelines and watch those who falsely claim to be carrying the banner of Syedna Burhanuddin commit grave verbal and physical assaults on Sahib-uz-zaman, Imam-uz-Zaman’s Dai, Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin TUS.
Clearly numbers did not dictate the choice of the 72 shuhadaa’. They were with Imam Husain SA for Aakherat; because Imam Husain was the Imam of Haqq. When Imam Husain SA left Mecca to head to Kufa, he asked Farazdaq, a Shia of the Imam who was just returning from Kufa about the state of mind of the people there. Farazdaq replied, "their hearts are with you, but their swords are against you."