Welcome to the 7th episode of our special 10-part series for the month of Moharram titled “In the School of Imam Husain (AS)”.
Today is the 7th of Moharram when Omar Ibn Sa’d, the Omayyad commander in Karbala, stationed a force of 500 horsemen led by Amr Ibn Hajjaj az-Zubaydi on the banks of the Euphrates, to block water to the encampment of grandson of Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny). The plan was to force the Imam to surrender and give allegiance to the Godless rule of Yazid, but the Imam refused to yield to injustice despite the fact that he and companions, including women and small children, were thirsty. Meanwhile, from Kufa, Obaidullah ibn Ziyad, the tyrannical Omayyad governor of Iraq, dispatched more forces to Karbala to besiege Imam Husain (AS). During the night the Imam’s valiant brother, Hazrat Abbas (AS), managed to fetch water from the River Euphrates and store it in the encampment, until all resources ran dry on the following day.
The daily 5-times ritual prayer is considered the pillar of faith, which means that without it religion is meaningless. In other words, it would be impossible to erect a tent without poles. Thus, the acceptance of our deeds in the Divine Court depends on God’s acceptance of our ritual prayer. Prophet Abraham (PuH), after leaving his wife Hajar and firstborn son Ishmael near the holy Ka’ba in the barren and burning Arabian Desert, supplicated to God Almighty, as mentioned in ayah 37 of Surah Ibrahim:
“Our Lord! I have settled part of my descendants in a barren valley, by Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may maintain the prayer.”
All Prophets of God and saintly persons practically performed and preserved the daily ritual prayers in society, in order to inculcate the spirit of monotheism coupled with trust in the Lord Most High. During the War of Siffin, which the Omayyad rebel Mu’awiya ibn Abu Sufyan had imposed on the Muslims, the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), looked towards the sky as if anticipating something. His cousin and disciple, Abdullah ibn Abbas, who is known as the prime exegete of the holy Qur’an, enquired whether he was expecting something. Yes, replied the Commander of the Faithful, I want to ascertain the time of the prayer, so as to fulfill this obligation. Ibn Abbas asked in astonishment: now, at this moment, in the heat of the battle, when we are facing a life-and-death struggle! Imam Ali (AS) replied: Ibn Abbas, aren’t we fighting for the sake of God and implementation of the daily ritual prayer.
Imam Husain (AS), in the din of the epic of Ashura, when arrows were being rained towards him and his followers by the Godless Omayyad troops, never neglected the daily ritual prayer. He performed it on time, despite the risk to his life and to that of his companions. At midday, he led the Zohr or Noon Ritual Prayer in congregation, while some of his companions, stood in front of the gathering as shields to protect the worshippers. Two of his brave companions, achieved martyrdom in the process, when the cowardly enemies, despite claiming to be Muslims, continued to shoot arrows towards the camp of the grandson of the Prophet of Islam. Earlier, as evening neared on the preceding day, when the enemy was resolved to start the battle, Imam Husain (AS) sent his brother, Hazrat Abbas towards the Omayyad camp, asking for a night’s relieve so that he and his companions would spend the night in prayers, supplications and worship of God Almighty before courting martyrdom. As is evident, the philosophy of the ritual prayer in Islam, is not just the believer’s expression of servitude to the Creator, but his consciousness of being in the presence of the Omnipresent Lord. This sense of worship is prevention against waywardness, deviation, committing of sins, and refrainment from crimes and all other evil acts.
On 10th Moharram or the Day of Ashura in 61 AH in Karbala, when the weather was extremely hot and the battle was raging as heads rolled on the ground and life was snuffed out from bodies, Imam Husain (AS) and his companions, despite their acute thirst carried out their duty of performing the ritual prayers on the battlefield. This was indeed an immortal lesson for posterity. The Muezzin or the Caller to prayer, was the Imam’s son Ali Akbar, who was in the prime of youth and bore a striking resemblance to his great-grandfather, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). Akbar who fought valiantly before achieving martyrdom, enthralled even the enemy forces with his recitation of the Azaan or Call to Prayer. But the stony-hearted commanders of the Omayyad enemy had no mercy for anyone, and continued their blasphemous fight against the household of the Prophet of Islam. After all his companions and relatives were martyred, including sons – the youthful Ali Akbar and the 6-month infant Ali Asghar – Imam Husain (AS) continued to fight alone until it was time for the afternoon prayer. He dutifully got down from his horse, and while engaged in the ritual prayer, was assaulted by the enemies, and achieved martyrdom in this lofty spiritual state. That is the reason that while saluting the Chief of Martyrs, we recite the phrase: I bear witness that you preserved the ritual prayer.
ارسال کننده: مدیر پورتال