Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Karbala, brief overview

Yazid (an Ommayyad) was forcing Husain the grandson of Prophet Mohammed to accept him as spiritual head (Caliph) of Islam. Husain denied him, this resulted in Battle of Karbala, Husain was martyred.

Battle of Karbala, 61 AH (it's 1434 AH now) between Ommayyad army and 72 men with women and children on the other side. 72 people (1 six month baby) thirsty for 3 days were martyred in a day. Muslims killed grandson son of their own Prophet, within 50 years after him.

No sincere believer could ever dare to go to such limit, it’s obvious Ommayyads were hypocrites but they pretended to be most pious Muslims. Which sane person; of any religion can consider their words to be true?

There was old rivalry between clan of Prophet Mohammed (Banu Hashim) since time of Prophet's forefathers on one side and clan of Yazid's ancestors (Banu Ommayya) on other side even before declaration of Islam by Prophet Mohammed.
 More on: Rivalry of Ommayyads v/s Hashmites and Karbala

When Prophet declared Islam, Banu Ommayya were staunchest enemies of Islam, they did everything they could do to harm Islam by social boycott, persecutions etc on Muslims and Banu Hashim.
These resulted in migration of Prophet Mohammed to Madina. After that series of battle between Banu Ommayya and Muslims were fought. More on: Persecution on, Migration and Battles of Muslims

Muslims grew powerful politically and Makka the capital of Ommayyads was captured after Makkan broke the truce and Prophet led an army to capture Makka, although the capture was bloodless and Prophet granted general amnesty to all Makkans. Banu Ommayads found no better option but chose to accept Islam outwardly. More on: Prophet's role in Madina, and capture of Makka

After Prophet Mohammed passed away, few Muslims elected Abu Bakr as Caliph (Religious head) of all Muslims, contradicting Prophet Mohammed's declaration few month back of leadership in favour of  Ali his cousin brother who was also his son in law. Followers of Ali opposed illegitimate Caliphate by all passive mean, since open war at such time was not feasible option in opinion of Ali. Ali was considered (1st) Imam (Divinely appointed leader) by his followers on orders of Prophet. This is what two sects of Islam are, Shia (followers of Imam) and Sunni (followers of Caliph). More on: How Abu Bakr became Caliph

Abu Bakr nominated Umar Khattab as next Caliph in his death will, who ruled for next few years. Umar Khattab in his death will made a council including Ali that would choose next Caliph among themselves. Members proposed Caliph will work on council's advice, which Ali denied. Uthman Affan (Ommayyad) agreed to proposal, so he was made third caliph. More on: Umar Khattab and his Caliphate

Uthman Affan appointed Ommayyads on all high positions (governors, commanders, jurist etc). Ommayyads accepted Islam after victory of Makka, before which they were Islam's enemies and became Muslim as best option they found. Thus Ommayyads came to power. Sentiments of people were hurt and administration collapsed during Uthman's rule and riots were order of day. Uthman was murdered by rioters.

After Uthman's murder people gathered towards Ali and asked him to accept Caliphate, Ali finally agreed on condition that he would work on his on capabilities and would not be obliged to take advises of prominent men, which was agreed. Ali became Caliph. More on: Uthman and his caliphate

Mauwiya (Ommayyad) governor of Syria challenged caliphate of Ali, he established his own parallel caliphate and waged war on Ali. He accused Ali behind the Uthman's murder, which Ali denied. In his propoganda Aisha (Prophet Mohammed's widow) supported him, both declared war on Ali, battles were fought, Ali's army won the battles. Mauwiya continued war but called off Siffin battle for negotiations which were result less. Ali's army had few members who opposed negotiations and started a third front (Kharji sect) and declared war on Ali, Ali fought with them and won. Wars continued, meanwhile Ali was martyred in Iraq. More on: Caliphate of Imam Ali Murtada

Imamat (Divinely appointed leadership) went to Hasan (2nd Imam) after Ali, Ali's eldest son also Prophet Mohammed's eldest grandson. Majority of people accepted Hasan as next Caliph. Mauwiya opposed Hasan as well and continued his parallel caliphate. After series of battle Mauwiya offered truce with Hasan, which Hasan accepted on his terms of Quranic rule, amnesty and compensation for his men, most important Mauwiya would not nominate anyone after him as next caliph, Mauwiya accepted them.

Truce between Hasan and Mauwiya was working, it worked for next few year. Amidst these years Hasan was poinsoned on orders of Mauwiya. After Hasan was poisoned Husain his younger brother next 3rd Shia Imam maintained the truce made by his elder brother. Mauwiya broke the truce made a will and appointed his son Yazid as next caliph. When Mauwiya died, Yazid declared himself Caliph according to will of his father.

He sent envoys to Husain to accept him as Caliph, Husain denied allegience as Mauwiya had broken the truce. Husain opposed spiritual leadership of Yazid as for political power Husain didn't raised any army. In opinion of Yazid, caliphate without Husain's allegience would remain illegitmate, thus he was adamant about it.

Husain was sure Ommayyads were hypocrites and were power hungry and would officially corrupt Islam once they get allegiance from Husain. Husain denied allegience in Madina, later in Makka also and started his journey to Kufa, Iraq from where he received invitation for support.

Before Husain could reach Kufa, Yazid's army encamped Kufa, set a curfew and dispatched army towards Husain's route to encounter him before he could reach Kufa.

Husain's caravan and Yazid's army met at Karbala, Husain couldn't reach Kufa. Yazid's tyrant army pressurised Husain to offer allegience to Yazid, water was blocked on camp of Husain. Finally, one to one combat was held and Husain and other 71 men including one six month old baby were marytred in a day.

Ladies and children from Husain's camp were enslaved, handcuffed and paraded as victim, were presented to Obaidullah (Ommayyad) who was Yazid's governor of Kufa from where they were sent to Damascus as captives and presented to Yazid. They were held captives along with heads of martyrs for about a year and finally released to prevent riots. They went back to Madina.

Ommayad dynasty a political power was established but had no spiritual authority. Thus no more reason was left to consider their actions as Islamic, separation between Islam and political power was established, this was what Husain desired and established this distinction, he won the battle even after being oppressed.  

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