The Revolution of Imam Husayn and its Impact to the concious of the Muslim Nations

Ashura and its Impact on the Consciousness of Muslim Society by Shaykh Mohammad Mahdi Shams al-Din Translated from the Arabic by I.K.A. Howard
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  Chapter 1 Publisher’s Foreword We are pleased to present this book, The Revolution of al-Husayn: Its Impact on the Consciousness of Muslim Society, byHujjat al-Islam Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Shams al-Din, Vice-President of the Supreme Shi’ite Council in the Lebanon, to thereading public. The Book Imam al-Husayn, peace be with him, created a momentousIslamic revolution, which has continued to live as history hasgone by and still provides writers with vitality and inspiringmaterial. Despite the passing of time, it is a revolutionary torchwhose light guides revolutionaries and those who struggle toproclaim and support the truth and to resist and oppose thesymbols of falsehood. For more than thirteen centuries, writersof different groups, inclinations and ideas have continued towrite books and studies about this revolution. Yet neither has its spring been exhausted nor have thestreams which flow from it run dry. It is the same as it was atthe blessed time it took place in terms of its great significance.This book about the revolution of al-Husayn is consideredone of the most srcinal works on the subject, an srcinalitywhich the author indicates in his own preface. With this inmind, we wanted to have this work translated from its srcinal Arabic into English for two important purposes.Firstly, we wanted to make those non-Muslims, who onlyspeak English in many parts of the world, aware of the eternalquality of al-Husayn’s revolution so that they could understandits social circumstances and its influence on men.  2  This revolution is unique when considering the history of re- volutions aimed at reforming society which abound in Islamichistory, in terms of its ideology and its heroism. Similarly itrepresents the highest degree of self-sacrifice for the sake of religious principles and to free man from slavery and individu-alistic despotism.Secondly, the secret of the lasting nature of this pioneeringrevolution, which, despite the passing of thirteen centuries stillkeeps alive the crucial position, which it had on the day it took place, as a vital agent in creating acts of heroism, embodyingself-sacrifice and teaching men the way of noble sacrifice forthe sake of achieving a noble aim.The rising of al-Husayn was not merely a tragedy arisingspontaneously out of the injustice of man. Nor was it a mani-festation of family or personal struggle against the governmentor authority. It was much more exalted and greater than that.It was for the sake of preserving the Islamic religion and itsgreat benefits for saving humanity from persecution andslavery. The Author  The author, Hujjat al-Islam Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Shamsal-Din, is one of the scholars and illustrious personalities of theIthna ‘Ashari’Shi’ites. He is from a family whose roots in learn-ing are deep, going back to al-Shahid al-Awwal, Jamal al-DinMuhammad ibn Makki al-‘Amili (d.786 A.H.) This family hasbeen well-known in Mount ‘Amil in the Lebanon since the riseof scholarship in that region.The author was educated at the Religious College in Najaf where he studied the Arabic language, rhetoric, logic, jurispru-dence, the principles of jurisprudence and Tradition under thegreat figures and teachers of that college. At the same time heacquired great knowledge of literature, history and other as-pects of human learning.However, he did not consolidate his great ability as a scholarand extend the area of his horizons until, after he had passedthe first stage of the studies required for students of religiouseducation, he moved on to the stage of being lectured directlyby the mujtahids and marji’s (the most important Shi’ite 3  scholars who lead the Shi’ite community in all aspects of faithwhile the twelfth Imam is in occultation).Then he studied under such great authorities in the sciencesof jurisprudence and the principles of jurisprudence as the late Ayatullah Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim and Ayatullah Sayyid Abu’lQasim al-Khu’i.He participated in the foundation of some of the cultural or-ganizations in Najaf and the College of Law, where he gave les-sons in Islamic history and jurisprudence. He represented thelate Ayatullah Sayyid al-Hakim, for a number of years, in theprovince of Diwaniyya, which is one of the important tribalprovinces in Iraq. He also took part in many of the religiousand cultural celebrations in Iraq. After that he moved to Beirut in the Lebanon. There heworked with great effort to initiate cultural and religiousschemes, especially in matters concerned with raising thestandards in the south of the country. He was given the officeof Vice-President of the Supreme Shi’ite Islamic Council. Hehas had to work there in a presidential capacity since the dis-appearance of Musa al-Sadr.Despite his being occupied with events in the Lebanon andthe civil war there, he has continued to support the IslamicPublishing House with his valuable works which give expres-sion to basic Islamic ideals and spiritual direction to those set-ting out to study Islamic culture. Among those works produced by Hujjat al-Islam ShaykhMuhammad Mahdi Shams al-Din is this book, The Revolution of al-Husayn, which we present to the English reading public. Wehave every confidence that we have made a good choice. God,may He be exalted, is the One Who guides in the rightdirection.The Muhammadi Trust  Author’s Preface What is the significance of giving the quality of immortalityto any one man, to any one historical event, or to any great ac-complishment of mind and heart which one man has achieved?We constantly, or at least sometimes, feel the need for it. Wego back to such an immortal man to read, to listen and to seehis story, and we recall his life. We go back to such an  4

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