In an era where fake news is widespread and indistinguishable from reality, it can be difficult to commit and stand up for any cause, let alone sacrifice all you have for it. Although he lived in a distant era amidst a different backdrop, things were not so different in Hussain (as)’s time.
The leadership of his time was oppressive and corrupt to the core, and they used propaganda to control and subvert the masses. But Hussain (as) was adamant in his mission to uphold justice and truth and distinguish them from corruption and immorality. He lost his own and his family’s lives along the way. But today, his example lives on as a beacon for others. Reflecting on the life and death of Hussain (as) has ignited the hearts of millions around the world to stand up for their beliefs as he did. Here are some of the ways Hussain (as) remains an inspiration to us today:
To Hussain (as), living with justice and morality was universal and a principle that applied to all beings, including animals. He demonstrated compassion to animals by ensuring that his horses and camels, modes of transportation of his time, were given water and rest even before himself so as not to burden them beyond their abilities.
Unity and Equality
Hussain (as) lived and acted upon the belief that no one individual was superior to another on the basis of superficial traits like race or religious background, something that he learned from his grandfather, Muhammad. He believed in the equality of all people. His supporters, who were united in their stand for truth, included Christians and Black people in an era where many Arabs deemed their race to be superior over others. Today, a group of Christian Iraqis and Hussaini Brahmins in India continue to commemorate their devotion to Hussain (as) and his supporters on the basis of truth and unity.
In his mission for justice, Hussain (as) witnessed the callous murder of his family members, from his brother to nephew to his infant son. The women of his family were subjected to torture and trauma, including sister, wife, and young daughter. Even in the face of such atrocities, his commitment to his cause did not waver. He stood with patience and strength by holding firm to his vision for a better world.
Hussain (as) and a handful of his loyal supporters were confronted by thousands of opponents. Despite being severely outnumbered and knowing that their lives were at stake, each and everyone refused to succumb to an oppressive regime. Hussain (as) did not follow the status quo and did not blindly follow the masses out of fear of material losses. His courage has been the inspiration for movements around the globe. With courage, he was able to “be the change” that he wished to see.
Because of his unwavering beliefs, Hussain (as) is revered as a champion of human rights and justice across all spheres of life. Charitable initiatives around the world have been established under the name and inspiration of Hussain (as). These range from building wells in developing countries to collecting clothing and food for the homeless and hosting blood drives for hospitals.
The Zahra Foundation is one such charitable organization, who, along with its global partners as part of its Zuwar initiative, has provided over one million bottles of water, 100 000 hot meals, hundreds of thousands of cartons of juice, fresh fruit, and accommodation for thousands of pilgrims paying their respects to Hussain (as) at his shrine in Iraq. In addition, The Zahra Foundation has also raised thousands of dollars in supporting various global initiatives such as appeals to assist those in need in Afghanistan and medical aid for infants with complex medical conditions.
You can be a part of the global movement to uphold the values that Hussain (as) defended. Donate at www.zahrafoundation.ca.