Throughout the world, September 21st is observed as an International Day of Peace. In the struggle to reflect on coming together to explore the possibility of peace, it is equally important to consider the impediments which prevent us from achieving it. The world has seen injustice, inequality, oppression and war since time immemorial.

The persecution of Palestinians, Syrians and that of refugees and victims of terrorism carries shattered remnants of crucifixion and concentration camps. The same silence that stifled the war of Iraq hushes Kashmir and Myanmar today. Therefore, to recognize conflict as an essential reactant of peace is to truly strive to attain it, for it is impossible to overcome tyranny unobtrusively.

Such a life-force is reflected in Hussain ibn Ali, who openly rejected injustice and refused to witness inertly the moral degeneration of his society. Accompanying his children and women to Karbala, he sacrificed all for the dignity of Islam- a religion that literally means peace. A religion that teaches humanity above caste, creed, race or colour.

Hussain fought the battle with Yazid on divine and moral grounds; he contradicted Yazid’s brutal authority with his nobility of character, confronted force despite his material powerlessness and defied persecution with martyrdom. His message, “I prefer death with dignity to a life full of humiliation”, roared off any possibility of reconciliation with any form of injustice.

According to Washington Irving, “it was possible for Hussain to save his life by submitting himself to the will of Yazid, but his responsibility as a reformer did not allow him to accept Yazid’s Caliphate. He therefore prepared to embrace all sorts of discomfort and inconvenience in order to deliver Islam from the hands of tyrants. Under the blazing sun, on the parched land and against the stifling heat of Arabia, stood the immortal Hussain.”

Centuries later, Abraham Lincoln too reverberated Hussain when he said, “to suffer in solace while they should protest makes cowards of men.” Subsequently, to restore peace, almost every uprising of the world got inspiration from the martyrdom of Hussain.

For a world engulfed with incessant cruelty and bloodshed, the message of Hussain acts as a beacon of hope; raising the human conscience and its quest for social justice. It is practically significant today to enlighten the world about the courageous sacrifice of Hussain and his mission as the conflicts we combat today may in terms of ground realities be different, but the essence remains the same.

The essence of repudiating the status quo, challenging despotism and dictatorship and all those deviations that diminish the dignity of human beings; to stand for the neglected and politically marginalized and to glorify the endless divine emphasis on justice and freedom.

All these act as principles of the doctrine of peace delivered through the land of Karbala. Therefore, peace is not a stagnant concept but a call to action. The struggle towards peace is not to be confined to a single day in the year. It is continuous and challenging, beckoning shared emotions of humanity, and indicative of the relentless determination of mankind.

Is Hussain dear to Muslims alone?
He is the Meteor on the horizon of humanity
Let humanity wake up to his clarion call
Every nation will say, “Hussain is ours.”


About Author

The author is a media practitioner based in Quetta. She can be reached @hamnatweets on Twitter.

1 Comment

  1. Dear Hamna,

    Crux what i got from your words, “if you have to pay in life for peace, you have to pay”

    Well written, wise use of words.
    Inspired as usual.


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