Home Religion & Spirituality Imam Hussain’s Legacy Is An Inspiring Example In Oppressive Times

Imam Hussain’s Legacy Is An Inspiring Example In Oppressive Times


The battle of Karbala remains one of the most astounding events in the history of mankind. Imam Hussain’s martyrdom, the events leading up to it, and its aftermath, not only evoke deepest human emotions but also continue to inspire millions as they leave behind a legacy, most fitting in times of oppression.

A man of grace and grit, Imam Hussain took on a totalitarian regime single-handedly, declaiming against social and political injustice and gross abuse of power.

Ethics above everything

Imam Hussain did not approve of Yazid’s appointment as the caliph of Muslims and refused to pledge allegiance to him as he believed that he was an illegitimate ruler, who came into power disbanding the very foundations of the institution of Caliphate – a wider consultation in the community and the methodology of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

He was given a choice to either accept Yazid’s caliphate or face death. Accepting Yazid’s caliphate would mean that he would get to live a luxurious life, but he chose to stand up for what he believed in. He stood tall against the mightiest walls of oppression, exuding complete faith in his ethics and principles. When he addressed his followers before the battle, the conviction in his tone was invincible. He refused to be cowered, even at the cost of his family and his own life.

Numbers don’t matter

“Truth versus falsehood” struggle is not measured in mass appeal. Imam Hussain clearly knew what’s coming on his way, but that didn’t deter him from the path he chose. Yazid’s army of thousands stood frozen against a tiny group of 71 faithful.

At the end of the battle, Yazid’s army might have been seemingly victorious, but it was Imam Hussain and his followers who established themselves as a paradigm and a model with their courage to stand for truth, steadfastness and supreme spirit of sacrifice.

Women in the struggle

Women played an important role in Imam Hussain’s struggle. All the women of his family accompanied him on his journey to Kufa and stood by him, all the while, as moral support. His sister Zainab played a key role in safeguarding the life of her nephew, Ali ibn Hussain.

Zainab’s speech in the court of Yazid after being held captive post the battle, condemning his oppression has gone down in history as not just being heroic but also as an outstanding example of a woman’s might in a court full of men. She made the most of it to expose the unwholesome face of his regime and to spread Imam Hussain’s message.


  1. MashaAllah bhai … well written … esp the point “illegitimate” & “even if you are few” ???????? … just one point to it … regarding your “heading”

    It is not about “oppressive ruler” … it is ONLY ABOUT “illegal ruler” … we cannot revolt against an oppressive ruler if he is legally elected … also i dont know of any oppression he has done … his oppression has started with the attack on Imam Hussain (ra), ahle-bait … then his attack on Madina and Kaaba … so when Imam Hussain (ra) revolted, what was the oppression done by Yazeed ? … Though in the body you have rightly pointed out the reason as ILLEGITIMATE … in the heading you mentioned as OPPRESSIVE … which actually is no reason for revolt ????????


    Rasoolullah (saw) said – .. Do not revolt against the (legal) government as long the ruler establishes Namaz along with you; even if the unjust ruler strikes your back and takes your wealth; you can only condemn his bad acts but should not withdraw your allegiance to him … [Sahih Muslim 1847b & 1855b]


    For more about the understanding Islamic concepts of Government … difference between Jihad and Terrorism

    • Salam aliekom ,have you studied and specialized well in
      islmic legislation.Can a none specialized physician diagnose diseases?And i am pretty sure a person should not endorse and give alleigence to tyrant unless he or she share the same concept of injustice or scared for their lives.

    • Brother Ismael, I think you need to read a little more on the background of Imam Hussain’s revolt, it starts with violations of the terms set by his Brother Imam Hasan AS before him which has 1 key point of agreement with yazid’s father muawiyaa, “You shall not change anything In my grandfathers religion as he left it for us” and you shall stop cursing my father Ali Ibne Ali Talib AS from the pulpets during Salaat e Jumaa, , both terms were violated not only by Muawiyaa but also by yazeed with impunity. Jume prayers were delayed to time of maghrib multiple times, khutbas during Juma were cursing Ali AS? namaz timing were changed, Azan was banned in places. Please read a little more and you will find the Stand of Hussain AS is the right one.