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Editor's Note: Having marked the anniversary of Imam Hussain's (peace be upon him) departure from Medina on the 28th of Rajab, we are reminded by Ayatollah Nasir Makarem Shirazi on the purpose and meaning of Imam Hussain's journey.
The importance of the history of Imam Hussain's (peace be upon him) life, which has turned into the most tragic epic of human history, is not only because waves of the strongest human emotions are raised on an annual basis during the commemoration ceremonies held for this great personality, but rather there is nothing in his movement other than pure religious devotion and humanistic qualities. The gatherings held in his commemoration do not need any form of introduction or marketing; thus, they are without parallel in their field.
Most of us know this reality, but the point that is not known to many (especially non-Islamic scholars), that point that has remained a mystery is:
Why is such importance given to this historical event which is similar in numbers and manners to many other events?
Why are the commemoration ceremonies stronger and more emotional year after year?
Why has the event of Karbala taken on a form of eternity despite the fact that the Umayyad dynasty has come to an end and the champions of this event should have become forgotten?
The answers to these questions must be searched for in the depths of the revolution. The analysis of this event is not very complicated for one who is familiar with Islamic history.
In clearer terms, the bloody event of Karbala did not stem from two political rivals who are after power and land.
Likewise, this event did not stem from tribal hatred that remained in two people's hearts.
This event is a clear picture of a fight between two individual and theological schools of thought whose flames started with the advent of mankind and continue until today. These flames have not been put out. This fight was the continuation of the fight that all the prophets performed and that all of the people seeking positive reform in the universe. In other terms, it was a continuation of the Badr and Ahzab battles.
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