By Fatima Kermalli
Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad who was martyred 1400 hundred years ago but whose legacy still lives on. Hussain stood against oppression and injustice and sacrificed his life to preserve human rights and freedom. He refused to bow to falsehood allowing all individuals to worship freely as the Holy Qur’an states, “Those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly only because they said: “God is our Lord.” – For had it not been that God checks one set of people by means of another, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, wherein the Name of God is mentioned much would surely have been pulled down. Verily, God will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, God is All-Strong, All Mighty”.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, people will be busy in preparations for the holiday. But beyond the physical preparations of Thanksgiving, there is a mental process that one goes through as a person shops for food for the feast and decorates their home for the holidays that the ability to even be able to do so, is a blessing far more than one can possibly imagine. It conjures up in the human mind all the things that a person is so fortunate to have health, wealth, family, freedom, and even life itself.
It is when an individual begins to ponder about everything that they have, will they then become grateful and then be prompted to give back. This is what the standwithdignity.org campaign is all about. It is about being inspired to give back to society due to the legacy of a man, Hussain (the grandson of Prophet Muhammad) who gave everything he had, including his life in order to uphold social justice. His story is a 1400 years old, but his legacy is timeless to such an extent that the likes of Gandhi and Charles Dickens found inspiration from. Gandhi declared, “My admiration for the noble sacrifice of Imam Hussain as a martyr abounds, because he accepted death and the torture of thrust for himself, for his sons, and for his whole family, but did not submit to unjust authorities.” He further states, “I learnt from Hussain how to achieve victory while being oppressed.”
Hussain continues to inspire countless around the globe as he is all about sacrifice and giving. Hussain, who was forced to leave Mecca due to the threat of assassination on holy grounds by the Despot of the time, journeyed east to avoid violence. The government’s battalion, who was sent to stop him, had run out of water. Hussain immediately ordered his men to give water to the thirsty troops and even to their horses without any expectations. Hussain exhibited extraordinary benevolence as he taught, “The most generous of people is the one who gives to those from whom he has no hope of return“
But yet, generosity was not in the hearts of the opposing army as days later, water from the river Euphrates was blocked from Hussain’s camp by the corrupt government forces of 30,000. For three days, Hussain and his small band of followers of 72 were without water in the hot desert until they were mercilessly killed. Yet, Hussain unequivocally refused to endorse or pay allegiance to the corrupt Leader of the time. Hence, he set a precedence of standing for equality and justice for all people. These are the values, which Hussain stood for and inspired millions to rise and work towards the common good of all. standwithdignity.org challenges everyone to make a positive difference in the name of Hussain, as Hussain does not represent one religious group, but rather all of humanity who wish to create a better world one person at a time.