Ashura in the words of Imam Khomeini

I want to shed some light on the key pillars covered by the late Imam Khomeini in his speeches on the commemoration of Ashura and its implications. Ashura occupied a large area of Imam Khomeini’s words and writings, through analysis and reading the contemporary implications on our cultures, and the lessons learned from this event in order to guide our islamic nations to the important values and principles of Imam Hussein and his pure Household (as).

Ashura: A call for justice in the face of injustice
Imam Khomeini says in regards to demonstrating some of the dimensions of the revolution of Karbala:

‘Ashura is the Revolution of the advocates for justice, it rose amongst the few in number and great in faith and love, to face the oppressors, people of palaces and arrogant thieves, and its law is that this approach addresses the life of this nation at all times and all the lands.’

‘All the prophets came in order to reform society, all of them were of firm belief in this issue, namely, that the individual must give his all for society, and so Imam Hussein (as) revolted  according to this driving factor, and sacrificed himself and his followers. Therefore the individual must must reform the community.’

Awareness and certainty of the companions
To clarify the place of high spiritual certainty of the companions of Imam Hussein (as), Imam Khomeini says:

‘As the Master of Martyrs on the day of Ashura approached the time of martyrdom his face would shine more, and his companions would compete to win martyrdom, they knew they would soon become martyrs, but they raced towards it because they knew where it would lead them, and they knew why they came (to support the Imam), they were aware: that we have come to perform our divine duty, we have come to save Islam.’

Sacrifice of the Household and the Companions

‘The revolution of Ashura exploded at the hands of the Master of Martyrs (as), and by sacrificing his own blood and the blood of his dear ones saved Islam and justice, and condemned the rule of the Umayyads and demolished its rules and its foundations.’

‘Islam is dear to the degree that the children of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and his family) have sacrificed their own lives for this religion.’

‘When the Master of Martyrs (as) saw that they are distorting the religion of Islam, commit evil and oppress on behalf of the Islamic caliphate, and this is being reflected in the world as acts committed by the Khalifah of the Messenger of Allah (swt), the Master of Martyrs (as) was aware that his mandate was to rise and also to kill in order to erase the effects of Muawiya and his son.’

‘This phrase – every day is Ashura and every land is Karbala – what a great phrase it is … Our nation should live by this word everyday, that is that today is Ashura and we need to stand in the face of injustice, and here also is Karbala, and it is not confined to a piece of land, is not limited to a range of individuals, Karbala is not confined to seventy warriors and the land of Karbala , all the land must play this role and fulfill its duty.’

No defeat in the performance of divine duty

Imam Khomeini confirms that the principle of victory and defeat is not entirely linked to a military triumph, but in fact that the work is in accordance with the divine standards and falls under the legal mandate. The Imam says:

‘The death of the Master of Martyrs (as) was not a defeat, because it was in the way of God, and revolting and dying in the way of God is never defeat.’

Martyrs are the ammunition of the eternal world

Imam Khomeini views the loss of a loved one from amongst the martyrs not as a calamity,  but is the essence of existence and immortality in the world of the Hereafter. He says:

‘Imam Hussein (as) saw his jihad to be in the way of Allah (swt), and for Allah (swt), and because his jihad was for Allah (swt), he did not see it as a loss of loved ones, since they are ammunition for the world of existence.’


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