Today, even as the whole world gears up for the Ashura, a day widely associated with Imam Hussain (AS) and the supreme sacrifice he made by sacrificing his life as well as the lives of his family and friends in the path of righteousness, by refusing to bow to tyranny.
His example is one of dauntless valor and unflinching loyalty to his oath and to his beliefs. Come what may, in spite of the rigors of extreme thirst and the privations of watching his fellow comrades and family mercilessly slaughtered in front of his eyes, he remained steadfast to the last breath and refused to compromise on his principles.
And it was not just him alone but his friends as well who remained with him to the bitter end, preferring to die rather than to see a hair on his noble head being harmed.
The question is what do we, as a people and as a nation derive from his example. To simply take a day off and listen to the zakirs extoll his virtues may well have merit in its own right, but his sacrifice was not so that we set aside a day or two out of our lives and then simply continue as before.
Understanding the tragedy of Karbala is to learn the lesson that the Imam’s epic martyrdom taught us. To implement his life his actions and his ideals in or daily lives. In the way we interact with people and most important of all the principles on which we too are able to make a stand irrespective of the consequences. We have to ‘live’ Karbala not for one day of the calendar but each and every day we live.
To evaluate all that we do so and all our actions though one single prism, viz. “What would the Imam AS have done had he been in my place.” If we realizes that the action would have been ‘repugnant” then it means it ‘is’ repugnant per se, and therefore we too should refrain from it as well till our character grows in spirit to the extent that we feel that we have truly been able to implement the Imam’s actions in our lives.
Ultimately the slogan “Live like Ali (AS) die like Hussain (AS) is not so much a saying as a prayer and a hope that lives deep within us.