By Thabani Dube
Muslims from across Zimbabwe have been urged to emulate the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him (SAW), Hussein who was murdered for standing for justice, peace and unity, said Sheikh Al-Haji Kamala Jula.
Speaking during the commemoration of the life and sacrifice of Hussein in Harare on 9 November 2017, the President of Imam Al-Ridhaa Trust, Sheikh Jula said there were great lessons to be drawn from this martyr.
Hussein was one of the sons of Ali, the cousin brother of prophet Muhammad (SAW), who married the prophet’s daughter, Fatima, and bore two sons Hussein and Hassan.
The prophet Muhammad (SAW) in one of his prophecies, foretold that Hussein shall be murdered by people who pretend to be Muslims at a time when the prophet and both his parents would have long died, leaving him barely with no close family member to mourn him.
“Following the death of Muhammad (SAW) and the four caliphates that succeeded him, there emerged a dynasty which murdered the fourth caliphate, Imam Ali, and later his son Hussein.
“When this king died his son who is well known by both Sunni and Shia sects to be a king who was a drunkard, non believer was leading and persecuting Muslims and did immoral practices,” said the Sheikh.
Sheikh Jula said this King was based in Kufa a city in Iraq, while Hussein was based in Madina in Saudi Arabia, the prophet’s city. Then the whole Arabian Peninsula was under the influence of Islam.
Sheikh Jula said Muslims then called for Hussein to save Islam by engaging this King or raise an army to fight him, but Hussein said he would not go for war but diplomacy. Hence, he set a caravan with his family without any bodyguard or army to meet the king.
“Upon his arrival, Hussein asked for three requests; either to amicably talk to the king and advise him on his actions visa vi Islam. However, Hussein and his entourage were captured and put under arrest. For ten days they went without food or drink and the king demanded that Hussein should pay tribute and endorse the king’s style of ruler-ship to be set free or be killed together with his family.
“Hussein never minced his words and urged the king to stop what he was doing and if the king was worried of revenge from Hussein after he set him free, then he should exile him to a foreign land far or just let him go. However, the king decided to murder Hussein by beheading him and used his head as a ball,” said Sheikh Jula.
Sheikh Jula said when the prophet prophesied this to Fatima, she exclaimed to the prophet “then who would mourn my son when all of his close family members would have died long before”.
“The prophet (SAW) said after the death of Hussein, for generations to come shall be mourned for 40 days annually, by Muslims who love the prophet’s family, and they would commemorate and mourn Hussein.
“Hence we are gathered today to honour this martyr who died for justice, peace and unity,” said Sheikh Jula.
Sheikh Ishmael Duwa, President of Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs of Zimbabwe, said Imam Hussein died for justice something he inherited from his father Imam Ali and grandfather, the prophet Muhammad (SAW).
“I urge Zimbabweans in general and Muslims in particular to acquire knowledge to achieve unity of purpose.
“Yes we may differ as sunni or shia, qadiriah or sukutiya sects but we are all Muslims and should be tolerant to achieve peace, unity and love,” said Sheikh Duwa.
Reverend Sam Malunga of Paradise Gate Ministries and founder of Tehila Christian Network who was part of the commemorations said, Zimbabwe is a peace loving nation that enjoys freedom of worship and tolerance.
“Hussein is celebrated because he was a good person with good morals. It is important for Zimbabweans to learn from lifestyle of great people like Hussein,” said Rev Malunga.
“In Zimbabwe our leadership fought for this land from the hands of a few who did not give space for any freedoms but today we have freedom of worship, association and assembly and as such we should honour and pray for them,” said Rev Malunga.
Zanu PF Harare Province Spokesperson, Dr Abisha Ushewekunze who was guest of honour weighed in saying a dead person was better than an ignorant man.
Ushewekunze is also part of the Ministry of Harare Metropolitan Province Religious Desk team.
“People should not believe or follow blindly but acquire knowledge of the Bible and Quran and follow what God says.
“Knowledge is power,” he said.
The commemorations were attended by both Sunni and Shia Muslim leaders as well as Christian clerics and politicians, an indication of growing religious tolerance in Zimbabwe.