The Important Choice in Karbala
Dr. Ali Shariati
From the beginning, Hurr was hoping that the events would not lead to war, but now war seems to be unavoidable. Human-beings have limited capability in tolerating shame and scorn, except for those who are genius in this respect and can tolerate
Hurr never had thought that being an employee of the government of Yazid would mean collaborating in Yazid's criminal acts. For him his job was just a source of income without having anything to do with politics or his religion.
Hurr now realizes that adding his position with his religion is impossible. Thus, hopelessly and as a last resort he talks with the commander of the Army (Umar bin Sa’ad) who like himself is reluctant to get in a war and has accepted the mission to become the governor of the province of Ray. What would then be better than coming up with some sort of a solution without getting involved in the blood of the grandson of the Prophet and his family.
Hurr and Umar bin Sa’ad both have come all the way from the palace of Yazid to Karbala together and they share the same status and social class. Hurr asks Omar:
Can’t you find a peaceful solution for this situation?
You know that if it had been up to me I would have done as what you propose, but your master Ubaydullah bin Ziyaddid not accepts a peaceful resolution!
So are you going to fight with this man (Hussein)?
Yes, by God, I will fight a battle the least consequence of which will be separated heads and broken arms!
Now, it is evident that no longer can he play games with his religion. Now, the two separate their paths.
For Hurr, Yazid’s army of tens of thousand is now nothing more than a bunch of faces, without meaning. A crowd of men without selves, a group of people without hearts, those who shout but don’t know why, fight but don’t know for whom. Now the Jesus of love and conscience cures a blind and resurrects a dead, creating a martyr from a murderer. In a journey it is not enough to ask for the destination, but one should also ask from the origin.
Thus, the length of Hurr’s journey becomes evident when one realizes from where he started, and to where he ended, all in half-a day’s time. In his emigration from Satan to Allah, Hurr did not study philosophy or theology, nor did he attend any lectures or schools.
He just changed his direction, and it is in fact this direction which gives meaning to everything: art, science, literature, religion, prayers, hajj, Muhammad, Ali... Having started his journey, and riding his horse, he slowly leaves his Army toward Hussein. Muhajer-ebn-Ous, who sees him agitated and worried, asks:
What’s wrong with you Hurr? I am puzzled by your case, by God if I were asked about the bravest man in our army I wouldn’t hesitate to mention your name, and now you are so disturbed and worried?
I find myself between the Hell and the Heaven, and I have to select between them, and by God I will not choose but Heaven, even if I were cut to pieces or burnt to ashes!
The creation of Hurr was completed and the fire of doubt has led him to the verity of certitude. He slowly approaches the camp of Hussein, and as he gets closer he hangs his boots from his neck, and keeps his armor down (as a sign of remorse)
I am the one who closed your path O Hussein. He didn’t accept Hussein’s invitation to rest for a while...
Is there repentance for me? He can’t wait any longer, he returns to the front and attacks the army of Omar with the most severe and bitter words, letting his ex-army and ex-commander know that he is no longer a slave, he is free, he is Hurr.
Umar bin Sa’ad, his ex-commander, responds by throwing an arrow and yelling
Be witness and let Amir-al-momenin know that I was the one to throw the first arrow at the army of Hussein!
And this was how the battle of Karbala started...