Jerusalem and Three Main Religion
Islam, Christianity, and Judaism
jerusalem is considered one of the sacred holy land in the history of the mankind and respected by the three main religions.
the jewish consider jerusalem an old historical city. since babylonian captivity upto the destruction of the temple, the events of the sinai, spending forty years after their deliberation from the pharaoh are examples of jewish history.
jesus was and is the focal point of the christians nation because jesus and his disciples brought the message of god to that part of the world from ramallah, town of khalil, and bethlehem. jesus and his followers lived up to their principles in jerusalem. christianity regards jerusalem as the center of their faith.
islamic faith and history have strong ties to jerusalem. first, it was the direction of prayers of muslims for a period of time as commonly believed and it was the ascension point when prophet muhammad (p. ) ascended to heaven. this event is known as mi'raj.
god says," glory to god who did took his servant muhammad for a journey during night from sacred house mecca to the farthest mosque (jerusalem) whose precincts we did bless, in order that we might show him (muhammad) some of ours signs for he is the one who hears and sees. " the qur'an 17:1.
also, the prophet (p.) said, " pilgrimage should not be made except to three mosques : mecca, mesjid of aksa, (jerusalem), and mosque of (madina)."
History of Government
most of the government that ruled jerusalem, build their rules on the distraction of previous cultures without any respect for the other religions. during the islamic rule in jerusalem, however, all three religions in jerusalem were respected. throughout the islamic period, philosophers, doctors of medicine, and poets (non arabs) enjoyed the protection provided for them by islamic rulers. in short, islam considers jerusalem as the cradle of all prophets.
muharram.... what is it?
"do you not see that righteousness has been abandoned and evil goes unforbidden. in such condition, the true believeraspires to hasten into the presence of god.
" indeed i do not see death in such a condition but happiness, and life under shadow of tyrants but grief "
imam husayn (a.) (625-680 c.e.)
the memory of muharram is alive in the hearts of every muslim. it is a source of inspiration, and courage to stand against evil. muharram is the first month of the islamic calendar during which shi'ite muslims commemorate the martyrdom of imam husayn (a.), the grandson of prophet muhammad(p.) from his daughter fatima al zahra (a.)
imam husayn (a.)
imam husayn (a.) was born on 3rd of sha'ban in the 4th year of the islamic calendar, 625 c.e. in the holy city of madina, arabia. his grandfather named him husayn, a diminutive word indicating his physical attraction and suggesting his beautiful character. the holy qur'an refers to him and some other members of prophet's family, saying:
" indeed god desires to purify you; oh! the people of the house" the qur'an 33:33 thus, on many occasions, the prophet (p.) indicated that his grandson al husayn is the most qualified imam. once he said of him and his brother al hasan " these two are my sons; they are two imams".
Imam and Caliphate
on the other hand, contrary to the teachings of the prophet (p.), for the first time in the islamic history, mu'awiyah, the governor of damascus claimed the caliphate and changed it to a monarchy and hereditary kingship, opposing the previous system of ruling which was in practice. he thereby appointed his son yazid as his successor, who was not fit for this position according to principle of shura.
at this point, most muslims scholars of the time refused to accept the legitimacy of the shift to monarchy. among them were abdul rahman, son of the first caliph, and abdullah, son of zubayr, but no one stood against yazid as imam husayn (a.) did.
imam husayn(a.) declared the false foundation of such a change. consequently, after the death of mu'awiyah in 60/679 c.e., most of the muslims looked toward imam husayn (a.) as their true religious leader. thus, creating resentment on the part of yazid, who demanded relinquishment of imam husayn's (a.) leadership.
Imam Husayn's mission
further, imam husayn (a.) declared that, " we are family of the prophet (p.), and have the true message of god. yazid is a corrupt person, and i cannot support him ".
meanwhile, most of residents of the city of kufa, iraq, sent over 10,000 letters of support to imam inviting him to their city which was one of the largest city of that time. therefore, imam sent hid cousin muslim, son of aqeel to review the circumstances concerning the invitation. at first, the people overwhelmingly welcomed him, but the propaganda of omayyads was able to crush the mission.
furthermore, imam husayn (a.) said, " i was not born an evil nor a cruel man. i am not a corrupt person. my mission is to lead the muslims nation to the right path and to correct that which is wrong. i must follow god's order to commend kindness and stop evil"
The just cause
however, imam was fully aware that yazid would never allow him to live because the life of imam husayn (a.) was a threat to yazid's throne, which had foundation of cruelty, injustice and hypocrisy. in contrast to the true muslim leadership which was establish to protect muslim nation. imam carried his mission as the holy qur'an says, " fight for the cause of god, those who fight against you, but do not exceed the limit. " the qur'an 2:190.
accordingly, as imam had predicted, the army of yazid attacked imam husayn's (a.) small party totaled 72 persons, fighting against the yazid's army of 10,000 men as it is documented. finally, imam and his companions courageously gave their lives to very just cause and his martyrdom became the symbol of courage and bravery in the islamic history.
the martyrdom of imam unveiled the true picture of yazid and awakened the muslim nation. most muslim historians consider it a catastrophe in islamic history. after the martyrdom, there were 33 strokes of lance and 34 blows of swords on the body of imam husayn (a.) moreover, the head of yazid's army, 'umar son of sa'd ordered his horsemen to run over the bodies, and trample them underneath the horses hoofs. afterwards, imam's head and others martyr's heads were carried to yazid to damascus, syria. however, later the places where the head was temporarily placed, became the holy shrine. they are honored by all muslims in order to honor the mission of imam husayn (a.).
The holy shrine
after three days, the bodies of imam husayn (a.) and his companions were buried by the loyal followers. today, it stands in the center of the holy city of karbala, iraq.
the 27 meter high golden dome is centered on the actual grave of imam husayn (a.). in the interior part, one can view the precious box placed on the actual grave and covered by gold and precious stones. this box is with six angels to signify the grave of imam and his son ali al akbar. other places of inside the tomb are covered by thousands of small mirrors, mosaic, precious stones, silver and gold.