Tuesday 6th of December 2022
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The reality of permission and consent

The reality of permission and consent

The question which is put forward at this juncture is this: Does this permission mean that Imam al-Husayn (as) gave his companions clearance from duty and acquittal from the obligation of fighting? Does it imply that they were free from any obligation if they left him alone in those dangerous circumstances?

Does it denote that no sin and requital would be recorded for them if they left their Imam unaided? Or is there a deep secret lying beneath this permission?

We believe that Imam al-Husayn (as) had a number of aims in mind when he gave his permission:

1. When Imam al-Husayn (as) made his sermon of giving permission, he wanted to allow the ones who still harboured doubts about his uprising to leave and not get involved in a war they did not fully believe in. The Holy Imam (as) wanted to let those who had joined him for the sake of worldly position, power and money quit the battleground.

2. Additionally, the presence of people lacking strong motivation and character can harm an army and is not beneficial. This is because such people spread the fear and uncertainty which they feel in their hearts to the other soldiers in the camp. This reduces the morale and discipline of the entire army. Fear is contagious and can cause irreparable division among the soldiers of an army.

3. We can also infer that Imam al-Husayn (as) was inspiring his true companions with this kind of discourse to strengthen their determination for war. He was stimulating his true and loyal companions to be even more steadfast in his defence.

4. We can deduce that because the tents were pitched close to each other and the people could hear each other's voices, Imam al-Husayn (as) wanted his family members to hear for themselves the answers that would be provided by his loyal and faithful companions. This would warm their hearts and raise their spirits high.

5. We can infer that with his speech Imam al-Husayn (as) intended to motivate his followers for a holy war and free them from tribal and clan bigotry. He wanted them to defend him not because of tribal ties, but out of divine motivation to defend what is right and true. He wanted to motivate them to come to the defence of Islam, the faith and monotheism.

Imam al-Husayn's (as) aim when he made his speech was not to acquit his companions from duty and obligation. In these sensitive circumstances, no one had any pretext for leaving his Imam alone when he needed their help the most.

In reality, the battle that Imam al-Husayn (as) was involved in was such that there was no need for him to ask for help from his companions. Everyone was duty-bound to aid the Holy Imam (as). The very fact that Imam al-Husayn (as) found himself in these circumstances is a call of invitation for help. Is it not incumbent upon people to protect the life of Allah's trust on earth?

6. When Imam al-Husayn (as) witnessed that his companions possessed sincere and honest intentions, he prayed for them and said, "Lift your heads to the sky and see for yourselves." When they looked up, they observed their places in heaven. We can deduce from this that Imam al-Husayn (as) wanted to get their allegiance and loyalty before showing them their places in heaven. Seeing and witnessing their places in heaven would strengthen their wills and make them fight with more determination and certainty.

7. On the day of ‘Ashura, Imam al-Husayn (as) was repeatedly asking for help. He would say,

«هل من ناصر ينصرني؟»

This is not compatible with giving his companions permission to leave and setting them free from any obligation.

8. It has been narrated in some history books that Imam al-Husayn (as) entered Zaynab's tent after talking to Nafi‘ ibn Bilal and the other companions. Nafi‘ ibn Bilal stood outside Zaynab's tent waiting for Imam al-Husayn (as) to come out. He heard Zaynab's voice. She was talking to Imam al-Husayn (as).

She was saying, "Have you tested the determination and will of your companions? I fear that they will leave you alone and surrender you to the enemy when the war gets fierce and the enemies intensify their attack on you." Imam al-Husayn (as) said, "I swear upon Allah! I have tested them. I have observed that they are capable of being steadfast and patient during hard times. They are more attracted to death than a newborn is attracted to its mother's breast for milk."4

Opposing positions

In order to substantiate that the permission granted by Imam al-Husayn (as) meant that everyone was at liberty to quit the scene of fighting and was exempted from obligation on the condition that they should go far enough that the voice of Imam al-Husayn (as) calling for help and assistance should not reach them, the sceptics have resorted to certain incidents which came to pass.

One of these incidents was when Imam al-Husayn (as) encountered ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Hurr Ju‘fi in the palace of Bani Maqatil. Imam al-Husayn (as) invited ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Hurr Ju‘fi to join him and become one of his helpers but ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Hurr refused and withheld his help from the Holy Imam (as).

Imam al-Husayn (as) said, "I advise you then to do all that is in your capacity to avoid hearing us, the oppressed, when we call out for help. I recommend that you do all that you can to avoid witnessing what will befall us. Because I swear upon Allah! No one who hears our oppressed voices and withholds his help from us will be exempted from the fire of hell."


If Imam al-Husayn (as) had set everyone at liberty to leave him, then why did he ask for help and assistance from ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Hurr Ju‘fi? Yes, it is true that the Holy Imam (as) asked him to go so far that he could not hear the Imam's voice calling for help against the oppressors or witness the killing.

The Imam was trying to help him not to get caught up in an even greater sin than refusing his help because on the Day of Judgement, any person who hears an oppressed person calling for help and withholds his help will meet with the wrath of Allah. If that oppressed person happens to be a Holy Imam, the person who withholds his help will certainly be afflicted with harder retribution than the one who does not hear or witness the battle.


source : www.rafed.net
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