The epic Battle of Karbala demonstrated the commitment to wilayah by Imam Husayn’s companions. Both the high-ranking followers of the Imam – such as Hazrat Abbas – and lesser prominent personalities fully discerned the commitment to the wilayah of Imam Husayn, creating unparalleled scenes in world history.
At this stage, everyone did their best to defend their Wali (Imam).
Lady Zaynab, the loyal sister of Imam Husayn, was an instrumental character at the Ashura event. She did not succumb in defending her Wali (Imam) just because the Almighty God had not made the minor struggle (Jihad) compulsory for women. Instead, she defended Imam Husayn in the most critical conditions. That is why she did not stay in Medina to watch her Imam’s departure for Mecca and Karbala. When her Imam (Wali) embarked on his sacred journey, she decided to accompany him.
The Holy Qur’an commands us to submit unreservedly to the Prophet and the Infallible Imams.
Lady Zaynab, who was in the company of Five Infallibles, was unmatched in all aspects of complete obedience to wali.
She had seen her mother defending her Imam (Wali) and husband by addressing him, “[Ah, ‘Abal-Hasan!] I beg You to permit Me to make the sacrifice by defending You!
Lady Fatima ultimately gave her precious life in defense of Imam Ali, becoming a paramount martyr on the path of wilayah. So, Lady Zaynab inherited her mother’s devotion to wilayah and demonstrated it magnificently in Karbala.
Lady Zaynab introduced wilayah by refuting false charges and dark propaganda leveled by Yazid and his cronies against Ahlul Bayt and reminding the populace of Ahlul Bayt’s inalienable rights. She said in Kufa, “How do you intend to eradicate the stigma associated with the massacring of our Prophet’s grandson and the leader of the youth in Heaven?
Lady Zaynab attempted to defend the two Wali [Imam Husayn and Imam Sajjad] by all means, even if it meant sacrificing her and her sons’ lives.
Moreover, She demonstrated her commitment to wilayah by taking all measures to protect Imam Sajjad throughout Medina to the Levant.
This kind of devotion to wilayah should be institutionalized in Islamic culture. People who profess to be devoted to the concept of Wilayah make errors; they are committed only in words, not in deeds as it was the case of the populace of Kufa abandoned their Imam in Karbala.
Lady Zaynab’s devotion to Imam Husayn and Imam Sajjad’s wilayah from Medina to the Levant is discussed in the next section.
The Loyalty Examination
Occasionally, a person’s life is, a few years years, is beautiful to the point that it can demonstrate a person’s worth more than hundreds of books. Regrettably, history has little to say about Hazrat Abbas life. However, what purpose does an abundance of knowledge serve? What matters is a person’s standing before his Creator.
His status is so revered that Imam Sadiq (PBUH) remarked about him, “Abbas’ standing before Allah is so elevated that all martyrs envy him.”
It is the ninth day of the month of Muharram. Abbas (PBUH) is seated in the company his brother, the Martyr’s Master. At that point, an enemy commander comes and screams, “Inform Abbas ibn Ali and his brothers to come.”
Abbas (PBUH) hears this yet remains unconcerned, as if he had not heard anything at all. He is seated respectfully in front of his lord, Husayn ibn Al. At this point, Imam Husayn replies, “Answer him, even though he is a corrupt person.”
Shemr ibn Dhi al-Jowshan emerges from the tent and Abbas recognizes the caller. Shemr had brought a letter of immunity for Abbas and his siblings because they were far relatives from his mother’s side. As Shemr concluded his remarks, Abbas’ face flushed as wrath coursed through his veins. He became enraged and said, “Allah curses you and the sender of this letter. What are your thoughts about me? Have you considered that I would abandon my Imam and teacher, Husayn Ibn Ali, to join you? Our mother did not nurture us in that manner… ”
The next day, Abbas dispatched his brothers to the battlefield first and then remained alone. Then he gave his master his life. However, Imam Sadiq clarified it for us, saying, “God bless our uncle Abbas, who gave his life and passed the divine examination in the most perfect manner imaginable.”