The Syrian War: A 21st century Karbala?

The most striking aspects from the ongoing crisis in Syria is the strong resemblance it has with what occurred several centuries ago in Islāmic history. Both in the Sunni and the Shia groups of ideology, all are well aware of the monumental events which took place on Muharram 10, in the year 61 AH of the Islāmic calendar in Karbala, present day Iraq. The fight between evil and good is always being waged on the multilevel playing fields of life. However, what transpired on that fateful day would mark the beginning of a bitter and vengeful lamentation in some groups, even up until this day. Every year ceremonial mourning are held within the Shia clandestine élite, as well as the public, led often by the ayatollahs of Iran and Iraq, to remember the dreadful slaughter of the descendents of the noble family.

Some people will argue the mourning of the death of the family of Al Hussain (Radhi Allahu anuhu) is unilaterally celebrated only within the Shia. With flamboyant celebrations which often includes curses on companions (astagirullah) and recitals of shia mantras. The truth of the matter is, both the Sunni and the Shia commemorate the events of Karbala. Although in the Sunni circles of commiseration, they do not hurl curses onto the extended family of the prophet (sallahu alihi wasallam); the family of Muawiyah (radiAllahu anhu). Muawiyah (RadiAllahu Anhu) was in fact the brother-in-law of the prophet (sallahu alihi wasallam), because his sister, the daughter of Abu Sufiyan, Umm Habiba (the mother of believers), was the honourable wife of the prophet (sallhu alihi wasalam).

The key players of that unforgettable event was a tyrannical ruler based in sham, what now considered modern-day Syria, and the family of the prophet (sallhu alihi wasalam). Or, rather the descendents of the noble household; Imam hussain (radiAllahu anuhu) and his family. History has its meandering and sometimes strange ways of repeating itself. What is happening now in Syria is not that different from what happened several centuries ago in karbala. We have the same tyrannical ruler, conveniently based in sham, Syria, who is hell-bent on clinging onto power, and a descendent from the family of the prophet (sallahu alihi wasallam) opposing the unjust and oppressive rule; Shaykh Muhammad Al Yacoubi. Shaykh Muhammad traces his lineage back to the Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alihi wasallam) through the great Mawlay Idris al-Anwar who built the city of Fes, a descendant of Sayyiduna al-Hasan the Second, who is the son of Sayyiduna al-Hasan (may Allah be pleased with him), the grandson of the Prophet (sallahu alihi wasallam) and son of Sayyiduna Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah ennoble his countenance). Although what occurred in karbala and the inhumane treatment Imam hussain faced, which ultimately caused the death of his family and him, is not the same what Shaykh Muhammad is facing, he is nonetheless, for better or worse, also been made to experience some of that legacy of despicable treatment, at the hands of the Syrian regime. Shaykh Muhammad now lives in exile and his one of the most outspoken critic of the oppressive Syrian regime. The Syrian war is an old game being played by the same players in different costumes. In that, we have an obsolete Syrian government desperately holding on to power and a brave individual opposing the tyrannical rule, who descends from a family of brave men; the noble household of the prophet (sallahu alihi wasallam).

For all the arguments of who is right and who is wrong. What we see before our eyes an image already drawn from the blood and sweat of lives of several centuries before. If what history has is to be believed, then the outcome of the ongoing conflict in Syria will not see the downfall of Assad or his tyrannical rule. But rather entrench itself further into the very fabric of Syria. Just like the temporal win yazid had achieved in his efforts to maintain grip on power.

More on an individualist level, the events of karbala is always repeating itself in our daily lives; To continually oppose the tyrannical attacks of the devil. We may have thought an incident which played out several centuries ago has no relevance to our lives, but it does. In more ways than one.

By ServantofAlMalik

Islam is in the spotlight now more than ever before and this has caused people to question the faith itself and none more so than the new-age modernists muslims, largely from the convert western countries who are hell-bent on reforming Islam and its traditional values. This blog is a small space in the vastness of the internet where the fight to preserve, uphold and dignify the traditional inherent human values, are proactively argued against the onslaught of modernist propaganda and hate. Covering topics from current affairs to life-enriching inspirations, though to the traditional teachings of the pious and the awliyah of the past and the present. If you would like to contribute to this blog, or become an author of articles then why not contact me on

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