Pakistani youth need the spirit of Hazrat Imam Hussain (A.S.)


Maulana Rumi once said, “What is planted in each person’s soul will sprout”. Indeed nothing can be more accurate an explanation of this deep philosophical line than the dilemma of Pakistani youth. An interesting discussion of a student with his friend on social media invited my attention. The discussion was in itself worth an open debate at every level. Both kids reflected two different mindsets prevailing in our society and the opposition existed due to the indoctrination of minds. Both of them are actually manifestations of two different ideals based on a person’s interaction with the environment in which one lives and the education one has gone through.
One was a young, vibrant, committed and optimistic boy with all the hope in a brighter and progressive Pakistan, whereas, the other was a pessimistic and lost soul defeated by the widespread hatred, dishonesty, corruption, injustice and anarchy within the country, therefore, was of the view that if possible, one should escape this country and search for a paradise beyond the borders of Pakistan. Two different and opposing perspectives yet none totally untrue. There is no denying the fact that the discouraging incompetence of state institutions to empower the citizens through rule of law compelled many a patriotic Pakistanis to give up hope but it is also a fact that many people defined their destinies with the utter commitment and the resolve to never give up.
Indeed Pakistan is facing many challenges to its survival. There is rampant corruption inside almost all institutions alike, social injustice and class division is fast becoming an irreversible reality, justice system serves the powerful and the weaker segments of society are left at the mercy of their fates. Merit is a terminology mostly alien to our society and equality is a concept beyond our comprehension. Power is a phenomenon which seems more like a magical spell that negatively changes the psyche and lifestyle of anyone who happens to grab it. Rarely does one observe in a civilized society that the constitutional authority instead of making people humble changes them into tyrants as it happens in Pakistan. Those earning their livelihood through public taxes as government servants become the masters and consider it their birth-right to humiliate the public whom they are supposed to serve. The rule of law is subservient to the powerful just like the Bollywood movies and the police who are supposed to protect the public has become the personal servants of the elite. Every discouraging blame against Pakistan as a spoiled society is true to a great extent and denying it would be covering it up with sheer lies but nobody should be disillusioned with the idea that beyond the borders of Pakistan there is a paradise awaiting them.
All nations and states which we exemplify as a great refuge had the experience of swimming through troubled waters at some point in history. Nations grow up as honorable and powerful in the world only if they learn to challenge the obstacles in their way towards progress. Societies are the manifestations of individuals grouping up together for the collective good, therefore, any challenge that has to be overcome needs the will of its individuals to stand up and fight. Abraham Lincoln was one such individual who abandoned slavery with his emancipation proclamation and was later murdered.
Martin Luther King Jr. was another individual who stood up for the rights of black Americans and was assassinated. Nelson Mandela fought for the rights of his people in South Africa and spent 27 years in prison during his struggle to end ethnic prejudice. There are several other examples where the individuals struggled to transform their nations through sacrifice and selflessness but none equates the valour, sacrifice and patience of an individual than Hussain (A.S).
History is a great teacher which reflects upon the invincible characters of all kinds of people in the past from different religions, ethnic groups and nations. It presents us with a choice of who we choose to look like. Amongst all the great heroic characters in history; Hussain (A.S.) stands the tallest of all in grandeur, bravery, tolerance, honesty, and above all the unprecedented commitment to the cause.
The historian & philosopher Thomas Carlyle has rightly said that: “The best lesson which we get from the tragedy of Karbala is that Hussain (A.S.) and his companions were rigid believers in God. They illustrated that the numerical superiority does not count when it comes to the truth & the falsehood. The victory of Hussain (A.S.) despite his minority, marvels me”. Such is the story of Karbala that not only Muslims but the non-Muslim scholars and leaders from all walks of life appreciate and praise Hussain’s (A.S.) resolve against injustice and for the liberty of man. Gandhi said, “I learnt from Hussain (A.S.) how to attain victory while being oppressed”.
One is astonished to the level of disbelief that how bravely Hussain (A.S.) challenged the so-called might and seemingly invincible force of falsehood with his unshakable belief in righteousness. He stood firm on his principles despite the fact that none but only 72 persons stood beside him against a huge number. He faced all kinds of inhuman treatment to his person and his family but never surrendered to the evil and decided to fight to the end for the right cause. It is no secret how brutally he and his family were tortured both emotionally and physically. They were kept thirsty, their small kids brutally butchered and the women insulted.
Hussain (A.S.) was not fighting for any worldly kingdom or wealth but his uncompromising stand resonated with his unflinching commitment to advocate for a just cause no matter what it takes. It can best be described through his own words as he once said, “The intellect is only perfected through following the truth”. He could tolerate any sort of cruelty, injustice and harm brought to him personally but could never let a precedent set where barbarism and injustice could become the norm of the society.
He said, “Those who are silent when others are oppressed are guilty of oppression themselves. He had taken up the arms not to subjugate anyone but to set free all those subjugated under a tyrant ruler. He became the voice for the voiceless and encouraged those who couldn’t muster up courage for themselves.
Pakistan today is undoubtedly going through the toughest and we happen to learn about things getting worse at times, but if the youth of this miraculous country decide to mould their character according to the righteousness of Hussain (A.S.) then things might change with a revolutionary pace. If we stop admiring the barbarism of a tyrant and stand shoulder to shoulder with those who have no voice, if we place justice above temporary gains, if we prefer equality over nepotism and if we consider peace of mind in this world and eternal blessings in the day of judgment then Hussain (A.S.) is a perfect example and role model to be followed.
Indeed the solution to all the issues that the people of Pakistan in general and the youth in particular face lies in following his footsteps. As a beautiful saying goes that, “Instead of cursing the darkness, try to fix the lamp”. So if we try to start fixing the issues and never surrender before the challenges which belittle the image of a prosperous future then it’s not unlikely to dream about a life we wish to live abroad.

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