The Tragedy of Karbala Dr. Israr Ahmad Translated into English by Commander (Rtd.) Muhammad Tufail
THE TRAGEDY OF KARBALA
The Shi’ah constitutes the only important schism in Islam. Unlike the Khawarij, who rebelled against the ljma’ of the community at the practical level, the Shi’ah have, over the centuries, evolved a doctrine of Divine Right (both about religious and political life) that is irreconcilable with the very spirit of Ajman.
The occasion of the Shi’ah secession was also the political event of hostility between Ali (RAA) and his opponents, the Umayyads. After Ali’s (RAA) assassination, the Shi’ah (party) of Ali in Kufa demanded that Caliphate be restored to the home of the ill-fated Caliph.
This legitimist claim on behalf of Ali’s descendants is the beginning of the Shi’ah political doctrine.
The motives that led to this curious legitimist claim on the part of the Kufan Arabs are not very clear, except for the fact that certain southern tribes, in their traditional enmity against the Northerners, decided to champion the Hashimites against the ruling Umayyads, and also the fact that the Prophet (SAW) had been from the Banu Hashim came to be easily exploited.
This legitimism, i-e., the doctrine that the leadership of the Muslim Community rightfully belongs to Ali (RAA) and his descendants, was the hallmark of the original Arab Shi’ism which was purely political.
Monuments of this Arab Shi’ism are to be found today among the Zaydis of Yemen with their Shi’ah Imam,