Karbala, which means anguish and vexation, is situated 50 miles south-west of Baghdad and about six miles west of the Euphrates River. This is the story of Husain at Karbala.
The story of Husain at the Battle of Karbala is remembered during the first 10 days of the Muslim calendar each year by Muslims. Mullahs dramatically retell the story powerfully in the mosques as men sit and weep. Details of the battle are vividly recounted. Young men imitate the pain and grief by beating their chests in rhythm to the chants of the storyteller. Some beat themselves with chains causing bruises and bloodshed to their own bodies.
The story of Husain at the battle of Karbala happened over thirteen hundred years ago and has been retold countless times from one generation to the next.
The Husain in this story is the grandson of Mohammed, the founder of Islam. Husain was slain in 680 AD at the battle of Karbala where he is also buried.
Husain is considered a martyr by Muslims and is especially revered by the Shia (Shi’ites) sect of Islam. Both Iran and Iraq have predominantly Shia populations.
Husain, whose father and brother were both early leaders of the Muslims after the death of Mohammed, was slain by another of the early successors of Mohammed.
An English translation of the story concludes: “Thus twelve years after the death of his brother Hasan, Husain, the second son of Ali, met his own death on the bloody plain of Karbala on Saturday the 10th day of Muharam, 61 A.H. (680 AD).”
On March 31, 2003 one of the American military commanders in Kuwait was being interviewed on the radio by Sean Hannity. Sean concluded the interview by stating that the American people are praying for the men and women in the military. The commander responded with thanks and stated appreciation for everyone’s prayers for both the military and the Iraqi people.
The fact that one of America’s military leaders of the war in Iraq expected people not only to pray for the military but also for the Iraqi people demonstrates compassion for the people of Iraq and a desire to help them to be set free from tyranny.
There is a spiritual battle going on for the hearts and minds of Iraqi Muslims and prayer for them is indeed part of battle.
When followers of Jesus Christ hear about the city of Karbala in the news today and the current battle going on, will they remember the spiritual condition of the people living in this place? Will they pray for God to raise up laborers to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to those who have been sitting in darkness and who have been held in spiritual bondage?
Jesus said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. "Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest." Matthew 9:37-38.
God is preparing the harvest in Iraq. The door of opportunity will soon be open to go to Iraq. Who will pray for laborers to help reap the harvest of souls who He is drawing to Himself? Who will go to Iraq for this important work of God in our generation?