Historical Background:  Our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) became the last prophet of Allah (SWT) 13 years before Hijra in Mecca at age 40.   The first person who joined him after his wife, Khadijeh (RA), was Ali Ibn Abitalib (RA).  His cousin, who was  also living with him at that time, he was only 10 years old.  For 13 years in Mecca, Mohammed (PBUH) and Ali (RA) were insulted, attacked, abused by Abosofyan, the governor of Mecca and his gang.  In the last 3 years before Hijra, Mohammed (PBUH),  Ali (RA), and the remaining 50 Muslims were forced into a valley, isolated and had no food or water by order of Abo Sofyan, governor of Mecca.  When Mohammed (PBUH) went from Mecca to Medina (Hijra), Ali (RA) slept in his bed and risked his life.  In Medina, Mohammed (PBUH) and Ali (RA) defended Islam from the attacks by Abosofyan and his army from Mecca and Jews from Medina.  In the Badr war, Mohammed and Ali defeated Abosofyan Moavieh and his army.  In Ohod, Mohammed’s uncle, Hamzah, was killed and Abosofyan’s wife mutilated Hamzah’s body and ate his liver for revenge.  In Khaybar, Mohammed and Ali defeated the Jews of Khaybar and Abosofyan’s army.  In the year 8 A.H., Mohammed and Ali, conquered Mecca;  Abosofyan, his wife and his son, Moavieh,  accepted Islam, reluctantly.


In the year 10 AH during the Prophet’s (PBUH) last Hajj trip, the Prophet (PBUH) recommended that after him, Ali (RA) was the best person to lead the ummah.  The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Follow the Quran and my family (Ahlul Bayt) and you will not go stray (Bukhari, Kafi, Tabari)”.


When people thanked our Beloved Prophet (PBUH), he said, “I ask for no reward from you, just love and be kind to my Ahlul Bayt”(Q 42-23).  The Prophet (PBUH) died in 11 AH.  While Ali was busy washing his body and burying him, Omar (RA) nominated Abobakr (RA) as  a first khalifeh and received Bayat  for him from his friends.  Ali (RA) was 33 years old and did not want to fight with Abobakr and Omar, who were much older than him.  When Abosofyan encouraged Ali (RA) to fight with them for his right, Ali refused Abosofyan’s proposal and cursed at him, saying that he was not yet Muslim at heart.  Abobakr (RA) refused to give the Fadak Ranch as part of the Prophet’s (PBUH) estate to  Fatima Zahra (RA).  Ali (RA) did not give Bayat to Abobakr for a while and later Omar forced him and sent a  few people to bring Ali to the mosque to give Bayat to Abobakr.  Ali refused initially and they burned Fatimah’s house; she was injured and lost her baby.  As a result of that injury, she died a few weeks later.  Fatimah (RA) was so upset that she refused to see Abobakr and Omar until she died, and asked to be buried at night so Abobakr and Omar would not come to her funeral. 


Abobakr gave the governorship  of Damascus to Moavieh Ibn Abosofyan.  Abobakr died in 13 AH and appointed Omar as his successor.  Omar was khalifeh for 10 years and was killed in 23 AH.  Then Osman became a khalifeh.  He was related to Moavieh, the corrupt governor of Damascus. Osman’s son-in-law, Marvan Ibn Hakam was really ruling the nation because Osman was very old and incapable.  During the Khelafat of Omar and Osman, they did not remove Moavieh.  In 35 AH, Osman was killed in a riot and Ali Ibn Abi Talib finally was elected as the 4th khalifeh.  The first thing Ali did was to fire Moavieh Ibn Abosofyan, the corrupt governor of Damascus.  Moavieh did not accept Ali’s (RA) order and prepared for a war.  Talheh and Zobier, two old friends of Ali (RA) wanted the governorship of Basra and Kufa from Imam Ali, but Imam Ali told them you are both very wealthy now (Talheh had more than 1000 horses) and will not make a good governor.  I have chosen other people for Basra and Kufa.  Talheh and Zober left Medina for Kufa and started the Jamal War where they were defeated and killed.  Ali fought against Moavieh’s army in Saffin and was close to defeating them when they put up the Quran on their spears and prevented Ali’s army from attacking them.  In the year 40 AH, Imam Ali (RA) was killed.  Imam Hassan (RA) did not want to fight with Moavieh, therefore, he gave up the khelafat and went to Medina to continue as the second Imam.  Moavieh became the 5th khalifeh.  Imam Hassan (RA) was poisoned by Moavieh and died in the year 50 AH.  Imam Hossein (RA) became our 3rd Imam.  He taught true Islam, promoted social justice and emphasized moral leadership.  In the year 60 AH, Moavieh Ibn Abosofyan died and his son, Yazid Ibn Moavieh, became the 6th khalifeh.  Moavieh changed the Khelafat to Saltanat (monarchy, kingdom) and chose his son as his successor.


Yazid [(L.A. – Lanat Ollah Aleh) (the curse of God be with him)] ordered that if Hossein Ibn Ali does not give Bayat (the promise of cooperation) to him, he must be killed.  Hossein (RA) had 2 choices:   The first choice was  to cooperate with Yazid (LA), get a lot of money, position, and not to talk about true Islam, moral leadership and justice.  The second choice was to continue ordering good deeds, forbidding evil deeds, promoting moral leadership and social justice, fight with Yazid (L.A.) and die for it, if necessary.  Hossein (RA) chose the second option.  He left Medina to Mecca with all his family and continued talking about corruption and injustice, which was so common in Yazid’s government.  In Mecca. On the 8th day of ZelhaJa, he interrupted his Hajj, changed it to umra and said when the central government in Damascus is corrupt and unjust, my duty to Allah (SWT) is to fight with the corruption.  Then Imam Hossein (RA) went to Kufa with all his family.  He was surrounded in Karbela on the 2nd day of Moharram 61 AH by Yazid’s  (LA.) army away from the water.  In Ashora (10th day of Moharram), Imam Hossein (RA) and 72 male members of the Prophet’s Ahlul Bayt were martyred in Karbela and decapitated; their bodies were trampled by horses.  The women were taken to Yazid’s  (LA) court  in chains.  Zaynab (RA), Imam Hossein’s sister, and the daughter of Fatima Zahra (RA), after Ashura


said, “True Islam will stay alive as long as the remembrance of Ashura and Karbela stays alive.”  Shiayan (followers of the Ahlul Bayt) said, “We must keep Ashura and Karbela alive till the Day of Judgment.” 


Therefore, Shiayan encourage everyone, whenever you are thirsty and drink a glass of water, remember Imam Hossein (RA) and say, “Salam Bar Hossein (peace be to Hossein) and Lanat Bar Yazid (curse of Allah to Yazid)” to remember Ashura and Karbela. 


All Shiayans pray with Moher (piece of clay).  They put their forehead on Sojdeh on Moher which is a small, round piece of clay from Karbela.  Therefore, on each prayer, they remember that Imam Hossein (RA) died in the path of Allah, fighting against injustice and corruption.  Please remember a good Muslim never accepts corrupt rulers, never accept injustice.  Imam Jafar  Sadegh (RA) said, “For a good Muslim, everyday is Ashura and everywhere is Karbela”.  As Muslims, we must fight corrupt rulers and social injustice wherever we are, all day and everyday.


Imam Khomayni said, “Whatever we have is from Moharram”.  For 30 years, he fought corruption in Iran especially in Moharram during the mourning period for Imam Hossein (RA), and finally was able to destroy, corrupt 2500 years  old monarchy in Iran.  Although the corrupt rulers in Iran were calling themselves Shia, in reality, they were following the devil.  Imam Khomayni said, “Muslim rulers must  live like Ali (RA) and rule like Ali (RA).  Opulent, luxurious lifestyles that these Shia or Sunni kings and presidents have is not Islamic and they must be replaced.  For every social revolution story of Moharram, Ashura and Karbela is pertinent.  In the last 1400 years, corrupt rulers were against Ahlul Bayt, Moharram, Ashura, and Karbela.  They were against moral leadership and social justice.  Sunni corrupt rulers were killing Shiayan and followers of Ahlul Bayt for their support of moral leadership and oppressing social justice.  Shia corrupt rulers were paying off some of the corrupt Shia leaders to keep them quiet and were killing the true loyal followers of Ahlul Bayt to suppress social justice.


Now for the first time after 1400 years in America, all Muslims are striving for social justice and moral leadership.  We all love our Prophet (PBUH) and his Ahlul Bayt (RA), so there is no difference between Shia and Sunni in America.  Democracy, freedom of speech and religious freedom accomplished what we were looking for in the last 1400 years.


Our challenges for the 21st Century in America is to promote morality in America,  make America the moral leader of the world, and safeguard social justice in America and the world.  We must help America get rid of these corrupt Muslim rulers who have occupied our Islamic lands and oppress and rub our brothers and sisters.  We must help America bring human rights, democracy, and religious freedom to our native Islamic land.


You may ask, “If there is no difference between Shia and Sunni in America in the 21st Century, then why are you opening old wounds and questioning who killed Fatima Zahra (RA) or why Ali (RA) Bilal, Salman Farci, Amar, Abozar Gafari were isolated, ignored and killed during Khelafat of Abobakr, Omar and Osman.  We say unless we know true historical facts, the mistakes will repeat again, our wounds will not heal, and we will not become whole.  For example, Blacks went  through this phase in America. First they tried to emulate whites, colored their hair blonde, tried to ignore their race and identity, but was not successful.  Malcolm X showed them that they are beautiful as they are, they have to strive to get their rights from whites and they are not inferior.  For years, whites were demeaning blacks as uneducated, second class, etc.  Blacks went on attack and showed the whites what atrocities whites did to Blacks over the last 400 years like in the movie Roots, Amestad, etc.  Blacks and whites then both agreed to let bygones be bygones, and start working together for a better future.  Our logic is similar, let’s talk about facts then agree that we are all brothers and sisters, and that we accept the Quran as it is, we accept the Prophet’s (PBUH) sunnah either according to Ahlul Bayt (Shia) or according to Sahabah (Sunni).  We all strive for social justice, moral leadership and modest lifestyle according to the Quran and sunnah.  We wish to have the same freedom for all brothers and sisters all over the world in Saudi Arabia, in the Gulf Nations, in Egypt, in Kosova, etc.  Our opponents are Muslims who are against social justice, moral leadership, modest lifestyles, and want to live like kings and call themselves Muslim.