The 'Immortal Hussein'
By Ali Reza
Martin Luther King Jr. is a well known and respected civil right leader best known for his "I have a dream" speech and his achievements in genuine progress toward racial equality in America. In fact he really needs no further introduction among those scholars who truly value and respect human rights and equality and justice for all humans.
Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a successful civil right leader who was inspired by many great people among them was the Indian civil right leader Mahatma Gandhi. Although he never met Mr. Ghandi he was greatly influenced by his teachings and methods of nonviolence.
Dr. King was introduced to Gandhi's teachings when he attended at Crozer Theological Seminary School. He also traveled to India where he called his trip to be a transformation, as if “the spear of frustration” had been transformed “into a shaft of light". When he arrived in india on Feb. 10, 1959 and he declared: “To other countries, I may go as a tourist but to India I come as a pilgrim.”
His Praise of Mahatma Ghandi
Dr. King had praised Mr. Ghandi on many occasions regarding him as his teacher on human rights and nonviolence. He has been quoted to have said "Jesus Showed the idea, but Gandhi gave us the method. Ghandi unpacked the life of Jesus more than anybody in history". Dr. King also said that Mr. Ghandi was an excellent teacher of humanity: "If Humanity is to progress, Ghandi is inescapable. He lived, thought, and acted inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peace & harmony. We may ignore him at our own risk."
It is clear that life of Jesus (a) was also a great inspiration for Dr. King because of his Christian faith but as he himself claimed, it was Mahatma Ghandi show really showed the methods of achieving true victory.
Who Inspired Ghandi?
Every great leader has a great teacher and a role model. In case of Mr. Ghandi it was Hussein (a). Mr. Ghandi had many great teachers, it was Hussein (a) that showed him the way where he could win battles against strong opponents. In fact, Mr. Ghandi himself said that Imam Hussein (a) was his great teacher in achieving victory 'while being oppressed':
“I learnt from Hussain how to achieve victory while being oppressed". Referring to great victory of Karbala when Imam Hussein (a) and his few companions and relatives were killed by the misguided Muslim army ruling the majority of Muslims. That ultimate sacrifice ended up as a great victory for true Islam as it kept it alive. A true Islam that stands for fairness, pluralism, human rights, equality and equity. As rare as this form of Islam may be today, it is still alive. In today's world where the Islamic world is misguided by evil forces from within, the lovers and followers of Hussein (a) are still around 1400 years after, spreading his message which is message of true Islam; a message of peace, equality, and justice.
"My faith is that the progress of Islam does not depend on the use of sword by its believers, but the result of the supreme sacrifice of Hussain....If India wants to be a successful country, it must follow in the footsteps of Imam Hussain." - Ghandi