The tragedy of Karbala is observed in many parts of the Muslim world every year on the 10th of Muharram. The sorrowful event took place in 681 CE/61 AH. Every year Muslims commemorate the event by remembering the sacrifices of the Prophet's Ahl al-bayt (family), where his grandson Hussain ibn Ali (r.a) and his children remained steadfast in the face of oppression and laid down their lives but refused to submit to the army of Yazid. What led towards this tragic event was Hussain's challenge to Yazid's illegitimate authority. Yazid son of Amir Muawiyah succeeded his father to the caliph's seat initiating an era of family rulership in Islam, a dynasty. This was a break away from traditional setup of appointing Caliphs through consensus after Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. It caused a rebellion in certain parts of the Muslim world especially Hijaz and Iraq when famous persons and prophet’s companions like Abdullah ibn Zubayr (r.a) and Hussain ibn Ali (r.a) rose to challenge Yazid. However, the rebellions were suppressed, and both were martyred. But what made Hussain’s martyrdom historical and sacred, was him being the Prophet’s beloved grandson, his family and his descendant. Moreover, the martyrdom of Prophet’s family happened on the holy day of Ashura (10th Muharram) whose sanctity is associated with many events in humankind’s religious history such as: Allah ﷻ created the creation on this day, Hazrath Ibrahim (alaihi salaam) was born, Allah ﷻ saved him from the furnace on this day, Pharaoh was drowned, Allah ﷻ forgave the transgression Adam (alaihi salaam), Isa (alaihi salaam) was born on this day and the day of Reckoning will occur on this day.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had predicted the types of rulership that would succeed him including the hereditary monarchial rule which started with Yazid. The Prophet ﷺ said “The period of Prophethood will remain among you so long as Allah wills, then He shall cause it to end. After that, there will be Khilafah among you on the pattern of Prophethood, and this will last as long as Allah wills, and then He shall cause it to end. After that, there will be a reign of oppressive monarchy, and this will also last as long as Allah wills, and then He shall cause it to end. After that there will be a period of enslavement, and this will last as long as Allah wills, then He shall cause it to end. Finally, there will again be Khilafah on the pattern of Prophethood.” (Musnad Ahmad) Prophethood ended with Prophet Muhammad’s death and "khilafah on the pattern of Prophethood" initiated with his first successor Abu Bakr (r.a). This period ended with the fourth successor Ali ibn Abi Talib (r.a), and in Islam this period is known as Rightly Guided Caliphate (Khilafate Rashida). The beginning of "oppressive monarchy" started with takeover of Yazid son of Amir Muawiyah. As per many Islamic scholars, currently the Muslim world is experiencing the "period of enslavement" which started with colonization during 19th century. Since colonization Muslims have been the weakest. There has been no central authority for Muslims, a Caliphate, and majority are dependent on the non-Muslim political powers like US, China, Russia and the West. But after this period once again there will return "khilafah on the pattern of Prophethood".
However before the restoration of original khilafah "on the pattern of prophethood" there will be a process and course of events which will lead towards it, and the prophecy of those events is found in a few other narrations. One of them is highly important because it clearly implies the tragedy of Karbala and the restoration of the original khilafah whose foundation will be laid by an Islamic revolution that will take place in the countries lying to the East of Arabia: "While we were with the Prophet, some young men from Banu Hashim approached us. When the Prophet saw them, his eyes filled with tears and the colour of his face changed. I said, 'We can see something has changed in your face, and it upsets us.' The Prophet ﷺ said, 'We are the people of Ahl al-Bayt for whom Allah has chosen the Hereafter rather than this world. The people of my Ahl al-Bayt will suffer a great deal after my death and will be persecuted until a people carrying black banners will come out of the east. They will instruct the people to do good (or ask for something good), but the people will refuse; they will fight until they are victorious, and the people will do as they asked, but they will not accept it from them until they hand over power to a man from my household. Then the earth will be filled with fairness, just as it had been filled with injustice. If any of you live to see this, you should go to him even if you have to crawl across ice.” (Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, Ibn Kathir) In this hadith Prophet Muhammad ﷺ predicted the trials that his Ahl al-Bayt will experience which happened when Hussain ibn Ali’s and his children were martyred in Karbala. He then said a man from his Ahl al-Bayt like Hussain ibn Ali (r.a) will reign over the Muslims in the end of times who will be supported through an Islamic revolution that will occur in the east. As per Islamic scholars this man will be Imam Mahdi, a descendant of the Prophet ﷺ, as foretold in another related hadith: “Armies emerging from the East shall advance, and after conquering one country after another, they shall help and strengthen the authority of Mahdi.” (Ibn Majah). The exact center of this Eastern revolution is identified as Khurasaan in another hadith: “Black standards will come from Khurasan, nothing shall turn them back until they are planted in Jerusalem." (Jami Tirmidhi) Ancient Khurasaan today includes entire Afghanistan and Western parts of Pakistan & Eastern parts of Iran bordering Afghanistan. Afghanistan is where the greatest armies of the 20th and 21st century have suffered their most astonishing defeats. The British Empire suffered defeat in the three attempts during Ango-Afghan wars. After British, the USSR Soviet Union and USA/NATO, despite their technological superiority, have suffered defeat in the last 40 years by the resistance and struggle of the Afghans. Today, it is this land where Islamic Emirate of the Taliban movement is struggling for the establishment of a an Islamic government. (Al Quran 2:249) أَنَّهُم مُّلَٰقُواْ ٱللَّهِ كَم مِّن فِئَةٖ قَلِيلَةٍ غَلَبَتۡ فِئَةٗ كَثِيرَةَۢ بِإِذۡنِ ٱللَّهِۗ وَٱللَّهُ مَعَ ٱلصَّٰبِرِينَ - Allah, said: "How often, by Allah's will, Has a small force vanquished a big one? Allah is with those who steadfastly persevere."
Commenting on the above prophecies, Dr. Israr Ahmed (1932 - 2010) of Tanzeem e Islami, a renowned 20th & 21st Century Pakistani scholar and philosopher said that these imply there shall be in the future an Islamic state in areas which today comprise Afghanistan, and some parts bordering Afghanistan, so that armies from this part of the world will advance to towards Arabian peninsula to assist the Imam from the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt to establish khilafah on "the pattern of prophethood" as prophesied. The Taliban established their Islamic government in late 90s after ending the Afghan civil war. Dr. Israr Ahmed himself visited and witnessed their rule in the 90s. He was amazed that there was no injustice, only peace and stability was visible in the entire country due to strict enforcement of shariah, despite them being in poverty. He met several heads of states, government and military officials and shared the impression through these meetings that these people were very humble, without any trace of arrogance or pride. Late Dr. Javed Iqbal, one of the chief justices of Pakistan and son of Allama Iqbal, also visited Afghanistan during Taliban rule and upon his return shared his experience in Akora Khattak during a speech saying that he was certain that if the system, which is enforced in Afghanistan, is established in one or two other Islamic countries then the whole world will embrace Islam.
After 6 years of rule the Taliban were overthrown after 9/11 by a united military alliance of Western countries led by US, the most technologically advanced military powers to have ever come together for a single conflict. Yet after 20 years of occupation Taliban successfully defeated that alliance and emerged even stronger. Today as the US led forces are withdrawing, the Taliban have entered Kabul and are in control of more territory than they did back in the 90s and have once again declared their will to restore Islamic rule. As the Taliban are now back in process of rebuilding their state, they are consistently being threatened by the Western countries of isolation from the international community which would results in their facing sanctions and bar them from having any diplomatic and economic relations with the world. This is to somehow prevent them from establishing their Islamic rule which the West refers to as a “backward medieval era rule” somehow relating it to their own dark ages of Europe experience in which the religious authority of Church kept the society backwards in many ways. Once the withdrawal of international forces is complete and Taliban with the help of Afghans are able to bring back Islamic government then we can expect that they will be cut off from the world. But if they are forcefully cut off and kept isolated within their own borders like an open prison, then we can expect a backlash from their side which would eventually lead towards the fulfillment of what the Prophet ﷺ foretold in the above hadith “….They will ask for something good, but the people will refuse; they will fight until they are victorious, and the people will do as they asked, but they will not accept it from them until they hand over power to a man from my household…” This implies that the Taliban revolution will not remain contained within the Afghan borders but will eventually force them to break the barriers of imposed international isolation and spread in the region and beyond.