In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Hussain, the Conscious Martyr
Usually in political movements, the leaders allure, threaten, gather arms and forces, and use immoral measure to gain victory. However, those who are moral, consider all aspects such as probable dangers and etc and do their best in making alliances and gathering a force; they do not speak about possible defeat and the probability of the enemy's victory. So they don't talk of a ruthful destiny and gloomy future; otherwise all the defense force would be dispersed.
Therefore, if a leader of a rising does not take either of these ways and interprets his rising as embracing death and martyrdom, it would be arguable that his rising is not merely aimed at usurping power and political ends. For the same reason, ordinary people with worldly motives who ally with leaders in the political risings do not usually take part in such movements.
Looking at the pages of history will testify that Hussain Ibn-Ali (PBUH) repeatedly spoke about his fate of martyrdom and never spoke of dethroning Yazid and conquering the Islamic territories. However, he obliged everyone to join him against Yazid, not to pay allegiance to him, and stand against him, but he was aware that such a prevalent rise would not take place, and he must rise with a small group and finally get sacrificed. Hence he announced his martyrdom beforehand.
Hussain (PBUH) did not have in his list of motives ruling, worldly ranks nor increase in power, wealth and influence. Further he did not pay allegiance to Yazid because he wanted to obey the order of Allah (SWT). He left Mecca and Medina and made Jihad in order to obey the order of God. So one may not consider any cause for his rising other than that of obeying the order of Allah (SWT) and performing his duty.
For instance, Ibn-Abbas and Abdullah Ibn-Umar spoke to him about the present situation hopping to discourage the Imam from his decision for leaving. After a long debate, they both were satisfied by Imam Hussain (PBUH). The Imam then told Abdullah Ibn-Umar, "Swear to God that you tell me the truth! Am I wrong in this decision and in this situation? If you think so, tell me your opinion."
Ibn-Umar told him, "God knows that you are not wrong in this, and He does not lead the son of His Prophet's daughter to wrong ways. A person as pure as you, and close to the great Prophet should not pay allegiance to a person like Yazid. But I am afraid that swords will come down on your nice face. So come with us to Medina and don't pay allegiance to Yazid."
Hussain (PBUH) said, " It is impossible for me to return to Medina and live there in safety. O son of Omar! If these people don't have access to me, they would search for me to either force me to pay allegiance to Yazid or kill me. Aren't you aware of the contempt of this world that people brought the head of Yahya/John son of Zachariah for a fornicator of the son of Israel? (1)"
Then Abdullah Ibn-Umar asked to kiss where the Prophet used to kiss. Then he cried and said, "I deposit you to God that you will be martyred in this journey." (2)
(Selection taken from the book "A Glimpse of Imam Hussain's (PBUH) Magnitude", By Ayatullah Safi Golpaygani (with little changes))
Roshd website offers its condolences for 20th of Safar, the fortieth day of martyrdom of Master of Martyrs Imam Hussain Ibn-Ali (PBUH) and his faithful companions.
Roshd Islamic Shia Website
1. Maqtal Khawarazmi, pp 192-192
2. Ghamgham Zekhar, p. 333