Imam Husain (a.s.) in the Ahle Sunnah

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Imam Husain b. Ali (a.s.) was born in Madinah on 3rdShabaan 4 A.H. which was a Tuesday. As soon as Imam (a.s.) was born, he was taken to his grandfather — the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).  The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was delighted at seeing the infant and himself recited the Azaan and Iqaamah in Imam Husain’s (a.s.) right and left ears respectively.

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) advised his daughter Hazrat Fatima Zahra (a.s.), “Shave his head and give silver equal to his hair’s weight.”

Imam (a.s.) was in his grandfather’s company for a period of over 6 years, with his father — AmeerulMomineen (a.s.) for 29 years and 11 months, with his brother Imam Hasan (a.s.) for 10 years. He survived his brother for 10 years, which was the period of his Imamate.

Name and Title

Imam Husain’s (a.s.) agnomen (kuniyyat) was Abu Abdillah. He had several titles, the most famous one being the one he acquired from his martyrdom Sayyid Al-Shohada (Chief of the Martyrs). This was the title of Hazrat Hamzah, the Holy Prophet’s uncle (s.a.w.a.), with which the Muslims addressed Imam Husain (a.s.), the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) grandson, after his martyrdom.

Like his brother Imam Hasan (a.s.), Imam Husain (a.s.) was named by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) on divine command.

Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) recounts, “When Hasan stepped into this world, I named him Hamzah after my (s.a.w.a.) uncle. Likewise, when Husain was born, I called him Jafar, after another uncle.

One day the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) called me and informed, “I have been commanded to change their name to Hasan and Husain.”

According to another narration, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) related, “The names of Hasan and Husain correspond to the sons of Prophet Haroon. His sons were named Shabbar and Shabbir and I have named them with the corresponding Arabic names viz. Hasan and Husain.”

Prophecy of Martyrdom

The news of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) martyrdom was given by the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to Asma bint Umays on the occasion of his birth. Asma narrates, “When Imam Husain (a.s.) was born, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) visited the house and said, ‘Bring my son to me.’ I brought the infant wrapped in a white cloth and handed him over to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). He (s.a.w.a.) recited Azaan in the infant’s right ear and Iqama in his left ear. Then while still holding the infant, he began weeping.’

Surprised, I asked, ‘May my father and mother be sacrificed on you, what makes you weep?’

He (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‘For this son.’

I asked, ‘He is just born and is the cause of your weeping?

He (s.a.w.a.) informed, ‘Yes, O Asma. A rebellious group will kill him. May Allah deprive them of my intercession! Do not inform Faatemahh about this news as the birth is fresh in her memory (and the news will upset her).’

One day, Umm Fazl, wife of Abbas — the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) uncle — approached the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and informed him (s.a.w.a.), ‘O Prophet of Allah! I saw an ominous dream tonight. I dreamt as if a piece of your flesh was flung in my arms.’

The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) informed, ‘The dream is true. Faatemah will give birth to a son and he will be brought to you.’ As predicted on Husain’s birth, he was brought in my lap. One day, I brought the infant to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). For some time, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) took his eyes away from the infant. When he (s.a.w.a.) glanced at the infant again, his eyes welled up with tears.

I said, ‘May my father and mother be sacrificed on you O Prophet of Allah, why are you crying?’

He (s.a.w.a.) informed, ‘I have just been informed by Jibrael that my nation will kill him.’

When AmeerulMomineen (a.s.) passed through Karbala on the way to Siffeen (to fight against the Muawiyah), he halted there. He wept so bitterly that the earth beneath him became moist.

He narrated, “One day I went in the presence of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and saw him weeping. I asked, ‘May my father and mother be sacrificed on you, O Prophet of Allah! What makes you weep?’ He (s.a.w.a.) informed, ‘Just now Jibrail was here and informed me that my son Husain will be killed on the banks of Furaat in a land called Karbala. He brought me the earth from that land and made me smell it and I could not help but weep over it.’

That was the place over which AmeerulMomineen (a.s.) stood and informed, ‘It is here that their blood will be shed. A group from Muhammad’s progeny will be killed over here so much so that the earth and the skies will weep over them.’

Resemblance to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.)

There are numerous reports indicating that Imam Husain (a.s.) bore a striking resemblance to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.); in fact he was most similar to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Many companions noted Imam Husain’s (a.s.) resemblance to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in physical and spiritual traits; to the extent that whenever the companions saw Imam Husain (a.s.), it reminded them of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

Aasim b. Kulaib narrates from his father, “I saw a dream in which I witnessed a person similar to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). I narrated my dream to Ibn Abbas to confirm whether my dream was true or not.

Ibn Abbas asked, ‘When you saw the dream were you reminded about Husain?’

He replied — By Allah, the way the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) walked and his gait was exactly like Husain b. Ali (a.s.)?’

Ibn Abbas, ‘That is because Husain resembles the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).’

Anas b. Maalik recounts, ‘I was in the court of Ubaidullah b. Ziyaad (l.a.) when Husain b. Ali’s (a.s.) head was presented on a platter in the assembly. Ibn Ziyaad (l.a.) was constantly poking at the face and eyes of Husain b. Ali (a.s.) with a cane. He (l.a.) said insolently, ‘I do not see any virtue in this face.’

Anas b. Maalik reprimanded him saying, ‘O Ibn Ziyaad! Don’t you know that the face of Husain b. Ali (a.s.) bore the most striking resemblance to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)?’

The Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) Affection for Husain (a.s.)

The Prophet of Allah’s (s.a.w.a.) affection for Imam Husain (a.s.) was notable. Books of history are replete with references to the love and affection the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had for Imam Husain (a.s.) and Imam Hasan (a.s.). While there are numerous incidents to this effect, one is mentioned as an example.

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was invited for a feast. He (s.a.w.a.) proceeded towards the venue along with a group of companions. Along the way, he (s.a.w.a.) saw Imam Husain, who was still a child, playing in the streets. He (s.a.w.a.) rushed towards Imam Husain (a.s.) to pick him up. But the infant dodged him (s.a.w.a.). No matter how much the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) tried to catch him, the infant took off in the opposite direction managing to elude the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Finally, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) picked him up and kissed him.

Then he (s.a.w.a.) declared, ‘Husain is from me and I am from Husain. Allah loves the one who loves Husain.’

Zaid b. Haarisa relates, ‘I wanted to meet the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and went to his (s.a.w.a.) house one night. I knocked on the door. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) answered the door. When I was finished with my work, I asked the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), ‘O Prophet of Allah! What do you have with you?’ He (s.a.w.a.) disclosed Hasan and Husain to me, who were hiding behind him and said, ‘These are my children as also my daughter’s children.’

Then he (s.a.w.a.) turned his face towards the sky and supplicated, ‘O Allah! You know that I love both of them. Then You too love them and love those who love them.’

Salman-e-Muhammadi (r.a.) has also narrated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) regarding Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.), “One who loves both of them, I love him. Allah loves my beloved. Allah will make the one He loves enter Paradise. One who despises them or rebels against them, I too despise him. Allah despises the one despised by me. Allah will make the one He despises enter the Hellfire where he will be afflicted by eternal chastisement.”

Such quotes and incidents about the Messenger of Allah’s (s.a.w.a.) love and affection for Imam Husain (a.s.) are not isolated events. They are the subject matter of several books and documents. The fact of the matter is that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) categorically established this among the Muslims of the time so that it would enable them and the Muslims of the subsequent eras to distinguish clearly between truth and falsehood. These sayings of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.) serve to identify those who bear enmity and animosity towards his (s.a.w.a.) progeny and expose their wickedness to all.

He (s.a.w.a.) singled them out by clearly stating that waging war against the Ahle Bait (a.s.) was in fact war against him (s.a.w.a.). Renowned Sunni scholars have narrated traditions from companions like Abu Hurairah and Zaid b. Arqam that when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was on his deathbed, he turned towards Ali, Faatemahh, Hasan and Husain and said, ‘I am at war with the one who is at war with you and I am at peace with the one who is at peace with you.’

This warning of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) with reference to the Ahle Bait (a.s.) has been recorded on several occasions. It is documented that the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) frequently stood facing the house of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and declared, “I am at war with the one who is at war with you and I am at peace with the one who is at peace with you.”

Ibn Aazib narrates that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) declared while referring to Imam Husain (a.s.), “He (Husain) is from me and I am from him. Everything that is forbidden with regards to me is also forbidden with regards to him.”

Incidents about Jibrail’s (a.s.) affection for Imam Husain (a.s.) have been documented in several books. Once Hasan and Husain, while still infants, were playfully wrestling with one another in front of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was continuously supporting Imam Hasan (a.s.). On seeing this, Hazrat Faatemahh Zahra (s.a.) said, “Father you are supporting Hasan, while he is the elder brother, instead of supporting the younger brother. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) explained — That is because Jibrail who is witnessing the contest is supporting Husain.”

There are many other incidents about the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) fondness for Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.). One such incident is particularly notable which involved the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) while he was leading a prayer congregation. Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.) still infants, walked up to their grandfather, who was in prostration and sat on his shoulders. A companion who was witnessing the incident tried to shoo the infants away so as to allow the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to complete his (s.a.w.a.) prayers. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) indicated to let them remain in their position. He (s.a.w.a.) then gently guided them towards his feet and made them sit on his thighs.

Once, while leading the congregational prayers, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) prolonged the prostration more than usual. After concluding the prayers, the companions asked him (s.a.w.a.), “Why did you prolong the prostration? Was a revelation descending at the time or has a new command been revealed?”

The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) informed, “I prolonged the prostration because Husain (a.s.) had climbed on my shoulders and I did not want to disturb him. I wanted to let him enjoy himself while he was perched on my shoulders.”

Umar b. Khattab narrates, “One I saw the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) while Hasan and Husain were perched on his (s.a.w.a.) shoulders. I turned towards the infants and exclaimed, ‘What a wonderful mount!’ The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) countered, ‘What wonderful riders!’

Ibn Buraida narrates, “One day the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was in the mosque to deliver a sermon when his eyes fell on Hasan and Husain, dressed in red cloaks, who were trying to find their way in the congregation. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) descended from the pulpit, lifted them and made them sit alongside him (s.a.w.a.) on the pulpit.

Then he (s.a.w.a.) said, “Allah and His Prophet have spoken the truth — “O you who believe, surely from among your wives and your children there is an examination for you…” (Surah Taghaabun (64): 14). When these children appear in front of me I am so moved that I cannot even continue speaking.”

Once the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) happened to pass by his daughter Hazrat Faatemahh’s (s.a.) house when he heard Husain crying. He (s.a.w.a.) said, “Pacify Husain so that he stops crying. Don’t you know his crying torments me?”

Imam Husain’s (a.s.) Lineage

Huzaifa Yamaani (r.a.) narrates, “Once the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) entered the mosque while he was holding Husain on his shoulder in such a manner that the child’s feet were against his chest and said, ‘O people, I know you will dispute about the best person after me (in lineage). Indeed the best person is Husain b. Ali. Who has a better grandfather than Muhammad (s.a.w.a.)? Who has a better grandmother than Khadijah bint Khuwailid (s.a.), the one who preceded the others in believing in Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.a.)? Husain Ibn Ali has the best mother and father. His father is Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), the brother, confidante and cousin of Allah’s Prophet (s.a.w.a.). His mother — Faatemahh (s.a.) is the chief of women of all times. Husain Ibn Ali has the best paternal uncle and aunt. His uncle is Jafar b. AbiTalib (a.s.) who has been granted a pair of wings by Allah so that he flies in the heavens at will. And Husain Ibn Ali’s aunt is Umm Haani b. Abi Talib.’

Then the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) lowered Imam Husain (a.s.) from his shoulder to the ground so that the child was facing the people and declared, ‘O people, this is Husain, whose grandfather and grandmother are in Paradise. His uncle and aunt are in Paradise. He himself and his brother will also be in Paradise.’

Imam Husain’s (a.s.) Importance According to the Companions (Sahaabah)

Once, Abu Huraira was seated by the side of the road while a funeral was passing. Imam Husain (a.s.) was participating in the funeral and the dust from Imam’s (a.s.) feet was accumulating on Abu Huraira’s clothes. Abu Huraira did not appear to mind and instead was busy dusting the earth off his clothes. Imam Husain (a.s.) asked, ‘What are you doing sitting here?’ Abu Huraira replied, ‘By Allah, if the people knew your importance they would prefer to carry you on their necks.’

Mudrik b. Ammarah relates – Once I saw Ibn Abbas while he was holding the reins of Hasan’s and Husain’s mount. I objected, ‘Why are you doing this while you are senior to them?’ He replied, ‘They are the grandsons of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and dearest to him (s.a.w.a.). What can be more fortunate for me than to hold their reins in this manner?’

Incidents highlighting Imam Husain’s (a.s.) excellence and merits can fill up several pages. We have only mentioned a few by way of illustration from hundreds of narrations.

Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) relates from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), “Hasan and Husain are the chiefs of the youths of Paradise.”

Likewise, Ibn Abbas also recounts from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), “Hasan and Husain are the chiefs of the youths of Paradise. One who loves them, certainly he loves me. One who despises them, certainly he despises me.”

Similar narrations from the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) have been documented on the authority of Umar b. Khattab and his son Abdullah.

Huzaifa Yamaani, the respected companion of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), relates, “One night I happened to be with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). I recited the Maghrib prayers with him (s.a.w.a.). Afterwards, I waited for him while he was reciting prayers until it was time for Esha prayers which I also recited with him. I waited for him to conclude his prayers and come out of the mosque. While he (s.a.w.a.) was still inside the mosque, I could see the back of his head, as if he was conversing with someone. I do not know what was being said.

Suddenly, he (s.a.w.a.) turned back in my direction and said — Who is there?

I (s.a.w.a.) replied — Huzaifa.

He (s.a.w.a.) asked me — Do you know who was with me now?

I said — I do not know.

He (s.a.w.a.) informed — Jibrail, the trustworthy, had come. He conveyed Allah’s salutations to me and gave me glad tidings that Faatemahh is the chief of all women of Paradise and Hasan and Husain are the chiefs of the youths of Paradise.

I requested — O Prophet of Allah, please seek forgiveness for me and my mother.

He (s.a.w.a.) responded — Allah has forgiven you and your mother.

Jabir b. Abdullah Ansaari recounts — One day I was with the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his senior companions. Husain entered the mosque. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) turned towards me and said — One who wishes to see the leader of the youths of Paradise must look at Husain b. Ali.

The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) narrated — Through me you have been warned. Through Ali you will find the path of guidance. Through Hasan you will acquire virtue. However, the good fortune (of entering Paradise) and the misfortune (of entering Hell) is derived from Husain. Beware; Husain is from the doors of Paradise. One who bears malice against him, Allah has forbidden even the fragrance of Paradise on him.

Imam Husain (a.s.) and the Verse of Purification (Ayat-e-Tatheer)

Umm Salmah (r.a.), the respected wife of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) narrates — One day, while the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was in my house, Faatemah brought some food for her father. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) welcomed his daughter with utmost respect and said — Go and invite the sons of my cousin Ali and my sons Hasan and Husain and let them also partake from the food with me. After some time, Ali and Faatemah along with their two sons Hasan and Husain entered the house. At the time, Jibrail descended with the blessed verse of Surah Ahzaab:

“…Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House and to purify you a (thorough) purification.” (Surah Ahzaab (33): Verse 33)

The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) turned towards me (Umme Salmah) and said — Fetch me the Khyberi cloak — which was the Prophet’s biggest cloak. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) made Ali sit on his (s.a.w.a.) right, Faatemah on the left and Hasan and Husain near his (s.a.w.a.) blessed feet. He (s.a.w.a.) covered them all with the cloak. He held the cloak tightly with his left hand and raised his right hand towards the sky and declared thrice:

“O Allah! These are my Ahle Bait and my closest family members. O Allah! Keep away from them uncleanness and purify them with a thorough purification. I am at war with the one who is at war with them and I am at peace with the one who is at peace with them. I am an enemy of the one who bears enmity with them.”

Based on this narration, Sunni and Shia scholars are unanimous that Imam Husain (a.s.) is one of the members of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) progeny on whom the blessed Verse of Purification was revealed. The verse was exclusively for the five members mentioned in the narration and none else can claim to be a beneficiary of the Quranic verse. For this reason Imam Husain (a.s.) has been referred to as – The fifth member of the incident of the cloak.

Two of the senior-most Sunni scholars— Ahmed b. Hanbal and Tirmizi in their Musnad and Sunan respectively have documented the fact that for six months before the revelation of the Verse of Purification (Surah Ahzaab: Verse 33), the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), while on the way to the mosque, used to halt at the house of Ali and Faatemah and declare:

‘Peace (on you) O Muhammad’s Ahle Bait! Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House and to purify you a (thorough) purification.’

Imam Husain (a.s.) and the Verse of Malediction (Ayat-e-Mubaahelah)

Regarding the incident of Mubaahela, both Shia and Sunni scholars have recorded that in the incident of malediction against the Christian scholars, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) took none other than Hasan, Husain, Ali and Faatemah corresponding to the Quranic command to bring ‘our sons’, ‘our women’ and ‘our selves’.

Noted Sunni scholar Haakim Nishapoori in his book Marefato Uloom al-Hadis has documented this incident as consecutive (mutawaatir) and reliable from the aspect of chain of narrators.

The incident of malediction revolved around the bishops of Najraan, along with Christian scholars, who had come to Madinah to visit the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) presented Islam to them, however, they rejected it. Consequently, the divine command for Mubahela (malediction) was issued:

“But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and ourselves and yourselves; then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars”. (Surah Ale Imran (3): 61)

On the designated day, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) arrived at the venue with his closest family members (a.s.). When the Christians witnessed this, they were frightened from invoking curses on the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his family and agreed to pay the jizya tax.

The Enemies Testify to Imam Husain’s (a.s.) Virtues

Ekremah — the slave of Ibn Abbas —narrates that one day Ibn Abbas was relating a tradition for the Muslims inside the mosque. At the time, Naafe b. Arzaq requested, “O Ibn Abbas, please give a ruling for matters related to ants and mosquitoes? If you have the knowledge, please describe the God Who I worship.”

Ibn Abbas glanced in the other direction and saw Husain sitting along with Ali in a corner of the mosque. Then Ibn Abbas turned towards Naafe and said, “Come to me Naafe, so that we can seek the answer to your questions.”

Naafe protested, “I am seeking my replies from you (and not from anyone else).”

Ibn Abbas defended his decision thus, “He (Husain) is from the Ahle Bait of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and is the legatee of his (s.a.w.a.) knowledge.”

Naafe headed towards Imam Husain (a.s.) to seek his replies. Imam (a.s.) replied to his queries.

Naafe replied, “O Husain, your words are virtuous and righteous.”

Imam (a.s.), “I have heard that you accuse my father, my brother and me of apostasy.”

Naafe replied, “By Allah, I have rejected what I had heard about you earlier. You are the brilliant minaret of Islam and the guiding star of divine decrees.”

Imam (a.s.), “Should I ask you something?”

Naafe — Ask me, O son of Allah’s Prophet!

Imam (a.s.) – Have you read the Quranic verse: “And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure belonging to them, and their father was a righteous man…” (Surah Kahf (18): 82)

Imam (a.s.) continued, ‘O Naafe, who is the one who hid the expensive treasure for the two orphans under the wall so that they could inherit it at a later stage?’

Naafe replied, ‘The father of the orphans.’

Imam (a.s.), ‘That is correct. Is the father more benevolent towards his orphans than the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)? Do you believe that the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) will not deposit his (s.a.w.a.) knowledge with his sons and in this way will deprive them of it?’

Imam Husain (a.s.) is the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) Flower

The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) along with his companions was proceeding towards a feast. Suddenly, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) rushed ahead of the rest when he (s.a.w.a.) saw Hasan and Husain, who were still infants, playing in the street. He (s.a.w.a.) tried to catch them but they playfully dodged him (s.a.w.a.). The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had a hearty laugh over the whole thing. Finally, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) caught up with Husain, picked him up and kissed him on the mouth and declared, “Both these (Hasan and Husain) are from my flowers of this world. One who loves me should also love both of them.”

Jabir b. Abdullah Ansari relates, “One day I was seated alongside the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) when Ali b. AbiTalib (a.s.) entered. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) turned towards him and addressed him thus, ‘Peace be on you, O father of the two flowers. I advise you to treat my two flowers well in this world. Soon you will be deprived of your two pillars and these two will be your caliphs.’

When the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) passed away, Ali (a.s.) informed that he (s.a.w.a.) was the first pillar mentioned by the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). When Hazrat Faatemah (s.a.) passed soon after, he (a.s.) informed that she was the second pillar referred to by the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

A similar narration is recorded on the authority of Abdullah b. Umar, which is related to Imam (a.s.) and the incident of Aashura.

Abdullah b. Umar was once seated when a man approached him and asked him a question related to the blood of a mosquito.

Abdullah b. Umar asked him, ‘Where are you from?’ He informed that he was from Iraq.

Abdullah said, ‘Look at this man. He seeks clarification regarding the blood of the mosquito while he has killed the grandson of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and pleads ignorance about what he (s.a.w.a.) said about Husain. I heard the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) declare ‘Hasan and Husain are my flowers in this world’.


Imiam Husain’s (a.s.) Benevolence

One day Imam Husain (a.s.) came across some children who were eating bread and meat. On seeing Imam (a.s.) they invited him to join them. Imam (a.s.) accepted their invitation and shared their food. When he finished, Imam (a.s.) took them to his own house and gifted them food and new clothes. Imam (a.s.) said, “I have been granted this by the Most Generous. I am merely gifting you a portion of it.”

Imam Husain’s (a.s.) Valour and Generosity

Zainab b. Abi Raafe relates, “After the demise of her father (s.a.w.a.), Hazrat Faatemah (s.a.) was inconsolable and wept copiously. One day, she took Hasan and Husain to visit the grave of her father (s.a.w.a.). She wept bitterly and complained about the treatment of the Muslims. She then addressed her father (s.a.w.a.), ‘What have you left as inheritance for these two sons?’

A voice from the grave responded, ‘As for Hasan, he has inherited my awe and as for Husain he has inherited my valour and generosity.’

Hazrat Faatemah (s.a.), “I am satisfied with this O Prophet of Allah!”

Imam Husain’s (a.s.) Humility in front of Allah

Imam Husain (a.s.) performed Hajj 25 times without a mount i.e. by foot. This was at a time when Imam Husain (a.s.) had the option and means to afford a mount for Hajj. It was only to show his humility and servitude towards Allah that he chose to perform Hajj by foot.  He took a mount along with him for Hajj without mounting it. This is possibly due to two reasons — One reason is that he could benefit from the mount on the way back from Hajj and secondly walking with the mount (without mounting it) was a greater manifestation of his humility and servitude.

Whispered prayers (Munaajaat) of Imam Husain (a.s.)

Imam Husain (a.s.) was seen in Masjidun Nabawi in Madinah while his face was covered with dust beseeching Allah, “O Allah, if you will call me to account for my sins, I will appeal to Your Nobility. And if You gather me with the sinners, I will tell them that I love You. O my Master, my obedience does not benefit You; my disobedience does not harm You. If my obedience has no benefit for You then forgive me if I have fallen short in obeying You. If my disobedience does not hurt You in any way, then overlook my transgressions, because you are the Most Merciful of the Merciful Ones.”


1)      Tarikh-o-Dimishq by Ibn Asaakir, Tarjemat-o-Imam al-Husain (a.s.);

2)      Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Tarjemat-o-Imam al-Husain (a.s.);

3)      Maqtal al-Husain by Khaarazmi;

4)      Faraaed al-Simtain, Tarjemat-o-Imam al-Husain (a.s.);

5)      Sunan al-Tirmidhi,

6)      Usud al-Ghaabah fi Marifah al-Saḥaabah,

7)      Al-Mustadrak Alaa Al-Sahihain by Haakem Neshapuri,

8)      Kanz al-Ummaal,

9)      Tafseer-e-Jaame al-Bayaan,

10)   Hilyat al-Awliyaa by Abu Noaim Isfahaani

Note: All the aforementioned references are authentic Sunni sources.

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