Imam Hussain Biography
Imam Hussain, the beloved son of Sayyiduna Ali and Bibi Fatima (may Allah be pleased with them both), holds a special place as the most beloved grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, the Light of the Worlds.
Imam Hussain was born on the 5th of Shabaanul Muazzam in the year 4 Hijri. Ummul Fadhl bint Haaritha, the wife of Hazrat Abbas bin Abdul Mutallib (may Allah be pleased with them), became his milk mother. Upon his birth, the Holy Prophet performed the Azaan (call to prayer) in his right ear and the Takbeer (the proclamation of the greatness of Allah) in his left ear. The Prophet then placed his blessed saliva into Imam Hussain’s mouth and supplicated for him. On the seventh day, he was named Hussain, and the Aqeeqa (the sacrifice of an animal) was performed in celebration.
The Prophet advised Bibi Faatima to remove Imam Hussain’s hair and give silver in charity equal to the weight of the hair, as had been done for Imam Hassan, his elder brother.
Imam Hussain was adorned with various titles, including Abu Abdullah, Sayyidush Shuhada (the leader of the martyrs), Sibt-e-Rasool (the grandson of the Messenger), Sibt-e-Asfar (the radiant grandson), Rasheed, Zakee, Mubaarak, and Raihaanatur Rasool (the fragrance of the Messenger).
Imam Hussain’s extraordinary beauty was unmatched. His appearance from chest to feet resembled that of the Prophet Muhammad, while his elder brother, Imam Hassan, resembled the Prophet from his head to his chest.
Imam Hussain’s radiance and handsomeness were so enchanting that anyone who saw him was captivated by his beauty. His blessed face was so radiant that it would shine even in the darkness of night.
Imam Hussain received his early education and upbringing in the blessed court of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad. He was taught by the Prophet himself, as well as by Bibi Fatima Zahra (his mother) and Sher-e-Khuda Hazrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with them all).
The Beloved Prophet Muhammad held a deep affection for Imam Hussain due to his exceptional piety and pure heart. Prophet Muhammad was also aware that a time would come when his beloved grandson would play a crucial role in saving the Ummah (Muslim community) from destruction under the rule of corrupt and tyrannical leaders.
The Prophet knew that Imam Hussain would carry the banner of Islam and navigate the great ship of Islam away from the storm of fitna (conflict and discord).
His Blessed Character:
Hazrat Imam Hussain possessed a truly noble and exemplary character, marked by kindness, gentleness, generosity, mercy, and deep God-consciousness. He was always attentive to the needs of the poor and oppressed, offering assistance to the helpless and comforting those in pain and sorrow. Imam Hussain showed immense love and affection towards orphans, exemplifying these virtues in his daily life, considering it his duty and responsibility.
His character was a reflection of the traits of his grandfather, the Beloved Prophet Muhammad, and his parents, Sayyiduna Ali and Bibi Fatima (may Allah be pleased with them all). Whenever a beggar sought help at his home, Imam Hussain warmly received them with kind words and never turned them away empty-handed. There were occasions when the household had barely enough food to feed one person, but if a beggar arrived, Imam Hussain would selflessly offer them the food, choosing to remain hungry himself. Such was the lofty character and compassion of the beloved grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
Once, while sharing a meal with some visitors, a servant accidentally dropped a bowl of soup, which spilt onto the blessed face of Hazrat Imam Hussain. Despite the servant’s fear that he had offended the grandson of the Prophet, Imam Hussain displayed his magnanimity. He reassured the servant, saying that he had drunk his anger, effectively forgiving him on the spot. The servant spoke about the virtue of forgiveness, to which Imam Hussain responded by declaring that he had indeed forgiven him, and then, as an act of benevolence, he freed the servant for the pleasure of Allah. Subhan’Allah! This incident beautifully exemplifies the remarkable character of Hazrat Imam Hussain.
Imam Hussain’s life was a shining example of selflessness, compassion, and forgiveness, reflecting the teachings of Islam and the principles set forth by his beloved grandfather, Prophet Muhammad. His actions and virtues continue to inspire and resonate with people across generations.
Once, Hazrat Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (may Allah be pleased with them) engaged in a calligraphic contest, each writing some words on a blackboard. After they finished, they couldn’t agree on whose writing was better, so they sought the judgment of their father, Hazrat Ali. However, he suggested they take the matter to their mother, Bibi Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her), for a decision. Upon seeing their work, Bibi Fatima stated that the best person to decide would be their beloved grandfather, Prophet Muhammad.
Both brothers then presented their work to the court of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad examined their writing and responded, “This decision will be made by Hazrat Jibraeel (peace be upon him).” Suddenly, Sayyiduna Jibraeel (Gabriel) appeared and informed the Prophet that the ultimate decision would be made by Almighty Allah Himself.
As instructed, Sayyiduna Jibraeel took an apple from Jannah (Paradise) and let it fall over their writing boards. The writing on which the apple landed was to be deemed superior. Subhanallah! Astonishingly, the apple split into two equal pieces, with half falling on Imam Hassan’s board and half on Imam Hussain’s board. This remarkable event demonstrated that both of their calligraphy works were equally excellent.
Subhanallah! Such extraordinary excellence was bestowed upon the grandsons of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad that even the decision regarding their calligraphy contest was made in the Divine Court of Almighty Allah. This event speaks volumes about the unmatched excellence of Hazrat Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (may Allah be pleased with them both).
Angels for Protection:
On a particular occasion, Hazrat Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (may Allah be pleased with them) went outside to play. Time passed swiftly, and they did not return home as expected. Bibi Fatima Zahra (may Allah be pleased with her), their mother, grew very anxious as she couldn’t find them. Just then, the Beloved Prophet Muhammad arrived at her home. Bibi Fatima immediately expressed her concern, informing the Prophet that Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain were missing, and their whereabouts were unknown.
At that moment, Hazrat Jibraeel Ameen (Gabriel, peace be upon him) descended and reassured Prophet Muhammad, saying, “O Prophet of Allah, there is nothing to worry about. Both the children are in a certain place, and Almighty Allah has appointed Angels to protect them.”
Upon hearing this, the Beloved Prophet Muhammad proceeded to the location indicated by Jibraeel (peace be upon him). There, he found Hazrat Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain resting, with an Angel positioned to shield them. The Angel had one wing beneath the children and provided shade with the other. Overwhelmed with love and relief, Prophet Muhammad kissed both of them and tenderly carried them back home to Bibi Fatima.
This incident highlights the special protection bestowed upon Hazrat Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (may Allah be pleased with them) by Almighty Allah through His Angels. It also showcases the profound love and care the Prophet Muhammad had for his grandsons, ensuring their safety and well-being. Such divine intervention and love exemplify the esteemed status and significance of these blessed individuals in Islam’s history.
Once, a Bedouin man arrived at the court of Hazrat Imam Hussain and said, “I have heard that your beloved grandfather, Prophet Muhammad, said that when you are in need, you should seek help from one of four types of people: a pious Arab, a virtuous leader, a memorizer of the Qur’an, or a person of great grace. All of these qualities are found in you to the highest degree. Your blessed family has brought piety to the entire Arabia, and your generosity is well-known. The Qur’an was revealed in your household, and your gracefulness has been compared to that of the Prophet himself.”
Hazrat Imam Hussain listened to the Bedouin’s words attentively and responded, “I have also heard my beloved grandfather, Prophet Muhammad, saying, ‘Piety is according to one’s knowledge.’ I will, therefore, present you with three religious questions. If you answer one question, I will give you one-third of what is in this bag. If you answer two questions, you will receive half of what is in the bag. And if you answer all three questions correctly, I will give you the entire contents of the bag.”
The Bedouin was delighted with this opportunity and eagerly awaited the questions. Hazrat Imam Hussain began, “Which action is the most exalted among all actions?” The Bedouin promptly replied, “To have faith in Allah.” Pleased with the answer, Imam Hussain continued, “What safeguards a servant from destruction?” The Bedouin responded, “Having complete trust (faith) in Allah.”
Next, Hazrat Imam Hussain asked, “What is the means by which a servant attains his beauty?” The Bedouin confidently replied, “Knowledge accompanied by action.” Impressed with his responses, the Imam asked, “What if a person lacks such wealth to acquire knowledge and practice it?” The Bedouin replied, “In that case, he should possess the virtue of generosity.”
Hazrat Imam Hussain continued to test his knowledge and inquired, “What if someone is not blessed with such wealth for generosity?” The Bedouin replied, “Then he should be patient in his poverty.” However, the Imam playfully persisted, “And if someone is not even in a situation of such poverty to be patient?” The Bedouin, realizing the humor, smiled and said, “Then he deserves to be struck by lightning.”
Upon hearing these wise answers and enjoying the Bedouin’s wit, Hazrat Imam Hussain smiled warmly and rewarded him with the entire bag as a token of appreciation for his knowledge and wisdom. This incident demonstrates the generosity and kindness of Hazrat Imam Hussain, who not only recognized the value of knowledge but also appreciated the Bedouin’s insightful responses.
Another Incident Relating to His Generosity:
Once, Hazrat Imam Hassan, Imam Hussain, and Hazrat Abdullah ibn Jaafar (may Allah be pleased with them) embarked on a Hajj journey together. During their travels, the camel carrying their food, water, and belongings wandered off and got separated from them. In need of sustenance, they arrived at a humble shack owned by a very old woman. The three of them humbly approached the woman and asked if she could spare them something to drink, as they were very thirsty. The kind old woman immediately milked her goats and offered them the fresh milk.
Seeing their hunger, she regretfully informed them that she hadn’t prepared any food yet but offered to slaughter one of her goats and cook it for them if they were willing to wait. Gratefully, they agreed to wait for the meal. The old woman slaughtered the goat and cooked a delicious meal for her guests. They all happily partook in the meal she had generously prepared for them. After the meal, they bid farewell and continued on their journey.
Before leaving, they informed the old woman that they belonged to the Quraish tribe and requested her to visit them in Madinah Munawwarah upon their return from Hajj so that they could reciprocate her kindness.
However, when the old woman’s husband returned home and learned that she had served their only goat to strangers, he became angry and disappointed. Over time, both the old woman and her husband faced financial hardships and fell into poverty. They eventually traveled to Madinah Shareef, where they resorted to gathering and selling camel droppings to make ends meet.
One day, while walking in Madinah Shareef, Hazrat Imam Hassan spotted the old woman and recognized her. He approached her and asked if she remembered him. The old woman couldn’t recognize him at first, but when he explained that he was one of the guests who had stopped at her shack during their journey, she remembered. Imam Hassan took her to his home and generously gifted her with one thousand goats and one thousand dinars in cash.
Imam Hassan then directed his servant to take her to the home of Hazrat Imam Hussain. Imam Hussain also received her warmly, inquired about his brother’s gift, and upon learning, he too blessed her with one thousand goats and one thousand dinars.
Next, the servant took her to the home of Hazrat Abdullah ibn Jaafar. He, too, was delighted to see her and asked about the gifts from Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain. Learning that they had given her two thousand goats and two thousand dinars in total, Hazrat Abdullah ibn Jaafar matched their generosity by gifting her with another two thousand goats and two thousand dinars.
Overjoyed and grateful, the old woman collected the four thousand goats and four thousand dinars and returned to her husband. She presented the generous gifts to him and said, “This is a gift from the generous family whom I once fed a goat.”
Subhanallah! This incident showcases the profound generosity and compassion of the Ahle Bait (the family) of Prophet Muhammad, who displayed kindness and gratitude even for the smallest acts of kindness shown towards them. Their exemplary character continues to inspire generations with the values of generosity, humility, and gratitude.
The Tolerance & Patience of Imam Hussain:
Imam Hussain’s exceptional tolerance and patience are beyond doubt. Despite knowing that his martyrdom had been foretold by the beloved Prophet Muhammad, he displayed unwavering patience and submission to the Will of Allah. He understood the profound responsibility entrusted to him, and even in the face of impending hardships, he remained steadfast in his beliefs and principles.
As the son of Hazrat Ali, known as Asadullah (The Lion of Allah), Imam Hussain inherited bravery and fearlessness. His courageous nature shone through various occasions, most notably during the Battle of Karbala. There, he exemplified true bravery in the face of overwhelming odds and fearlessly confronted the forces of tyranny and oppression.
Throughout his life, Imam Hussain exhibited extraordinary patience, not just during times of battle but also in the face of adversity and trials. His actions during the tragic events of Karbala demonstrated a level of forbearance that is unparalleled in history. He remained composed and patient, even in the most challenging circumstances, upholding his principles and remaining committed to the values of justice and righteousness.
Imam Hussain’s legacy continues to inspire people around the world, serving as a timeless example of how to remain patient and steadfast in the face of injustice and oppression. His profound sacrifice and unwavering commitment to truth and justice stand as a testament to the enduring power of patience and resilience in the face of adversity.
Rasoolullah’s Love for Him:
The Holy Prophet Muhammad cherished Hazrat Imam Hussain dearly. Once, Hazrat Umar-e-Farouk narrated an incident when he presented himself in the Blessed Court of the Prophet. On that occasion, he observed the Beloved Rasoolullah walking on his knees, carrying Imam Hussain on his blessed back. Amazed by this sight, Hazrat Umar remarked, “Your means of transport is very splendid.” In response, the Prophet tenderly said, “O Umar! The passenger is also very splendid.” (Kashful Mahjoob)
Ya’la bin Marwaa reported that the Prophet stated, “Hussain is from me, and I am from Hussain. Whosoever loves Hussain, Allah loves him. Hussain is a grandchild from among my grandchildren.” (Mishkaat Shareef)
Bar’ra ibn Aazin recounted that he witnessed the Prophet carrying Imam Hussain on his shoulders while saying, “O Allah! I love him. You too love him.” (Mishkaat Shareef)
Furthermore, Hazrat Jaabir Ibn Abdullah mentioned that he heard the Prophet saying, “Whosoever wishes to see the leader of paradise, he should look at Hussain ibn Ali.” This emphasizes the profound love and admiration that Prophet Muhammad had for his beloved grandson, Imam Hussain.
The special bond between the Prophet and Imam Hussain is a testament to the depth of their relationship and the immense significance of Imam Hussain’s role in Islam. Prophet Muhammad’s affectionate gestures and heartfelt words towards his grandson continue to inspire Muslims worldwide, serving as a reminder of the importance of love, compassion, and familial bonds in the teachings of Islam.
Hadith Relating to His Shahadat:
In the book “Baihaqi Dalaaile Nabuiwat,” it is narrated that Ummul Fadhl bint Haaritha (may Allah be pleased with her), the wife of Hazrat Abbas ibn Abdul Mutallib, once went to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, tonight I had a disturbing dream.” The Prophet inquired, “What was the dream?” She replied, “It was a very distressing dream. I saw that a portion of your blessed flesh was cut off and placed in my lap.” Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reassured her, “This is actually a good dream. Insha Allah, a son will be born to Bibi Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her), and he will be entrusted to your care.”
True to the dream, Hazrat Imam Hussain was born to Bibi Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her) and entrusted to Ummul Fadhl’s care. On one occasion, Ummul Fadhl took Imam Hussain to the Prophet and placed him in his blessed hands. After a while, when she turned away for a moment, she noticed tears falling from the eyes of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Concerned, she asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what has happened?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “Hazrat Jibraeel (Gabriel, peace be upon him) came to me and informed me that my Ummah (community) will kill this child of mine.” Ummul Fadhl was taken aback, and the Prophet continued, “Yes, he also brought the red sand from the place where he (Imam Hussain) will be martyred.”
Another narration comes from Abu Naeem, who recounted a journey with Hazrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) passing through Karbala. Upon reaching the plains of Karbala, Hazrat Ali said, “This is where their camels will sit, this is where they will keep their belongings, and this is where they will be martyred. They will be from the Family of the Prophet, and they will attain martyrdom on these plains. The heavens and the earth will weep over their martyrdom.”
These hadiths highlight the foreknowledge Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had regarding the tragic martyrdom of his beloved grandson, Imam Hussain. The profound grief and sorrow expressed by the Prophet and his family over this future event demonstrate the immense significance of Imam Hussain’s sacrifice and the deep love and devotion they held for him. The martyrdom of Imam Hussain in Karbala is commemorated by Muslims around the world, signifying a profound moment in Islamic history and a reminder of the eternal struggle for justice, righteousness, and truth.
Reason for the Shahadat:
After the passing of Hazrat Ameer Muawiyah, his son Yazeed assumed the position of Khilafat in the year 60 Hijri. Hazrat Ameer Muawiyah, being a Sahabi of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, held a special place in the hearts of the believers. He was among those who were entrusted with the task of recording the verses of the Holy Quran in written form, known as “Kaatib-e-Wahiy-e-Nabuiwat.” His love for the Prophet was profound and genuine.
However, there emerged a group called the Shias or Shi’ites, who harbored animosity towards Hazrat Ameer Muawiyah and other great Sahaba like Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar. They wrongly labeled them as disbelievers, seeking to sow discord and undermine the faith of Sunni Muslims.
During the month of Muharram, they exploit the names of Hazrat Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain, along with Bibi Fatima, to manipulate unsuspecting Sunni Muslims. It is crucial to recognize their true intentions and distance ourselves, as they are not genuine devotees of the Ahle Bait (family of the Prophet), but rather enemies of the Ahle Bait.
Returning to the events surrounding Yazeed, after assuming Khilafat, he sent letters to various Muslim states, urging them to accept him as their leader. He also wrote to the governor of Madinah, Waleed ibn Uqba, instructing him to persuade Imam Hussain to pledge allegiance to Yazeed. However, Imam Hussain rejected this demand, and the reason for his refusal was Yazeed’s character and actions.
Imam Hussain knew that Yazeed was a faasiq (openly sinful person), indulging in alcohol and displaying tyrannical behavior. It was due to Yazeed’s immoral conduct and unworthiness as a leader that Imam Hussain refused to accept him as the Khalifa and take the oath of allegiance from him.
In the face of this unjust rule, Imam Hussain chose to stand up against tyranny and oppression, ultimately leading to the tragic events of Karbala, where he, along with his devoted companions and family members, attained martyrdom. Imam Hussain’s sacrifice remains a timeless symbol of standing up for truth, justice, and righteousness in the face of adversity and oppression. His legacy serves as a constant reminder to uphold the values of integrity and compassion in the pursuit of a just society.
Imam Hussain’s Journey to Makkah:
Due to the increasing unrest and dissatisfaction among the people of Kufa towards the leadership of Yazeed, Imam Hussain decided to leave Madinah and seek refuge in Makkah. In Makkah, he hoped to find a safer and more conducive environment for himself and his followers. This decision came in response to numerous letters he received from the people of Kufa, expressing their unwillingness to accept Yazeed as the Khalifa and their willingness to pledge allegiance to Imam Hussain instead.
Despite the sincere concern of several companions of the Prophet, who were well aware of the fickleness of the people of Kufa, Imam Hussain believed it was his responsibility to respond to the call of his followers. He felt obligated to address the situation in Kufa and fulfill his duty towards the Ummah. However, the companions advised him to exercise caution and not rush into a decision. They suggested that he send a representative to Kufa first to assess the sincerity of the people and the prevailing conditions.
Imam Hussain heeded this advice and appointed his cousin, Hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel, as his representative to Kufa. The task assigned to Hazrat Muslim was to gauge the sentiments of the people, evaluate their loyalty, and assess the feasibility of Imam Hussain’s arrival in Kufa. Once Hazrat Muslim had gathered this crucial information, he would then relay his findings to Imam Hussain, who would make a final decision about his course of action.
In doing so, Imam Hussain demonstrated his wisdom and thoughtful approach to the situation. He did not hastily embark on a perilous journey to Kufa without first understanding the ground realities. Instead, he sought to make an informed decision that would serve the best interests of the Muslim community.
The events that followed Hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel’s arrival in Kufa and the subsequent tragedy of Karbala serve as a testament to the sacrifice and unwavering principles of Imam Hussain, who chose to stand against tyranny and oppression despite the overwhelming odds. His steadfastness in upholding truth and justice continues to inspire and resonate with people of all generations.
Hazrat Muslim in Kufa:
Hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel, appointed as the representative of Imam Hussain, traveled to Kufa accompanied by his two young sons. Upon his arrival, he stayed at the home of Mukhtar bin Ubaid. The news of his presence spread rapidly, and a large number of people from Kufa rushed to pledge their allegiance to him as the representative of Imam Hussain. Approximately twelve thousand people took the oath of allegiance on the hands of Hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel, expressing their sincere support for Imam Hussain.
In response to the situation in Kufa and the growing support for Imam Hussain, Yazeed convened a meeting with his advisors to devise a plan. The corrupt advisors suggested removing Numan bin Basheer, the governor of Kufa, and appointing a stern person like Abdullah ibn Ziyaad in his place to suppress any potential uprising.
Yazeed sent a letter to Ibn Ziyaad, commanding him to take over as the governor of Kufa and eliminate Hazrat Muslim and his supporters. Moreover, he was instructed to force Imam Hussain to accept Yazeed’s authority, and in case of refusal, to take harsh actions against him.
Upon receiving his orders, Ibn Ziyaad arrived in Kufa in disguise and misled the people into believing that he was Imam Hussain. The people warmly welcomed him, unaware of his true intentions. Ibn Ziyaad quickly assumed control of the government building, while Hazrat Muslim called upon the people of Kufa for assistance. However, the fickle nature of the people became evident when, one by one, the forty thousand who initially accompanied Hazrat Muslim abandoned him, leaving him alone to face the oppressive forces.
The treachery of the people of Kufa became apparent when Ibn Ziyaad captured the leaders of Kufa and held them hostage, coercing the crowd to abandon their support for Imam Hussain’s representative. Tragically, Hazrat Muslim was later captured, martyred, and his two young sons were also killed. This heartbreaking incident reflected the disloyalty and betrayal of the people of Kufa towards the family of the Prophet Muhammad.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un (Surely we belong to Allah, and to Him, we shall return). The events in Kufa paved the way for the devastating tragedy of Karbala, where Imam Hussain and his devoted companions and family members bravely faced the forces of oppression, upholding the values of truth, justice, and righteousness until the last breath.
IMAM HUSSAIN DEPARTS FOR KUFA
Upon receiving the letter from Imam Muslim bin Aqeel, Hazrat Imam Hussain set off from Makkah towards Kufa. As the group of the Ahle Bait left Makkah, the people of the city watched with sadness, their eyes filled with tears, and their hearts heavy with grief. On the journey, Imam Hussain received the heartbreaking news of the martyrdom of Imam Muslim bin Aqeel and his children, as well as the betrayal of the people of Kufa. This news deeply saddened Imam Hussain, and he read “Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un” (Surely we belong to Allah, and to Him, we shall return). Despite the sadness, he comforted his family members and provided them with hope and strength.
At a place called Thaa’lba, Hazrat Imam Hussain took a brief rest. When he awoke, tears filled his eyes. His beloved sister, Sayyida Zainab, asked the reason for his tears, and he told her about a dream he had of their grandfather, Prophet Muhammad. In the dream, the Prophet was weeping and told Imam Hussain that he would soon join him. Despite the impending challenges, Imam Hussain remained steadfast in his commitment to truth and justice.
Hazrat Ali Akbar, the son of Imam Hussain, expressed his unwavering faith in the truth they were standing for and the path of martyrdom that lay ahead. He reassured his father, saying that they were on the side of truth, and he saw the gardens of martyrdom awaiting them—a realm far better than this worldly life, with countless divine blessings.
In the face of adversity, Imam Hussain’s resolve remained firm, as he continued his journey towards Kufa, fully aware of the sacrifices that awaited him. The tragic events that followed in Karbala, where Imam Hussain and his devoted companions faced immense challenges but upheld their principles of righteousness and truth, remain an enduring symbol of courage and sacrifice in Islamic history.
PATIENCE (SABR) OF THE AHLE BAIT
Hazrat Imam Hussain and the Ahle Bait reached the plains of Karbala on the second of Muharram in the year 61 Hijri. They pitched their tents beside the River Euphrates. There, Hazrat Imam Hussain addressed the Ahle Bait, advising them to be patient and steadfast in the face of difficulties. He reminded them not to wail or tear their clothes when he would be martyred, especially directing these words to his sister, Sayyida Zainab, who was the daughter of Bibi Fatima Zahra. He urged her to exhibit the same patience that their revered mother, Bibi Fatima, displayed when the Prophet Muhammad left this world.
As the days passed, the situation became more dire. On the seventh of Muharram, the army led by Ibn Sa’ad, who was appointed to confront Imam Hussain, sealed off the access to the River Euphrates for the Ahle Bait and their companions. This move was a cruel tactic aimed at depriving them of water, increasing their hardships in the scorching desert of Karbala.
Hazrat Abbas, the brother of Imam Hussain, rejected Ibn Sa’ad’s command to move their tents away from the riverbank. However, Imam Hussain advised patience once again and decided to relocate their tents to another spot, complying with the orders to avoid any confrontation at that moment.
Throughout their time in Karbala, the Ahle Bait and their companions displayed tremendous patience, resilience, and forbearance in the face of adversity. Their unwavering commitment to their principles and their willingness to endure hardship and sacrifice became a testament to the strength of their faith and character. Their steadfastness in the midst of adversity serves as an enduring inspiration for Muslims around the world, who commemorate the tragedy of Karbala during the annual observance of Ashura.
On the night of the tenth of Muharram, Imam Hussain immersed himself in worship and devotion to Allah. As the night progressed, he became deeply engrossed in the remembrance of Allah, and during this profound state, he was granted a divine vision. In this extraordinary experience, he saw the beloved Prophet Muhammad surrounded by a magnificent army of angels.
The Prophet approached Imam Hussain with immense love and affection, taking him in his arms like a cherished child. The Prophet addressed him tenderly, saying, “O the comfort of my heart! O the light of my eyes! O, my dear Hussain! I am well aware of the challenges and adversities you are facing. The enemies seek to martyr you. My beloved son, during this difficult time, you must remain patient and grateful. Know that those responsible for your martyrdom will be deprived of my intercession on the Day of Judgment. And you, my dear Hussain, will attain a very exalted status of martyrdom. Soon, this trying period will pass, and you will be freed from it. Paradise has been adorned for you, and your parents, Ali and Fatima, eagerly await your arrival at the gates of Jannah.”
Having conveyed these comforting words, the Prophet lovingly placed his blessed hand on Imam Hussain’s chest and head, making a supplication to Allah: “O Allah! Bless my Hussain with patience and its abundant reward.”
This divine encounter provided solace and strength to Imam Hussain as he prepared to face the tragedy that awaited him in Karbala. The vision affirmed his purpose and the noble path he was destined to tread. Imam Hussain’s unwavering patience and gratitude in the face of adversity demonstrated his unyielding commitment to upholding truth, justice, and righteousness, even in the most challenging circumstances. His act of sacrifice and martyrdom continues to inspire millions of Muslims worldwide and remains a timeless symbol of steadfastness and devotion to the principles of Islam.
IMAM HUSSAIN REASONS WITH THE ENEMY
When Imam Hussain realized that the Yazeedis were now determined to engage in battle, he adorned the Turban of the Prophet Muhammad and grasped Zulfikaar, the renowned sword of his father, Sayyiduna Ali. Riding towards their camp, he addressed the people of Iraq with a heart full of grief and sincerity.
“O People of Iraq! You are well aware that I am the beloved grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, the son of Bibi Fatima, the beloved daughter of the Prophet, and the brother of Hazrat Imam Hassan. Do you recognize these sacred belongings – my Turban, Armour, sword, and camel? Do you acknowledge to whom they belong? Throughout history, followers of various religions have shown reverence to the belongings attributed to their Prophets (peace be upon them all). Even today, Christians respect the relics associated with Prophet Esa (Jesus) and Jews hold sacred the footprints of Prophet Musa (Moses). I am the grandson of your own beloved Prophet Muhammad. I am the son of Ali, the Lion of God. If you do not wish to assist me, then do not be the cause of my martyrdom.”
“For what reason have you sealed off the river to my family? Have I harmed anyone among you? Have I usurped anyone’s property for which you seek revenge? It was you who invited me to come to Kufa, and now this is how you treat me. O People of Kufa! You are fully aware of my noble lineage, unmatched by anyone on earth today. You were the ones who sent letters urging me to come to Kufa. Yet now, why do you thirst for my blood? Look at the letters you sent, inviting me here.”
Hazrat Imam Hussain then displayed the letters to the people of Kufa, but they denied having sent them. Witnessing their betrayal, Imam Hussain remarked, “Alhumdulillah (All praise be to Allah)! I have fulfilled my duty of reasoning with you. Now, there is no need to reason further.”
With these words, Imam Hussain conveyed his deep disappointment and sorrow over the betrayal of the people of Kufa. His courage and resolve in the face of adversity exemplified his commitment to upholding the principles of justice and truth, even in the most challenging circumstances. His unwavering stand against oppression and tyranny continues to inspire generations, reminding Muslims of the importance of remaining steadfast in the pursuit of righteousness.
THE TENTH OF MUHARRAM
The enemy launched an attack on the camp of the Ahle Bait, marking the commencement of the Battle of Karbala. One by one, the members of the Ahle Bait and the companions of Imam Hussain bravely entered the battlefield, fighting valiantly against the enemy until they were martyred. As each of them fell, the weight of sorrow and loss grew heavier on the heart of Imam Hussain.
After all the members of the Ahle Bait and companions had attained martyrdom, Imam Hussain prepared himself for battle. However, he was stopped by his son, Hazrat Imam Zainul Abideen. Though willing to join the battlefield, Imam Zainul Abideen was unable to do so due to his severe illness. He pleaded with his beloved father, “O my father! How can you go into battle while I am still alive? Permit me to fight in the battlefield like the other members of the Ahle Bait. I, too, wish to attain the status of martyrdom.”
In response, Imam Hussain gently and lovingly advised, “My dear son, you must remain in the safety of the tent with the other members of the Ahle Bait. Do not insist on entering the battle. Because of you, the lineage of Rasoolullah will endure until the last day. Your presence is essential for the survival of the Ahle Bait.”
Upon hearing these words of wisdom from his father, Imam Zainul Abideen complied with his father’s wishes and stayed in the tent. He understood the importance of his survival to ensure the continuation of the blessed lineage of Prophet Muhammad. Though unable to physically participate in the battle, Imam Zainul Abideen played a vital role in carrying forth the legacy of his noble family and preserving the teachings of Islam for generations to come.
SHAHAADAT OF IMAM HUSSAIN
Hazrat Imam Hussain displayed immense bravery as he entered the battlefield, one by one defeating the enemy and sending them towards the fire of Hell. The enemy, unable to defeat him individually, attacked him in large groups, launching arrows and spears at him. Despite their powerful offensive, Imam Hussain fought valiantly, defeating scores of Yazeedis.
As the battle intensified, Imam Hussain’s blessed body was severely pierced by arrows, spears, and swords. One Yazeedi, in a cruel act, shot an arrow at Imam Hussain’s forehead, causing him to fall off his horse.
It was a tragic Friday, the time of Jummah Salaah. Despite the intense pain and hardships, Imam Hussain remained steadfast in his faith and bowed his head in the court of Allah, commencing his final prostration (sajda). Shimr, the cursed, approached and ruthlessly beheaded the beloved grandson of the Prophet .
Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un. Allahu Akbar! The martyrdom of the beloved grandson of the Prophet was a grievous loss for the entire Muslim community. Those who claimed to be Muslims were responsible for the tragic loss of the grandson of their beloved Prophet . Imam Hussain sacrificed his life for the sake of Islam, upholding justice and opposing oppression.
Imam Hussain attained martyrdom on the 10th of Muharram, 61 Hijri, while in the state of Sajda during his prayers. Even amidst such a difficult time, he never neglected his Salaah.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us learn valuable lessons from the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. Firstly, we must never accept a corrupt and unjust leader, and secondly, we should understand the paramount importance of performing our Salaah, even in the face of adversity and hardship. Imam Hussain’s sacrifice serves as an eternal reminder of the values of justice, righteousness, and unwavering faith in the face of oppression.
After the battle of Karbala, Imam Zainul Abideen and the female members of the Ahle Bait were taken to Kufa and later sent back to Madinah Shareef under the authority of Yazeed.
Several remarkable incidents occurred after the Battle of Karbala, as mentioned in the books of learned Ulama. Some of them are as follows:
- Hazrat Ibn Abbas reported a dream in which he saw the Prophet with his blessed hair uncombed and covered with dust. The Prophet held a bottle filled with blood, and upon inquiry, he revealed it to be the blood of Imam Hussain and his companions, which he had been gathering since morning. This dream occurred on the day of Imam Hussain’s martyrdom. (Baihaqi – Haakim)
It was said that it rained blood after the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. (Baihaqi)
There is a narration from Habib ibn Thaabit about Jinns reciting stanzas mourning Imam Hussain’s martyrdom.
Regarding the story of the Monk, the Yazeedis carried Imam Hussain’s head with them after the Battle of Karbala. Along their journey, they passed by a church, where a Monk offered them ten thousand dirhams to keep the blessed head for one night. The Monk washed the head and kept it on his lap, making ziyaarat of it all night. He fervently declared that Imam Hussain was alive and bore witness to the oneness of Allah and the Prophethood of Muhammad . When morning came, the Yazeedis took back the blessed head, but the coins they received turned into clay, with Quranic verses reminding them of their tyranny.
As for the Yazeedis responsible for Imam Hussain’s martyrdom, they faced severe consequences. Shimr and Ibn Sa’ad were both killed, and Yazeed died a miserable death, surrounded by dogs while remaining drunk. He was ultimately killed by a girl he tried to harm.
Imam Hussain left behind numerous gems of wisdom, some of which are as follows:
- When people in need come to you, consider it as the grace of Allah and fulfill their needs.
- One who shows kindness will be a leader, and one who is miserly will be disgraced.
- Strive to achieve splendor and piety quickly, viewing them as blessings.
Regarding the location of Imam Hussain’s final resting place, there are various narrations, but the most authentic one states that his blessed body is buried in Karbala, while his blessed head rests in Jannatul Baqi, near Imam Hassan and Bibi Faatima . May Allah grant us true love for the Ahle Bait and raise us among the martyrs on the Day of Judgment. Ameen.