Special Edition: The Ark of Salvation (On the Occasion of Imam Hussain’s Birth Anniversary)
- 1 The Biography of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
- 2 Titles and Attributes of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
- 3 Wives and Children of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
- 4 Pages from the Life of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
- 5 A Glimpse into the Virtues and Merits of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
- 6 The Lifestyle of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
- 7 Imam Hussain, and Imam Mahdi (PBUT)
- 8 Pages from the Chronicle of Imam Hussain’s Miracles
- 9 Tales of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
- 10 Illuminations from the Luminous Words of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
- 11 Visitation of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
- 12 In the Realm of Light
- 13 Imam Hussain (PBUH), Through Others’ Eyes
- 14 The Birth of Imam Hussain (PBUH), The Day of the Guardian
Imam Hussain, peace be upon him, was born on the third of Sha’ban in the city of Medina. His mother was Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). By sacrificing his pure blood and that of his companions, he protected Islam and its values. The day of this revered Imam’s birth has been named the Day of the Guardian. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny, awaited the promised moment with a smile, and Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, counted the moments to embrace you! Medina once again becomes the focal point. With each passing moment, anticipation grows and becomes sweeter! And suddenly…
The Biography of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
Imam Hussain, peace be upon him, the third Imam and the second grandson of the Prophet of God (PBUH), is one of the two masters of the youth of Paradise and one of the fragrant flowers of Muhammad the Chosen. He is known as the Master of Martyrs and was born to Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), on the third of Sha’ban in Medina. Some say his birth occurred on the fifth of Sha’ban in the third or fourth year of Hijri. Upon his birth, he was brought to his grandfather, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who was informed of the good news. The Prophet then called the Adhan in his right ear and the Iqama in his left ear and named him Hussain after seven days. He performed the ‘Aqiqah ritual by sacrificing a sheep, and ordered the child’s mother to shave his head and, like his brother Imam Hasan, distribute silver equal to the weight of his hair to the needy. Fatimah (SA) carried out this command.
Titles and Attributes of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
Imam’s kunya (patronymic) was Abu Abd Allah, and his titles include Al-Rashid, Al-Wafi, Al-Tayyib, Al-Sayyid, Al-Zaki, Al-Mubarak, At-Tabi’ li Mardhat Allah, Al-Dalil ‘ala Dhat Allah, and As-Sibt. However, the highest title was given by his noble grandfather, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who declared him and his brother Imam Hasan as the masters of the youth of Paradise. The Prophet also referred to Imam Hussain as Sibt. In the book “Al-Fusul al-Muhimma”, his ring’s inscription is mentioned as “Li kulli ajal kitab”, while in “Al-Wafi” and other sources, Imam Sadiq (AS) is quoted with “Hasbiyallah”, and Imam Reza (AS) with “Innallaha balighu amrih”, indicating that he had several rings with these inscriptions.
Wives and Children of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
Imam Hussain (AS) had nine children, six sons and three daughters, as follows: 1. Ali Akbar, who was martyred in Karbala. His mother was Layla, daughter of Abu Murrah bin Urwah bin Mas’ud Thaqafi. 2. Ali Awsat. 3. Ali Asghar or Zain ul-Abideen, whose mother was Shahzanan or Malika, daughter of Yazdegerd III, the King of Persia. According to Sheikh Mufid, Ali Akbar was Zain ul-Abideen, and it is more widely acknowledged that Ali Asghar was martyred in Karbala. 4. Muhammad. 5. Ja’far, who died during his father’s lifetime without leaving any offspring. His mother was from the Quda’a tribe. 6. Abdullah, the infant martyred in his father’s arms by an arrow. 7. Sukaina, her mother and the mother of Abdullah was Rabab, daughter of Imru’ al-Qais bin Adi bin Aws bin Jaber bin Ka’b bin Ali from the Kalbi Madhhiji tribe. 8. Fatimah, whose mother was Umm Ishaq, daughter of Talha bin Abdullah from the Taym tribe. 9. Zainab. Blessings and praise be upon Imam Zain ul-Abideen (AS), through whom the lineage of Imam Hussain (AS) continues, ensuring his name remains eternal.
Pages from the Life of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) was dearly loved by the Prophet of God, Muhammad (PBUH), who said, “Hussain is from me, and I am from Hussain…” He was raised in the arms of the Prophet. At the time of the Prophet’s demise, he was six years old. During his father Ali bin Abi Talib’s (AS) era, he held a high status, embodying knowledge, generosity, nobility, eloquence, bravery, humility, aiding the needy, forgiveness, and forbearance, among other virtues. He stood by his father in the battles of Jamal, Siffin, and Nahrawan. After his father’s martyrdom, when Imamate was bestowed upon Hasan bin Ali (AS), he was like a loyal soldier to his leader and brother. Following the peace treaty, they returned to Medina with the rest of their family. After Imam Hasan’s (AS) martyrdom in 49 or 50 Hijri, the responsibility of Imamate fell on Imam Hussain (AS). During the ten years of Muawiya’s rule, Imam Hussain (AS) was a staunch opponent of Muawiya’s policies, criticizing his actions through numerous letters. Despite the oppressive Umayyad regime, Imam Hussain’s (AS) character and leadership united the Shia, who deeply revered him. Upon Muawiya’s death in 60 Hijri, Yazid ordered the governor of Medina to secure allegiance from Imam Hussain (AS) for him. Recognizing Yazid’s corruption and incompetence, Imam Hussain (AS) refused allegiance, choosing instead to fight to save Islam from the calamity of Yazid’s rule, which threatened the religion’s very existence.
A Glimpse into the Virtues and Merits of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
Numerous divine verses, some say as many as 128 and others up to 250, have been specifically associated with Imam Hussain, peace be upon him, either in a general sense or specifically. Among these are the Verse of Mubahala, the Verse of Purification, the Verse of Mawadda (affection), the Verse of Feeding, and the verses of Surah Al-Fajr, which is referred to as his Surah. Imam Sadiq, peace be upon him, in explaining this association, has referred to Imam Hussain as the owner of the “tranquil soul” and advised: “Recite Surah Al-Fajr in your obligatory and recommended prayers, for it belongs to Hussain bin Ali. Be fond of it, and may God’s mercy be upon you.” When Abu Usama, who was present, asked how this Surah specifically pertains to Hussain, peace be upon him, Imam replied: “Do you not hear the word of Almighty God saying: ‘O reassured soul’? It indeed refers to Hussain, who possesses a content and reassured soul, and he and his companions are pleased with God in the Day of Judgement, and God is pleased with them.”
The Lifestyle of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
The ethical behavior and lifestyle of the Master of Martyrs (AS) reflect his noble spirit, upbringing in the lap of the Prophet and Ali (AS), and the embodiment of the Holy Quran in his actions and morals. He was hospitable and generous, cared for relatives, did not turn away the needy, reached out to the poor, clothed the naked, fed the hungry, paid off the debts of debtors, showed compassion and kindness to orphans, supported the weak, was abundant in charity, and distributed wealth among the destitute. He was devout in worship and fasting, making the pilgrimage to Hajj on foot 25 times. His bravery was well-known; he was steadfast and fearless in battle, possessed a strong will and high spirit, never accepted humiliation, preferred death over a life of disgrace, was honorable, clear and firm in speaking the truth, very patient and tolerant, generous, and would free slaves on the slightest pretext. He would carry food to the homes of the poor at night, humbly sitting and eating with the poor and needy. He loved enjoining good and forbidding evil and strongly criticized the injustices and crimes of the oppressors. He was chivalrous, forgiving, did not harbor grudges, was inclined to pardon, and his noble spirit and generosity captivated everyone. His home was a refuge and a center of hope for the distressed. He was devoted to night prayers, performing a thousand Rak’ats during the day and night, completing the recitation of the Quran in the month of Ramadan, distributed the money and gifts sent by Muawiya among the poor, and annually gave half of all his possessions as charity in the way of God, did not accumulate wealth, and would dye his beard.
Imam Hussain, and Imam Mahdi (PBUT)
The connection between the two Imams begins from their birth in the month of Sha’ban. Interestingly, the third of Sha’ban marks the birthday of the third Imam of the Shi’a, and the twelfth leader’s light graced the world twelve days later, in the middle of Sha’ban. The birthday of Imam Hussain should remind us of Imam Mahdi, may God hasten his noble cause, and on the birthdate of the latter, we should remember the Master of Martyrs. In the prayers dedicated to each of these infallibles, we whisper sentences that revive the memory of the other in our hearts. Shi’as revive the memory of the progeny of Imam Hussain on the third of Sha’ban, the birthday of the Master of Martyrs; for in a blessed communication from Imam Hassan Askari (AS) to “Qasim bin Alaa Hamadani,” it is emphasized on Imam Hussain’s birthday: “O God! I call upon you through the status of the born of this day. Before he opened his eyes to the world and was born, the promise and news of his martyrdom were given. The heavens and everyone in it, and the earth and everyone on it, wept for him… He, for whose martyrdom, the Imams from his lineage came into being, and healing was placed in his soil. Success and salvation are with him on the day of his return and the return of his successors from his lineage, after the Qa’im among them and the end of his occultation.”
Pages from the Chronicle of Imam Hussain’s Miracles
Futrus, the angel with a broken wing who had fallen to an island, came with Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) at the time of Imam Hussain’s (AS) birth. He rubbed himself against Hussain’s cradle, and God restored his wing, allowing him to ascend to the heavens. He who was healed by Hussain (AS) vowed to convey the salutations of the visitors to Hussain (AS): “It is my duty to reciprocate his healing… No visitor visits him, but I convey his salutations to him, and no one prays upon him but that I convey his prayers to him.” According to Ibn Abbas, this angel is known in paradise as the servant of Hussain bin Ali. (Culture of Ashura, p. 346)
Tales of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
Asma bint Umays recounts: When Hussain bin Ali, peace be upon them, was born and the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny, was informed, he came and said to me, “Asma, bring me my son!” I wrapped the child in a white cloth and handed him over. The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, called the Adhan in his right ear and the Iqama in his left ear, then he wept. I asked, “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you, why do you weep?” He replied, “I weep for this son of mine. An unjust community after me will kill him, and my intercession will not reach them.” Then he instructed me, “For now, do not tell Fatimah, peace be upon her.” A smile bloomed on the Prophet’s lips as he lovingly looked at Hasan, peace be upon him, eagerly awaiting the blessed arrival of Hussain, peace be upon him.
Illuminations from the Luminous Words of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
Imam Hussain, peace be upon him, said: “One day, I entered upon the Messenger of God, peace be upon him and his progeny, and found him deep in thought and sorrowful. I said, ‘O Messenger of God, why are you so contemplative?’ He replied, ‘O my son, Gabriel came to me and said: The Almighty God sends His greetings and says: You have fulfilled your mission [and your life is coming to a full circle], so pass on the Greatest Name, the legacy of knowledge, and the signs of prophethood to Ali bin Abi Talib; for I never leave the Earth without a knowledgeable person through whom the path of worship, servitude, guardianship, and leadership is known…’ I asked, ‘O Messenger of God! Who will take over this responsibility after you?’ He answered, ‘Your father, Ali bin Abi Talib, who is my brother and successor. After Ali, peace be upon him, it will be Hasan, then you, and then nine Imams from your progeny, all of whom will hold authority. Ultimately, our Qa’im will rise and fill the world with justice and equity.”
Visitation of Imam Hussain (PBUH)
Throughout history, there have been individuals whose life and essence continue to thrive even after their demise. The tombs and sanctuaries of divine personalities – just as they were pillars of religion, humanity, truth, and justice in their lifetime – remain supports of truth, justice, and virtue. Among these, the visitation of Imam Hussain’s shrine stands out distinctly. Those fortunate to visit his sacred tomb learn lessons of love, virtue, and perfection. Such a form of social education and moral refinement is unparalleled for any nation. Almighty God has placed blessings in his noble shrine, including the answering of prayers and the fulfillment of needs, in return for his sacrifice and endurance of hardships like thirst and sorrow to preserve Islam.
In the Realm of Light
The grave of Hussain (AS) has been a garden from the gardens of Paradise since he was buried there. Imam Sajjad (AS), quoting his aunt Zainab (SA) who in turn quoted from their grandfather, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated, “In this land of Taff and over the grave of the Master of Martyrs, a flag will be raised that throughout the ages, neither its name will be forgotten nor its significance will fade.” Here, the bewildered and the devoted stand in awe, observing the splendor of art and beauty in the unique architecture, the sturdy construction, astonishing mirror works, beautiful lanterns, and precious Quranic inscriptions on the doors and walls of the sanctuary. Master architects and artists have created these artistic marvels at a time when modern tools did not exist, using only simple tools to produce unique artistic effects that surround the luminous resting place of the Imam of Martyrs like stars in the sky.
Imam Hussain (PBUH), Through Others’ Eyes
Charles Dickens: If the purpose of Imam Hussain (AS) was to fight for his worldly desires, I do not understand why he took his sisters and children with him? Thus, logic dictates that he sacrificed for Islam. Thomas Carlyle: The best lesson we can learn from the story of Karbala is that Imam Hussain (AS) and his companions had a steadfast faith in God. They proved that numerical superiority does not matter in the fight between truth and falsehood, and Hussain’s (AS) victory, despite being in the minority, astonishes me. Allama Tantawi: The story of Hussain ignites the love of free men for sacrifice in the way of God and considers welcoming death as the best of wishes, as they vie with each other to rush to the altar of sacrifice. Abdul Rahman Sherkawi: Hussain (AS) is a martyr in the path of religion and freedom. Not only should Shia be proud of Hussain’s (AS) name, but all the free men of the world should honor this noble name.
The Birth of Imam Hussain (PBUH), The Day of the Guardian
The blessed day of the third of Sha’ban al-Muazzam, which is the day of the dawn of guardianship and protection of the progressive school of Islam, is congratulated to all fellow countrymen, especially the guardians of the Islamic Revolution. It is indeed fitting to call this esteemed day the Day of the Guardian. The birthdate of the great guardian of the Holy Quran and our dear Islam, a guardian who sacrificed everything for a goal and saved our cherished Islam from the brink of deviation and the tyrannical regime of the Umayyads. The degenerate Umayyad regime was about to misrepresent Islam and the founder of Islam contrary to what it was, Muawiya and his oppressive son, in the name of the Caliph of the Messenger of Allah, did to Islam what Genghis Khan did to Iran, transforming the foundation of the revelation into a satanic regime. If it were not for the sacrifices of the great guardians of Islam and the heroic martyrdom of the guardians and their devoted companions, Islam would have been misrepresented under the oppressive Umayyad regime, and the efforts of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his devoted companions would have been in vain.
In the Shade of the Pen A smile blooms on the Prophet’s lips as he lovingly looks at Hasan, peace be upon him, eagerly awaiting the blessed arrival of Hussain, peace be upon him. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny, with a smile on his face, eagerly awaits the promised moment, and Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, counts the moments to embrace you! Medina once again becomes the focal point. With each passing moment, anticipation grows and becomes sweeter! And suddenly… The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, holds his bundle of light in his arms, unable to take his eyes off his moon-faced beauty! What name is worthy of this child? Gabriel will come! One must wait; wait for the will of God. And Hussain, peace be upon him, is God’s chosen selection.