The Journey of Imam Husain (a.s.)
Father: Ali, son of Abu Talib
Date of Birth: He was born in Medina, on the third of Sha’ban in the year 4 A.H. (1/8/626).
Date of Death: 10th of Muharram, 61 A.H. 10/10/680
Martyrdom: Sword of Shimr, in the Battle of Ashura
Kunyah: Abu Abdallah
Title: Sayyidu’sh Shuhada’ as Sibt (al-Asghar)
THE BIRTH OF IMAM HUSSAIN (A.S.)
Six months after Al-Hassan was born, Fatima(s.a.) became pregnant with her second child. Lady Fatima started noticing the signs that childbearing was near, but the Prophet (s.a.w.) had already foretold of Imam Hussin’s birth.
On the third of the blessed month of Sha’ban, the fourth year after Hijra, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) was given news of the birth of Imam Hussein (a.s.). He (s.a.w.) hurried to the house of Imam Ali and Fatima al-Zahra.
Safia Bint Abdul Muttalib, Asma Bint Umais, and Um Salama were present when Imam Hussain was born.
When the Prophet asked Safia (his aunt) to bring him the newborn child, she said: “We have not cleaned him yet.” When the Prophet heard this, he (s.a.w.) said: “You clean him? Surely Allah the Exalted has cleaned and purified him”
Asma took the newborn child to him. The infant was wrapped in a piece of cloth. The face of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) lit up upon seeing his grandson. He took him in his arms. He recited the call to prayer (adan) into his right ear, and read the shorter version (iqama) in his left ear. He, then, placed the baby in his lap and wept.
“May my father and mother be your sacrifice,” Asma asked him, “why are you crying?”
“Because of my son,” he (s.a.w) replied.
“He is a newborn baby,” she said.
“O Asma,” he (s.a.w) said, “After me, the transgressing party will kill him. May Allah never grant them my intercession.”
Then he said: “Asma, do not tell Fatima about this, for she has just given birth to him.”
After Al-Hussein was born, Gabriel descended to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and revealed to him to give the new baby the name Al-Hussain. Al-Hussain is the Arabic version of the old Hebrew name Shabir, which was Haroun’s second son’s name. When Gabriel descended to the Prophet, scores of angels accompanied him to congratulate and console the Prophet for Hussain’s birth and expected martyrdom.
Seven days after the birth , the Messenger of Allah shaved Hussain’s head and gave the weight of his hair as charity for him.
Some Traditions on Imam al-Husain (AS)
In this article, I would like to present some of the traditions recorded
in the Sunni collections of the traditions Regarding him:
The Messenger of Allah said: “Al-Hasan and al-Husain are the chiefs of
the youth of Paradise and Fatimah is the chief of their women.”
(1) Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, p660, on the authority of Abu Sa’id and Hudhayfa
(2) Sunan Ibn Majah, Introduction 8
(3) al-Tabarani, on the authorities of: Umar, Ali, Jabir, Abu Hurayrah, Usamah Ibn Zaid, al-Baraa, Ibn ‘Adi, and Ibn Masud.
(4) al-Kubra, by al-Nisa’i
(5) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, pp 62,82, v3, pp 3,64, v5, p391
(6) Fada’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Hanbal, v2, p771, Tradition #1360
(7) al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, pp 166,167
(8) Hilyatul Awliyaa, by Abu Nu’aym, v5, p71
(9) Majma’ al-Zawa’id, by al-Haythami, v9, p187
(10) Tuhfatul Ashraf, by Lumzi, v3, p31
(11) Ibn Habban, as mentioned in al-Mawarid, pp 551,553
(12) al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 11, section 3, p290
(13) Mishkat al-Masabih, by Khatib al-Tabrizi, English Version, Tdadition #6154
Also it is narrated that:
The Messenger of Allah said: “Husain is from me and I am from Husain.”
(1) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v4, p172
(2) Fadha’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Hanbal, v2, p772, Tradition #1361
(3) al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, p 177
(4) Amali, by Abu Nu’aym al-Isbahani, p 64
(5) al-Kuna wal Asmaa, by al-Dulabi, v1, p88
(6) al-Tabarani, v3, p21
(7) Adab by al-Bukhari, also al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, as quoted in:
(8) al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 11, section 3, p291
(9) Mishkat al-Masabih, by Khatib al-Tabrizi, English Version, Tdadition #6160
The last part of the above tradition probably means that Imam Husain (AS), by sacrificing himself and his family, preserved the religion of Prophet
Muhammad (PBUH&HF) from full annihilation.
Abu Huraira narrated:
The Prophet (PBUH) looked toward Ali, Hasan, Husain, and Fatimah (AS), and then said: “I am in war with those who will fight you, and in
peace with those who are peaceful to you.”
(1) Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, p699
(2) Sunan Ibn Majah, v1, p52
(3) Fadha’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p767, Tradition #1350
(4) al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, p149
(5) Majma’ al-Zawa’id, by al-Haythami, v9, p169
(6) al-Kabir, by al-Tabarani, v3, p30, also in al-Awsat
(7) Jami’ al-Saghir, by al-Ibani, v2, p17
(8) Tarikh, by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi, v7, p137
(9) Sawaiq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, p144
(10) Talkhis, by al-Dhahabi, v3, p149
(11) Dhakha’ir al-Uqba, by al-Muhib al-Tabari, p25
(12) Mishkat al-Masabih, by Khatib al-Tabrizi, English Version, Tdadition #6145
The Messenger of Allah said: “He who loves al-Hasan and al-Husain, has loved me, and he who makes them angry has made me angry.”
– Sunan Ibn Majah,
– al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, from Abu Hurairah
– Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, as quited in:
– al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 11, section 3, p292
It is narrated in two wordings that:
The Messenger of Allah said: “I named Hasan and Husain and Muhsin the
names of the sons of Aaron (Haroon) who were: Shubbar, Shubair, and
(1) Sunan Abu Dawud al-Tilyasi, v1, p232 (without mentioning Muhsin)
(2) Fadha’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p774, Tradition #1365
(3) al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, pp 165,168
(4) Kashf al-Astar, by al-Bazzar, v2, p416
(5) Ibn Habban, as quoted in al-Mawarid, p551
(6) al-Tabarani, v3, p100
(7) Idhaah, Abdul Ghani, from Salman al-Farsi
(8) al-Mu’jam, by al-Baghawi, as quoted in:
(9) al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 11, section 3, p292
Usamah ibn Zayd narrated:
I went to the Prophet (PBUH&HF) one night about something I required and he came out with something (I did not know what) under his cloak.
When I had finished telling him my business I asked him what he had under his cloak, and when he opened it I saw al-Hasan and al-Husain on
his hips. He then said, “These are my sons and my daughter’s sons. O Allah, I love them, so I beseech Thee to love them and those who love them.
– Sahih Tirmidhi, per:
– Mishkat al-Masabih, by Khatib al-Tabrizi, English Version, Tdadition #6156
Anas ibn Malik Narrated:
When Allah’s Messenger (PBUH&HF) was asked which member of his family was the dearest to him, he replied, “Al-Hasan and al-Husain.” He used to say to Fatimah, “Call my two sons to me,” and then would sniff and cuddle them.
– Sahih Tirmidhi, per:
– Mishkat al-Masabih, by Khatib al-Tabrizi, English Version, Tdadition #6158
Imam Husain (AS) said: “Don’t you see that the truth is not followed and the falsehood is not discouraged? (The situation is so severe) so that a Believer wishes to meet Allah (i.e., to die). And today I don’t see death but prosperity, and living with tyrants is nothing but disgust and disgrace.”
Sunni Reference: Hilyatul Awliyaa, by Abu Nu’aym, v2, p39
Imam Husain (AS) said in the day of Ashura: “If you do not have any
religion, then at least be noble and broad-minded in your present life.”
HISTORY OF THE SHRINE OF
IMAM HUSAIN IBN ALI IBN ABI TALIB
Unlike any other city, Karbala has its named engraved in the memory of generations, and in the expanse of the Muslim world…
Believers remember that name with sorrow and distress, for they remember the history of the master of all martyrs, Imam Husain, peace be upon him, and his sacrifice for Islam.
The wave of visitors never stopped coming to Karbala, from the time the Umayyad and Abbaside caliphs prevented the construction of the shrines to the time the believers were able to build the precinct, despite the hardships and difficulties imposed on them.
And today, since Karbala is witnessing new calamities, and the mausoleums of Imam Husain [a] and his companions are subjected to destruction and neglect, and visitors are prevented from reaching that place, it is suitable to familiarise ourselves with Karbala…
Two main roads lead the visitor to Karbala. One is from the Iraqi capital Baghdad, through Al-Musails, and the other is from the holy city of Najaf. However, either one excites the visitor with its greenish scenery along the sides.
Upon reaching Karbala, the holy place would draw the visitor’s attention to its glorious minarets and domes shining due to the light of its lord.
At the city’s entrance, the visitor finds a row of houses decorated with wooden columns, and while proceeding further towards the holy mausoleum, he sees architechture similar, to some extent, to modern ones.
Upon reaching the holy shrine, one finds himself in front of a boundary wall that surrounds wooden gates covered with glass decorations, and when one enters one of those gates, he enters a precinct surrounded by small rooms called “Iwans”.
The holy grave is located in the middle of the precinct, surrounded by square shaped structures called “Rawaq”.
The grave itself is located in the middle of the grave site with golden windows around it, with beautiful illumination. It really is something great to see.
“Karbala” Origin & Meaning
There are many opinions among different investigators, as to the origin of the word “Karbala”.
Some have pointed out that “Karbala” has a connection to the “Karbalato” language, while others attempt to derive the meaning of word “Karbala” by analysing its spelling and language. They conclude that it originates from the Arabic word “Kar Babel” which was a group of ancient Babylonian villages that included Nainawa, Al-Ghadiriyya, Karbella, Al-Nawaweess, and Al-Heer. This last name is today known as Al-Hair and is where Imam Husayn’s [a] grave is located.
The investigator Yaqut al-Hamawy had pointed out that the meaning of “Karbala” could have several explanations, one of which is that the place where Imam Husayn [a] was killed is made of soft earth – “Al-Karbalat”.
Other writers made the connection between the name and the disastrous event which painted the desert with blood, and so the word “Karbala” was said to compose of two Arabic words: “Karb” meaning grief and sorrow, and “Balaa” meaning affliction. Such a connection, in fact, has no scientific evidence, since Karbala was known as such even before the arrival of Imam Husain, peace be upon him.
Martyrdom and popularity
Karbala was at first an uninhabited place and did not witness any construction activity, although it was rich in water and its soil fertile.
Following the tenth of Muharram 61 AH (680 AD), after the martyrdom of Imam Husain [a], people from far as well as tribes living nearby started visiting the holy grave.
A lot of those who came, stayed behind and/or asked their relatives to bury them there after their demise.
Despite many attempts by successive rulers, such as Al-Rashid and Al-Mutawakkil, to put a restriction on the development of this area, it has nonetheless spread with time to become a city.
Bounty of visiting Imam Husayn [a]
There is a lot of benefit and great spiritual reward in visiting the grave of Imam Husain [a]. The Prophet [s] has said of his grandson Imam Husain [a]: “Husain is of me and I am of him”. Several narrations mention that visiting the grave of Imam Husain [a] relieves one of worldly afflictions as well as those after death.
Believers, therefore, come from all parts of the world all year round to receive the honour of visiting Imam Husain [a], particularly during the first ten days of Muharram (Ashura) and the twentieth of Safar (the fourtieth).
One common Iraqi custom during that season is to go walking from Najaf to Karbala, reflecting their strong adhesion to and adoption of the morals and principles for which Imam Husain [a] struggled and attained martyrdom.
Mausoleum of Imam Husain, peace be upon him
The historian Ibn Kuluwayh mentioned that those who buried Imam Husain [a], made a special and rigid construction with signs above the grave.
Higher and bigger constructions above the grave started during the ruling of Al-Saffah, but Harun al-Rashid later on, put heavy restrictions to prevent people from visiting the grave.
At the time of Al-Mamun, construction around the grave resumed until the year 236 AH when Al-Mutawakkil ordered the destruction and digging of the grave, and then filling the pit with water. His son, who succeeded him, allowed people to visit the grave site, and since then building the precinct to the grave increased and developed step by step.
On the other hand, the historian Ibn Al-Athir, stated that in the year 371 AH, Aadod Al-Dawla Al-Boowayhi became the first to largely lay the foundations for large scale construction, and generously decorated the place. He also built houses and markets around the precinct, and surrounded Karbala with a high boundary wall turning it into a strong castle.
In the year 407 AH, the precinct caught fire due to the dropping of two large candles on the wooden decorations, but Hasan ibn Fadl (the state minister) rebuilt the damaged sections.
History has recorded the names of several rulers who shared the honour of widening, decorating or keeping the precinct in good condition. Amongst them is Fateh Ali al-Qajari, who in 1250 AH ordered the construction of two domes. One over Imam Husain’s [a] grave and the other over his brother Abu al-Fadl Abbas [a].
The first dome is 27 meters high and completely covered with gold. At the bottom, it is surrounded with 12 windows, each of which is about 1.25 m away from the other, from the inside, and 1.30 m from the outside.
The mausoleum has an area of 59 m / 75 m with ten gates, and about 65 rooms (I wans), well decorated from the inside and outside, used as classrooms for studying.
As for the grave itself, in the middle of the precinct, it is called the “Rawda” or garden and it has several doors. The most famous one is called “Al-Qibla” or “Bab al-Dhahab”. When it is entered, one can see the tomb of Habib ibn Madhahir al-Asadi, to the right hand side. Habib was a friend and companion of Imam Husain [a] since their childhood. He was one of those who was honoured with martrdom at the Battle of Karbala.
The resting place of Abbas b. Ali, peace be upon him
Abu al-Fadl Abbas, peace be upon him, was the brother of Imam Hasain [a] and Imam Husayn [a] and the standard-bearer of Imam Husain [a] in the Battle of Karbala. He is well known in history for his valour, loyalty and similarity to his father, the Lion of God, Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be upon him.
The grave of Abbas [a] received similar attention as that of Imam Husain [a]. In the year 1032 AH, the King Tahmaseb ordered the decoration of the grave’s dome. He built a window on the ‘darih’ around the grave and organized the precinct. Other similar activities were done by other rulers.
As a matter of fact, Karbala contains, besides the grave of Imam Husain [a] and his brother, the grave of all the 72 martyrs of Karbala. They were buried in a mass grave which was then covered with soil to the ground level. This mass grave is at the foot of Imam Husain’s [a] grave. In particular, besides Imam Husain’s grave are the graves of his two sons Ali Akbar and 6-month old Ali Asgher.
The Day of Islamic Revolution’s Guards Corps
We wish we could be with you! We wish we were a soldier as well! We wish we could maintain the bloods, which were shed and the epics. When it is decided that the followers of Imamate’s path and the pilgrims of sanctuary of sainthood would be taught the lesson of Holy war (Jihad), resistance and love, they would be encouraged by injecting the jewelry of humanity and eagerness and enthusiasm and passing the God’s path and the path of evolution and elevation and they would be motivated to start the task.
But how must these believers of school of sainthood be taught about the lesson of passing the God’s path? How could the fire of eagerness and resistance and Jihad and seeking for martyrdom be waged in their bodies? Which way would be appropriate for keeping the torch of humanity and virtue to shine forever? Isn’t it true that the school of sainthood is the crystallization of values, genuineness and purity?
Isn’t it true that the life of Imam Hossain (Pbuh) is the center, of epic, Jihad and resistance?
Doesn’t the love Zam-Zam, the purity of sincerity and greatness of devotion in Kowthar of light and knowledge [Imam Hossein (Pbuh)] shine?
Yes, this is Hossain (Pbuh), the volcano of anger and thunder bolt of death on the head of Islam’s and humanity’s blood thirsty and arrogant enemies!
This is Hossain (Pbuh), the source of generosity, honor, the revolutionary pride and politic authority! This is Hossain (Pbuh), the resource of all of goodness and the axis of humankind’s salvation. Surely, one must be bound to him in order to learn from him! And like the dried pipe on the invisible lips, which whispers the story of separation, one must cry for the time of reaching to him so eagerly: “ We wish we were with you!” ”We wish we could achieve the great salvation of the Jihad and martyrdom while guarding the religion, like you.”
And with this nice melody, one would motivate the sad and icy souls, make them so lively and warm and cause them to move, so that they rise as well just like Imam Hossain (Pbuh) in order to keep and guard the religion. And like him sacrifice themselves.
They must be bound to those ideals and high aims of that honorable Imam to the extent that they would never be reluctant to give this holy link up. The one which has created a nice ascent for them. And in this way they would never enter the despised world.
Yes! One must learn the principles of guarding from Hossain (Pbuh). One must link the guarding with Imam Hosain (Pbuh)! And what an auspicious bound it is! The guard corps’ day is Imam Hossain (Pbuh)‘s day. The day on which one steps into Imam Hossain’s school of thought.
Isn’t it true that the school of sainthood, needs the followers who always go in the path of human’s evolution and they should have the eagerness and enthusiasm of the Jihad and fighting for the sake of Allah in their minds? And in this way Imam Hossain (Pbuh)’s birthday is guard corps’ day so that the watchmen of the religion for ever and as long as the history lives would rise to defend the religion like him and this boiling blood would flow in the history’s arteries for ever. Knowing this fact and embodiment of it in human’s body will really place him among the followers of path of sainthood. Yes! One must whisper so continuously and eternally: “We wish we were with you too” “ We wish we were soldier as well!” “ We wish we would enjoy the salvation of martyrdom with you!”