He is the sayyid (master) of the young of Jannah. He is the grandson of Rasûlullah (sall-Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and the second son of Hadrat Alî. He is the third of the twelve imâms and the fourth of the Ahl al-Bayt. Hadrat Husayn’s ancestry is Husayn ibn Alî ibn Abî Tâlib ibn Abdulmuttalib ibn Hâshim. His patronymics were Qurayshî and Hâshimî. The name Husayn was given to him by our Master Rasûlullah. His nickname was Abû Abdullah. He was called Sayyid and Shahîd (the Martyred One). Those from his lineage are called “Sayyid”. Since he was the grandson and beloved of Rasûlullah, he is the crown jewel of the Ahl al-Bayt. His lower body from his chest closely resembled Rasûlullah’s. He was born on the 4th year of Hegira, on the month of Shâban (AD 626 January). He was martyred on 61 (AD 680) on the tenth of Muharram at Karbalâ. In various hadîth ash-sharîfs, he was praised.
When Husayn was born, our Master Rasûlullah called to his ear, “He is the master (sayyid) of the children of Jannah.”
Hadrat Husayn’s early childhood was filled with Rasûlullah’s deep love and compassion. But that didn’t last for long. After our Prophet passed away, Husayn radiy-Allahu ‘anh continued his education and training with his father. He had five children. In order they were Alî Akbar, Alî Asgar, Ja’far, Fâtima and Sakîna.
Hadrat Usâma ibn Zayd saw Prophet ‘alaihis-salâm one night and narrates that He said, “These are my sons, my daughter’s sons; my Allah, I love them; please, You love them too and love those who love them.” Another time He said, “Husayn is from me, and I am from Husayn. Allahu ta’âlâ loves Husayn.” Hadrat Husayn was praised in many other hadîth ash-sharîfs.
Allahu ta’âlâ says to the Ahl al-Bayt in the 33rd âyat of the Sûrah al-Ahzâb of Qur’ân al-karîm, “Allahu ta’âlâ wants to remove rijs, that is, all faults and smears from you and wills to cleanse you with complete purity.” The Ashâb al-kirâm asked, “O Rasûlallah! Who are the Ahl al-Bayt?” At that moment, Hadrat Alî came. Rasûlullah took him under His blessed coat. Fâtima-tuz-Zahrâ came; He took her under His coat, too. Imâm al-Hasan came. He took him to His side, as well. Imâm al-Husayn came. He took him to His other side and said, “Here, those are my Ahl al-Bayt.” This âyat al-karîma and the related hadîth ash-sharîfs indicates that loving the two blessed grandchildren of Rasûlullah is necessary.
Hadrat Husayn’s face would illuminate the dark night around him. He went to hajj on foot twenty-five times. Even if those with him got on mounts, he wouldn’t.
With his brother Hadrat Hasan, he joined the expedition Saîd ibn Âs made to Khorasân from Kûfa at 30 (AD 651) during the time of Hadrat ‘Uthmân. The brothers were appointed by their father Hadrat Alî as guards to protect Hadrat ‘Uthmân against the rebels that surrounded the Khalîfa’s house and to carry water to his house.
During his father’s caliphate, Hadrat Husayn went to Kûfa and joined all his expeditions. After Hadrat Alî was martyred, following his father’s will, he submitted to his brother. When Hadrat Hasan made an agreement with Hadrat Mu’âwiya, Hadrat Husayn went to Medîna with his brother and always stayed by his side. He took the yearly 2 million dirhams that Hadrat Mu’âwiya allocated to him because of the agreement until his demise.
Husayn radiy-Allahu ‘anh always stayed by his father’s side. When his father was martyred, he went to Medîna. Upon Hadrat Mu’âwiya’s demise, he didn’t pledge loyalty to Yazîd. The people of Kûfa invited him and wanted to make him the Khalîfa. Even though his brother Muhammad ibn Hanafiyya, Ibn ‘Umar, Ibn Abbâs and many of the Ashâb al-kirâm (radiy-Allahu ta’âlâ ‘anhum) tried to stop him, he didn’t listen to their advice and set off from Mecca for Iraq with seventy-two people.
When this news reached Yazîd in Damascus, he sent orders to the governor of Iraq, Ubaydullah ibn Ziyâd, and told him to stop him from entering Kûfa. Ubaydullah sent an army under the command of ‘Umar, the son of Sa’d ibn Abî Waqqâs. Though Ibn ‘Umar told him to turn back, imâm didn’t accept, and he fought. Those who were with him were told to surrender again and again, but they continued to fight until all seventy-two of them were martyred.
Sinân ibn Anas Nahaî martyred Hadrat Husayn on the 61st year of the Hegira (AD 681) on the tenth day of Muharram at Karbalâ. His blessed son, Zayn al-Âbidîn, wasn’t killed because he was very young. He was sent to Damascus with the women and the blessed head of the imâm. His blessed head is buried at the Qarâfa cemetery in Egypt.
When Hadrat Husayn was martyred, and his blessed head was brought to Yazîd’s palace in Damascus, Yazîd said, “Do you know why this happened? This person said, ‘My father Alî is more blessed than his father. My mother Fâtima is more blessed than his mother. My grandfather Rasûlullah is more blessed than his grandfather. And I am more blessed than he. The caliphate is my right.’ I say for Allah that Fâtima is certainly more blessed than my mother. As for his grandfather, no one who believes in Allah and the day of âkhirat can see anyone as equal to Rasûlullah (sall-Allahu ta’âlâ ‘alaihi wa sallam). However, Husayn said that with fiqh (knowledge dealing with what Muslims should do and should not do: actions, ibâdats) and ijtihâd (interpretation of problems not precisely covered by Qur’ân al-karîm or hadîth ash-sharîfs by comparing them to problems clearly stated in them). He didn’t think of the âyat al-karîma, ‘Allahu ta’âlâ is the Owner of everything. He gives His property to whomever He wishes.’”
The women brought from Karbalâ and Zayn al-Âbidîn were brought to Yazîd. Hadrat Husayn’s daughter Fâtima asked, “O Yazîd! Are the daughters of Rasûlullah captives?” Yazîd said, “O the daughter of my brother! I didn’t wish for this.” The women were sent to the women of Yazîd. The palace women showed them respect. They asked after the properties that were taken from them and paid it back by folds. Hadrat Husayn’s daughter Sakîna used to say, “I have never seen a more blessed sinner than Yazîd.” Yazîd kept Zayn al-Âbidîn with him. They ate their meals together. Yazîd sent the Ahl al-Bayt back to Madîna with plenty of money for the road and soldiers to protect them. When bidding farewell to Zayn al-Âbidîn, he said, “May Allahu ta’âlâ damn Ibn Marjâna! Wallahi, if it were me, I would have accepted everything your father wanted. Alas, it was qadar al-ilâhî (divine destiny). Whatever you wish for, write to me! It shall be accepted.” Marjâna was the name of Ibn Ziyâd’s mother.
After the incident of Karbalâ, Yazîd said, “May Allah damn Ibn Marjâna! He didn’t accept Husayn’s wishes and had him killed. With his death, everyone resented me. Good and evil, everyone told Husayn’s death with exaggeration and became enemies to me.”
Those who martyred imâm al-Husayn at Karbalâ had previously betrayed and tormented imâm al-Alî and imâm al-Hasan. Twelve thousand people united and wrote a letter to imâm al-Husayn. They invited him to Kûfa and promised to help him. However, they martyred Muslim ibn Uqayl, Hadrat Husayn’s uncle’s son, whom he sent. Then, when imâm al-Husayn came, they disguised themselves as Yazîd’s soldiers and martyred him at Karbalâ. It’s written in the shia book “Majâlis-ul-mu’minîn” that the shia named Musayyib ibn Nuhba went to Karbalâ with ‘Umar ibn Sa’d ibn Abî Waqqâs.
Here is our Master, the Prophet’s words about His grandson Hadrat Husayn:
“Allahu ta’âlâ loves he who loves Husayn.”
“Hasan and Husayn are the superiors of the young of Jannah. Their father is far superior.”
“I resemble a tree. Fâtima is the body of this. Alî is its branches. Hasan and Husayn are its fruit.”
“The sayyids of those who enter Jannah young are Hasan and Husayn.”
“Husayn is from me, and I am from Husayn. Allahu ta’âlâ loves Husayn. Husayn is a grandson among grandsons.”
Some of the hadîth ash-sharîf he heard directly from our Prophet and narrated:
“The beauty of a person’s Islâm is abandoning mâlâyanî (wasting one’s time with things that are not beneficial for one’s world or religion).”
“Bahil (stingy) is the person who doesn’t say salât and salâm when my name is mentioned.”
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