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Imam al-Husayn (as) from the viewpoint of Sunni scholars

Adapted from: "The Uprising of Ashura and Responses to Doubts" by: "‘Ali Asghar Ridwani"

Upon referral to Sunni books of history and biography, we can see that Imam al-Husayn (as) is held in high esteem and praise by a number of Sunni scholars including:
1. Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani

“Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) is a Hashimite, popularly known as Abu ‘Abd Allah, a native of Medina, and the grandson of Allah’s Prophet (S). He was the Holy Prophet’s flower in this world and one of the two chiefs of the youths of Paradise.”31
2. Zarandi Hanafi

“Al-Husayn (as) prayed, fasted, went on pilgrimage to Mecca and performed other acts of worship a great deal. He was a very generous and noble man. He went to the hajj twenty five times on foot.”32
3. Yafi‘i

“Abu ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Ali (as) was the Holy Prophet’s (S) flower and grandchild. He was the epitome of the prophetic mission, the summation of high moral values and the venue of noble virtues…”33
4. Ibn Sirin

“The sky has never wept again since the martyrdom of Yahya ibn Zakariyya (John the Baptist), save when it wept for al-Husayn (as). When al-Husayn (as) was killed, the sky turned black and the stars came out. The stars could be seen shining during the day to such an extent that the Gemini Star (the Twins) appeared in the sky at noontime! Red soil fell from the sky and the sky looked like congealed red blood for seven days.”34
5. ‘Abbas Mahmud ‘Aqqad

“Courage is a characteristic that is not alien to al-Husayn (as). It is a quality that arises from the source of all virtues (the Noble Prophet). Al-Husayn (as) inherited this perfect attribute from his ancestors and later passed it on to his progeny. In the entire history of humankind, no one has been found to be braver than al-Husayn (as).

Among all the children of Adam, no one has undertaken a braver action than the measure al-Husayn (as) undertook at Karbala. I will not go into all the details but suffice it to say that the honor of being a martyr, the son of a martyr and the father of martyrs is reserved only for him in the entire history of mankind, and will remain so for hundreds of years to come…”35
6. Doctor Muhammad ‘Abduh Yamani

“Al-Husayn (as) was a devoted and humble man. People always witnessed him fasting. He used to stay awake at night worshiping and always took precedence in helping and granting favors to others…”36
7. ‘Umar Rida Kahalah

“Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (as) was the greatest among the people of Iraq in Islamic law, spiritual states, generosity and munificence.”37


31. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol. 2, p. 299.

32. Nazm Durar al-Samtayn, p. 208.

33. Mir’at al-Jinan, vol 1, p. 131.

34. Ibn ‘Asakir, Mukhtasar Tarikh Damishq, vol. 4, p. 339.

35. Abu al-Shuhada’, p. 195.

36. ‘Allimu Awaladakum Mahabbata Al-i Bayt-i al-Nabi (as), p. 133.

37. A‘lam al-Nisa’, vol. 1, p. 28.


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