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Imam al-Husayn’s (as) virtues in the words of the Prophet (s.a)

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

1. On his own chain of transmission [sanad], Bukhari quotes Na‘im saying, “Ibn Umar was asked, ‘What is the verdict of a muḥrim (a person visiting the holy and inviolable House of Allah) who kills a fly?’ Ibn ‘Umar answered, ‘The people of Iraq are more concerned to ask about killing flies ignoring the fact that they killed the son of the Prophet’s daughter (as).’ Then he added, ‘The Noble Prophet (S) has said, ‘Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are my sweet smelling flowers in this world’.”13

2. On his own chain of transmission, al-Hakim al-Neyshaburi recounts that, “Salman Farsi said, ‘Allah’s Prophet (S) used to say,

    «الحسن والحسين إبناي، من أحبّهما احبّني، ومن أحبّني أحبّه الله، ومن أحبّه الله أدخله الجنة، ومن أبغضهما أبغضني، ومن أبغضني أبغضه الله، ومن أبغضه الله أدخله النار.»

‘Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are my two children. Whoever loves them has in fact loved me. Whoever loves me is loved by Allah and whoever is loved by Allah will enter Paradise. Anyone who hates these two has in fact hated me. Anyone who hates me is hated by Allah, and whoever is hated by Allah will be cast into the hell fire.’’”14

3. Also on his own chain of transmission, al-Hakim al-Neyshaburi has narrated that, “Ibn ‘Umar said, ‘The Prophet of Allah (S) said,

    «الحسن والحسين سيدا شباب أهل الجنة وأبوهما خيرٌ منهما.»

‘Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are the chiefs of the youths of Paradise, and their father is better than these two.’’”15

4. On his own chain of transmission, al-Tirmidhi quotes from Yusuf ibn Ibrahim from Anas ibn Malik, “The Prophet (S) was asked about whom among the Ahl al-Bayt (as) was more beloved to him. He answered, ‘Al-Hasan and al-Husayn.’ The Prophet (S) always used to tell Fatimah (as), ‘Bring my two children to me.’ He would then press them against his chest and smell their sweet scent.”16

5. Ya‘la ibn Marrah says, “The Holy Prophet (S) and I left the house to attend a social gathering we had been invited to. Along the way, the Prophet (S) caught sight of al-Husayn (as). He was busy playing. Allah’s Prophet (S) quickly went to al-Husayn (as) and spread his arms wide open in order to embrace him, but al-Husayn (as) teasingly kept running from side to side in a playful manner. Both of them started laughing. Finally, the Prophet (S) managed to catch al-Husayn (as).
He put one of his hands under al-Husayn’s (as) chin and the other one on his head. Finally, they embraced and kissed each other. The Prophet (S) then said,

    حسين منّي وأنا منه، أحبّ الله من أحبّه، الحسن والحسين سبطان من الأسباط.

‘Al-Husayn is from me and I am from al-Husayn. Allah loves whoever loves al-Husayn. Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are two of my grandchildren’.”17

We interpret the sentence ‘Al-Husayn is from me and I am from al-Husayn,’ as follows:

a) The first part of the hadith which says, ‘Al-Husayn is from me,’ means that al-Husayn (as) descends from and is a product of the Prophet of Allah (S). Although his biological father is ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), the explicit wording of the Qur’anic Verse of Mubahilah clearly states that Imam ‘Ali (as) is a part of the soul of Allah’s Prophet. For this reason, Imam al-Husayn (as) is rightly considered as the Prophet’s (S) child.

b) Commenting on the second part of the hadith which says, ‘And I am from al-Husayn,’ it can be said, after proclaiming his prophetic mission, the Noble Prophet (S) cannot be regarded as an ordinary person anymore. On the contrary, he is looked upon as a man with a divine mission. Allah’s Prophet (S) is the epitome of the prophetic mission. His life is his prophetic mission and his prophetic mission is his life.

c) Also, we all know that every father makes an effort to have a child who will succeed him, defend his father’s character, and protect and revive his mission. The child is the one who is charged with the duty of continuing his father’s way. Regarding Imam al-Husayn (as), the reason why the Holy Prophet (S) says, ‘I am from al-Husayn,’ is that al-Husayn’s (as) uprising and martyrdom kept alive the mission of the Holy Prophet (S).

For this reason, the Holy Prophet (S) conferred the dignity of ‘I am from al-Husayn,’ on him. This implies that the continuity of the prophetic mission depends on al-Husayn (as). It is for this reason that it has been said, “Islam transpired through Muhammad (S) and survived through al-Husayn (as).”

6. Yazid ibn Abi Yazid says, “Fatimah’s (as) house was located along the Prophet’s way from ‘A’ishah’s house. One day, as the Prophet (S) was leaving ‘A’ishah’s house, he heard al-Husayn (as) crying. The Noble Prophet (S) said, ‘O Fatimah! Do you not know that I am bothered and pained when I hear him crying?’”18

7. Al-Hakim al-Neyshaburi recounts that he personally heard Abu Hurairah saying, “I saw Allah’s Prophet embracing al-Husayn. He kept saying, ‘O my Allah! I love him. Love him too!’”19


13. Ṣaḥiḥ Bukhari, vol. 5, p. 33, the Book [kitab] on Fada’il al-Sahabah (Virtues of the Companions, the Section [bab] on Manaqib al-Hasan wa al-Husayn (The Virtues of al-Ḥasan and al-Husayn).

14. Al-Hakim al-Neyshaburi, Al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn, vol. 3, p. 166.

15. Ibid., p. 167.

16. Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan, vol. 5, p. 323, no. 3861.

17. Al-Tabarani, Al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, vol. 22, p. 274; Al-Hindi, Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 13, p. 662; Ibn ‘Asakir, Mukhtasar Tarikh Damishq, vol. 14, p. 150.

18. Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 9, p. 201.

19. Al-Hakim al-Neyshaburi, Al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn, vol. 3, p. 177.


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