Significance of Martyrdom of Imam Husain (A.S.)
Surely there exists in the hearts of the mo'mineen, with respect to the martyrdom of Husayn [a], a heat that never subsides" - The Holy Prophet [s] [Mustadrak al-Wasail, vol.10, pg.318]
As we approach the Month of Muharram, the lovers of the Ahlul-bayt [a] prepare to send condolences to Sayyida Fatima Zahra [a] for the tragedies that befell Imam Husayn [a], his family, and his companions on the Day of Ashura and the events that followed Ashura.
Mothers are preparing the black clothing for their children, homes and religious centers prepare for the Majaalis of Aza, and the Zuwwar are getting set to travel to Kerbala. Mo'mineen from all walks of life will participate, for this is the Aza of Aba-Abdillah [a]! The institution of Aza is the lifeblood of the Shia; which is revived each Muharram. Ulema worldwide will deliver sermons and majaalis to convey the mission, purpose, and message of Imam Husayn [a]. What follows after the lectures is the outpouring of emotion that is unparalleled in history for anyone else. But it is with this grief, the matam, the distribution of water, and the Aza rituals, that the message of Ashura is passed on from generation to generation.
Today, Kerbala is the name of Jannah on earth for it is the resting place of the Imam [a] who gave up everything in the way of Allah [swt]. Ashura is that fine line which distinguishes haqq from batil. Ashura not only exposes the oppression on the Ahlul-bayt [a] after the death of the Holy Prophet [s], it also defines the mission of Imam al-Hujjah [a], and our responsibilities as his followers.
What better way to prepare for Muharram than to understand the following hadith from Imam 'Ali bin Musa al-Ridha [a]: Muhammad ibn Ali Majiluwayh - may God be pleased with him - narrated that Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashem quoted on the authority of his father, on the authority of al-Rayyan ibn Shabib": “I went to see Al-Ridha [a] on the first day of the month of Muharram.
The Imam [a] said, ‘O Son of Shabib! Are you fasting?’ I answered, ‘No.’
The Imam [a] said, ‘Today is the day on which Zakariya prayed to his Lord - the Honorable the Exalted, ‘There did Zakariya pray to his Lord, saying, ‘O my Lord! Grant unto me from Thee a progeny that is pure: for Thou art He that heareth prayer!’’ [Holy Qur’an, 3:38]
And God fulfilled his prayer and ordered the angels to call Zakariya ‘While he was standing in prayer in the chamber, the angels called unto him, ‘(Allah) doth give thee glad tidings of Yahya, witnessing the truth of a Word from Allah, and (be besides) noble, chaste, and a Prophet, of the (goodly) company of the righteous.’’ [Holy Qur’an, 3:39]
Therefore, just as God fulfilled the prayers of Zakariya, the Honorable the Exalted God will fulfill the prayers of whoever fasts on this day, and asks God for something.’
Imam al-Ridha [a] said, “O Son of Shabib! Muharram is a month in which even the people of the former age of ignorance forbade oppression and bloodshed due to its sanctity. However, this nation did not honor the sanctity of this month nor did they honor the sanctity of their Prophet [s]. In this month, they killed the Prophet’s progeny, enslaved his women, and plundered his belongings. May Allah never forgive them for these crimes.
O Son of Shabib! If you wish to cry for anything or anyone, cry for al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali [a] for he was slaughtered like a sheep. Eighteen members from his family who were unparalleled on earth were also killed along with him. Certainly, the seven heavens and earths cried because of the murder of al-Husayn [a]. Four thousand Angels descended on earth to aid him, but (when they were allowed to reach there) they found him martyred. So they remained at his grave, disheveled and dusty, and will remain there until the rising of al-Qa’im (Imam al-Mahdi [a]), whereupon they will aid him. Their slogan will be, ‘Vengeance for the blood of al-Husayn.’ O Son of Shabib! My father related to me from his father, who related from his grandfather that when my grandfather Imam al-Husayn [a] was martyred, the sky rained blood and red sands.
O Son of Shabib! When you weep over the afflictions of al-Husayn [a] so that tears flow from your eyes onto your cheeks, Allah will forgive all your sins, big or small, few or numerous. O Son of Shabib! If you wish to meet Allah, the mighty and the majestic, free of sin, then perform the Ziyarat of al-Husayn [a].
O Son of Shabib! If it pleases you to abide in the palaces of Paradise in company of the Prophet [s] and his family, then invoke Allah’s curse upon the murderers of Imam al-Husayn [a]. O Son of Shabib! If you wish to earn the reward of those who were martyred with al-Husayn [a], then whenever you remember him, say, ‘If only I had been with them so that I would have attained the great felicity.’
O Son of Shabib! If you desire to be with us in the highest degree of Paradise, then grieve in our sorrows and rejoice in our happiness. Remain attached to our love, for even if a person loves a stone, Allah shall resurrect him with it on the Day of Judgment.”
Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha [a], Part 1, Chapter 28: No. 53, Hadith 58; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 44, p.285, Hadith 23.
Labbayk Ya Husayn,
"Anyone (of the believers) who recites poetry about al-Husayn [a] and cries and makes another one cry, Paradise will be written for both of them. Anyone (of the believers) in whose presence al-Husayn [a] is mentioned, and tears come to his eyes even to the extent of a wing of a fly, his reward is with Allah, and Allah will not be pleased with anything less than Paradise for him" - Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq [a] [Bihar al-Anwar Vol. 44, pg. 288]
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