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The Status of Imam Hussein (a.s.)

The status of Imam Hussein (Abu-Abdullah) (a.s.) is unparalleled, except by that of his father, mother, brother, and the Imams of his offspring, on all of them be the peace and blessings of Allah. Should a historian make a good research, collecting the stories and traditions concerning Imam Hussein (a.s.), he would certainly end up with the Imam (a.s.) as the top example among the Muslims. He would write a voluminous, great work covering this Imam.

As much as we can, we will delve into the key points which portray the great position of Imam Hussein (a.s.) according to Islamic criteria.

The Glorious Qur'an, the supreme divine document, which falsehood can never reach from before or behind it, expresses in many verses the lofty position Imam Hussein (a.s.) achieved in the sight of Allah, the Exalted. Following are some of these verses:

1. Verse of Purification (Tathir)

"Allah only wishes to keep away uncleanness from you (Household of the Prophet) and purify you thoroughly." Holy Qur'an (33:33)

Traditionists say, regarding the reason this verse was revealed, that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) called for a shawl. With it he covered Ali, Fatimah, Hassan and Hussein (a.s.). "O my Lord," he said, "these are the members of my family. Remove uncleanness from them and purely purify them." 3 and so this noble verse was revealed on this occasion. It is a testimony by Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, on the purity of the Prophetic house (Ahlul Bait (a.s.)) and their great stature.

2. Verse of Malediction (Mubahala):

"If anyone disputes with you about it (your prophethood) after the knowledge has come to you, say, 'Come, let us bring our sons and your sons and our women and your women and ourselves and yourselves and pray to Allah to curse the lying party." Holy Qur'an (3:61)

The Qur'anic exegesists and scholars say that this noble verse was revealed when the Christians of the city of Najran agreed with the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) to pray to Allah to destroy the party which stuck to falsehood. As agreed, and on time, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) went out to the place chosen for the contest. He carried Imam Hussein (a.s.) and took Imam Hassan (a.s.) by the hand. Fatimah followed behind while Imam Ali walked in their wake. "Say 'Amen' at the end of my prayer," the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) told them. But, upon seeing those brilliant faces filled with piety and grandeur, the Christians stopped short of entering the contest. They recognized the Prophet's authority, and paid the tribute. 4

The noble verse called Hassan and Hussein "our sons," mentioned the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), and referred to Ali as "ourselves" and Fatimah as "our women." She symbolizes the whole of womankind in this verse. Had there been other people who had higher status than these people, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) certainly would have brought them along with him.

3. Verse of Affection (Mawada):

"... say: 'I do not ask you f or any payment f or my preaching to you, except the love f or my relatives ...'" Holy Qur'an (42:23)

The Qur'anic exegesists state that this verse was revealed concerning Ali, Fatimah, Hassan and Hussein (a.s.).

Jabir bin Abdullah is reported to have said: "A bedouin came to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and said, 'O Muhammad! introduce me to Islam.'

"'You should bear witness,' replied the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) 'that there is no god but Allah, Who is the only God, Who has no partner whatsoever, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.'

"'Do you ask for recompense in return?' asked the bedouin.

"'No,' said the Prophet (s.a.w.), 'except that you should love the relatives.'

"'Mine or yours?' inquired the man.

"'Mine,' said the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).

"'Hold out your hand,' said the bedouin. 'I give you my pledge of allegiance. My Allah curse whoever doesn't love you or your kindred.'

"'Amen,' said the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.)." 5

It is reported in the Musnad (Book of traditions) of Ahmad bin Hanbal, the two Sahihs (Authentic books of traditions), and the exegesis of al-Tha'alibi and al-Tabarsi, that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, was quoted as saying, "when the verse (say: I do not ask you for any payment for my preaching to you except the love for my relatives) was revealed, Muslims asked the Prophet (s.a.w.), 'O Messenger of Allah! Who are your kinsfolk whom we should love?! 'Ali, Fatimah and their two sons,' answered the Prophet (a.s.)."

Next to the verses of the Glorious Qur'an, we quote certain statements, from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) as additional evidence expressing the lofty position occupied by Imam Hussein (a.s.) in the world of Islam and the Muslim ummah.

1. In the Sahih of al-Tirmidhi, Ya'la bin Murrah is quoted to have said, "The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said,

'Hussein is from me and I am from Hussein. Allah loves whoever loves Hussein. Hussein is a disciple of the disciples." 6

2. Salman al-Farsi is reported to have said, "I heard the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.) saying, 'Hassan and Hussein are my two sons. Whoever loves them then he loves me. And whoever dislikes them then he dislikes me. And whoever dislikes me then Allah dislikes him. And whomever Allah dislikes, He will throw him into hell f ace downward."' 7

3. Al-Bara' bin Azib is quoted to have said, "I saw the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) carrying Hussein bin Ali (a.s.) on his shoulder. He was saying, 'O Lord! I do love him so love him.'" 8

4. Abdullah bin Mas'ood is reported to have said, "The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, concerning Hassan and Hussein, 'These are my two sons, whoever loves them then he loves me. And whoever dislikes them he dislikes me,"'

5. Ali bin Hussein (a.s.) said, on the authority of his father, on the authority of his grandfather (a.s.), 'The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) took the arms of Hassan and Hussein and said, 'Whoever loves me and loves these two and their father, he will certainly be with me on the Day of Judgement.'" 9


3. Sahih Muslim (The Authentic Book of Tradtions Compiled by Muslim) Merits of the Companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.), Sahih al-Tirmidhi, vol. 2, Musnad Ibn Hanbal, Mustadrak al-Sahihain (The Book Which Collects the Traditions Left Out by the Two Authentic Books of Tradition), Majma' al-Bayan (Collector of Eloquence), etc.

4. Fadha'il al-Khmasah min al-Sihah al-Sittah (Merits of the Five in the Six Authentic Books of Traditions), vol. 1, p.244. It refers to the great books which confirm this narrative. Among them are: Tafsir al-Zamakhsahri (Qur'anic Exgesis by al-Zamakhshari), Sahih Muslim, Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Al-Durr al-Manthoor (The Scattered Pearls), by al-Suyooti, al-Fakhr al-Razi, and al-Tirmidhi.

5. Fadha'il al-Khamsah, vol. 1, p. 259, quoted from Hilyat al-Awliya' (Ornament of the Saints), vol. 3, p.201, and from al-Durral-Manthoor, by al-Suyooti, Usd al-Ghabah (Lions of the Jungle), Mustadrak al-Sahihain, Tafsir Ibn Jabrir al-Tabari (Qur'anic Exegesis by al-Tabari with differences in words and narratives.

6. Fadha'il al-Khamsah, vol. 3, pp. 263.

7 I'lam al-Wara (Merits of the Two Grandsons of the Prophet (s.a.w.)), al-Tabrasi, p. 219.

8. Al-Fusool al-Muhimmah (The Important Chapters), Ibn al-Sabbagh al-Maliki.

9. Tathkirat al-Khawas (Admonishing the Prominent People), The Prophet of Allah's love for Hassan and Hussein (a.s.).

Adapted from the book: "Imam Hussein Bin Ali" Published by: "Al-Balagh Foundation"

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