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Al-Husayn (as) as described by the Prophet’s (S) companions

1. Anas ibn Malik recounts, “After the martyrdom of al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (as), they brought his severed head to ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad. Ibn Ziyad started hitting Imam al-Husayn’s (as) teeth with a piece of wood. I was thinking to myself, ‘What an ugly and distasteful act he is doing! I saw with my own eyes Allah’s Prophet (S) kissing that same place which he is now hitting’.”20

2. Zayd ibn Arqam says, “I was sitting in the presence of ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad when they brought Imam al-Husayn’s (as) head for him. Ibn Ziyad lifted his staff and hit between the lips of Imam al-Husayn (as). I said to him, ‘You are hitting your staff at a place that was constantly kissed by Allah’s Prophet (S).’ Ibn Ziyad said to me, ‘Arise and leave! You are just an old man who has lost his mind’.”21

3. Isma‘il ibn Raja’ narrates that his father said, “I was sitting in the Prophet’s (S) Mosque together with a number of people. Among them were Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri and ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar. Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (as) passed and greeted all of us gathered there. Everyone responded to his greeting except ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar. He remained quiet for some time waiting for everyone to finish responding and become silent.

After everyone became quiet, and there was no longer any noise to interrupt him, ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar raised his voice very high and said, ‘May God’s peace and blessings be upon you!’ [wa ‘alayka salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh!] After that, he turned towards the people and asked, ‘Do you want me to inform you about a man from among the inhabitants of the earth who is the most beloved of the inhabitants of the heavens?’

The people answered, ‘Yes!’ ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar said, ‘In the heavens, the most beloved man is that Hashimite man who just passed by us. He has not talked to me since the Battle of Siffin. If he forgives me, it is far better for me than a host of fine red camels’.”22

4. Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah Ansari says, “Whoever wants to catch a glimpse of the dwellers of paradise should look at al-Husayn (as), because I heard that the Holy Prophet (S) used to inform people to do this.”23

In his book entitled “Majma‘ al-Zawa’id”, Haythami has also narrated this same hadith. At the end he adds, “The narrators of this hadith are all classified and categorized among the truthful reporters of hadith, except Rabi‘ ibn Sa‘d, who is classified among the very trustworthy and reliable.”24

5. ‘Umar ibn Khattab addressed Imam al-Husayn (as) in this way, “That which has sprung up and grown over our heads (i.e. Islam) was done through you the people of the Prophet’s (S) Household (i.e. the Ahl al-Bayt).”25

6. It has been recounted that, “‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas held the straps of Imam al-Hasan’s and Imam al-Husayn’s (as) horse. Some people rebuked him for doing so. They said, ‘You are older than these two. It is not befitting of you to hold the straps of their horse.’ Ibn ‘Abbas answered, ‘These two are the Holy Prophet’s (S) children. Is it not equal to prosperity for me to hold the straps of their horse?’”26


20. Dhakha’ir al-‘Uqba, p. 126.

21. Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 7, p. 110; Usd al-Ghabah, vol. 2, p. 21.

22. Usd al-Ghabah, vol. 3, p. 5.

23. Zarandi, Naẓm Durar al-Samṭayn, p. 208; Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, vol. 8, p. 225.

24. Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 9, p. 187.

25. Al-Iṣabah, vol. 1, p. 333.

26. Al-Iṣabah, vol. 1, p. 333.

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