A Glimpse into the Life of Hazrat Imam Hussain Radiallahu Anh

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Hazrat Sayyiduna Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) is the beloved son of Hazrat Sayyiduna Ali and Bibi Fatima (Ridwanullahi Ta’ala Alaihim Ajma’een) and the most beloved grandson of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). He was born on the 5th of Sha’baan in the year 4 Hijri. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) gave the Azaan in his right ear and the Iqaamat in his left ear. He then placed his blessed saliva in the mouth of Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and made Dua for him. On the 7th day he was named Hussain and his Aqeeqa was performed. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) commanded Hazrat Bibi Fatima (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to remove his hair and to give silver in charity equivalent to the weight of the hair.

Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was without doubt a very handsome personality. From his chest down to his blessed feet he was the image of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), whereas his elder brother Hazrat Imam Hassan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was the image of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) from his chest up to his blessed head. The blessed face of Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was so bright that it would even shine in the darkness of night.

Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was taught by Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), Hazrat Bibi Fatima and Sher-e-Khuda Hazrat Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhum). Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) loved Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) due to his piety and pure heart. The Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was also aware that the time would come when his beloved grandson would save the Ummah from destruction at the hands of a corrupt and tyrant leader.

Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) loved Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) dearly. Hazrat Umar Farooq (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said, “Once, when I presented myself in the court of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) I saw that he was walking on his knees carrying Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) on his blessed back. When I saw this I said, “Your mode of transport is most splendid. On hearing this, the Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “O Umar, the passenger is also very splendid.””

Hazrat Ya’la bin Marwaa (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) reports that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Hussain is from me and I am from Hussain. Whosoever has kept Hussain as his beloved, Allah is his beloved.”

Hazrat Jaabir ibn Abdullah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states, “I heard from Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), “Whosoever wishes to see the leader of Paradise, he should look at Hussain ibn Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh).””

Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was a very kind, gentle, generous, merciful and Allah-fearing personality. He always cared for the poor and oppressed, assisted the helpless, gave comfort to those in pain and sorrow and showed great love and affection towards orphans. He was the embodiment of the character of his grandfather Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and of his blessed parents.

His tolerance and patience was also exemplary. This was manifested by the fact that his martyrdom had been foretold by the Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and even though he was aware of this, he still made sabr and waited for the Will of Allah to take its course. Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was also blessed with bravery of the highest degree and this bravery and fearlessness was manifested on many occasions, particularly during the Battle of Karbala.

The following incidents should give us a glimpse of the exemplary personality of Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh):

Once, Hazrat Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhum) wrote some words in calligraphy on a blackboard. After they had completed writing, they both told each other that the other’s writing was better. They could not come to an agreement as to whose writing was better, so they took their work to Hazrat Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and asked him to make the decision. He looked at their work and asked them to take it to their mother Hazrat Bibi Fatima (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha). She looked at their work and said that the best person to make such a decision would be their beloved grandfather Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Both brothers then went to the court of the Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), who looked at their work and said, “This decision will be made by Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam). Immediately Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) appeared and said, “O Prophet of Allah, this decision will be made by Almighty Allah.” Thus Almighty Allah commanded Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) to take an apple from Jannat and to drop it over their boards. The best piece of work will be that on which the apple will fall. Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) then did as commanded and dropped the apple over the boards. The apple fell and split into two equal pieces, half on the board of Hazrat Imam Hassan and half on the board of Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhum). Subhaanallah! This showed that both of their calligraphic writing was equal. It also shows us what excellence has been bestowed on the grandsons of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that the decision concerning their writing is made in the Divine Court of Almighty Allah.

Once, Hazrat Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhum) had gone outside for a long time and Hazrat Bibi Fatima (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha) became very worried. She was still thinking about where the children might have gone when the Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) arrived at her home. She immediately asked her beloved father, “Ya Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain cannot be found. They have gone out and we do not know their whereabouts.” Just then, Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) descended and said, “Ya Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), there is nothing to worry about. Both the children are at a certain place and Almighty Allah has appointed angels to protect them.” On hearing this, Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) went to the spot pointed out by Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam) and he saw that both the beloved grandsons were resting and an angel had one of his wings under them and was shading them with the other wing. The Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) kissed both of them and carried them home to Hazrat Bibi Fatima (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha).

Once a Bedouin presented himself in the court of Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and said, “I heard your beloved grandfather (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) say that when one is in need of anything, then one should request this from one of four persons; either from a pious Arab, or from a pious master, or from a Hafizul Qur’an, or from a graceful person, and all these four qualities are found in you in the highest form. The reason for this, is that if the entire Arabia received piety, it is through your blessed family, and generosity is your beautiful quality; as for the Qur’an, this was revealed in your home and concerning your gracefulness, I heard your beloved grandfather (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) say, “If you wish to see me, then look at Hassan and Hussain.””

Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) listened to his words and then said, “I heard my beloved grandfather Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying, “Piety is according to one’s knowledge.” I will thus ask you three religious questions. I have with me this bag. If you answer one question I shall give you one third of what is in the bag; if you answer two, then I shall give you half of what is in this bag and if you answer all the questions, then I shall give you all of what is in the bag.” The Bedouin was very pleased and requested Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to present the questions. He asked, “Which action is the most exalted amongst all actions?” The Bedouin replied, “To bring faith in Allah.” Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) then asked, “What protects a servant from destruction?” He answered, “In having complete trust (faith) in Allah.” Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) then asked, “What is that through which a servant attains his splendour?” He answered, “By knowledge which is accompanied with good deeds.” He asked, “And if one does not have this quality?” He answered, “He should have that wealth in which there is generosity.” He then asked, “And what if one does not have such wealth?” He said, “He should be patient in his poverty.” Sayyidush Shuhada (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) then asked, “And what if someone is not is such a poverty (where he is patient)?” The Bedouin replied, “Then he should be struck by a bolt of lightening.” On hearing these answers, Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) smiled and gave him the entire bag.

Once Hazrat Imam Hassan, Hazrat Imam Hussain and Hazrat Abdullah ibn Jaafar (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhum) had gone together on Hajj. On their way, the camel which was carrying food, water and belongings went astray and was left far behind. They came to a shack belonging to a very old woman. All three of them went over to the shack and told the woman that they were very thirsty and asked if she could spare them something to drink. The old woman kindly milked her goats and presented the goats milk for them to drink. They then kindly asked if she had anything for them to eat. The old woman said that the food was not prepared but if they wished to wait, she would slaughter the goat and cook it for them. They thus agreed to wait. The goat was slaughtered and the old woman cooked a delicious meal. All of them happily partook in the meal, and on leaving they informed the old woman that they were of the Quraish tribe and they invited her to visit them in Madina, so that they may return her generous favour. The three of them then continued on their journey. Her husband came home later that day and found that she had cooked the goat. He was very angry that she had fed the goat to people she did not even know.

Some time passed and both the old woman and her husband became very poor. They travelled to Madina Munawwarah where they earned very little money gathering and selling camel droppings. Once while she was walking in Madina Shareef, Hazrat Imam Hassan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) spotted her. He immediately went up to her and asked if she recognized him. The old woman said that she could not and Imam Hassan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) explained to her that he was amongst those who stopped at her shack and partook in a meal which she provided for them. On hearing this she was very pleased and she informed Hazrat Imam Hassan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) of her situation. Hazrat Imam Hassan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) took her to his home and gave her one thousand goats and one thousand dinars in cash. He then asked his servant to take her to the home of Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) asked her what her brother had given her, and he too blessed her with one thousand goats and one thousand dinars. Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) then asked his servant to take her to the home of Hazrat Abdullah ibn Jaafar (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). He was very pleased to see her and asked what both Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhum) had given her. She replied that all together they had given her two thousand goats and two thousand dinars. On hearing this he gave her two thousand goats and two thousand dinars. The old woman was now very pleased, and took the four thousand goats and four thousand dinars and went to her husband. She presented these to him and said, “This is a gift from that generous family to whom I had fed one goat.” Subhaanallah! What generosity did Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and his family possess.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to instil in us and our children the beautiful qualities possessed by Hazrat Imam Hussain Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh, Ameen.

[Compiled from Tazkira Masha’ikh-e-Qadria Razvia by Maulana Abdul Mujtaba Razvi]