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Ayatullah Shaykh Ja’far Shustari (R.A.)

The eminent philosopher and jurist, Marhum Ayatullah Shaykh Ja'far Shustari is the author of the important book of Maqtal: “Khasais al-Husainiyyah”, meaning “The Attributes of Husain's Movement”. He relates the following incident about his meeting with our 3rd Imam, Imam Husain (A.S.):

“When I completed my studies at the Hawza of Najaf and returned to my home in Shustar, I found that there was a need to make the people more aware of the teachings of the Qur'an and Islam in general. As a first step, I decided to start giving public lectures every Friday. When the month of Ramadhan came, I continued with my lecturing. I would take Tafsir-e Safi (of Mulla Muhsin Fayz Kashani) with me and teach from it. I would always end my talk with a few words of masaib of Imam Husain (A.S.) from the book “Rawdhatu'l Shuhada” (“The Garden of the Martyrs”) because, as the popular saying goes, every food requires salt, and the salt of any religious lecture is the remembrance of the tragedy of Kerbala.

However, no matter how much I tried, I could not recite the masaib of Imam Husain (A.S.) i.e. the tragedy of Kerbala on the mimbar/pulpit without reading from the book. As a result, it did not have that much effect on the people. In any case, I persisted in this manner for a whole year. The following year, when the month of Muharram arrived, I said to myself, “How long will I have to carry on reciting the masaib from a book? When will I manage to recite from memory?” I knew that I had to find a way out of this undesirable situation, but no matter how much I tried, I could not manage to find a solution. I began to constantly worry about it and one day, exhausted after thinking about the same matter, I fell asleep.

That day, I dreamt that I was on the plains of Kerbala, and that too, at the time when Imam Husain (A.S.)'s caravan was there. I entered the camp and greeted that holy and radiant personality. The Imam (A.S.) seated me next to himself and then said to Hazarat Habib bin Mazahir, “Habib! Shaykh Ja'far is our guest, and a guest must always be made welcome. It is true that there is no water in the camp, but there is some flour and oil - so go and prepare some food for our guest.”

At the words of Imam (A.S.), Habib bin Mazahir rose up at once and after sometime, returned and placed some food in front of me. I will never forget that there was a spoon in the dish of food as well. I had eaten only a few spoonfuls of that heavenly food when I woke up. I found that because of the blessing of that ziyarat of Imam Husain (A.S.) and his kindness to me, I had been inspired with a special knowledge about the family of the Prophet (SWW), including many facts and subtle details of their lives, which was not known to anybody else before this.”

His valuable book, “Khasais al-Husainiyyah”, contains many such details and inferences which is probably from the knowledge he received as a result of his meeting with the Imam Husain (A.S.), and which was not previously known to anyone else.

Taken from: “Khasais al-Husainiyyah” p. 8, as quoted in “Karamat wa Hikayate Ashiqane Khuda” - “Miracles and Anecdotes of the Close Servants of Allah”. Translated AJ/141105.

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