Our Husayn (as), Mourning him and his Karbala

By al-'Allama al-Sheikh Abd al-Husayn Amini

Translated by Shaun Astarabadi,


It is accepted to the Islamic nation, due to the finality of the prophethood and its particular concerns, that the Holy Prophet (S) had the knowledge about the wars, trials and that which happened to his family-house hold, their progeny, and relatives, more or less, of the enormous tragedies, of the dark surprises of time, of the hard events, wide killings, and to whatever else that has entered on them from torture, trickery, ill-treatment, capture and imprisonment.

This knowledge of his (S) is from among the wide, unconditional, and fully general (master) leadership on every creation. As not acting on this information, using it for forgiveness and patience (instead), as if nothing was going to occur, all while he could have taken these men without any consequence.

These unjust men of tyranny, men of corruption, he (S) (could have taken them) using his knowledge of that he knew of them. To uphold legal punishment before they attack, punish before the crime, to sever the ties with the offending clan, not to have good relation with the aggressors; and to send away those whom he knew of aggression bad fortune and animosity to his family from his field, away from his person. All of this is also from the concerns of the leadership. No human, ever, can carry this heavy burden. While this knowledge and this forgiveness is not combined in any of the sons of Adam. This can not be conceived in any human except in one who has the leadership (Wilayah).

This is an important subject, very wide, form the sciences of religion, if we were to go into its details we would end up with a heavy book.

This condition caused the Messenger of Allah (S) to look to all of these events and tragedies which were to inflict his household, as long as he lived, the essence of his kidneys (Hasan & Husayn), his love and a part of himself (Fatima) and her cousin his greatest supporter in truth (Ali) and from their good progeny; as if he was viewing the events from behind a thin screen.

Whenever he looked to one of them, up close, his knowledge, as a matter of fact, would play the scenes before his eyes. Therefore, for the length of his life, he displayed his sorrow and depression among those close to him, naturally. His sorrow does not separate from him, he lived with it, crying secretly, hiding the longing and swallows the pain.

Whenever he found the appropriate environment he would attempt to cure the pain of his heart, put off the heat in his heart and the fire of sorrow by hugging one of his family close to his chest, he would smell and kiss pouring his tears, with crying eyes and his tong carries what amuses his feelings.

You would see him (S) holding on to Ali (as), the master of his progeny, his cousin and father of his "sons", in the middle of the road he would kiss him and repeat his saying: "My father is your ransom. (You) The lonely the martyr." As reported by Mrs. 'Aesha, the mother of believers,

Sunni references:

• al-Hafidh abu-Yaala al-Mousilly, in his Musnad

• an many scholars took from him.

Many of the narrators reported the correct hadeeth of Ibn-Abbas: "I went out with the prophet (S) and Ali (ra) by the walls of Madina, we passed by a garden. Ali (ra) said: What a beautiful garden this is Oh' prophet of Allah? He (the prophet) said: Your garden in Paradise is more beautiful than this. Then he pointed with his hand to his (Ali's) head and beard and cried till he was loudly crying. We said: What makes you cry? He said: Hatred in the hearts of a people, they do not display till they loose me."

In a narration according to Anas bin Malik: "Then the prophet put his head on one of Ali's shoulders and cried. He said to him: What makes you cry, Oh, messenger of Allah? He said: Hatred in the chests of peoples, they don't display until I depart from this world."

Also, according to Ameerul Mu’mineen (Ali): "When the road was clear for me, he hugged me and cried loudly. I said: Oh messenger of Allah, what makes you cry? He said: Hatred in the chests of peoples, they don't display to you until after me."

Sunni Ref, where all three narrations are recorded:

• Musnad al-Bazzaz;

• al-Mu'jam al-Kabeer, al-Tabarani

• Musnad abu-Ya'la

• Tareekh al-Sham, Ibn 'Asakir

• Majma' al-Haithami

• more references can be found in "Al-Ghadeer", by al-Amini.

The prophet (S) used to attend to his (Ali's) patience and solidarity and say (S) to him (as): "How is your patience if that was dyed (colored) from this? Pointing with his hand to his beard and head. Ali said: Wasn't I tested when I was tested, so this is not from among the things of patience, but it is from those of good tidings and dignity." So the prophet (S) is pleased with such beautiful expressions, which describes the greatness of Ali's self and his love in the way of Allah, Almighty.

Sunni Ref:

• al-Mu'jam al-Kabeer, al-Tabarani.

You see him (S) embrace abu Muhammad - the Hasan, the son, to his chest and kiss him on his mouth and navel, because of what he knew that his contents from his mouth to his navel will be cut by the poison.

Then he would embrace the Husayn, the son, towards him to smell and kiss. To kiss the spots where swords, arrows and stabs are to fall. He would concentrate on his lips, knowing that they will be hit by the rod.

He (S) mourns his Husayn, his flower (as he used to call them), time after time, in the houses of the Mothers of the Believers (his wives). Whenever his sorrow is hard on him, he would take the Husayn in his lap and brings him along to the mosque, to the gathering of Sahaba while crying.

His tears falling, he would display to them the infant Husayn with the sand of Karbalaa in his hand and say: "My nation (Ummah) will kill him, and this is the dirt of Karbalaa." Or he would take the dirt smell it and cry, with the mention of his murder and death, saying: "The smell of Karb wa Balaa (sorrow and trial)."

Or would say: "By The One who owns my soul, it saddens me: Who is this who kills Husayn after me?" Or would say: "Wow to 'Karb and Balaa'", or "Karbalaa: the land of Karb (deep sorrow) and Balaa (painful trial)." Or puts Husayn on his lap, with his red dirt in his hand, while crying and say: "I wish I could express my self! Who kills you after me?"

You would see Fatima (as), when her father (S) tells her that she is to catch up with him fast from among his family, it pleases her to hear this news [*see references below]. He is but telling her that the life of the family of Muhammad is surrounded by treachery and sad surprises. If it were not for such fears, from those enormous tragedies pouring into their field, why would the Zahraa-Fatima dislike her life?

Her happy life ought to be the best life, most pleasant and greatest of pride: Having a husband alike to her father in his virtues; having sons like the Hussan and Husayn, the flowers of the messenger of Allah (S), the masters of the youth of Paradise - none equal, any beautiful description falls short; and from among the girls such as Zainab, the jewel of completeness and honor.

* Sunni Ref:

• Musnad Ahmad, Ahmad bin Hanbal

• Musnad abu-Ya'la, abu-Ya'la al-Mousulli

• Musannaf Ibn Abi Sheiba

• al-Khasaes, al-Nisaei

• Saheeh al-Tirmithi

• Mushkil al-Athar, al-Tahawi

• al-'Ilal, al-Darqutni

• Huliat al-Abrar, abu-Naeem

• al-Dalael, al-Bayhaqi

• and many others via Umul Mu’mineen 'Aesha

So why is Fatima, at that time, displeased with life, when she is still in the bud of her youth, has not reached her aims and has not gotten what she hopes out of life?

Why would she ask her God to hasten her death, when she has not attained what mothers wish to see in their sons? For such hopes ease (mothers') pains and sweeten the bitterness of this world. They sacrifice all to see these hopes come true. Why would she remove her hand from her infants, clears her lap from them and accept orphaning them when they have reach their beautiful youth?

Why would she be 'pleased' to wither her flowers, the flowers of the family of Muhammad, while they are in their most beautiful stage, and she has not attained their blossom? Why would she leave her garden and the flowers have not opened?

Why would she like to separate from her spouse and leave her love to accompany sorrow, pain and emptiness. His sorrow after her is everlasting and his nights in her separation is insomnia?

Why is this happiness and pleasure in becoming close to death?

All of this is nothing more than escaping from the gravity of these tragedies which she knew well, taken from her father the truthful. For Fatima (as) did not imagine for herself or hope for a savior or shelter which she could trust could give her peace and protection, except to be near her Generous God and declining this life, inclusive of its bitterness and sweetness.

What can Fatima do with life and she sees her father (S), for the duration of his life, allied to sorrow? He spent his life with a teary eye, a sorrowful heart and grief within him because of distress over his family. He mourns for his son-Husayn from the start of his birth and on and on, when a baby, an infant, and a boy.

Allah had taken the houses of his Prophet (S) places of sorrow and crying since the birth of dear Husayn. The angels of his god arrive to him (S) in groups and singular, time after time, every now and then, announcing (the future death) of Husayn, they bring him his red dirt (earth) symbolizing in that his upcoming murder and death.

These are important Islamic historic events, a slice of which history did recorded for us, even though, due to the past circumstances only little reached us. Here is a brief list for you.

A rite (maatam) in the house of the Messenger of Allah (S)

"Ahmed and Ibn al-Dhahhak narrated from Ali (ra), said: I entered on the prophet (S) and his eyes a flooded, I said: Oh! Prophet of Allah, anyone made you angry? Why are your eyes flooded? He said: Gabriel just left me telling me that Husayn will be killed by the river Euphrates. He (prophet) said: So he (Gabriel) said: Do you want me to let you smell his dirt (from his burial pot)? I said: yes! He reached with his hand and grabbed and handful of dirt and gave it to me. So I could not help it and my eyes were flooded."

Sunni Ref:

• Thakhaer al-Uqba, Muhibbuldeen al-Tabari, p148.

A Rite of Infancy

"Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ali al-Jawhari, in Baghdad, told us: Abul Ahwas Muhammad bin al-Haitham al-Qadhi, from Muhammad bin Musaab, from al-Awzaei, from abi Ammar Shaddad bin Abdullah, from Ummul Fadhl the daughter of al-Harith. That she entered on the Messenger of Allah (S) and she said: Oh! Messenger of Allah, I saw a strange dream last night. He said: And what is it? She said: It is difficult.

He said: And what is it? She said: I saw, as if, a piece of your body was severed and was put in my lap! The Messenger of Allah (S) said: You saw good - Fatima will give birth, God willing, a boy so he will be in your lap. Then Fatima gave birth to al-Husayn and he was in my lap - just as the Messenger of Allah (S) said.

So I entered one day on the Messenger of Allah (S) and put his in his lap, but I noticed that the eyes of the Messenger of Allah (S) pouring tears! She said: So I said: Oh! Prophet of Allah, my parents are your ransom, what is with you? He said: Gabriel (pbuh) came to me and informed me that my nation (ummah) will kill this son of mine. I said: This one? He said: Yes, and he brought me dirt from his red dirt."

al-Hakim said: This is a correct hadeeth (Saheeh) on the conditions of (Bukhari and Muslim) but they did not print it. He produced it in page 179, he said: Narrated abu al-Abbas Muhammad bin Ya'qoob, Muhammad bin Is-haq al-Sana'ni, Muhammad bin Isma'eel bin abi Summaiya, Muhammad bin Mus'ab, al-Awza'ei, abi Ammar that Ummul Fadhl said: The messenger of Allah (S) said - while Husayn in his lap - that "Gabriel (as) informed me that my nation (ummati) kills al-Husayn."

He (al-Hakim) said: Ibn abi Summaiya has summarized this hadeeth. Other than Muhammad bin Mus'ab have narrated it in full.

Sunni Ref:

• al-Mustadrak al-Saheeh, al-Hafidh al-Hakim al-Nisapouri, v3, p176.

• Dalael al-Nubouwa, al-Hafidh al-Baihaqi.

It was produced by al-Hafidh al-Baihaqi in "Dalael al-Nubouwa" under the subject of Husayn (as). He said: Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Haifdh (al-Hakim al Nisapouri), abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ali al-Jawhari in Baghdad, with the same narrators and text, as mentioned.

Al-Hafidh bin 'Asakir in Tareekh al-Shamm (History of Shamm) said: abu 'Abdullah al-Gharawi, abu-Bakr al-Baihaqi, Muhammad bin 'Abdullah al-Hafidh, the same as above.

Also said: Informed us abu al-Qasim bin al-Samarqandi, abu al-Husayn bin al-Naqoor, abu al-Hasan Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Umran (known as ibnul Jundi) abu Rawq Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Bakr al-Harati, al-'Abbas bin al-Faraj al-Raqqashi, Muhammad bin Ismaeel abu Summaiya, Muhammad bin Mus'ab supported as follows:

"I saw, Oh Messenger of Allah, a sighting I find too great to describe to you. He said: Tell it. She said: I saw as if a piece of you was cut and put in my lap! He (S) said: Fatima is pregnant, she will give birth to a boy whom I will name Husayn and she will put him in your lap. She said: So Fatima gave birth to Husayn and he was in my lap, to take care of him, so he entered on me one day and Husayn was with me and started playing with him for a while. Then his eyes filled with tears, so I said: what makes you cry? He said: This is Gabriel informing me that my nation (ummati) kills this son of mine!"

All the narrators are trusted and the hadeeth is "saheeh".

A rite in the house of al-Sayyidah Ummu Salamah, Ummul Mu’mineen

Narration by Ya'la bin 'Ubaid, Musa al-Jahani, Salih bin Arbad al-Nakhei, Ummu Salamah said: "al-Husayn entered on the prophet (S), while I was sitting at the door, so I saw in the hand of the prophet (S) something he turned over while (Husayn) sleeping on his stomach. I said: Oh messenger of Allah, I looked and saw you turning something over in your hand when the kid was sleeping on your stomach and your tears were pouring? He said: Jibraeel came to me with the sand upon which he will be killed. And he informed me that my nation (umma) will kill him."

Sunni Ref:

• al-Musannaf, by al-Hafidh abu Bakr bin abi Shaibah, v 12

Narrated al-Husayn bin Is-haq al-Tustury, Ali bin Bahr, Issa bin Younis. And 'Ubaid bin Ghannam, abu-Bakr bin abi Sheibah, Ya'la bin 'Ubaid, the both said: Mousa bin Salih al Juhani, Salih bin Arbad, from Ummu Salama (ra) said: "The messenger of Allah said: Sit at the door, and don't let anyone enter on me. So I sat at the door, then Husayn came by so I went to take him, but he raced me and entered on his grandfather. When that took long, I peaked from the door and saw you turning something in your hands and your tears running, and the kid on your stomach? He said: Yes, Gabriel (as) came to me and informed me that my nation (umma) will kill him. He brought me the sand on which he will be killed, which I was turning in my hands."

Sunni Ref:

• al-Moejam al-Kabeer, al-Hafidh al-Tabarani, Subject of the martyr al-Husayn

A rite in the House of al-Sayyidah 'Aesha, Ummul Mu’mineen

Narrated Ali bin Muhammad, 'Uthman bin Muqsim, al-Muqbari, from 'Aesha said: "While the messenger of Allah (S) was laying down, al-Husayn came crawling towards him so I moved him away from him and I got up to do something. So he got close to him and he woke up crying. So I said: What makes you cry? He said that: Gabriel showed me the sand on which Husayn will be killed. The anger of Allah is great on whomever sheds his blood. He opened his hands, in which a grab of sand. He said: Oh, 'Aesha, by the One whom my soul is in His hands, it saddens me! Who is this from my nation (umma) who kills Husayn after I am gone?!"

All the men of the narration are documented as trusted.

Sunni Ref:

• al-Taba'qat al-Kubra, Ibn Saad

A rite in a Gathering of the Companions

Mu'awiya bin Husham, Ali bin Salih, Yazeed bin abi Ziad, Ibraheem (bin Yazeed al-Nakhei), 'Alqama (bin Qays al-Nakhei), 'Abdullah bin Masoud said: "While we were at the (house of) messenger of Allah (S) , a group from Bani Hashim approached. When the prophet (S) saw them his eyes overflowed and his color changed. I said to him: We see something you hate in your face? He said: We are the people of the household (Ahlul Bayt) Allah has chosen for us the thereafter over this world and that the family of my household will encounter after me trials, dispersement and expulsion. Until a people come forward from the east, along with them black flags, they ask for justice but it is not offered. So they fight and strike and are then given what they asked for. They don't accept it until they push it forward to a man from my Ahlul Bayt. Then he fills it with justice as they filled it with injustice. Therefore, whomever lives to see that from among you should come to them, even if crawling on the snow."

All the men of narration are trustworthy, as recorded.

Sunni Ref:

• al-Musannaf, al-Hafidh abu-Bakr bin abi Shaibah, v 12

• al-Sunan al-Saheeh, Ibn Majeh, v 2, p 518, section of appearance of the Mahdi

• al-Hafidh abu-Jaafar al-'Uqayli (with the addition: "We said: Oh, messenger of Allah - We are not happy to see in your face something you hate." )

• al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v 4, p 464.

• Akhbar Asbahan, by al-Hafidh abu Naeem al-Asbahani, v 2, p 12.

• al-Moejam al-Kabeer, al-Tabarani, v 3.

A rite in Karbalaa by the father of the martyr, the Commander of Believers ‘Ali (as)

Muhammad bin 'Ubaid, Sharhabeel bin Mudrik, Abdullah bin Naji: "his father walked with Ali (ra), when they reached Nainawa, the departure point to Siffin, ‘Ali called: Be patient aba 'Abdullah! Be patient aba 'Abdullah at the river al-Furat (Euphrates)! I said: And what? He said: I entered on the messenger of Allah (S) one day and his eyes overflowing. I said: Oh, prophet of Allah! Anybody angered you? Why are your eyes overflowing (with tears)?

He said: But Gabriel just left me and informed me: That al-Husayn will be killed at the river al-Furat (Shattul Furat). He said: Do you want me to show you from his sand? He said: I said yes. He extended his hand and grabbed and handful of dirt and gave it to me. So I could not help it, my eyes overflowed."

Sunni Ref:

• al-Musnad, Ahmad bin Hanbal, v 2, pp 60-61.

Ibn Saad, Ali bin Muhammad, Yahya bin Zakariya, a man heard it from 'Amir al-Sha'bi say: "When Ali (as) passed by Karbala in his march to Siffin and lined up with Nainawa - a village on the Euphrates - he stopped and called one of them men: Tell aba 'Abdullah (al-Husayn ) what this land is called? He said: Karbala. Then he cried until the earth was wet from his tears. He then said: I entered on the messenger of Allah (S) and he was crying. So I said: What makes you cry? He said: Gabriel was with me, just now, and informed me: that my son al-Husayn will be killed at the banks of Furat in a location called Karbala. Then Gabriel grabbed a handful of dirt and let me smell it. So I could not help it, my eyes overflowed."

Sunni Ref:

• al-Tabaqat, Ibn Saad

• al-Musannaf, Ibn Abi Shaibeh, v12 (with "Patience aba 'Abdullah, patience aba 'Abdullah."

• al-Moejam al-Kabeer, al-Tabarani, v 1

• Tareekh al-Shamm, Ibn 'Asakir