Her Eminence, Fatima’s (‘a) Training to Imam Husayn (‘a)

The chief of the ladies decided to train her son and she molded him into her love and kindness so that he may develop a stable character and understanding. In the same way she inculcated in him Islamic manners so that he may develop a habit of steadfastness and the right path.

Alaili says: “Among the reports about Imam Husayn (‘a) that have reached us, it is mentioned that his mother made elaborate arrangements for his training so that examples of Islamic thoughts may become firm in his personality. It would not be wrong to assure that the Holy Prophet (S) also provided the same training in childhood, which is the time when a child perceives a feeling of stability.”

Her Eminence Fatima (‘a) perfected in him correct thinking and general love and accorded him with lofty virtues and morals so that it may become a part of him and the center of his attention may be Allah as everything is included in this.

In this way a child puts into practice his limited circle of childhood and only keeps in his view its mother and he does not see anyone besides her. His mother demonstrated to him an unlimited circle where the divine thought was made the center of attention and made it the standard of morals and behavior. Thus his self became wide so that he may include the world into his good behavior and he may present a lofty example to lead people towards the path of goodness’1

Imam Husayn (‘a) was bred out brought up in the atmosphere of that great family whose equal the history of humanity cannot trace in faith and guidance. Thus His Eminence was brought up under the shade and among this family and became to be an incomparable example for human thoughts and became the most prominent Muslim leader.


Experts of training and psychology are unanimous that environment is one of the most important factors that shape the child’s personality and it forms inclinations and habits in the child and they all depend on the environment. And responsibility in every way for decadence and backwardness in the training values returns to it, in the same way the effect of environment and lack of family problems have a profound effect on our behavior and that of our children.

UNICCO, the international organization for children has surveyed the unnatural effects on the child’s nature and the research conducted by a number of experts in this regard presented the following results:

“Without any doubt, environment is proved to have a profound effect on the child and then the family that has come into being, if it is based on love and affection it would be the first step that shapes the good nature of the child. The child would, in the future, base his social relationships on his family upbringing and in case if the child’s personality is a prey to unfavorable attitude of the parents, he would not be able to have social acceptance’”2

A stable environment and absence of family problems are the basis for formation of a good personality of the child and the development of a good life for him and it would be able to remove worries from him. Psychologists believe that instability of environment and its difficulties cause the child to feel that he is spending a life in a defective world filled with deceit, misappropriation and greed, and that he is a powerless creature, not any match to this powerful world’3

Islam has been attentive to the problems of environment in a positive manner and has spent all means and capabilities for its reformation and more than anything else it has kept this matter in view so that the highest values of truth, justice and equity be dominant and factors of obedience and backwardness like injustice oppression and deceit are destroyed and the environment may become a safe place and away from problems and difficulties so that it could present the best and most useful people to the community; such humans that compete in performance of righteous deeds, charitable acts and reformation.

The Islamic Environment has nurtured great, famous, incomparable personalities from the reformers who were the best of the people that humanity has itself witnessed them in all its stages of history. Like our Master, His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a), Ammar bin Yasir, Abu Zar and others like them who strengthened social justice in Islam.

Imam Husayn (‘a) was brought up in the illuminated Islamic environment that the rays of its light affected it and he established the civilization and made the communities of the world and guided them on this path; and powers that cause decadence and backwardness be destroyed. The great environment which has come into being from the sources of justice and he benefited from it and also benefited the needy generations by it.

While yet in his childhood, Imam Husayn (‘a) had understood how the Islamic environment was capable of founding a society based on justice and love and how it aims to make itself strong and stable by spreading its principles and its aims of creating love and righteousness among the people.

These were some of the means of training provided for Imam Husayn (‘a). The means that bestowed His Eminence preparedness so that he may become a lofty example of his grandfather, His Eminence, the Holy Prophet (S) and in the call towards truth and dignity he should be equal to him.

In the Shade of Quran and Sunnah

Islam has paid special attention to Imam Husayn (‘a) in Quran and Sunnah (sayings of the Prophet) and has endowed special kindness and made elaborate arrangements with regard to him. This is so because His Eminence is one of the highest centers of leadership. That if anyone looks upon this world of existence he would see him shining brilliantly before it; he has accorded success to the affairs of human beings and has led them on the path of righteousness and the correct way.

Islam has spoken of Imam Husayn (‘a) with absolute respect and honor and along with him also paid attention to his parents and brother and exalted their remembrance and emphasized their emulation and advised following them and took the oath of the community that it must not deviate from their path. In all aspects it must never try to get precedence over them. Here we shall present in brief whatever is mentioned about him in Quran and traditions.

Under the shade of Quran

Quran is the great of book of Allah; such that falsehood can neither approach it from before nor from behind it. It has declared the merits of Imam Husayn (‘a) under the reference of Ahlul Bayt (‘a). His Eminence, in presence of Quran, is not needy of the praise of praisers and acclaim of the acclaimers. The following are some verses of Holy Quran that mention about Imam Husayn (‘a):

Verse of Purification

The Almighty Allah says:

Allah only desires to keep away impurities from you O People of the House and purify you with a thorough purification.4

We feel compelled to dwell more at this juncture and have a detailed discussion on this verse:

Who are the “Ahlul Bayt” (People of the House)?

Commentators of Quran and reliable tradition scholars5 are unanimous that the
Ahlul Bayt (‘a) are these only five persons of the Blanket (Kisa) that include: The Leader of the Universe, His Eminence, the Holy Prophet (S) and the brother of His Eminence, who is the self of His Eminence; that is Master of the Believers (‘a), and the pure part of his body, an image of Maryam daughter of Imran, leader of women, Her Eminence, Fatima Zahra (‘a), who was such that her pleasure was like pleasure of Allah and her anger equivalent to Allah’s anger. After that were the two beloved ones of His Eminence, the Holy Prophet (S), the two grandsons of His Eminence, that is Hasan(‘a) and Husayn (‘a), chiefs of the youths of Paradise and no companion or any other person is included in this verse with them. The following traditions prove this distinction:

Firstly: Umme Salma says: “This verse was revealed in my house while Fatima(‘a), Ali(‘a), Hasan(‘a), and Husayn (‘a) were present. The Holy Prophet (S) spread his cloak on them and said: ‘These are the members of my family. (O Allah!) Remove uncleanness from them and make them pure’, and he repeated this statement. Umme Salma heard and saw this and then said, ‘Am I with you?’ She held the blanket that she may enter therein. The Prophet pulled away the sheet from her and said: ‘You are on the good.’ This tradition is related in Sihah books on a large scale (Tawatur).6 This narration of Umme Salma clearly proves the special status of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) in this verse and their precedence over all other people in this matter. It shows that only these five persons are meant in this verse. This verse denotes only these five personages.

Secondly: The Holy Prophet (S) took every opportunity to declare the sole precedence of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) as beneficiaries of this verse. Ibn Abbas has narrated that: ‘I noticed for seven months that the Holy Prophet (S) went to the door of Ali’s house everyday when it was time for prayers and used to say: ‘Peace and blessings be upon you! O People of the Prophet’s House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification.’ And he repeated this act five times a day.’7

Anas bin Malik narrates that for a period of six months the Holy Prophet (S) used to pass by the door of Fatima (‘a) when he came out for morning prayers and say: ‘O People of the House, it is time for prayers’, and then added: ‘O People of the Prophet’s House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification.’8

Abu Barza has narrated that: ‘I performed my prayers with the Holy Prophet (S) for seven months.

As and when he left his house, he went to the house of Fatima (‘a) and used to say: ‘Peace be upon you! O People of the Prophet’s House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification.’9

The Holy Prophet (S) emphasized that the connotation of this verse is restricted to his Ahlul Bayt (‘a) and considered them different from others so that they may guide the community and made it compulsory for them to accept their leadership.

Thirdly: The Holy Progeny has used the specialization of this verse for themselves as their argument for their superiority as mentioned in a sermon of Imam Hasan Mujtaba (‘a): “I belong to the family upon whom Jibraeel used to descend and from there ascend to heavens. I belong to the family from whom Allah has removed all impurities and made them pure.”10

Numerous traditions (widely narrated) from the channels of Progeny of Muhammad (S) have specified the restricted implication of this verse to only these five personages and they also announce the exclusion of all other family members of the Holy Prophet (S).

Exclusion of the Prophet’s wives in the verse of Purification

The wives of the Prophet (S) have no share in this verse, because they have been excluded from it by subjectively as well as legally according to scholars of the Principles of Jurisprudence. By way of proof we present below some points of discussion:

1. “Ahl” (Family), according to dictionary denotes the family of man and his relatives11 and it does not include the wife. This meaning has been emphasized by Zaid bin Arqam when he was asked regarding the family of the Prophet that whether the wives of the Prophet are included in it. He rejected this view and said: “No, by Allah! The wife stays with the husband for a limited period, after that he divorces her and she returns to her father and her clan’ His Ahlul Bayt are his original relatives, such that after him Sadaqah (alms) has become unlawful for them.”

2. If we accept that “Family” includes the wife and it refers to her12 we would be compelled to consider it restricted to them on the basis of the previously quoted traditions because it has reached up to the limits of Tawatur in wordings and by meanings.

False Claims of Akrama and Maqatil

A group supporting the Bani Umayyads and claimants of exclusion has tried to take away the verse away from the Holy Progeny and apply it to the wives of the Prophet and in this matter they have used the preceding verses. Among these are persons like Akrama and Maqatil bin Sulaiman.

Akrama was the most inimical person towards the folks of the Blanket and he openly declared it in the market place.13 His audacity reached such a stage that he claimed: “I can participate in imprecation contest with anyone who does not accept that this verse was revealed for the wives of the Prophet.”14

It is obvious that this open challenge of his is a clear proof of his animosity towards the Holy Progeny, which has the same position as that of Quran itself. Here it is necessary to study some matters related to Akrama and Maqatil so that their view regarding their claim becomes clear.

Akrama in Mizanul Etedal

Akrama, the Berber, is Abu Abdillah Madani who was originally a Berber and was initially the slave of Haseen bin Abil Hurr Anbari. Then he presented him to Ibn Abbas, when he became the governor of Basra under the orders of His Eminence, Amirul Momineen (‘a). He remained under his service till the passing away of Abdullah bin Abbas. After that Ali bin Abdullah sold him and then later bought him back.15 He had changed his beliefs and had a doubtful character because his biographers have written about him as follows:

1. He was from the Khawarij (renegades).16 He stood at the gate of the Masjid and said there were none except disbelievers inside it17 because the Khawarij believed all Muslims to have become apostates. As for his position with regard to His Eminence, Amirul Momineen (‘a) he is well-known for his malice and animosity towards Ahlul Bayt (‘a).

2. He was famous for lying and he had no qualms about lying and he is well- known for this because it is narrated from Ibn Musayyib that he told his slave, Burd: “Do not attribute falsehood to me like Akrama did to Ibn Abbas.”18

It is narrated from Uthman bin Marrah that he said to Qasim: “Akrama had told Ibn Abbas such a thing about us.” So Qasim said: “O my nephew! Akrama is a liar. He says a thing in the morning and opposes it in the evening.”19

Due to his being convicted of lying, none of the reports narrated by him is reliable because lying is an important factor that makes the narrator unreliable.

3. He was a sinner and he used to listen to music, he played dice, he was careless about prayer and was of deflective intellect.20

4. The Muslims abandoned him and became aloof from him. One day he and Kathir Uzza died. People attended the funeral of Kathir but none took part in the funeral of Akrama.21

In presence of such testimonies against him how could one rely on the narrations of Akrama? Bukhari has relied on him though Muslim avoided him.22 Bukhari says: “There is none among our companions (tradition scholars) but that he or she is needful of Akrama.”23 It is surprising Bukhari relies on Akrama as well as those who like him, whose faith he doubts but he abstains from traditions of the Holy Progeny who are equals to the Holy Quran.

Maqatil bin Sulaiman

Maqatil bin Sulaiman bin Bashir Azadi Khorasani like his friend Akrama was having a weak faith and biographers have mentioned this about him thus:

1. He was a false reporter. Nasai says: “Maqatil reported false statements”24 and Waki has also said: “And Ishaq Ibrahim Hanzali says: ‘Khorasan has produced three characters unequalled in lying and innovation. They are Jaham, Maqatil and Umar bin Sabah.’”

And Kharijah bin Musab said: “In our view Jaham and Maqatil are two sinners and transgressors.”25 Thus due to his proven falsehood it is not correct to trust his reports and his tradition is of no value in proving anything.

2. He was having doubts in faith and had belief of Tashbih.26 Ibn Hayyan says: “Maqatil obtained the knowledge of Quran through Jews and Christians according to what their books taught. He used to compare the Almighty Allah to created things and creatures and he resorted to falsehood in narrating traditions.”27

Some pious people considered shedding his blood lawful.

Kharijah says: “I do not consider lawful shedding blood of Jews and Zimmis28 but if I gain dominance over Maqatil bin Sulaiman and none sees us, I would kill him.”29

3. Maqatil was well known for his animosity and hatred towards Amirul Momineen (‘a) and he always associated the merits of Imam (‘a) to other characters. It is related from Imam (‘a) that he said: “Ask me before you are deprived of me.” Maqatil also tried to be like this and he claimed that he could provide information of all that is between the sky and the depths of the earth. So a person stood up and asked him to inform about the dwelling of the ant. But he failed to reply to this query.”30

Again at another time he claimed: “Ask me whatever you want regarding whatever is between the sky and the depths of the earth.” A person stood up and asked: “Who shaved Adam’s head when he performed Hajj?” Maqatil was dumb founded and he could not offer any reply.31

The above reports indicate his false notions and that is none of his traditions are worthy of being trusted.

Weak arguments of Akrama and Maqatil

Akrama and Maqatil have argued from the preceding words of the verse that it is revealed about the wives of the Prophet (S) and the Ahlul Bayt (‘a) are not included in it.

Imam Sharafuddin has refuted these notions in a topic-by-topic manner. He says:

“We have some reasons to refute this view:

Firstly: It is a personal opinion against clear texts and widely related traditions.

Secondly: If this verse had been restricted to the wives as they claim, the address would have been to females and the Almighty Allah would have used feminine pronouns and said: Ankunna and Yutahara-rakunna (instead of Ankum and Yutaharakum), as seen in other verses. The use of masculine pronouns in this verse proves their argument wrong.

Thirdly: An eloquence discourse includes interjections and objections and it denotes that a sentence of some other topic is included in the systematic order as the statement of the Almighty Allah in the incident of Aziz to his wife, when he tells her:

“‘Surely it is a guile of you women; surely your guile is great: O Yusuf! Turn aside from this; and (O my wife)! Ask forgiveness for your fault’”32

In the above statements the words: “O Yusuf! Turn aside from this’”is an interjection, as we see.

And in the same way is the remark of Almighty Allah:

“Surely the Kings, when they enter a town, ruin it and make the noblest of its people to be low, and thus they (always) do; And surely I am going to send a present to them, and shall wait to see what (answers) do the messengers bring back.”33

In this verse the words: “and thus they (always) do” is an interjection from the Almighty in between the statement of Bilquis.

In the same way is the statement of the Mighty Lord:

“But nay! I swear by the falling of stars; and most surely it is a very great oath if you only knew; most surely it is an honored Quran’”34

In the above discourse the words Allah intends actually to say: “But nay! I swear by the falling of stars; most surely it is an honored Quran.”

But what is between the above two verses is by way of digression and inter alia to the statement. This technique is found in many instances in the Quran in traditions, in the discourses of Arabs and others from the preachers.

The verse of purification is also of this same category. It is a digression contained within a discourse mainly about the wives of the Holy Prophet (S). Through this it has become restricted Allah is not issuing any commands, prohibitions and advices to them but it is due to the regard the Almighty Allah has for the Holy Five. It may not be that (even though it be through the wives of the Prophet) any sort of evil may reach them or that hypocrites may gain some way (even if it be through the wives of the Prophet), and if in this way there had been no generality, that valuable point would not have been achieved. That is the eloquence of the Wise Lord had reached to its depths and it has made it clear and perfect in such a way that it should not remain concealed.35

The view of Imam Sharafuddin is a stable and strong view that has rejected the wrong interpretations and destroyed the claims of the opponents and through it he completed the argument over them.

The Proof of the Verse of Purification on Infallibility

This verse clearly proves the infallibility of the Five Personages because the Almighty Allah has removed all impurities from them (that is sins) and purified them in a way it befits and this is, in fact, the meaning of infallibility.

The verse contains the word “Innama” (only) in its heart to emphasize this fact of restriction and the letter L (Laam) is added to it, as also the repetition of the word “purification”. All this is according to the construction of the sentence. It conveys limitation of the meaning. In this matter the intention of Almighty God is a Takweeni36 intention; that it is not possible to go back on this: “His command, when He intends anything, is only to say to it: Be, so it is.”37

Imam Sharafuddin says: “This verse proves the necessity of Imamate for Amirul Momineen (‘a) because His Eminence claimed the Caliphate for himself and Imams Hasan and Husayn and Fatima also claimed it for him and they were not given to making false statements, because lying is a sin which the Almighty Allah has kept away from them and purified them with a perfect purification.”38

The Verse of Love

The Almighty Allah has made the love of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) compulsory on the Muslims. Allah says: “I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives; and whoever earns good, we give him more of good therein; surely Allah is forgiving, grateful.”39

The majority of the Muslims are of the opinion that the word ‘qurba’ (relatives) refers to these same personages: Ali(‘a), Fatima(‘a) and their two sons, Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) and the ‘earning of good’ implies the earning of divine rewards for their love and regard. Some of the traditions related on this subject are as follows:

1. Ibn Abbas has narrated: “When this verse was revealed they asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Who are your near kindred whose love is made incumbent on us?’ His Eminence (S) replied: ‘Ali(‘a), Fatima(‘a) and their two sons.’”40

2. Jabir bin Abdullah has narrated: “A Bedouin came to the Messenger of Allah (S) and said: ‘O Muhammad! Please explain Islam to me.’ His Eminence (S) said: ‘Testify that there is no god except the One God and He has no partner and that Muhammad is His servant and Prophet.’

The Bedouin asked: ‘Would you seek recompense from me regarding that?’

His Eminence (S) replied: ‘No, except love for the near relatives?’

Bedouin: ‘My relatives or yours?’

The Prophet (S): ‘My relatives.’

Bedouin: ‘Come, so that I can pledge allegiance to you that curse be on the one who does not love you.’

The Prophet (S) said: ‘Amen.’”41

3. Ibn Abbas has narrated: “When the ‘saying of God’ (verse of Quran) was revealed: ‘Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives’’42 some people opined: ‘He does not intend but to make us inclined to his relatives after he has passed away.’ So Jibraeel informed the Messenger of Allah (S) that they had accused His Eminence. Then the following verse was revealed: ‘Or do they say: He has forged a lie against Allah?43 Then those people said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! You have said the truth.’ At that time was revealed: ‘And He it is Who accepts repentance from His servants’’”44

4. The Holy Progeny has argued that the captioned verse was revealed in their honor as the elder grandson, His Eminence, Imam Hasan (‘a) said inter alia his sermon: “And I am from the Ahlul Bayt whose love the Almighty Allah has made incumbent on all Muslims and said: ‘Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives; and whoever earns good, We give him more of good therein’’and that earning good is through loving the Ahlul Bayt (‘a).”45

Also the Chief of those who prostrate and the leader of the worshippers, His Eminence, Imam Ali bin al-Husayn (‘a) argued with this verse. When he was taken as a prisoner to the tyrant Yazid and stopped at the steps of Damascus, a Syrian addressed him: “Thanks be to Allah Who killed and destroyed you and finished off the dual horns of mischief.”

Imam glanced at him and found him to be a misguided soul due to false propaganda, which had taken him away from the truth. So he asked him: “Have you read the Holy Quran?”


“Have you recited Aal-e-Haa Mim?”

“I have read the Quran, so have I not recited Aal-e-Haa Mim?”

“Have you recited: ‘Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives’?’

That man was astonished and he began to tremble. He asked in haste: “Are you those?”


And His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) said: “The verse of Aale Ha Mim is regarding us. None shall keep the sign of our love but a believer.” Then he recited the verse: “Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives’?”47

Razi’s Opinion

Fakhruddin Razi has established his view and considering the family of the Prophet (S) to be highly exalted saying: If it is proved that the verse is special for Ahlul Bayt it becomes incumbent that they shall become eligible for more respect. He says that the following points prove this theory:

First: The words of the Almighty Allah are: “Except the love of the near relatives” are the aim of something that has already been stated before. And it is a thing that has already been mentioned before. That the Progeny of Muhammad (‘a) are the same whose matter returns to His Eminence. Thus they are those whose matter is more closely associated with the Holy Prophet (S) and they shall be that “Progeny”. And there is no doubt that Fatima(‘a), Ali(‘a), Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) have the strongest relationship with the Messenger of Allah (S) and this matter is that is learnt from widely related tests. Thus it is necessary that they be “ Progeny”.

Secondly: There is no doubt that the Prophet (‘a) loved Fatima (‘a) greatly. His Eminence said, “Fatima(‘a) is a part of me. One who hurts her, hurts me.” Also, widely related reports and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (S) show that he loved Ali(‘a), Hasan(‘a) and Husayn (‘a) and if this matter is proved this also would become incumbent on all the Muslims due to the saying of the Almighty Allah: “and follow him so that you may walk in the right way.”48

And for the sake of the words of the Almighty: “therefore let those beware who go against his order’49

And for the statement of the Almighty Lord: “Say: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you’”50

And for the command of the Almighty Allah when He says: “Certainly you have in the Apostle of Allah an excellent exemplar’”51

Thirdly: Praying for the Progeny is a great status and therefore this prayer became the ending of the Tashahud in ritual prayers. And it is: O Allah, bless Muhammad(‘a) and the Progeny of Muhammad(‘a) and have mercy on Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad’(‘a) which became obligatory.52

Loving the Ahlul Bayt (‘a) is the most important of the obligatory Islamic duties and the most sanctified of religious obligations. Imam Muhammad bin Idris Shafei says:

“O Ahlul Bayt (‘a) of the Prophet. Loving you is an obligatory duty from Almighty Allah revealed in the Holy Quran.
It is sufficient for your lofty station that anyone who does not pray for you in his or her ritual prayers, it (ritual prayer) would be invalid.”53

Ibn Arabi has said:

“I consider loving the Family of the Prophet as a religious duty that in spite of remoteness it bestows proximity to me.

Because the Holy Prophet (S) did not seek any recompense for the labors of his propagation except the love of his relatives.”

Kumayt, the poet of Islam says:

“There is a sign for you in the verse of Aal-e-Haa Mim. That among us are some people who resort to dissimulation and those who say it openly, it is these that are implied.”

In the love of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) there is recompense of the labor of prophethood, goodness to the Holy Prophet (S) and thankfulness to His Eminence due to the labor and great difficulty that he bore on the path of the liberation of Muslims from polytheism and releasing their intellects from wrong notions and the Almighty Allah has stipulated the right of the Prophet on this nation that they must love his Progeny and cultivate their affection and regard in their hearts.

Verse of Malediction

Among the verses of the Holy Quran that announce the merits of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) is the verse of malediction (Mubahila). The Almighty Allah says: “But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.54

Commentators of Quran and traditionists are unanimous that this verse was revealed in the honor of Ahlul Bayt (‘a),55 and that “our sons” implies Hasan (‘a) and Husayn(‘a), “our women” refers to Fatima(‘a) and “our near people” to Ali(‘a).

This verse was revealed on the occasion of a very important event in the history of Islam between the powers of Islam and the Christians of Najran. The context in which this verse was revealed was that a Christian delegation from Najran arrived in Medina to have a debate on the religion of Islam. Thus a stage reached when both parties agreed to enter into a malediction contest and pray to God’s curse on the liars. The time and place for the proposed contest were also fixed.

The Christian delegation returned to participate in the said malediction so that the affair of the Almighty becomes apparent and falsehood is destroyed. Their hearts became filled with unrest and fear and they had no idea whom the Messenger of Allah (S) would bring for the Malediction contest with him.

The appointed day arrived and the Prophet (S) came out in such a condition that he had selected the greatest of the people in the view of Allah for the contest. In other words the gate of knowledge and the father of his two grandsons, that is Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) and his beloved daughter, Fatima Zahra (‘a), chief of the ladies of Paradise and Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a), the two chief of the youths of Paradise.

The Prophet (S) came carrying Husayn(‘a) in one hand and holding Hasan(‘a) with the other. Behind him moved Her Eminence Zahra(‘a) covered with divine light and after her walked Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) in majestic grace.

On the other side, the Sayyid and Aaqib came out with their sons while they were all decked in the best of raiments and wore expensive ornaments. They were accompanied by the Christians of Najran and the cavalry of Bani Harth in a magnificent display.

A large number of people had also arrived and they stretched their necks to witness the contest. A silence had spread like a blanket over the crowds and only whispers were exchanged among the people.

When Christians glanced at the majesty of the Holy Prophet (S) and his Ahlul Bayt (‘a) they were dumb struck and their heads bowed down in humility towards them. Their hearts were filled with awe at the magnificent spectacle.

The Messenger of Allah (S) was sitting on the ground for malediction. Sayyid and Aaqib approached the Messenger of Allah (S) with trepidation and asked: “O Abal Qasim! With whom have you come for malediction contest with us?”

The Holy Prophet (S) replied in words that expressed the greatness of faith and humility for God: “With the best people on earth and the most honorable in the view of God.” Then he pointed towards Ali(‘a), Fatima(‘a), Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a).

The two men asked in surprise: “Why have you not been accompanied with the nobles of your community and the most prominent of your followers?”

The Prophet (S) informed them emphatically that his Ahlul Bayt (‘a) were the greatest creatures near God. His Eminence said, “Anyhow I would contest with you along with these people, who are the best of the people of the earth and the best of the creatures.”

They were filled with trepidation as they understood that the Prophet (S) was on the right. So they returned to Isqaf, their leader in order to seek his advice in the matter. He told them: “O Aba Haritha! What is your opinion about this?”

“I have seen such faces that if someone invoked God with them to pick up a mountain he would be able to do so.”

He did not rest content with this, rather he proved his assertion with proof and argument. He said, “Don’t you see Muhammad raising up his hands and waiting for what you two say to him? By Holy Jesus, if a word comes on his lips neither shall we return to our families nor to our properties.”

He was stopping them from the contest and was pleading among them and saying,

“Don’t you see the sun whose color has changed and the dark clouds of the sky have surrounded it? And while the black and red winds are blowing and these mountains from whom smoke is rising up with the breeze. It is a divine chastisement on our heads. You see that birds are leaving their nests and trees are shedding their leaves and see how this earth is trembling beneath our feet.”

They had kept concealed those great faces and to see them openly is so meritorious in the view of God.

The Christians immediately looked for a solution. They hastened to the Messenger of Allah (S) and said, “O Abal Qasim! Forgive us! God will forgive you!”

They accepted the conditions proposed by the Holy Prophet (S). After that the Messenger of Allah (S) announced to them that if they had participated in the contest, they would have been destroyed. His Eminence said, “By the One in Whose hands is my life, the Chastisement had come upon the heads of the people of Najran. If they had participated in the contest, they would have been transformed into monkeys and pigs and a valley filled with fire would have been turned towards them. Najran and their people would have been destroyed; even the birds on the tree. The people of Najran would not have survived the end of the year.”

The important event shows the level of Holy Ahlul Bayt (‘a), such that none was equal to them in the whole world. For if anyone had been equal or more worthy than them, the Holy Prophet (S) would have chosen them for the contest. If anyone else had more piety and righteousness, the Messenger of Allah (S) would have chosen him or her to accompany him for the imprecation duel. Rather even if anyone had been equal to their status that they would be given preference over Ahlul Bayt (‘a), he would have refrained from it, because preferring the inferior in presence of the superior is against reason and logic as the scholars of logic have stated.

In the same way, His Eminence did not bring anyone from his family for the Mubahila contest. Neither did he bring his uncle, Abbas Ibn Abdul Muttalib nor anyone else from the Bani Hashim with his two grandsons. And he also did not invite any of the mothers of believers (his wives) even though they were present at their residences. He also did not take his paternal aunt, Safiya so that she may accompany her beloved nephew and be with the chiefs of the ladies of the world. He did not take any respectable lady of the family. Neither any lady from the ‘Amr the high’ (Hashim) and ‘Shaibatul Hamd’ (Abdul Muttalib) nor did he take any of the wives of the three caliphs, nor of the other Emigrants and Helpers while all the families were before him. Thus the aim of this action was that a proof should be created for the lofty status of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) and that it may show how great their position was in the view of the Almighty: “that is the grace of Allah: He gives it to whom He pleases, and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.”56

Imam Sharafuddin says, “And you do know that the contest of His Eminence, and his request from them that they should say Amen to his pleas, itself is alone a great merit and their selection by His Eminence for this position over other people and preferring them to other personalities. They had this merit in the past and in future also; no one could be equal to them. And the verse of Quran about the matter of Mubahila is a third virtue for them, which shows more the merits of Mubahila and it adds another honor to their lofty status and effulgence to their effulgence.”57

In the same way the verse also clearly shows that His Eminence, Amirul Momineen Ali (‘a) himself is the self of the Messenger of Allah (S) and the Holy Prophet (S) is higher to all the creatures of Allah and Ali also due to his equality is having the same position. And Fakhruddin Razi has mentioned this point in his Tafsir Kabir saying, “In Rayy there was a person named Mahmud bin Hasan Hamasi. He was an Ithna Ashari teacher. He used to claim that Ali (‘a) was higher in position to all prophets except Muhammad, and he used to quote the verse of Quran to prove his assertion: “And our selves and your selves.” Because “And our selves” does not denote the self of Muhammad as one never calls himself, it is for others. And there is consensus that the other ‘self’ is Ali Ibn Abi Talib (‘a). Thus the verse proves that the self of Ali is same as the self of Muhammad and it is not possible that this self should be the same self. Its aim is that the self is just like that (similar) to that self and this only denotes equality of every point among them. It implies that the two were having equality in all aspects. But we have accepted their equality in only position and status and not in terms of the divine post of prophethood. Because regarding this we have consensus that Muhammad was superior to Ali and except for this they were equal in every other aspect.

It is also proved that Muhammad is superior to all other prophets. Thus it necessarily implies that even Ali (‘a) is superior to all the prophets.58

Verse of the Righteous

One of the verses of Quran that informs about the lofty grade of the Purified Progeny of the Messenger of Allah (S) is the verse of the Righteous. The Almighty Allah says: “Surely the righteous shall drink of a cup the admixture of which is camphor. A fountain from which the servants of Allah shall drink; they make it to flow a (goodly) flowing forth. They fulfill vows and fear a day the evil of which shall be spreading far and wide.”59

Majority of commentators and traditionists have related that this verse was revealed in honor of Ahlul Bayt (‘a)60 and its reason was that Hasan(‘a) and Husayn (‘a) were indisposed, so their grandfather, His Eminence, the Holy Prophet (S) went to visit them with a group of his companions. He asked Ali to make a vow to keep a fast if the two of them get well. Amirul Momineen Ali (‘a) made the vow that he would keep three fasts. Lady Fatima Zahra (‘a) decided to accompany him in the fulfillment of the vow and her maidservant, Fizza, also followed them in this matter. When Hasan (‘a) and Husayn (‘a) recovered, all of them kept a fast. At that time, the Imam had nothing to eat which he could offer them to break the fast. His Eminence brought a portion of barley on loan. On the first day, Lady Fatima (‘a) grinded a portion of this grain and prepared bread from it. When the time of breaking the fast approached, a poor man knocked on the door and asked for food. All of them gave their portions to this poor man and continued their fast and except for water they did not partake anything else.

On the second day, the Prophet’s daughter again prepared bread from the same grain, and at sunset, an orphan arrived who was on the verge of death due to hunger. He beseeched them to help him and all of them gave their shares to him while themselves they had nothing except water.

On the third day, the chief of the ladies (Fatima) kneaded the flour and prepared bread and presented them with the food at the time of the breaking of the fast, but not much time passed when a hungry captive came to their door and asked for something to eat, and they restrained their hands from food and gave it all to the hungry man.

Glory be to Allah! What righteousness could be better than this? What sacrifice is greater than this? That was the sacrifice they had for the proximity of God.

On the fourth day the Messenger of Allah (S) came to visit them and saw their conditions. How terrible was what he saw! His Eminence, saw that they were trembling due to hunger and their strength had waned due to starvation. Thus his expression changed and he said, “O Allah! Help! The Ahlul Bayt of Muhammad(‘a) shall starve to death.”

The Prophet’s statement had not even come to an end when the ‘trustworthy one of the revelation’ descended to His Eminence and brought the recompense and certification for Ahlul Bayt (‘a). That reward which cannot be described and it is not possible for anyone to estimate its value, and forgiveness, salvation and divine pleasure that is from the Almighty Allah.

And reward them, because they were patient, with garden and silk. Reclining therein on raised couches, they shall find therein neither (the severe heat of) the sun nor intense cold. And close down upon them (shall be) its shadows, and its fruits shall be made near (to them), being easy to reach. And there shall be made to go round about them vessels of silver and goblets which are of glass, (Transparent as) glass, made of silver; they have measured them according to a measure, and they shall be made to drink therein a cup the admixture of which shall be ginger’61

In the same way are those rewards that the Almighty has given to them in the

Hereafter and more forgiveness and happiness is given to them.

Here we conclude our discussion on some verses of Quran revealed in honor of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) and without any doubt, His Eminence, Imam Husayn (‘a) from all the people in question, is also included in these verses; verses, which have come about the lofty status of His Eminence in the view of Allah.

In the Shade of Sunnah

A large number of traditions have been recorded from the Messenger of Allah (S) that bring out the meritorious position and lofty status of Imam Husayn (‘a). These traditions clearly show that the position of Imam Husayn (‘a) with respect to all the other people of the world in a sense that it distinguishes him in loftiness of station among the Muslims’

On this matter exist a large number of proofs that can be divided into different groups. One group is that which speaks of all the Ahlul Bayt (‘a) and Imam Husayn (‘a) is also included in it. Some are about Imams Hasan(‘a) and Husayn (‘a) together. So these also apply to Imam Husayn (‘a) individually. The third class is of traditions specifically about Imam Husayn (‘a).

These are as follows:

First Group

As for the statements of the Holy Prophet (S) about the merits of the Progeny and the incumbency of love towards them, they constitute a large portion of Prophetic sayings. We present some of them as follows:

1. Abu Bakr has narrated that he saw that the Messenger of Allah (S) has fixed a tent and was leaning on an Arabic bow while Ali (‘a), Fatima(‘a), Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) were in the text. Then he said, “O Muslims! I am at peace with those who are at peace with the folks of this tent and I am at war with those who are at war with them. None except those who had righteous ancestors love them and none have enmity towards them except those who have unfortunate ancestors and are born of illegitimate birth.62

2. Zaid bin Arqam has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) told Ali(‘a), Fatima(‘a), Hasan(‘a) and Husayn (‘a): “I am at war with one with whom you are at war and I am at peace with one with whom you are at peace.”63

3. Ahmad bin Hanbal with his chains has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) took the hands of Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) and said, “One who loves me and these two and their parents, shall be with us in the same grade on the Day of Judgment.”64

4. Jabir has narrated that on a day in Arafat while Ali was before him, the Holy Prophet (S) said, “O Ali(‘a)! Come near me. You and I are created from the same tree. I am the root and you are its trunk and Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) are its branches. Thus one who remains attached to those branches, the Almighty Allah shall admit him to Paradise.”65

5. Ibn Abbas has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) said, “Stars are security for the people of the earth from drowning and my Ahlul Bayt (‘a) for my nation are security from differences. Thus if a tribe of Arabs opposes them, it shall become a group of Satan.”66

6. Zaid bin Arqam has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) said, “I leave among you two heavy things. If you remain attached to them you shall never go astray after me. One of them is greater that the other. The Book of Allah, which is a rope stretching from the earth to the sky, and my Progeny, my Ahlul Bayt (‘a); the two shall not separate from each other till they arrive at the Pool to me. Thus see, that after me how you act with them’”67

The tradition of the two heavy things (Hadith Thaqlayn) is of the most prominent traditions of the Prophet and it is the most well known and famous tradition among the Muslims and this tradition has been repeated by the Messenger of Allah (S) on a number of occasions. Some of them are as follows:

A. Messenger of Allah (S) announced this tradition during Hajj on the Day of Arafah because Jabir bin Abdullah has narrated: I saw the Messenger of Allah (S) when he was in his Hajj on the Day of Arafat he was riding his she-camel, Qaswa and saying: “O people! I leave among you a thing, such that if you act upon it, you shall never go astray. The Book of Allah and my Progeny, my Ahlul Bayt (‘a)’”68

B. His Eminence (S) mentioned it on the Day of Ghadeer because Zaid bin Arqam has narrated: “The Messenger of Allah (S) halted at Johfa. Then he addressed the people and praised and glorified the Almighty. Then he said, ‘I am not made a prophet except for half the age of the past prophets. And it is near that I shall be summoned and I have to accept the summons. Then what do you say about it?’

They said, ‘You have made us sad and aggrieved.’

His Eminence said, ‘Do you testify that there is no deity except God and Muhammad (‘s) is His servant and Messenger? And that there is Paradise and Hell?’

They replied, ‘Yes! We testify to this.’

Then the Messenger of Allah (S) kept his hand on his breast and said, ‘And I testify along with you.’ And he turned to them and asked, ‘Do you hear?’

‘Yes,’ they replied.

His Eminence said, ‘I shall reach at the edge of the Pool before you and you shall come to me at the edge of the Pool, whose length shall be from Sanaa to Basra and silver goblets equal to number of stars shall be in it. Then you must take care how you behave with the two weighty things after me.’

A person asked the Messenger of Allah (S), ‘O the Messenger of Allah (S)! What are the two weighty things?’

The Messenger of Allah (S) replied, ‘The Book of Allah; its one side is in the hand of Allah and the other is in your hands. So hold it firmly; and the other are my relatives.69 The Most Informed and the Kind Lord has informed me that the two shall not separate till they reach me at the edge of the Pool and for this I beseeched to my Lord. Thus do not try to precede them as you shall be destroyed and do not remain behind them as you shall be destroyed and do not try to teach them as they are more learned than you.’

Then he took the hand of Ali and said, ‘Of whomsoever I am the master, this Ali is also his master. O Allah! Love those who love Ali and be inimical to those who hate him’’”70

C. The Holy Prophet (S) announced this matter at the time of his passing away when he faced the people and said, “O people! Very soon I shall pass away and I am to be taken away. And I have told you this before also so that none has any excuse about it. Except that I leave among you the Book of my Lord and my Progeny, and Ahlul Bayt (‘a). Then he held the hand of Ali (‘a), raised it and said, “This Ali is with the Quran and the Quran is with Ali. The two of them shall not separate till they reach me at the side of the Cistern and I shall ask them that what happened to them after me?”71

The Hadith Thaqlayn is the most reliable and authentic tradition of the Holy Prophet (S) and Samhoodi has narrated from Manawi that he said, “And in that room were present more than 20 companions72 and all of them have reported this tradition.”

And Ibn Hajar says, “This tradition has been transmitted through many channels from more than twenty companions.”73

His tradition clearly proved the limitation of Imamate in Ahlul Bayt (‘a) and also proves their infallibility from all sins and sensualities because the Messenger of Allah (S) has made them companions of the Book of God, which is such that falsehood cannot approach it either from front or behind, and it is natural that every type of their deviation from religion shall be considered a separation from the Book of the Almighty while the Messenger of Allah (S) has clearly stated that they shall never separate from each other till they reach His Eminence at the Pool. Thus the proof of their infallibility is a clear matter and there is no doubt in it, and also the Messenger of Allah (S) has emphasized in this tradition to the people of his nation that they must not precede them and they must entrust the leadership to them so that they are not destroyed in this life.

A separate book shall be needed to be written about the conclusions of this tradition. Many scholars have conducted researches on this subject and dealt with this particular topic.74

7. Abu Saeed Khudri has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) said, “The simile of my Ahlul Bayt (‘a) is the simile of the Ark of Nuh. One who boards it shall be saved and one who abandons it shall be drowned and destroyed. And the simile of my Ahlul Bayt (‘a) among you is like the simile of the Baab-e-Hitta in Bani Israel, that all those who enter it are forgiven.”75

In this tradition there is constructive invitation that makes incumbent the obedience and attachment of the Purified Progeny that it is guarantee for salvation of the nation and its security just as being away from the Progeny causes deviation and destruction. Imam Sharafuddin says with regard to this tradition:

“You know that likening them with the ark of Noah implies that whoever resorts to them in matters related to the creed, deriving the branches and basics of religion from their virtuous Imams, will certainly be saved from the fire of hell, and whoever lags behind them is like one who seeks shelter during the flood with a mountain so that it may save him from divine fate, but he will eventually drown while the first will be hurled in the inferno, may Allah protect us from it. The reason why they, peace be upon them, are compared to the Gate of Salvation is that Allah has made that gate a symbol of humility before His Greatness and submission to His Judgment; therefore, it becomes a reason for forgiveness. This is the reason for the similitude.”

Ibn Hajar, in the exegesis of Chapter 7 of the Holy Quran, in Chapter 11, page 91, of his Al-Sawaiq al-Mohreqa, has accepted it while saying, after quoting these and other similar traditions,

“The reason for their similitude to the ark is that whoever loves and highly respects them as means of thanking the One Who gave them honors, following the guidance of their learned men, will be saved from the darkness of dissension, and whoever lags behind it is drowned in the sea of ingratitude and will perish in the paths of tyranny.” Then he adds the following: “As to the Gate of Salvation (meaning thereby their similitude thereto), Allah has made entering that gate, which probably was the gate of Shittim or of Jerusalem, in humility, seeking forgiveness, a reason for salvation, and He (likewise) has made loving Ahlul Bayt a reason for this nation’s salvation.76

Shia Scholastic Theologians have relied on this tradition to limit the Imamate in Ahlul Bayt (‘a) because the Messenger of Allah (S) has compared them to the Ark of Nuh on the basis of their superiority to others. Thus attachment to them is cause of salvation and distancing from them is cause of deviation and destruction.

8. The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “Cognizance of the Progeny of Muhammad is safety from Hell fire and friendship of Progeny of Muhammad is a channel of passing over the Sirat Bridge; and the guardianship (Wilayat) of Progeny of Muhammad is safety from divine chastisement.”77

9. The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “Whoever dies on the love of Muhammad’s progeny, dies a martyr. Whoever dies on the love of Muhammad’s progeny dies as a believer of a perfect faith. Whoever dies on the love of Muhammad’s progeny will be given glad tiding of Paradise by the angel of death, then by Munkir and Nakir. Whoever dies on the love of Muhammad’s progeny will be taken to Paradise like a bride taken to her groom’s house. Whoever dies on the love of Muhammad’s progeny will have two doors in his grave overlooking Paradise. Allah will make the grave of whoever dies for loving Muhammad’s children a visiting place for the angels of mercy. Whoever dies for loving Muhammad’s progeny, dies adhering to the Sunnah and consensus. Whoever dies hating Muhammad’s progeny will come on the Day of Judgment with this inscribed between his eyes: ‘In despair of Allah’s mercy,’”78

10. The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “Consider my Ahlul Bayt among you as you consider the head of the body, and the eyes in the head, for the head is guided by the eyes.”79

11. The Holy Prophet (S) said, “The foot of any servant of Allah shall not move forward on the Day of Judgment unless he or she is asked about four things: How he spent his life, what he wore his body out for, how he made and spent his wealth, and about loving us, Ahlul Bayt.”80

12. The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “One who likes to live like me and die like me and wants to stay forever in the Garden that my Lord has planted should love Ali after me and should love those who love him, and after me should take the refuge of my Ahlul Bayt (‘a) who are my Progeny; they are created from my clay and my understanding and knowledge is bestowed to them. Then woe be to those people of my community who deny their excellence and who dissociate them from me. May the Almighty not make them destined to my intercession.81

13. Ali (‘a) said, “The Messenger of Allah (S) informed me that the first of those to enter Paradise shall be, I, Fatima, Hasan and Husayn. I asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah (S)! And what about our friends?’ He replied, ‘They are behind you.’”82

14. Abu Saeed Khudri has narrated that the Holy Prophet (S) came to Her Eminence, Fatima (‘a) and said, “I, you and these two (Hasan and Husayn) shall be in one place on the Day of Judgment.”83

These were some of the traditions recorded from the Messenger of Allah (S) regarding the excellence of his Progeny and anyone who may ponder upon them shall understand that the Prophet intended to convey that the Islamic leadership should be left to the Imams of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) for they were such who gave preference to the obedience of God to everything else so that the nation is not distanced from guidance and salvation in its path and may not deviate from the divine commands so that justice and truth may be established among them and the ways of the oppressors are closed so that they may not jump on the pulpits of Islamic rulership and caliphate.

Second Group

Sources of Prophetic biography and traditions are full of reports of the Messenger of Allah (S) in favor of his two grandsons and the importance and lofty position they had near His Eminence. Some of these reports are as follows:

1. Abu Ayyub has narrated that he came to the Messenger of Allah (S) while Hasan(‘a) and Husayn (‘a) were playing near the Prophet (or in their room). So he said, “O Messenger of Allah (S)! Do you love them?” He replied, “How can I not love them, while they are my blossoms from the world that I smell?”84

The Holy Prophet (S) has referred to Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) as ‘two flowers’ on many occasions. Some of these occasions are as follows:

A. Saeed bin Rashid has narrated: “Hasan(‘a) and Husayn (‘a) rushed towards the Messenger of Allah (S) so the Prophet lifted one of them and took the other under his arm. Then another one came and the Messenger of Allah (S) took him under his other arm. Then he said, ‘They are my flowers in the world, one who loves me must also love them.’”85

B. Saad bin Malik says, “I came to the Messenger of Allah (S) while Hasan and Husayn were playing on his back. So I said, “O Messenger of Allah (S)! Do you love them?” He replied, “Why shouldn’t I love them, when they are two flowers of mine in the world?”86

C. Anas bin Malik has narrated that he came to the Messenger of Allah (S) while Hasan and Husayn (‘a) were rolling on his stomach. The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “These two are my two flowers from this nation.”87

D. Abu Bakr has narrated that Hasan and Husayn (‘a) stood on the back of the Messenger of Allah (S) while the Prophet prayed. So he held them in his arms in order to straighten his waist and he kept them on the ground. When he finished the prayer he took them in his lap and said, “These two sons of mine are my two flowers from the world.”88

E. Jabir has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) told Ali Ibn Abi Talib (‘a), “Peace be on you, O father of my two flowers. I advice righteousness to you regarding my two flowers from the world as very soon two of your supports would go away and the Almighty would be my guardian for you. So when the Messenger of Allah (S) passed away Ali (‘a) said, “This was one of the two supports that the Messenger of Allah (S) had mentioned.” And when Lady Fatima (‘a) departed from the world, His Eminence, Ali (‘a) said, “This is the second support that the Messenger of Allah (S) mentioned.”89

F. Bukhari from his chains of narrators from Abu Naeem narrates that he was a witness on Ibn Umar when a person asked him about the blood of a mosquito. So he asked, “Who are you?” He replied, “I am an Iraqi.” He said, “You are asking me about the blood of the mosquito while they killed the son of the Messenger of Allah (S) and I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) say, “They are my two flowers from the world.”90

2. Anas bin Malik has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) was asked, “Who is the most beloved to you in Ahlul Bayt (‘a)?” He replied, “Hasan(‘a) and Husayn.(‘a)”

And His Eminence told Fatima, “Call my two sons.” Then he kissed and hugged them.91

3. Ibn Abbas has narrated that one day when he was in the company of the Messenger of Allah (S), Fatima came weeping. The Messenger of Allah (S) asked, “Your father be sacrificed on you, what has aggrieved you?” She replied, “Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) went out and I don’t know where they passed the night.” The Messenger of Allah (S) told her, “Do not lament, as their Creator is more merciful on them than you and me.” Then he raised his hands and said, “O Allah! Take care of them and keep them safe.”

Then Jibraeel arrived and said, “O Muhammad(‘s)! Do not be aggrieved for the two of them are sleeping in the Bani Najjar locality and an angel has been appointed to protect them.” The Messenger of Allah (S) arose and, accompanied by his companions, headed for that area. When he reached there he saw that Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) were sleeping in each others’ embrace and the angel who had been appointed to take care of them had kept one of his wings below them and was shading them with the other. The Messenger of Allah (S) bent down and kissed them till they awoke. Then he took Hasan(‘a) on his right shoulder and Husayn(‘a) on his left. Abu Bakr said, “O the Messenger of Allah (S)! Let me carry one of them for you.” The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “The best mount is their mount and they are the best of riders and their father is better than them,” as he walked to the mosque. Then the Messenger of Allah (S) stood while the two of them were on his shoulders. Then he said, “O Muslims! Do you want me to show you the best people with regard to their grandparents?”

They replied, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah (S)!”

His Eminence said, “They are Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a). As their grandfather is the Messenger of Allah (S) the last of the Prophets and their grandmother is Khadija binte Khuwailid, the leader of the ladies of Paradise.”

Then His Eminence said, “Do you want me to show the best persons with regard to their uncle and aunt?”

They replied, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah (S)!”

He said, “It is Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a). Their uncle is Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib and their aunt is Umme Hani, the daughter of Abu Talib.”

Then he asked, “Do you want me to show you the best persons with regard to their maternal uncle and maternal aunt?”

“Yes, O Messenger of Allah (S)!” they replied.

He said, “It is Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a). Their maternal uncle is Qasim, the son of the Messenger of Allah (S) and their maternal aunt is Zainab, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S).”

After that the Messenger of Allah (S) said, “O Allah! You know that Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) and their uncle shall be in Paradise. And one who loves them shall be in Paradise and one who hates them shall be in Hell.”92

This tradition indicates the love and regard of the Messenger of Allah (S) for his grandsons and that the two of them were his favorites among Ahlul Bayt (‘a). In the same way that the two were best with regard to their family background and also that one who loves them shall be with them in Paradise.

4. Umar has narrated that he saw Hasan and Husayn upon the shoulders of the Messenger of Allah (S). So he said, “What a great mount!” The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “What great riders!”93

In the same way Jabir has narrated that he came to the Messenger of Allah (S) while Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) were riding the Prophet’s back and the Messenger of Allah (S) was saying, “The best camel is your camel and you are the best riders.”94

Sayyid Himyari has versified this in his following composition:

“One day the Messenger of Allah (S) saw Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) playing. So he took them in his arms and said, “May I be sacrificed on you.”

And he mounted them on his back and said that he was a great mount and they were the best riders.”

5. Abu Saeed Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) said, “Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) are the two leaders of youths of Paradise’”95

6. Salman Farsi narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah (S) say, “Hasan and Husayn are my two sons; one who loves them, loves me and Allah loves one who loves me, and one whom Allah loves, He admits him to Paradise. And one who hates them has hated me and one who has hated me, has hated Allah and Allah shall put into Hell one who hates Him...”96

7. While the Messenger of Allah (S) was delivering a sermon, Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) arrived, wearing red shirts and as they approached they stumbled in their dress. The Messenger of Allah (S) came down from the pulpit and picked them up and said: “Indeed your wealth and your children are a test. I saw the two of them stumbling and I could not wait to finish my address. I broke my speech and picked them up’”97

8. Ya’la bin Marrah narrates that when Hasan and Husayn were racing to reach the Messenger of Allah (S) and they came to him the Messenger of Allah (S) took them in his arms and said, “Indeed children are cause of miserliness and fear’”98

9. The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “Hasan and Husayn are two grandsons99 from the grandsons.”100

10. Anas has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) said, “My favorites from Ahlul Bayt (‘a) are Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a)’”101

11. Anas has narrated that he asked the Messenger of Allah (S), “Who is the most beloved to you from Ahlul Bayt (‘a)?”102

He replied, “Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a)”. And His Eminence told Fatima(‘a), “Call my sons for me.” Then he kissed them and took them in his arms.

12. The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) are two Imams, whether they be standing or sitting.”103

The Messenger of Allah (S) dressed his two flowers (beloveds) in the dress of Imamate and he appointed them as Imams that whether they stand up to take the caliphate or do not take it.

Deep Love

Tradition scholars have shown that the Messenger of Allah (S) had a deep love and affection for his two grandsons. The following are some of the reports on this matter:

1. Whenever Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) went away from the Messenger of Allah (S) he used to be very much desirous for them and used to order that they be brought back to him. Then he used to take them in his arms, kiss them and embrace them.

2. Abdullah bin Ja’far says, “Whenever the Messenger of Allah (S) returned from a journey he used to meet me or Hasan(‘a) or Husayn. (‘a)”104

3. The affection of the Messenger of Allah (S) for his grandsons reached such a level that he made a pledge of allegiance to them from his Ahlul Bayt (‘a) while they were with Abdullah Ibn Ja’far, their cousin. And except for them, the Messenger of Allah (S) never pledged allegiance to any other child.105

4. His Eminence used to make them ride on himself. Thus one of them he took before him and the other he made to ride on his back.106

5. Love and affection of His Eminence (S) for his grandsons reached such a level that when he was reciting his night (Isha) Prayer they climbed upon his back when he went into prostration. When he raised his head he used to hold them carefully and put them down on the floor. Again when he went into prostration they mounted his back. This continued till he completed his prayer. After that he used to seat them on his thigh.107

The Messenger of Allah (S) used to openly display his love and affection for his grandsons so that Muslims understand their importance and high status in view of the Prophet and they also may express their love for them and entrust their spiritual and secular leadership to them so that the nation may achieve a position of respect in which man finds all his aspirations.

Third Group

Traditions of the Messenger of Allah (S) recorded in praise of his beloved, Imam Husayn (‘a) show his personality in the true light. It is narrated often in a great part of the arrangement of the Messenger of Allah (S) for Imam Husayn (‘a). We present some of these traditions as follows:

1. Jabir bin Abdullah has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) said, “One who desires to see the chief of the youths of Paradise, should look at Husayn bin Ali (’a)’”108

2. Abu Huraira has narrated that he saw the Messenger of Allah (S) was carrying Husayn bin Ali (‘a) and saying, “O Allah! I love him, so You (also) love him.”109

3. Ya’la bin Marrah has narrated that once he was accompanying the Messenger of Allah (S) to a dinner where they were invited. Suddenly he saw Husayn(‘a) playing in the street. So the Messenger of Allah (S) came forward and stretched his hands. That child ran this way and that. The Messenger of Allah (S) was laughing with him, till he caught hold of him and kept one hand below his chin and another on his head.110 Then he kissed him and said, “Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn. O Allah, love those who love Husayn. Husayn is a grandson of the grandsons’”111

By this blessed tradition the Messenger of Allah (S) has shown his deep love and affection for his sons and most probably His Eminence by this statement, “Husayn is from me” is not about his relationship with him, rather it is about another matter which is more fine and deep in the view of His Eminence, because he was the one who was to take over the position and mission of the Prophet; guidance and giving direction of His Eminence. He had in his view the factors of reformation of man and his elevation and development on the basis of the faith in Allah so that all the meanings of good and reformation are achieved in this world.

4. In the same way, His Eminence, by his statement, “And I am from Husayn” had this interpretation in mind, that the great sacrifice that the grandson was to offer in the path of religion. And the great feat he performed to reform the prophethood of Islam and to keep it alive for the future generations by putting his own life as the price of achieving it. Due to this action the Messenger of Allah (S) is from Husayn. Because it was Husayn who had infused new life into the religion brought by the Messenger of Allah (S) and he had saved it from the mischief of that group of tyrant rulers who tried to destroy Islam in order to cause the coming back of the period of Ignorance and other evils. While the Imam, by his mission, destroyed the Umayyad wolves and made freshness and life return to Islam and elevated its standard and hoisted it for all the generations.

In the same way the Messenger of Allah (S) for the greatness of his grandson has proved what the word ‘Sibt’ said about him and the aim of His Eminence was that he is a nation from the nations which stands on its own being and stable on its own self, so its a community from communities for goodness and is honored among all the communities for all times.

5. The great companion, Salman Farsi has narrated that he came to the Messenger of Allah (S) and saw that Husayn bin Ali was on the thigh of His Eminence while he kissed at his mouth and said, “You are a chief, son of a chief, you are an Imam, son of an Imam, brother of an Imam and father of Imams and you are the Proof and son of Proof and the father of nine Proofs from your progeny and the ninth of them is their Qaim (one who rises).112

6. The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “This one (that is Husayn) is an Imam, son of an Imam, brother of an Imam and progenitor of nine Imams’”113

7. Abul Abbas has narrated that he was with the Messenger of Allah (S) while his son, Ibrahim was on his left thigh and Husayn bin Ali(‘a) was on his right thigh and the Messenger of Allah (S) kissed them in turns. Suddenly Jibraeel descended to the Messenger of Allah (S) from the Lord of the worlds and when he went away from His Eminence, he said, “Jibraeel came to me from my Lord and told me, ‘O Muhammad, Allah sends you ‘Salaam’ and says to you: I shall not leave both of them for you. So sacrifice one of them on the other.’”

So the Messenger of Allah (S) looked at Ibrahim and wept, “If Ibrahim died, none shall be aggrieved as much as me. While Husayn’s(‘a) mother, Fatima(‘a) and father, Ali(‘a), my cousin, is such that they are my flesh and blood and if he dies, my daughter shall be aggrieved and my cousin would sit in sorrow and I shall be sad for them and I prefer my own grief to the grief of these two. O Jibraeel, Ibrahim may be taken. I sacrifice Ibrahim for Husayn(‘a).” Thus after three days Ibrahim passed away and whenever the Messenger of Allah (S) saw Husayn(‘a) coming towards him, he used to kiss and embrace him and kiss his lips and say, “May I be sacrificed on the one for whom I sacrificed my son, Ibrahim.”114

8. Ibn Abbas has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) had made Husayn(‘a) mount on his shoulder. A man told him, “O son, you are on the best of mounts.”

The Messenger of Allah (S) retorted, “He is the best of the riders.”115

9. Yazid bin Ibn Yazid has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) came out of Ayesha’s house and went to Fatima’s House and heard that Husayn(‘a) was crying. Thus His Eminence was very disturbed by this and he told Fatima(‘a), “Do you not know that his crying pains me’?”116

10. Abdullah bin Shaddad has narrated from his father that the Messenger of Allah (S) performed a long prostration till we thought that something has happened or that revelation was descending on him. So we asked him about it and he said,

“None of these happened, rather my son had made me a mount and I did not like that I should make him dismount quickly, till he may achieve what he desires’”117

These are some traditions that have come about his beloved one, that are the signs of the lofty status that is bestowed on him and it is an expression of His Eminence that its image and its realities would be apparent in this child and it shall be an incomparable example for high humanity and be of the great secrets of His Eminence.

The Messenger of Allah (S) Prophesied the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (‘a)

The Messenger of Allah (S) informed his companions about the martyrdom of his beloved grandson and he announced this matter among the Muslims in such a way that this became an imminent matter for them and none of them had any doubt in it.

Ibn Abbas says that, “We had no doubt and Ahlul Bayt often said that Husayn bin Ali shall be killed at Taff.”118

The Messenger of Allah (S) had on many occasions been informed of those calamities that were to befall his beloved Husayn. Here we shall mention some of them:

1. Umme Fadl, the daughter of Harith, has narrated that Husayn was in my lap when I came to the Messenger of Allah (S). So I transferred him into the Prophet’s lap. Then I noticed that the eyes of the Messenger of Allah (S) were filled with tears. I asked His Eminence, “O the Messenger of Allah (S), may my parents be sacrificed on you, what has happened to you?”

His Eminence replied, “Jibraeel came to me and informed me that my people shall kill this son of mine.”

Umme Fadl became worried and asked, “This one shall be killed?” pointing towards Husayn.

His Eminence said, “Yes, and Jibraeel brought to me red soil from the place of his burial.”119

Umme Fadl began to weep and sorrow and grief descended upon her.

2. Lady Umme Salma has narrated that one night the Messenger of Allah (S) went to his bed to sleep. Then he awoke in a disturbed condition and again he went back to sleep. Again he awoke in a disturbed condition but it was less than his previous condition. Then again he went to sleep and again awoke while a red soil was in his hand and His Eminence was kissing it. I asked him, “O Muhammad(‘a), what soil is it?”

His Eminence, “Jibraeel, informed me that this one (Husayn) shall be martyred in Iraq. So I asked Jibraeel, ‘Show me the soil of the land where he shall be slain,’ and this is the same soil.120

3. Umme Salma has narrated that one day the Messenger of Allah (S) was sitting in our house. Then he said, “None shall come to me.” I waited. Then Husayn(‘a) entered and I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) weeping and saw that Husayn was in his lap (or beside him) and the Messenger of Allah (S) was stroking him and weeping. I asked him, “By Allah, I did not notice him entering.”

His Eminence replied to me, “Jibraeel was with us in the house and he said, ‘Do you love him?’ ‘Yes’, I replied. He said, ‘Your people shall slay him in the land of Karbala.” Then Jibraeel took some soil of that place and showed it to the Prophet.121

4. Ayesha has narrated that Husayn bin Ali(‘a) came to the Messenger of Allah (S) while revelation was descending on His Eminence. Then he ran towards the Holy Prophet (S) while the Prophet was bent on the floor. Jibraeel asked, “O Muhammad(‘a), do you love him?” He replied, “Why should I not love my child?” He said, “Your people shall slay him after you have passed away.” Then Jibraeel stretched his hand and brought a white soil for His Eminence and said, “It is on this land that this son of yours shall be slain and the name of that place is Taff. When Jibraeel went away from the Messenger of Allah (S) the soil was in the hand of the Prophet and he was weeping and saying, “O Ayesha, Jibraeel informed me that my son Husayn shall be slain in the land of Taff and that my nation shall be involved in mischief after me.”

Then he came out to his companions while Abu Bakr, Umar, Huzaifah, Ammar and Abu Zar were among them. The Messenger of Allah (S) was weeping. They rushed towards His Eminence and asked, “O the Messenger of Allah (S), what has made you weep?”

His Eminence replied, Jibraeel has informed me that my child, Husayn shall be slain in Taff after me and he brought this soil for me and informed me that his grave shall be on that land.”122

5. Zainab binte Jahash, the wife of the Messenger of Allah (S) has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) was sleeping near me while Husayn was crawling in the house on his four limbs. Then I became unmindful of him till he went to the Messenger of Allah (S) and climbed on his belly. Then the Messenger of Allah (S) arose to pray and carried him in his arms. And when he bowed or prostrated he placed him on the floor and when he stood up he used to pick him in his arms. When he sat down and began to supplicate and raised his hands and said’Then when he concluded the prayers, I told him, O the Messenger of Allah (S), today I saw something that I never saw you doing before.”123

His Eminence said, “Jibraeel came to me and informed me that my son shall be slain.”

I said, “Then, in this case show me.” And he brought a red soil for me.”

6. Ibn Abbas has narrated that Husayn was in the lap of the Messenger of Allah (S). Then Jibraeel said, “Do you love him?” He replied, “How can I not love him while he is the fruit of my heart?” He said, ‘Your people shall kill him. Do you want me to show you the location of his grave?’ Then he closed his fist and suddenly there was red soil (in it).”124

7. Abu Amama has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) told his wives: “Do not make this child (Husayn) weep.” And he said: And that day was turn of Umme Salma. Then Jibraeel descended and the Messenger of Allah (S) went inside the house and told to Umme Salma, “See that no one comes to me.” Then Husayn came and saw that the Prophet was in the house. He tried to go in but Umme Salma took him in her arms and sung a lullaby to him. When his crying increased she released him. Then he went inside and sat on the Prophet’s lap. Jibraeel told the Prophet, “Your people shall slay this son of yours.”

His Eminence asked, “Would they kill while they had faith in me?”

Jibraeel replied, “Yes, they shall slay him,” and Jibraeel took a handful of soil and told His Eminence, “He shall be slain at such and such place.” Then the Messenger of Allah (S) came out holding Husayn in his arms and he was sad and aggrieved. Umme Salma though that His Eminence was aggrieved due to the coming of this child. She said, “O Messenger of Allah (S), may I be sacrificed on you. You told me to take care of this child and commanded me not to allow anyone to come to you but I released him.” The Prophet did not give any reply to her and he came out towards his companions in a sad and sorrowful condition. Then he told them, “My community shall slay him (and he indicated towards Husayn(‘a)).”

Abu Bakr and Umar looked towards His Eminence and asked, “O Messenger of Allah (S), would they do it while they are Muslims?”

He replied, “Yes, and this is the soil of that place’”125

8. Anas bin Harith has narrated from the Prophet that he said, “This son of mine (and he indicated towards Husayn) shall be slain on a land called Karbala. Then anyone who is present at that time should assist him.”

When His Eminence, Husayn(‘a) departed for Karbala, Anas accompanied him and was martyred in his service.126

9. Umme Salma has narrated that, “Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) were playing in my house in the presence of the Prophet. Then Jibraeel arrived and said, “O Muhammad(‘s), your community would slay this son of yours after you have passed away (and he pointed towards Husayn(‘a)).”

The Messenger of Allah (S) wept and embraced him (Husayn(‘a)) while a soil was in his hand. Then he kissed it and said, “Woe be to Kerb-o-bala.” And he gave it to Umme Salma and told her, “When this soil turns to blood you should know that my son has been slain.”

Umme Salma kept it in a bottle and everyday she used to look at it and say, “The day you turn to blood shall be a day of a great tragedy.”127

10. The Messenger of Allah (S) dreamt that a black and white dog was licking at his blood. He interpreted it in a way that a person shall slay his (grand)son, Husayn. Thus Shimr bin Zil Jaushan was a leper who slew Imam Husayn (‘a).128

11. Umme Salma has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) said, “Husayn bin Ali(‘a) shall be slain 60 years after my Hijrat.”129

12. Maaz bin Jabal has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) came out to us and said, “I am Muhammad and the first and the last word has been given to me. So obey me till I am among you. And after I leave the world you must consider the lawful of the Book of Allah as lawful and its unlawful as unlawful. Death shall come to you’ mischief shall approach you like the darkness of the night. No matter how many Prophets go away, the same number will come back. Prophethood shall be transmogrified and assume the form of rulership. May Allah have mercy on one who takes his right in the way it has come for him and goes out from there. O Maaz, protect it and count it.”

Maaz said, “I counted till five (of the caliphs). Then the Prophet said, “Yazid, may Allah not bless Yazid’”

Then the eyes of His Eminence became tearful. Then His Eminence said, “I have been informed about the slaying of Husayn and his grave soil has been brought to me and I have been told who his killer shall be. He shall be killed among a people that shall not defend him but that their hearts shall become divided and impose evil rulers on them and scatter them’”

Then His Eminence said, “Ah upon the sons of the Progeny of Muhammad. Those whom people consider as caliph shall slay my successor whom I have reared with care and also slay the successor of my successor. O Maaz, Remember this.”

When he came to the tenth, that the ten who shall take over the kingdom after him, he said, “Walid,130 it is the name of Firon, who destroys the Islamic Shariah is a person from their family; his hands shall reach up to his blood and the Almighty Allah shall take out His sword which shall not return to its case and the people shall differ among themselves and shall become such.” Then he closed his fist.

The he said, “After 120 years a swift death and slaughter shall become common and their death shall be on them and a descendant of Abbas shall be ruling over them.”131

The Prophet exposed the secrets of the unseen that were to come on his community after him due to which terrible calamities shall befall them due to the battles on the Muslims. So much so that they shall be ruled by tyrant rulers and they shall kill and dishonor Muslims. As the Prophet has informed about what was to come to pass with his son Husayn at the hands of Yazid and then the dominance of the Abbasids who would overthrow the Umayyads. All this came to be exactly as the truthful Prophet has prophesied.

13. Ibn Abbas has narrated that, “When two years had passed after the birth of His Eminence, Husayn, the Prophet went on a journey. When he was on his way, he halted and recited, “To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return,” and his eyes were filled with tears. So he was asked regarding it. He said, “This is Jibraeel, who informs me of a place called Karbala at the banks of Euphrates where my son, Husayn bin Fatima, shall be slain.”

A group of companions turned to His Eminence and asked, “O Messenger of Allah (S), who would slay him?”

His Eminence replied to them in broken and sorrowful words, “A man named Yazid. May Allah not bless him. As if I am seeing the place of his slaying and that his severed head is being presented to Yazid. By Allah, anyone who sees the severed head of my son, Husayn and becomes pleased at it, the Almighty Allah shall put hypocrisy in his heart.”

When the Prophet returned from the journey, he was very sorrowful. He went to the pulpit and warned the people and said, “O Allah, I am Muhammad, Your slave and Your Messenger and these two are the best from my Progeny and the most righteous of the descendants and my Progeny and the ones I am leaving in my community. O Allah, Jibraeel has informed me that this son of mine (pointing towards Husayn) shall be slain and he shall be deserted. O Allah, may You give blessings in his slaying. May Allah make him the Chief of the Martyrs. As You are powerful over everything. O Allah! Do not bless those who slay and desert him.”

Hearing these words a group of people in the courtyard of the Mosque began to wail and moan. The Messenger of Allah (S) said, “You are crying! Would you not help him? O Allah, You be his guardian and helper.”

Ibn Abbas says, “The Messenger of Allah (S) was such that his color had waned and his face was worried. Then he ascended the pulpit for the second time and delivered a short and nice sermon to the people while tears flowed from his eyes. Then he said, “I leave among you after me two heavy things, the Book of Allah and the Progeny. The two shall not separate from each other till they arrive to me at the Pool. Indeed I shall not request you about them except what my Lord has commanded, affection for my near kindred. Then be careful that tomorrow you may not come to me at the Pool in such a condition that you have made my progeny unhappy.

Know that! On the Day of Judgment three flags shall approach me. A black flag, seeing which the angels shall be terrified. They shall stand besides us. I would ask them, “Who are you?” They would remind me that they are Arabs, the followers of monotheism. Then I would tell them. I am Ahmad, the Prophet of Arabs and non- Arabs. They would say, “We are from your followers, O Ahmad.” We shall tell them, “How did you behave with my Progeny and the Book of my Lord after me?” They shall reply, “We wasted the Book and tore it to pieces. As for your Progeny we followed them till they departed from the world. Then I would turn my face away from them (in disgust) and they shall return thirsty and black faced.

Then another flag, darker than the previous one, would approach me. I would ask them, “Who are you?” Like the former group they shall reply, “We are monotheist folks and we are from your followers. I shall ask them, “How did you behave with the bigger and lesser heavy thing after me? That is the Book of God and my Progeny.” They shall reply, “We opposed the greater heavy thing and we abandoned the lesser heavy thing. And in all conditions considered them useless.” I shall tell them, “Get away from me.” They shall go away thirsty and dark-faced.

After that another flag shall come to me such that effulgence is emanating from it. I shall ask them, “Who are you?” They shall reply, “We are followers of monotheism. We are the followers of Muhammad and we are the survivors among the people of truth. We have followed the Book of our Lord and considered its lawful as lawful and considered its unlawful as unlawful. And we loved the Progeny of our Prophet, Muhammad and we helped them like we helped ourselves. We accompanied them in battles and confronted their opponents. Thus, I shall say to them, “Congratulations to you! As I am Muhammad, your Prophet. You were in the guesthouse of the world just as you have described. After that I shall provide drinks from the Pool myself and they shall depart satiated. Indeed Jibraeel has informed me that my community shall slay my son, Husayn on the land of Karbala. Curse of Allah be on his killer and those who abandon him till Qiyamat’”

After that His Eminence descended from the pulpit and there was none from the Emigrants and the Helpers who had any doubt about the slaying of Husayn.132

The above were some traditional reports from the Messenger of Allah (S) regarding the slaying of his blessed grandson and from them we can gauge the intensity of the sorrow and grief of His Eminence.

From these traditional reports, the Muslims became certain of the slaying of the Imam. And they had no doubt about it whatsoever. In the same way, Imam Husayn (‘a) also had perfect certainty in it and he has mentioned this matter many a times that we shall discuss in this book.

Respect Accorded by Companions to Imam Husayn (‘a)

The companions used to highly respect Imam Husayn (‘a) and accorded him great honor when they came in his presence and they considered him in place of his honorable grandfather, because they found in him all that they expected from him with regard to knowledge, piety and religion.

Historians say: “His Eminence was very kind towards them and used to help the weak ones from them and he used to share their problems and difficulties. He used to keep away from their evil ones and he used to solve all their problems like his eminent grandfather had acted with them.”

The famous and prominent companions used to compete with each other in the service of His Eminence and his pure brother, Aba Muhammad Hasan (‘a) and had the belief that whatever service is offered to them was a sign of greatness and honor for the one who provides it. For example, Abdullah Ibn Abbas, who is the scholar of the community, in spite of his status and greatness among the Muslims, whenever His Eminences Hasan and Husayn wanted to mount their beasts, he used to rush forward and hold the stirrups and he used to adjust their clothes and considered it a matter of pride. Till Mudrik Ibn Ziyad or Ibn Ammara criticized him for this but Ibn Abbas scolded them and said, “O foolish man, do you know who these people are? They are the two sons of the Messenger of Allah (S). Is it not from the divine bounties on us that we hold their stirrups and adjust their garments?”133

Their respect and honor from the Muslims was to such an extent that when the two of them used to go for visiting the House of Allah, all the caravans they passed used to also come on foot due to their respect till it became very difficult for some of the pilgrims. So a senior companion requested them to either ride like others or to leave the common route. They presented these options to them. They replied,

“Neither would we ride nor leave the route.” So the people took up another route. Whenever they circled the Ka’ba people thronged around them to salute them and sought blessings from them in such a crowd that it was feared that they might be killed in that melee.134

An example of this lofty personality is that once Imam Husayn (‘a) passed by a group of people in the Prophet’s mosque while Abdullah, son of Amr Aas was among them. Then he saluted them and they replied to his salutation. Abdullah replied to his salutation in a louder voice and with full attention towards him and asked the people, “Do you want me to introduce the most honorable one of the earth in the view of the folks of the heavens?”

“Yes,” they replied.

He said, “It is the one who is going,” and he pointed towards His Eminence, Husayn (‘a). He has not spoken to me a word from a night of Siffeen till date. If he becomes satisfied with me, I would prefer it to red haired camels.”

Abu Saeed Khudri turned to him and asked, “Would you not seek forgiveness from him?” He agreed to do so and they hastened towards the Imam’s quarters and sought permission to enter. Imam accorded them permission and when all of them were seated Imam glanced at Abdullah and said, “Do you know that I am the most beloved of the inhabitants of the earth in the view of the folks of heavens?” Abdullah replied at once, “Yes, by the Lord of the Ka’ba.”

His Eminence said, “What compelled you to fight against me and my father? By Allah, my father was better than me.”

Abdullah told him about his excuses and said, “Yes, but (my father) Amr complained about me to the Messenger of Allah (S) and told His Eminence, ‘Abdullah prays the whole night and fasts all the days.’ The Messenger of Allah (S) said, ‘Pray, and sleep too. Fast, and break it too and obey Amr.’ Thus when the battle of Siffeen took place he put me under oath and I came out, but by Allah, neither I took out the sword nor used the spear or shot an arrow.” He them implored the Imam in such a way that finally the Imam became satisfied with him.135

Although his excuse of obeying his father in fighting against His Eminence Amirul Momineen Ali (‘a) has no legal sanction because on the basis of what has come in the Quran, obedience of parents in disobedience of Allah has no legality.

Anyway, His Eminence, Imam Husayn (‘a) was the recipient of respect and honor of the Muslims. Historians have said that, “His Eminence was present in a funeral when Abu Huraira rushed forward and cleaned the dust from the Imam’s feet with the garment he was wearing. And Miqdad bin Aswad, the companion of the Prophet and one of the most senior and of the first ones in Islam made a bequest that after his death 36000 (units of currency) be paid to His Eminence, Husayn.(‘a) 136

The companions had considered Imam Husayn (‘a) as the remnant of Allah on the earth. He was a lofty example of his grandfather. And due to this relationship they used to love and respect him greatly and they used to consider it a matter of honor to serve and visit him. They used to compete with each other in this.

Examples of the Merits of Imam Husayn (‘a)

In the personality of the chief of the nobles, were present all human values and lofty merits; and elements of prophethood and Imamate were merged in the person of His Eminence. And they with regard to his merits and manners are incomparable and prominent examples that are clear examples of Islamic prophethood and, in fact, which is counted as ever-living path of Islam with all its powers and its principles.

Indeed, all the characteristics of the father of the martyrs and every quality of his from the good qualities that has bestowed him with the greatest status in the world without any exaggeration has compelled us to confess that it is an incomparable example in the whole history of humanity except for his grandfather and father. We shall discuss about some of his personal qualities and virtues.

Imamate of Imam Husayn (‘a)

Imam Husayn (‘a) is one of the brilliant stars of the Imams of Ahlul Bayt (‘a). The qualities of humanity are perfected in him and those qualities have reached to their zenith in him. He has established the torch of this religion and spread the slogan of truth and justice on the earth and established the constructive matters in Islam. In this path he had borne all sorts of difficulties and calamities. He bore all sorts of problems and oppressions from the oppressors of his time in this path; those oppressors, who considered the property of God as their personal wealth and those who considered the slaves of the Almighty as their own servants.

When revelation used to descend on the Messenger of Allah (S) on most of the days, he used to look at the purified Imams of his Ahlul Bayt (‘a) one after the other. And he introduced them with their names and characteristics and through general and special proofs. That they are his successors and they are the Ark of Salvation and the security for the people and made them to be with the Great Book of Allah that neither falsehood shall approach it from back or from front. In the past discussion we have presented many such proofs of this and there is no need to repeat them here. Just as we have discussed about Imamate and its necessity as a topic and also discussed about the duties and characteristics of the Imam in the book of “Life of Imam Hasan (‘a)” here we shall refrain from repeating them as there is no need to do so.

  • 1. Imam Husayn (a.s.), Pg. 289
  • 2. Effect of family and society on children below 13 years. Unesco, Pg. 35
  • 3. Shakl Geeri Shakhsiyat, Pg. 22
  • 4. Surah Ahzab 33:33
  • 5. Collection, Year 666 A.H., written by Husayn bin Hakim Hibri. Al-Khasais al-Kubra 2/ 464. Ar-Riyadh an-Nazarah. Khasais an-Nasai 2/ 152. Nasai, Pg. 34 & 35. Ibne Jurair, Tafsir 22/5. Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad 4/107. Baihaqi, Sunan 2149 & 152. Nasai, Sunan, 2/150. Mushkilul Athar 1/334 Jalaluddin Suyuti in Durre Manthur 5/199 has narrated more than 20 narrations from different channels that indicate that this verse was only about Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and Ibne Jurair in his Tafsir has presented 50 reports from different chains saying that this verse is only with regard to Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).

    Fakhruddin Razi, Tafsir Kabir 25/209. Nishapuri in the exegesis of Surah Ahzab. Muslim, Sahih 4/1883. On what is revealed from the Quran on Ahlul Bayt, Pg. 71. From photo copied manuscripts at Imam Hakim Library in the Mustansiriya

  • 6. Hakim, Mustadrak 2/416, Usud al-Ghaba 5/ 521
  • 7. Ad-Durre Manthur 5/199
  • 8. Majma-az-Zawaid 9/169, Ansaab al-Ashraaf 2/104, Zakhair al-Uqbah pg. 24
  • 9. Zakhair al-Uqbah Pg.24
  • 10. Hakim, Mustadrak, 3/172
  • 11. Qamus Muhit 1/331, Aqrabul Mawarid
  • 12. Ibne Kathir, Tafsir, 2/302, Muslim, Sahih 4/1873
  • 13. Wahidi, Asbab an-Nuzul, Pg. 240
  • 14. Ad-Durre Manthur, 5/198
  • 15. Tahdhib at Tahdhib, 7/263
  • 16. Mizanul Etedal, 3/95, Tabaqat al-Quraa, 1/15, Ibne Sa’ad, Tabaqat 5/216
  • 17. Mizanul Etedal, 3/95
  • 18. Mizanul Etedal 3/96
  • 19. Mojamul Udba
  • 20. Tahdhibut Tahdhib 7/263
  • 21. Tahdhibut Tahdhib 7/271
  • 22. Mizanul Etedal 3/93
  • 23. Tahdhibut Tahdhib 7/271
  • 24. Mizanul Etedal 4/173
  • 25. Tahdhibut Tahdhib 10/281
  • 26. Comparison of Allah with other things
  • 27. Tahdhibut Tahdhib Pg.284, Mizanul Etedal 4/175
  • 28. Non-Muslim protected people
  • 29. Tahdhibut Tahdhib, Pg.281
  • 30. Tahdhibut Tahdhib, Pg.281
  • 31. Wafayatul Ayan
  • 32. Surah Yusuf 10:28.29
  • 33. Surah Naml 27:34-35
  • 34. Surah Waqiah 56:75-77
  • 35. Al-Kalimatul Ghurra Fi Tafzeeluz Zahra, Pg. 196-197
  • 36. Fixed destiny
  • 37. Surah Yasin 36:82
  • 38. Al-Kalimatul Ghurra Fi Tafzeeluz Zahra Pg,201
  • 39. Surah Shura 42:23
  • 40. Majma az-Zawaid, 7/103 Zakhair al-Uqbah Pg.25 Nurul Absar Pg. 227 Ad-Durr al-Manthur
  • 41. Hilyatul Awliya, 2/201
  • 42. Surah Shura 42:23
  • 43. Surah Shura 42:23
  • 44. As Sawaiq al-Mohreqa Pg. 202
  • 45. Life of Imam Hasan (‘a)
  • 46. Tabari, Tafsir. 25/16
  • 47. Surah Shura 42:23, Kanzul Ummal 1/218, Sawaiqul Mohreqa Pg.170
  • 48. Surah Araaf 7:158
  • 49. Surah Nur 24:63
  • 50. Surah Aale Imran 3:31
  • 51. Surah Ahzab 33:21
  • 52. Razi, Tafsir, Under the exegesis of the verse of love in Surah Shura
  • 53. Sawaiqul Mohreqa, Pg. 148
  • 54. Surah Aale Imran 3:61
  • 55. Razi, Tafsir, 8/85; Baidhawi, Tafsir, 2/47; Tafsir Kashaf 1/368; Tafsir Ruhul Bayan, 2/44; Tafsirul Jalalayn, 1/35; Tirmidhi, Sahih 5/225; Baihaqi, Sunan, 7/63, Muslim, Sahih, 4/1871, Book of Merits of Companions; Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, 1/185,
    Baghawi, Misbah as-Sunnah 4/183 Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/286
  • 56. Surah Hadid 57:21
  • 57. Al-Kalimatul Ghurra, Pg. 184
  • 58. Razi. Tafsir, 8/86
  • 59. Surah Dahr 76:5-7
  • 60. Fakhruddin Razi, Tafsir 30/140. Wahidi, Asbabun Nuzul, Pg. 296. Nishaburi in the exegesis of Surah Hal Ata, Ruhul Bayan 10/268, Durre Manthur, Yanabiul Mawaddah 1/279. Ar-Riyadh an-Nazara 2/180 & 208. Maqrizi, Imatul Asma, Pg. 502
  • 61. Surah Dahr 76:12-17
  • 62. Ar-Riyadh an-Nazara 2/154
  • 63. Tirmidhi, Sahih 5/699. And Ibne Majah in his Sunan 1/52 has narrated that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, “I am at peace with one is at peace with them and I am at war with one who is at war with them.” In the same way Hakim has mentioned similarly in his Mustadrak 3/149. Ibne Athir in Usud al-Ghaba 5/523. Ahmad has narrated it in his Musnad 2/442 through his chains from Abu Huraira and also Khatib Baghdadi in his History 7/36
  • 64. Ahmad, Musnad 1/77. Tirmidhi, Sahih 5/641. And Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 10/430 it is mentioned that Nasr bin Ali has narrated this tradition. Thus Mutawakkil ordered that he should lashed 1000 times. Then Ja’far bin Abdul Wahid has spoke about him and he said that he is from the Ahle Sunnat he himself was till he released him
  • 65. Ahmad, Musnad 1/77
  • 66. Hakim, Mustadrak 3/149. And in Kanzul Ummal 12/102 and Sawaiqul Mohreqa, Pg. 187 it has come that His Eminence (s.a.w.s.) said, “Stars are the security for the folks of the earth and my Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) are the security for my Ummah.” Manawi has mentioned it in Faiz al-Qadeer 6/297 and Haithami in his Majma 9/174
  • 67. Tirmidhi, Sahih 5/663. Usud al-Ghaba 2/12
  • 68. Kanzul Ummal 1/172, Tirmidhi, Sahih 5/662
  • 69. In Kanzul Ummal 1/188 the words “is my Progeny” are mentioned
  • 70. Haithami, Majma 9/163
  • 71. Sawaiq, Pg. 126
  • 72. Faiz al-Qadeer 3/15
  • 73. Sawaiq, Pg. 228
  • 74. For this topic refer to al-Murajat, Pg. 71-78 Al-Usul al-Aamma Lil Fiqh al-Maqarin, Pg. 164-187
  • 75. Majma az-Zawaid 9/168 and Hakim has narrated it in his Mustadrak 2/43, from Hansh from Abu Zar. Khatib Baghdadi in his History 2/19 has narrated from his chains from Anas bin Malik. Abu Naeem in Hilya 4/306 has narrated from his chains from Saeed bin Jubair from Ibne Abbas. Al-Muttaqi in Kanzul Ummal has narrated from his chains from Ibne Zubair and Ibne Abbas. Mohib Tabari has narrated in Zakhair al-Uqba Pg. 20 from his chains from Ali. Tibrani has narrated in his book, Kitabul Asghar wal Awsat from Abu Saeed Khudri
  • 76. Al-Murajat, Pg. 77
  • 77. Al-Murajat, Pg. 82
  • 78. Al-Murajat, Pg. 83, Quoted from Tafsir Thalabi
  • 79. Al-Murajat, Pg. 81 quoted from Sharaful Mobad, Pg. 58
  • 80. Al-Murajat, Pg. 82, Quoted from Suyuti
  • 81. Kanzul Ummal Vol. 12/102
  • 82. Hakim, Mustadrak 3/151
  • 83. Hakim, Mustadrak 3/137
  • 84. Majma az-Zawaid 9/181. And Zahabi has narrated it with slight diffrence in Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/282, Mukhtasar Sifwatus Safwa, Pg. 62. Ibne Asakir, Biography of Imam Husayn (a.s.) from History of Damascus, Pg. 61
  • 85. Zakhair al-Uqba, Pg. 124
  • 86. Kanzul Ummal 13/671
  • 87. Nasai, Khasais, Pg. 125. And in Musnad of Imam Zaid, Pg. 469 it is mentioned that, “A son is a flower and Hasan and Husayn are my two flowers.”
  • 88. Kanzul Ummal 13/667
  • 89. Hilyatul Awliya 3/201
  • 90. Bukhari, Sahih 8/8 and 5/33. Fazailul Khamsa min Sihah as-Sitta 3/183
  • 91. Tirmidhi, Sahih 5/657, Faiz al-Qadeer 1/148
  • 92. Zakhair al-Uqba, Pg. 130
  • 93. Majma az-Zawaid 9/182, Kanzul Ummal 13/658
  • 94. Kanzul Ummal 13/663, Majma az-Zawaid 9/182
  • 95. Tirmidhi, Sahih 5/656. Mukhtasar Sifwatus Safwa, Pg. 62. Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad 3/62, Hilyatul Awliya 5/71. Tarikh Baghdad 9/231 and Hakim has narrated it from his chains from Ibne Umar that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, “Hasan and Husayn are the two chiefs of Paradise and their father is better than them.” And it is mentioned with these words in Musnad Imam Zaid. And in Isabah 1/266 Jaham has narrated: I heard the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) says, “Hasan and Husayn are the two chiefs of the people of Paradise.”
    And it has come in Kanzul Ummal 6/221 that, “Hasan and Husayn are two chiefs of the people of Paradise. One who loves them loves me and one who hates them hates me.”
    And in Jame al-Kabir of Suyuti from Ibne Asakir from his chains it is narrated from Huzaifah that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said, “Angels came to me and saluted me. And they gave me the good news that Hasan and Husayn are two chiefs of the people of Paradise and that Fatima is the chief of the ladies of Paradise’”
  • 96. Hakim, Mustadrak 3/166. And with a slight difference Haithami has mentioned it in his Majma 9/111. And Muttaqi has also narrated it in Kanzul Ummal 12/120 and in Sunan Ibne Majah 1/51 it is mentioned that he said that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said, “One who loves Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) loves me and one who hated them has hated me.”

    And in Tahdhib at-Tahdhib in the biography of Nasr bin Ali Azdi, Ali bin Sawaf has narrted from Abdullah bin Ahmad that Nasr has narrated the tradition that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) took the hands of Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) and said, “One who loves me and loves their father shall remain with us in Qiyamat in our station.”

    When Mutawakkil heard him he ordered that he be lashed 1000 times. Then Abdul Wahid spoke to Mutawakkil about Nasr and said, “He is from Ahle Sunnat,” and he remained with him till he was released

  • 97. Tirmidhi, Sahih 5/658. Nasai, Sahih 3/108. Hakim, Mustadrak 1/287. Abi Dawood, Sahih 1/290. Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad 5/354. Baihaqi, Sunan 3/218. Usud al- Ghaba 2/12. Kanzul Ummal 12/114. Nasai, Sunan 3/108 and Sawaiq al-Mohreqa, Pg 191
  • 98. Hakim, Mustadrak 3/168. Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad 4/172. And the meaning of this tradition is that people tend to become miserly as they fear that they would not be able to provide sufficiently for their children
  • 99. ‘Sibtan’ is the dual of ‘sibt’ and in Lisanul Arab 9/181 it has come that ‘sibt’ is a nation from the nations in goodness.
  • 100. Kanzul Ummal 12/119. Sawaiq al-Mohreqa, Pg. 192. Al-Adab al-Mufrad in Subhul Aashi 1/430 it has come that Hasan(‘a) and Husayn(‘a) were the first in Islam to be given the title of ‘Sibt’
  • 101. Tirmidhi, Sahih, Kanzul Ummal 12/116
  • 102. Ibnud Daibagh, Taisir al-Wusul 3/320
  • 103. Biharul Anwar 10/78 and in Nuzhatul Majalis 2/476 it has come that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) told Hasan and Husayn, “You are two Imams and intercession for us is in you.” And this tradition is mentioned on Pg. 129 of al-Ittiaf le Hubbil Ashraaf
  • 104. Darami, Sunan 2/285
  • 105. Al-Iqdul Farid 2/243
  • 106. Muslim, Sahih 4/1883
  • 107. Ahmad, Musnad
  • 108. Ibne Asakir, Biography of Imam Husayn (a.s.), Pg. 83 from the handwritten manuscript at Amirul Momineen Library, Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/282
  • 109. Hakim, Mustadrak 3/177. And in Nurul Absar, Pg. 254 the words of the tradition are as follows, “I love them and I love all those who love them.”
  • 110. And in a tradition, “Then he put his one hand below his waist and he put the other hand below his chin and placed his mouth on his mouth while saying, “Husayn is from me’”
  • 111. Ibne Majah, Sunan 1/51. Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad 4/172. Usud al-Ghaba 2/19. Tahzib al-Kamal, 6/401. Taisar al-Wusul 3/320. Hakim, Mustadrak 3/177. Ansaab al- Ashraaf, Vol. 3/142.
  • 112. Al-Murajat, Pg. 287
  • 113. Minhaj as-Sunnah 4/210
  • 114. History of Baghdad 2/204
  • 115. At-Taj al-Jame al-Usul 3/218, Kanzul Ummal 13/650, al-Bidaya wan-Nihaya 8/36
  • 116. Majma az-Zawaid 9/201. Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/284, Tibrani, al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/124. Zakhair al-Uqba, Pg. 143
  • 117. Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 2/346 Taisar al-Wasul al-Jame al-Usul 3/321, Nasai, Sunan 2/229
  • 118. Hakim, Mustadrak 3/179
  • 119. Hakim, Mustadrak 3/176. And in the tradition of Ibne Asakir 13/162 it is mentioned from Ummul Fadl that she said, “One day the Prophet came to me while Husayn was with me. So he took and played with him for a long time. Then his eyes were filled with tears. I asked him, “What has made you aggrieved?” He replied, “This is Jibraeel who has informed me that my people shall kill this son of mine.”
  • 120. Hakim, Mustadrak 4/398. Kanzul Ummal 12/126. Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/289, Zakhair al-Uqba, Pg. 148
  • 121. Kanzul Ummal 12/126. Tibrani, al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/116
  • 122. Majma az-Zawaid 9/187. And in Tahzib al-Kamal, 6/409 it is mentioned that the Prophet took the dust that Jibraeel had brought to him and began to kiss it and said, “Woe be to Karb-o-bala.”
  • 123. Majma az-Zawaid 9/189
  • 124. Majma az-Zawaid, Pg. 191
  • 125. Majma az-Zawaid 9/189
  • 126. Ibnul Wardi, Tarikh 1/233
  • 127. Tibrani, al-Mojam al-Kabir (In the biography of Imam Husayn) 3/114
  • 128. Tarikh al-Khamis 2/299
  • 129. Tibrani, al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/110
  • 130. Walid bin Yazid bin Abdul Malik bin Marwan, he was such a wanton king that he committed every transgression. He went for Hajj and drank wine atop the Holy Ka’ba. He was more terrible to this nation than Firon was on his people. It is narrated that he kept a copy of Quran for target practice and Muslims were furious with him for his open expression of apostasy and innovations in religion and raised their voices against him and had him killed. This matter is mentioned on Pgs. 250-252 in Tarikhul Khulafa
  • 131. Tibrani, al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/129 (In the biography of Imam Husayn) Majma az- Zawaid 9/190
  • 132. Al-Futuh 4/216-219
  • 133. Ibne Asakir, Biography of Imam Husayn (a.s.), Pg. 210, Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 3/400
  • 134. Al-Bidaya wan-Nihaya 8/37
  • 135. Usud al-Ghaba 3/234-235. Kanzul Ummal 11/343. Majma az-Zawaid 9/186
  • 136. Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/187. And Kifayatut Talib, Pg. 425 it is narrated from Abi Mahram that he said, “I was attending a funeral of a lady and Abu Huraira was with us. Then they brought a dead body of a man and he kept it between the corpse of that lady and recited prayer on it. When we returned His Eminence, Husayn became tired and sat down on the way. Then Abu Huraira cleaned the dust off the feet of His Eminence with the corner of his garment. His Eminence, Husayn said to him, “Why do you do this?” Abu Huraira said, “Let me do it. By Allah, if people knew what I know about you they would have carried you on their shoulders.”