The Holy Prophet (S) was a perfect human being and Imam Ali (A) was also a perfect human being. Imam al-Hasan (A) was also a perfect human being Imam Al-Husayn (A) was also a perfect human being and Lady Az-Zahra (s.a.) was also a perfect human beings means that all of them had human qualities.
And that too with the point of perfection that is even more than the angels. In other words, they also felt hunger like other human beings and ate food. They also felt thirsty and drank water.
They felt sleepy and took rest. They also loved their children. They also had sexual feelings. And that is the reason why they could become the leaders. If it had not been so they could not have become leaders.
If Imam Al-Husayn (A) did not have human feelings and not suffered as a father suffers due to calamities on his son when he was cut into pieces it would not have made a difference between watching a son being cut into pieces or a stone being divided into pieces. This stone-heartedness is nothing great. If I had been such a man even I could have done it.
But the fact is that the emotional and human aspect found in the Imam is much stronger in relation to us. And the Imam is higher than even the angels from the aspect of human perfection. It was on this basis that Al-Husayn was made the Imam because he had all human characteristics (to the level of perfection).
When his teenaged son came for permission to go to the battlefield, his heart was also hurt badly because the Imam loved his son many times more than we love our sons. It is a different case that when it comes to seeking the pleasure of Allah, the Imam suppresses all his emotions and feelings.
Ali Akbar came to Imam Al-Husayn (A) and said,
“O father! Please permit me.”
Imam Al-Husayn (A) said, “Go, son go.”1
Here, historians have presented some excellent points. They write that Imam Al-Husayn (A) looked at his son with a look of despair and sorrow. Like a person who has lost hope of the life of the other person.
The psychological and internal effects on a human being are natural facts. If a person hears good news, his face lits up and eyes open wide. However, if a person is sitting near his dear one and is sure that the latter would pass away soon, whenever he glances at the dying person his eyes are only half-open.
His eyes appear to be sleepy because his heart does not want him to see the loved one pass away. On the other hand, if a son has achieved an honour or is getting married, the father looks at him with eyes wide open. It is said that when the Imam looked at His Eminence, Ali Akbar, his eyelids were drooping.
When Ali Akbar set out, it was the magnetism of the youthful son that impelled Imam Al-Husayn (A) to follow behind. (As if saying, “Son! It is not you who is going. It is the life of the father that’s going.”)
A lot of different things are said about the soul leaving the body but I have seen with my own eyes my life being taken away from my body. As Ali Akbar moved ahead Imam Al-Husayn (A) followed behind for quite a distance. Then he called aloud:
“O Umar Ibn Saad! May Allah cut off your progeny you have cut off mine.”2