Who is Hussain? Introducing Imam Husayn (pbuh)

On the morning of the third day of Sha’ban, the fourth Hijri year, Ali (pbuh), Prophet Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law along with Fatima Zahra (pbuh), the daughter of the Messenger of Allah, drew their second newly-born child into their embrace. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) named him Hussain (pbuh) by God’s command, a name which means good and pleasant; before him, the Prophet had named his older brother Hasan (pbuh). His mother, Hazrat Zahra, is one of the paramount women in Paradise, who, for the sake of her vast wisdom and knowledgeable status, moral virtues and purity, was a special and recognized woman for everyone, and God has talked in the Quran about her dignity and high position.

Ali (pbuh), her honorable husband, the first Muslim, the most well-known learned man in religion, successor (wasi) of the Prophet (pbuh), is the bravest and most eloquent Arab speaker who has a unique record of sacrifices and defending the religion of God throughout the emergence and expansion of Islam; to the point that the Prophet (pbuh), by God’s command, has spoken about and praised him on many occasions, and eventually introduced him as his own successor.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), was very affectionate to Husayn and loved him and there are numerous praises narrated from him in praise of Husayn (pbuh). For example, the Prophet Muhammad said: «Hossein is from me, and I am from him. God loves those who love him» and it has been quoted from the Prophet (pbuh): «Hassan and Husayn are two of my sweetest flowers in this world.» And it is also narrated from him say: «Hassan and Husayn (pbuh), while in their youth, are among the most distinguished residents of Paradise.» What made Husayn (pbuh) deserve such a love and kindness from the Prophet (pbuh) was that his Holiness was full of human traits and moral perfections, and in one sentence, he manifested an example of a perfect man.

But the happy days of Husayn’s childhood were very short-lived. He was about seven years that the Messenger of Allah made all the Muslims and the Islamic world grief-stricken. After the passing away of the Prophet (pbuh), seditions began to deviate the direction of Islamic society, and this trend continued until 61 A.H. and Yazid Ibn Mu’awiyah, a bloodthirsty, bacchanal and drunkard man, took over Islamic rule and forced Imam Husayn into swearing allegiance to him, but Imam Husayn (pbuh) did not accept to swear allegiance to Yazid and rebelled against Yazid›s ruthless and corrupt government and migrated from Medina to Mecca and from there to Kufa. In the vicinity of Kufa in Karbala, he faced Yazid’s ruthless army, and eventually Imam Husayn (pbuh) and his brothers and children were martyred with a thirsty mouth on the battlefield, and they were beheaded by filthy hands of Yazidis.

source: www.byislm.com

Why should we mourn for Imam Hussein (a.s)?

As the month of Muharram approaches, the first month on the Islamic calendar, the official website of Ayatollah Khamenei publishes statements on the importance of Muharram, by relying on Quran he argues why Muslims mourn for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (Peace Be Upon Him). Now I would like to discuss a point regarding the efforts to promote Islam in the month of Muharram. Some people may question the value of the ceremonies for mourning Imam Hussein’s (a.s.) martyrdom.

They may say, “If you want to speak about Imam Hussein’s (a.s.) movement, just go ahead and speak about his movement. Why all the crying?” This is a wrong assumption. It will be extremely hard to move ahead on this path in the absence of this emotional connection to the infallible Imams. This is why Imam Khomeini (r.a.) recommended the traditional forms of mourning. The Quranic verses about the role of the infallible Imams are interpreted in three different ways. Wilayat [Guardianship] is one of these interpretations. “Your guardian can only be Allah – and His messenger and those who believe, who establish worship and pay charity, and bow down (in prayer).

” [The Holy Quran, 5: 55] Another interpretation is submission and obedience. “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you.” [The Holy Quran, 4: 59] Friendship is the third interpretation. “Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives.” [The Holy Quran, 42: 23] What is this friendship? People are advised to accept their Wilayat and obey them, but what is friendship for? This friendship is a kind of assurance. After the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) passed away, those who ended this friendship gradually brushed aside the leadership of the infallible Imams (a.s.).

In the absence of this sense of friendship, the Islamic Ummah will face the same disasters. Therefore, this sense of friendship is of paramount importance, and it can be achieved through this emotional connection to the infallible Imams (a.s.). Narrating the tragedies that happened to them is an attempt to establish this emotional connection. Similarly, praising their virtues [through the mourning ceremonies] is another way to form this emotional bond.

Therefore, it is necessary to hold the mourning ceremonies and narrate the events of Ashura. Some people should not adopt a so-called intellectual position and reject the necessity of these mourning ceremonies. These ceremonies are necessary, and they will always be necessary.

Of course some forms of mourning are unacceptable. For instance, “Qame Zani” [a religiously prohibited ritual in which people cut their foreheads] has been declared haraam, and it must not be practiced. That is because Qame Zani will make the enemies more insolent and will give them an advantage over those who love the members of the Holy Prophet’s household. But the common mourning rituals can increasingly strengthen one’s emotional connection to the infallible Imams. These rituals are very good.

Ayatollah Khamenei

Ziyarat Arbaeen part 7

The pure, untouched genealogy of Imam al-Husayn, peace be upon him

أَشْهَدُ اَنَّكَ كُنْتَ نُوراً فىِ الأَصْلاَبِ الشَّامِخَةِ وَالأَرْحَامِ الـْمُطَهَّرَةِ، لَمْ تُنَجِّسْكَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةُ بِاَنْجَاسِهَا وَلَمْ تُلْبِسْكَ الْـمُدْلَهِمَّاتُ مِنْ ثِيَابِها، وأَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ مِنْ دَعَائِمِ الدِّينِ وأَرْكَانِ الـْمُسْلِمينَ وَمَعْقِلِ الْـمُؤْمِنينَ

I know and bear witness that you were a Divinely-inspired light in the sublime loins and in the pure wombs, never touched you the dirt of ignorance, nor ever obscurity concealed you in its folds; I bear witness that you are the pillar of the religion – support of the Muslims, refuge of the faithful;

وَاَشْهَدُ اَنَّكَ الإِمَامُ الْبَرُّ التَّقِيُّ الرَّضِيُّ الزَّكِيُّ الْهَادِيُ الْـمَهْدِيُّ

I bear witness that you are a truthful, well-aware, content, intelligent, rightly guided guide (Imam);

A description of the progeny of Imam al-Husayn, peace be upon him

وَاَشْهَدُ اَنَّ الأئِمَّةَ مِنْ وُلْدِكَ كَلِمَةُ التَّقْوى وَأعْلامُ الْهُدى وَالْعُرْوَةُ الْوُثْقى، وَالْحُجَّةُ على أهْلِ الدُّنْيا

I bear witness that the Imams among your descendants are the symbols of “conscious piety” and signs of “true guidance”, the “safe handle”- Islam – and the decisive arguments over mankind;

The theological beliefs (Usul ad-Din) of the followers of the Ahlul Bayt, peace be upon them all

وأَشْهَدُ أنّي بِكُمْ مُؤْمِنٌ وَبِاِيابِكُمْ، مُوقِنٌ بِشَرايِعِ ديني وَخَواتيمِ عَمَلي، وَقَلْبي لِقَلْبِكُمْ سِلْمٌ وَأَمْرِي لِأَمْرِكُمْ مُتَّبِعٌ وَنُصْرَتي لَكُمْ مُعَدَّةٌ حَتّى يَأذَنَ اللهِ لَكُمْ، فَمَعَكُمْ مَعَكُمْ لا مَعَ عَدُوِّكُمْ

I declare positively that I have full faith in you, and I know for certain that you will return. I am fully committed to the laws of my religion and certain of my deeds, my mind and heart ready for your return and my affairs carried out in the light of your instructions, until Allah gives you permission, together with you – along with you,and not with your enemies.

Salawat (prayers of Allah) upon the noble Ahlul Bayt, peace be upon them all

صَلَواتُ اللهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعلى أرْواحِكُمْ وَأجْسادِكُمْ وَشاهِدِكُمْ وَغائِبِكُمْ وَظاهِرِكُمْ وَباطِنِكُمْ آمينَ رَبَّ الْعالِمينَ

Blessings of Allah be upon you, and upon your souls, and upon your bodies, and when you are present, and when you are absent, and upon your perceivable aspects, and upon your innermost genius, be it so, O Lord of the worlds!

Ziyarat Arbaeen part 6

Renewal of the pledge of allegiance to the Doyen of the Martyrs, al-Husayn ibn Ali, peace be upon them both

أَللَّـهُمَّ إِنِّي أُشْهِدُكَ أَنِّي وَلِيٌّ لـِمَنْ وَالاَهُ وَعَدُوٌّ لِـمَنْ عَادَاهُ

O Allah be my witness that I make friends with those who love him and oppose those who deny him.

بِأَبِي أَنْتَ وَأُمّي يَا بْنَ رَسُولِ اللهِ

May my father and mother be sacrificed for you O the son of the Messenger of Allah.


This portion teaches us an important lesson which is that our friendship and enmity in life should revolve around their friendship and enmity; we also learn that our happiness and grief and every other emotion and action in our lives should all revolve around Imam al-Husayn, peace be upon him, and that in actuality, we become “extensions” of the Husyani mission.

Since the meaning of “Shia” is “follower,” it only makes sense that as the “Shia” of the Imams, we truly follow them in war and peace; in love and hate – if we truly wish to be counted amongst their adherents and followers.

This is the same understanding that we are given in Hadith al-Kisa in which we say, “O Allah! Indeed these are my Ahul Bayt and my confidants and my supporters. Their flesh is my flesh; their blood is my blood; whoever hurts them has hurt me, whoever displeases them, displeases me, and whoever fights against them, fights against me; I am at war with those who are at war with them and I am at peace with those who are at peace with them and I have enmity with those who have enmity with them and love those who love them. Indeed they are from me and I am from them…”

Ziyarat Arbaeen part 5

Learning life lessons from the Leader of the Martyrs

أَشْهَدُ اَنَّكَ اَمِينُ اللهِ وَابْنُ اَمِينِهِ،

I bear witness that Allah put faith in you like He had full confidence in your father,

عِشْتَ سَعِيداً وَمَضَيْتَ حَمِيداً وَمُتَّ فَقِيداً مَظْلُوماً شَهِيداً

and that you always looked for and collected good and virtue, lived a highly praiseworthy life, and departed from this world a martyr, forsaken and abused;

وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ اللهِ مُنْجِزٌ مَا وَعَدَكَ، وَمُهْلِكٌ مَنْ خَذَلَكَ، وَمُعَذِّبٌ مَنْ قَتَلَكَ

And I bear witness that Allah will promptly fulfill the promise He made to you, and destroy those who left you helpless and punish those who killed you;

وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ وَفَيْتَ بِعَهْدِ اللهِ وَجَاهَدْتَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ حَتَّى أَتَاكَ الْيَقِينُ، فَلَعَنَ اللهُ مَنْ قَتَلَكَ، وَلَعَنَ اللهُ مَنْ ظَلَمَكَ، وَلَعَنَ اللهُ اُمَّةً سَمِعَتْ بِذَلِكَ فَرَضِيَتْ بِهِ

And I bear witness that you kept your promise made with Allah, and strived in His way until what was certain came upon you, so curse of Allah be on those who killed you, and curse of Allah be on those who oppressed you, and curse of Allah be on the people who came to know of it and approved (of all of it).


The movement of Imam al-Husayn, peace be upon him, has taught us many lessons – both on an individual and personal level and also on a societal level – some of which include:

1. Personal and individual:

    i. Spirit of monotheism (Tawheed) and the spirit of connection to Allah;

    ii. Servitude to Allah;

    iii. Turning away from personal desires and the allures of this world;

    iv. Submission to the will and pleasure of Allah;

    v. Requirement of studying and knowing all of the Divinely taught values and worth of the human being;

    vi. Bravery and chivalry;

    vii. Standing firm in the face of difficulties and tribulations;

    viii. The spiritual worth of the human being;

    ix. Forgiveness and clemency;

    x. Not being afraid of death or martyrdom – rather, to accept these wholeheartedly;

2. Communal and societal:

    i. Self-sacrifice and thinking of others before oneself;

    ii. Loyalty;

    iii. Equality of humanity and removal of all forms of discrimination;

    iv. Importance of being political aware and active;

    v. Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil;

    vi. Realizing that the truth does not lie in ‘numbers’;

    vii. Standing up to oppression and tyranny and not following the wicked;

    viii. Understanding that “politics” is not separate from “religion,” and that “social struggle” and “spiritual action” are one and the same.

These lessons mentioned above are but a drop in the unlimited ocean of the noble Divine teachings which were embodied in the message of the Prophets and their safeguarding at the hands of all of the Imams – specifically Imam al-Husayn, peace be upon all of them.

Ziyarat Arbaeen part 4

A glimpse at the killers of Imam al-Husayn, peace be upon him

وَقَدْ تَوازَرَ عَلَيْهِ مَنْ غَرَّتْهُ الدُّنْيَا، وَبَاعَ حَظَّهُ بِالأَرْذَلِ الأَدْنَى، وَشَرَى آخِرَتَهُ بِالثَّمَنِ الأَوْكَسِ، وَتَغَطْرَسَ وَتَرَدّى فِي هَوَاهُ، وَأَسْخَطَكَ وَأَسْخَطَ نَبِيَّكَ، وَأَطَاعَ مِنْ عِبَادِكَ أَهْلَ الشِّقَاقِ وَالنِّفَاقِ وَحَمَلَةَ الأَوْزَارِ الْـمُسْتَوْجِبِينَ النَّارَ، فَجَاهَدَهُمْ فِيكَ صَابِراً مُحْتَسِباً حَتَّى سُفِكَ فِي طَاعَتِكَ دَمُهُ وَاسْتُبِيحَ حَرِيمُهُ،

But an evildoer, deceived with empty hopes of mean and worthless worldly gains, had pressed heavily on him, and sold out his share (of the eternal bliss) for the meanest and a lowest bargain, betrayed his “Day of Judgment” for a vulgar return, took pride in insolence, fell into the fathom-well of his own base desires, provoked You and Your Prophet to anger, did as the harsh discordant, the hypocrite, the heavily burdened bearers of sin, condemned to Hellfire, advised to him, however, he (the Imam), steadily, rightly and justly coped with them, until in Your obedience, gave his life after which his family was set adrift.

أَللَّـهُمَّ فَالْعَنْهُمْ لَعْناً وَبِيلاً وَعَذِّبْهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً

O Allah, therefore, condemn them to hell as a denunciation and conviction; and crack down on them with a painful punishment.

اَلسَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا ابْنَ رَسُولِ اللهِ، اَلسَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا ابْنَ سَيِّدِ الأَوْصِيَاءِ،

Peace be upon you O the son of the Messenger of Allah! Peace be upon you O the son of the first of the successors (of the Holy Prophet)


In this portion of the ziyarat, Imam as-Sadiq, peace be upon him, describes the killers of his grandfather.

1. Umar ibn Sa’ad ibn Abil Waqqaas was one of the people directly involved in the events of Karbala. Sa’ad who was the father of Umar was one of the first people to accept Islam during the initial app