Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili
The first son of Hazrat Ali (RA) and Sayida Fatima (RA) was Hazrat Hasan (RA). After him Hazrat Husain (RA) next were born three daughters namely Hazrat Zainab (RA), Hazrat Ummi Kulsoom (RA), and Hazrat Muhsin (RA)
The patronymic filial appellations of Hazrat Husain (AS) are -Abu Abdullah, Sayid, Shaheed, Shabbir, Sibt-i-Asghar, and Raihanat-un-Nabi (SAWS) He was born in Madina Munawarah on 3rd or 4th or 5th Shaban 4th Hijri. On hearing about his auspicious birth the Prophet (SAWS) visited the house of Hazrat Fatima (RA) and said azaan in the ears of the new-born baby and next he (SAWS) asked Sayida Fatima (RA) to perform ‘aqiqa’- (throw a party on the 7th day of the birth of a child) and give in charity silver equivalent to the weight of the hair of the child. They obliged the directions. The parents named the child as ‘Harab’ but the Prophet (SAWS) changed it to Husain (AS)
Sayidna Hazrat Husain (AS) was fostered for about 7 years under the shadow of affection of the Prophet (SAWS) Like other male and female nephews the Prophet (SAWS) extraordinarily loved Hazrat Husain (AS) as well. For describing the events of the Prophet’s love with him needs another book.
After the death of the Prophet (SAWS) the khalifas of the Prophet (SAWS) Sayidna Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (RA), Amir-ul-moomineen Sayidna Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA) too always loved Hazrat Husain (AS). Being the beloved nephew of Prophet (SAWS), Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA) fixed a stipend of 5000 instead of 2000 for him while fixing the stipend of the boys of Badri Sahabis (RA)
During the reign of the khilafat of Hazrat Usman dhunoorain (RA) when the conquest of Tibristan took place in 30 AH, Sayidna Hazrat Husain joined the battle as a soldier along with his elder brother Hazrat Hasan (RA) In the last year of the khilafat of Hazrat Usman dhunoorain (RA) the rebels encircled the house of Khalifa, Hazrat Ali (RA) appointed Hazrat Hasan (RA) and Hazrat Husain (RA) both for the protection of Hazrat Usman (RA). They along with other sahabis stopped the rebels to enter the house of the Khalifa but the rebels broke open the wall from other side and entered inside and martyred Amir-ul-moomineen Sayidna Usman (RA) with extreme merciless manner. Hazrat Ali (RA) asked both the brothers, how the rebels entered despite your presence? When they explained the details, Hazrat Ali became silent after taking a deep sigh.
In the reign of the khilafat of Hazrat Ali (KW) Hazrat Husain (AS) took part with full force in the wars of Jamal and Siffin on behalf of their honored father. For the suspension of the war of Siffin, the agreement between Hazrat Ali (RA) and Hazrat Muawya (RA) was also signed by Hazrat Husain (AS) also as a witness. After this he showed bravery against Khwarij at Nahrvan.
After the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (RA) in 40 AH, Hazrat Hasan (RA)became the Khalifa. After a few months he intended to relinquish the khilafat in favour of Hazrat Muawya (RA), against which Hazrat Husain (AS) opposed forcefully but he could not succeed to fulfil his desire by Hazrat Hasan. During the reign of the khilafat of Amir Muawya (RA) Constantine was attacked. In this battle Hazrat Husain (AS) took part as a soldier. In this very period, he had to bear the loss of the everlasting separation of his elder brother Hazrat Hasan (RA)
Sometime before his death, Amir Muawya (RA) declared Yazid as his successor and desired to take bayat from the residents of Madina. Hazrat Husain (AS) and some other sahabis did not agree to enter into the bayat with Yazid, however Amir Muawya (RA) did not object to them. Before his death in 60 AH he told Yazid about Hazrat Husain )AS) that “after me the people of Iraq will bring Hazrat Husain (AS) to confront you and when they stand confronting you and when you overpower them, you must be lenient towards them as they are close and very deserving and dear to the Prophet (SAWS)” (Tibri wal Fakhri)
When Yazid sat on the throne of government, he felt that until the vital personalities like Sayidna Hazrat Husain (AS) and Sayidna Hazrat Abdullah bin Zubair enter into his bayat, his government will remain in danger. Hence their denial to enter into bayat and their travel from Madina Munawarah to Makkah Mukaramah, then writing letters repeatedly by residents to Kufah to Hazrat Husain (AS) inviting him to come to Kufah as all of us will enter into bayat with you. Next he sent his cousin Muslim bin Aqeel (RA) to Kufah, their thousands of people entered into bayat with Hazrat Husain (AS) on the hands of Muslim (RA) whereafter Muslim bin Aqeel (RA) wrote whole position to Hazrat Husain (AS). On receiving his letter Sayidna Hazrat Husain (AS) departed from Makkah to Kufah along with his whole family and a small group of devotees.
On the other side when Yazid came to know about these developments, he ordered Abdullah Ibni Zyad the governor of Basrah to take over the governance of whole Basrah as well as to go himself to Kufah and obtain my bayat from the people of that place. On reaching Kufah, Ibni Zayad acted very harshly. He arrested Hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel and martyred him and by force obtained the bayat of Yazid from the people of Kufah. Sayidna Hazrat Husain (AS) was still on his way, when he heard about the martyrdom of Muslim bin Aqeel (RA) and the treachery of the people of Kufah, but he did not think it proper to return back. Hazrat Husain (AS) reached the land of Nainva along with his family and seventy devotees, where on 3rd Muharram 61 AH Ibni Zyad with the army of Syria encircled them at Karbala. On 7th Muharram the Syrian army laid a siege on the river Euphrates, so that Sayidna Husain (AS) and his companions are deprived of water.
On 10th Muharram the heartrending occurrence of Karbala took place, in which Sayidna Husain (AS) along with his sons, nephews, and some other relatives and devotees obtained martyrdom while fighting bravely against the Syrian army. To describe the events of Karbala we need a separate book and there is sufficient matter on this great accident mentioned in books.
Sayidna Hazrat Husain (AS) married a number of times at different times, from whom many children were born and among the male sons only one Ali bin Husain (RA) (famous by the appellation of Zain-ul-Aabiden) survived. The rest of progeny continued from his generation. One young son Ali Akbar (RA) and another suckling infant son Ali Asghar (RA) obtained martyrdom in the event of Karbala. In other traditions it is recorded that one more son Abdullah bin Husain (RA) also obtained martyrdom in Karbala. Most of the biographers have mentioned the number of his daughters as three: Sakina (RA), Fatima (RA), and Zainab (RA)
Sayidna Hazrat Husain (AS) had got nourished in the Prophet’s family, hence he had become the mine of excellence and perfection. Since he was of tender years during the time of Prophet hence his quotes heard directly from Prophet (SAWS) are only eight in number. However the number of indirect traditions is enough. Besides Prophet (SAWS) the wothy mentioning elders from whom he has quoted hadith are: Hazrat Ali (RA), Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA), Hazrat Fatima Zuhra (RA), Hazrat Hinda Abi Halah (RA). Those who have narrated his hadith include: his elder brother Hazrat Hasan (RA), his son Hazrat Ali Zain-ul-Aabideen (RA), daughters Sakeenah (RA), Hazrat Fatimah (RA), grandsona Hazrat Baqir (RA), Shabei (RA). Akrima (RA), Sannan bin Abi Sannan (RA), Abdullah bin Umar, Ibni Usman (RA), Farzoq poet etc.
All the authors of biography have acknowledged the excellence and perfection of Sayidna Hazrat Husain (AS) and being brought up in the lap of Hazrat Ali (KW) who held a high station in judicature and in giving judicial verdict, hence he too was posted on the seat of judicial verdict and people of Madina would turn to him in solving difficult problems.
Besides religious knowledge Sayidna Hazrat Husain (AS) had obtained mastery in the current prevalent knowledge of Arabia. His depth of knowledge, wisdom, and rhetoric eloquence can be gauged from his sermons, among which some are still preserved in the books of his biography.
By the credence of proficiency and etiquette Saidna Hazrat Husain (AS) was embodiment of good qualities. Praying and mystic exercise was his usual practice. He would remain awake during nights and remain fasting. Besides obligatory prayers he would offer supererogatory prayers with excess. His son Hazrat Ali Zain-ul-Aabideen (RA) states that he would offer a thousand supererogatory prayers during the day and night. He would remain fasting excessively and break his fast with a simple diet. During the month of Ramdhan he would complete the recitation of Quran at least once at a time. He performed Hajj pilgrimages excessively and that too often on foot. According to one tradition he performed 25 Hajj pilgrimages on foot (Tahzeeb ul-Asma-Imam Noovi RA)
Sayidna Hazrat Husain (AS was quite well off financially. Hazrat Umar (RA) had fixed a monthly stipend of 5000 during his reign of khilafat, which he continued to get till the period of Hazrat Usman dhunoorain (RA). Sayidna Hazrat Hasan (RA) on his relinquishing of khilafat got a yearly stipend of 2,00,000 fixed for him. Despite this good situation there was the effect of piety and abstinence vivid in his life. He would abundantly spend his wealth in the path of Allah. No one would leave empty handed from his door. Sometimes he would himself carry food to the houses of poor people. If he would come to know about some faulty borrower, he would himself pay his debt.
Besides alms and charity he would patronize scholars and poets and would honor them with the award of fat sums.
The gatherings of Sayidna Husain (AS) used to be full of dignity and gravity. People would respect him limitlessly and would sit in front of him with such a tranquility and silence that as if birds were seated on their heads. Despite this dignity, gravity, and high status, Sayidna Husain (RA) was far away from grandeur and self-complacency and he was extremely tolerant and humble. He would meet with smiling face the people of very low status even. Once he was going somewhere, enroute some people poor people were having food; on seeing Hazrat Husain (AS) they invited him to dine with them. He (AS) alighted from the riding animal and said, “Indeed Allah does not like the proud people.) Then he sat with them and ate the food. After he finished, he invited them all on a feast. When they attended, he directed his home people to send whatever is in the store.
The authors of his biography have reproduced many of his chaste sayings, which are a treasure of sagacity, wisdom, counsel, and advice. Among these some are as: 01. Haste is foolishness. 02. Knowledge is adornment. 03. Straightforwardness is an honor. 04. Kindness is a blessing. 05. Miserliness is poverty. 07. Generosity is riches. 08. Softness is wisdom. 09. Secrecy is trust. 10. Good etiquette is a worship. 11. Practice is an experience. 12. Help is friendship. 13. Perform good deeds but with heart and soul together. 14. Don’t count the deed which you have not done. 15. The needy did not care about his respect when he put his demand to you, hence you fulfil his need and maintain your respect. 16. When one helps his brother in the worldly misfortune, Allah removes his calamity in the hereafter.17. The greatest forgiver is the one who does not take revenge even when he has the power to take revenge and then does not take revenge. 18. Too much self-praise is a cause of destruction. 19. Acquire good fame by giving. 20. Don’t create fame by misleading. 21. He who is generous, becomes the chief; he who is miser is dishonored. 22. Most generous is the person who gives to such people also to whom he has no hope to meet. 23. He who obliges someone, Allah obliges him and Allah befriends those who oblige others.
Hence there is a great lesson to be learnt from the life and the sayings of Sayidna Husain (AS)
Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili is a Former Chief Engineer.