Our Imam Hussain

By Syeda Qudsiya Mashhadi

Like every year, this year too, Moharram came and went. A few TV channels aired programmes on Imam Hussain’s life while others completely ignored the importance, or failed to understand the relevance of this month. There were various processions mourning the martyrdom of Imam Hussain [A.S.] [R.A.] in almost all the major cities of the country by the followers of Fiqah-e-Jafaria and some of the followers of Ahle-Sunnat. Elegies were read and the whole incident of Karbala was narrated by the Zakirs in an emotional and dramatically stylized way. As soon as the day of Ashura ended, the very next day, one saw the same old revelry, merriment, dance and music on the TV channels. The Muslims were done with the duty of remembering the grandson of their beloved Prophet [صلی اللہ علیہ والہ وسلم].

Like every year, this year too, my mind was pounded with painful questions.

“Is Moharram the only time we should be remembering the members of the Prophet’s lineage?”

“Does Imam Hussain [A.S.] [R.A.] belong only to the shias?”,

“Why does the rest of the ummat-e-Mohammad [صلی اللہ علیہ والہ وسلم] goes on as if nothing had happened?”

“Don’t they love their Prophet?”

“If they do, why don’t they show any affiliation to the person who was one of the most beloved family members of the Prophet [ صلی اللہ علیہ والہ وسلم]?”

For most of the Muslims, life goes on as if this was an isolated incident, which happened by chance in history. I looked at the people around, in my life, at work, at social gatherings, people who would deem it necessary to comment on the most trivial occurrences in their lives. How they went to the tailor last night, how they couldn’t find the matching lace for their dress, or how chilly it was that day. What they failed to do was to even hint upon one of the greatest historical events that was of tremendous importance for the Muslims world over. If you even try to mention the names of any members of the family of Prophet Mohammad [صلی اللہ علیہ والہ وسلم ] who were inhumanely martyred in Karbala, they give you a look saying, “You too?”, “Are you a Shia?” This question irritates me to no end. I am dumbfounded by their ignorance and arrogance! My eyes bulge out in disgust! What the heck is this? I am a Muslim, alhamdolillah also a Syed. And I DON’T belong to any sect! I revere and love my Prophet [صلی اللہ علیہ والہ وسلم ]. I also have great love and respect for his family who sacrificed their EVERYTHING to save the religion of their grandfather. And I cannot even talk about them?

Come on people, the Ahlul-bayt are not the property of any one sect! We all love them and SHOULD love them! Because without it, our Imaan is incomplete. I can quote hundreds of ahadith about the importance of loving the Prophet [ صلی اللہ علیہ والہ وسلم] and his family members but I need a whole new blog for that! I will, though, quote a few extremely well-known and famous ones. First, some verses from the Quran:

  1. “(Muhammad), say, “I do not ask you for any payment for my preaching to you except (your) love of (my near) relatives.” Whoever achieves virtue will have its merit increased. Allah is All-forgiving and Appreciating. (42:23)”
  2. “Allah only desires to keep away uncleanness from you, O members of the House! And to purify you a (thorough purification).” (33:33)

And some of the ahadith:

  1. “Hussain is from me and I am from Hussain, Allah befriends those who befriend Hussain and He is the enemy of those who bear enmity to him.”
  2. “Behold! My Ahlul-bayt are like the Ark of Noah. Whoever embarked in it was SAVED, and whoever turned away from it was PERISHED.”
  3. “I m leaving among you something which is very important and should be followed, you will not go astray if you get hold of it after I am gone: Allah’s Book, which is a rope stretched from Heaven to Earth, and my close relatives, who belong to my household. These two will not separate from one another till they come down to the reservoir (Al-Kauthar), so consider how you act regarding them after my departure.” [Hadith al-thaqalayn]
  4. “Say, ‘O Allah, send blessings on Muhammad and on the kith and kin of Muhammad.’”

{References for the above are all over the net]

I know that majority of the Muslims passionately and irrevocably love the Holy Prophet [صلی اللہ علیہ والہ وسلم ]. But how can one love a person so much and not love that person’s family? And saying that this is not any ordinary family is the understatement of the entire Eternity. It is gut-wrenching for us to see a six-month old baby killed heinously in a state of hunger and thirst, even if that baby is of a Mushriq or Kafir. Now imagine if this happens to a close family member of yours. What will be your reaction? The thing that is even worse than this is that it actually happened to the progeny of your beloved leader, your guide, your role model, your inspiration, and the Imam of all the Prophets, Mohammad [ صلی اللہ علیہ والہ وسلم]. Just think with a cool mind and try to absorb the magnitude of this event.

It is extremely painful for me when I see that the children of today are clueless about this great historical event which is closely related to our Prophet [صلی اللہ علیہ والہ وسلم ]. It hurt me to no end when a child of Grade 5 asked me on 8th Moharram, “Only shias believe in Hazrat Ali and Imam Hussain?” Another asked, “Are the shias, kafir?

What in the hell are we teaching our children? There is no tolerance for other sects! There is zero Islamic education at homes. If something is taught, it is hate against the other sects. Only we are Muslims, the rest are Kafirs. Brilliant. What do you expect from these children when they grow up? They will certainly not act as mature beings, nor will they be true believers. And for Allah’s sake, tell your children that Imam Hussain [A.S] [R.A] belongs to all of us, just like Prophet Mohammad [صلی اللہ علیہ والہ وسلم ] is the prophet of the entire mankind. It should be enough for us that the Prophet [صلی اللہ علیہ والہ وسلم ] called Imam Hassan [A.S.] [R.A.] and Imam Hussain [A.S] [R.A], his sons and the leaders of the men in Jannat. Just try and imagine the pain that he went through when Archangel Gabriel [A.S.] told him about the fate that awaited Imam Hussain [A.S.] [R.A.] in the desert of Karbala. Any parent and grand parent can understand it fully well. Imagine that the child who is the apple of your eye, some day will be homeless, hungry and thirsty and in that condition will be brutally killed and dismembered along with his innocent children and kin. Yes, right, you cannot even think about it.

I will say one more thing. Just believing in Allah alone will not guarantee entry in Jannat. Spiritual connection with Syedi Mohammad [صلی اللہ علیہ والہ وسلم ] is the ONLY salvation for any Muslim. Just ask yourself can you have any spiritual relationship with the Prophet without truly loving him? And can you claim to truly love the Prophet WITHOUT loving and revering and remembering his family? I think not. If you have no spiritual connection with the Prophet, then I am really sorry for you because you are NOTHING in front of Allah. All your prayers, zikr, fasts, recitation of the Quran, zakat, Hajj and Nauwafil are utterly useless without the love of Mohammad [صلی اللہ علیہ والہ وسلم ] and his Ahlul-bayt. So think about it. Relate the incident of Karbala to your young ones, educate them, because after all, this is the real education. Make them truly respect and love the Prophet [ صلی اللہ علیہ والہ وسلم] and his family, and specially that grandson who breathed a new life in Islam.

In the words of Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chishti:

شاہ است حسین بادشاہ است حسین
دین است حسین دین پناہ است حسین
سر داد نا داد دست در دست یزید
حقا کہ بناے لا الہ است حسین

“Hussain is the king, indeed he is the king of kings
Hussain is Deen and also the protector of Deen
He gave his head but not his hand of allegiance in the hand of Yazid
Indeed he was the founder (like his grandfather) of the concept of One God”

And I wait for that day, O Allah, when,

انسان کو بیدار تو ہو لینے دو
ہر قوم پکارے گی ہمارے ہیں حسین


Just let the mankind awake,
Every community will say Hussain belongs to us.

May Allah make it possible for all of us to love the Prophet and his Ahlul-bayt as much as they should be loved. Ameen.