By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz
“O Allah! Confer on us the best of gifts today, and grant us success in whatever we seek, just as You gave Husain to Muhammad, his grandfather. The Angel Fotrous sought refuge by Husain’s cradle, and we seek shelter by his tomb. Being present at his graveside, we await his return. Amen, O Lord of all the worlds.”
Heartiest congratulations to all our readers on a very special day. Today the 3rd of Sha’ban is that blessed day in the history of humanity when the Saviour of faith and humanitarian values, was born in 4 AH in Medina.
It is the day that revives for us memories of the dynamic life of a person, who is part of a select group mentioned in the holy Qur’an as the “Ahl al-Bayt” or Persons of the Blessed Household, whose pristine purity has been vouchsafed by God Almighty himself (33:33).
It is the day on which – as is obvious by the wordings of the above-mentioned supplication in the Divine Court – the All-Merciful Lord restored to the fallen angel, Fotrous, his former status after granting him permission to accompany Archangel Gabriel to Planet Earth to congratulate Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) on the birth of his younger grandson.
To be more precise, today is the birthday of the Immortal Martyr of Karbala, Imam Husain (AS), whose epic of “Ashura” (Muharram 10) and “Arba’een” – Safar 20, the traditional 40th day of his martyrdom which this year saw over 20 million pilgrims converge on his shrine in Karbala – are commemorated every year around the world by scores of millions of people, and continues to inspire seekers of truth and justice against falsehood and tyranny.
Imam Husain (AS) needs no introduction. It would be repetitive to say he was the son of such peerless parents as the Prophet’s Immaculate Daughter, the Noblest-ever Lady Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA) and the One and Only Infallible Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS).
Hailed, along with his elder brother, the equally chivalrous Imam Hasan (AS), as “Leaders of the Youths of Paradise”, by the Prophet, his lofty status has been mentioned by God in several ayahs of the holy Qur’an, in addition to the term “Ahl al-Bayt” in Ayat at-Tatheer (33:33).
When Ayah 61 of Surah Aal-e Imran was revealed for holding “Mubahela” or challenge to demonstrate the truth through imprecation of the liars, following three days of inconclusive debate with the Christians of Najran, the Prophet in obedience to the Divine Commandment took to the crucial field only his immediate family, the Ahl al-Bayt – daughter Hazrat Fatema (SA), son-in-law Imam Ali (AS) and his two grandsons, Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (AS) – in order to make Islam triumphant.
When a group of Arabs asked the Prophet how should they reward him for their being enlightened with the dynamic message of Islam, God revealed Ayah 23 of Surah Shura, saying that the token of gratitude of any Muslim in this regard, is love, affection and respect for the Prophet’s nearest and dearest of kin, who are no one else except Imam Husain (AS), his brother and his parents.
Among other instances in the holy Qur’an in praise of the Ahl al-Bayt and their lofty status in Paradise, are the ayahs five to twenty-two of Surah Dahr when the boy Imam Husain (AS), along with his brother, parents and the maid Fizza kept three days of fasts to fulfill a vow, but gave whatever they had for breaking the fast to a destitute, an orphan and a freed prisoner, when these persons happened to knock on the door of the Prophet’s progeny on three consecutive days.
To further specify the position of the Ahl al-Bayt, the Qur’an uses the terms “Rasekhouna fi Ilm” (Repositories of Knowledge), and “Ahl az-Zikr” (Persons of Profound Remembrance), These terms also include the Infallible Offspring of Imam Husain (AS) that is, the Nine Imams in lineal descent from him, of whom the Last is the Prophet’s 12th Divinely-Designated Heir, Imam Mahdi (AS) – who will reappear in the end times to cleanse the Earth of all vestiges of corruption and oppression by establishing the global government of peace, prosperity and justice.
Last but not the least is Ayah 107 of Surah Saff, which after having confirmed the firm and unflinching faith of Prophet Abraham and deferment of the sacrifice of his firstborn son, Prophet Ishmael, by sending a ram as replacement for the time being, says: “We ransomed him with a Great Sacrifice.”
According to exegetes of the holy Qur’an the Arabic word “Zibhin Azeem” or Great Sacrifice used by God Almighty is a reference to Imam Husain (AS), who in the full limelight of history, in order to save the essence of faith and humanitarian values, was to court martyrdom after having sacrificed in the way of God his sons, brothers, nephews, cousins, and close friends.
Till this day, the Martyr of Karbala’s memorable sacrifice for immortalizing humanitarian values continues to be commemorated by the faithful all over the world in the months of Muharram and Safar.
No wonder, every year on the 3rd of the month of Sha’ban the faithful supplicate to the Almighty Creator, with raised hands, invoking the right of the baby born this day.
“O God, I beseech You by the right of him who was born this day, to whom martyrdom was promised before he appeared and was born, for whom the heavens wept and those who are in them and the earth and those who are in it, before he even tread its stony grounds.”
As is clear from the wording of this passage, Imam Husain (AS) was destined to be the greatest-ever martyr. He courted death in defence of Godly values in the most heart-wrenching manner preceded by gruesome trials and tribulations, otherwise the heavens and the earth (and all they contain), would not have wept for him.
Here is another passage of the same supplication that sheds more light on the brilliance of this person:
“The Imams are from his descent, curative is the soil of his shrine, and triumph will be with him and the legatees of his line at his return, after their “Qa’em” (the Promised Saviour) and his (lengthy) occultation, until they take vengeance and avenge the blood of the martyrs, pleasing God and being the best of helpers… O Allah, bless Mohammad and his descendants and gather us at resurrection in his fold and settle us with him in the abode of dignity and permanence.”
Thus, in view of his dynamic move to sacrifice his life in the way of God, Imam Husain (AS) has been hailed as not only the Legatee of his grandfather, father, and brother but also the Legatee of the Prophets Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and others, for safeguarding humanitarian values and bequeathing them to humanity.
This is the among the reasons, the Islamic Republic of Iran every year marks the birthday of Imam Husain (AS) as “Rouz-e Pasdaraan” or Day of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) for their heroic defence of Islam and all humanitarian values against terrorists and terrorism of all kinds, including the state terrorism of reactionary regimes and the US.