Hazrat Sayyiduna Imam Hussain (R.A) is the beloved son of Hazrat Sayyiduna Ali and Bibi Fatima (R.A) and the most beloved grandson of Rasoolullah (S.A.W).
He was born on the 5th of Sha'baan in the year 4 Al-Hijri. Our Beloved Prophet (S.A.W) gave the Azaan in his right ear and the Iqaamah in his left ear. He then placed his blessed saliva in the mouth of Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) and made Dua for him.
On the 7th day he was named Hussain and his Aqeeqa was performed. Rasoolullah (S.A.W) commanded Hazrat Bibi Fatima (R.A) to remove his hair and to give silver in charity equivalent to the weight of the hair.
Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) was without doubt a very handsome personality. From his chest down to his blessed feet he was the image of Rasoolullah (S.A.W), whereas his elder brother Hazrat Imam Hassan (R.A) was the image of Rasoolullah (S.A.W) from his chest up to his blessed head. The blessed face of Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) was so bright that it would even shine in the darkness of night.
Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) was taught by Rasoolullah (S.A.W), Hazrat Bibi Fatima (R.A) and Hazrat Ali (R.A). Holy Prophet (S.A.W) loved Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) due to his piety and pure heart.
The Beloved Rasool (S.A.W) was also aware that the time would come when his beloved grandson would save the Ummah from destruction at the hands of a corrupt and tyrant leader.
Rasoolullah (S.A.W) loved Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) dearly. Hazrat Umar Farooq (R.A) said, “Once, when I presented myself in the court of Rasoolullah (S.A.W) I saw that he was walking on his knees carrying Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) on his blessed back.
When I saw this, I said, “Your mode of transport is most splendid. On hearing this, the Beloved Rasool (S.A.W) replied, “O Umar, the passenger is also very splendid.””
Hazrat Ya'la bin Marwaa (R.A) reports that Rasoolullah (S.A.W) said, “Hussain is from me and I am from Hussain. Whosoever has kept Hussain as his beloved, Allah is his beloved.”
Hazrat Jaabir ibn Abdullah (R.A) states, “I heard from Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), “Whosoever wishes to see the leader of Paradise, he should look at Hussain ibn Ali (R.A).””
Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) was a very kind, gentle, generous, merciful and Allah-fearing personality. He always cared for the poor and oppressed, assisted the helpless, gave comfort to those in pain and sorrow and showed great love and affection towards orphans. He was the embodiment of the character of his grandfather Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (S.A.W) and of his blessed parents.
His tolerance and patience was also exemplary. This was manifested by the fact that his martyrdom had been foretold by the Beloved Rasool (S.A.W) and even though he was aware of this, he still made Sabr and waited for the Will of Allah (S.W.T) to take its course. Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) was also blessed with bravery of the highest degree and this bravery and fearlessness was manifested on many occasions, particularly during the Battle of Karbala.
The following incidents should give us a glimpse of the exemplary personality of Hazrat Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (R.A):
Once, Hazrat Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (R.A) wrote some words in calligraphy on a blackboard. After they had completed writing, they both told each other that the other's writing was better. They could not come to an agreement as to whose writing was better, so they took their work to Hazrat Ali (R.A) and asked him to make the decision.
He looked at their work and asked them to take it to their mother Hazrat Bibi Fatima (R.A). She looked at their work and said that the best person to make such a decision would be their beloved grandfather Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (S.A.W).
Both brothers then went to the court of the Beloved Rasool (S.A.W), who looked at their work and said, “This decision will be made by Hazrat Jibra’il (A.S).
Immediately Hazrat Jibra’il (A.S) appeared and said, “O Prophet of Allah, this decision will be made by Almighty Allah (S.W.T).” Thus Almighty Allah commanded Hazrat Jibra’il (A.S) to take an apple from Jannat and to drop it over their boards. The best piece of work will be that on which the apple will fall.
Hazrat Jibra’il (A.S) then did as commanded and dropped the apple over the boards. The apple fell and split into two equal pieces, half on the board of Hazrat Imam Hassan and half on the board of Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A).
Subhaanallah! This showed that both of their calligraphic writing was equal. It also shows us what excellence has been bestowed on the grandsons of Rasoolullah (S.A.W) that the decision concerning their writing is made in the Divine Court of Almighty Allah (S.W.T).
Once, Hazrat Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (R.A) had gone outside for a long time and Hazrat Bibi Fatima (R.A) became very worried. She was still thinking about where the children might have gone when the Beloved Rasool (S.A.W) arrived at her home. She immediately asked her beloved father, “Ya Rasoolullah (S.A.W), Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain cannot be found. They have gone out and we do not know their whereabouts.”
Just then, Hazrat Jibra’il (A.S) descended and said, “Ya Rasoolullah (S.A.W), there is nothing to worry about. Both the children are at a certain place and Almighty Allah has appointed angels to protect them.”
On hearing this, Rasoolullah (S.A.W) went to the spot pointed out by Hazrat Jibra’il (A.S) and He (S.A.W) saw that both the beloved grandsons were resting and an angel had one of his wings under them and was shading them with the other wing. The Beloved Rasool (S.A.W) kissed both of them and carried them home to Hazrat Bibi Fatima (R.A).
Once a Bedouin presented himself in the court of Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) and said, “I heard your beloved grandfather (S.A.W) say that when one is in need of anything, then one should request this from one of four persons; either from a pious Arab, or from a pious master, or from a Hafizul Qur'an, or from a graceful person, and all these four qualities are found in you in the highest form.
The reason for this, is that if the entire Arabia received piety, it is through your blessed family, and generosity is your beautiful quality; as for the Qur'an, this was revealed in your home and concerning your gracefulness, I heard your beloved grandfather (S.A.W) say, “If you wish to see me, then look at Hassan and Hussain.””
Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) listened to his words and then said, “I heard my beloved grandfather Rasoolullah (S.A.W) saying, “Piety is according to one's knowledge.” I will thus ask you three religious questions. I have with me this bag. If you answer one question I shall give you one third of what is in the bag; if you answer two, then I shall give you half of what is in this bag and if you answer all the questions, then I shall give you all of what is in the bag.”
Bedouin was very pleased and requested Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) to present the questions. He asked, “Which action is the most exalted amongst all actions?”
The Bedouin replied, “To bring faith in Allah.” Imam Hussain (R.A) then asked, “What protects a servant from destruction?”
He answered, “In having complete trust (faith) in Allah.” Imam Hussain (R.A) then asked, “What is that through which a servant attains his splendour?” He answered, “By knowledge which is accompanied with good deeds.”
He asked, “And if one does not have this quality?” He answered, “He should have that wealth in which there is generosity.” He then asked, “And what if one does not have such wealth?” He said, “He should be patient in his poverty.”
Imam Hussain (R.A) then asked, “And what if someone is not in such poverty (where he is patient)?” The Bedouin replied, “Then he should be struck by a bolt of lightning.” On hearing these answers, Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) smiled and gave him the entire bag.
Once Hazrat Imam Hassan, Hazrat Imam Hussain and Hazrat Abdullah ibn Jaafar (R.A) had gone together on Hajj. On their way, the camel which was carrying food, water and belongings went astray and was left far behind.
They came to a shack belonging to a very old woman. All three of them went over to the shack and told the woman that they were very thirsty and asked if she could spare them something to drink. The old woman kindly milked her goats and presented the goats milk for them to drink.
They then kindly asked if she had anything for them to eat. The old woman said that the food was not prepared but if they wished to wait, she would slaughter the goat and cook it for them. They thus agreed to wait. The goat was slaughtered and the old woman cooked a delicious meal.
All of them happily partook in the meal, and on leaving they informed the old woman that they were of the Quraish tribe and they invited her to visit them in Medina Shareef, so that they may return her generous favour. The three of them then continued on their journey. Her husband came home later that day and found that she had cooked the goat. He was very angry that she had fed the goat to people she did not even know.
Some time passed and both the old woman and her husband became very poor. They travelled to Medina Munawwarah where they earned very little money gathering and selling camel droppings. Once while she was walking in Medina Shareef, Hazrat Imam Hassan (R.A) spotted her. He immediately went up to her and asked if she recognized him.
The old woman said that she could not and Imam Hassan (R.A) explained to her that he was amongst those who stopped at her shack and partook in a meal which she provided for them. On hearing this she was very pleased and she informed Hazrat Imam Hassan (R.A) of her situation.
Hazrat Imam Hassan (R.A) took her to his home and gave her one thousand goats and one thousand dinars in cash. He then asked his servant to take her to the home of Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A). Imam Hussain (R.A) asked her what her brother had given her, and he too blessed her with one thousand goats and one thousand dinars.
Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) then asked his servant to take her to the home of Hazrat Abdullah ibn Jaafar (R.A). He was very pleased to see her and asked what both Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (R.A) had given her. She replied that all together they had given her two thousand goats and two thousand dinars. On hearing this he gave her two thousand goats and two thousand dinars.
The old woman was now very pleased, and took the four thousand goats and four thousand dinars and went to her husband. She presented these to him and said, “This is a gift from that generous family to whom I had fed one goat.” Subhaanallah! What generosity did Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) and his family possess.
May Allah (S.W.T) grant us the Taufeeq to instil in us; and our children the beautiful qualities possessed by Hazrat Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain(R.A) Ameen.