Among the tenets of the Imamite faith is that only he can be the successor of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) who is protected from errors and is free from faults. He must also be secure from sins and rebellion;the reason being that the successor of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is a guardian of the religion and Shariah. As a representative of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), an Imam conveys the laws and doctrine of Islam and if needed, explains and elaborates them. Just as Allah did not reveal the religion of Islam through fallible and ordinary individuals – otherwise they would twist and fabrica its message to suit their ulterior motives, similarly Allah – in His Infinite Wisdom – decided to select infallible and immaculate representatives for conveying the content and matter of the Holy Quran. The life of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was to last only for sixty three years while the religion of Islam is to survive till the Day of Qiyamat. Thus, it was necessary that like the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), his successors too should be infallible, free from disobedience and unwavering before their carnal desires and in all the ups and downs of life. Only such a person will be trusted and followed by the people. If instead, an ordinary human was entrusted with this responsibility (of guiding the people), who would ensure that we would not succumb to the politics of his time while guiding the community?
Desire for fame, craving for power, following of desires and their like have no role to play and should be kept aside while propagating and explaining the message of Islam. Hence, on various occasions, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – in accordance with the divine command – selected twelve infallible Imams (a.s.) as his successors so that religion remains safe from innovation and selfish desires. This series of infallible Imams (a.s.) begins with Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn AbiTalib (a.s.) and concludes with Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) who as per the explicit instructions of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is the vital link between the Holy Quran and the Islamic nation and an invaluable trust among the people.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), through a well known tradition known as Hadees-e-Saqalain, has informed us that the Majestic Quran and his Ahle Bait (a.s.) shall never be separated from each other. Holy Quran is the miracle of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) whereas the Imams (a.s.) are his progeny. The progeny of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) are the embodiment of the Holy Quran and at the same time, the Holy Quran too introduces them explicitly. The progeny of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) implemented the Quranic injunctions and teachings in daily life. It denotes the silent words of Allah whereas the Ahlebait (a.s.) are the speaking Quran. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is succeeded by twelve Imams of which Imam Husain (a.s.) is the third. Imam Husain (a.s.) destroyed the conspiracies of Yazid and his ideology against Islam till the Day of Judgment, sacrificing himself (a.s.) as well as his family members. As per a saying of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), the Holy Quran and Imam Husain (a.s.) are the axis of guidance. We find the attributes of Imam Husain (a.s.) in the Holy Quran just as we find the attributes of the Holy Quran in his (a.s.) sacred being. This is precisely the reason why the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) declared:
“Husain is from me and I am from Husain”
Let us now see how Holy Quran and Imam Husain (a.s.) epitomize each other.
l The existence of Imam Husain (a.s.) is akin to the Word of Allah (Quran). The Word of Allah (Quran) is mute while Imam Husain (a.s.) is the verbal and speaking Quran.
l Both are a trust of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) among his nation. However, in case of Imam Husain (a.s.), he made a special arrangement by making him ascend the pulpit along with him and declaring:
“O People! This is Husain Ibn Ali. Recognize him carefully and choose him over all others.”
(Behaar-ul-Anwaar vol. 43 pg. 262, Amaali-e-Sadooq, Majlis 87 pg. 478, MuntakhabTuraihi vol. 1, pg. 117)
He (s.a.w.a.) then said:
“O Allah! I entrust him to you and to the righteous ones from my nation.”
(Behaar-ul-Anwaar vol. 45 pg.118, MaseerulAhzaan pg. 72, Amaali-e-Toosi vol. 1 pg. 258)
Imam Husain (a.s.) & Quran – Always together
In excellences, lofty characteristics and virtues, Imam Husain (a.s.) is equal to the Holy Quran.
1. The Holy Quran is guidance for men, a miracle of the last prophet (s.a.w.a.) and a means of distinction between right and wrong. Imam Husain (a.s.) too is a means of guidance for the people, among the signs of Allah and a criteria for differentiating between truth and falsehood.
(Behaar-ul-Anwaar vol. 32, pg. 205, Kamaaluddin vol. 1, pg. 265)
2. The Holy Quran was revealed in the night of Qadr. The night of the birth of Imam Husain (a.s.) is similar to the night of Qadr(Surah Qadr:1) (when angels descend as per the instructions of Allah.) In the night of his (a.s.) birth too, Rooh-ul-Ameen Janabe Jibraeel (a.s.) along with a group of angles descended on the house of revelation to offer their congratulations.
(Behaar-ul-Anwaar vol. 43, pg. 243, Amaali-e-Sadooq, Majlis 28,pg. 118)
3. On the Day of Judgment, the Holy Quran shall intercede for those who were particular in its recitation.
(Behaar-ul-Anwaar vol.74, pg. 177, A’alaamudDeen pg. 102)
Imam Husain (a.s.) too shall intercede for those who visit his grave and mourn over his afflictions.
(Behaar-ul-Anwaar vol. 44, pg. 281, Amaali-e-Toosi vol. 1 pg. 54)
4. With respect to eloquence and its profound concepts and meanings, the Noble Quran is a miracle. The entire personality of Imam Husain (a.s.)– even the sacred dust of Karbala- is a miracle personified. This is manifested regularly in the different corners of the world from the things attributed to him (a.s.).
5. The newness and freshness of Holy Quran is perpetual due to which its reciter never tires of it recitation. So is the remembrance of Imam Husain (a.s.). The narrations of the events of Karbala and the oppression heaved on him (a.s.) and his progeny neither tires the narrator nor the listener.
6. Reciting, looking and listening to the recitation of Holy Quran are acts of devotion. So is the recitation of elegies on Imam Husain (a.s.), participating in Majaalis (gatherings), mourning, trying to mourn, making people weep over his sacrifices – are all acts of worship and entitled for divine rewards.
(Behaar-ul-Anwaar vol. 44, pg. 289, KaamiluzZiyaarat, ch 33, page 106)
7. It is incumbent upon the Muslims to preserve the sanctity of the Holy Quran, not to disrespect it and not to touch it except in a state of purity.
Similarly, it is obligatory upon the Muslims to respect and revere Imam Husain (a.s.) – as per the instructions of Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.). However, the Muslims did not heed this instruction.They humiliated him, soiled the earth with his (a.s.) blood and sold their religion by killing him – all for a paltry sum and the promise of governorship of the city of Rayy – which never materialised.In their lust for money and power, they smeared their hands with blood and perpetuated such a heinous crime.
(Behaar-ul-Anwaar vol. 44 , pg. 384, Maqtal Khwarizmi, vol. 1, pg. 239)
Imam Husain (a.s.) and the Virtues of Surah Al-Hamd
All the excellences mentioned for Surah Al-Hamd also stand true for Imam Husain (a.s.). Let us take a look and analyse:
1. Surah Al-Hamd is called as Ummul Kitaab – the Mother of the Book. Imam Husain (a.s.) also is called as Abul Aimmah – the Father of the Imams (a.s.).
(Behaar-ul-Anwaar vol. 43, pg. 295, ManaqibShahrAshoob, vol. 3, pg. 226)
2. Surah Al-Hamd contains treasures of obedience. Imam Husain (a.s.) is the means of salvation.
(Behaar-ul-Anwaar vol. 44, pg. 242,Muntakhab Turaihi, vol. 1, pg. 48)
3. Surah Al-Hamd is also called as Waafiyah i.e. one who fulfils the promise. Imam Husain (a.s.) also shall provide the basis of forgiveness (of his Shias).
4. Surah Al-Hamd is an intercessor whereas the dust of Imam Husain (a.s.)’s grave has curing powers.
(Behaar-ul-Anwaar vol. 44, pg. 221, Amaali-e-Toosi vol. 1 pg.324-325)
5. Surah Al-Hamd is termed as Kaafiyah i.e. the sufficient. The love of Imam Husain (a.s.) too is sufficient (for deliverance).
6. Surah Al-Hamd represents the entire Quran (in context). Imam Husain (a.s.) is identical and equivalent to the Quran (according to Hadees-e-Saqlain)
7. Surah Al-Hamd has seven verses and is called as Sab’un’ min al-Masaani since it was revealed twice. Imam Husain (a.s.) too enjoys this position because he descended twice from the sky and ascended twice. Like other Imams (a.s.) and the Prophets (a.s.), his soul descended towards the earth at the time of his blessed birth and ascended towards the heavens on his martyrdom. However, the sacred body of Imam Husain (a.s.) too was taken to the skies and brought back. This excellence is particular only to Imam Husain (a.s.). We find in traditions that after the soldiers of Yazid (l.a) had killed Imam Husain (a.s.), they raised his severed head on a spear and took it towards Kufa. On the way, the angels descended from the skies and took his blessed body in the same bloodied condition to the fifth heaven and placed it next to the image of Hazrat Ali (a.s.). When the inhabitants of the skies saw his holy body smeared in blood, they began cursing his killers.After that the angels returned his body to the earth.
(Behaar-ul-Anwaar vol. 45, pg. 229, Kitaabul Mohtazar pg. 126-127)
8. If one recites Surah Al-Hamd while keeping its apparent and hidden meaning in mind and is convinced of the same, Allah will grant him goodness better than the entire world.
(Behaar-ul-Anwaar vol. 89, pg.228, Majma’ul Bayaan, vol. 1 pg. 18, Uyoon-o-Akhbaar al-Reza (a.s.), vol. 1, pg. 302)
Similarly, the one who remembers and mourns Imam Husain (a.s.), then for every drop of tear, Allah shall give him a reward better than this world and whatever is in it. And one who goes for his (a.s.) Ziyaarat, then for every word, Allah will give him a reward better than this world.
(Kaamil al-Ziyaarat of Ibn Qoolwayh (r.a.))
Finally, we hope that the above mentioned points awaken the intellect of every Muslim who believes in the Majestic Quran and follows the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and compels him to ponder on the greatness and eminence of Imam Husain (a.s.) in the light of the noble verses of Holy Quran.
O Allah! Keep us steadfast on the right path, grant us the grace to conduct ourselves according to the teachings of Holy Quran and Ahlebait (a.s.), hasten the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s) and include us among his servants. Aameen!!