22 Aug 2011 09:00 GMT
Please tell me about al-Husayn and the position that Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamâ`ah takes about his being killed.

Answered by

Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî, former professor at al-Imâm University in Riyadh

Our beloved al-Husayn b. `Alî was the grandson of our Prophet (peace be upon him) and his most preferred person in this life. He had a closer physical resemblance to the Prophet (peace be upon him) than anyone else. He and his brother al-Hasan are the leaders of the youth of Paradise, may Allah be pleased with them both.

Al-Husayn was the son of the Commander of the Faithful `Ali b. Abî Tâlib (may Allah be pleased with him), one who loved Allah and his Messenger and whom in turn Allah and his Messenger loved. We should mention that feeling love for `Alî is part of faith and hating him is hypocrisy.

Al-Husayn was the son of the most pious and honored woman, the most noble of the world’s women, Fâtimah, the daughter of our Prophet (peace be upon him). He was among the best of the Prophet’s family, whom Allah has purified. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said for their favor: “Remember Allah in the members of my family.”

He is our distinguished leader and the grandson of our Prophet (peace be upon him). We love him and believe that loving him is an integral part of faith and a means of nearness to Allah. His grandfather, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The man will accompany the one whom he loves on the day of Judgment”. Whoever loves him loves the Prophet (peace be upon him) and whoever dislikes him dislikes the Prophet (peace be upon him).

We believe he was oppressively and wrongly killed. We disavow ourselves of everyone who shared in his murder, whether by hand, by speech, or by mere acceptance. On the other hand, we believe what happened to him is an honor given to him by Allah to increase his degree and his dwelling in the Hereafter. This is the true application of what his grandfather (peace be upon him) said: “The people who undergo the greatest trials are the prophets, then the best, and then the best”. For what happened to him, Allah elevated him to the rank of the martyrs and reunited him with the best of his family members who had already patiently endured several types of persecution at the dawn of Islam. Al-Husayn, like those before him, underwent persecution and patiently endured. Allah crowned his suffering with martyrdom. Allah has placed levels in the Hereafter that can never be attained without passing severe trials, and al-Husayn was one of those successful people.

Muslims never suffered since the killing of al-Husayn, a greater calamity. Upon remembering such a calamity, we can only say what was said by his virtuous daughter Fâtimah, who witnessed her father’s death. She had heard this statement from her father, al-Husayn, who in turn heard it from his grandfather the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Whoever suffers a calamity then remember it later on, even after a long time, then says what he should say upon calamity: To Allah we belong and to Him is our return, Allah will reward him with a reward equal to the reward when the calamity first occurred.”

Therefore, we say: To Allah we belong and to Him is our return, hoping to be among those about whom Allah says: “But give glad tidings to those who patiently preservers, who say, when afflicted with calamity: To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return. They are those on whom (descend) blessings amd mercy from their Lord. And they are the ones that receive guidance.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 155-157]

With all the love that we have for this great man, we do not like to exceed the limit set by his grandfather (peace be upon him) when he said: “Do not praise me as Christians praised Jesus, the son of Mary. I am only a servant. Call me the servant and Messenger of Allah.”

We do not glorify him with any praise that should be reserved only for Allah. We do not offer him supplications or ask him for assistance. We do not take the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his family as partners with Allah, like the Christians did with Jesus (peace be upon him) and his mother. Moreover, we do not ascribe to the members of the Prophet’s family any attributes that are exclusive attributes of prophets, such as infallibility and the right to dictate religious legislation.

While we know that they were among the best of people and that they most faithfully transmitted the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to us, we know at the same time that they were normal people. They never relied on their close relation to the Prophet (peace be upon him), but were the strictest people in adherence to Islam and in carrying out their religious duties. Al-Husayn’s son `Alî, known as Zayn al-`Abdîn, said: “I hope Allah will reward the good among us doubly, but I fear He will punish the evil among us doubly as well.”

We will not disobey al-Husayn’s grandfather (peace be upon him) by doing what he forbade us to do. He forbade us to wail, strike our faces, and tear our clothes in grief and affliction. He instructed us that such actions are the behavior of the people of ignorance. Hamzah, the uncle of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was killed and then mutilated and the Prophet (peace be upon him) never suffered a similar affliction after that day. However, he never commemorated that day with wailing and grief.

`Ali never did anything like that on the day of the Prophet’s death (peace be upon him). Al-Hasan and al-Husayn never made something special out of the day of their father’s death. We also follow the guidance of Imam `Ali and his sons al-Hasan and al-Husayn and do not practice any wailing or self-affliction on the day of al-Husayn’s death. Allah says: “Those were the (prophets) who received Allah’s guidance. Follow the guidance they received” [Sûrah al-An`âm: 90]

Regarding the day of `Ashûrâ’, we know it is a day in which Allah saved Moses (peace be upon him) and his people. Moses fasted that day out of gratitude to Allah and our Prophet (peace be upon him) did the same. We also fast that day to follow the Sunnah of our Prophet (peace be upon him).

It is indeed the day in which our beloved Imam al-Husayn was killed for which we bear in patience and seek reward from Allah for our calamity. We have a great opportunity on this day as we celebrate the day Allah saved Moses (peace be upon him) and we bear patiently our misfortune on the same day.

The same thing applies to the 17th day of Ramadan. It is the day Allah granted victory to the Muslims in the battle of Badr and it is the day when our beloved Imam `Alî was killed. Moreover, we remember Monday, the day our Prophet (peace be upon him) was born and the day he had died. We feel on these occasions two kinds of feelings, happiness and sadness. On the day of `Ashurâ’ we fast in thanking Allah for saving Moses (peace be upon him) and at the same time we feel sadness for the killing of our beloved al-Husayn. But, we say nothing other than what Allah guides us to say in such circumstances: “To Allah we belong and to Him is our return.”

Finally, it seems from your letter that you seek the truth about this issue. So, I advise you to be as the brilliant Imam `Alî who was very young when he spurned all the practices of the people of ignorance and followed the Prophet (peace be upon him) despite the few followers that Islam had at that time and despite the desperate weakness of the Muslims. He spent his youth, strength, and all his life with the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Source: Islam Today

-- Al Arabiya Digital