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The Torch of Guidance and Ark of Salvation

The Torch of Guidance and Ark of Salvation

It is reported that on one occasion Imam Husayn alayhis-salam entered

into a room where Prophet Muhammad salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih was

present, and the latter welcome him by saying, "Welcome to you O Aba-

Abdillah, the beauty of the heavens and earths". It was said to the Prophet,

"How can anyone other than you be the beauty of the heavens and earths?"

Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih replied, "by He who sent me as a

messenger, Husayn is greater in the heavens than he is on earths. And it is

Husayn – The sacrifice for mankind


written on the right of the ‘Arsh “Throne”29 that, "Husayn is Torch of

Guidance and Ark of Salvation", and then Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhiwa-

aalih took the hand of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam and said, "O

people! This is Husayn son of Ali, so glorify him and favour him (over

others) Just as Allah has favoured him, for by He in whose hand is my

soul, his place is in the heavens, and the place of those who love him is

also in heaven, and the place of those who love them is also in heaven."

Imam Sadiq, alayhis-salam said, "My (grand) father is Qateel-al-‘Abarah

(the murder victim who brings tears to the eyes). The Imam was asked

what is Qateel-al-‘Abarah? The Imam replied, “He (Imam Husayn) is not

mentioned to a believer, unless he weeps for him."

The Choice of Allah

Imam Husayn used to say, "I want to enjoin good, and forbid evil, follow

the teachings of my grandfather (Rasulollah) and that of my father Ali ibn

Abi Talib, . . .". He wanted to take the Ummah (the Muslim Community)

from Evil to Good, and put a stop to Evil, he wanted to rescue the Ummah

from the low and miserable state they had settled in to honour and glory,

and this after the Muslim Ummah had accepted this deteriorated condition,

symbolised by its state of apathy, reliance on worldly matters, its silence to

oppression, and therefore the domination of tyrants such as Yazid and his

father and their likes over the realm of the Ummah. Imam Husayn

alayhis-salam wanted to spread and disseminate the spirit of Iman -

commitment and conviction - and Truth in amongst the Ummah so that it

could awaken once again; just as it was in the days of Rasulollah sallallahu-

alayhi-wa-aalih. For it was clear to him that the religion (of Islam)

was being distorted and deviated and he wanted to restore it afresh.

This is how Imam Husayn alayhis-salam became the Torch of guidance,

and Ark of salvation, and this is how he became the Choice of Allah

Almighty. It is reported from Imam Ali alayhis-salam that Rasulollah

salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih said,

“When I entered paradise30, I saw written on its door with gold, there is no

god but Allah, Muhammad is the Beloved One of Allah, Ali is Waliy-

29 ‘Arsh is the symbolic “Throne” of Allah in the heavens, just as the Ka‘bah in the holy city

of Makkah is referred to as the “House” of Allah.

30 . . . during one of many Me’raaj (Ascension to the heavens) that Rasulollah salla-llahualayhi-

wa-aalih made.

A glimpse from the ray of Imam Husayn


ullah, Fatima is Amatullah, Hasan and Husayn are the Choice of Allah,

and upon he who hates them be the Curse of Allah.”

Adherence to the Choice of Allah, and using the light of this Divine Torch,

will bring guidance in this world and salvation in the hereafter. This is

because the love of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam is associated with good

deeds, he is a torch who shows the path of the Truth to those who seek it,

and since by his sacred movement he – alayhis-salam – discriminates

between the path of Truth and the path of Falsehood. In his well-known

declaration on the day of Ashura, he states,

“If the religion of Muhammad were not to stand except by my killing, O

swords! Take me”.

Furthermore, Imam Husayn alayhis-salam is also the fifth member of the

As-hab al-Kissa, about whom the Purification verse was revealed; in the

statement of the Almighty:

{Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, Ahl-ul-Bayt

(Members of the Household), and to make you pure and spotless.}31

So by the evidence of the Qur’an, he is from the Ahl-ul-Bayt alayhum-assalam.

Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih said,

“To love me and my Ahl-ul-Bayt is valuable and beneficial on seven

occasions: whose fears are immense; at the time of death, in the grave, at

the time of resurrection, at the (time of evaluating one’s) Book of Deeds,

at the time of questioning, and at the time of weighing (one’s deeds of

good verses evil)”.

Truly Imam Husayn alayhis-salam is a Torch of guidance, and his light

continues to shine upon us with goodness and blessing; for it distinguishes

the path of the Truth from Falsehood at all times and ages, this is in

addition to the perpetual presence of his light in his Ma’soom descendent –

in the manifestation of his grandson Imam Mahdi may Allah hasten his

reappearance. In acknowledging the momentous sacrifice Imam Husayn

alayhis-salam made, and the colossal trial and tribulation he faced on the

day of Ashura, Allah Almighty fashioned the Imams – who are the

protectors of Islam – in amongst his descendents.

31 The Holy Qur’an, 33: 33.

Husayn – The sacrifice for mankind


The Severed Head of Imam Husayn

One of the miracles that Allah Almighty gave to Imam Husayn alayhissalam

was that his sacred severed head spoke as it was being carried from

Karbala – in Iraq – to Shaam – modern Syria – and back to Karbala where

it was buried in the grave where his sacred body had been buried. As

reported by numerous chroniclers and recorded in many history texts, in

the course of the entire passage of the women and children captives, with

which the heads of the martyrs of Karbala were also carried from Karbala

to Shaam and back, the sacred head of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam used

to recite the holy Qur’an, and this phenomenon proved instrumental in

guiding the people to Truth. The sacred head of Imam Husayn alayhissalam

also spoke in the court of the evil Yazid. When the sacred head of

Imam Husayn alayhis-salam arrived at the court of Yazid, amongst others,

the Roman envoy of the emperor of Rome was also present. After

realising that the captives were the women and children of the household

of the Prophet of Islam, and the head of the grandson of the Prophet was

amongst them, the Roman envoy protested to and rebuked Yazid, and said,

“Had we had a descendent of Jesus amongst us we would have honoured

him and glorified him”.

In response to this protest Yazid ordered the Roman envoy to be killed

immediately. The sacred head of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam said in a

loud voice, “there is no power but that of Allah”. At that occasion and at

every other occasion throughout the journey from Karbala to Shaam and

back, people were astonished to see and hear the sacred head of Imam

Husayn speaking, and they realised that this was no ordinary event but a

divine miracle, and Allah Almighty is showing them the realty of Imam

Husayn alayhis-salam. Such events revealed to the people the reality and

the significance of the hadith stated by Rasulollah salla-llahu-alayhi-waaalih,

“I leave behind two momentous weights, the Book of Allah and my

descendents the Ahl-ul-Bayt”

the people realised that the truth is with Imam Husayn alayhis-salam when

they saw the miracle of his sacred head speaking or reciting the holy


A glimpse from the ray of Imam Husayn


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