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Dream of Ummul Fadl

Lady Ummul Fadl, the daughter of Harith[3] had a strange dream and she did not 

[1] Detailed chapter on the holy birth Abu Muhammad (a.s.) is given in our book life of Imam Hasan (a.s.) 1/49-56

[2] Ibne Qutaybah, al-Ma’rif, Pg. 158

[3] Ummul Fadl Lubaba, the elder was the wife of Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib. She was the first lady after Her Eminence, Khadija binte Khuwailid to accept Islam in Mecca. She had such an honorable position near the Prophet (a.s.) that His Eminence used to visit her to see her and take rest and afternoon nap in her house. She has narrated many traditions from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). She was the mother of Abbas’s six children, namely, Fadl, Abdullah, Ubaidullah, Qatham, Abdur Rahman and Umme Habiba.

Abdullah Ibne Yazid has said about her:

No lady in the mountains or plains we know of to have given birth to such six issues.

Like the six children born from the womb of Ummul, Fadl. Consider them worthy of honor and also her husband.

Who is the uncle of the Prophet Mustafa, who possessed merits and is the seal of Prophets and the best of the Messengers.

Her biography is present in all books like Tabaqat-e-Kubra 7/278, Al-Isabah 4/464 and al-Istiab.

have any idea about its interpretation. Thus she came to the Messenger of Allah (s) and asked His Eminence: “I had a very strange dream: that a piece of your flesh fell into my lap.”

The Messenger of Allah (s) dispelled her fears and gave her good news saying:

“You have seen something good! Allah willing, Fatima will give birth to a boy that shall be given in your arms.”

Days passed swiftly and Fatima, the chief of the ladies, gave birth to Imam Husain (‘a) and the newborn child was given in the lap of Ummul Fadl just as the Messenger of Allah (s) had informed.[1]

The Holy Prophet (s) remained waiting for the rise of the newborn star as the life of his beloved child was being illuminated by it. He was his favorite grandchild and the most beloved of those whom he left behind.

The Blessed Birth

The Chief of the ladies of the world gave birth to such a great child that no daughter of Eve had ever done either before the time of Prophethood nor after him. He was the one who reached such heights of greatness that no one bestowed greater blessings or grace on humanity more than him. Thus there was none purer, cleaner and more prominent than him.

The world became illuminated with him and the humanity, along with its whole progeny, became blessed. Muslims were proud of him and considered his remembrance worthy and every year they express pride in him.

The Ministry of Endowments in Egypt holds celebrations in the Husaini Mosque to commemorate the birth of the Holy Imam and considers this a great and a very significant occasion just as most of Islamic areas hold celebrations in this regard.

This joyful news spread over the horizon of Medina. Mothers of the believers (wives of the Prophet) and other Muslim ladies hastened to the residence of the chief of the ladies and congratulated her about the newborn child and participated in her joy. 

[1] Mustadrak Sahihain 3/176 and in Musnad Firdausi Ummul Fadl says: I saw as a limb of the Prophet was in my house. Thus I became worried about it and I went to His Eminence and related the matter to him.

His Eminence said: Yes, it is like that only. Thus Fatima gave birth to Husain, then I gave milk to him till the milk was over.

And in Tarikh Khamis 1/418 it has come that this dream had occurred before the birth of Imam Hasan (a.s.)

Grief and weeping of the Holy Prophet (s)

When the news of his grandson’s birth was conveyed to him, His Eminence, immediately hastened to his dearest Fatima (‘a) in such a condition that his steps were heavy and grief and sorrow had enveloped him. Then in a choked voice he called out: “O Asma! Get me my child!”

Asma handed over the child to him. The Holy Prophet took him in his arms and kissed him again and again while all the time he was weeping. Asma became worried and asked: “May my parents be sacrificed on you, why are you lamenting?”

The Holy Prophet (s) replied with his eyes filled with tears: “I am weeping for this son of mine.”

She was astonished to hear this and she could not understand the motive behind this. She asked: “He has just stepped into the world!”

The Messenger of Allah (s) replied to her in an aggrieved tone: “An unjust group shall slay him after me, may the Almighty Allah deprive them of my intercession.”

After that he stood up in a sad mood and told Asma secretly: “Do not convey this to Fatima as she has just come out of labor…”[1]

The Holy Prophet (s) emerged from the house in a sorrowful mood because he had received the information from the unseen about the calamities that were to befall the child in the future; such calamities as could shake the complete life of every living person.

Year of Imam Husain’s (‘a) birth

The grandson of the Prophet (s) was born in the 4th year of the Hijri calendar[2] and elsewhere the year is also mentioned to be the 3rd year of the Hijri calendar.[3] Narrators also differ as to the month of his birth and most of them consider it to be the month of Shaban and on the 5th day of the month.[4] Some of them have not specified the day of his birth and said he was born after a few nights of Shaban had 

[1] Musnad Imam Zaid, Pg. 468 and in Amali of Saduq, Pg. 199 it is mentioned that the Holy Prophet took Husain in his arms after he was born while he wept. Then he handed over the child to Safiya binte Abdul Muttalib saying: May Allah curse the people who shall be your slayers. And he repeated this thrice. Safiya asked: May my parents be sacrificed on you! Who would slay him? He replied, “A group of Bani Umayyad oppressors.”

[2] Ibne Asakir, Biography of Imam Husain (a.s.), Pg. 38. Tahdhib al-Asma 1/163. Maqatilut Talibeen, Pg. 84. Maqrizi, Khattat 2/285. Bustani, Dairatul Ma’rif 7/48. Jauharatul Kalaam Fi Madhis Saadaatil A’laam, Pg. 116. Al-Ifaadah Fil Tarikhul Aimmatil Saadah by Yahya bin al-Husain (died 424 A.H.) from photocopy at Imam Hakim Library. Ad-Dhariyatut Taahira from written manuscript at Amirul Momineen Public Library, Majma az-Zawaid 9/194. Usud al-Ghaba 2/18. Al-Irshad, Pg. 198

[3] Usul al-Kafi 1/463. Maqrizi, Khattat 2/285. Al-Istiab (Printed on the margins of al-Isabah) 1/392

[4] Tibrani, al-Mojam al-Kabir from manuscripts of Amirul Momineen Library. Tohfatul Azhar Zilaalul Anhaar from manuscripts at Imam Kashiful Ghita Public Library. Maqrizi, Khattat 2/285

passed.[1] While some historians have ignored this and just state that he was born in Shaban and they are all unanimous in this.[2]

Some elders also say that His Eminence was born at the end of the Rabi I, but this view is against the established one, so we must not pay any attention to it.[3]

Birth ceremonies of Imam Husain (‘a)

The Messenger of Allah (s) personally performed the religious ceremonies of the blessed newborn child and carried out the following rituals:

First: Azan and Iqamah

The Messenger of Allah (s) took the blessed child in his arms and in his right ear recited the Azan and in his left ear recited the Iqamah.[4] And it is mentioned in narrations that: “This ritual protects the newborn child from the accursed Shaitan.”[5]

The first voice to reach the ears of Husain (‘a) was that of his grandfather, the Holy Prophet (s) who was the first to have turned towards God and called the people towards Him and his slogan was: “Allah is the Greatest. There is no god except Allah…”

The Holy Prophet (s) inculcated these words into the soul of his grandson; words, which were the essence of faith and reality of Islam and he imbibed these things into the newborn child and taught him about them. They became a part of his elements and basics of his existence. He became absolutely devoted to these concepts in every aspect of his life. Thus he hastened towards the field of Jihad and sacrificed everything so that this formula of faith may be exalted on the earth and powers of righteousness and goodness may become dominant and signs of apostasy of ignorance that were trying to put out the divine light may be subjugated and destroyed.


Second: Naming

The Holy Prophet (s) named the child ‘Husain’ just as he had named his brother, ‘Hasan’.[6] Historians state that Arabs were not aware of these names during the period of ignorance till the Prophet named his grandsons thus. Rather the Holy 

[1] Imtaul Asma, Pg. 187. Usud al-Ghaba 2/18. Ad-Dhariyatut Taahira, Pg. 101

[2] Fathul Bari in the chapter of Virtues of al-Hasan and al-Husain (a.s.) 7/75

[3] Al-Muqna, Pg. 467, At Tahdhib 6/41, Ad Durus 2/8

[4] Kashful Ghumma 2/3, Tohfatul Azhar wa Zilaalul Anhaar

[5] Ali (a.s.) has narrated that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, “For the newborn child you must recite the Azan in his right ear and the Iqamah in his left because it is a protection against the accursed Satan.” And he told Ali (a.s.) to perform this ritual for Hasan and Husain, that is to recite the Azan, the Iqamah, Surah Fatiha, Ayatul Kursi, last verses of Surah Hashr, Surah Ikhlas and Surahs Falaq and Naas. This is mentioned in Daimul Islam 1/148

[6] ar-Riyazun Nazarah

Prophet (s) gave them these names on the basis of divine revelation.[1]

Later this honorable name became synonymous for one who spread knowledge and faith on the earth and his remembrance enveloped all languages of the world and people became devoted to him. So much so that in their view it become a holy slogan for all the high examples and a slogan for every sacrifice that was based on truth and justice.

Statements opposed to facts

Some historical and traditional sources have, in different ways, reported this matter but they are not free of doubtful authenticity. They are as follows:

1 – It is that Hani bin Hani narrated from Ali (‘a) that he said: “When Hasan was born the Messenger of Allah (s) arrived and asked: ‘What have you named my child as?’ I said: ‘I have named him Harb.’ He said: ‘Rather he is Hasan.’ And when Husain was born the Prophet asked: ‘What have you named my son as?’ I said: ‘I have named him Harb.’ He said: ‘Rather he is Husain.’ And when the third child was born the Holy Prophet (s) came and asked: ‘What have you named my son as?’ I told him: ‘Harb.’ He said: ‘Rather he is Mohsin.’”[2]

In our view this report is not correct, because:

A – Since the Ahle Bayt (‘a) were deeply rooted in Islamic culture and absolutely observant of every law that is related to it, they could not name child with a name associated with the Age of Ignorance and was from the signs of backwardness and decadence. More than this, this name Harb was well known as the name of the Progenitor of the Umayyad clan who were the representatives of animosity and oppression against the religion of Islam. Thus how can the Imam name his son as such?

B – The objection of the Holy Prophet (s) from naming his eldest grandson by that name should have restrained the Imam from again giving the same name to his other sons.

C – Mohsin, according to the unanimity of the historians, was not born during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (s). Rather he was miscarried a few days after the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (s).

The above reasons prove that this narration is nothing more than a false claim and it has no authenticity.

2 – Ahmad bin Hanbal from his chains have narrated from Imam Ali (‘a) that he said: “When Hasan was born to me I named him after my uncle Hamzah and when Husain was born I named him after my brother Ja’far. However the Messenger of 

[1] Usud al-Ghaba 2/9, And in Tarikhul Khulafa, Pg. 188, Imran bin Sulaiman has narrated that: Hasan and Husain are two names from the people of Paradise that the Arabs were oblivious off during the Age of Ignorance

[2] Nihayatul Arab 18/213, Al-Istiab 1/384, Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 2/296. Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad 1/158

Allah (s) summoned me and told me: ‘The Almighty Allah has commanded me change the names of these two and to name them as Hasan and Husain.’”[1]

This narration is also weak like the previous one because the naming of these two grandsons took place only a short while after their birth according to the widely known historical records and no one has seconded the claim of Ahmad bin Hanbal.

3 – Tibrani has narrated through his chains of narrators from Ali (‘a) that he said: “When Husain was born, I named him after my brother, Ja’far. But the Messenger of Allah (s) called me and told me to name him as ‘Husain’.”[2]

This report is also weak like the previous two narration reports because His Eminence, Amirul Momineen (‘a) did not take precedence in naming the grandson and beloved one of the Prophet over the Prophet himself. It was the Prophet (s) himself who, as is well known, named him as such. The traditions of Ahle Bayt (‘a) are unanimous upon it.

Third: Aqiqa Ceremony

Seven days, after the birth of the grandson of the Prophet (s), His Eminence issued instructions that a sheep be sacrificed in Aqiqa for him and its meat be distributed to the poor people and also ordered that a leg of mutton be given to the midwife[3] and this ritual became a recommended act of Islamic faith.

Fourth: Shaving of the head of Imam Husain (‘a)

In the same way, the Holy Prophet (s) ordered to shave the head of his newborn grandson and in proportion of the hair shaved equivalent weight of silver be distributed among the poor.[4] The weight of it came to be one and a half dirham,[5] on the basis of what has come down in traditional reports. Then his head was anointed with perfume of saffron and other materials. The Prophet (s) prohibited the ritual of applying the blood of the slaughtered animal to the head of the newborn child.[6]

Fifth: Circumcision

The Holy Prophet (s) instructed his Ahle Bayt to have the newborn child circumcised on the seventh day of its birth. The Prophet (s) has recommended 

[1] Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, 1/257

[2] Tibrani, Al-Mojamul Kabir, 3/10

[3] Musnad Imam Zaid, Pg.468, Tohfatul Azhaar wa Zilaalul Anhaar. And in the book Dhariatut Tahira, pg. 122. It is narrated from Ayesha that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) sacrificed a sheep each in Aqiqa ceremony of both Hasan and Husain on the seventh day of their birth and ordered that it be sacrificed in their names and the following be recited at that time: In the name of Allah. O Allah it is for you and towards you this Aqiqa of so and so. This tradition is quoted by Hakim in his Mustadrak (4/237) and said that its narrators are in large number and it is weak since it is well-known among the jurisprudents that it is recommended to slaughter only one sheep for each child.

[4] Ar-Riyadh Nazarah, Tirmidhi, Sahih, Nurul Absar, Pg. 253

[5] Daimul Islam 2/187

[6] Bihar 43/239

circumcision in this young age because it is purest and cleanest for him.[1]

Attention of the Prophet (s) towards Imam Husain (‘a)

The Holy Prophet (s) personally took up the rearing of Imam Husain and gave him a lot of attention and mingled his feelings, emotions and aspirations with that of his own. On the basis of what historians state, he used to place his thumb in the mouth of the child. His Eminence took him in his arms and placed his tongue in his mouth so that the exudation of prophethood may be fed to him in the condition that he used to tell him: “Behold O Husain! Behold O Husain! The Almighty Allah has not accepted for you except what He intended, that is Imamate that shall be for you and your descendants.”[2]

Regarding this Sayyid Tabatabai says:

“They kept him away from water, thirsty. The one whom his grandfather Mustafa gave him his fingers to suck.

Sometimes he gave him his thumb to suck and sometimes his tongue so that his nature may be inculcated into him.

The child whom the Prophet himself reared and after his basic goodness there sprouted out from him branches of righteousness (other Imams).”

The Prophet (s) imbibed in the personality of the newborn his personal virtues and excellence so that he may be an exemplar of greatness and this may continue even after he has passed away, and that he may become his successor in spreading his aims and in defending his principles.

Amulet[3] of the Holy Prophet (s) for Imams Hasan and Husain (‘a)

Among the compassions of the Prophet (s) towards his grandsons was his extreme love of the two and his seeking their protection from every evil and calamity by seeking Allah’s refuge for them, and he used to often do this for them.

Ibn Abbas has narrated that: “The Holy Prophet (s) sought protection of Hasan and Husain as follows: ‘I seek by the perfect words of Allah from all devils and poisonous creatures and from all the envious eyes.’ And he used to say: ‘Ibrahim (‘a) used to invoke protection in this way for his sons, Ismail and Ishaq.’”[4]

Abdur Rahman bin Auf has reported that: “The Messenger of Allah (s) told me: ‘O Abdur Rahman! Do you not want me to teach you the amulet through which 

[1] Jawahirul Ahkam, 31/260 It is mentioned therein that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said: Circumcise your male children on the 7th day as it is the purest and cleanest and best for the growth of flesh it is most appropriate and that the earth remains impure by the urine of one who has not been circumcised.

[2] Al-Manaqib 4/50

[3] Amulet (Taweez) literally means to seek refuge or to give in refuge of, to protect someone. It is also used in the meaning of a supplication that is written on a piece of paper and fastened to be neck or the arm for dispelling of evil eye and warding off calamities. (Farhang Ameed)

[4] Zakhairul Uqba, Pg. 134, Mushkilul Athar 4/72

Prophet Ibrahim sought protection of his two sons, Ismail and Ishaq and I do for my two sons, Hasan and Husain…?[1]

Sufficient is Allah as a protector for one who supplicates and there is no place for any archer to shoot an arrow after the command of Allah…’”

This proves the intense love that the Holy Prophet (s) has towards the two Imams and that he feared that evil eyes may strike them; thus he sought their protection through these supplications and amulets.

Appearance of Imam Husain (‘a)

The signs of his grandfather, the Holy Prophet (s) became apparent in the face of Imam Husain (‘a), because in his characteristics he resembled His Eminence and he also had the same morals due to which the Holy Prophet (s) had precedence over the other Prophets.

Muhammad bin Zahhak has described him saying: “The body of Husain resembled that of the Messenger of Allah (s).”[2]

And it is said: “The lower half of his body resembled that of the Holy Prophet’s (s).”[3]

His Eminence, Imam Ali (‘a) said: “One who likes to see the person most closely resembling the Messenger of Allah (s) from neck to the face should look at Hasan. And one who desires to see the person most closely resembling the Messenger of Allah (s) from the neck to the feet, in shape and complexion, should look at Husain bin Ali…”[4]

Signs of Imamate became apparent on the blessed face of His Eminence, and his face was most luminous of the people and it was such that Abu Kabir Hazali says: “When you look at the face it seems to be a flash of lightning.”

Some writers have described the physical appearance of His Eminence as follows:

“He had a fair complexioned face and in whichever dark place he used to sit it was illuminated by the brilliance and elegance.”[5]

Others have said: “He had great elegance and a luminous forehead, his cheeks glowed in the darkness of the night and he was the one most closely resembling the Prophet (s).”[6] 

[1] Zakhairul Uqba, Pg. 134

[2] Tibrani, Al-Mojamul Kabir 3/123 from the photocopy of the book in Hazrat Amirul Momineen (a.s.) Public library

[3] Al-Munmaq Fi Akhtar-e-Quraish, pg. 424, Maqrizi, Khatat 2/285 Al-Ifada min Tarikhul Aaimmatus Saada, from the facsimile at Imam Hakim Public Library

[4] Tibrani, Al-Mojamul Kabir 3/98

[5] Al-Ifadah Fil Tarikhul Aimmatus Sadah

[6] Ali Durai Hanafi, Muhaziratul Awail wal Awakhir, Pg.71, and in Masabihus Sunnah 4/187-188 quoted from the Anas that he said: None resembled the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) as Husain bin Ali and regarding Husain he said: He was the most closely resembling one to the Prophet (s.a.w.s.). In Ansabul Ashraf 3/5 it is mentioned that: Husain was the image of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.).

One of his companions, who was also martyred along with him on the day of Ashura, has said as follows describing His Eminence:

“He had the brilliance of the midday sun and the glow of his forehead was like the luminous moon.”

Awe of Imam Husain (‘a)

His Eminence had the qualities of the Prophets. In his awe he resembled his grandfather that people used to humble before him. A mercenary of Ibn Ziyad has said regarding the great awe of the Holy Imam (‘a): “The brilliance and luminosity of his face compelled me to have second thoughts about killing him.”

On the day of Ashura, the strikes of the swords and the wounds of the spears did not conceal the luminosity of his face. He was like a full moon in his elegance and handsomeness. Regarding this Kabi says:

“The wounded one whose elegance the spears could not dissipate and they could not make his freshness fade.

He was a full moon that it changed into a sun at its zenith.

From the time when blood smeared hands put coverings over it.”

When the blessed head of His Eminence came to Ibn Ziyad he remarked, “I have not seen anyone more handsome.”

Anas bin Malik objected to him saying, “But, is it not that he is the one most closely resembling the Holy Prophet (s)?”[1]

When the blessed head was presented to Yazid bin Muawiyah, he was astonished and perplexed by his awe and elegance and he said, “I have indeed never seen such a beautiful face.”

One of those present said, “He was the image of the Messenger of Allah (s).”[2]

Traditional reporters are unanimous that he was just like his grandfather, the Holy Prophet (s), in physical appearance and gestures and in resemblance and qualities he was the image of the Prophet. Such that when Ubaidullah bin Hurr Jofi got the honor of his audience his being was filled with his greatness and awe and remarked, “I have never seen anyone as elegant and attractive as Husain…”

Gestures of the Prophets and signs of the pious became obvious on his face and therefore, the eyes of the audience were filled with his vision and they used to become subservient before him.

Titles of Imam Husain (‘a)

The titles of His Eminence and the lofty qualities that he possessed are as follows: 

[1] Balazari, Ansabul Ashraf 3/5, Manuscript at the Amirul Momineen (a.s.) Public Library

[2] Balazari, Ansabul Ashraf 3/5


1. Martyr (Shaheed), 2. Pure (Tayyib), 3. Chief of the youths of Paradise, 4. Grandson[1]

According to a saying of the Holy Prophet (s): “Husain is my grandson from among the grandsons.”[2]

5. The Rightly guided one (Rashid), 6. Wafi (Loyal), 7. Blessed (Mubarak), 8. Follower of Allah’s will (At Taabe le marzillah)[3], 9. (Ad-Daleel Alaa Zaatullah) Proof for the True entity, 10. Most Purified (Mutahhar), 11. Birr (Righteous), 12. Ahadul Kazmain (one of those who swallowed the Anger)[4]

Patronymic of Imam Husain (‘a)

The patronymic of His Eminence was Abu Abdillah[5] and numerous historians have stated that he had no other patronymic.[6] And it is said that his patronymic was Abu Ali[7] and after his martyrdom people gave him the patronymic of Abu Shuhada[8] and Abul Ahrar[9].

Inscription on the Ring stone of Imam Husain (‘a)

His Eminence wore two finger rings. One of them was set with cornelian having the inscription: “Surely Allah attains His purpose.”[10] And the other ring was the same that was looted from him on the day he was martyred. Upon it was inscribed: “There is no God except Allah, prepare to meet Allah.” And it is related that: “Anyone who wears such a ring would be safe from Satan.”[11]

Use of Perfume

His Eminence liked perfumes very much and in journey or at home, musk was never distant from him and his assemblies were made fragrant by incense of aloe-wood.[12]


The first house where he resided with his parents was next to Ayesha’s quarters and a door of the Masjid opened into the house of Fatima.[13] 

[1] Tohfatul Azhar wa Zilalul Anhar

[2] Bustani, Dariatul Ma’rif 7/47

[3] Nurul Absar, Pg. 256, Jauhratul Kalam Fi Saadaatul A’laam, Pg. 116

[4] Dalailul Aimmah, Pg. 73

[5] Al-Irshad, P. 198

[6] Al Fusulul Muhimma, Pg. 170, Nurul Absar, Pg. 253

[7] Al Manaqib 4/78, Ansabul Ashraf, Vol.1

[8] Father of the Martyrs

[9] Father of Freemen

[10] In Nurul Absar, Pg. 253 it is mentioned that the inscription on his ring was: For every Term there is an appointment. (Surah Ra’ad 13:38)

[11] Dalailul Aimmah, Pg. 73

[12] Raihana-i-Rasool, Pg. 38

[13] Wafa al-Wafa


Upbringing and Training

As the grandson and the beloved of the Prophet (s), Imam Husain had in him all the elements of a good upbringing that no one else was bestowed with such things and he gained from its essence and quiddity. These elements of His Eminence prepared him for the leadership of the community and responsibilities of prophethood of Islam in every aspect and manner and it bestowed him with unlimited spiritual powers from a deep faith in Allah and steadfastness in patience in difficulties and calamities, such that no living man possessed the ability to bear them.

Factors that contributed to the lofty training of His Eminence and that greatly influenced the greatest riches of thoughts and reformation were as follows:


Heritage is explained to be an expression from the similarity of the branch with the root and it is not limited to apparent similarities. Rather it also includes personal qualities and natural make up in such a way that scholars of inheritance have explained clearly saying: “The fact is clear in every living entity, because the seed of cotton yields cotton and the seed of flower gives a flower and another thing is that the branch resembles the roots and is similar in the qualities to the roots.

Mandel says: “Most characteristics are transferred from one or both progenitors to the offspring without any change.”

Hurley explains this phenomenon in the following words: “No quality is there for any human part of the body but that it reflects environment or heredity, because the system of heredity appoints the limits of possibility and this proves that all the possibilities from them will really come to pass. From this aspect of heredity, the make up of man is nothing except that it is related to environment.”

This means that all physical and personal characteristics present in a human being are mostly based on his heredity and environment that serves to bring out the qualities present in him. On the basis of this, according to experimental research, experts of heredity have proved that environment is only a helper in what one has received in heredity.

In any case, experts of heredity, without any doubt, have emphasized that sons and nephews inherit most of their physical and psychological characteristics from their ancestors and these things are transferred to them without any voluntary effort or choice. Dr. Alexis Carrel has explained this in his writings thus:

“The time moves forward in the same way as in branches it goes ahead as far as the limits of his body and the limits of time are not deeper or steadfast than the limits of its spread because it is related to the past and future. In spite of this his essence does not go beyond the present and the individuality as we know, comes into being when the sperm enters the ovule. However the factors of the being (the personality) have been created before it and they are spread right up to our parents and ancestors and are found in their bodies because we are born from the cellule of our

parents, that without division, stops in the past age and we are carrying little parts of innumerable bodies of our ancestors and qualities and defects and whatever we have are the same that were more or less with our ancestors.”[1]

Islam, before others has exposed this reality when it emphasized thorough investigation and proper inquiry before establishment of marital ties because all psychological, physical and spiritual elements of the offspring depend upon both the parents. It is also mentioned in traditions that: “Select the best repository of your sperm as it is going to be the source of your descendants.”

The Holy Quran has informed about the most important characteristics that are transferred through heredity as follows:

“My Lord! Leave not upon the land any dweller from among the unbelievers: For surely if thou leave them they will lead astray thy servants and will not beget any but immoral, ungrateful (children).”[2]

This verse clearly proves the transference of disbelief and apostasy through heredity. Books of traditions are replete with reports of narrations of the Imams of Ahle Bayt (‘a) regarding the factuality of heredity and its principles and their great significance on the behavior of man and his natural make-up.

In the light of the fact that personal qualities are never based on anything but heredity we can say for sure that the grandson of the Prophet (s) had received as heredity, the moral and psychological qualities and spiritual make up from his grandfather, His Eminence, the Holy Prophet (s). The same qualities that had accorded him precedence over all the other divine prophets. Numerous traditions state that the Imams, Hasan and Husain inherited physical characteristics from their grandfather, the Holy Prophet (s). It is also narrated from His Eminence, Ali (‘a) that he said: “Anyone who likes to see the person most closely resembling the Messenger of Allah (s) between the neck and hair should glance at Hasan and anyone who prefers to view the person most closely resembling the Messenger of Allah (s) between the neck and feet, in make up and complexion, should look at Husain.”[3]

It has also come in traditions that Imam Husain (‘a) resembled the Prophet from his navel to the feet.[4] Just as he had inherited the outward appearance from the grandfather in the same way he had also inherited from him other qualities and special characteristics. 

[1] Nizam Tarbiyati Dar Islam, pg.61-62

[2] Surah Nuh 71:26-27

[3] Tibrani, Al-Mojam al Kabir 3/97, from written manuscript of Allamah Sayyid Aziz Tabatabai.

[4] Al-Munmaq Fi Akhbar-i-Quraish, Pg.424


The Family[1] is an important factor in formation of society and the shaper of the child’s personality and it inculcates in him habits that remain with him for the rest of his life because the family is the first seed for the formation of individual progress and social behavior. The factor of training is most influential in formation of balance in interpersonal behavior. The child learns the language from them and acquires values and social practices.

At that time the children of a family based on good social behavior obtain the best values and balanced life, while in their house, things like comfort, love, mental peace, no anger and dislike are dominant. But if the family does not care for these things, the children are afflicted with serious mental and spiritual maladies that create more difficulties and worries for them. It is proved by the view of psychology that the most serious problems of personal dilemmas are rooted in early childhood, specially the child’s relationship with his or her parents.[2]

In the same way, one of the most important duties of the family is to pay attention towards the training of children, because it itself is responsible for acceptance of social behavior so that the child gains information about the culture and its principles in such a way that he actively takes part in relation to other organs of society in his life.

According to scholars of training the most important functions of the family are as follows:

A – To prepare the children in a decent atmosphere so that they may have their biological and psychological needs fulfilled.

B – To prepare them for participation in social life and recognizing its values and habits.

C – To provide them with comfort, security and support.

D – To provide means for making possible their existence and entry into society.[3]

E – Their moral, spiritual and religious training.[4]

In the light of modern researches connected with the science of family and ethics we can say with certainty that Imam Husain (‘a) had been the recipient of the very best family training and the highest values of a good family life because the family in which he was brought up was the best family under the dome of the sky. Therefore, Imam Husain (‘a) was brought up under the shade of this family and he obtained his nature and manners through them. Now we shall briefly delineate the major points of incomparable training that Imam Husain (‘a) received from the family of prophethood. 

[1] According to scholars of social science, family is a social relationship that is brought into existence through the husband-wife and their children and it includes the grandparents and grandsons. (Ilmul Ijtima, Pg.92)

[2] Bimari hai Rawani wa Aqli, Pg. b

[3] Nizam-e-Tarbiyati Dar Islam, Pg. 81

[4] Nizam Khanwadeh Dar Islam, Pg.25


The Prophet’s Training

The Holy Prophet (s) personally took up the responsibility of training his grandson and beloved child. He presented to him his personal merits and virtues and brought him up with his values and principles so that he may become like His Eminence.

Narrators have stated that: “His Eminence used to be very attentive and caring towards Imam Husain (‘a) and most of the time he used to keep him with himself and imbibe him with his own good qualities and lofty manners. He used to demonstrate before him his exemplary behavior. In his early childhood he taught him the Surah Tawheed.”[1]

Once some dates of Sadaqah were presented to the Holy Prophet (s) and Imam Husain (‘a) took up a piece and placed it in his mouth. However, the Messenger of Allah (s) took it out from his mouth and asked: “Sadaqah is not lawful for us.”[2]

In this manner, His Eminence inculcated the habit of restraining in his childhood and taught him that he must never partake of anything that is unlawful for him and it is natural, according to new medical researches, that what a child eats affects his memory, understanding and behavior as it halts his behavioral development and in him develop negative qualities like hard-heartedness, rebellion and impatience with others. Islam has paid deep attention to this aspect and therefore considered it necessary to keep the child away from unlawful food.[3]

Therefore it was but natural for the Holy Prophet of Islam to keep away Imam Husain (‘a) from eatables unlawful for the Ahle Bayt (‘a) since it was the most import part of his training and a significant factor of his physical and spiritual development. We shall present more traditions on this subject at appropriate occasions.

Imam Amirul Momineen’s (‘a) Training

However, His Eminence Imam Ali (‘a) is himself is the foremost trainer of good moral behavior and ethics and he brought up his Imam Husain (‘a) with the best training and upbringing. He inculcated in him wisdom and imbibed him with chastity and purity and demonstrated practically to him, good manners and morals and ingested into him enthusiastic spirituality and made him inclined towards those virtues so that he may create a good and correct path for himself.

His Eminence, Imam Ali (‘a) in his bequest to his sons spoke of invaluable points on the subject of morality; such that his statements stand out prominently as the final word in acquiring good morals and eternal success. It contains all the rules of social behavior and everything that man is in need of. It is the masterpiece of Islamic teachings, as it becomes cause of moderation and manners.

His Eminence said, “O my son! I advise you to fear Allah, the Mighty and the 

[1] Yaqubi, Tarikh, 2/246

[2] Imam Ahmad, Musnad, 1/201

[3] Nizam Tarbyati Dar Islam, Pg. 99

Sublime in concealed and open matters and I make bequest to you to observe truth in happiness[1], thrift in wealth and poverty, justice with friend and enemy, work in happiness and sadness and satisfaction from the Almighty Allah in hard times and prosperity.

O son, no hardship is bad after which there is Paradise and no goodness is good after which there is Fire (of Hell) and every bounty is less than Paradise and nothing and every calamity is lesser than the Fire of Hell; it is salvation.

Know that, O my son. One who is aware of his own faults, he does not find fault of others. And one who is satisfied with the fate of Almighty, he is not distraught with what he loses. And one who exposes others, his own defects shall be exposed. And one who ignores his own sins, he regards the sins of others great. And one who puts himself into hardship of useless actions stumbles (suffers). And one that throws himself into the sea, drowns. One who follows his own opinion becomes deviated. And one who considers himself needless of his own intellect, commits mistakes. And one who is arrogant to the people is degraded. One who behaves with them in foolish manner is abused. And one who sits in a bad place is put to blame. And one who cultivates the company of scholars gains honor. And one who jokes too much is not considered serious. And one who keeps aloof remains safe. One who leaves off the sensual desires gains independence. And one who leaves jealousy, gains the love of people.

O my son! The respect of the believer is in his needlessness of the people. And contentment is unending wealth. One who remembers death too much remains content with little of the world and one who comes to know that his word is considered as his action, he becomes a man of few words, except where it is beneficial for him. Surprising that one who fears the punishment and is hopeful of rewards but he does not act. Remembrance is effulgence and forgetfulness (carelessness) is darkness and ignorance is misguidance and fortunate is one who takes lesson from others. Manners are the best inheritance and good behavior is the best companion.

O my son. There is no bounty and progress for the one who cuts off relations and he shall not remain needless of sinfulness…

O my son! Salvation is made of ten parts. Nine parts of it are in silence but except that one remembers God and one of it is leaving off company of fools. One who decorates his gatherings with disobedience of God, receives humiliation and one who seeks knowledge becomes intelligent.

O my son! The beginning of knowledge is moderation and its calamity is concealing it. And from the treasure of faith is patience in calamities. Chastity is the embellishment of poverty and thankfulness is the embellishment of wealth. One who does a thing too much is recognized by it. One who speaks too much, makes too many mistakes and one who makes too many mistakes reduces his 

[1] In another version it is mentioned: ‘in pleasure and anger.’

shame and one in whom shame is reduced his abstemiousness reduces and one in whom abstemiousness reduces his heart becomes dead and whosever’s heart dies he shall enter the Fire.

O my son! Do not make any sinner hopeless because many a times it had been such that someone continued to sin but his ultimate end was good. And many a times it had been that people performed many good deeds but in their last days they destroyed them and went to Fire (of Hell). One who gets the end of the matter, it becomes easy for him.

O my son! Too much of meeting gives rise to boredom and dislike. (Familiarity breeds contempt).

O my son! Satisfaction before knowledge is opposed to farsightedness. Self worship is the proof of weakness of ones intellect.

O my son! How often it had been that a glance creates regret and many a times a word becomes cause of a bounty. No status is higher than Islam, no gift is higher than piety, and no refuge is more satisfactory than abstemiousness and no intercessor is better than repentance. No dress is more beautiful than salvation and no wealth is more effective in removing poverty than satisfaction while possessing power. One who makes efforts to get only as much as he needs, he has made haste in gaining his comfort and he has tried to maintain his reputation. Greed is the key of sorrow, vehicle of hardship and cause of falling into sins. Evil deeds bring bad traits and defects. And for training of self it is sufficient that one pays attention to that which one does not like for others and it is for your brother just as it is for your own self. And one who without any thought and consideration makes himself subject to hardships; he has really put himself into sudden difficulties.

Thoughtfulness and consideration before initiating anything will keep you safe from regret. And one who carefully analyses the actions and studies them fully recognizes the points of mistakes. Patience is a shield against poverty. Opposition of the self creates perfection in oneself. Hours eat up the age (reduce it). Your Lord is the best of the rulers for the oppressors and He is cognizant of the hidden and keeps an eye on the inside (hidden). The worst provision for the Day of Judgment is oppression on people, his throat will burst at every gulp of water and every morsel of food shall get stuck in his throat. No bounty shall he receive except after separating from another bounty. How near is comfort with exhaustion, and poverty with bounty, and death with life, thus blessed is the one who has made special for Allah, the knowledge and action, love and hatred, taking and leaving, speaking and keeping quiet. And congratulations to the scholar who is aware and refrains from sins and acts and makes efforts, and is fearful of destruction and loss. Thus he is prepared and ready. If he is asked, he replies clearly and if he is released he remains silent. His speech should be correct and his silence should be due to the inability to reply. Woe, and all woe on the one who is disappointed, degraded and sinful. And what he does not like for others he considers it good for himself. One who has softness in his speech his love becomes incumbent. One who does not

have shame and generosity; his death is better than his life. Generosity of a person is not perfected till it is not important for him that which of his two dresses he should wear and which of his two eatables he should eat.”[1]

This will is full of moral teachings and points of character building. It teaches all the good ethics and invites towards piety as these are the fundamentals of self building and keeping the self safe from sins and it shows the true path which is indicated by guidance and rightfulness.

Her Eminence, Fatima’s (‘a) Training to Imam Husain (‘a)

The chief of the ladies decided to train her son and she molded him into her love and kindness so that he may develop a stable character and understanding. In the same way she inculcated in him Islamic manners so that he may develop a habit of steadfastness and the right path.

Alaili says: “Among the reports about Imam Husain (‘a) that have reached us, it is mentioned that his mother made elaborate arrangements for his training so that examples of Islamic thoughts may become firm in his personality. It would not be wrong to assure that the Holy Prophet (s) also provided the same training in childhood, which is the time when a child perceives a feeling of stability.”

Her Eminence Fatima (‘a) perfected in him correct thinking and general love and accorded him with lofty virtues and morals so that it may become a part of him and the center of his attention may be Allah as everything is included in this.

In this way a child puts into practice his limited circle of childhood and only keeps in his view its mother and he does not see anyone besides her. His mother demonstrated to him an unlimited circle where the divine thought was made the center of attention and made it the standard of morals and behavior. Thus his self became wide so that he may include the world into his good behavior and he may present a lofty example to lead people towards the path of goodness…[2]

Imam Husain (‘a) was bred out brought up in the atmosphere of that great family whose equal the history of humanity cannot trace in faith and guidance. Thus His Eminence was brought up under the shade and among this family and became to be an incomparable example for human thoughts and became the most prominent Muslim leader.


Experts of training and psychology are unanimous that environment is one of the most important factors that shape the child’s personality and it forms inclinations and habits in the child and they all depend on the environment. And responsibility in every way for decadence and backwardness in the training values returns to it, in the same way the effect of environment and lack of family problems have a profound effect on our behavior and that of our children.

[1] Al-Ijaaz wal Ijaaz Pg. 33

[2] Imam Husain (a.s.), Pg. 289

UNICCO, the international organization for children has surveyed the unnatural effects on the child’s nature and the research conducted by a number of experts in this regard presented the following results:

“Without any doubt, environment is proved to have a profound effect on the child and then the family that has come into being, if it is based on love and affection it would be the first step that shapes the good nature of the child. The child would, in the future, base his social relationships on his family upbringing and in case if the child’s personality is a prey to unfavorable attitude of the parents, he would not be able to have social acceptance…”[1]

A stable environment and absence of family problems are the basis for formation of a good personality of the child and the development of a good life for him and it would be able to remove worries from him. Psychologists believe that instability of environment and its difficulties cause the child to feel that he is spending a life in a defective world filled with deceit, misappropriation and greed, and that he is a powerless creature, not any match to this powerful world…[2]

Islam has been attentive to the problems of environment in a positive manner and has spent all means and capabilities for its reformation and more than anything else it has kept this matter in view so that the highest values of truth, justice and equity be dominant and factors of obedience and backwardness like injustice oppression and deceit are destroyed and the environment may become a safe place and away from problems and difficulties so that it could present the best and most useful people to the community; such humans that compete in performance of righteous deeds, charitable acts and reformation.

The Islamic Environment has nurtured great, famous, incomparable personalities from the reformers who were the best of the people that humanity has itself witnessed them in all its stages of history. Like our Master, His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a), Ammar bin Yasir, Abu Zar and others like them who strengthened social justice in Islam.

Imam Husain (‘a) was brought up in the illuminated Islamic environment that the rays of its light affected it and he established the civilization and made the communities of the world and guided them on this path; and powers that cause decadence and backwardness be destroyed. The great environment which has come into being from the sources of justice and he benefited from it and also benefited the needy generations by it.

While yet in his childhood, Imam Husain (‘a) had understood how the Islamic environment was capable of founding a society based on justice and love and how it aims to make itself strong and stable by spreading its principles and its aims of creating love and righteousness among the people. 

[1] Effect of family and society on children below 13 years. Unesco, Pg. 35

[2] Shakl Geeri Shakhsiyat, Pg. 22

These were some of the means of training provided for Imam Husain (‘a). The means that bestowed His Eminence preparedness so that he may become a lofty example of his grandfather, His Eminence, the Holy Prophet (s) and in the call towards truth and dignity he should be equal to him.

In the Shade of Quran and Sunnah

Islam has paid special attention to Imam Husain (‘a) in Quran and Sunnah (sayings of the Prophet) and has endowed special kindness and made elaborate arrangements with regard to him. This is so because His Eminence is one of the highest centers of leadership. That if anyone looks upon this world of existence he would see him shining brilliantly before it; he has accorded success to the affairs of human beings and has led them on the path of righteousness and the correct way.

Islam has spoken of Imam Husain (‘a) with absolute respect and honor and along with him also paid attention to his parents and brother and exalted their remembrance and emphasized their emulation and advised following them and took the oath of the community that it must not deviate from their path. In all aspects it must never try to get precedence over them. Here we shall present in brief whatever is mentioned about him in Quran and traditions.

Under the shade of Quran

Quran is the great of book of Allah; such that falsehood can neither approach it from before nor from behind it. It has declared the merits of Imam Husain (‘a) under the reference of Ahle Bayt (‘a). His Eminence, in presence of Quran, is not needy of the praise of praisers and acclaim of the acclaimers. The following are some verses of Holy Quran that mention about Imam Husain (‘a):

Verse of Purification

The Almighty Allah says:

Allah only desires to keep away impurities from you O People of the House and purify you with a thorough purification.[1]

We feel compelled to dwell more at this juncture and have a detailed discussion on this verse:

A – Who are the “Ahle Bayt” (People of the House)?

Commentators of Quran and reliable tradition scholars[2] are unanimous that the 

[1] Surah Ahzab 33:33

[2] Fakhruddin Razi, Tafsir Kabir 25/209. Nishapuri in the exegesis of Surah Ahzab. Muslim, Sahih 4/1883. On what is revealed from the Quran on Ahle Bayt, Pg. 71. From photo copied manuscripts at Imam Hakim Library in the Mustansiriya Collection, Year 666 A.H., written by Husain bin Hakim Hibri. Al-Khasais al-Kubra 2/ 464. Ar-Riyadh an-Nazarah. Khasais an-Nasai 2/ 152. Nasai, Pg. 34 & 35. Ibne Jurair, Tafsir 22/5. Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad 4/107. Baihaqi, Sunan 2149 & 152. Nasai, Sunan, 2/150. Mushkilul Athar 1/334 Jalaluddin Suyuti in Durre Manthur 5/199 has narrated more than 20 narrations from different channels that indicate that this verse was only about Ahle Bayt (a.s.) and Ibne Jurair in his Tafsir has presented 50 reports from different chains saying that this verse is only with regard to Ahle Bayt (a.s.).

Ahle Bayt (‘a) are these only five persons of the Blanket (Kisa) that include: The Leader of the Universe, His Eminence, the Holy Prophet (s) and the brother of His Eminence, who is the self of His Eminence; that is Master of the Believers (‘a), and the pure part of his body, an image of Maryam daughter of Imran, leader of women, Her Eminence, Fatima Zahra (‘a), who was such that her pleasure was like pleasure of Allah and her anger equivalent to Allah’s anger. After that were the two beloved ones of His Eminence, the Holy Prophet (s), the two grandsons of His Eminence, that is Hasan and Husain, chiefs of the youths of Paradise and no companion or any other person is included in this verse with them. The following traditions prove this distinction:

Firstly: Umme Salma says: “This verse was revealed in my house while Fatima, Ali, Hasan, and Husain (‘a) were present. The Holy Prophet (s) spread his cloak on them and said: ‘These are the members of my family. (O Allah!) Remove uncleanness from them and make them pure’, and he repeated this statement. Umme Salma heard and saw this and then said, ‘Am I with you?’ She held the blanket that she may enter therein. The Prophet pulled away the sheet from her and said: ‘You are on the good.’ This tradition is related in Sihah books on a large scale (Tawatur).[1] This narration of Umme Salma clearly proves the special status of Ahle Bayt (‘a) in this verse and their precedence over all other people in this matter. It shows that only these five persons are meant in this verse. This verse denotes only these five personages.

Secondly: The Holy Prophet (s) took every opportunity to declare the sole precedence of Ahle Bayt (‘a) as beneficiaries of this verse. Ibn Abbas has narrated that: ‘I noticed for seven months that the Holy Prophet (s) went to the door of Ali’s house everyday when it was time for prayers and used to say: ‘Peace and blessings be upon you! O People of the Prophet’s House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification.’ And he repeated this act five times a day.’[2]

Anas bin Malik narrates that for a period of six months the Holy Prophet (s) used to pass by the door of Fatima (‘a) when he came out for morning prayers and say: ‘O People of the House, it is time for prayers’, and then added: ‘O People of the Prophet’s House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification.’[3]

Abu Barza has narrated that: ‘I performed my prayers with the Holy Prophet (s) for seven months.

As and when he left his house, he went to the house of Fatima (‘a) and used to say: 

[1] Hakim, Mustadrak 2/416, Usud al-Ghaba 5/ 521

[2] Ad-Durre Manthur 5/199

[3] Majma-az-Zawaid 9/169, Ansaab al-Ashraaf 2/104, Zakhair al-Uqbah pg. 24

‘Peace be upon you! O People of the Prophet’s House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification.’[1]

The Holy Prophet (s) emphasized that the connotation of this verse is restricted to his Ahle Bayt (‘a) and considered them different from others so that they may guide the community and made it compulsory for them to accept their leadership.

Thirdly: The Holy Progeny has used the specialization of this verse for themselves as their argument for their superiority as mentioned in a sermon of Imam Hasan Mujtaba (‘a): “I belong to the family upon whom Jibraeel used to descend and from there ascend to heavens. I belong to the family from whom Allah has removed all impurities and made them pure.”[2]

Numerous traditions (widely narrated) from the channels of Progeny of Muhammad (s) have specified the restricted implication of this verse to only these five personages and they also announce the exclusion of all other family members of the Holy Prophet (s).

B – Exclusion of the Prophet’s wives in the verse of Purification

The wives of the Prophet (s) have no share in this verse, because they have been excluded from it by subjectively as well as legally according to scholars of the Principles of Jurisprudence. By way of proof we present below some points of discussion:

1 – “Ahl” (Family), according to dictionary denotes the family of man and his relatives[3] and it does not include the wife. This meaning has been emphasized by Zaid bin Arqam when he was asked regarding the family of the Prophet that whether the wives of the Prophet are included in it. He rejected this view and said: “No, by Allah! The wife stays with the husband for a limited period, after that he divorces her and she returns to her father and her clan…His Ahle Bayt are his original relatives, such that after him Sadaqah (alms) has become unlawful for them.”

2 – If we accept that “Family” includes the wife and it refers to her[4] we would be compelled to consider it restricted to them on the basis of the previously quoted traditions because it has reached up to the limits of Tawatur in wordings and by meanings.

C – False Claims of Akrama and Maqatil

A group supporting the Bani Umayyads and claimants of exclusion has tried to take away the verse away from the Holy Progeny and apply it to the wives of the Prophet and in this matter they have used the preceding verses. Among these are persons like Akrama and Maqatil bin Sulaiman. 

[1] Zakhair al-Uqbah Pg.24

[2] Hakim, Mustadrak, 3/172

[3] Qamus Muhit 1/331, Aqrabul Mawarid

[4] Ibne Kathir, Tafsir, 2/302, Muslim, Sahih 4/1873

Akrama was the most inimical person towards the folks of the Blanket and he openly declared it in the market place.[1] His audacity reached such a stage that he claimed: “I can participate in imprecation contest with anyone who does not accept that this verse was revealed for the wives of the Prophet.”[2]

It is obvious that this open challenge of his is a clear proof of his animosity towards the Holy Progeny, which has the same position as that of Quran itself. Here it is necessary to study some matters related to Akrama and Maqatil so that their view regarding their claim becomes clear.

[1] Wahidi, Asbab an-Nuzul, Pg. 240

[2] Ad-Durre Manthur, 5/198

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