Status and Esteemed Position of Imam Husain (peace be upon him) in Ziyaarat al-Arbaeen

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It is narrated in Kaamil al-Ziyaaraat, p. 138, H. 4 that Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) said:

مَنْ أَتَى قَبْرَ الْحُسَيْنِ ؑ عَارِفاً بِحَقِّهٖ‏ غَفَرَ اللهُ لَهٗ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهٖ وَ مَا تَأَخَّرَ

“Whoever comes to the grave of Husain (peace be upon him) recognizing his right, Allah shall forgive for him his past and future sins.”

In the light of this tradition, starting 1st to 20th Safar, let us try and understand the Status and Esteemed Position of Imam Husain (peace be upon him) through Ziyaarat al-Arbaeen.

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #01

السَّلَامُ عَلٰى وَلِيِّ اللهِ وَ حَبِيْبِهٖ

“Salutations be upon the Vicegerent (Wali) of Allah and His beloved.”

  • Salaam (Salutations) is a type of prayer and the best manner of greeting
  • Imam Husain (peace be upon him) has been addressed as the Wali of Allah and His beloved
  • Ahle Bait (peace be upon them) are Auliyaa as per verse 55 of Surah Maaedah (Verse of Mastership)
  • Beloved here means that Allah has a strong attachment with Imam Husain (peace be upon him)

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #02

السَّلَامُ عَلٰى خَلِيْلِ اللهِ وَ نَجِيِّهٖ

“Salutations be upon the friend of Allah and His confidant.”

  • Friend and confidant are terms used for someone who enjoys special proximity
  • Allah granted the status of friend to Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) in the Holy Quran
  • Just like Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), Imam Husain (peace be upon him) also never sought help from anyone other than Allah and returned the angels who had come to his aid in Karbala

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #03

السَّلَامُ عَلٰى صَفِيِّ اللهِ وَ ابْنِ صَفِيِّهٖ

“Salutations be upon the chosen one of Allah and the son of His chosen one.”

  • ‘Safi’ means chosen one and the word ‘Mustafa’ is also derived from the same word
  • One of the names of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) is ‘Mustafa’
  • Prophets Adam, Nuh, progeny of Ibrahim and progeny of Imraan (peace be upon them) are the chosen ones of Allah as per Surah Aale Imraan (3): verse 33
  • Imam Husain (peace be upon him) has been granted the same status in this sentence

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #04

السَّلَامُ عَلَى الْحُسَيْنِ الْمَظْلُوْمِ الشَّهِيْدِ

“Salutations be upon Husain, the oppressed and martyred one.”

Imam Husain (peace be upon him) was firstly oppressed and then martyred. This can be understood by what he said in his last moments: “O my Shias! Whenever you drink refreshing water remember me and whenever you hear about any estranged or martyred person then weep over me.”

[Al-Misbaah by Shaikh Kaf’ami (may Allah have mercy upon him), p. 741]

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #05

السَّلَامُ عَلٰى أَسِيْرِ الْكُرُبَاتِ وَ قَتِيْلِ الْعَبَرَاتِ

“Salutations be upon the captive of calamities and the one who was killed thirsty.”

  • Imam Husain (peace be upon him) was surrounded by enemies from all sides and was killed along with his companions in extreme thirst
  • Imam Husain (peace be upon him) himself said: “I am the one who was killed while he was thirsty.”

[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 44, p. 279]

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #06

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَشْهَدُ أَنَّهُ وَلِيُّكَ وَ ابْنُ وَلِيِّكَ وَ صَفِيُّكَ وَ ابْنُ صَفِيِّكَ

“O Allah! I bear witness that he is Your Vicegerent (Wali) and the son of Your Vicegerent, Your chosen one and the son of Your chosen one.”

Allah informed Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) during Me’raaj:

“O Muhammad! I created you and I created Ali, Fatima, Hasan, Husain and the Imams from his progeny with the same type of light from My light. I presented your Mastership to the dwellers of the heavens and people of the earths. Then the one who accepts it will be among the believers near Me and the one who rejects it will be among the disbelievers near Me.”

[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 27, p. 200]

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #07

الْفَائِزُ بِكَرَامَتِكَ

“The victorious one through Your Nobility”

  • In this sentence Imam Husain (peace be upon him) has been remembered as the victorious one
  • It means that his martyrdom is considered as his victory by Allah
  • Just like all other perfections, excellences and virtues of Ahle Bait (peace be upon them) have been granted by Allah so is the good fortune of attaining martyrdom in the way of Allah

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #08

أَكْرَمْتَهٗ بِالشَّهَادَةِ وَ حَبَوْتَهٗ بِالسَّعَادَةِ

“You granted him nobility through martyrdom and bestowed him with good fortune.”

Allah says about Imam Husain (peace be upon him) in Hadith Lauh:

“I made Husain the trustee of My revelation, granted him nobility through martyrdom and endowed him with good fortune. So he is the most superior among those who were martyred and the best martyr in grades.”

[Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 528, H. 3]

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #09

وَ اجْتَبَيْتَهٗ بِطِيْبِ الْوِلَادَةِ

“And You chose him for the purest of births.”

  • Ahle Bait (peace be upon him) are purified from all impurities as per the Verse of Purification (Tatheer) in Surah Ahzaab (33): verse 33
  • Imam Baqir (peace be upon him) says that among the signs of an Imam is that his birth is in a state of purity [Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 388]
  • This pure birth is not possible except through divine help and assistance and that is what a person reciting this Ziyaarat confesses

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #10

وَ جَعَلْتَهُ سَيِّداً مِنَ السَّادَةِ وَ قَائِداً مِنَ الْقَادَةِ

“And You made him a leader from among the leaders and a chief from among the chiefs.”

  • Allah granted various aspects of divine leadership to Imam Husain (peace be upon him)
  • His grandfather (peace be upon him and his progeny) is the Chief of all Prophets
  • His father (peace be upon him) is the Leader of all Successors and Imams
  • His mother (peace be upon her) is the Chief of the women of the worlds
  • His brother and he (peace be upon both of them) are the Leaders of the youth of Paradise
  • He himself (peace be upon him) has the status of the Chief of Martyrs
  • Nine of his descendants are divinely appointed leaders (peace be upon them)

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #11

وَ ذَائِداً مِنَ الذَّادَةِ

“And a defender (of religion) from among (other) defenders”

  • For anything to survive two things are required – good foundation and strong protection
  • Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) laid the foundation of Islam
  • However, had it not been for Imam Husain (peace be upon him) and the incident of Karbala, Islam would have been destroyed
  • Imam Husain (peace be upon him) defended Islam like none before or after him

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #12

وَ أَعْطَيْتَهٗ مَوَارِيْثَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ

“And You granted him the inheritance of (all) Prophets (peace be upon them)”

Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) said:

Surely the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) was entrusted with the Books of Ibrahim and Moosa (peace be upon them). Then Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) entrusted them to Ali (peace be upon him). He handed them over to Hasan (peace be upon him) and he gave them to Husain (peace be upon him) until it reached us.

[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 26, pp. 185-186, H. 19 narrating from Basaaer al-Darajaat]

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #13

وَ جَعَلْتَهٗ حُجَّةً عَلٰى خَلْقِكَ مِنَ الْأَوْصِيَاءِ

“And You made him a proof upon Your creation from among other successors (Imams)”

  • The earth can never be devoid of a divine proof and Allah sent Prophets and Imams (peace be upon them) for the guidance of mankind
  • Imam Husain (peace be upon him) is such a proof from among them that Allah has termed him as the lamp of guidance and the ark of salvation
  • We will attain salvation only if we seek guidance in all matters from him and the infallibles Imams (peace be upon them) after him, love them and bear enmity with their enemies

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #14

فَأَعْذَرَ فِي الدُّعَاءِ وَ مَنَحَ النُّصْحَ

“He closed (the doors of) all excuses (for people) in inviting (towards religion) and conferred advices”

Imam Husain (peace be upon him) did not leave any scope of excuse for anyone by –

  • Refusing to pay allegiance to Yazid
  • Mentioning his reason for leaving Madinah al-Munawwarah
  • Replying to the people of Kufa and sending his cousin Muslim Ibn Aqeel (peace be upon him) to them
  • Converting his Hajj into Umrah and leaving Makkah al-Mukarramah
  • Delivering sermons upon reaching Karbala al-Mo’alla and even after mounting his horse on the day of Aashura when he set out for the battle
  • Reciting Holy Quran even after his blessed head was raised on a spear

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #15

وَ بَذَلَ مُهْجَتَهٗ فِيْكَ لِيَسْتَنْقِذَ عِبَادَكَ مِنَ الْجَهَالَةِ وَ حَيْرَةِ الضَّلَالَةِ

“And sacrificed his life for You to remove Your servants from ignorance and the perplexity of deviation”

  • Muslims had forsaken Quran and Ahle Bait (peace be upon them) by paying allegiance to a tyrant like Yazid
  • By doing so they had fallen into the pit of ignorance and deviation
  • Imam Husain (peace be upon him) stood up to awaken them
  • Family, children, friends and companions are the most prized possessions for a person
  • But Imam Husain (peace be upon him) sacrificed everything he had, including his own life, in the way of Allah

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #16

فَجَاهَدَهُمْ فِيْكَ صَابِراً مُحْتَسِباً

“(O Allah) He fought with them for You patiently, anticipating divine rewards”

  • Imam Husain (peace be upon him) endured patiently, the martyrdom of his grandfather Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny), atrocities upon his mother Fatima Zahra (peace be upon her), martyrdom of his father Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and elder brother Imam Hasan (peace be upon him)
  • In Karbala, he saw his friends, close companions, brothers and sons being martyred in front of him
  • But despite tribulations and difficulties in Karbala, he said: “We shall be patient upon His (Allah’s) trials.” [Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 44, p. 387]

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #17

حَتّٰى سُفِكَ فِي طَاعَتِكَ دَمُهٗ وَ اسْتُبِيْحَ حَرِيمُهٗ

“Until his blood was shed in Your obedience and his sanctity was violated”

  • Generally, people obey Allah only till it does not impact their lives significantly
  • However, when engulfed in calamities, the true obedient ones are very few
  • When a person’s life is at stake, that is when his obedience to Allah is truly tested
  • Imam Husain (peace be upon him) not just sacrificed his own life but also that of his near and dear ones
  • This is the peak of divine obedience

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #18

أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ أَمِيْنُ اللهِ وَ ابْنُ أَمِيْنِهٖ

“I bear witness that you are the trustee of Allah and the son of His trustee”

  • ‘Ameen’ means trustee and this title was given by people to Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny)
  • This is also the title of Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him) in Ziyaarat Ameenullah
  • Imam Reza (peace be upon him) said: “Surely Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) was the trustee of Allah among His creation. But when the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) was taken away, we, the Ahle Bait (peace be upon them) became his inheritors. So we are the trustees of Allah in His earth.” [Tafseer al-Qummi, vol. 2, p. 104]

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #19

عِشْتَ سَعِيْدًا وَ مَضَيْتَ حَمِيْدًا

“You lived blissfully and departed in a praiseworthy manner”

  • Both friends and foes of Imam Husain (peace be upon him) acknowledged his greatness and praised him
  • Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) said regarding Imam Husain (peace be upon him): “Welcome O Abaa Abdillah! O the adornment of the heavens and the earths.” [Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 36, p. 205, H. 8]
  • Shimr (may Allah curse him), his killer, said about him: “Surely he was unparalleled in nobility.” [Ibid, vol. 45, p. 51]
  • In Surah Fajr (89): verse 28, Allah, the Almighty, has announced that He is satisfied with Imam Husain (peace be upon him)

Ziyarat al-Arbareen #20

وَ مُتَّ فَقِيْدًا مَظْلُوْمًا شَهِيْدًا

“And you were killed while you were deprived (of your right), oppressed and martyred”

  • As per Hadith al-Kisaa, Allah, the Almighty, did not create the heavens and the earth except for the Ahle Bait (peace be upon them)
  • But Imam Husain (peace be upon him) was deprived of all his rights in Karbala including a basic thing like water
  • Just before his martyrdom, when Imam Husain (peace be upon him) asked his opponents that despite knowing his status and lineage, why do they want to kill him, they replied: “We know it but we will not leave you until you taste death in a state of thirst.” [Al-Luhoof, p. 86]


Promise of Allah, the Almighty, to Imam Husain (peace be upon him) in Ziyaarat al-Arbaeen

وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ اللهَ مُنْجِزٌ لَكَ مَا وَعَدَكَ وَ مُهْلِكٌ مَنْ خَذَلَكَ وَ مُعَذِّبٌ مَنْ قَتَلَكَ

“I bear witness that Allah shall fulfil for you what He has promised you. He will destroy the one who deserted you and chastise the one who killed you.”

The second special deputy Muhammad Ibn Usmaan Ibn Saeed al-Amri (may Allah have mercy upon him) was asked: Have you seen the master of this affair (viz. Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance))? He replied: Yes, my last meeting with him was near the Sacred House of Allah (Holy Kaabah) while he was praying “O Allah! Fulfil for me what You have promised me.”

[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 52, p. 30, H. 23]

May Allah hasten the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (peace be upon him) so that he can avenge the killing of Imam Husain (peace be upon him) and include us among his sincere servants.

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