In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate__Salaam friends, and heartiest congratulations to you all on a very blessed day. Today is the day when the heavens opened up floodgates of mercy for the seekers of God’s forgiveness, and even the celestial angels availed of clemency from the Divine Court. It is the day which inspires those who strive selflessly for defence of humanitarian values in society, for it is the 3rd of Sha’ban, when the person who gave his lifeblood to nurture the tree of Islam, was born. To be precise, it is the birthday of the Chief of Martyrs, Imam Husain (AS), the younger grandson and the 3rd Infallible Heir of the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
No wonder, the Islamic Republic of Iran celebrates this day as Rouz-e Pasdaraan, or Day of the Islamic Revolution’s Guards Corps, who in the footsteps of Imam Husain (AS), have been striving for the past 36 years for defending the aspirations of Iranian Muslims and all those struggling against injustice and oppression. Please stay with us for a special feature on the Immortal Martyr of Karbala, whose shrine continues to attract the faithful in tens of millions from all over the world, despite the threats of Takfiri terrorists.
“O God, I beseech You by the right of him who was born this day, to whom martyrdom was promised before he appeared and was born, for whom the heavens wept and those who are in them and the earth and those who are in it, before he even tread its stony grounds. The slain one for whom tears flow…”
As is clear by the wordings of the above passage of the special supplication to God Almighty for the 3rd of Sha’ban, the birth of the Immortal Martyr of Karbala was not an ordinary event, because of the simple reason that Imam Husain (AS) wasn’t an ordinary person. Younger grandson of the Seal of God’s Messengers, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), it was Divine Providence which willed that he step on to Planet Earth in the year 4 AH after only six months in the womb of his Infallible Mother, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA) – the Noblest Lady of all times. His father, the One and Only Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), looked to his cousin the Prophet to name the radiant boy in view of the latter’s famous statement: “O Ali! Your position to me is that of Aaron to Moses”. Thus, since Aaron’s second son was Shubair, the newborn, following the swift descent of Archangel Gabriel with a message from the Lord Most High, was named Husain (AS), in Arabic. It is to be noted that a year earlier the Prophet on Divine Commandment had named his elder grandson Hasan, which is the Arabic equivalent of Aaron’s firstborn, Shabar.
It is obvious the grandfather and the parents of the baby born this day welcomed him with tears in view of what God Almighty had already informed the Prophet. The tears were definitely not of sorrow, but were a form of thanksgiving to the Source of Life for having bestowed to the child the exalted honour of martyrdom in his middle age. In other words, Imam Husain (AS) was destined to offer the Greatest Sacrifice the world would ever see, for salvaging the dynamism of Islam, the purity of the Prophet’s Sunnah and Seerah – that is, practice and behaviour – the clarity of his mother’s famous sermon of Fadak to expose imposters in their true colours, the blueprint of the model government of social justice of his father Imam Ali (AS), the throwing away of the caliphate by his brother Imam Hasan (AS) to unmask hypocrisy, and the gargantuan efforts of all prophets of the past in the face of the tyranny of Nimrod, Pharaoh, etc – all of which stood imperiled by the Godless Yazid’s demand to swear allegiance to him as the caliph of God. Now we understand why we hail Imam Husain (AS) as the Successor and Legatee of the Prophets Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad (SAWA); and of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), while saluting him in the ziyarah known till this day “Ziyarat-al-Wareth”.
That is the reason God decreed the continuation of imamate in the lineal descent of Imam Husain (AS), the last of whom will be the Qa’em al-Mahdi (AS), the Promised Saviour of mankind who will reappear in the end times, not just to avenge the innocent blood of the Martyr of Karbala, but also to rid Planet Earth of oppression and corruption by establishing the global government of peace, prosperity and justice. No wonder, the very mention of the name of Imam Husain (AS), even if it swells our eyes with tears, it grants us peace of mind, tranquility of heart, succour to the spirit, and solace to the soul, while infusing our whole body and existence with the determination to stand firm against social injustice, deviation from Islamic values, threats of attack, and the devilish designs of the dastardly terrorists. The Martyr of Karbala made blood triumph over swords, and by adhering to his legacy, we have acquired a distinct identity that makes us indomitable in the face of the heaviest odds even if it means the end of our transient life in this mortal world. We end this brief radio programme by quoting here two more passages from the special supplication for the blessed 3rd of Sha’ban that are self-explanatory:
“O Allah, just as You honoured us with our knowledge of him, honour us also with nearness to him, grant us his companionship and precedence. Appoint us to among those who submit to his command, invoke much blessings on him when he is mentioned, as well as on all his successors and his elect, made by You twelve in number, the bright stars and Your testaments to all mankind.
“O Allah, confer on us the best of gifts today, and grant us success in whatever we seek, just as You gave Husain to Mohammad, his grandfather. The Angel Futrus sought refuge by Husain’s cradle, and we seek shelter by his tomb. Being present at his graveside, we await his return. Amen, O Lord of all the worlds.”
Here we present you a tribute in verse to Imam Husain (AS) from Iran’s English language poet, Dr. Hassan Najafi:
Pain met you like a friend, makes you feel free
In Karbala I see Husain in you, or see Ali?
Blest spirit – born in Medina, in Karbala to bloom
Shall spread and flourish to save Islam from doom.
Like a well fashioned wall your patience stood
Nothing could persuade you to stray from good.
Your mother is Fatema – the greatest distinction,
And (grand)son of the Prophet – as Qur’an gives attestation.
From far and wide come pilgrims of various birth
To kneel at your grave and kiss the consecrated earth,
On Euphrates’ bank in silent thought I stood
Where your thirst still smiles on its silver flood,
How anxious your pilgrims to meet in heaven
Your heart, your love, your life, to us you have given.
The pilgrims here gaze as the wonder grows
Each sees himself in your shrine yet hardly knows.
Each brick of gold is a signpost that catches the eye
Each pilgrim in a flood of blood keeps his head high.
Even fashion’s brightest arts decoy
Here heart asks: “Is there an end to this joy”?
Here fancy brings to view a battlefield
Some power imparts the spear and shield.
Here is the world of soul
Your stream, opinions love roll.
Each pilgrim so trim arrayed
To wed allegiance - your hand, a kiss, its shade,
Your blood is ever fresh, charms a distant age,
See the metaphors attribute you in every page.
How your skill in blood to mankind persuades
To follow your line since your picture never fades.
With painting steps and slow
Without your guidance I can’t shorten the go.
Come, O’ Poet; raise and grasp the full toned lyre
The time, the theme, the place – all conspire
It is nothing if we give our syrup of life to you
Indeed, it is far beyond your due.
Two kingdoms, of vice and of virtue, by two led
Of vice, Yazid, set a prize on Husain’s virtuous head.
Traitors came to the aid of Yazid
Virtue left alone, all ages such proceed.
Pleased in your lineaments we trace
A Prophet’s decorum, the Martyr’s grace,
You please, are pleased, you give us esteem
Till seeming blest we grow to what we seem.
Your day benevolence endears
Your night heaven cheers,
In all ages prophets too of ancient days
Were martyred, but alive is your blood’s glassing maze.
Who can stop your blood’s yearly coming tide?
It is every free human being’s universal pride.
Truth from your lips prevails with doubles sway
Still echoes “Is there a helper to me” that you still say.