In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate, heartiest congratulations to you all on a very special occasion. Today the 3rd of Sha'ban affords us the opportunity to once again celebrate the birth anniversary of the Epitome of Freedom and Human Dignity who refused to yield to the forces of oppression and injustice.
Yes, dear friends, today is the birthday of the Immortal Martyr of Karbala, Imam Husain (PBUH), and here we present you an exclusive feature on an occasion that is celebrated in Iran as the Day of the Islamic Revolution Revolutionary Guards Corps, in honour of the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).
Today in the year 4 AH, exactly a millennium, four centuries and 27 years ago, fragrance filled the air of the Prophet's city, Medina, with the advent of the "Rayhanat ar-Rasoul" or Basil of the Prophet in the house of the Prophet's immaculate daughter, Hazrat Fatema az-Zahra (peace upon her). On this day the Prophet became grandfather for the second time. On the command of Almighty God, he named the newborn, Husain, which like his elder grandson, Hasan, born a year earlier, also means "Excellence'. What a paragon par excellence did Imam Husain prove that till this day, after the passing of a thousand and four hundred years, it is the fragrance of the sacred blood of the grandson that continues to refresh the message of the grandfather every year. As a matter of fact so perfectly did Imam Husain (PBUH) perfume Islam that the pure and pristine precedents set by the Prophet and known as the School of the Ahl al-Bayt, have remained unsullied by even the slightest form of stench that over the course of time has pervaded all other schools.
It is neither exaggeration nor playing with words, since the paucity of words, whatever the language one speaks, fails to do justice to the Prophet's immortal phrase "Inn al-Husain Misbah al-Huda wa Safinat an-Najah". In English it means: "Indeed Husain is the Beacon of Guidance and the Ark of Salvation."
Surely, it wasn't the doting of a middle-aged grandfather to express such words, especially when God says in verses 2 to 4 of Surah Najm of the holy Qur'an that His Prophet neither errs nor speaks out of desire, and it is nothing but revelation that is revealed. Perhaps, some of the Prophet's companions, who before becoming Muslims had spent the greater part of their life worshipping idols and indulging in all cardinal sins, might not have properly gauged the words of the Seal of Divine Messengers regarding his grandson or the rest of his Immaculate Ahl al-Bayt, whose spotless purity the Holy Qur'an vouches, especially in verse 33 of Surah Ahzab, which reads:
"Indeed God has desired to keep you Ahl al-Bayt away from any uncleanness, and preserve as pure as purity can be."
Alas, if the people of the time of the Prophet had properly understood the message of Islam, then Islamic history would have been different. It would have been spared of the greatest ever discord that occurred because of the violation of Divine Commandments by certain companions of the Prophet and their refusal to obey the Prophet's orders on his deathbed. These rebellious companions, who were surely not Muslims at hearts and still preserved their infidel tendencies, called the Last and Greatest Messenger of God 'delirious', and then after his passing away, usurped the rights of the Ahl al-Bayt and subjected them to tyranny. If they had not indulged in search injustice in pursuit of the powers of the transient world, then 50 years after the Prophet's departure, Imam Husain (PBUH) would not have been so tragically martyred along with 18 other members of the Hashemite clan in addition to over 50 other virtuously steadfast Muslims. Now, we understand why the Prophet used to emphasize on the position of Imam Husain (PBUH) with such explicit words by saying: "Husain is from me and I am from Husain." He was actually setting his grandson as the Barometer of True Islam, by meaning to say that whoever follows the path of Imam Husain (PBUH) is actually following the Path of the Prophet, and whoever, deviates from the teachings of his grandson, has actually deviated from Islam and the Prophet's teachings, despite his or her claim to be a Muslim. In other words, by adhering to the enlightened path of Imam Husain (PBUH) one becomes a true believer and is saved from hypocrisy.
There are several instances from the life of Imam Husain (PBUH) in the days of the Prophet that are proof of his glorious stature and position in Islam. For example, the Prophet has in another immortal hadith regarding his two grandsons said: "al-Hasan wa'l-Husain Seyyedai Shabab ahl al-Jannah". It means: "Hasan and Husain are the Leaders of the Youth of Paradise." In other words, whoever desires paradise and the bliss of afterlife should follow the path of the Prophet's grandsons, if not his or her lot will be miserable in the Hereafter, and his or claim to be a Muslim will be nothing but paying mere lip service to Islam and actually hypocrisy. Another instance of the peerless position of Imam Husain (PBUH) is evident from the incident when while a toddler he pierced through the ranks of prostrating Muslims and seated himself on his grandfather's back. And the Prophet did not raise his head from prostration as long as his grandson was on his back and did not dismount voluntarily. In all, the Prophet recited Subhan-Allah or Glory to God at least 70 times instead of the normal 3 while in prostration that day. On another instance, we find the Prophet in the crowded mosque interrupting his sermon, getting down the pulpit, picking up the young Husain who had tumbled on entering the mosque, and then climbing back the pulpit to resume his enlightened discourse.
Imam Husain (PBUH) was born for a cause. He lived 57 years for a cause to serve as barometer to distinguish truth from falsehood. He gave his life for a cause by refusing to give oath of allegiance to the tyrannical debauchee Yazid, who had no right to style himself ruler of Muslims. And by drinking the elixir of martyrdom the boy born today to Hazrat Fatema Zahra and Imam Ali (peace upon them), continues to serve as the "Beacon of Light and the Ark of Salvation" as the Prophet had predicted. We join the celestial angels today on the auspicious 3rd of Sha'ban to celebrate the birth anniversary of the Immortal Martyr of Karbala, the commemoration of whose tragedy rejuvenates Islam every year. We supplicate to God, as did the fallen angel, Fitrous, this day who by circumambulating the cradle of Imam Husain beseeched Divine Forgiveness that was swiftly granted to him. Let us avail the opportunity of the 3rd of Sha’ban to offer our sincere congratulations to the Prophet, and to console him as well, for when the newborn was placed in his lap tears dropped down from the Prophet’s eyes. Let us present you one of the immortal thought-provoking statements of the Immortal Martyr of Karbala, whose blood purified the soil and granted it curative properties. He said to the Godless enemies of his days who were devoid of all moral values in their blind pursuit of the transient world: "If you do not have religion at least be free persons (in your worldly affairs)." This is definitely food for thought for all aspiring to tread the immortal trail blazed out by the Chief of Martyrs, including the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, whose selfless endeavours, with attention focused on Karbala, during the 8-year war the US had imposed on the Islamic Republic through Saddam, ensured Iran's success.