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The Excellences of the Imam Husayn( A.S)

The Excellences of the Imam

in Sunni Hadith Tradition

M. Ayoub

University of Toronto

Al-Serat, Vol XII (1986)

HUMAN history may be seen as a record of the eternal struggle
between right and wrong, virtue and vice, good and evil, and righteousness
and wickedness. This struggle was decreed by God when Adam, an
earthly creature, was sent to earth to engage in this eternal
battle. It is through this struggle that human beings can earn
their eternal bliss in the Gardens of Paradise, or their eternal
punishment in the Fire. In the history of nations this struggle
often attains universal significance as that moment of the struggle
can speak to all subsequent times and situations. Thus the Qur’an
urges us over and over again to ponder the end of those who were
before us, and how God dealt with them. In every case, moreover,
a prophet or messenger of God was rejected by his people and killed
or driven out. In this sense, therefore, the struggle is in the
end between God and humankind, between truth and falsehood, and
between right guidance and manifest error.

Nowhere is this struggle placed in sharper relief than in the
life of the Prophet Muhammad, and the lives of the people of his
House. The life and witness of the Imam Husayn in particular,
has acquired special significance in Muslim piety. This is because
he has provided a model for all martyrs in the way of God, for
all time.

The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the universal significance
of the Imam in Muslim tradition. It is important to observe that
all the traditions cited in this essay are found in both Shi’i
and Sunni hadith literature. But while in the Sunni community
such traditions remain purely pietistic, Shi’i tradition has made
them the basis of a complex theological system.

However, to appreciate the place of Husayn, ‘the prince of martyrs’,
in Muslim history, a word must be said about the place of the
Prophet’s family (the ahl al-bayt) in Muslim piety. At
the same time the people of the House of the Prophet Muhammad
are not unique in the prophetic history of human societies. A
word is, therefore, necessary concerning the families of other
prophets, if we are to appreciate fully the devotion which Muslims
throughout their long history have accorded the people of the
House of Muhammad, the seal of the prophets.

Prophetic history begins, according to the Qur’an, with Adam,
called safwat Allah (the elect of God). He was followed
by Noah, the first of the prophets of power or resolve (ulu
). Noah was sent as a messenger by God to his people
who rebelled against God’s message, and were thus destroyed by
the flood. Then came Abraham, the father of prophets. With his
son Ishmael he built the Ka’ba, the first house for the worship
of God.[1] Ishmael was also a prophet, and the
ancestor of the prophets Shu’ayb, Salih, Hud, and finally Muhammad,
the last messenger of God to humankind.

Isaac, Abraham’s second son, was also a prophet and the father
of prophets. Among his descendants were the family of ‘Imran,
the father of Moses, and Jesus, as well as other earlier prophets
who were sent by God to the Children of Israel. The Qur’an declares
that God has elected Adam, Noah, the family of Abraham and
the family of ‘Imran
. It further states that they were
a single progeny, one from the other’
All the prophets and their families are therefore of one physical
and spiritual lineage They and their households are the elect
of God, purified and honoured over the rest of humankind.

The people of the House of the Prophet Muhammad were likewise
chosen by God and purified from all evil and sin. The Muslim community
did not, however, infer the status of the family of Muhammad from
that of earlier prophets and their families.

Rather they too were chosen by God and purified from all evil
and sin. Yet because Muhammad was the last prophet sent to guide
humanity to God and the good, his descendants could not assume
his prophetic role. Their mission was to be the Imams, or guides,
of the Muslim community. Their task is to safeguard the message
vouchsafed to Muhammad by God for humankind. Like many prophets,
the Imams had to endure rejection by their people and much suffering
at their hands; martyrdom in the cause of God was often their
lot. Yet the greater the suffering, the greater is the reward
and honour which God promises His prophets, friends (awliya‘),
and righteous servants. Thus the Prophet was asked: ‘Who among
men are those afflicted with the greatest calamity?’ He replied:

The prophets, then the pious, everyone according to the degree
of his piety. A man is afflicted according to his faith (din);
if his faith is durable, his affliction is accordingly increased,
and if his faith is weak, his affliction is made lighter. Afflictions
continue to oppress the worshipful servant until they leave him
walking on the face of the earth without any sin cleaving to him.


In both Sunni and Shi’i Muslim tradition, one important event
symbolizes the status of the ahl al-bayt and the human
as well as spiritual dimensions of their relation to the Prophet.
This is the tradition or episode of al-kisa’ (the mantle,
or cloak) which the Prophet spread over himself and Fatima his
daughter, ‘Ali, and their two sons Hasan and Husayn. This tradition
has come down to us in a number of versions, each stressing one
or another aspect of the excellences of the family of the Prophet
and his love for them. Ahmad b. Hanbal relates on the authority
of Umm Salama, the Prophet’s wife, that he said to Fatima one

‘Bring me your husband and two sons.’ When they had all come together
he spread over them a mantle, and laying his hand over them, he
said: ‘O God, these are the people of the House of Muhammad! Let
therefore your prayers and blessings descend upon Muhammad and
the people of the House of Muhammad; for you are worthy of all
praise and glory.’ Umm Salama continued: ‘I then lifted the mantle
to enter in with them, but he pulled it away from my hand saying,
“You too shall come to a good end”. [4]

The point which this version of the kisa’ tradition emphasizes
is that the ahl al-bayt are only the five: Muhammad, ‘Ali,
Fatima, and their two sons Hasan and Husayn. Umm Salama, one of
the most highly venerated of the Prophet’s wives, was denied this
special status. We shall have more to say about this point, as
it is emphasized in almost every version of this tradition.

In another highly interesting version of the kisa’ tradition,
related on the authority of ‘Abd Allah b. Jafar b. Abi Talib,
we read:

As the Apostle of God saw mercy descending, he demanded: ‘Call
them for me, call them for me!’ Safiyya asked: ‘Who should we
call, O Messenger of God?’ He answered: ‘Call the people of my
household: ‘Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Husayn.’ When they were brought,
he spread a mantle over them; then lifting his hands to heaven
said: ‘O God, these are the people of my House; bless, O God,
Muhammad and the people of the House of Muhammad!’ God then sent
down the verse: Surely God wishes to remove all abomination
from you, O People of the House, and purify you with a thorough
. [5]

This version of the tradition provides the meaning of the kisa’
and the basis of its significance. The mantle is a symbol of divine
mercy and blessing covering the Prophet and his holy family. It
is, moreover, a source or haven of consolation and serenity in
the face of the great sufferings and martyrdom which the Prophet’s
family had to endure after him. In this infinite source of divine
mercy, the pious also share in times of sufferings and afflictions.
The kisa’ finally sets apart the ‘holy five’ from the rest
of the faithful, and distinguishes them from the rest of the Prophet’s

The event of the kisa’ provides the occasion for the revelation
of the verse of purification just cited. Before the sectarian
conflicts which split the Muslim community set in, classical tradition
was almost unanimous in interpreting this verse as referring to
the Prophet, his daughter Fatima al-Zahra’ (the Radiant), her
husband and cousin,’ Ali, and their two sons Hasan and Husayn.

In still another version of the kisa’ tradition, the continuity
of the Prophet’s family with those of earlier prophets is clearly
indicated. Wathila b. al-Asqa’, on whose authority this tradition
in most of its variants is related, reports the following prayer
uttered by the Prophet:

O God, as you have bestowed your blessings, mercy, forgiveness,
and pleasure upon Abraham and the family of Abraham, so they [‘Ali,
Fatima, Hasan and Husayn] are of me and I am of them! Bestow,
therefore, your blessings, mercy, forgiveness and pleasure upon
me and them.’ [7]

This prayer echoes a prayer which Muslims repeat daily:

O God, bless Muhammad and the people of the House of Muhammad,
as you have blessed Abraham and the people of the House of Abraham
among all beings.

The House of Muhammad is, therefore, for all Muslims, ‘the household
of prophethood and the frequenting place of angels’. The famous
Qur’an commentator al-Suyuti quotes a tradition attributed to
Umm Salama in interpretation of the verse of purification:

This verse was sent down in my house … There were in the house
then, seven: Gabriel and Michael, and ‘Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and
Husayn, and I stood at the door of the house. I asked: ‘O Messenger
of God, am I not of the People of the House?’ He said: ‘You shall
indeed come to a good end! You are, however, one of the wives
of the Prophet.’ [8]

The close friendship between the Prophet and the holy family,
a relationship which went far beyond the bond of blood relation,
may be seen in the incident of the mubahala, or prayer
ordeal, with which the Prophet challenged the Christians of Najran.[9]
In the mubahala verse of the Qur’an, God orders the Prophet
and his opponents to ‘Call together our sons and your sons, our
women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves.’ In the view
of most Qur’an commentators and traditionists, the Prophet’s sons
are Hasan and Husayn, ‘his women’ refers to Fatima, and ‘his self’
refers, apart from himself, to ‘Ali. When the people of Najran
saw them, they recognized their high status with God, and with
great trepidation they declined the mubahala and opted
instead for peace.

Tradition asserts that the Prophet sensed the hostility which
his community was to show to the People of his House after him.
He is said to have often declared, ‘I am at war against him who
fights against you, and will show peace toward him who shows peace
to you.’ This invective is strongly put in a tradition related
on the authority of Abu Bakr, the Prophet’s famous Companion and
the first caliph. He said:

I saw the Messenger of God pitch a tent in which he placed ‘Ali,
Fatima, Hasan, and Husayn. He then declared: ‘O Muslims, I am
at war against anyone who wars against the people of this tent,
and am at peace with those who show peace toward them. I am a
friend to those who befriend them. He who shows love toward them
shall be one of a happy ancestry and good birth. Nor would anyone
hate them except that he be of miserable ancestry and evil birth.

Love for the Prophet’s family is enjoined by God in the Qur’an,
where He says: Say, ‘I ask no other reward of you save love
of my next of kin’
(42:23). Qur’an commentators have generally
agreed that ‘the next of kin’ here intended are the ahl al-bayt.

The People of the House of the Prophet Muhammad have been for
the pious an example of generosity, steadfastness in the face
of hardship, and a source of solace in time of trials and afflictions.
After days of fasting and prayers for the health of the two sick
children Hasan and Husayn, the family fed the few morsels of dry
bread and dates for which ‘Ali had laboured so hard to the needy.
On the first evening, we are told, a beggar came. On the second,
it was an orphan, and on the third, a captive. To each in turn,
they gave the loaf of barley bread and few dates which Fatima
had prepared for the family to break their fast. Thus God sent
down the verse: They give food to eat, even though they cherish
it, to the needy, the orphan and the captive
. [12]
Yet, in the end, God sent down a celestial table to feed His friends.

Early tradition shows a tension in the relationship of the Prophet
to the community and in the relationship of the latter to the
holy family. Much of the literature reflecting this tension was
most likely the product of a later age, but projected back to
the time of the Prophet and his Companions. Here love for the
Prophet’s family is not simply recommended as a pious act, but
is presented as a challenge, and in a harsh reproaching tone.
Furthermore, it is on this love to the ahl al-bayt that
rewards and punishments on the Last Day are predicated.[13]
Thus we are told that the Prophet said:

He who desires the pleasure to live my life, die my death and
dwell in a garden of Eden which my Lord has planted, let him be
a friend to ‘Ali after me. Let him also be a friend to his friends.
Let him finally be guided by the Imams after me, for they are
my progeny. They were created of my clay, and have been vouchsafed
knowledge and understanding. Woe to those of my community who
deny their superiority, and those who violate the demands of kindness
to my next of kin. May God not grant them my intercession.’ [14]

In another tradition, the Prophet promises his intercession to
those who honour his descendants, provide them with whatever needs
they may have, and those who love them with their heart and profess
this love with their tongues. [15]

It has already been stressed that the ahl al-bayt share
with the prophets of old and their descendants a high status and
divine favour, but not the office of prophethood. They share,
moreover, with the Prophet Muhammad the prerogative of intercession.
This is expressed in hagiographical language, a language common
to both Sunni and Shi’i tradition. One such common example may
suffice to demonstrate the devotion in the piety of both traditions
to the Prophet and the people of his household.

The Qur’an tells us that Adam received certain words of God which
earned him God’s forgiveness and mercy: Adam received words
from his Lord, and He turned towards him; for He is relenting,
(2:37). Suyuti reports that Ibn ‘Abbas, the
famous traditionist and authority on the Qur’an, asked the Prophet
about the words which Adam received. The Prophet answered: ‘He
prayed saying, “O God, for the sake of Muhammad, ‘Ali, Fatima,
Hasan and Husayn, do turn toward me”, and He turned toward
him.’ [16] In another highly dramatic version
of this tradition, Adam is taught the words as the only means
by which God would accept his repentance and forgive him. ‘Ali,
we are told, enquired of the Prophet concerning the verse under
discussion. The Prophet told him that when Adam and his wife were
expelled from Paradise, Adam wept bitterly over his sin for a
hundred years. Finally, Gabriel came to him and spoke thus on
God’s behalf:

O Adam, did I not create you with my own hand? Did I not breathe
into you of my spirit? Did I not command my angels to bow down
before you? Did I not provide you with Eve my servant?’ ‘Yes’,
Adam answered. Gabriel asked: ‘What then is the cause of this
weeping?’ Adam replied, ‘Why should I not weep when I have been
expelled from the proximity of the All-Merciful?’ The angel then
said: ‘You must pray fervently with these words, and God will
accept your repentance and forgive your sin. Say: “O God,
I beseech you for the sake of Muhammad and the people of the household
of Muhammad; nor is there any god but you. I have done evil, and
have wronged my soul. Turn towards me for you are relenting, compassionate.”


Islamic tradition has preserved numerous anecdotes depicting the
tender care and love which the Prophet showed Hasan and Husayn.
They were both born in Medina, and thus knew the Prophet only
as children. It is therefore with the intimacy and love of a grandfather
that the early life of the two Imams is coloured. Once more, these
family anecdotes also reflect clearly the theological and political
tension within the community, a tension which largely centered
around Hasan and Husayn. One such anecdote is the following.

One day, we are told, Hasan and Husayn were lost, and their mother
Fatima came to the Prophet greatly alarmed. The angel Gabriel,
however, came down and told the Prophet that the two youths were
asleep in an animal fold some distance away. God, the angel reassured
the anxious family, had charged an angel to keep watch over them.
The Prophet went to the spot and found the angel had spread his
two wings: one under them and the other over them as cover. The
Prophet stooped over the two children and began to kiss them until
they awoke. He then carried them on his shoulders back to the
city. A large crowd of Muslims followed the Prophet and his two
grandsons to the mosque. The Prophet then addressed the assembled
people and said: ‘O Muslims, shall I inform you of those who have
the best grandfather and grandmother of humankind?’ ‘Yes, O Apostle
of God’, they all replied. ‘They are Hasan and Husayn’, he said.
‘Their grandfather is the Apostle of God, the seal of the Messengers,
and their grandmother is Khadija, daughter of Khuwaylid, mistress
of the women of Paradise.’ The Prophet then declared Hasan and
Husayn to have the best maternal uncle and aunt: Jafar and Umm
Hani’, son and daughter of Abu Talib. Their maternal uncle and
aunt were likewise the best of all uncles and aunts: they were
al-Qasim, son of the Messenger of God, and Zaynab, daughter of
the Apostle of God. The Prophet concluded: ‘O God, you know that
Hasan and Husayn shall be in Paradise, their uncles and aunt shall
be in Paradise, and those who love them shall be in Paradise,
while those who hate them shall be in the Fire.” [18]

Abu Hurayra, the famous hadith transmitter, related that
often when they prayed behind the Messenger of God Hasan and Husayn
would jump on his back while he was prostrate in prayer. When
he lifted his head, he would move them gently and place them beside

One evening, after prayers, Abu Hurayra offered to take the two
youths home, but the Prophet wished them to stay. Soon, however,
a flash of lightning illuminated the sky, and they thus walked
in its light until they entered their home. [19]

The friends (awliya‘) of God, like the prophets, are favoured
with miracles. These are not miracles proper (mu’jizat),
but rather karamat (divine favours). The lightning incident
was one such divine favour by means of which the Prophet wished
to inform the community of the special status with which God had
favoured the two Imams.

There is a unity between the Prophet and the ahl al-bayt,
a unity not simply of blood, but also of the spirit. It is a unity
symbolized by the kisa’ event. It is, therefore, a unity
of love, as the following statement of the Prophet clearly indicates.
He said, as related on the authority of Salman the Persian: ‘Whoever
loves Hasan and Husayn, I love him, and whomsoever I love, God
also loves, and whomsoever God loves, He shall cause him to enter
into the gardens of bliss.’ Likewise he who hates Hasan and Husayn
shall be consigned to the Fire, because both God and his Messenger
will hate him, ‘and a terrible punishment awaits him’. [20]

Muslim hagiographical piety extended this unity and intimacy between
the Prophet and his two grandchildren to include the angels of
heaven. Thus Hudhayfa, a well known companion and traditionist,
reported that the Prophet said: ‘An angel is here who never came
down to earth before this night. He sought permission from his
Lord to come down and greet me, and to bring me the glad tidings
that Fatima is the mistress of the women of Paradise, and that
Hasan and Husayn are the masters of the youths of Paradise.’ [21]

There is no doubt that the special status of the Imam Husayn in
Muslim piety and devotion has in large measure been due to the
Imam’s great sacrifice of family, wealth, and life itself in the
way of God. Husayn’s martyrdom – his courage, steadfastness, dignity,
and true devotion in times of great crisis – have inspired Muslims
of all walks of life. Husayn has inspired the best poetry in all
Islamic languages; even non-Muslim poets celebrated his great
virtue and valour. Above all, however, the Imam Husayn’s martyrdom
became a source of strength and endurance for Muslims in times
of suffering, persecution and oppression. He has stood with every
wronged man or woman before oppressive rulers, reproaching wrongdoers
and encouraging the oppressed to persist in their struggle for
freedom and dignity. The following encounter between Zayd b. Arqam,
a venerable companion of the Prophet, and ‘Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad
is a living testimony to the struggle between illegitimate authority
and the power of right. When the head of the Imam Husayn was brought
before him, Ibn Ziyad began to poke its teeth and lips with a

Zayd protested: ‘Take away your stick! For, by God, I saw the
Apostle of God often kiss these lips.’ Saying this, Zayd began
to weep. Ibn Ziyad reprimanded him, saying: ‘May God cause your
eyes to weep! Had it not been that you are an old and senile man,
I would have cut off your head.’ Zayd then walked away, exclaiming:
‘O men, you are slaves after this day. For you have slain the
son of Fatima and set as amir over you the son of Marjana
[i.e., Ibn Ziyad]. By God, he shall kill the best of you and enslave
the most wicked among you. Perish those who accept humiliation
and shame.’ Zayd then said, ‘O Ibn Ziyad, I shall tell you something
that will enrage you even more. I saw the Apostle of God seating
Hasan on his left leg and Husayn on his right, and say, “O
God, I commend them and the most righteous of the people of faith
to your trust.” How have you dealt with the trust of the
Prophet, O Ibn Ziyad?’ [22]

Divine wisdom in creation can be best discerned, according to
the Qur’an, in the order of nature, and in the human individual
and his society. Muslim hagiography has recorded the dramatic
effect the death of Husayn had on nature. Thus the famous traditionist
al-Bayhaqi reported that when al-Husayn b. ‘Ali was killed, the
sun was so deeply eclipsed that stars were seen at midday. People
feared that it was the Day of Resurrection.[23]
Nadra al-Azdiya, a woman who was contemporary with the Imam Husayn,
is said to have reported: ‘When al-Husayn b. ‘Ali was killed,
the sky rained down blood, so that next morning we found our wells
and water jugs filled with it.’ [24]

The memory of the martyred Imam has been kept alive and nourished
by the tears of the faithful who vicariously share in the tragedy
of the Imam Husayn and his loved ones and friends. Here again,
tradition has extended the grief displayed by the pious for the
tragedy of Karbala’ to the cosmic order. Thus al-Suyuti reports
in his commentary on the verse describing God’s compassion towards
the ancient martyr John son of Zachariah that ‘The heavens did
not weep for the death of anyone except John son of Zachariah
and al-Husayn b. ‘Ali. Its redness [at sunset] is the sign of
its weeping.’[25]


It has already been argued that there is an existential and all-inclusive
unity between the Prophet and his daughter Fatima, her husband,
‘Ali, and their two sons. This unity makes it impossible to discuss
one without discussing all the others. We have, therefore, been
concerned throughout this study with the Imam Husayn in the context
of this essential unity. It must be added, however, that the Imam
Husayn was especially close to the heart of his grandfather, the
Prophet Muhammad. It is of Husayn alone that he declared: ‘Husayn
is of me and I am of Husayn. May God love those who love Husayn.’[26]
When sura 108 (al-Kawthar) was revealed, the Prophet
announced this great favour to his close companion Anas b. Malik,
on whose authority this tradition is reported. Anas asked: ‘What
is al-Kawthar?’ He answered: ‘It is a river in Paradise,
but neither those who violate my covenant (dhimma), nor
those who shall kill the people of my House will be allowed to
drink of it.’ [27]

Finally, Shi’i tradition has always insisted on the great merit
the faithful earn in making pilgrimage (ziyara) to the
tomb of the Imam Husayn and the tombs of the men who were martyred
with him.

Yet Sunni tradition has likewise seen great merit in this pious
act.[28] The ziyara to the tomb of the martyred
Imam has acquired this great significance in all Muslim tradition
because the Imam and his fellow martyrs are seen as models of
jihad in the way of God. It is related that the father of the
Imams, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, passed by Karbala’ after the battle
of Siffin. He took a handful of its soil and exclaimed: ‘Ah, ah,
on this spot some men will be slain, and will enter Paradise without
reckoning!’ [29]

The spiritual unity of the ahl al-bayt, symbolized by the
kisa’, is in turn a symbol of the unity of all Muslims.
It is for the sake of this unity in faith and commitment (islam)
to God and the truth that the Imam Husayn sacrificed his life.
He refused a partisan Islam when he refused to legitimize Umayyad
rule. Because he refused humiliation, wrongdoing and deviation
from the ideals of Islamic leadership as exemplified by the Prophet
and his own father ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, the Imam
Husayn drew once and for all the distinction between a true khalifa
(representative) of the Apostle of God and the kings of this world.
But above all, the Imam Husayn and his fellow martyrs accepted
God’s bargain with the people of faith to exchange their lives
and wealth for the eternal bliss of Paradise.[30]
This divine challenge is no less relevant to the Muslim community
today than it was fourteen hundred years ago. It invites us still
to ‘a garden whose breadth is greater than the heavens and earth,
prepared for those who fear God’.

[1] See 2:127, 3:96.

[2] See 3:33.

[3] Musnad Ibn
, quoted in M. Ayoub, Redemptive Suffering in Islam
(The Hague, 1978), p. 25, and see also pp. 25-6

[4] Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad
(Cairo, 1313), IV, 323.

[5] Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad
b. Abd Allah al-Nisaburi,
Mustadrak al-sahihayn (Haydarabad
[Deccan], 1324), III, 147. See also 33:33.

[6] See, for example,
the commentary on this verse in al-Zamakhshari and al-Tabari.

[7] Ala al-Din Ali al-Muttaqi
b. Husam al-Din al-Hindi,
Kanz al-‘ummal (Haydarabad
[Deccan], 1312), p. 217.

[8] See the commentary
on 33: 33 in al-Suyuti,
Al-Durr al-manthur.

[9] See 3:61. see also
Muhammad b. ‘Isa al-Tirmidhi,
Sahih al-Tirmidhi (Cairo,
1920), II, 300, and Ibn Hanbal, I, 185.

[10] Abu Ja’far Ahmad
al-Muhibb al-Tabari,
Al-Riyad al-nadira (Cairo, n.d.),
II, 199 For other versions of this tradition, see Murtada al-Husayni
al-Fayruzabadi, Fada’il al-khamsa fi sihah al- sitta (Najaf,
1384), p. 252.

[11] See the commentaries
on this verse in al-Zamakhshari, al-Tabari, and al-Suyuti.

[12] 76:8.

[13] For a detailed discussion
of this tradition, see M Ayoub, pp 43-5.

[14] Abu Nu’aym, Ahmad
b. Abd Allah al-Isbahani,
Hilyat al-awliya’ (Cairo,
1351). I, 86.

[15] Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi,
VIII, 151, and IV 217. See also Shihab al-Din Ahmad b. Hajar al-Haytami
, Al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa (Cairo, 1312), p.

[16] See the commentary
on 2:37 in al-Suyuti.

[17] Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi,
I, 234.

[18] Al-Fayruzabadi,
III, 187.

[19] Ibn Hanbal, II,
513; al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, VII, 109.

[20] Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi,
p. 221

[21] Al-Tirmidhi, II,

[22] Ibn Hajar, p. 118.

[23] Abu Bakr Ahmad b
Husayn b. al-Bayhaqi,
Al-Sunan al-Kubra (Haydarabad,
1344), III, 337.

[24] Ibn Hajar, p. 291.

[25] See the commentary
on 19:13 in al-Suyuti.

[26] Al-Tirmidhi, II,

[27] See the commentary
on sura 108 in al-Suyuti.

[28] Muhibb al-Din Ahmad
b. Abd Allah al-Tabari,
Dhakha’ir al- ‘uqba (n.p.,
1356), p. 151. Note also the popularity of the Mosque of the Head
of the Imam Husayn in Cairo as a place of pilgrimage.

[29] Shihab al-Din Ahmad
b. Hajar al-Haytami al-Asqalani,
Tahdhib al-tahdhib
(Haydarabad [Deccan], 1325), II, 348.

[30] See 9:111.


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