Martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.) was a ‘momentous matter in the skies’ and the earth. Being a significant event, it had extraordinary links with the past. In the comparison with the past nations is the answer to the critics of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) uprising against the forces of oppression and falsehood.
1. Islam and Bani Israel
2. Imam Husain (a.s.) and Prophet Yahya (a.s.)
3. Killers of Imam Husain (a.s.) and Prophet Yahya (a.s.)
4. Weeping of heavens
5. Unique name of Imam Husain (a.s.)
6. Transgression of Sabbath / Sabt (Saturday)
Back to Top 1. Islam and Bani Israel
it was prophesied that events in Islam and Bani Israel would mirror each other closely.
The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) predicted:
Whatever occurred in Bani Israel will happen exactly and precisely over here.
- Man laa Yahzorohu al-Faqih vol. 1, p. 203, trad. 609
He (s.a.w.a.) also said:
Surely, Torah and the Quran were written by one Angel, on one skin, and with one pen, and all examples with tradition became equal.
- Kitab al-Sulaim Qays al-Hilali (r.a.) v 2 p 599
Back to Top 2. Imam Husain (a.s.) and Prophet Yahya (a.s.)
When Prophet Zakariyya (a.s.) was informed about the Imam Husain (a.s.) and the incident of Karbala he supplicated to Allah:
O Allah grant me a son who will be the coolness of my eye in old age, and make him my inheritor and successor, and place him in the same position to me as you have made Husain (a.s.) (to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.)). Then when you have granted him to me, then examine me with his love, then involve me in a disaster with regards him as you have involved Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), Your beloved in a disaster with regards his son (Husain a.s.).
Then Allah granted him Yahya and embroiled Zakariya in a disaster with regards Yahya.
- Kamaluddin v 2 p 461
In the Ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) we compare him (a.s.) to Prophet Yahya (a.s.):
أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ مَضَيْتَ عَلَى مَا مَضَى عَلَيْهِ أَخُوكَ يَحْيَى بْنُ زَكَرِيَّا
I bear witness that you tread on the path of your brother Yahya Ibn Zakariyya.
- Basharah al-Mustafa (s.a.w.a.) p 74-75
Back to Top 3. Killers of Imam Husain (a.s.) and Prophet Yahya (a.s.)
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) informed:
The killer of Yahya Ibn Zakariyya (a.s.) was of illegitimate birth and the killer of Imam Husain (a.s.) was also of illegitimate birth. The sky has never wept on anyone but them.
- Kamil al-Ziyarat p 77
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) informed:
There is a position in Hell that no one deserves, except the killer of Husain Ibn Ali (a.s.) and the killer of Yahya Ibn Zakariyya (a.s.).
- Kamil al-Ziyarat p 78
Back to Top 4. Weeping of heavens
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) informed:
The heavens wept over Husain Ibn Ali (a.s.) and Yahya Ibn Zakariya (a.s.) and they have never wept over anyone other than them.
I asked: How was the weeping of the heavens?
Imam (a.s.) replied: The heavens became red for forty days, like the sun at the time of sunrise and sunset.”
- Kamil al-Ziyarat p 89
Back to Top 5. Unique name of Imam Husain (a.s.)
Regarding the Quranic verse:
لَمْ نَجْعَل لَّهُ مِن قَبْلُ سَمِيًّا
We have not given this name to anyone before. (Surah Maryam (19):7)
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) said:
Husain Ibn Ali’s (a.s.) name was not given to anyone before him and Yahya Ibn Zakariya’s (a.s.) name was also not given to anyone before him.
- Kamil al-Ziyarat p 90
Back to Top 6. Transgression of Sabbath / Sabt (Saturday)
This nation will oppress the companions of Imam Husain (a.s.) just like Bani Israel transgressed on Saturday and Imam (a.s.) was (also) martyred on Saturday, on Ashura (in a month when it is prohibited to battle).
- Kamil al-Ziyarat p 73
Clearly, the comparison of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) martyrdom with the incidents and personalities of the past nations, is further proof (if any were needed) of his sincerity and truthfulness to take on the forces of evil and falsehood and to revive the Islam introduced by his grandfather (s.a.w.a.) and nourished by his parents (a.s.).