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In praise of Al-Hussein (a.s.)

Date: 12/11/2013 A.D 8/1/1435 H

Compiled by: Manal Samhat

Following are sayings by a number of international figures of different cultures, affiliations and regions in praise of Al-Hussein, which reveal how these figures were influenced by the dedicated character of Al-Hussein (a.s.) in serving the Message of Islam until he was martyred.

Prophet Muhammad (p.) said:

“Hussein is from me and I am from Hussein. O Allah I beseech You to love whoever loves Hussein. Hussein is a disciple of the disciples.”

Archeologist William Lovetts said:

“Al-Hussein Bin Ali represented the most influential martyrdom in the history of humanity, and he elevated his tragedy to the sublime level of outstanding heroism.”

Maurice de Capri said:

“In the Hussaini elegy, it is said that Al-Hussein sacrificed himself to safeguard the honor of the people and preserve the sanctity of Islam, and he did not succumb to the tyranny and whims of Yazid. Let us take Al-Hussein as our role model so as to get rid of colonialism, preferring honorable death over disgraceful living.”

Edward G. Brown, a professor of Arabic and oriental studies at the University of Cambridge said:

 “…a reminder of that blood-stained field of Karbala, where the grandson of the Apostle of God fell, at length, tortured by thirst, and surrounded by the bodies of his murdered kinsmen, has been at anytime since then, sufficient to evoke, even in the most lukewarm and the heedless, the deepest emotion, the most frantic grief, and an exaltation of spirit before which pain, danger, and death shrink to unconsidered trifles.”

The famous English novelist, Charles Dickens, said:

“If Al-Hussein (a.s.) had fought to quench his worldly desires…then I do not understand why his sister, wife, and children accompanied him. It stands to reason therefore, that he sacrificed purely for Islam.”

A Syrian Christian thinker, Antoine Bara, said:

“Had Al-Hussein been one of us, we would have spread his cause throughout the world and called people for Christianity in the name of Al-Hussein.”

English historian, Edward Gibbon, said:

“In a distant age and climate, the tragic scene of the death of Al-Hussein will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader.”

Egyptian writer, Abdul-Rahman Al-Sharqawi, said:

“Al-Hussein martyred for the sake of religion and freedom. Therefore, not only the Shiites, but also all the free people of the world should honor the name of Al-Hussein (a.s.).”

Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi, said:

“I have looked into the biography of Imam Al-Hussein, the great martyr of Islam, and I have scrutinized the tragedy of Karbala and reached the conclusion that if India wishes to achieve victory, it has to model after Al-Hussein.” 

Scottish historian and philosopher, Thomas Carlyle, said:

“The best lesson which we get from the tragedy of Karbala is that Al-Hussein and his companions were rigid believers in God. They illustrated that the numerical superiority does not count when it comes to the truth and the falsehood. The victory of Husain, despite his minority, marvels me!”

Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi, said:

“I learnt from Hussain how to attain victory while being oppressed.”

Adolf Hitler, said:

“Stand firmly while fighting just as Al-Hussein Bin Ali, Muhammad’s grandson, and his companions stood firmly in Karbala in Iraq. Although they were a minority in the face of thousands, they attained eternal glory.”

English researcher, John Usher, said:

“The tragedy of Al-Hussain signifies the most sublime meanings of martyrdom for the sake of social justice.”

Thamlas Tandon, former president of the Indian National Conference, said:

“These great sacrifices represented by the martyrdom of Imam Al-Hussein have raised the level of human thought. Such memory ought to be forever cherished and always remembered.”

The revered Islamic scholar, Muhammad Jawad Moghniyyeh, said:

“The blood spilled in Karbala was not a price paid for the freedom of one individual, people or generation; but rather, it was a price paid for the sake of the religion and the entire humanity, a price paid for the sake of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger; thus, it was worthy of the veneration and glorification of the Quran and Islam

British Orientalist, Sir Percy Sykes, said:

“Verily, the courage and heroism that this small group demonstrated drove whoever heard about it to praise and eulogize it involuntarily. This noble courageous group annexed to itself such a great and immortal reputation that will last forever.”

Jordanian lawyer, Ahmad Hussein Yaaqoub, said:

“I cried over Al-Hussein (a.s.), and this bleeding wound of mine led to me convert to Shiism.”

The Moroccan Sayyed, Idriss Al-Hussein, said:

“Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.) has actually led me to Shiism, and I surely hope that he does this again to release me into the wider spaces of the world of Shiism.

Dr. Boulos Al-Helo said:

“The Hussaini cause is not restricted to the Shiites only; but rather, it is general and comprehensive; thus, we find that the connection of the Hussaini revolution with the principle of fighting oppression brought it too close to man (whatever his religion or creed was, for as long as there is an oppressor and an oppressed, there will be Yazid and Al-Hussein as two essential symbols representing both sides respectively).

His Eminence, Sheikh Hassan As-Saffar, said:

“Al-Hussein is not limited to a certain sect; but rather, he is an Imam to all Muslims and one of the disciples of the Messenger of Allah, the Prophet of the entire nation. He [Al-Hussein] was martyred for the sake of the religion of Allah and in defense of the rights of Allah’s servants.

American Orientalist, Gustav Gronnebam, said:

“The tragedy of Karbala is of a universal significance. The sad image of the dead Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.), the noble and courageous man, had had an influence in the Muslims’ conscience that no other Muslim character matched.”

American anthropologist, Carlton Coon, said:

“The tragedy of the killing of Al-Hussein Bin Ali could form the basis of thousand of tragedies.”

German Orientalist, Marbien, said:

“Al-Hussein has given the world a lesson in sacrifice by sacrificing his most loved ones and by proving the righteousness of his cause, as well as the oppression and injustice he had to put up with. He made Islam and the Muslims enter into the books of history.”

Hungarian Orientalist, Ignaz Goldziher, said:

“A bloody conflict broke out between Al-Hussein Bin Ali and the Umayyad usurpers. The battlefield of Karbala has provided Islam with a big number of martyrs who are emotionally mourned until this day.”

British writer, Freya Stark, said:

“The Shiites throughout the Islamic world revive the memory of Al-Hussein and his killing and mourn him the first ten days of the month of Muharram… There he pitched his camp while his enemies surrounded him and held the water: the details are as living to-day as then, 1257 years ago; nor can anyone with much profit visit these Holy Cities unless he knows something of the story, for its tragedy is built into their very foundation. It is one of the few stories I can never read without weeping.”

British researcher, A.S. Stevens, said:

“At a place near the city of Karbala, the heretics of Yazid Bin Mu’awiyah and his army besieged Al-Hussein Bin Ali, withheld the water and killed him. It is the most tragic tragedy in Islam. Al-Hussein came to Iraq through the desert accompanied by some of his relatives of Ahl El-Beit (a.s.), in addition to few of his companions and supporters. The enemies of Al-Hussein were massive in number, and they prevented him and his supporters from reaching the water stream. Al-Hussein and his companions were martyred in Karbala. Since then, Karbala became the token of this painful memory, its soil became sacred and people from all over the world visit the city to mourn.”

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