Life is a journey full of twists and turns. Without a guide in this deceptive path, one can become lost, forfeiting something that cannot be regained - the precious gift of redemption. That is why Islam emphasizes the need for Muslims to never be without a leader. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP) is the best example of a Muslim within Islam.
There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often. (The Holy Quran 33:21)
O you who have faith! Obey Allah and His Apostle, and do not turn away from him while you hear [him]. (The Holy Quran 8:20)
These Quranic verses firmly establish that no one surpasses Prophet (PBUH&HP) as the ideal role model, guiding us to emulate his actions and lifestyle for our salvation. When we follow someone as a model in our life, we inherently respect his beliefs and ideas.
From this, we deduce that if our model is devoted to Islam, religion, and the path of Allah's pleasure, we will also try to align ourselves with that path and potentially attain spiritual ascension. Our model here is not an ordinary person but our dear Prophet. Therefore, there is no disputing the goodwill of this revered figure. An important thing that we must learn from the Prophet (PBUH&HP) as the supreme model for Muslims is to know whom to love and whom to dislike.
The question is: how does understanding Prophet’s feelings towards individuals would help us?
The answer lies in this: “By following the Prophet as an example, we can accurately discern these people, subsequently progressing toward Allah’s satisfaction and eternal happiness.”
Two figures whom the Prophet constantly favored were Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein (as). Imam Hussein (AS) was born on the third of Sha'ban in the fourth year of AH.
Since the great Prophet passing in the tenth year of AH, Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein (AS) spent their childhood with their dear grandfather.
Before delving further, let us know more about our third Imam. Imam Hussein (as) is also called Aba-Abdillah and Sayyid al-Shuhada among the Shias. He is the third Imam for the Shias, martyred in the course of Ashura. He is the second child of Imam Ali (AS) and Fatemeh Zahra (AS), and the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP). Following his brother Imam Hassan’s (AS) leadership, he took charge of leading the Shias for ten years. Both Shia and Sunni historical records confirm that the Prophet of Islam (PBUH&HP) announced his martyrdom at his birth and chose the name "Hussein" for him. (1)
The Prophet held deep affection for Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein and recommended everyone to love them. Imam Hussein (AS) is one of the of Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt and also one of the recipients of the verse of purification*.
Numerous narrations from Prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP) extol Imam Hussain’s virtue. A famous narration quotes the Prophet (PBUH&HP) on Imam Hussain (AS): “Hussain is from me and I am from Hussain. Allah loves who loves Hussain.” (2)
Through this narration, the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) show other Muslims the sacred position of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and imparts the exceptional stature of this lineage. In an era where falsehood and hypocrisy infiltrate the Muslim community, this saying compels believers to rid themselves of hypocrisy and misguidance.
Regrettably, despite its resonance, this profound message did not deter the brutal martyrdom of Sayyid al-Shuhada (PBUH), which transpired in the Karbala before thousands of seemingly Muslim individuals.
The Prophet’s (PBUH&HP) adoration for Imam Hussein (AS) served a dual purpose: it conveyed not only his love for his grandson, but also aimed to engender affection towards Imam Hussein as the Imam of the Ummah, rallying people to follow him. Therefore, the Holy Prophet of Islam consistently introduced the Imam Ali, Fatima Zahra, Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein (AS) as his family and Ahl al-Bayt. He equated them with the Quran on numerous occasions, underscoring the necessity for Muslims to accept their leadership and guidance for spiritual elevation. The Prophet also said this in the hadith of the thaqalayn:
"Indeed, I am leaving two things among you, to which if you hold yourself, you will never astray: the book of Allah –who is almighty and great- and my Ahl al-Bayt (household), my 'itra (family). O people hear! And I have announced to you that indeed you will enter my presence and I will ask you about what you did to the thaqalayn (two weighty things) and the thaqalayn are the book of Allah and my Ahl al-Bayt."(3)
These narrations illuminate Imam Hussein’s (AS) lofty status in the the Prophet’s (PBUH&HP)eyes and the Prophet’s responses to him serves as a guide. Not only are Muslims, as followers of the Holy Prophet, must praise and love Imam Hussein, but we must also adopt his behavior, thoughts, and ethics, and follow his path in our lives. Furthermore, the Prophet's interactions with Imam Hussein underscore that those who harbor hostility or animosity towards him today are not true Muslims. This group should not be regarded as part of the Prophet’s (PBUH&HP) religion.
- Al‑Irshad (2nd Volume - page 130)
- Sunan al-Termizi (6th volume – number 3775)
- Al-Kafi (1st Volume – page 452)
*The Verse of Purification is the 33rd verse of Al-Aḥzāb in the Quran (33:33). The verse has special importance for Shia Muslims due to giving information about Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). Shias reportedly believe it to designate the "Ahl al-Bayt" being infallible.
The month of Ramadan is one of the essential occasions in the Islamic calendar. It’s the month in which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), it’s the month in which the most important nights of the Islamic year, the Qadr nights, or the nights of ordainment, are. It’s the month in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) used to pray a lot. It’s the month in which practicing Muslims fast, keeping themselves from sins, evil acts, and their worldly desires. But why this month has a significant role in the Islamic calendar, and how does it play a role in the life of Muslims? Here, we are going to discuss this matter.
Fasting is not a thing just belonging to Islam. It’s been in the former religions, and it’s been referred to in other holy books. The Quran refers to the time when Allah ordered Mary not to speak to anyone, as a form of fast:
Eat, drink, and be comforted. Then if you see any human, say, ‘‘Indeed I have vowed a fast to the All-beneficent, so I will not speak to any human today. (19:26)
“Muslims are asked to be fasting in the month of Ramadan: O you who have faith! Prescribed for you is fasting as it was prescribed for those who were before you, so that you may be God-wary.” (2:183)
Also, Allah promises a great reward for both men and women who fast:
“Indeed, the Muslim men and the Muslim women, the faithful men and the faithful women… the men who fast and the women who fast, the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard, the men who remember Allah greatly and the women who remember [Allah greatly]—Allah holds in store for them forgiveness and a great reward.”(33:35)
As a result, the month of Ramadan is when Muslims begin to have a close relation with Allah and practice preserving themselves from evil acts, temptations, human passions, etc. In response, Allah promises to reward those who do so, with the best rewards.
As Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said, “The Month of Ramadan starts with mercy, goes on with forgiveness and ends with redemption.”  Therefore, this month is a chance for Muslims to ponder on their deeds, find where they have gone wrong, and ask Allah’s help and forgiveness to fix those mistakes and become a better version of themselves. Allah’s mercy includes everyone, at any time and anywhere. Yet, the month of Ramadan is when He pours down His blessings upon His creatures more than ever and is an excellent opportunity for the ones who are willing to benefit from it.
Qadr Night or the Night of Ordainment is highly sacred in Islam. On 19th, 21st, 23rd or 27th of Ramadan, Allah inspired the holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), and it refers to this fact:
Indeed We sent it down on the Night of Ordainment. And what will show you what is the Night of Ordainment? The Night of Ordainment is better than a thousand months. In it, the angels and the Spirit descend, by the leave of their Lord, with every command. It is peaceful until the rising of the dawn. (97:1-5)
So, one of the significances of this night is the inspiration of the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP).
The other significance of this night, according to the Imams (AS), is being known as the night of destiny. Imam Sadiq (AS) calls it the heart of Ramadan . He also says that in the night of ordainment, everything, from death to life, is predestined. So Muslims usually stay awake during that night, praying to Allah to excuse their sins, and they pray for their earthly and unearthly wishes. That is the night in which Allah has said He does listen to the prayers of His servants. That is the night when one can change his/her fate for better, praying and asking Allah to do so.
The month of Ramadan is a chance for anyone who wants to be closer to Allah, a better person, and a guided human being. There are many divine purposes for this holy month, and especially the ritual of fasting, which will be discussed in another article.
- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 93, p.342.
- Bihar al Anvaar, vol 58, p 376.
Family plays an important role in societies and in each individual’s life. People’s personality is mostly formed in their families and the society is formed by the people. Family is a little community in which everything that happens has a direct impact on the whole society. In fact, family is a miniature society.
In the Islamic culture, the head of the house who raises the children and creates the suitable atmosphere in the house for the members of the family is the mother. So, the ones who create the community are women. Families are so vital for the survival of the society and this accounts for women’s essential role. Therefore, it’s very important for Muslims to understand how Islam sees women.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH & HP) was born in a society where women were considered less valuable even than animals. Ignorant Arabs would kill their daughters because it was a shame for them to have daughters. But Prophet Muhammad (PBUH & HP), revolutionizing the whole Arab community, saved women from those horrible circumstances. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH & HP) tried so hard to his last breath to save women and the suppressed ones in the society from the Arab’s Ignorance.
In this regard, Imam Ali (AS) says:
For the sake of Allah, For the sake of Allah be careful about the women and the slaves because your Prophet was talking about them in his last seconds (and he was worried about them) (1)
Prophets’ Behavior with His Wives
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH & HP) says:
Behold! The best of you is the best of you in treating with their families (including their wives) and I am the best of you in that (2).
Men in Islam are responsible for their wives and they are obliged to be kind with them and provide their needs. They are even ordered to endure their wives if they don’t behave well. The Holy Quran says:
Consort with them in an honorable manner; and should you dislike them, maybe you dislike something while Allah invests it with an abundant good (4:19)
One of the most important signs of the prophet’s kindness and love for his wives is his behavior against his first and beloved wife, Lady Khadija (AS). About her, the Prophet (PBUH & HP) says: “Where can I find someone like Khadija?” (3)
The holy Prophet (PBUH & HP) says:
My Brother Gabriel told me about the rights of the women so much that I thought that men even cannot say “fie” on their wives. (4)
In the ages of ignorance, Arabs would bury their daughters alive, because they couldn’t stand the shame that was considered in those times for having daughters. In this regard, the holy Quran says:
When one of them is brought the news of a female [newborn], his face becomes darkened, and he chokes with suppressed agony (16:58)
One of the most important missions of the Messenger (PBUH & HP) was making people aware of the fact that men and women are the same in Allah Almighty’s sight. Due to this mission, Prophet had to emphasize on the value of girls even more than the boys. Imam Reza (AS) says:
The holy Prophet (PBUH & HP) would say: Allah Almighty is more kind to the female than the male. In the Judgement Day, Allah will make happy every man who delights one of his female relatives. (5)
The holy Prophet (PBUH & HP) also says:
Should anyone of you went to a shop and bought presents and brought them to their family, he will be rewarded like someone who helps the needy ones. When he went to his house, he must firstly give their daughter the present because anyone who delights their daughters will be rewarded like someone who has freed a slave (6)
The holy Prophet (PBUH & HP) would eat every meal prepared by his wives and he wouldn’t nag or complain about any of them. He would always sit with his family while eating except for the times they had a guest. (7)
In the house, Prophet (PBUH & HP) would darn his torn clothes, milk the sheep, grind wheats, and such chores. He would always say:
Helping wives and doing housework is a way of beneficence for the sake of Allah (8)
- Tohaf al-Oqul, pg.197
- Sonan an-Nabi, pg.150
- Kashf al-Qummah, al-Irbeli, vol.1, pg.360
- Mustadrak al-Vasail, vol.14, pg.252
- Vasil ash-Shia, vol.15, pg.104
- Bihar al-Anvar, vol.104, pg.69
- Makarim al-Akhlaq, pg.26
- Bihar al-Anvar, vol.16, pg.227