SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) - Imam Hussein's role in Islamic life started very early. While still a young man, he contributed effectively to the rising movement of Islam. Eminent was his role during the Imamate of his father, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). Side by side with his father, brother, and the loyal men around his father, he took part in the major battles of his father: al-Jamal, Siffin and al-Nahrawan.
During the Imamate of his brother, Hassan (a.s.), he lived as his loyal, obedient soldier. They shared the same views and acted in unison. He experienced, with his brother, the events, including the signing of the peace document with Mu'awiyah. Afterwards, he went to Medina along with his brother and the members of the house of the Prophet (s.a.w.). There, they did their best to carry out their mission of keeping the Divine Message away from the current of mounting deviation. As we have explained in our study of the life of Imam Hassan (a.s.), their religious task centered around ethical and ideological teachings, straightening up people's conduct, and pointing out their religious responsibility to them.
In the wake of Imam Hassan' s (a.s.) departure to his Exalted Lord, Imam Hussein's (a.s.) role entered a new phase due to the complications which sprung up in the midst of the ummah. Since the role of any Imam from the house of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is defined by the nature of the social, ideological and political developments in his time, Imam Hussein (a.s.) blazed a new trail in defining the progress of the Islamic movement which he led after taking the office of the legitimate Imam, in harmony with the Divine Will which was expressed in the statements and words of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) in this respect.
Jabir bin Sumrah is reported to have said: "I went with my father to see the Prophet (s.a.w.). I heard him saying: 'Life will not come to an end before twelve caliphs have appeared.' Jabir went on to say: "I could not figure out what he said afterwards, and so I asked my father: "What has he said?"
"He (s.a.w.) said," my father replied, 'All of them are from the Quraish.'" 23
Ababah bin Rab'i bin Jabir is reported to have said: "The Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.) said: 'I am the master of the prophets, who will come after me are twelve, the first one of whom is Ali and the last one is al-Mahdi, who will revolt against injustice.'" 24
Salman (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "I went to see the Prophet (s.a.w.). I saw Hussein on his lap. The Prophet was kissing him on the cheeks and mouth. I heard him saying: 'You are a master, the son of a master, and the brother of a master. You are an Imam, the son of an Imam and the brother of an Imam. You are the Proof of Allah, the son of a Proof of Allah, and the brother of a Proof of Allah, and the father of nine Proof s of Allah, the ninth one of them is al-Mahdi, the one who will revolt against injustice.'" 25
There are a plethora of statements and traditions reported from the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.) in which he states, implicitly and explicitly, that his successors are twelve caliphs. 26
Imamate took a new turn during Imam Hussein's (a.s.) term. That is what we Will explain, Insha'llah, in the following pages.
23. Sahih Muslim, vol. 2. Reported in different ways in slightly different words, al-Tirmidhi and Abu-Dawood.
24. Yanabi' al-Mawaddah (Spring of Love), Shaikh al-Qandoozi, 77th Part, vol. 3.
25. Yanabi' al-Mawaddah, reported on the authority of al-Hamwini, Muwaffaq bin Ahmad al-Khawarizmi, and Saleem bin Qais al-Hilali.
26. Yanabi' al-Mawaddah, Shaikh al-Qandoozi. Accounts about the Twelve Imams with their full names, vol. 3.
Adopted from the book : "Imam Husain bin Ali (a.s.)" by : "Al-Balagh Foundation"