Story No. 316 – Noble Qur’an and Imam Hussain (a.s.) By: Mulla Mujahid Sherrif
Abu Abdil Rahman Salmi was a tutor of the Noble Qur’an in Madina. Many children would come to him to learn how to recite the Holy book of Allah (SWT).
One day he taught a son of Imam Hossein (a.s.) to recite Surah Al-Fatihah (Al-Hamd). When the child recited the Surah Al-Fatihah before his father, then Imam Hussain (a.s.) was so pleased that he rewarded the tutor with valuable gifts.
Some people criticized this action saying it was not necessary to give so much in return for teaching one Surah. In reply, Imam Hussein (a.s.) said, “What comparison can there be between the gift I have given to the tutor of my child, and his teaching the Noble Qur’an, the gift which he has given to my child?”
Imam Hossein (a.s.) gave a lot of importance to the Noble Qur’an during his life. During the night of Qadr, in the Holy month of Ramadhan, there is a specific Ziyaarah of Imam Hussein (a.s.) which we recite. At one point, in that ziyaarah, we say: “I bear witness that you established prayers, and gave zakat (poor-rate), enjoined good and forbade evil, and you recited the Book (Noble Qur’an) the way it should be recited.”
Similarly, on the nights of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, in another Ziyaarah of Imam Hossein (a.s.), we say: “I bear witness that indeed you recite the book of Allah (SWT)” “Peace be upon you O companion of Noble Qur’an”.
Imam Al-Hujjah (A.F.) in his Ziyaarah addresses Imam Hussein (a.s.) saying: “You were for the Prophet, a son and for the Noble Qur’an, a support”.
All these wordings of different Ziyaarah show the relation of Imam Hossein (a.s.) with the Noble Qur’an during his life.
Like other Imams (a.s.), Imam Hossein (a.s.) also used to guide people through the book of Allah (SWT). The following beautiful incident has been recorded in Safinatul Bihar:
Assaam bin Mustaliq was a man from Damascus who used to be a staunch enemy of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), particularly of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.). It is related that one day he came to Madina. As he entered the city gate, his eyes fell on Imam Hossein (a.s.). Assaam bin Mustaliq was very disappointed and the hatred of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) became evident in him. He approached Imam Hussein (a.s.) and asked, “Are you the son of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib?” Imam Hossein (a.s.) replied in affirmative. When Assaam bin Mustaliq heard this, he began to abuse the Imam Hossein (a.s.) and spoke bad words to him. Imam Hossein (a.s.) calmly looked at him. When he was over, Imam Hossein (a.s.) recited the following verses from the Noble Qur’an:
“Adopt tolerance, enjoin good and turn away from the ignorant. And if a prompting from Satan instigates you (to evil), then seek refuge with Allah. Verily He is all-Hearing, all-Knowing. Verily those who safeguard themselves (against evil) with full awareness of divine laws, when an evil thought from Satan assails them, they remember Allah, and lo! They see light. And their brethren plunge them deeper into error, so they do not slacken their efforts”. (7:199-202)
Then Imam Hossein (a.s.) said to Assaam bin Mustaliq, “You have been misled. We pray for our and your forgiveness from Allah (SWT). If you need our help, then we are willing to help. If you need our protection, then we are willing to defend you. And if you need our guidance, then we are willing to guide you”.
When Assaam bin Mustaliq heard this, he was very ashamed of his rude remarks. Imam Hussain (a.s.) continued, “From today onwards, there shall be no blame on you. May Allah (SWT) forgive you and He is the most Merciful”. Then Imam Hossein (a.s.) asked, “Are you from Damascus?” Assaam bin Mustaliq said, “Yes”. Imam Hossein (a.s.) said, “Whatever remarks you passed is of no importance to me, may Allah (SWT) protect us both. Without hesitation, present your needs to me. Whatever I offer you, I hope, will remove all misconceptions you have of me”.
Assaam bin Mustaliq says, “When I heard this, I felt so ashamed but could not find any place to hide myself. Moreover, I wished the earth would tear apart and I would fall into it. After this encounter, there is no one on the face of this earth who is more beloved to me than Imam Hussain (a.s.) and his father, Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.)”.