Iranian people celebrate the event of Ali A-Akbar, the grand son of Imam Hussain (A.S) as National Youth Day in their country. Ali Al-Akbar was martyred in Ashura Event in 63 Hijri beside of his honorable father in battle of Karbala.
Heartiest congratulations to you all on a very auspicious
day commemorated as Day of Youths. It is the day that is celebrated every year
in the Islamic Republic of Iran as the Day of the Virtuous Youths, for it was
on this day on the 11th of the month of Sha'ban that God had granted the Martyr
of Karbala, Imam Husain (AS), with a meritorious son, who bore a striking
resemblance to his grandfather, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) in both appearance and,
as he grew up, in excellence of character. If you are ready we have prepared a
special feature for you in this regard as motivation for all virtuous youths,
please stay with us.
"That is the good news Allah gives to His servants who
have faith and do righteous deeds! Say (O Prophet to mankind), ‘I do not ask
you any reward for it (enlightening minds with Islam) except love of [my]
nearest of kin..."
What you heard was ayah 23 of Surah Shura, which is a clear
commandment of God Almighty for all those claiming to be Muslims. It explicitly
states that the token of their gratitude towards Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) for
delivering them from the darkness of ignorance, idolatry, oppression, and all
sorts of vices, is their love and affection for his immediate family. In other
words, it is an article of faith to adhere to the path of the Prophet's
immaculate blood-kin or progeny, whom God calls the Ahl al-Bayt and vouches their
purity in ayah 33 of Surah Ahzaab with the words: "Allah desires to keep
away uncleanness from you Ahl al-Bayt and preserve you spotlessly pure."
Thus, to remove any doubts as to the identity of his Ahl
al-Bayt, the Prophet has said without mincing words: "I am leaving behind
among you the Thaqalayn (two invaluable things), the Book of Allah (Qur'an) and
my progeny (Itrati) the Ahl al-Bayt. Hold fast to them and you will never go
astray, for the two will never separate even when they return to me at the Pond
(of Kowthar on Judgement Day)."
The hadith that we presented to you has been widely quoted
by all denominations of Islam including the famous Sunni compilation called
Sahih Muslim, although in some later works by certain denominations of Islam,
the word Itrati (or my Progeny) has been replaced by Sunnati, which means my
practice and behaviour. Scholars, both Shi'ite and Sunnis, have thoroughly
scrutinized this hadith and reached the conclusion after checking the isnaad,
that is, the chain of transmitters that the original word is definitely Itrati,
since there is no doubt or dispute concerning the progeny of the Prophet, in
contrast to his behaviour and practice that has unfortunately been subjected --
either intentionally or unintentionally – to contradictory interpretation on
what actually he meant and how he prayed. All ulema, however, are unanimous
that the Prophet's love and affection for his daughter, Hazrat Fatema Zahra,
her husband Imam Ali, and their sons Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (peace upon them),
along with the commandment for all Muslims to revere his Ahl al-Bayt, was an
unquestionable, indisputable and inseparable part of his Sunnah. We are indeed
indebted to auspicious Sha'ban for taking up this lively discourse, especially
since today happens to be the 11th of this blessed month, the day on which the
Prophet's younger grandson was blessed with a radiant son who bore a striking
resemblance to the Almighty's Last Messenger to mankind.
Named Ali, in honour of his Infallible Grandfather, Imam Ali
(AS), his gait, voice and eloquent manner of speech brought memories of the
Prophet to the people of Medina, Mecca and elsewhere. It is irrelevant here
whether he was born in 33 AH and called Ali al-Akbar (Ali the Elder), as some
claim, or was born in 42 AH and called Ali al-Asghar (Ali the Younger), as
others state – the Elder Ali actually being Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) while the
6-month infant martyr of Karbala was named Abdullah. What is important,
however, is his presence in Karbala on the fateful day of Ashura or 10th
Moharram in the year 61 AH that definitely drew the line between Muslims and
infidels. It was for this reason that while sending his youthful son to the
battlefield, Imam Husain (AS) held God as Witness, saying he was now offering
as sacrifice a person who was the carbon copy of the Prophet. The Imam added:
"Whenever we missed seeing Your Prophet, we would look at him."
Then he recited ayah 34 of Surah Aal-e Imran of the Qur’anic
ayah: "Indeed Allah chose Adam and Noah, and the progeny of Abraham and
the progeny of Imran above all the nations."
Irrespective of the fact that the "Imran"
mentioned in this ayah could be Abu Taleb – that is, Prophet Mohammad's uncle
and the paternal ancestor of his progeny the Ahl al-Bayt – and certainly not the
father of the Virgin Mary, since Prophet Jesus did not leave any issue behind,
the question which arises is that: Was Murrah bin Munqadh who pierced the chest
of the youthful Ali in Karbala with a spear and then cruelly twisted the blade
inside the body, a believer in Islam? Moreover, could Yazid and his hordes who
most brutally massacred the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt, be considered Muslims?
Still, was the system called caliphate that brought the Godless Omayyads to
power, Islamic? And last but not the least, shouldn't we Muslims, not just for
the sake of the ummah's unity in this modern scientific era but for the course
of our souls in afterlife, including the eventual meeting with the Prophet who
will surely question us about the Thaqalayn on the Day of Judgement, summon the
courage of faith to scrutinize the scandalous event of Saqifa Bani Sa'da and
the blood of the Ahl al-Bayt it spilled when the victor of this dubious event
led a gang of rogues to batter down the door of the house on the Prophet's daughter
Fatema Zahra (peace upon her), thereby breaking her ribs and causing the
martyrdom of the stillborn Mohsin?
These are points to ponder as we celebrate the Day of Youth
in the Islamic Republic of Iran on the occasion of the auspicious birthday of
the Immortal Youth of Karbala, who bore striking resemblance to his
great-grandfather, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and who thus introduced himself to
his foes: "I am Ali, the son of Husain, the son of Ali, "By the House
of God, we are those with the Prophet righteously, "By God, the son of a
spurious son, will not judge us, "I will strike with the blow of a
Hashemi, a Quraishi.
Here we present a homage in rhyme to Hazrat Ali Akbar as
composed by Iran's English language poet, Dr. Hassan Najafi: "The pious
youth whenever was seen In decent dress, and apparel clean, In your name
virtuous love fires every breast Your fate makes us mute awhile and suddenly
distressed; Oh, let me fly a land that honours the brave Where he is buried
there shall be my grave.
I seek Karbala’s land though in hospital be coast This
youth’s grave there to me will host.
He reminds of the Prophet when struck the sight For his
resemblance eyes towards him took a rapid flight.
Redress the clime and all its rage disarm You inherited from
the Prophet the charm.
You calm and bred in the prophetic toil Befitted to
martyrdom in the blood’s soil, You, a zephyr that soothes Husain’s breast; The
spring of his hopes, and aspirations in you rest.
Of all the gentler morals he was a display-- In him the
cultured walk and he the charm of the way, Your birth furnishes us a feast
Stretching north, south, west, east, In your love to be chained, we are so
decreed The heart, once caught, can’t be freed.
In your person beauty lavishes its powers Your eighteen
springs carry no fading flowers.
In your name is most sought aid It is an active light and in
it a thoughtful shade.
Your personality is indeed a glorious blaze Grant us eyes
worthy to gaze.