“The other aspect in the personality of Hussain (PBUH) that has fascinated me is his humbleness along with his revolutionary spirit. These two traits do not [usually] coexist in one personality. Humbleness is the trait and characteristic of the God’s chosen ones. In spite of his honor, sense of freedom and esteem in front of the enemies, he has his own type of humbleness.”
(Antoine Bara, the Christian thinker and the writer of “Hussain in Christian Ideology”)(1)
Usually the ignorant people, upon possessing sums of money or a position, look down upon others, and tend to impose their thought and opinion upon others. These people would be alone, even if they were immersed in the society. In fact, human’s arrogance stems from his ignorance, negligence, and egoism. Arrogance detaches the individual from the society, and makes the individual cynical about the society, and makes the people despise him. On the contrary, with the increase in the wisdom and knowledge of a person about God, his humbleness and modesty increases.
Especially, the public figures and rulers should be more humble, and they should avoid arrogance. It will be an act of corruption and rebellion if a ruler surpasses the ruled in terms of dressing, domicile and means of transportation, and if he creates resources and structures in a way that those make him distinct from ordinary people.
Imam Hussain (PBUH) is a lucid instance of humbleness and modesty. People respected him to an extent that when he used to go to the Hajj pilgrimage, all the dignitaries and the grand companions used to descend from their horses, and walked beside him. (2) This respect for Imam Hussain (PBUH) was not because he had mansions, expensive horses, or an entourage of soldiers and servants; it was also not because they reserved the mosque of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) for his arrival, or they forced a passage through the crowd for him. No! They respected him only because he lived among the people and was not detached from them, and he lived in extreme modesty and humbleness.
He went to the Hajj pilgrimage on foot 25 times (3); he sat with the people and socialized with them; he interacted with the poor; he served the needy, the poor, the widows and orphans with food; he attended the public prayers; he visited the sick people; he attended the funerals; he sat with his companions and friends in the mosque of his grandfather, the great Prophet of Islam (PBUH&HP). Imam Hussain (PBUH) even accepted the invitation of the poor, and invited them too.
For example, one day, Imam Hussain (PBUH) came across some poor people that had spread their cloaks on the ground, and were having tough bread. They invited Imam (PBUH) to join them. Imam (PBUH) descended from his horse and said: “Allah does not like the arrogant.”(4) He sat with them and started to eat with them. Then he said: “I accepted your invitation, so you should accept my invitation too.” Then he took them to his house, and told his servant: “Bring whatever you have put aside for the special and honorable guests,” and served them. (5)
These are just drops from the boundless ocean of Imam Hussain’s (PBUH) modesty and humbleness. It is a great idea to follow our kind Imam whom we deeply love, and practice humbleness, which is a trait of the extraordinary servants of God according to the teachings of the Holy Quran. (6)
(The above is a selection taken from “A Ray of the Light of Magnificence of Imam Hussain (PBUH)”, by Ayatullah Saafi Golpaygani (with some summarization and additions))
The Roshd website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 3rd of Sha’ban, the birthday anniversary of the exemplar of humbleness and the symbol of modesty, Imam Hussain (PBUH).
1. These are the statements of Antoine Bara in his interview with Keyhan newspaper (No. 18723, 2007/01/24)
2. Irshad by Sheikh Mufid, p. 128, Manaqib Ibn Shahr Aashub, vol. 3, p. 168
3. Kashf al-Ghummah, vol. 2, p. 232
4. The Holy Quran, (23:16)
5. Tafsir Saafi, vol. 3, p. 131 – Tafsir Ayyashi, vol. 2, p. 257
6. “And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness …” (The Holy Quran, 25:63)