The excellence of Imam Hussain RadiyAllahu Anhu is also implied in the Holy Qur’an in the incident of Mubahila. Let us look at the incident in detail.
The root word of Mubahila is ‘Bahl’ which means dua, humbleness, and curse.
Mubahila is practiced to prove a point. When two groups do not agree with to each other and all other methods such as debate fails, then they take the extreme step of Mubahila. Both groups meet at a destined place with their close family members and curse each other. Whoever is on the right is saved and the other group is perished. Mubahila was only practiced by RasoolAllah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam against the unbelievers. Now let us see what the Holy Qur’an mentions about Mubahila.
Verse Regarding Mubahila
Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Qu’ran:
“Then O beloved! Whoever disputes with you about Isa after knowledge has come to you, then tell them, ‘come, let us call our sons and your sons our women and your women and our souls and your souls, then let us pray earnestly, and so lay the curse of Allah upon the liars.”
(Surah Aal e Imran Verse 61)
This verse was revealed in relation to the Jews of Najraan, who came to argue with RasoolAllah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam over Hazrat Isa Alaihis Salaam. Najraan is a large well-established city near Madinah Munawwarah towards Yemen. It has been named after Najraan bin Zaid. This city was like a headquarter for the Christians with over seventy three villages in its radius of influence. In the city was a prominent church which the Christians considered as their Qibla and many of their well-known scholars lived there. A year before RasoolAllah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam passed away from this world, a group of about sixty people from there came to see him at Madinah Munawwarah. The lord bishop of the time, Abu Harisa was also amongst them. Twenty four out of the sixty were the cream of their community and out of the twenty four, three were very significant. One of them was Abdul Maseeh without whose consent, his people would not do anything; the other was the treasurer who would look after the finances of the community and the third was Abu Harisa who was the highest ranking scholar amongst them.
They reached Madinah at the time of Asr, wearing the most elegant clothes ever seen by the people of Madinah. They went straight to Masjid un Navbi Sharif where people were offering their Asr Salaah. They too started praying by turning towards the west. RasoolAllah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam indicated to the companions to let them complete their prayer. [Tafseer e Na’eemi]
Bagwi states that when RasoolAllah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam recited the above Ayah and invited them for mutual imprecation (Mubahila), they hesitated and requested some time to think over it. Aaqib, who was most intelligent amongst them said, ‘O brothers in Christianity, you know very well that Muhammed Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam is the true Prophet. History teaches us that whenever a group came face to face with any Prophet for Mubahila, they all perished, and if you chose to do the same then you too will perish. So my advice is to reconcile with Muhammed Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam and return home.
Early next morning, RasoolAllah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam left his house carrying Imam Hussain whilst Imam Hasan RadiyAllahu Anhuma was walking holding his finger; Hazrat Fatima RadiyAllahu Anha walking behind him and Hazrat Ali RadiyAllahu Anhu was walking behind Hazrat Fatima. So as mentioned in the verse above, RasoolAllah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam took Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain RadiyAllahu Anhuma as his sons.
When the Christians saw this sight, one of the scholars cried out, ‘O brothers, I see the faces, which if they raise their hands in prayers, the Almighty Lord will move mountains from their places. Therefore do not face the Prophet and return or else there will be no Christians left on this earth. [Tafseer e Mazhari]
My beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam’s beloved devotees. Ponder the fact that it was decided that for the Mubahila, each group would bring their women and children with them. At this point, RasoolAllah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, from all the members of his blessed family chose Hazrat Fatima, Hazrat Ali, Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain RadiyAllahu Anhum. Thus the Ummah will always remember Imam Hasan RadiyAllahu Anhu and Imam Hussain RadiyAllahu Anhu as the sons of RasoolAllah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam as he himself called them his sons.