Imam Hussain (a.s)
As a young man, Imam Hussain (a.s) had many important duties. Before he became Imam one of his main activity in Madinah was to teach people the true Islam as well as how to connect with and obey Allah (s.w). An example of this is “Dua Arafa” it is a prayer which Imam Hussain read during hajj, and it taught people the true meaning of complete faith and obedience in Allah.
Imam Hussain (a.s) also managed a Trust. This means that he was in charge of keeping money safe and spending it in the cause of Allah. This trust was set up by Imam Ali (a.s) . It was set up to help the poor of the city by giving them food and many necessities of life. Therefore the imams created an Islamic Welfare system so that every hungry mouth had food, every naked person had clothes and everyone had somewhere safe to sleep at night.
After his brother Imam Hassan (a.s) was killed, Imam Hussain (a.s) became the Imam. Yazid ibn Maywa was the Caliph during the Imamate of Hussain (a.s). Yazid took the leadership of the Muslims by force and treated the people in a bad way, he also tried to destroy the rules of Allah by behaving badly.
Yazid tried hard to convince Imam Hussain (a.s) to give up his values and accept all the bad things that were being done. However Imam Hussain (a.s) was too noble to be threatened and he refused to give alliance to Yazid.
This made Yazid very worried and he threatened Imam Hussain(a.s) with death but this did not pressure him into accepting Yazid as a leader because the Imam was not afraid of death.
Imam Hussain (a.s) along with 72 followers was killed tragically in Karbala. His death is still remembered to this day ever year on the tenth of Muharram as the perfect stance against evil. Read more about what happened
There are many stories from Imam Hussain's life we can learn from. Below is a simple story which demonstrates the gentle and thoughtful actions of our Imam (a.s), who was careful to always display kindness and love even when declining offers he wasn't religiously permitted to recieve.
Imam Hussain (a.s) and the Beggars - Story and Activity
One daywhile riding his horse, Imam Hussain (a.s) was passing through one of the streets of Madina. On one side of the street some beggars had gathered in a circle. They were eating food that they had begged for during the day.
The beggars recognised Imam Hussain (a.s) as he was passing and they said salam to him. Imam Hussain (a.s) replied cheerfully. The beggars invited Hussain to join them in the meal. Imam Hussain came down from his horse and sat with them.
He very politely explained to the beggars that he was from the house of Muhammad (s.a.w), the Prophet. Therefore, it was forbidden for him to take anything that has been given as alms or charity. Had not alms been forbidden to him he would most willingly have shared their food.
Instead, so that they all could sit and eat together and the feelings of the beggers do not get hurt, Imam Hussain (a.s) invited them to his house for a meal so that they can all eat together. The beggars agreed. They went along with Imam Hussain (a.s) to his house and they all had a wonderful meal together.
Moral: 1. One should always behave with kindness and love for others - particularly the poor.
2. Not hurting the wishes of others is a sign of noble character
Story Book Activities
Activity 1. Suitable for children under 6 years old
Copy and print out the text for your child
Discuss the story with your child
Cut the paragraphs and paste onto paper.
Ask your child to illustrate the story.
Note: Alternatively you can write the story on pen and paper
Activity 2: Suitable for children 6 years and older
Write down the story in your own words.
Illustrate your story using your imagination.
Note: When drawing the Imam (a.s), make sure you don't draw his facial features like his eyes or now, this is because we are not sure what he looked like, instead you can draw light surrounding his face.