The Rise of Love
On the third of Sha'ban in the year 4 A.H. (1) the city of Medina witnessed the birth of a boy in the house of Lady Fatimah (PBUH) and Imam Ali (PBUH); he was later nicknamed the "Master of Martyrs." This newly born baby was the second son of a family whom the Prophet of Islam (PBUH&HP) saluted by the name of "Ahl al-Bayt" (people of the house of the Prophet). They were referred to as Ahl al-Bayt after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) received the verse of Tat'hir (Purification) (The Holy Quran, 33:33). His mother was Lady Fatimah (PBUH), one of the greatest women in history, whose deep knowing, morality, purity, and other great characteristics are well known to all, a mother whose rank and status is described by the Holy Quran in a whole chapter.
His father, Imam Ali (PBUH), hugged his newborn second son in his arms. Imam Ali (PBUH) was the first person who became Muslim, most knowledgeable in religion, and most eloquent in the Arab language. As his exceptional record of self-sacrifice and courage in defending the religion of Allah (SWT) was passed down with the rise and expansion of Islam. He was the one whom Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) constantly announced as his successor by the command of Allah (SWT).
On such an auspicious day, Imam Ali (PBUH) took his son to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), as was the custom of respect, in order for a name to be chosen for his newborn son, just as he had done for his first son. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) named him ?Hussain? by the order of Allah (SWT). Hussain is the Arabic equivalent of Shubayr in Hebrew. Shubayr was the name of the second son of Haroun/Aaron, the successor of Musa/Moses (PBUH).
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) once informed Imam Ali (PBUH) about the similarity found between Muhammad and Musa, Ali and Haroun, Shubbar and Hassan, Shubayr and Hussain: "O Ali, your status with respect to mine is equivalent to the status of Haroun with respect to Musa, except there will be no prophet after me."
Hussain (PBUH) spent his childhood with Lady Fatimah (PBUH), Imam Ali (PBUH), and especially with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). The love and affection Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) had towards Hussain (PBUH) was so unique that all the companions were aware of it, had frequently seen its manifestation, and had heard of it repeatedly. Moreover, historians have recorded incidents and narrations in this respect. In one account it has been said that the Prophet's prostration took longer than usual in his prayer. People came to the Prophet and asked, "Were you receiving a revelation or order from Allah during prostration?" Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) replied, "No, my son Hussain had climbed onto my back; I waited until he wished to come down." This is an example showing how the best creature of Allah (SWT) treated Hussain (PBUH) while he was in the best state of worship.
The companions had seen Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) repeatedly put Hassan and Hussain (PBUT) on his shoulders and play with them. At other times he would kiss Hussain (PBUH) and say, "Hussain is from me, and I am from Hussain. May Allah love him who loves Hussain." In other traditions the Prophet would say, "Hassan and Hussain (PBUT) are my two aromatic flowers from this world."
Nonetheless, most people knew that the Prophet's love for his two grandchildren, especially for Hussain (PBUH) was not a usual love of a grandfather for his grandchild. According to the Holy Quran, the Prophet's (PBUH&HP) actions and words are apart from his desires: "Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow ..." (The Holy Quran, 33:21) On the other hand, although Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) had other adopted daughters and a son, the specific affection and recommendations were only shown towards Hassan and Hussain (PBUT).
Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH&HP) recommendations and affections for Hussain (PBUH) were in fact portraying an important fact. He would repeatedly inform people that salvation and prosperity can only be found through the friendship and love of Imam Hussain (PBUH). Umar Ibn Khattab narrates from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP): "Hassan and Hussain are masters of the youth in heaven. Whosoever loves them has loved me, and whosoever has animosity with them, is my enemy." In another account the Holy Prophet has also said, "You came to awareness by me; you found the right path and were guided by Ali; you were given blessings through Hassan; but your eternal salvation is with Hussain. Be aware that Hussain is a door from the doors of heaven. Whosoever has animosity towards him can never enter heaven."