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MARTYRDOM SWEETENS DEATH
Father: Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (a)
Mother: Ramla (or Nufayla)
Date & Place of Martyrdom: 10th Muharram 61 AH, Karbala
When recounting the story of Qasim ibn Hasan, a common quote from him is the reply he gave to Imam Husayn (a) on the eve of Ashura. When Imam (a) asked him, "O child! How do you find death?" He replied, "Sweeter than honey!" (source: Al-Waqa'i' wa-al-Hawadith)
It is said that Qasim had not yet reached the age of buloogh and many quote his general age to be about thirteen or fourteen years. He was at that age when the innocence of childhood and the passion of youth is beautifully balanced. Sending this child out to the battlefield was one of the hardest things Imam (a) had to do.
When Qasim came to ask for permission to fight, Imam (a) hugged him and they both wept for a long time. These displays of emotion throughout the day between the various members of the family; the tears shed on that day and forever after by the Ahlul Bayt (a) show the amount of love that was involved in what would otherwise have simply been a clash of veteran fighters.
The fact that women and children were so passionate about the cause of Imam Husayn (a) is an indication of the universality of his message. Qasim went forth with an enthusiasm that belied his young age, his face was shining and even the enemy was forced to liken him to a new moon.
It was perhaps for this reason that Qasim was granted the honour and tragedy of being the only martyr whose body was trampled while he was still alive. When Imam (a) reached his body, he put his cheek on the torn chest of Qasim crying and lamenting, "O child! It is unbearable that you called out to your old uncle and I could not come to your help. And when I did, it was to no avail." (Source: Lamentations)
Qasim embraced the martyrdom he had so looked forward to, while al-Husayn (a) was left to add one more grief to his already burdened heart.
The Saudi Ulema and the Shi‘a of Saudi Arabia
By RAIHAN ISMAIL
Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies, Australian National University, Canberra ACT, Australia
Read a biography of Bibi Sakina (sa), the daughter of Imam Husayn (as)