He who follows me is a martyr

Question 14: What is the meaning of Al-Hussein’s pbuh saying, “He who follows me is a martyr, and he who does not follow me does not realize the opening.” [Mokhtasar Basair Al-Darajat page]?


Answer: There are three words [in this saying] to examine and they are: to follow, martyrdom and the opening. If we realize the meaning of these three, we realize what Al-Hussein pbuh meant from his gracious words.

to follow: to be attached to something, or to reach it and keep pace with it, that is if the thing followed is a human. In this case, the followed human is either an imam of guidance or misguidance, and who- ever moves ahead of the Imam, or delays [following the Imam], does not count as a follower of the Imam pbuh. And whoever keeps pace with the Imam is a follower, but it depends on the accuracy of his pace-keeping. He who is diligent in keeping pace with the Imam pbuh in every detail [1] is not like the one who keeps pace with the Imam in a general manner.

martyrdom: Its common meaning, amongst people, is to be killed in the way of Allah, and its original meaning is to declare the truth by words or action, such as declaring that there is no god but Allah, and this declaration is what is done by a martyr who is killed in a battlefield to bring higher the word of Allah. He is from the ones who testified that there is no god but Allah, but he is distinguished [from others] in that he testified by his blood that there is no god but Allah, and this is the greatest testimony in the finest path. This is why the word martyr was used for the person killed in the battlefield to bring higher the word of Allah, almost all of the time, even though whoever has a position on judgement day where he witnesses over a nation or a group is a martyr: such as the Imams pbut, the prophets and messengers pbut, Al-Zahra pbuh, Zainab pbuh, Mary pbuh, Narjis pbuh, Wahab Al-Nasrani, Khalid bin Saeed bin Al-As Al-Omawy, each of them to their own extent.

In the book of Al-Mahasen, Obban bin Taghleb said,
“If the people killed at the trenches were ever mentioned in the presence of Imam Abu Abdullah pbuh, he would say, ‘Woe to them, why do they do that so they make the killing of this world and the killing of the hereafter both come faster. I swear by Allah that there are no martyrs except for our Shia, even if they die on their beds.’[Al-Mahasen by Al-Barqi 1 page 164.]


In the book of Al-Ayashi, Minhal Al-Qassab says,
“I told Imam Abu Abdullah pbuh to pray to Allah that he bestows martyrdom upon me, so he pbuh said, ‘The believer is a martyr,’ and he then recited the saying of Allah swt, {Those are the truthful ones and the martyrs.}.[The Quran 57:19][Bihar Al-Anwar 24 page 38, narrated from Al-Tobrosy who narrates from Al-Ayashi.]


And Al-Baqir pbuh said,
“Whoever from you knows this matter and waits for the good is like the ones who had fought, I swear by Allah, with Al-Qaim of the prog- eny of Muhammad pbuh by their sword.” He then said, “Rather, I swear by Allah, [he is] like the ones who had fought with the Messenger of Allah by their sword.” He then said, “Rather I swear by Allah, [he is] like the ones who were martyred with the Messenger of Allah pbuhap in his camp. Allah swt has said about you, {And those who believed in Allah and His messengers, those are the truthful ones and the martyrs with their Lord, they have their reward and their light. And those who disbelieved and denied Our revelations, those are the people of hell fire.}.[The Quran 57:19] He then said, “I swear by Allah, you have become the honest martyrs with your Lord.[Bihar Al-Anwar Vol. 24 page 39.]


the opening: is to remove what prevents one from going through some- thing, looking at it, or into it, whether by the sight and the eyes, or by insight and having it revealed to the heart.

Al-Qommi narrated that Imam Al-Sadiq pbuh said about the say- ing of Allah swt,
{Victory from Allah and an opening which is close}[The Quran, Al-Saf 61:13], he said, “meaning in this world, by the opening of Al-Qaim pbuh…” [Tafseer Al-Qommi 2 page 366.]

There is no doubt that the opening of Al-Qaim pbuh is by the opening of all the countries, and establishing the pure religion in them, and elevating the word of There is no god but Allah, Muhamad is the Messenger of Allah, Ali is the successor of Allah. It is also by the opening of the worlds of the Kingdom of Heaven, and having them revealed to many believers [who are] with Al-Qaim pbuh.

Therefore, what Al-Hussein pbuh meant by saying, “who follows him,” is whoever walks on his path and by his principle. And each era has a Hussein, so whoever follows the Hussein of his era is following Al-Hussein  pbuh,  and  whoever  delays  behind  the  Imam  of  his  era  is delaying behind Al-Hussein pbuh. Also, in following Al-Hussein pbuh there are ranks, of which the highest is abiding by the principle of Al- Hussein pbuh, and his method, and remaining with the Hussein of the time which a believer lives in. [It is mentioned] in the prayer of Shaban,
“Whoever proceeds without them is an apostate, and whoever lags behind them is bound to disappear, and whoever abides by them survives.” [Misbah Al-Mujtahid page 45.]

He meant by martyrdom to be killed in the way of Allah, whether the killing of the body, or the character, which is greater than the killing of the body. Those who stand with the truth always have their characters abased in society by having false things said about them, lying, and accusing them, all done by the enemies of the prophets and messengers pbut, just like the deviant clerics and their followers who caw [The harsh cry of a crow – Trans.] by what they do not know. Rather, [it also means] each person harmed by calling for the Truth, justice, honesty, and establishing the laws of Allah swt and his words.

And he who is killed in the way of Allah is a witness over the nation which has killed him, or was satisfied by his killing and eliminating his character or sacred body.

He meant, by the opening, an opening of the higher worlds; and therefore, knowing the truths, and eventually having the clear opening, and knowing Allah swt, each person to their own extent.

So, whoever does not follow Al-Hussein pbuh, work by his method, or follow the Hussein of his era, does not become a martyr; which means he does not get killed in the way of Allah, nor does he become a witness of truth; and, therefore, he does not realize the opening, which means he does not know the opening, nor understand what it is, and he does not achieve anything from it. How could he possibly know the light, while he is a rat who knows nothing but the darkness and the holes he lives in?
And whoever follows Al-Hussein pbuh is absolutely a martyr, and he realized a part of the opening accordingly to his rank, and how much he abided by Al-Hussein pbuh, meaning he realized the opening with Al-Qaim pbuh.

Lastly, Al-Hussein pbuh is truth, a word, a sword, and a principle which remains as long as heavens and earth remain. And whoever goes against the truth, which Al-Hussein pbuh has called for, and neglects the word of Al-Hussein pbuh, “is there any supporter who supports us,” and whoever has not carried a sword with Al-Hussein pbuh, and has not built his ideology based on the principle of Al-Hussein pbuh, has let Al-Hussein pbuh down, even if he pretended to cry over Al-Hussein. Al-Hussein fought people who pretended to love the Messenger of Allah Muhammad pbuhap, and pretended to walk on his path pbuhap; and Al-Qaim pbuh will fight people who pretend to love Al-Hussein, and cry over his disaster; so may the curse of Allah be upon the oppressing people, and those did not realize anything from the opening, because they did not follow Al-Hussein pbuh on any day.

Ahmed Alhasan
The Allegories – volume 1


[1]  It is mentioned in the Dua, “O Allah send your Blessings upon Muhammad, and the Family of Muhammad, the arks moving in the overwhelming Whoever board these arks is safe, and whoever leaves them drowns. Whoever proceeds without them is an apostate, and whoever lags behind them is bound to disappear, and whoever abides by them survives.” Therefore, abiding by them pbut happens by remaining with them, and never going against their path or methods, because proceeding without them means becoming an apostate, and lagging behind them means disappearing and perishing.


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