Imran bin Husayn (r.a.)

Hz. Imran was one of the first Companions that accepted the call of the Prophet. He accepted Islam heartily and was ready to suffer for its sake. When he became a Muslim, his father Husayn was a polytheist. Imran did not hesitate to turn away from his father. However, he wanted his father to become a Muslim very much, to give up worshipping idols and to be a slave of Allah.

The number of the Muslims was below 40. The polytheists applied incredible tortures on the Muslims and they sometimes tried to dissuade them by speaking. Once, they met Hu­sayn. Husayn was one of the notables of Makkah. They surrounded him and complained to him about the Prophet. They went to the Prophet with him. The polytheists waited at the door and Husayn entered into the presence of the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to his Companions, “Make room for the sheikh.” The Companions gave Husayn the cold shoulder. Husayn’s son, Imran, was next to the Prophet then. He thought his father would act inappropriately; therefore, he felt sorry.

The Prophet asked Husayn to give up idols and to believe in Allah. After a short conversation between them, Husayn became a Muslim by uttering kalima ash-shahada.

Imran, who felt sorry thinking that his father would disturb the Prophet, became very happy. Imran went to his father and started to kiss his hands and his feet. This act of Imran’s moved the Prophet, who shed tears. Then, the Prophet said, 

“I wept because of act of Imran’s. When his father came in, he did not stand up or look at his face. However, after Husayn accepted Islam, he fulfilled his duty to his father.” [1]

For Hz. Imran’s act toward his father was for Allah’s sake. He did not like his father because he was a polytheist. He could not show respect to a person who disobeyed Allah. However, his love toward him became visible when he became a Muslim.

Hz. Imran learned from the talks of the Prophet throughout his life. He became one of the scholars of the Companions. Hz. Umar sent him to Basra to teach the people of Basra Islamic law and fiqh. [2]

Imran gave importance to his clothes and dressing style. He wore nice and clean clothes. When he was asked why, he would tell them the following hadith of the Prophet:  “When Allah gives a boon to his slave, He wants to see the trace of that boon on him.” [3] For, a Muslim has to be a model in all aspects. He has to be careful about tidiness and cleanliness when he practices his religion, which is clean in all aspects. 

Whenever Hz. Imran was given a duty, he would act based on the Sunnah while fulfilling that duty. He would act in a way that he heard or saw from the Messenger of Allah when he did something.  

Ziyad bin Abih, the governor of Basra appointed him as a zakah official. When Imran returned after completing his duty, he did not have even one dirham on him. Ziyad did not like it. He asked Imran, “Have you not brought anything?“ Imran answered without hesitation:

“Did you send me to bring money? I collected zakah from where we used to collect in the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah and we spent it where we used to spend during the time of the Messenger of Allah.”

Upon this answer, Ziyad could not say anything.

Hz. Imran preached the people of Basra from time to time. He enlightened them with the light he took from the Prophet. He never made concessions to bid’ah and the people of bid’ah. He struggled against the thoughts and deeds that were contrary to Islam and tried to live and make others live in accordance with the Sunnah. He said, “The Quran was sent down and Allah’s Prophet showed us the way and said to us, ‘Follow me! I swear by Allah that you will be destroyed in confusion.’”

Once, somebody said to Imran bin Husayn, “Tell us only about the Quran.” Imran got angry when he heard it and said, 

“Is it mentioned in Allah’s Book that the noon prayer (zuhr) is four rak'ahs? We do not read aloud in the noon prayer. Prayer, zakah and similar things are not explained in the Quran. Allah’s Book mentions them vaguely. The Sunnah of the Prophet explains it.” [4]

With that statement, he meant that it was inappropriate to look for every issue in the Quran and that the Sunnah was also a religious source and principle.

Imran knew that Allah’s sake was lofty and that it could not be abandoned for the sake of anything. Therefore, he did not accept the governorship of Khorasan, which Ziyad bin Abih, the governor of Basra offered. When they asked him why he did not want to be the governor of Khorasan, he gave the following answer:  

“By Allah, I do not want the people of Khorasan to live comfortably in the shade while I am on fire in Khorasan. I fear that I will receive letters from Ziyad when I am on duty. If I do something wrong ordered by him, I will be destroyed.”

Thereupon, Ziyad appointed Hakam bin Amr as the governor of Khorasan. Hz. Imran had not accepted the governorship but he still had a duty. He called Hakam without losing time. He gave Hakam the following advice:

“Do you remember? When a Companion wanted to plunge into fire upon the order of his commander, the others prevented him. When the Prophet (pbuh) was informed about it, he said, ‘If he had plunged into fire, both he and his commander would have gone to Hell. One cannot obey anyone about something that involves disobedience to God Almighty.’ I wanted to remind you this hadith.” [5]

With that statement, Imran wanted to say that Hakam should not obey Ziyad if he ordered him to do something contrary to the Quran and the Sunnah.

Muhammad Ibn Sirin, one of the imams of Basra and notables of Tabi’un, praised him by saying, “There are very few Companions of the Messenger of Allah superior to Imran bin Husayn.” [6]

God Almighty sends some misfortunes to His slaves in order to test them. He wants to measure the degrees of their patience with them. He gave Imran bin Husayn a severe illness based on His wisdom. Due to this illness, Imran could not sit or stand. However, he was aware of the reason why that illness was given to him. Therefore, he showed patience. As a reward of his patience, he received the greetings of angels in this world. The angels would greet him when they saw him. [7]

Hz. Imran, who said, “By Allah, if I want, I can report hadiths from the Prophet two days on end without repeating any of them”, reported 120 hadiths. They are included in Bukhari, Musnad and other hadiths books. One of those hadiths is as follows:

“I looked in Paradise and I saw that the majority of Paradise consisted of the poor. I looked in Hell and I saw that the majority of Hell consisted of women.” [8]

Another hadith he reported is as follows:

“O Allah! Forgive all of my sins, which I committed by mistake or deliberately, secretly and openly, knowingly or unknowingly!”[9]

Imran bin Husayn died in 52 H in Basra.

May Allah be pleased with him!


[1]al-Isaba, 1: 337-338.
[2]Usdul-Ghaba, 4: 137.
[3]Tabaqat, 4: 291.
[4]Hayatus-Sahaba, 3: 183.
[5]ibid, 2: 32.
[6]Usdul-Ghaba, 4: 137.
[7]Tabaqat, 4: 288; Usdul-Ghaba, 4: 138.
[8]Musnad, 4: 437.
[9]ibid, 4: 444.

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