I have heard this story repeatedly, and you too must have heard it. Hajji Nuri also mentions it. They say that one day \\\\\\\'Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, may Peace be upon him, was delivering a sermon from the minbar. Suddenly Imam Husayn (\\\\\\\'a) said, \\\\\\\'I am thirsty,... Show More >> I have heard this story repeatedly, and you too must have heard it. Hajji Nuri also mentions it. They say that one day \\\\\\\'Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, may Peace be upon him, was delivering a sermon from the minbar. Suddenly Imam Husayn (\\\\\\\'a) said, \\\\\\\'I am thirsty, Imam \\\\\\\'Ali said, \\\\\\\'Let someone bring water for my son.\\\\\\\' The first person to get up was a little boy, Abu al-Fadl al-\\\\\\\'Abbas (\\\\\\\'a). He went out and got a jar of water from his mother. When he returned carrying the jar on his head, his head was drenched in water as it spilled from the sides. This story is narrated in its elaborate detail. Then, when the Commander of the Faithful\\\\\\\'s eyes fell on this scene, tears flowed from his eyes. He was asked why he was crying. He told them that the ordeals that this young son of his would face had come to his mind. You know the rest of the story, which serves the purpose of a point of departure for switching to the tragic scenes of Karbala\\\\\\\'. Hajji Nuri has an excellent discussion at this point. He writes, \\\\\\\"Now that you say that \\\\\\\'Ali was delivering a sermon from the minbar, you should know that \\\\\\\'Ali spoke from the minbar and delivered sermons only during the period of his caliphate. Hence, the episode must have occurred in Kufah. At that time Imam Husayn was a man of about thirty-three years.\\\\\\\" Then he remarks, \\\\\\\"Is it at all a sensible thing for a man of thirty-three years to say all of a sudden, in a formal gathering while his father is delivering a sermon, \\\\\\\'I am thirsty!\\\\\\\' \\\\\\\'I want water!\\\\\\\" If an ordinary man does such a thing, it would be considered ill-mannered of him. Moreover, Hadrat Abu al-Fadl, too, was not a child at that time but a young man of at least fifteen years.\\\\\\\" You see how they have fabricated the story! Is such a story worthy of Imam Husayn? Aside from its fictitious character, what value does it have? Does it elevate the station of Imam Husayn or does it detract from it? It is definitely detracting to the dignity of the Imam, as it ascribes a false act to the Imam and detracts from is station by bringing the Imam down to the level of a most ill-mannered person who, at a time when his father - a man like \\\\\\\'Ali - is delivering a sermon, feels thirsty and instead of waiting for the session to be over, suddenly interrupts his father\\\\\\\'s sermon to ask for water.\\\\\\\' Show Less >>
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