One of the words that is often used while speaking about Imam Hussein and his companions is martyrdom. It is narrated that once the Prophet of Islam, after performing the morning congregational prayer with the people, saw a youth who was pale and slim.
The Messenger of God asked him, "How have you spent your night?" The young man answered, "I spent the night in certitude." The Prophet asked him to speak of the signs of certitude as everything has signs. He said, "O Messenger of God! Certitude has grabbed sleep from my eyes. It has engulfed my hot days with tolerance of thirst of fasting; it has made me unenthusiastic toward the world and its pleasures; as if I were seeing the people of paradise who are enjoying the bounties of paradise and the people of hell who are punished and shouting in fire."
The Prophet of Islam said, "This is a servant whose heart God has illuminated." Then told him, "Keep what you have attained." The youth told the Prophet, "Ask God to grant me martyrdom."
The Prophet of Islam prayed for him and in a short while, the youth took part in a battle with the Prophet and attained martyrdom. This shows how lofty martyrdom is in Islam.
The companions of Imam Hussein, too, considered martyrdom as the loftiest degree of perfection.
Faith and cognizance of God have numerous degrees. Most people are in the low degrees; some are in the middle degrees, while few reach the high degrees. Some people lose patience and complain to God as soon as they face a problem or mishap. But those who are stronger in faith, keep calm. Others, may not only keep calm but also they express gratitude to God and are satisfied with Him. Imam Hussein (AS) delivered a sermon before leaving Mecca for Iraq in which he made it clear, "God's satisfaction is indeed the satisfaction of us the Ahl al-Bayt."
20 of Shahrivar (corresponding with 11 of September) is the martyrdom anniversary of Ayatollah Madani. He was a true student of the school of Imam Hussein. Ayatollah Madani was born in 1913 in Azarshahr town near Tabriz. His father Mir Ali was a lover of Imam Ali (AS), so he chose one of Imam Ali's epithets Asadullah for the child. Asadullah lost his mother at the age of four and his father at the age of 16.
Ayatollah Madani went to the seminary at the prime of youth to pursue religious studies. Soon he left Tabriz for Qom to continue his studies beside the shrine of Lady Masumeh. He attended the classes of top scholars such as Ayatollah Seyyed Hojjat Kuhkamarei and Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Taqi Khansari. Despite poverty, Ayatollah Madani made great progress in different scientific fields of the seminary. At that time, the ulema were going through very tough conditions as the British-installed puppet, Reza Khan, had extremely restricted the activities of ulema while he had left the west-oriented intellectuals quite free to do whatever they wished. Ayatollah Madani left Tabriz for Qom and stayed in Qom for several years although his friends and relatives would warn him of the hazards of studying at seminaries due to the confinements that Reza Khan had imposed on the seminaries especially Qom. Later on he left for holy Najaf and enjoyed the classes of peaks of Islamic sciences such as Ayatollah Seyyed Abul Hassan Isfahani, Ayatollah Seyyed Mohsen Hakeem, Ayatollah Seyyed Abdul Hadi Shirazi and Imam Khomeini. Seyyed Assadullah attended the classes of Imam Khomeini for four years and learnt philosophy, gnostics and morality from him. This period turned him into a lover of Imam Khomeini as he was a combatant who never stood idle in the face of oppression and injustice. His friend, Ayatollah Raasti Kashani, says, "At that time we were with him. He was engaged in teaching different courses and his classes were more populated than other classes. His students would attend his classes with a special love and enthusiasm."
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Asadullah Madani was appointed as the Friday Prayer Leader of Tabriz and Imam Khomeini's representative in East Azarbaijan province. He was martyred by a member of the godless MKO terrorist grouplet while returning from the Friday Prayer in Tabriz on September 11, 1981. Imam Khomeini expressly said on his martyrdom, "With martyring another member of the genealogy of the Messenger of God and spiritual and physical scions of the Commander of the Faithful, the document of crime of the deviated and hypocrites was registered. The great Seyyed and teacher of ethics and spirituality, Hojjatol Islam Haj Seyyed Asadullah Madani was martyred like his grand forefather at the mehrab of worship by a wicked hypocrite. If Islam and Muslims were annihilated by the martyrdom of the Leader of the Pious [Imam Ali], the martyrdom of people like his dear descendent Madani will also fulfill the wish of hypocrites. If the despicable Khawarej gained anything from martyring Imam Ali and gained the rule, these treasonous grouplets will also reach their vicious goals of overthrowing the rule of Islam and establishment of American rule."