Qasim ibn Hassan (AS) was the youngest son of the second Shia Imam, Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS). Qasim was born in 47 A.H., three years before Hassan ibn Ali (AS) was martyred. When the third Shia Imam Hussain ibn Ali (AS) prepared to leave Medina in the month of Rajab 60 A.H. Qasim ibn Hassan’s mother (Umme-e-Farwa) asked Hussain ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS) to take her and Qasim with him. Hussain ibn Ali (AS) agreed. Qasim, although only 13 years old, had, like his cousins Aun and Muhammad, learnt fencing from Abbas ibn Ali (AS) and Ali Akbar ibn Hussain (AS). Abbas ibn Ali (AS) was very fond of Qasim ibn Hassan (AS).
At the Battle of Karbala
On the night before Ashura, Hussain ibn Ali (AS) was passing by Umm-e-Farwa’s tent, he heard Qasim saying to his mother, “Mother, tomorrow Uncle Abbas (AS), Ali Akbar (AS) and I will defend uncle Hussain (AS). Mother, if I get killed please do not weep for me.” Umm-e-Farwa replied, “My son although I dearly love you, I shall not weep for you. Nothing will make me prouder than to see my son give his life for Islam”. When Hussain ibn Ali (AS) heard this conversation he prayed to Allah (SWT) to bless Qasim ibn Hassan (AS) and Umm-e-Farwa.
On the day of Ashura, when Aun and Muhammad had fallen in the battlefield, Qasim ibn Hassan came to Hussain ibn Ali (AS) and begged for permission to go and fight. Twice Hussain ibn Ali (AS) refused saying “Qasim you are young and your mother’s only son.” Qasim ibn Hassan was very disappointed. He went to his mother.
When she saw her son so disappointed she remembered that just before Hassan ibn Ali (AS) died, he had written a letter, giving it to Umm-e-Farwa saying, “If ever you find Qasim in difficulty then give him this letter.” She gave Qasim ibn Hassan the letter. In the letter it was written, “My son Qasim, a day will come when my brother Hussain will be facing an enemy army of tens of thousands. That will be the day when Islam will need to be saved by sacrifice. You must represent me on that day.”
Qasim ibn Hassan read the letter. He smiled. He rushed to Hussain ibn Ali (AS) and gave him the letter. After reading the letter Hussain ibn Ali said, “O my brother’s son, how can I stop you from doing what your father wanted you to do?” Hussain ibn Ali (AS) tied Hassan ibn Ali’s turban on the head of Qasim ibn Hassan and helped him mount his horse. Qasim ibn Hassan ibn Ali said, “O my uncle, please do not be upset. I don’t fear death. Death for Islam will be sweeter for me than honey.” Qasim ibn Hassan ibn Ali came to the battle field. He was a very handsome boy. When the enemy saw him, they began to murmur, “How can we kill someone whose face is shining like moon?” In a loud and a clear voice Qasim ibn Hassan introduced himself and cried out a challenge for single combat. He killed several famous warriors who came forward.
Every time he killed an enemy, Qasim ibn Hassan would stand on his stirrups, look behind and wave to Abbas ibn Ali, just as a pupil would seek approval of his teacher on an assignment, Abbas ibn Ali (AS) would proudly wave back. When the enemy saw his bravery and realized that they could not possibly over power him in single combats, they came from behind and Umar ibn Nafeel Azdee hit Qasim ibn Hassan on the head with a sword. Qasim ibn Hassan tried to go on fighting but since he was so young and very thirsty, he couldn’t carry on fighting. After a while Qasim ibn Hassan fell from his horse crying out to Hussain ibn Ali (AS), “O uncle, Accept My Last Salaam.”
Hussain ibn Ali (AS) and Abbas ibn Ali (AS) rode out. The soldiers tried to stop them, when finally they came to where Qasim ibn Hassan had fallen they saw a dreadful sight. Qasim ibn Hassan’s body had been trampled by the horses of the soldiers who had tried to stop Hussain ibn Ali (AS) and Abbas ibn Ali (AS).
Hussain ibn Ali (AS) was extremely angry and shaken by this, he immediately took out his sword and struck Umar ibn Nafeel Azdee who had hit Qasim ibn Ali with a sword and caused him to fall to the ground. Hussain ibn Ali’s (AS) blow cut Umar ibn Nafeel Azdee in half from the middle and caused the rest of the enemy forces to flee.
Was Qasim ibn Hassan’s body carried to the camp to his mother? This is not very clear. It is reported, that Hussain ibn Ali (AS) took off his Abaa, spread it on to the ground, and gathered the pieces from the ground as one gathers flowers from a garden and took them back to the camps.