Early Age to Schooling:
Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini opened his eyes on 25th November 1946 at the time of Adhaan-e-Fajr. His pious mother brought him up until at the age of five he was sent to a government primary school in Pewaar. At the same time arrangements had been made for him to study the Holy Qur’an at home.
He remained at the Pewaar Government Primary School until the fourth grade, then he took admission at the Government High School of Para Chinar and completed his matric examinations (10th Grade) from there. While in Para Chinar, he stayed at his elder sister home.
Early on Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini was fond of sitting with elders and listening to them with intense interest and respect. He was also strictly punctual in saying his prayers. He used to sleep with his uncle and insisted on hearing stories of his forefathers. He shunned all the customary cultural practices in marriage traditions such as singing and dancing even as a young child.
After coming home from the school he herded flocks of goats, and while the goats grazed in the near-by hills, he used that time to do his homework and study, thus always using his time productively.
As serious as he was about the important things in life, he also possessed a sense of humor and his jokes were enjoyed by his family.
One very interesting story of his childhood was that he was very fond of eating a type of fruit called â€œAmlog” and used to climb on that tree. One day he fell down from that tree breaking his arm. As soon as his arm healed up he again climbed that tree. His cousin exclaimed, “You again climbed the tree where you recently fell from!” Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini replied, “Today I climbed not for the fruit, but so that this tree might not think I am afraid of it.”
In 1962 after completing his matriculation examinations, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini took admission in the newly established Madressah e Jaffaria administered by Haji Ghulam Jaffer. This is the beginning of the unending quest for knowledge and faith by a servant of Allah!
Staying for a while in Para Chinar Madressah, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini decided to further his religious studies and with his teacher Maulana Ghulam Hussain. He departed for Najaf, Iraq in 1967.
â€œMadressah Abdul Aziz Baghdadi” was where he began his early Islamic education. Then Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini was admitted in â€œMadressah e Shabbiriah”.
He was a very hard working, intelligent and serious student. He regularly attended all lectures, and kept extensive detailed notes in his journal and was an active participant in the debates between students that took place dealing with the subjects of the lectures. Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini teachers include Shaheed e Mehrab Ayatolah Madni, Sheikh Ashraf Asphahani, Aqai Lashkarani and Ayatollah Murtazavi.
During his stay in Najaf he gave utmost importance to Bandana. Every friday night he read Dua e Kumail and Ziarate Warsa. More than 20 times during his six and a half year stay in Najaf, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini went to Karbala on foot. Whenever Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini left for Karbala with any caravan, he always took the luggage of elderly and sick Zaireen on his shoulders in the same way of the Imams (AS). Thus he tried to model his life from the examples of Ahlul-bayt.
In 1973, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini decided to return home after six and half years in Najaf. In this period at home, he married the daughter of his uncle Syed Yunus Jaan Khateeb Aalim Sher. Allah (swt) blessed them with 5 sons and 2 daughters whose names are Syed Muhammed, Syed Ali, Syed Hasan, Syed Hussain, Syed Sajjad, Syeda Fatima and Syeda Zainab.
After marriage in 1974, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini again tried to go to Najaf but was not allowed to enter in Iraq due to his involvement with Imam Khomeni (RA). Thus, Shaheed Quaid decided to go to Qom where he took lectures from Ayatollah Shaheed Murtadha Muteheri, Ayatollah Nasir Makarem Sheerazi, Ayatollah Waheed Khurasani, Ayatollah Tabrezi and Ayatollah Harampanahi on the subjects of history, Usool, philosophy, fiqh and Ilme Kalam.
Iran was gripped in political turmoil in those days. Imam Khomeni (RA) movement was spreading and oppression increased day by day. â€œSavakÂEkept extra vigilance on every movement of revolutionists especially foreign students who supported the movement. Since Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini was the active participant in every move for revolution, he was arrested. He was kept into detention for some days, was given threats of severe torture and sending out of Iran but the determined Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini never bowed down.
In 1975 and 1977, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini went to Hajj from Qom.
During his stay in Qom Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini tried to remain in touch with current affairs of Pakistan. Incidents in which Shias were targeted made Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini grieve for many days. He also remained very much concerned about Kurrum Agency situation and asked in letters to his friends in Para Chinar to write in detail about the situation in the area.
Returning back home:
Due to the pathetic situation in Kurrum Agency and also for â€œMadressah e JaffariaÂEin Para Chinar, Allama Abid Hussain al Hussaini called Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini for help. In respect for his teacherâ€™s orders and with the aim of improving situation in Para Chinar, Shaheed Quaid returned to Pakistan. Here, he immediately joined Madressah e Jaffaria and also started to take steps towards betterment of Kurrum Agency in general and Para Chinar in particular.
As a teacher, he tried to improve the syllabi of the Madressah while also encouraging students to adopt modern techniques to understand Islam with the strict following of Taqwa e Ilahee. Due to his efforts, not only did the atmosphere of Madressah improve but also the number of students increaseed in the madressah. Later, this Madressah become Pakistanâ€™s best madressah with respect to educational standards.
Shaheed Quaid always remained in friendly relations with his students. He used to say that the best teacher is one who is the best friend of his student. He delivered lectures sitting on the floor with his students. He even used to visit his students at night in their rooms. One night during his routine visits, he found one student with a fever lying alone in his bed. He sat with the student so that the student would feel better.
Shaheed Quaid always advised his students to read Namaz e Shab, telling them, as this is the only way to get nearness to Allah. He loved his students so much that he distributed half of his Rs 1200/- salary between the top and needy students.
Due to Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini’s pious character and knowledge, people of Peshawar started to call him for reading Majalis there. From 1977 he started delivering lectures in Imam Bargha Akhund Abad, Peshawar. He proved his character and knowledge there. Not only did he revolutionize the lives of shias there, but he also inclined thousands of sunnis towards shi’ism through his speeches.
Whenever Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini visited Peshawar, he never stayed at hostâ€™s house; rather he always stayed at his cousinâ€™s small quarters in a railway station. He used bus or rickshaw to come to Imam Bargha and paid the fare from his pocket.
He was very strict for ladies separation and hijab in Majalis. When hosts didnâ€™t heed to his requests of arranging proper separation for women Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini stopped delivering lectures, which embarrassed hosts heavily, and they quickly arranged complete separation for ladies. After confirmation and satisfaction of the arrangements, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini continued the delivery of the Majalis.
Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini took a keen interest in the affairs of youth. He organized different programs for their spiritual training. He, himself used to come every Friday night to Peshawar by bus and this continued for a long time, thus converting thousands of youths towards Imam Khomeniâ€™s (RA) movement of freedom with imperialism.
Leading from the front in Kurrum Agency:
After the Islamic revolution, imperialists got scared with its spread to all over the world specially its neighboring areas and hesitantly marked areas where it could reach and influence easily. Kurrum Agency was also marked due to its all-shia population and nearness to Iran. They used Afghan refugees to suppress the Kurrum Agency’s brave population. First, big camps were erected around Kurrum Agency and then, after settling, unscrupulous elements in Afghan refugees attacked Kurrum Agency.
Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini took the leading role in defending the area. He founded â€œAlamdar Foundation” comprising around 1200 area youths and made himself its head. He made it clear to the members of Alamdar Foundation that the future of Para Chinar is in extreme danger because America wanted to disconnect all shia centers with Islamic revolution.
In defending Kurrum Agency, many gave their lives. Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini himself got severely injured when he was in a front line post defending the land. A piece of mortar shell hit his shoulder.
To help martyrs’ families, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini founded the Shaheed Foundation and in an address to its members he said:
â€œIt is obligatory for us to remember martyrs, praise their courage and look after their families. Arrangement of proper education should especially be the top priority for the orphans of martyrs”.
The valiant character of Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini made him natural leader for the people of Kurrum Agency. When people started to listen to Shaheed Quaid, he stepped further into eradicating false and unislamic cultural practices in the area. Upon witnessing Shaheed Quaidâ€™s love and affection to the area, more and more people started to gather around Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini and his efforts resulted in a marked decline in unislamic cultural activities in the area.
First direct clash with Government:
Besides the political agent who was the unrestrained king of the area appointed by the government, a committee of 40 Maliks was also constituted by the government to look after the affairs of the area but it was entirely ineffective. Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini raised voice against this injustice. He started his campaign with two points:
1. Abolition of the “Maliks” assembly.
2. Getting rid of the monopoly of political agents.
Shaheed Quaid’s movement gained popularity as he went village to village to increase public awareness of tyranny. The government and those in power in Kurrum Agency felt threatened so they used all means and measures to stop Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini and his movement. Political agent of Kurrum Agency even tried to bribe Shaheed Quaid by promising money to establish a madressah. After listening to them, Shaheed Quaid started to read Namaz and, after completing it, replied in his peculiar accent, “Get out from here. If you would not be my guest then I would certainly give you the right answer to your ugly act. Insha’allah, people will give you and your pet Maliks the answer”.
Finally, because of all of its efforts to suppress the movement, the government had Shaheed Quaid arrested for some days and thus a new chapter opened in Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini life putting him on the political scene of the country.
Interests in welfare projects:
Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini gave utmost importance to the welfare of people and instructed members of Alamdaar Foundation to start a campaign against social evils, especially the drug heroine. For this, Shaheed Quaid personally took interest and got a welfare project constructed under his direct supervision. With this project, he arranged proper rehabilitation services for drug addicts in the hospital.
Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini possessed the heart full of grief and sense of responsibility for the impoverished. Following the footsteps of his peers Aimmah (AS), in the night Shaheed Quaid took his students with him to distribute floor, rice, oil and money to the needy and impoverished people in their area, directly to their homes. Shaheed Quaid strictly instructed his students not to disclose the anonymity of their good deeds to anybody. As such, it was not revealed until after his death. Undoubtedly, we can say that we have lost the real Follower of Ali living amongst us!
Shi’a political arena in Pakistan:
At a nationwide convention on April 12th, 1978 in Bhakkar, Punjab, Shi’a ulema and responsible parties perceived the need to converge the Shi’a population of Pakistan under one platform. More than a hundred thousand Shi’as from around the country attended the convention. The main agenda of the convention was to evolve a strategy against General Zia ul Haq’s biased policy and decisions against the Shi’as of Pakistan. The party Tehreek e Nifaaz e Fiqh e Jafarria was formed in the convention with noisy chants of approval. Mufti Jafar Hussain was selected as their leader. Mufti Jaffer Hussain, albeit his elderly age, worked day and night, and visited every corner around the country to awaken and organize the nation.
But Mufti Jaffer Hussainâ€™s health didnâ€™t allow him to see the fruits of the tree from the seed he planted. He died on 29th August 1983 leaving millions of mourners behind him.
Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussainiâ€™s appointment as Millat e Jafairria:
The meeting of supreme council of TNFJ was called in Bhakkar, Punjab on February 10th 1984. One member put forward Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussainiâ€™s name as the new leader. Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini, at first, plainly refused to accept this responsibility citing his pressing commitments in the area that he lives.
The meeting was called off for one hour and Allama Syed Safder Hussain Najafi and some other elderly Ulema took Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini to the adjoining Imambargha and requested of him to accept the responsibility as leader and confirmed their complete support for him. Taking assurances from the Ulemas, Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini agreed to take responsibility of leadership.
As Leader: Early days
Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini selected Peshawar City as his head office and reconstituted and reorganized the entire setup of TNFJ. He visited every corner of the country and people of every area welcomed their new Quaid with historical fervor and passion.
Shaheed Quaid’s first one and half years passed in removing discrepancies in the nationâ€™s beliefs, counteracting the enemyâ€™s scornful propaganda against him, and quelling the fighting within the nation. Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini used to say, â€œMy first one and half years as leader were passed in assuring the nation that I am Shi’a and believes in Azadari”.
Appointment as Walie e Faqih representative by Imam Khomeni (RA):
Imam Khomeni (RA) issued a written statement announcing Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini as his representative in Pakistan. One could say that that written statement by Imam Khomeni (RA) gave real strength to Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini’s leadership as his popularity among masses increased manifold. After becoming the official representative of Wali e Faqih, Shaheed Quaid again visited the whole country with new vigor and purpose.
Struggle against dictatorship:
It was the prime black era of Gen Zia ul Haq. Public hangings, lashings, political imprisonment, barbaric use of state machinery on every voice that spoke against the dictator, Zia’s, rule was the order of the day. In all that Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussainiâ€™s voice was nothing but thorn in the eyes of Dictator Zia.
Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini in his first press conference in Peshawar announced candidly that his first demand was to change the system of the country.
Zia understood the power of Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussainiâ€™s words and was very afraid of him. So his government planned a ferocious campaign against Shi’as. The first step they took was against Azadari e Imam Hussain (AS). In the first year of Shaheed Quaid’s leadership, incidents of firing and ransacking on mourning processions and Imambarghas in different cities occurred.
In the second phase Zia’s government introduced Draconian and discriminatory laws against Shi’as of Pakistan.
All the government’s tactics bore no fruits. Shaheed Quaid Allama Arif ul Hussain Al Hussaini emerged from every crisis more forcefully.