Masters of the Youth of Paradise

Masters of the Youth of Paradise is one of the of epithets that have been commonly used for Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain, according to an authentic hadith which have been transmitted by both Sunnis and Shi‘as from Prophet Muhammad. This honor has not been granted to anyone except these two people.


It has been recorded that the Holy Prophet said, “Al-Hasan and al-Hussain are the two masters and leaders of the youths of paradise.” This tradition has reached high fame and reputation and is classified among the firmly established hadith related in successive chains. There are various versions of the hadith that have been recounted:

1. On his own chain of transmission [sanad], Khatib Baghdadi recounts that Amir al-Mu’minin ‘Ali quoted the Holy Prophet saying,

الحسن والحسین سیدا شباب أهل الجنة، وأبوهما خیر منهما.

“Al-Hasan and al-Hussain are the masters of the youths of Paradise and their father is better than these two.”[1]

2. On his own chain of transmission, Muttaqi al-Hindi recounts that Imam ‘Ali narrated that the Holy Prophet said to Fatima,

ألا ترضین أن تکونی سیدة نساء أهل الجنة، وأبناک سیدی شباب اهل الجنة.

“Will you not be pleased that you will be the chief of the women of Paradise and your two children will be the chiefs of the youths of Paradise?”[2]

3. On his own chain of transmission, Ibn ‘Asakir recounts that Ibn ‘Abbas quoted the Holy Prophet saying,

الحسن والحسین سیدا شباب اهل الجنة، من أحبهما فقد أحبّنی ومن أبغضهما فقد أبغضنی.

“Al-Hasan and al-Hussain are both chiefs of the youths of Paradise. Anyone who loves them, surely loves me, and anyone who hates them, surely hates me.”[3]

Others who have narrated and recorded this hadith are listed in the following two groups: A) The Prophet’s companions This hadith has been recounted by many of the Prophet’s companions including:

1. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib . 11. Malik ibn Huwayrith Laythi
2. Souhan bin Omayya al-Abdi 12. Qurrah ibn Ayas
3. ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas 13. Usamah ibn Zayd
4. Abu Bakr ibn Abi Qahafah 14. Anas ibn Malik
5. ‘Umar ibn Khattab 15. Abu Hurayrah Dusi
6. ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar 16. Abu Sa‘id Khudri
7. Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah Ansari 17. Bara’ ibn ‘Azib
8. ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud 18. ‘Ali Hilali
9. Hudhayfah ibn Yaman 19. Abu Ramathah
10. Jahm 20. Buraydah

B) The Sunni ‘Ulama’ Many Sunni scholars have also recorded and narrated this noble hadith. Among them are the following:

1. Khatib Baghdadi[4] 11. Al-Hakim al-Neyshaburi [5] 21. Suyuti [6]
2. Ibn ‘Asakir[7] 12. Ganji Shafi‘i[8] 22. Daylami[9]
3. Tabarani[10] 13. Al-Tirmidhi[11] 23. Ibn Abi Shaybah[12]
4. Muttaqi al-Hindi[13] 14. Ahmad ibn Hanbal[14] 24. Nassa’i[15]
5. Muhibb al-Din Tabari[16] 15. Dhahabi[17] 25. Ibn Hibban[18]
6. Haythami[19] 16. Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani[20] 26. Sam‘ani[21]
7. Abu Na‘im Isfahani[22] 17. Baghawi[23] 27. Suyuti[24]
8. Ibn Hammad Hanbali[25] 18. Abu al-Qasim Sahmi[26] 28. Al-Mannawi[27]
9. Waki‘[28] 19. Nahbani[29] 29. Al-Albani[30]
10. Ibn Majah[31] 20. Ibn Hajar Haythami[32]

Authenticity of this HadithEdit

A number of Sunni scholars of hadith have stipulated and confirmed the correctness of this hadith:

1. Hafiz al-Ganji al-Shafi‘i says, “This hadith is healthy [hasan] and founded [thabit]…”[33]

2. Abu al-Qasim Tabarani, the leader of Sunni scholars of hadith, has related the chain of transmission of this hadith in his “Al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir”. At the same time, he comments on the spiritual state and position of Imam al-Hussain. He attributes this hadith to a number of the Prophet’s companions [sahabah] and names all of them… After that, he adds, “The close and strong connection of these chains of transmission to one another is enough to prove the correctness and authenticity of this hadith.”[34]

3. Al-Hakim al-Neyshaburi says, “This hadith, including the part which says ‘and their father is better than these two’, is correct according to the conditions of the two shaykhs (i.e. Bukhari and Muslim), but they did not collect it.”[35] Following this hadith, al-Neyshaburi states, “This is a hadith which can be authenticated in many ways, and I am surprised why these two did not narrate it."[36]

4. Dhahabi says, “This hadith is authentic [sahih].”[37]

5. Al-Tirmidhi says, “This hadith is noble and sound [hasan] but has been isolated and abandoned [gharib].”[38] Al-Tirmidhi also narrated this hadith on a different chain of transmission and adds a footnote at the end saying, “This hadith is sound and correct.”[39]

6. Al-Albani has approved the authentication done by al-Tirmidhi. He says, “The truth of the matter is what has been reported by al-Tirmidhi.”[40]

Al-Tirmidhi says, “The chains of transmission of this hadith are authentic and the people mentioned in the line of transmission are all truthful according to the distinguished and upheld standards of narrating; in addition, Maysarah ibn Habib (one of the narrators of this hadith) is well known for his trustworthiness.”

Al-Albani has also assented to the authentication done by Hakim and Dhahabi.[41]

7. Haythami, in his book entitled, “Majma‘ al-Zawa’id”, assents to the authenticity of the above mentioned hadith through the line of transmission of Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri.[42]

8. Mustafa ibn ‘Aduwwi.[43]

9. Huwayni Athari in his book entitled, “Khasa’is Amir al-Mu’minin” has approved and assented to the authenticity of this hadith.[44]

10. Al-Dani ibn Munir Al Zahawi.[45]

11. Hamzah Ahmad al-Zayn, the renowned and celebrated researcher of the book entitled, “Musnad Ahmad” has categorized this hadith as authentic.[46]

12. Ibn Hibban has reported this hadith in his “Al-Sahih”.[47]

This hadith has been recounted through so many chains of transmission that Suyuti and Sam‘ani consider it to be consecutive [mutawatir].[48]



  1. Tarikh-e Baghdad, vol. 1, p. 140; Al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn, vol. 3, p. 167
  2. Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 16, p. 281
  3. Mukhtasar Tarikh Damishq, p. 45
  4. Tarikh-e Baghdad, vol. 1, p. 140
  5. Al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn, vol. 3, p. 167
  6. Al-Jami‘ al-Saghir, vol. 1, p. 379
  7. Mukhtasar Tarikh Damishq, p. 41
  8. Al-Kifayat al-Talib, p. 341
  9. Firdaws al-Akhbar, vol. 5, p. 76
  10. Al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, vol. 3, pp. 35-36
  11. Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan, vol. 5, p. 660
  12. Al-Musannaf, vol. 12, p. 96
  13. Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 13, p. 97
  14. Al-Musnad, vol. 5, pp. 391-392
  15. Al-Khasa’is, p. 36
  16. Dhakha’ir al-‘Uqba, p. 129
  17. Tarikh al-Islam (The History of Islam), vol. 2, p. 90; Siyr A‘lam al-Nubala’, vol. 3, p. 168
  18. Ibn Hibban, Al-Sahih, vol. 15, p. 413
  19. Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 9, p. 182
  20. Al-Isabah, vol. 1, p. 256
  21. Al-Ansab, vol. 3, p. 477
  22. Hiliat al-Awliya’, vol. 4, p. 139
  23. Mu‘jam al-Sahabah, p. 22
  24. Al-Jami‘ al-Saghir
  25. Shadharat al-Dhahab, vol. 1, p. 85
  26. Tarikh Jurjan, p. 395
  27. Fayd al-Qadir, vol. 3, p. 550
  28. Akhbar al-Qudat, vol. 2, p. 200
  29. Al-Fath al-Kabir, vol. 2, p. 80
  30. Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Sahihah, vol. 2, p. 424
  31. Sunan ibn Majah, vol. 1, p. 44
  32. Al-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqah, p. 114
  33. Kifayat al-Talib, p. 341
  34. Kifayat al-Talib, as narrated by Tabarani
  35. Al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn, vol. 3, p. 167
  36. Ibid
  37. Ibid
  38. Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan, vol. 5, p. 660
  39. Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, according to the commentary of al-Tirmidhi, vol. 10, p. 272
  40. Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Sahihah, vol. 2, pp. 423- 426
  41. Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Sahihah, vol. 2, p. 424
  42. Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 9, p. 201
  43. Al-Sahih al-Musnad min Fada’il al-Sahabah, p. 257
  44. Tahdhib-u Khasa’is al-Imam ‘Ali (as), p. 99, hadith 124
  45. Khasa’is Amir al-Mu’minin (as), as researched by Al Zahawi, p. 107, hadith 140
  46. Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Al-Musnad, as reseached by Hamzah Ahmad al-Zayn, vol 1, pp. 101, 195, 204, 259
  47. Sahih ibn Hibban, vol. 15, p. 413, printed by Mu’assisah al-Risalah
  48. Tuhfah al-Ahwadhi, vol. 10, p. 186; Fayd al-Qadir, vol. 3, p. 550; Al-Ansab, vol. 3, p. 477