Was Imam Íusayn specially respected by the Prophet (Ò) according to the viewpoint of the Ahl al-Sunnah?
Answer: Although the Ahl al-Sunnah do not look at Imam Íusayn (Ýa) as a divinely appointed Imam, yet, they have still narrated many reports in regards to his virtues and sublime characteristics and they do recognize that he was specially respected by the Prophet of Islam (Ò). We will narrate some of these reports, which can be found in the history books and the books of tradition of the Ahl al-Sunnah, below: BukhÁrÐ has narrated from NaÝÐm that it was asked from Ibn ÝUmar: A MuÎrim individual (one who is in the state of IÎrÁm at the Íajj pilgrimage) kills a fly; what is the ruling in regards to him? Ibn ÝUmar replied: The people of Iraq ask in regards to a fly while they have killed the son of the daughter of the Prophet (Ò). The Prophet (Ò) said: Íasan and Íusayn are my two flowers from this world. TirmidhÐ has narrated from YÙsuf ibn IbrÁhÐm that he heard from Anas ibn MÁlik: The Prophet of God (Ò) was asked: Who amongst your Ahl al-Bayt are the most beloved to you? The Prophet (Ò) replied: Íasan and Íusayn. He would also always tell FÁÔimah (Ýa): Bring my two children to me. He would then… embrace them and hold them to his chest. ÍÁkim NayshÁbÙrÐ has narrated from SalmÁn that the Prophet (Ò) would say: Íasan and Íusayn are my two children; whoever loves them, loves me, and whoever loves me, loves God, and whoever loves God, God will take him in to paradise. And whoever is an enemy to these two, has taken me as an enemy, and whoever takes me as an enemy, has taken God as an enemy, and whoever takes God as an enemy, God will place him in to the hellfire. He has similarly narrated from Ibn ÝUmar that the Prophet (Ò) said: Íasan and Íusayn are the two masters of the youth of paradise and their father is better than them. ÍÁkim NayshÁbÙrÐ has narrated from AbÙ Hurayrah that: The Prophet (Ò) was walking towards us while Íasan and Íusayn were upon his shoulders. The Prophet (Ò) would kiss Íasan and then he would kiss Íusayn, and this continued until he reached us. Someone asked the Prophet (Ò): Oh Prophet (Ò), do you love these two children? The Prophet (Ò) replied: Yes, and whoever loves these two has loved me and whoever is an enemy towards them, has taken me as an enemy. Oh God, I love them, so love them also. YaÝlÁ ibn Marwah has narrated: We exited the house alongside the Prophet (Ò) when the Prophet (Ò) saw Íusayn playing alongside the road. The Prophet (Ò) quickly went ahead of us and he opened his hands to take hold of Íusayn, but he would run this way and that way and both them were laughing until the Prophet (Ò) finally caught him. He then kissed and embraced Íusayn and said: Íusayn is from me and I am from him; may God love the one who loves Íusayn…  TafsÐr al-qummÐ, vol. 2, p. 158, and 159; TafsÐr nÙr al-thaqalayn, vol. 4, p. 188.  Al-IÎtijÁj, vol. 1, p. 126