Friday, 27 February 2009

Life of Husain 5


[Full Text]



Research and Analysis

By: Allamah Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi [IRAN 2007]


(page 622)

# Towards Iraq

Alas for the world! May this life go away and that the world should be constricted for someone like the son of Allah’s Messenger and the waves of sorrows should surround him from all sides, and he could not decide where to go and where to turn to, because he received reports that the tyrant Yazid has commanded his assailants to eliminate the Imam even if they find him clinging to the covering of the Kaaba.

The grandson of the Messenger of Allah became sure that Yazid would never leave him alone and that he would definitely shed his blood and defile his sanctity, and he mentioned this matter a number of times in his statements; some of which were as follows:

1. Ja’far bin Sulaiman Zabi’ has narrated that His Eminence said, “They will not leave me till they spill out this blood,” and pointed to his breast – “even though by their killing me, the Almighty Allah would impose such a one upon them who would humiliate them to such an extent that they shall become more degraded than an old slave-maid.”[1]

2. Imam told his brother, Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyah “If I enter the hole of a reptile, they would bring me out and slay me.”[2]

3. Muawiyah bin Qarra has narrated that His Eminence, Husain said, “By Allah! They shall persecute me like the Bani Israel resorted to injustice on Saturday.”[3]

[1] Ibne Kathir, Tarikh 8/169, Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/216
[2] Bihar 44/375
[3] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/216, Ibne Kathir, Tarikh 8/169

Anxiety descended upon the Holy Imam and waves of sorrow and grief enveloped His Eminence. The atmosphere around him was concealed by the dark clouds, terrible calamities and horrifying events; because if the Imam remained in Mecca he was expecting to be murdered and if he went towards Iraq he was not trustful of the people of Kufa because they would be disloyal to him and betray his trust. He has mentioned this to someone he met on his way to Iraq. Yazid Rashk has narrated regarding this that someone who happened to meet the Imam said: “I decried tents fixed in an open area in the desert. I asked: “Whose tents are these?”

“They belong to Husain,” they replied. So I went towards him and saw an elderly man reciting the Quran while tears were flowing on his cheeks and face. I asked him, “May my parents be sacrificed on you, O son of the daughter of Allah’s Messenger! What has brought you to this desolate desert land?” He replied, “These are the letters of people of Kufa to me. I don’t consider them anything except my killers. When they do this they would not leave any other religious sanctity but that they defile it. The Almighty Allah would also impose upon them one who would humiliate them till they become more degraded than an old female slave.”[1]

His Eminence was not happy with the people of Kufa because he was aware of their deception and disloyalty that they would become his enemies, and become partisans of his enemies.

Anyway, we shall mention some of the events that occurred with His Eminence before he set out from Mecca, the causes of his flight to Iraq and incidents that happened on the way.

Imam’s letter to Bani Hashim

When the Holy Imam decided to set out for Iraq he wrote the following letter to Bani Hashim in which he stated after the name of Allah: “From Husain bin Ali to his brother, Muhammad and anyone who is with him from Bani Hashim. So to say: Anyone who joins me shall be martyred and one who does not join me, shall not obtain success and peace (be on you all).”[2]

Imam informed the clan of prophethood that anyone who comes with him would be guaranteed martyrdom and all those who do not join him would not be able to achieve success. But what victory did the Imam have in mind?

It is that same victory that except for His Eminence no other leader of the world and warrior of history had earned. Because his views became victorious and his value increased and the world became illuminated by his sacrifice. His name became the symbol of truth and justice. His personality was not restricted to one community or tribe, rather it became incomparable in all of humanity in every period of time and in all the places. Thus what victory could be greater and which success could be loftier than this success?

Bani Hashim People join the Imam

When the Imam’s letter reached Bani Hashim in Medina a group of them hastened to join the Holy Imam in order to obtain victory and martyrdom in the company of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah.[3] Among them were his cousins and brothers just as Muhammad bin Hanafiyah also came with them to dissuade the Imam from moving to Iraq however Imam did not accept his suggestion. We have already related their conversation in the foregone pages.

Why Imam left Mecca?

In our view, the following factors compelled the Imam to leave Mecca in haste:

1. Safety of the Sanctuary

Imam feared that the sanctified House of Allah, where all those who enter it are granted immunity from harm. This was so because Bani Umayyad did not

[1] Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 5/11, Ibne Kathir, Tarikh 8/169, Tadhib at-Tahdhib 1/56, Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/216, Ad Durrun Nadheem, Pg. 547
[2] Kamil az-Ziyaraat, Pg. 157, Dalailul Imamah, Pg. 177-178, H. 107
[3] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/211


recognize any of its sanctity and Yazid had ordered Amr bin Saeed Ashdaq to fight the Holy Imam and if he could not do so, he must have him assassinated. And Ashdaq had arrived in Mecca with a large number of mercenaries. When the Imam was informed about this he set out from there[1] and he did not take refuge in the sanctified house so that he may protect its sanctities.

His Eminence said, “Even if I am killed one hand span outside Mecca, it is more preferable to me.”

His Eminence himself said to Ibn Zubair, “If I am killed at such and such place, it is more preferable to me than that the sanctity of this place (Mecca) be defiled.”[2] The succeeding days showed that Bani Umayyads had no regard for the holiness of this Great House, because during their battle against Ibn Zubair they fired burning logs of wood and stones with the help of catapults on the Kaaba, just as before that they had defiled the sanctity of Medina…

2. Fear of being Killed

Imam resorted to extreme precaution that it should not be that he is killed in Mecca or that he becomes an easy prey for the Umayyads, because Yazid had dispatched assailants to eliminate His Eminence.

Abdullah bin Abbas in his letter to Yazid wrote: “And whatever I may forget I will not forget that you forced Husain bin Ali from the sanctuary of the Messenger of Allah towards the sanctuary of Allah and after that sent your agents to assassinate him and he had to leave the sanctuary of Allah to go to Iraq in a condition of trepidation and in a precautionary manner. While he was and still is the most liked person in the land of valleys (Hijaz) and among the people of the two towns he is the most obeyed if he had stayed there and considered hostilities in these places lawful.[3]

3. Muslim’s Letter

Another factor that prompted the Imam to set out from Mecca was the letter of his emissary, Muslim bin Ail, which urged him to move to Iraq and it had mentioned that all the people of Kufa were with him and the number of people who have pledged allegiance for him exceeded 18000…

These were some of the factors that impelled the Imam to depart for Iraq and the weakest view is that which claims that the Imam set out from Mecca at the behest of Ibn Zubair because Ibn Zubair did not command any importance that the Imam should leave Mecca because of him, only the factors that we have indicated were explained. When Mecca became the target of Umayyad attack such a situation was created that it never became a center of any political movement.

[1] Miraat az-Zamaan, Pg. 167 from facsimile copy at Imam Amirul Momineen Library.
[2] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/203
[3] Yaqubi, Tarikh 2/249


Imam’s discourse in Mecca

When Imam decided to exit from Hijaz and set out for Iraq he issued orders to gather the people so that he may deliver among them a historical discourse. A huge crowd of people from Hijaz and residents of Mecca congregated in the Masjidul Haraam to listen to Imam who stood up amidst the crowd and began his sermon as follows:

“Praise be to Allah! By Allah’s will only! There is no power but with Allah! And blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger! Verily death is bound with the sons of Adam as a necklace around the neck of a maiden. How I desire and long to meet my ancestors similar to (Prophet) Yaqub, who was desirous of meeting (Prophet) Yusuf. Verily I proceed towards the place of my martyrdom, which has been selected for me. It is as if I see the wolves of the desert (of Bani Umayyah) separating each part of my body between Nawawis and Kerbala, and filling their empty bellies and utricles. There is no escape from that which has been written down by the pen of destiny, and the pleasure of our Household (Ahlulbayt) lies in the pleasure of Allah. Verily we will endure His trials and secure the reward due for the forbearing ones. The cord of the Prophet and his child cannot be separated from him, but will all be united together with him near the Right (Allah). Thereby his
(the Prophet’s) eyes will be cooled due to us and thus Allah will fulfill what He has promised through them. Then whoever desires to lay down his life for us and strive in the way of Allah should come out with us, for I shall be leaving tomorrow morning, Allah willing.”[1]

I have not seen a sermon more eloquent and more astonishing, which called the people to truth and which illustrated the worthlessness of this life in the view of Almighty. The sermon contained the following points of significance:

1. His Eminence predicated his imminent martyrdom and he has welcomed death considering it an embellishment for man just as the necklace adorns the neck of a youthful dame. This simile is extremely touching and the most beautiful of the comparisons in the speech of Arabs. And it is natural that the death which man would consider as an adornment for himself, it must be the death on the path of God and truth.

2. His Eminence has indicated his eagerness to meet his Holy ancestors, who had been martyred in the way of Allah and the Imam’s eagerness is compared to the eagerness of Prophet Yaqub to see his long lost son, Prophet Yusuf as His Eminence has himself explained.

3. His Eminence declared that the Almighty has selected for him a great martyrdom and death with honor on the way of defense of religion and support of Islam.

4. His Eminence introduced that purified land where his blood would be shed that it is between Nawawis and Kerbala, where he shall be cut up into piece by swords and spears.

[1] Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/114, Miftah al-Afkaar, Pg. 148, Kashful Ghumma 2/29


5. His Eminence has informed that till the dogs of Bani Umayyah and their followers do not fill their bellies with his flesh and blood they would not rest. This is an allusion to their rule on Muslims after him and how they shall plunder the wealth of the nation etc.

6. The Imam has clarified that whatever calamities were to befall him, have been destined and there was no way to avoid them and when the pen of destiny has moved there was no way one could change it.

7. Imam has announced his supplication to Allah that may He join the pleasure of Ahle Bayt to His pleasure and their obedience to His obedience and it really deserved to be so. Because they were the callers to the religion of God and guides to His satisfaction who bore such terrible difficulties for this that they defy description.

8. His Eminence has described a quality of Ahle Bayt and it was their patience and forbearance and submission to the command of Allah in whatever befalls them and may Allah give them unlimited rewards for their patience.

9. Imam has declared that the illuminated reality of Ahle Bayt was the continuation of the reality of the Prophet because they were his flesh and blood and the stems of the same tree are not different from its root and the eyes of the Prophet shall be illuminated for his progeny in his Holy Grave. They stayed awake on nights and in defense of his religion bore the greatest Jihad.

These brilliant points show that His Eminence had become hopeless of this worldly life and was prepared to die and sacrifice himself. If he had been aiming for kingdom he would not have issued such statements and he would have had to give sweet promises and bright hopes to his supporters.

None from the Meccans or Hajj pilgrims harkened to the Imam’s call, except a few believers. This indicates the paucity of religious inclination in the people and the decadence of that society and its deviation from truth.

Conclusion of Umrah

When the Imam decided to leave Mecca he put on the Ihram for Umrah-e-Mufradah, performed circumambulation (Tawaf) of Kaaba, shaved the head and performed Tawafun Nisa. Then he put on ordinary clothes. Shaykh Mufeed has written that when Imam Husain decided to leave for Iraq; he went around the Kaaba, did Sayy (jogging) between Safa and Marwa, then he removed his Ihram and considered it Umrah, because he was not able to conclude his Hajj lest he may be apprehended in Mecca and taken to Yazid.[1] This point is worth consideration. Because one who has come for Hajj cannot, according to verdict of jurisprudents, remove Ihram before sacrifice and that it could not be changed into Umrah. What we have explained is supported by two traditions that Shaykh Hurre Amili has

[1] Shaykh Mufid, Al-Irshad, 2/67 and Shaykh Tabarsi has mentioned it in A’laamul Wurdi, Pg. 227


quoted in Wasailush Shia, Book of Hajj, chapter on: “Permissibility of Umrah Mufradah in the months of Hajj[1] and going anywhere one likes.”

A. Ibrahim bin Umar Yamani has narrated from Imam Sadiq that His Eminence said regarding the person who goes for Umrah in the months of Hajj and after that he returns to his hometown that there is no problem in it. Even if that year he performs Hajj Afrad which does not require sacrifice. Indeed Husain bin Ali set out for Iraq on the day of Tarwiyah after performing Umrah Mufradha.

B. Muawiyah bin Ammar asked Imam Sadiq: How does Umrah Tamatto differs from Umrah Mufrada? He said: Umrah Tamatto is related to Hajj and it is a part of it but Umrah Mufrada when it is done one can go anywhere one likes. Indeed Imam Husain performed Umrah Mufrada in Zilhajj. After that on the day of Tarwiyah when the people went towards Mina he set out for Iraq. There is no problem for one who had not intended to perform Hajj to perform Umrah Mufrada in Zilhajj.”[2] This tradition also supports what we have stated above.[3]

Departure before Hajj

The question arises why Imam left Mecca on 8th Zilhajj while it is the day when pilgrims prepare to leave for Arafat and why he did not complete his Hajj? According to our view there were some factors due to which His Eminence hastily left Mecca and they are as follows:

1. The regime had become so strict on him that His Eminence had become sure that it would open the door of battle with him or it would have him killed during the performance of Hajj rituals. And in this way trample upon the sanctity of Hajj and destroy its Holy aims among whom was freeing the community in a complete way from humiliation and servitude.

2. If the regime had not initiated battle with the Imam during the rituals of Hajj it would have done so immediately after the conclusion of Hajj. At that time he would have been in Mecca either in battle or he would have been killed. In both the cases there would have been bloodshed in the Holy House in the Holy Month. Therefore His Eminence left Mecca in order to defend the Islamic sanctities.

3. The departure of His Eminence at that delicate moment was one of the important ways of propagation against the regime of that time, because the news of the Imam’s sudden departure spread to all the pilgrims of the Holy House in a sensational manner and the people who had arrived from all over the Islamic regions conveyed this information to their native places that Imam Husain has declared an uprising against Yazid. And that the Imam had been compelled to leave Mecca at such a crucial moment as he wanted to protect the sanctity of the Holy land at the hands of the Umayyads…these were some of the factors that led the Imam to depart from Mecca before Hajj.

[1] The months of Shawwal, Zilqad and Zilhajj are called the months of Hajj (Tr.)
[2] Wasailush Shia 10/246-247
[3] Laws related to Hajj and Umrah are very detailed and it is necessary to refer to the verdicts of great jurists. (Tr.)


With Ibn Zubair

When Ibn Zubair learnt of the Imam’s departure to Iraq he hurried to him in order to ask him about a matter that he hadn’t been be able to solve. He asked the Imam, “O son of Allah’s Messenger, we may never meet each other again after today. How does a new born child inherits or is inherited from? And the gifts presented by a king, are they lawful or not?”

Imam replied to him, “As for the newborn, he is eligible only when it is born into the world and as for the gifts of kings and rulers, they are allowed only if they have not usurped that property.”[1]

Ibn Zubair did not possess juristic knowledge that is why he sought the replies of these questions from the Imam. Now is it not surprising that how such a person could aspire to become the caliph of Muslims?

Journey to Iraq

Before leaving Mecca, His Eminence went to the Masjidul Haraam (the Great Mosque) and by performing circumambulation and prayer, he fulfilled its honor and this was the last farewell of His Eminence. Imam performed the noon prayer in the Masjid and after that he bid farewell to the sanctified Mosque and came out.[2] Imam bid farewell to the Holy Ka’ba while he was carrying its soul in his body and he was holding aloft its torch with both his hands while angels accompanied him reciting Allaahu Akbar and circumambulating it. As if they were fearful about it because it was a relic of the heavens on the earth.[3]

Imam departed from Mecca while he was fearful of the grandson of Abu Sufyan like his grandfather, His Eminence, the Messenger of Allah had fled Mecca due to the fear of the polytheists under the leadership of Abu Sufyan. Along with the Imam were eighty-two persons from Ahle Bayt, their friends and their bondsmen.[4] In the same way the ladies and women of the family also accompanied him. The Imam departed in such a way that he was carrying with himself the complete independence of the Islamic community and he wanted to establish the government of Quran and heavenly justice on the Islamic lands and that he may remove the deceitful and oppressive people from there.

The Imam’s departure – according to historians – was on the 8th of Zilhajj 60 A.H.,[5] while all the people of Mecca were filled with sorrow and none was free from it…[6]

[1] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayaan, Pg. 167 from facsimile copy at Imam Amirul Momineen Library.
[2] Jawahirul Matalib fee Manaqib Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib from facsimile copy at Imam Amirul Momineen Library.
[3] Abdullah Alaili, Imam Husain, Pg. 557
[4] Bustani, Dairatul Ma’rif 7/48. It has come in Waseelatul Maal fee idda manaqibul Aal, Pg. 188 that: He departed for Iraq with his Ahle Bayt and six senior citizens of Kufa. And in Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 5/9 it says: He departed from Mecca with ninety men from the family of Abdul Muttalib and women and children went with him.
[5] Maqrizi, Khatat 2/286. Bustani, Dairatul Ma’rif 7/48
[6] As Sawaiq al-Mohreqa 196, As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 186


The caravan left the limits of Mecca. The Imam did not halt at any of the stops but that he spoke to his Ahle Bayt about the killing of Yahya bin Zakaria.[1] Thus implying that he would also be martyred in the same way.

The regime pursues the Holy Imam

The Imam had not traveled much distance from Mecca when he was pursued by a group of government soldiers under the command of Yahya bin Saeed. They wanted to prevent the Imam from going to Iraq. There was an armed confrontation between the two groups and the soldiers failed to achieve their objective.[2] In our view these steps were nothing but a formality because the Imam had left Mecca in clear daylight without voicing any opposition to the regime. Now this battalion was actually sent to chase the Imam’s entourage far away from Mecca and then attack them in the desolate desert so that they could be finished off easily.

Dr. Abdul Momim Majid has also stressed this point and said: “It shall become clear to us that Yazid’s official in Hijaz did not take any serious steps to prevent the Imam from leaving Mecca for Kufa as many Shias of His Eminence were in his employ. Rather, it may be that he thought that it would be easier for them to eliminate the Imam in the desert, far away from his partisans, as indeed the Bani Hashim, later on blamed Yazid that he had sent his agents to expel the Imam from Mecca.”[3]

Connection of Damascus with Kufa

Damascus had always maintained connection with Kufa in such a way that it was aware of all the movements of the Holy Imam and the failure of the conspiracy to assassinate the Imam in Mecca. The regime became terrified when it learnt that the Imam was now himself heading towards Kufa to take over the charge of the uprising where he had previously dispatched his emissary, Muslim bin Aqil to gauge the level of his support.

Yazid wrote numerous letters to his tyrant governor in Kufa, Ibn Ziyad in which he suggested him of some dangerous plots devised against Shias so that he may confront the Imam. And he commanded him to be careful of the events that he may have to encounter. Of those letters were the following:

1. Yazid wrote this letter after the Imam had departed from Mecca. It contained the following: “So to say: Beware of Husain bin Ali, he may not escape you. Hasten towards him before he could reach Iraq.”

This letter purported to command the regime of Kufa to immediately march into

[1] Nazm Durarus Simtain, Pg. 215
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/39. Al-Bidaya wan Nihaya 8/166. And in Simtun Nujoom 5/57 and Jawahirul Matalib fee Manaqib Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib 2/264 it is mentioned: When Amr bin Saeed learnt of Husain's departure from Mecca he told his officers: Mount every camel between the earth and the sky and follow him and people were shocked at his orders. They followed him but could not catch up with him.
[3] At-Tarikh Siyasi Dawlatul Arab 2/72-73


the desert to fight Imam Husain before he reaches Iraq and in this matter they must not allow any type of carelessness.

2. It is mentioned in a letter: “So to say: I have received news that Husain has departed for Kufa. Your day from among all days and your town from all the other towns is in turmoil due to him and you have become involved among your officials because of him. That time either you shall be freed or you shall be enslaved just as a slave is freed.”[1]

This letter is a message of hatred and ferocity because therein Yazid is warning his official that if he commits any sort of shortcoming in his responsibility of fighting His Eminence, Husain, he shall be expelled from his relationship of Bani Umayyah and his paternity will be turned back to Ubaid the Roman, his grandfather, so that he becomes a slaves like ordinary slaves who are sold and then emancipated…Immediately after receiving this letter, Ibn Ziyad declared an emergency and martial law. He sealed all the borders of Iraq and put guards on the roads leading to Syria and Basra so that no one could enter or leave the desert of Iraq.[2] Also he formed a battalion that would patrol whole of Iraq and search for Imam Husain. Among them was a regiment of one thousand mounted soldiers under the command of Hurr Ibn Yazid Riyahi that forced the Imam to halt at Kerbala and prevented them from going to any other town.

3. Yazid ordered Ibn Ziyad to gift huge sums of money to leaders and elders in order to obtain their loyalties. The text of this letter was as follows: “So to say: To the people of Kufa, supporters and those who obey you, grant more than a hundred units of currency.”[3]

Ibn Ziyad doled out huge amounts to the important personalities and leaders of groups and persuaded them to make war on the son of Allah’s Messenger.

Attitude of Umayyads

The Umayyads were terrified when they learnt of Imam’s movement and the journey of His Eminence from Hijaz towards Iraq because a group of them was peace-loving and fearful of the consequences of these circumstances. They were worried in case Ibn Ziyad may cause some harm to the Holy Imam and this may become a cause for the downfall of their regime. And a group was afraid of the downfall of Umayyad regime hence they were of the opinion that the Imam must be dealt with an iron hand or he should be confronted and destroyed to assure security to their regime. The former group was represented by Walid bin Utbah and the latter party was led by Amr bin Saeed Ashdaq. Each of them dispatched a letter to Ibn Ziyad explaining their respective point of view:

[1] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/214. Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 5/10. Tibrani, Al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/123. Kifayatut Talib, Pg. 432, Jawahirul Matalib Fee Manaqib Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib 2/271 it has come in the Arabic text: ‘Kama yotaqul Abd’ but in the text of Ibne Asakir it says: ‘Kama Yotabdul Ubaid’ and obviously this is correct, on the basis of this the translation will be: Just as Ubaid became a slave (Tr.)
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/371
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/371


1. Letter of Walid bin Utbah

There was none in Bani Umayyah having a realistic and deep view of the circumstances as Walid bin Utbah. When he learnt that the Imam has departed from Hijaz to march towards Kufa, he became perturbed because he was aware of Yazid’s arrogance and Ibn Ziyad’s oppressive nature. Therefore he penned a letter to Ibn Ziyad and warned him against causing any harm to the Holy Imam because such a thing was going to cause a terrible harm to Bani Umayyah. The text of this letter was as follows:

“From Walid bin Utbah to Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad: Husain bin Ali has set out for Iraq. He is the son of Fatima and Fatima is the daughter of Allah’s Messenger. So, Ibn Ziyad, beware, that you may not send messengers to him and inspite of your not wanting you may be condemned by all the people. Was Salaam.”

Ibn Ziyad did not accord any importance to this letter. He continued in his deviation and oppression and began to fulfill the responsibility the Damascus regime had forced upon him.[1]

Misunderstanding of Ibn Kathir

Ibn Kathir has erred when he claimed that Marwan wrote a letter to Ibn Ziyad urging him to avoid extremism with His Eminence, Husain and that he advised him and warned him of the consequences of his actions. The letter that he sent is similar to the one dispatched by Walid quoted by us above. It additionally has the following sentences:

“So to say: Husain bin Ali is coming towards you. And Husain is the son of Fatima and Fatima is the daughter of Allah’s Messenger. By Allah! None has Allah kept alive near us more beloved than Husain. It may not be that you do something that cannot be stopped; the people may also not forget it. Keep this in mind forever. Was Salaam.”[2]

This letter is definitely not from Marwan because he never had any regard for the well being of the community and all his life he never caused any benefit to the Muslims. In addition to it was his enmity towards the Purified Progeny, especially towards Imam Husain because he was the same person who advised the governor of Medina to eliminate the Holy Imam and later when he received the news of Imam’s martyrdom he openly expressed his joy and satisfaction. On the basis of this how could it be possible that he requested Ibn Ziyad to give concession to the Imam and to protect him?

2. Ashdaq’s Letter

Amr bin Saeed Ashdaq wrote a letter to Ibn Ziyad in which he ordered him to resort to the most severe steps against the Imam. The letter states: “So to say: Husain is coming towards you in such circumstances that either you shall be freed or be enslaved so that you are dealt with like bondsmen.”[3]

[1] Al Futuh 5/121-122
[2] Ibne Kathir, Tarikh 8/165
[3] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/212


Confiscating Yazid’s wealth

Imam had not traveled very far from Mecca that in Taneem[1] he came across a caravan carrying huge quantities of red garments and dresses sent by governor of Yemen, Bajeer bin Yasar for the tyrant Yazid. Imam ordered that the goods of the caravan be confiscated. He told the camel owners that whomsoever of them may like may go with His Eminence to Iraq and they would be paid the full fare and whoever wanted to discontinue, may take his charges till that point and go back. Some of them joined the Imam and the rest departed from there.[2]

In this way the Imam saved the goods from being put to unlawful purposes and be used for drinking parties and help in oppressing people. Before this also the Imam had taken the same steps during the time of Muawiyah about which Ayatullah Sayyid Mahdi Aale Bahrul Uloom thinks that it is a weak narrational report, because the position of the Imam was too exalted to resort to such tactics.[3] However we are of the opinion that there was nothing wrong in this. The Imam considered the regimes of both Muawiyah and Yazid as unlawful and when he saw that the wealth of Muslims was being used to promote vices and destruction he saved it by confiscating and distributing it all to the poor and needy people. So what is the problem in it?

Meeting with Farazdaq

When the Imam’s entourage reached a place called Saffah,[4] the famous poet, Farazdaq Haman bin Ghalib met the Imam and saluted him. Farazdaq invoked blessings upon him and asked His Eminence, “May my parents be sacrificed on you, what has compelled you to leave the Hajj?”

“If I do not hasten, I would be apprehended.”[5]

The Holy Imam asked him, “O Aba Firaas, where are you coming from?”

“From Kufa.”

“Tell me about the people there.”

“You have asked a good (question), the hearts of the people are with you but their

[1] Taneem is a place in Mecca, outside the sanctuary between Mecca and Saraf at a distance of two farsakhs from Mecca and it is said that it is at a distance of four farsakhs that is why it is called Taneem at the right side of which is a mountain called Naeem and on the left is another mountain named Naaim (Mojam al-Buldan 2/49)
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/385-386. Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/166
[3] Bahrul Uloom, Rijal 4/48
[4] Safah is a place between Hunain and Ansaab al-Haram on the left of anyone who enters Mecca from Mashash…Farazdaq has versified his meeting with the Imam at this place as follows:
I met Husain at Safah while cloaks and shields were on His Eminence. This matter is mentioned in Mojam al-Buldan 3/412 and in Tadhkiratul Huffaz of Dhahabi it says that the Imam’s encounter with Farazdaq was at Zaatul Irq and in Maqtal of Khwarizmi it is mentioned that they met at Ash-Shuqooq and in Al-Lohoof, Pg. 134 Zubala is mentioned but the fact is that they met at Safah as Farazdaq has himself stated.
[5] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/167


swords are against you. The decision comes from Heaven and God does what He wishes.”[1]

Imam agreed to what Farazdaq said and he replied: “You have spoken truly of the affair belonging to God. Every day He (is involved) in (every) matter. If fate sends down what we like and are pleased with, we praise God for His blessings. He is the One from Whom help should be sought in order to give thanks to Him. However, although fate may frustrate (our) hopes, yet He does not destroy (the soul of) those whose intention is the truth and whose hearts are pious.”[2]

At that moment the Imam recited the following couplets:

“If the world is considered of any value, the abode of Allah’s reward is higher and greater.

If the bodies are created for death it is best that man is killed by the sword in the way of Allah.

If the sustenance has already been appointed, man should spend the least effort in obtaining it.

If wealth is accumulated only to be left behind, why is man miserly in spending something that is going to be left behind?”[3]

Then Farazdaq asked the Imam about matters concerning vows and pilgrimage rites. The Imam told him about them and then moved his mount off, saying farewell, and so they parted…

This encounter indicates for us a picture of weakness and decadence of the people and their lack of motivation for supporting truth because he was having social and cultural perception, but inspite of knowing that the Imam shall be killed he did not come forward to help him and he did not join the caravan of His Eminence in order to defend him. So, if such was the position of Farazdaq what could be said of the general populace and laymen?

Anyway, the Imam continued his march with determination and steadfastness and Farazdaq’s statements regarding the weakness of the people towards His Eminence and their support to Bani Umayyah was not able to make the Imam change his decision. If the Imam had been aiming for kingdom, Farazdaq’s remarks would have dissuaded him from his journey to Iraq.

Letter of the Imam to people of Kufa

When Imam Husain reached the spot called Hajir in the Zirrama province, which was a station off from Badia, he wrote a letter to the Shias of Kufa to inform them of his departure towards Iraq. After the name of Allah the Imam wrote:

[1] Waseelatul Maal Pg. 188
[2] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/166. Tabari, Tarikh 5/386. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/40. As Sawaiq al-Mohreqa 196
[3] Al Futuh of Ibne Athim 5/125-126


“From Husain bin Ali to his believing brothers and Muslims, peace be on you. With you all, I praise that Allah except Whom there is no deity. So to say: The letter of Muslim bin Aqil reached me and informed me about your favorable attitude and the readiness of the majority of you to help me and to restore our rights. Thus I beseech the Almighty to give me success in righteousness and that He makes you eligible for the greatest reward for this. I have set out from Mecca towards you on Tuesday, 8th Zilhajj the day of Tarwiyah. So when my messenger reaches you, you must conceal your affair and continue your efforts as I would, if Allah wills, reach you in a few days. And peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and His bounties.”[1]

Imam entrusted this letter to the great warrior, Qais bin Mus-har Saidawi. He set out with speed without being distracted by anything else till he reached Quddisiya when he came across a police party that was patrolling the lands to check anyone from entering or leaving Iraq. The police arrested him but Qais destroyed the Imam’s letter so fast they could not find out about its contents. Then they took him in custody and along with pieces of the letter sent him to Ibn Ziyad, the oppressor. When he came to Ibn Ziyad he asked:

“Who are you?”

“I am a partisan (Shia) of Amirul Momineen, Husain bin Ali.”

“Why did you tear up the letter that you were carrying?”

“For the fear that you would have learnt of its contents?”

“Who was the sender of that letter and who was supposed to be its recipient?”

“It was from Husain to a group of people of Kufa, whose names I do not know.”

The oppressor became infuriated and became absolutely out of control. He screamed at Qais: “By Allah! You will not leave me except that you report to me the names of persons for whom you had brought the letter or that you go upon the pulpit and curse Husain, his father and his brother in order to be excused by me or I shall have you cut into pieces.”

Qais told him, “I do not know the recipients of the letter but I shall perform the function of cursing.”

Ibn Ziyad thought he was another kind of degraded man of Kufa, who the world has deceived and whom death has terrified. He didn’t know that Qais was the incomparable reformer of the world who made history of communities and nations and exalted for them the word of truth and justice on the earth…

Ibn Marjana ordered the people to gather at the Great Mosque so that he may display to them through Qais’ cursing of Ahle Bayt, an example of pledge breaking and persuade them to make it a part of their behavior.

[1] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/168 and in Futuh 5/143-145 the letter of His Eminence is quoted in a different detailed manner. Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/378


That great warrior, while he ridiculed death and made fun of life stood up from his place in order to fulfill the trust and sincerity towards the message of God. Then he mounted the pulpit and praised Allah and glorified Him. He invoked blessings on the Messenger of Allah and prayed for divine mercy for Ali and his sons.[1] After that he cursed Ubaidullah, his father and all the oppressors of Bani Umayyah and he raised his call of the rammer which was the call of truth and Islam and said:

“People, this man, Husain bin Ali, the best of God’s creatures, the son of Fatima, the daughter of the Apostle (is nearby). I am his messenger to you. I left him at Hajir. So you answer him.”[2]

Ibn Ziyad’s men rushed to him and informed him what Qais had done. He became infuriated and ordered him to be thrown from the top of the palace alive.

The agents apprehended Qais and threw him to the ground from the palace top. He was smashed to pieces, his bones were pulverized and he passed away with the death of a brave warrior in the path of his faith and belief.

When the news of his killing reached Imam Husain he was extremely devastated and he began to weep and said, “O Allah! Appoint for us and our Shias a valuable place in Your realm and surround us all with Your mercy as You are powerful over everything.”[3]

With Abu Harra

When the Imam reached Zaat Irq, Abu Harra came and said to His Eminence: “O Son of Allah’s Messenger! What has brought you out from the sanctuary of Allah and the sanctuary of your grandfather, the Messenger of Allah?”

The Imam was touched and he said, “It is amazing, O Aba Harra! The Bani Umayyah has plundered my property and I remained patient, they spoke harshly to me and I was patient. They wanted to kill me, so I fled. I swear by Allah! These unjust people want to slay me and the Almighty will heap them with extensive degradation and put swordsmen over their lives. He would appoint such a person on them as will humiliate them till they become more degraded than the community of Saba just as a woman from them became their queen and ruled their lives and properties, till she humiliated them completely.”[4]

The Imam moved out from that place while he was aggrieved of the people who did not believe in helping the truth. He was sad for the people who preferred a life of comfort and did not like to participate in Jihad on the way of Allah.

[1] Al Futuh 5/146-147
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/41
[3] Al Futuh 5/147
[4] Ad-Darul Maslook 1/110. Al Futuh 5/123-124


With an Arab Shaykh

When the Imam’s caravan reached Batnul Uqbah, an Arab Shaykh who resided there approached the Holy Imam and said, “I adjure you in the name of God, go back. You won’t come to anything there except the points of spears and the edges of swords. If those who sent for you were enough to support you in battle and had prepared the ground for you, and you came to them, that would be a wise decision. However, in the light of the situation as it has been described I don’t think that you ought to do it.”

Imam replied, “What you have stated is not concealed from me, but I shall be patient and forbearing till the Almighty Allah completes that which He intends to complete.”[1]

Worry of Her Eminence, Zainab

The Imam’s caravan continued its journey till it reached Hazeemiyah, a station on the route of Hajj. The Imam stayed at this place for a day and a night to rest from the fatigue of the journey and the hardships of the way. His sister, the honorable lady of Bani Hashim came to him dragging her garment on the ground and her heart was brimming with sorrow and grief. She said in a forlorn voice accompanied with lamentation that she had heard a caller say:

“O eye! Be diligent, who will weep upon the martyrs after me?

On those whom death follows as they move forward to fulfill the covenant they have made.”

The chief of nobles told her, “My sister, whatever is decreed by Allah shall indeed come to pass?”[2]

His Eminence counseled his sister to observe patience and to face the calamities and problems with determination and resolve so that he may be able to fulfill his duty.

With Zuhair bin Qain

Imam’s caravan reached Zarood and halted there for sometime. Zuhair bin Qain who held the Uthmani view and that year he had performed the pilgrimage of the House of God, happened to camp near the Imam’s halting place. Though Zuhair and his caravan had been traveling parallel to the Imam’s caravan they always avoided camping too near the Imam, lest the Imam may send a messenger to him and summon him, which was something Zuhair was trying to avoid. This day Zuhair and his companions were having dinner when the Imam’s messenger arrived and delivered Imam’s message. They were so shocked that they threw what food they held in their hands on the table as if birds had alighted on their heads.

Zuhair’s wife censured their reaction and remarked, “Glory be to Allah! Did the

[1] Ibne Sabbagh, Al Fusulul Muhimma, Pg. 189
[2] Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 4/195 from the facsimile in Amirul Momineen Library. Al Futuh 5/122


son of the Messenger of Allah send for you? Then aren’t you going to him? If you went to him, you would hear what he had to say.”

Zuhair went unwillingly to him. It was not long before he returned in a happy mood and his face was aglow. He ordered his tent (to be struck) and (called for) his luggage, mounts and equipment. His tent was pulled down and taken to Husain’s camp. Then he said to his wife, “You are divorced.”

What secret did the beloved grandson of Allah’s Messenger convey to him that he was absolutely transformed? Did he promise him wealth and riches? If he had done thus, Zuhair would not have divorced his wife and not bid last farewell to his friends…

Imam promised him martyrdom, salvation and Paradise and told him about a tradition that reminded him of a long day he had passed and which he had long forgotten…Zuhair repeated the incident to his wife as follows:

“I will narrate a tradition for you: we had gone to Balanjar for Jihad. The Almighty Allah granted victory to us and bestowed us war booty and we were elated at this. Salman al-Farsi was accompanying us. He asked us, “Are you happy with the victory which God has granted you and the booty you have won?” We said, “Yes.” Then he said, “Therefore when you meet the Lord of the young men of the family of Muhammad be happier to fight with them than you are with the booty which you have obtained today.”[1]

Ibrahim bin Saeed who went to the Imam with Zuhair has narrated that His Eminence told him, “He shall be killed at Kerbala and Zajar bin Qais will take his blessed severed head to Yazid with the hope of earning reward but he will not give him anything.”[2]

Fortune shone on Zuhair that he joined the caravan of the Purified Progeny and he became their strongest defender and their most brilliant companion. He sacrificed his life upon the Holy Imam and was martyred on the way of his equitable aim.

The Tragic News of Muslim’s Martyrdom

Abd Allah bin Sulaiman and al-Mundhir bin Mushamill[3] both from Asad brought the tragic news of the martyrdom of Muslim and they have reported thus:

When we had finished the pilgrimage, there was no concern more important to us than to join al-Husain on the road, so that we might see what happened in his affair. We went along trotting our two camels speedily until we joined him at Zarood. As we approached, there we (saw) a man from Kufa who had changed his route when he had seen al-Husain. Al-Husain, peace

[1] Shaykh Mufid, Al-Irshad, 2/72-73, Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/42. Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/378-379. Ad Durrun Nadheem, Pg. 547-548
[2] Muhammad bin Jurair Tabari, Dalail al-Imamah 182, H. 97
[3] It is said that the man who brought the news to the Imam was Ibne Yazid Tamimi, as mentioned in As Sawaiq al-Mohreqa 196. According to Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/379 it was Bakr bin Motaqid


be on him, had stopped as if he wanted (to speak to) him, but (the man) ignored him and went on. We went on towards the man. One of us said to the other: “Come with us to ask this man if he has news of Kufa.”

We came up to him and greeted him. He returned our greeting.

“From which (tribe) do you come, fellow?” we asked.

“(I am) an Asadi,” he answered.

“We also are Asadis,” we said, “Who are you?”

“I am Bakr bin so and so,” he answered and we told him our lineage.

“Tell us of the people (you have left) behind you?” we asked.

“Yes,” he replied, “I only left Kufa after Muslim bin Aqil and Hani bin Urwah had been killed. I saw them being dragged by their legs into the market-place.”

We went on to join al-Husain and we were traveling close to him until he stopped at al-Thalabiyya in the evening. We caught up with him (at Thalaba)[1] when he stopped and we greeted him. He returned our greeting.

“May God have mercy on you,” we said, “we have news. If you wish, we will tell it to you publicly or if you wish, secretly.”

He looked at us and at his followers.

“There is no veil for these men,” he answered.

“Did you see the rider whom you were near, yesterday evening?”

“Yes,” he answered, “I had wanted to question him.”

“We have got the news from him and spared you (the trouble of) questioning him,” we said, “He was a man from our (tribe), of sound judgment, honesty and intelligence. He told us that he had only left Kufa after Muslim and Hani had been killed, and he had seen them being dragged by their legs into the market-place.”[2]

“We belong to God and to Him we shall return; may God have mercy on them both,” said al-Husain, and he repeated that several times.[3]

“We adjure you before God,” we exhorted him, “for your own life and for your House that you do not go from this place, for you have no one to support you in Kufa and no Shia. Indeed we fear that such men (will be the very ones who) will be against you.”

“What is your opinion,” he asked, looking towards the sons of Aqil, “now that Muslim has been killed?”

“By God,” they declared, “we will not go back until we have taken our vengeance

[1] Thalabiyya is a station on way from Mecca to Kufa after Shaqooq and before Khazimiya. It is at 2/3 distance. Mojam al-Buldan 2/78)
[2] Al-Irshad, Pg. 75
[3] Ad-Darul Maslook 1/111


or have tasted (the death) which he tasted.”

Al-Husain came near us and said: “There is nothing good (left) in life for these men.”[1]

Then the Holy Imam recited these couplets:

“I shall go and death cannot degrade a man if he has true intention and he fights Jihad like a Muslim.

Then if I die I shall not be regretful and if I remain alive I shall not be condemned. For you O man, the only thing to regret is humiliation and degradation.”[2]

Imam moved forward, his face aglow with exaltation while he had now become certain that he was heading towards a victory that nothing shall equal it. He went on till he had fulfilled the divine duty with sincerity and devotion just as before him, his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah had fulfilled it.”

News of Abdullah’s Martyrdom

When the Imam reached Zubala he received the dreadful news that his messenger, Abdullah bin Yaqtar has been murdered. His Eminence had sent him to meet Muslim bin Aqil. But he was apprehended by the policemen at Quddisiya and sent under custody to Ibn Marjana. When he was taken to that filthy man, Ibn Ziyad screamed at him, “Go atop the pulpit and curse that liar son of liar and then come down so that I may take decision regarding you…”

Ibn Marjana thought that he would do as directed and he was not aware of the fact that he was a nobleman without a peer and that he shall exalt the word of God in the world through this.

That great warrior ascended the pulpit and raised his voice of daring and said: “O people! I am the messenger from Husain, son of Fatima to you that you help him against Ibn Marjana, the filthy one, son of the filthy one whom Allah has cursed.”[3] Then he began to curse and denounce Ibn Ziyad; he related the evil deeds of Bani Umayyah and urged the people to support the beloved grandson of Allah’s Apostle. Ibn Ziyad was absolutely infuriated and ordered that Abdullah be thrown from the palace roof just as Qais bin Mus-har Saidawi had been.

Ibn Ziyad’s mercenaries took Abdullah to the roof of the palace and threw him down and his bones were smashed, but there still remained the last breath of life when the lowly beast, Abdul Malik Lakhmi moved towards him in order to cut off his head so that it may be presented to his master, Ibn Ziyad and earn his proximity. When he was told that that had been a shameful thing to do and he was blamed for it, he said: “I wanted to relieve him (of his suffering).”

[1] Al-Irshad, Pg. 74
[2] Ad Durrun Nadheem, Pg. 548-549
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/379


When the news of his martyrdom reached Imam it shocked him a great deal and he became hopeless of this world. At that time he summoned his companions and all those who had joined him for obtaining booties – and not for truth. When they were all present he addressed them: “So to say: Our followers have withdrawn support from us. Those of you who prefer to leave, may leave freely (without guilt) and my allegiance shall no more be upon them.”

The people began to disperse from him to right and left until there were only left with him those followers who had come with him from Medina, and a small group of those who had joined him. Husain had done that because he realized that the Arabs who had followed him had only followed him because they thought that he was going to a land where the inhabitants’ obedience to him had already been established. And he did not want them to accompany him without being fully aware of what they were going to.[1] If the Imam had been in pursuit of kingdom and power he would not have talked about his position so openly. His Eminence told them that whoever accompanied him will not get any wealth or position but he would be stepping into the fields of Jihad and by gaining martyrdom he shall become eligible for salvation. If His Eminence had been in quest of rulership, in those difficult hours when he was in need of helpers and supporters, he would not have spoken of
such matters.

The Imam, time and again advised the people of his Ahle Bayt to leave him and this was only to make them fully aware of his position and then step into fighting and in action also they be the best of men and most steadfast in the way of defending the truth to follow him, while their souls are full of faith in Allah and sincerity for Jihad in His way.

Dream of Imam Husain

During the noon, Imam became drowsy, according to the narrator:

We set out at once with him and he became drowsy while he was on his horse’s back. He woke up, saying: “We belong to God and to Him we will return. Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds.”

He did that twice or three times, then his son, Ali bin al-Husain approached him and asked: “Why are you praising God and repeating the verse of returning to Him?”

“My son,” he answered, “I nodded off and a horseman appeared to me, riding a horse and he said: ‘Men are traveling and the fates travel towards them.’ Then I

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/42. Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/379. Waseelatul Maal Pg. 189. Abul Fida, Tarikh 1/190. Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 5/11. And in Rauzatul Ayaan Akhbar Mashaheeruz Zamaan, Pg. 67 it is mentioned that when the Imam permitted the people to leave him they dispersed from him and except for 42 men from his Ahle Bayt none remained.
It is mentioned in Tarikh Tabari 5/399: Those who accompanied the Imam from Medina dispersed from him when he informed them of the killing of Abdullah bin Yaqtar which in our view is a mistake of Tabari; because while coming from Mecca the Imam did not pass by Medina but he implied those who were with him from Medina to Mecca or those who joined him on the way.


knew it was our own souls announcing our deaths to us.”[1]

“Father,” asked (the youth), “does God regard you as evil? Are we not in the right?”

“Indeed (we are),” he answered, “by Him to Whom all His servants must return.”

“Father,” said (the youth), “then we need have no concern, if we are going to die righteously.”

“May God give you the best reward a son can get for (his behavior towards) his father,” answered al-Husain.[2]

Encounter with Hurr

He went on from Batn al Aqaba until he stopped at Sharaf (for the night). At dawn he ordered his boys to get water and more (for the journey). Then he continued from there until midday. While he was journeying, one of his followers exclaimed: “God is greater (Allaahu Akbar)!”

“God is greater (Allaahu Akbar)!” responded al-Husain. Then he asked: “Why did you say Allaahu Akbar?”

“I saw palm-trees,” answered the man.

“This is a place in which we never see a palm-tree,” a group of his followers asserted.

“What do you think it is then?” asked al-Husain.

“We think it is the ears of horses,” they answered.

“By God, I think so too,” he declared. Then he said: “(So that) we can face them in one direction (i.e. so that we are not surrounded), we should put at our rear whatever place of refuge (we can find).”

“Yes,” he said to him, “there is Dhu Husam[3] over on your left. If you reach it before them, it will be (in) just (the position) you want.” So he veered left towards it and we went in that direction with him. Even before we had had time to change direction the vanguard of the cavalry appeared in front of us and we could see them clearly. We left the road and when they saw that we had moved off the road, they (also) moved off the road towards us. Their spears looked like palm branches stripped of their leaves and their standards were like birds’ wings. Al-Husain ordered his tents (to be put up) and they were erected. The people came up; (there were) about one thousand horsemen under the command of al-Hurr b. Yazid al-Tamimi. (It was) during the heat of midday (that) he and his cavalry stood (thus) facing al-Husain. Al-Husain and his followers were all wearing their turbans and their swords (ready to fight).

[1] Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 5/13
[2] Maqatilut Talibeen, Pg. 112. Ad-Darul Maslook 1/109. Al Futuh 5/123
[3] Dhu Husam is a mountain in that area.


“Provide people with water and let them quench their thirst and give their horses water to drink little by little,” al-Husain ordered his boys. They did that and they began filling their bowls and cups and took them to the horses. When a horse had drunk three or four or five draughts, the water was taken away and given to another horse-until they had all been watered.[1]

The Imam was fully prepared in his journey because he was able to suffice in giving water to 1000 riders and their beasts and this was in addition to other rations and provisions they were carrying.

Anyway, the Imam observed generosity with Hurr’s battalion that had arrived to fight the Holy Imam and he saved them from death of thirst. Historians say: Ali bin Taan Muharibi was a member of that battalion who has reported about the kindness and lofty morals of the Imam and his action of helping them as follows:

I was with al-Hurr on that day, I was among the last of his followers to arrive. When al-Husain saw how thirsty both I and my horse were, he said: “Make your beast (rawiya) kneel.” I thought rawiya meant water-skin so he said: “Cousin, make your camel (jamal) kneel.” I did so. Then he said: “Drink.” I did so, but when I drank, water flowed from my water-skin.

“Bend your water-skin,” said al-Husain. I did not know how to do that. He came up (to me) and bent it (into the proper position for drinking). Then I drank and gave my horse to drink.

This exalted nature and greatness of soul did not move those fighters and they were not a bit impressed by these lofty morals. But Hurr, who was having a sensitive conscience, was highly touched by this behavior which was instrumental in making him join the Imam and being martyred in his service finally.

Imam’s sermon

Imam welcomed the units of that battalion and delivered to them a sermon in which he clarified his position that he had not come to fight. Rather messengers and letters had been sent to him that urged him join their senders and the Imam has responded positively to these requests. After praise and glorification of the Almighty, His Eminence said:

People, I did not come to you until your letters came to me, and they were brought by your messengers (saying), ‘Come to us for we have no Imam. Through you may God unite us under guidance and truth.’ Since this was your view, I have come to you. Therefore give me what you guaranteed in your covenants and (sworn) testimonies. If you will not and (if you) are (now) averse to my coming, I will leave you (and go back) to the place from which I came.

The audience was unable to reply anything because many of them had written to the Imam inviting him to Kufa, and they had pledged allegiance to the Imam through his emissary, Muslim bin Aqil…the time of prayer arrived. His Eminence

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/400-401, Maqrizi, Khatat 2/286


directed his Muezzin, Hajjaj bin Masruq to recite Azan and Iqamah for the Zuhr (noon) prayer. After this had been done the Imam asked Hurr, “Do you want to lead your followers in prayer?”

“No,” he replied, “but you pray and we will pray (following the lead of) your prayer.”

Al-Husain prayed before them. Then he returned (to his tent) and his followers gathered around him. Al-Hurr went back to the place where he had positioned (his men) and entered a tent which had been put up for him. A group of his followers gathered around him while the rest returned to their ranks, which they had been in and which now they went back to. Each of them held the reins of his mount and sat in the shade (of its body).

At the time for the afternoon (Asr) prayer, al-Husain ordered his followers to prepare for departure. Then he ordered the call to be made, and the call for the Asr prayer was made, and the Iqamah. Al-Husain came forward, stood and prayed.

Imam’s Discourse

After the Imam concluded the Asr prayer he stood up with determination among the soldiers of that battalion and a delivered a proper sermon. After praise and glorification of the Almighty, he said:

“People, if you fear God and recognize the rights of those who have rights, God will be more satisfied with you. We are the House of Muhammad and as such are more entitled to the authority (Wilayah) of this affair (i.e. the rule of the community) over you than these pretenders who claim what does not belong to them. They have brought tyranny and aggression among you. If you refuse (us) because you dislike (us) or do not know our rights, and your view has now changed from what came to us in your letters and what your messengers brought, then I will leave you.”

By this sermon, the Imam called them towards the obedience of God and following of the callers to truth, the Imams of guidance, Ahle Bayt, because they were more worthy of it than Bani Umayyah who had spread injustice and oppression among them. In the same way he proposed to them that if they wanted to change their decision and break their allegiance the Imam was prepared to go back.

Hurr, who was completely ignorant of the political situation in Kufa as he was away at that time said:

“By God,” declared al-Hurr, “I know nothing of these letters and messengers which you mention.”

“Uqbah bin Siman,” al-Husain called to one of his followers, “bring out the two saddle-bags in which the letters to me are kept.”

He brought out two saddle-bags which were full of documents, and they were put before him.

“We are not among those who wrote these letters to you,” said al- Hurr.


Argument between His Eminence, Husain and Hurr

A heated argument occurred between the Imam and Hurr because Hurr said to the Imam:

“We have been ordered that when we meet you we should not leave you until we have brought you to Kufa to Ubaidullah.”

“Death will come to you before that (happens),” al-Husain told him.

The chief of the nobles had refused to give allegiance to Yazid, then how could he pay the oath to Ibn Marjana, the dirty son of the dirty father? How could he become his prisoner? In that case it would be better for him to be killed at the hands of Hurr…

He ordered his followers, “Get up and get mounted.”

They got mounted and (then) waited until their women had been mounted.

“Depart,” he ordered his followers.

When they set out to leave, the men (with al-Hurr) got in between them and the direction they were going in.

“May God deprive your mother of you,” said al-Husain to al-Hurr, “What do you want?”

“If any of the Arabs other than you were to say that to me,” retorted al-Hurr, “even though he were in the same situation as you, I would not leave him without mentioning his mother being deprived (of him), whoever he might be. But by God there is no way for me to mention your mother except by (saying) the best things possible.”

“What do you want?” al-Husain demanded.

“I want to go with you to the governor, Ubaidullah,” he replied.

“Then by God I will not follow you.”

“Then by God I will not let you (go anywhere else).”

These statements were repeated three times, and when their conversation was getting more (heated) al-Hurr said: “I have not been ordered to fight you. I have only been ordered not to leave you until I come with you to Kufa. If you refuse (to do that), then take any road which will not bring you into Kufa nor take you back to Medina, and let that be a compromise between us while I write to the governor, Ubaidullah. Perhaps God will cause something to happen which will relieve me from having to do anything against you. Therefore take this (road) here and bear to the left of the road (to) al Udhayb and al-Quddisiya.”

Al-Husain departed and al-Hurr with his followers (also) set out traveling close by him.[1]

[1] Ibne Athir, Kamil 4/46-48. Tabari, Tarikh 5/401-403


A Fabricated report

Among the fabricated reports that lack a proper source is what Bustani has narrated. The text of his report is as follows: “When Husain approached Kufa he came across Hurr Ibn Yazid Riyahi who had been dispatched by Ibn Ziyad with 1000 horsemen. He said, “Ubaidullah has sent me to keep watch over your activities. And I have been told that if I find you I must not let you out of my sight or take you to him. I do not like to be involved in such a matter regarding you, so you take up another route and go wherever you like. I will tell Ibn Ziyad that your route was different from mine and I adjure you by the name of Allah for your sake and the sake of those who accompany you.”

Husain altered his route and along with his entourage returned to Hijaz. He set out that night. When it was morning he met Hurr and Husain asked him, “What has brought you here?” He replied, “Someone complained about me to Ibn Ziyad that after apprehending you I allowed you to go free. He wrote to me that I must find you and not let you go out of sight till you come with the soldiers…”[1]

The above narration is fabricated because the encounter of the Imam with Hurr did not take place near Kufa. It was en route at the place named “Sharaaf.” In addition to this Hurr did not suggest to the Imam that he could go wherever he liked. Rather he had received strict orders from Ibn Ziyad to apprehend the Imam and as we have said, and take him to Kufa. This matter is agreed upon by all historians and writers of accounts of Imam’s martyrdom.

Error of Ibn Anba

Among the concocted things is the account of Ibn Anba Nisaba who has stated as follows: “Hurr wanted to take the Imam to Kufa forcibly but the Imam did not agree. He changed his route to go to Yazid bin Muawiyah in Shaam. And when he reached Kerbala they stopped him and three thousand mercenaries under the command of Umar Ibn Saad tried to take the Imam to Kufa, so that he may obey Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad. But the Imam refused to do so. He again set out towards Yazid and they obstructed his way, and then began to fight with him.”[2]

None of the historians has acknowledged the veracity of this report and they all are unanimous that the Imam stuck to his decision to refuse allegiance of Yazid. And if it had been to the contrary he would not have taken up arms against Yazid.

Discourse of the Holy Imam

When the Imam’s caravan reached Baiza, His Eminence delivered a discourse to Hurr and his men describing his views about his uprising against Yazid. He invited those people to help and support him. After praise and glorification of God he said:

“O people! The Prophet has said, that when you see an oppressive ruler legitimizing that which has been prohibited by Allah and breaking His covenant,

[1] Bustani, Dairatul Ma’rif 7/48
[2] Umdatut Talib, Pg. 192


and opposing the customs of the Prophet, and he behaves unjustly and oppressively with Allah’s servants, then if a person does not oppose him through his word or deed, it is incumbent upon Allah to place that person on the status of that oppressor. Beware that these statesmen (of Bani Umayyah) have adhered to the commands of Satan and disobeyed the orders of Allah, and have made corruption the custom of the day. They have gathered the rights at one place and have reserved the treasury of Muslims (Baitul Mal) for themselves, and permitted the prohibitions of Allah and forbade that which is allowed by Him. I am more worthy among all the men to stop and oppose them. You sent your letters to me, and your messengers too, saying that you have taken the oath of fealty to me and promised that you would not hand me over to my enemies nor forsake me. Then if you (still) persist on your allegiance, then you are on the right. I am Husain, the son of Ali and Fatima
the daughter of the Prophet of Allah. My life is associated with you and my family with yours, and you should be sympathetic towards me. And if you do not do so and have committed breach of trust, while having taken off the pledge of allegiance from your necks, then I swear by my life, that this is nothing new from you. You have done the same with my father, brother and cousin Muslim (bin Aqil); the one who falls prey to your deception turns helpless. You have let go your share from your hands and have toppled up your fortunes. The one who committed breach of trust shall himself face deceit, and very soon Allah will make me independent of you. Peace be upon you and Allah’s Mercy and Abundance.”

This brilliant discourse had numerous important points. Some of them are as follows:

First: His Eminence had taken up arms against Yazid in order to fulfill the religious duty he had been entrusted with. Because Islam did not accept a tyrant ruler and it has made it incumbent to confront him and whosoever does not undertake Jihad is a partner in his oppressive and unjust actions.

Second: His Eminence has condemned the Umayyads and severely criticized their policies which were based on obedience of Satan and disobedience of the Beneficent God, committing transgression and non-fulfillment of divine commands, usurping public wealth for themselves, considering lawful as unlawful and unlawful as lawful.

Thirdly: His Eminence, more than others, was more eligible to act in order to change the present situation which was a mortal danger for Islam because His Eminence was the one having the greatest responsibility in accepting this important duty.

Fourthly: His Eminence proposed to them that were he to obtain control he would consider himself as one of them and consider their family members as his own family members without there being any difference in their status.

Fifthly: If they broke their allegiance and disregarded the pledges they had given, it was nothing surprising, because previously they had broken the pledges they


offered to his father, brother and cousin and by this they lost an important benefit and deprived themselves from success.

By this discourse the Imam clarified the matters and spread rays of light for them. He invited them to reform themselves to stay in its shade so that they may remain in it in peace. When Hurr heard the discourse of His Eminence he glanced at him and said:

“I remind you (before) God to (think of) your life; for I testify that you will be killed if you fight.”

“Do you think that you can frighten me with death?” said al- Husain “Could a worse disaster happen to you than killing me? I can only speak (to you) as the brother of al-Aws said to his cousin when he wanted to help the Apostle of God, may God bless him and grant him and his family peace. His cousin feared for him and said: ‘Where are you going, for you will be killed?’ but he replied:

“I will depart for there is no shame in death for a young man, whenever he intends (to do what is) right and he strives like a Muslim,

(Who) has soothed righteous men through (the sacrifice of) his life, who has scattered the cursed and opposed the criminal.

If I live, I will not regret (what I have done) and if I die, I will not suffer. Let it be enough for you to live in humiliation and be reviled.”[1]

When Hurr heard that he drew away from him and he realized that the Imam was determined to lay down his life and sacrifice anything for the sake of his aim of universal reform.

Some people of Kufa join Imam

When the Imam arrived at Udhayb Hijanaat, four people joined the Imam’s party. They were astride their camels and had a horse belonging to Nafe bin Hilal. Except for them none from the people of Kufa came forward to welcome His Eminence, Husain; they were as follows:

1. Nafe bin Hilal Muradi

2. Amr bin Khalid Saidawi

3. Saad, slave of Amr bin Khalid

4. Majma bin Abdullah Abadi, from Madhij

Hurr tried to stop them from joining His Eminence, Husain but the Imam scolded him, “In that case I shall defend them just as I would defend myself. They are my helpers and supporters. You promised me that you will not take any action against me before you receive Ibn Ziyad’s letter.”

Hurr left them alone and they joined the Holy Imam. His Eminence accorded them

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/49, and Tabari 5/403-404


a warm welcome and asked them about the people of Kufa. They said, “As for the nobles, their bribes have become inflated and their coffers are filled up so that their loyalties may be obtained and their support may be acquired. They have united in their enmity towards you. They have not written to you except that they make profit from you; as for other people, their hearts are with you but their swords shall be drawn against you.”[1]

These sentences are having many important points as follows:

1. The regime has purchased the consciences of nobles and upper class people of Kufa through cash bribes and lured them with posts and power. They in turn have become united to confront the Imam. The Umayyads were experts in such type of deception and they lured the noble men of Kufa towards themselves in every way possible. As for the commoners, they beat them with lashes on their backs and burnt them in the fire of their oppression.

2. The nobles of Kufa had written to His Eminence, Husain urging him to join them in Kufa not because they regarded his aim to be just and they considered the beliefs of Umayyads wrong. They invited Imam Husain so that they may make profits through him and get into good books of Bani Umayyads and obtain wealth from them. They had threatened the Bani Umayyads that: If you don’t share your wealth with us, we shall join the party of Husain. Their letters to Imam were a means to obtain monetary wealth.

3. The commoners were such that they were inwardly in support of His Eminence, Husain but practically following their leaders without there being any kind of determination or intention of their own to follow the dictates of their conscience. They served as mercenaries of the regime and as their rammers.

These were some important points present in the saying of those people and it shows their deep insight about the problems of their society.

With Tirmah

Tirmah joined the Imam en route and traveled with for a period. Imam glanced at his companions and asked, “Is there anyone among you who is knowledgeable about the route?”

Tirmah bin Adi Tai turned to His Eminence and said, “I know the way.”

“Lead us.”

Tirmah began to move ahead of the caravan of the Purified Progeny while he was in deep grief. In a sorrowful voice he began recite the song of the camel riders (Haddi):[2]

“O, my she-camel! Do not be distressed about my browbeating and convey me to my destination before dawn break.

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/381-382
[2] ‘Haddi’ is a song that Arab camel drivers sing to spur their mounts. (Tr.)


Along with the best youths and passengers from the family of the Prophet, worthy of pride.

Bright faced leaders, faces like flowers hit by darkened spears.

They slash with wielding swords to reach those who are having the best family and roots.

Having honorable ancestors and wide chests as the Almighty has brought them for the best assignment.

May the Almighty keep them safe forever as He is the One Who gives both profit and harm.

Bestow to my master, Husain, victory over the oppressors of the remaining infidels.

On those two accursed ones from the progeny of Abu Sufyan; Yazid who is always drunk.

And busy in obscene and wanton acts and Ibn Ziyad, that impure son of a dirty father.”[1]

The camels began to move faster under the influence of this sorrowful dirge while the eyes of the companions of His Eminence, Husain and his Ahle Bayt were filled with tears. They said Amen to the supplication of Tirmah for help and support of His Eminence, Husain.

Dr. Yusuf Khalif has explained the above poetic piece in the following way: “The Rajaz is perhaps the first Kufic piece of poetry where it openly speaks about Husain. It shows the simplicity of the poet’s belief and reliance. And that which is more than that, to speak well of it and the welcome for that dear guest who has arrived at their place and they have come out to welcome them. The reciter of Rajaz urges his camels to move forward fast so that they may reach that dear guest. And that he may complete their duty of sincere hosting and fulfill their praises for them. And that seriousness and merits that people know about him, they may be related to these qualities. Because he, near him has true awe and respect. He is honorable, noble and generous…as these guests are not ordinary men. He is the grandson of the Messenger of Allah and the one who is the channel of receiving divine bounties; thus it is the best action. The poem concludes with
extolling of their praise and also invocates the Almighty in a natural manner as the poet is having devotion and sincerity towards them. Finally he prays that God Almighty may take care of them forever.”[2]

At that time Tirmah remarked to the Holy Imam, “I see that no one is with you. If except for those who are with you no one else fights you there would still be problems for you. Then how was it possible that one day before I left Kufa, I saw that the streets of Kufa were full of people. I asked about them. I was told that they

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/382-383. Al Futuh 5/140-141
[2] Hayatush Sha’ar fil Kufa, Pg. 373


were going to be sent for Husain. I adjure you by the name of God, do not at all move towards them.”[1]

But where could the Imam return? And where could be go? While all the lands were under the control of Umayyads. His Eminence has no choice but to continue his journey to Iraq. Tirmah suggested to His Eminence to go with him to Koh Bani Tai and assured the Holy Imam that 20000 persons from the Tai tribe would fight for him. But the Imam refused the offer which could not be guaranteed. Tirmah sought the permission of the Holy to go to his family, get provisions and return to help His Eminence. Imam permitted him and he headed to his family, stayed there for some days and was returning when at Adheeb Hajaanat he received the news of the martyrdom of Imam. He began to cry in remorse as he had lost the opportunity to achieve martyrdom in the company of the beloved grandson of Allah’s Messenger[2]

With Ubaidullah bin Hurr

The Imam’s caravan now passed by Bani Maqatil.[3] Imam arrived over there. Near the place they had halted was a tent outside which, in the front, spears had been fixed in the ground indicating the valor and courage of the owner of the tent. Horses could also be seen before it. Imam inquired who the owner of the tent was. He was told that it belonged to Ubaidullah bin Hurr. His Eminence sent Hajjaj bin Masruq Jofi to meet him. He went out at once and Ubaidullah bin Hurr told him, “What has brought you here?”

“The Almighty Allah has sent you an honor as a gift?”

“What is that?”

“This is Husain Ibn Ali who has summoned you to help him. Thus if you fight for him you will receive reward and if you die you shall achieve martyrdom.”

“I did not leave Kufa but for the fear that Husain would arrive while I were staying there and do not help him. Because, there he neither has Shias nor helpers as all of them have fallen to materialism except those whom the Almighty Allah has guarded.”

Hajjaj returned and conveyed the message to Imam. It was upon him to complete the argument on Ubaidullah and make him aware of the position he was in. So the Imam, accompanied by some persons from Ahle Bayt went over to him personally.

Ubaidullah rose up to welcome Imam Husain in the most respectful way while he was absolutely awed by the presence of the Holy Imam. He used to later remark about his encounter in the following way:

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/373
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/206-207
[3] Khwarizmi in his Maqtal Vol. 1, Pgs. 228-229 says: The encounter of the Imam with Ubaidullah bin Hurr was between Thalaba and Zarood.


“I had not seen anyone more elegant and attractive than Husain and indeed I have not pitied anyone more than him when I saw him going surrounded by his young children. I looked at his beard and found it as black as the crow’s wing, I asked him, ‘Is it naturally black or you have dyed it?’ He replied, ‘O son of Hurr, Old age has come upon me all of a sudden.’ Then I understood that he had dyed it.”[1]

Imam discussed with him the present circumstances and political matters. After that he requested him to enlist his support, “O son of Hurr, your townspeople wrote to me that they were ready to help me and they invited me to join them, so I have come. But I find that the view they claimed to hold is not there anymore. Because they have cooperated in the murder of my cousin, Muslim and his followers and they have unified in obedience to Ibn Marjana, Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad… O son of Hurr, know that the Almighty Allah shall punish you for the sinful acts you have committed in the past. I call you towards repentance that would wash your sins…I call you to provide assistance to us, Ahle Bayt.”[2]

Ibn Hurr began to offer excuses and justifications and deprived himself from success, salvation and helping the grandson of the Prophet, saying, “By Allah, I know that whosoever accompanies you shall be fortunate in the Hereafter. But what help can I render you when I see that you don’t have any supporter in Kufa? I adjure in the name of God, please do not force me in this matter because my heart does not allow me to die. However, you may take this horse of mine, named Mulhaqa.[3] By Allah no one has rode it but achieved whatever he wanted. By Allah I never mounted it for something but that I obtained it. Till now whenever I have remained mounted and if someone wanted to catch me, I always used to outrace him.”[4]

What was the value of that horse in the Imam’s eyes? Therefore the Imam told him, “I did not come here to ask you for your horse and sword. I came to ask for your help and assistance. Thus if you are miserly over your life for me, I have no need of what you own. I am not the one to take the help of misguided persons.[5] And I advise you that if you can avoid hearing my call for help and my tragedy, avoid it, as by Allah, Allah shall cast into Hellfire anyone who hears my call for help and does not respond positively.”[6]

Ibn Hurr was ashamed and he said in a low voice: “It would never happen if Allah wills.[7] Although it never happens that after so many sins a person should get the divine opportunity to become Imam’s helper and get martyred in his company.

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/384. Khazaanatul Adab, 2/158
[2] Al Futuh 5/129-131
[3] And it is mentioned in a report that “This horse of mine A’naan is saddled and ready”.
[4] Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 251. Ad Durrun Nadheem, Pg. 549
[5] Al Futuh 5/132
[6] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 189-190
[7] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/51


Thus finally, Ibn Hurr was absolutely sorry and regretful of having suffered such a loss due to his refusal to help the son of the Messenger of Allah. He was very much disturbed and he has described his condition in his couplets that we have quoted in our discussion about those who regretted not helping Imam Husain.

With Amr bin Qais

Imam met Amr bin Qais at Qasr Bani Maqatil who was accompanied by his cousin. They saluted the Imam and asked him, “O Aba Abdillah, have you dyed your hair?” His Eminence replied, “It is dyed, we Bani Hashim encounter graying of hair very soon.”

Then the Imam glanced at them and asked, “Are you willing to help me?”

“No, Sir! We are having large families and we are carrying people’s goods. We don’t know what would happen and we would not like to lose the trusts we hold.”

The Imam advised them and said, “Go away from here so that you don’t hear my call and see our multitude. Because for anyone who hears my cry for help and sees our multitudes but does not responds or helps us, it is the right upon Allah to throw him headlong into the fire (of Hell).”[1]

The Holy Imam set out from the fort of Bani Maqatil and his caravan traveled in the burning sands. And along with it they were traveling in hardships and difficulties and bearing the cutting winds that caused them untold discomfort.

Ibn Ziyad’s Letter to Hurr

Imam’s caravan continued its journey in the desert, sometimes turning to the right and sometimes to the left in such a way that the mercenaries of Hurr took them away from the wilderness towards Kufa and the caravan resisted them.[2] Suddenly a horse rider appeared racing towards them passing upon the sand. They waited for him and noticed that he was the messenger of Ibn Ziyad sent to Hurr.

That filthy man saluted Hurr but did not have the decency to greet His Eminence, Husain. He gave to Hurr, Ibn Ziyad’s letter in which it was mentioned: “So to say: When this letter reaches you and my messenger comes to you, make Husain come to a halt. But only let him stop in an open place without vegetation. I have ordered my messenger to stay with you and not to leave you until he brings me (news of) your carrying out my instructions. Greetings.”[3]

Ibn Marjana in his order to Hurr cancelled his previous mission of apprehending the Imam and getting him to Kufa under security. Perhaps he feared that the circumstances might change and the events may return to be against him again. Therefore he decided to besiege the Imam in the wilderness away from habitations so that people may not come out for his help and thus he may be eliminated easily.

[1] Kishi, Rijal Pg. 113, No. 181
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/51
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/385. Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 4/96


Hurr read out the letter to Imam Husain and the Imam wanted to move on to a village or a place where water is available. However Hurr stopped him and said, “I cannot allow you to do that because this man has been sent to keep an eye on me. If I do anything against the order it would be reported to Ibn Ziyad.”

“Son of the Apostle of God,” said Zuhair bin al-Qain, “I can only think that after what you have seen, the situation will only get worse. Fighting these people now will be easier for us than fighting those who will come against us after them. For by my life, after them will come against us such (a number) as we will not have the power (to fight) against.”

“I will not begin to fight against them,” answered Husain.

Zuhair continued, “Let us go up to these villages because it is a secure place and it is situated on the banks of Euphrates. Thus if they prevent us we shall fight with them as our fighting them shall be easier than against those who shall come after them.”

Imam asked about the place’s name. He was told that it was called Aqar. Imam considered it inauspicious and moved on from there. And he said, “O Allah, please grant me Your refuge from Aqar.”[1]

Hurr insisted upon the Imam to halt at that place and not to move from there. Imam had no choice but to halt there. So he looked at the place, then turned to his companions and asked. “What place is this?”


“The Imam’s eyes were filled with tears and he said, “O Allah, I seek Your refuge from pain and sorrow (Karb and Bala).”[2]

At that time he began to address his companions as he was now sure of facing a mortal danger because he said, “This is the place of sorrow and calamities. Here our mounts shall kneel down. This is the place where our litters shall arrive and the place where our blood shall be shed...”

The Imam recalled the past calamities and remembered especially the day when his father, Amirul Momineen, on his way to Siffeen had halted there and remarked, “This is the place where their litters shall arrive and here it is that their blood shall

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/52. Mojam al-Buldan 4/445
[2] Al Futuh 5/149. In Tadkiratul Khawaas Pg. 250 it is stated: When Husain was told that the place was Kerbala he picked up a handful of sand and smelt it. Then he said: “By Allah it is the same land about which Jibraeel informed the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) that I would be killed upon it.”
In Hayatul Haiwan of Damiri 1/87 it is mentioned: His Eminence asked the name of that place; he was told that it was called Kerbala. Then he said: “It is having ‘Karb’ (sorrow) and ‘Bala’ (calamity). My father passed this place on way to Siffeen and I was with him. He stood at this place and asked about it and its name was told to him. He said: Here they shall put down their loads, here their blood will be shed. They asked him about it. He replied: A group of Aale Muhammad will arrive at this place. Then His Eminence, Husain ordered that they unload their belongings there.
In Mukhtasar Safwatul Safwa, Pg. 262 it is mentioned in the same way.


be shed...” When the people asked His Eminence about this he replied, “Some members of the Progeny of Muhammad shall arrive here...”

The world had become worthless in the view of the Holy Imam. He had lost all hopes of worldly life and had become certain that his limbs shall be strewn on the sands of this land. Yet he continued to observe patience and surrendered himself willingly to whatever the Almighty had decreed for him.

With strength and determination, His Eminence, along with his companions and Ahle Bayt, began to fix the tents for the ladies of the house of prophethood in such a way that the tents of the companions and the tents of Ahle Bayt were surrounding them from the right and the left.

At that time the youths of Bani Hashim stepped forward to help the ladies alight from their mounts. They escorted them to their tents while those respected ladies were in a state of shock and anxiety as they began to feel that something terrible was to befall them in that place.

Location of Tents

The tents of Ahle Bayt were fixed on the pure land, that is, to this day, its signs are still present there.[1] Sayyid Habtuddin Shahristani says, “Imam camped at a place far away from water where continuous battalions of amateur soldiers had surrounded them from all sides. They began from north-east to Bab-e-Sidra in north. In the same way they stretched from Bab-e-Zainabi towards the west and then to the direction of Qibla from the south. They resembled the shape of a semicircle that had besieged the beloved grandson of the Prophet.[2]

My friend, Ustad Sayyid Muhammad Hasan Kaliddar does not accept that the well-known site of Imam’s camp was that same place where Imam had halted. Rather the camp was further away near to the Husaini Hospital. And this matter also supports the military maneuvers and events of that time. Because it is necessary that the two parties should be separated by a distance of at least two miles as it is required for military actions. For example the space required for running of horses and other distances were also required. In spite of there being tents, the camp must be located far away from where arrows are fired. He has in the same way proved his theory with the help of some historical testimonies.[3]

Most probably the Imam’s camp was located at the present site or a little distance from it, because the large number of Umayyad armies that had come to confront the Imam made it seem a single cantonment that there could not have been much distance between them. There was no obvious demarcation between them, that there could be a distance of two miles between them.

The Umayyad army surrounded the Imam’s entourage. So much so that when Ibn Saad shot the first arrow and announced the commencement of battle and

[1] Baghiyatun Nubla fee Tarikh Kerbala 2/6 written by Sayyid Abdul Husain in the library of the Defense Secretary, Sayyid Adil Kaliddar
[2] Nahzatul Husain, Pg. 90
[3] Madinatul Husain 2/24


following his cue, his archers shot arrows, there was none in the party of the Imam that was not hurt by an arrow. Some arrows also hit the tents of ladies. Hence if there had been a great distance the ladies of Ahle Bayt would not have become targets of arrows.

That which proves this matter is that when Imam Husain delivered a discourse for the army of Umayyads, the ladies present in the Imam’s camp were able to hear it and they began to lament because of it. If there had been considerable distance they would not have been able to hear the Imam’s discourse. There are other signs also that go on to prove that the Imam’s camp was situated at the place where it is generally believed to be.

# In Kerbala

The caravan of the Purified Progeny halted and camped at Kerbala on Thursday, 2nd of Mohurrum 61 A.H.,[1] while a condition of distress and anxiety reigned upon them as they were now sure that a terrible disaster was to befall them. Imam knew the hardships of his mission and the terrible disasters that were to befall him had become clear to him.

Historians say: His Eminence gathered his Ahle Bayt and companions. Then he glanced at them with kindness and compassion knowing that very soon their bodies shall be cut up into pieces. He began to weep profusely and raised up his hands to pray to the Lord. He spoke in a confidential manner and complained about the great calamities that had surrounded him, and he said:

“O my Lord, we are the Progeny of Your Messenger, Muhammad whom the Bani Umayyah forced out of the sanctuary of our grandfather. They banished us, persecuted and oppressed us. O Allah, take up our rights for us and make us victorious over the unjust people.”

Then he glanced at those stalwarts and said, “People are the slaves of the world and religion is like leftover food that clings to their tongue that as long as their life passes in comfort they follow it. But when they fall into hard times, very few remain religious.”[2]

What a brilliant statement it is, that describes the reality of the people in all the stages of history. Because they are slaves of material world in all times and in all the places but no kind of religious view was found in the depths of their consciences.

And whenever a storm of calamities falls on them they become disgusted of religion and they desert it...

Yes, religion is present in the very nature only for Imam Husain, the selected ones of Ahle Bayt and the companions of His Eminence that their sentiments were fused with it and their emotions were merged with it. Therefore they rushed forward to the fields of death so that their position may be exalted and that they may impart lessons in astonishing loyalty with regard to religion.

After praise and glorification of the Almighty the Imam addressed his companions, “So to say: No doubt you are aware of the gravity of the situation which you are witnessing yourselves here and now. Life has certainly changed disguises and its good has gone forever. This has continued till the remaining good in it amounts to

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/385. The new moon of Muharram that year was on Wednesday. This is mentioned in Al Ifada min Tarikhul Aimmatus Saadah
[2] Abu Hilal Hasan bin Abdullah Askari in his book, As Sana’teen has quoted the statement of the Imam in this way: “People have become slaves of the world and religion is a meaningless thing on their tongues, till their life passes in comfort they follow it and when hardships befall them, very few remain religious.


the thin sediment at the bottom of a drinking vessel. Life is a mean food, like a pasture covered with bad grass. Do you not see that the truth is not followed and falsehood not discouraged? The faithful must certainly desire to meet his Lord righteously. I do not deem death other than martyrdom and life among the unjust other than degradation.”[1]

In these sentences the Imam has again spoken of the hardships and difficulties that fell upon His Eminence and he informed them that as much hardships increase His Eminence shall not hesitate in his determination and resolve for the establishment of truth for which he had stepped forward.

Imam did not sermonize his companions to arouse their emotions or to attract their support. Because what could they have done for him while the armies had filled the desert and surrounded His Eminence. He spoke thus in order to make them aware of their responsibilities of establishing truth and to make them determined for an everlasting success and make them willing partners in this mission. While His Eminence had made the desire of death a part of his life, that nothing else could equal it.

When His Eminence concluded his discourse all his companions arose and expressed astonishing examples of loyalty and sacrifice for the sake of justice and truth...

The first one to speak up from his companions was Zuhair Ibn Qain. He was that valiant fighter who had no equal in the world. He said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger, we heard your discourse. If the world had remained for us and we had become immortals in it we would have given preference to fight for you rather than stay in it.”

These statements show the nobility of man in his march on the path of righteousness. Zuhair’s words imparted a great joy and satisfaction to the companions of the Holy Imam and he motivated them to loyalty and sacrifice.

Now another valiant companion of the Imam, Burair stood up, who had dedicated his life to the path of God. He addressed the Imam as follows, “O son of Allah’s Messenger, the Almighty Allah has bestowed a favor upon us through you that we should fight in your service and in your way our body is cut up into pieces. And in that case, on the Day of Judgment your grandfather should intercede for us.”

Burair was certain that his companionship to the Imam was a divine favor for him so that he may obtain the intercession of the Messenger of Allah.

After that Nafe also in the same way addressed his fortunate brothers. He said, “You know that your grandfather, the Messenger of Allah was not able to imbue their hearts with his love nor were they able to become attached to what he (the Prophet) liked. Some of them were hypocrites who used to promise help to

[1] Tibrani, Mojam 3/122, Biography of Imam Husain, Pg. 214. Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/217-218. Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 5/112. Hilyatul Awliya 2/39


him but secretly they betrayed his trust. In front of the Prophet they were sweeter than honey but on his back they were more bitter than Hanzal.[1] Till the time the Almighty Allah took him to Himself.

Your father’s circumstances were also somewhat like this. That some people helped him and on his side fought the Nakiseen, Qasiteen and Mariqeen. Till finally he met his end and joined the mercy of the Lord...

You also are in that condition with us. Anyone who breaks his pledge and leaves off allegiance has caused harm to himself and the Almighty Allah is needles of it. Thus lead us with determination and steadfastness, to the east or to the west. By Allah, we shall not step back from the destiny written by God for us. Nor are we frightened of meeting Allah. And we, on the basis of our aims and perception like what you like and hate what you hate.”[2]

Most companions of the Imam spoke in this way and the Imam thanked them for their sincerity and loyalty.

A man from Bani Asad waits for Imam

As soon as the Imam halted at Kerbala, he was joined by a man from Bani Asad. But historians have not recorded the name of this person. His story is narrated by Uryan bin Haitham who says, “My father used to reside near the place where the incident of Taff occurred. Whenever we used to pass by that place we used to see a man of Bani Asad present there. My father asked him, “I see that you are always present here?”

He replied to my father, “I have heard that Imam Husain shall be martyred at this place. I come here so that perhaps I may encounter him and along with him achieve martyrdom.”

When Husain was martyred, my father said, “Let us go and see if that Asadi man has also been killed.”

We came to the battlefield and searched among the corpses and found that Asadi man among those killed.[3]

He had achieved the grade of martyrdom in the service of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah. He obtained the loftiest status near the great prophets, martyrs and righteous ones. And what nice companions they are.

The Imam’s letter to Ibn Hanafiyah

Imam wrote a letter to his brother, Muhammad bin Hanafiyah and other persons of Bani Hashim from Kerbala. Therein he spoke of his death and the end which was very near. The text of that letter was as follows: “So to say: As if the world has not remained and the Hereafter remains as it was.”[4]

[1] A bitter fruit
[2] Muqarram, Maqtal, Pg. 193-194
[3] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/216-217
[4] Kamil az-Ziyaraat, Pg. 157, Chap. 23, H. 21


This is the briefest letter that especially speaks about those hardships that defeat patience.

With Harthima bin Salmi

Harthima bin Salmi joined the forces of Ibn Ziyad. When they reached Kerbala he remembered something he had forgotten. He was traveling with Amirul Momineen in a journey of war when His Eminence passed through Kerbala and stopped at a tree under the shade of which he stood up to pray. After concluding the prayer he took a handful of sand, smelt it and said, “Alas for you, O dust! A group of people shall be killed upon you and shall enter Paradise without undergoing accounting.”

Harthima hurried to His Eminence, Husain and related to him what he had heard from his father.

Imam asked him, “Are with us or against us?”

“Neither with you nor against you. I have left my family behind.”

Imam advised him and ordered him to go away from Kerbala so that he may not have to witness the tragedy of Ahle Bayt and he told him, “Go away from here. By the One in Whose hand is the life of Husain, anyone who witnesses (without rendering any help) our killing today, shall enter Hell.”

Harithma fled from Kerbala and heard reports about the martyrdom of Imam[1] while he himself had been deprived of martyrdom in the company of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah.

Anas bin Harith Joins Imam

A prominent and senior companion of the Prophet, Anas bin Harith joined the Imam and narrated to the Imam what he had heard from the Messenger of Allah regarding him, that His Eminence had said, “This son of mine (that is His Eminence, Husain) shall be killed on a land called Kerbala. Thus whosoever of you sees him should help him.”

After that Anas remained in the service of Imam till he achieved martyrdom in his company.[2]

Ibn Ziyad’s letter to His Eminence, Husain

When Ibn Ziyad was informed that Hurr has surrounded His Eminence, Husain at Kerbala, he sent a letter to His Eminence that displayed his oppressive and arrogant nature. The text of that was as follows: “So to say: O Husain! I have been informed about your arrival at Kerbala. Amirul Momineen, Yazid has written to me that I must not sleep on a bed nor have my drinks till I have not conveyed you to the Kind and Informed Lord, or that you agreed to obey my orders and the command of Yazid!...”

O Ibn Marjana! You and your master, Yazid deserve not to be served with drinks

[1] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/222-223. Waseelatul Maal fee idda manaqibul Aal, Pg. 179
[2] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/223-224


and you must come to your senses as you have committed every type of infamy in Islam.

When the Imam read Ibn Marjana’s letter, considering that transmogrified man to be worthless and weak, he threw down the letter and said, “Those who purchase the pleasure of men through the wrath of God, are never successful.”

Ibn Ziyad’s messenger asked the Imam to give a reply that he may convey to Ibn Ziyad. Imam said, “I have no reply with me because, he is in fact, eligible for divine punishment.”

Ibn Ziyad’s messenger returned and told Ibn Marjana what the Imam had said. Ibn Ziyad was terribly infuriated and he prepared all the forces to fight the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah.

Deployment of the Kufan Army

When the news of deployment of army of Ibn Ziyad against Imam Husain spread and it became common knowledge that His Eminence has been surrounded at Kerbala, a pall of gloom and dread descended on all gatherings of Kufa. Ibn Ziyad had spread such terror among the multitudes that they were horrified of their future because death was decreed merely on the basis of suspicion or allegation. Hence the people had no will of their own.

When Ibn Marjana apprehended the son of the conqueror of Mecca and the breaker of idols of Quraish, he realized his dreams and aspirations. So that by killing him he could gain proximity to the grandson of Abu Sufyan, that same leader of the group opposed to Islam. And that he may strengthen his relationship to Bani Umayyah that was based on the testimony of Abu Maryam, the wine-seller.[1]

Ibn Marjana spent all his time preparing for war and he resorted to various ways in arranging for dominance in the coming confrontation while the nobility had sold its conscience and they were surrounding Ibn Ziyad ready to offer their help to complete the program of hostilities.

Ibn Saad selected as Commander-in-chief

Ibn Marjana selected Ibn Saad to be the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces that had been prepared to fight against the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah. Before we explain the causes of his appointment let us study some important matters:

[1] One day Muawiyah…told Abu Maryam Salooli in front of the people: With what do you testify? He replied: I testify that Abu Sufyan came to me and asked me for a prostitute. I told him: I don’t have anyone other than Sumaiyyah. He said: Bring her even if she is dirty and filthy. I brought that woman…! At that time Muawiyah made Ziyad as his brother and the son of his father, Abu Sufyan. (An-Nasaaih al-Kafiya leman Yatawalla Muawiyah Pg. 81)


Prophecy of Allah’s Messenger regarding Ibn Saad’s end

Ibn Saad happened to pass by the Messenger of Allah. When His Eminence saw him, he became disgusted with him and prophesied about his bad end: “He shall be with those who eat up the world with their tongues like the cow licks the ground.”[1]

Amirul Momineen had also predicted similarly about Ibn Saad. Narrators say that His Eminence glanced at him and spoke to him. He found him to be the arrogant, one who considered truth worthless and who had the daring to resort to illegal acts. He said, “Woe by on you, O, Ibn Saad, how shall you be when you are in a situation when you have to choose between Paradise and Hell and you decide to choose Hell?”[2]

Saad’s hatred for his son Umar

When Saad heard the statement of the Messenger of Allah regarding his son, he scolded him. Narrators say: “He instructed the executors of his will not to give anything to his son, Umar Ibn Saad.”[3]

Harun Rashid Curses Umar Saad

Harun Rashid cursed Umar Saad and decreed that he be considered an apostate and an outcast from religion. It is an interesting anecdote that deserves to be mentioned here:

Narrators say: Ishaq bin Ibrahim was brought as a captive to Harun Rashid. Ishaq was accused to have apostated from religion.

Ishaq told him: “O Amiral Momineen! I believe in Allah and all His messengers and prophets. I am not an apostate. My fault lies elsewhere.”

Rashid was surprised and he asked, “What is that?”

“Loyalty and devotion to you, Ahle Bayt. Can one who believes in love for you and considers it to be obligatory, be considered an apostate?”

Rashid smiled and ordered that the special execution mat and the sword be taken out for him.

Ishaq began to speak and he asked Harun:

“O Amiral Momineen! What is your view about Umar bin Saad, the killer of Husain? Who said: They say: The Almighty Allah created a Paradise and fire and punishment and arrests.”

Rashid bowed his head and thought about it for a long time, then he said, “May Allah curse Umar bin Saad as he had no faith in the Almighty Allah, in resurrection or in prophethood...O Ishaq, do you know from where this is taken?”

“Yes, O Amiral Momineen! It is taken from the poetry of Yazid bin Muawiyah...

[1] Ibne Qutaybah, Mukhtasar al-Buldan, Pg. 271
[2] Ayanush Shia 4/437
[3] Balawi, Alif Baa


“What did Yazid say?”

“He said:

O Alayya give me the goblet and speak up your thoughts as I do not like whispering secretly.

The statement of Abu Sufyan that was used in Uhad till these dirges began to be recited.

And by that word Amr wanted to get Ali but he escaped. But the old man Muawiyah managed to get.

Thus O young mother in red! If I died, you get married and do not wait for reunion after death.

Because whatever is said about resurrection is all useless talk that puts the heart to doubt.

And if people were not useless I would have seen Muhammad, with the pure wine that quenches the bones.

There is no difference in people that Muhammad has chosen a grave in Medina.

Often it is that the pasture stinks on the ground while its branches show the existence of the roots.

We shall be destroyed and no sign shall remain on the earth but the malice of the heart shall remain.”

Rashid was terrified and he said, “May Allah curse Yazid, who had no faith in Allah, the Day of Resurrection and prophethood. O Ishaq, do you know from where he has inherited these beliefs?”

“Yes, O Amiral Momineen! He has taken them from the poetry of his father, Muawiyah.”

“What did Muawiyah say?”

“He said:

Ask me about the monastery of Busra which is of old. Do not condemn me as there is no use of it.

Get up so that in the darkness we may establish a bright sun. Where there are goblets and cups and the luminosity of the stars.

Perhaps separation may call us and we have to go in such a condition that our souls are quenched with it.

What is present here, get hold of it and let go what is being promised. It is the way intelligent people act and delay will cause problems.

Before the nights return all borrowed things because all the dresses of the world are on hire.”

Rashid cursed Muawiyah and said the same things he had mentioned about Yazid.[1]

[1] Shaykh Mufid, Ath-Thaqib fil Manaqib, from the written manuscripts at the Imam Amirul Momineen Library


Ajali considers Ibn Saad a reliable narrator

Ajali has considered Umar Ibn Saad to be a reliable narrator and he says about him, “He has related traditions from his father and other people have narrated from him. He was a reliable Tabii (companion of a companion). He is the same person who killed Husain.”[1]

I don’t know how Ibn Saad was reliable when he had killed the beloved grandson of the Prophet and one who destroyed the Purified Progeny inspite of the fact that the Almighty Allah has made it incumbent on all Muslims to love them...?

Ajali has deviated from the path of truth due to his considering reliable, narrators who bore enmity to Ahle Bayt. In the same way he considered those who were loyal to Ahle Bayt to be absolutely unreliable.

Righteous people and those who acted with piety in their religion used to condemn anyone who narrated from Ibn Saad. Once Aaizaar bin Hareeth related a tradition from Umar bin Saad. A person objected to him and said, “Do you not fear Allah? Are you narrating from Umar bin Saad?” Aaizaar wept and said, “I shall never do it.”[2] It is strange that Ibn Hajar has given the biography of Ibn Saad in his Tahdhib at-Tahdhib while he claimed that he was including only those narrators whom he considered reliable!

Habits and Nature of Ibn Saad

Ibn Saad did not have in himself any sort of noble trait or habit because he was by nature hard-hearted. There was not an iota of humanity or goodness in him. Some of his personal qualities were as follows:

A. Surrender to Governor’s Rule

Absolute dedication to the governor’s system was a prominent part of Ibn Saad. According to unanimous verdict of historians, he used to mix up with the ruling class and completely lose his balance for greed of obtaining position and rulership.

He subjected himself to hardships and sorrows in order to earn the confidence of Ibn Marjana. After having killed His Eminence, Husain he had told Ibn Marjana, “By God, the sincerity I performed towards you with regard to the killing of Husain was such that if I had performed such sincerity for my father, I would have fulfilled his rights.”[3]

Ibn Saad did not have a stable personality or a noble intention. He was always inclined to follow the ruling class and he was always striving to earn their confidence and gain material benefits.

[1] Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 7/451. Mizanul Etedal 3/198
[2] Mizanul Etedal Pg. 198
[3] Tabari, Tarikh 5/467


B. Severe Greed for Rulership

Another important trait of his personality was his extreme greed for obtaining power and position of rulership. Historians say: He used to urge his father to enter politics as it was possible the people may become disinclined to Ali and Muawiyah and select him for caliphate. But his father refused to act in this way and he remained content with whatever he had.[1] When Ibn Ziyad appointed Ibn Saad as the governor of Rayy but upon the condition that he must go out to fight Husain his family members heard him recite:

“Should I abandon the governorship of Rayy while it is my heart-felt desire or should I return with the sin of killing Husain?”

He believed that if he gets governorship of Rayy he would be able to spend his life in prosperity and comfort. That is why he committed such a terrible oppression in Islamic history.

C. Decadence

Decadence was another trait of Ibn Saad’s personality, because all the signs of nobility and respect had been destroyed. When Muslim bin Aqil stood as a prisoner before Ibn Ziyad, he asked Ibn Saad to hear his bequest but he refused in order to remain in the good books of Ibn Ziyad, till he was instructed by his masters to listen to Muslim’s will. Thus when Muslim made bequest to him in confidence, he at once turned to Ibn Ziyad and told him what Muslim had willed. Ibn Ziyad also objected to him about it and said, “The faithful would not betray you, but the traitor was confided in.”

Of his decadence was the fact that when His Eminence, Husain had been martyred, he rushed forward to plunder his coat of mail, which he put upon himself at once. If he had the least nobility and honor he would not have plundered the corpse of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah. Because, this action of his was a signal to his soldiers that they could freely plunder even the ladies of the household of prophethood and they did not even spare their veils and bed sheets.

D. Cowardice and Fearfulness

Ibn Saad had no sign of courage and bravery. He was cowardly, weak willed and lacked determination. When he was confronted by the problem of the Penitents, he was terrified completely. He never again slept in his house. He used to sleep in the governor’s palace so that he may be guarded by the palace guards. He used to be agitated all the time and spent sleepless nights. And when officers of Mukhtar attacked him he got up from his bed in a disturbed state. Due to the shock, instead of picking up his weapons he fell down and the soldiers killed him in his bed. And in this way was fulfilled the prayer of Husain that: “May Allah have him beheaded in his bed.”

[1] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 7/282


What is surprising is that Khairuddin Zarkali used to consider him a brave commander.[1] If he was really as brave as Zarkali has said he would not have abandoned his family to seek refuge in the governor’s palace to dispel his fear and terror.

E. Doubt in Resurrection

Ibn Saad had no faith in resurrection; he was in doubt about it. As he has mentioned in his couplets he recited when he was selected to fight Imam Husain. He said:

“They say: The Almighty Allah has created a Paradise and a Fire, punishments and arrests.”

On the basis of this he neither had faith on accounting, nor on Paradise or Hell as Harun Rashid has said...

These were some traits of Ibn Saad that show him to be a transmogrified man sunk in evils and crimes.

Reasons for selection of Ibn Saad

Ibn Marjana selected him to lead the army against Imam Husain in order to deceive the common people and gullible populace so that they may also take part in this venture because Ibn Saad was the son of the conqueror of Iraq and one of the six members of the Shura Committee instituted by Umar bin Khattab for the position of Islamic Caliphate. Also Ibn Saad belonged to Quraish and was somewhat related to the Imam. In addition to this, Ibn Ziyad was aware of his deviated views and weaknesses and he knew that except for him none could dare to commit this outrage.

Anxiety of Ibn Saad

Ibn Ziyad had appointed Ibn Saad for the governorship of Rayy[2] and areas of Dastabi and Dailam.[3]

After that he told him to proceed and fight against Imam Husain but he wanted to be excused from it. But Ibn Ziyad threatened him that the governorship of Rayy shall be taken away from him. Ibn Saad asked for a night’s respite to make up his mind, which was granted.

Ibn Saad went home and spent a sleepless night thinking whether he should undertake war against the beloved grandson of the Prophet and earn everlasting degradation or he should excuse himself from this matter. In that case he would have to forgo the governorship of Rayy, while it was an ambition of his life, which

[1] Zarkali, Al-Alaam 5/205
[2] Rayy is a famous and one of the large cities due to its beauty and excessive fruits and it is situated in Iran. Istakhri has said: After Baghdad no city is as populous as Rayy. And Asmai has said: It is the bride of the world and people traveled to it for business. This is mentioned in Mojam al-Buldan 3/117-186.
[3] Al-Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 253


would have guaranteed him a life of comfort and prosperity. His family heard him recite the following poem:

“Shall I give up the governorship of Rayy while it is my desire, or shall I soil my hands with the blood of Husain?

In killing him, nothing could stop me from being sent to Hell, while on the other hand the rulership of Rayy is something I desire most.”[1]

Those who tried to stop Ibn Saad

Historians say: Some well-wishers of Ibn Saad went to him and restrained him from going out to fight Husain. One of those who made such a suggestion was his nephew, Hamzah bin Mughairah bin Shoba, who told him, “O Uncle! If you march against Husain, you shall be a sinner in the view of Allah and you would have cut off relations with him. By Allah, if you give up your world and wealth it would be better for you than that you face the Almighty with responsibility of Husain’s murder.”[2]

Some other people also advised him and told him, “Fear Allah, do not do this.”[3] He tried to avoid the battle but he did not have the determination to forgo the governorship of Rayy, because he had become greedy for it and there was nothing which could make him forget it. When morning came he decided to lead the forces against the beloved grandson of the Prophet. He went to Ibn Marjana to inform him about his acceptance of the appointment. Ibn Ziyad also became pleased at his assent. This was so because the presence of Ibn Saad would assure that Ibn Ziyad would not be alone condemned for the elimination of Imam Husain and if anyone other than Ibn Saad had assented, Ibn Ziyad would not have been as much elated.

Ibn Saad marched forward at the head of a 4000 strong army absolutely aware that he was going out to confront the Progeny of Allah’s Messenger, who were the best of people.

Ibn Saad reached Kerbala and joined the battalion under the command of Hurr Ibn Yazid Riyahi.

March Past

Ibn Marjana stood up to watch the armed units that had been raised to fight against His Eminence, Husain, in order to gauge their strength and the level of their preparation in taking part in battle.

Tirmah says: “A day before I departed from Kufa I saw such a large number of

[1] Miraatul Jinaan 1/132. Yafai says: If it were said:
“Should I let go of the governorship of Rayy though I want it badly even though by killing Husain I return as a sinner.” This lamentation informs about the aim in a better way.
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/385-386
[3] Al Futuh 5/152


people gathered at the outskirts as I have never before seen a greater crowd. I inquired about it and was told that they have been gathered there so that they may be inspected then dispatched to fight Husain.”[1]

Ibn Ziyad had employed all the powers of his regime in this matter because he was absolutely terrified of changed circumstances in the future.

Speech of Ibn Marjana

The tyrant, Ibn Ziyad, ordered people to gather in the courtyard of the Great Mosque. Like frightened sheep, the people obeyed these orders and filled up the entire premises. Ibn Ziyad stood up before them and addressed them as follows:

“O people! You have tested the family of Abu Sufyan and found them as you had preferred. This is Amirul Momineen, Yazid, whom you have found to be of good nature and fine mannered. He is good to the subjects and he rewards according to rightfulness. In his time, the roads are safe as it was during the time of his father, Muawiyah. His son, Yazid has respect for the people and he has made them needless through wealth. He has increased your incomes by a hundred percent. He has ordered me to obtain that income for you. And send you to fight his enemy, Husain. Thus you must listen to him and obey him.”[2]

Ibn Ziyad spoke in such a convincing way that they became submissive to him because he promised them wealth and persuaded them to take part in the most terrible crime of the history of humanity.

He ordered Haseen bin Numair Tamimi, Hijaar bin Abjar and Shimr bin Zil Jaushan that they march forward to fight the Imam. After that he appointed at the command those who had outstanding capabilities. They set out of Kerbala to support Ibn Saad.

Samrah encouraged people to fight the Imam

Samrah bin Jundab was that liar companion who played a very important role in motivating people to join in the battle against the son of Allah’s Messenger, because he was the Police Commissioner of Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad. So he was at the forefront in recruiting people for the battle of Kerbala.[3]

Shabth bin Rabi feigned Illness

Shabth bin Rabi, the hypocrite did not like to march out against Imam Husain so he feigned illness. But this did not remain concealed from Ibn Ziyad. He sent message to Shabth that: My messenger has informed me about your illness. I fear you might not be of those that when they are with the believers they say: We have accepted faith and when they are alone with their satans they say: we are with you and they make fun of the Muslims. Thus if you obey us you must come immediately. Shabth came to him in the darkness of the night so that he may not discern the absence of illness. Then he responded positively to the proposal of Ibn Ziyad to lead a battalion against Imam Husain.

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/406
[2] Al Futuh 5/157
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 4/88-89


Public Mobilization

Ibn Ziyad issued general orders to mobilize people or force them to take part in battle against the Imam. Before they could report in the first cantonment he issued the decree: “No one should remain even from the nobles, elders, traders and residents but that they must all join us in the cantonment. Whoever is found lacking in this would not have any guarantee of security and help.”[1]

He ordered that this order be publicized and instructed Kathir Ibn Shahab Harithi, Muhammad bin Ashath, Qaqa bin Suwaid bin Abdur Rahman Munqari and Asmaa bin Kharja Fuzari to go out among the people and urge them to obedience and threaten them with dire consequences. They set out in Kufa and began to fulfill their duty.[2] After that they joined the cantonment. But Kathir bin Shahab remained in Kufa to restrain the people from helping the Imam and to threaten those who were not willing to go out to fight the Imam. The police arrested a man from Hamadan tribe who had come to Kufa in connection with his inheritance. He was brought to Ibn Ziyad and he condemned him to death. When people saw this, they all rushed out to join the army and not a single grown-up man remained in Kufa.[3]

This was the policy of Ibn Ziyad to persuade the people to join the forces against Imam Husain. And it was the condition through which he could dominate the circumstances perfectly and did not leave anyone free.

Strict Surveillance on Kufa

Ibn Ziyad applied very strict surveillance on Kufa so that no one is able to go out to help the Imam. He appointed spies and guards and designed very strict surveillance machinery. Whosoever was accused for any act against the administration was immediately apprehended and cast into prison or executed mercilessly. Abdullah bin Yasar used to urge people to support the Imam and he restrained people from helping the members of the Umayyad clan. Ibn Ziyad was informed of this and immediately wanted him to be arrested. But he went into hiding and agents went out to search for him till he was finally apprehended by Ubaidullah bin Hurr. He was taken to Sabakha and executed there.[4] He was other than Ubaidullah bin Hurr Johfi.

Ibn Ziyad appointed guards and installed armories around Kufa and kept them in charge of Zajar bin Qais. Also between them and the army of Ibn Saad were kept ready mounted messengers to convey news of whatever may occur.[5]

Flight of Soldiers

The majority of soldiers of Ibn Ziyad, who were of exceptional capabilities, deserted the army and a large number of them avoided taking part in hostilities against the grandson of the Prophet.

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/387
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/387
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/387
[4] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/387
[5] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/387


Balazari says: “A battalion of 1000 soldiers used to depart for Kerbala but when it reached there, it had only three hundred, four hundred or even less men, because the rest had deserted the army as they did not see the expedition to be having any legality.[1]

They were without any doubt convinced that it was the battle of deviated people. They were fighting their God and His Prophet, fighting someone whose obedience and devotion was incumbent upon them.

The Tyrant Ibn Ziyad in Nukhaila

He went to Nukhaila[2] and encamped over there while a large number of contingents accompanied him. He appointed Amr bin Hareeth as his representative in Kufa. He had been informed that people in singles, in twos and threes were running over by the Euphrates route to join the army of the Imam. Therefore he issued commands to secure to bridge and keep it under strict surveillance so that none may escape from there.[3]

Plan to kill Ibn Ziyad

The great stalwart, Ammar bin Salama Dalabi tried to kill Ibn Ziyad at Nukhaila but he could not succeed due to the elaborate security arrangements. When he failed in this attempt he decided to join His Eminence, Husain and in the end he was able to achieve martyrdom with His Eminence.[4]

Number of Umayyad Soldiers

Historians have different opinions as regards the number of soldiers that set out to fight Imam. Here we have stated the opinions of some of them:

1. 80000 riders[5]

2. 50000 riders[6]

3. 35000 riders[7]

4. 30000 riders[8]

5. 22000 riders[9]

6. 20000 riders[10]

7. 16000 riders[11]

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/387
[2] Nukhaila was an area close to Zul Kifl which is today known as Abbasiyat. This is mentioned by Muqarram in Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 199.
[3] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayan (Manuscript)
[4] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/377
[5] Baghiyatun Nubla, Part 2, quoted from Maqtal of Abu Mikhnaf, Pg. 80
[6] Ibne Zuraas, Sharh Shaafiya 1/93 from written manuscripts at Imam Hakim Library
[7] Manaqib, Ibne Shahr Aashob 4/98
[8] Matalib al-So-ool 2/136 (Has quoted 22000). Umdatut Talib, Pg. 192
[9] Miraatul Jinaan 1/132. Shazaratus Zahab 1/67. Matalib al-So-ool 2/36
[10] As Sawaiq al-Mohreqa Pg. 197. Ibne Sabbagh, Al-Fusul al-Muhimma, Pg. 191. Lohoof, 145
[11] Ad Durrun Nadheem Fee Manaqibul Aaimma, Pg. 551


8. 12000 riders[1]

9. 8000 riders[2]

10. 6000 riders[3]

11. 4000 riders[4]

These are some figures that historians have mentioned. Apart from this whatever reports are recorded, are not free from exaggeration.

Research on this topic

Here it is necessary for research regarding the different theories connected with the number of soldiers that participated in the battle against the Imam so that we may analyze and evaluate the different arguments...

Before everything let us see the number of soldiers that were present in the cantonment in Kufa at that time. The number of soldiers in the middle of the first century were 40000 from whom 10000 used to participate in fighting every year.[5]

This number saw increase during the time the Imam had selected Kufa as his capital because migrants converged on Kufa and 1000 of them accompanied the Imam in the battle of Siffeen along with 8000 slaves of theirs.[6]

Some expressions of views also exist that some people have given that prove the number of soldiers at that time and prove that at that time the roll of soldiers had reached upto a hundred thousand. Because Sulaiman bin Surd Khuzai objected to the treaty of Imam Hasan and said to His Eminence: “I am astonished how you decided to make peace with Muawiyah when you are having a hundred thousand men of Iraq at your command.”

Some letters from the people of Iraq to Imam Husain also mentioned, “We, a hundred thousand men are with you.” And in my view this figure is not without exaggeration and their number was much less...but as for the residents of Kufa, we have not been able to get their list but it is likely that they were so numerous because among them were many workers, traders and artisans and who were not a part of military service...and after this brief research about the number of soldiers and citizens of Kufa we stop here and evaluate the different theories:

First: Acceptance and inspection of everything that is mentioned about the increase of soldiers. Because Ibn Ziyad had declared general mobilization of forces in Kufa and there did not remain any grown up person but that he was sent out to fight His Eminence, Husain. And anyone who opposed this order was doomed to execution or thrown into prison. So much so, all modes of transport were used to transfer people from Kufa to the battlefield against the Holy Imam. In this way the figure of 100000 or more is not an exaggeration.

[1] Ad Durrun Nadheem Fee Manaqibul Aaimma, Pg. 551
[2] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayaan, Pg. 92
[3] As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 87
[4] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/169
[5] Sulh al-Hasan, Pg. 114
[6] Al Imamah was Siyasah 1/93 has mentioned the figure of 190000.


Secondly: There is doubt regarding that large number because most of the fighters considered fighting against the Imam a serious crime and they deserted the army and fled into wilderness. Apart from this a large number of soldiers were with Ibn Ziyad in Nukhaila cantonment. On the basis of this, the number of men who went to Kerbala to fight the Imam was not as high as some historians believe.

The most likely scenario is as mentioned in the tradition of Imam Sadiq that 30000 men came forward to fight Imam Husain. This is the nearest saying about the number of soldiers because this figure or a little more took part in battle against the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah.

Military Commanders

Historians have recorded for us the names of some military commanders who participated in the Kerbala tragedy. They are as follows:

1. Hurr Ibn Yazid Riyahi – He commanded a 1000 strong force that besieged His Eminence, Husain at Kerbala.

2. Umar bin Saad – He was appointed commander in chief by Ibn Ziyad. He led a battalion of 4000.

3. Shabth bin Rabi commanded a 1000 strong battalion.[1]

4. Madhair bin Raheena Mazini – He controlled a 3000 men group.[2]

5. Nasr bin Harsha – commanded a 2000 men battalion.[3]

6. Kaab bin Talha with 3000 soldiers.[4]

7. Hijaar bin Abjar – with 1000 men.[5]

8. Haseen bin Numair 4000 strong force.[6]

9. Shimr bin Zil Jaushan – 4000 strong platoon.[7]

10. Yazid bin Rakaab – At the head of 2000 strong regiment.[8]

11. Yazid bin Harth bin Ruwiyam – with 1000 fighters.[9]

These were some military commanders who jointly controlled a force of around 25000 soldiers.[10]

Ibn Jauzi says: Abdullah bin Zohra bin Sulaym Azadi was the commander of Kufa

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/387
[2] Manaqib 4/98
[3] Manaqib 4/98
[4] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 200
[5] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/387
[6] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/387
[7] Manaqib, Ibne Shahr Aashob 4/98
[8] Manaqib, Ibne Shahr Aashob 4/98
[9] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/387
[10] Calculating the numbers mentioned 96000 is correct figure (Tr.)


division. Qais bin Ashath was heading the Rabia and Kinda division. Abdullah bin Sabra Jofi controlled the Madhij and Bani Asad division and Hurr bin Yazid Riyahi was the chief of Rabia and Hamadan division.[1]

Arming the soldiers

The army of Ibn Ziyad was armed with all the weapons in use at that time, such that his preparations for battle against the Imam could be described to be terrible whose importance the historians have mentioned to us and said: Blacksmiths and weapon makers of Kufa worked day and night pointing the arrows and sharpening the swords and this continued for more than 10 days…Ibn Ziyad prepared such a well-armed force to fight against His Eminence, Husain that it had the power to conquer a territory if it wanted.

1. Archers

Archers were those who shot arrows and darts. They had a very important role in the battle and they were the first to initiate battle against the Imam when they shot their arrows to the Imam’s camp. So much so that none from the companions of the Imam remained but that was shot by an arrow. Even some ladies were injured and they were terrified by this. Some children of the family of Prophethood also were cruelly killed by these arrows like Abdullah bin Muslim, Abdullah bin Hasan, Abdullah (or Ali Asghar), the infant son of His Eminence and others.

2. Foot soldiers

They were battalions of soldiers who threw stones and their weapon was sling.

3. Armored soldiers

They were of those who covered the fighters with materials that would be secure in the battle. In the same way they used to put such things on their horses also so that they may be protected against arrows and darts.

Number of Companions of His Eminence, Husain

The companions of Imam Husain were less in number but historians have differed as regards their exact figure as follows:

1. Masudi believes that they comprised of 500 riders and 100 foot soldiers. Only Masudi has mentioned this figure and no one else has.[2]

2. Ammar Dahni has narrated from Imam Baqir that they were 45 horsemen and 100 foot soldiers.[3]

3. Ibn Shahr Aashob has mentioned that they were 82 persons of whom 32 were mounted.[4]

[1] Miraat az-Zamaan, Pg. 92
[2] Muruj az-Zahab 3/61
[3] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/197. Tahdhib al-Kamal 6/427. Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/119. As-Siraatus Sawi, Pg. 86
[4] Manaqib 4/98


4. Saad bin Abduh says: I have seen that they were around 100 persons. 5 or 7 from the descendants of Ali, 10 from Bani Hashim one from Kinana and another from Sulaym.[1]

5. Ibn Kathir Wafa Khori has written that they were 32 riders and 40 footmen.[2]

According to our belief, including the persons of family of prophethood there were 80 persons. This is proved from the fact that the number of heads that were severed and sent to Ibn Marjana and Yazid numbered 79 and not more.

Anyway, these valiant fighters in spite of being less in number effectively confronted that army and caused them terrible losses and by their courageous attitude, displayed nobility of their beliefs and loftiness of their faith.

Ibn Saad’s Messenger meets Imam

Ibn Saad was not in favor of fighting against the Imam and he wanted to shun this in any way possible. Therefore he summoned Azra bin Qais to go and meet the Imam and inquire about the reason for the arrival of His Eminence, but Azra refused as he was one of those who had written to the Imam inviting him to Kufa.

Ibn Saad appointed Kathir bin Abdullah Shobi to meet the Holy Imam. He was an audacious and reckless man. He said: “I am ready for it and if you want I can attack him suddenly and finish the matter.”

Ibn Saad did not agree to this. He told him to approach the Imam and ask him what has brought him there.

Kathir set out to meet the Imam and when Abu Thamama Saidi saw him, he became suspicious about him and told him to remove his sword before he could meet the Imam. But he did not agree to it and thus he was not able to get the permission to meet the Imam. He returned to Ibn Saad and reported the matter to him.[3] Ibn Saad told Qarra bin Qais Hanzali to go and meet the Imam. He agreed to it. When he came the Imam asked his companions, “Do you know him?”

Habib bin Mazahir replied, “Yes, he is from Bani Tamim. I used to know him as a man of sound judgment. I would not have thought that he would be present at this scene.”

He came and greeted al-Husain. Then he informed him of Umar bin Saad’s message.

“The people of this town of yours wrote to me that I should come,” answered Husain. “However, if now you have come to dislike me, I will leave you.”

Habib glanced at him and chided him, “O Qarra, I considered you to be a supporter

[1] Tadhib at-Tahdhib 1/156
[2] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/187. Fakhura, Tohfatul Anaam fii Mukhtasar Tarikhul Islam, Pg. 77
[3] Tabari, Tarikh 5/410


of Ahle Bayt. What has changed your attitude? Thus you remain with us and help this gentleman.”

Qarra said: “You are right. But first I shall return to my associates and convey the message to them and after that I shall think upon this matter.”

Qarra returned to Ibn Saad and conveyed to him what the Imam had said.[1]

Ibn Saad was pleased. He thought that there was some peaceful alternative that would free him from this dreadful responsibility.

Ibn Saad Meets the Imam

Ibn Saad wanted to be reassured about this so he expressed the desire to meet the Imam. The Imam agreed to meet him and when he came to His Eminence, he asked, “What has brought you here?”

“People of Kufa.”

“But you don’t know what they have done to you?”

“We the people of God are such that if someone considers it lawful to deceive us, we also for the sake of Allah bear that deception.”

“Now what do you think about escaping from this problem?”

“I shall return and stay in Mecca or Medina or in some other place.

Ibn Saad was pleased at this attitude of the Holy Imam and he saw in it possibility of peace and less chance of hostilities.[2]

Ibn Saad’s letter to Ibn Ziyad

Ibn Saad immediately penned a letter to his governor, Ibn Marjana which said: “So to say: God has put out the fire of hatred, united the people in one opinion, and set right the affairs of the community. This man, al-Husain, has given me a promise that he will return to the place which he came from, or he will go to one of the border outposts - he will become like any other of the Muslims, with the same rights and duties as them; or he will go to Yazid, the Commander of the faithful, and offer him his hand and see if the difference between them can be reconciled. In this offer you have the consent to what you have demanded and the community gains benefit.”

Ibn Saad’s Slander

Doubtlessly, in this letter Ibn Saad has attributed things to His Eminence, Imam Husain that he never said: Aqba bin Sulaiman was with the Imam from Medina to Mecca and then to Iraq and at the time of the martyrdom of His Eminence he was in his service, he has said regarding the fabricated points of this letter as follows:

“I accompanied Husain from Medina to Mecca and then to Iraq and at the time of

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/386, Al Futuh 5/155-156
[2] As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 87


his martyrdom I did not leave him and I heard whatever he said. And I never heard him say that he was ready to give allegiance to Yazid, as people allege. And neither did he say that he would go to any other place. He did not mention this either in Medina or Mecca or Iraq or in his army, till finally he was martyred. Yes, I heard him say: Leave me, so that I may go to the wide earth till I see what the people do.”[1]

Shaykh Muhammad Khazari has also stated that this letter mentions false things. He says: “It is not correct that he proposed to them that he would give allegiance to Yazid; rather he suggested them to leave him so that he may return from where he had come.”[2]

Ibn Saad composed this letter to escape the battle and to keep himself safe from the crime of killing the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah. If the Imam had said such a thing, the army of Ibn Ziyad would have dispersed and all the problems would have come to an end…Imam, since the beginning of his mission, refused to bow down before the unjust group and he was determined before the storms of opposition. And he always displayed loftiness of his aims, steadfastness of his resolve and respect of his self.

Shimr Defeats Efforts of Peace

When Ibn Saad’s letter came to Ibn Ziyad, he liked the view of Ibn Saad and he considered it a solution of the problem and a channel for uniting the Muslims. It restrained him from fighting the battle. Thus with surprise he uttered, “This is the letter about a sincere man who is anxious for his people.”

Shimr bin Zil Jaushan was standing besides him and he became annoyed at this, because he was well known for his hatred to people of noble class due to his own lowly birth. Hence he was jealous of Ibn Saad because he was given the command of the army due to his parentage, so he wanted to inflame the fire of battle.

“Are you going to accept this from him,” demanded Shimr bin Zil Jaushan, jumping up, “When he has encamped on your land nearby? By God if he was a man from your land and he would not put his hand in yours, whether he was in a position of power and strength (or) whether he was in a position of weakness and impotence you would not give this concession, for it would be (a mark) of weakness.”

These words made the circumstances explosive and dashed all hopes regarding peace and agreement, because Ibn Ziyad realized something he had not thought of earlier. That is if the Imam escapes from him and does not give allegiance to Yazid and goes away to another area the reality of the situation will become obvious for all. And the people shall stand up in support of the Imam against that sinful group. Hence the tyrant shall emerge to be weaker while His Eminence, Husain shall come out stronger and more influential due to his position as the son of Allah’s

[1] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayaan, Pg. 20
[2] Tarikhul Imamatul Islamiya 1/515


Messenger. These delicate points had never entered the mind of Ibn Marjana; so when Shimr reminded him, he began to think of him as a sincere advisor.

When Shimr understood that he had the situation under his control and that he has succeeded in weakening the position of Ibn Saad near Ibn Ziyad, he tried to have him removed from his post and occupy it himself. So he said, “By God, I have been informed that Husain and Ibn Saad sat down between the two armies and carried out discussions for the most part of the night.”[1]

This meant that Shimr had kept Ibn Saad under secret surveillance so that he may come to know if Ibn Saad committed any shortcoming in discharging his duties. If he did so, the information could be passed on to the government so that he demotes Ibn Saad from his post and Shimr may be able to obtain that place for himself.

Ibn Ziyad Rejected Peaceful Negotiation

Ibn Marjana rejected all the proposals Ibn Saad had written to him with regard to a peaceful solution of this problem. He wrote to Ibn Saad as follows:

“I did not send you to al-Husain for you to restrain yourself from fighting him, nor to idle the time away with him, nor to promise him peace and preservation of his life, nor to make excuses for him, nor to be an intercessor on his behalf with me. Therefore see that if Husain and his followers submit to my authority and surrender, you send them to me in peace. If they refuse, then march against them to fight them and to punish them; for they deserve that. If Husain is killed, make the horses trample on his body, both front and back; for he is a disobedient rebel, and I do not consider that this will be in any way wrong after death. But it is my view that you should do this to him if you kill him. If you carry out your command concerning him, we will give you the reward due to one who is attentive and obedient. If you refuse, we withdraw the command of our province and army from you and leave the army to Shimr bin Zil Jaushan. We have given him our
authority. Greetings.”[2]

This extremely acerbic and cruel letter contains the following points:

1. It limited the discretionary power of Ibn Saad with regard to war and fighting and no sort of choice was given to him for making peace or holding discussions with the Imam.

2. There is indication in this letter that if the Imam accepted peace he must submit to the authority of Ibn Marjana so that he may decide what to do; forgive him or put him to death. He wanted the Imam to come to him as a prisoner or a criminal and plead for mercy.

3. If the Imam refuses to surrender to the command of Ibn Ziyad, Ibn Saad was

[1] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/175
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/55, Somewhat similar thing is mentioned in Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/390-391. In Tahdhib al-Kamal 6/428 it is mentioned: Ibne Ziyad wrote to Ibne Saad: “No, and no honor will be there for him till he gives his hand into mine.” Then Husain said: “It shall never be so.”


supposed to immediately put him to death and cut him into pieces.

4. Ibn Ziyad threatened Umar Ibn Saad that he would be stripped of his post if he failed he carry out these commands. After that Shimr bin Zil Jaushan would have the command of all forces and he would carry out the above orders of Ibn Marjana.

Historians say: Ibn Ziyad began his dialogue like this: “Now when our claws cling to him, he hopes for escape but he will be prevented from getting any refuge.”

Shimr set out joyfully and pleased at once. He rode non-stop towards Ibn Saad hoping that he may decline to accept the command of Ibn Ziyad and Shimr would get the chance of being the commander-in-chief. He reached Kerbala to find Ibn Saad bathing in the Euphrates. A man went to him and said, “He sent Juwaira bin Badr Tamimi to you and ordered him to murder you if you refrain from fighting the battle.”

Ibn Saad went to get his clothes and put them on.[1] He glanced at Shimr bin Zil Jaushan and understood that it was his doing. He told him:

“Shame upon you, what is this to you? May God never show favor to your house. May God make abominable what you have brought to me! By God, I did not think that you would cause him to refuse what I had written to him, and ruin for us a matter which we had hoped to set right. Husain will not surrender, for there is a spirit like (his) father’s in his body.”

“Tell me what you are going to do,” demanded Shimr. “Are you going to carry out the governor’s command and fight his enemy or are you going to leave the command of the army to me?”

Ibn Saad fell a prey to his desire and greed and he agreed to carry out the commands of the governor. He said, “No, there is going to be no advantage to you. I will carry that out instead of you.”[2]

Shimr kept Ibn Saad under surveillance just in case he may happen to fall short in carrying out the orders of Ibn Marjana and he (Shimr) may get the command of the army. Ibn Saad conveyed the reply of Ibn Ziyad to the Holy Imam and His Eminence said, “By Allah, I shall never surrender to Ibn Marjana.”[3]

The Imam Meets Ibn Saad

Imam expressed the desire that Ibn Saad comes to meet him. He accepted it unwillingly and met His Eminence at night in a secret meeting attended by none except His Eminence, Abbas and His Eminence, Ali Akbar. Ibn Saad also did not have anyone on his side except Hafs and slave of Ibn Saad. Imam asked him, “O Ibn Saad, would you fight against us? Do you not fear Allah while your return is to Him alone? I am the son of the one you know well. Will you not remain on our side and give up their support, as it would be more liked by Allah?”

[1] Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 5/14
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/391
[3] As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 87


Ibn Saad presented a very lame excuse saying, “I am afraid that my house shall be destroyed.”

“I shall make it again for you.”

“I fear they shall confiscate my orchard.”

“I shall give you a better one in Hijaz.”

“I have a family in Kufa, I am afraid Ibn Ziyad would kill my family.”

Imam did not get any positive reply from him. Rather he found him adamant on injustice and oppression. Thus he cursed him and said, “What will happen to you? Almighty Allah will soon have you decapitated in your bed and He shall not forgive you on the Day of Judgment. By Allah, I hope you will not be able to consume but a little from the wheat of Iraq.”

Ibn Saad went away from there ridiculing the Imam: “Barley is sufficient for me.”[1]

Shimr offers Security to Brothers of His Eminence, Abbas

The degraded leper, Shimr bin Zil Jaushan thought that he could drive a wedge between His Eminence, Husain and his brothers and thus deprive the Imam from their support. Thus he secured a letter of guarantee for them from Ibn Ziyad and came forward quickly. He stood up before them and called out, “Where are the sons of our sister, Abbas and his brothers?”

Those youths rushed out towards him like brave lions and asked him, “What do you want, O son of Zil Jaushan?”

“I am having a guarantee of security for you.”

They shouted angrily at him, “God curse you and curse the security which you offer without offering it to the son of the Apostle of God.”[2]

That criminal returned a failure while he had expected that the Imam’s brothers are his transmogrified friends. He did not know that they were among those incomparable personalities who shaped the nobility of humanity and created the basis for pride for man.

Embargo on Imam’s Entourage

Ibn Saad surrounded Imam Husain from all sides so that he may not receive any outside help and this was carried out with such efficiency that it was impossible for anyone to join the Imam’s camp or convey any sort of help to him.

Access to Euphrates cut off

The most dangerous deed committed by Ibn Saad was cutting off access to tributary of Euphrates because he had received express orders from Ibn Marjana to deprive Imam Husain, his Ahle Bayt and companions from water, like it was done in the case of Uthman bin Affan.

[1] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/175
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/391


He prepared a force consisting of 500 horsemen and according to another report consisting of 4000 horsemen under the command of Amr Ibn Hajjaj. They secured all the tributaries, streams and water holes of Euphrates and thus cut off all access of Imam Husain and his companions to get any water. I feel that this cruel step was taken to achieve the following aims:

First: They cause harm to the Imam’s camp so that there remains no strength in them to fight the battle and the forces of Umar Saad do not face any problem.

Second: In this way they also closed the river route for anyone who may try to join the Imam’s group.

Third: It was apparently to avenge the treatment accorded to Uthman. But the fact was that when Uthman was besieged, it was Imam Husain who had brought water and food for him; but what a pity that Bani Umayyah had even disregarded that favor of His Eminence.

Fourth: Ibn Saad through these steps, hoped that the Imam would be compelled to surrender and accept their orders.

These were some of the factors that motivated Ibn Marjana to issue the command to cut off access to Euphrates and prevent His Eminence, Husain and his companions from getting any water.

Historians have said: “Access to water was cut off for His Eminence, Husain since three days prior to his martyrdom.[1] The most terrible hardship that the Imam experienced was the thirst of young children and ladies and their clamor of “Water! Water!”

Children were not able to bear thirst. Whenever they looked at the Euphrates that was full of water they used to increase their clamor. The Imam’s heart was shocked at this scene and he felt emotional about their pathetic condition. Lips of the children were shriveled and their bodies had weakened. The breast milk of the mothers had dried up while those oppressors were having unlimited access to water.

Noor Jundi says,

“Evil wolves had full access to water while the family of the Prophet were deprived of it.

What injustice it is in the history of man that the heart of the lion had to bear thirst, while he is capable of doing much.

Husain’s children lamented in the desert. O my Lord, render help. What has happened to divine justice?”

All the laws and religions of the world are unanimous that water must not be denied to children and ladies especially the Islamic law is particular that everyone has equal right to pasture lands and water resources. Permission is accorded to

[1] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayaan, Pg. 89, Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/389


drink even from streams owned privately even though the owners may not have accorded their permission. Also, it is considered very detestable to slaughter a thirsty animal. However, the Umayyad army did not care about this matter and they considered all the things decreed unlawful by Shariah to be lawful.

Those cruel people did not even consider the favor the Imam had done to the vanguard under Hurr’s command. It was the group that consisted of 1000 horsemen with Hurr at its leader and it was marching in the desert to find and apprehend the Imam but it ran out of water and was nearly dying of thirst. His Eminence would have let them die of thirst but his magnanimity and nobility could not permit such cruelty. So he ordered his men to provide them all with water, even their beasts; inspite of the fact that His Eminence was in the middle of an arid land and himself in need of water. But those wicked people did not even requite this favor of the Imam. They kept him deprived of water along with the ladies of the house of prophethood and the grandchildren of the Prophet with him.

Decadent Nature

Those transmogrified people who had the control of water under them ridiculed the Imam while they had cut off his access to water. They goaded over this and boasted in a shameless manner; some examples of which are as follows:

1. Muhajir bin Aws

Muhajir bin Aws Tamimi glanced at the Imam and called out loudly, “O Husain, can you see the water sparkling like a snake’s belly? By God, you shall not be able to drink it till you die.”

Imam responded and said, “I hope that Allah may enable me to reach it and prevent you from it.”[1]

2. Amr bin Hajjaj

Amr bin Hajjaj came forward while he was of those who had written to His Eminence, inviting him to Kufa. He came near the Imam’s camp and called out aloud, “This is Euphrates, that dogs dip their snouts in it and donkeys and pigs drink from it. By Allah you will not get a drop of it till you get boiling water of Hell.”[2]

3. Abdullah bin Haseen

Abdullah bin Haseen Azadi came running like a dog to the Imam and asked, “O Husain, do you not see the water that is like the center of sky. By God, you wouldn’t be able to get a single drop till you die of thirst.”

The Holy Imam raised both his hands and prayed, “O Allah, let him die in thirst and do not forgive him.”[3]

Those lowly beasts who had power over water supply were goading over their

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/390
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/390
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/389. As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 86


position so that they may get into the good books of their master, Ibn Marjana and please him in order to gain rewards and allowances from him.

Objection to Ibn Saad

Some companions of Imam Husain and other people also condemned Ibn Saad for denying water access to the beloved grandson of Prophet because it was the most degraded type of revenge while the children of His Eminence, Husain, before their very eyes were dying of thirst. And it happened when there did not exist any cause of revenge except that the Umayyads were contaminated with malice and degradation. Among those who raised objection against Ibn Saad were the following:

1. Yazid bin Haseen

Yazid bin Haseen came out and told Ibn Saad, “This is Euphrates and dogs are drinking from it while Husain, the son of Allah’s Messenger and his Ahle Bayt remain thirsty, while you claim to have recognition of Allah and His Prophet?”

Ibn Saad turned his dirty face down and did not provide any reply.[1]

2. Burair bin Khudhair

Burair bin Khudhair Hamadani went to Ibn Saad and called out aloud, “O Umar, would you leave the family of prophethood to die of thirst, while you have denied them access of Euphrates? While you claim to know Allah and His Messenger!”

Ibn Saad replied, “O Burair, by Allah! Indeed the killer of this group would go to Hell. But if you think that I would leave the governorship of Rayy for someone else, you are wrong, because I can never agree to it.”[2]

3. Hurr

When Hurr joined the Imam’s camp and repented for his past attitude to His Eminence, he set out towards Ibn Saad’s army and in a loud voice said, “O people of Kufa! May your mothers grieve for you. That you have invited and besieged and surrounded him from all sides that he may not go away anywhere else in the wide earth and obtain security for himself and his Ahle Bayt. He is like a hostage in your hands having no choice of his own. He, his ladies, his children and his companions are deprived of Euphrates water by you while Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians drink from it and the dogs and pigs of this area swim in it. They are in a serious condition due to thirst. What type of ill behavior have you resorted to with the progeny of Muhammad after his passing away? May Allah not quench you on the day of thirst.”[3]

This objection had no effect on Ibn Saad and he continued to be adamant on his cruelty and oppression. He continued the embargo on water till the Prophet’s progeny was dying of thirst.

[1] Qirmani, Akhbarud Daul, Pg. 108. Waseelatul Maal fee idda manaqibul Aal, Pg. 290. Matalib al-So-ool 2/36-37
[2] Al Futuh 5/171-172
[3] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/65


Access to a Spring

Thirst tormented the Ahle Bayt and children and ladies began to clamor for water. Imam arose and picked up the pick axe and dug around the tents of ladies. A spring of fresh water erupted and they drank from it. However only a little water came out of it and it dried after sometime. Spies conveyed this information to Ibn Ziyad and he became infuriated. He wrote to Ibn Saad as follows:

“I have been told that Husain is digging wells, obtaining water and he and his companions are drinking from it. Thus take care! As soon as my communication reaches you, as far as possible restrain him from digging wells and be strict with him…”

Ibn Saad deployed men to prevent digging of wells and stationed a large number of sentries and mercenaries along the branch of Euphrates so that none may be able to reach it and drink water from it.[1]

Battle over water supply

When Imam saw his children and Ahle Bayt tormented and wailing for the killing thirst he was deeply disturbed and aggrieved. So he directed his brother, His Eminence, Abul Fazl al-Abbas to bring water. That great stalwart, set out with 30 horsemen and 20 foot soldiers along with 20 water skins. They all moved to the Euphrates while Nafe bin Hilal Muraid was ahead of them.

Amr bin Hajjaj Zubaidi who was in charge of guarding the Euphrates came forward and asked,

“What do you want?”

“We have come to drink from the water that you had deprived us from.”

“Have it.”

“Shall I drink it while Husain and his companions are thirsty?”

“There is no way they could get water. We have been stationed here to keep them away from water.”

Imam’s men paid no heed. They stepped towards the river to fill up the water skins. But Amr bin Hajjaj rushed to them with his soldiers. His Eminence, Abbad and Nafe bin Hilal confronted with them but none of them were killed. After that the Imam’s group filled up the skins with water and turned back to the camp. It is said that they returned with only a little quantity of water.[2] His Eminence, Abbas quenched the thirst of those who were thirsty among the Ahle Bayt and saved them from thirst. From that day he became known as “water carrier”, which is the most famous titles of His Eminence and the one liked by him most.

[1] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 1/244. Al Futuh 5/162, Baghiyatun Nubla
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/389


Habib seeks help from his clan

The famous companion of His Eminence, Husain, Habib bin Mazahir was his most loyal and sincere ally. When he saw the loneliness of the Imam and the unity of oppressive powers to wage a war against His Eminence he sought the Imam’s permission to seek help from his tribe of Bani Asad so that they may fight Jihad on the side of His Eminence. He said, “A group of Bani Asad people reside in this area as nomads. They are located at Nahreen, a short distance from our camp. Do you permit me to go and call them for help, Perhaps through them the Almighty God would give you some benefit or remove your affliction?”

Imam accorded him permission. He went towards them as soon as possible and addressed them, “I invite you towards nobility of the hereafter, its virtues and great reward. I call you towards the help of the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah as he is right now in a difficult situation. People of Kufa invited him offering their support. But when he arrived to them they withdrew support and have come to slay him.”

Seventy persons[1] accepted his invitation. Abdullah bin Bushr Asadi was one of them. He said, “I am the first to accept this call.” Then he recited the following war poem:

“When people take a decision they know. And when the riders halt or fall into a hardship.

I am a brave warrior and a valiant one. As if a roaring lion in the den.”[2]

They marched forward to join the Imam but a spy of Ibn Saad was present in that meeting who rushed back to inform about these developments. He dispatched a troop under the command of Jabla bin Umar and it prevented the Bani Asad volunteers to join the Imam. Habib returned aggrieved and informed the Imam about what had happened. His Eminence said, “Exceeding thanks to the Almighty Allah.”[3]

Imam along with his companions passed through extremely difficult circumstances due to the forced detention awaiting that terrible event that was to befall them in the desert of Kerbala.

With the two Encampments

On the pure desert of the land of Kerbala, the powers of betrayal confronted the soldiers of God and the seeds of monotheism. They fought those whose hearts the Almighty Allah had opened up for faith while they were absolutely convinced of their rightfulness...on the other hand their enemies were involved in bewilderment and confusion. They fought with complete awareness of their deviation and misguidance. Here we are compelled to pause for a moment and discuss in some more detail about these two groups.

[1] And in a report, ninety persons
[2] Part two of Baghiyatun Nubla
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/388


Husain’s Camp

The Imam’s camp displayed humanistic nobility and expressed lofty values and great thinking, such that every righteous person obtains a gem from their high values. And it is sufficient for them that they have become immortal in the pages of history. Because of all the families of martyrs of the world none could equal in nobility, loyalty and sacrifice in the path of justice, the martyrs of Kerbala. Here we shall point out some signs of their aims and their personal traits.

Noble Aims

Those noble aims they had taken as their chief slogan and that valor and faith for which they were taking part in this confrontation were as follows:

1. Defense of Islam

The companions of the Imam stood up with sincerity and faith to defend Islam and protect its principles which had been ignored by the Umayyad regime. And in this regard they acted in the best way and with most outstanding sincerity and there are numerous instances deserving of pride. For example, His Eminence, Abbas, who was the nearest relative of the Imam, he did not act on the basis of his brotherly affection and ties of relationship. Whatever sacrifices he offered, they were on the basis of his firm faith in defense of Islam and the support of an Imam of Muslims whose love and obedience was made incumbent upon all people by Allah. He expressed this in the battlefield when the enemies had cut off his right hand. He said:

“By Allah, even though they have cut off my right hand I would continue to defend my religion.

And go on defending the Imam, whom I really believe to be the rightful Imam and the son of the pure trustworthy Prophet.”

The war poem of Abbas clearly shows that His Eminence had not performed Jihad due to his brotherly relationship with Imam Husain. It was due to his concern for the defense of religion and support of the rightful Imam which he truly believed in. People other than His Eminence, Abbas have also announced this reality.

His Eminence, Aba Abdillah had nourished them with his spirit and guidance and dressed them up with his morals and manners in such a way that their souls had distanced from the material world and their bodies had separated from worldly matters. Their hearts and emotions had become free of the activities of life...because what teacher is like Husain? Which school is as inspiring as his school of thought? Can the generations of the world create such faith in Almighty Allah and such sincerity for truth?


2. In defense of Imam Husain

Another special aim of the companions of the Imam was their concern for the defense of His Eminence from those beasts who had come together to slay the Holy Imam. The Imam’s companions sacrificed their lives for their loyalty and sincerity to His Eminence and through this they set outstanding examples of loyalty. For example when Muslim bin Ausaja, the famous companion of the Imam set out to the battlefield, while his body had been wounded by swords and spears and he fell down fighting, the Imam went to him accompanied by Habib bin Mazahir at a time when Muslim was in his last moments in pain of death. Habib told him to make his bequest about that which was important for him. He said in a soft grievous voice, “I will you to defend him”, pointing towards the Imam, “and sacrifice your life upon him.”[1]

What loyalty is so capable to be a cause of pride and esteem? He imparted important lessons in loyalty with regard to truth, to the coming generations, because when he was in the last moments of his life and the hiccups of death were upon his chest, at that time also he displayed no concern save the defense of the Imam and he had abandoned every other thing connected with this life.

This great warrior is Suwaid bin Abi Muta, who is the most outstanding martyr and the most sincere of them in loyalty. When he fell down wounded in the battlefield, the enemies left him thinking that he was dead. They did not attack him anymore. When he heard shouts that the Imam has been killed, he could not keep still and save his life; he stood up immediately and wanted his sword but he found that it had been plundered. So he tried to get hold of something with which he could fight Jihad with them. He got hold of a knife. He picked it up and used it to stab the enemies. They were terrified of him, thinking that the dead were becoming alive again to restart Jihad. And when they realized that it wasn’t so, they turned to him and slew him. This loyalty of the companions of the Imam indeed continued to the final moments of their life.

Such a loyalty was not restricted to men. Ladies who were present in the field of fighting also possessed this condition, for example a woman used to come to her son and implore him to be martyred in the service of Imam. Wives also rushed to their husbands to ask them to defend Imam, while they did not care for their afflictions, like the death of their sons or that they would have wear the dress of mourning.

It is extremely surprising that even the children of the family of prophethood used to come forward and kiss the hands and feet of the Holy Imam seeking his permission to achieve martyrdom. Among them was Abdullah Ibn Hasan, who was only twelve. When he saw that enemies had gathered to slay his uncle, he could not rest still. He came running but his aunt Zainab came forward to stop him. However, he ran away from her till he reached his uncle when Abjar bin Kaab had

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/435-436


raised his sword to hit the Imam. The boy screamed at him, “O degraded man, would you slay my uncle?” That dirty beast rushed to the little boy and aimed his sword at his outstretched hands almost severing them from his body.[1] The boy fell into the lap of his uncle. Harmala shot a cruel arrow upon him and killed him in the bosom of his uncle. The lad tasted death in the way of His Eminence...

Examples greater than those of the companions of His Eminence and his Ahle Bayt are not found in pages of history.

3. Saving the community from oppression

Among the aims of the camp of Imam Husain was the emancipation of Muslim community from oppression of Umayyads and their injustice, because they had spread injustice and filled up the world of Islam with mischief. Companions of the Imam arose to destroy that system and to restore the Islamic government. We have already stated this matter in a separate topic during our discussion on the causes of Imam’s revolution.

4. Incomparable natures

Companions of His Eminence, Husain were imbued with a noble nature and they were more distinguished from other people in the following aspects:

A. Nobility and Self-respect

Among the personal qualities of those noble men was nobility and self-respect, because they had accepted death in the way of their nobility. The chief of the nobles, His Eminence, Imam Husain says, “I do not see death except as a success. And I do not consider living with oppressors as nothing but deception.” And his righteous son, His Eminence, Ali Akbar has recited in his war poem of the day of Ashura:

“I am Ali bin Husain bin Ali. By the Lord of the Kaaba, we are more deserving of the Prophet. By Allah, this son of the evil man cannot rule over us.”

Imam Husain had cast the ray of his soul on his companions and Ahle Bayt and they welcomed death with honor, respect and nobility.

B. Valor and Steadfastness

Another quality prominent in the Imam’s camp was courage, because they were incomparable warriors of the world. Inspite of their few numbers they displayed untold determination against their numerous foes and caused them terrible harms and serious hardships.

The English historian, Percy Skies says: “Imam Husain and his group of few companions were determined by their firm resolve to face death. And they fought with such valor and courage that to this day no other fighters have earned our astonishment and praise so much.”[2]

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/450-451
[2] Percy Skies, History of Iran


Imam dressed them with spirituality and revolutionary zeal and it is natural that the personality of the leader is an important effect on imparting spirituality to the soldiers. Because the mechanism of leadership is instrumental in taking forward the warriors in the battlefield.[1] And the companions of the Imam with a firm determination, without any fear of hardships and hurdles fell upon the Umayyad forces till the earth became constricted for that army and a majority of them resorted to flight. A mercenary of Ibn Ziyad condemned the man who had persuaded him to join this campaign and said:

“It was the most difficult thing in the world that if you had seen what we saw, you would also have done what we did. A group pounced upon us while their hands were upon their swords. Like ferocious lions who were killing mounted fighters on their right and left. They were throwing themselves upon death, not prepared to accept security and not having any desire for wealth. There was nothing between them and death, not even the lure of rulership. Thus if they had got hold of us they would have eliminated all the soldiers of our army. Then what we could have done, may your mother die?”[2]

Kaab bin Jabir Azadi was among the soldiers of Ibn Ziyad who killed the great Qari (reciter of Quran) of Kufa, Burair bin Khudhair and who also had a hand in the Imam’s killing. In a poetical composition of his, he has glorified the valor of the companions of the Holy Imam as follows:

“Make inquiries, so that you may be informed about me, and of that time when you were condemned. That day when Husain was present there and the spears were drawn out.

But I did not do at all what you didn’t want and that which I did on that day, it has not affected me in anyway.

With me was a spear that could not break. And the sword drawn out that I had sharpened at both the edges.

Against the group whose religion was not the same as mine, I caught them as I had faith in Muawiyah.

I fought with swords in the battle such that whoever may defend with obligatory actions will be successful.

They would have been steadfast before the swords and spears and continued to fight if that action had been beneficial.

So tell Abdullah that whenever you see him that I am the obedient one of the caliph.

I killed Burair and after that I attacked Abu Munqadh when he came to confront me.”

[1] Nizami, Ilmun Nafs 1/36
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 3/263


Kaab has revealed his extreme surprise at the bravery of the companions of the Imam; because neither he nor anyone else had ever witnessed such a kind of steadfastness and valor. Those who were patient in front of the strikes of swords, wounds of spears and death. And of their incomparable courage, according to what historians have said was that none of them resorted to flight and all of them were killed while confronting and none in retreat. They displayed the highest limit of possibility in valor, bravery, steadfastness, rightfulness of intention and strength of determination for the support of the Imam and defense of His Eminence; in such a way that Amr bin Hajjaj Zubaidi advised against fighting them and told the people of Kufa:

“Do you know against whom you are fighting? You are fighting against the knights of this land and the owners of perceptions. Against the people who are in pursuit of death and none of you would attack them but that in spite of their meager numbers you shall be killed.”[1]

His statement has mentioned qualities that were apparent in them; of them were the following:

- They were knights of the people of Kufa, or rather of the complete Arab region.

- They were having living consciences and wakeful souls that they stepped forward to help the Imam with full awareness, and not in greed of wealth or position.

- They were fighting the battle to achieve martyrdom and had no hope from worldly life. Through this they were most capable to make their enemies retreat; however they (the enemies) had been deceived and defrauded by greed.

Regarding their unsurpassed bravery, Aqqad says: “Accompanying Husain were the best knights of Arabs and each of them were famous for their valor, daring, sharp shooting and sword fighting. But it was certain that they would not be earning any fame or praise in accompanying the Imam, because at that time conditions were such that they were only expected to face death boldly.”[2]

It is clear that none of the companions of the Holy Imam had greed for any worldly benefit and none desired anything except the rewards of Allah and success of the Hereafter...

Elements constituting the Imam’s Army

The Imam’s army consisted of two main elements which were as follows:

A. Bondsmen

Bondsmen were having a firm relationship to Imam Husain due to the equitable manner with which His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen had dealt with them. And if conditions had been favorable a large number of them would have joined the Imam. The Imam’s army had the following persons from the

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/432-435
[2] Abu Shohda, Pg. 215


slave class:

1. Sulaiman, slave of His Eminence, Husain.

2. Qaarib Daili, slave of His Eminence, Husain.

3. Harith bin Nab-haan, slave of Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib.

4. Sahah, slave of His Eminence, Husain.[1]

5. Aamir bin Muslim, slave of Saalim.

6. Jabir bin Hajjaj, slave of Aamir bin Nahshal.

7. Saad, slave of Umar bin Khalid Saidawi.

8. Raafe, slave of Ahle Shanwa.

9. Shauzab, slave of Shakir bin Abdullah Hamadani Shakiri[2]

10. Aslam Turki, slave of His Eminence, Husain.[3]

11. Jaun, slave of Abu Zar Ghiffari.[4]

12. Zaahir, slave of Amr bin Khuzai.[5]

These were bondsmen who had precedence over freemen as far as their nobility and their decision to support the truth was concerned, because they succeeded in helping the Chief of the youths of Paradise and earned martyrdom in the service of His Eminence.

B. Arabs

The rest of the companions of His Eminence, Husain were of Arab linage and most of them were residents of Kufa, and from Basra, except for a few, none were martyred with His Eminence. In the same way from Hijaz, the great companion, Anas bin Harith Kahili joined His Eminence.

Here we conclude our discussion about the qualities and composition of the Imam’s army.

Umayyad Troops

As for the Umayyad troops, they consisted of trust betrayers and conscience-sellers, such that not a single noble inclination was found among them. In the same way, without any doubt, they were certain that they were in misguidance and deviated from the rightful path…some of their qualities were as follows:

1. Aimlessness

The most prominent sign of these mercenaries was that they were absolutely devoid of any kind of aim and determination. Because most of them – according to

[1] Hisan bin Bakr Hanzali killed him.
[2] Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/121-122
[3] Ayanush Shia 1/126
[4] Biharul Anwar 45/22
[5] Manaqib, Ibne Shahr Aashob, 4/113


historians – were such that their hearts were with the Imam and their swords were against His Eminence! They had come to fight one in whose rightfulness they believed and they knew that it was only he who could realize their aims and aspirations. If they had an iota of understanding and perception they would have sacrificed their hearts and souls upon him. And that was after they had pledged oath of fealty to the Almighty that they would support and defend him; in spite of this they betrayed the trust.

2. Confusion and Anxiety

Confusion and self betrayal had most of the soldiers of the Umayyad army in its clutches; because they knew that they had fallen into the abyss of falsehood and that His Eminence, Husain and his companions were on the path of rightfulness. As described by Shabth bin Rabi, one of their senior officers and leaders, that:

“I fought on the side of Ali bin Abi Talib and his son, Hasan and after that for five years I served in the army of Abu Sufyan’s family. Then we wreaked oppression on his (Ali’s) son, who is the best of men on the earth. We fought against him on the side of family of Muawiyah and son of Sumaiyyah, the fornicatress. It is deviation and what a deviation? By God! The Almighty Allah will never bestow goodness on the people of this land and He shall never give them success.”

These words describe the level of internal anxiety that had taken over Shabth bin Rabi and without any doubt there were hundreds of people like him who inwardly condemned themselves for having fought against the beloved grandson of Allah’s Messenger. In the same way many of them avoided taking part in martial activities. Just as Amr bin Hajjaj Zubaidi noticed these matters regarding them and addressed them as follows: “Do not fall into doubt in fighting against one, who has left the religion.”

Among the signs of their bewilderment was that none of them have been quoted to say anything about their aims and objectives in this war in their war poems[1] because their mouths were shut and their tongues had become dumb. On the other hand the war poems recited by the companions of Imam Husain and his Ahle Bayt were such that they state the aims and principles for which they were martyred…Singing war poems was a practice of those days and the warriors used to recite them during the battle boasting about their own valor and strength and threatening to eliminate their enemies or force them to retreat.

Reciting of war poems, in this way, was a weapon of war upon which relied the warriors of that time in the same way as they relied on the tools of warfare like the sword, arrows and spears. During the battle of Jamal, Ayesha’s supporters sang about their aim in taking part in the battle to be in defense of their mother and the

[1] Ibne Habib says: Arabs recited Rajaz in battles to drive camels, to boast of their valor and achievements and for other things. This matter is mentioned in Aghani 18/164.


companions of the Imam, in their recitations spoke of their defense of His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen and described it to be a religious duty, like it was in the battle of Siffeen.

However in the battle of Kerbala, it is noteworthy that not a single line of a war poem has been quoted from any of the men of the Umayyad army or that they mentioned it by way of testimony or example. This is a proof of their confusion and their self-condemnation because all of them were aware with awareness devoid of any misunderstanding or denial that what an infamy they have committed. How they had sunk in falsehood and were submerged in misguidance.

3. Recklessness

A large group of the army men of the Umayyad forces were famous for sinfulness and crime, because they were those who constantly imbibed wine. Historians say: “All those who carried the severed heads of the martyrs to Damascus, drank wine all the way.” In the previous discussions we have explained about their well-known qualities in lying and impiety in religion.

Here we conclude our discussion about some qualities of that army.

Elements of the Army

The Umayyad troops were composed of the following elements:

1. Opportunists

They were those who for greed or fear of the regime joined the army and who were in constant pursuit of their personal gains. In their behavior and actions they gave no preference to rightfulness and were only after their own benefits. Such persons comprised a large group in Ibn Ziyad’s camp and they were entrusted with important posts in the army. They were of the likes of Ibn Saad, Hijar bin Abjar, Shabth bin Rabi, Shimr bin Zil Jaushan, Qais bin Ashath, Yazid bin Harith and others, who had permanently divorced righteousness and not a single act of goodness was seen throughout their lives. They were only known to afflict harm upon others.

2. Mercenaries

A major part of the Umayyad troops consisted of men who had been lured to join the battle by greed of war booty. As soon as the Imam was martyred they rushed forward to plunder his belongings and such was the level of their decadence that they did not even spare the ornaments of the noble ladies of the family of prophethood. They pillaged all the clothes and weapons of the martyred people. Historians say: “They looted all the garments of His Eminence, Husain and left him absolutely unclothed. We shall explain this in more detail in the discussion about the actual martyrdom of the Holy Imam.

3. The Transmogrified

Among the elements that constituted the Umayyad camp were the transmogrified persons. They were such that their breasts were full of malice and enmity towards


one and all, and their most important tendency was to shed blood unjustly and rushing towards crimes in response to the call of evil which had been deeply rooted in their souls.

Those oppressors from the transmogrified ones were in constant pursuit of criminal deeds and they competed with each other in putting to death young children and tormenting the ladies of Ahle Bayt. And they also gloated about their misdeeds and shameful acts. Of such decadent beasts were Shimr bin Zil Jaushan, Harmala bin Kahil, Hakeem bin Tufail Tai, Sinan bin Anas, Amr bin Hajjaj and other rejected dogs like them. Historians have researched the names of some of them who displayed such cruelty in Kerbala that even beasts and dogs would wish to be aloof from them.

4. The Compelled Ones

Another group in the army consisted of those who were compelled to join the battle against the Imam. They were forced into this by the regime of the governor, while their loyalties and feelings were in favor of the Holy Imam, except that their fearfulness and weakness has prevented them from joining the Imam’s camp. These people did not take part in the actual fighting. They instead prayed to the Almighty that may He send his help to the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah. One of such characters was even condemned for his attitude and was told, ‘Instead of praying, why don’t you go ahead and help and defend him?’[1] Without any doubt, they had committed a great sin and are deemed to have a share in the criminal acts of mercenaries, because they did not do anything to save the Imam and defend him against the oppressors.

5. Khawarij

One of the elements of the army that came out to fight against the Holy Imam was the Khawarij. They were the most inimical persons towards the family of the Prophet, because Imam Amirul Momineen had fought against them in the battle of Nahrawan and thus they competed with each other in the battle of Kerbala to seek their revenge by eliminating the Purified Progeny.

These were some elements that constituted the troops of Ibn Ziyad. In one of the Ziarats of His Eminence, Imam Husain they are described as follows: “And they united on him – on fighting the Imam – those whom the world had deceived and who sold their benefit in the least price and lost their hereafter in exchange of a lowly price and they fell into destruction in their selfish desires.”[2]

We conclude here our discussion regarding the camps of Imam Husain and Ibn Ziyad so that we may fully understand the main features of that immortal tragedy in the world of sorrows.

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 1/1
[2] Mafatihul Jinan, Pg. 468 Ziarat Arbaeen

# Immortal Tragedy

No community from the communities has faced a more painful calamity and more grievous tragedy than the tragedy of Kerbala. Because there was no difficulty from the problems of the day or a tragedy from the tragedies of the world that did not pass upon the grandson of the Prophet and his beloved one…the calamities of His Eminence have saddened the emotions and injured the feelings to such an extent that even those who are less emotional or even the hard hearted people among them were moved by the terrible events. So much so that even Umar bin Saad, that decadent oppressor was also affected and he also wept upon the horrifying troubles and terrible circumstances of His Eminence. In the tragedy of Kerbala the respect of the Holy Prophet was defiled due to their behavior towards his Purified Progeny.

Imam Reza has said, “The day Husain was martyred our eyes were injured and our relatives were dishonored…”

Here we shall present the portions of that immortal tragedy in the world of sorrows and painful tragedies and the events contemporary to that time.

Beginning of Hostilities

The oppressive powers marched forward to begin the battle, with their hearts filled with mischief, malice and enmity towards the Purified Progeny, who were restorers of the rights of the persecuted and oppressed people and those who always strived to establish truth.

Vanguard of Ibn Saad’s troops marched forward on Thursday at the time of late afternoon on 9th Mohurrum to fight the Holy Imam because strict orders had arrived from Ibn Ziyad for the Commander-in-Chief to make haste in the battle so that the views of soldiers may not change and there may not appear some groups in their ranks.

When that army began to move forward, His Eminence was seated outside his tent with his sword placed on his knees. He had dozed off. His sister heard the clamor from the enemy’s ranks. She came to him and said, “My brother, don’t you hear the sounds which are getting nearer?”

“I have just seen the Apostle of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, in my sleep,” said al-Husain as he raised his head. “He said to me: ‘You are coming to us.’”

His sister struck at her face and cried out in grief.[1]

“You have no (reason) to lament, sister,” al-Husain told her. “Be quiet, may God have mercy on you.”

Then he turned to Abbas bin Ali, “Brother, the enemy have come, so get ready; but

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/56


first, Abbas, you, yourself, ride out to meet them, to talk to them about what they have in mind and what appears appropriate to them and to ask about what has brought them against us.”

Abbas went towards them with about twenty horsemen, among whom was Zuhair b. al-Qain.[1]

“How do you see (the situation)?” he asked. “What do you want?”

“The command of the governor has arrived that we should offer you the opportunity of submitting to his authority, otherwise we must attack you,” they answered.

“Do not hurry to do anything until I have gone back to Abu Abd Allah and told him what you have said,” Abbas requested.

They stopped where they were and told him: “Go to him and inform him, and tell us what he says to you.”

Abbas went galloping back to al Husain to give him the information.[2]

Now Habib bin Mazahir addressed those men reminding them about the Hereafter and dispensed them good advice. He said, “By Allah, the worst people to meet the Almighty Allah and His Prophet tomorrow would be those who have killed the Progeny of the Prophet and his partisans; those who spend their days and nights in Allah’s remembrance.”

Azra bin Qais replied to him saying, “O Ibn Mazahir, do you claim to be purified?”

Zuhair bin Qain glanced at him and said, “O son of Qais, fear Allah, and do not be of those who help misguidance and falsehood and slay the Purified Progeny of the foremost Prophet.”[3]

Azra told him, “You were a follower of Uthman in our opinion, what has happened to you?”

Zuhair said, “By Allah, I did not write to Husain and I did not send any messenger to him. But I met him on the way. When I saw him I was reminded of Allah’s Messenger and I understood what disloyalty and betrayal of trust you are committing. I saw you inclined towards the material world and I decided to help him, and join his entourage so that I may defend the rights of the Messenger of Allah that you have trespassed.”

Abbas came to the Imam and told him what the enemy had said.[4]

“Go back to them,” he said, “If you can, delay them until the morning and persuade them to keep from us during the evening. Then, perhaps, we

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/322. Tabari, Tarikh 5/416
[2] Al Futuh 5/177
[3] Al Futuh 5/177
[4] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/392


may be able to pray to our Lord during the night to call upon Him and seek His forgiveness. He knows that I have always loved His formal prayer, the recitation of His Book and (making) many invocations to Him, seeking His forgiveness.”

His Eminence, Abbas returned to them and conveyed the message of his brother. Ibn Saad sought the counsel of Shimr in this matter for he feared that if he accepted it of his own accord, Shimr may report the matter to Ibn Ziyad because he was a spy of the governor on Ibn Saad. Or that if Ibn Ziyad were to blame him for giving respite he could claim that even Shimr was an ally in that decision.

Anyway, Shimr did not offer any suggestion and the matter was left to the discretion of Ibn Saad.

Amr bin Hajjaj Zubaidi condemned their refusal to accept Imam’s offer and said, “Glory be to Allah! By God, if the Dailam has put forth such a request you’d have found them worthier to be granted their wish.”[1]

In his statement the son of Hajjaj did not elaborate the subject and state that they were the Progeny of the Prophet lest the matter be reported to Ibn Marjana and he may be considered to be inclined towards Ahle Bayt. Thus earning disgrace from the governor and be deprived from material gains…

Ibn Ashath supported the view of son of Hajjaj and said to Ibn Saad, “Accept their proposal. By my life, tomorrow they shall be fighting against you.”

Ibn Ashath said this because he was under the impression that the Imam was inclined towards submission to Ibn Ziyad that is why he was asking for respite. However when he realized that the Imam was determined to fight it out, he regretted his words saying, “By Allah, if I knew that they would act in that way, I would never have accorded them any respite.”[2]

Ibn Ashath considered his own ethics and the ethics of Kufians to be a standard against which to judge people. And he was of the view that the Imam will accept humiliation and disgrace and turn away from completing his mission. He did not know that the Imam had inherited his existence and all his attitudes from his Holy grandfather.

Battle delayed till the morning next

After most commanders expressed willingness to postpone hostilities, Ibn Saad issued the permission to give respite till the next day. He told one of his men to announce this to the Imam’s camp. He came to the Imam’s encampments and called out, “O Companions of Husain bin Ali, we will grant you a day until tomorrow. Then if you surrender, we will send you to our governor, Ubaidullah bin Ziyad but if you refuse we will not leave you (any longer).”[3]

Battle was postponed till 10th of Mohurrum and companions of Ibn Saad waited for the next day to see if the Imam would agree to surrender to their demands or not.

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/57. Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/392
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/392
[3] Al Futuh 5/179


Imam permitted his companions to go away

Imam gathered his companions and Ahle Bayt on the eve of 10th Mohurrum and asked them to go away anywhere from there and leave him alone to his destiny. His Eminence wanted to make them aware of his real position. So he told them:

“I glorify God with the most perfect glorification and I praise Him in happiness and misfortune. O God, I praise You for blessing us with prophethood, teaching us the Quran and making us understand the religion. You have given us hearing, sight and hearts, and have made us among those who give thanks (to You). I know of no followers more loyal and more virtuous than my followers, nor of any House more pious and more close-knit than my House. May God reward you well on my behalf. Indeed, I do not think that there will be any further days left to us by these men. I permit you to leave me. All of you go away with the absolution of your oath to follow me, for there will be no further obligation on you from me. This is a night whose darkness will give cover to you. Use it as a camel (i.e. ride away in it).

And each of you take the hand of one person from my family – so that the Almighty Allah bestows each of you a mighty reward – After that you spread out in the land till the time the Almighty makes the conditions favorable because these people do not want anyone except me and if they are able to get me they will not go after anyone else.”[1]

These valuable statements display the greatness of faith. It shows the style of thinking of the Holy Imam who was the guide of human perfections because in this delicate moment he had removed every type of doubt from them and made his helpers and family members fully aware of the circumstances, that showed that the definite result would be getting killed and laying down of lives as there was nothing else besides it…And he would have liked that they left him and went away

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/57-58. Ibne Jauzi, Muntazim 5/337-338 have mentioned the statement of the Imam in another way; because it has some in Maqtal Husain by Abdullah, Awalim 17/346-347 that His Eminence said: You are free from my allegiance, so join your family and friends. And he said to his Ahle Bayt: I permit you to leave me; because due to your small numbers do not have the capacity to face their huge number and except for me they do not want anyone else. So leave me for them as the Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime will help me and not deprive me of His good opinion; in the same way as He has done with the former ones. Thus some people from his camp left him but his Ahle Bayt said: We shall not leave you, whatever aggrieves you aggrieves us and whatever would befall you shall also befall upon us. We shall always remain with you, we shall be most proximate to the Almighty Allah. His Eminence told them: If you have prepared yourself for that which
I have decided, you should know that the Almighty Allah bestows a lofty position to His servants for bearing hardships and if the Almighty Allah has reserved for me the honor that He has reserved for those of my family who have passed away – I am the last of their survivors – if I be bestowed with special bounties it would be easy to bear unwanted hardships and some of the honors of the Almighty Allah shall be there for you also. And know that the world is a sweet and bitter dream and the waking shall be in the hereafter and he is successful that shall be successful there and unfortunate is one that shall be unfortunate there.”


from him in the darkness of the night as their veil. Perhaps they may be ashamed to go away in daylight or that they may be afraid of him. So he himself released them from the pledges they had given him and he informed them that he was personally the actual target of those wild beasts. Such that if they are able to get him would did not have any other demand.[1]

Reply of Ahle Bayt of Imam Husain

The Imam had not yet concluded his discourse that his purified and chosen family members stood up and announced that they have selected the very path they were treading on and they would not go any other way. All of them said tearfully, “We will not leave you to make ourselves continue living after your passing away. May God never let us see such a thing.”

Abbas bin Ali was the first of them to make this declaration. Then the (whole) group followed him, (all) declaring the same thing.

“Sons of Aqil” said Husain, “enough of your family has been killed. So go away as I have permitted you.”

“Glory be to God,” they replied, “What would the people say? They would say that we deserted our Shaykh, our lord, the sons of our uncle, who was the best of uncles; that we had not shot arrows alongside them, we had not thrust spears alongside them, we had not struck swords alongside them. (At such an accusation) we do not know what we would do. No, by God, we will not do such a thing. Rather we will ransom you with our lives, property and families. We will fight for you until we reach your destination. May God make life abominable (for us) after your (death).”

Reply of Companions of Imam Husain

The companions of Imam Husain were brimming with faith because Aba Abdillah, in their view was having the loftiest principles, inclined towards virtue and eager to march towards the truth. And also that His Eminence was not in any pursuit of post, wealth or position. Rather he had left everything for the sole benefit of the community and religion. This matter had affected the depths of their consciences. And he had considered life worthless and was ridiculing death. Therefore they declared their loyalty and devotion to His Eminence. The following are some of their statements:

1. Muslim bin Ausaja

Muslim bin Ausaja, with tears flowing on his cheeks, came forward and told the Imam:

“Could we leave you alone? How should we excuse ourselves before God concerning the performance of our duty to you? By God, I will stab them with my spear until it breaks, I will strike them with my sword as long as the hilt is in my hand. If I have no weapon left to fight them with, I will throw stones at them. Till the time I am killed with you.”

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/419. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/57-58


These statements spoke of the depth of his faith. He was convinced that he held responsibility before God for defending the beloved son of the Prophet and he would be questioned about it. And that he shall employ all his capacities to defend His Eminence.

2. Saeed bin Abdullah

Saeed bin Abdullah Hanafi began to speak and announced his sincere loyalty regarding the Imam saying:

“By God we will never leave you until God knows that we have preserved through you the company of his Apostle in his absence. By God, if I knew that I would die and then be revived and then burnt and then revived, and then scattered, and that would be done to me seventy times, I would never leave you until I met my death fighting on your behalf. So how could I do it when there can only be one death, which is a great blessing which can never be rejected?”

In the dictionary of loyalty there is no greater loyalty and more truthful than this as he aspires to be killed 70 times so that he may be sacrificed on the Imam and he may succeed in saving the honor of Allah’s Messenger. Now why should he not consider death in this way good, while it is not more than once and after which is such respectability that has no end.

3. Zuhair bin Qain

Zuhair bin Qain also spoke up on the lines of his brother in faith. He said, “By God, I would prefer to be killed and then recalled to life; and then be killed a thousand times in this manner; and that in this way God, the Mighty and Exalted, should protect your life and the lives of these young men of your House.”

These warriors had reached up to the level of such a great daring that no man has ever reached. They have imparted a praiseworthy lesson in loyalty on the path of truth.

Other companions spoke in similar veins, one after the other. Imam Husain prayed to Allah to reward them well[1] and then informed them emphatically that all of them shall be martyred. They called out in unison, “Thanks be to Allah, that He favored us with being your helpers and honored us by martyrdom in your company. Should we not be elated that we shall also live in your level in your company, O son of the Messenger of Allah?”

The Imam tested them and found them to be the most selected ones in rightfulness and loyalty. Their souls were illuminated by the effulgence of faith and free from all worldly attachments and they had become certain that they would be going to the garden of Perpetuity. According to historians they were eager for martyrdom so that they may qualify for the bounties of the Hereafter.

[1] Al Muntazim 5/338. Tabari, Tarikh 5/419-420


The Imam exposes the Deception of Kufians

Imam told his companions how the Kufians had deceived His Eminence by writing to him and inviting him to Kufa. He said, “They wrote to me only to deceive me and get into the good books of Muawiyah’s son.”[1]

Letters sent by most people of Kufa to Imam were sent on the directions of Yazid so that the Imam may come to them and be eliminated. And they had not written to His Eminence on the basis of faith or with the aim for justice.

With Muhammad bin Bashir

Among the companions of the Holy Imam, the one who had reached the highest ranks of faith was one Muhammad bin Bashir Hadhrami. He received the news that his son has been taken a hostage in Rayy. He said, “I do not like that he remains a prisoner and I should continue to live after him. Imam by his statements thought that he wanted to get his son freed. Therefore he accorded him permission to go and get his son released. Imam said, “You are free, go and try to get your son freed.”

That great warrior announced his true resolve to continue in the service of the Holy Imam and sacrifice himself upon His Eminence, “May the wild beasts devour me alive, if I leave you…”[2]

Is it not the truest example of deep faith and great loyalty in the path of Imams? That they loved him and had sincerity regarding him and considered death to be nothing for his sake?

Firaas Makhzoomi Flees

Firaas bin Judah Makhzoomi was a close relative of Imam because his father Judah’s mother was Umme Hani, daughter of Abu Talib. He was among those who had written to His Eminence, Husain to rise up against the Umayyads during the lifetime of Muawiyah and he had joined the Imam at Mecca. He was with the Imam so far, till they reached Iraq. But when he saw the hardships and conglomeration of troops against the Imam he became afraid and was frightened of fighting. He was completely filled with awe. Imam asked him what was troubling him and gave him permission to go away in the dark of the night and he fled from there[3] and he could not achieve martyrdom[4] like some other people also who resorted to flight and could not prove themselves to be helpers of the Imam.

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/393
[2] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/182. Tahzib al-Kamal, 6/407. Biography of Imam Husain from Tabaqat Ibne Saad, Pg. 70
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/388
[4] Her Eminence, Sakina has narrated: “I heard my father say to someone who was with him: You came with me as you knew that I have come to those who have pledged allegiance to me by heart and by tongue and that you now see that Shaitan has overpowered them and they have left the remembrance of Allah and they have no intention except to kill me and anyone who performs Jihad with me and I fear that you had not expected this or known about this and you are not dispersing from me due to shame. And deceit and fraud is unlawful for us, Ahle Bayt, thus whoever doesn’t want to support us, this night is veil for them, so (you may) go away.
Sakina said: They were ten and twenty persons who dispersed and except for less than eighty persons none remained with His Eminence.” This is mentioned in the second volume of Baghiyatun Nubla.


The Imam did not allow martyrdom for Sinful persons

Tibrani has reported that the Imam instructed a person to make the following announcement among the people who accompanied him, “Anyone who is having a debt upon him must not be killed with us.” So a man from his companions stood up and said to His Eminence, “A dept is payable upon me and my wife has stood surety for it.”

His Eminence said, “How can a woman stand as a surety?”[1]

Imam wanted the martyrdom achievers with him to be pious people free from liabilities towards others. However here exists doubt because in this case the Imam has not accepted the surety of the wife for debt payable on the husband while there is unanimity in laws of Shariah as to the validity of the surety of the wife regarding monies, etc. and her equality with men in this regard. In our view the last sentence of the above mentioned report must have been a fabrication because Balazari has mentioned this report but not quoted the statement of that man that he was having a debt upon him and that his wife has given surety for it.

The Imam speaks about his death

Imam came to his tent and began to search for his sword, then began to prepare it for use, while he was reciting the following couplets:

“Time, shame on you as a friend! At the day’s dawning and the sun’s setting,

How many a companion or seeker will be a corpse! Time will not be satisfied with any substitute.

The matter will rest with the Mighty One, and every living creature will have to journey along my path.”

By these couplets the Imam described his death to be the death of a noble man, while Imam Zainul Abideen and Her Eminence, Zainab were inside the tent. When Imam Zainul Abideen heard the words of his father he understood what he wanted, thus he controlled his tears and remained silent and on the basis of what he said – he knew that tribulation had come upon them. However when the lady of Bani Hashim heard these lines she became agitated and knew that her beloved brother was determined to confront death and had decided to move towards martyrdom. Therefore she could not control herself; she jumped up, tearing at her clothes and sighing, and went to him. Her eyes were filled with tears. In broken words that came out with pieces torn from her heart she told her brother, “What a grief and what a sorrow! Would that death deprived me of life today. O dear Husain! As if today have died my grandfather, the Messenger of Allah, my mother, Fatima Zahra, my
father, Ali and my brother, Hasan. O my surviving one and the guardian of those who survive!”[2]

[1] Al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/132
[2] Maqatilut Talibeen, Pg. 111-112


Imam looked upon her with affection and said, “My sister, don’t let Satan take away your forbearance.”

Her Eminence, Zainab with a face whose color had changed and with a deep sorrow breaking up her kind and aggrieved heart glanced at her brother and with pain and sadness said to him, “Will you take yourself to injustice and oppression so that my grief is prolonged and my heart is further aggrieved?”

At that time when she became sure that her brother will be killed, she could not control her emotions. She tore up her collar, struck her face and threw herself down.[1] Other ladies also shared in her terrible grief. Her Eminence, Umme Kulthum lamented, “O Muhammad! O Ali! O my mother! O my Husain! After you, we shall be destroyed.”

That tragic scene affected the sensibilities of the Holy Imam and his heart became filled with grief and remorse. He turned to those daughters of revelation and advised them to observe patience and forbearance in bearing these terrible hardships. He said, “O my sister! O Umme Kulthum! O Fatima! O Rabab! Take care! When I am killed, do not tear your clothes nor scratch your face or utter useless things.”[2]

The great Imam bore the most terrible kinds of tribulations and the worst of hardships and calamities that were proportionate to his faith in God and he had yet not become free of a difficulty that he was confronted with such a flood of calamities that man is unable to bear them.

Precautionary steps

Imam formulated an elaborate and detailed plan to organize his camp in accordance with the prevailing circumstances and he arranged his front in an outstanding and astonishing manner. He made his camp absolutely secure from external attacks. His Eminence came out in the dark of the night accompanied with Nafe bin Hilal and surveyed the adverse conditions of the surroundings and he checked them closely so that it may not be that they serve as ambush for the enemies during fighting. At that time he instructed his companions to take the following steps:

First: He ordered them to bring their tents much closer together so that the tent-pegs came within the area of each other’s tents. In our opinion they were not arranged in a single row. Rather they were bunched together in a few lines, so that if they remained among their tents, the enemy could only approach them from one side.[3]

Secondly: He asked them to dig up a ditch behind the tents which were around the tents of his relatives and family of His Eminence. Then the ditch was filled up with

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/393. Al Muntazim5/338. Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/177. As Sayyida Zainab wa Akhbaar az-Zainabiyat, Pg. 20-21
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/420. Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/393
[3] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/177


dried firewood and cane so that it may be fired up during the battle.[1] This was for the following reasons:

A. It was so that during the battle his women and children remain safe during the fighting because the enemies would not be able to cross the burning ditch.

B. They may be able to face the enemy from a single direction. So that there may not be multiple fronts and paucity of Imam’s men may be a serious drawback for them. If this step had not been taken the enemies would have attacked from all sides and finished them off in a short time and the battle wouldn’t have stretched to even a full day.

There were some special precautions that the Imam took to make the best of those difficult circumstances and the steps ordered by the Holy Imam clearly tell us about the martial expertise of the Imam and his knowledge about such complex matters.

Night of worship

The Holy Imam, with his Ahle Bayt and companions began to worship and with all their sincerity became attentive to the Almighty and on the basis of what the historians say. Their humming was like the humming of honeybees. They bowed, prostrated and recited the Quran and none of them slept for a moment. They recited hymns to Allah, humbled themselves before His court and begged for forgiveness and pardon.

Imam’s Companions Overjoyed

The Imam’s companions were overjoyed on receiving the glad-tidings of martyrdom in the service of the grandson of the Messenger of Allah. Historians have recorded the statements of some of them which expressed astonishing happiness. For example, Habib bin Mazahir came out to his colleagues while he had a wide smile on his face. Yazid bin Haseen Tamimi objected to him and said, “This is not the time to laugh!”

Habib with deep faith replied to him, “What situation could be more deserving of joy than this? By Allah, very soon these oppressors would fall upon us with their swords and at that time we shall take the Horul Ein in our bosoms.”[2]

Burair also jested with Abdur Rahman Ansari but the latter was shocked by this behavior and he said, “What are you doing in such a situation?”

Burair told him, “My people know that neither in my old age nor in my youth have I ever committed a vain action. But I am elated at what we are going to experience. By Allah, there is no distance between us and the Black-eyed Houries of Paradise except that they attack us with their swords and I also like that they attack us.”[3]

[1] Waseelatul Maal fee idda manaqibul Aal, Pg. 190. Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/187
[2] Kishi, Rijal Pg.79, No. 133
[3] Tabari, Tarikh 5/423. Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/178


In the families of martyrs of the world faith like this is not found that in spite of being certain of the approaching catastrophe such certainty, recognition, right intention and great sincerity is being displayed…they were elated at being able to achieve Paradise along with the Prophets and the truthful ones and they had become sure that they would die the easiest death, the greatest type of death in the history of humanity in all generations and ages.

Shimr ridicules the Imam

The Holy Imam recited the ritual prayers, while the decadent impure man, Shimr bin Zil Jaushan[1] watched him. He was able to hear the Imam utter the following words of the Almighty:

“And let not those who disbelieve think that Our granting them respite is better for their souls; We grant them respite only that they may add to their sins; and they shall have a disgraceful chastisement. On no account will Allah leave the believers in the condition which you are in until He separates the evil from the good.”[2]

Shimr made fun of the Imam on hearing this and laughed out aloud.

Imam Husain’s Vision

After deadly pains had tired Imam Husain, His Eminence dozed off for a few moments then awoke and looked at his companions and said to them, “Do you know what I dreamt of?”

“Tell us what you saw?”

“I saw dogs attacking me and tearing me into pieces. And among then is a black and white dog who is attacking me more and I think that the one who is going to kill me is a man with leprosy spots from this community…

Then I saw my grandfather, Allah’s Messenger accompanied by a group of his companions. He said to me, ‘My son, you are the martyr of the Progeny of Muhammad. The folks of the heavens and the higher worlds are talking among themselves about your arrival. Tonight you shall dine with us. Hurry up, do not delay.’ This is what I have seen. The command of the Lord has arrived and the passing away from this world is near.”[3]

A deep sorrow fell upon his Ahle Bayt and companions. They became sure of the impending calamity and the end of their journey in the world.

Distress of Ladies of the Prophet’s Family

The ladies of the Prophet’s family were terribly distressed. They could not get any relief on that immortal night in the world of sorrows because their thoughts were

[1] In Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/178 it is mentioned: One who kept the Imam under surveillance was Abu Harb Sabi-i, Ubaidullah bin Shameer, who was a person always given to nonsensical talk.
[2] Surah Aale Imran 3:178
[3] Al Futuh 5/181


full of the impending doom and the imminent arrival of horrifying tribulations that seemed very much real. What would be their fate after they are separated from their guardian – the son of the Messenger of Allah? That too when the members of the weaker sex were in a foreign land! And their cruel enemies had surrounded them from all sides? They began to lament and wail and beseech the Almighty Lord to save them from that terrible disaster.

However the enemies of Ahle Bayt spent the night in joyful anticipation of shedding their purified blood so that they may obtain the acclaim of Ibn Marjana. Riders of a battalion under the command of Urwah bin Qais[1] circled the camp of His Eminence, Husain lest His Eminence escape their clutches or someone may come and join the entourage.

Imam applied Perfume and Anointed Himself

The Holy Imam and his loyal companions now prepared themselves for their meeting with the Almighty Lord and readied themselves for death. Imam ordered the setting up of a tent in which was placed a vessel of musk and fragrance. Camphor was also procured. After that His Eminence entered the tent and applied the fragrant materials to his body. Then Burair entered and anointed himself. All the companions of His Eminence[2] followed suit one after another in order to prepare themselves for death and martyrdom in the way of Allah.

Day of Ashura

In the sky of the world no dawn ever broke as the dawn break of the 10th of Mohurrum and the sun of no other day arose like the sorrowful sun of that day…,because no tragedy in history is as painful and as terrible as the Tragedy of the day of Ashura[3] on the plains of Kerbala, as there did not remain a single calamity that did not befall the beloved grandson of Allah’s Messenger.

Imam Zainul Abideen says, “No day for the Messenger of Allah was as hard as the day of the battle of Uhad on which the uncle of His Eminence, that is Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib, the lion of God and His Prophet was killed. And after that was the day of the battle of Mutah on which his cousin, Ja’far bin Abu Talib was killed.” Then he said, “There is no day like the day of the martyrdom of His Eminence, Husain. When 30000 mercenaries attacked him while claiming to be from this community and each of them was trying to obtain divine proximity by shedding the blood of His Eminence even though he reminded them of the Almighty but they did not accept his advice till they killed him most unjustly.”[4]

At dawn break of the day of Ashura the great Imam began the ritual prayer, which,

[1] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/178
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 30/395-396. Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/178
[3] Ashura is the tenth day of Mohurrum. It is said that it is a very ancient name and its cause was that on this day ten of the prophets were given ten miracles. This is mentioned on Pg. 22 of Al Anwaarul Husainia of Balawi.
[4] Biharul Anwar 22/274, H. 21 and 44/298, H. 4


according to historians, was performed with dry ablution (Tayammum) as no water was available for regular ablution (Wuzu), and the family members and companions of His Eminence prayed behind the Holy Imam.[1] Before they could conclude their recitations after the prayer, a war cry arose from the camp of Ibn Ziyad and armed battalions marched forward chanting: “Either we shall fight or sacrifice our lives for the orders of Ibn Marjana.”

Supplication of the Imam

The chief of the nobles emerged, glanced at the desert that was full of riders and foot-soldiers wielding their swords and spears and thirsty for his blood and that of the righteous members of his family and companions in order to get a paltry price from the son of Marjana. His Eminence asked for a copy of the Holy Quran and kept it on his head and humiliating himself in front of the Almighty recited:

“O God, it is You in Whom I trust amid all grief. You are my hope amid all violence. You are my trust and provision in everything that happens to me, no matter how much the heart may seem to weaken in it, trickery may seem to diminish my hope in it, the friend may seem to desert me in it, and the enemy may seem to rejoice in it. It comes upon me through You and when I complain to You of it, it is because of my desire for You, You alone. You have comforted me in everything and have revealed its significance to me. You are the Master of all grace, the Possessor of all goodness and the Ultimate Resort of all desire.”[2]

The profound faith of His Eminence is seen in this invocation that he turns to the Almighty in all the important matters and is devoted to Him. The Almighty Allah is his guardian and refuge so he seeks His protection in every circumstance and eventuality.

Firing up the Ditch

At dawn break the Imam ordered that the firewood in the ditch behind ladies’ tents be alighted so that it may prevent the enemy from attacking from the rear. Also that not more than one front be opened for the attackers.

Clamor of the Beastly Enemies

When fire was lighted in the ditch, some transmogrified persons from Ibn Ziyad’s camp rushed towards the Imam’s encampments and shouted in ferocious voices. Some of them were as follows:

1. Shimr bin Zil Jaushan

The filthy degraded monster, Shimr bin Zil Jaushan came towards the Imam’s camp and called out in a loud voice, “Husain, are you hurrying towards the fire (of Hell) before the Day of Judgment?”

[1] Etemaad al-Sultana Hasan bin Ali, Hujjatus Saadah fee Hujjatush Shohada (Persian) which Shaykh Muhammad Husain Aale Kashiful Ghita has translated into Arabic and it is present in manuscript form at the Public Library.
[2] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/216. Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/169-170. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/60-61


Imam replied, “Son of a goat-herdess you are worthy to be burnt by that.”

Muslim bin Ausaja wanted to shoot an arrow at him, but the Imam stopped him from doing that saying, “I am unwilling to begin the fighting against them.”[1]

2. Muhammad bin Ashath

Most degraded of the decadent, Muhammad bin Ashath came towards the Holy Imam calling out aloud, “Husain, now you shall go to Hell!”

The Imam told him, “May the Almighty Allah curse you, your father and your community, O son of the sinful apostate and enemy of Allah, the Prophet and Muslims.”[2]

3. Abdullah bin Hawza

Abdullah bin Hawza, the lowly man, hastened towards the Imam’s area and said, “O Husain, glad-tidings for Hell for you.”

The Imam turned his statement towards him, “I am going to the Merciful Lord and an intercessor who is obeyed (the Prophet)” Then he asked about him, it was told that he was the son of Hawza. The Holy Imam raised his hands in prayer and cursed, “May Allah put him in the Hawza (pool) of fire.”

With that his horse upset him in its stride and he fell. His left leg was stuck in the stirrups and his right leg was free. Muslim bin Ausaja attacked him and struck his right leg and cut it off. The horse galloped off (dragging) him (along) and his head struck every stone and clod of earth until he died.[3] God hurried his soul to (Hell) fire. (More) fighting then broke out and more men were killed.

When al-Hurr bin Yazid perceived that the people were determined to fight al-Husain he said to Umar: “Are you going to fight this man?”

“Yes,” he replied, “it will be a terrible battle, the least part of which will be heads falling and severed hands flying (through the air).”

“Haven’t you any other way of getting what you want?”

“If the matter rested with me,” answered Umar, “I would do (anything else), but your governor has refused (any alternative).”[4]

Masruq bin Wael Hadhrami saw this scene while he were himself thinking about killing the Imam and obtaining reward from Ibn Marjana. At that moment he began to regret his decision and realized the true status of Ahle Bayt near the Almighty God. Hence he left the battlefield and ran away due to the fear of divine wrath.[5]

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 30/396
[2] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayaan
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/399. Tadhib at-Tahdhib 1/155
[4] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 1/249
[5] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/66


Both camps became fully prepared

Both the opposite camps became fully alert and ready for the battle. The Imam prepared his army of 72 riders and foot-soldiers. Zuhair bin Qain was given the charge of the right wing and Habib bin Mazahir the command of the left wing. Himself and his Ahle Bayt he placed in the center of the battalion[1] and entrusted his standard to his helper and brother, Abbas.[2]

Ibn Saad also organized his battalions and placed Abdullah bin Zuhair Azadi at the helm of the Medina division and put Qais bin Ashath at the head of the Rabia and Kinda division. Abdur Rahman bin Abi Sabra Jofi was commanding the Madhij and Asad division. Hurr Ibn Yazid Riyahi was placed at the command of Hamadan division.[3] At the right wing of the army he placed Amr bin Hajjaj as the controller and the left wing he placed under Shimr bin Zil Jaushan. Urwah bin Qais Ahami was made the commander of the mounted warriors and Shabth bin Rabi at the charge of footed soldiers. His standard, he gave to his slave, Duraid.[4] In this manner both the armies became prepared for battle and fighting.

Severe Objections

The Holy Imam with his great companions made an effort to complete the argument on the people of Kufa and inform them about their true circumstances (the reality of their attitude) and to make them aware of the deadly sin they were about to indulge in, that it was very near that heavens may be rent asunder, the earth may split into pieces and mountains may crash. They tried all means to give them good counsel and restrain those changed people from rushing towards the fire of Hell.

Imam’s Address

The Imam called for his horse, mounted it and galloped to Ibn Saad’s army in such a way that the awe of his grandfather was apparent in him. He stood before them and delivered a historical address which has remained a literary masterpiece of Arabic literature in its eloquence and beauty. His Eminence spoke up in a loud voice audible to most of those present there:

“O people of Iraq,” - and most of them began to listen to him – “People, listen to my words and do not hurry to attack me so that I may remind you of the duties you have towards me and so that by telling you the true circumstances I may free myself from any blame in your attacking me. If you give me justice, you will become happier through that. If you do not give me justice of your own accord as individuals, then agree upon your affairs and your associates; let not your affair be in darkness to you. Then carry it out against me and do not reflect any further. Indeed my guardian is God, Who created the Book, He takes care of the righteous.”[5]

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain Pg. 225
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/422
[3] Miraat az-Zamaan Pg. 92
[4] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/60
[5] Tabari, Tarikh 5/424


The breeze carried the voice of His Eminence to the great ladies of the family of Prophethood and the women of the house of revelation. They began to lament and their wails arose. His Eminence sent his brother, His Eminence Abbas and his son, Ali towards them and told them to restrain them from weeping as soon they would have to weep much more.

When the ladies were silenced the Imam continued his address. He thanked and praised the Almighty and invoked blessings on His Prophets, Angels and Messengers. In that discourse he spoke in such a way that no speaker has ever been heard before or after him more eloquent in his speech.[1] He said:

“O people, the Almighty Allah created the world and made it an abode of death and destruction. And it takes its inmates from one place to another. Then deceived is the one who is deceived by it. That is unfortunate who has been corrupted by it. Hence this world must not deceive you. As it cuts off the hope of all those who rely on it and whosoever is greedy about it, fails. I see you that you gathered upon a matter with which you have made the Almighty wrathful upon you, that He has turned away His merciful face from you and has decreed his revenge on you. The best lord is our Lord and the worst servants are you. You agreed to obey and brought faith in Muhammad, the Prophet and now you are the same people who marched against his progeny and intend to eliminate them. The Satan has you under his control and he has made you forgetful of the remembrance of Almighty God. Thus, woe be upon you and what you have intended. We belong to Allah and to Him we
shall return.

They are those who have disbelieved after their acceptance of faith. Keep aloof from these oppressors.”[2]

Imam counseled them through these words, that illuminated the teachings of the Prophet and the efforts of the Prophets regarding their communities and warned them of the deceptions and frauds of the material world. He threatened them about the future loses they would have to suffer and restrained them from stepping forward to slay the Progeny of their Prophet by which they shall go out the pale of faith into infidelity and become eligible for everlasting wrath and punishment of the Almighty God.

His Eminence spoke further and continued in the same vein, “Trace back my lineage and consider who I am. Then look back at yourselves and remonstrate with yourselves. Consider whether it is right for you to kill me and to violate the honor of my womenfolk. Am I not the son of the daughter of your Prophet, of his testamentary trustee (wasi) and his cousin, the first of the believers in God and the man who first believed in what his Apostle brought from his Lord? Was not Hamzah, the lord of the martyrs, my uncle? Was not Ja’far, the one who flies in Heaven, my uncle? Have you not heard the words

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/61
[2] Biharul Anwar 45/5-6


of the Apostle of God concerning myself and my brother: ‘These are the two lords of the youths of the inhabitants of heaven’? Whether you believe what I am saying and it is the truth, for by God I have never told a lie since I learnt that God hated people who told them - or whether you regard me as a liar, there are among you those who, if you asked them, would tell you: Ask Jabir bin Abd Allah al-Ansari, Abu Said al-Khudri, Sahl bin Sad al-Saidi, Zaid bin Arqam and Anas bin Malik to tell you that they heard these words from the Apostle of God concerning myself and my brother. Is there not sufficient in this to prevent you from shedding my blood?”

I don’t know of any discourse more eloquent and affectionate than this with regard to its style in such a delicate moment when even the lion-hearted ones become dumb and the valiant one become tongue-tied, we are compelled to say…this discourse befitted only one who had come with presence of mind and created a revolution of views and actions in their ranks because His Eminence asked them to come to their senses and think logically if they were in control of their reasoning capacity, so that they study the matter carefully and know that he was the grandson of their Prophet, the son of his vicegerent and the nearest in kin to the Messenger. He was also the Chief of the youths of Paradise. There is this justification to observe the sanctity of his life and that his blood must not be shed. But those mercenaries who could not understand this beneficial logic, remained adamant to wreak oppression. The darkness of misguidance had covered their conscience
and reason which had taken away from them, Allah’s remembrance.

“If I understand what you are saying,” interrupted Shimr bin Zil Jaushan, “then I only worship God (very shakily) on the edge.”

Those stony intellects covered with the dust of falsehood could not understand the Imam and perceive what he was saying.

“I think that you worship God (very shakily) on seventy edges,” said Habib bin Mazahir “for I testify that you are right. You do not understand what he is saying. For God has impressed ignorance upon your heart.”

The Holy Imam continued speaking and said, “If you are in any doubt about this, you are in doubt that I am the son of the daughter of your Prophet. By God there is no son of a prophet other than me among you and among the peoples from East to West. Shame on you, are you seeking retribution from me for one of your dead whom I have killed, or for property of yours which I expropriated, or for a wound which I have inflicted?”

The earth began to tremble under their feet and they became bewildered what to say in reply, because they had not a doubt that he was the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah and the beloved grandson of the Prophet and they had no demand from him regarding some blood he had shed or some property he had plundered from them.


After that the Imam called out the commanders of Kufa who had personally written to him, inviting him to Kufa, “Shabth bin Rabi, Hijar bin Abjar, Qais bin Ashath, Yazid bin Harith, didn’t you write: ‘The fruit has ripened; the dates have grown green; come to an army which has been gathered for you’?”

Those consciences that had broken their pledges and disregarded their vows had no shame at all. Thus they all resorted to lying and said, “We never did so.”

The Imam was astonished at this and he said, “Glory be to God, you have indeed done so.”

Imam turned away from them and addressed individual soldiers and said, “O people! If you are not pleased with me, leave me so that I may go to any safe place.”

Qais bin Ashath, well known for his deception and hypocrisy and who was in every way distant from nobility and respect – and it is sufficient for him that he was from a family that did not produce a single noble soul – glanced at the Holy Imam and said, “Do you not accept the command of your cousins? They have never treated you with anything but what you liked and no unfavorable behavior shall be shown to you.”

Imam replied to him, “You are the brother of your brother (like them)? Do you want that Bani Hashim demand from you more than the retaliation for the blood of Muslim bin Aqil? No, by Allah! I will never give them my hand like a man who has been humiliated; nor will I flee like a slave.[1] O servants of God, I take refuge in my Lord and your Lord from your stoning. I take refuge in my Lord and your Lord from every haughty man who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning.”[2]

Kingdoms shall be destroyed and regimes shall keep on changing but those immortal words shall remain forever because they expressed the greatness of truth, humanity, nobility and courage.

Pity that there brilliant words did not leave any imprint on those adamant people because ignorance had closed all the doors of their perception. “Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing and there is a covering over their eyes, do you think they hear and understand? They are like cattle, rather more astray than them.”

They had totally rejected the call of the Imam and accorded no importance to it. Almighty Allah has rightly said:

“Surely you do not make the dead to hear, and you do not make the deaf to hear the call when they go back retreating.”[3]

[1] And in a report, “I will not submit like slaves”.
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/421-424. Ad Durrun Nadheem, Pg. 552-553
[3] Surah Naml 27:80


Zuhair’s Speech

Zuhair bin Qain addressed the soldiers and delivered a speech full of good counsel. He spoke as follows:

“O people of Kufa! Beware of the divine chastisement. It is the duty of every Muslim to dispense good counsel to his Muslim brother. So far we were brothers in one faith till hostilities had not emerged between us and you are deserving of good counsel from us. When swords are drawn, it is the end of security. We shall become one community and you another. The Almighty Allah has tested us and you through the Progeny of His Messenger so that it be seen how we behave. We invite you to help them and leave off the obedience of the tyrant Yazid and Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad as you shall see nothing during their regimes except evil. You shall be blinded, maimed, cut up into pieces and impaled on date palms like your elders and reciters of Quran like Hujr bin Adi, his companions, Hani bin Urwah and other like them were dealt with.”

These statements are full of most expressive and outstanding proof; because it contains the call towards truth with all its dimensions of meanings and warning about divine punishment and anger. It explained to them that the aim of warning them was only to fulfill a religious duty as it is incumbent for one Muslim to advise his Muslim brother – when he sees the latter deviated from the truth – he should enjoin him…and it informed them before the Hell fire may be lighted up; because Islamic brotherhood brings them together, thus whenever fighting occurs, the roots of that brotherhood are cut off and each one of the two communities would become a distinct group whom the connections of the Islamic faith have not brought to each other. They were also reminded that the Almighty Allah has tested the Muslims through the Progeny of His Prophet and He has made their love incumbent in His honored book so that people may be shown how to behave with them.

In the same way the speech called their attention to the injustice and oppression of the Umayyads and how they had dealt with such righteous personages as Hujr bin Adi, Mitham Tammar and others who opposed the oppression and stood up against persecution due to which the Umayyad regime wreaked horrible punishments upon them, gouged out their eyes, maimed them and impaled them on date palms.

Zubair had hardly concluded his speech that some soldiers of Ibn Saad began to ridicule him in the most shameless manner. They threatened him and Imam with death and said, “We are such that we shall kill your friend and his companions or we shall make him and his friends surrender to Ubaidullah bin Ziyad.”

Zuhair replied to them with the logic of truth saying, “O servants of Allah! The sons of Fatima are more deserving of friendship and support than the son of Sumaiyyah. I implore you to seek refuge of Allah lest you put them to death…you leave this man for Yazid that by my life, he will accept your obedience without your killing Husain.”


Many of them fell silent and confusion and bewilderment overcame them. When Shimr bin Zil Jaushan saw this condition he feared that the army would be inclined to peace. So he shot an arrow towards Zuhair saying, “Keep quiet, may God kill you, I am fed up with your lecture.”

Zuhair regarded him with disdain and looked towards him as if he were the most decadent creature. He told him, “I was not speaking to you; you are not greater than cattle. And by Allah, I don’t think you know even two verses from the Book of Allah. Then be sure of humiliation of the Day of Judgment and painful chastisement.”

That degraded man was enraged by the words of Zuhair and he screamed at him, “Till another time, the Almighty will kill you and your friend.”

Zuhair said, “Do you threaten me with death? By Allah, for me death being immortality is more preferable to me than you.”

Then Zuhair glanced at the soldiers and said, “O servants of Allah, let not this rude oppressor and his like deviate you from your religion. By Allah, the intercession of Muhammad shall not reach those who shed the blood of his progeny, Ahle Bayt, companions and defenders.”

Imam noticed that Zuhair’s speech had no effect on those transmogrified people, so he told one of his companions to restrain him from continuing his dialogue. He went towards him and said, “Aba Abdillah has sent you message that you come back, as by my life, if the believer of the people of Firon had counseled his people and called them to truth, you have also counseled these people and dispensed them good advice if they be of any use.”[1]

Burair’s speech

The prominent Shaykh, Burair bin Khudhair began to exhort the army: “O people! The Almighty Allah sent Muhammad as a warner, a giver of glad-tidings, a caller towards Allah and a shinning lamp. This is the water of Euphrates, the pigs and dogs of this area dive into it, but between it and the son of the daughter of the Prophet of God a distance has been created. Is this the way that you recompense Muhammad?”

They abandoned all nobility and shame and said, “O Burair, you have talked a great deal. Do not say anymore. Husain shall suffer thirst in the same way as before him one had to bear the thirst.”

He warned and showed them the way to the right path, “O people, the family of Muhammad is in front of you. They are the progeny, family, daughters and members of his clan so tell us what you want to do with them?”

They replied to him, “We like to impose the authority of governor Ubaidullah upon them so that he may decide to do whatever he wants with them.” Burair reminded them of their pledges and letters that they had sent to His Eminence. He said, “Will

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/426-427


you not accept from them for which they have come and that they should turn away from it?

Woe be on you, O people of Kufa. Have you forgotten your letters and pledges that you gave him and had them witnessed by Lord Almighty? After having invited the Ahle Bayt of your Prophet and having promised that you shall lay down your lives to defend them do you now want to hand them over to Ibn Ziyad and deny them the water of Euphrates? How cruel is your behavior to the progeny to your Prophet after he has passed away. What would happen to you, Allah will not quench you on the day of Qiyamat as you are the worst people?”

Some of those, whose conscience had become deviated, denied having sent any letters or giving pledges to the Imam. They said, “We don’t know what you are talking about.”

Burair realized their adamancy on sin and their unanimity of intention to commit the infamy. He said, “Thanks be to Allah for having given me more perception regarding you. O Allah, I openly declare my aloofness from the actions of these people. O my Lord, gather them all in such a way that You are infuriated at them. (Be angry!)”

They laughed at him and began to shoot arrows at him.[1] He also went away from them.

Speech of Imam Husain

Kindness and affection of the Imam with regard to his enemies impelled His Eminence to once more try to persuade them to leave off this path of sin so that none from them would have any excuse remaining that he had not been sufficiently warned. Hence he went towards them carrying open the Book of Allah, wearing the turban of his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah and armed with the weapons of His Eminence. He exuded such awe that foreheads humbled before him and eyes could not dare to look upon him. Then he told them:

“May destruction and sorrow afflict you, O people! After calling me eagerly when I hastened to respond you, you have drawn out your swords on me? Have you inflamed the fire against us and for the benefit of your enemies that we had ignited for your and our enemies, without there being any justification for you in that? O do you have hope in it, against your friends you have prepared? Or that if you have hope from them that you have gathered against your friend. Should you not be troubled by hardships when the sword is not yet drawn and no sort of harm has been caused to you? And nothing has been given to it, but you hastened to him like the green locusts and you have come to him like the falling of moths into the fire. At that time you broke the pledge. This humiliation afflicted you because of that. O slaves of the community, outcasts of the tribes and those who have distanced from the Book of Allah and the Sunnahs! Woe be upon you! Will you support
these people and deny your assistance to us? Indeed, by Allah, it is a betrayal of

[1] Biharul Anwar 5/182-183


trust among you that your roots have become firm on it and your branches have matured and become strong on it and you have put forth the worst of the fruits, such that you aggrieve one who looks and you become the diet of every usurper.

Verily, this wicked one son of the wicked one, has put forth two options, be killed by the sword or be humiliated. Never! I shall never opt for degradation. Allah, His Prophet, believers, the pure ones, the purified, the exalted and the noble souls would never accept it from me, that I should prefer the humiliation of a decadent person instead of martyrdom of great men. Indeed, I shall fight with these (mine) family members in spite of the scarcity of their number and despite the fact that they (Kufians) have withdrawn their support from us.”

After that he recited the following couplets of Faruta bin Maseek Muradi:

“If we are able to vanquish them, we have vanquished them before also many times and if we are defeated we shall not be of the vanquished ones.

Fear does not come upon us. It is our death and the wealth of others.

Tell those who ridicule to take lesson from us as they shall see what we have seen.

By Allah! After that you shall not remain but as much as one who mounts the horse and it rotates like a hand mill on you and its pivot shakes you up.

I have heard this from my grandfather, the Messenger of Allah: Therefore, sit together and think and decide upon this matter so that your actions may not make you full of remorse. And then you do whatever you want with me without giving further respite. Surely I rely on Allah, my Lord and your Lord; there is no living creature but He holds it by its forelock; surely my Lord is on the right path.”[1]

After that he raised up his hands and prayed: “O Allah! Prevent the clouds from raining on them and make them suffer a famine like that of the time of Yusuf. O Lord! Impose the slave of Thaqif (Hajjaj bin Yusuf) on them so that he may make them taste all kinds of kinds of disgrace and indignity and injustice and oppression as they have rejected me and they have left me without friends. Our Lord! On Thee do we rely, and to Thee do we turn, and to Thee is the eventual coming.”[2]

By these statements, His Eminence burst out like a volcano and displayed such determination and will power as was never seen before. The Imam’s monologue contained the following points:

First: His Eminence severely condemned them for their misdeeds because when they wrote to him for help and he harkened to their call and hastened to come they did an about turn and drew their swords on His Eminence, that were supposed to be drawn against their enemies who had made all efforts to humiliate them and forced them against their will.

[1] Khwarizmi, Maqtal Husain 2/8. Al Lohoof, Pg. 157
[2] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/218-219. Khwarizmi, Maqtal Husain 2/8. Al Lohoof, Pg. 157


Secondly: His Eminence expressed his deep regret for their assistance to the Umayyad regime, a regime that neither acted with justice among them nor spread truth. Nor did they have any hope or aspiration in that regime.

Thirdly: He severely denounced the qualities present in them that had made them the most degraded people of the world; because they were slaves of the community, outcasts of the tribes, those who had become aloof from Quran and they were from the sinners and other evil traits were also found in them.

Fourth: His Eminence clearly announced his emphatic denial to accept the demands of Ibn Marjana, because he wanted to insult His Eminence and far from it that the Imam should have submitted to him, because he had been created to make humanity and lofty values prominent. Then how could he have surrendered to that wicked one, son of the wicked one?

Fifth: His Eminence announced his determination to wage the battle and said that he would step into the battlefield with members of his clan, who were outstanding warriors, steadfast and who considered death to be of no consequence.

Sixth: His Eminence told them what their future shall be after they have killed him; that the Almighty Allah imposes upon them a tyrant who would force them to drink the bitter cup and wreak upon them a terrible punishment. Not much time passed that Mukhtar rose up against them and filled up their hearts with trepidation and horror and butchered them with fury.

These were some of the sensitive points present in the blessed sermon of His Eminence, a speech that was delivered with the power of eloquence and strength of determination and the army of Ibn Saad was thrown into confusion and bewilderment.

Hurr’s Response

Hurr’s soul beckoned him towards righteousness and his conscience was awakened by the speech of the Holy Imam. In that moment that shaped his destiny, he fell into contemplation by which there raged a mental tug-of-war in his mind. Should he join His Eminence, Husain and sacrifice his life and position in spite of his being a commander having status in the view of the regime that had trusted him and appointed him as the leader of the vanguard of its army? Or that he should remain an opponent of the Imam in battle, in which case there was everlasting chastisement for him?

However Hurr responded to the call of his conscience and overcome the mental tug-of-war. He decided to join His Eminence, Husain. Before he set out towards His Eminence he came to Ibn Saad and asked him, “Are you going to fight this man?”

Ibn Saad replied at once without any sort of hesitation and to display his sincerity for his master, Ibn Marjana before the outstanding commander, “Yes, it will be a terrible battle, the least part of which will be heads falling and severed hands flying (through the air).”


Hurr again asked him, “Haven’t you any other way of getting what you want?”

Ibn Saad said, “If the matter rested with me I would do (anything else), but your governor has refused (any alternative).”

When Hurr became certain that those people were determined to fight the Imam, he broke the ranks while he was trembling, he came forward which surprised Muhajir bin Aws, a man of Ibn Ziyad. In a voice of doubt and suspicion he said to Hurr, “By God, I have never seen you act like this before. If I was asked who was the bravest of the Kufians, I would not normally neglect to mention you. What is this I see in you, today?”

Hurr revealed his reality, to him and told him about his intention. He said, “By God, I find myself with alternatives of Heaven and Hell and I shall not prefer anything to Paradise even though I am cut to pieces and burnt.”

With that he whipped his horse and galloped over and joined the Imam[1] while he was immersed in shame and regret. When he reached the Imam he said in a loud voice, “O my Lord I am turning towards you while I have terrified Your saints and the son of Your Prophet. O Aba Abdillah, I have repented, would I be forgiven?”[2]

After that he dismounted his horse while his tears were glistening on his face. He stood before the Holy Imam and said, “May I be your ransom, son of the Apostle of God?” he said, “I was your companion who stopped you from returning. I accompanied you along the road and made you stop in this place. But I did not think that the people would refuse to respond to what you have offered them and that they would ever come to this position in which they have now come to with regard to you. By God, if I had I known that they would finish up by doing what I am seeing them do to you, I would not have committed what I have committed against you. I repent to God for what I have done. Will you accept my repentance?”

Imam was glad he was joining him and he forgave him saying, “Yes, Allah has accepted your repentance and forgiven you.”[3]

At that time Hurr related to the Imam a dream he had seen, “Last night I saw my father in dream that he was asking me: What are you doing these days, and where are you? I replied: I was in pursuit of Husain. He told me: Woe be on you, what has happened to you. Are you pursuing Husain, the son of Allah’s Messenger…? I request you to grant the permission to fight so that I may be the first to be killed in your service just as I was the first one to attack you?”[4]

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/427. Kamil 4/64
[2] Saduq, Amali, Pg. 23. Ibne Tawus, Lohoof, Pg. 160
[3] Kamil 4/64, Ad Durrun Nadheem, Pg. 553-554
[4] Khwarizmi, Maqtal Husain 2/10


Hurr’s speech to the soldiers

Hurr asked the Imam’s permission to exhort the people of Kufa and counsel them. Perhaps some of them would turn back from their wrong attitude towards the path of truth. The Imam accorded him the permission and he set out to address them. He called out in a loud voice:

“People of Kufa, your mothers will be deprived of their sons and tears will come to their eyes. Have you summoned this righteous man; but when he has come to you, have you handed him over to his enemies? Did you claim that you would fight with your own lives for him, and then have you begun to attack him in order to kill him? You have laid hold of his life; you have seized his throat; you have encircled him on every side in order to prevent him returning to God’s broad land (i.e. the Hijaz). He has come into your hands like a prisoner who no longer has the power to use his own life and cannot defend it against harm. You have prevented him, his womenfolk, his children and his people from getting the water of the Euphrates which Jews, Christians and Magians may drink, and which the pigs and dogs of Sawad drink. They (al-Husain’s family) are likely to die of thirst. How wickedly you have treated the offspring left by Muhammad. May God not give you
water to drink on the Day of Thirst if you do not repent from your current attitude and make amends for it.”

The earth began to shake below their feet because there were hundreds of people like Hurr involved in waves of mental tussle and who were certain that what they were doing was wrong, however they had responded positively to their selfish desires due to their love for the world. Some of these transformed people showed impudence to Hurr and shot arrows towards him as their argument.[1]

Thirty mounted fighters join Imam’s Army

Thirty riders from the army of Ibn Saad joined the Imam’s camp and before leaving said to the people of Kufa, “The son of Allah’s Messenger presented three proposals but you did not accept anyone of them.” They fought bravely on the side of the Holy Imam till they were martyred in his service.[2]

The Battle

All the efforts that Imam made to maintain peace and avoid bloodshed were defeated and Ibn Saad also feared prolonging the matter because he was afraid lest there develop two opposing groups in the army and the deserting of 30 riders to join the Imam’s camp had shaken him. On the basis of this, that tyrant approached the encampment of the Imam and fixing an arrow to his bow released it towards them saying, “Testify about me to the governor that I was the first to fire to Husain.”

By shooting the arrow that initiated the battle, Ibn Saad wanted to gain the confidence of his ruler, Ibn Marjana and he wanted the soldiers to witness to him

[1] Kamil 4/64
[2] Tadhib at-Tahdhib 1/152


about Ibn Saad’s sincerity and loyalty towards him so that he may continue to trust him and dispel any doubts he may be having regarding him that he did not make his best efforts in fighting against Husain.

Arrows began to rain upon the entourage of Imam Husain from the side of Ibn Saad. Such that no one from the Imam’s side remained but that he was injured by an arrow, and in this way was destroyed the argument for peace that the Imam had desired. His Eminence waited for the enemy to take the first sinful step and when they initiated the hostilities it became obligatory on His Eminence to fight in self defense. Such an obligation that there was no doubt in it. Therefore the Holy Imam turned to his companions and allowed them to begin fighting, “O noble souls, arise as these arrows shot by those people are targeting you.”

Vanguards of truth from the companions of the Imam came forward in the battlefield and in this way started a furious battle that continued to rage for quite sometime. Absolutely never before and after it had such a battle occurred on the face of the earth, because on one side were 32 horsemen and 40 foot soldiers and on the other were tens of thousands. That small group fought against that huge army which was well-equipped and strong in an outstanding manner.

And they displayed such valor and courage that the intellects were astonished and minds were perplexed.

The Imam’s companions dived into the battlefield with absolute faith in purity of intention because they were convinced that they were fighting for the sake of religion they believed in. And they dedicated their lives in its way. Through an outstanding Jihad they established such an honor to this community that no honor could equal it and they made such a great bestowal to humanity that nothing like it has ever been gifted throughout its history.

# Martyrdom of the Companions

Mercenaries of falsehood and misguidance, armed to the teeth with rows like a flood fell upon those chosen noble men who had dedicated their lives to Allah and nothing could make them unmindful of supporting the truth and destroying falsehood while those great personalities assumed patience and sincerity and remained steadfast before those wild beasts. And they were not cowed down by their huge numbers, their weapons and their capabilities. They displayed admirable valor and manliness…

We shall discuss about the events of the battle and incidents related to the martyrdom of those righteous souls.

General Attack

Forces of Ibn Saad launched a mammoth attack on the companions of the Holy Imam and a furious battle erupted between the two parties. This was the first attack in which the Imam’s men participated. It was an attack in which all the divisions of the army of Kufa took part and the companions derived strength from their faith in the correctness of their belief in the defense of Islam and sacrifice with all sincerity. And their martial spirit was awakened to such an extent that they continued to repulse the huge army and rent asunder their ranks and dispersed the rows of soldiers who had been tough as a stone. As a result of which the small band of Holy warriors was able to put to flight the army of Saad.[1] But in this course half of them were martyred.[2]

Number of Imam’s Men who were martyred

The number of martyrs from the Imam’s companions in the first attack, on the basis of what Ibn Shahr Aashob has mentioned were as follows: Naeem bin Ajlaan, Imran bin Kaab bin Harith Ashjai, Hanzalah bin Amr Shaibani, Qasit bin Zuhair, Kanana bin Atiq, Amr bin Mashiya, Zarghama bin Malik, Aamir bin Muslim, Saif bin Malik Numairi, Abdur Rahman Darji, Majma Aaezi, Habbab bin Harith, Amr Jundai, Halaas bin Amr Rasibi, Sawaar bin Abi Umair Fahmi, Ammar bin Abi Salamah Daalaani, Noman bin Amr Raasibi, Zahir bin Amr, slave of Ibn Hamaq, Jabla bin Ali, Masud bin Hajjaj, Abdullah bin Urwah Ghiffari, Zuhair bin Salim, Abdullah and Ubaidullah, two sons of Zaid Basri and ten persons from the slaves of His Eminence, Husain and slaves of His Eminence, Imam Ali.[3]

Single Combat

After the first attack, single combats started between the two armies, because Yasar, the slave of Ziyad and Saalim, the slave of Ubaidullah bin Ziyad came to the battlefield and challenged the Imam’s companions for duels with them. So

[1] Ma’-al Husain Fee Nahzatih, Pg. 220
[2] It is mentioned in Biharul Anwar that the number of Imam’s companions martyred in the first attack was fifty.
[3] Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 4/113


Habib bin Mazahir and Burair stood up to move towards them, but the Imam did not allow them to proceed. Thus, the great warrior, Abdullah bin Umair Kalbi went towards them.[1] He was a daring and courageous man. Imam Husain said, “I consider him a fighter against outstanding warriors.”

When he arrived and faced the two challengers they asked about his name and lineage. He told them about it but they considered it of not much importance and said, “We don’t know who you are. Let Zuhair bin Qain or Habib bin Mazahir or Burair come out against us.” The brave warrior hastened to the two men and screamed at Yasar, “Son of a prostitute, you wanted to do single combat with one of the people. None shall come against you but that he is better than you…”

How meaningful was his statement that: “None shall come but that he shall be better than you.” Each one of the companions of the Imam was better than him and the soldiers of that army because they were fighting with conviction and faith that they were confronting with certainty people of misguidance and deviation in the path of religion.

Kalbi attacked Yasar and felled him to the ground smeared in his own blood. At that moment Saalim attacked him while he was not attentive to him. With his left arm he warded off Saalim’s blow but the fingers of his hand were cut off. Then he turned on Saalim and struck him with the other hand killing him.

The mercenaries of Ibn Saad were terrified of this incomparable warrior. While he was fighting, his respected wife, Umme Wahab[2] took up a tent pole and hastened to him and cheered him to fight on, “May my parents be sacrificed on you, fight for the defense of the Purified Progeny of Muhammad.”

Companions of His Eminence, Husain were concentrating all their efforts in defense of the Holy Imam and in this matter there was no difference between men or women and young or old.

They displayed daring in battle with fiery emotions and they had become impassioned in their love and devotion to the Holy Imam.

When Kalbi saw his wife behind him he ordered her to go back to the ladies’ tents, but she did not agree. The Imam noticed this and he hastened to her and said, “The Almighty Allah shall bestow a good reward to your family. Go back! May Allah have mercy on you as ladies are not obliged to fight in Jihad…”

Umme Wahab returned to ladies’ tent and Kalbi began to recite the following poem of war:

“If you do not know me, I am Ibn al-Kalbi: I am a man of bitterness and anger, I am not a weakling in the face of disaster.”

[1] It is said that Abdullah bin Umair was martyred in the first attack.
[2] The lady Umme Wahab was the daughter of Abdullah from Namr bin Qasit and she was killed after the martyrdom of her husband.


By this poem he introduced himself that he was from Bani Kalb, a tribe of Qaza-a.[1] In the same way he spoke about his daring, superiority, outstanding valor, intelligence and eloquence and reiterated that he shall not be found wanting in conditions of hardships. Rather in such circumstances he shall be one with foresight and perception. And in this way he described his noble personality which was a lofty quality of the noble souls.

Inconclusive Attack

Ibn Saad’s forces had surrounded the Imam’s camp from all the sides, but inspite of their few numbers the Imam’s companions had stood up to defend themselves, dug their heels in determination and wielded their spears in such a threatening way that the mounted attackers did not dare to approach them. They were compelled to retreat. The Imam’s men showered the foes with arrows, killed some of them and wounded others[2] and the forces of Ibn Saad had to suffer huge losses and were not able to get any sort of success.

Burair’s Imprecation contest with Yazid

Yazid bin Moqal, an ally of Abdul Qais moved towards the camp of the Holy Imam and reaching near, he called out in a loud voice to Burair bin Khudhair Hamadani, “O Burair, how do you find what Allah has destined for you?”

Burair replied to him with calmness and perfect faith, “By Allah He sent good with regard to me and evil for you…”

Indeed, the Allah Almighty conveyed goodness to Burair because He guided him with truth and made him among the companions of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah. On the other hand He abandoned his oppressive and degraded opponent in the maze of misguidance and allowed him to be one of the killers of the sons of the Prophet.

That corrupt man retorted to Burair, “You lie! You were not a liar before this day. I testify that you are of the deviated ones.”

This wicked man has confessed in the truthfulness of Burair before that day. That is of the time he supported the truth and on that day he alleged that he had become a liar. Burair challenged him to an imprecation contest with him? ‘So that the Almighty Allah may curse the liar among us and destroy the one who is on falsehood?’

Yazid agreed and the two of them came before the two camps to take part in the imprecation contest and after that both of them came to attack each other. Yazid lashed at Burair but the strike had no effect on him. Burair turned to him and delivered such a terrible blow that his helmet split and the sword reached upto his brain. That filthy corrupt man was smeared in his blood while the sword had sunk into his head. He fell down and died a few moments later.[3]

[1] Qaza-a: It is a Yemenite tribe that had migrated to Kufa.
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/65, Al-Irshad, 2/101
[3] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/66


Burair was elated that his heartfelt prayers had been fulfilled. He launched an attack on the camp of Ibn Saad, while all the units of that army looked at this incomparable warrior. Burair began to intone the following martial poem:

“I am Burair and my father is Khudhair.

I am not scared of the roar of a lion.

Righteous people recognize goodness by us.

I shall slay them and won’t have to suffer any loss.

And that good deed shall be performed by Burair.”[1]

He introduced himself to the troops of Ibn Saad and he informed them of his unequalled valor and that he was a lion that was not afraid of roaring. Rather he announced his daring and also that at the time when he would rain severe blows upon them, in this action, he did not see any doubt or sin.

Burair’s Martyrdom

Burair stepped forward to fight like a warrior eager for martyrdom while his being was full of faith, aim and determination to defend the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah. He called out aloud to the troops of Ibn Saad, “O killers of believing persons! Come near me! O murderers of the son of the daughter of the Messenger of the Lord of the worlds! Come here!”[2]

Razi bin Munqidh Abadi, the corrupt one attacked him and the two of them fought for sometime. However Burair subdued him and sat upon his chest about to behead him. While he was engrossed in his, the decadent corrupt man, Kaab bin Jabir Azadi attacked him from behind because he didn’t dare to attack him from the front. Thus he delivered a blow with a spear on the back of Burair and when he felt the blow he threw himself on Abadi and bit a part of his nose. But Kaab rushed upon him and martyred him.[3] In this way, the life of this exalted believer, who was a prominent Qari of Kufa, came to an end while his killer was condemned and people regarded him as a degraded person. So much so that even his wife began to hate him and she vowed never to speak to him again. She told him, “You have supported the opposition of the son of Fatima and killed Burair, a reciter of Quran. By Allah, I shall never speak to you again.”[4]

His cousin, Ubaidullah bin Jabir was also angry with him. He told him, “Woe be on you. Have you killed Burair? How you’ll face the Almighty?” That wicked man was himself deeply ashamed and he composed some couplets that described his grief and regret for having committed such a deadly oppression, that we have quoted in our previous discussions.

[1] Al Futuh 5/186
[2] Al Futuh 5/187
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/399
[4] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/66-67


Martyrdom of Amr Ansari

Amr bin Qardha Ansari, a famous nobleman from Ansar stepped towards the field of Jihad and honor and with great courage initiated the war of loyalty and faith. He chopped off the heads of wicked people and rained death and destruction on the heads of the enemies, while reciting the following poem of war:

“The Ansars understood that I shall support the center of pledge and honor.

I shall sacrifice my life and house in defense of Husain with blows of youth that do not accept humiliation.”

By this war poem he announced that he was the supporter of pledges and honor. All the companions of the Imam possessed this quality because they were the chosen ones from Muslims for honoring pledges and respecting their promises. In the same way he announced that he would rain terrible blows upon the enemies and fight them with daring and courage in order to defend his chief and master, His Eminence, Husain and in this way he was prepared to sacrifice his life and existence.

He fought the battle with a true intention and firm determination till he achieved martyrdom and his soul joined the exalted ranks. He had a brother among the misguided companions of Ibn Saad so when he saw his brother being killed he came towards the Imam’s camp and screamed, “O Husain, O liar, son of liar! You misguided my brother till you got him killed!”

Imam replied to him, “The Almighty Allah did not deviate your brother. Rather He has guided him and made you deviated.”[1]

The Almighty Allah guided Amr and filled his heart with faith. He performed the Jihad till he reached martyrdom in defending the most sanctified matter of Islam. However, his brother was left deviated by the Almighty and his heart was made crooked. Thus he became a partner in the deadliest sin those wicked people had committed.

Umayyad Army refuses one to one fight

The Umayyad troops were tired of one to one fights because the Imam’s companions displayed such astonishing examples of valor that the Umayyads had to suffer huge losses. They raised a clamor in such a way that Amr bin Hajjaj Zubaidi, an important official of Ibn Saad’s army noticed that if one to one fights continued they shall all be eliminated as a result of the valor of Imam’s companions and the power of their certainty and that they had no fear of death at all. So he yelled at his troops and restrained them from person to person duels:

“O you fools! Don’t you know whom you are fighting? You are fighting the most outstanding mounted warriors from the people of this land and a group that is perfect and seeking martyrdom. So none of you can go to confront them without being killed. By God! If you all attack them together you could kill them with stones.”[2]

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/399
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/400


These statements point out the prominent qualities of the companions of the Holy Imam and their attitude. Some of them were as follows:

A. They were the knights of that country because they possessed remarkable valor and strength of determination that was not present in the troops of Ibn Saad.

B. They were folks having perception and knowledge who had realized the truth and understood the lofty values that the Imam has chosen as his slogans and was fighting to defend these same. Therefore they were fighting with full knowledge and obvious proof regarding their position. They were not like their enemies who were in misguidance and confusion and immersed in falsehood and deviation.

C. They were seeking martyrdom in defense of the Imam and had no hope in their life. They possessed all human virtues that were considered preferable by intellect so that they may achieve lofty valor, exalted honor and deep faith.

Historians say: Ibn Saad accepted the view of Ibn Hajjaj and ordered all his forces to stop fighting the companions of the Imam in single combat.[1]

Attack of Amr bin Hajjaj

Amr bin Hajjaj launched a huge attack on Imam’s entourage and indulged in severe fight of death with them. A most terrible and severe type of battle ensued. Both sides had to bear more losses of lives.

Martyrdom of Muslim bin Ausaja

One of the most prominent and incomparable companions of the Imam, Muslim bin Ausaja fell down fighting in the battlefield. Imam rushed to him and reached him when he was in the throes of death. Imam moved near him and said, “O Muslim, may the Almighty have mercy on you, so of them is he who accomplished his vow, and of them is he who yet waits, and they have not changed in the least…”[2]

At that moment his friend and a partner in his Jihad, Habib bin Mazahir approached him and said, “Muslim, your death is hard for me to bear but I bring you good news of Heaven (where you are going).”

“May God bring you good news too,” replied Muslim in a weak voice.

Habib said, “Even though I know that I would follow you soon, I would still like you to appoint me to carry out everything which concerns you.”

Muslim made a bequest to him regarding that which was most precious to him. He pointed towards the Imam and said, “I will you regarding him, that you sacrifice your life to defend him.”

These were his last words.[3] Indeed, this is the greatness that indicates the height of nobility that the Imam’s companions possessed, because each of them was the representative of human nobility in all the times and places.

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/400
[2] Surah Ahzab 33:23
[3] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/182, Tabari, Tarikh 5/435-436


This is that same loyalty that is caused by unlimited faith. In those moments of their life they were neither worried about their families nor about any other worldly matter. Rather their concern was solely about Imam Husain because they were sincere in their love for His Eminence to the last moments of their lives.

Ibn Saad’s troops sighed with relief when this great warrior was finally eliminated. They congratulated each other and exclaimed in delight, “Muslim has been killed!”

This matter was hard upon Shabth bin Rabi because he knew Muslim and acknowledged his merits to be great. Thus being affected by it he addressed those around him, “May your mothers mourn for you! You are killing yourselves and humiliating yourselves before others. Are you elated on killing Muslim? By the one for whom I accepted Islam, I was a witness of his contribution to the Muslims. I saw him, on the day of conquest of Azerbaijan that he slew six infidels before that the horses of Muslims may sleep (they may rest). Are your pleased at the killing of someone like him?”[1]

Those mutated people who had killed this great warrior; it was as if they had killed themselves, because he was killed in defense of their benefits and rights that the Umayyad regime considered of no importance.

Historians say: Muslim succeeded in putting to death some stalwarts of Ibn Saad’s troops. Of them were Ibn Abdullah Zubabi and Abdur Rahman Ibn Abi Khashkara Bajali.[2]

Shimr’s Attack

The leprous wicked man, Shimr bin Zil Jaushan attacked with a battalion of his the left wing of the Imam’s army that consisted of only 32 mounted fighters. But they stood firm against him and forced him away (with their spears). Imam Husain and his followers were attacked on every side but they fought fiercely. Then their cavalry began to attack and even though they were only thirty-two horsemen, they did not attack any side of the Kufan cavalry without putting it to flight.[3]

Martyrdom of Abdullah Kalbi

Abdullah bin Umar Kalbi fought Jihad like the valiant ones and slashed with his sword on the left and right. According to historians he killed 19 horsemen and 12 foot soldiers,[4] while he had received multiple injuries and was severely wounded. Hani bin Thabeet Hadhrami and Bukair bin Hayy Tamimi pounced upon him and martyred him.[5] In this manner ended the life of this warrior who sacrificed himself for the love and devotion towards the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah. His wife, the lady Umme Wahab came out looking for him and searched him

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/67-68, Tabari, Tarikh 5/436
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/68
[3] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/68
[4] Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 4/101
[5] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/68


among the corpses. When she found it she sat down besides him and congratulated him for his martyrdom with faith and sincerity. She said,

“Congratulations for having achieved Paradise. I pray the Almighty to join me with you in Paradise.”

She continued to invocate the Almighty in this way when suddenly Shimr bin Zil Jaushan the most wicked person on the earth saw her. He ordered his slave, Rustom to eliminate her. The slave hit her on the head from behind with an iron mace. She was martyred in the battlefield. Historians say: She was the first female companion of Imam Husain to be killed.[1] This denotes that there were other ladies also who were martyred from the side of the Holy Imam in the battlefield. And in this way the system of the period of Ignorance returned and the law promulgated by Islam against harming ladies and children was trespassed.

Urwah Asks for Help

Urwah bin Qais was a prominent commander in Ibn Saad’s troops and an expert of warfare. On seeing the bravery of Imam’s followers and the unprecedented losses that their troops had suffered he became very much worried. So he asked Ibn Saad to send more archers and foot soldiers to support them.

He said, “Don’t you see what my cavalry is receiving today from this small number of men? Send the foot soldiers and archers against them.”

Ibn Saad ordered Shabth bin Rabi to go for his help but he did not accept it. He said, “Glory be to God, could you not find anyone else for this job?”

Shabth bin Rabi was not fully satisfied in participating in this battle and he has often spoken of this matter. For example he used to say, “The Almighty Allah would never bless the people of this land and may He not guide them. Don’t you see that we have killed the best of men? We fought them on the side of the family of Muawiyah and the son of Sumaiyyah, the fornicator. This is evil and a strange evil it is!”

When Ibn Saad heard this he summoned Haseen bin Numair and with him dispatched five hundred well-armed and equipped archers with the order that they must shoot at the companions of the Imam. They showered the followers of Husain with arrows. They continued shooting at them until they had lamed most of their horses and wounded some of their men. Then they moved against them and a fierce battle was fought between them for some time. Most of the Imam’s followers were now on foot but despite this there was not the slightest decline in their fervor and courage. And they remained steadfast like lofty mountains and did not move a step backwards while Hurr Ibn Yazid also afoot, followed alongside them. Battle raged more furiously and historians have considered it to be the fiercest of all battles. It continued till midday.[2]

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/438
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/68-69. Tabari, Tarikh 5/436-438


Opening of Another front

Ibn Saad noticed that since only a single front was open in the battle, it would prolong the hostilities and his troops were bound to suffer huge losses. Therefore it was decided to open upon another front that would expedite the elimination of the remaining men of Imam Husain. So he issued orders that the tents and camps of the Imam’s followers that were on the left and right of the tents of the Imam should be attacked and uprooted so that the Imam’s entourage would be busy in defending their tents and hence their front shall be weakened.

Soldiers of Ibn Saad launched the attack and began to uproot the tents. However some companions of the Imam were lying in ambush and they began to kill them and maim their horses. As a result of it their plan was changed into a terrible defeat and they could not gain any sort of advantage. Ibn Saad again commanded them to put the tents afire so that riders may attack them. Imam’s followers tried to prevent them but the Imam restrained them from it and said, “Let them burn the tents. If they do so they would not be able to cross over to reach you.” It happened as His Eminence had foretold. The burning tents became a barrier between the enemy and the Imam’s companions and only one battlefront remained as before.[1]

Shimr tries to burn to death the Ladies of Revelation

The filthy wicked Shimr bin Zil Jaushan attacked the tents housing the ladies of the house of revelation and the noble maids of Prophet’s family, screaming, “Get me fire so that I may burn down the occupants of these tents.”

This transmogrified monster had gone much ahead in wickedness and decadence and it is certain that there was none among the martial oppressors and deviated ones of the land like this criminal in wickedness and decadence of nature and lowliness of temperament.

Fear loomed over the daughters of the Messenger of Allah and they began to tremble. They came out of the tents in anxiety and their wails arose, while the children and infants were crying behind them. This tragic scene was absolutely shocking and Imam Husain was deeply hurt by it. He screamed at that filthy wicked man, “Would you burn down my house with my family? May the Almighty burn you with (Hell) fire.”[2]

That wicked one did not change his decision and was ordering his soldiers in the same way to hand over to him a flame so that he may burn down the tents of Ahle Bayt.

Objection of Hamid bin Muslim

Hamid bin Muslim objected to Shimr and after he witnessed the terror and fear that had surrounded the daughters of Allah’s Messenger he hastened to Shimr and said, “You won’t gain anything from this. Do you want to earn two sins because of

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/69
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/69


it, that is killing of ladies and killing of children? By Allah, your chief will be satisfied by the killings of men alone.”

“Who are you?” asked Shimr in fury.

Hamid bin Muslim feared that if he introduced himself he may complain about him to Ibn Ziyad. So he said, “I shall not tell you who I am.”[1]

That decadent wicked oppressor remained adamant in his injustice so that he may increase his sins through them.

Condemnation of Shabth bin Rabi

Shabth bin Rabi hurried to Shimr and condemned him in a furious tone and restrained him from that serious crime. He had to give up against his wish and was about to go away from there when Zuhair bin Qain attacked him with ten soldiers and chased him away. They fought with the mercenaries and Abu Arza Zubabi a relative of Shimr was killed. At this moment the soldiers attacked the Imam’s followers. The number of killed and wounded was apparent among the followers of Imam Husain because of the fewness of their number while it was not so apparent among the followers of Ibn Saad because of their great number.[2]

Noon prayer time arrives

Midday arrived and it was the time of Zuhr prayers. The believing fighter of Jihad, Abu Thamama Saidi stood up and looked towards the sky as if he was in anticipation of the thing most beloved to him, which was prayer. When he saw that the sun has crossed the zenith he glanced at Imam and said, “May I be sacrificed on you. I see that they have come close to us. By Allah you shall not be harmed till I lay down my life in your defense and I wish to meet my Lord after having performed the prayer whose time has arrived…”

Death was only a few steps from him but he was neither forgetful of the remembrance of his Lord nor about fulfillment of his religious duty. All the followers of the Imam had such faith in God and in this way they were loyal in fulfillment of their duty.

Imam raised his head towards the sky and calculated the time and saw that the time to perform the religious duty had arrived. So he told Abu Thamama, “You have remembered the Prayer, may Allah include you among the praying ones. Yes, it is the earliest hour for noon prayer…”

Imam asked his companions to request the army of Ibn Ziyad to pause in the battle so that they may perform their devotions to the Almighty Lord. The plea was conveyed to the attacking army but the wicked dirty man, Haseen bin Numair said, “This prayer shall not be valid!”

[1] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/183
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/69-70


Habib bin Mazahir asked in a taunting tone, “You claim that the prayer of the family of the Messenger of Allah will not be accepted but that it will be accepted from you, O donkey?”

Haseen attacked him but Zuhair laid a swift blow to his horse’s mouth and it bolted dislodging its rider to the ground. His colleagues rushed forward and saved him.[1]

The battle continued and before the Imam could complete his prayer some of his companions reached martyrdom while defending him and after that the duty was performed as we shall explain in detail.

Martyrdom of Habib

Habib Ibn Mazahir was the most prominent companion of the Imam and one who made the most efforts in defending His Eminence. He was the right hand of the Imam and one who had purified his soul and nourished it with wisdom and truth. He was a companion of Imam Amirul Momineen and from his special officers,[2] having a deep perception and stable faith.

Historians say: He was the one most elated and overjoyed person on the day of Ashura in anticipation of martyrdom in service of the grandson of the Messenger of Allah. He moved towards the battlefield eager for martyrdom reciting the following lines of Rajaz song:

“I am Habib and my father is Mazahir, a knight on the battle day among the flames of war.

By my life, you are more in number but we are more loyal and patient than you.

Our argument is more dominant and clear regarding the truth and more lasting and valid than yours.”[3]

He informed them about his esteemed personality and the lofty qualities that he possessed because he was of the outstanding warriors and famous knights who did not allow fear and trepidation to reach their hearts. And he announced that in spite of the large numbers of Ibn Saad’s troops and the paucity of the supporters of Imam Husain, the Imam’s followers were having more loyalty and patience and they exceeded their enemies as far as their convictions and proving their rightfulness was concerned. Thus by having these qualities, they were more deserving of immortality and more suitable for permanence.

Habib fought a furious battle and despite his advanced age succeeded in putting to death 62 fellows from the enemy side. The impure wicked man, Budail bin Sareem attacked him and slashed him with a sword and other degraded fellows of Tamim tribe jabbed him with their spears. He fell down and tried to continue fighting, but Haseen bin Numair rushed to him and delivered a sword strike upon his blessed head. He fell down again and that Tamimi dismounted his horse and decapitated

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/70
[2] Imam Khui, Mojamur Rijall Hadith 4/227
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/402


him and that pure spirit, well-satisfied and pleased rose up towards the Lord. Habib’s slaying deeply aggrieved His Eminence, Husain. He stood besides that honorable corpse sighing in sorrow and immersed in grief and remarked, “Allah shall be pleased with me and those friends of mine who render help.”[1]

Hurr’s Martyrdom

At that moment, the great warrior, Hurr bin Yazid Riyahi, who had responded positively to the call of truth, and preferred the Hereafter over this world, came to the battlefield and went to welcome death smiling in joy of having helped the beloved grandson of Allah’s Messenger. He performed a severe fight all the time intoning the following lines:

“I am Hurr and the refuge-giver to the guests who shall attack you with the sword.

In defense of the one who is the best to come to land of Khaif. I shall rain blows on you and not be regretful of it.”[2]

In this poem he spoke of his nobility and generosity and that his home was a shelter for guests and the center of messengers. He also announced that he shall strike off their necks with his sword in defense of the Holy Imam who the most honorable personality to be present in the land of Khaif. And in this matter he had neither any doubt nor any regret in fighting them.

Hurr fought while Zuhair bin Qain accompanied him. When one of them was caught up in crowd of fighters the other used to rush for his help and had him freed. This continued for quite some time.[3]

Hurr’s horse got multiple wounds yet he did not dismount it but continued to remain astride it and fight them reciting the lines of Antara:

“In this way I strike below their necks and chests till they are bathed in blood.”

There was a deep rooted and bitter enmity between Hurr and Yazid bin Sufyan. Haseen bin Numair took this into consideration and said to Yazid, “This is Hurr, whom you desire to kill.” Yazid attacked. Hurr swooped upon him and killed him.[4] Ayyub bin Mashruh aimed an arrow at Hurr’s horse and maimed it. The horse stampeded but Hurr jumped from it like a lion without incurring any harm. He began to fight on foot with courage till he put to the sword according to historians, 42 men from the enemy side.[5] Finally the foot soldiers attacked him with swords and spears and he fell down bathed in his pure blood. Companions of the Holy Imam hastened towards him and carried him to the Imam’s tent in front of which they fought, and placed him on the ground. Imam stood besides him and looked

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/70. Tabari, Tarikh 5/439-440
[2] Al Futuh 5/185
[3] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/183-184
[4] Tabari, Tarikh 5/434
[5] Al Manaqib, Ibne Shahr Aashob 4/100


with a sight full of divine effulgence at his manly face. Imam’s followers also stood in a respectful manner. Imam stepped forward and cleaned the blood from Hurr’s face and lamented for him with the following lines:

“You are ‘free’ (Hurr) like your mother named you. And you are free in the world and the Hereafter.”

Verily! Hurr was free (noble) and his conscience dominated his selfish desire and he chose martyrdom in defense of the Chief of the youths of Paradise over the life of this world and with his honorable death he trod on the path of Allah. One of the Imam’s followers recited the following dirge in his honor:

“The best of free men is Hurr bin Riyahi that even during continuous strikes of spears.

He became the best freeman when he sacrificed himself on Husain and gave up his life in the morning.”[1]

Fulfilling the Duty of Prayer

Inspite of that which had aggrieved the Imam, that is the calamities by whose fear mountains would have pulverized, His Eminence’s prime concern was to fulfill the duty of obligatory prayer, which is the most important worship act in Islam. He requested his enemies to give respite so that they may stand up in the worship of God. They agreed to give respite and His Eminence focused his attention on the Almighty and faced his Lord. Along with the surviving companions he performed the prayer of fear.[2] The prayer of His Eminence, in those moments of danger, was the most obvious sign of his devotion and obedience of Allah.

Saeed bin Abdullah Hanafi stood in front of Imam Husain so that he may defend His Eminence from the arrows and spears thrown from the enemy camp. Because they broke the pledge to give respite for prayer and taking this as an opportunity they began to shoot arrows towards the Imam and his companions.

Saeed Hanafi, according to historians rushed in the direction of coming arrows and stopped them with his chest and neck. He stood like a mountain and the arrows aimed at him failed to dislodge him from his position. The Imam had hardly concluded his prayer that he was seriously wounded by that time and he fell down bathed in his own blood and in a soft voice he was saying,

“O Allah! Curse them with the curse of Aad and Thamud and convey our salutation to Your Prophet and convey to him the pain I suffered from injuries as by this act I desire Your reward and to render help to the Progeny of Your Prophet.”

Then he glanced at the Imam to see if he has fulfilled his right and honored the pledge he had made to His Eminence. He asked, “O son of Allah’s Messenger, have I fulfilled it?”

[1] Al Futuh 5/186
[2] Khwarizmi, Maqtal Husain 2/17


Imam replied to him thankfully, “Yes, you shall be in Paradise with me.”

When he heard the Imam’s reply, his being became filled with satisfaction and happiness. At that moment his pure soul flew to his Lord while his physical body was shred into pieces by arrows and spears, because in addition to sword and spear blows thirteen arrows had hit him. Indeed this is indescribable and indefinable loyalty.

Zuhair’s Martyrdom

Among the companions of Imam Husain, whose beings were fused with faith in Allah, was Zuhair bin Qain. He was in great haste to go towards Paradise and shake hands with His Eminence, the Holy Prophet. Happy and elated by loyalty in the path of the Imam he went to His Eminence and kept his hand on the shoulder of His Eminence, Husain and addressed the Imam with the following Rajaz (war poem):

“Come, as you are the guide and the guided one. Today I shall meet your Holy grandfather.

And Hasan and Murtuza Ali and Ja’far with a pair of wings, the daring man.

And the Lion of God, that living martyr.”[1]

This recitation indicates his rightful faith devoid of every doubt and with certainty that he shall succeed in meeting the Prophet of Allah, his vicegerent, Amirul Momineen, His Eminence Hasan, His Eminence, Ja’far and His Eminence, Hamzah and it was the best thing that he was thinking.

Imam replied to him, “I shall also meet him after you.”[2]

That valiant fighter attacked the troops of Ibn Saad reciting the following lines of Rajaz poetry:

“I am Zuhair and son of Qain who would chase you away from Husain with swords.”

He informed them about himself and announced to them that he shall battle with them to defend his leader, His Eminence, Husain. He began to fight a fierce battle and according to historians he killed 120 men[3] and performed such a battle that it cannot be described.

Muhajir bin Aws and Kathir bin Abdullah Shobi attacked him and conveyed him to martyrdom. His Eminence, Husain went to the place of his martyrdom extremely sorrowful and aggrieved. Then he cast a farewell glace and remarked in a forlorn tone, “O Zuhair, may the Almighty not make you distant, and may He curse your murderers. Such a curse that they be transmogrified into monkeys and pigs…”[4]

[1] Maqtal Imam Husain, Khwarizmi 2/20
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/441
[3] Muqarram, Maqtal, Pg. 247
[4] Khwarizmi, Maqtal Husain 2/20


Martyrdom of Nafe bin Hilal

Among those who had dedicated their lives to the Almighty Allah was Nafe bin Hilal Jamli. He hastened towards the battlefield with faith and sincerity and with poisoned arrows began to confront the enemies of God. He had inscribed those arrows with his name. As he fought he went on reciting:

“I am shooting arrows at them while they are bigger and poisoned too and they cut off their flight.

Till by throwing them the field becomes full and greed is not in any way beneficial to the soul.”

In this manner he shot them with his arrows till he reached his last one. Then he drew his sword and attacked them reciting the following Rajaz song:

“I am a Tamimi Bajali youth and my religion is same as the religion of Husain bin Ali.

If I am killed today and my action is this and that belief of mine, I shall face my deeds.”

He has introduced himself and also stated that his religious beliefs were based on the religion of His Eminence, Husain, the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah. Also that he shall fight in defense of his faith.

He fought with a firm determination devoid of any shakiness when he saw the loneliness and isolation of his chief, Husain.

In such a way 12 persons were killed by him, in addition to those he had seriously wounded.[1] At that moment, the enemies of God surrounded him from all sides and began to shoot arrows at him and pelt him with stones. At last both his arms were broken and he could no more be able to wield his sword. They rushed upon him and took him as a prisoner to Ibn Saad.

“What has made you do this to yourself? asked Ibn Saad.

Like one having faith in Almighty he replied, “My Lord knows what I desire.”

A fellow of Ibn Saad glanced at him while his face bled and blood dripped from his beard, and said to him, “Don’t you know what came over you?”

In a taunting manner to infuriate them he replied, “By Allah, I have killed twelve of your men and this is apart from those I wounded. I shall not condemn myself for the deed I have performed and if my arms had remained healthy you wouldn’t have taken me as a hostage.”

The wicked leper, Shimr bin Zil Jaushan arose, took a sword and slew him.

Nafe was shouting at him, “O Shimr, by Allah, if you had been a Muslim it would have been very hard on you to meet the Lord with our blood on your hands. But thanks be to Allah that He appointed our death at the hands of His creatures.

[1] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/21


Yes, by Allah, if something had been less important than religion for Shimr he would not have committed that crime, because only one commits it that has no relationship with God.

That degraded one moved to Nafe and striked off his neck[1] and in this way came to an end the life of that great warrior having sincerity about his religion, earnest in defending the son of the Messenger of Allah and the greatest man in Islam in steadfastness for truth and true intention for its defense.

Abis and Shauzab

When the divinely inspired warrior, Abis bin Shabeeb Shakiri saw the loneliness of the Imam and the coming together of the people of Kufa for slaying His Eminence to went to his colleague in Jihad, Shauzab, the slave of Shakir[2] and asked him, “O Shauzab, have you decided what to do?”

Shauzab stood up to speak about his loyalty and spirit of sacrifice present in his decision. Thus he said, “I shall fight unto death.”

Abis thanked and praised him and said, “Go ahead for the service of Aba Abdillah so that he may take you into account like he has taken into account others than you, because today is the day when we can demand whatever reward we want.”

What faith could be like this faith? He strived with all his capabilities to obtain whatever he could that would make him more proximate to Almighty Allah.

Shauzab went forward and invoked blessings on the Imam. Then he attacked the troops of Ibn Saad and fought like a valiant fighter till he achieved martyrdom in the service of Abu Abdillah.[3]

Martyrdom of Abis Shakiri

Abis Shakiri belonged to a noble family having great respect and honor. That family was famous for its bravery and sincerity about truth, and His Eminence, Imam Ali has said regarding it, “If their number reaches upto a thousand, Almighty Allah shall be worshipped as befits Him.”

They had received the title of “the morning stalwarts.” Abis was the elder of the family and the most famous of them. He was of those who carried His Eminence, Muslim’s letter to His Eminence, Husain, in which the Imam was requested to come to Iraq immediately. He remained in the service of the Holy Imam from Mecca to Kerbala and he was the foremost of his companion in his love and devotion to His Eminence. He came forward to obtain the permission of His Eminence to fight. He spoke to the Imam and spoke of his deep love that he cultivated for His Eminence and he said,

“There is no one, near or far on the face of the earth as precious for me as your

[1] Ibne Kathir, Tarikh 8/184, Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/404
[2] It has come in Ziarat Rajabia: Suwaid, the slave of Shakir, Biharul Anwar 101/341
[3] Tabari, Tarikh 5/443-444


goodself. If I were able to remove your hardship I would have done so even if it necessitated sacrificing something more precious to me than my life. Peace be on you! I testify that I am on the path of your guidance and the guidance of your Holy father.”[1]

After that he launched an attack on Ibn Saad’s camp and challenged them to confront him. However no one accepted his challenge because all of them were afraid to face him as they knew him to be the most valiant of men. They called to each other while their hearts were full of terror and fear had caused their complexions to pale. They said, “This is the most ferocious lion, this is the son of Abu Shabeeb, none of you must go out to accept his challenge…”

Ibn Saad screamed at his troops, “Stone him!”

They picked up stones and began to pelt him from all sides. When that warrior saw their terror and refusal to accept his challenge, he threw away his coat of mail and helmet and pounced upon them like a lion and drove away more than a hundred mounted soldiers from before himself. They began to attack him from all sides, threw him down and beheaded him. But they began to argue among themselves. Each of them claimed to have killed him so that he may be entitled for the reward. However, Ibn Saad did not accept that one of them be his killer. Rather a group of them shared in his killing[2] and in this manner came to a close the life of that mighty stalwart who strived to his best in defense of Islam and performed a Jihad like the Jihad of the Prophets.

Zahhak flees

Zahhak bin Abdullah Musharrafi was one of the Imam’s followers but when he witnessed so many companions being killed he decided to flee from there. He came to His Eminence, Husain and said, “I have accompanied you so that whenever you face a battle I may die with you. So allow me to go way, because I am incapable of defending you or myself.”

Imam permitted him to leave and he fled from there. Some men of Ibn Saad blocked his way but later left him off. He thus escaped from there and could not obtain martyrdom in the service of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah.”[3]

Jaun’s Martyrdom

Jaun is an outstanding personality of Islam.[4] He was the slave of Abu Zar Ghiffari and much advanced in age. But his being was brimming with piety and faith. His black skin and unremarkable lineage did not prevent him from achieving that lofty status and he became a prominent Muslim. And he was able to earn such honor and respectability that no warrior in history has been able to gain.

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/444
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/444
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/404-405. Tabari, Tarikh 5/444-445
[4] It is said that his name was Huwi. Tabari, Tarikh 5/420


Historians say: He approached the Holy Imam and begged him for permission to sacrifice his life in service of His Eminence.

Imam told him, “O Jaun, you accompanied us in need of life, you are authorized by me (to go away).”

Jaun threw himself at the feet of the Holy Imam and kissed them. Tears were flowing upon his face and he was saying, “In prosperity I lick your vessels but in hardships should I abandon you? My smell is not pleasing, my origin and lineage is unremarkable and my skin is black. Bestow Paradise to me so that my body becomes fragrant, my origin and lineage gain honor and my skin turns fair. No by Allah, I shall not leave you till this black blood fuses with your bloods…”[1]

These brilliant statements, what greatness they speak of? And what an honor that soul had obtained...? His black skin was the most illuminated and elegant from the complexions of those slaves. He was a freeman with that loftiness of courage and personal nobility that he possessed. His smell was more pleasing than theirs and his origin and lineage was illuminated. The people of Kufa themselves were rendered of unknown identities, because they were not aware of their humanity and they brought disgrace and dishonor for all humanity.

Jaun’s statement was full of the logic of a noble man, because it is against humanity that he should remain under the protection of the Imam during times of peace and prosperity but in hard times, desert the Holy Imam. This was so because loyalty was one of the dominating qualities of each of the companions of Imam Abu Abdillah which distinguished them from all the other martyrs of the world.

Imam accorded permission to him and he set out for the battlefield full of self-respect reciting the following:

“O sinner how will you see the black strikes from the wielded and original sword?

We defend the children of Muhammad with the sword. We shall defend them by the tongue and by hand.

Through this I am hopeful of being saved on the day of gathering by the One and Only Lord.

Because there is no intercessor like Ahmad near Him.”[2]

By this Rajaz poetry he has described his daring and courage and that he was defending the children of the Prophet and shall continue to help them by his words and deeds and by doing thus he was hopeful of salvation and intercession of the Prophet.

Jaun fought like a courageous fighter and according to historians, he eliminated 25 fellows from the enemies. At last the enemies of God fell upon him and martyred

[1] Ibne Numa, Matheer al-Ahzaan, Pg. 63
[2] Al Futuh 5/198


him. Imam hurried to his side and glanced at his blood smeared body. He prayed for him, “O Allah, make his face fair and his body fragrant and raise him up with Muhammad and bestow him with the recognition of Aale Muhammad.”

The Almighty Allah accepted the Imam’s supplication because whoever passed through that battlefield perceived from him a fragrance more pleasing than that of musk.[1]

Martyrdom of Hanzalah Shabami

Hanzalah Shabami was the gentleman who had constructed his life with faith in God and he lived with faith and piety till he obtained the path to the loftiest of human values. He went to the Imam with eagerness and inclination in order to obtain for himself the status of martyrdom with the companions of the Imam. He pleaded for permission from His Eminence and the Imam granted it to him. He set out for the battle front and began to exhort those people towards rightfulness and reminded them of the abode of the Hereafter. He said:

“O people I fear for you a day like the day of confederates, like the community of Nuh, Aad, Thamud and those who succeeded them. The Almighty Allah will not be unjust to the people. O people! I am fearful regarding you for the day of entreaties, the day you shall be turned back and not have any refuge from the Almighty Allah. One who is led astray by Allah is not guided…O people! Do not slay Husain lest the Almighty involves you in chastisement. Whosoever resorts to slander, fails…”

Those decadent people could not understand his statements. They continued in their disobedience and misguidance as the Lord Almighty had sealed their hearts and ears and they could not see.

Imam thanked him for his discourse and said, “May Allah have mercy on you. They have become eligible for divine chastisement. They have requited you with the matters you told them inviting them to truth and they stood to confront you to destroy you and your colleagues. Then how can it be that they have killed your rightful brothers?”

“You are right, son of Allah’s Messenger! Are we not heading for the Hereafter?”[2]

The Holy Imam gave him permission and he moved to the field of battle with eagerness till he achieved martyrdom. He fought like a courageous soldier till he was martyred fulfilling his pledge to the Almighty that he would support the truth and sacrifice himself on the path of Islam.

Martyrdom of Hajjaj

Among the illuminated pages of loyalty that were embellished with the greatness of humanity was Hajjaj bin Masruq Jofi. He rushed speedily to the battle front and performed a ferocious fight till he was bathed in his chaste blood. He became extremely elated and joyful for having beautifully fulfilled his loyalty to Imam

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal, Pg. 252
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/443


Husain. He returned to His Eminence and addressed the Imam with this poem:

“I shall meet your grandfather, the Prophet today and after that your father, Ali, the generous one, whom I recognize to be the vicegerent of the Prophet.”

He came to the blessed grandson of the Messenger of Allah with his head held high due to having displayed remarkable loyalty and sacrifice.

Imam replied to him, “I shall meet them after you.”

Then he returned to the battle ground and resumed fighting with courage and steadfastness till he was martyred in defense of truth.[1] May he be rewarded with the best and everlasting divine rewards.

Martyrdom of Amr bin Junada

The fruitful youth, Amr bin Junada Ansari, the most youthful soldier in the army of Husain came to the field. In intellect and religion he was superior to every fellow of Ibn Saad’s camp. Historians say, “He was eleven years old and his father had been martyred in the battle. When he approached the Imam to permit him to fight, His Eminence refused it saying, “This boy’s father was martyred in the very first attack and perhaps his mother would not like him to go out and fight.”

The youth persisted with the Imam and said, “My mother has ordered me to go.”

The Imam then gave him permission. That young man sped to the ground in eagerness. Not much time passed but that he was martyred and the lowly creatures of Kufa severed his head from his body and tossed it towards the camp of Imam Husain. His respected mother came towards it, took it in her arms and kissed it profusely. Then cleaned up the blood and tossed the head to a man nearest to her and threw it down. She ran back to the tents and picking up a tent pole attacked the enemies of God reciting the following lines of poetry:

“I am an old woman from the weak ladies; absolutely hollow and empty from inside...

I shall give terrible blows to you in defense of the son of the honorable Fatima.”

She wounded two persons but the Imam sped to her and made her return to the camps.[2] The isolation of the Holy Imam had deeply affected the emotions of this great lady and after sending her beloved child to the battlefield she herself rushed to the field so that she may lay down her life for her master. These are really the favors of faith and devotion.

Martyrdom of Anas Kahili

Anas bin Harith Kahili was a companion of the Holy Prophet and with His Eminence he participated in the battles of Badr and Hunain. He had heard His Eminence state, “This son of mine (that is His Eminence, Husain) shall be killed in

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal, Pg. 253-254
[2] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/21-22


the land of Kerbala. So whosoever of you is present there must support him.”[1]

He was a gentleman much advanced in age but he remained in the service of His Eminence, Husain and accompanied him from Mecca. He sought permission of His Eminence to perform Jihad in his service. His Eminence granted the permission. He tied his waist with turban because his body was stooping. In the same way his drooping eyebrows were tied to his forehead.

When the Holy Imam looked at him, he began to weep and said, “The Almighty Allah conveys thanks to you, O Shaykh!” Despite his old age he fought like a brave warrior and reports state that he killed 18 persons and after that he was martyred[2] and his pure soul joined with the prophets, the truthful ones and the martyrs in the high realm. And how pleasing is their company.

Martyrdom of Abul Shasa

Abul Shasa Yazid bin Ziyad Muhajir Kandi was a brave stalwart and an outstanding knight of the Arabs. He was among those who had come out with Ibn Saad to confront the Holy Imam. When the Imam put forth his proposals and Ibn Saad did not accept them, he came over to the Imam’s side[3] and shot the soldiers of Ibn Saad with his arrows. Historians say that he shot one hundred arrows upon them of which only one missed its target. Whenever he shot an arrow the Imam said, “O Allah, make his arrow find its target and make Paradise his reward.”

When the stock of his arrows was exhausted, he drew out his sword and attacked them intoning the following Rajaz poem:

“I am Yazid and my father is Muhajir, braver than a lion that rests in a grove.[4]

Lord, I am in support of Husain and am away and aloof from Ibn Saad.”

He fought valiantly till he received the position of martyrdom[5] and in this way came to a close the life of this great man in defense of the religion of God and in support of the blessed grandson of Allah’s Messenger.

Martyrdom of Two Jabiris

Among the most outstanding colleagues of the Holy Imam were two Jabiris, namely Saif bin Harith bin Saree Jabiri and Malik bin Abd bin Saree Jabiri. They were brothers from their mother’s side and cousins of each other. They approached the Imam while tears were flowing from their eyes. The Imam asked them, “What has caused you to weep. I am hopeful that at a later hour your eyes shall be illuminated.”

[1] Usud al-Ghaba 1/349. Al-Isabah 1/68. Kanzul Ummal 12/126, H. 34314
[2] Muqarram, Maqtal, Pg. 252-253
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/405. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/73 and it is mentioned there that he was the first martyr from the companions of the Imam.
[4] In Al Futuh 5/199 it has come with some variation.
[5] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/405


The two of them quickly replied, “May Allah make us your ransom! We are not weeping at ourselves. We are crying for you. We see that you have been surrounded but there is no way we can be of any use to you.”

The hearts of the companions of the Imam were rich with remarkable devotion and deep sincerity regarding His Eminence. They were only worried about him and they were only affected with his grief and sorrow.

Those two Jabiris fought with zeal and when the swords and spears had cut up their bodies they reached martyrdom near the Holy Imam.[1]

Martyrdom of Two Ghiffaris

Two brothers, Abdullah and Abdur Rahman, sons of Urwah Ghiffari arrived in the grounds of Jihad and fought with exemplary fervor till they were martyred in the service of Imam Husain.

Martyrdom of Two Ansaris

When Imam called out for help and sought helpers and supporters to defend the ladies of the family of prophethood and noble women of the abode of revelation this matter deeply affected these two Ansaris. They were Saad bin Harith and his brother Abul Hatoof and they were in the party of Ibn Saad. They attacked the troops of Ibn Saad with wielded swords and fought till they achieved martyrdom.[2]

Martyrdom of Anees

Anees bin Mauqal Asbahi entered the plains of Jihad for the sake of Aba Abdillah while chanting the following poem of war:

“I am Anees and I am the son of Mauqal. In my right hand is a broad and a polished sword.

I strike with it in the battle so that it becomes clear and with it I hack at the heads of soldiers amidst the dust of the battlefield.

In defense of Husain with elegance, son of the Messenger of God, the best of the Prophets.”

This Rajaz poem is expressive of religious sentiments dominating him; because he introduced himself and announced that they were fighting in defense of the son of Allah’s Messenger and in this matter he had no desire except to earn the pleasure of Allah…this stalwart fought a furious battle till he reached martyrdom.[3]

Martyrdom of Qurra Ghiffari

Among the companions of the Imam martyred on the way of truth was Qurra bin Abi Qurra Ghiffari who departed for the battlefield humming the following Rajaz:

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/442-443, Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/392
[2] Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/122
[3] Al Futuh 5/198-199


“Indeed the Bani Ghiffar knew and Khandaf after the Bani Nizar.

That I am a lion in the dust of the battle to slash at the transgressing people.

With every original cutting sword I hack in defense of the family of the Chosen Prophet.

The family of the Prophet, those chiefs of the righteous ones.”[1]

This Rajaz is brimming with life and feelings for the defense of the family of the Prophet that indicates his valor so that the Bani Ghiffar, Khandaf and Bani Nizar, all the tribes can vouch for his bravery. He fought for defending the chief of the righteous, the sons of Allah’s Messenger in a remarkable Jihad...the stalwart of Ghiffari clan put up a severe fight till he fell down wounded by the blows of swords and spears and his lofty soul joined the highest realm.

Martyrdom of Yahya Mazini

Yahya bin Muslim Mazini departed for the fighting grounds reciting the following poetic composition:

“I shall attack these people with sword blows that would cut them apart. Terrible blows that would soon rain upon the enemies.

Neither shall I be weak in it nor would I show any sloth. Nor do I fear the approaching death today.

But I am like a lion defending its cubs.”

Through these lines he declared his bravery and that he would rain terrible strikes on his enemies and fight them with valor and manly determination. Such that he shall neither display any sort of weakness nor any laziness. He also is not fearful of death. Rather he shall attack them like a lion in order to defend the Progeny of the Messenger of Allah. He attacked them like a fighter and fought a severe battle till he reached martyrdom in the service of His Eminence, Abu Abdillah.[2]

The Imam and his companions

Imam blew into the hearts of his companions the spirit of determination and fortitude and trained them to be patient before hardships. He told them:

“O sons of great men! Be patient, for death is nothing but a bridge that would take you from hardships and difficulties towards vast gardens and everlasting bounties. Which of you would not like to be transferred from a prison to a palace? My father has narrated from Allah’s Messenger that he said, ‘The world is a prison for a believer and a paradise for an infidel and death is the bridge that conveys the former to gardens and the latter to Hell.’ Neither have I lied nor been lied to.”[3]

[1] Al Futuh 5/195
[2] Al Futuh 5/194
[3] Abdullah bin Nurullah, Maqtal al-Husain Awalim Imam Husain 17/351


These words enflamed their passions and they rushed to the whirlpools of death like a raging storm so that they may reach their positions in the garden of perpetuity.

Martyrdom of Abdullah Yazani

Abdullah Yazani hurried to the fields of battle and fought with exemplary courage while he was reciting the following:

“I am the son of Abdullah from the Progeny of Yazan. My religion is same as that of Husain and Hasan.

I shall rain blows upon you like the blows of the stalwart from Yemen as I am seeking through it salvation near my Lord.”

He introduced his lineage and native country and informed them that he was following the faith of his master, Husain. Also that he shall sacrifice himself in his path. It was so that he may gain salvation near the Almighty...Like his martyr brothers, he put up a furious fight and continued to battle with daring and a firm determination till he reached martyrdom.[1]

The Imam Besides the martyrs

The Holy Imam stood besides his great martyred companions and glanced at them with his glowing countenance. He saw them bathed in the blood of martyrdom and fragrant with the breeze of divine mercy. And regarding them to be great he lamented in their sorrow:

“Corpses like the corpses of prophets and of the families of the prophets.”[2]

Martyrdom of Suwaid

The last one to achieve martyrdom from the companions of the Holy Imam was the brave warrior, Suwaid bin Amr bin Abi Mata Khathami who fell down wounded in the battlefield. They thought that he was dead so they did not continue to attack him. He fainted due to the pain of his injuries and loss of blood but when he heard those people screaming: “Husain is killed”, he stood up like a wounded lion and without paying any heed to the pain of his injuries he began to search for his sword but he could not find it. However he found a knife and with it he attacked the foes injuring them. They ran away from him bewildered and thinking that the dead companions of Husain were coming back to life to again perform Jihad. But when they realized their mistaken notion they came towards him and conveyed him to martyrdom. Urwah bin Butan Thalabi slew him.

The history of humanity does not remember more devoted and sincere loyalty than this that indeed it is the splendor of the Imam’s camp that till the last moment of their life they remained steadfast in their loyalty to their Imam.

These were some companions of the Imam who put in such great efforts in battle that description and definition fails to describe them because they performed a

[1] Al Futuh 5/194
[2] Abdullah, Maqtal al-Husain Awalim 17/346


Jihad whose like is not found anywhere else in the world. They confronted that huge army and rendered serious losses and hardships to it in spite of their own few numbers and despite suffering from a severe thirst.

That group of warriors of faith fought the battle with hardships and arrived to that terrible whirlpool of that battle and resisted like a man and led the movement of faith. The determination of none of them fell slothful and the spear of none of them softened. All of them were bathed in their blood while they were feeling delighted and proud, and by great loyalties displayed the greatness of Islam as it had bestowed them with revolutionary spirit which enabled them to resist those wild beasts with patience and fortitude whose greed had impelled them to commit the most dreadful carnage of the history of mankind.

Their pure souls ascended to the exalted friend (God) in the best way possible and they sacrificed themselves in the path of Allah. And they followed the way that was most equitable according to the unanimity of all...And the most beautiful praise for them is found in the words of Imam Sadiq who said: “May my parents be sacrificed on you. You are pure and pure is the dust where you were buried. By Allah! You have reached the best of stations!”[1]

[1] Biharul Anwar 101/201

# Martyrdom of the Purified Progeny

When the chosen honorable companions of the Imam were martyred the sons of the family of prophethood from the youth and children stood up for loyalty and sacrifice. And inspite of their young age they resembled lions who did not fear death; and calamities didn’t scare them. They hastened to the fields of Jihad with earnest zeal though the Imam didn’t want some of them to go to die. However they stood pleading His Eminence and kissed his hands and feet so that he may permit them to fight in his defense.

A terrible scene that scorches the hearts and shocks every living being is that these youths were saying farewell to each other for the last time. Each of them kissed his brother or cousin again and again while they were immersed in tears of sorrow and grief for the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah. Because they saw His Eminence in solitude and isolation while the enemy troops had surrounded him. Also they saw the ladies of the family of revelation and prophethood raising up their wails and lamentations...,the Almighty Allah helped the Imam to bear these tragedies that break backbones and bewilder intellects and no man could bear them, except those whose hearts Allah has tested for faith... Among the descendants of the Messenger of Allah who were martyred in Kerbala were the following:

Ali Akbar

Historians are unanimous that Ali Akbar, son of Husain resembled his grandfather, His Eminence, the Messenger of Allah in appearance and manners. He possessed the same qualities that elevated him among all the prophets. And what a great wealth it was that the son of Hashim had. He possessed all the human capabilities and lofty values that the great reformers gain prominence from.

Among the outstanding examples of the manners of His Eminence were, magnanimity, great courage, self-respect, powerful and continuous steps in the fields of human perfection; because he considered death preferable and regarded life worthless in the way of nobility and he did not submit to the orders of that spurious one, son of the spurious one. When Ibn Saad dispatched one of his men to call to him, “You are having kinship to Chief of believers, Yazid. And we want to respect this relationship. Thus if you like we shall guarantee your safety!!”

Ali bin al-Husain ridiculed him and shouted at him, “Relationship with the Messenger of Allah is more deserving of respect.”[1]

He was among the most righteous sons of the Holy Imam and the foremost of them in his loyalty and defense of His Eminence. He was the first Hashemite to depart for the battle with exceeding eagerness. At that time his age – according to historians – was 18 years.[2] When the Imam saw him he continued to look at him

[1] Nasab-e-Quraish, Pg. 57
[2] Al Futuh 5/207 it is mentioned that his age was 23 as mentioned in Umdatut Talib, Pg. 192. And it is said that his age was 27 on the basis of what Muqarram has written in Maqtalul Husain, Pg. 255


for a long time while his heart was melting with sorrow and he was almost on the verge of death; because he beheld a son, the like of whom there was none, moving towards death. Thus he raised his face to the heavens and in a sad forlorn voice prayed:

“O Allah! Be a witness on these people that a youth has gone towards them to fight who in appearance, manners and speech most closely resembles their Prophet, Muhammad. Whenever we used to be eager to see Your Prophet we used to glance at him...O Allah! Prevent the bounties of the earth from them and make them dispersed and distressed and make them a divided people. And never let their rulers be pleased with them as they had invited me and offered to help me, but later on they oppressed us and confronted us in battle.”

In these grief-filled statements could be seen the level of the sorrow of His Eminence for his son whom he loved with all his being and with a burning heart he begged to Allah to punish those sinful people in the world with His most terrible chastisement. The Imam’s heart was burning for his son in emotions and he screamed at the sinful criminal, Umar bin Saad:

“What has happened to you, may Allah cut off His mercy from you, not bless any of your deeds and impose such a one upon you that shall kill you in your bed like you have cut off my relations and not honored our kinship with the Messenger of Allah.”

Then he recited the following verses of the Holy Quran:

“Surely Allah chose Adam and Nuh and the descendants of Ibrahim and the descendants of Imran above the nations. Offspring, one of the other; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing...”[1]

Tearful and immersed in sorrow the Holy Imam escorted his son, while the ladies of Ahle Bayt were behind His Eminence and their lamentations and wails for the image of the Messenger of Allah arose that he was going to be cut up into pieces by swords and spears.

That young man moved towards the battlefield with dignity, having absolutely no fear or worry. He had the awe of the Holy Prophet, valor of Amirul Momineen, daring of Hamzah and magnanimity of Husain. He positioned himself amidst the swords and spears of the enemies reciting the following:

“I am Ali bin al-Husain bin Ali. By the Lord of Kaaba, we are those rightly endowed with the Prophet.

By God, the spurious one, son of the spurious one will not rule upon us.”[2]

Yes, by Allah, you and your father, O pride of Bani Hashim were most deserving

[1] Surah Aale Imran 3/32-34
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/74. Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/361-362


to have the Prophet and you were most eligible for that position because you are the nearest person and one most closely related to them. But the political greed that dominated these people removed you from your position and these oppressive people gained power over you. They cut your physical organs into pieces and destroyed you completely so that they may have the field open for themselves and that they may unjustly rule over the Muslims.

In his war poem, Ali bin al-Husain announced the greatness of his courage and the intensity of his magnanimity and that he preferred death to submission to the orders of that wicked tyrant son of the wicked tyrant...At that moment he became involved in confrontation with the enemies of Allah while their hearts were full of fear and terror. He displayed such valor that it is impossible to describe it faithfully; because he reminded them of the valor of his grandfather, Amirul Momineen. According to some historians he slew 120 mounted soldiers and they were in addition to those he wounded. After that he returned to his father to complain to His Eminence about the thirst that was killing him and to say farewell to him for the last time. His father welcomed him warmly and Ali Akbar said to His Eminence:

“Thirst is killing me and the weight of the armor is painful. Is there any possibility of getting water from somewhere so that I can gain power over the enemy?”

The father was very much pained and affected by this. Then in a soft voice and with tearful eyes he said, “It is not possible to get water right now, but soon you shall meet your grandfather and he would quench your thirst by his own cup after which you shall never be thirsty again.”

Then he made him suck his tongue to show him his own thirst that its severity had dried up his lips. He then kept his finger ring in Ali Akbar’s mouth.[1]

This terrible scene was the most grievous of the calamities in which Imam Husain was involved; because he was looking at his beloved son in the prime of his youth and on the threshold of manhood terribly wounded and injured and that he was nearly dying of thirst while he was helpless to provide him with a glass of water or quench his thirst.

Hujjatul Islam Shaykh Abdul Husain Sadiq in his famous poem says:

“He complained of thirst to the best of fathers, but he did not complain of his internal thirst except to the one who was more thirsty.

Thus he would have preferred him over himself with the moisture of his lips if the remaining moisture of his mouth hadn’t dried.”

Ali bin al-Husain returned to the battle ground paying no attention to the injuries that had weakened him physically and the thirst that was scorching his internal organs. He was only concerned about the isolation of his father and the coming together of the enemies of Allah to eliminate His Eminence. Then he recited the

[1] Khwarizmi, Maqtal Husain 2/30-31


following couplets:

“For the battle that would uncover the truths and the meanings that shall be known after that.

By the Lord of the Throne! I shall not return my sword to the scabbard till I have driven away your huge army.”[1]

Through these lines he announced the pride of Bani Hashim that in battle shall reveal the realities and the great aims of Ahle Bayt that were behind it shall be known to all. And they shall fight in this way for realization of their aims before the swords are sheathed.

Ali Akbar performed a severe and ferocious battle till the number killed by him reached 200.[2] The foes bore the brunt of his attack and suffered huge losses. They began to scream in terror. Then the decadent wicked man, Marrah bin Munqidh Abadi[3] said: “May the felonies of the Arabs come on me, if he gets past me doing the same as he has been doing, (and) if I do not deprive his mother of him.”[4] Then that wicked one moved to the image of the Messenger of Allah and struck him with a spear on his back like a coward who attacks from behind. And he slashed at his head splitting it open and Ali Akbar embraced the horse’s neck aiming to reach his father’s camp to see him once again. But his horse carried him into the rows of enemies who attacked him from all sides. They did not even rest content at killing him but continued to hack him into bits and pieces with their swords to revenge the terrible losses they had suffered at his hands. Ali Akbar
called out in a loud voice:

“O Aba Abdillah! My salutation to you! Here is my great grandfather, the Messenger of Allah quenching my thirst by his cup so that I shall never be thirsty again. He is saying that a cup is also ready for you.”

The breeze carried these words to the grief-stricken father splitting up his heart and insides and despite being terribly wounded and exhausted he hastened towards Ali Akbar. He threw himself upon his dying son putting his cheek on Ali Akbar’s cheek while he had become a lifeless body that had been shredded into pieces by the savage swords. The Imam wept for him and in a soft voice that was bursting his heart said: “May God kill the people who killed you, my son. How foolhardy they are against the Merciful and in violating the sanctity of the family of the Apostle.[1]

[1] Al Futuh 5/209
[2] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/31
[3] Munqidh the father of Marrah was a commander of Imam’s forces in the battle of Jamal and he was martyred in it and his son, Marrah took the standard after him and participated in the battle and he fought on the side of the Holy Imam the battles of Siffeen and Nahrawan. After that he became an apostate and deviated from Islam and joined the army of Ibne Saad and in this battle he committed the worst sorts of evil deeds one of which was the killing the image of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), Ali Akbar.
[4] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain Pg. 259. Maqatilut Talibeen, Pg. 115


Youths from his uncles and cousins rushed towards him and threw themselves upon him kissing his body that was almost shredded by wounds and pledged that they shall also tread the path he had traversed. Imam ordered them to carry him to the camp.

The pure granddaughter of the Prophet, Her Eminence, Zainab, hastened to the corpse of her nephew while only a few moments ago she had looked at his splendor. This tragic scene shocked the Imam and affected him deeply and His Eminence began to condole while repeating the words, “There will only be dust on the world after you.”

Ali bin al-Husain was the vanguard and the leader of every brave noble who opposed humiliation and injustice and lived in the world with courage and self-respect.

Farewell, O warrior of Islam!

Farewell, O pride of Bani Hashim!

Farewell, O morning of every night!

Along with your father we also bid you farewell in the sorrowful words: “There is no world after your passing away.”

Martyrdom of Aqil’s family

The daring youths of Aqil’s family raced towards Jihad while they considered death as nothing. Imam noticed their courage and eagerness to render support to His Eminence and he said, “O Allah! Kill the murderers of the progeny of Aqil…O family of Aqil! Be patient as you are promised Paradise.”[2]

His Eminence, Ali bin al-Husain, Zainul Abideen used to be very fond of the family of Aqil and accorded them preference over the family of Ja’far. When he was asked about this matter he explained, “I remember their day with Abu Abdillah and my heart burns for them.”[3]

From them nine persons were killed in defense of the beloved son of the Messenger of Allah as the poet has said regarding them:

“O eyes, weep and lament and be mournful if you sit in mourning for the family of the Prophet.

Seven in all from the progeny of Ali and nine from the progeny of Aqil were martyred.”[4]

They pounced upon that army with intent and a firm determination and rendered them the severe-most losses. Among the martyrs of Aqil’s family were:

[1] Khwarizmi, Maqtal Husain 2/31. Al Lohoof, Pg. 167. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/74. Nasab-e-Quraish, Pg. 57
[2] Batal al-Qama 1/277
[3] Bihar 46/110
[4] Al Ma’arif, Pg. 204


Abdullah bin Muslim

The youth of Bani Hashim, Abdullah bin Muslim[1] hastened to the field of Jihad and arrived with eagerness into the whirlpools of hardships of the battle while he was bewildering the audience with his elegant appearance and valor and was reading the Rajaz war poem quoted below:

“Today I shall meet my father, Muslim and the daring, the valiant ones who have passed away on the faith of the Prophet.

They are not those who are recognized for lying, rather they are righteous and of noble lineage.

From Bani Hashim, the original Sadat.”[2]

He introduced himself that he was the son of the immortal martyr, Muslim bin Aqil and on that same day he would meet his father and the brave ones from his cousins who had been martyred in the way of Islam and passed away on the religion of the Holy Prophet. They were not like the people of Kufa well-known for deception, betrayal of trust and lying. Rather they were from the progeny of Hashim, the leaders of Arabs in whose personality had accumulated every merit and honor in Islam.

That young man fought a severe battle and in three attacks killed a number of people so the oppressive decadent one, Yazid bin Raqqad[3] shot a terrible arrow towards him. Though this youth had placed his hand before himself the arrow pinned it to his forehead and he was not able to remove it and a terrible pain pierced through his body. He cursed those criminals and said: “O Allah, they have considered us lowly and degraded. So kill them like they have killed us.”

Other wretched persons pounced upon him and struck a spear on his chest and thus was martyred that youth in defense of the most Holy sanctity in Islam.[4]

Ja’far bin Aqil

Ja’far bin Aqil[5] rushed to the fields of Jihad and arrived in the middle of the battleground, reciting the following poem of battles:

“I am a youth of Abtah and a Talibi from the group of Bani Hashim and Bani Ghalib.

Indeed we are the chiefs of the tribes, this is Husain the leader of the pure ones.”[6]

[1] Mother of Abdullah bin Muslim was Ruqaiyya, daughter of His Eminence, Amirul Momineen. This is mentioned in Nasab-e-Quraish, Pg. 45
[2] Al Futuh 5/202-203
[3] It is mentioned in Tarikh Ibne Athir 4/74: Amr bin Sabih Sadaiee shot arrow at him.
[4] Khwarizmi, Maqtal Husain Pg. 362
[5] The mother of Ja’far bin Aqil was Umme Thughar, daughter of Aamir Aamiri from Bani Kilab (Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 97)
[6] Al Futuh 5/203


He introduced himself to them that he was from the family of Prophethood, which is the most noble family of Arabs and the most magnificent of them. Also that he was fighting in defense of his leader, Husain who is the head of the pure ones and the pride of this world.

That youth fought a ferocious fight till Urwah bin Abdullah Khathami shot an arrow at him and martyred him.[1]

Abdur Rahman bin Aqil

Abdur Rahman bin Aqil[2] headed for the war front and began to attack in a furious manner calling out this poem of Rajaz:

“My father is Aqil, so you recognize his status too from Bani Hashim and they are our brothers.

Truthful men who were the leaders of the confrontation, this is Husain with his exalted position.”[3]

He spoke of his remarkable lineage that he was the son of Aqil, the cousin of the Prophet of Allah and that he was of the chiefs of the nobility who were most prominent examples of loyalty, greatness and respectability on the earth; in the same way he remembered Imam Husain with respect that His Eminence had a very lofty position due to his exalted values and his superior qualities and his relationship with the Holy Prophet…He fought the battle like a valiant soldier till the time Uthman bin Khalid Jehni and Bashir bin Haus Qaidh pounced upon him and sent him to his martyrdom.[4]

Muhammad bin Aqil

Muhammad bin Aqil was a religious jurisprudent who arrived into the battlefield in defense of the beloved grandson of Allah’s Messenger and achieved martyrdom in the service of His Eminence.[5]

Abdullah Akbar

Abdullah Akbar[6] came to the field and began to fight till the time Uthman bin Khalid bin Aseer Jehni and a man from the Hamadan tribe attacked him and sent him towards martyrdom.[7]

[1] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 97
[2] Mother of Abdur Rahman bin Aqil was a slave mother (Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 96)
[3] Al Futuh 5/203
[4] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 96
[5] Mother of Muhammad bin Abi Saeed al-Hawl bin Aqil was a slave mother (Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 98)
[6] Mother of Abdullah Akbar was a slave mother (Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 97)
[7] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 97


Muhammad bin Abi Saeed bin Aqil

Muhammad bin Abi Saeed bin Aqil was a witty speaker and he also presented himself in Jihad field and achieved martyrdom in the service of Imam.[1]

Muhammad bin Muslim

Muhammad bin Muslim[2] came to the field of the battle and was attacked by Abu Murham Azadi and Luqait bin Ayas Jehni and martyred by them.[3]

Ali bin Aqil

Ali bin Aqil came to the battlefield and fought a hard battle and reached martyrdom in the service of Abu Abdillah.[4]

The youths from the family of Aqil displayed incomparable and admirable valor and courage and competed with each other for martyrdom in the service of His Eminence, Husain and sacrificed their lives for him.

Sons of His Eminence, Hasan

Daring youths from the sons of His Eminence, Hasan, who were in the prime of their youth and the threshold of adulthood came forward and competed with each other to reach martyrdom so that they may sacrifice their lives for their uncle. They were as follows:

Abdullah bin Hasan

His agnonymn was Abu Bakr and his mother was Umme Walad named Ramla. He rushed towards the battlefield, swords and spears lacerated his body and he fell down bathed in his own blood.[5]

Qasim bin Hasan

Qasim was the foremost among sons of Imam Hasan. According to the description provided by historians he was in elegance and handsomeness like a moon and in freshness and beauty he was like a beautiful flower who the Almighty Allah had bestowed with great intelligence and faith despite his tender age and his uncle had nurtured him with his good habits and qualities and threw upon him the ray of his soul till he became an exemplar of perfection and strong faith.

Qasim used to be inclined towards his uncle and think about his hardships and wanted to keep him safe from the harm of enemies through his blood and he used to say, “Till the time sword is in my hand, my uncle shall not be killed.”[6]

When he saw the isolation of his uncle he was surrounded by painful sorrows and

[1] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 98
[2] His mother was a slave wife
[3] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 97
[4] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 98
[5] Life of Imam Hasan 2/470
[6] Imaduddin Isfahani, Al Bustanul Jame Li Jamiul Tawarikhul Zaman, Pg. 25, from photocopy at Imam Hakim Library


he came to His Eminence to gain permission to perform Jihad for him.

With tearful eyes, the Imam embraced him and after he insisted greatly, accorded permission to him. That astonishing daring youth, who didn’t know what fear was and considered life nothing, set out without armor or helmet, only carrying a sword. He confronted the enemies, striked off their necks and slashed their heads as if death was under his control. He killed whomsoever he wanted. But during his fighting the strap of one of his sandals broke. That child of prophethood didn’t like to fight with a bare foot so he halted to retie the strap without any concern for the surrounding foes. The decadent man, Amr bin Saad saw this as an opportunate moment and he said, “By God, I shall attack him now!”

Hamid bin Muslim criticized him, “Glory be to Allah! What do you intend to achieve by this? While even if one of the family of Husain remains, that will be enough to take vengeance from you for his death.”

Amr paid no attention to him. He attacked Qasim and striked his blessed head with his sword. He fell down like a falling star and called out in a loud voice, “My Uncle!”

The Imam’s heart burst with pain and he rushed towards his nephew, attacked his killer and cut off his hand from the elbow. His colleagues rushed to his help but that sinner was trampled by hooves of the horses.

Imam came to his nephew, kissed him while the youth was thrashing his limbs. Imam spoke to him with the sorrow of his heart, “May the people who have caused your death perish. For the one who will oppose them on the Day of Resurrection on your behalf will be your grandfather…By God, it is hard on your uncle that you called him and he did not answer you, or rather he answered but your cry was too late to help you. For by God, those who kill his relatives are many but those who help him are few.”[1]

Then he carried that youth in his arms, while he was thrashing his legs like a bird with its head cut.[2] He took him and put him with his son, Ali Akbar and the other members of the household who had been slain. He continued to look at those luminous stars of his Ahle Bayt for a long time and invoked curse on their terrible killers. At that time he consoled the few surviving members of Ahle Bayt and said:

“O Allah! Take their account and do not leave anyone of them and do not forgive them at all. Be patient, O my cousins, be patient! O my Ahle Bayt! After this day you shall never be humiliated…”[3]

May Allah be your helper, O Aba Abdillah! You faced with determination such tragedies that even mountains shake in their terror and which destroy the forbearance of every man.

[1] Al-Irshad, 2/107-108. Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/186. Ad Durrun Nadheem fee Manaqibul Aaimma, Pg. 556
[2] Al-Bustanul Jame, Pg. 25
[3] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/28


Hasan, Son of Imam Hasan

Hasan, son of Imam Hasan fought like a valiant stalwart and fell down wounded on the ground. When those wicked men of Kufa came to cut off the heads of the martyrs, he was on the verge of death. His maternal uncle, Asmaa bin Kharja Fuzari interceded for him and his intercession was accepted. He took him to Kufa with himself, nursed his injuries and restored his health after which he was sent to Medina.[1]

Abdullah bin Hasan

He was a lad of eleven years who saw his uncle surrounded by the enemies and rushed out to help him. His uncle asked Zainab to take care of him and restrain him but he refused to go back and came running to his uncle. Abjar bin Kaab rushed towards Husain and attacked him with his sword. The young lad said to him, “Woe upon you, you son of an impure woman, are you trying to kill my uncle?”

Abjar struck at him with his sword. The boy tried to fend off (the blow) with his arm. The sword cut through his arm to the skin on the other side. There was the arm hanging by the skin. The boy cried out, “O my mother!” Imam Husain took hold of him and embraced him. He said to him, “My nephew, try to bear what has come to you and be comforted with the news that God will unite you with your righteous ancestors.”

Then His Eminence, Husain raised his hands and said, “O God, even as You have made life pleasant for them for a time, divide them into factions and make them follow the ways of factions and let their rulers never be pleased with them. They summoned us so that they might support us and then they become hostile to us and fought us.”[2]

When he was in the arms of his uncle, the wicked decadent man, Hurmula bin Kahil aimed and shot an arrow at him, killing him.[3] Imam picked him up and laid him among the corpses of his Ahle Bayt.

Those transmogrified men were devoid of every human quality. They considered the slaying of innocent children permissible, which was even illegal during the pre-Islamic period.

Sons of Abdullah bin Ja’far

The sons of Abdullah bin Ja’far competed for Jihad in service of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah. They were as follows:

1. Aun bin Abdullah

The mother of Aun is Her Eminence, Zainab, the daughter of His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen. He hastened to the field of Jihad and fought in the most valiant manner reciting the following couplets of Rajaz:

[1] Life of Imam Hasan 2/471-72
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/450-451
[3] Al-Lohoof, Pg. 173


“If you don’t know me, I am the son of Ja’far, that martyr of truth who shines in Paradise.

There, with a pair of green wings he flies, and this excellence is enough for pride of a group.”[1]

He introduced himself that he was a descendent of Ja’far, the immortal martyr in Islam, whose hands were cut off in the way of Islam and according to the Holy Prophet the Almighty Allah bestowed him with a pair of wings by which he glides in Paradise. Thus, being the descendent of such a great man was sufficient for ones respectability.

He continued to fight till Abdullah bin Qutbah attacked and martyred him.[2]

Sulaiman bin Qatah has versified this as follows:

“Observe mourning if you weep, for your brother Aun who did not fall short in rendering his help.

By my life! You have versified the grief of the relatives of the Prophet, so weep for these prolonged calamities.”[3]

2. Muhammad bin Abdullah

Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Ja’far’s mother was Hausa from the Bani Bakr bin Bani Wael tribe.[4] He landed in the battlefield humming the following lines:

“I shall complain to Allah about your injustice. The battle in which they have become blind in killing.

They have changed the signs of the Quran and the explanation of unambiguous and clear verses.

And they have exposed their disbelief and disobedience.”[5]

With this Rajaz he complained to Allah about the pain and grief of Ahle Bayt against that oppressive people who had gone beyond all bounds in injustice and wickedness and had become completely blind. Who have destroyed themselves in misguidance and distorted the laws of Quran and exposed infidelity and sinfulness.

That young man fought a hard battle till he was attacked by Aamir bin Nahshal Tamimi[6] and wounded by his sword. He fell down on the burning sands of Kerbala smeared with his blood. Then he passed away after a few moments as described by Sulaiman bin Qatah in his poetry:

“The one named like the Prophet passed away from them wounded by the strikes of sharpened swords.

So O, my eyes! If you weep, weep profusely with tears like a flowing flood.”[7]

[1] Al Futuh 5/204
[2] Al-Irshad, 1/107
[3] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 95
[4] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 95
[5] Al Futuh 5/204
[6] Al-Irshad, 2/107
[7] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 95-96


3. Ubaidullah bin Ja’far

Ubaidullah bin Ja’far’s mother was Khausa, the daughter of Hafasa. He set out for Jihad and reached martyrdom.[1]

Brothers of His Eminence, Husain

After that the chosen pure ones of Ahle Bayt reached martyrdom, none remained with Husain except his brothers from his father’s side. They also hastened towards Jihad and entrusted themselves to death till they sacrificed their lives and existence upon the beloved son of Allah’s Messenger.

His Eminence, Abbas and his Brothers

When the stalwarts of Bani Hashim and pride of the clan of Adnan, His Eminence, Abbas, son of Imam Amirul Momineen saw so many dead from his Ahle Bayt he glanced at his full brothers and said, “Go ahead, sons of my mother, that I may see you loyal for Allah and His Prophet and sacrifice yourselves because you are issueless (and as yet unmarried).”[2]

These statements show the depth of the faith of His Eminence, because he wanted his brothers to lay down their lives loyally for God and His Prophet. And in this matter he had no other factor in mind, like relationships and lineage…His Eminence, Abul Fazl addressed Abdullah the eldest one among the rest of his brothers, “My brother! Go ahead so that I see you killed and ask Allah about your recompense.”[3]

Worthless statement

Among the most worthless and absurd things is that which Ibn Athir has reported. He says, “His Eminence, Abbas told his brothers, “Go Ahead, so that I may inherit you; because you are all issueless.”[4] They have attributed such a statement to him in order to belittle the importance and greatness of this brave stalwart who presented such an exemplary sacrifice in the forefront of Islamic forces. Is it possible that in that hour when death was only a few steps away from His Eminence, that His Eminence, Abbas should be concerned about material things and worldly matters in spite of the terrible calamities that had surrounded them? He was seeing that like stars his nephews were lying on the sands and he could hear the wails of the ladies of the family of prophethood and was aware of the screams of children complaining of thirst. He saw his brother surrounded by the enemies and he wanted helpers but no one was coming to his help. Such terrible
calamities that astound the minds surrounded him from all sides and he was not thinking of anything else except that he should pass away from this world as soon as possible. Apart from this, his mother, Ummul Baneen was yet alive and in the table of inheritance she held a higher position. And perhaps that which has been

[1] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 96
[2] Al-Irshad, 2/109
[3] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 86
[4] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/76


recorded is: “So that I may take revenge for you.” And the words have been distorted.

Martyrdom of Abdullah son of Amirul Momineen

Abdullah bin Amirul Momineen, whose mother was Ummul Baneen, marched towards the plains of Holy war and busied himself in engaging the enemies in battle. At the same time he recited the following poetic composition:

“My master is Ali, owner of great honor, from Bani Hashim, having great value and generosity.

This is Husain, son of the Messenger Prophet whom I defend with a sharpened sword.

May my life be sacrificed on him. What a brother! O my Lord! Grant me reward of position.”[1]

Through these lines he has boasted about his father, Imam Amirul Momineen the gate of the city of knowledge of the Prophet, the vicegerent of His Eminence. In the same way he has expressed pride about his brother, Imam Husain, the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah and that he was not defending him on the basis of his relationship. Rather, through this he desired to obtain the pleasure of Almighty and the abode of the Hereafter.

That daring youth fought in this ferocious manner till the sinful oppressor, Hani bin Shabth Hadhrami attacked him and made him reach martyrdom.[2]

Martyrdom of Ja’far

Ja’far bin Amirul Momineen, whose mother was Ummul Baneen, was only 19 years old. He set out for the field and conducted the battle of a courageous warrior till he was attacked by Hani bin Shabth and sent to his martyrdom.[3]

Martyrdom of Uthman

Uthman bin Amirul Momineen, also son of Lady Ummul Baneen, was 21. He too left for the battle front of Jihad and Khawli shot him with an arrow and incapacitated him. A man from Bani Daram attacked and martyred him. Then he picked up his head[4] to take it to his master, Ibn Marjana and get reward for it.

Martyrdom of His Eminence, Abbas

In the history of humanity, neither ancient nor modern, there exists brotherly relationship more truthful, prominent and loyal than the brotherhood of Abul Fazl for his brother, His Eminence, Imam Husain because this brotherhood contains all the human values and lofty exemplars.

[1] Al Futuh 5/205
[2] Al-Irshad, 2/109. And in Al Futuh 5/205 it is mentioned that his killer was Zajar bin Badr Nakahai.
[3] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 88
[4] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 89


Among the most prominent signs of that incomparable brotherhood were sacrifice, equality and loyalty; because His Eminence, Abul Fazl sacrificed his life for his brother and equally shared all the hardships and calamities. Imam Zainul Abideen has praised this incomparable quality of his uncle and said:

“May Allah have mercy on my uncle, Abbas. He displayed loyalty and service and sacrificed himself on his brother; so much so that both his arms were severed. Allah Almighty, the Mighty and Sublime granted him a pair of wings by the help of which he floats in Paradise, just as they were bestowed for Ja’far bin Abu Talib...there is such a position for Abbas near the Almighty that on the Day of Resurrection, all the martyrs shall vie for it.”[1]

This true brotherhood is a cause for respect and astonishment near all the people and it serves as an example for all generations and periods of time, such that the grandson of His Eminence, Fazl bin Muhammad[2] has prided over it and said:

“Among men, one who is most deserving to be mourned is that daring man who made His Eminence, Husain weep in Kerbala.

His brother and son of his father, Ali, Abul Fazl, bathed in blood.

Who showed loyalty to him and nothing prevented him, in spite of his thirst, he accepted water only for him.”[3]

And Kumayt says:

“And Abul Fazl whose goodly remembrance is medicine for pains of the hearts.

He killed the wicked ones when they slew.

He was the most honorable of those who drink rain water.”[4]

His Eminence, Abul Fazl had extensive strength of piety and religion, the effulgence of his face was clear; so much so that he was called the Moon of the Hashemites; in the same way he was the most outstanding warrior in Islam. Even though he rode a very tall horse the legs of His Eminence used to trail on the ground.[5] He had inherited the qualities of valor and fighting from his father.

On the day of Ashura, the Holy Imam entrusted the command of the army to him and handed his standard to him, so he raised it aloft and waved it and performed a ferocious battle. When he saw the isolation of his brother and the killing of his companions and Ahle Bayt – those who had sold their lives to Allah – he came to His Eminence and asked him for permission so that he may meet his bright future.

[1] Bihar 44/298, H. 4
[2] Fadl bin Muhammad bin Hasan bin Ubaidullah bin Abbas, this is mentioned in Uyun al-Akhbaar wa Fununul Aathaar Pg. 101
[3] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 89
[4] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 90
[5] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 90


Imam did not permit him and told him in a low and sad voice, “You are my standard bearer.”

As long as His Eminence, Abul Fazl was alive, the Imam felt strong and powerful, because he was like a battalion besides him that would defend and support him. His Eminence, Abul Fazl urged His Eminence too much and said, “These hypocrites have constricted my chest and I wish to take my revenge from them.”

His Eminence’s heart had become restricted and he was fed up with life in such a way that like luminous stars, he saw his brothers, nephews and uncles lying beheaded on the sands of Kerbala. He became nostalgic and restless to join them and to take their revenge.

Imam requested him to try to get water for children which would quench their thirst. That daring man rushed towards those transmogrified people and began to exhort them goodness, warned them of Divine Chastisement and revenge and addressing Ibn Saad said, “O Ibn Saad! This is Husain, the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah whose companions and Ahle Bayt are slain. These are his thirsty ladies and children; provide drinking water for them as the thirst is scorching their beings. Also he has proposed to you: Leave me, I shall go home or to India and leave Iraq and Hijaz to you.”

The earth shook below their feet and they wished it had swallowed them up. Some of them began to weep and a terrible silence reigned over them. The dirty decadent beast, Shimr bin Zil Jaushan replied to him and said, “O son of Abu Turab! If all the face of the earth was water and had been under our control we wouldn’t have given you a drop from it till you pledged allegiance to Yazid.”

Abul Fazl returned to his brother and informed him about their oppression and sinfulness. That courageous daring man heard the wails of the children shouting for help and screaming: O thirst! O thirst! Water! Water!

When Abul Fazl al-Abbas looked at them – what a terrible sight it was – he saw that their lips had dried up completely, their vision was confused due to thirst and they were on the verge of death. Abbas was deeply pained by this and extremely shocked. Daringly he hastened to help them; taking a water skin he mounted a horse and attacked the banks of Euphrates. By his courageous power he succeeded in breaking up the cordon that guarded the waterfront. Mercenaries fled from him because they were reminded of the valor of his father, the conqueror of Khaiber and the destroyer of the polytheists.

His Eminence reached the water while his heart was bursting of thirst. He picked up some water to drink but was reminded of the thirst of his brother and the ladies and children accompanying him. So he threw down the water and refrained from quenching the thirst that was killing him. Then he recited the following:

“O self! After Husain you are nothing and after him there is nothing.

This is Husain who is going towards death while you would drink cool water?


By Allah! This is not an action sanctioned by my religion.”[1]

With all respect and honor humanity pays tribute to this great attitude and mentality that has created excellence and exalted Islam in the world; an attitude that imparts the most prominent lessons of human nobility and lofty values.

This sacrifice which had gone beyond the limitations of time and place; it was from the most outstanding qualities in the manners of Abul Fazl; because emotions full of loyalty and devotion with regards to his brother did not give him the possibility to drink water before him. Thus what sacrifice could be better and truer than this? He had merged his heart with the heart of his brother and his soul had become one with that of his brother and between the two there was no plurality of being.

After the pride of the Hashemites had filled the water skin he set out for the camp carrying the water which was for him more precious and important than his life. On the way he became involved in a ferocious confrontation with the foes; because they had surrounded him from all sides to prevent him from supplying water to quench the thirst of Ahle Bayt. That stalwart killed a large number of them, beheaded many and felled their fighters, reciting the following poem:

“I do not fear dying if I am confronted with death till I may even be felled to the ground by swords drawn out.

May my life be a ransom for the life of the grandson of Mustafa, the pure one. I am Abbas carrying the water skin.

And on the day of battle I have no fear of death.”[2]

He announced to them his incomparable courage and great valor and said that he wasn’t afraid of death, rather he was welcoming it on the way of defense of his brother, the just leader of society on the earth...He prided upon the fact that he was carrying a skin full of water to quench the thirst of Ahle Bayt.

Soldiers of falsehood fled from him in terror and trepidation; because His Eminence Abul Fazl displayed a courage that was beyond description; they became certain that they would not be able to confront him. Except for the cowardly decadent one, Zaid bin Raqqad Jehni who concealed himself behind a date palm waiting in ambush and did not come out face to face. He slashed at the right hand of Abbas severing it completely...he cut off the hand that was generous and good doing to the people and which defended the rights of the persecuted and oppressed.

Abul Fazl did not pay much heed to his right hand and began to recite:

“By Allah! If they cut off my right arm, I shall continue to defend my faith as before.

And defend the rightful Imam in certainty, the son of the pure and Truthful Prophet.”[3]

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 267-268
[2] Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 4/108
[3] Al Manaqib 4/108


In this Rajaz recitation he has indicated his great aims in fighting against them because he was confronting in defense of religion and defense of the Imam of Muslims.

His Eminence had not proceeded much when the most wicked of men, Hakim bin Tufail Tai stood in ambush behind a date tree and hacked the left arm of His Eminence and severed it. Some accounts of Kerbala tragedy have mentioned that His Eminence held the water skin in his teeth and began to gallop fast to convey the water to the thirsty people of Ahle Bayt while he paid scant regard to that which was causing pain to him, loss of blood and severity of wounds etc. This was the pinnacle of loyalty, mercy and kindness that humanity in all its stages had achieved.

While he was speeding fast a wicked arrow pierced the water skin and water flowed on the desert sand and that brave stalwart fell into gloom and sorrow because the loss of water was harder for him than strikes of sword and hits of spears. During this moment a decadent man from those people attacked him and bludgeoned his blessed head with an iron mace. This caused the top of his head to split and he fell to the ground calling out his farewell and last salutations to his brother and saying, “My salutation for you, O Aba Abdillah!”[1]

The movement of breeze carried his words to his brother bursting his heart and shredding his insides. In spite of feeling extremely exhausted and shattered, His Eminence mounted a horse and rushed to the enemy troops and reached to the side of that blessed body which was in the throes of death. He threw himself upon him, kissed him and shed tears on him and with the corners of his heart that the tragedies had burst, he said:

“Alas, my back has broken and my strength is gone!”

The Holy Imam looked at the body of his brother for a long time and the true brother, rare loyalty and the brave one who had no equal…his dreams were shattered. The only thing that made it a little easier for him bear these tragedies was that he was also going to join him in the near future and that he wouldn’t be alive after him except for a little while. But for him those moments were like years and he would have liked that death came to him before his brother passed away.

The Imam was immersed in sorrow and grief while his strength had sapped and he didn’t even have the capacity to lift his feet. The signs of exhaustion and sadness were apparent upon him. He stood up and went towards the camps wiping his tears. Sakina came forward to receive him and she asked, “Where is my uncle?”

His Eminence, deep in sorrow and tears informed her about his martyrdom. When the granddaughter of the Prophet, Her Eminence, Zainab, learnt of the martyrdom of her brother, she became distressed and anxiety enveloped her. She kept her hand on her broken heart and lamented, “O my brother! O my Abbas!

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 269


After you I shall be lost!”

Imam accompanied his sister in mourning for his righteous brother and that patient man raised his voice and called out, “Abul Fazl, after you woe be upon our helplessness.”[1]

After the loss of his brother, the Holy Imam felt lost and isolated, a brother who did not leave a single kind of good deed and sacrifice but that he performed it for his brother.

Peace be upon your custom and remembrance, O Abal Fazl! That you went towards your great destiny while you were of the greatest of martyrs in prominence and sacrifice.

Farewell, O moon of the Hashemites!

Farewell, O valiant one of Kerbala!

Peace be on you! The day you were born, the day you were martyred and the day you shall be raised again.

Muhammad Asghar

Among the brothers of Imam Husain martyred from his father’s side was Muhammad Asghar. His mother was Umme Walad.[2] He fought fiercely. A man from Tamim tribe attacked him and sent him to his martyrdom.[3]

Abu Bakr

Abu Bakr was the Imam’s brother from the father’s side and his mother was Laila binte Masud.[4] His name is not generally recorded but according to Khwarizmi he was named Abdullah.[5] He went to the battlefield and a person from the Hamadan tribe caused him to be martyred. It is said that his killer is not known exactly.[6] Tabari believes that it is doubtful that he was killed at all.

Abbas Asghar

Abbas Asghar was also a brother of the Holy Imam from paternal side. His mother was Lubaba, daughter of Ubaidullah Ibn Abbas. He was martyred on the day of Ashura.[7] Qasim bin Asbagh Mujashayee says: When the severed heads were brought in Kufa, I saw a rider from the shank of whose horse hung the severed head of a lad who yet didn’t have facial hair. His face was as handsome as a full moon. Whenever the horse brought its head down the lad’s severed head used to reach to the ground. I asked about that rider. They said, “He is Hurmula bin

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 269-270
[2] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 90. And in Tarikh Khulafa of Khaiyaat 1/34 it is mentioned that his mother was Lubaba daughter of Ubaidullah bin Abbas.
[3] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 91
[4] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 91
[5] Khwarizmi, Maqtal al-Husain 2/28
[6] Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 91
[7] Tarikh Khulafa of Khaiyaat 1/234


Kahil.” I asked about that severed head. I was told that it was the head of Abbas bin Ali.[1] And this report confirms the existence of Abbas Asghar, because Abbas, the elder was 32 years old on the day of his martyrdom and he wasn’t a lad yet to get facial hair.

Here comes to a close our discussion regarding the martyrs of Ahle Bayt by whose slaying was defiled the sanctity of the Prophet and the Umayyad troops did not pay any regard to their relationship to Allah’s Messenger, though they were more than anything else, deserving of regard and kindness.

[1] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhuz Zamaan, Pg. 95. Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/127-128. As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 92

# Martyrdom of the Great Imam

Calamities and hardships descended upon the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah one after another continuously in such a way that one crushing tragedy had yet not completed when more terrible and greater hardships befell His Eminence.

However in those fearsome moments, he was compelled to bear the pain of such hardships as no reformer had seen. Of them were:

Firstly: His Eminence looked at the great ladies and noble women from the family of prophethood and revelation while they where in such a condition of anxiety that except for the Almighty Allah none was cognizant of it, because in every moment they received a relative from the heroes of the Purified Progeny bathed in blood in the throes of death and passing their last moments of life before his very eyes.

What increased their distress was the fact that those oppressor’s whose hearts were absolutely devoid of mercy, had surrounded them from all sides and they did not know what would befall them after their defenders are no more. The Imam looked at the fear and terror that reigned over them and the heart of His Eminence burst with grief and remorse. He ordered them to observe patience and forbearance and informed them that the Almighty Allah would protect and save them from the mischief of the enemies.

Secondly: Wails of young children due to the intensity of the killing thirst rose up. His Eminence could not find a way to help them and his noble heart full of concern and mercy for children and ladies of the family, was scorched. They were pained by a thing they were not capable of bearing.

Thirdly: Aggression of those sinful killers after they had killed the companions and Ahle Bayt in murdering innocent children, nephews and cousins.

Fourthly: Having to bear the discomfort of a terrible thirst. Regarding the intensity of the thirst of His Eminence it is reported that he did not see the sky but as a thing like cloud and the liver of His Eminence had split due to the severity of the thirst.

Shaykh Shustari says: “The thirst of His Eminence, Husain affected four organs: His lips had withered due to the heat of the thirst, the liver had split due to the absence of water in such a way that His Eminence himself became despaired of life and (that army also) knew that he would not be alive after that. He told them: “Give me a drop of water as my liver is shattered and the tongue has become wounded due to the severity of chewing it. Such that it has come in traditions that: “And the eyes had become sightless due to thirst.”[1]

Fifthly: He looked at his tents after his relatives from Ahle Bayt and his companions were slain and found them empty. This made him further aggrieved and sorrowful and he lamented for them with the most touching words.

[1] Khasais al-Husain, Pg. 62


Hearts melt by the calamities that passed over the son of the Messenger of Allah.

Safiuddin says: “His Eminence, Husain bore hardships and calamities that no Muslim hears about them but that his heart burns with shock.”[1]

The Imam Calls for Help

Helpless Imam looked at the Ahle Bayt and companions with a glance of remorse and pain and saw them as slaughtered sheep, lying headless on the sands of Kerbala with the burning sun scorching their bodies and members of Family (ladies and children) wailing. Therefore His Eminence began to call out for help. He sought helpers and supporters for defending the sanctity of the Messenger of Allah:

“Is there no defender who could save the sanctity of the Messenger of Allah? Is there no monotheist who fears the Almighty with regard to us? Is there no helper who for the sake of Allah may fulfill our need?”[2]

This call for help had no effect on the hearts that had became rusted by falsehood and were immersed in sins…when His Eminence, Zainul Abideen heard the call of his father, he arose from his bed and leaned on his walking stick due to the intensity of his illness. His Eminence, Husain saw him and shouted out to his sister, Umme Kulthum: “Take care of him lest the earth becomes devoid of the Progeny of Muhammad.” Her Eminence rushed towards him and returned him to his bed.[3]

Martyrdom of the suckling infant

Patience of Aba Abdullah, what a patience it was? How was he able to bear these tragedies…,it was such a patience that universe remains helpless before it and mountains shake due to its fear. Of the most tragic and difficult calamity of His Eminence was to be pained regarding his infant son, Abdullah, who was as beautiful as the full moon. His Eminence picked him up and kissed him many times and said farewell to him for the last time. He found him unconscious and his eyes were sunk and his lips had withered due to the intensity of the thirst.

His Eminence picked him and carried him to those people in order to arouse their sentiments. Perhaps they would allow some water for him. He brought him before them shading him from the sun with his cloak. He asked them to give a little water to him but the hearts of those mutated people were not moved and the decadent oppressor, Hurmula bin Kahil aimed an arrow at him; the villain smiled and boasted to his colleagues and said: “Take this arrow and quench his thirst.”

That arrow – O my God – split open the neck of the infant. When he felt the pain of the arrow he took out his hands from his wrapping and began to thrash his limbs

[1] Waseelatul Maal fee idda manaqibul Aal
[2] Abul Fath bin Sadqa, Durarul Afkaar fee Wasaful Sifwatul Akhyaar, Pg. 38
[3] Majlisi, Biharul Anwar 45/46


on his father’s chest like a slaughtered bird. That infant looked up to the sky and submitted his life on the hands of his father…it was a scene that bursts hearts and seals tongues by its fearsomeness…Imam raised his hands full of that pure blood and threw it to the sky in such a way that according to Imam Baqir not a drop fell to the ground. Then he spoke confidentially to the Lord and beseeched Him greatly, saying:

“Whatever befalls me, makes it easier for me to be in Your presence.

O Allah! In Your view this child should not be less important than the She-Camel of Prophet Salih. My Lord! If it be so that You have kept the help of Heaven from us, then let it be because Your purpose is better than immediate help. Take vengeance on these people who are such oppressors. And make it a treasure for us in the Hereafter that which has befallen us in this world. O Allah! You are the witness of the people who have killed the one most resembling Your Prophet, Muhammad.”

Then Imam dismounted and with the scabbard, dug a grave for his child and buried the body which was bathed with blood. And it is also said that he kept him alongside the other martyrs.[1]

O Aba Abdillah! May Allah help to bear the hardships that none of the prophets had to bear and those calamities that no reformer had to suffer.

Steadfastness of the Holy Imam

Imam stood alone in the field facing his enemies while those terrible tragedies had increased the faith and certainty of His Eminence. With a fresh face and satisfied with the position of perpetual Garden to which he will soon depart.

Imam stood with a deep rooted determination neither weakened by the martyrdom of his sons and companions nor pained by the thirst and loss of his blood. This is the steadfastness of the Ulul Azm Prophets (the five greatest prophets), those whom Allah had exalted over His other creatures. Hazrat Ali Ibnul Husain, Zainul Abideen has narrated an example of astounding patience and steadfastness of his father and said: “As much the circumstances worsened, his face brightened and his being used to become tranquil.” So much so that some of them said: See, how he is heedless of death.[2]

Abdullah bin Ammar has also said: “I saw Husain, when they gathered against him, he attacked those who were on his right and terrified them completely.[3] By Allah! I have not seen such a person who has lost his sons and companions to death to be more steadfast and determined. And by Allah! I have not seen anyone like him before or after him.” Then he quotes Ibn Khattab Fahri:

“O my cousins! Fear in oppressing us as calamities have surrounded us.

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 273
[2] Shustari, Khasais al-Husain, Pg. 40
[3] Ibne Kathir, Tarikh 8/188


It is for those like you, that use the swords and those who do not respect our origin and lineage.

Whenever I speak about my family and lineage, by my respectful status, I speak truly of that group.

Bright faced men who wore the Kohl of blood in their eyes on the day of the battle.”[1]

At that moment he attacked the enemies and conducted a ferocious battle that people had ever seen, while huge multitudes were crowding on the right wing. He recited the following lines of Rajaz poem:

“Death is better than a life of degradation and degradation is better than Hell-fire.”

After that he attacked the left wing intoning the following:

“I am Husain bin Ali and I swear I shall not turn back.

I shall defend the family of my father and I shall follow the religion of the Prophet.”[2]

Yes, you are Husain who filled the world with nobility and greatness. You are alone that one who did not turn back from determination and intention. Neither you humiliated yourself, nor became heedless; rather you moved forward in the way of confrontation and destroyed the ambushes of oppressors and sinners.

You followed the religion of your grandfather, His Eminence, the Prophet and you are the one who promoted and reformed it. If you hadn’t been there, an aspect would have remained concealed and life would not have had its real form.

Ibn Hajar has narrated that the Imam was fighting and at the same time reciting the following couplets:

“I am the son of Ali, a noble of the family of Bani Hashim and sufficient for me to pride when I pride over it.

And my grandfather is the Messenger of Allah, the most honorable one of those who walked the earth and we are the lamp of God lighted among the people.

And Fatima the daughter of Ahmad is my mother and my uncle is Ja’far, who is called by the title of ‘one with a pair of wings’.

The Book of Allah descended among us with truth and it is regarding us that guidance and revelation reminds about.”[3]

[1] Raihaanatur Rasool, Pg. 64 and it is mentioned therein: The extraordinary thing is that whosoever quoted these couplets as examples, reached martyrdom. His Eminence, Husain quoted them on the day of Ashura, Zaid bin Ali on the day of Sabakha, Yahya bin Zaid on the day of Zauzjan and when Ibrahim bin Abdullah bin Hasan, in his uprising against Mansur his companions considered it a bad omen and not much time passed but that a cruel arrow came to him and killed him.
[2] Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 4/110
[3] As Sawaiq al-Mohreqa Pg. 197. Jauharatul Kalaam Fi Madhis Saadaatil A’laam, Pg. 119


Attitude of those who were forced

Some foolish people who had joined Ibn Saad’s army under compulsion, began to pray for Imam’s success and help over his enemies.

Saad bin Ubaidah says, “Old men from us, the people of Kufa stood on a mound and were tearfully saying: O Allah! Send Your help to Husain.”

Saad objected to them and said, “O enemies of Allah! Why don’t you come down to help him?”[1]

Ibn Saad’s Fear

Ibn Saad was distressed by the losses his troops had to suffer. That impure decadent man employed the method of hatred and he persuaded his soldiers to fight the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah saying, “This is the son of Ali, he is the son of the killer of Arabs. Attack him from all sides.”

Ibn Saad employed the enmity of ignorance against the Holy Imam. He reminded them of Arabs who had been killed at the hands of Amirul Momineen and urged them to take vengeance for their blood. This is a logic having no relation to Islam, because Imam Amirul Momineen did not slay the Arabs. Rather, His Eminence had destroyed the powers that had deviated from religion.

Ibn Saad told the archers to target the Imam. On the basis of what historians says, four thousand arrows were shot towards the Holy Imam. The blessed body of His Eminence became a target of the arrows of those wicked people.[2] After that His Eminence became involved in battle with them which was so ferocious that it’s like hasn’t been seen anywhere in the history of humanity.

Imam Reaches Water

Thirst had become intense upon the Imam and caused him untold discomfort. So he attacked the Euphrates. While according to some historians 4000 men were guarding it. However they fled from before the Holy Imam and he was able to reach to the water. He took some water in his hand to quench his killing thirst but a decadent man from those people shouted at him, “You want to enjoy the water while your family is being attacked?”

With a mighty courage, Imam threw back the water and rushed back to save the honor of his women and children, but he found them safe and sound and realized that it was nothing but a ruse to lure him away from the river.[3]

Ibn Hajar says, “If they had not employed this ruse and not prevented him from getting water they would not have been able to have an upper hand over him because he was such a stalwart who neither fled nor surrendered.”[4]

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/424
[2] Biharul Anwar 45/50
[3] Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 4/58
[4] As Sawaiq al-Mohreqa Pg. 197


Attack on the camp of Imam Husain

The noble-minded Imam fell among the armies of the enemy. He fought them with great valor and ferocity while those people had launched an attack on his camp to plunder the ladies and children. So he shouted on them:

“O followers of Abu Sufyan’s family! Even if you have no religion and do not fear the Hereafter, at least be noble in your lives and return to your origin and lineage if you are Arabs, as you claim to be…”[1]

By these words, the Imam removed them from the circle of Islam and considered the family of Abu Sufyan to be inimical to Islam whose descendants led the powers of oppression. The tragedy of Kerbala was nothing but a continuation of their malice and hatred to the Prophet of Islam…

Imam urged them to at least follow the Arab customs followed in the pre-Islamic period of Ignorance in Arabia, which included not persecuting the ladies and children and restraining from every type of wickedness and oppression. At that time, the decadent wicked man, Shimr bin Zil Jaushan spoke, “What are you saying, O son of Fatima?”

That wicked man thought that by addressing the Imam with regard to his relation with mother he was being disrespectful to him and he didn’t know that he had related him to the pure source and prophethood. For His Eminence, Husain it was sufficient matter of pride that the chief of the ladies of the worlds was his mother as the Holy Prophet has said.[2]

Imam told him, “I am fighting you. The women are blameless. So ask your mercenaries to keep away from my family as long as I am alive.”

Shimr agreed to this. At that time those criminals surrounded His Eminence from all sides and began to hit with swords and spear in such a way that His Eminence was terribly wounded and bleeding.

The Last Sermon of Imam Husain

Imam in spite of the circumstances and condition he was in, delivered a sermon to his enemies and in it he warned them against deception and mischief of this world. Historians say: His Eminence did not remain alive for much time after that and was soon martyred. The sermon was as follows:

“O slaves of Allah! Fear Allah and beware of the world. That if the world had

[1] Al-Lohoof, Pg. 54. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/76. Tabari, Tarikh 5/450. In Al Abkaar fee Wasaful Sifwatul Akhbar, Pg. 38
[2] Hafiz Suyuti, Ath Thaghurul Baasima fee Manaqibus Sayyadatun Fatima, Pg. 44. From the facsimile at Imam Amirul Momineen Library. And it is mentioned in it that: Imran bin Haseen has narrated that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) went to visit Fatima when she was indisposed and asked her: “How are you?” She replied: “I am unwell and the pain is distressing me, I don’t have a morsel to eat. He said: “My daughter! Do you not like being the leader of the women of the world?” “Then what was Maryam?” she asked. “She was the leader of women of her world and you are the leader of the women of your world.”


lasted for anyone and if anyone had survived in it forever, the prophets were more deserving of remaining in it and more eligible for satisfaction and good destiny. However the Almighty Allah has created its inmates for death. Thus soon it would be destroyed; its bounties will end and its joys will turn to sorrows. Residence with contentment and lodging on hire. So take the provision and the best provision is piety and fear of Almighty Allah! Perhaps you may be guided.”[1]

Imam asks for worn-out clothes

Imam asked his Ahle Bayt to get him his old dress so that no one be impelled to steal it after he is martyred. He wore it below his dress so that it may not be plundered. After that they brought a small dress for him but he did not like it. He said: It is the dress of one who is humiliated. Then he took the dress and tore it from places and wore it below his dress, but that was also plundered after he was martyred.[2]

Imam Husain’s Farewell to his family

Imam turned towards his family to bid farewell to them for the last time while his wounds were bleeding. He requested the honorable ladies of the family of prophethood and abode of revelation to put on their coverings and be ready for tests and tribulations. He ordered them to be patient and submissive before the divine destiny and said:

“Be prepared for trials and know that Allah Almighty will guard and protect you and save you from the mischief of enemies and your end shall be with goodness. The enemy shall involve you in different kinds of hardships and as recompense for these troubles you shall be rewarded with different bounties and honors. So do not complain and do not utter any such thing that would decrease your value.”[3]

Kingdoms shall perish and countries shall be destroyed, civilizations will disappear but this faith which has no bounds, is more deserving for permanence and more eligible for immortality than every existing thing in this life. Which heart has the capacity to bear such tragedies and welcome them with firm determination and submission to the command of God? He is none but Husain, the hope of the Holy Prophet and the beloved grandson of His Eminence and the one who expressed the perfect picture of His Eminence.

When the daughters of the Prophet saw the Imam in this condition they fell into gloom and sorrow. They clung to him and with distressed hearts bid farewell to him. Their faces had paled due to fear. When the Imam saw them his feet began to tremble furiously.

Imam Kashiful Ghita says: “Who can picture His Eminence, Husain while waves of calamities were raging around him and hardships surrounded him from

[1] Zahratul Aadaab 1/162. Kifayatut Talib, Pg. 429
[2] Tibrani, Al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/125
[3] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 276


all sides? In that condition he decided to bid farewell to his survivors and remaining ladies and children. Thus he came to the tent that housed the noble ladies of the house of prophethood and the daughters of Zahra. Those noble ladies came out terrified like a flock of partridges, and encircled one who was bathed in his blood. Can you imagine that terrible scene, the condition of Husain and the fearsome circumstances without your heart getting scorched, your intellect confounded and your tears flowing?”[1]

The hardship of the Imam in bidding farewell was the most difficult that His Eminence had to bear. Because the daughters of the Messenger of Allah were striking their faces and their laments and wails arose as they remembered their grandfather, the Messenger of Allah. They threw themselves on the Imam so that they may bid farewell to him. This tragic scene affected the Imam so deeply that none but Allah could gauge its intensity.

The dirty wicked man, Umar Ibn Saad screamed at his armed troops and urged them to attack the Imam and he said, “As long as he is busy with his family, you all attack him now. If he gets a chance he shall, by Allah merge your left wing with the right.”

Those degraded fellows attacked the Imam and shot arrows upon him. The arrows fell among the ropes of the tents and some of them pierced the tents of the ladies and they became agitated and went back inside. At that time Imam Husain rushed towards those mutated beasts like a ferocious lion and began to strike off the necks of those filthy men while arrows were shot from his left and right and His Eminence was facing them with his chest and neck.[2] Arrows that caused the most injuries and pain to the Imam were as follows:

1. Arrow that hit his pure mouth and he began to bleed. His Eminence kept his cupped hand below it. When it was filled with blood he threw it towards the sky and addressing the Almighty said: “O Allah! This is little in Your way.”[3]

2. Arrow that hit upon his blessed forehead illuminated by the effulgence of prophethood. It was shot by Abu Hatoof Jofi. He began to bleed. His Eminence raised his hands to invoke curse on those killers and said: “O Allah! You can see the condition I am in due to Your disobedient servants. O Allah, account them and with Your power send them to destruction, that none of them should remain on the earth and You must not forgive them at all.”

At that time he shouted at that army: “O sinful people! How did you behave with his progeny after the passing away of Muhammad? You will, after me, not kill anyone but that you consider his killing important. But that act, after my killing will become easier. By Allah, I hope the Almighty shall bestow honor to me with martyrdom and after that He shall take vengeance for me from you in such a way

[1] Jannatul Maawa, Pg. 115
[2] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 277-278
[3] Ad Durrun Nadheem, Pg. 551


that you will not realize it…”[1]

They requited the Prophet, who had saved them from poverty and deprivation by persecuting his children and shedding the blood of his relatives. They acted with them in such a way that it makes one shiver due to the horror and faces are ashamed. Allah accepted the prayer of the Holy Imam and took vengeance for him from the oppressive enemies. Because not much time passed but mischiefs and turmoils fell upon them and Imam’s revenge seekers, like Mukhtar, organized a great revolution and pursued each of them such that they were compelled to run in the deserts and Mukhtar’s officers were chasing them till most of them were put to death.

Zuhri says: “None remained from the killers of Husain but that he met his end either by execution, by becoming blind, by having face blackened or being exiled from the country.”[2]

3. The most important thing that injured the Imam was as mentioned by historians: Imam, after he had been weakened due to loss of blood, stood for sometime to rest when a wicked man threw a stone upon him which hit the Imam’s blessed forehead. He began to bleed. Imam picked up the hem of his garment to wipe the blood from his eyes. Another wicked one shot a three pronged arrow to His Eminence that sunk into the blessed chest of the Holy Imam. A chest that contained the heart which was earnest and kind for all. At that time His Eminence became certain of his death. He looked towards the sky and said:

“In the name of Allah, by Allah and for the religion of the Messenger of Allah…O Allah! You know that these people have killed such a one except whom there is no son of the daughter of the Prophet.”

Then he pulled out the arrow from his back and blood was flowing like water from a drain pipe. His Eminence cupped his hand before it and whenever it was full he used to toss it at the sky saying: “Whatever befalls me makes it easier for me to meet the Lord.”

Imam took a quantity of his blood and smeared it over his face and beard and with awe like that of the Prophet said, “I will be like this till I meet the Almighty and my grandfather, the Messenger of Allah while I am smeared in my blood…”[3]

4. Haseen bin Numair shot an arrow at His Eminence on his blessed mouth and injured it. It began to bleed and His Eminence collected his blood in his cupped hand and threw it to the sky invoking curse on those sinful criminals: “O Allah! Take their accounts and destroy them with Your power and not leave anyone of

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 278
[2] Ibne Qutaybah, Uyun al-Akhbar 1/300-301
[3] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/34


them on the face of the earth.”[1]

Arrows continuously hit His Eminence till the respected body of the Imam became a part of them while the loss of blood and intensity of thirst was causing him a great pain. Thus he sat down and was shaking his neck due to the severity of the pain. He was in this position when the dirty wicked one, Malik bin Nasr attacked him and abused His Eminence. He slashed him with the sword. The cap that the Imam had worn was full of blood. Imam glanced at him and cursed him, “May you never eat with your right hand nor drink by it. May Allah gather you with the oppressors on Judgment Day.”

Then he threw away the cap and called for a cloth which he tied around his head. Then he called for another cap, put it on and bound it in place.[2] That unjust fellow moved to the cap the Imam had thrown and picked it up, but his hands were paralyzed.[3]

Imam with Ibn Rubah

Muslim bin Rubah was the last person from the companions of the Imam who had survived along with the Imam so far. An arrow hit the face of the Imam and the Imam sat down on the ground and pulled it out, the wound started bleeding. Imam did not have further strength. He told Ibn Rubah, “Fill both your hands with this blood.”

Ibn Rubah cupped his hands below the wound and when they were full the Imam said, “Pour it into my hands.”

He poured it into the Imam’s hands and His Eminence raised them towards the sky and addressed the Almighty, “O Allah! Take vengeance for the blood of the son of the daughter of Your Prophet.”

At that moment he threw that blessed blood towards the sky and according to Ibn Rubah not a drop from it fell back to the ground.[4]

Imam’s Confidential Supplication

In those last moments, the Imam turned towards Allah and with an attentive heart spoke to Him with confidentiality and humility and complained to Him about the tragedies and calamities that had descended upon him:

“I am patient on Your decree as there is no deity except You. O one who listens to those who call Him for help! There is no lord for me except You and there is no deity except You. I am patient on Your command, O One Who conveys help to one who has no helper! O the Eternal one Who has no end! O the One Who enlivens the dead! O One Who has power over everything! Dispense justice between me

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/407
[2] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/35
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/408
[4] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/223. Kifayatut Talib fee Manaqib Ali Ibne Abi Talib, Pg. 431-432


and them as You are the best Judge.”[1]

This was the faith that had merged with his whole existence and had become the most important element of his being…He remained attached to God and observed patience on Divine decree. He left upon the Almighty the tragedies and calamities that had befallen him and the pain he had received due to them. This deep faith enabled His Eminence to disregard all that was befalling him.

Dr. Shaykh Ahmad Waili, in a remarkable elegy says:

“O the master of the day of Ashura, while the sand of Kerbala has become a green and fresh pasture.

Chosen companions, brother, suckling child clinging to the neck and valiant youngsters.

And those dignified youths whom you had lost and those with elegant faces and attractive appearances.

You went forward to see the sacrifices when pure blood was flowing from them.

A secret prayer was flowing from your lips that thanked the Almighty and glorified Him.

O Allah! You must be pleased with it if he is trying to please You as it is less than Your pleasure.”

Attack on Imam Husain

O Allah! That group of sinners consisting of the most wicked and decadent fellows of the earth attacked His Eminence from all sides and striked with swords and hit him with spears. Zara bin Shareek Tamimi hit the palm of the left hand and another fellow hacked at his shoulder. And the most inimical one to His Eminence was Sinan bin Anas who sometimes attacked with sword and sometimes with the spear and later he used to boast about this act. He used to describe to Hajjaj whatever he had done with His Eminence and say, “I hit him with the spear and cut him into pieces with the sword!”

Inspite of being stone-hearted Hajjaj became sad and he shouted, “But you two will not gather at the same place!”[2]

Enemies of Allah surrounded the Imam from all sides and his pure blood was dripping from their swords. Some historians say that no one in Islam had been as much wounded by swords as His Eminence, Husain because he received at least 120 injuries from swords, spears and arrows.[3]

Imam remained on the ground for sometime. All of them were awed by him and were afraid to kill him, therefore they receded behind each other. Sayyid Haider says:

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal, Pg. 283
[2] Majma az-Zawaid 9/194
[3] Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/123


“No battle became as prominent because he was lying on the ground but the stalwarts were afraid of him.”

His awe was dominating their hearts. So much so that some of the enemies have said: “The elegance of his face and the luminosity of his countenance dissuaded me from putting him to death.”

No one moved towards him but with the disinclination to kill him. And he used to turn back.[1]

Her Eminence, Zainab comes out

Granddaughter of the Prophet, Her Eminence, Zainab, came out from her tent in distress and anxiety while she was lamenting for her brother and other members of her family and mournfully saying, “If only the sky had fallen on the earth!”

Ibn Saad came before her and she screamed at him, “O Umar! Would you allow Aba Abdillah to be killed while you stand and watch?”

That wicked fellow turned away his face while tears were flowing from his eyes.[2]

The noble lady had no more strength that she could bear to see her brother in a condition that shakes up patience. So she returned to her tent to console the agitated women and children.

Horrible Tragedy

Imam remained alive for a long part of the day while wounds and loss of blood compelled him to lie motionless. At that time he screamed at those oppressors, “Have you gathered to kill me? By Allah! After me you shall not kill any man. By Allah! I am hopeful that the Almighty Allah will bestow me honor with your humiliation. And after that He shall take vengeance from you in a way you would not perceive…”

The malicious sinner, Sinan bin Anas had pulled out his sword and did not allow anyone to go near the Imam lest he may gain precedence over him in beheading His Eminence and he may be deprived from the rewards of Ibn Marjana.

Umar bin Saad, the filthy man, addressed Shabth bin Rabi and said, “Go ahead and bring his head to me.”

Shabth objected to him and said, “I pledged allegiance to him, then betrayed his trust. Now should I go out and get his severed head? By Allah, I shall not do it.”

Ibn Saad was infuriated and he warned him, “I shall complain about you to Ibn Ziyad.”

“Do it!” replied Shabth.[3]

Shimr screamed at the foot soldiers and the cavalry, “Why are you waiting for the

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 282
[2] Jawahirul Matalib 2/289
[3] Ad Durrun Nadheem fee Manaqibul Aaimma, Pg. 551


man? May your mothers be deprived of you!”

Khooli bin Yazid hurried to His Eminence and bent down to cut off his head but he fell weak and began to tremble because the Imam’s awe had affected him. Sinan bin Anas scolded him and said,[1] “May God crush your arm! Why are you trembling?” After that, according to some historians, Sinan attacked like a dog and cut off the Imam’s head as we shall explain afterwards, while the Imam was smiling for the everlasting success he had achieved.

Imam gave up his life as a ransom for the glorious Quran, as a price for nobility, respect and magnanimity that enables humanity to achieve an exalted status…,the price that he presented was precious and great, because he was killed as an oppressed and persecuted one after having borne the grief of the death of his children, Ahle Bayt and companions and also along with it he was extremely thirsty. He was beheaded right under the eyes of his women and children. Thus what price can be greater than that which the Imam presented as a sacrifice to Allah?”

Imam with a great devotion and loyalty began to praise and thank the Almighty as his transaction had been a profitable deal as the Almighty Allah says:

“Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat and the Injeel and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement.” [2]

Verily, the Imam in his thankfulness and glorification obtained such a profit and pride that apart from him no one has obtained it because there is none in the family of martyrs for truth who achieved the honor, nobility and immortality as the Imam had. This world exalts his remembrance and the sacred sanctuary of His Eminence is the most popular and important shrine on the earth.

The great Imam raised high the standard of Islam to wave it while smeared with his own blood and that of the martyrs of his Ahle Bayt and companions. And in this vast world he spread effulgence for the communities and opened the way for freedom and honor of nations of the earth.

Imam reached martyrdom so that the rule of truth is established in the earth and the society is relieved from the Umayyad regime. Who were such that they had denied the rights of people and converted the country into a killing field so that they may get whatever they want.

[1] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/36
[2] Surah Taubah 9:110


The wicked killer

Historians have difference of opinion as to the killer of the Holy Imam. Some of the opinions are as follows:

1. Sinan bin Anas

Many historians are unanimous that it was the wicked transgressor, Sinan bin Anas who beheaded the Holy Imam.[1] Regarding him the poet has said:

“Which calamity is equal to the hardships of Husain? The day he was killed at the hands of Sinan.”[2]

2. Shimr bin Zil Jaushan

Some sources say that Shimr bin Zil Jaushan, the leper, was the killer of the Holy Imam[3] because this wicked man was among the most inimical to the Imam.

Reinhart Dozy, the orientalist says, “Shimr did not hesitate for a moment in killing the grandson of the Prophet while other fellows restrained from committing this heinous crime, though all of them were infidels like him.”[4]

3. Umar bin Saad

Maqrizi and others say, “It was Umar bin Saad who killed the Imam after other murderers refused to put the Holy Imam to death.”[5]

4. Khooli bin Yazid Asbahi

Some sources have mentioned: Khooli bin Yazid Asbahi killed the Imam and severed his head.[6]

5. Shabl bin Yazid Asbahi

Some historians have written that Khooli bin Yazid Asbahi dismounted from his horse to behead the Imam but his hands began to tremble furiously. His brother Shabl came to him and severed the Imam’s head and handed it over to his brother.[7]

6. Haseen bin Numair

Some historians have written that he was the killer of Imam Husain.[8]

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/78. Maqatilut Talibeen Pg. 118. Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/188. Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/409. Tarikhul Quzai 330
[2] Al-Istiab 1/395
[3] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/36. Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 284
[4] Spanish
[5] Maqrizi, Khatat 2/285. Daar Ahya al-Uloom
[6] Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 4/111. Durarul Abkaar fee Wasaful Sifwatul Akhyaar, Pg. 38. And it is mentioned therein that Umar bin Saad said to his men: Come down and cut off his head. So Nasr bin Harsha Zubabi came and hit at the neck of Husain. Ibne Saad became angry and said to the man on his right: Woe be on you! Go to Husain and put him to rest. Thus Khooli went to him and decapitated him.
[7] Tarikh al-Khamis 2/298. Mausisa Shaban
[8] Al Ifada min Tarikhul Aimmatus Saadah


7. A man from Madhij

Ibn Hajar has mentioned this[1] and it is him alone who has mentioned thus.

8. Muhajir bin Aws

Sibte Ibn Jauzi has written this matter[2] and except for him no one has quoted it.

These were some different opinions regarding the identity of the Imam’s killer. What we however believe is that it was Shimr bin Zil Jaushan who was of those who took upon themselves the responsibility of killing the Imam and along with Sinan he was instrumental in beheading the Imam as some historians have agreed.[3]

Anyway, woe be on the one who stepped forward to commit this heinous crime because what he had done is the worst sin ever committed on the earth in the past or will ever be committed in the future.

It is narrated from His Eminence, the Holy Prophet: When he described the painful chastisement that the killer of His Eminence, Husain would suffer as he had seen in the Hereafter: “Husain’s killer is in a casket of fire and half the punishment of all Hell shall be upon him. While his hands and legs shall be chained in chains of fire and the head is drooping so that he may fall into the fire of Hell. He shall be having such a terrible stink that the inmates of Hell will seek Allah’s refuge from it and he shall continue to bear that horrible chastisement. Whenever his skin is burnt he would be given another skin so that he may taste the painful chastisement and it shall not be reduced a bit for him. He shall be forced to drink boiling water. Woe be on those from the punishment of Allah, the Mighty and the Honored!”[4]

He shall meet the Messenger of Allah in a condition that he had caused His Eminence to mourn for his grandson. Mansur Namri says:

“Woe be on you, O killer of Husain, you have carried such a load that it shall be very difficult for you.

What a good thing you have conveyed to the Prophet in his grave by aggrieving him thus?

With what face will you meet the Prophet while you have been one of his killers?”[5]

Imam’s age at Martyrdom and the year of his martyrdom

Opinions of the historians vary slightly about the Imam’s age at the time of martyrdom. They are as follows:

[1] Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 2/353
[2] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayaan
[3] Al Ifada min Tarikhul Aimmatus Saadah
[4] Ibne Maghazali, Manaqib, 66, Hadith no. 95
[5] Zahratul Aadaab 3/669. Al Aghani 12/21. Al Istiab 1/395


1. 58 years – most historians believe this to be correct.[1]

2. 56 years – Yaqubi believes this to be correct and he says: …as His Eminence was born in the 4th year of the Hijrah.[2]

3. 57 years[3]

4. 65 years[4]

However the year of the martyrdom of His Eminence was the 61st year of the Hijrah as mentioned by most historians,[5] that corresponds to 10th October 680 A.D.[6] And what Hujjatul Islam, Shaykh Muhammad Raza Aale Kashiful Ghita (may Allah have mercy on him) has quoted, that it was on the 10th of July,[7] is not correct…”

Historians say: There was a period of 50 years between the passing away of the Holy Prophet and the day His Eminence, Husain was killed.[8] When Muslims disregarded that His Eminence was the beloved one of the Prophet and his grandson, that the Prophet had left among his community in his place.

Reddening of the sky

The earth began to shake and the horizon became dark and black[9] and a fearsome redness spread in the sky.[10] This was the sign from Allah for the sinful murderers who had defiled all the divine sanctities. Regarding this flaming horizon in redness and fieriness, Abul Alaa Mauri says:

“On the horizon is the testimony of redness for two martyrs, Ali and his son.

Because they were two dawns at the end of night and in its beginning were two rays.

There is an inscription in its dress so that it may come to the Beneficent Lord on the Day of Judgment and complain.”

Even the sun which was on the verge of setting conveyed that it also shared the sorrow of Imam Husain along with all the helpless creatures of the world.

[1] Al Istiab 1/397. Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 2/356. Irshad Mufid 2/133. Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/198. Tibrani, Al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/111, H. 281. Majma az-Zawaid 9/197-198
[2] Yaqubi, Tarikh 2/246
[3] Al Istiab 1/397
[4] Miraatul Jinaan 1/131
[5] Usud al-Ghaba 2/20. Al-Isabah 1/335. Al Istiab 1/393. Majma az-Zawaid 9/197. Yaqubi, Tarikh 2/245
[6] Tarikh Dawlatul Arabiya Pg. 144, Jadool Pewaste be Fajril Islam, Pg. 305. It conforms to Jadool Pewaste be Tarikh Dawl Ibne Abari with which Yaqubi has fixed the month.
[7] Mujallatul Arab, Year 1, No. 23&24
[8] Tarikhul Khamis 2/299
[9] Miraatul Jinaan 1/134. Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 2/354
[10] Majma az-Zawaid 9/197. Al-Ittiaf be Hubbil Ashraaf, Pg. 42 has mentioned the same.


Imam Husain's Horse

The horse of Imam Husain smeared its head with the blood of the martyred Imam and in an agitated condition galloped towards the camp of His Eminence in order to inform the family of the Imam about his martyrdom.[1] When they saw the horse they learnt of the Imam’s martyrdom. It is mentioned in Ziarat-e-Nahiya that when the ladies saw the exhausted horse with the saddle sagging down, they came out of the tents in a distressed way, spreading their hair over their faces. They began to wail and lament and being humiliated after being honored they began to head towards the place of the Imam’s martyrdom.

The great lady of revelation cried, “Oh Muhammad! O my dear father! O Ali dear! Oh Ja’far! Oh Hamzah! This is Husain in the wilderness who is lying on the sands of Kerbala. If only the sky had crashed to the earth. If only the mountains had dispersed in the desert.”[2]

Mercenaries of Ibn Saad were terrified and would have liked the earth to swallow them up. They began to weep due to the intensity of the calamity that had befallen the daughters of prophethood.

Burning of the Tents

Those wicked people went towards the camp of the Holy Imam and without caring that daughters of prophethood and respected ladies of revelation were housed therein, while they were carrying burning torches[3] and a caller among them was calling out. “Burn down the houses of oppressors.”

Oh Allah! The Imam’s house they claimed was the house of oppression, and the house of Ibn Marjana is the house of justice! While he and his father wreaked injustice and oppression on people in Iraq.

When the fire began to rage on the tents, the daughters of prophethood and honorable ladies of revelation ran from one tent to another while fire was chasing them. Orphans were screaming and some of them held the skirt of the garment of their aunt to escape the fire and keep themselves away from the injustice of the oppressors. Some of them headed towards the wilderness and some also requested those wicked people to spare them. That scene was so terrible that mountains split by its grief. Such a horrible sight that Imam Zainul Abideen could never forget it as long as he lived. He used to remember it always with deep grief and remark:

“By Allah! Whenever I look at my aunts and sisters I am seized by fury and I recall the way they fled from one tent to another and one camp to another while the caller from those people was screaming: Burn down the houses of oppressors.”

[1] Muzaffari, Tarikh Pg. 208
[2] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 284
[3] Muzaffari, Tarikh Pg. 284


Plundering the Imam’s body

Ibn Saad’s troops committed the worst kind of infamy and the most terrible of crimes. With absolute wickedness they hastened towards the body of the great Imam and began to plunder his armaments and garments. A man from Bani Nahshal took away the Imam’s sword,[1] which originally belonged to the Holy Prophet and was called Zulfiqar.[2] Qais bin Ashath, one of the commanders, stole the Imam’s fur towel. He was condemned much for it and even received the nickname of Qais al-Qatifa due to this act of his.

Ishaq bin Hawiya also took the shirt of His Eminence. Akhnas bin Murshid plundered his turban[3] and Bahir took the trousers and put them on, but he fell down paralyzed.[4] Nothing remained on the body of the Imam except for another pair of trousers that the Imam had torn up so that they may leave it alone.

At that time, the most decadent man and the filthiest person Bajdal arrived and searched for something he may plunder from the Imam but he could find anything. He searched more and his eyes fell on the finger ring of the Imam which was smeared in blood. So he cut off the finger of His Eminence and took the ring.[5] At last those oppressors abandoned the unclothed body of the Holy Imam to burn in the sun.

Plundering the Noble Ladies of Prophethood

The decadent fellows of Kufa and the slaves of Ibn Marjana set upon plundering the noble ladies of prophethood and honorable ladies of messengership and looted all the ornaments and jewellery they had…A wicked one of them went to Umme Kulthum and snatched away her earnings.[6] Another evil fellow rushed to Her Eminence, Fatima, daughter of Imam Husain and pulled away her anklets while he began to cry vehemently. The daughter of Imam Husain was shocked by this and she asked him, “Why are you crying?”

“Why shouldn’t I weep, when I am robbing the daughter of the Messenger of Allah.”

When she saw his sympathy she said, “Spare me.”

That degraded man exposed his lowliness and said, “I am afraid that someone else would take it.”[7]

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/409
[2] Tarikh Siyasi Dawl Arabi: 2/75. It is mentioned in the marginal notes that this sword was taken by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) as booty in the battle of Badr (Ibne Hazeel, Hilyatul Farsan wa Shajaan, Pg. 15). And it was named Zulfiqar; because it resembled the backbone. (Kunuz al-Fatimeen, Pg. 54). This sword came into the possession of the Abbasids and after that the Fatimids (Al-Majalis, Manuscipt). Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/409
[3] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 284
[4] Muzaffari, Tarikh, Pg. 208
[5] Abi Faraas, Sharh Shaafiya 2/2
[6] Muzaffari, Tarikh, Pg. 208
[7] Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/303


They rushed out to loot the camps and tents. Shimr pounced upon the belongings of His Eminence, Husain to plunder them. He found a little quantity of gold and he plundered it. He gave some of it to his daughter that she may get some ornament made from it. When she took that gold to the goldsmith and just as he put it into fire it turned to smoke and disappeared.[1]

In the same way a woman from the clan of Bakr bin Wail saw the plunder and persecution of the daughters of the Messenger of Allah and she was highly consternated by it. She began to urge her people to save the descendants of the Prophet from those wicked people. She said, “O clan of Bakr bin Wail, should the daughters of the Messenger of Allah be looted? Except for Allah the rule belongs to none. You must take revenge for the Prophet.”

Her husband hastened to her and made her return to her tent.[2]

Those troops had abandoned every human quality and become devoid of every sympathy and kindness, because its elements thrashed the daughters of the Messenger of Allah with the sticks of their spears in such a way that they were terrified and sought refuge in each other. Fatima, the daughter of Imam Husain was hit so hard that she fell down unconscious. When she regained consciousness she saw her aunt, Her Eminence, Umme Kulthum besides her, weeping.[3]

The tragedy of the family of prophethood makes the stone weep and arouses the sentiments of rocks.

Imam Zainul Abideen Attacked

The unjust oppressors attacked His Eminence, Zainul Abideen who was seriously ill and his illness had weakened him much and sorrow had made his heart burst. The leprous wicked one, Shimr bin Zil Jaushan wanted to kill His Eminence but Hamid bin Muslim shouted at him, “Glory be to Allah! Will boys be killed too? He is sick!”[4]

That decadent man paid no attention to him but his aunt, Her Eminence, Zainab ran and clung to him saying: “He shall not be killed except that I am too killed!”[5] The wicked people released him and in this astonishing manner was saved the life of Imam Ali Ibn Husain.

Then Umar bin Saad arrived and the women cried out and wept before him, so he ordered his followers to leave them alone.[6]

[1] As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 90
[2] Al-Lohoof, Pg. 180, Muqarram, Maqtal Pg. 301
[3] Muqarram, Maqtal Pg. 300-301
[4] Tabari, Tarikh 5/454
[5] Qirmani, Tarikh, Pg. 108. And in Ad Durrun Nadheem, Vol. 5, Pg. 341 it is mentioned that Ibne Saad issued orders for killing Imam Zainul Abideen but Her Eminence, Zainab threw herself upon him and said: “He shall not be killed till I am alive.” Then she persuaded him to spare him.
[6] Ibne Kathir, Tarikh 8/188-189


Horses Trample on the body of the Great Imam

The wickedness of those oppressors increased and they did not leave a single sanctity without defiling it and they did not leave out any transgression, because Ibn Saad wanted to carry out all the commands of his lord and master, Ibn Marjana. So he shouted, “Who will volunteer to trample the chest and back of Husain with horses?”[1]

Waqidi says, “Shimr came forward and trampled that holy body under the hooves of his horse.[2] Ten persons from the sons of unchaste women came out and volunteered. They were: Ishaq bin Yahya Hadhrami, Hani bin Shabth Hadhrami, Adlam bin Naim, Asad bin Malik, Hakim bin Tufail Tai, Akhnas bin Murshid, Amr bin Sabih Madhiji, Rajaa bin Munqidh Abadi, Salih bin Wahab Yazani and Salim bin Khaithama Jofi.[3] They trampled the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah below their horses.[4] The filthy criminal, Asad bin Malik boasted in front of Ibn Saad and said:

“We trampled the chest after the back with our strong and powerful horses.”[5]

This evil cutting up into pieces took place under the very eyes of Ibn Saad and other forces of those troops.[6] In my view such a thing was not done to any other member of Ahle Bayt of Imam or his companions. It is supported by the orders that were sent from Ibn Ziyad for Ibn Saad and they included trampling the Imam’s body and not the body of anyone else.

Anyway, by this wicked deed, they announced the intensity of their malice towards the Imam and their aloofness from all human feelings.

They trampled the body of an Imam brought up under the care of Prophet and whose flesh was grown from the flesh of Ali and Fatima and the Holy Prophet had said about him:

“Husain is from me and I am from Husain. O Allah, love one who loves Husain.”

They trampled the body of one who had stood up to confront the oppressors and transgressors and who wanted to eradicate injustice and to establish justice on the earth as Allah has commanded.

Her Eminence, Zainab at the corpse of Imam Husain

Granddaughter of the Prophet, daughter of Amirul Momineen, Her Eminence, Zainab stood besides the corpse of her respected brother that was shred into pieces by swords and looked at it for a long time. Then she raised her

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/454-455
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/419
[3] Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 4/111
[4] Ibne Kathir, Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/189
[5] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/39
[6] Tarikh Dawlul Islam 1/57 and it is mentioned therein: The army men took the Imam’s body to Ibne Saad and that filthy man ordered that it be mutilated by trampling it under the hooves of horses.


glance to the heavens and with a heavy heart prayed, “O Allah! Please accept this sacrifice.”[1]

Humanity pays tribute to this faith which is the secret of immortality of the sacrifice of Husain.

The brave one of Kerbala bore the burden of those terrible hardships and drunk the cup of those calamities and became eligible for divine rewards, while she humbled before the Almighty and beseeches Him to accept the sacrifice. What patient one could be like this?

The strength of personality became obvious in the granddaughter of the Prophet and the meaning of heritage of Prophet became clear forever. Along with it she defended the aims of the Holy Imam and she revealed the reality of his sacrifice, she opened up the channels to expose the secrets of his martyrdom.

Sinan Demands the Reward

Those transgressors gathered around the killer, Sinan bin Anas[2] and gave him good news of having achieved his aim and told him, “You have killed Husain, the son of Ali and Fatima…you have killed the most important personality of Arabs. He wanted to overthrow this regime. So go to your ruler and ask him to reward you for your accomplishment, even if they give you their whole treasury it would be less than what you deserve.”

This aroused his greed. He came forward and stood near the tent of Ibn Saad and called out:

“Fill up my stirrups with gold or silver as I have killed the great leader.

He was the best of men in lineage and one who had the noblest ancestors.”

When Ibn Saad heard this, he screamed and hit him with a whip saying: “Woe be on you. If Ibn Ziyad hears you saying this he would strike off your neck.”[3]

That decadent oppressor has described his aim in these lines of his that his sole aim in killing the best of men with regard to lineage, was only to obtain material wealth.

Apart from this, no other poem is recorded from those people either during or after the battle. It is the sole representative of the views of the majority of the troopers and it exposed their debased values.

Dr. Yusuf Khalif has explained the above lines as follows: “Regretfully the sentiments expressed in these lines are feelings of joy and pride, because the killer is indicating that the heinous crime he committed was for the regime. He went to

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 307
[2] Sinan bin Anas is the grandfather of Shareek Qadi who is notorious for impropriety. This is mentioned in Al-Istiab 1/393.
[3] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/189 and it is mentioned in Tibrani, Al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/126 that Anas recited these two couplets to Ibne Ziyad and the same thing is mentioned in Al-Istiab 1/393.


the governor thinking that minimum reward he would get is that he would fill his stirrups with gold and silver. That is why he has lauded the one he has killed thinking that anyone else in his place would said the same thing. It made him think that he had become eligible for the governor’s reward. He spoke up in a commanding tone, not ready to accept rejection. That is why he did not initiate his demand with the poem. He began by asking for the recompense first, as if the most important thing for him was material wealth.”[1]

Tribes divided the severed heads among themselves

The different tribes divided among themselves the beheading of the martyrs who had laid down their lives for social justice and emancipation of men from injustice and persecution.

Islam, in all its battles, had refrained from maiming of corpses but the Umayyad army considered it a permissible thing, because it was a practice initiated by Muawiyah who considered it lawful as he had ordered the severed head of Amr bin Hamaq Khuzai to be taken through the provinces. Ibn Marjana followed his footsteps and had the severed heads of Muslim and Hani sent to Yazid and after that he ordered Ibn Saad to severe the heads of the martyrs of Kerbala so that they may be sent to Yazid. That group of persecutors distributed among themselves the heads of martyrs in order to carry them as gifts to Ibn Marjana. Tribes divided the severed heads as follows:

1. Kinda: They got 13 severed heads in their share and were under the leadership of Qais bin Ashath.

2. Hawazin: They took up 20 severed heads and these people were under the command of Shimr bin Zil Jaushan.

3. Madhij: Seven heads

4. Bani Qais: Nine

5. Bani Tamim: Seventeen

6. Bani Asad: Sixteen[2]

7. Other clans: Seven[3]

The headless corpses of His Eminence, Husain and the martyrs remained in the desert of Kerbala and their heads were hoisted on points of spears so that they may remain as torches of guidance to show the path of truth, nobility and faith for all the nations of the world.

Return of the Tyrant, Ibn Ziyad, to Kufa

The tyrant Ibn Ziyad was camping at Nukhaila and he received reports every moment because he was in constant touch with Ibn Saad. When he received the

[1] Hayatush Sha’ar fil Kufa, Pg. 373-374
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/412. Al Muntazim 5/341
[3] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/91-92


news of killing of His Eminence, Husain he set out for Kufa immediately in order to retain full control over the situation, and that he may put into effect all the necessary steps and precautions. He ordered the security staff of the town numbering 10,000 to assure that no one in Kufa may take up arms. This was announced publicly in the whole town.[1] In the same way he sent delegations to different town to announce their victory and spread fear among the people.[2]

Night of the 11th Mohurrum

Hardships experienced by the ladies of prophethood on the eleventh night of Mohurrum were such that no matter what you say you cannot imagine them and you cannot visualize them perfectly. No calamity from the calamities of the world and no tragedy from the tragedies of time remained but that it befell them. They were facing such wicked enemies who had not an iota of nobility or humanity. While on the other hand their defenders from the family of the Prophet were lying cut up into pieces before them unburied. The tents were burnt to ashes and all their belongings were plundered. All their ornaments and pieces of jewellery were also snatched away. Dr. Shaykh Ahmad Waili has described that grief-stricken scene in his outstanding elegy:

“Night fell after the men had been killed and the noble ladies were distressed.

Orphans fled to the wilderness and perished. And the ladies were wailing and lamenting in grief.

The remaining part of the burnt tents and the sick one screaming due to the chains that tied him.

And the pain of the cruel lashes falling on them and the bodies that had been cut up into pieces in a merciless manner.”[3]

However, the granddaughter of the Prophet and sister of Husain, Her Eminence, Zainab did not fall weak in front of those fearsome hardships and she did not accept defeat. She searched for the runaway children in the deserts and wilderness. She was gathering the members of the household in that terrible wilderness and she consoled them in those calamities. She remained awake that night, guarding the people of her family, while she was herself surrounded by waves of such grief and pain that except for Allah no one could estimate it. It was in these conditions she performed her Midnight Prayer. But due to the extreme physical weakness she had to pray in the sitting position.

Number of Martyrs of Ahle Bayt

There are varying opinions regarding the number of people martyred from Ahle Bayt. Some of them are as fellows:

1. “17 persons.” This is mentioned by Imam Sadiq in his dialogue with an

[1] Ma’-al Husain Fee Nahzatih, Pg. 285
[2] Abdullah, Maqtal al-Husain
[3] Al Balagh Magazine, Issue no. 9, Year 4, Pg. 13


elderly person when he was speaking about the martyrdom of His Eminence, Husain. His Eminence told him, “It is the blood that the Almighty Allah will avenge for with the hardships of the sons of Fatima. Like the hardship of Husain who was martyred with 17 persons of his family. Such a terrible scene shall never be seen. He performed this good deed for Allah and observed patience in His way. May Allah reward them with best rewards of the patient ones.”[1]

Muhammad bin Hanafiyah says: Along with him (that is His Eminence, Husain), seventeen persons from the progeny of Fatima were martyred.”[2] And she is Fatima binte Asad, the mother of Imam Amirul Momineen.[3]

2. “16 persons”: Hasan Basri says: “Along with Husain bin Ali, sixteen persons were killed, such that there is no one like them on the earth.”[4]

Surraqa Barqi says:

“O eyes, weep in sorrow and lamentation and observe mourning if you want to mourn for the family of the Prophet. There were nine of them from the progeny of Ali and seven from the progeny of Aqil who were martyred.”[5]

3. “15 persons” – Mughairah bin Naufal in his couplets has mentioned this and said:

“Time has made me laugh and made me weep. Days having different conditions and colors.

What a sorrow I feel that my being cannot forgo the sorrow and grief for the men who were killed, nine of them in Kerbala that some are in the shrouds and six people, the like of whom I cannot see, sons of Aqil, who were the best of the knights.”[6]

4. 19 persons from Ahle Bayt.[7]

5. 20 persons, seven from the sons of His Eminence, Ali, two from the sons of His Eminence, Hasan, two sons of Abdullah bin Ja’far, three from the sons of His Eminence, Husain and from the descendants of Aqil, six persons other than the sons of His Eminence, Muslim.[8]

6. Twenty three people from the descendants of His Eminence, Husain and his

[1] Abdullah bin Nurullah, Maqtal al-Husain Awalim Imam al-Husain 17/342-343. Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/47
[2] Tibrani, Al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/127. Maqrizi, Khatat 2/286
[3] Abdullah bin Nurullah, Maqtal al-Husain 17/342
[4] Miraatul Jinaan 1/133. Dhahabi, Tarikhul Islam 5/14. Zakhair al-Uqba Pg. 146. Tarikh Khalifa bin Khayyat Pg. 235. Al-Istiab 1/396
[5] Ibne Qutaybah, Al-Ma’rif, Pg. 204
[6] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/421
[7] As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 87
[8] Miraatul Jinaan Pg. 59


brothers and Ahle Bayt.[1]

7. Twenty-seven persons were martyred from the descendant of Fatima,[2] that is Fatima binte Asad.

8. Seventy-eight persons: This figure is mentioned by Sayyid Abu Muhammad Hasan Husaini,[3] the genealogy specialist, but it is mistaken, perhaps what he meant to denote was the number of persons martyred with His Eminence, Husain.

9. Thirty persons: This figure was mentioned by Imam Sadiq in his conversation with Abdullah bin Sinan in which he directed him to fast on the day of Ashura and advised him to break it after the Asr time. He said: “Because it was at that time (that is Asr) that fighting ended for the family of the Messenger of Allah, while thirty persons from them along with their companions had fallen, whose martyrdom was very hard upon the Messenger of Allah. And if he had been alive in this world he would have received condolence regarding them.”[4]

10. “Thirteen persons.” Only Masudi has mentioned this figure[5] and other than him none has stated thus.

11. “Fourteen people”: Khwarizmi has quoted this number in his writings.[6]

These were some different views that are recorded. The Ziarat of Nahiya has mentioned 17 names. Shaykh Mufeed has also quoted the same.[7] Perhaps this is the most likely figure and Allah is the best of the knowers.

The injured among the companions of Imam Husain

Some companions of the Imam fell injured on the battlefield and troops of Ibn Saad did not kill them. They were as follows:

1. Suwaar bin Humair Jabiri

He was carried out from the battlefield wounded and he passed away six months later due to his injuries.[8]

2. Amr bin Abdullah

He fell down wounded in the battlefield and he was carried out. He died a year later due to his wounds.[9]

3. Hasan bin Hasan

[1] Dhariatut Tahira, Pg. 133-134
[2] Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 4/112
[3] Bahrul Ansaab, Part II, Pg. 180
[4] Safinatul Bihar 2/196, Ayanush Shia 1/586
[5] Muruj az-Zahab 3/62
[6] Khwarizmi, Maqtal Husain 2/47
[7] Al-Irshad, 2/125
[8] Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/122
[9] Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/122


Hasan, son of Imam Hasan fought like a valiant stalwart and fell down wounded on the ground. When those wicked men of Kufa came to cut off the heads of the martyrs, he was on the verge of death. His maternal uncle, Asmaa bin Kharja Fuzari interceded for him and his intercession was accepted. He took him to Kufa with himself, nursed his injuries and restored his health after which he was sent to Medina.[1]

Those who were saved from death

Of the companions of the Imam and his Ahle Bayt, the following persons escaped being killed:

1. Uqbah bin Samaan

Uqbah bin Samaan was the slave of Rabab, daughter of Imrul Qais, wife of Imam Husain. He was taken as a prisoner to Ibn Saad who asked him:

“Who are you?”

“I am a slave.”

He freed him and he was not caused any harm.[2]

2. Muraqqa bin Qumama

Muraqqah bin Qumama was a companion of the Holy Imam, his clansmen arrived and requested that he should not be killed. He was taken under custody to Ibn Marjana and Ibn Saad informed him about what had passed regarding him. Ibn Ziyad got him exiled to Zareh in Bahrain and he remained over there.[3]

3. Muslim bin Rubah

He was accompanying the Imam and he used to nurse His Eminence. When His Eminence was martyred he fled and managed to escape safely. He has narrated some of the events and incidents of Kerbala.[4]

4. His Eminence, Imam Zainul Abideen

His Eminence was ill and emaciated. He was saved from those killers in an interesting manner. He was taken as a hostage, first to Ibn Marjana and after that to Yazid bin Muawiyah.

5. Hasan bin Hasan

As we mentioned previously, he fell down injured in the battlefield and was later cured of his wounds.

6. Umar bin Hasan

Umar bin Hasan escaped being killed. We don’t know whether he participated in the battle or was too young in age.

[1] Life of Imam Hasan 2/471
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/410-411
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/411. Tabari, Tarikh 5/454
[4] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 377. Maqatilut Talibeen, Pg. 119


7. Qasim bin Abdullah

He was the son of Abdullah bin Ja’far.

8. Muhammad bin Aqil

9. Zain bin Hasan[1]

These people escaped being killed and were freed from the hands of those sinful killers thirsty for the blood of Ahle Bayt.

Losses suffered by troops of Ibn Saad

Ibn Saad’s troops suffered heavy losses because the companions of the Imam, despite their few numbers had destroyed all the battalions of that army and spread sorrow and mourning in the whole province of Kufa.

A historian says: They did not leave a single house in Kufa but that they put it into mourning.

What support this matter are the reported statements of some commanders regarding the terrible losses they had suffered that we have mentioned in our precious discussions.

Among the most bitter losses according to some historians was the large number of these killed from the army of Ibn Marjana; estimated to be 8000.[2] I think this figure is exaggerated and the number of those killed in the army of Ibn Saad was lesser.

Ibn Athir has said that the number of those killed was 8080 in addition to those who were wounded.[3] But this is absolutely incorrect and the aim of reporting such figures is to lower the importance of the camp of Imam Husain; because it is well-known that they inflicted the troops of Ibn Saad with defeats and put them to great losses so much so that their commanders began to bemoan the excess of their dead and it is natural that this matter is not possible with such a small number.

Dream of Ibn Abbas

When the Holy Imam set out from Hijaz to Iraq, Ibn Abbas remained disturbed and involved in grief and anxiety as he feared the betrayal of the people of Kufa with regard to his nephew. On the 10th of Mohurrum when he went to sleep, he awoke agitated and distressed saying, “By Allah! Husain is killed!”

His companions objected to him and told him, “Never, O Ibn Abbas!”

He replied to them, tears flowing on his face and said, “I saw the Messenger of Allah in dream holding a bottle and he was saying to me: Do you know what my Ummah has done after me? They have killed my son, Husain and this is his and his companion’s blood that I am taking up to Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.”

His companions noted the day and time of that dialogue till they received the news

[1] Maqatilut Talibeen, Pg. 119, Al Wafi bil Wafayat 12/428
[2] Abdullah, Maqtal al-Husain
[3] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/80


of the martyrdom of Imam which had taken place at the same hour.[1]

Dream of Umme Salma

Mother of believers, Her Eminence, Umme Salma had been shocked and distressed at the time of the Imam’s departure to Iraq, because the Messenger of Allah had informed her about the martyrdom of His Eminence, Husain in the land of Kerbala and had also entrusted her with a bottle containing the soil of that place telling her that when the soil in the bottle turns to blood she must know that his grandson has been killed.[2] She used to glance at that bottle everyday and remark: “The day you turn to blood, would be a terrible day indeed.”[3]

On the 10th day of Mohurrum, Umme Salma fell asleep and saw the Messenger of Allah in dream smeared in dust. She asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! What happened to you?”

“I have just witnessed the killing of Husain.”

Umme Salma awoke perturbed and worried and cried, “Husain is killed, O Allah, fill up their houses and graves with fire.”[4]

Ibn Abbas heard the cries rising from the residence of Umme Salma. When he went to her he found her house teeming with ladies and gents. He asked, “O mother of believers, why are you shouting and lamenting?” She did not give any reply; she glanced at the ladies of the Hashemite clan and said, “O daughters of Abdul Muttalib! Start mourning with me and weep upon Husain as by Allah, the grandson of the Messenger of Allah and His beloved one, Husain, has been killed.”

She was asked, “From where did you learn about this?”

She told them about the dream in which she had seen the Holy Prophet.[5] The women began to lament, till Medina fell into mourning and no day was seen to be as full of grief and sorrow as that day.[6]

From that day Umme Salma used to hold condolence meetings (Majalis) in remembrance of Imam Husain and they used to be attended by Muslims who came and gave condolence to her for the terrible tragedies. One of those who arrived to give condolence was Shahr bin Haushab who began to narrate what he had heard from the Messenger of Allah in praise of Ahle Bayt. He said: The Messenger of Allah entered my bedroom. Fatima brought a thing for him and kept it on the ground. His Eminence told her, “Call Hasan and Husain and your

[1] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/237. Miraatul Jinaan 1/134. Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 5/17. Tarikh Baghdad 1/142. Maqrizi, Khatat 2/285-286. Muntazim, 5/346
[2] Tibrani, Al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/114 &122. Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 5/17. Muzaffari, Tarikh Pg. 210. And it is mentioned therein that the first person to mourn Imam Husain in Medina was Umme Salma.
[3] Tibrani, Al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/114
[4] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/238
[5] Shaykh Tusi, Amali 314 H. 639
[6] Yaqubi, Tarikh 2/246


cousin Ali to me.” When they all come to His Eminence he said, “O Allah! These are my special folks and my Ahle Bayt, thus kept filth away from them and purify them a thorough purification.”[1]

At that time Umme Salma cursed the people of Kufa and said, “They killed him, may Allah kill them. They deceived him and insulted him, may Allah curse them.”[2]

She fainted due to intensity of her grief and she lived only for a short period after which she passed away in the sorrow and shock regarding His Eminence, Husain.[3]

Khooli Carries the severed Head of Imam Husain

Ibn Saad had no qualms in trampling the body of Imam and shredding it into pieces although Islam has prohibited such a thing as Ibn Marjana had ordered him for it. Without any delay he arranged for the severed head of Imam to be carried by Khooli bin Yazid Asbahi and Hamid bin Muslim Azadi as a gift for Ibn Marjana just as the severed head of His Eminence, Yahya bin Zakaria was taken to the tyrant ruler of Bani Israel.

The two of them set out with full speed without being distracted by anything else till they reached Kufa in the last part of the night to find the palace locked.

Khooli picked up the Imam’s severed head and hastened to his house so that he may convey its good news to his wife. He hurried to his house fast and due to exhaustion and joy he was panting. His wife, Nuwaar, daughter of Malik Hadhrami, who followed the Alawite faith, came out to him and asked impatiently, “What is the news?”

“I have brought the wealth of the times. This is the head of Husain which shall be with you in the house.”

That lady could not restrain herself and she cried at him, “Woe be on you! People have brought gold and silver and you bring the head of the son of the daughter of Allah’s Messenger? By Allah, nothing will keep us together.”[4]

In this way her husband became the most disliked person to her.

Early next morning Khooli took the Imam’s head to Ibn Ziyad who expressed his pleasure and joy because he thought that all his aspirations and dreams were realized.

[1] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/141
[2] Tibrani, Al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/114-115
[3] Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/383
[4] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/411. And it is mentioned in Jawahirul Matalib 2/290 that he told him: By Allah, my bed shall never get you. And in Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/190 it is mentioned: She got up from her bed and looked at the pail and saw a light that arose from the pail to the sky and she witnessed the widespread brilliance that rose from around it.


The Tyrant and Killer of the Imam

Ibn Ziyad glanced at the executioners in his employ who had participated in the battle and asked, “Which of you killed him?”

A person arose happily thinking that perhaps he would be rewarded, he said, “I killed him.”

“What did he tell you?”

“When I raised the weapon I said: May you soon enter Hell fire. He said: If Allah wills, I shall be bestowed by Allah’s Mercy and intercession of His Prophet.”[1]

Ibn Marjana hung down his head in shame while he felt degradation and expected a terrible destiny.

Ibn Ziyad takes revenge from the Severed Head of the Imam

When the severed head of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah was placed in front of the wicked one, son of the wicked one, he began to poke at the teeth with a cane. By this he obtained singular pleasure and his malice and revengefulness was apparent on his facial expression. Then he began to hit with his cane at the teeth and lips of the Imam, the lips that the Messenger of Allah often kissed.[2]

Qayyim bin Muhammad says, “I have not witnessed a more horrible scene than the placing of Husain’s severed head in front of Ibn Ziyad and his poking at the teeth with a cane that he held.”

In the gathering of Ibn Ziyad was present, Zaid bin Arqam, a companion of the Holy Prophet. when he witnessed this act he lost control and screamed at Ibn Ziyad, “Take your cane away from those two lips. For, by God, other than Whom there is no deity, I have seen the lips of the Apostle of God touch those two lips countless times.”

Zaid began to weep and Ibn Ziyad made fun of that companion and said, “May God make your eyes weep. If it was not for the fact that you are an old man who has become silly and your mind has left you, I would have cut off your head.”

That companion began to speak and remarked, “Don’t you want me to narrate a tradition for you that his harder than this? I saw the Messenger of Allah place Hasan on his right thigh and Husain on his left and keeping his hand on their heads he was saying: O Allah, I am leaving these two as a trust with You and the righteous believers. Then how is the trust of Allah’s Messenger with you, O Ibn Ziyad?”

Zaid stood up in front of him and addressing the people of Kufa said, “O Arabs! After this day you shall be enslaved. You have killed the son of Fatima and given rulership to the son of Marjana. He shall kill the righteous ones of you and take the

[1] Tarikh al-Khamis 2/300
[2] Shaykh Tusi, Amali Pg. 252 H. 449


bad ones of you in slavery, woe be to you, one who is happy with disgrace and humiliation.”[1]

When Ibn Ziyad finished playing with the severed head of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah, he glanced at the non-Muslim soothsayer and said, “Get up and put your…on the head of your enemy. And that soothsayer did as he was told…[2] Ibn Ziyad acted with Ahle Bayt in a way that no infidel in the world has ever acted; because he defiled each and every sanctity and considered the acts prohibited by Allah to be lawful.

Return of the Armed Forces

The armed forced remained in Kerbala on the 11th of Mohurrum and buried with all respect and arrangements their dead; and opened for them a pit of Hell whose heat goes on increasing and its fire is never extinguished. And the fire shall scorch their faces while they shall be thrown headlong into it.

As for the corpse of the great Imam, and the bodies of his purified Ahle Bayt and companions, they were purposely left strewn in the plains of Kerbala so that winds may blow on them. Neither were they given the funeral bath nor wrapped in shrouds.

Ibn Saad ordered Hamid bin Bakr Ahmari to give the call among the troops for departure to Kufa.[3] Ibn Saad’s forces set out from Kerbala after the noon prayer time, while their standards consisted of the severed heads of the Purified Progeny held aloft the points of spears, who had stood up for restoring truth and establishment of justice. They took along with them the ladies and sisters of His Eminence, Husain and the ladies of the companions, who apart from the children, numbered twenty.[4] They mounted them on camels without saddles like the prisoners of Turk and Dailam are carried so that they may be harassed more. Then they were made to pass besides the corpses of Ahle Bayt while even the Bedouins of the pre-Islamic Arabia did not resort to such a procedure. But the troops of Ibn Saad did not follow any code of ethics and possessed no human feeling.

When the ladies of prophethood glanced at the corpses of the martyrs of Ahle Bayt they lamented loudly. Her Eminence, Zainab cried in a heart-rending voice, “Oh Muhammad! This is Husain, who lies in wilderness washed in his blood and his body is shred into pieces and these are your daughters as hostages and your progeny has been killed.”[5]

[1] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayaan, Pg. 97. As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 87. Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/412-413. Al Manaqib wal Mathalib.
[2] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayaan, Pg. 97
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/411
[4] Muqarram, Maqtal, Pg. 305
[5] Maqrizi, Khatat 2/289. Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/193


Those people became perplexed and wordless and their eyes filled with tears; and the enemies and friends both wept.[1]

Distress of Imam Zainul Abideen

When Imam Zainul Abideen saw the corpses of his father and his Ahle Bayt and companions lying in the desert, and that no one had come forward to bury them, he became very much disturbed. His aunt noticed this and she tried to console him saying:

“Why do I see you throwing yourself dangerously, O surviving heir of my grandfather and brother? By Allah, it a pledge Allah made to your grandfather and father. The Almighty Allah has made a people take a pledge, whom the majority of the people of the earth do not recognize while they are well-known to the folks of heavens. They shall gather up the severed limbs and bodies washed in blood and consign them to dust. They shall hoist a flag for your father in the land of Taff; such that its effects will never become old and its symbols will not disappear by the passage of time. Leaders of disbelief and followers of misguidance will try to destroy and erase it but it would have no effect except that it would only cause them to be more exalted.”[2]

Granddaughter of the Prophet removed the deep grief of Imam Zainul Abideen due to the fact that his father was lying unburied. It was so because she had heard from her father and brother that a group of believers shall bury these bodies and a flag shall be installed for them, such that its effects shall never disappear; they would remain forever, till the time the Almighty Allah inherits the earth and whatever is upon it…Umayyad and Abbasid rulers tried eradicate its traces and went to great lengths in this but did not succeed even though they utilized all their capabilities. Thus the tomb of the Imam remains in its original glory and still fills the vastness of the earth with effulgence, pride and honor in the best way; such that humanity in all its periods has gained respect through it.

Burial of the Purified Corpses

The body of the respected Imam and the corpses of the honorable martyrs from his Ahle Bayt and followers lay in the desert burning under the hot sun and in the path of the fast blowing winds. While a group of believers who hadn’t been besmeared with fighting against the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah hastened to bury these dead ones. Historians are not unanimous about the day the burial took place. The following are the varying opinions:

1. 11th of Mohurrum[3]

2. 12th of Mohurrum[4]

[1] Jawahirul Matalib fee Manaqib Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib, 2/291
[2] Kamil az-Ziarat, Pg. 261, Chap. 88, H. 1
[3] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayaan, Pg. 97. Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/189. Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 4/112
[4] Bihar, 45/107


3. 13th of Mohurrum[1]

But the people who succeeded in burying those dead bodies were the people of Bani Asad who resided near the battle site; and after the soldiers of Ibn Saad went away from there they hastened out and saw the pure bodies strewn in the desert. They knew that they were corpses of the Holy Ahle Bayt and the bodies of the companions; they began to wail and lament and their women cried out aloud in grief, and in the silence of the night when they became safe from the fear of enemies they dug up a grave for the Chief of the martyrs and another for the rest of the martyrs and this was done in moonlight at the time of dawn such that a scene like this had never been seen by them in all their life.

Shaykh Mufeed says:

“When Ibn Saad departed, some of Banu Asad, who had been staying at al-Ghadiriyya went to al-Husain, and his followers. They performed the funeral prayer over them. Then they buried al-Husain at the place where his tomb still is, and they buried his son Ali bin al-Husain al-Asghar (the younger) at the foot of the body. They dug around the area next to the feet of al-Husain for the martyrs from his House and his followers. They gathered them together and buried them all together. However, they buried al-Abbas bin Ali, in the place where he was killed, on the road to al-Ghadiriyya, where his tomb still is.”[2]

Some Shia sources have explained that the Bani Asad people were confused about those purified corpses and they could not find a way to identify them because their heads were severed. While they were in that condition Imam Zainul Abideen appeared all of a sudden and identified for them the martyrs of Ahle Bayt and companions. He rushed to carry the body of his father and put him in his place of repose, while tears were flowing on his face. He said:

“Fortunate is the land that provided space for the burial of your purified body. The world is dark after you and the Hereafter is illuminated by your effulgence. We shall remain awake the whole night and always be aggrieved for you till the Almighty chooses your abode for your Ahle Bayt. My salutations upon you and the mercy of Allah and His bounties, O son of Allah’s Messenger.”

At that time he inscribed the following on the grave of His Eminence: “This is the grave of Husain bin Ali bin Abi Talib who was killed thirsty in a foreign land.” They buried at the foot of the Imam, his son, Ali Akbar and the other respected martyrs of the Bani Hashim family and their followers were interred in another mass grave. Then Imam Zainul Abideen accompanied the Bani Asad people to the Al-Qama river and buried the Moon of the Hashemites, Abbas bin Amirul Momineen The Imam wept intensely and said: “O Moon of the Hashemites! May the world be destroyed after you. My salutations upon you, O the

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 319
[2] Al-Irshad, 2/114


martyr who had regard for the Almighty. May Allah’s mercy and bounties be upon you.”[1]

Those two became the symbols of human perfection and sign of every just sacrifice.

Aqqad says: “They are one of the Ziarat places that Muslims, partisans as well as non-partisans, circle them and it is deserving that every man must circumambulate around it; because it is the sign of steadfastness for the most Holy thing that a living man gets honor by it among the other living things, the dome of sky had never shaded a tomb of a martyr except that the meaning of martyrdom and the events of the martyrdom connected to it are contained in it, and it is more honorable than it.[2]

Yusuf Rajeeb says: “No tomb from the tombs of the righteous saints of God, except the grave of His Eminence, Husain is the focus of the world and the prayer direction of the people because the Almighty Allah bestowed them the honor of performing Jihad against their enemies, who had planned to destroy the pure religion, make the religious law defunct and considered caliphate as a thing found lying around, so that by it they may make every unlawful thing lawful and whatever the Almighty has prohibited and His Book considers unlawful, they get enjoyment by doing all these things.”[3]

That blessed mausoleum is the symbol of magnanimity and it has honor and religion.

It became the most holy and prominent center of worship in Islam, because all the time Muslims are busy circumambulating it. They seek blessings from it and gain proximity to the Almighty. In the same way it became the place of circumambulation of the proximate angels of Allah; as Fazl bin Yasar has narrated from Imam Sadiq that he asked His Eminence regarding the most important of the grave of martyrs and the Imam replied, “Is Husain bin Ali not the best of the martyrs? By the One in Whose hand is my life, around his grave are forty thousand angels, with disheveled hair and smeared in dust who shall continue to weep upon him till the Day of Resurrection.”[4]

Imam Reza says, “Around the tomb of Imam Husain are seventy thousand angels, with disheveled hair and smeared in dust who shall weep and lament for His Eminence till the Judgment Day.”[5]

The great tomb of His Eminence is bestowed the gift of fulfillment of prayers uttered in it; because for every grief-stricken and needy person who turns towards it Allah Almighty bestows relief from whatever is troubling him.

Jawahiri says:

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 319-320
[2] Abul Shohada
[3] Journal ‘Ghurra’, Year 2, No. 20, Pg. 22
[4] Ibne Maghazali, Manaqib, Pg. 397, Hadith no. 450
[5] Zakhair al-Uqba Pg. 151


“You have gained such a lofty status that what a refuge you became for the needful ones. And may your tomb be blessed, that what a refuge it is.

The period of time takes refuge in it and bows and prostrates to both its sides.”[1]

Historians say: When Imam Hadi was ill, he ordered Abu Hashim Ja’fari to send a person to the Mausoleum of Husain to pray for his cure. When His Eminence was asked about it he said, “The Almighty Allah likes that He be supplicated at this place.”[2]

The leader of the martyrs obtained an exalted station with the Almighty Allah in the same way as he has attracted the hearts of the Muslims and obtained their sincere devotions. Because they travel to his tomb from far off places in the world so that his right is fulfilled and that they may confess to his merits and obtain great rewards that Almighty Allah has fixed for his visitors.

Nicholson says, “Within a period of few years after the martyrdom of Husain, his place of repose became a site for pilgrimage towards which people travel.”[3]

Excellence of the Ziarat of Imam Husain

Widely narrated and excessive traditions are recorded from the Imams of Ahle Bayt extolling the excellence of the Ziarat of the Chief of the martyrs and some religious jurisprudents consider it to be an obligatory duty. Muhammad bin Ali Alawi has written a two volume book titled: Excellence of Ziarat of al-Husain. We shall quote some of its narrators:

1. Abu Hamzah Thumali says: I asked Ali bin al-Husain regarding the Ziarat of Husain. His Eminence said: “Perform his Ziarat everyday. If you cannot, do it every Friday and if you are unable to do this also, perform it once a month, as one who does not perform his Ziarat has considered unimportant the right of the Messenger of Allah.”[4]

2. Abul Jarud says: Imam Baqir told me: How far is the tomb of Husain from the place of your residence? I said: For the mounted, one day’s journey and for the one on foot, twenty four hours.

He said: “If we had been located as you are, we would have migrated to it.”[5]

3. Muhammad bin Muslim has narrated from Imam Baqir that he said, “Command our Shias to perform the Ziarat of the tomb of His Eminence, Husain, as it increases livelihood and life-span and removes unpleasant things. It is obligatory for every believer to go there who believes him to be an Imam appointed by Allah.”[6]

[1] Jawahiri, Diwan 1/194
[2] Kamil az-Ziarat, Pg. 273-274, Chap. 90, H. 3
[3] Tarikh Adab al-Arabi
[4] Fadl Ziarat al-Husain Pg. 42 & 43
[5] Fadl Ziarat al-Husain Pg. 44
[6] Wasailush Shia 10/321


There are numerous reports on this subject which are positively received from the Imams of Ahle Bayt.

Supplication of Imam Sadiq for visitors of Imam Husain

By this blessed supplication, Imam Sadiq has prayed for the visitors of the tomb of his grandfather, His Eminence, Husain. It is narrated by Muawiyah bin Wahab and its text is as follows:

I asked permission to meet Imam Sadiq and was permitted to enter. I entered to find His Eminence in his place of prayers. So I sat down to allow him to complete his devotions. I heard that he was invocating the Almighty in the following words:

“O One Who has chosen us for honor and nobility and by legateship bestowed an excellence for us and promised intercession for us. Gifted us the knowledge of the past and future and made the hearts of the people inclined towards us. Forgive me, my brothers and the visitors to the grave of my father, Husain. Who spend their money and toil with their bodies to reach to our good and well-being and with the hope in our mediation with You. And for pleasing Your Prophet and obeying our orders and for displeasing the enemies. And by this deed they desire to achieve Your pleasure. So, for our sake bestow them with happiness and protect them day and night and grant goodness and nobility to their women and children whom they have left behind. Make them reach goodness and righteousness and bestow them that lofty thing which they desire from their native place. And those who have preferred us over his children, relatives and family members.

O Allah! Our enemies persecuted them because they set out for Ziarat but this could not stop them from coming to us. And it is this opposition of those who have opposed us.

Thus have mercy on the faces that are affected by the heat of the sun. Be kind to the cheeks that are kept on the grave of Abi Abdullah. Be nice to the eyes that shed tears for us. Be merciful to the hearts that are in anxiety and burning for us. And deal with kindness the petitioners who petition regarding us.

O Allah! I am entrusting those souls and bodies to You so that You may convey them to the Pool side on the day of the thirst.”

His Eminence continued to supplicate thus while he was in prostration. When he concluded, I said, “May I be sacrificed on you, if what I have heard had been for one who is not cognizant of Allah, I think the fire of hell wouldn’t have touched him at all. By Allah, I wish I had performed its Ziarat and not gone for Hajj.”

“How near you are to that place!” said His Eminence, “Then what has stopped you from going for his Ziarat? Why did you omit this deed?”

“I didn’t know that it was such an important matter.”

“O Muawiyah! Those from the heavens who pray for the visitors are more than those who pray for them from the earth. O Muawiyah! Do not omit this deed as


whosoever omits it, will see with such remorse that he would wish that his grave was near it (Kerbala).”

Would you not like Allah to make you of those for whom the Messenger of Allah, Ali, Fatima and the Imams pray? Would you not like to be such that tomorrow angels shake hands with you? Would you not like to be one that shall come out without a single sin upon him that shall stop him? Would you not like to be of those who tomorrow shall shake hands with the Messenger of Allah?[1]

Here comes to a close our discussion on the martyrdom of the Great Imam. Let us now move to Kufa to welcome the prisoners from Ahle Bayt who are arriving from Kerbala…

[1] Wasailush Shia 10/320-321

# Prisoners from Ahle Bayt in Kufa

Kufa welcomed the prisoners from Ahle Bayt with anxiety and distress and humiliation and helplessness was covering them. Because the mouths were shut and the tongues had become dumb. No one was able to describe the severe grief that they harbored in their hearts due to the fear of the tyrannical regime that considered the life and honor of people worthless.

The bugles of the army began to blow and their flags began to wave while they were holding the severed heads of the Purified Progeny on their spear points and they had along with them prisoners, that is, the ladies of prophethood and noble sanctified women of revelation tied to their horses.

Muslim Jassas[1] has described that heart rending scene when he says: Ibn Ziyad summoned me to Kufa to renovate the Governor’s Palace. When I was working on the plaster of doorways, suddenly the lamentations of all the people of Kufa arose. I glanced at one of the laborers and asked, “Why is Kufa lamenting like women?”

“They have brought the heads of Khawarij who rebelled against Yazid!”

“Who is that Khariji?”

“Husain bin Ali!”

Muslim says: I permitted the laborer to leave. Then I began to strike at my face till I feared I would lose my eyesight. I washed the plaster off my hand and left the palace and walked till I reached the locality of Kanaas. I stood there and people were waiting for the arrival of the hostages and severed heads. Forty camels came forward carrying ladies and children. Suddenly I decried Ali bin al-Husain on a saddle-less camel, his neck bleeding and he was wailing and reciting the following:

“O evil nation! Rain shall not fall on your land. O people who did not have regard for our grandfather with respect to us.

If the Messenger of Allah gathers us on the Day of Resurrection, what justification would you offer?

You carry us on saddle-less camels, as if we did not bring any religion among you.”[2]

Jazlam bin Bashir says: I reached Kufa in 61 A.H. at the time of the arrival of Ali bin al-Husain from Kerbala accompanied with the ladies; and soldiers were surrounding them and people had come out to watch the spectacle. They were astride camels without seats. Women of Kufa were wailing and lamenting. I saw Ali bin al-Husain that illness had made him emaciated. There was an iron collar and chain around his neck and his hands were tied to his neck. He was

[1] Jassas = Mason
[2] Abdullah bin Nurullah, Awalim 17/372-373


crying in a feeble voice: “They are wailing and lamenting for us, then who has killed us?”[1]

A Kufan lady stepped forward and asked the hostages: “What prisoners are you?”

“We are prisoners from Ahle Bayt.”

When the lady heard this, she screamed and women also began to cry with her. Their wails echoed in Kufa. One of the women collected whatever head scarves and coverings that she could find in her house and presented them to the Alawite ladies that they may cover themselves in presence of males.[2]

Another lady brought food and date fruits and gave it all to the young children who were suffering from extreme hunger.

Her Eminence, Umme Kulthum called out from the rear of the caravan: “Sadaqah (alms) is not lawful for us, Ahle Bayt.”

When the children heard the call of that lady each of them threw away whatever he or she held in the hand or in the mouth and told their neighbor, “Our aunt says: Sadaqah is unlawful for us, Ahle Bayt.”

Sermon of Her Eminence, Zainab

When Her Eminence, Zainab, granddaughter of His Eminence, the Holy Prophet and sister of the Holy Imam saw the huge crowd that had filled up the roads and lanes of Kufa she began to address them in order to inform them about the reality behind their circumstances and tell them about the great tragedy that had befallen on Ahle Bayt, and to put the responsibility of this evil deed on the Kufians who had broken the pledge, disregarded the covenant and killed the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah. Now that after the martyrdom of His Eminence they were lamenting and wailing as if they had not committed this heinous deed. The text of Her Eminence’s sermon is as follows:

“Praise be to Allah and divine blessings be on my father Muhammad and his good and exemplary descendants. O people of Kufa, O you who are deceitful and treacherous:[3] Do you shed tears? May your tears never dry up and your loud lamentations never cease.[4] You are like the woman that unravels to bits the thread which she has firmly spun. Your faith is nothing but deceit and betrayal. Are there any among you but the immodest, disgraced, proud, spiteful, adulator, enemy and reviler? There are among you those who are as guileful as a beautiful plant growing in filth, or the silver on a grave. Certainly evil is that which your souls have sent before for you. Allah is displeased with you and in punishment shall you abide.

[1] Abdullah bin Nurullah, Awalim 17/371
[2] Abdullah bin Nurullah, Awalim 17/377, H. 2
[3] In a version it says: “Breaking of Pledge”
[4] In a version it says: “Your tears will not cease and your lamentations will not fall quiet.”


Are you crying and wailing? Indeed, by Allah. Do cry endlessly and laugh but little, for your deed was so horrendously disgraceful that you will never be able to atone for it. How can you wash away the crime of murdering the scion of the Seal of the Prophets, the essence of the message, the lord of the youth of Paradise, the refuge of your nobles, the refuge for whom you resorted during affliction, the bright divine proof of yours, your master who defended the Prophet’s tradition.

What an awful sin you did commit! Away with you, there will be no forgiveness for you. Certainly your efforts failed, your hands suffered loss and your bargain is brought to naught. You have made yourselves deserving of the wrath of Allah. Abasement and humiliation have been brought down upon you.

Woe to you! Do you know how you tore the liver of the Apostle of Allah? Whom of his womenfolk you exposed? What blood of his you shed? What honor of his you defamed?

Your deed is most certainly so dangerously ugly and foul, that it filled the earth and sky with its putridness. Are you surprised that it rained blood? Certainly the punishment of the Hereafter is infinitely more abasing, and you shall not be helped. Don’t make light of the delay of punishment in that it is not hastened by the fear of missing the taking of revenge. Most surely Allah is watching.”[1]

The brave lady of Kerbala, by the logic of truth and the call of rightfulness thrashed them and guided the filthy souls. She was not deceived by their false tears and their frauds and lies were not concealed from her. She reminded them of their most terrible crime that it was the worst thing ever committed on the earth.

She described them to be having the worst qualities and compared them to the most degraded people; because she described their deception and breaking of pledge as these two things are the source of decadence and evil of man.

Her Eminence, Zainab opined about their lamentations and said: They deserve to weep much and laugh less, due to the great sin that they have committed; because they killed the Chief of the youths of Paradise, son of the seal of prophethood and their savior and freedom fighter. They murdered the beloved one of the Messenger of Allah, destroyed his sanctity and took his women and children as hostages, thus which crime is worse and more tragic than this?

Reaction to the Sermon of Her Eminence, Zainab

People were shocked by the sermon of the daughter of prophethood and they became certain that they have destroyed themselves. Kharima Asadi has described the level of effect created by the sermon of that lady and says: By Allah, I have not seen any lady more eloquent than her, she spoke like Imam Amirul Momineen. After her sermon people fell into bewilderment. They held their hands to their mouths. I saw an old man approach her, weeping so profusely that his beard was wet with his tears. He said: May my parents be sacrificed on you! Your elders are

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 310-312


the best of elders and your youths are the best of youths and your progeny shall never be humiliated and degraded.[1] But Imam Zainul Abideen interrupted the discourse of his aunt saying: “Aunt dear, please be silent. By the grace of Allah, you are a natural intellectual and untaught scholar…”[2]

So, the brave lady of Kerbala stopped her speech leaving the gathering immersed in sorrow and grief.

Speech of Her Eminence, Fatima, daughter of Imam Husain

Fatima, daughter of Imam Husain, who was yet a young girl, began to speak and deliver an outstanding and appealing speech. People were stunned by her eloquence and clarity. She astounded the minds and left the people perplexed and grief overtook them in a powerful way. She said:

“Praise for Allah as many times as there are grains of sand and as weighty as the weight of all that is from earth and sky. I praise Him and I believe in Him and I trust Him and I give witness that there is none worthy of worship except Him and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger and that his progeny was slaughtered by the bank of river Euphrates though they were neither vindictive nor did they claim or demand any land.

O Allah! I seek Your refuge from the sin of saying any untruth about You and anything other than what You have said regarding the last will (legation) of Ali bin Abi Talib; that they have snatched his right and have killed him without any fault in such a manner that his son was martyred yesterday and the martyrdom of Ali was enacted in one of the Houses (Mosques) of Allah in the presence of a number of Muslims (only in name). May their heads be destroyed, those who did not drive away oppression from him all through his life and death until You took him up to You. He who is the possessor of a praiseworthy character and whose talent is famous and whose guidance was well known. O Lord! No reproach of any taunter ever deterred him from his goal or the blame of any ridiculer. My Lord! You guided him in his childhood to Islam, You praised his character when he grew up. He was a constant well-wisher and sympathizer of Your religion and of Your Messenger until
you took his soul, the soul of the one who was a devout abstinent in the world, who paid no heed to the world but was always inclined towards the Hereafter and was a struggler in Your path. He was Ali from whom You loved and selected and guided to the right path.

Now, O Kufians! O the deceivers and disloyal and proud folk! Indeed we are the members of Ahle Bayt. God involved us in you and you in us and fixed our test well. He granted us His knowledge and wisdom. Hence we are the containers of His knowledge and wisdom and metaphysics and are His Hujjat (argument) on earth for His servants. He has honored us with His generosity and He has granted grace to His Messenger, Muhammad over many of His slaves in a manifest manner.

[1] Ad Durrun Nadheem, Pg. 560
[2] Tabarsi, Al-Ihtijaaj 2/109-114


Then you rose up to deny and refute us and considered it correct to fight us, thought it was all right to destroy our property as if we were children of Turks or Afghans. Yesterday you killed my grandfather. The blood of the youth of Ahle Bayt is dripping from your daggers. All this is due to your age-old rancor, because, after committing all these felonious crimes your eyes have brightened and your hearts are overjoyed. Strange indeed is your slander against Allah and the conspired planning, which you planned, and Allah is the best of planners.

Lest you rejoice your deeds of shedding our blood and plundering our property because whatever calamities have fallen on us were in the Book (destiny) even before we confronted them. This is easy for Allah so that you may grieve over what you lost and become joyous on account of what you gained, and Allah does not like the proud and the boasters.

Be you destroyed. Await curse and chastisement, which is to visit you. Calamities will rain continuously from the sky and Allah’s wrath will surround you. Some of you shall be treated harshly by some others and you will remain in a permanent chastisement as a result of the atrocities inflicted on us by you. Beware that the curse of Allah is on the oppressors.

Woe unto you: Do you know how your hands pierced spears into our bodies or how your hearts inclined to fight against us or with which legs you rushed on us seeking war with us? By Allah, your hearts had become stony and your livers hard and your soul, ears and eyes were sealed. Satan made these crimes beautiful for you and threw dark curtain on your eyes. So you will never be guarded rightly.

Be destroyed O Kufians! Which inheritance of the Holy Prophet was before you or on the basis of which vengeance did you exhibit so much enmity towards his brother Ali bin Abi Talib, my grandfather and his two sons (Hasan and Husain) the noble progeny of the Prophet that the boaster from you said so proudly:

‘We killed Ali and his sons with Indian swords and with spear and we imprisoned their women like the Turkish prisoners. What a war we fought with them!’

O speaker! Dust in your mouth. By killing the group which has been purified by Allah and from whom impurity has been removed. How do you take pride in this? Take care of yourself and sit on your droppings like a dog, as was your father. Verily for everyone is whatever he has earned and sent ahead.

Woe unto you! Do you envy what Allah has granted us?

What is our fault if the ocean of our grace is roaring while your rivulet has no waves!

This is the excellence, which is granted to whomsoever He wishes, and Allah is the Lord of the greatest grace. The one whom Allah does not grant light, for him there will be no light.”[1]

[1] Ibne Tawus, Lohoof, Pg. 194-197. Ibne Numa, Matheer al-Ahzaan, Pg. 87. Abdullah, Maqtal al-Husain Awalim 17/379-380


The offspring of prophethood and Imamate spoke about numerous important matters in her great sermon which were as follows:

1. She mentioned the suffering of her grandfather, Imam Amirul Momineen, the leader of truth and justice on the earth; sufferings and hardships that he bore till he was martyred in one of the houses of God, while the society of Kufa did not defend him and did not stand up in his support. Rather they left him isolated to confront hardships till the Almighty Allah called him towards Himself. He possessed such uncountable merits, good qualities and a righteous nature that the Almighty chose him and bestowed him with exclusive virtues and gifts.

2. Similarly she spoke of the hardships of Ahle Bayt in that society. Because being the spiritual leaders of community they were responsible for its defense but the community opposed the truth, shed their blood and defiled their sanctities and how great is their difficulty and how severe their tribulations.

3. She condemned the open persecutions upon Ahle Bayt and she described the persecutors to be having the most evil qualities and pleaded to the Almighty to take revenge from them and punish them in the most painful way.

Reaction to the speech of Her Eminence, Fatima

This sermon had a deep effect on the hearts of the people present in the gathering, because they became very much distressed by it and they began to weep and say: “O daughter of the pure ones, enough! Because you have scorched our hearts, burnt our necks and scalded our consciences.[1]

She discontinued her discourse leaving that huge gathering suffering and remorseful. They began to sigh and regret and lamented for their worthless destiny that what a great sin they had committed.

Sermon of Her Eminence, Umme Kulthum

Another daughter of the Prophet Her Eminence, Umme Kulthum began to speak and firstly motioned the people to keep quiet. When silence fell, she began with praise and glorification of the Almighty and continued as follows:

“O Kufians! Woe unto your condition. What happened to you due to which you washed your hands off helping Husain and killed him and destroyed and snatched his properties and imprisoned his women and heaped calamities on them? Be you destroyed.

Woe unto you. How many atrocities you carried out, how much sin you took on your shoulders, how much blood you shed, how many respected women you insulted (arrested), how many apparels did you plunder and how much property did you destroy? You killed the best of people after the Holy Prophet. Kindness has left your hearts. Yet, the party of Allah is victorious and the party of Satan is in loss.”

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 313-315


The whole conglomeration was astounded by her speech. Women with hair askew striked their faces and such lamentation ensued as never had been witnessed before.[1]

Sermon of Imam Zainul Abideen

Imam Zainul Abideen initiated his speech and after due praise and glorification of the Almighty said: “O people! The one who knew me has known. As for the one who did not recognize me I am introducing myself to them. I am Ali, son of Husain, son of Ali, son of Abi Talib. I am the son of the one who has been slaughtered by river Euphrates though he never asked for blood or inheritance from the killers. I am the son of those honorable ladies of the harem who have been disrespected, whose wealth and bounty has been plundered, and whose children have been arrested. I am the son of the one who was caught and killed and this is enough for me to be proud of.

O people! I administer you oath of Allah. Do you know that you wrote a letter to my father and then tricked him? You gave your word to him and extended allegiance to him. Then you left him and prepared yourselves to kill him! Be you destroyed because of what you sent forth. Woe unto your mentality. With which eyes will you look at the Messenger of Allah when he says: You killed my household and you insulted my harem? You are not in my community.”

The narrator says: Voices rose from all sides while they were telling one another: You got destroyed yet did not know?

The Imam said: May Allah have mercy on him who accepts my admonitions and remembers my advice regarding the command of Allah and His Prophet and his household as he is the good pattern for us.

All responded: O son of the Holy Prophet! All of us have listened to you and obeyed you and we are guardians of your responsibility (we are prepared to carry out your commands). We will not turn our face from you. Please order us. May Allah’s mercy be on you. We are at war with your enemy and we are with you in whatever you plan. We will arrest Yazid and we declare our disconnection from your enemy and our enemy.

The Imam said: Alas, alas. O disloyal conspirers! Is there any excuse, which is not between you and your passions? Do you want to do to me what you did to my father earlier? No, by Allah, no, because these wounds have not yet healed. It was only yesterday when my father, along with his household, was martyred. I am unable to forget the calamity of missing the Holy Prophet and the calamity of losing my father and his children. His pain is in my mouth and its bitterness is choking me. His wrath is tightening my chest.[2]

[1] Ibne Tawus, Lohoof, Pg. 198, Sayyid Muqarram Pg. 316. Others believe that Her Eminence, Umme Kulthum was none but same as Her Eminence, Zainab (s.a.).
[2] Ibne Numa, Matheer al-Ahzaan, Pg. 89, Al-Lohoof, Pg. 199-200


At that moment, the Imam halted in his discourse and turned away from those pledge breaking transgressors who had blackened the face of history by their hypocritical actions, because they killed the Imam and now they were weeping upon him.

In the Assembly of Ibn Ziyad

They brought the daughters of the Messenger of Allah as hostages in a humiliating manner to Ibn Marjana, that son of decadence and betrayal in the governor’s palace, while that palace was full of sinful blood-sucking mercenaries so that they may report to Ibn Ziyad their victory and tell him about their supposed bravery on the day of Ashura. He (Ibn Ziyad) was shaking his legs in joyful mood while the decapitated head of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah was placed in front of him. That tyrant considered it a plaything and tapped it with a small cane in his hand, shamelessly remarking, “I have never seen such a face!”

He had yet not completed his sentence when Anas bin Malik, companion of the Prophet shot back in a very logical way saying: “He was a look-alike of the Prophet.”[1]

That tyrant became speechless.

In that assembly was present a man from Bakr bin Wail, named Jabir. He stood up saying, “By Allah, if I could find ten Muslim men, I would revolt against you and along with them rebel against you.”[2]

The Tyrant Ibn Ziyad with the Respected Lady of revelation

When Ibn Ziyad was satiated by taking out spite with the severed head of Imam, he glanced towards the ladies and children of His Eminence, Husain. He noticed a lady standing in a corner wearing an extremely worn-out dress, while she seemed to be commanding an awe and respected position. Ibn Ziyad wanted to know who she was, so he asked, “Who is that woman who has gone to the side and has sat in a corner with her women?”

Zainab did not answer. Ibn Ziyad repeated the question about her a second time but she considered him worthless and lowly and accorded him no reply. “This is Zainab, daughter of Fatima, the daughter of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and grant him peace,” one of her women told him.

That tyrant and decadent man irked by her insult expressed his malice and said: “Praise be to God, Who has disgraced you, killed you and revealed the false nature of your claims,” as he came towards her.

“Praise be to God Who has favored us with His Prophet, Muhammad,” answered Zainab, “And He has purified us completely from sin. He only disgraces the great sinners and reveals the false nature of the

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/417
[2] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayan, Pg. 98


profligate. Such men are not among us, O Ibn Marjana!”[1]

She spoke such severe words though she was among the ladies held as hostages and the powers of victors was threatening them and their swords were wielded over them…She brought down the tyrant from his throne and tossed him into the grave and destroyed his vanity. She exposed and insulted him in the presence of his employees. Ibn Marjana vented his ire saying, “How do you consider God has treated your House?”

The honorable lady of Bani Hashim replied to him with courage and steadfast with words of victory and success for herself and her family, “I have not seen but good, God decreed death for them and they went forward (bravely) to their resting-places. God will gather you and us together. You will plead your excuses to Him and we will be your adversaries before Him. May your mother mourn for you O Ibn Marjana!”

Ibn Ziyad became enraged and burnt with anger. He could not control himself and decided to punish Zainab.

“Governor”, intervened Amr bin Hareeth, “She is only a woman and women are not responsible for anything they say. Do not blame her mistakes.”

“God has healed my soul from your tyranny and the rebellion of your House,” Ibn Ziyad said to her.

Zainab became weak and wept.

“By my life, she cried out to him, “you have killed the mature ones (of my family); you have pierced my family; you have cut down my young branches; and you have pulled out my root. If this heals you, then you have been healed.”

“By my life,” declared Ibn Ziyad, “this is a woman who makes poetry. Your father was a poet.”

“What has a woman to do with poetry?” she answered. “Indeed I have (things) to distract me from poetry but my heart causes me say what I am saying.”[2]

How painful and worthless this life is that the daughter of revelation is brought as a hostage to Ibn Marjana, who is trying to insult and ridicule her. O time! If you have more hardships for these great people you bring that also, but you don’t have anything more with which they can be troubled.

The Tyrant’s Encounter with Zainul Abideen

The tyrant, Ibn Ziyad looked over other members of Ahle Bayt and saw Imam Zainul Abideen emaciated and weakened by his illness.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“I am Ali bin al-Husain” he answered.

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/457
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/457. Al-Lohoof, Pg. 200-201


“Didn’t God kill Ali bin al-Husain?”

“I have a brother who is also called Ali,” answered Ali “the people killed him.”[1]

“Rather God killed him,” affirmed Ibn Ziyad.

“God receives the souls at the time of their death.”[2]

“How dare you answer me like that!” shouted Ibn Ziyad angrily, “and that will be the last of you because of (your) answer to me. Take him away and cut his head off!”

Zainab, his aunt, clung on to him, pleading: “O Ibn Ziyad, haven’t you had enough of our blood?”

Then she clung on to him and said: “By God, I will not leave him. If you kill him, kill me with him.”

Ibn Ziyad looked at her and at him, and said, “How wonderful is family relationship! I think she wants me to kill her with him. Leave him, for I see him (now) for what he is.”[3]

If Her Eminence, Zainab had not taken that step, the only surviving son of His Eminence, Husain and the source of goodness and excellence on the earth would have perished.

Jahiz has narrated that Ibn Marjana had said to his followers regarding Ali bin al-Husain: “Leave him to me, I shall kill him, because he is the only surviving male of this progeny so that I may uproot that family, destroy this disease and cut off that source.”[4]

However they did not share his view as they were sure that the serious illness he was involved in would definitely end his life soon. But the Almighty Allah saved him from their clutches in an amazing manner!

Ibn Afif Revolts

The majority of the people of Kufa were living under terrible pressure and awe of the tyrannical regime. So much so, that the general conditions were absolutely turned upside down. In the same way, Kufa was not like before a field of political happenings and centre of opposition group; because they had chosen for themselves the robe of humiliation and epidemic of fear was having them in its clutches.

Who could dare to say anything in such an atmosphere of trepidation? While the leader of the community’s severed head was hoisted on points of spears and the noble ladies of the family of Prophet were held as prisoners in this land. No one

[1] Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/124
[2] Surah Zumar 39:42
[3] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/82
[4] Jahiz, Rasail


else had the daring to utter a single word because their mouths had been sealed, their tongues had become dumb. The prisons were full of great and famous personalities and all had submitted to the rule of Ibn Marjana. When that arrogant tyrant came into the public gathering, attended by, in addition to the general public, by the armed forces and men of any importance he went up to the pulpit and expressed his extreme joy at his false victory and how terrible was his statement when he said:

“Praise be to God Who has revealed the truth and the followers of the truth, and has given victory to the Commander of the faithful, Yazid, and his party, and has killed the liar who is the son of a liar and his Shia.”

He uttered such a statement in a society that knew about the justice and truthfulness of Ali and was aware of the manners and morals of his son, Imam Hasan and had found him to be having regard for truth and rightfulness. If he had said such a thing in Syria or some other country he might have received an audience but they were spoken in Kufa, the seat of the government of Ahle Bayt. That tyrant had yet not completed his sentence that the revolutionary stalwart, Abdullah bin Afif Azadi Ghamidi stood up. He had become visually handicapped as one of his eyes was lost in the battle of Jamal and another in the battle of Siffeen fighting on the side of Amirul Momineen and he was always busy in worship in the mosque. He shouted at Ibn Ziyad,

“O son of Marjana! You are the liar and your father too. O Ibn Marjana, you kill the sons of Prophets and take the place of men of truth on the pulpit?”[1]

The tyrant was absolutely shocked and infuriated because these words fell upon him like a thunderbolt. So he called out like a wounded dog, “Who is speaking like this?”

“O enemy of Allah! I am addressing you. Are you killing the Purified Progeny of the Holy Prophet and thinking that you are following the religion of Islam? Where are the helpers? Where are the sons of Emigrants and Helpers?[2] Come up and take revenge from this cursed son of the cursed father who have been described like this by the Prophet.” The pride of that oppressor was shattered. Shouts arose from all sides and people came forward from all the sides of the Mosque to look at the one who had spoken in such a daring way expressing the true feelings of all of them; because it was the first publicly announced opposition to the killers of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah.

Ibn Ziyad was extremely enraged and he screamed, “Bring him to me.”

The executioners and guards rushed from all sides to capture him, but Ibn Afif gave the battle cry of Azadi tribe, “Ya Mabroor!”

Seven hundred men from his clan were present in their gathering. They came

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/413
[2] Al-Lohoof, Pg. 204. Biharul Anwar 45/119


forward and took him away from the soldiers and escorted him to his house.[1] Abdur Rahman bin Mikhnaf Azadi chastised him saying, “Woe be on others than you. You have destroyed yourself and your clan!”[2]

Ibn Ziyad was extremely angry and full of anxiety because Abdullah had opened the door of opposition against his regime and destroyed his glory. In a state of fury he came down from the pulpit and entered the palace. His officers and retainers competed with each other to be present in his service. He said, “Did you see what he has done?”


At that time he ordered the people of Yemen and their confederates to apprehend Ibn Afif. Amr bin Hajjaj suggested to him that every Azadi in the mosque be put into prison as they have all cooperated in the escape of Ibn Afif. As a result of this a severe fight broke out between the Yemenis and Azd tribe. Ibn Ziyad told one of his officers, “Go and see what passes between them.” He hastened to do as directed and saw that fighting was going on among them; told him, “Tell the governor that he has not sent us to people of unremarkable linage like the Algerians or the shoemakers of Mosul. He rather sent us to the Azadis; that is he sent us to the den of the lions. They are not eggs that can be broken or little rue seeds that can be trampled upon...”

Among the Azadis were killed Abdullah bin Hawzah Walbi and Muhammad bin Habib and in addition to this there were numerous casualties on both the sides. However the Yemenis got the upper hand and after defeating their adversaries went to a fort behind the house of Ibn Afif. They broke upon the door and attacked him when he was alone except for his daughter. She handed his sword to him (because he was blind) and he began to defend himself[3] reciting the following Rajaz couplets:

“I am the son of the one having the purified virtuous excellence, the great Afif and my mother is Umme Aamir.

How many of the armored and non-armored fighters have I defeated!”[4]

His daughter too said continuously: Alas, had I been a man to fight with you against this destructive community who killed the honorable members of the Holy family!

The enemy surrounded Abdullah from every side and he continued to defend himself single-handed. Nobody was able to dominate him. The daughter was telling her blind father from which side he was being attacked, until finally he was encircled closely.

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/413-414
[2] Riyadh al-Ahzaan, Pg. 57
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/414
[4] Al-Lohoof, Pg. 205. Biharul Anwar 45/120


His daughter said: May Allah avoid disgrace. My father has been surrounded and there is none to help him.

Wielding his sword Abdullah said: By Allah, had I been able to see, even my arrival and departure would have exhausted you.

The narrator says: The surrounded Abdullah was, at last, arrested and taken to Ibn Ziyad.

Seeing him Ibn Ziyad said: Praise be to Allah Who disgraced you.

Abdullah bin Afif: O enemy of Allah! How did He disgrace me? Had I been able to see with my eyes, I would have undoubtedly put you to trouble.

Ibn Ziyad: What is your opinion about Uthman bin Affan?

Abdullah: O slave of Bani Allaj! O son of Marjana! You uttered an improper thing. What have you to do with Uthman? He did either good or bad, did improvement or spread corruption. Allah is the guard over His servants. He will decide justly between people and Uthman. But He will question you and your father and Yazid and his father.

Ibn Ziyad: No, by Allah. I will not ask you anything till you taste death little by little.

Abdullah bin Afif: All praise to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Even before your mother delivered you I had asked for martyrdom from Allah and requested Him that my martyrdom be carried out by the hand of the worst and the most evil fellow among His creation. After becoming blind, I had lost my hope for martyrdom. But now, praise be to Allah, after disappointment I have achieved this good luck and my prayer has been answered.[1]

Ibn Ziyad, the dirty fellow said: Decapitate him and hang him publicly in Kufa.[2]

He was hanged at Sabakha.

In this manner came to an end the life of that great warrior who devoted his life to the Almighty, confronted falsehood, fought injustice and spoke truth in the darkest and hardest circumstances.

Amnesty for Ibn Mauqal

Ibn Mauqal was one of those who had participated in the uprising of Ibn Afif. He was apprehended and brought in the custody of Ibn Ziyad. Ibn Ziyad gave him amnesty saying: “I am condoning you for the sake of your cousin, Sufyan bin Auf, who is better than you.”[3]

[1] Al-Lohoof, Pg. 205-206. Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/53-55
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/414
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/414


Arrest of Jundab

Ibn Ziyad issued orders for the arrest of Jundab bin Abdullah Azadi. He was from the clan of Abdullah bin Afif, a righteous Shia man and a companion of Imam Amirul Momineen. Police officers arrested him and brought him in custody to the governor. When he arrived Ibn Ziyad screamed at him, “Did you not accompany Abu Turab in the battle of Siffeen?”

The brave warrior did not flinch at his awe and retorted at once, “Yes, I love him and I pride upon him and I hate you and your father. Especially when you have killed the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah, his companions and his family members and you do not have fear of the revenge and power of Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime...”

Ibn Marjana was infuriated and he said, “You are more shameless than that blind one (Ibn Afif) and I can’t think of anything except to gain divine proximity by having you executed.”

“In that case the Almighty shall not grant you proximity.”

The tyrant was afraid of his clan, so he released him saying, “He is an old man who has lost his wits.”[1]

Ibn Ziyad with Qais

Qais bin Ibad was present in the assembly of the tyrant Ibn Ziyad when he asked him in front of his employees, “What is your opinion about Husain and me?”

“Please excuse me from this…”

“You have to reply.”

“On the Day of Resurrection his father shall come and intercede for him and your father will come and intercede for you.”

Ibn Ziyad became angry at this and screamed, “I know your fraud and infamy! If you go away from me for a day, I shall bury your head in the ground.”[2]

Then he put him under surveillance and banned him from leaving Kufa.

Hacking up the Blessed head of Imam Husain

That offspring of betrayal and pledge-breaking, Ibn Marjana ordered that the head of Imam be cut up from all sides but no one volunteered to commit such an atrocity except Tariq bin Malik[3] who took the blessed head and hacked it causing some portions to become detached. Amr bin Hareeth arose and said to Ibn Ziyad,

[1] Matheer al-Ahzaan, Pg. 94. Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/55. Muqarram, Maqtal, Pg. 329
[2] Ibne Qutaybah, Uyun al-Akhbar 2/215. And in Wafayatul Ayan 6/353 it says: Ubaidullah Ibne Ziyad said to Haartha bin Badr Adawani: What do you think will happen on the Day of Resurrection as a result of that which occurred between Husain and me? He replied: His father and grandfather will intercede for him and your father and grandfather will also intercede for you. So you can guess what would happen.
[3] Tariq bin Malik was the grandfather of Abu Ali, secretary to Abdullah bin Khaqan, minister of Mutawakkil.


“You got what you wanted from this head, so give me what has detached from it.”

“What will you do with it?”

“I shall bury it.”

Ibn Ziyad allowed him to do that. He gathered up the detached portions and wrapped them in a cloth, brought it to his house, known as the house of Amr bin Hareeth and buried them there.[1]

Imam Husain’s Head taken around the Town

Ibn Marjana ordered that the Imam’s head be taken through all the main roads and lanes of Kufa[2] while an announcer shouted, “The liar, son of liar is killed!”[3]

By this procedure he intended to announce his victory and humiliate the Shias but he could not achieve his aim; it paved the way for spreading the call of the Imam and the completion of his message, because the Imam’s head inspired the people that the word of truth must be exalted no matter what and the message of Islam must be defended no matter what it requires or entails.

Anyway, the head of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah was taken around under the view of those who claimed to profess Islam but they did not rise up to take revenge for his martyrdom.

Dibil Khuzai, the famous poet versifies this as follows:

“They hold aloft the spear points the head of the son of the daughter of the Prophet and his legatee.

While Muslims see and hear. Neither anyone is infuriated by it nor aggrieved.”[4]

The Muslims were stupefied in a frightening way; because they had been deprived of their human nature and become devoid of all awareness and feelings.

Imprisonment of the Ladies of Revelation

The tyrant Ibn Marjana ordered that the great ladies of the Prophet’s family be lodged in the jail. When they were being taken to the prison, the main roads were crowded with men and women in a way described by Imam Zainul Abideen that: Women thrashed their own faces and wept in frenzy.

Daughters of the Messenger of Allah were taken to the prison and dealt with untold cruelty. The granddaughter of the Prophet was not permitted to be visited by any free woman and she says: “Except for slave maids or slave girls none was allowed to meet us; because they were also prisoners like us. A stone was hurled at the daughters of the Messenger of Allah with a letter attached to it. It said: “Regarding you a messenger has departed for Yazid. So whenever you hear the call of ‘God is Great’ you must become certain that you’d be killed. And

[1] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayaan, Pg. 97. Miraatul Jinaan 1/135
[2] Ad Durrun Nadheem, Pg. 561. Abdullah, Maqtal al-Husain 17/386
[3] At-Tarikh Siyasi Dawlatul Arabia 2/76
[4] Dibil, Diwan, Pg. 225


if you do not hear that call it shall denote your safety.” They fixed a time for receiving the reply. The ladies were extremely anxious and worried. Two days before the arrival of the courier another stone was thrown to them with a letter that said: “Compose your wills and make your last wishes as the time of the courier’s arrival is near.”

Thus after a time, Yazid’s orders came for transfer of the prisoners to Damascus.[1] Some sources have mentioned that Yazid intended to fully eradicate all the descendants of Amirul Momineen but afterwards changed his mind and gave them amnesty.[2]

Abduction of His Eminence, Ali bin al-Husain

A Kufian abducted Imam Zainul Abideen and concealed him in his house. Then he busied in serving him and granting him much respect and reverence. Whenever he came to the Holy Imam he wept excessively and Imam began to have a good opinion about him. But not much time passed that a proclaimer of Ibn Ziyad announced that whosoever finds and brings Ali bin al-Husain will be rewarded 300 Dirhams. When the Kufian heard this announcement he hastened towards the Holy Imam and threw a rope around the neck of His Eminence and tied up his hands and feet. He carried the Imam to rulers and collected the prize money.[3] This shocking behavior is a picture of the self-forgetfulness of that society in the way of materialism and sacrificing themselves for obtaining material wealth in every possible way.

Ibn Saad’s Regret

The filthy wicked man, Umar bin Saad became extremely regretful of his role in that terrible iniquity, because one of his close associates inquired about his condition upon his return from Kerbala and he replied: “No man has returned home with a thing worse than what I have returned with. I accepted the order of the transgressor and oppressor, Ibn Ziyad and disobeyed Allah, the Just Ruler; then cut off the noble relationship and committed a heinous deed.”[4]

But what use was that regret after he had shed the blood of the Purified Progeny and cut off the ties of relationship with the one whose love Allah has made incumbent.

Ibn Ziyad asks Ibn Saad for the Letter

Ibn Ziyad faced waves of condemnation in all the gatherings hence he decided to throw the blame of that deed on Ibn Saad so that he may be held responsible for this crime. So he summoned him and said: “Give me the letter.”

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/84
[2] Al Wafi 3/298
[3] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayaan, Pg. 98. Al Muntazim, 5/345
[4] Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 260. Seer A’laamun Nubla 3/303. Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/414-415


“I had gone to carry out your orders and the letter is lost.”

“You must get it for me.”

“I have sent it to be read out to the old woman of Quraish so that I may apologize to her. By Allah! Regarding Husain, I have acted with you in such a sincere manner that if I had done thus with my father I would have fulfilled his rights.”

Uthman bin Ziyad was present in that meeting and he said to his brother, Ibn Ziyad: “He is right. By Allah! I would have liked that no son of Ibn Ziyad had been except that in his nose was a rein till the Day of Resurrection but Husain shouldn’t have been killed.”

The tyrant fell silent and did not say anything in reply.[1]

A letter that Ibn Saad had sent to Medina was to prevent from himself the shower of curses and that the blame may be laid against his governor, Ibn Marjana. The letter was as follows:

“From Ubaidullah bin Ziyad to Umar bin Saad. So to say:

I did not send you to al-Husain for you to restrain yourself from fighting him, nor to idle the time away with him, nor to promise him peace and preservation of his life, nor to make excuses for him, nor to be an intercessor on his behalf with me. Therefore see that if al-Husain and his followers submit to my authority and surrender, you send them to me in peace. If they refuse, then march against them to fight them and to punish them; for they deserve that. If al-Husain is killed, make the horses trample on his body, both front and back; for he is a disobedient rebel, and I do not consider that this will be in any way wrong after death. But it is my view that you should do this to him if you kill him. If you carry out your command concerning him, we will give you the reward due to one who is attentive and obedient. If you refuse, then we withdraw the command of our province and army from you and leave the army to Shimr bin Zil Jaushan. We have given him
our authority. Greetings.”[2]

Ibn Ziyad condemned

Near and distant relatives and friends condemned Ibn Ziyad for the killing of the beloved son of the Messenger of Allah. Some of them were as follows:

1. Marjana

Marjana was very much angry at his sinful oppressive son, for having committed such a sin and she told him: “O degraded one! You killed the son of the Messenger of Allah! By Allah you shall never see Paradise.”[3]

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/467
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/415
[3] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayaan, Pg. 98. Tadhib at-Tahdhib 1/156. Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 2/357


2. Uthman bin Ziyad

Uthman bin Ziyad, the brother of that wicked man, denounced him and said, “By Allah! I would have liked that no son of Ibn Ziyad had been except that in his nose was a rein till the Day of Resurrection; but Husain shouldn’t have been killed.”[1]

3. Mauqil bin Yasar

Of those who had condemned Ibn Marjana, was Mauqil bin Yasar. He criticized him sharply, denounced him and dissociated himself from him.

The Imam’s martyrdom was such a gigantic crime that the world of Islam was trembling due to its horror. They considered this tragedy great because the sanctity of the Messenger of Allah – which is more than anything else deserving of regard – was defiled in this incident.

Objection on Ibn Saad

People objected to Ibn Saad due to this evil misdeed and considered him an enemy. He was isolated in such a way that people cursed him near whichever group he passed and whenever he entered the Masjid, he was evicted from there.[2]

Widespread Discontent

Imam’s martyrdom created widespread discontent in all the congregations. Haseen bin Abdur Rahman Salmi says: “When the news of the killing of Husain reached us, for three days we remained as if our faces were smeared with dust.”[3]

Hubaira bin Khuzaima says: “I informed Rabi bin Khatheem about the killing of Husain. He became bewildered and recited the words of Almighty Allah,

“Originator of the heavens and the earth, Knower of the unseen and the seen…”[4]

After that he said: “They killed a brave young man from whom whenever the Messenger of Allah saw them he used to display his love for them, and feed them with his own hands seating them on his knees.”[5]

Hasan Basri was conveyed the news of Imam Husain’s killing. He began to weep till both his sides shook. “What an insult it is for the Ummah that the son of its wicked one (that is Ibn Marjana) has killed the son of its Prophet.[6] By Allah, his grandfather and father will take his revenge from Ibn Marjana.”

Amr bin Ba’ja has also said, “The first degradation that befell the Arabs was the killing of Husain and the laying of claim by Ziyad.”[7]

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/467
[2] Miraat az-Zamaan Pg. 68
[3] Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 2/382
[4] Ibne Saad, Tabaqat 6/190
[5] As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 94
[6] Taisar al-Matalib fee Amali Abi Talib, Pg. 89
[7] Majma az-Zawaid 9/196. Al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/132


Muslims fell into a terrible grief and pain due to the martyrdom of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah and wept excessively.

Imam Shafei is said to have wept intensely and recited the following couplets:

“My grief has returned and heart is sorrowful. The eyes are sleepless and sleep became odd for me.

From that, which has snatched away my sleep and greyed my hair, are the accidents of time having hardships.

The world is trembling for the Progeny of Muhammad; it was almost as if the solid mountains would turn to water.

Who will convey my message to Husain, even though the soul and the heart may not like it.

That sinless martyr! As if they have dyed his dress in purple dye. You invoke blessings on the chosen Prophet from the family of Bani Hashim but you have distanced his son, it is a strange matter!

If my sin is loving the Progeny of Muhammad, it is a sin that I shall never repent for.

They shall be my intercessors on the Day of Resurrection and my helpers; and the crime of Shafei would be that he loved them.”[1]

The poet, Ibn Habaria passed through Kerbala and began to weep for Husain and his family members. He also composed the following couplets regarding them:

“O Husain, by you grandfather who was sent for guidance, the Almighty Allah shall interrogate me regarding this covenant.

If I had been present on the day of Kerbala I would have tried much to reduce your sorrow.

I would have quenched the lips of the sword with the blood of your enemies and also the points of the spears.

Except for my misfortune of delay in reaching you. But my griefs shall be between Lovi and Babel.

I take that I have been deprived of fighting with your enemies but is my grief a lesser grief while my tears are flowing?”

Historians say: He went to sleep where he was and saw the Messenger of Allah in the dream telling him: “May Allah give you a good reward on my behalf. Good news to you that the Almighty Allah has included you among those who performed Jihad in the service of Husain.”[2]

[1] As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 94
[2] As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 94


Regret of People of Kufa

The people of Kufa were deeply regretful for the terrible crime they had committed; because they had been such that by sending delegations and letters to the Holy Imam they urged him to join them and when he did arrive to join them they abandoned him and then later killed him. Some of those who expressed their deep remorse were as follows:

1. Baraa bin Azib

Baraa bin Azib regretted that he had retracted his support from the Imam because Imam Amirul Momineen had told him: “Would Husain be killed while you are alive and you wouldn’t help him?”

“O Amiral Momineen, it shall never be so.”

When Imam was martyred Baraa recalled the words of the Imam while he was extremely remorseful and he said: “What a great regret that I was not present with him and did not die in his defense.”[1]

2. Musayyab bin Najba

Musayyab bin Najba was the most remorseful person for not having achieved martyrdom in the service of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah. He announced his regret in his sermons that he delivered among the penitents; as he used to say in those speeches:

“We had been deceived by our purity, Almighty Allah found us false in all our promises to the son of His Prophet. Previously he sent letters and messengers to us and offered excuses to us and sought our help in the beginning and in the end and clearly, but we were miserly to our selves regarding him till he was killed in front of us. Neither we helped him with our hands, nor defended him by our tongues, or strengthened him with our wealth or called our confederates’ help for him. Thus what is our excuse before our Lord and at the time we meet our Prophet? Except that we put to death those who killed him and those who acted against him or that we may be killed in this endeavor. Perhaps in that case our Lord will be pleased with us. After meeting him I shall not be secure from His reprisal.”[2]

These words show the level of his internal remorse for having lost the opportunity of sacrificing his life in the company of the Holy Imam.

3. Sulaiman bin Surd

One of those who were left in deep sorrow for not having helped the Imam was Sulaiman bin Surd. He spoke in the company of his penitent companions about the pain that haunted his soul and inter alia said, “We stretched our neck for the arrival of the Ahle Bayt of our Prophet, Muhammad, promised them our support and

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 10/14-15
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/159


urged them to join us. But when they arrived we fell weak, became feeble, flattering and continued to wait till the son of our Prophet, his offspring and descendant and a part of his flesh and blood was killed right before us. At that time he called for help and wanted justice but he did not get it, the transgressors made him a target for their arrows and a victim of their spears till they killed him, rushed upon him and plundered his belongings.”[1]

4. Ubaidullah bin Hurr

One of the most regretful persons and the most grief-stricken and sorrow ones was Ubaidullah bin Hurr Jofi whom the Imam had approached and asked for help but he was not generous with his self and he declined the request. His conscience was badly shaken due to his rejection of the Imam’s plea for support and he fell into a deep gloom, composing the following lines of poetry:

“O remorse till the time I live! As long as I am breathing.

The day he said to me in the palace: Will you abandon me and intend to go away?

Husain asked me for help against the enemies and creators of dissension.

If the grief of the heart could get a free hand, today my heart will decide to burst.

And if one day I had sacrificed my life for him I would have achieved the honor of the day of meeting God.

He said farewell to the son of Muhammad – may my life be sacrificed for him – and moved out fast.

Those who helped Husain were successful and others who were hypocrites, failed.”[2]

In his couplets the son of Hurr has sketched the picture of the intense pain that had afflicted his soul; because as long as he lived he shall regret having lost the honor of martyrdom in the service of the son of the Prophet of Allah and he was extremely sad at this, for if he had rendered his help he would have obtained Paradise.

He envies the companions of Husain who sacrificed their lives on the Holy Imam; because they had earned excessive reward and a respectable position near the Almighty Allah.

These were some of those who regretted not providing assistance to Imam and lost the chance of achieving salvation through martyrdom in the service of His Eminence who when they got an opportunity they joined the penitents in Kufa and rose up in revolt.

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/160
[2] Khwarizmi, Maqtal al-Husain 1/228

# Migration from Kufa

After the people took steps to kill the beloved grandson of Allah’s Messenger, some righteous persons and pious men did not like to continue staying in Kufa. Of them was Abdur Rahman Quzai who left Kufa and settled down in Basra. He said: “I shall not stay in the city where the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah was killed.”

The carnage of Kerbala created a roaring wave of anxiety and frenzy in all the gatherings of Kufa and the people realized the immensity of the crime that had been committed.[1]

Here comes to an end our discussion regarding the arrival of the prisoners from Ahle Bayt to Kufa and the events of that period.

Prisoners from the Family of the Prophet in Damascus

Ladies of the Prophet’s family and the honorable women of the revelation recipients bore hardships and calamities during the dark days they spent in Kufa; because they had to taste the bitterness of their imprisonment, taunts of enemies and the humiliation of being held hostages in a town that was the native place of their Shias and the center of their mission. They because so much aggrieved that its intensity burns the hearts...

Let us now study the sad events that occurred during their dispatch to Damascus and the hardships that they had to experience en route.

Departure of the Heads

Ibn Marjana ordered that the heads of the Purified Progeny be dispatched to Damascus that they may be displayed to the people of Syria like they had been exhibited to the people of Kufa so that the hearts of people become full of the fear of Bani Umayyah and may serve as a lesson to anyone contemplating to undertake an uprising. The heads were sent with Zajar bin Qais Jofi, Abu Burdah bin Auf Azadi and Tariq bin Zibyan Azadi.

Departure of the Prophet’s Family

The family of the Progeny of Prophet was sent under the charge of Mahfar bin Thalaba a relative of Quraish and Shimr bin Zil Jaushan in such a way that the prisoners were tied with ropes and mounted on humps of camel as a result of which their bodies were trembling.

Abdul Basit Fakhuri says: “Then Ubaidullah readied to send the head, Ali bin al-Husain and the family with him, in such a way that its memory makes them shiver at its cruelty.”[2]

[1] Al-Ma’rif, Pg. 426 (Old Edition)
[2] Tohfatul Imam Fee Mukhtasar Tarikhul Islam, Pg. 77


People of Kufa see off the Prisoners

People of all classes of Kufa came out to see off the caravan of Ahle Bayt, crying and lamenting aloud. Roads of Kufa city were crowded with people who had wept all night long. Due to the crowding it was not possible for the caravan to move forward. Imam Zainul Abideen was astonished at them and he said, “They have killed us and crying on us!”[1]

Ladies of the Hamadan tribe began to weep and wail and the sound of their lamentations arose in the atmosphere.[2]

Shimr bin Zil Jaushan ordered that Imam Zainul Abideen be hauled by chain with the iron collar and this was done.[3] After him they moved the prisoners forward till they joined with the caravan carrying the heads. Throughout the journey, Imam Zainul Abideen did not speak a word to those wicked people and did not ask them for anything.[4]

In this way the caravan continued on its route without being distracted by anything else till it approached Damascus and the city became visible. They saw that the city had been decorated with signs of pride and joyfulness.

Celebrations of Syria

The Damascus regime issued orders that all the government and non-government and all the public and private buildings be decorated to celebrate the victories they had achieved in killing the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah and taking the Progeny of His Eminence as hostages.

One of the historians has described the festivities as follows: When they (that is hostages from Ahle Bayt), came four farsang distance from Damascus, the people of Syria, while distributing coins and sugar plums, welcomed them joyfully to reach them near Damascus. They kept them under observation for three days after their arrival. They were confined to that place so that the decorations of Syria are complete. They decked it with gold, ornaments, silk, brocade, silver and gemstones in such a way that none had seen such resplendent preparation either before or after it. After that men and women, young and old, ministers and officers, Jews, Zoroastrians, Christians and other communities came out to watch the spectacle while drums and other musical instruments played. They had put kohl to their eyes and applied henna to their palms, attired in the best clothes and embellished themselves in the best way...Greater festivities and celebrations were not seen.
So much so that it seemed as if all the people residing in Damascus had come out to celebrate.”[5]

[1] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayan, Pg. 99
[2] Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/125
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/416
[4] Al-Irshad, 2/119
[5] Hujjatul Sa’adah fee Hujjatush Shahada


That community which was raised on the enmity of Ahle Bayt expressed in various ways its joy at the killing and captivity of the family of the Prophets. The honorable head was brought in the circles of people chanting the slogans of “God is Great” and “There is no god, except Allah” for the victory that the grandson of Abu Sufyan had achieved. Khalid bin Safwan or Ghufran who was present in Damascus when the head of the Imam was brought expressed his grief and lamentation and sought refuge from the people lest the spies of Bani Umayyah may apprehend him, while he recited:

“Your head O son of the daughter of Muhammad, they brought smeared in its own blood.

As if by killing you O son of the daughter of Muhammad they have openly and intentionally killed prophethood.

They killed you while you were thirsty and in killing you they did not have any regard for the meaning and interpretation of Quran.

Now that you are killed they chant, God is the Greatest while in killing you they have destroyed the slogans of ‘God is Great’ and ‘There is no god, except Allah.’”[1]

Sahl bin Saad says: I was on the way to Baitul Maqdas when I reached the capital of Syria and found it to be a city of flowing rivers and numerous trees with curtains and silks hanging from them. And people were in a festive mood, women played drums and tambourine etc. So I said to myself: The people of Syria must be having some festival of which we were ignorant. I saw some people talking among themselves. I asked them: “Do you have a festival in Syria about which we have no knowledge?”

“Yes respected sir! You seem to be a foreigner.”

“I am Sahl bin Saad and I have seen the Messenger of Allah.”

“O Sahl! Is it not strange for you that blood doesn’t rain from the sky and the earth does not swallow its inhabitants?”

“What happened?”

“It is the head of Husain which has arrived from Iraq as a gift!”

“Really? Husain’s head is being sent as a gift and people are celebrating it? From which gate is it going to arrive?”

They pointed towards the Sa’at Gate. Sahl hurried towards it and while he stood he saw flags coming one after another and saw a rider holding a standard which was a spear point with the head of one most closely resembling the Messenger of Allah; that is the head of his beloved grandson, Husain. Behind this followed the hostages on backs of camels without a saddles. Sahl rushed to one of the women and asked, “Who are you?”

[1] Jawahirul Matalib 2/305


“I am Sakina, daughter of Husain.”

“Do you want anything? I am Sahl, a companion of your grandfather, the Messenger of Allah.”

“Tell the carrier of this head to ride in front of us so that people are occupied in looking at the head and they do not glance at the womenfolk of the Messenger of Allah. Sahl went to the head carrier, paid him 400 Dirhams and made him ride in the front away from the womenfolk.[1]

The Syrian with Imam Zainul Abideen

There came an old man who approached the womenfolk and household of Husain when they all were in the same place. Then he said: Praise be to Allah Who killed and destroyed you and relieved the city from the existence of your men and imposed the order of Amirul Momineen on you!

Ali bin Husain told him: O old man! Have you read Quran? He replied: Yes.

Ali bin Husain: Did you understand this verse. Say: I do not seek from you anything as wages except friendship with relatives?[2]

He replied: I have read this verse.

He said: We are ‘Zilqurba’ (the relatives of the Prophet). O old man! Have you read in Surah Bani Israel this verse: Observe the rights of Zilqurba?[3]

He replied: I have read it.

He said: We are the ‘Qurba’ O Shaykh! Have you read this verse: And let it be known that whatever booty you may get from everything, then truly one-fifth of it is for Allah and Prophet and Zilqurba?[4]

He replied: Yes.

He said: We are the ‘qurba’ O Shaykh! Have your read this verse: Indeed Allah intended to remove impurity from you O Ahle Bayt and to purify you in the best purification?[5]

He replied: I have read it.

He said: O Shaykh! We are the Ahle Bayt whom Allah Almighty has identified through this verse.

The narrator says: The old man kept quiet. He was feeling ashamed for what he had said. Then he asked: Tell me, by Allah, are you the same?

Sajjad: By Allah. We are the same. I swear by the right of our grandfather and say that without any doubt we are the same.

[1] Abdullah Nurullah, Maqtal al-Husain Awalim 17/427-428
[2] Surah Shura 42:23
[3] Surah Bani Israel 17:26
[4] Surah Anfal 8:41
[5] Surah Ahzab 33:33


The narrator says: The old man wept, threw his turban on the ground then raised his head towards sky and said: O Allah! I am fed up of the enemies of Aale Muhammad be they from jinn or from human beings. Then he submitted: Is there any scope of repentance for me?

He replied: Yes. If you repent, Allah will accept your Taubah and you will be with us.

He said: I repent.[1]

Yazid’s Delight

Yazid experienced immense joy and pleasure. When he received the news of the Imam’s martyrdom, he was in his garden of the Green Palace.[2] He shouted “God is the Greatest.”[3] When the captives arrived he was looking down from the heights of Jeeroon. He saw the hostages and also noticed the heads held on the tips of spears and this made him so elated that he began to sing:

“When that caravan became visible and those heads appeared on the heights of Jeeroon.

The crow called out, then I said: Say or not, I have got whatever I wanted from the Prophet.”[4]

The grandson of Abu Sufyan had quenched his revenge and got his vengeance from the son of the conqueror of Mecca and the breaker of the idols of Quraish, because he had killed the Purified Progeny and made their children hostages in order to take revenge from the Prophet.

The Imam’s head in the Presence of Yazid

Mahfir bin Thalab and Shimr bin Zil Jaushan brought the Imam’s head as a gift for the transgressor, Yazid bin Muawiyah, when they reached the Umayyad court. Mahfir raised his voice so that Yazid would hear it and said: “I have brought the head of the most foolish and degraded man.”

Yazid objected to him and replied, “The child that Mahfir’s mother gave birth to is more foolish and degraded but he was definitely an oppressive man.”[5]

Yazid gave open court to the people in order to make them aware that he has defeated the family of the Prophet. People crowded the palace and expressed their exceeding joy and congratulated Yazid for this false victory.[6]

The head of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah was placed before

[1] Lohoof, Pg. 211-213
[2] Al Bustanul Jame’ li Jami’ Tawarikh Ahluz Zaman, Pg. 36
[3] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/60-61
[4] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 348
[5] It is mentioned in Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/84 and Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/194 that it is said that: It is Mahqar not Mahfar. And in Al-Irshad 2/119 it is mentioned that it was Imam Zainul Abideen who replied to him.
[6] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/197


the offspring of betrayal and sinfulness and he hit at the lips of His Eminence with a cane that he was holding, where the Prophet had often kissed. Then he said in a revengeful and ridiculing manner, “O Husain! Did you see the result of your oppression?”[1]

Then he glanced at his companions and said, “I did not think that Aba Abdillah would be so aged that his hair and beard require dye.”[2] After that he looked closely at the Imam’s face while the awe of His Eminence had seized him. He said, “I have never seen a more elegant face.”[3]

Then he continued to hit at the mouth of the Holy Imam while singing the following poem of Haseen bin Hamam:

“My people did not want that I should be given justice; so the blood-thirsty swords we held brought justice to us.

We will split the skull of proud men who come against us; they were very disobedient and oppressive.”

He had not ended his sentence when Abu Barza Aslami objected and said to him: “Do you whip the mouth of Husain? You are whipping the mouth I have seen the Holy Prophet kiss. But you, O Yazid! You shall come on the Day of Resurrection and Ibn Ziyad will be your intercessor and he (Husain) will come and Muhammad shall be his intercessor.”

Then he arose and went away from there.[4] Yahya bin Hakam was deeply moved and he began to recite:

“On the bank (of the river) a great army met him who is closer in kinship (to Yazid) than Ibn Ziyad (is), the man with a false lineage.

The offspring of Sumaiyyah has acquired status, while the offspring of the daughter of the Apostle of God is (given) none.”[5]

Yazid struck his hand against the chest of Yahya bin Hakam and shouted, “Be quiet!” Had your mother not given birth to you!”[6]

Every sensible being was affected by the painful calamities that the tyrant had caused to Ahle Bayt.

[1] Manawi, Al-Kaukab as-Durriya 1/146. And in Tadhib at-Tahdhib 1/157. It is narrated from Hamza that: I saw the most clever and beautiful woman named Ruba. She was the nurse of Yazid bin Muawiyah and she was aged a hundred years. She said: A man came to Yazid and told him: Congratulations to you that Allah gave you power over Husain; they killed him and brought his head to you and kept it in the tray. Then he ordered his slave to uncover it. When he saw it his face became red. I asked Ruba: Did he hit his teeth with his cane? She replied: Yes, by Allah!
[2] Dhahabi, Tarikh Islam 5/19
[3] Tarikh Quzai, Pg. 330
[4] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/85
[5] Dhahabi, Tarikhul Islam 5/18. Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/192. Al-Irshad, 2/119-120
[6] Tibrani, Al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/124. Tabari, Tarikh 5/460-461. Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/192


Imam’s head taken to the Mosque

After the tyrant had finished his wicked occupation with the head of the Chief of the youths of Paradise he sent it to be placed in the Mosque where the head of Prophet Yahya bin Zakaria was placed.[1] It was hung there for three days.[2]

Imam’s head in the Presence of Yazid’s womenfolk

The tyrant Yazid sent the head of the beloved grandson of Allah’s Messenger to his womenfolk in order to impress his awe and pride upon them. Atika took it and applied perfume to it. Yazid took exception to it and asked, “What are you doing?”

“You sent my uncle’s head smeared with dust,” she replied, “I gathered it and applied perfume to it.”[3]

Hostages in Yazid’s Court

Yazid, the oppressor was extremely overjoyed upon seeing the prisoners from Ahle Bayt and in order to humiliate them as much as possible he had them lodged in the Mosque at the place where prisoners were held.[4] His guards tied up the womenfolk and children of the Prophets’ family with ropes like goats are tethered. A rope stretched from the neck of his aunt, Zainab and other daughters of Allah’s Messenger. According to historians when they wanted to stop them on the way they used to whip them. They were brought in a manner that mountains could shatter by its horror. They brought them chanting the words of ‘God is the greatest’ and ‘There is no god except Allah’ and they were displayed before Yazid.

Imam Zainul Abideen glanced at Yazid and said, “What do you think will be the reaction of our grandfather, Allah’s Messenger if he sees us in this condition?”

Yazid was moved and none in the assembly remained but wept.[5] The tyrant was affected by what he saw and he said, “May God detest Ibn Marjana. If there had been any bond of kinship between him and you, he would not have done this to you, he would not have sent you in this state.”[6]

Then he ordered that the ropes be removed and looking at Ali bin al-Husain he said: “Son of al-Husain, your father cut (the bond of) kinship with me and showed ignorance of my rights, tried to deprive me of my position of authority. Now God has treated him in the way you have seen.”

The lion child of Husain recited the words of God with absolute confidence and tranquility:

“No evil befalls on the earth nor in your own souls, but it is in a book before We

[1] Subhul Aashi 1/100
[2] Tadhib at-Tahdhib 1/157
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/416
[4] Al-Kaukab as-Durriya 1/146
[5] Ahmad Fahmi, Imam Zainul Abideen, Pg. 55
[6] Tadkiratul Khawaas Pg. 260-261. Al Muntazim 5/342


bring it into existence; surely that is easy to Allah: So that you may not grieve for what has escaped you, nor be exultant at what He has given you; and Allah does not love any arrogant boaster.”[1]

The tyrant got infuriated by this and his joy was destroyed. At that moment he recited the following verse of Quran:

“And whatever affliction befalls you, it is on account of what your hands have wrought, and (yet) He pardons most (of your faults).”[2]

“It is about those who have committed oppression,” the Imam said, “and not regarding those who are oppressed.”[3]

After that the Imam turned away his face from him and did not speak to him[4] in order to consider him worthless and lowly.

Sermon of Her Eminence, Zainab

The oppressor, Yazid expressed his delight at the destruction of the Purified Progeny; because he thought that now his power was unchallenged and that the circumstances were as he desired. So he rocked his legs happily and wished that those of his family killed in the battle of Badr were present there so that he could show them how he has revenged their deaths from His Eminence, the Holy Prophet regarding his Progeny and descendants. At that moment he recited the verses of Ibn Zabari in an intoxicated manner and said:

“Alas for my forefathers who were killed in Badr, who had heard the wailing of Khazraj due to the pain of spear wounds. So now you rise up and glance and say: O Yazid! May your hand not be paralyzed. We killed their heads and chiefs and took that revenge of Badr. Hashemites played with the kingdom because neither any (divine) news had come nor was there any revelation. I may not be considered as belonging to Khunduf if I do not take the revenge from the sons of Ahmad for what they did.”[5]

When the valiant lady of Kerbala heard these verses that denoted his infidelity and joy at the killing of the Progeny of Prophet in revenge of those killed in Battle of Badr, she stood up and chastised him, demolishing his arrogance without being in any way mindful of his tyranny and wickedness.

She did not allow herself to be fearful or frightened and rather she was a model of valor and it was as if that victorious ruler and that tyrant was himself defeated. Her Eminence said:

“Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds and blessings on Muhammad and on all the members of his family. Allah told the truth that: The end of those who did bad

[1] Surah Hadid 57: 22-23
[2] Surah Shura 42:30
[3] Al Fusulul Muhimma, Pg. 195
[4] Al-Irshad, 2/120
[5] A’laamun Nisa 2/95. Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/192


deeds is bad because they denied the verses of Allah and mocked them.[1]

O Yazid! Do you think that it is a matter of pride for you that you captured us between the earth and the sky and made us driven like slave maids and that it is a disgrace to us! Does all this make you rejoice as you have prepared the world for yourself? You imagine that everything has been arranged properly for you and that the kingdom and the country is now in your favor. Take respite for a while. But you have forgotten the Word of Allah Who said: Those who have become deniers should not imagine and those to whom We have given a respite must not think that this respite is good for them. We verily have given them a respite who go on sinning. For them will be a disgraceful chastisement.[2]

Is this just, O son of the liberated, that your wives and slave girls may live behind curtain and the daughters of the Prophet of Allah be captives? You tore their veils, revealed their faces, and drove them from town to town like enemies! You degraded them in the sight of common people. You made people look at them while their guardians and helpers were not with them.

What kind of hope can be entertained from the son of the one who chewed the liver of pious persons and whose flesh was nourished by the blood of martyrs?

How much harshness, due to enmity towards us, Ahle Bayt, displays the one who looks at us only with vengeance? And then, without realizing, you utter such sinful words: (your elders) rise and dance and tell you: O Yazid! May your hand not be paralyzed whereas you whip on the teeth of the ancestors of Abi Abdullah.

Why should you not say so, when you peeled the skin off wounds and by shedding the blood of the progeny of Muhammad, who were the shining stars on the earth, made them join their ancestors and now you are remembering your ancestors and, in your imagination, calling them.

O Yazid! Very soon you will join them and on that Day, you will wish (and say): Alas, would that I had been paralyzed and would not have uttered what I uttered and should not have done what I did.

O Allah! Restore our rights and take revenge from those who oppressed us and send Your wrath on those who shed our blood and killed our supporters.

(O Yazid!) By Allah, you have skinned none but yourself and have cut only your own flesh. No doubt, you will be brought before the Prophet of Allah having shed the blood of his progeny and tore the curtain of the honor of their progeny and that will be the time and place when Allah will gather them and remove their anxieties and restore their rights. Do not think those killed in the path of Allah are dead. They are but alive, getting provision near their Lord.[3]

O Yazid! It is sufficient for you that Allah is the Judge and Muhammad is your

[1] Surah Rum 30:10
[2] Surah Aale Imran 3:178
[3] Surah Aale Imran 3:169


enemy and avenger of blood, with Jibraeel as his supporter. Very soon you will know who deceived you and who imposed you on the heads of Muslims. How bad is the selection of succession, how bad the occupation of house and how small the possession of power.

O Yazid! Though I have suffered many calamities from you, I consider you valueless and your tragedy great and so also your blame big. What to do, the eyes are tearful and the souls burning.

Wonder, O wonder! Killing of the party of Allah by the hands of the party of Satan is (rare). Our blood is dripping from your dirty hands. Your unclean mouths are devouring our flesh. Those Holy and pious bodies are facing the attacks of rapacious wolves. Pigeons are removing their marks. If you have caught us as war booty then very soon it will prove to be a fine instead of booty. On that day, you will not get anything except what your hands sent forth and Your Lord is not cruel to His servants and all complaints are before Allah.

Carry out whatever fraud or betrayal and effort is in your mind. By Allah, you will never be able to erase our name and remove the Revelation because you did not perceive during our time. This shameful blot will not be removed from you. Is it not the truth that your opinion is wrong and your lifespan limited and short and your group will get scattered? Yes, it will be so on the day when it will be proclaimed: Now, the curse is upon the unjust.

So, all praise be for Allah Who destined salvation and bliss for our first and martyrdom and mercy for our last.

We appeal to Allah so that He may complete their reward and multiply its causes and restore the caliphate duly to us as He is Kind and Merciful. Allah is sufficient for us. He is the best of the executors!”[1]

This is the most outstanding sermon to be quoted in the books of Islam. It completed the immortal message of Husain; because the granddaughter of the Prophet through her discourse destroyed the tyranny of that oppressor and put him to shame and defeat. She made him realize that the callers for truth never submit before the leaders of transgression and oppression.

Imam Kashful Ghita says: “Can any pen describe in a better way the condition of Yazid and his conceit, arrogance and delight that he obtained through victory and vengeance? Does anyone have the possibility and capacity to vanquish the enemy through logical arguments and condemn him in such eloquent words as Her Eminence had done? That too when she knew that he would not rest content with what he had done so far and try to further humiliate her and those who were with her. Without being awed by his power and tyranny she exposed and disgraced

[1] A’laamun Nisa 2/95-97. Balaghatun Nisa, Pg. 21. Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/64. As Sayyida Zainab wa Akhbaar az-Zainabiyat, Pg. 86. Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/125-126. Al-Lohoof, Pg. 217-218


him and made clear for all his wickedness and lowliness of character and origin.”[1]

The late Fakiki says: “Along with me ponder upon this fiery sermon that what arts of eloquence and power of speech it has and depths in meanings. And it has the power of stimulation and argumentation and proofs that are irrefutable; because it is defense with clarity in the path of nobility, truth and belief, to reach the depths of the heart, sharpen than swords and more pointed than spears in the hearts of human beings than the weapons of war. It was more difficult for Yazid to hear this argument than to stand on the mouth of the python and to climb on the point of a spear that the daughter of nobility and honor said before the devils of Bani Umayyah and spoke of their disgrace in their own palace and in their own gathering.

Apart from this, this historical effective sermon speaks about the immortal valor and incomparable daring that the perceptive and powerful way of speech which included lofty examples and great morals. This literary work will continue to live in all times and in the coming generations and it is a remembrance of the terrible and sad tragedy of Kerbala. The lamentations of the women shall remain forever in front of the oppressive transgressors.[2]

Main Points of the Discourse of Her Eminence, Zainab

This great discourse was the continuation of the revolution of Kerbala and in an outstanding manner it displayed their lofty values and elevated aims; because it included the following points:

First: It spoke of the pride and arrogance of that tyrant because he thought that since he possessed a huge army that could fill up the deserts and lands he had obtained a great victory but that victory was temporary. Due to his foolishness he thought that he had achieved success because of his position near the Almighty Allah and the degraded position of Ahle Bayt. But he did not know that the Almighty gives bounties to disbelievers in this world so that their sins may increase and they be given the worst chastisement in the Hereafter.

Secondly: The discourse condemned Yazid in the severest tone for having imprisoned the honorable ladies of Ahle Bayt; because he did not respect their relationship to the Messenger of Allah in spite of the fact that on the day of the conquest of Mecca, His Eminence gave amnesty to the forefathers of Yazid as a result of which his father and grandfather were freed. He did not thank this kindness of the Prophet and recompensed him in the worst possible manner.

Thirdly: What the oppressor had committed, that is the shedding of blood of the Purified Progeny, was a result of his inherited nature; because his grandmother, Hind was such that she chewed the liver of His Eminence, Hamzah, the chief of the martyrs. His grandfather, Abu Sufyan was the first enemy of Islam. His father, Muawiyah, shed the blood of Muslims and defiled all the religious sanctities. On

[1] Siayasatul Husainia, Pg. 30
[2] Journal ‘Ghurra’, Year 7, No. 6


the basis of this, committing sins had become a part of his nature.

Fourthly: Her Eminence, Zainab criticized Yazid’s recital of poem wherein he expressed the wish that his elders were present to see how he had taken revenge on their behalf from the Prophet by killing his son. She also stated that Yazid would also enter the place they have entered and he shall also remain forever in the fire of Hell.

Fifthly: That tyrant by shedding the blood of the Purified Progeny did not only shed his own blood and did not only cut his skin; because those pure souls achieved immortality and honor and reached the zenith of nobility. While here was Yazid who got himself destined for disgrace and loss.

Sixthly: Her Eminence has pointed out to all those who were instrumental in creating conditions favorable for imposing Yazid as the ruler of Muslims. She says that all of them were fully responsible for all the misdeeds Yazid committed. The aim of Her Eminence is having far reaching meaning that anyone who ponders upon it will understand.

Seventhly: Her Eminence, pointed out to her lofty status and she spoke to him as a ruler or king would have. She considered him worthless and regarded him to be of little value. In a magnanimous way she refrained from speaking to him and she considered it below her dignity to address him directly and she was not worried of his power...despite her exhaustion and pain that she had received as a result of those calamites she proved that her strength was more than his and her valor was much more than his.

Eighthly: Her Eminence stated that although Yazid may try his best to wipe out the remembrance of Ahle Bayt he shall not succeed; because they have a place in the hearts of Muslims and their feelings and they are on truth and truth is bound to be victorious. His Eminence, Husain was also practically successful and the tragedy of His Eminence was changed into a glory no man has been able to achieve. Thus which success is more deserving of immortality and more worthy of perpetuity than the success that Imam achieved?

These are some of the numerous points that were mentioned in the sermon; a sermon which is a sign of eloquence and articulation and a miracle of expressiveness and a mortal blow that fell upon the Bani Umayyah regime.

Yazid’s Reply

The sermon of the noble lady fell like a thunderbolt on Yazid; because his vanity was destroyed and his ego was shattered. He was too bewildered to say anything in reply except repeat the lines of a poet:

“O lamentor whose lamentation is better than the lamentation of women! How easy is mourning for the mourners!”[1]

There was no kind of relationship between the great sermon that Her Eminence

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 359


delivered describing the reality of Yazid and showing him to be away from all human values, and the poetry that he had quoted; it purported to announce that lamentation was better than the one who was lamenting and mourning is easy for the mourners. No sort of connection is apparent between the two.

Reaction to the Sermon of Her Eminence, Zainab

The sermon of that noble lady created a roaring wave in the gathering of Yazid and all those who were present there were moved and it increased their sorrow; because it removed all their doubts and all the preparations that Muawiyah had done for establishing his kingdom were destroyed. Yazid began to find ways and means to justify his crime and said to the people of Syria: “Do you know from where the son of Fatima has come? And what impelled him to do this and what caused him to be involved in this?”

“No, we don’t know.”

“He claimed that his father was better than my father and his mother, Fatima, the daughter of Allah’s Messenger was better than my mother and also that he was better than me and more deserving of caliphate. As for his saying that his father was better than my father; my father left for Allah to decide and everyone know in whose favor the decision was.

And as for his saying that his mother is better than my mother, by my life, Fatima, the daughter of Allah’s Messenger is better than my mother.

And as for his saying that his grandfather was better than my grandfather; by my life there is none who believes in Allah the Day of Resurrection that could believe in equality of Messenger of Allah and us, but he (Husain a.s.) due to lack of knowledge committed this deed and he did not read the words of Almighty Allah:

“Say: O Allah, Master of the Kingdom! Thou givest the kingdom to whomsoever Thou pleasest and takest away the kingdom from whomsoever Thou pleasest, and Thou exaltest whom Thou pleasest and abasest whom Thou pleasest; in Thine hand is the good; surely, Thou hast power over all things…[1]and Allah grants His kingdom to whom He pleases”([2])([3])

That tyrant thought that the criterion of excellence before Allah was temporal power and in this way he claimed his superiority over Imam. He claimed while he did not know that achieving temporal power is of no value near Almighty Allah; because He gives it to the righteous as well as the sinful.

Sermon of Imam Zainul Abideen

Yazid’s assembly was full of people. He had told a speaker to go upon the pulpit and extol the virtues of Bani Umayyah and speak ill of His Eminence, Husain!

[1] Surah Aale Imran 3:26
[2] Surah Baqarah 2:247
[3] Tabari, Tarikh 5/463-464. Ibne Kathir, Al Bidayah wan Nihayah Pg. 195-196


The speaker mounted the pulpit and praised and exaggerated the merits of Yazid. Then he spoke unfavorably about His Eminence, Amirul Momineen and his son, His Eminence, Husain and obtained Yazid’s reward.

Imam Zainul Abideen stood up and condemned him, “Woe be on you, O speaker! You purchased the pleasure of the creature through wrath of the Creator. Then look at your place in the fire...”

Then he turned to Yazid and said: “Do you permit me to mount the pulpit and say a few words, for the pleasure of Almighty and benefit for the audience?”

The audience was shocked and astounded at this ailing youth who had challenged the speaker and the ruler and replied to them. Yazid rejected his request but the audience urged him to give the permission. This is considered as the beginning of enlightening the minds of the people of Syria.

“If he goes on the pulpit”, Yazid told them, “He will not come down before he disgraces me and the family of Abu Sufyan.”

They told him: “What could be the level of knowledge of this ailing boy?” They did not recognize him and thought that he did not know anything but that tyrant was fully aware of his capabilities, therefore he said: “He is from the family that is nurtured on knowledge.”

The audience urged him and at last he relented to their desire and allowed the Imam to speak. Imam ascended the pulpit and praised and glorified the Almighty.

Historians say: He delivered a great sermon that caused the eyes to weep and distressed the hearts. He said as follows:

“O people! We were given six virtues and exalted with seven excellences: Knowledge, forbearance, generosity, eloquence, valor and love in the hearts of believers and we were given superiority by the fact that the Chosen Prophet, Muhammad is from us. And the truthful one is from us. And the winged one is from us. And from us is the lion of God and the lion of the Prophet. And from us is the chief of the ladies of the world, Fatima, the pure one. And from us are the two best grandsons of this nation and the two chiefs of the youths of Paradise.

Those who know me, know me. Those who don’t shall be informed of my family and lineage. I am the son of Mecca and Mina. I am the son of Zamzam and Safa. I am the offspring of one who carried Zakat in a corner of his cloak. I am the child of the best of those who donned the cloak and mantle. I am the son of the best of those who sometimes put on shoes and sometimes walked barefoot. I am the offspring of the best of those who performed the circumambulation of Kaaba or did the Sayy. I am the son of the best of those who went for Hajj and recited ‘Labbaik’. I am the child of one who was carried in space on the back of Burraq. I am the child of one who during the night was carried from the Masjid al-Haraam to Masjid al-Aqsa. Thus Pure is the One Who took him during the night. I am the offspring of one who Jibraeel took upto the Farthest Lote Tree (Sidratul Muntaha). I am the child of one who was at a distance of two bows or lesser. I am the son of


the person who led the angels of the sky in prayers. I am the child of one to whom Allah revealed what He revealed. I am the son of Muhammad Mustafa. I am the son of Ali Murtuza. I am the son who hit the nose of creatures so that they may say: There is no god except Allah. I am the son of the man who did Jihad in service of the Prophet with two swords, striked with two spears, undertook two migrations, pledged two oaths of allegiance, recited prayer facing two prayer directions (Qibla), fought in the battles of Badr and Hunain and did not deny Allah for the fraction of a second. I am the son of righteous believers, the inheritor of the Prophets, the destroyer of apostates, leader of Muslims, effulgence of religious warriors, ornament of worshippers, crown of those who weep, the most patient of the patient ones, the best of those who established prayers, from the family of Yasin and the Messenger of the Lord of the worlds. I am the offspring of whom
Jibraeel supported and Mikaeel helped. I am the child of the defender of the honor of Muslims and the slayer of Nakiseen, Qasiteen and Mariqeen.[1] And the one who performed Jihad against the malicious enemies, the most dignified of those who walked among the Quraish and the first believer who responded to the call of Allah, the senior most of the preceders, punisher of criminals and liquidator of polytheists and an arrow of God on the hypocrites. The tongue of wisdom of the worshippers, the helper of religion of Allah and the master of affair of God, the guardian of divine wisdom, and treasure of knowledge of God was bestowed to him. Generous, elegant and pure, by whom the people of valleys of Mecca were pleased and delighted.

The bold warrior, the patient keeper of fast, the sincere worshipper of the night, the valiant one, cutter of the waists, disperser of the groups, who was the most powerful of heart and most victorious than them. With a tongue more daring, most determined of all, possessing the most powerful determination, a brave lion and furious attacker. In the battles he used to hit upon them and dispersed and destroyed them like goats and sheep. Lion of Hijaz, possessor of miracle, leader of Iraq. Appointed Imam by right and religious texts, native of Mecca and Medina, a native of Bataha and Tahama, one of Kheef and Aqabah, one of Badr and Uhad, who was present in the pledge of the tree, a migrant, among the Arabs, their master, lion-like in battles, heir of two signs, father of two grandsons, Hasan and Husain, displayer of miracles and disperser of armies. A shining star, effulgence personified. The victorious lion of God, aim of every wish-seeker, dominant on
every victor, he is that same one who is our grandfather, Ali bin Abi Talib.

I am the son of Fatima Zahra. I am the son of the leader of women. I am the son of that pure and chaste lady. I am the son of the beloved one of the Prophet.[2] I am the child of one who was smeared in blood. I am the offspring of one who was beheaded at Kerbala. I am the son of such a one whom the Jinns lament in darkness

[1] Those who fought Ali in the battles of Jamal, Siffeen and Nahrawan respectively.
[2] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/69-70


and the birds in the atmosphere mourn.”[1]

He, in this way continued to say, ‘I am’, ‘I am’ till the people began to weep and lament and Yazid feared the oncoming mischief and unfavorable circumstances because the Imam’s sermon created an intellectual revolution in the assembly of that oppressor. Yazid told the Muezzin to recite the call for prayer and interrupt the Imam’s discourse. Thus the caller called: “Allah is the Greatest!”

The Imam said: You have remembered with respect a greatness that cannot be compared and that cannot be comprehended by the senses. Nothing is greater than the Almighty. When the Muezzin recited: “I bear witness that there is no god except Allah.”

His Eminence, Ali bin al-Husain said: “My hair, skin, flesh, blood, brain and bones testify to this.”

When the Muezzin called: “I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

His Eminence, Ali bin al-Husain looked at Yazid and asked: “O Yazid! Is this Muhammad my grandfather or yours? If you claim he is yours you would have lied and if you say he is our grandfather, why have you murdered his Progeny?”[2]

Yazid was speechless and he could not say anything in reply. The people of Syria became aware that they were immersed in ignorance and deviation and the Umayyad regime had tried to take them to misguidance and damnation.

In his sermon, the Imam only dwelled on the introduction of his self and his family and did not mention anything else. This was the most outstanding, subtle and profound point of emphasis; because the society of Syria did not know anything about Ahle Bayt and the regime had concealed everything concerning them and nurtured the people on loyalty to Bani Umayyah and malice towards Ahle Bayt.

Reaction of the Sermon of Imam Sajjad

The sermon of Imam had a profound effect on the gathering of Syrian people. They glanced at each other and secretly spoke about their failures and crimes. So much so, that their relationship with Yazid changed.[3] They began to view him as a profligate and a degraded man.

The Syrian and Fatima

A Syrian glanced at Her Eminence, Fatima, daughter of Imam Amirul Momineen[4] or daughter of Imam Husain[5] and said to Yazid, “Give me this girl so that she be my slave.”

[1] Nafasul Mahmoom, Pg. 261-262
[2] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/69-71
[3] Jawahirul Kalam fee Mad-hil Sadatil A’laam, Pg. 128
[4] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/194. Al Muntazim 5/343
[5] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/62


The girl says: When we sat before Yazid, he showed pity on us. An Ahmar of the Syrians stood up and said to Yazid: “Commander of the faithful, give me this one.”

He meant me. (Then) I was a pretty young girl. I shuddered for I thought that that would be allowed to them. I caught hold of the skirt of my aunt Zainab and she told (me) that that would not happen. She said to the Syrian: By God, you are a liar. By God, you are too lowly born! Such a thing is not for you nor for him to decide.

“You are a liar,” Yazid cried out angrily. “That is for me to decide. If I wish to do anything, I can do it.”

“No, by God, she replied, God would only let you do that if you left our faith and professed belief in another religion.”

By these statements, Her Eminence, Zainab removed the curtain with which Yazid had covered himself and presented the excuse that he killed Husain and his Ahle Bayt because they had become apostate and had rebelled against the Imam of the time. That tyrant could not say anything in reply while he was immersed in fury and malice.

“It is me,” screamed Yazid, distraught with anger, “whom you are treating in this (way). It is your father who has left the religion, and your brother

“I am led by the religion of God, the religion of my father and the religion of my brother,” she answered, “and it is what you are led by, and your grandfather and your father, if you are a Muslim.”

“Enemy of God, you lie,” he shouted.

“You are a Commander of the faithful, yet you vilify unjustly and you have become oppressive with your authority,” she answered.

(At this) he was ashamed and became silent. “Give me that girl,” repeated the Syrian. “Be a bachelor,” Yazid said to him, “May God strike you dead!”[1]

In those terrible calamities Her Eminence, Zainab displayed her personal abilities and with a firm determination and awareness that she had inherited from her grandfather, His Eminence, the Prophet she stood up to confront the enemies of Islam.

A writer says: “Her Eminence, Zainab despite her weakness and exhaustion achieved the first clear victory on the oppressor who was seated in his dominion and power; because again and again she compelled Yazid to become speechless, while at the same time she exposed to everyone his foolishness. In the same way she mentioned his lack of awareness about religious matters; Muslim ladies, under no circumstances could be subjected to captivity and they could never be dealt like prisoners of war.

It is very likely that the statement of Yazid to that Syrian was the beginning of

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/86


condemnation for Yazid and the beginning for spread of awareness among the Syrians. Its sign is that the reply of Her Eminence, Zainab to Yazid was sufficient, because if he had fulfilled the demand of that Syrian he would have gone beyond the pale of Islam. The furious debate that ensued between Her Eminence and Yazid shows that the aim of the demand of that Syrian was to open the eyes of the people and ridicule Yazid in a subtle manner; especially since the demand was put forth immediately after the speech of Her Eminence, Zainab and the discourse of Imam Zainul Abideen as both the sermons had spread awareness and a frenzied wave of fury was created in the assembly of Yazid.

Imam Sajjad and Minhal

Minhal bin Umar met Imam Sajjad and asked His Eminence: “Son of Allah’s Messenger how are you?” “We are like Bani Israel in the hands of the people of Firon, who killed their sons and kept their women alive...The Arabs always took pride over non-Arabs, saying: Muhammad was from Arabia and the Quraish took pride over other Arab tribes telling them that Muhammad was from them. Yet, we, Ahle Bayt of the Holy Prophet are shelterless, we are being tortured and killed. So, ‘we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return’ over whatever has befallen us.”[1]

The Holy Prophet was the original source of honor for the Arab nation upon which it prides on itself; because His Eminence organized the life of the Arabs so that they may become the predominant nation over all other communities of the world. He established for them a kingdom which was the most powerful and strongest kingdom of the world. He was recompensed in such a way that the Quraish, that is those who used to pride over other Arabs since Muhammad was from them, killed his progeny, uprooted them completely and took their womenfolk as captives. Is this the reward for one who emancipated and freed them?

Mourning for His Eminence, Husain

Daughters of Allah’s Messenger asked that tyrant to arrange for a house for them where they could mourn for the Chief of martyrs because grief had shattered their hearts and they were afraid of the guards to express their great sadness and deep sorrow that had scorched their beings for the guards were vigilant in this regard and whenever they found anyone of Ahle Bait wailing or lamenting they used to restrain them from mourning on Aba Abdillah; because Imam Zainul Abideen is reported to have said: “When the eyes of one of us filled with tears they used to hit us upon our heads with spears.”

Yazid acceded to this request of theirs and got a house vacated. No lady of Bani Hashim or Quraish remained but that she put on black clothes in mourning for Husain and the daughters of Prophethood observed mourning for seven days and sincerely lamented for the Chief of the martyrs.[2] They wept and wailed for

[1] Khwarizmi, Maqtal al-Husain 2/72
[2] Abdullah, Maqtal al-Husain


the brilliant stars of the family of Abdul Muttalib in such a way that the whole earth burnt due to the remorse of their tears.

Ibn Marjana Rewarded

Yazid, the tyrant thanked Ibn Marjana for eliminating the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah and endeavored to exalt and honor him. He summoned him to Damascus so that he may felicitate him specially.

Yazid wrote the following letter to him:

“So to say: You have achieved increase in your position as has been said previously:

‘You were raised and you have passed that height of the clouds and gone beyond that. Except of going up to the rising of the sun you cannot go anywhere.’

Thus, as soon as you receive this letter of mine, come to me so that I may reward you for all that you have done.”

Ibn Ziyad journeyed to Damascus, accompanied with his senior officers. When he reached there all the elements of Bani Umayyah came out to welcome him. When he came to Yazid, the latter approached Ibn Ziyad, embraced him and kissed his forehead. Then he seated him on the royal throne, ordered the singers to sing and the bartenders to serve wine. He said:

“Give me a drink so that my heart is satisfied, then repeat it and serve a drink to Ibn Ziyad in the same way.

He has a position of trust and confidence with me and he is my treasurer and commander of my forces.”

Ibn Marjana stayed in Damascus for a month and Yazid rewarded him with a million Dirhams. He presented an equal amount to Ibn Saad. The taxes of Kufa for a year were also endowed to Ibn Ziyad.[1] Yazid tried to get into his good books and introduced him to his womenfolk and family members.[2]

When his brother, Muslim bin Ziyad came to Yazid, the latter accorded him respect and honor since he was the brother of Ubaidullah. He said to Muslim, “Your love has become incumbent on the family of Abu Sufyan.”

Yazid appointed him as his companion for one full day and bestowed with the governorship of the Khorasan Province.[3] He was thankful to the family of Ziyad for having eliminated the family of the Holy Prophet and thought that they had made easy for him rulership and power. What he did not realize was that they have ruined his kingdom, destroyed his power and earned him disgrace and humiliation that was to last forever.

[1] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayaan, Pg. 106
[2] Yanabiul Mawaddah 1/149. As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 85
[3] Al Futuh 5/254


Regret of the Oppressor, Yazid

After the Muslims began to condemn that tyrant with regard to the killing of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah he became regretful and tried to transfer the blame of that crime to Ibn Marjana and he always said: “What would have happened to me if I had borne the pain and lodged him (His Eminence, Husain) with me in my house and fulfilled his demands and made him the ruler even though this would have brought me condemnation and my power would have weakened; due to having respected the honor of the Messenger of Allah and fulfillment of his rights. May Allah curse Ibn Marjana; because by killing him (Husain) he has made me hateful to Muslims, and sowed their hearts with malice to me. Such that both the righteous and sinful ones have started disliking me for the seriousness of the killing of Husain. What do I have to do with Ibn Marjana? May Allah curse him and be furious upon him!”[1]

It is more likely that he lipped these words only to dissociate himself from that crime and regain his status among Muslims, because if he had been really sincere in this he would have taken revenge from him and sacked him. He would not thanked him, bestowed him with exceeding rewards and granted him proximity, as this indicates his pleasure and lack of regret on what he had done.

Critics and Censurers

Muslims and other people became extremely infuriated at Yazid; because he had killed the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah. Many free thinkers criticized him for this, some of whom are as follows:

1. Roman Ambassador

The Roman Ambassador was present in Yazid’s court when he saw the Imam’s head placed before Yazid. He was shocked by this matter and he remarked: “Whose head is it?”

“It is the head of Husain.”

“Who is Husain?”

“Son of Fatima.”

“Who is Fatima?”

“Daughter of the Prophet of God.”

“Your Prophet?”


He was perplexed by this matter and he screamed, “Woe be on you and your religion! I swear by the right of Christ that you are on falsehood. We have an Island, on which is a monastery wherein is kept a hoof of a horse Christ rode. Every year we undertake months-long, year-long journey to it and present our offerings and donations. We consider it more respectable than you regard the

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/460, 461 & 462, Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/87


Kaaba. Woe be on you people!”

Then he stood up angrily,[1] bewildered at that astounding scene.

2. A Jew scholar

A Jewish spiritual personality was also seated in the court of Yazid when Imam Zainul Abideen delivered his eloquent and worthy sermon and created a turmoil in the gathering, awakening the people. The Jew holy man turned to Yazid and asked, “Who is this young man?”

“Ali bin al-Husain.”

“Who is Husain?”

“Son of Ali Ibn Abi Talib.”

“Who is his mother?”

“The daughter of Muhammad.”

“Glory be to God! It is the son of the daughter of your Prophet whom you have killed. How terrible is your behavior with his Progeny! By God! If our Prophet, Musa had left a grandson among us, I think we would have worshipped him like our Lord. It was only yesterday that the Prophet went away from you and you have rushed to his son and killed him! Woe upon you! What a nation you are!”

The tyrant became angry at this and ordered him to be hit upon his mouth. The rabbi arose saying, “Kill me if you like. I have found written in the Torah that whosoever kills the progeny of a prophet, shall be damned forever. And when he dies, the Almighty shall burn him in the fire of Hell.”[2]

3. Caesar, King of Rome

Calls of condemnation came to Yazid in a continuous manner. Among those who denounced him was Caesar, the King of Rome. He wrote: “You have killed the Prophet or the son of a Prophet?”[3]

4. Raas al-Jaloot

Among the severe critics of Yazid was Raas al-Jaloot who said to Muhammad bin Abdur Rahman, “Between me and His Eminence, Dawood are seventy generations, yet Jews accord respect to us and consider us honorable while you people have killed the son of the daughter of your Prophet.”[4]

5. Wathila bin Asqa

When the head of Imam was taken to Syria, Wathila bin Asqa companion of Prophet was present over there and he became infuriated at this. He glanced at a

[1] Miraat az-Zamaan, Pg. 101. As-Siraatus Sawi Pg. 89
[2] Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/127. Al Futuh 5/246-247. Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/71
[3] Baihaqi, Al-Mahasin wal Masawi 1/63
[4] As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 90. Jawahirul Matalib fee Manaqib Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib, Pg. 2/274


Syrian and said, “I have always been a devotee of Ali, Hasan, Husain and Fatima. So I heard the Messenger of Allah say about them what they said.”

“What did the Messenger of Allah say about them?”

“I went to the Messenger of Allah when he was in the house of Umme Salma. Then arrived His Eminence, Hasan and the Prophet seated him on his right knee and His Eminence, Husain came and the Prophet placed him on his left knee and kissed him. When Her Eminence, Fatima arrived he seated her in the front. After that, he summoned Ali and he came and he covered them with the Khaibari cloak, as if I could see it, then he said: Indeed, Allah only desires to keep impurities away from you and to purify you a thorough purification.”[1]

6. Ibn Abbas

The most severe critic of Yazid was Abdullah bin Abbas. Yazid wrote to him desiring to enter into his good books and requesting him to help him against Ibn Zubair.

Ibn Abbas replied him as follows:

“So to say: I received your letter regarding my rejection of allegiance for Ibn Zubair. By Allah! By this action I did not aim to obtain your favor or praise. But the Almighty Allah is aware of what I have in my heart. You have claimed that you will not forget my favor. Thus O man! Stop your favor from me as I have stopped my favor from you. You want that I should make people support you and make them inimical to Ibn Zubair and restrain them from joining him; this will never be so and neither would you achieve triumph nor honor, as how it can be so when you have killed Husain and the young men of the clan of Muttalib, the lamps of guidance and the star among the people? Your soldiers, according to your command abandoned them in wilderness while they were lying bathed in their blood. Their belongings were plundered and they were isolated in the desert. They were killed in thirst. Neither were they shrouded nor buried. Wind blew upon them and the sand of
the desert fell on them. Till the time the Almighty Allah brought for them a group of people who had not participated in their killing. Thus they shrouded and buried them. It is because of me and them that you obtained status and sit at that position of yours.[2]

If I have forgotten something, I have not forgotten that you removed Husain from the Sanctuary of the Messenger of Allah to move to the Sanctuary of Allah, you sent mounted soldiers towards him and you were such till you sent him to Iraq and he also departed fearful and anxious of your mounted soldiers as a result of your enmity with regard to Allah, His Prophet and his Ahle Bayt – from whom Allah has kept away filth and purified them thoroughly. He wanted you to leave him to

[1] Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal, Fazail Imam Amirul Momineen Pg. 2/672-673
[2] And it is mentioned in a narration: “And it is due to me and them that you have achieved honor.”


return from where he had come. But you preferred to eliminate his few companions and Ahle Bayt. Thus you attacked him, as if you killed the Ahle Bayt by deserting and denial. I don’t find anything more surprising than the fact that you seek my support while you have killed the sons of my father and blood is dripping from your sword. You are one of the targets of my revenge. Your victory upon us today should not make you vain as we would also be victorious upon you one day.”[1]

This letter blames Yazid that he summoned Imam Husain to Iraq so that he may be eliminated and he did not come out except that he was pursued by the mercenaries of Yazid in Medina and Mecca. And he did not come in response to the petitions of the people of Kufa. Rather the mercenaries of Yazid had compelled him to this.

7. Ibn Zubair

Among the critics of Bani Umayyah was Abdullah bin Zubair and he considered them liable for condemnation due to the fact that they had killed Imam Husain. Ibn Zubair delivered a speech in Mecca in which he said: “Know that the people of Kufa invited Husain in order to take authority over them, reform their affairs and return the signs of Islam. But when he went towards them they attacked him and killed him saying: ‘You must surrender yourself to the accursed transgressor, Ibn Ziyad, so that he may decide what to do with you.’ He preferred the death of honor to a life of degradation. May Allah have mercy on Husain and may He disgrace his killers and everyone who was pleased with his killing and ordered for it, be cursed.”[2]

Ibn Zubair pretended to express grief at the killing of Husain in order to gain popularity among the Muslims; while in fact he was pleased at this as he had become free of his most severe opponent. And if he really had faith in what he said he would not have sheltered the killers of Husain, because those who escaped the clutches of Mukhtar, like Shabth bin Rabi and others, fled to Ibn Zubair and joined him. He welcomed them and dispatched them to fight Mukhtar.

8. Abu Barza

Among those who censured Yazid was the prophetic companion, Abu Barza Aslami who scolded Yazid when he found him fiddling the Imam’s head with his cane. We have already quoted his incident in the foregone pages.

9. Umayyad clan

Yazid’s situation became very difficult and the voices of the protests harried him continuously, because his own clan too began to denounce him. Of them were the following:

A - Yahya bin Hakam: Among the severest critic of Yazid was Yahya bin Hakam

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/127-128. Yaqubi in his Tarikh has narrated in another way the terrible things Muawiyah and Yazid had done.
[2] As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi Pg. 94


who condemned him in his own gathering. Yazid slapped his chest and ordered his servant to throw him out. We have quoted the text of his statements previously.

B - Atika, Yazid’s daughter: Yazid’s daughter, Atika criticized him when he brought the Imam’s head to his womenfolk and consorts. Atika took the head and applied perfume to it saying: “It is the head of my uncle.” We have quoted her statements before.

C - Hind: Yazid’s wife Hind, daughter of Amr criticized him and she reacted by running to his court agitated, shouting: “The head of the daughter of Allah’s Messenger is in our house!”

The wicked man rushed to her, snatched her veil and said: “O Hind! Lament for him as he is the deceased of Bani Hashim and Ibn Ziyad acted in haste with him.”[1]

10. Yazid’s son, Muawiyah

Muawiyah condemned his father, Yazid and also criticized his grandfather, Muawiyah. He did not accept the caliphate and was not inclined to rulership. He spoke among the people of Syria and denouncing his father and grandfather said:

“My grandfather, Muawiyah, disputed in the matter of caliphate with one who was more eligible than him for this position due to his proximity to the Messenger of Allah, his past services and superiority. He was greater in value than the emigrants, the first of them who brought faith, cousin of the Messenger of Allah and husband of his daughter whom the Prophet chose for the hand of his daughter and selected his daughter as his wife. He was the heir of Allah’s Messenger, the seal of the prophets. Then my grandfather dealt with him in a way you all know and he did with him that about which you are not unaware,[2] till he reached his death and in his grave became involved in his crimes and sins. After that he left the position of caliphate to my father, who was not deserving of it and was controlled by his passions. He disregarded its aspirations and he got only a brief respite. Then he also headed to his grave as a hostage to his crimes and sins.” At
that moment he began to weep and say: “The most important thing for us is that we become aware of his evil death and bad consequences; because he killed the Progeny of the Messenger of Allah, considered defiling his sanctity lawful and ruined the Kaaba.”[3]

It was in this manner that the kingdom of the family of Abu Sufyan was ruined at the hands Yazid’s son, Muawiyah. The perpetuity and continuation he had planned for his kingdom was destroyed; because the killing of His Eminence, Husain that Muawiyah planned and Yazid executed, destroyed and crushed his kingdom and turned it to annihilation.

Historians say: All hell broke loose in the Bani Umayyad clan after the speech of

[1] Khwarizmi, Maqtal 2/74
[2] Jawahirul Matalib fee Manaqib Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib 2/261
[3] An-Nujoom az-Zahira 1/164


Muawiyah in which he exposed his grandfather and father, and they went to his teacher, Umar al-Qusoos and said to him: “You have taught him all this and restrained him from the caliphate. You taught him devotion towards Ali and his sons and prepared him to make us blameworthy. You made out innovations to be good deeds for him till he issued those statements and said what he said.”

Umar denied having done this and he said: “By Allah! I did not do it, but he was born with love towards Ali and had it in his nature.” They did not accept his explanation. They apprehended him and buried him alive.[1]

Idle talk and Nonsense

Some partisans of Bani Umayyah in the former and latter periods have tried to absolve Yazid from all the blame of eliminating the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah and they have endeavored to transfer the blame and responsibility to Ibn Marjana. It is due to their ignorance and blind bigotry that they have deviated from the truth and fallen into a great corruption. Some of them are as follows:

1. Ibn Taimiyyah

Yazid holds a position of great respect in the view of Ibn Taimiyyah; because he was his most enthusiastic defender and he denied that Yazid had ordered the killing of His Eminence, Husain. He has furiously justified the actions of Yazid and said:

“Yazid did not issue the command of killing Husain. He did not place his severed head in front of himself. He did not thrash his teeth by his hand-held cane. One who committed all these actions was Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad as this matter is proved in Sahih Bukhari. Neither was his head taken out all around nor were the women and children of Husain taken as hostages.”[2]

These statements have become a cause for his ridicule; because he has denied such clear facts that no sensible person doubts in; he has completely ignored the statements of historians based on the fact that Yazid had committed that crime. This view of Ibn Taimiyyah is such that no one having religious perception or Islamic spirit agrees with him.

Ibn Taimiyyah is well-known for his blind prejudice. So much so, that every independent researcher and writer of history and Islamic discussions has opposed his views.

2. Ghazzali

It is a matter of great regret that Ghazzali was a fan of Yazid and he went to extremes in his sincerity towards him and in defending him. Ghazzali says: “Neither is his killing an established fact – that is the killing of His Eminence, Husain – nor did he (Yazid) ordered for it – that is Yazid did not order Ibn

[1] Damiri, Hayatul Haiwan 1/88-89
[2] Sawali dar Maurid Yazid bin Muawiyah, by Ibne Taimiyyah, Pg. 16


Marjana to kill Husain and Yazid was also not pleased by it!! – since this incident is not authentic in his view, it is not permissible to suspect him as the murderer; because it is unlawful to have a bad opinion about a Muslim! The Almighty Allah says: O you who believe! Avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin, and do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful.([1])([2])

Ghazzali has uttered misguided statements; because he has denied the evident facts, just as his partner, Ibn Taimiyyah had done, while historians are unanimous that it was Yazid who ordered Ibn Marjana to eliminate His Eminence, Husain and also that he had ordered him emphatically. Moreover Yazid had even warned Ibn Ziyad that if he was not sincere in fighting against the Imam he would be dissociated from the family of Abu Sufyan and rejoined to his grandfather, Ubaid, the Roman. We have already explained this matter before and hence there seems to be no need to repeat it here.

3. Ibn Arabi[3]

Ibn Arabi is well-known for his enmity and indecency towards Ahle Bayt. He believed that Yazid was the Imam of his time and the caliph of God on the earth! And the Imam’s uprising against him was illegal and His Eminence, Husain was killed in conformity to the law of his grandfather![4]

A handful of dust be upon him and upon everyone who has deviated from the truth and astrayed from the path. By what logic was Yazid, that companion of goats and monkeys, the Imam of Muslims and caliph of God on the earth? Was it due to the fact that he killed the Chief of the youths of Paradise, or was it because he defiled the sanctity of the Prophet’s city, Medina or was it because he burnt down Kaaba? Umar bin Abdul Aziz heard a person calling Yazid as ‘Chief of believers’. He ordered him to be lashed twenty times.[5]

Defending Yazid, considering his regime lawful and absolving him from killing the beloved grandson of Allah’s Messenger is like defending evil and falsehood; because Yazid and others like him were from the Umayyad and Abbaside rulers who became the cause of the decadence of the Muslims and who brought mischiefs and calamities upon them and made them involved in a great evil.

[1] Surah Hujurat 49:12
[2] Wafayatul Ayan 3/288
[3] Qadi Abu Bakr bin Arabi, died in 543 A. H. and was buried at Faas in Marakkesh. He is other than Ibne Arabi, the gnostic whose name is Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Ali bin Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Abdullah Tai Hatimi titled Muhyuddin bin Arabi, died 638 A. H. and buried in Damascus (Tr.).
[4] Al-A’wasim, Pg. 214
[5] Shazaraat al-Zahab 1/69


4. Ibn Hajar

Ibn Hajar Haithami is a denier in Yazid’s concurrence or issuing of orders to eliminate His Eminence, Husain[1] and his blind prejudice has impelled him to utter things that are not compatible with facts. As Ibn Marjana had only one option without there being any forethought or intention of killing His Eminence, Husain.

And he said to Musafir bin Shuraih Lashkari: In the incident of Husain’s killing, it was Yazid who presented me with two options; to kill Husain or die myself. I chose to kill him (Husain).[2] Ibn Ziyad did not act upon the elimination of His Eminence, Husain except after he was threatened with dire consequences by Yazid if he did not obey his orders.

5. Anis Zakaria

Anis Zakaria Nusooli has defended Yazid with great fervor and said: “Without any doubt Yazid initially did not plan the killing of Husain and he did not expect that the Alawite problem would become so big and culminate into such a terrible disaster and that Ibn Ziyad would eliminate him.”[3]

6. Dr. Najjar

Among those who consider Yazid free of blame is Dr. Muhammad Najjar who says: “Yazid bin Muawiyah had not the least share in this crime; that is in the killing of His Eminence, Husain because despite the fact that his history is smeared with blackness, he is apparently blameless of having perpetrated the elimination of Husain!”[4]

7. Muhammad Izzat Duruza

One of the most loyal defendant of Yazid in the present times is one, Muhammad Izzat Duruza. He has spoken highly of Yazid and absolved him from that terrible iniquity. He has also considered Ibn Ziyad and other armed forces who killed His Eminence, Husain to be free of responsibility for that deed. On the other hand he has condemned His Eminence, Husain and said: “There is nothing that connects the killing of Husain to Yazid; because not only he did not kill him, he even did not order his killing. He only ordered that he should be besieged but not eliminated. Husain himself chose to fight. In this way the statement of Ubaidullah bin Ziyad is correct that he was only ordered to surround him and he should not be fought. Except that he himself fights or is brought to him so that he surrenders to him or pledges allegiance to Yazid who was having the legal right of authority. Rather it is possible to assume as correct that hostilities developed between the
commanders of the armed forces and His Eminence, Husain and his companions; because they remained loyal to the orders that were issued to them and also they

[1] Al-Fatawi al-Haditha, Pg. 193
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/140
[3] Ad-Daulatul Amawiya fish Shaam, Pg. 58
[4] Ad-Daulatul Amawiya fish Sharq, Pg. 104


were much desirous that Allah would excuse them from getting involved in battle with him or having a hand in his killing. And they endeavored to pacify him and urged him to surrender to Ibn Ziyad or pledge allegiance to Yazid. Thus if Husain refrained from it and did not submit and pledge allegiance like all Muslims had, and rather chose the path of confrontation, in such a case it was absolutely lawful from the religious as well as the political point of view to fight him.”[1]

Duruza believes that the killing of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah and the Chief of the youths of Paradise was lawful from the religious and political point of view. I am unable to decide whether those killers and wicked executioners, that is the killers of His Eminence, Husain, harbored deeper enmity and malice towards him or this man whose conscience is covered by the rust of falsehood and who is immersed in the frenzied waves of sinfulness and evil.

Dr. Taha Husain’s view

Taha Husain believes that Yazid was responsible for shedding the blood of the Holy Imam and it is not correct to transfer the blame of this crime to Ibn Marjana. Dr. Taha Husain says:

“Narrators have claimed that Yazid dissociated himself from the killing of Husain in such a way that he threw the blame of this sin on Ibn Marjana, Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad. But I don’t think he condemned Ibn Ziyad, punished him or dismissed him from his post. Before him (Yazid), Muawiyah killed Hujr Bin Adi and his companions and after that he threw its responsibility on Ziyad and said: “The son of Sumaiyyah urged me and I submitted to his persuasion.”[2]

Ibn Ziyad did not perform his deed except under express orders of Yazid. And if Yazid had not been pleased by it he would have punished Ibn Ziyad and not made him sit in his drinking party and endowed him with excessive rewards. Thus this matter of his satisfaction on the killing of His Eminence, Husain and his lack of regret inspite of the enormity of that crime and the heinousness of that iniquity proves his assent.

Statement of Taftazani

Taftazani has said: “It is accepted unanimously that it is permitted to curse the one who killed Husain or one who ordered it or one who considered it lawful and who assented to it…And the fact is that we have received abundant reports regarding the assent of Yazid to the killing of Husain, his delight to it and insulting behavior with regard to the Ahle Bayt of Allah’s Messenger, even though its detail is from single reports and we do not hesitate regarding him or rather his infidelity. So the curse of Allah be upon him, his helpers and supporters.[3]

[1] Tarikh Jinsul Arabi 8/383
[2] Al-Fitnatul Kubra 2/265
[3] Shazaraat al-Zahab 1/68


Yafai’s view

Allamah Yafai says: “The decree about one who killed Husain or issued order for his killing is that he is an infidel and anyone who considers it permissible would also be an apostate.”[1]

Opinion of Ahmad bin Hanbal

Ahmad bin Hanbal has issued verdict against cursing Yazid! Abu Talib says: Ahmad bin Hanbal was asked about the one who spoke ill of Yazid bin Muawiyah. He replied: Do not speak to me about this matter, the Prophet has said: “Cursing a believer is akin to killing him.”[2]

What is strange is that he has taken traditions of Prophet as source of issuing this verdict while this tradition is not applicable to Yazid, because he was not having faith and Islam. After he committed the infamy of killing the Purified Progeny, allowing the sack of Medina and casting fire on the Holy Kaaba he has gone out from the pale of Islam, as what sin could be greater that these?

Ahmad’s son, Salih objected to him and said: “Some people consider us to be partisans of Yazid?” He told him, “Can one who has faith in Allah, love Yazid?

His son asked, “Then why do you not curse him?”

“When have you seen me cursing anyone?”

“Father! Why shouldn’t be cursed one whom Almighty Allah has cursed in His Book?”

“Where has Allah cursed Yazid?”

“But if you held command, you were sure to make mischief in the land and cut off the ties of kinship! Those it is whom Allah has cursed so He has made them deaf and blinded their eyes.”[3]

Is there an evil greater than the killing of Husain?...”

Ahmad could not say anything in reply.[4]

Statement of Motazid Abbasi

Motazid Abbasi issued a letter in which he publicized the disgrace of Bani Umayyah and eulogized the Holy Ahle Bayt and he ordered that it should be read out in official gatherings, public meetings and among the general public. Regarding Yazid it says:

“When the caliphate reached to Yazid he set out boldly to take the revenge of polytheists from Muslims and caused the carnage of Medina. It was such a terrible carnage that humanity had never witnessed such a kind and nothing so horrific ever

[1] Shazaraat al-Zahab 1/69
[2] Shamsuddin Hanbali, Al Aadaab ush-Shariya wal Minhul Mariya 1/206
[3] Surah Muhammad 47:22-23
[4] As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi 1/207


happened to the Muslims. Thus he satisfied his malice and he thought that he had taken revenge for his ancestors from the friends of Allah and that he has got vengeance on behalf of the enemies of Allah and the Prophet.”

Then he adds further: “The most important sanctity that he defiled and the greatest iniquity he committed was the shedding of the blood of Husain bin Ali while knowing his position with the Messenger of Allah and having heard that the Prophet had said about him: ‘Hasan and Husain are my two flowers in the world. Hasan and Husain are the two chiefs of the youths of Paradise.’ Yazid committed audacity against Allah and His Prophet; he was inimical to those two and in this action of his he neither feared reprisal nor was worried about disobedience of God.”[1]

The martyrdom of the beloved grandson of Allah’s Messenger was the greatest tragedy that shocked the Muslim community no end. And they fell into severe and difficult trials and tribulations; in the same way that incident was the most tragic happening of the world; because of all the atrocities committed against the Progeny of the Prophet it was the most terrible that occurred in the history of the world.

Those transmogrified oppressors from the troops of Yazid practiced various evils and different types of degraded actions and disregarded all human values, common laws, manners and etiquettes that people have made as their code of life. They killed men, children and women after they had deprived them of water. And after they had cut up their bodies into pieces they hoisted their severed heads on points of spears. They also took the heirs of the Prophet on bare camel backs as hostages and took them around towns and cities so that the tyrant may publicize his victory and oppression regarding the family of the Prophet. All these events occurred upon his orders or encouragement and he is responsible for them.

As for Ibn Ziyad he was only his agent who acted on his command and did his bidding as we have already proved above.

Absolving Yazid and throwing the responsibility on Ibn Marjana is nothing but an example of deviation from the truth and following of blind prejudice which no sensible and conscientious person can ever accept.

Thus comes to close our discussion regarding nonsensical statements and idle talks especially regarding the absolution of Yazid and also what important personalities have stated regarding the criminality of Yazid and considering him responsible for shedding the Imam’s blood.

[1] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha

# Towards Medina

Ahle Bayt did not stay in Damascus for a long time because Yazid feared the appearing of mischief, confusion of public opinion and unfavorable circumstances as the discourses of Her Eminence, Zainab Kubra and Imam Zainul Abideen had created an intellectual revolution in all gatherings. It was such that those brilliant speeches had illuminated the minds and awakened the feelings and they became the topic of discussion in all gatherings and assemblies of that time. In the same way they encouraged opposition to the tyrannical regime and the public unrest indicated that they would overthrow Yazid’s regime as the people of Syria had become aware of Yazid’s decadence and wickedness and thus inciting public opinion against him. He was condemned even in his own gatherings, his position declined in public opinion and he became unpopular.

Yazid’s Apology to Imam Zainul Abideen

Yazid, the tyrant summoned Imam Zainul Abideen and sought his pardon; and throwing the responsibility of that crime on Ibn Marjana said:

“May Allah curse Ibn Marjana! By Allah! If I had been with him, I would have given him everything he asked for and in every possible way saved him from death even if I had to sacrifice the life of some of my children in this. But Allah decreed what you saw. My son! Write to me if you need anything.[1] There shall develop an issue among your people, thus you must not join any of them.”[2]

Imam turned his face away from him and said nothing in reply; because he knew the aim behind this apology was to escape disgrace and condemnation.

Ahle Bayt Presented Compensations

The tyrant Yazid ordered that sheets of silk be spread over the floor in his court and upon them be placed excessive expensive things so that they could be presented to Ahle Bayt as compensation for the slain members of their family and the plunder of their belongings in Kerbala. Then he said, “Accept these things in lieu of what you had to suffer.”

Reply of Her Eminence, Umme Kulthum

Sister of His Eminence, Husain Her Eminence, Umme Kulthum was shocked and infuriated and she screamed at him, “How shameless you are! And how audacious! You killed my brother and Ahle Bayt and now you want to give compensation for it?”[3]

Her Eminence, Sakina said: “By Allah! I have not seen anyone as wicked as Yazid and a polytheist and a disbeliever worse than him or an oppressor more tyrannical than him.”[4]

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/87-88
[2] Tadhib at-Tahdhib 1/157
[3] Abdullah bin Nurullah, Awalim Imam Husain 17/422-423
[4] Abdullah bin Nurullah, Awalim Imam Husain 17/396


Yazid was helpless; because he had thought that material wealth would deceive the Ahle Bayt and he did not realize that they were the hands of the Almighty from whom Allah had kept away all impurities and purified them thoroughly.

Request of Imam Zainul Abideen

The worst of the oppressors asked Imam Zainul Abideen to tell him what he needed. His Eminence said: “I want you to show me the face of my father and return whatever has been looted from our ladies; because heirlooms of our ancestors were among those things. And if you want you can kill me. Then send someone to escort my family to Medina.”

Most probably the Imam’s request to see the head of his father was so that Yazid would give it to him and thus he could respectfully assign it to dust. However that oppressor declined this request, it was so because he had ordered to take the severed head around the country to instill awe and fear in people and make it a lesson for anyone contemplating an uprising. But he accepted the demand that looted belongings of the womenfolk be returned to them. This demand of His Eminence did not imply that he was asking for the jewellery, ornaments and other belongings that were plundered in Kerbala. Rather the aim of His Eminence was to get back the exquisite heirlooms they had inherited from their great-grandfather, His Eminence, the Holy Prophet; like the turban, coat of mail and sword of His Eminence and other things that were more valuable than wealth.

That tyrant bowed his head and became worried about the request of the Holy Imam, then he raised his head and said to His Eminence: “You will not see the face of your father but whatever has been taken from you will be restored. As for the ladies, they shall not be returned (to Medina) except with you, as I have decided to spare your life.”[1]

Journey to Medina

Yazid, the tyrant ordered Noman bin Bashir to escort the survivors of the Prophet of God.[2] In the same way, fearing mischief and unfavorable developments he instructed him to depart with them from Damascus at night time.[3]

News of Ahle Bayt’s Return to Medina Arrives

The news of the great tragedy reached Medina before the arrival of the hostages. This information was conveyed to Medina by Abdul Malik bin Harith Salmi under the orders of Ibn Ziyad. He hastened on his journey till he reached Medina exhausted and tired. He went to Ashdaq, the governor of Medina. A man saw him and was afraid of his worrisome condition, so he asked, “What is the news?”

[1] Abdullah, Maqtal al-Husain Awalim 17/444-445
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/87
[3] Jauharatul Kalaam Fi Madhis Saadaatil A’laam, Pg. 128


“The news is with the governor.”

That person realized the seriousness of the matter and remarked, “We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return! By Allah, Husain has been killed. Umme Salma was right when she informed about it!”[1]

Ibn Ziyad’s messenger conveyed the news of the killing of His Eminence, Husain to the governor who was absolutely delighted by it and he exclaimed, “A calamity in reprisal of the tragedy of Uthman!”[2]

Ashdaq ordered that the news be publicized. People were shocked and they began to weep and rushed to the Prophet’s mosque to learn the details of this terrible report.

Ashdaq’s Speech

The oppressor, Amr bin Saeed Ashdaq mounted the pulpit pleased at the killing of Imam and rocking his legs in joy. Then he expressed his hatred and malice, saying: “O people! This is an encounter in response to a strike, how numerous are the sermons in front of one discourse:

“Consummate wisdom – but warnings do not avail.”[3] He spoke ill of us and we praised him. He distanced from us and we reached him. Just like our habit and his habit. But what we could have done for the one who pulled out his sword against us and wanted to kill us except that we drive him away from us!”

Abdullah bin Saeb interrupted his talk in which he was expressing his ridicule at the killing of the blessed grandson of the Messenger of Allah, and he said: “If Her Eminence, Fatima were alive and had seen the decapitated head of His Eminence, Husain she would wept for him.”

The objection was the beginning of a condemnation that the governor of Medina faced when he was delivering his speech. This matter distressed him greatly, so he shouted back at him: “We are more deserving than you to Fatima. Her father was our uncle, her husband was our brother and her mother was our daughter. If Fatima had been alive her eyes would have wept but she would not have denounced his killers!”[4]

In this statement, Ashdaq has deviated from all social customs; because he claimed that if Fatima were alive she would not have condemned the killer of her son. Rather he was certain that Her Eminence would have congratulated the sinful killer; because that action of his was in support of the regime of Bani Umayyah spreading of their power which followed all the attitudes of the period of Ignorance.

If Her Eminence, Fatima had been alive, and had seen her beloved son in the desert

[1] Abdul Aziz Sayyidul Ahl, Zainab binte Ali, Pg. 152
[2] Abdullah, Maqtal al-Husain Awalim 17/389. Muqarram, Maqtal, Pg. 335
[3] Surah Qamar 54:5
[4] Muqarram, Maqtal, Pg. 335


of Kerbala bearing such calamities and tragedies that if they had befallen on any man he would have been devastated, Her Eminence’s heart would have melted with sorrow and grief; because it is reported from His Eminence, the Allah’s Messenger that he said:

“On the Day of Resurrection, my daughter Fatima shall be raised in such a way that she would be carrying clothes smeared in blood and she would be clinging to one of the pillars of the throne (Arsh) and saying: O Allah, dispenser of Justice! Judge between me and the killer of my son. Thus I swear by the Lord of Paradise, Allah will judge in favor of my daughter.”[1]

Hashemites Devastated

The news of the martyrdom of His Eminence, Husain fell like a thunderbolt upon the Hashemites. Wails and laments came out from their houses and the noble lady, Zainab, daughter of Aqil[2] came out with her hair disheveled, screaming: Oh Muhammad! Oh Husaina! Oh my brothers! O my relatives!”[3]

Then she began to recite couplets in which she addressed the Muslims as follows:

“What will you reply if the Prophet asks you what you have done, while you were supposed to be the best of nations?

With my progeny and the companions of my descendants that some of them were made hostages and some killed and bathed in their blood.

This is not the recompense for my favors on you when you have behaved so badly with my relatives after me.”[4]

Abdul Aswad, while being immersed in sorrow and lamentation replied to her: We shall say: “O our Lord! We have done injustice to ourselves, and if You don’t forgive us and not have mercy on us we shall be of the losers.”

At that moment he became intensely agitated and said:

“I say: While my hatred and fury has increased, may Allah destroy the regime of the progeny of Ziyad.

And drive them away so that they are driven away and terrorized like the Aad and Thamud were driven.

And their camels may not return to them on the day You shall be responding to pleas.”

Weeping and wailing spread everywhere and lamentations and mourning continued in all the localities of Medina. And such mourning had never been observed before.

[1] As-Siraatus Sawi min Manaqib Aalin Nabi, Pg. 93
[2] Zainab, daughter of Aqil married Ali bin Rukana from the family of Abdul Muttalib and bore him a son and of his daughters is Abda, the mother of Abil Bakhtari known as Qadi. This is mentioned in Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/420
[3] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayaan
[4] Majma az-Zawaid 9/199, Tibrani, Al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/126-127


Mourning of Abdullah bin Ja’far

Abdullah bin Ja’far organized a mourning assembly for his cousin, Husain. People came and met him and paid him condolences at such a great calamity. Historians say: Abdullah had a slave named Abdul Salasil, who said to him, “This is what we have received from Husain!”

That foolish man thought that by saying these words he would earn favors of Abdullah because if His Eminence, Husain hadn’t been there, the two sons of Abdullah bin Ja’far would not have been martyred. When the son of Ja’far heard this, he lost his temper and thrashing the slave with his sandals, said:

“O son of stinking slave girl! Do you say this about Husain? By Allah! If I had been accompanying him I would not have liked to leave his company till I had been killed with him. By Allah! That which pacifies me regarding the death of my sons and eases my sorrow about them is that those two sons of mine were killed in the company of my cousin, while they were supporting him and observing patience along with him.”

Then he turned towards the people present in the gathering and said: “Thanks be to Allah! Sorrow of the martyrdom of Husain would have been hard for me, if I did not sacrifice my life upon him, I had (at least) sent two sons of mine with him.”[1]

Ibn Abbas observes Mourning

Ibn Abbas fell into mourning due to the excessive pain and sorrow when he heard the news of Imam’s martyrdom. He was in the Masjidul Haraam when a man secretly conveyed this news to him and informed him about that horrible tragedy. He became absolutely distressed and was completely devastated.

Muhammad bin Abdullah said to him: “O Aba Abbas! What is the matter?”

“A great calamity that has been accepted by the Almighty Allah.”

After that he began to weep and went to his house in a grievous mood. At home he held a mourning program and people came to condole him on this great sorrow and shared in his sadness and grief.[2]

Masoor and Ibn Zubair

When the news of the martyrdom of His Eminence, Husain reached Mecca, Masoor met Ibn Zubair and said, “The news of the killing of Husain bin Ali, which you desired, has arrived.”

Ibn Zubair resorted to pretence and said, “O Aba Abdur Rahman! You are telling me this? By Allah! Alas, if not a stone remained in Jama.[3] By Allah! I never wished thus.”

Masoor told him, “You suggested to him to go to some other province.”

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/466
[2] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/238
[3] Jama is an elevated spot near Medina.


“Yes, I suggested to him but I did not know that he shall be killed, his death was not in my hands. I went to Ibn Abbas and pacified him and I knew that this action of mine would be hard upon him and if I did not go to pay condolence, he would say: “Are people like us ignored and should the sorrow of Husain be not condoled? So what could I do? My maternal uncles, they have become displeased with us and I don’t know why it is so?”

Masoor counseled him and said, “What was the need for remembering past things? And behave nicely with your maternal uncles as your father was more praiseworthy in their view.”[1]

Head of Imam Husain in Medina

Most historians believe that Yazid the oppressive one, sent the head of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah to Medina in order to spread awe and terror and suppress every uprising against himself. They took the blessed head to Amr bin Saeed Ashdaq. He criticized this act and said, “By Allah, I wished the chief of the believers had not sent his head to me.”

In his gathering was present the lizard, offspring of lizard, that is Marwan bin Hakam who screamed at him, “You have uttered nonsense! Bring it here.”

Then he took up the head, swayed in delight and said in a mocking way:

“What type of friendship is it? That your hands are cold and cheeks colored red.”

They brought the respectable head and placed it in the mosque of the Prophet. Ladies of the family of Abu Talib lamented and they rushed to the grave of the Prophet, weeping and wailing. Marwan said:

“Women of Ahle Bayt cry like the crying of the women of Quraish in mourning those killed in the battle of Badr.”

When Marwan heard the lamentation of the Hashemite ladies he expressed his delight and said: “By God! As if I am seeing the days Uthman was murdered.”[2]

Looking towards the grave of the Holy Prophet he said, “O Muhammad! A day in reprisal of the day of the battle of Badr.”[3]

The hatred of Bani Umayyah became obvious and it became known that they had no faith in Islam. They still remained on their previous ignorance and they took revenge from His Eminence, the Holy Prophet by destroying his Progeny.

[1] Ibne Asakir, Tarikh 14/239
[2] Miraat az-Zamaan fee Tawarikhul Ayaan
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 4/72 and of those who have mentioned the arrival of the head in Medina are Balazari in Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/417 and Qadi Noman Misri in Al Manaqib wal Mathalib.


Return of the Hostages to Kerbala

Some sources have mentioned that hostages from Ahle Bayt requested the escorts appointed for their protection to take them to Kerbala that they may renew their pledge at the grave of the Chief of the Martyrs. They accepted the request and the caravan changed its direction to Kerbala. When they reached there, ladies of the Alawite family rushed to the grave of Aba Abdillah wailing and lamenting. They wept upon that purified grave and remained there for three days. And they were the most difficult and painful days for Ahle Bayt. Their lamentations did not cease for a moment till their wails arose and hearts were scorched by their grief.

Some books have mentioned that the famous companion of the Prophet, Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari also arrived there to obtain the honor of visiting the tomb of Abu Abdillah. He also met Imam Zainul Abideen who spoke with him and told him about the various hardships and pains that had befallen them. After that they left Kerbala and departed for Medina.[1]

To Medina

The caravan of the hostages from Ahle Bayt set out for Medina, moving at full speed without being delayed by any distraction, while pain and sorrow was hovering on them. The eyes of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah were filled with tears and they were lamenting the loss of their family members even though more than that, they were constantly remembering their captivity and humiliation of what they had to pass through.

Medina dressed up in raiment of mourning before the arrival of the hostages; because mother of believers, the lady, Umme Salma had passed away one month after the martyrdom of His Eminence, Husain in sorrow and grief of His Eminence.[2] She had herself informed the people about the killing of His Eminence.

Bashir conveys the news of the Martyrdom of Imam Husain

When Imam Zainul Abideen reached the outskirts of Medina he halted and got his tent fixed and his aunts and sisters were also made to alight from their vehicles. Then he addressed Bashir Jazlam and said:

O Bashir! Your father (may Allah have mercy on him) was a poet. Are you also able to recite poetry?

I said: Yes, O son of the Holy Prophet! I am a poet.

The Imam: Go to Medina and announce the martyrdom of Abu Abdillah.

Bashir says: I rode a horse, and rushed to enter Medina. When I reached the Mosque of the Holy Prophet I raised my weeping voice and recited:

“O people of Medina! Now Medina is no more your place (worth living).

[1] Taisar al-Matalib fee Amali Abi Talib, Pg. 93. Hadaiq al-Wardiya 1/129. Ahmad Fahmi, Imam Zainul Abideen, Pg. 59. Abdullah, Awalim al-Husain 17/446. Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 361
[2] Miraat az-Zamaan, Pg. 103


Husain has been killed making me weep all the time.

His bleeding body was left in Kerbala

And his Holy head was moved from place to place on a spear.”

Thereafter I said: Here is Ali bin Husain who has come to you in Medina with his aunts and sisters and I am his messenger informing you of their whereabouts.

The narrator says: There was not a single respected lady and a veiled woman who did not come out with unveiled face and bare head and they scratched their faces and slapped their cheeks and wept loudly in mourning. Ever since the day of the departure of the Holy Prophet I had not seen so much weeping and mourning of men and women in the Muslim society.[1] People came to Imam Zainul Abideen and gave condolences to His Eminence for that painful tragedy and they shared his grief and sorrow.

Discourse of Imam Zainul Abideen

Imam decided to speak to the people about the great calamities and hardships that befell them and the pain they suffered as a result of the humiliating and disrespectful way they were taken captives. His Eminence did not possess enough physical strength to stand up to deliver his speech because he was afflicted with illness and the discomforts had weakened him. Thus a chair was procured for His Eminence from which he spoke as follows:

“All praise is for Allah, the Lord of the worlds, the Most Merciful and Most Beneficent. Allah is the Master of the Day of Judgment. He is the Creator of all creatures, the One Who is so far that his height surpasses the highest skies and He is also so near that even the noise of humming bee is not inaudible to Him. We praise Him over great affairs and over tragedies of time and over bitterness of scoldings and over crushing difficulties and hardships.

O people! Praise is for Allah Who testes us through heavy hardships and great calamities in Islam. They have martyred Abu Abdillah, his household and companions and imprisoned their wives and daughters. They have carried his Holy head on a spear from place to place and so this is a calamity unparalleled.

O People! Now who among you is such that will ever be joyful after this or who is able to stop tears rolling from the eye and who will be stingy in weeping?

Truly the seven heavens wept over his martyrdom, the oceans through the noise of their waves and sky with its pillars and the earth with its tracts and the trees with their branches and the fish in the depths of seas and all the angels near Allah and all in the heavens became tearful.

O people! Which heart is so hard that has not split by his martyrdom and which soul has not inclined towards him and which ear has not deafened after hearing this blow on Islam?

[1] Al-Lohoof, Pg. 226-227


O People! We got up in the morning in such a condition that we were expelled and scattered and driven off away from cities and villages, as if we were Turks or Kabulis. And all this without any fault or mistake or any harm to Islam on our part. We have not heard such a thing in our predecessors. Such allegations are nothing but lies.

By Allah, if the Holy Prophet gives, instead of recommendation, an order for war, it would not result in more oppression than what we have undergone. Indeed we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return over such a terrible calamity, so troublesome, so cruel…We complain only to Allah. Verily He is Mighty and able to take revenge.”

Imam spoke in his discourse of the dark calamities that befell the family of prophethood and the terrible persecution that was done on them….Sa’sa addressed His Eminence and sought his pardon since his illness had prevented him from joining the entourage of Imam Husain. The Imam accepted his apology, pardoned him and invoked divine mercy for his father. After that the Imam, accompanied by his aunts and sisters set out for Medina while multitudes of people surrounded His Eminence and their wails and lamentations rose up in the atmosphere. When they reached the Prophet’s Mosque, the senior lady of Abu Talib’s family held the two sides of the mosque door and addressed her grandfather, the Holy Prophet saying: “O my grandfather! I bring to you the news of the martyrdom of my brother, Husain.”[1]

Daughters of the Messenger of Allah sat in mourning and held assemblies of lamenting the sorrows of the Chief of the martyrs. They put on black garments of mourning and began to wail and weep with deep sorrow and grief.

Rewarding the Escorts

Ladies of the Alawite family thanked the chief of guards; because they had brought them from Damascus to Medina safely and rendered valuable services to them, hence it was necessary to reward them for it. Fatima, daughter of Imam Amirul Momineen said to her sister, Zainab: “This man has done good to us, do you think we should offer him a reward for it?”

“By Allah! We don’t have anything that we could have given him, except for our ornaments.”

“Yes, you are right.”

At that time they brought their two bracelets and bangles and sent them to him and politely apologized also.

That man was deeply moved by this gesture. He knew in what straitened circumstances they were. So he returned their gift and respectfully said: “If what we have done was for this world we would have been pleased with these, but by Allah! We have done it only for Allah and for the sake of your relationship with the Messenger of Allah.”[2]

[1] Muqarram, Maqtal, Pg. 374-377
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 5/462-463. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/88


Grief of Imam Zainul Abideen

Imam Zainul Abideen continued to weep upon his father day and night. Imam Sadiq says: “My grandfather, Ali bin al-Husain cried on his father for twenty years. No eatable was presented to him but that he used to start weeping.”[1]

One of his slaves restrained His Eminence and said, “I fear that you would die of weeping.”

Imam replied to him with utmost kindness: “O man, I complain to the Almighty about my sorrow and grief. I know about a thing from Allah that you don’t. Yaqub was a prophet. Almighty Allah separated one of his sons from him. He was having twelve sons. He knew that he (Yusuf) was alive but yet wept upon him (so much) that his pupils turned white due to grief. I have seen my father, brothers, uncles and companions killed before my eyes. Then how could my grief end? Whenever I recall the killing of the sons of Her Eminence, Fatima, anger bursts my neck and whenever I look at my aunts and sisters I am reminded of their fleeing from one tent to another.”[2]

Imam’s sorrow increased and his pain intensified whenever he looked at the houses of his family and found them empty and terrifying as they reminded him of the killing of their inmates; because those stars had separated from him, those who illuminated the intellectual and social life of the people. Regarding them the poet says:

“I passed by the houses of the family of Muhammad, but I did not see them moving about in them. May Allah not separate the folks from their houses even though they may have been vacated from it forcibly.”

And Dibil Khuzai says:

“The Madressas have become empty of recitation of the verses of Quran and the abode of revelation has become devoid of its occupants.”

Hashemites Observe Mourning

Hashemites were terribly aggrieved for the Chief of the martyrs and they observed mourning for him. They continued to lament on His Eminence for three years. Masoor bin Mukhrama, Abu Huraira and senior companions of the Messenger of Allah used to come secretly, listen to their lamentations and weep bitterly.[3]

Grief of Her Eminence, Zainab

The Lady from Abu Talib’s clan continued to lament the extinction of her family,[4] her tears never dried and she never stopped crying. Whenever she saw her nephew, His Eminence, Zainul Abideen her sorrow and grief intensified[5] while

[1] Ahmad Fahmi, Imam Zainul Abideen, Pg. 31
[2] Muqarram, Maqtal, Pg. 376-377. And somewhat similarly mentioned in Hilyatul Awliya 3/138
[3] Daimul Islam 1/230
[4] Al-Wafi fil Masaalatush Sharqiya 1/43
[5] Abdullah, Maqtal al-Husain Awalim 17/424


tragedies had burst her heart and her body had become frail. So much so that after that tragedy she did not live for more than two years and her soul ascended to the heaven.

Mourning of Rabab

Rabab, the wife of His Eminence, Husain deeply mourned her husband and was immersed in intense grief. She was so loyal that her like is not seen; because when the nobles of Quraish proposed to her, she refused to oblige them saying, “After the Messenger of Allah, I will not have anyone as my father-in-law. She remained alive for only a year after the martyrdom of Imam Husain. She never sat in shade till she passed away.[1] Historians say that she mourned for His Eminence and composed a very touching dirge which is as follows:

“That Husain who was such a brilliance that people obtained light from him. He is lying slain in Kerbala, unburied and unshrouded.

O Prophet’s grandson, may God give you a good recompense and keep you safe from the loss of the balance.[2]

You are for me such a lofty mountain, which had given me strength and refuge, and you lived with us with mercy and piety.

Now after you, who can fulfill the needs of orphans and beggars?

And who should the poor and the deprived people approach?

By Allah! In place of your relationship, I would not look for another relationship, till I am hidden in the grave.”[3]

Some historians say: She stayed for a year at the grave of His Eminence and then went away from there reciting: “For a year and after that peace be upon you! As one who completes a year in weeping is excused.”

This report is very improbable; because after the day of Ashura the family of Imam Husain departed from Kerbala together and as per the unanimity of historians none of them remained behind.

And the loyalty of the wives of His Eminence was such that Lady Atika Binte Zaid bin Amr bin Nafil, a wife of His Eminence lamented on him and recited the following lines of grief:

“Oh, O, Husain! I have not forgotten Husain, that the spears of the enemies striked him.

They left him lying on the ground at Kerbala, after him it doesn’t rain at Kerbala.”[4]

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/88. Jawahirul Matalib 2/295
[2] On the Day of Judgment
[3] Al-Aghani 16/142
[4] Mojam al-Buldan 4/445. Al-Aghani 18/62


Sorrows of Ummul Baneen

Ummul Baneen mourned and lamented for her righteous sons, who had reached martyrdom in the company of their brother, His Eminence, Husain; because grief had shattered her heart she wept upon them from the depths of her heart.

Some historians say: She used to go out to the Baqi cemetery and mourn and lament in their grief. People used to gather around her, listen to her plaintive poems for her sons and weep along with her. Among those who came to watch this was Marwan bin Hakam, who despite his hardheartedness and intensity of malice towards Ahle Bayt[1] was moved by it.

Allamah Late Sayyid Abdur Razzaq Muqarram has rejected that Ummul Baneen was alive after the tragedy of Kerbala and he has written that she had passed away before it,[2] while Abul Faraj and all those who have studied this matter have concluded that she was alive.

Fate of the blessed head of Imam Husain

Throughout the ages, generations of people in the same eager way have posed the question: Where was the head of His Eminence, Husain buried? After the fact that his Holy body has become the place of visitation in Kerbala.

And all the people, partisans and non-partisans circumambulate around it. There are many different views of historians regarding the place which got this honor. Some of them are mentioned below:

1. In Kerbala

Among Imamite Shias it is generally believed that, that head was respectfully brought back to Kerbala and buried with the purified torso. Sayyid Raziuddin Ali bin Tawus has said Shias act in this manner.[3] Among those who have stated this matter with textual proof is Majlisi[4] and Ibn Numa.[5] In the same way it is famous among a large group of Sunni scholars. Some of them are: Shubrawi,[6] Ibn Jauzi,[7] Biruni,[8] Qazwini[9] and others. Doubtlessly Shia Imamiyah scholars have preceded other in discussing this topic and have accorded it more significance. Hence they are more likely to have reached to the reality of the matter and have been more successful than all other researchers.

As for the manner in which the severed heads were brought to Kerbala and buried with the purified torsos, in our view it is based on one of the two possibilities.

[1] Maqatilut Talibeen, Pg. 56
[2] Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husain, Pg. 336
[3] Al-Lohoof, Pg. 225
[4] Bihar 45/144. A’laamul Wara, Pg. 250
[5] Matheer al-Ahzaan, Pg. 107
[6] Al-Ittiaf be Hubbil Ashraaf, Pg. 70
[7] Tadkiratul Khawaas Pg. 265
[8] Al-Aathaar al-Baqiya (Persian), Pg. 528
[9] Ajaaebul Makhlooqaat, Pg. 120 on the margins of Hayatul Haiwan, Vol. 1


First: Imam Zainul Abideen requested Yazid to allow him to do this and he accepted this request, because Yazid wanted to satisfy the Imam. On the basis of this, the report that: “When Imam asked Yazid to show his father’s face to him, he rejected the request,” is discarded and it is possible that after initial non-acceptance, Yazid later acceded to the request.

Second: When the heads reached Medina, Imam Zainul Abideen asked the governor for them so that they may be buried with the torsos. He granted his permission. His Eminence took them and returned to Kerbala. There he buried them with their respective purified bodies.

2. In Baqi

Some historians believe that the governor of Medina buried that respectable head next to the grave of His Eminence’s mother.[1]

3. In Najaf

Some traditions related from Imam Sadiq prove that the blessed head was buried in Ghurra. They are as follows:

1. It is narrated from Amr bin Talha:

Imam Sadiq asked me when he was in Hira: Don’t you want what we promised you? I said: Yes – that is going to the tomb of Amirul Momineen – thus His Eminence mounted (his horse) and Ismail also mounted. I mounted with them and rode till we passed by Thuya and arrived between Hira and Najaf and halted at the white fire holder. Ismail also arrived and we dismounted along with him. After that he prayed and Ismail also prayed and I too prayed. He said to Ismail: “Get up and salute your grandfather, Husain.” I asked, “May I be sacrificed on you! Is Husain not buried at Kerbala? He replied, “Yes, but the head of His Eminence was taken away, a slave of ours took it and buried it besides Amirul Momineen”[2]

2. Aban bin Taghlib reported: I was with Imam Sadiq when he passed by Kufa and recited two units (rakats) of prayer. Then he went ahead a little bit and performed two units of prayer. Again he moved on for some distance and prayed two units again. Then he said: “This is the location of the grave of Amirul Momineen.” I asked what were those two locations where you previously prayed?” he replied, “The location of His Eminence, Husain’s head and house of His Eminence, Qaim.”[3]

3. Ali bin Asbat has narrated through chain of narrators that: Imam Sadiq said, “When you go to Ghari you will see two graves, a big one and a small one. The longer one would be that of Amirul Momineen and the smaller one is the head

[1] Shazaratus Zahab 1/67. Miraatul Jinaan 1/126-136. Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/204. Waseelatul Maal, Pg. 194. Al Muntazim 5/344. Tabaqat 5/238
[2] Wasailush Shia 1/310
[3] Furu al-Kafi 4/572


of His Eminence, Husain.”[1]

These were some narrational reports that prove that the blessed head is buried at Ghari, however the term ‘location of the head’ does not prove that it is buried there.”

4. In Damascus

A large number of historians are of the opinion that the blessed head is buried at Damascus. But there is difference of views as regards the location of its burial. Some of the opinions are as follows:

A. In the wall of Damascus.

B. In the Governor’s Palace

C. In the graveyard[2]

D. Inside the door of Fardis popularly called “Mosque of the Head.”[3]

E. In the Damascus Mosque.[4]

F. Other places.

5. In Iran

Ahmad Atiyya[5] has mentioned this view which is against the established principle and none of the historians has mentioned it.

6. In Egypt

Some historians are of the view that the blessed head is buried in Cairo but there are two theories how it was transported there:

1. Sherani has mentioned that Her Eminence, Zainab (s.a) transported it to Egypt and got it buried there.[6] However this statement is against established method and is not reliable.

2. Maqrizi has narrated that it was transported from Ascalon to Egypt on 10th Jamadiul Aakhir, 548 A.H. it was carried by Saif-al-Mamlika and Qadi Motamin bin Miskeen. It was accorded a warm welcome.[7]

These were some theories that are put forth concerning the burial of that honorable head. On most of those possible locations, shrines have been constructed where Muslims come for Ziarat (visitation) and all the towns and cities having these sites consider it an honor for themselves.

Anyway, His Eminence, Husain has a place of respect in the hearts of people

[1] Wasailush Shia 10/311
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 3/419
[3] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 8/204
[4] Ibne Hayyan Ahmad Tamimi, Tarikhus Sahaba, Pg. 67
[5] Dairatul Ma’arif al-Haditha, Pg. 152
[6] Tabaqat al-Kubra, 1/27
[7] Nurul Absar, Pg. 271


such that the grave and the remembrance of His Eminence is in the depths of the hearts, because it is the holiest picture that people in all ages and times considered it sanctified.

Abu Bakr Aalusi was asked about the head of His Eminence, Husain. He replied in the following couplets:

“Do not search for the head of Husain in the East and the west.

Leave everything and come to me as its burial place is in my heart.”[1]

And Haaj Mahdi Falaudi has said:

“The presence of His Eminence, Husain has not been emphasized at any place neither should you search for it in any cave.

But the sincerity of your love will guide you that it is buried inside my heart.”[2]

His Eminence, Husain has dominated the emotions of the people and occupied a place in their hearts; they are enamored by his love and purity and the great hardships and calamities that befell His Eminence have aggrieved them. In the same way the hardships of His Eminence have shattered the hearts and the souls are aggrieved due to their intensity.

People hasten to all the locations that are considered as possible sites of the burial of his head. The great tomb in Cairo is always teeming with people who seek blessings from it and consider performing its visitation to be the best form of obeying God and seeking His proximity.

[1] Al-Babilyat 3/128
[2] Shoara al-Hilla 5/371

# Effects of Imam Husain’s Revolution

No revolution exists in the history of the world like the revolution of Imam Husain, which shook the world, bestowed glory for truth and created dignity for human beings, as all its parts are effulgence and all its horizons, nobility and honor. Replete with immortal lessons regarding belief that shall never be overpowered and faith that shall never be defeated and loftiness that shall never be humiliated; a revolution that began a modern age for the nations of the world and the communities of the earth, spirit of revolution and opposition to oppression and injustice, confrontation with unreasonable demands and fighting corruption are its signs.

The revolution of the chief of nobles was the first revolution in human history from the aspect that on it were built intellectual, social and political foundations. Of them are the following:

Victory of Islam

By his martyrdom, the great Imam achieved a victory that no revolutionary on the earth had ever obtained; because the principal aims for which he undertook the confrontation succeeded and the most important of them was the success of movement in his open war against the Umayyad regime, which had made the future of Islam dark and tried to uproot it so that no effect of it remains in the sphere of life. Imam Husain took upon himself to ensure the well being of Islam’s future. And he martyred himself for its sake; he restored its freshness to it and destroyed the perils that surrounded it.

Morbin, the German philosopher says, “When a sensible person ponders upon the situation of that period, and how the Bani Umayyah was succeeding in its aims and their domination on all the strata of people and the decadence of Muslims…no doubt remains for him that Husain through his martyrdom revived the religion of his grandfather and the laws of Islam; because if that event had not occurred and those true feelings had not been created among the Muslims...and if the martyrdom of Husain hadn’t taken place, Islam definitely would not have been as it is, rather it was possible that its heritage and laws had been destroyed; because in that period, Islam was in its initial stages.”

It is sufficient for the success of His Eminence, Husain that through his martyrdom he bestowed a new life to Islam and sacrificed his blood for it. When Imam Zainul Abideen was asked by Talha bin Abdullah who had won, he mentioned this point and said:

“Whenever it is prayer time, you recite the call for prayer (Azan) and shorter call for prayer (Iqamah); this tells you who the victor is.”[1]

His Eminence, Husain himself became successful and victorious; because he

[1] Shaykh Tusi, Amali Pg. 677, H. 1432


restored life and youth to Islam. On the basis of this he was a reformer; perhaps it was about this aspect that the Holy Prophet said: “Husain is from me and I am from Husain.”

Because if the sacrifice of His Eminence, Husain had not been there all the efforts of His Eminence, the Prophet and that well-being, blessings and mercy that he brought for the people would have been destroyed as Bani Umayyah was bent on eradicating all the principles that this religion brought and they proclaimed infidelity and apostasy, and ruled the people with a policy in which no sign of Quranic command was visible.

Defeat of the Umayyads

The first clear victory that the Imam earned was to defeat the Umayyads; because the sacrifice of His Eminence destroyed all the pillars and foundations raised by Muawiyah for strengthening the regime of Abu Sufyan’s family.

One of the writers says: “Whatever Muawiyah had built up for his son Yazid in years was destroyed by Husain in a few days. People began to look at the caliph with disgrace and heedless way. Muslims were disillusioned by his policies and eyed with malice the blemishes that had stained him with bad qualities like fraud, deception, injustice and oppression. All this was under the shade of the leadership of His Eminence, Husain and the popularity of His Eminence, a result of wise policy in observing steadfastness in front of their persecution and a well-designed program for removing disobedience and oppression which was instrumental in this. The foresight of the Imam and his sincerity in his actions made all this possible.”[1]

By his auspicious movement, the Imam crushed the heads that were full of pride, weighed down with arrogance and blinded by self-conceit.

Sayyid Amir Ali says: “The carnage of Kerbala shook up the world of Islam; a factor that assisted in the destruction of the foundation of the Umayyad regime.”[2]

As for the signs of Umayyad defeat after the martyrdom of Imam Husain; they were as follows:

A. Their separation from Religious Authority

The terrible carnage of Kerbala took out the Umayyads from the pale of Islam and it proved that they still followed the barbarity and ignorance of the pre-Islamic age. Because all the acts they committed with the Progeny of the Prophet proved that the Umayyads had left the religion of Islam and the faith of Muslims. For example, first of all they put embargo on water supply with the help of armed forces. Then after killing His Eminence, they cut up his Holy body into bits and pieces. After that they took as hostages the noble ladies of the Prophet’s family and took them around towns and cities in such a way that to see them makes one hair stand on end. This was done to announce the defeat of the Prophet’s family and

[1] Raihaanatur Rasool, Pg. 176
[2] Mukhtasar Tarikhul Arab


publicize that revenge has been taken from them. Similarly the couplets that Yazid recited clearly said that it was to revenge the death of his disbelieving ancestors who had been eliminated in the battle of Badr. Thus all these facts clearly proved that the Umayyads were not Muslims.

B. Their widespread Condemnation

Among the signs of Umayyad defeat was that their condemnation became general and people in all gatherings and assemblies openly criticized their policies and evils; so, frenzied waves of condemnation began to descend upon Yazid – so much so that even his womenfolk and clansmen took up this activity, such that he was absolutely harried and he began to regret the deed he had committed. Hence his relationship with Ibn Marjana, according to historians, fell into gloom.

C. Transfer of Caliphate from Umayyads

The Imam’s revolution involved the Umayyad regime in defeat and destroyed all its traces and made it the target of one uprising after another which were initiated by Shias and others till finally the dark regime was destroyed by the establishment of Abbasid rule as we shall discuss this matter now.

Bringing out the True Status of Ahle Bayt

The revolution of the Chief of the martyrs brought out the illuminated reality of Ahle Bayt and proved to the world of Islam, their powers in being steadfast on truth, their firmness in face of calamities and their sincere concerns for the future of the Islamic community. As a result of it, the majority of Muslims began to love and regard them with respect and awe.

The tragedy of Kerbala clearly showed that the Ahle Bayt were lofty examples of spiritual and practical leadership of this community and the vanguards of truth and justice on the earth.

Centralizing the Shiite Faith

Among the consequences of the Husainite revolution was that it bestowed a centralization to them in the limits of their beliefs. Such that it assumed a form of a well-defined school of thought in the life of Shia people.

Phillip Hitti says: “Shia was born on the day of 10th Mohurrum. From that day Imamate in the progeny of Ali became a principle of the faith of Shias, just as prophethood of Muhammad was a principle of Islamic faith.”[1]

An orientalist says: “If Husain had not been killed, Shias would not have come into being in Islam.”[2]

Also Satarthman has said: “The blood of Husain which was shed by the swords of the armed forces of the regime became the nucleus around which grew the Shia belief more than the blood of Ali which was shed by the Khawarij conspiracy.”

[1] Tarikhul Arab 1/237
[2] Umar Abu Nasr, Husain bin Ali, Pg. 10


Shaykh Shustari says: “If His Eminence, Husain had not borne those hardships, religion would not have become clear for Shia people; because when Bani Umayyah became the dominant power in the land. They indulged in corruption and tried to conceal the truth till the matter became doubtful for people and they made the cursing of Ali a part of daily prayers and filled the minds of the people with the notion that Bani Umayyah are Imams of Islam. And this matter was taught to the people from childhood because teachers were ordered to impart such training to all the children under their care that they were Imams of religion. And opposition to them is deviation…and when His Eminence, Husain was killed in that fashion and his womenfolk were taken as prisoners of war, people came to their senses, that if they (Umayyads) were guides of truth they would never have committed such acts. This action of theirs had no relation to religion, faith or justice. It was
not even in conformity to the oppression of oppressors.”[1]

Those purified bloods cleaned up the spirit of sacrifice and devotion towards Ahle Bayt in the view of the majority of Muslims. And since that time those who were neutral to join battles for getting the power now they came under their flag.[2] Those terrible tragedies that befell the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah were such that shocked and devastated all those who lived at that time.

Uniting the Shia People

The tragedy of Kerbala bestowed unity to Shias and created a spirit of cooperation among them. Before that due to lack of motivation and loyalty in defense of their belief based on religious right of special caliphate of Ahle Bayt, they had borne grief. Those perceptions changed and they gathered the strongest practical force with which they rushed out to destroy the Umayyad regime and stood up together to take revenge for Husain chanting the slogan of “Yaa thaaratal Husain.”

A writer says: “This terrible and unpleasant tragedy to the furthest limit, brought clarity to Shiaism and was a factor of Shiite unity and their motivation for supporting their religion and became a cause of frenzied uprisings to take revenge from the killers of Husain.[3]

Brockleman has also mentioned this point in his statement: “Those bloods that quenched the grounds of Kerbala brought clarity to the spirit of Shiaism in the hearts of the Shias. And it made them realize that they must unite their ranks.

The carnage of Kerbala roused in the hearts of Shias, feelings and sorrows and it brought them to the belief that before everything they must think of the need of unity to take revenge for the martyrdom of the great Imam who had stood up for the sake of justice and for restoring the rights of the persecuted and oppressed people.”

[1] Khasais al-Husain, Pg. 89
[2] Ittajahaatush Sher al-Arabi, Pg. 30
[3] Adab as-Siyasa fil Asr al-Amawi, Pg. 40


Creating Social Awareness

Imam’s movement was effective in creating social awareness and bringing out the revolutionary spirit in people, because the community had completely changed and after remaining silent and submissive it became armed with faith and power of determination and decisiveness and it became free of all the negative notions that it had been involved in. They set out to demand their rights and endeavor to destroy the Umayyad regime. They initiated uprisings after uprisings that indicated their infuriated mood with Bani Umayyah and they generously stepped forward to sacrifice their lives for the victory of these uprisings. No other effect of fear or distress remained with them till they destroyed the expressions of Umayyad arrogance and eradicated their persecution and deviation.

The revolution of Imam Husain changed the meaning of fear and surrender that was supreme on the community and according to the principles of revolution turned it into confronting and seeking freedom from the bonds of humiliation and slavery; because the Imam gave them a rousing power and bestowed them a revolutionary spirit to stand up and fight injustice and oppression.

Blooming of Talents

Among the factors of success of the Husainite revolution was that it stimulated the blooming of talents and capabilities and it created an outstanding genre of literature in the literary world which is exquisite, outstanding and beautiful.

Literature of Husainite revolution is rich with most outstanding subject matter in the political literature of Islam; because it contains a rich mine most beneficial and artistic of the intellectual sources. Its salient features are as follows:

First: It extolled social justice and human values for whom the great Imam struggled.

Second: It condemned oppression and fought falsehood and confronted arrogance and obstinacy.

Third: It motivated the society towards honor and lofty purpose by following Imam Husain the leader with lofty aspirations and the vanguard of human perfections.

Fourth: It presented the intellectual and religious attitude of the honorable Imam.

Fifth: It glorified the Imam in a way that no martyr from the social reformers had ever been exalted; because the principles of His Eminence were merged with the emotions of Shia poets and the wave of human movement had seized that immortal revolution and they praised and glorified His Eminence in the most outstanding fashion.

Sixth: Publicizing the decadence of Umayyads and describing their crimes in their enmity towards Islam.

Seventh: Explanation of the hardships and tragedies that befell the Holy Ahle Bayt.


Sayyid Muhammad Sayyid Gilani says: “Shia literature showed a true picture of the persecutions meted out to the Alawites.” He says: “The carnage of Kerbala in which Husain was martyred, and whatever befell the Alawites afterwards, was a powerful stimulation for the poets and in their numerous elegies they openly recited, they were able to create such grief that scorched the hearts and shattered the lives. It is most surprising that this led to widespread uprisings to take revenge for the blood that was shed and the bodies that were cut up into pieces and abandoned unburied in the desert that they may become morsels of scavengers…

Poems lamenting for the Ahle Bayt multiplied in an astounding manner, all of them arising from the depths of the hearts and the depths of souls and in this way they became a priceless treasure of Arabic literature.”[1]

Eight: Outstanding beauty in the literature of Husainite revolution and the warmth of passion.

A writer states: “The poetry lamenting Husain is warm and fiery; because it is derived from powerful emotions and it is composed by burning and revolutionary souls. They were angry and furious because the Bani Umayyah had snatched their rights and usurped their position. Therefore they expressed their anger in poetry.”[2]

Husainite poetry is a true expression of the enflamed passions and its composers were neither reserved in expressing feelings nor did they borrow their ideas from others. They were themselves impassioned by the tragedy and thus they described the Imam in the most realistic way.

These pieces of living literature are the richest examples of the literature of the world and the most outstanding cultural values in Islam.

What is necessary to mention is that the Husainite literature did not attain as much prominence and popularity in the literature of Islam, except after a very long period of time. But it was as explained by Abdul Faraj; due to the fact that in those early days the poets restrained from composing mourning poetry on Husain due to the fear of Umayyads.

Pulpits of Exhortation and Guidance

Among the most prominent consequences of the revolution of the chief of the nobles was that it gave rise to platforms of propagating the message of Imam Husain which to this day have played an important role in imparting lessons of righteousness and piety to the people and their important service was to preach the significance of sacrifice in the path of truth.

Martin, the German writer considers these pulpits to be of the important factors of the progress of Muslims if they are utilized in a proper and organized way.

The tragedy of Abu Abdillah is a part not separate from the message of Islam and it shows his efforts and struggle against the transgressors and his support of

[1] Athar Tashayyo Dar Adabiyat Arab, Pg. 23
[2] Adab as-Siyasa, Pg. 189


the persecuted and oppressed people.

John Ashra says, “The tragedy of Husain contains the loftiest meaning of martyrdom on the path of social justice.”[1]

The Husainite pulpits are the most important contribution and the most outstanding achievements of the revolution of the Chief of the martyrs and it sowed the natures of well-wishing in the hearts and removed the souls from the factors of corruption and deviation and guided them on the path of virtue; steadfastness and good manners, are among its distinctive qualities. In the same way they became like mobile schools for spreading faith in Allah and teaching Islamic values to the people.

Continuation of Revolution

The tragedy of Kerbala created a terrible wave of disconcertation and deep effects on the life of Muslims and it stimulated them to undertake political action and social groupism for bringing the downfall of the Umayyad regime and to take revenge from the man killers.

The country, since the martyrdom Husain had burnt with the fire of war,[2] because the Islamic communities arose as powerful oppositions and announced their anger and fury against the Umayyad regime and endeavored to bring their downfall. Some of the uprisings were as follows:

1. Uprising of Abdullah bin Afif

The uprising of Abdullah bin Afif was the first uprising in Kufa that appeared immediately after the martyrdom of the Imam and the great stalwart, Abdullah bin Afif Azadi started it. He was the first of those who lighted the spark of revolution and changed into defeat the fake victory that Ibn Marjana had achieved as we have already explained in detail in the foregone pages.

2. Uprising of Medina

The fact is that the uprising of Medina was nothing but the continuation of the revolution of the Chief of the martyrs; because people were boiling with rage and hatred towards Yazid as he had defiled the sanctity of the Messenger of Allah by killing the Progeny of His Eminence and by taking his children as captives.

When hostages from Ahle Bayt returned to Medina and told the people about the great tragedies and terrible hardships that they had to suffer and explained to them the calamities and captivity the ladies of the abode of prophethood and noble women of the family of revelation had to bear, people became deeply aggrieved and sorrowful for the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah.

Sister of Husain and granddaughter of the Prophet, Her Eminence, Zainab enflamed passions for taking revenge for the killing of her brother.

[1] Rehla Ilal Iraq
[2] Maqrizi, Az-Zahab al-Maslook, Pg. 27


People of Medina began to believe that it was a religious duty to rebel against Yazid. So they officially broke their pledge of allegiance to him and announced an uprising against his regime.

Yazid ordered the sinner, Musraf bin Uqbah Mari to ransack Medina and gave him an army composed of at least 12000 Syrian mercenaries. For three days he made it lawful for them to do whatever they liked to the people of Medina and plunder whatever they desired from there!

Masruf set out for Medina and allowed his mercenaries three days of complete discretion to plunder the city. They began to kill and plunder and committed every deed that Allah had prohibited. Then they took allegiance of the people with their confession that they were slaves of Yazid. Anyone who refused to pledge such allegiance was immediately beheaded. In that incident such terrible hardships occurred that the heart burns due to their horror. Historians have described those horrible and grievous conditions that passed on the people of Medina. This tragedy was also like the tragedy of Kerbala and it created political groupism in the Islamic community to act against the Umayyad regime and to make efforts to bring down their power.

3. Uprising of the Penitents (Tawabbeen)

People of Kufa were deeply regretful that they had committed a great sin in deserting the Holy Imam. They chastised each other for the terrible iniquity they had done. They unanimously decided that they must confess to their sin of deserting His Eminence and it was necessary for them to take revenge of His Eminence as expiation of their sins. One of them addressed his daughter and said: “My daughter! Your father cries to his Lord due to his sin.”[1]

They held a conference at the house of Sulaiman bin Surd Khuzai an elder of the Shia community and a companion of Allah’s Messenger. He had precedence and seniority in Islam. They held discussions among themselves and concluded that this disgrace and sin cannot be washed clear without eliminating those who had martyred His Eminence, Husain.[2]

In that meeting some fiery speeches were made that called for taking revenge for the blood of the great Imam and they stressed the need for unity and cooperation in this regard. According to historians this conference was held in the year 61 A.H, that is the year of the martyrdom of His Eminence, Husain.

Resolutions of the Conference

The conference took some unanimous resolutions, some of which were a follows:

1. Sulaiman bin Surd was chosen as the leader of the revolt so that he may chalk out the political program and make military preparations.

2. Letters were dispatched to Shia localities in Iraq and outside Iraq informing the

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/552
[2] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 6/363-365


people about their decisions regarding revenging the Imam’s blood and inviting them to join them in this mission.

3. The uprising was to take place after a gap of four years so that during this time volunteers could be enrolled and preparations made for war.

4. Nukhaila shall be the center of revolt and the uprising shall be announced from there.

5. The matter of uprising should be kept secret.

Organs of the uprising, who according to historians, numbered one hundred, spread in the lands to start working for mobilizing help for purchase of weapons. They invited the people to cooperate with them and to join them.

Announcing of Revolt

In the year 65 A.H, the penitents declared their impassioned revolt against the Umayyad regime. They numbered, according to historians, 4000 men. Leader of the uprising, Sulaiman bin Surd sent Hakeem bin Munqidh Kandi and Walid bin Aseer Kanani to Kufa and instructed them to raise the slogan of “Yaa Thaaratal Husain!” (Rise up to take revenge of Husain!”).

When the two of them reached Kufa they raised that slogan and for the first time this effective call arose in the atmosphere of Kufa and it fell like a thunderbolt on the sinful killers but was a medicine for the hearts of believers and Muslims. A large number of people rushed to Nukhaila, where Sulaiman bin Surd delivered an effective speech among them. He explained to them that he was not in pursuit of power or booty of war. He only desired the satisfaction of God and had only the abode of Hereafter in view. He also expressed hope that the Almighty Allah would forgive him and his brothers the sin of having deserted the beloved grandson of Allah’s Messenger.

In Kerbala

The penitents decided to travel to Kerbala for the Ziarat of the tomb of the Chief of martyrs so that besides his grave they may announce their repentance in the court of the Lord of the worlds.

Groups of penitents set out for Kerbala and when they reached there they lamented in one voice: “Yaa Husain!” They wept and lamented and humbled themselves before the Almighty that He may accept their sincere repentance and forgive them. They said besides the grave of the Holy Imam: “O Allah! Have mercy on Husain, the martyr and son of martyr, the guided one, son of guided one, the truthful one, son of truthful one.

O Allah! We take You as our witness that we are upon his faith and path. We are the enemies of his killers and friends of his followers.

O Allah! We deserted the son of the daughter of our Prophet. Thus forgive our past and accept our repentance and have mercy on Husain and his companions – the truthful martyrs. We take You as our witness that we follow their religion and that


for which they laid down their lives. If You do not forgive us and not have mercy on us, we shall be of the losers.”[1]

At that time they crowded on the Holy grave with a crowding that exceeded that of the Hajar al-Aswad (the black stone) while they were weeping and humbling before Allah that He may forgive their sins and accept their repentance. After that they departed toward the Anbar province.

At Ainul Wurda

Groups of penitents marched on till they reached Ainul Wurda. They camped at that place. Soldiers of the Syrian army began to attack them and furious battles occurred between them. Both the sides suffered heavy losses. Leaders of the penitents, like Sulaiman bin Surd, Musayyab bin Najba and Abdullah bin Saad and others were martyred.

When the penitents saw that they were not getting help in confronting the Syrians they left the battlefield in the darkness of the night and returned to Kufa. Syrian army also did not pursue them. Both parties returned to their towns and in this way ended the war of penitents, while the Umayyads became distressed and heavy losses had inflicted them.

4. Uprising of Mukhtar

Mukhtar is the most famous personality that the history of Islam knows and he played an important role in the political events of that time. He was also the most outstanding politician having uncanny ability for organization and planning, and he was an expert in turning the circumstances to his advantage. He strengthened his achievements with his capabilities as a person of deep perception.

Regarding him a writer states: “He was very knowledgeable in psychology and well-versed in method of propagation and communication and he spoke to the people according to their intellectual level and he did not suffice only with the modes of propagation like speeches and poetry. He employed other methods also like exhibitions, displays and propaganda.

He also employed that which we call coup d’etat through which he took Kufa from the control of Ibn Zubair.”[2]

He was a senior personality of the Shias and a sword of the family of the Messenger of Allah. He was intensely aggrieved and agitated in sorrow of the Purified Progeny who were eliminated by swords of falsehood. He endeavored to obtain rulership not because he was inclined to it but that he may avenge Ahle Bayt and take revenge from their killers.

Serious allegations are heaped on this great warrior like that he was claimant of Prophethood and other false implications from which he is blameless. And for which he is absolved; because he arose to take revenge for the great Imam, he

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 5/589. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/178
[2] Al-Mukhtar, Pg. 43


shook up the existence of Umayyad rule and destroyed the glory of their regime. He practiced equity between Arabs and non-Arabs, he did not accord preference to anyone over others. During his rule he tried to follow the footsteps of Imam Amirul Momineen and followed the economic and social policies of His Eminence.

He was extremely pious and religious. Historians say: During his brief rule, in order to thank the Almighty he fasted excessively so that the Almighty Lord may enable him to take revenge for the Purified Progeny and to eliminate the sinful and transgressive killers.

They have made baseless allegations against this great warrior in order to decrease his status and reduce his importance. After having carefully studied his activities we have found him to be an incomparable personality of history and a famous man of the Islamic nation. With many excellences like virtues and piety, original thinking, deep perception and good intentions, such that few people of that time had possessed such qualities…,we would have liked to say more on the personality of this outstanding man and explain in detail how he organized his uprising and obtained power. But this would require a whole separate book which if Allah wills we may succeed in compiling. Before we conclude our discussions about him we shall discuss in brief some matters related to the subject as follows:

Anguish of the Killers

Fear and terror seized the sinful murderers and killers of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah; because they became certain that the uprising of Mukhtar has been organized to take revenge from them. Therefore some of them fled to the wilderness and others disappeared in such a way that no information came about them. A few of them fled to Abdul Malik to take refuge from the attack and fury of Mukhtar as one of them addressed him as follows:

“I come to you so that you have mercy on me and remove my hardships. But I see that you drive me away; then where can I go?”[1]

Abdul Malik bin Hajjaj Taghibeen also sought his refuge saying; “I fled from Iraq to you.”

Abdul Malik bin Marwan screamed at him: “You have not fled to join me. You have fled from the reprisal of killing Husain and fearing for your life you seek to take refuge with me.”[2]

In the same way some of them fled to Ibn Zubair and joined his army and fought on his side. It was not because they followed his faith, but it was due to the fear of Mukhtar as he had ruined their houses and confiscated all their property. Mukhtar demolished the house of Muhammad bin Ashath, took away the materials and renovated the house of the martyr, Hujr bin Adi that had been destroyed by Ziyad bin Abih.[3]

[1] Ibne Qutaybah, Uyun al-Akhbar 1/179-180
[2] Ibne Qutaybah, Uyun al-Akhbar 1/179-180
[3] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/244


As for that filthy one, Umar bin Saad, he hid in his house, anxious and frightened; and he sent important persons to mediate for him with Mukhtar and wrote to him letters seeking pardon and safety. Mukhtar gave him security on the condition that he would not take any step. However Ibn Saad in this matter spoke in a roundabout and ambiguous manner that he wasn’t allowed even to go to answer the call of nature.

Mukhtar anguished the hearts of criminals and killers of Imam in such a way that the earth shook beneath their feet and frenzied waves of shock and terror covered them in such a way that none of them could live in peace; because the ghost of death hovered over them.

Widespread Destruction

Mukhtar hastened to issue decree of death to anyone who had participated in the killing of the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah; because he endeavored to take revenge from them and purify the earth from those filthy creatures. As such, as Tabari says – on one day he condemned twenty of them to death and none of their commanders and leaders could escape. He killed the filthy sinner, Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad, Umar bin Saad and his son Hafas. He executed Shimr bin Zil Jaushan and threw his corpse to dogs. In the same way he got killed Qais bin Ashath, Haseen bin Numair, Shabth bin Rabi and others.[1]

The Almighty Allah fulfilled the prayers of the great Imam regarding the sinful murderers and killed them in the way they had killed, made them drink the bitter cup of death and took revenge from them in the most severe manner. Almighty Allah has truly said when He states: And such is the punishment of your Lord when He punishes the towns while they are unjust; surely His punishment is painful, severe.[2]

Zuhri says: “From the killers of Husain none remained but that he were punished in the world, either by killing, getting blinded, blackening of face or downfall of power in a short time.”[3]

They were punished in this world and they lie forever in the fire of Hell in such a way that neither the punishment shall be reduced for them nor would they get any respite.

Here ends the discussion regarding the uprising of Mukhtar which was the most prominent and original uprising in Islam; because its aim was taking revenge for the Purified Progeny, who according to the statement of the Prophet were equals of the Glorious Quran. Also its aim was to spread equality and social justice among the people.

Blessing and pleasure of Allah be on Mukhtar, on the day he came in pursuit, the day he was martyred and the day he shall be raised.

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 6/51. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 4/244-245. Tarikh Ahkbaar at-Tiwaal, Pg. 301-302
[2] Surah Hud 11:102
[3] Jawahirul Matalib 2/278


The Revolution Continues

Mukhtar’s killing at the behest of Ibn Zubair did not weaken the revolutionary spirit of the Shias; because other uprisings appeared which were led by the grandsons of the Imam Husain and the grandsons of his brother, Imam Hasan. Like the great revolution of Zaid bin Ali who arose to confront injustice and oppression and after him, his son Yahya enflamed the fire of his revolt. He took as their slogan the principles of Imam Husain and wanted to revenge his killing.

In this way uprisings continued till black flags appeared in the vanguards of Muslim army under the command of Abu Muslim Khorasani and destroyed the crown and throne of the Umayyads and crushed their oppression and arrogance.

Here comes to conclusion our discussion about the consequences of the Imam’s revolution related to the social and intellectual fields. In the same way we come to the last pages of this book and in the end, once more state the points we have mentioned before. That these pages are just some glimpses of the life of the great Imam that have conquered the feelings of the people and their sentiments and achieved a place in their hearts and minds. I am sure that whatever has been written on His Eminence so far and whatever that shall be written in future would still fall short in covering all the aspects of the personality of His Eminence and would not be able to present the reality of his life in full, a life that was continuation of the life of his grandfather, the Holy Prophet and guidance that had the benefit of humanity in view.

True loyalty demands that we must mention about the love and recognition of the righteous man, Haaj Muhammad Rishad Ajine who helped in the publication of books about Ahle Bayt and spreading awareness about their excellences. We believe that he has rendered the most valuable service to community and which is the most necessary and most lasting contribution. He has generously donated a sum from the estate of his late father, Muhammad Jawad Ajine who had made bequest for it. I pray to Allah to accept this generosity of his and may he be recomposed by the Almighty and forgiven in return. In the same way I pray to Allah for myself and my brother Hadi, who helped me in checking many references for this book. May Allah reward him on my behalf with the best reward that a brother can give to his brother.



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