Imam Hussain Q in his Way to Karbala
Imam Hussain’s Q convoy ran diligently, heading towards Iraq. Thus, during his way from Mecca till he reached Karbala, he passed by many locations and places, some of which he stayed in for a day and a night, and in other ones his stay was for one day, while he spent in other places few hours only, and some others were only stopping spots to perform prayer. Thus, during his journey many partisans joined him.
Imam Hussain Q met numerous people while travelling from Mecca to Karbala. Plenty are the situations through which he ascertained the significance of his rise against Yazeed Bin Muawiya, and the clear objectives for such move.
It has been said that the Poet, Al Farazdak, whose name is Hammam Bin Ghalib Al-Tamimi Al-Hanthalli, had met Imam Hussain Q before his holy convoy leaves holy Mecca heading to the land of affliction; He greeted Imam Al- Hussain Q and asked him:
«May Allah grant you what you ask and endow you the
goals you love. Indeed, you are more precious to me than my father and mother, you are the son of Allah’s Prophet, but why are you hasting to finish pilgrimage?»
Imam Hussain Q: «If I don’t hurry, I will be killed; do tell me about your people…»
Al-Farazdak answered: «People’s hearts are with you, but their swords are against you, destiny descends from above, and Allah does what he wills only.»
Imam Hussain Q Learns about the Death of Muslim <.
The convoy reached «Al-Thaalabia» which equals the two thirds of the distance, where a man, being of Kufa people, stepped aside the road when he saw the Imam Q. Then Imam Q followed him as if he wanted him, but he left him and continued his way. Then, two men, belonging to Assad tribe, approached that man and greeted him. He was Baker Bin Al Muthaaba. They asked him: «Tell us about the people you left behind!»
He said: «I did not leave Kufa until Muslim Bin Aqeel and Hani Bin Ourwa were killed; I saw them being trailed by their legs on the ground of the market.»
Imam Hussain Q looked at them both and said:
«Living is of no worth after them…, and he looked at Aqeel kinfolks and said: «What do you think, since Muslim has been killed.»
Aqeel’s kinfolks said: «By Allah, we will not go back; do you expect us to leave after the death of our beloved relative? No, by Allah, we will not go back until getting revenge or meet the same destiny as our friend!»
When it was midday, Imam Hussain Q lied down and fell asleep. Then He woke up and said:
I saw a caller saying: «You are marching and decease is hasting to take you to heaven.»
Imam Hussain’s Q elder son, Ali Al-Akbar asked him: «Father, aren’t we on the right path?»
He Q said: «Surely son, By Allah to whom servants shall go back.»
Ali Al-Akbar Q then said: «Father, therefore, by Allah we do not care for the death».
Imam Hussain Q said: «May Allah reward you my son, the best reward for a good son towards his father»
Hussain’s Q convoy went on till reaching «Zubala» which was a populous village, with markets between Waqissa and Thaalabia. There arrived the legate of Mohammad Bin Al-Ashaath to inform the Imam of Muslim’s Martyrdom and the desertion of the people of Kufa. Meanwhile, Muslim Bin Aqeel < gave his will before getting murdered to Omar Bin Saad. His last recommendation was: «Do send to Hussain Q someone telling him to turn away, since I have sent him a letter stating that people are on his side and I don’t see him but coming».
Omar Bin Saad told Ibn Ziad about Muslim’s will shortly after Muslim has confided on him. Ibn Ziad told Omar: «A loyal person may not betray you, but people might trust a traitor».
Ibn Al Ashaath legate was Iyas Bin Al-Athal Al-Tai’I, a poet who was visiting Kufa. Ibn Al-Ashaath gave him a riding camel, in exchange of notifying Imam Hussain Q upon
the request of Ibn Aqeel < , should he meet him while on his way. Iyas carried out his mission, and stayed four days in Zubalah, enjoying Imam Hussain Q hospitality.
When Imam Hussain Q became certain of Muslim’s death, he gathered his companions and read to them the following letter:
«In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful, indeed, we have received horrible news that Muslim Bin Aqeel, Hani Bin Ourwa, and Abdullah Bin Boqtor were killed. Our partisans had let us down, so, he who among you likes to leave, may do so and we will not prevent him in any way.
So people started to split, rapidly and heavily, away from him. Thus the remaining of the companions were those who came with him from Medina and holy Mecca. Yet, those who joined him on his way were nomads who thought that the Imam Q was heading to a country paved with obedience to him. Historical stories ascertain that avaricious and suspicious people had abandoned the Imam in Zubala.
The Imam Q wanted from his previous speeches to select the most devoted partisans, who were going to honor their religious obligation along his side. Indeed, this is the divine leaders’ rule, for their rise they aim to get devoted advocators, while they give no care to the quantity and relevant tools. The Imam Q went on testing and examining the determination of those who remained with him regarding the martyrdom, till the last moment.
Al-Hurr Al Riyahi Army Crowding Imam Hussain’s Q convoy.
The convoy reached «Zu Al-Hasm» area, which was a mountain between «Sheraf» and «Bayda» House.
At noon, one of the men shouted «Allahu Akbar!» (God is Great), Imam Hussain Q said: «Allahu Akbar! Why did you say that?»
He said: «I saw palm trees»…Someone replied:» We have never seen palm trees in such a place».
Then, Imam Hussain Q asked about the matter and he was told: «It is the horses…»
Imam Hussain Q said: «And, by Allah, I am seeing that. Do we have a safe shelter to go to, in order to protect our back and face the coming people from one side?»
He was told to go up to «Zu Al Hasm» Mountain. The convoy headed then to the mountain; but the horses soon followed them. They were one thousand knights who came with Al-Hurr Bin Yazeed Al-Tamimi Al-Riyahi, and continued till they reached the top and stood along with their leader, facing the Imam Hussain Q under the hot noon burning sun, while the Imam Q was, as well as his companions, ready for them, fully armed and drawing swords. However, when the Imam Q saw them, he ordered his servants to give water to the people and their horses, and so they did.
Al-Hurr stayed with the Imam Q till noon prayer’s time. After calling to prayer, the Imam Q stood up, praised and eulogized Allah, and addressed the people saying:
«Fellow men, I beg Allah the Almighty’s Forgiveness and ask for yours. I didn’t come to you but upon your inviting letters and many messengers asking me to come to you, stating that you don’t have an Imam, asking Allah to guide our congregation towards the true religion and belief. If you were still aiming so, here I am, and if you gave me, what reassures
me, such as your promises and pact agreements, I shall come to your country. However, if you don’t give me that and are not accepting my coming to you, I shall leave you and head back to the place that I came from!»
Then he Q stood to say prayers and asked Al-Hurr.
«Are you going to lead the prayers for your companions?»
Al-Hurr answered: «It’s rather you, who is going to lead the prayer for all of us, and we shall follow your lead!»
Thus, the Imam Q led their prayers. Afterwards, he came back to his companions, while Al-Hurr went back to his place. When the Imam Q performed his afternoon prayers, he ordered people to go, after addressing them with a second speech.
«Indeed, fellow men, if you fear Allah then you would recognize that handing the right to its rightful owner shall better gratify Allah; Yet, we, the Prophet’s Family, are the more eligible to assume such reign than those pretentious people, who are claiming what does not belong to them, further to leading you by tyranny and hostility. But, if you refused us, did not recognize our right, and stated that your opinion is contradicting the content of your letters as well as the missions of your messengers, I shall go away and leave you alone».
Al-Hurr Bin Yazeed said: «By Allah, we don’t know what those letters, which you mentioned, are!»
Hussain Q said: «Oqba Bin Simaan, do take out the two bags containing the letters that they sent to me»
Oqaba thus pulled out two bags full of letters and he put them in the hands of the present parties.
Al-Hurr said: «But, we are not amongst those who wrote to you, and we have been ordered that if we were to meet you, not to leave you until we take you to Oubayd Allah Bin Ziad.»
The Imam Q replied: «Death is closer to you than such thing».
Then, he said to his companions: «Do get up and prepare you saddles to leave.» They rode their horses and camels’ backs, and waited for the women to ride. Then, the Imam Q asked his companions to leave. But Al-Hurr and his army hindered them, thus the Imam Q addressed to Al-Hurr: «May your mother be bereaved with your death! What do you want?»
Al-Hurr, replied: «By Allah- if any Arab man other than you had said that, while undergoing your condition, I wouldn’t have left him until his mother looses him, no matter whom he is. But, by Allah; I can’t say anything but the best about your honorable Mother!»
Then, the Imam Q said: «So, what do you want?»
Al-Hurr said: «By Allah, I want to accompany you to go to Oubayd Allah Bin Ziad!»
The Imam Q said: «Then, by Allah, I shall not follow you!»
Al-Hurr said: «Thus, by Allah, I shall not leave you!»
They repeated the same words reciprocally to each other, three consecutive times. When their discussion raised sharp, Al-Hurr said: «I did not get any orders to fight against you, but my orders are not to leave you until I take you to Kufa.»
If you don’t want to come with me, do take a path that doesn’t take you neither to Kufa nor back to Medina, in order
to be fair for both of us, until I send a letter to Ibn Ziad, while you write to Yazeed Ibn Muawiya, should you desire so, or if you want you can write to Oubayd Allah Bin Ziad. Until that time, May Allah give me his bless and spare of any orders that might want me to face you!»
Imam Hussain Q Stating the Nation’s Religious Obligation:
Imam Hussain Q convoy set out, while Al-Hurr and his army adopted the parable side of the road. When the convoy reached a spot called: «Al-Bayda», Imam Hussain gave one of his most important speeches, addressing his companions and Al-Hurr’s army. It is the speech that included the vivid reasoning that all Muslims are to abide by a collateral religious obligation to rise and confront the unjust tyrant ruler, who did exceed Allah’s interdictions and allowed himself all Islam prohibitions. After having praised Allah and glorified Him, Imam Hussain Q said:
«O people, the Messenger of Allah P said: He who amongst you witnesses the reign of a tyrant ruler, who allows himself to adopt the prohibitions that Allah imposes, violating the vows he gave to Allah, infringing the rules of Allah’s Prophet P, governing Allah’s servants with sins and hostility, while not altering such evil doing by a say or an act, he shall witness the same punishment of Allah as that tyrant. Yet, those people had attached themselves to the obedience of the devil, leaving away the compliance of the Merciful. They publicized corruption, exceeded the divine limits, and restricted the benefit of the Nation’s money to themselves; they also legitimized Allah’s interdictions and forbade his decencies. While I, more than any other one, have the right to govern you, thus, I have received your invitation letters as well as your messengers to pledge allegiance to me underlining that you will neither let me down, nor betray me and abandon me. Yet, if you fulfill your pledging
allegiance, you will realize the right way.
Indeed, I’m Hussain Bin Ali and Fatima, the daughter of Allah’s Prophet P, my soul shall be among yours, my family is amongst your families, and you will face with me whatever I might face. But if you don’t do so and choose to dishonor your vows, while denying your allegiance to me, indeed, it won’t be a strange act from you, since you have already done this to my father, brother and cousin Muslim. Yet, he who believes you shall be beguiled, because you have already missed your chance and wasted your recompense. He who breaches a commitment shall be doing it towards himself only, and Allah shall satisfy me not to need you; and, Peace be upon you.»
Afterwards the convoy of Imam Hussain Q continued marching, while Al-Hurr’s army was accompanying it. Al-Hurr said to the Imam Q: «I do remind you to invoke Allah for your sake and soul; I swear that if you fight you shall be killed, and when so you will perish, as I see.» Imam Hussain Q replied:
«Is it with death that you are intimidating me? Would your steps grow as big as killing me? I don’t know what to say to you! But, nevertheless I shall quote the brother of Al-Aws when addressing his cousin whom he met while heading to support Allah’s messenger P, as he said: «Where are you going, you will be killed, so he replied:
I’ll pursue while death is not a shameful act for such a man,
If his intentions are good and he struggled as a true Muslim
Joining in with the good men
Leaving behind all sinners and criminals
I shall have no regrets, should I stay alive, nor to be blamed if I
It is humiliation enough to live under such oppression
When Al Hurr heard such words, he set away marching on a different side of the Imam Q till arriving to «Atheeb Al-Hajanat», whereas a group coming from Kufa approached them and among them : Amro Bin Khaled Al-Assadi Al-Sidawi, and his servant Saad; Moujammah Bin Abdullah Al Aaethi and his son Aaeth; Junada Bin Al-Harath Assalmani and his servant Wadeh Al-Turki (the Turkish), and a servant of Nafeh Bin Hilal who joined Imam HussainQ convoy before they did, while dragging along Nafeh’s horse. When they met the Imam Q they recited some rhymes showing renunciation for their lives for his sake. The Imam Q then said:
«By Allah, I wish our destiny, as drawn by Allah, to be good, whether being killed or victorious.»
At that moment, Al-Hurr went to them and said: «These people coming from Kufa were not amongst those who came with you and I shall either imprison them or send them back»
Thus, the Imam Q answered: «I shall prevent them from what I myself from, indeed, these are my partisans and supporters and you have promised not to hassle me, until you receive Ibn Ziad’s letter»
Al-Hurr replied: «Yes, but they did not come with you!»
Thus, the Imam Q confirmed and said to him: «They are my companions, and they enjoy the same rank of those who came with me, either you fulfill the agreement we had, or otherwise I shall start fighting you!»
So, Al-Hurr left them off.
Imam Hussain Q asked those who joined him about the situation of the people they left behind, Moujammah Bin Abdullah Al Aaethi answered: «Those being ranked as nobles are highly depending on bribes and desire’s satisfaction; their affection is enlisted and accordingly they give their advice. They are all united against you. As for the other people, their hearts lean towards you, but their swords shall be against you!»
Then the Imam Q asked them about his messenger, Qeiss Bin Meshar, so they told him that Ibn Ziad ordered him to curse both the Imam and his Father Q, but instead he praised him and his father, further to cursing Ibn Ziad and his father. Thus Ibn Ziad threw him from the castle’s heights.
The Imam murmured the noble verse: «There are those who demised, and there are those who are awaiting, but they surely didn’t change!»
At this point, we find the Imam Q, despite the numerous news that informed him that the people had let him down, is insisting on heading to Kufa, saying: «We have made a promise to those people and we cannot thus abandon them…»
He said that because he knew his partisans were waiting for him, and some of them were those thrown in prison or even killed by Ibn Ziad.
The affects of loving this worldly life and detesting death for the sake of Allah was outrageously revealed, upon the meeting between Imam Al Hussain Q and Oubayd Allah Bin Al-Hurr Al-Geafy, whom the Imam Q called upon to support him, but he answered: «By Allah, dear son of the Daughter of Allah’s Prophet , if you had in Kufa any helpers fighting with you, I would have been your fiercest fighter against your enemy; but I have seen your people in Kufa hiding in their
homes, fearing Umayyad troops and their swards. So, I ask, by Allah, to grant me the same rank and I shall consulate you as much as I can. Take my mare, ready to fight, by Allah, I never pursued any one while riding it but made him meet his death, and I was never caught if any one tried to follow me while riding it. Do take my sword that I never hit with it anything but to be cut».
Imam Hussain Q said:
«Ibn Al-Hurr, we didn’t come to you to seek your mare or sword, but we wanted you to support us. Should you abstain to fight with us, we are in no need for your money. I was never among those who select delusive people as supporters, because I have heard the Messenger of Allah P saying: «He, who heard the plea of my family and did not support them to obtain their right, shall see Allah throwing him in hell on his face».
On his way, the Imam Q was hastening, trying to set apart his companions. But Al-Hurr used to send them back while waiting to receive Oubayd Allah Bin Ziad’s letter which reached him when the convoy was in Ninawa.
It said: «Greeting, be atrocious with Al-Hussain when you receive my letter and after my messenger arrives to you. Don’t let him go but to open areas, wherein there is neither a fortress nor water. I ordered my messenger to stay and not leave you, until I get to know that you executed my order, Peace»
Thus Al-Hurr forced the convoy to settle in a place with no access to water. Zouheir Bin Al-Qaign asked the Imam Q to let them fight against Al-Hurr and his army, but the Imam refused to be the one who starts the war.
The Land of Karbala
When the convoy reached Karbala, the Imam’s horse abstained from moving, so the Imam came down and rode on another one, which it didn’t move either. Thus the Imam Q inquired about the land’s name, and he was told that it is named «Al-Ghaderia»
He Q said: «Does it have another name?
They answered him: «Ninewa»
He then asked: «Does it have a further name?»
They said: «Al-Furat shore»
He Q said:
«Doesn’t it have another name?
They then answered: «It’s called Karbala»
At that moment, the Imam Q had a deep sigh and said: «Do get down, this is the end of our trip, here our blood shall be shed ; Here, by Allah – Our (Women) will be besmirched; Here – by Allah – Our men shall be murdered, By Allah – Our children will be slaughtered. Here, by Allah – Our graves will be visited, this is the land, my Grandfather, Allah’s Prophet P, promised me, and his says may never be changed…»
Imam Hussain’s convoy arrived on the second day of the sacred Mouharram, year sixty one after Hijra, and most likely is was a Thursday.
The tents of Hussain’s convoy were set up in the pure spot which vestiges remain till this day in Karbala. It was a spot far from water surrounded by chain of hills and knolls. The tent of the Imam and his direct family R was set up first, then came the tents of his tribe, surrounding it, afterwards the partisans’ tents were built. Then, the Umayyad army surrounded Imam
Hussain Q to an extent that when Ibn Saad shot the arrow marking the start of the battle, and accordingly his army archers shot their arrows, there was no one amongst the members of Imam Hussain camp left without being hit by at least an arrow.
The Camp of Ibn Saad
On Mouharram the third, Omar Bin Saad Bin Abi Waqqas arrived, coming from Kufa, heading four thousand knights. He settled in Ninawa, wherein he was joined by Al-Hurr Bin Yazeed Al-Riyahi, with one thousand knights, and thus they became five thousand knights.
Omar Bin Saad sent Ouzra Bin Qeiss Al-Ahmasi to Imam Hussain Q to ask him what he wanted. But Ouzra was shy to go to the Imam, since he was among those who wrote and invited the Imam. Ibn Saad offered this mission to all the chiefs who wrote to the Imam, but all of them refused and hated to do so. This is when Katheer Bin Abdullah Ashaabi offered to go to meet the Imam and even kill him, if Ibn Saad wanted.
Omar Bin Saad decided to send to Oubayd Allah Bin Ziad, a letter that demonstrates the prevailing situation. According to Al-Tabari narration, the text of the letter contained:
«In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful,
Indeed, as soon as I reached Hussain, I forwarded to him my messenger and asked him, what is the reason of his incoming, and what is it that he wants and seeks? He said: «The people of this country wrote to me; their messengers arrived and came to me asking me come to their land and I did. If they now hate my arrival and staying among them, while it appears to them
that the object for which their messengers came to me is no longer valid, I shall leave them» .When Ibn Ziad received Omar’s letter, he said:
Now, after we have our claws in his body
He calls salvation, but in vain
He wrote to Ibn Saad and said:
«In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful,
Indeed, I have received your letter and understood it. Do propose to Hussain pledging allegiance in favor of Yazeed Bin Muawiya, and such process shall apply to him and to all his companions. If he does that, we will see what we should do then. Peace»
In no time, Ibn Saad sent his messenger to the Imam Q to obtain his allegiance pledging, but the Imam Q answered:
«I shall never give in to Ibn Ziad. If this will result in my death, so I shall welcome death!»
When Ibn Ziad learned about the Imam Hussain’s reply, he gathered the people in Kufa’s Mosque. There he told them that Yazeed Bin Muawiya has sent him four thousands dinars and two hundred thousand dirham to be distributed and given to them, shall they join in the fight against Imam Hussain Q. Ibn Ziad kept on sending soldiers, until they became thirty thousand, between knights and infantries. He left angry, accompanied by all his companions heading to Al-Nakhila, which is a spot near Kufa.
All troops gathered and headed to meet Omar Bin Saad, while six days of Mouharram months had elapsed.
Omar Bin Saad
Oybayd Allah Bin Ziad entrusted Al-Ray ruling to Omar Bin Saad, provided he first kills Imam Hussain Q. Omar fell into the ditch of hesitation and uncertainty. He started consulting his advisers who one by one advised him not do that. But, Oubayd Allah threatened to deprive him of Al-Ray ruling. Thus Ibn Saad refused such advises and preferred to fight against Imam Hussain Q. Nevertheless, Ibn Saad didn’t witness Ibn Ziad fulfilling his promise, though he carried out his orders. Thus Ibn Saad left Ibn Ziad heading to his house and family, while murmuring all along the road: «No one came back with such results but me. I obeyed the wrong doer, Ibn Ziad, a tyrant and a son of a tyrant. I disobeyed the fair ruler and I cut off the noble kinship.» Afterwards, people deserted him; when he used to pass by them, the y used to turn away avoiding him. Whenever he went into the mosque, people used to get out of it. He who is ever to see him used to publicly curse him. Thus he retreated and stayed home, until he was killed.
The Last Message of Imam Hussain Q:
The last letter of Imam Hussain Q from Karbala, addressed to his brother, Mohammed Bin Al-Hanafia, was the shortest letter, yet it enclosed the most subtle content with the deepest meanings:
«In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful» From Hussain Bin Ali and those having accepted him out of the Hashims:
Indeed, it is as if life had never occurred, and as if the Hereafter is the only fact, Peace»
Imam Hussain Q made his letter reflect the most elegant meaning of death: If the truth of this worldly life was that it
ends with death, and we must imperatively get separated there from, let the end be the best of the best, while the ending shall be the most honorable one. By this letter, Imam Hussain Q finished or completed his previous letter sent from Mecca to his brother, Mohammad Bin Al-Hanafiah, where he said:
«He, who follows me, shall become a Martyr»…
The First Speech of Imam Hussain Q to his Companions:
When Imam Hussain Q got ascertained that these troops were determined to kill him, he gathered his companions and addressed to them a speech.
After having praised and glorified Allah, he said:
«You all see the affliction we are subject to; indeed, life changed and denied us, whilst its good doing ended running away. Do you not see that right isn’t applied, whilst wrong doing is not being prevented? Every true believer shall desire the meeting of Allah. Surely, I don’t see death but happiness, while living with tyrants isn’t but dissatisfaction».
Habib Bin Mouthaher < and Bani Assad Tribe
Omar Bin Saad’s army continued laying siege against Imam Hussain Q until the sixth of Mouharram, when Habib Bin Mouthaher Al-Assadi came to Imam Hussain Q and asked for his permission to go to the his tribe to obtain their support. Imam Al-Hussain Q accepted and granted him his permission. Thus Habib Bin Mouthaher < departed in the middle of the night and called his tribe.
They corresponded to his call, and Habib came back with ninety men wanting to join the troops of Imam Hussain Q. But, one of the men went to Omar Bin Saad and betrayed them telling him what happened. As soon as the people arrived to
Al-Furat River’s bank, they were surprised by Ibn Saad’s Army facing them. The two groups put up a fight, and numerous were killed.
The battle went on, until the Assads tribe realized that they cannot defeat Ibn Saad’s Army. Thus they retreated and went back home, while Habib came back alone to Imam Hussain Q
Ibn Saad Denying Water and Depriving Imam Hussain’s Q Camp of it
On Mouharram the seventh, the horses of Ibn Saad’s army obstructed the way of Imam Hussain Q together with his companions, to access the water, thus thirst extremely squashed them.
When thirst started to seriously affect Imam Q and his companions, He Q sent after his brother Al Abbas Bin Ali Bin Abi Taleb Q, and he dispatched him accompanied by thirty knights and twenty infantries, while carrying twenty water bottles, to get water. When they got close to the water, in the middle of the night, they first sent Nafeh Bin Hilal Al Jamaly to see if their way was clear. But, Omar Bin Al-Hajjaj with his five hundred soldiers tried to prevent them. Nevertheless, they fought until the Imam’s Q troops could break the siege, they reached the water and filled the bottles.
Al-Abbas Q along with his companions protected the troops until they were able to deliver water safely to Imam Hussain’s Q camp.
Imam Hussain Q Dialogue with Omar Bin Saad
Imam Hussain Q sent a messenger to Omar Bin Saad saying:
«I want to have a talk with you, meet me tonight in the land between my camp and yours!»
Omar Bin Saad went out with twenty of his knights. Yet, Imam Hussain Q came also surrounded with the same number of knights. When they met, Imam Hussain Q ordered his companions to stay away and they obeyed him. Only his brother, Al-Abbass Q and his son Ali Al-Akbar Q stayed with him. Then Omar ordered his men to stay away, while keeping with him his son Hafs and his servant Laheq.
Imam Hussain Q then said:
«Woe to you Ibn Saad! Don’t you fear Allah, to whom you’ll return, for fighting against me, while you know, whose son I am, from the kinship to Allah’s Prophet P? Leave those people and be by my side, I shall shorten distances for you to be near Allah the Almighty.»
Omar Bin Saad said: «Aba-Abdullah –In Arabic a man is called by the expression «Father of the Eldest son»)… I fear for my house to be destroyed.»
The Imam Q replied:
«I shall build it for you!»
But Ibn Saad said: «I’m afraid my village shall be occupied by force!»
And the Imam Q said:
«I shall give you a better one, out of what I own in Hejaz!»
Ibn Saad replied: «I have a family that I worry and fear about!»
The Imam Q told him: «I shall guarantee their safety».
Here, Omar didn’t say a single word any more, accordingly; the Imam Q left him behind, and then Ibn Saad went back to his camp.
There is no doubt that Omar Bin Saad, alike the majority of Ibn Ziad’s army, was fully aware and certain that Imam Hussain Q was the rightful ruler of the nation. He further was, undoubtedly, aware of the great disgrace, and horrible fall he was going to sustain eternally, if he murdered Imam Hussain Q in such confrontation, wherein he became the hostile army commander in chief. But his filthy inner side made him the prisoner of an uncontrollable will to reign over «Al-Ray» and its abundances. This is the reason that made him seek after finding a gateway of such predicament, in order to be freed off committing the crime of killing Imam Hussain Q, while not losing his wish to rule «Al-Ray» land.
Omar Bin Saad’s Deception:
After having met Imam Hussain Q, Ibn Saad addressed a letter to Ibn Ziad; and said:
Allah had extinguished the fire, unified the word, and gathered the nation together. Hussain promised me to either go back to the place he came from in the first place, or to take him into any city of the Muslim cities that we name, or Yazeed, the Caliph comes and put their hands together…»
Ibn Saad aimed through this false letter is to avoid the killing Imam Hussain Q in such a manner, whereas he wouldn’t lose «Al-Ray» Ruling. But Ibn Ziad, upon getting to know about the meeting between Imam Hussain Q with
Ibn Saad, relied upon Shamer Bin Zi Al-Jowshan and admitted his advise whereas to have a strict position when dealing with such issue. Ibn Ziad, thus, sent Shamer with a letter to Ibn Saad, wherein it says:
I did not forward you to Hussain to neither defend him, have any conversation with him, nor to give him a hope to be safe and survive, or to plead for him before me. Look, if Hussain and his companions renounce their claim to ruling over and surrender, do send them to me alive and safe. But if they refuse to do so, you have to attack, kill and wipe them out; because they deserve that. If Hussain is killed let horses’ hooves trample his chest and his back as well.»
Thus, Shamer Bin Zi Al-Jawshan, brought Oubayd Allah’s letter and remitted it to Omar Bin Saad. The latter said after had read it:
«What is it with you? Woes to you, May Allah keep you a way. How ugly is the thing you remitted to me. By Allah, I believe you are the one who prevented him from accepting the content of my letter.
You spoiled an issue we hoped it would be the remedy and bring Hussain about, not to make him surrender – By Allah Hussain has a pride soul between his shoulders…»
Granting Peace and Security to Abu Al Fadle Al-Abbas Q and his Direct Brothers:
Shamer Bin Zi Al-Jawshan granted Al Abbas Bin Ali Bin Ali Taleb Q and his brothers to his mother, being all the sons of Om Al Baneen>, peace and security. Ibn Ziad and the Umayyad aimed to separate them of the Master of Martyrs,
and Shamer attempted to do so. He headed towards their camps, and stood before Imam Hussain Q companions and said:
«Where are our nephews, the sons of our sister?»
Al-Abbass Q as well as his brothers, Jaafar, Abdullah, and Othman, sons of Ali Bin Abi Taleb Q went out to Shamer and said:
«What do you want?»
He said: «You are safe and secure.»
«May Allah curse you as well as your safety! Do you grant us peace, while there is no peace for the son of Allah’s Prophet?»
The Ninth Day of Muharram:
On Muharram the ninth, Omar Bin Saad called: «O, Knights of Allah, ride on and be prepared for the good news!»
All of them rode their horses. Then Ibn Saad marched forward towards Imam Hussain Q camp, just after the afternoon prayer. At that moment, the Imam Q was sitting in front of his tent, while putting his sword on his side, and having a small nap. His sister Zeinab>, heard the shout, so she got close to her brother and said:
«Brother, do you not hear the voices getting closer?»
The Imam Q lifted his head and said:
«I saw Allah’s Prophet P in my dream. He told me: «you will come to us»
He then asked his brother Al Abbas Q to meet them
while surrounded with some twenty knights, counting Zouheir Bin Al-Quayn and Habib Bin Mouthaher. Al Abbas Q did what he was told and addressed to the coming people:
«What is it that you want?
They said: «The order of the Caliph arrived. He wants us to propose that you either pledge obedience to his ruling, or else we shall fight you»
Al-Abbas Q said:
«Hold on till I go back to Abi Abdullah and offer him your proposal»
They stopped, and Al-Abbas Q went back to Imam Hussain Q to tell him, while his companions remained in their place.
Habib Bin Mouthaher went on debating the people, until Al-Abbas Q came running and said:
«Fellow men, Abu Abdullah asks you to go away this evening, enabling him to give such issue a thought, since this issue was not raised logically between him and you. In the morning, with Allah’s will, we shall meet, and we will either accept to fulfill the issue you are asking and offering, or refuse and reject it».
Omar Bin Saad said: «Shamer what do you see?»
Shamer, answered: «What do you see yourself? You are the Prince and have the last word!»
Omar: «I wished that I was not the prince»
Then he turned to the people and called out: «What do you see?
Amro Bin Al-Hajjaj Bin Salama Al-Zoubaydi answered: «Praised be Allah, by Allah if they were coming from Daylam (a non Muslim country), and they asked you this favor, you ought to grant it to them. Qeiss Bin Al-Ashaath said: «Give them what they are asking for, by my life, you will be fighting them as of tomorrow’s morning».
Omar said: «by Allah, if I am to know they were to do so, I wouldn’t be lingering to wait until night»
Imam Hussain Q wanted throughout his request, to set them away from him for that night, in order to enable him to give his orders and will to his next of kin.
Thus Imam Hussain Q said to Al Abbas Q
«Go back to them, and see if you can get them to hinder their fight till tomorrow and set them away for tonight, perhaps we can pray to our God tonight, invoking Him and asking for His forgiveness. He knows that I love praying for him, as well as the recitation of his book and the many supplications and pleading for his forgiveness».
This was amongst the aggregate reasons, which he wanted for his revolution; because he didn’t want his tragedy to occur in the darkness of the night, but in broad daylight, so that the largest possible number of people may witness what was going to happen. Additionally to the military accounts, whereas to a small group encircled in a very definite narrow spot, there were also publicity and intimation prospects of this request. Thus, he was going to unveil before the nation and the whole world his precedence right and the unjust treatment he was undergoing, as well as about the cruelty of his enemies, who didn’t give respect to any ethical or religious commitment.
Therefore, daylight was an important success factor to
preserve the truth of Al-Taff tragedy as it is, with all of its details.
The Events of the Night of Ashura:
Imam Hussain Q gathered his companions further to Omar Bin Saad return to his camp, it was evening when he spoke to them, saying:
«I do praise Allah, the Blessing the Almighty, to the utmost, I do thank him for the better and the worse, O Allah I am grateful to you for honoring us with the Prophecy, teaching us the «Noble Qur’an», and for the knowledge of your religion, as well bequeathing us faculties such as hearing, seeing and hearts further to not making us polytheist.
Indeed, I have never heard nor seen companions more loyal or better than mine. There is no family purer and more caring than mine. May Allah reward you for your behavior with me with his best rewards. Indeed, I do believe that tomorrow is our destined day to face these enemies, thus, I grant you all permission, and you may all go free of any obligation towards me. Now that it is night time, you can ride secretly, then, each one of you should take the hand of a man of my family, do spread in the glooming long darkness of the night till you reach your people and cities and await Allah’s relieve comes. Those people are after me. Should they get me, they will stop searching for any other one…»
At this point, his brothers, sons, nephews, and the two sons of Abdullah Bin Jaafar intervened. Yet, the first one to talk was Abu Al-Fadle Al- Abbas Q:
«Why should we do so? Is it to stay alive after your death? We wish that we do not live to see this happening!»
Then, Imam Hussain Q addressed to Aqeel’s Family:
«It is enough for your family the loss of Muslim. You may go, I give you permission!»
They said: «And what would people say? They will say, we abandoned our leader and Master as well as our cousin who is the son of the best of our uncles, without even throwing on his defense one arrow, nor stabbing with a spear, or even strike with a sword, and we do not know what they did to him! No, By Allah, we never do that. Yet we shall sacrifice ourselves, wealth and families for your sake. We shall fight, side by side, with you, until facing the same destiny. May Allah render bitter the living or surviving after you.»
Afterwards, each and every one amongst the companions stood up, to express his indefinite loyalty and readiness to scarify his life, between the hands of the Imam Q. Here, we mention the attitudes of some of them: Muslim Bin Awsajah: «Would we let you down, while not providing Allah with the reason not to recover your due right? By Allah, I shall break my spear in their chests, strike them with my sword for as long as I can still hold it with my hand, I shall never abandon you; and even If I did not have a weapon to fight them with, I shall throw them with stones in your defense, until I die by your side».
Saeid Bin Abdullah Al-Hanafi: «By Allah, we will not leave you, until the Almighty gets assured that we preserved the absence of his Prophet P by keeping on your side. By Allah, if I am to know that I would be killed, relived again, to be then burned alive and be thrown off, seventy consecutive times, I shall not leave you until I die while defending you».
Zuheir Bin Al-Quayn: «By Allah, I wish I could be killed and resurrected until being killed for a thousand times, while
Allah shall be sparing you and the souls of those guys amongst your family, through such killing.»
Mohammad Bin Bashir Al-Hudramy, who was told that his son was captured at Ray’s fortified borderlines, said: «May Allah reward me for him and myself, I don’t like to survive after his captivity!»
Imam Hussain Q heard what he said, thus he addressed to him:
«May Allah’s mercy be upon you. You are released of your allegiance to me. Go and seek to set your son free!»
The man answered: «May beasts eat me alive if I leave you.»
Likewise, each one of them went on stating his readiness to scarify his heart and soul for the sake of the Imam Q. He thus wished them all well and said: «Lift up your heads, and do look at your places in Heaven!»
Burayr Al-Hamadani and Omar Bin Saad
Burayr Bin Khudair Al-Hamadani, who was an ascetic man used to fast all day long and pray all night long, he asked for the Imam’s Q permission to go and have a talk with Omar Bin Saad in order to advise him, perhaps Omar would be sermonized and would restrain from fighting the Imam Q. So the Imam gave him the permission.
Burayr walked till he reached Bin Saad’s tent. He went in and sat down without any salutation. Thus Ibn Saad became angry and said: «Brother of Hamadan, what stopped you from greeting me? Am I not a Muslim, who knows Allah and his Prophet, while testifying for the truth?
Burayr said to him: «Should you have known Allah and his Prophet, as you say, you wouldn’t have risen against the progeny of the Messenger of Allah P wanting to fight them. Indeed, this is the Furat River, flourishing his clarity and swinging as snakes’ bodies, offering his water to the commons’ dogs and pigs, whilst Hussain Bin Ali, his brothers, women, family members, and kinsfolk are killed by thirst, since you interdict them to have access to water of Al-Furat to drink from it, and you dare pretending knowing Allah and his Prophet P?»
Omar Bin Saad bowed his head for a moment, to lift it afterwards and say: «By Allah, O Burayr, I’m fully aware that he who fights against them and violates their right shall, undoubtedly, sink in the hell’s fire; but Burayr, do you advise me to let go of Al-Ray ruling, so that it goes to someone else? By Allah, I don’t find myself satisfied with such choice!»
Burayr came back to Imam Hussain Q and said: «O Son of Allah’s Prophet P, Omar Bin Saad accepted to kill you in exchange to Al-Ray rule.»
Imam Al Hussain Q With the Honorable Zeinab >
Imam Hussain Q gave orders to excavate and build a ditch around his camp, and instructed to fill it with timber wood. Then He Q stayed in his tent with John, the servant of Abi Thar Al-Ghefari. John was mending Imam Hussain’s Q sword and fixing it, while Imam Hussain Q was saying:
O eon! What a displeasing friend you are
How many you have in the rises and sets
Whether friends or benefit seekers, all are dead
While time does not accept a substitute
Indeed the decision is for the Almighty
And all livings shall face the same as my destiny.
He Q repeated it for two or three times, until his sister, Noble Zeinab > understood what he was saying. She couldn’t control herself, she jumped on both her feet, trailing her dress behind her, till she reached him, and she > said:
«Alas, how bereaving am I. I wish that death annihilated my life; today my Mother Fatima, my Father Ali and Brother Al-Hassan had died, O the Successor of the bygones, and the essence of the survivals.»
The Imam Q looked at her, while his holy eyes glittered in tears, and he said:
«If pedgeons were left alone, they would have slept in peace.» This is a verse used to be said to show that a person is left with no choice.
She O said:
«Woe, how distressed I am. Is your soul going to be taken away from you by force, this hurts my heart deeper and harder for me to absorb»
Then she started slapping her face, tumbled and passed out…
Imam Hussain Q stood up, poured water on her face and told her:
«Oh! Dearest sister… be consoled by Allah’s Solace, and be aware that the People of the Earth do die, while Heaven people don’t survive for ever. Each and every thing is going to perish, except for Allah, who is the creator; He raises mankind and revives them, while being the only One. My Grandfather is better than me, my Father is better than me, my Mother
is better than me, and my brother is better than me, and, as any and each other Muslim, I have to follow the steps of the Messenger of Allah»
He comforted her by such words, and further more addressed to her:
«Dear sister, I am asking you to make an oath to me and do not break it, I don’t want you to tear any clothes, nor scratch your face, or curse to call bereave and distress against them, if I perish»
He, then, made her sit in his tent. Afterwards, he came out to his companions and asked them to keep their tents closer to each other, and to make tents rope interlaced. He also asked them to stand between houses so that they all face the attacking people from one side, while houses will be behind them, to the right, and the left of them. Then, he Q returned to his place, where he spent the night praying, exhorting Allah, and invoking and imploring him. His companions also stayed up all night, praying, invoking and asking Allah’s forgiveness».
The Position of Nafeh Bin Hilal Al-Jamaly <:
In the middle of the night, Imam Hussain Q went out to inspect the burdens and hills. Nafeh Bin Hilal Al-Jamaly followed him. Imam Hussain Q asked him what pushed him to go out. Nafeh said: «Son of Allah’s Prophet, It worried me to see you get close to the camp sight of this tyrant».
Imam Hussain Q said:
«I went out to check the hills and knolls, fearing that it might be an ambush for horses’ attack on the day you and they set up your battle».
Afterwards, Imam Hussain Q came back holding Nafeh’s
hand, and said: «This is it! This is it, by Allah, the promise that shall be fulfilled away of any breach.»
He then turned to Nafeh:
«Don’t you want to hike between these two mountains in the dark night and rescue yourself?»
At that moment, Ibn Nafeh kneeled at the Imam’s feet, kissing them and saying: «May My mother bereave me. Indeed, my sword equals one thousand swords, and my horse is the same. By Allah, who blessed me with the grace of being with you, I will not leave you until my sword and my horse gets tired of my attacks and strikes».
Afterwards, Imam Hussain Q went into Zeinab’s O tent while Nafeh stood outside the tent waiting for the Imam Q, and he heard Zeinab O saying:
«Did you find out the intentions of your companions? As I am afraid they might abandon you upon the first attack.»
He Q told her:
«By Allah, I have tested their courage and loyalty; and I found that they are heroic and gallant men, eager to die for me, the eagerness of a baby towards his mother’s milk.»
When Nafeh heard noble Zeinab’s O words, he cried and went to Habib Bin Mouthaher and told him what happened. Habib then said:
«By Allah! If I wasn’t waiting for his order, I would have rushed with my sword to their attack, tonight»
Afterwards, Habib called all the companions and friends, who all gathered near the tents of the Ladies of the Prophet’s family, so that their hearts feel tranquil and assured of the
Imam Hussain Q and his companions spent their very last night, humming as if they were a beehive. They were all either kneeling or prostrating, standing or sitting while praying to Allah in an indefinite worship night.
The Partisans (Ansar) of Imam Hussain Q:
Partisans and supporters of Imam Hussain Q are of two sections. There are those partisans in general and those being partisans especially on the Day of Ashura (the tenth day of Muharram). There are also the martyrs of the rise of Al Hussain as well as the Martyrs of AlTaff (The battle day). There were partisans who struggled and waged a holy war, while remaining with the Imam on the day of Altaff but didn’t die at that time, alike Al-Hasan Al-Muthna, and those who died martyrs for the sake of the Imam Q while not participating in Ashura day (because they were already dead) alike Muslim Bin Aqeel, Hani Bin Ourwa, Maytham Al-Tamar, Qayeiss Bin Bouqtor and others.
Nevertheless, the number of supporters of the Imam Hussain Q, who participated with him in witnessing the battle of AlTaff, reached seventy two men only, counting the following:
- Seventeen were of the Hashim’s family, between men and young fellows.
- Among the Imam Hussain’s Q pure companions, there were seventeen who accompanied Allah’s Prophet P, who narrated speeches of the Prophet or at least witnessed his era.
- Twenty men were among the companions of the Master of Believers, Imam Ali Q.
-The followers or servants, who died as martyrs between the hands of Al-Imam Q were sixteen men.
It was reported that up till the tenth night of Muharram, the number of those who left Ibn Saad’s camp to join Imam Hussain Q were thirty two men.
Narrations do confirm that the number of Kufa people amongst Imam Hussain’s Q army were sixty eight including their servants.
Basra men counted only nine supporters to Imam Hussain Q, together with their servants.
Some of the Titles of the Hussain’s Army
There are numerous titles, by which the army of Imam Hussain Q was called, in Karbala. Yet, we mention some:
- The worshipers of the country, since they were known for their worshiping within the country, i.e. Kufa.
- The Insightful people.
- The Knights of the country.
- The Good Hearted People (Outgoing)
- Those who mention Allah a lot.
- The worshipers of the night.
Ibn Saad’s Army Constituents
We may classify the Umayyad army that confronted Imam Hussain Q in Karbala, whereas to the type of constituents as follows:
- The imposters, wanting to be near Imam Hussain Q to
Those are the people of desires and greediness, counting the opportunists who seek their worldly interests regardless of what changes these desires or interests might impose on them, alike Omar Bin Saad, Shebth Bin Rebei, Hajjar Bin Abjar, and Shamer Bin Zi Al-Jawshan etc…
- The mercenaries, being those willing to serve who ever pays more.
- The debauchees and perverts; whom only concern for their worldly life is to fulfill their bad desires of the many sins they are used to. Those do admit being people of voidance and corruption, searching for opportunities to obtain and realize abundant financial profits, alike the pervert who said: «Do fill my bags with gold and silver etc…»
- The coerced people, counting the apostates (Al-Khawarej) who were the enemies of the progeny of the Prophet, but they weren’t loyal to Muawiya and to the Umayyad either.
- Those tend to love Imam Hussain Q and obey him, but in different levels, counting those who were not able to join Imam Hussain Q due to the blockade, thus they joined Ibn Saad’s Army and awaited the pertinent opportunity in Karbala Land to join the Imam Q camp, as well as those who grabbed opportunities to run away
About the Umayyad Army Titles
The Umayyad Army was described by both Imam Hussain Q and his companions with numerous titles that expose their reality. Some of it:
- The Partisans of Abi Soufian.
- The Insolents
- Those who regained infidelity after faith
- The Nation’s slaves
- The Parties’ exclusions
- Those whom Allah Sealed their Hearts
Prominent leaders of the Umayyad Army
The military main leaders of Ibn Ziad’s Army were:
- Omar Bin Saad Bin Abi Waqas, who was the General Field leader.
- Shamer Bin Zi Al-Jawshan, who follows Ibn Saad whereas to his importance and rank. He was heading four thousand soldiers. He was the left arm commander.
- Shibth Bin Rabhi: The leader of infantry with one thousand knights.
- Al-Hurr Bin Yazeed Al-Riyahi, having at his command one thousand fighter to besiege Hussain’s convoy. However, he joined the camp of Imam Hussain and died as a martyr between his hands, on Ashura Day.
- Hussayne Bin Numayr: Heading four thousand of the army’s mobilized men. He was the commander for controlling the Iraq, Hijaz borders, earlier to Al-Taff battle.
- Amro Bin Al-Hajjaj, the commander in chief of the army right arm, being in charge of depriving water from Imam Hussain Q
- Mohammad Bin Al-Ashaath: The chief of the Kinda tribe in Kufa.