Imam Al. Hussain Q stayed in Mecca from the third of Shaaban till the eighth of Zu Al-Hejjah (names of Lunar months). He chose Mecca to benefit from the Pilgrimage month, in order to spread out awareness of his blessed uprising and to introduce its objectives to the whole Islamic World. He resided at the house of Al. Abbas Bin-Abdel Mouttaleb, located in «Sheab Ali», because it was the only house left in Mecca, belonging to the Hashems. Aqeel Bin Abi Taleb had sold the houses of all the Migrants (Al Mouhajerren) of people of Hashem, out of fearing that Quraish tribe might seize and confiscate them. He even sold the house of the Prophet P. The Imam selected Al-Abbas residence to start preparing his rise from there for political, social and intimation reasons. His supporters in all the Islamic countries started sending letters to Imam Al-Hussain, asking him about what concerns them regarding their religion.
Holy Mecca Political and Social Structure
The social structure of Holy Mecca, since the Prophet era P, was a tribal one, composed of families and clans. Quraish is composed of twenty five tribes divided into two sections, the first one counts twenty three tribes, being thus more in number and resources apparently. The second section is composed of Allah’s Prophet Mohammad’s P tribe and the tribe of Abdel Mouttaleb Bin Abed Mounaf.
While all of Quraish tribes were hostile to Mohammad vocation; They were deeply disappointed and felt badly relapsed due to what happened to them by the Hashems in general, and particularly by Ali Bin Abi Taleb Q, mainly due to the glorious rank reached by the Prophet P and his power strengthening, especially after the Great Badr battle, wherein Quraish mobilized all its forces, as no one left of its wealthy people who had not paid money to equip the army. Yet they said: «We will demolish the house of those who do not pay!»
After Badr battle, Quoriesh’s hatred was consolidated against the Hashim kinsfolk in general. Quraish knew that Ali Bin Abi Taleb Q was the main reason of their defeat and catastrophic loss, since he killed the most important personalities of Quraish. Yet, such rancor remained concealed, and it got nourished by the authority emanating from the tribe that hated the family of the Prophet P the most: They were the Sufian kindred, and that proves the absence of any popular base to follow the lead of Imam Al-Hussain Q and support his move. Yet, the situation was best described by Imam El-Sajjad, Zein El-Abedeen Q, when he said:
«There weren’t even twenty men supporting us in both Mecca and Medina»
This is the reason why Imam Al-Hussain Q didn’t choose Mecca as the center to launch his revolution, since neither him, his brother Al-Hassan Q, or even their father Ali Q had a supporting base in Mecca.
Therefore, and after Imam Hussain’s Q arrival to Mecca, people amongst believing intellectuals and Pilgrims from other cities started coming to him. They used to sit around him, listen to his words, benefit from what they hear, and document what they may tell about it. Nevertheless, there were only few people from Mecca who didn’t belong to Quraish, but became residents after the battle to conquer Mecca.
Imam Al-Hussain’s Q Movement in Mecca
All along the stay of Imam Al-Hussain Q in holy Mecca, he met diversified groups whereas to ideology, trends and thoughts, counting well known dignitaries within the Islamic Nation. They offered the Imam Q their advices, consultations and objections, each of whom according to the line of conduct of his trend, ideology and way of thinking. Though said consultations and objections differed in some of their details, they all met at the basis of reasoning and viewing of the subject. Thus all of them saw victory and triumph in giving in to the reign, as well as safety and security in this world, while viewing loss and defeat in to getting killed and deprived of shelter and living in distress and under oppression, if they rose against it. Yet, this was the basis of all their objections, consultations and advice.
In the same time, Imam Al-Hussain Q was acting on the basis of profoundness logic that considered the base of his calculations is the destiny of both Islam and the Islamic Nation. He, also, adopted the logic of the evident arguments about his behaviors and the logic of consultations and advice. The Imam
Q used to observe in his answers and replies, the nature of his addressee taking into consideration his intellectual capacity, his foresight level, and the degree of his loyalty towards the Prophet’s progeny R.
The Regime Stance towards the Movement of Imam Al-Hussain Q
By entering Mecca, Imam Al-Hussain Q broke through the first stage of the siege that Yazeed Bin Muawiya imposed over him in the Holy Medina, which was either pledging allegiance or facing death. The regime was overwhelmed by fear, when they heard that Imam Al-Hussain Q reached Mecca and got into the city during the days where crowds of intellectual erudite and pilgrims were coming to Mecca from all levels of the Islamic world’s countries. So they rushed in adopting the necessary measures, to sustain imposing once again, the siege over the movement of the Imam Q. Yazeed met the palace counselor «Sarjoun Al-Roumi» and their meeting concluded into addressing letters to some of the nation dignitaries, calling them to intervene and exert pressure over Imam Al-Hussain Q, further to deploy their best efforts to help the regime get rid of its great predicament. Other letters included threats and warnings to the people of Medina in general and to the remaining members of the Hashims, in particular, warning them about the impacts of joining the Imam Q and taking part in his movement.
Furthermore, one of the most important decisions of that meeting consisted in assassinating the Imam Q in Mecca. The authority sent off a group of its mercenaries to accomplish such mission; since this clique wasn’t, though supported by the authority, able to arrest the Imam Q and send him captured to Damascus.
The governor of Mecca, Amro Bin Said Bin Al-Aass, worked hard to carry out the commandments of Yazeed, who wanted him to murder Imam Al-Hussain Q wherever he finds him, even if he was holding to the mantles of the Holy Kaaba.
This fact was ascertained by Imam Al-Hussain Q when he told it to his brother Mohammad Bin Al-Hanafiah, who had followed him to Mecca:
«I was afraid that Yazeed might be able to assassinate me while I was inside Holy Mecca, and thus I would have become the reason for them to defile the sanctity of this holy place.»
Amro Bin Said Bin Al Aass started pursuing the Imam Q and tracking his every move. He was horrified by the flow of people coming to Imam Al-Hussain Q and the number of people surrounding him. Thus he lost his patience and found himself with no choice other than asking Imam Al-Hussain about the reason of his coming to Mecca. Yet the Imam Q replied:
«I am seeking refuge by Allah and this Holy House!»
Amro did not accomplish the mission he was entrusted with, which was to arrest the Imam Q or to murder him, secretly or publicly, because the Imam Q enjoyed a full protection on one side, while Amro feared facing the Imam Q publicly and in front of all the pilgrims on the other side.
Imam Al-Hussain’s Q Message to the People of Basra:
Basra was, at that time, under the control of Oubayd Allah Bin Ziad, who was a strong tyrant ruler, having dominated the city affairs and subjected its people to hermetic stringent control.
Basra and Kufa were the two regions that did not completely
pledge loyalty for the regime unlike Damascus. Thus the followers of the Prophet’s progeny P in these two cities, in spite of the terrorism and oppression, were holding secret meetings and assemblies. Yet, the difference between Kufa and Basra wasn’t limited to the number of supporters only, but also to the degree of their readiness to move and rise against the authority.
The Imam Q started to write to the people of Basra, through its nobility and its five directorates chiefs, whereas the city was divided into five directorates, each of which having a chief pertaining to the nobility. Some of them were leaning towards the authority, while some others were not trustworthy, and the remaining chiefs had no steady opinion towards any issue.
In spite of all the precedent, Imam Al-Hussain Q wanted to advise them all about the allegiance proof. The letter he addressed to them shows us how he Q was aware of his responsibility and willing to fulfill it to the best of his ability. The people of Basra did neither send him any letters, nor invite him to their homeland, as did the people of Kufa. Nevertheless, he wanted them to be aware of the inevitable confrontation. Thus, he wanted everyone to know that his decision to revive the essences of his religion and nation was emanated of the bottom of his soul and conscience and not due to the movement of Kufa People and their invitation. Within the frame of his letter, he intended to inform his supporters among the people of Basra about his rise, so they would mobilize accordingly, through their notable chiefs, taking place amongst the supporters of Imam Al-Hussain Q.
And the letter of Imam Hussain Q to the people of Basra said:
«I did send my messenger to you, along with this letter; I do call upon you to abide by Allah’s Book and the rules of his Prophet. Because such regulations were killed, while heresy is revived and if you hear what I have to say and obey my order I shall guide you to the right way».
He sent it with Suleiman Bin Razeen, because he Q used to trust and depend on him. Oubayd Allah Bin Ziad killed him, after the betrayal of Al-Munzer Bin Al-Jaroud Al-Abdy whose daughter Bahria, was Oubayed Allah’s wife, claiming that he feared that the letter might be sent by Oubayd Allah himself, thus the latter crucified the messenger. This is how the messenger of Imam Al-Hussain Q was killed, to be the first martyr of the Hussain’s Rise. It all happened one day before the departure of Oubayd Allah from Basra to assume the ruling authority of Kufa in accordance to Yazeed’s orders.
The Situation of the Partisans in Basra
Basra witnessed hesitation from most of the directorates’ chiefs and lack of support to Imam Al-Hussain Q further to witnessing them turning away from him, except for what Yazeed Bin Massoud Al-Nahshaly had done, whereas to stirring and guiding the tribal feelings, through combining them, in a smart way, with other religious feelings, aiming them towards the support of Imam Al-Hussain Q.
Nevertheless, what Basra had witnessed behind the scenes was very different of what was happening publicly. Some of the partisans, pertaining to various tribes, held a meeting on the basis of loyalty to the Prophet’s progeny R while repudiating their enemies. During the meeting they discussed the issue of Imam Al-Hussain Q and the impacts of the current situation, accordingly. They debated what they should do in accordance with their religious duty. Such meetings
resulted into the departure of nine men, from the Basra people, in spite of all surveillance and strict barricades, hastening towards Noble Mecca, to join Al-Hussain’s Convoy. Yet, they were: Al-Hajjaj Bin Badr Al-Tamimi Al-Saady; Qaanab Bin Omar Al-Nemry, Yazeed Bin Thoubayt Al-Abdy and his two sons Abdullah and Oubaidullah; Al-Adham Bin Oumayya Al-Abdy, Seif Bin Malek Al-Abdy, Amer Bin Muslim Al-Abdy, and his servant Salim.
Imam Al-Hussain Q Meeting the Messengers of Al-Kufa People and their Delegates
When the people of Kufa learned that Imam Al-Hussain Q abstained from pledging allegiance to Yazeed, and that he left Medina and went to Mecca, their letters started flowing uninterruptedly towards Imam Hussain Q. They showed their readiness to support him and be with him in his rise. In their letters, they invited him to come to them, thus, the number of letters they sent reached 600 in one day.
All the messengers met at the house of Imam Al-Hussain Q. He read the letters as asked the last arriving messengers, Hani Bin Hani and Saeid Bin Abdullah:
«Tell me, who did unanimously agree upon the letter, that you are bringing to me?»
They named the people, who agreed to write this letter, counting: «Shabath Bin Rabih, Hajjar Bin Abjar, Yazeed Bin Al-Hareth, Ourwa Bin Qeiss, and Amro Bin Al-Hajjaj…»
Thereafter, Imam Al-Hussain Q stood up, performed the ritual ablution, and did a small prayer between the corner of the Holy Kaaba and the Maqam (Prophet’s Ibrahim footprint), he then gathered the messengers and said:
«Indeed, I have decided to move ahead with the plan, Allah has intended good for me, He is the relevant source, able to do it, with Allah’s will».
Afterwards he wrote a letter to the people of Kufa and sent it with Hani and Saeid Bin Abdullah, and it said:
«In the Name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful. From Al-Hussain Bin Ali to the whole public amongst believers and Muslims. Indeed, Hani and Saeid came to me with your letters. They were the last, among your messengers, to come to me. I understood all what you told and mentioned to me, as well as your majority’s saying, stating that you have no Imam and asking me to come, asking Allah to have us meet together while agreeing upon the right and true faith. I do send to you both my brother and cousin who is a trust worthy person amongst my family, Muslim Bin Aqeel. Should he write to me that the majority of your people, among them the influential and leading intellectuals, all agreeing upon the issue submitted by your messengers and I read in your letters, I shall come to you imminently, if God wills. I swear by my life, that the Imam isn’t but the Ruler who abides by the Qur’an, and fulfills the prerequisites of the religion, he shall be just, condemning with reference to the righteous religion, and who devotes his soul and acts according to Allah’s volition, and may peace be on you.»
Imam Al-Hussain called his cousin, Muslim Bin Aqeel Bin Abi Taleb Q and sent him with with Qeiss Bin Mossahar Al-Sidawi, Umara Bin Abdullah Al-Salouli, Abdel Rahman and Abdullah Bin Shaddad Al-Arhabi. He ordered him «to be careful, move in secrecy and to be kind» Thus, if he found that the public unanimously agrees upon the Imam Q and is willing to support him, he shall hasten to inform the Imam Q.
«I am sending you to the people of Kufa and Allah shall decide for your mission what pleases and satisfies him. And I hope for me and you to reach the honorable degree of martyrdom. Go ahead, with Allah’s Blessing and Assistance, until you arrive to Kufa. Should you get inside it, accommodate yourself at its utmost trust worthy person, and do invite people to obey me. If you see that they are unanimously agreeing on pledging allegiance in my favor, do hasten to inform me, so I can act accordingly if Allah the Almighty wills!»
What is interesting in the will of Imam Al-Hussain Q to Muslim < is his order (to move in secrecy and to stick to kindness). Keeping the issue secret doesn’t mean, within this frame, that Muslim < should adopt the complete secret working style while inviting people to obey the Imam Q because what appears clearly in the Imam’s statement:
«Do invite people to obey me!»
It is to work openly, and, yes, the issue requires for the starting point to be launched from within the loyal and trust worthy people, as indicated in the saying of the Imam Q:
«Should you get inside it, accommodate yourself at its utmost trust worthy person.»
This narration also reveals that the Imam Q implied to Muslim Bin Aqeel < that his mission shall be crowned by martyrdom, through his statement Q:
«And I hope for me and you to reach the honorable degree of martyrdom.»
This indicates that Muslim realized from the Imam’s saying
that he is heading towards martyrdom.
Muslim < left Mecca, on mid Ramadan, to arrive in Kufa on the fifth of Shawwal.
The Letter of Imam Al-Hussain Q to Mohammad Bin Al-Hanafiah
Imam Al-Hussain Q sent a brief letter to his brother Mohammad Bin Al-Hanafiah to dispatch to him each and every man amongst the Hashims, who is capable of fighting. Yet, its text herein follows:
«In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful, from Hussain Bin Ali to Mohammad Bin Ali and those who agree with him, amongst the Hashims, indeed, he who follows me, shall become a martyr, and he who doesn’t will not attain the blessed victory, and peace be with you».
A group of them joined him, and then Ibn Al Hanafiah followed them. Imam Al-Hussain Q informed the Prophet’s family R that he who amongst them follows him shall win martyrdom and those who don’t shall not realize the victory.
Imam Al Hussain Q did not mean by victory but the consequences of his rise and sacrifice whereas to breaching the bases of delusion, sweeping the voidance thorns away from the right path of the pure religion, further to establishing the pillars of justice and monotheism. Yet, to state that it is the Nation’s obligation to rise against the evil doing.
The Letter Yazeed Bin Muawiya Sent to Imam Al-Hussain Q
Yazeed wrote a letter adjoined with some rhymes addressed especially to Imam Al-Hussain Q. He sent it from Damascus to Abdullah Bin Abbas, asking him to convince Imam Al Hussain Qnot to rise against the regime, further to warning
him about the negative impact accordingly, as he siad: «Your cousin Hussain and Ibn Al Zubair, the enemy of Allah, refused to pledge allegiance to me; they went to Mecca, preparing for tumult, exposing themselves to death. As for Ibn Al Zubair, he shall die and vanish, and tomorrow he shall face death by our sword. As for Al-Hussain, I wanted to alert and warn you, the Family of the Prophet, due to his behavior.»
Through his letter to Ibn Al-Abbas, Yazeed sought after many things, including but not limited to:
1- Providing equilibrium between arising interest and intimidation. This shows the influence and implications of Serjoon Al-Roumi, the old sly, who has a long experience in psychological wars and dealing with political crises.
2- Adopting the same method used by his father against the opposition, where he warns about causing the nation to split and planting discord amongst Muslims taking them back to tumult.
3- Accusing Imam Al-Hussain Q that the aim of his rising is for the ruling position and the worldly gains.
Thus, Yazeed asked Ibn Al-Abbas to promise Imam Al Hussain Q, in case he abandons his rise, security, prestigious position.
After having read the letter, the people of Median passed it to Imam Al-Hussain Q whose answer revealed complete disgrace to Yazeed, since in his reply, he did not even mention his name, nor give him any title or greetings, which reveals that Yazeed isn’t but the pure example of those liars who deny religion, prophets and their guardianship.
«In the Name of Allah the beneficent the Merciful, if they controvert you, do then say, I have my own duty and you do
have yours. You are exempted away off my deed, while I’m innocent of yours, Peace».
Analects of the Two Speeches of Imam Al-Hussain in Mecca
Imam Al-Hussain Q stayed in Mecca about one hundred and twenty five days. During this whole period, history didn’t record but two speeches for the Imam Q which he delivered shortly before departing to Iraq, during the pilgrimage season.
The first speech was delivered on the eighth night of Thu- Elhejja. It aimed to announce his rise and invited people to join him.
The second one was different in contents and objectives, since it was limited to ethic signals, such as:
«Tolerance is a grace, loyalty is an honor, having relationships is bliss whilst arrogance is rude. Rushing is silliness, ignorance is weakness, haughtiness is plight, accompanying the meanness people is evil, while accompanying immoral people is doubtful».
The first speech, herein, follows:
«Praised be Allah, and in accordance to Allah’s will, there is no power but with Allah, May Allah’s Peace be upon his Prophet. Death was destined on the Adam descendant just like the necklace on a girl’s chest. I am longing for my ancestors just like Jacob’s yearning for Joseph, a demise was chosen for me that I shall endure, as if my veins are torn by the wild beasts between Al-Nawawis and Karbala, wherein they shall voraciously fill empty paunches and famished stomachs; there is no avoidance or escape from such destined day. Allah’s consent is our contentment (we are the Prophet’s progeny). We
patiently wait and handle any distress Allah decides upon us, and the Almighty grants us the remuneration of patient people. We shall not deviate from Allah’s Prophet P affinity, being a community at Al-Quds yard, with whom, he shall be delighted and accomplish his promise. Whoever, among you, is willing to sacrifice his heart for our sake and had trained his soul to long for the meeting of Allah, shall join us in our mission, because I shall depart in the early morning; if Allah, the Almighty, is willing.»
Imam Al Hussain Q compared the inevitability of the human being escaping the death coercion circle with the hermetic lock of a necklace adorning the neck of the girl, and comparing death to the necklace – which is used to beautify the girl- is a wonderful insinuation rendering death as a complementary step to a human being’s life path and it is the believer’s embellishment, especially within the frame of the move of destiny. Since it is the passage for the believer from the exhaustion, enmity, distress, and affliction place to Paradise, the best reward and the place of eternal happiness. There is no doubt that Martyrdom, which is the most honorific and best way to die, is more appropriate for the adornment reality, than to death in its absolute meaning. Yet, it is only realized by the most fortunate person.
Furthermore, Imam Al-Hussain Q pointed out in his speech, that his demise is a divine decision which is surely not due to any oppression or enforcement, but it is an honor for the dignity of a religious obligation to be met, within certain difficult conditions, leading the Imam Q to head towards such demise as a way of worship and obedience to the orders of Allah the Almighty, whereas to enduring such religious duty, under such conditions.
He who contemplates about the details of the move of Imam
Al-Hussain Q shall realize that he persevered telling and announcing his decease, since he was in Medina, as well as when he was in his way to Mecca, in addition to all the places he stopped at while heading to Iraq, in an attempt to screen Al-Hussain Convoy and to get rid of all those who aimed secular life, by following him. He did not get sufficed with that, but he even subjected the elite of his supporters to the same test, so that and by their steadiness their ranks would raise before the Almighty.
The Day of Departing Mecca:
Muslim Bin Aqeel’s letter < arrived to Imam Al-Hussain Q twenty seven days earlier to his murder with Qaiss bin AlMoussahar. Yet, it included the answer Imam Al-Hussain Q was awaiting before heading to Kufa, including:
«Greetings, the pioneer doesn’t impugn his kinsfolk. The majority of the Kufa People are with you, so when you read my Message, do come to us, Peace».
In the light of Muslim’s < letter, Imam Al Hussain Q, definitely resolved to head to Kufa. Yet, he addressed his second letter to its people, some of it content was:
«I departed Mecca coming to your City, on Tuesday, on the eighth day of Thu El Hejja (Month), being the premeditation day (Tarweiah Day)».
Qeiss Bin Al Moussahar held the letter and took it to Kufa. But unfortunately, he was captured while still in his way. So he had to tear the letter to prevent Oubayd Allah Bin Ziad from reading it, before murdering him.
Why Departing from Mecca During the Pilgrimage Season?
The Imam Q felt the Authority’s swift and persistent
efforts to murder him, regardless if they had to shed his blood in the sanctity of the ancient house. Accordingly, the truth would be deeply concealed due to the false rumors spread by Yazeed Bin Mouawiya, and thus the objectives of the Imam’s Q journey to Mecca would go in vain. The Imam Q got into Mecca ritual consecrated state for minor pilgrimage but didn’t make the full pilgrimage rituals, because he knew that the tyrants will prevent him from accomplishing all his pilgrimage rituals!
The nature and date of the Imam’s Q first speech ascertains that his departure with the relevant convoy from Mecca wasn’t a secret, and that his convoy was relatively large, especially after all the Hashims had joined him from Medina, along with the supporters, partisans and Basra kinfolk, while all of them were fully prepared and ready for any possibility, at a time where the authority had no interest in confronting the Imam Q in a public war in Mecca or at its boundaries, because it knew that the Imam Q had a deeply significant sanctity and noble rank in the heart of all the pilgrims who were still in Mecca, at that time.
At the beginning, Amro Bin Saeid Bin Al-Aas attempted to prevent him from leaving, commanding his police force: «Do ride on every single camel existing between the sky and the earth, to get him!» This indicates that the Imam’s Q departure away from Mecca meant that his revolution was set free and released from the siege sought by the Umayyad authority, dominating as of Medina at first to shift then to Mecca.
But, due to the aggravation of the situation, he ordered his police forces to retreat and allow Imam Al Hussain Q to leave hasting, fearing for eventual changes that might occur in favor of the Imam Q.
Nevertheless, what is sure also, is that Imam Al Hussain’s Q convoy departed during the night.
Why Did Imam Al-Hussain Q Bring Women and Children Along with him?
When Imam Al Hussain Q was leaving Mecca, his brother Mohammad Bin Al-Hanafiah came to him, and held his camel bridle and said:
«Brother, haven’t you promised me to consider the issue I asked you?»
The Imam Q answered: «Yes»
Mohammad then said: «So, what urged you to depart hasting?»
The Imam Q answered: «After I had left you, the Messenger of Allah P came to me and said: «Hussain, do leave, it is Allah’s wish to see you killed! (Martyr)»
Mohammad Bin AL Hanafiah Said: «To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return! So what’s the meaning of taking these women along with you, while leaving under such circumstances?»
The Imam Q said: «He said to me that Allah wants to see them captured!»
The Imam Q justified the accompanying of his family and women in his trip as an act of obedience and submission to Allah’s, the Almighty, will. He pointed to that in Medina, when he was talking to Om Salama»
«Mater, Allah the Almighty wants to see me killed, slaughtered and massacred in an unfair and aggressive way, and Allah’s will is to see my wives, family and people itinerant!»
Allah wanted form this convoy of captured women to be the great procession of intimation and publicity, after the death of Imam Hussain Q because without them, Al-Hussain’s revolution would not have realized its foreseen objectives, in that time or in the following eras.
Thus, the accompanying of the Imam Q for the Prophet’s consignment (women and children) with him was one of the necessities for the success of Al-Hussain’s revolution. It was inevitable for him to do so, even if there were no possibility for these women and children to be exposed to any harm or imprisonment had they stayed in Medina or Mecca, indeed, this eventuality was highly possible. Yet, the day of the Imam’s Q departure coincided with the eighth of Thu El Hejja
The Imam Q had already announced to his family Q and to his partisans that his final destination was to head to the land of Iraq, while he was still in Medina. This truth is beneficial to the historical analysis, in addition to the ideological dimension, ascertaining that the Imam Q was aware of the details of all what he was to go through, by a divine science and knowledge, since he was an Imam. Due to his political and sociological awareness, he foresaw that Iraq was the best land for him to choose as a scene for the confrontation and decisive battle between him and the authority. Since Kufa was alike the actual and effective capital of the Islamic World, due to being the center of the most important military weigh, whereas it was the point of start and settlement of most wars. Indeed, the events used to occur therein used to affect the whole Islamic world.