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Karbala – Day VIII

As of the last post, the battle of Karbala had begun and many men from both sides had been killed. The Imam’s side had grown considerably small and only a few men from his immediate family were left. His son, Hazrat Ali Asghar, and his brother, Hazrat Abbas had been killed.

Whenever a man from the Imam’s side was martyred, Imam Hussain (A.S) entered the battlefield to pick their bodies up. He had been doing so since the morning of the tenth of Muharram, and would continue to do so until the time of Asr prayers.

The martyrdom of Hazrat Qasim
Hazrat Qasim was the son of Imam Hassan (A.S) and Bibi Umme Farwa. He was only 14 years old at the time of the battle, and was betrothed to Imam Hussain’s (A.S) daughter, fulfilling a promise the Imam had made to his brother. During the battle, Hazrat Qasim came to ask the Imam for his permission to battle. The Imam declined, as he could not bear to see his brother’s kin going into battle. He tried a few more times but the Imam declined every time. After this, Hazrat Qasim went to his mother with the matter, who brought out a letter addressed to Hazrat Qasim. In his letter, Imam Hassan (A.S) told his son about a time when his brother and Islam would be in danger, and when his sacrifice could save Islam. Hazrat Qasim took the letter to Imam Hussain (A.S), who now had no choice but to allow the young boy to fight.

On the battlefield, Hazrat Qasim fought well, taking down many men. A man from Yazid’s army struck him behind his head by a sword, causing him to fall off his horse. He cried out for his Uncle. After this, all hell broke loose. Yazid’s men, mounted on horses, tried to reach Hazrat Qasim before the Imam, and, in the process, trampled over his fallen body. When the Imam finally reached his nephew, his body had been broken into pieces. He could not pick him up like he had the others since morning. Finally, Imam Hussain (A.S) spread out his Kurta and gathered the pieces of his nephew and carried them back to the tent where the men, women and children stood awaiting news.

The martyrdom of Hazrat Ali Akbar
Hazrat Ali Akbar was the son of Imam Hussain (A.S). He resembled the Prophet (p.b.u.h) greatly. He was raised by Imam Hussain’s (A.S) sister, Zainab binte Ali. On the day of the battle, after the Imam grant him permission to fight, Ali Akbar went to bid farewell to his aunts and sister. The women were more reluctant to let him go, but eventually, Imam Hussain (A.S) took him out and helped him mount his horse. He walked behind him until he was far into the battlefield.

Hazrat Ali Akbar fought with utmost bravery. He killed many of the enemy’s men and was too much of a threat for anyone to want to challenge him to a duel. At one point, he went to the Imam saying that he could fight no more because of his thirst, and the Imam told him that he should embrace martyrdom, and that his grandfather will be waiting for him with the sweet water from Heaven. He was knocked off his horse when Murrah ibn Munqad sent a spear piercing through his chest. He then came forward and broke the wooden handle, leaving the blade inside his chest. Ali Akbar called out as a final greeting to the Imam, who came forward to his son. Ali Akbar embraced his father with one arm, clutching his chest with the other. The Imam asked removed his other arm and saw the blade embedded within his chest. He held the blade firmly with both his hands and called out to his father, Imam Ali (A.S), for help. With that he pulled out the blade from his son’s chest, and with it came the heart of Hazrat Ali Akbar.

The Imam was distraught at the martyrdom of his beloved son. The person who had picking up bodies of his loved ones since morning had finally reached a peak. He broke down and looked towards the Euphrates river, where lay the body of his brave brother Hazrat Abbas. He called out to him, asking why he was not here when he needed him the most. With utmost difficulty, he picked the body of his son up and carried it back to camp.

The martyrdom of Imam Hussain (A.S)
Towards the end of the battle, all the men in Imam Hussain’s camp, except for his son Zainul Abideen, who was sick at that time and hence unable to take part in battle, and the Imam himself, had been martyred. Imam Hussain (A.S) was the only one now left to fight. Until now, he had been escorting the men into the battlefield. However, there was no one left to do the same for him. His sister, Hazrat Zainab binte Ali, came out to see him off to the battle which had already cost her her brother, husband and sons. The Imam mounted his horse, called the Zuljanah and asked it to proceed to the battlefield. To his surprise, the horse remained stationary. Seeing the horse facing towards the ground, he saw Sakina (A.S), his daughter, holding on tightly to the horse’s hind legs. The Imam dismounted and addressed his daughter’s concerns. She spoke fearfully, unwilling to let her father go into the battlefield. She said that she had been observing since morning, and that anyone who went into the battlefield never came back. The Imam held his daughter in his arms and pacified her. He, then, climbed back onto the horse and strode off to the battlefield of Karbala, where seventy-one of his men had already lost their lives.

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The Day of the Battle – DAY VII

I apologise for the delay in today’s post once more!

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By the 7th of Muharram, all access to food and water from the Imam’s camp had been terminated by the enemies. By the time the day of the battle arrived, the men, women and children in Imam’s camp had not eaten or drank in three days.

On the tenth of Muharram, 61 A.H, Umar bin Saad initiated the war by shooting an arrow towards the tents of the Imam and his company. He demanded that the Imam send two of his best warriors to fight against one from their army. Abdullah bin Omair Kalbi was the first to achieve martyrdom. Before he was killed, he fought two men from Yazid’s army, to death.

Over the course of the day, many others lost their lives in the name of Islam. Their stories are not part of the course of this ten-day write-up. However, their names are mentioned at the end of this post.

It is a known fact that the army of the Imam was no match for that of Yazid’s, physically. Therefore, as the numbers on both sides began to fall, the Imam’s army was considerably shrunken whereas that of Yazid had little or no impact on its strength.

Imam Hussain (A.S), urged by a few of his followers, went to ask Shimr to halt the battle for just enough time for them to say their Friday prayers. Needless to say, Shimr was enraged, and so were his men. Haseen, a man who was nearby and belonged to Yazid’s army, challenged that there was no reason for the Imam to pray when their prayers were not being accepted by God. This earned him a heated response from Habib ibn Mazahir. Haseen marched towards Habib ibn Mazahir on a horse, his sword unsheathed. Habib ibn Mazahir caught him with his own sword, and Haseen was badly injured. Men attacked Habib ibn Mazahir from all sides and he fought them off bravely. Alas, however, Haseen attacked him from behind and fatally wounded him.

To avenge the death of Habib ibn Mazahir, Hur asked to be let into the battlefield. Imam Hussain (A.S) gave him his permission. He fought off the enemies valiantly, killing several before being martyred. His bravery caused alarm in Yazid’s men and they began to shoot arrows at him. Abu Thumaima was responsible for Hur’s death.

The martyrdom of Hazrat Ali Asghar (A.S)
Hazrat Ali Asghar (A.S) was the six month old son of Imam Hussain (A.S). He, like the rest of his clan, had not had anything to drink for three days. He lay crying in his cot when the Imam entered the tent. Imam Hussain (A.S) picked his son up in his arms and took him outside, pleading to the enemies to hear his child’s woes. He lay him on the burning hot sand and stood back, urging the men to have mercy on the little child who lay in front of them. Hurmula, one of Yazid’s men, stepped forward. He aimed his bow at the neck of the baby, and struck it with a three-headed spear. The spear pierced through the neck of the six-month old and killed him.

The martyrdom of Hazrat Abbas (A.S)
Hazrat Abbas ibn Ali, half-brother of Imam Hussain (A.S), is well known throughout history for his loyalty to the Imam and his family. However, he is also known for his anger, partly due to which reason he had been forbidden to take part in the battle. Bibi Sakina (A.S), daughter of Imam Hussain (A.S), came to Hazrat Abbas (A.S), asking him to get water for the children in the camp. Hazrat Abbas (A.S) entered the battlefield and made his way towards the Euphrates river, carrying a spear and a bag for water. He successfully obtained water from the river. However, on his way back to the camp he was struck from behind and his arm amputated. He shifted the bag of water to the other hand, but was struck again. The bag of water was now in his mouth. Yazid’s men showered Abbas (A.S) with arrows, one of which hit the water bag, splitting it open. After this, he was hit from behind on his head, which caused him to fall down from his horse onto the ground. He called out for Imam Hussain (A.S), asking to witness his face one more time before he took his last breath.

TOMORROW: The Martyrdom Of Imam Hussain (A.S).

List of Martyrs during the battle of Karbala:
Imam Hussain
Hazrat Abbas
Hazrat Ali Akbar
Hazrat Ali Asghar
Hazrat Qasim ibn Hassan
Hazrat Oun ibn Abdullah bin Jaffer
Hazrat Muhammad ibn Abdullah bin Jaffer
Jafar ibn Ali
Qasim ibn Abbas
Fazal ibn Abbas
Ibn Khuzair
Umar bin Qurzah
Habib Ibn Mazahir
Hur ibn Yazid
Abdullah ibn Umair
Saeed ibn Abdullah Hanafi
Aabis ibn Shabeeb
Amir ibn Muslim
Hani ibn Orwah
Qarib
Aslam
The list is incomplete