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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

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Karbala – DAY VI

Imam Hussain (A.S) and his entourage reached Karbala on the 2nd of Muharram, 61 A.D. By then, Umar bin Saad’s letter to Ibne Ziyad, regarding the Imam’s demands had been delivered (read footnote for details), and a reply dispatched. At first the rational requests of the Imam convinced Ibne Ziyad, who agreed to comply with the demands. However, Shimr, who was present at the time the letter was being read out, demanded reconsideration. He argued that giving into the demands of a person as powerful as Imam Hussain (A.S) could be immensely damaging to their government. He said that if the Imam walked away without swearing allegiance to Yazid, then he would emerge more powerful and victorious that he had been before. When he mentioned knowing about secret meetings between Umar bin Saad and Imam Hussain (A.S), Ibn e Ziyad revised his decision and a different message was dispatched.

His orders to Umar bin Saad were of utmost brutality. He chided bin Saad for believing that a compromise could be reached between the two parties, and ordered him to immediately kill the Imam and his followers if they did not swear loyalty to the government. The orders were to decapitate the men, leave their bodies in the battleground and to let their horses run over the bodies of the dead. Umar bin Saad was shaken by the cruel nature of the letter, however, blinded by the greed for power, he agreed to do as instructed by the governor.

By night, Imam Hussain (A.S) could see men from the enemies camps marching towards their camps. He instructed Hazrat Abbas, his brother, to prepare to attack the enemy. Hazrat Abbas asked the Imam’s permission to go and question these men first. The Imam agreed. Umar bin Saad informed Hazrat Abbas about the letter’s contents, and in turn, he asked for a day’s time to pray and read the Quran. He asked to let them prepare for battle until the next day, and agreed to leave the rest up to the will of God. After this, each one returned to their respective camps.

One of the important moments before either side went to war includes the sermon of Imam Hussain (A.S). When he saw that war was now inevitable, the Imam mounted a camel and addressed the enemies of Islam in the following words,

“O people do not rush to kill me as I am the grandson of our Prophet, I have not come here of my own accord but have been called by you people. At this time, there is not a man on earth who is the grandson of a prophet apart from me. Pause to think for a while who am I? If you want to know about me, go and ask the Prophet’s companions who are still alive. Go and ask Jaffer bin Abdullah, Abu Sa’id, Suhail bin Sa’d, Zaid bin Arkam and Anas bin Malik. They will tell you how the Prophet used to love us. Tell me is it right for you to receive me with unsheathed swords? Tell me, for what crime do you want to kill me? Have I killed anyone that you want to punish me for his or her murder? Or have I taken anybody’s property? O people listen to me, did you not write letters asking me to come? Once again I say, I have come here because you have invited me. But since I have come here, you do not recognise me and you do not want to support me.”

Right before the two sides went to war, Hur, who had initially led the army that surrounded the Imam’s camps, felt more and more dedicated to the Imam. He questioned Umar bin Saad whether Ibne Ziyad had agreed to the conditions of the Imam, and the answer was in negative. Hur felt ashamed of himself for going up against the grandson of the Holy Prophet (A.S), and decided to ask for his forgiveness.

When he reached the Imam’s side, his legs were trembling. Imam Hussain (A.S) noticed this and asked the reason of his nervousness. He replied that he felt responsible for their problems and that had he not stopped them from going back to Mecca, the situation would not be so. He said that he was trying to choose Heaven over Hell, but he did not know whether Allah would forgive him, for he had landed the Imam and his followers in trouble. Imam Hussain (A.S) replied that if Hur asked for forgiveness, Allah would definitely forgive him. He added that he, too, would pray for his forgiveness. Having joined the Imam’s army, Hur then addressed the rest of Umar bin Saad’s army. He reminded them of the blessings they would receive in Heaven if they fought by the Imam’s side, and how they would rot in Hell if they fought against the Imam. During this speech, the men from the enemies’ camps began shooting arrows at him, and Hur returned back to the tent.

TOMORROW: 10th Muharram, 61 A.H. THE MARTYRS.

Quote reference: islamicinformationcentre.co.uk

Demands of the Prophet’s Grandson to Ibne Ziyad (as written by Umar bin Saad in his letter):
1. Allow him to return to Makkah where he had come from.
2. Allow him to join one of the forces that are in Jihad with the non-believers, so he may fight along side them.
3. Take him to king Yazid in Syria so he may personally have a conversation with him.

Enroute to Karbala – DAY V

When Imam Hussain (A.S) heard about the death of his messenger, Muslim bin Aqeel, he was saddened. He was advised not to proceed to Kufa, and to return promptly to Mecca. Part of his group were the sons of Muslim bin Aqeel, who insisted on continuing the journey to Kufa, and to avenge the death of their father. Later, Imam Hussain (A.S) was informed of the death of two more of his messengers. Immediately, he gathered his entourage and briefed them about the situation. He informed them that the conditions in Kufa were no more inviting and pleasant, and that if anyone wished to leave them and return to Mecca, he would have no objection. Those people who had joined the group along the way immediately deserted the Imam, for they could find no materialistic benefit in pursuing this journey, now that the threat of the governor was immense. The group that was left consisted of those who initially started off from Mecca.

When the Imam and his company got closer to Kufa, an army of a thousand men was appointed with Hur as its leader. They were ordered to arrest the Imam and his followers, and to forcefully bring him before the governor of Kufa. Once they were intercepted by Hur’s army, the followers were instructed to set their camps up at the very location. Hur’s army also set their camps up at the same place. At the time of Zuhr, Hur and his army said their prayers under the Imamat of Imam Hussain (A.S). He asked Hur to allow them to return to Mecca, peacefully. However, Hur insisted on following the commands of his governor, and suggested that the Imam write a letter to Yazid, asking for his permission. To this the Imam replied,

“Our Prophet (p.b.u.h) has said that whosoever comes across a cruel and wicked ruler who does not follow the commands of Allah and his Prophet (p.b.u.h); who makes Halal (permissible in Islam) that which Allah has declared Haram (not permissible in Islam) and vice versa; who oppresses people and commits sins and does nothing to prevent the wrongs being committed, if that person does not oppose the ruler with his words and actions, he will have to account for his deeds in the same way that the ruler will have to account for his deeds. Look! the ruler and the governors have stopped following the commands of Allah Most High and have started to follow the ways of Satan and have no respect for Islam, for this reason the Prophet’s family have a greater right to rule than the king.

I repeat that I have not come here of my own accord, I have been asked to come to Kufa, so that the people can swear their allegiance to me so do not be in contempt of me. If you fulfil your promises then Allah Most High will be pleased with you. As you are well aware, I am the son of Ali, may Allah Most High be pleased with him, and my mother, Fatima, may Allah Most High be pleased with her, is the daughter of our Prophet (p.b.u.h). My family and I are with you and you should not break your promises by treating us badly. However, breaking promises would be nothing new to me as you have broken promises made to my father and my brother Hasan, and Muslim bin Aqeel, may Allah Most High be pleased with all of them. It is a shame that you are not acting in accordance with your religion. Promise breakers are only a loss to themselves, and I hope and pray that Allah Most High will protect me from your evil ways.”

He announced that he was not frightened of death for it was to come to everyone everyday. Hur was speechless after hearing this, however, he still continued to surround the camps of Imam Hussain (A.S) and his followers.

Quote reference: islamicinformationcentre.co.uk

TOMORROW: KARBALA – THE BATTLEGROUND

Imam Ali (A.S) – DAY II

Amir al-momineen Ali (upon whom be peace) was the son of Abu Talib, the leader of the Banu Hashim. Abu Talib was the uncle and guardian of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h) and the person who had brought the Prophet (sawas) to his house and raised him like his own son. After the Prophet (sawas) was chosen for his prophetic mission, Abu Talib continued to support him and repelled from him the evil that came from the infidels among the Arabs and especially the Quraysh.

According to well-known traditional accounts Ali (A.S) was born ten years before the commencement of the prophetic mission of the Prophet (p.b.u.h). When six years old, as a result of famine in and around Mecca, he was requested by the Prophet (p.b.u.h) to leave his father’s house and come to the house of his cousin, the Prophet (p.b.u.h). There he was placed directly under the guardianship and custody of the Holy Prophet (sawas).

A few years later, when the Prophet (p.b.u.h) was endowed with the Divine gift of prophecy and for the first time received the Divine revelation in the cave of Hira’, as he left the cave to return to town and his own house he met Ali on the way. He told him what had happened and Ali accepted the new faith. Again in a gathering when the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h) had brought his relatives together and invited them to accept his religion, he said the first person to accept his call would be his vicegerent and inheritor and deputy. The only person to rise from his place and accept the faith was Ali and the Prophet (p.b.u.h) accepted his declaration of faith. Therefore Ali was the first man in Islam to accept the faith and is the first among the followers of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) to have never worshipped other than the One God.

In Medina also Ali was constantly in the company of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) in private and in public. The Prophet (p.b.u.h) gave Fatimah, his beloved daughter from Khadijah, to Ali as his wife and when the Prophet (p.b.u.h) was creating bonds of brotherhood among his companions he selected Ali as his brother.

He never disobeyed the Prophet (p.b.u.h), so that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “Ali is never separated from the Truth nor the Truth from Ali.”

On the day of the death of the Prophet (p.b.u.h), Ali was thirty-three years old. Although he was foremost in religious virtues and the most outstanding among the companions of the Prophet (p.b.u.h), he was pushed aside from the caliphate on the claim that he was too young and that he had many enemies among the people because of the blood of the polytheists he had spilled in the wars fought alongside the Prophet (p.b.u.h). Therefore Ali was almost completely cut off from public affairs. He retreated to his house where he began to train competent individuals in the Divine sciences and in this way he passed the twenty-five years of the caliphate of the first three caliphs who succeeded the Prophet (p.b.u.h). When the third caliph was killed, people gave their allegiance to him and he was chosen as caliph.

During his caliphate of nearly four years and nine months, Ali followed the way of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) and gave his caliphate the form of a spiritual movement and renewal and began many different types of reforms. Naturally, these reforms were against the interests of certain parties that sought their own benefit. As a result, a group of the companions (foremost among whom were Talhah and Zubayr, who also gained the support of A’ishah, and especially Mu’awiyah) made a pretext of the death of the third caliph to raise their heads in opposition and began to revolt and rebel against Ali.

In order to quell the civil strife and sedition, Ali fought a war near Basra, known as the “Battle of the Camel,” against Talhah and Zubayr in which Ummul Mu’mineen A’ishah, was also involved. He fought another war against Mu’awiyah on the border of Iraq and Syria which lasted for a year and a half and is famous as the “Battle of Siffin.” He also fought against the Khawarij at Nahrawan, in a battle known as the “Battle of Nahrawan.” Therefore, most of the days of Ali’s caliphate were spent in overcoming internal opposition. Finally, in the morning of the 19th of Ramadan in the year 40 A.H., while praying in the mosque of Kufa, he was wounded by one of the Khawarij and died as a martyr during the night of the 21st of Ramadan.

According to the testimony of friend and foe alike, Ali had no shortcomings from the point of view of human perfection. And in the Islamic virtues he was a perfect example of the upbringing and training given by the Prophet (p.b.u.h). The discussions that have taken place concerning his personality and the books written on this subject by Shi’ites, Sunnis and members of other religions, as well as the simply curious outside any distinct religious bodies, are hardly equalled in the case of any other personality in history.

In science and knowledge Ali was the most learned of the companions of the Prophet (p.b.u.h), and of Muslims in general. In his learned discourses he was the first in Islam to open the door for logical demonstration and proof and to discuss the “divine sciences” or metaphysics. He spoke concerning the esoteric aspect of the Quran and devised Arabic grammar in order to preserve the Quran’s form of expression. He was the most eloquent Arab in speech.

The courage of Ali was proverbial. In all the wars in which he participated during the lifetime of the Prophet (p.b.u.h), and also afterward, he never displayed fear or anxiety. Although in many battles such as those of Uhud, Hunayn, Khaybar and Khandaq the aides to the Prophet (p.b.u.h) and the Muslim army trembled in fear or dispersed and fled, he never turned his back to the enemy. Never did a warrior or soldier engage Ali in battle and come out of it alive. Yet, with full chivalry he would never slay a weak enemy nor pursue those who fled. He would not engage in surprise attacks or in turning streams of water upon the enemy.

Ali was also without equal in religious asceticism and the worship of God. In answer to some who had complained of Ali’s anger toward them, the Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “Do not reproach Ali for he is in a state of Divine ecstasy and bewilderment.

There are many stories told of Ali’s kindness to the lowly, compassion for the needy and the poor, and generosity and munificence toward those in misery and poverty. Ali spent all that he earned to help the poor and the needy, and himself lived in the strictest and simplest manner. Ali loved agriculture and spent much of his time digging wells, planting trees and cultivating fields. But all the fields that he cultivated or wells that he built he gave in endowment (waqf) to the poor.

During the month of Muharram, the Prophet’s family (i.e., his nephew Imam Hussain (A.S), along with 71 other men) were martyred on the land of Karbala by Yazeed’s army. This army fought with the Prophet’s family in the name of Islam. Such an example cannot be found anywhere else in the course of history, and therefore, Muslims today, especially Shi’ites, serve to preserve the memory of the Imams and their message for the Muslim commmunity.

Reference: matam-e-hussain.tripod.com

The History.

While every Muslim believes in the Holy Prophet and his descendants, there is a marked confusion between Muslims today. The purpose of Ten Days, Ten Tales is simply to revisit history in the simplest manner possible, and to make it easy for mankind to understand what has always been the right path.

 

BACKGROUND – DAY I

Every year on the 10th of Muharram, the Shia Muslims all over the world commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (A.S). The commemoration starts from the first day and the peak is reached on the 10th day.The month of Muharram is of great religious significance to Muslims the world over. It is held to be the most sacred of all the months, excluding Ramadan.

The word “Muharram” is often considered synonymous with “Ashura”, the tenth day of the Muharram month. “Ashura” is a highly important day for both sects of Islam – the Shias and the Sunnis.

The Shia muslims believe that Hussain ibn Ali (A.S), the grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h), became a martyr at the Battle of Karbala on the tenth day of Muharram in 61 AH (680 AD).