For the first ten days of Muharram, let’s go down the road of history and understand what REALLY happened!
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).
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.
IMAM HASSAN (A.S) AND IMAM HUSSAIN (A.S) – DAY III)
IMAM HASAN (A.S)
Imam Hasan (A.S) was the son of Imam Ali (A.S) and Bibi Fatimah (A.S), the daughter of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h). He was the second in the line of Imams that began from Imam Ali (A.S) (read last post for more). He was born in 3 A.H and after the death of both the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h) and his mother (A.S), he was placed under the care of his father.
After the death of his father, Imam Hasan (A.S) became the Imam of the time. During this time, Mua’wiya, who had been a bitter enemy of Imam Ali’s (A.S), marched his army first into Iraq, and then with an open claim to the caliphate, on the pretext of avenging the death of the third caliph. After most of his generals and commanders betrayed him, giving in to empty promises of receiving large sums of money and power, Imam Hasan (A.S) was forced to give in to Mua’wiya’s demands provided that the followers of the Imam were not harmed in anyway and that the caliphate would return to Imam Hasan (A.S) after Mua’wiya’s death.
Mua’wiya, after acquiring the caliphate, declared all the conditions of peace void. During the ten years of Imam’s rule, his family and he lived a life of great hardship and persecution. In the year 50 A.H, he was poisoned by his wife, who had given in to greed and had come under Mua’wiya’s false promises.
Imam Hasan (A.S) was in every way like his father, and was the perfect example his noble grandfather. The sons of the first Imam and the Prophet’s daughter are said to have accompanied the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h) everywhere throughout his lifetime. The Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h) regarding the two subsequent Imams, is said to have told, “These two children of mine are Imams whether they stand up or sit down” (allusion to whether they occupy the external function of caliphate or not).
IMAM HUSSAIN (A.S)
Imam Hussain (A.S), the second son of Imam Ali (A.S) and Bibi Fatimah (A.S), was born in the 4th year of Hijrat. He became the Imam after his brother’s death, making him the third Imam. He came into power both through divine command and through the will of his brother.
Imam Hussain was Imam for a period of ten years, all but the last six months coinciding with the caliphate of Mua’wiya. Imam Hussain (A.S) lived under the most difficult outward conditions of suppression and persecution. This was due to the fact that, first of all, religious laws and regulations had lost much of their weight and credit, and the edicts of the Umayyad government had gained complete authority and power. Secondly, Mu’awiyah and his aides made use of every possible means to put aside and move out of the way the Household of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) and their followers, and thus obliterate the name of Ali and his family. And above all, Mu’awiya wanted to strengthen the basis of the caliphate of his son, Yazid, who because of his lack of principles and scruples was opposed by a large group of Muslims. Therefore, in order to quell all opposition, Mu’awiya had undertaken newer and more severe measures. By force and necessity Imam Hussain had to endure these days and to tolerate every kind of mental and spiritual agony and affliction from Mu’awiya and his aides,until in the middle of the year 60 A.H. Mu’awiya died and his son Yazid took his place.
TOMORROW: LEADING UP TO THE BATTLE.
LEADING UP TO THE BATTLE – DAY IV
After the death of Mu’awiya, his son Yazid took charge of the caliphate. In those times, paying allegiance to a ruler was considered very important. All those of importance were to pay allegiance to the king of that time, agreeing to comply to their rules and ways. Before Yazid came into power, Mu’awiya had asked the well-known to swear allegiance to Yazid and his caliphate. Imam Hussain (A.S) was not amongst these people. He had also guarded his son that when the time came, and if Imam Hussain (A.S) refused to give his hand in allegiance to his caliphate, he must simply overlook the matter or await dire consequences.
Yazid, reckless and egotistic, paid no heed to his father’s warnings and ordered the governor of Medina to force Imam Hussain (A.S) to pledge allegiance, or, if not, then to send his head to Damascus. After the governor of Medina informed Imam Hussain (A.S) of the order, the Imam asked for a day’s time to think. In the meanwhile, he started a journey towards Mecca with his family. For about four months the Imam and his family sought refuge in Mecca, during which time letters from his sympathizers started to flood in. These consisted of letters from the people of Kufa, who asked Imam Hussain (A.S) to march to Iraq and to overthrow Yazid and take control of the empire that was rightfully his.
When Zilhaj, the month of the annual pilgrimage (Hajj) arrived, the Imam found out that some of Yazid’s men had also entered Mecca with the intention to kill him. With no intention to accept Yazid as his caliph, Imam Hussain (A.S) announced that he would now be heading off to Iraq, and that he would be martyred. He also asked other Muslims to come with and help him in his task.
When going up against an army like that of the Ummayads, it was understood that the Muslims would not emerge victorious at the end of the war (materialistically). Imam Hussain (A.S), however, refused to pledge his allegiance to a ruler who refused to follow the teachings of his grandfather. He was warned by several people of the danger that awaited him if he embarked upon this journey. He, however, stated that death was inevitable for him whichever way he chose and if he leaving Mecca meant saving respect for the house of God, then that was what he would do.
While on the way to Kufa and still a few days’ journey away from the city, he received news that the followers of Yazid in Kufa had put to death the representative of the Imam, Muslim ibn Aqeel, in that city and also one of the Imam’s determined supporters who was a well-known man in Kufa. Their feet had been tied and they had been dragged through the streets. The city and its surroundings were placed under strict observation and countless soldiers of the enemy were awaiting him, There was no way open to him but to march ahead and to face death. It was here that the Imam expressed his definitive determination to go ahead and be martyred.
TOMORROW: KARBALA – MUHARRAM 2nd, 61 A.H.
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
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.
THE DAY OF THE BATTLE – DAY VII
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:
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
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
The list is incomplete
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.
IMAM HUSSAIN’S DEATH AND WHAT FOLLOWED NEXT – DAY IX
So we’re on our second last post of the ten days, ten tales write-up. A brief history of the events that took place before Karbala were posted earlier, and the battle itself was discussed in the last two posts. Imam Hussain’s (A.S) martyrdom meant that Yazid’s army had gotten its way and had defeated those who defied him. But that’s just how it sounds on paper.
Imam Hussain’s death was not only a great milestone in the spread of Islam, but it ensured that Islam would not die out until the end of time. It was because of his sacrifice that Muslims are spread around all over the world. Had he not stood up to face Yazid at that time, or even more so, had simply pledged allegiance to maintain peace, Islam would have ceased to exist. Yazid’s army may have killed Imam Hussain (A.S) and his followers, but he could never defeat them.
Imam Hussain’s Death
When Imam Hussain (A.S) entered the battlefield, he knew he was not going to come out alive. He had already said his farewells and was ready to sacrifice himself in the name of Islam. Those who had gone to fight before him wanted to finish off as many men as possible, so that the Imam’s life could be spared. This was not to be. Imam Hussain (A.S) was thirsty and tired. He had been taking care of the deceased since morning and all energy had been drained out of him. He had also been attacked with an arrow which hit and injured his face.
Imam Hussain (A.S) tried to reason with the enemy, reminding them once more that Allah shall not be please with them if they kill the Prophet’s (p.b.u.h) grandson. They did not care for that and attacked anyway. An arrow hit the Prophet’s shoulder, another hit him from the back. Their attacks were fueled by Shimr’s shouts. Finally, Sinan bin Anas Nakhee threw a spear at the Imam, which caused him to fall down onto the blistering sand. The arrows piercing his body were so many, that when he fell, his body did not come in contact with the ground. His whole body was trembling. At this moment, Shimr stepped forward. He asked the other men to step back so that he could cut off the Imam’s head. Once this was done, Umar bin Saad ordered his horsemen to trample over the body of the Imam.
The belongings of Imam Hussain were divided amongst the men. His horse, which had gotten injured during war, was also taken as captive. For the men who died from the enemies’ side, Umar bin Saad led a funeral prayer. The men who died from the Imam’s side did not get a funeral. Their bodies were left strewn across the land of Karbala, and later, were buried by the natives of the land. Today, the mausoleums of these men stand where their bodies were left by Yazid’s men.
Aftermath of Karbala
Immediately after the death of Imam Hussain (A.S), Yazid’s men proceeded to the tents which were now only occupied by women and children. They looted the tents, taking whatever they could find, including the chaadar of the women. Shimr handed over the head of Imam Hussain (A.S) to Khaula bin Yazid, and instructed him to take it to Ibne Ziyad, as proof that his command had been fulfilled. When the head was presented to Ibne Ziyad, a companion of the Prophet’s present at the governor’s house shouted at him. He lamented that he would’ve indeed cut his head off the way he had done so to the Prophet’s grandson, had he not been old and weak. He announced in court that they had committed the gravest of sins and there would be no forgiveness for them.
Ahl-Bayt’s women and children, as well as Imam Zainul-Abideen (the fourth Imam) were taken to Kufa from Karbala. From here, they were taken to Syria, chained to camel back. The heads of Imam Hussain (A.S) and several other martyrs were held high on spearheads. On the journey to Syria, many children lost their lives by falling off the camels, for they did not stop for anyone. The heads and faces of the women had been bared. The journey to Syria was a display, by Ibne Ziyad, showing the rebellions what happened to those who disobeyed. In reality, it turned many against the government and in favour of the Prophet’s family. It was what eventually led to the downfall of Yazid – a rather nasty one – just as a cannibal of his degree, deserved.
TOMORROW: Bibi Zainab’s (A.S) Sermon in Yazid’s Court
THE SERMON OF BIBI ZAINAB (A.S) IN YAZID’S COURT – DAY X
Today, I post the last blog of the Ten Days, Ten Tales write-up. I would like to give credits to Ahlbaytrasool.wordpress.com for the sermon given below. This sermon was given by Bibi Zainab (A.S), daughter of Imam Ali (A.S) and Imam Hussain’s (A.S) sister. She was called into court by Yazid, who like seeing the distraught women of the Prophet’s (p.b.u.h) clan. Bibi Zainab’s fiery speech turned those present in Yazid’s court against him. Many had tears in their eyes by the end of her speech; they, however, had lost the chance to ask for forgiveness.
Her sermon is given below.
“All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Allah’s blessing be upon His Messenger Muhammad and his entire progeny. True are the words of Allah, who says, “Then the end of those who committed evil was that they disbelieved in Allah’s signs and they were ridiculing them.” (30:10)
Do you, Yazid, think that – when you blocked all our avenues of the earth and the horizons of the heavens before us, so we were driven as captives – that we are worthless in the eyes of Allah and that you are respectful in His eyes? Or is it because you enjoy with Him a great status? So, you look down at us and become arrogant, elated, when you see the world submissive to you and things are done as you want them, and when our authority and power became all yours?
But wait! Have you forgotten that Allah said, “Do not regard those who disbelieved that we grant them good for themselves? We only give them a respite so that they may increase their sins, and for them there is a humiliating torment.” (3:178)
Is it fair, O son of the “Released Ones” that you keep your ladies and bond maidens in their chambers (under protection), and at the same time you drive the daughters of the Messenger of Allah as captives with their veils removed and faces exposed, taken by their enemies from one land to another, being viewed by those at watering places as well as those who man your forts, with their faces exposed to the looks of everyone – near or distant, lowly or honourable, having none of their men with them nor any of their protectors?
But what can be expected from one descended from those whose mouths chewed the liver of the purified ones and whose flesh grows out of the blood of the martyrs? How can it be expected that one who looks at us with grudge and animosity, with hatred and malice, would not hate us – the Ahlul Bayt? Besides, you, without feeling any guilt or weighing heavily what you recite saying, They would have been very much delighted, Then they’d have said, “May your hands, O Yazid, never be paralyzed.”
How dare you hit the lips of Abu Abdullah (A.S.), the Master of the Youths of Paradise? But why should you not do so, since you stirred a wound that almost healed, and since all mercy is removed from your hear, having shed the blood of the offspring of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his progeny, and the stars on the earth from among the family of Abdul-Muttalib? Then you cite your mentors as if you speak to them. Soon shall you be lodged with them, and soon shall you wish you were paralyzed and muted and never said what you said nor what you did.
O Allah, take what belongs to us out of his hands, seek revenge against those who oppressed us, and let Your wrath descend upon whoever shed our blood and killed our protectors! By Allah, you have burnt only our skin, you have cut only our flesh, and you shall com face to face with the Messenger of Allah, peace of Allah be upon him and his progeny, bearing the burdens of the blood which you have shed, the blood of his offspring, and of his sanctities which you violated, when Allah gathers them together and seeks equality on their behalf.
“And do not reckon those who are slain in the way of Allah as dead. Nay! They are living with their Lord, receiving their sustenance.” (3:169)
It is quite sufficient that Allah is your judge and Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon his progeny, is your opponent and (Archangel) Jibraeel as the supporter (of Muhammad). All those who instigated you to do what you did and all those who put you in charge due to which you are a playing havoc with the lives of the Muslims will know for certain how evil the end of the oppressors is and which of you shall have the worst place and will be the least protected?
Although calamities have forced me to speak to you, I see you trivial in my eyes and find your verbal attacks great and regard your rebukes too much to bear, but the eyes are tearful, and the chests are filled with depression. What is even stranger is that the honoured Party of Allah is being killed by the Party of the “Released Ones” – Party of Shaytan. Such hands are dripping with our blood; such mouths are feeding on our flesh, while those sacred and pure corpses are offered as food to the wild beasts of the desert and are dirtied by the brutes. If you regard us as your booty, you shall soon find us as your opponents -that will be when you find nothing but what your hands had committed.
“And your Lord never treats His servants unjustly.” (41:46)
To Allah is my complaint, and upon Him do I rely.
So scheme whatever you wish to scheme, and carry out your plots, and intensify your efforts, for, by Allah, you shall never be able to obliterate our mention, nor will you ever be able to kill the revelation (that was revealed to us), nor will you ever exalt our position, nor will your shame ever be washed away. Your view shall be proven futile, your days limited in number, and your wealth wasted on the Day when the caller calls out,
“The curse of Allah be upon the oppressors.” (11:18)
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, who sealed the life of our early ones with happiness and forgiveness, and that of our last ones with martyrdom and mercy. We plead to Allah to complete His rewards for them, grant them an increase, and recompense us pleasingly. He is the most Merciful, the most Compassionate, Allah suffices us, and He is the best Guardian.”
The End of Yazid
Like all things evil, Yazid’s end came soon enough. Many people had been moved by Zainab’s (A.S) speech and a rebel was beginning to stir within his caliphate. Yazid’s wife was disgusted with him, and left him immediately after the events of Karbala. His son deserted him soon after. His loyal servants became uncomfortable following his orders, and little by little, his caliphate fell apart. There are several stories surrounding Yazid’s death, but all of them point to one thing – his death was one fit for a tyrant like him. One version says that he died a very painful death after contracting Pleurisy, a severe inflammation of the membrane of thorax and lungs). Another version says that he developed a mental illness, and could not look at, let alone drink, water and which ultimately let to his death three years later.
The grave of Yazid became a rubbish dump. Currently, sewage water flows over the grave of Yazid. His end is an excellent example of a tyrant’s death – and an excellent forewarning to the Yazids of today’s time.
I would like to thank islamicinformationcentre.co.uk, matamihusain.tripod.com for the quote references throughout the ten-day period.