By: Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi
Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) was the reviver of Islam and the savior of the nation after it had been a prey in the hands of the Umayyads who subjected it to severe torment, killed its men and spared its women. They seized the wealth of Allah and took His people as slaves to them. Therefore, Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) revolted against them in his great revolution by which Allah had revived Islam after it was about to be destroyed by those tyrants who distorted the Book, faith, morals and everything. This revolution of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) shook the forts of the Umayyads, did away with their pride and arrogance, and caused them a bitter defeat and disgrace. It paved the way for other successive revolts by Muslims until the Umayyad rule was overthrown forever.
We shall talk here in brief about Imam al-Husayn (a.s.).
Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) was born on the third of Sha’ban in the fourth year of hijra. He was the second child to Fatimah (s.a.). When the news of this blessed birth spread, the Prophet’s wives and other ladies of Muslims hurried to Fatimah’s house to congratulate her on this newborn child and participate in her joy and delight.
When the Prophet (S) was informed of the birth of his second grandson, he came to his daughter’s house but sorrow and distress had overcome him. He said to Asma’ with faint, sorrowful sound, ‘O Asma’, bring me my son.’
Asma’ brought him his newborn grandson, and he began kissing him and crying. Asma’ was astonished and she asked him, ‘May my father and mother die for you! What for are you crying?’
He replied while crying, ‘For my this son.’
Asma’ became more astonished and said, ‘He has been born just now!’
The Prophet said, ‘The oppressive party will kill him. May Allah not grant them my intercession.’
Then the Prophet (S) said to Asma’, ‘Do not tell Fatimah about this. She has just now given birth to her child.’34
From behind the unseen, the Prophet (S) perceived what disasters his grandson would face.
The Prophet embraced his blessed, newborn grandson, and recited the azan in his right ear and the eqama in his left ear. It is related in traditions that “The azan and the eqama are protection to a newborn child from cursed Satan.’35
The first voice that penetrated Imam al-Husayn’s (a.s.) ears was the voice of his grandfather the great propagandist of Allah in the earth. The Prophet planted in the deep of his son the sacred psalms of “Allah is Great” and “there is no God but Allah”, and the son fed on them and by them he set out later on in the fields of jihad to raise the Word of Allah high in the earth and to make the power of goodness prevail everywhere.
The Prophet (S) named his second grandson Husayn as he had named his first grandson Hasan before.36 He named him with this name after a revelation from the Heaven.37
After seven days of al-Husayn’s (a.s.) birth, the Prophet (S) ordered a ram to be slaughtered as the aqeeqa whose meat was to be distributed among the poor and that a leg was to be given to the midwife.38 This has become one of Islam’s traditional practices in the field of charity to the poor. On the same day, the Prophet (S) ordered his grandson’s hair to be cut and to pay silver to the poor as much as the weight of the cut hair.39 Then Imam al-Husayn’s head was painted with a perfumed substance.
The Prophet’s Love to Al-Husayn (a.s.)
We mention here some traditions showing the great love the Prophet (S) had towards his grandson Imam al-Husayn (a.s.).
1. Jabir bin Abdullah narrated that the Prophet (S) had said, ‘Let him, who wants to look at the master of the youth of the Paradise, look at al-Husayn bin Ali.’40
2. Ya’la bin Murrah said, ‘Once, we went with the Prophet (S) to a banquet we had been invited to. We saw Husayn playing in the road. The Prophet (S) opened his hands and the child began jumping here and there. The Prophet began joking with him. Then he lifted him and put one of his hands under his chin and the other on his head. He kissed him and said, ‘Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn. Allah loves whoever loves Husayn. Husayn is a nation from the nations.’41
3. Salman al-Farisi related, “One day, I went to the Prophet (S) and found al-Husayn bin Ali sitting on his (the Prophet) thigh while the Prophet was kissing him on his mouth and saying to him, ‘You are a master and son of a master. You are an imam, a son of an imam, a brother of an imam, and the father of the imams. You are the authority of Allah, the son of His authority, and the father of nine authorities who will be from your posterity, the ninth of whom will be al-Qa’im (al-Mahdi).’42
4. Ibn Abbas said, ‘One day, the Prophet (S) was carrying al-Husayn on his shoulder. Some man said to al-Husayn, ‘O boy, it is the best back you have ridden on.’
The Prophet (S) said, ‘And the best rider he is.’43
5. Burayd bin Abu Ziyad said, ‘Once, the Prophet went out of Aa’isha’s house and passed by Fatimah’s house. He heard al-Husayn crying. He became discomforted and said to Fatimah, ‘Do you not know that his crying discomforts me?’
The Prophet Tells about Imam al-Husayn’s Martyrdom
The Prophet (S) had foretold about the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) and Muslims were certain of that. Ibn Abbas narrated, “We and the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) did not doubt that al-Husayn bin Ali shall be killed in at-Taff (Kerbala).”44
The Prophet (S) perceived from the Heaven that his darling grandson Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) would be martyred at the hand of the worst people; therefore, he cried bitterly.
1. Umm al-Fadhl bint al-Harith related, ‘Al-Husayn was under my care. Once, I went to the messenger of Allah (S) and I noticed his eyes shedding tears. I said to him, ‘O the Prophet of Allah, may my father and mother die for you! What is the matter with you?’
He said, ‘Gabriel, peace and blessings be on him, has come and told me that my nation will kill my son.’ He pointed at al-Husayn. I was terrified and said, ‘Will this one be killed?’
The messenger of Allah said painfully, ‘Yes! Gabriel has brought me some red earth from his (al-Husayn) earth (in which he will be buried).’ Umm al-Fadh began crying with the Prophet (S).45
2. Umm Salamah, the Prophet’s wife, narrated, “One night, the messenger of Allah (S) lay down to sleep, and then he woke up confused. Then he lay down and woke up confused unlike the first time. Then he slept and woke up and there was some red earth in his hand and he was kissing it. I said to him, ‘O messenger of Allah, ‘What is this red earth?’
He said, ‘Gabriel told me that this one (al-Husayn) will be killed in the land of Iraq. I asked him, ‘Show me the land where he will be killed.’ And so this is his (al-Husayn) earth.”46
3. Umm Salamah said, “One day, the Prophet (S) was sitting in my house. He said to me, ‘Let no one come to me.’ After some moments, al-Husayn came to him. I heard the Prophet (S) sobbing. Al-Husayn was on his lap. He was rubbing on his (al-Husayn) head and crying. I said to him, ‘By Allah, I did not notice him until he came to you.’
He said to me, ‘Gabriel was with us in the house. He asked me: Do you love him? I said: Yes. He said: Your nation will kill him in a land called Kerbala.’ Then Gabriel took some of its (Kerbala) earth and showed it to the Prophet (S).”47
4. Aa’isha said, ‘Once, al-Husayn bin Ali came to the messenger of Allah (S) while Gabriel was revealing to him. Al-Husayn jumped on the messenger of Allah (S) while he was devoted (to the revelation). Gabriel asked, ‘O Muhammad, do you love him?’
The messenger of Allah (S) said, ‘How do I not love my son?’
Gabriel said, ‘Your nation will kill him after you.’
Then Gabriel stretched his hand and brought to the Prophet (S) some white earth and said, ‘In this land, your son will be killed. It is called at-Taff.’
When Gabriel left, the earth was in the hand of the messenger of Allah (S) who was crying. He said to me, ‘O Aa’isha, Gabriel told me that my son Husayn will be killed in the land of at-Taff, and that my nation will be tried after me.’
Then the Prophet (S), who was still crying, went out to his companions, among whom there were Ali, Abu Bakr, Umar, Huthayfah, Ammar and Abu Tharr. They asked, ‘O messenger of Allah, why are you crying?’
He said, ‘Gabriel told me that my son al-Husayn will be killed after me in the land of at-Taff. He brought me this earth and said he would be buried in it.’48
5. Zaynab bint Jahsh, the Prophet’s wife said, ‘one day, the Prophet (S) was sleeping in my house and Husayn was crawling in the house. I took no notice of him (al-Husayn) for a while until he came to the Prophet (S) and got over his abdomen. Then the Prophet (S) began offering the prayer and he embraced al-Husayn. When he bowed and prostrated, he put him down, and when he stood up, he carried him. When he sat, he raised his hands and began supplicating. After finishing his prayer, I said to him, ‘O messenger of Allah, I saw you do something today that I had not seen you do it before.’
He said, ‘Gabriel came and told me that my son would be killed. I said: show me then. He brought me some red earth.’49
6. Ibn Abbas said, “Once al-Husayn was in the Prophet’s lap. Gabriel asked him, ‘Do you love him?’
The Prophet (S) said, ‘How could I not love him? He is the fruit of my heart.’
Gabriel said, ‘Your nation will kill him. Shall I show you the place of his tomb?’ He grasped something and it was a handful of red earth.’50
7. Abu Umamah narrated, “The messenger of Allah (S) said to his wives: ‘Do not make this boy (al-Husayn) cry.’ It was the day of Umm Salamah.51 Gabriel came down, and the Prophet (S) went into his room and said to Umm Salamah, ‘Do not let anyone come to me.’
Then al-Husayn came. When he knew that the Prophet (S) was in the house, he wanted to come to him, but Umm Salama embraced him and began playing with him in order to calm him down. When he cried loudly, she let him alone and he entered and sat in the Prophet’s lap. Gabriel said to the Prophet (S), ‘Your nation will kill this son of yours.’
The Prophet (S) asked, ‘Will they kill him while they believe in me?’
Gabriel said, ‘Yes, they will kill him.’ He took some earth and told the Prophet (S) that al-Husayn would be killed in so-and-so place.
The Prophet (S) came out embracing al-Husayn but he was distressed and sad. Umm Salamah thought that the Prophet (S) was distressed because she had let the boy come to him. She said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, may I die for you! You have said not to make this boy cry and ordered me not to let anyone come to you. Al-Husayn came and cried, and I let him alone.’
The Prophet (S) did not answer her and he went out to his companions while being too sad. He said to them, ‘My nation will kill this one.’ He pointed to al-Husayn.
Abu Bakr and Umar said, ‘O messenger of Allah, even though they are believers?!’
He said, ‘Yes and this is his earth.’52
8. Anas bin al-Harith narrated that the Prophet (S) had said, ‘This son of mine – he pointed to al-Husayn – will be killed in a land called Kerbala. Let whoever witness that support him!’
When Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) marched to Kerbala, Anas went with him and was martyred before him.53
9. Umm Salamah related, “One day, al-Hasan and al-Husayn were playing before the Prophet (S) in my house. Gabriel came down and said, ‘O Muhammad, your nation will kill this son of yours after you.’ He pointed to al-Husayn. The Prophet (S) began crying and he embraced al-Husayn to his chest. There was some earth in his hand. He smelt it and said, ‘Woe unto “kerb” and “bala”.’54 He gave this earth to me and said, ‘When this earth changes into blood, know that my son will have been killed.’ Umm Salama put this earth into a flask, took care of and noticed it everyday while saying: the day when you will change into blood will be a great day.”55
10. Once, the Prophet (S) saw in sleep that a spotted dog was licking his blood. He interpreted the dream that some man would kill his son al-Husayn (a.s.). It came true and Shimr bin Thil Jawshan, who was leprous, killed Imam al-Husayn (a.s.).56
11. Ibn Abbas narrated, “When al-Husayn was two years old, the Prophet (S) went on a journey. After passing some of the way, he stopped, sighed and his eyes shed tears. He was asked what for and he said, ‘Gabriel has just told me about a land near the Euphrates called Kerbala’ in which my son al-Husayn bin Fatimah will be killed.’ Some of his companions asked who would kill him and he replied sadly, ‘A man called Yazid (will kill him), may Allah not bless his soul. As if I see his murder and tomb, and his head will be carried as a present. By Allah, whoever looks at the head of my son al-Husayn and become pleased Allah will contradict between his heart and tongue.’
When the Prophet (S) came back from his travel, he was distressed. He ascended the minbar and took with him his two grandsons al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them. He preached to Muslims and then he raised his head towards the heaven and said, ‘O Allah, I am Muhammad; Your servant and prophet and these two (boys) are the best of my family, the best of my progeny and root, and it is they whom I will leave among my nation. O Allah, Gabriel has told me that this son of mine – he pointed to al-Husayn – will be betrayed and killed.
O Allah, bless his killing and make him from the masters of martyrs, You are powerful over everything, and do not bless his killer and betrayer.’
The attendants burst into crying. The Prophet (S) said to them, ‘You cry but you will not support him. O Allah, be a guardian and supporter to him.’
Ibn Abbas said, ‘The Prophet (S) was still unhappy. He ascended the minbar and made an eloquent speech while his eyes were shedding tears. He said, ‘O people, I will leave among you the two weighty things; the Book of Allah and my family and posterity, the mixture of my water57 and my fruit (production). They (the Book of Allah and the progeny) will not separate until they will come to me at the pond (in Paradise). Surely I will not ask you for anything except for that which my Lord has ordered me of. I ask you for love to my relatives. Be careful that you shall not meet me at the pond while you have hated my progeny.’
In another tradition it has been mentioned, ‘Gabriel has told me that my nation will kill my son al-Husayn in the land of Kerb and Bala’ (kerbala). The curse of Allah may be on his killer and betrayer until the end of time.’
Then the Prophet (S) descended from the minbar, and there was no one from the Muhajireen and the Ansar except that he was certain that al-Husayn will be killed.”58
Imam Ali Foretells Imam Husayn’s Martyrdom
Some traditions were transmitted from Imam Ali (a.s.) in which he predicted the martyrdom of his son Imam al-Husayn (a.s.). The following are some of them:
1. Abdullah bin Yahya narrated that his father had accompanied Imam Ali (a.s.) to Siffin, and when they reached Nineveh, Imam Ali (a.s.) said sadly and sorrowfully, ‘O Abu Abdullah,59 be patient, be patient…at the river of the Euphrates!’
Yahya said to him, ‘Who is Abu Abdullah?’
Imam Ali (a.s.) replied to him painfully, “One day I went to the messenger of Allah (S) and found his eyes full of tears. I said, ‘O prophet of Allah, has anyone made you angry? Why are your eyes full of tears?’ He said, ‘Gabriel has just left me now. He told me that al-Husayn will be killed at the river of the Euphrates. He said to me: shall I make you smell his earth? I said: Yes. He gave me a handful (of that earth). I could not help myself, and so my eyes began shedding tears’.”60
2. Harthamah bin Sulaym said, ‘We went with Ali bin Abi Talib to the battle of Siffeen and when we arrived in Kerbala, he led us in offering the prayer congregationally. When he finished the prayer, he took some of its (Kerbala) earth, smelt it and said, ‘O earth, some people will be resurrected from you and will enter into the Paradise without reckoning.’
Harthama was astonished at Imam Ali’s saying. When he came back to his family, he told his wife Jarda’ bint Sameer, who was an adherent to Imam Ali, of what Imam Ali (a.s.) had said, and she said to him, ‘What Ameerul Mo’minin says is the truth.’
Time passed and a day came when Ubaydillah bin Ziyad sent his armies, among which was Harthamah, to fight Imam al-Husayn (a.s.). When they arrived in Kerbala, Harthamah remembered the saying of Imam Ali (a.s.) about the martyrdom of his son Imam al-Husayn (a.s.). Harthamah came to Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) and told him of Imam Ali’s saying. Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) asked Harthama, ‘Are you with or against us?’
He said, ‘Neither with nor against you. I have left my family and children and I fear for them from ibn Ziyad.’
Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) said to him, ‘Run away so that you do not see our murders. By Allah, any man who sees our murder today and does not support us Allah will throw him into Fire.’
Harthamah followed Imam Husayn’s advice and he escaped from Kerbala.61
3. Thabit narrated from Suwayd bin Ghaflah that one day Imam Ali (a.s.) made a speech, and then some man came and said to him, ‘O Ameerul Mo’minin, I passed by Wadi al-Qura and found Khalid bin Arfatah dead. Ask Allah to forgive him.’
Imam Ali (a.s.) denied that and said, ‘By Allah, he has not died. And he shall not die until he will lead an army of deviants whose bannerman shall be Habeeb bin Hammar…’
Some man got up and said, ‘O Ameerul Mo’minin, I am Habeeb bin Hammar, and I am from your followers and adherents.’
Imam Ali (a.s.) asked the man several times if he was Habeeb bin Hammar (just to make it certain before people) and the man answered that he was himself.
Imam Ali (a.s.) said to him, ‘Yes, by Allah! You will carry it (the banner) and will enter through this gate-he pointed to Bab al-Feel (the gate of elephant) in the mosque of Kufa.’
Thabit said, ‘By Allah, I remained alive until I saw ibn Ziyad sending Umar bin Sa’d to fight Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) and appointing Khalid bin Arfatah the leader of the front of his army and Habeeb bin Hammar as the bannerman who entered with the banner through Bab al-Feel.’62
4. Imam Ali (a.s.) said to al-Bara’ bin Aazib, ‘Will al-Husayn be killed while you will be alive but will not support him?’
Al-Bara’ said, ‘Let that not be, O Ameerul Mo’minin!’
After the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.), al-Bara’ often remembered that and said, ‘How great regret it is! I neither witnessed him nor was I killed before him.’63
5. Abu Juhayfah narrated, “One day, Urwah al-Bariqi came to Sa’eed bin Wahab and asked him while I was listening, ‘There is a tradition you have narrated to me from Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.). He said, ‘Yes! Once Mikhnaf bin Sulaym sent me to Ali. I went to him while he was in Kerbala. I found him pointing with his hand and saying, ‘It is here, it is here!’
Some man asked him, ‘O Ameerul Mo’minin, what is it?’
Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘A weightiness from the progeny of Muhammad (Imam Husayn and his family) will stop here. Alas for them from you, and woe unto you from them.’
The man did not understand and asked, ‘O Ameerul Mo’minin, what do you mean?’
Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Alas for them from you is that you will kill them, and woe unto you from them is that Allah will throw you into Fire because of killing them.’”64
6. Al-Hasan bin Katheer narrated from his father that one day Imam Ali (a.s.) stopped at Kerbala, and it was said to him, ‘O Ameerul Mo’minin, this is Kerbala.’
He said sadly and painfully, ‘It is of “kerb” and “bala’.”65
Then he pointed with his hand to some place and said, ‘Here is the place of their baggage and camels’, and pointed again to another place and said, ‘Here their bloods will be shed.’66
7. Abu Khayrah said, ‘Once I accompanied Ali until he arrived in Kufa. He ascended the minbar, praised Allah and then said, ‘What will you do if the progeny of your prophet will come to be among you?’
They (the attendants) all said, ‘We will do for them all that which pleases Allah.’
Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘I swear by Him in Whose hand my soul is, they will come to you, and you will rise against and kill them.’67
There are many other traditions like these ones transmitted from Imam Ali (a.s.) about the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) in the land of Kerbala.
Imam Al-Husayn (a.s.) and Umar
When Umar bin al-Khattab assumed the Islamic caliphate, Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) was in his early years. However, his heart was full of sorrow and pain because he believed that Umar had occupied the position of his father who was the pioneer of the social justice in Islam.
One day Umar was making a speech from on the minbar and he was surprised by al-Husayn (a.s.) who shouted at him, “Get down! Get down of my father’s minbar and go to your father’s minbar!”
Umar was astonished and confused. He said to al-Husayn (a.s.), ‘You are right. My father had no minbar.’
Umar seated al-Husayn (a.s.) beside him and asked him who had instructed him with this speech. Al-Husayn (a.s.) said, ‘By Allah, no one has instructed me.’68
Though he was in his early childhood yet, al-Husayn (a.s.) saw that no one would deserve to ascend the minbar of his grandfather except his father (Imam Ali).
Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) with Mo’awiya
Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) felt great hatred and rage towards Mo’awiya, the man of evils and vices in Islam. It was Mo’awiya who spared no effort to remove all the political, educational and moral values that Islam had achieved. Mo’awiya’s destructive decisions brought the nation many misfortunes and calamities. First he did away with the famous learned and aware personalities like Hijr bin Adiy, who was one of the close companions of the Prophet (S), Maytham at-Tammar, who was Imam Ali’s disciple, Rasheed al-Hijri, Amr bin al-Hamq al-Khuza’iy and the like from the great Muslims who were openly killed by Mo’awiya.
Second, he tried his best to degrade and defame the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) who were the essence of faith and the center of the religious and social awareness in Islam, and the sensitive nerve in the body of the nation. He employed all means of education and preaching to defame the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) in any possible way, and he imposed on the speakers to abuse them (the Ahlul Bayt) on the minbars in the Friday prayer, congregational prayers, Eid prayer and on other occasions.
Third, he assigned committees to fabricate traditions and change the system of rule in Islam. Unfortunately and regretfully, those fabricated traditions had been recorded in the Sihah and Sunan (books of Hadith). This plan, as I think, was the most terrible plot that Muslims had ever been afflicted with. A great number of Muslims have believed in these fabricated traditions and thought they are a part of their religion whereas the pure religion is free from them all.
Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) sent Mo’awiyah an indictment in which he had criticized, in a very sharp language, all disgraceful policies of Mo’awiya that contradicted the Book of Allah and the Sunna of His prophet, his killing of the great, eminent Muslims, and other vices and sins. This indictment is the most important political document that discloses the crimes and vices of Mo’awiya.
The Political Conference in Mecca
Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) held a political conference in Mecca attended by great masses of Muslims of the Muhajireen and the Ansar who had attended the season of hajj. In this conference, Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) talked about the calamities that afflicted Islam and the Muslims, and the misfortunes that the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) suffered because of the rule of Mo’awiya. This is a passage from the speech that Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) had made in this conference: “This tyrant (Mo’awiya) had committed against us and against our adherents what you have seen, known, and witnessed. I want to ask you about something, and if I say the truth, you say that I am truthful and if I tell lies, you say that I am a liar. Listen to my speech and write down my saying, and then go back to your countries and tribes. Whoever you trust in and feel safe with, invite him to our right that you know, for I fear that this matter (Islam) may be removed and defeated (and Allah will perfect His light, though the unbelievers may be averse. 61:8).”
Then Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) mentioned Mo’awiya’s plots that aimed at doing away with Islam. At the end of the conference, Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) mentioned the virtues of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) that Mo’awiya tried to hide. This was the first political conference held in the history of Islam.
Mo’awiya received his death while he was not certain and safe from the torment of Allah for the crimes and the bloodsheds he had committed against the faithful of Muslims. He died but he left after him terrible sedition and disagreement that threw great evils among Muslims.
Before his death, Mo’awiya entrusted his son Yazid with the rule after him. Yazid was corrupted, dissolute, and mutinous against the Islamic values. He believed neither in Allah nor in the afterlife. Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) described him as: “a man of drinking and hunting. He obeyed Satan and disobeyed the Beneficent One. He spread corruption, cancelled the laws (of Allah), extorted the revenue for himself, made unlawful things of Allah as lawful, and prohibited His lawful things.”69
When Mo’awiya died, his son Yazid assumed the rule and committed all kinds of crimes, sins, corruption and oppression.
Imam Al-Husayn’s Revolt
Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) rose against the tyrant Yazid and announced publicly his refusing to Yazid’s homage. He announced before people the goals of his eternal revolution saying, “I have not risen rashly, ungratefully, oppressively or corruptively, but I have risen to seek reform for the nation of my grandfather. I want to enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and do as my grandfather and father did.”
Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) revolted to establish the pillars of reform in the nation, achieve justice among people, and to do away with all the bad and false practices that the Umayyad rule had established on the stage of the Islamic life.
Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) made a speech in Mecca saying, “Praise be to Allah, what Allah wills (shall come true), there is no power save in Allah, and blessing and peace of Allah be on His messenger.
Death has been written on man as a necklace (is hung) on a girl’s neck. I have longed to my ancestors as Jacob’s longing to Joseph. A death that I shall meet is better to me. As if I see my parts being cut by the wolves of deserts between an-Nawawees and Kerbala. They will fill, from me, empty rumens and hungry pouches. There is no escape from a day that has been written by the Pen (determined by the Heaven).
The consent of Allah is our consent, the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). We are patient with His trials and He will give us the reward of the patient.
The family of the messenger of Allah (S) will not deviate from him. They will be gathered in the court of holiness. His (the Prophet) eye will be delighted with them and his promise will be fulfilled by them. Whoever sacrifices his life for us, and has prepared himself to meet Allah, let him set out with us, for I will set out in the morning if Allah the Almighty wills.”70
I think I do not know a political address more eloquent and more wonderful than this address, in which Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) had announced his determination on martyrdom and the making little of life for the sake of Allah the Almighty. He welcomed death and considered it as an order of honor and a decoration like a necklace that a girl adorns herself with. He announced the pure place where his pure blood would be shed on its earth that was between an-Nawawees and Kerbala. There, swords and spears would loot his pure body. We have analyzed this address and mentioned its important points in our book “The Life of Imam al-Hasan bin Ali”.
When the many letters of the people of Kufa came to Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) begging him to save them from the bad life they led under the oppression of the Umayyad rule, and charging him with the responsibility before Allah and the nation if he would delay to respond to them, he, peace be on him, went determinedly to them but surrounded along the way by a battalion (of the Umayyads) under the leadership of al-Hurr ar-Riyahi who forced Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) to go to Kerbala. He resided there and felt that the inevitable end was near to him, to his family, and to his companions. However, he did not care for the danger that would attack him. Armies from Kufa began arriving one after the other until they surrounded him from every side, controlled the banks of the Euphrates, and prevented the imam and his fellows from reaching water. On the tenth of Muharram (Ashura), the eternal day in the world of sorrows, the armies of deviation and oppression attacked the imam and his followers and exterminated them all, and a good group of shining stars from the Prophet’s progeny were extinguished.
Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) announced his firm determination by saying, “I do not see death but happiness, and life with the unjust but boredom.”
He also said, “By Allah, I do not surrender to you like the low, nor do I submit to you like slaves.”
The beasts attacked him with their swords and spears until he was martyred. He offered his soul as a sacrifice to the Qur’an and all human values and ideals.
The banners of the Umayyads were folded, their castles, palaces and great armies were destroyed, but the banner of Imam al-Husayn, the example of the free in the world, waved everywhere carrying with it honor, dignity and jihad. There is no conqueror, neither in the world of Islam nor in other than the world of Islam, greater than Imam al-Husayn, the master of martyrs who has occupied the hearts and feelings of people through his revolution by which Allah has honored Islam and made (the revolution) a lesson for the people of understanding.