SHAFAQNA- On the day of Ashura, when Imam Hussayn (as) saw the gathering of the enemies against him which was like a torrent, he raised both his hands towards the sky and prayed, O’ my Lord ! You are my haven in every mishap, my hope in every predicament, my refuge and defender in every ordeal. How many a distress that weakens the heart, makes the enemy rejoice at the misfortune. When I entrusted it to You out of preference over others, You did not let me down and had driven away and eliminated all these distressing things. You are the Giver of every boon and the ultimate source of every wish to be granted.
Convinced about the enemy’s determination to fight him, Imam Abu Abdillah (as) asked for his horse and mounted it; then addressing the enemies in a high voice, he began his sermon:
O’ people! Listen to my speech and do not get restless until I preach you as I see it my duty towards you and until I explain why I came to you. If you accept my reasoning, believe in my speech and are fair to yourselves and me, then you will be happier and you will have no reason to attack me. Otherwise, resolve upon your affair and (gather) your associates, let not your affair be in darkness to you, then have it executed against me and do not reflect (any further). Allah is my Helper and He is the Guardian of the righteous.
It is reported that when the womenfolk in the tents heard Imam Hussayn (as) say this, they raised their voices screaming and crying. He sent his brother Abbas and his son Ali Akber to the women to calm them down and remarked, “Alas! They will be crying a lot”
O’people! Allah created this world and made it an abode of destruction and transience, taking its inhabitants from one phase to another. It deceives the conceited and seduces the wretched. Let not this world deceive you for it is capable of dashing the hopes of those who put their trust in it and let down those who are greedy for its riches. I can see that you agreed on an affair capable of bringing the wrath of Allah upon you, causing Him to turn His face away from you, spread amongst you His revenge. Glory be to our Lord, and woe to you. You pledged allegiance (to Allah) and believed in the Messenger Muhammad (saw), then ganged up against his progeny intent on killing them. Satan has taken hold over you, precipitating you to forget the remembrance of the Almighty. May evil befall you and may your aspiration come to nothing. From Allah we come and unto Him we return. Those are the people who disbelieved after they had believed; so away with the unjust people.
O’people! Track my lineage. Relate to me and consider who I am. Then look back and remonstrate with yourselves. Consider whether it is right for you to kill me and encroach upon my integrity. Am I not the son of your Prophet’s daughter and the son of his vicegerant and cousin, the first of the believers in Allah and His Messenger? Was not Hamza, the master of martyrs, the uncle of my father? Was not the winged Ja’ffar my uncle? Have you not heard of the tradition of the Prophet (saw) concerning myself and my brother, “These are the two leaders of the youth of the inhabitants of paradise.” Whether you believe in what I say –and it is the truth, for I swear by the Almighty I have never told a lie since I learnt that Allah hated people who told them – or you regard me as a liar, and choose not to believe in my statement, there are amongst you who, if you asked them, would tell you! Ask Jabir bin Abdullah al-Ansari, Aba Sa’ed al-Khudri, Sahl bin Sa’ad al-Sa’idi, Zayd bin Arqam and Anas bin Malik to tell you that they heard these words from the Messenger of Allah (saw) in favour of me and my brother. Is there not (sufficient) deterrent in this to prevent you from shedding my blood?
At this point, Shimr bin Dhiljoshan interrupted saying, “If I understand what you are saying then I only worship God very shakily on the edge.” Habeeb ibn Mudhahir responded, “I do think that you worship God very shakily on several edges and I testify that you are right. You do not understand what he (Hussayn) is saying for God has impressed ignorance upon your heart.” Imam Hussayn (as) then continued:
You are in doubt that I am the son of the daughter of your Prophet? By God there is no son of the Prophet other than me amongst you and amongst the people from East to West. Shame on you, are you seeking retribution from me for one of your dead I have killed, or for property of yours I expropriated, or for a wound I have inflicted? When no one responded, Imam (as) then called out the names of few people preent amongst the enemies O’ Shabath bin Rab’I, Hajjar bin Abjar, Qays bin al-Ash’ath, Yazeed bin al-Harith, didn’t you write (to me) that: The fruit has ripened; the dates are ready for picking; come to an army which has been gathered for you??
“We don’t know what you are talking about” said Qays bin al-Ash’ath. Submit to the authority of your kinsmen (the Umayyad). They have never treated you with anything but what you liked.” Imam (as) responded by saying:
By God, I will never give you my hand like a man who has been humiliated; nor will I flee like a slave. O’ servants of God, I take refuge in my Lord and your Lord from your stoning. I take refuge in my Lord and your Lord from every haughty man who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning.