O Kufians! Do you know what liver of the Messenger of Allah (S) have you cut off? Do you know what blood you have shed?
Which daughter of his have you frightened? What sanctity of his have you violated? Should you be surprised if the sky rains blood? Surely in the torment of the hereafter there is more shame, and they shall not be helped! --- “Umm Kulthum” Zainab
And what a night it was for the daughters of the Messenger of Allah (S) whom lofty eminence never forsook ever since they were born!
It was only yesterday that they lived in the pavilions of greatness and the chambers of dignity, lit during the day by the sun of Prophethood and during the night by the star of caliphate and by the lanterns emitting the radiance of sanctity.
During this night, they were left in the pitch dark, having lost those shining lights, their belongings plundered, their chambers burnt, fear overwhelming them.
They remained among the corpses of those who used to be their protectors. Now they have neither protectors nor defenders. They do not know anyone who could defend them if they were to be attacked, or who would repel those who might terrorize them, or who would calm and pacify those who have lost their loved ones.
Yes, there were among them children crying in anguish. There were mothers of children waned by the arrows, sisters of those who were martyred, mothers who lost their sons. And they were mourning their dear ones.
Next to them were body parts amputated, corpses slashed and cut, necks covered with blood. And they were in a desolate desert...
Behind the low marshes stood the army of treachery savouring its “victory”: the recklessness of winners and the meanness of vanquishers. Besides all of this, they did not know what the morning would bring them and what the caller would announce.
Will he announce their slaughter, or will they be taken captive? None other than the ailing Imam (‘a) could defend them, had he only been able to defend himself against the danger of being killed.
Vexation overwhelmed the world of the domain and of the unseen; the huris in the chambers of Paradise were crying, and so were the angels in the strata between the heavens, as the jinns mourned.2
Ibn Abul-Hadid says, “‘Ubaydullah Ibn Ziyad built four mosques in Basra to disseminate hatred towards ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib (‘a).”3
This is not how to reward Allah's Messenger
O nation of oppression and corruption!
Had the Messenger of Allah lived after him,
He would have today mourned him exceedingly.
Umm Salamah saw the Messenger of Allah (S) in a vision4 with his hair looking quite untidy, dusty, with earth soil on his head. She asked him, “O Messenger of Allah! Why do I see your hair looking so untidy and dusty?”
“My son,” he (S) said, “has been killed, and I have not yet finished digging his grave and those of his companions.”5
She woke up terrified and looked at the bottle containing a specimen of the soil of Karbala'. She found it boiling in blood.6 It was the bottle given to her by the Prophet (S) who ordered her to keep it. Moreover, she heard in the depth of the night a caller mourning al-Husayn (‘a) saying
In fact, she heard in the depth of the night other voices mourning al-Husayn (‘a) but could not see them. Among the poetry she had heard was the following:
On the day of ‘Ashura, Ibn ‘Abbas saw the Messenger of Allah (S) in a vision with his hair looking very untidy, and he was holding a bottle of blood. He said to him, “May my parents be sacrificed for your sake! What is this?!” “This is the blood of al-Husayn (‘a) and of his companions;” he said, adding, “I have been collecting it, and I have not yet finished doing so.”9
They kept al-Husayn's naked corpse on the ground for three days although he was the essence of existence itself, being part of the Prophet (S) who is the cause of all causes, the one whose light was derived from the holiest light of the Most Holy One.
People thought that Doomsday had dawned.12 Stars appeared at midday.13 And they kept colliding with one another.14 The rays of the sun could not be seen,15 and all this continued for three long days.16
Nobody should be surprised at seeing the light of the sun diminishing during the period when the master of the youths of Paradise was left naked on the ground, for he is the cause in the cosmos running due to what you have come to know of his being derived from the very truth of Muhammad (S), the truth which is the cause of all causes and the first reason.
It is due to the tradition, which confirms the same, and which is related to how the responsibility of wilaya was offered to everything in existence: whoever accepted it would surely benefit therefrom, and whoever refused would be deprived.
If the talk about the cosmos undergoing some change on account of the birth of a great prophet till the heavens are filled with clouds, and that it rained when a Christian scholar at Surra-man-Ra'a [Samarra’]17 prayed for rain, although he did not uncover the body of the prophet [but only a bone of whose body he was holding], nor were his limbs cut off; so, how could it not undergo a change, or why should not the sunlight or the moonlight not be obliterated when the [corpse of the] Master of the Youths of Paradise was left on the ground after being mutilated?
Yes! The condition of everything changed, and all beings were altered. The wild beasts mourned him with tears in their eyes.
The Commander of the Faithful (‘a) has said, “By my parents! Al-Husayn (‘a) will be killed in the outskirts of Kufa. It is as if I can see the wild beasts stretching their necks on his grave mourning him all night long till the morning.”19
And it rained blood.20 Water urns and jars and every other container was filled with blood.21 For a long time did its stain remain on houses and walls.22 Whenever a stone was removed, blood was found underneath it,23 even in Jerusalem.24
When the head was brought into the governor's mansion, the mansion's walls dripped blood25 and a fire broke out from a number of its walls. That fire ran in the direction of ‘Ubaydullah Ibn Ziyad who, noticing it, ordered those who were in his company to keep what they had seen to themselves.26
He fled away from it. It was then that the holy head spoke loudly saying, “Where are you running to, O cursed one?! If it does not reach you in this life, the Fire shall be your abode in the hereafter.” The head kept speaking till the fire was out. Everyone in the mansion was amazed.27
For two or three months did the people see the walls stained with blood at sunrise and at sunset.28 Another incident is that of a raven stained with the blood of al-Husayn (‘a). It flew to Medina and fell on the walls of the house where Fatima, the youngest daughter of al-Husayn (‘a), was living at the time.
She used this incident as a theme in mourning the killing of her father [before its news reached Medina] (‘a). When she mourned him to the people of Medina, they said, “Here she is reviving the witchcraft of ‘Abd al-Muttalib's offspring!”
It was not long before the news of his martyrdom came. This is narrated by the most eloquent among all the orators of Khawarizm, namely Ahmad Ibn Mekki [al-Khawarizmi] who died in 568 A.H/1173 A.D. as we read on p. 92, Vol. 2, of his book Maqtal al-Husayn.
This coincident should not surprise anyone especially when we come to know the fact that al-Husayn (‘a) had another daughter besides Fatima and Sukayna.
Al-Husayn's martyrdom was surrounded with super-natural events. It is as though the Almighty, the most Exalted One, wanted then to inform the nation, as well as the succeeding generations, to be acquainted with this epic the like of which has never been witnessed.
He wanted to inform them about the extent of cruelty of the Umayyads in dealing with Abu ‘Abdullah, the man who sacrificed his all for the sake of the Divine Call.
This implies attracting everyone's attention to the status al-Husayn (‘a) enjoys with Allah, and that his killing will refute all misguidance and will herald the revival of the creed, the survival of which was desired by the Lord of the World, till the Day the dead shall be resurrected.
Du’bal al-Khuza’i narrated a story that he traces back to his grandfather thus:
His mother, Su’da daughter of Malik al-Khuza’i, was alive and aware of the fact that a tree belonging to the mother of Ma’bid al-Khuza’i29 had long been dead. The Prophet (S) happened to make his ablution there and he poured the left-overs of his ablution water under that tree.
Through such a blessing, the tree was brought back to life: it became green once more, and its produce was quite bountiful.
When the Prophet (S) died, its produce decreased a great deal, and when the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) was killed, all its fruit fell at once on the ground. People continued to use its leaves as a medicine. After some time, they looked at it and noticed how its trunk was literally bleeding.
They were terrified for having seen something nobody else had ever seen. When the night brought the mantle of its darkness, they heard someone weeping and wailing without seeing anyone at all. They heard another voice saying:
It was not long after having witnessed such an odd phenomenon that news came of the killing of al-Husayn (‘a). Du’bal al-Khuza’i dedicated three lines of poetry complementing the above wherein he said,
The meaning of the second line was borrowed by a Shi’a poet of old and reworded in three lines [the rough translation of which runs thus]:
In fact, anyone who touched the sassafran which had been plundered [from Husayn's family] was burnt thereby and reduced to ashes. The taste of the meat of the camels which they had looted was bitterer than that of colocynth, and they saw fire coming out of it.32
Nobody had ever seen the sky turning red except on the day when al-Husayn (‘a) was killed.33 Ibn al-Jawzi has said,
“Whenever anyone among the people was angry, anger left permanent physical marks on his face. Since the Truth, Exalted is He, is far above having a physical form to manifest to people, He manifested His wrath for the killing of al-Husayn (‘a) through the redness of the horizon on account of the magnanimity of the crime committed...
The Prophet (S) could not sleep as he heard the moaning of his uncle, al-’Abbas Ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, who had been taken captive and who was tied during the battle of Badr; so, what would his condition have been had he heard the moaning of al-Husayn (‘a)?
When Washi, Hamzah's killer, embraced Islam, the Prophet (S) said to him, “Get your face away from my sight, for I do not like to see the killer of my loved ones.”
This was so despite the fact that Islam wipes out whatever sins one had committed prior to accepting the faith; so, what would his condition have been had he seen the person who killed his [grand]son and who transported his family on camels’ bare humps?”34
Yes! The [soul of the] Messenger of Allah (S) did, indeed, attend and witness the huge host which was bent on eradicating his family from the face of earth, and he saw the wailing of the orphans and the sobbing of the ladies who had lost their loved ones, and he heard the cries of the children because of thirst. In fact, the army heard a thunderous voice saying,
“Woe unto you, O people of Kufa! I see the Messenger of Allah (S) eying you, once looking at you, and once looking at the heavens, holding his holy beard!”
But the desires and the misguidance that have taken control of the souls of that greedy host inspired to them that it was just “a mad man” [who was calling]. The crowd among them shouted, “Let it not frighten you!” Abu ‘Abdullah, Imam as-Sadiq (‘a), used to say, “I do not think that that voice came from anyone another than Gabriel.”35
Some angels shouted, “O nation that has become confused and misguided after its Prophet! May Allah never accept your Adha nor Fitr [Eid] prayers!”
Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) has said, “By Allah! There is no doubt at all that they were not successful, nor will they ever be, till a revolutionary rises for [the offspring of] al-Husayn (‘a).”36
Shaikh al-Baha'i has narrated saying that his father, Shaikh Husayn Ibn ‘Abd al-Samad al-Harithi, entered Kufa's mosque once and found a carnelian stone upon which these lines were written:
On p. 341, Vol. 4, of Tahthib Tarikh Ibn ‘Asakir, al-Waqidi is quoted as saying that Umm Salamah died three years before al-Husayn's martyrdom. In his book Al-Kafi, al-Mufid cites Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) saying that al-Husayn (‘a) had entrusted the nation's treasures to her in order to pass them on to Zayn al-’Abidin (‘a). On p. 142, Vol. 2, of al-Thahabi's book Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’, al-Thahbi says, “Umm Salamah, wife of the Messenger of Allah (S), was the last to die from among the mothers of the faithful. She lived till the news of the martyrdom of al-Husayn (‘a) reached her.
She was shaken, and she fainted. She grieved for him a great deal, remaining only for a short while thereafter before departing to Allah, the most Exalted One.” On p. 146 of the same book, Shahr is quoted as saying, “I came to Umm Salamah to offer my condolences on the death of al-Husayn (‘a).”