This text presents the heartbreaking historical facts of the tragedy of Husayn ibn 'Ali (as) for the first time in a courtroom setting and proposes the idea of establishing an international court tribunal to try his killers and the perpetrators of the massacre of Karbala. The author, Dr. Hatem Abu Shahba, presents a mock trial where the evidences in the form of historical documents, statements, and authentic facts are presented to allow for a fair verdict, with the hope that this idea can become a reality one day. Although centuries have passed and the defendants are no longer alive, the human conscience strives to attain justice for the innocent victims of this inhumane tragedy which has no like or similarity in the history of the universe.
“Surely, the killing of Al-Husayn left a burning heat in the hearts of the true believers that will NEVER EVER cool down!”
Imam Ja’far ibn Muhammad As-Sadiq
In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Praise be to Allah (SWT)1 whom none is praised but Him, and no one asks reward on a calamity except from Him. May Allah (SWT) reward us for our calamity regarding the grandson of the Holy Prophet, Al-Husayn bin ‘Ali! May peace and blessings be upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S)2 and on his purified progeny and those who take him as guardian!
I have been thinking for a long time about the idea of establishing an international tribunal to try the killers of Imam Husayn (as)3 and the perpetrators of the massacre of Karbala.
The idea is to place them under trial with the charge of committing war crimes, mass murder, and crimes against humanity, based on the modern-day laws and understanding, and away from any religious accusation or anything related to religion.
A real and practical trial which the whole world participates in… one that is represented by a group of chosen judges who come from all parts of the world, and a jury who represents all the different nationalities and religions of the globe.
A trial that gives the defendants the right to defend themselves through lawyers and a defense team; it would have a prosecution team as well. The defendants would be called by their names only (since they died long time ago) to face the world and all of humanity. They will be tried for their crimes and massacres which they have committed in Karbala. The witnesses will be called from the historical texts, and the well-known Islamic books written by famous Muslim historians.
Let this be a just and fair trial by international modern standards under the supervision of the international community. Let the court trial take its time and follow all the legal procedures which are typically followed in most of the democratic countries that respect human rights.
Thereafter, a fair verdict will be issued regarding the criminals and let all of humanity make its judgment against them and then sentence them! Let the horrendousness and insanity that happened in Karbala be exposed to the whole world as it does not only belong to the supporters of Al-Husayn (as) alone, but to ALL of humanity! What happened in Karbala greatly exceeds crimes committed against humanity and the war crimes. It will shock the whole world and I am very confident of that!
Accomplishing this is not impossible and praise is to God, the supporters of Al-Husayn have sufficient monetary and social ability to sponsor such a trial, especially in the western countries. We could accomplish this mission with determination and this will surely be a great achievement in front of the whole world. Let the truth be revealed and let all of humanity sympathize with the tragedy of Imam Al-Husayn (as)!
We hope and pray to Allah (SWT) that this dream becomes true one day, and our Muslim nation and the world wakes up after following this trial which should be broadcasted live in all parts of the world, especially our Islamic nation which has been affected by ignorance and blindness. As a result, it lost the ability to recognize truth from falsehood, and friend from foe.
Till this dream is accomplished and Allah (SWT) sends he who is capable of turning this dream into reality…one who is chosen from the lovers and devotees of Imam Husayn (as), and they are many thanks to Allah (SWT)…till that happens, I will attempt in the following pages to present my conception of how that could be accomplished. How do I visualize it to take place and in what way?
I will try to imagine every detail of the court trial from the judges, the defendants, the indictment, the witnesses, prosecution and defense teams, the court sessions, the jurors, and the announcement of the final verdict as well as its consequences.
Perhaps these details would serve as a model and a useful tool for the actual trial if it hopefully becomes a reality one day by the hands of a person(s) who would adopt this idea, execute it, and win the great reward from Allah (SWT) as well as the blessed intercession of Imam Husayn, his holy grandfather, father, mother, and brother (peace be upon them all).
Without further ado, let us depart together to the world of imagination and let us ride the train of time to the future so that we live this beautiful dream in the following pages. The dream of achieving at least a small portion of justice for Imam Husayn (as) and his family and companions, until Allah (SWT) wills the reappearance of Imam Al Mahdi (AFS)4 from the progeny of Prophet Muhammad (S) who will fill the earth with justice and equity after it was filled with oppression and transgression.
The first justice he will seek will surely be to attain vengeance for Imam Husayn (as). Let us start together in this journey…the journey of seeking human justice. I hope it will be exciting, beneficial, sad, and filled with information and facts about the events which took place in Karbala.
Hopefully, everyone can benefit from this, and then knowledge can be propagated in a novel way of presentation that suits the modern life and time change. From Allah (SWT) we seek help and on Allah (SWT) we depend!
We seek His reward and we desire the intercession of His Holy Prophet (S), ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Lady Fatima, and her sons Hasan and Husayn, may peace and blessings be upon them all!
” هل من ناصر ينصرنا هل من معين يعيننا هل من ذاب عن حرم رسول الله صلى الله عليه واله"
Is there anyone to help me? Is there anyone to support me? Is there any defender to defend the Household of the Messenger of Allah?
That was the call of Husayn ibn ‘Ali, the grandson of the Holy Prophet (S) on the day of Ashura, year 61 A.H. (which coincides with October 9th, 680 A.D.) after all his family members and close companions were killed on the plains of Karbala.
Did Imam Husayn (as) get any response? Did anyone answer his call? Did anyone even bother to quench the thirst of his infant baby?
Sadly there was no answer, no response, no support, and no water! The only reaction he got was a shower of arrows, spears, and stab wounds!
The departed souls of his close companions and family members could only watch sorrowfully from the heavens as they wished to return back in human form once again to sacrifice themselves in his defense!
Their utmost pleasure was not in Paradise, but in giving their blood and body parts out of love to their divinely appointed Leader. And the souls that were not yet created regretted not being alive on this day to offer a helping hand or a cup of water, or at least bury his trampled, naked, and headless body.
Imam Husayn (as) was left alone on the day of Ashura without anyone to help him and he met his fate with full submission and surrender to His Lord.
This everlasting call of Husayn in Karbala is not specific to the day of Ashura in 61 A.H. but it is a call resonating everyday till the end of time. This plea is not only directed to those present in the battlefield in Karbala; it is aimed for all of us today as well as future generations to come. The universal message of Imam Husayn (as) is echoing beyond the plains of Karbala…so long as there is oppression and injustice in this world, his mission to fight injustice and oppression will eternally live. It was Imam Husayn (as) and his family who sacrificed all they had for the sake of upholding the truth!
• Among the questions which beg itself to each one of us today are:
• What exactly are we doing to answer that universal call of Imam Husayn (as)?
• How are we offering him support, helping him, and shielding his family from harm?
• Are our hearts with Husayn, yet our swords against him (by action)? Or are we playing deaf to Husayn’s appeal while we claim to be his followers?
• We recite in our Ziyarah to Imam Husayn (as),
يَا لَيْتَنَا كُنَّا مَعَكُم فَنَفُوزُ فَوْزاً عظيماً
We wish we were with you and so we would have won the greatest victory!
Yet, what are we doing to prove that we really wish to be with him?
• What is our strategy in enjoining the good and forbidding the evil and how are we supporting the truth and fighting oppression?
• Last but not least, what steps are we taking to pave the road for the reappearance of the Imam of our Time (may Allah hasten his reappearance)? Or will we shamefully be among those who disbelieve and deny him when he reappears, God-willing?
When identifying the master criminals of the tragedy of Karbala, authenticated history points its fingers to five main cursed culprits who carefully conspired behind the scenes, designed, and planned the murder of Husayn, the son of Fatima who is the Master Lady of all Worlds according to the Last Messenger (S).
They perpetrated and committed multitude of heinous crimes in this catastrophe which has no like in the history of mankind, whether in the past or the future. In the order of their criminal offense starting with the chief delinquent, their names are: Yazid ibn Muawiya, Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad, Umar ibn Sa’d, Shimr Ibn Dhil Jawshan, and Hurmala ibn Kahel (may Allah deprive them of His Mercy).
They are the wicked villains who tainted their hands with the purified blood of the most righteous one on earth during their time, the grandson of the Holy Prophet (S), Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)!
The crimes they committed are not like any other crimes. And the victims in this case are not like any other victims. Hence, their status as criminals and offenders is certainly not like any other criminal and offender!
They surely deserve to be condemned, convicted, and sentenced at the very least like any other criminal and much more!
Quite surprisingly and unfortunately, we still find in the Muslim world today those who give regards and respect to the killers of Imam Husayn (as). We find those who defend them with the pretext that they are among the ‘companions’. We find those who refuse to condemn their actions and instead blame the victims. We find those who equate the perpetrators of the tragedy of Ashura with any wrong-doer who simply made a ‘mistake’ and have ‘repented’.
We find those who intentionally try to hide the facts of history and drive the spotlight away from the truth. We find those who belittle what happened in Karbala to protect certain political figures, perhaps out of fear for their own personal interests and material gain.
There is an inclination among some people to mix the good and bad forces in the same pot hoping for a chemical reaction to yield a good product. What they don’t realize is the mathematical law which dictates that positive multiplied by negative equals nothing but negative! One cannot equate Husayn (as) with Yazid (LA)1 or ‘Ali (as) with Muawiya (LA)!
As stated in the Holy Quran:
قُلْ لَا يَسْتَوِي الْخَبِيثُ وَالطَّيِّبُ
“Say, the evil and the good are not equal…” (5:100)
Hence, we cannot claim to bear love of Husayn and ‘Ali in the same heart which bears love or leniency towards Yazid and Muawiya! The result is clear hypocrisy which leads to none other than absolute darkness and misguidance.
The Satanic forces that were present on the day of Ashura are also here with us today as they aim to cover up the truth and present it in a sugar-coated form. The Yazidi supporters of Kufa are living among us on this earth disguised in the dress of Islam. The Kufans whose hearts were with Husayn yet their swords were against him…are also existing today! Their hearts may be with Husayn today but these same hearts are already tainted with the love of the enemies of Husayn, or if not, they lack hatred and condemnation of these enemies!
Perhaps the opportunity is not there today for them to unsheathe their swords against Husayn. But if history was to repeat itself, they will be the first to rush to Yazid’s support and may even be worse than their predecessors whom they blindly follow. In fact, the reality of today tells us that they are indeed unsheathing their swords to support the Yazid-of-today against the upholders of truth and justice.
Brothers and Sisters in humanity, our proposal today is to place these five cold-blooded killers under trial for the multitude of war crimes and mass murder committed in the massacre of Karbala. In this historical trial, we can scrutinize the overwhelming evidence that is cited in many of the well-known books and references authenticated by the majority of the Muslims.
Even though these criminals are not alive today, we can still attempt to establish an iota of justice for the victims of Karbala by placing these villains on trial for the crimes they committed hundreds of years ago. Our idea is to create an International Tribunal where a court composed of judges and jurors from all over the world listen to the heart-aching story of Karbala and make the judgment themselves to decide whether these defendants are guilty or not.
This final decision would be purely based on the humanitarian aspect (without need to delve deep into the religious aspect) as the case of Imam Husayn (as) is filled with many atrocious crimes that go against the basic principles of humanity and civilization.
What does the Geneva Convention say about the rights of prisoners of war, the wounded, the sick fighters, and the treatment of civilians during the time of war? In fact, the Third and Fourth Geneva Convention considers war crimes to be ‘grave breaches’ when it involves willful killing, torture, inhuman treatment, compelling one to serve in the forces of a hostile power, taking of hostages, extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly, as well as unlawful deportation, transfer, or confinement.
Let us analyze the actions of these criminals in light of the Nuremberg Principles which set the guidelines for determining what constitutes a war crime. Why not present this tragic case of Imam Husayn (as) to key organizations which claim to work for and support human rights such as the United Nations, International Human Rights group, Amnesty International, and World Organization for Human rights, etc.?!
Let the whole world judge based on the evidence and facts whether these defendants violated any or all of these laws during and after the massacre of Karbala. Let mankind use its own intellect and logic to establish justice and defend humanitarian rights!
We envision that the judges in this international court tribunal would be carefully selected to represent all different cultures and religions across the globe. The evidence which incriminates these five defendants is available in the approved references of the common school of thought of Islam which will act as ‘witnesses’ in this case. After hearing out the details of the litigation, the jurors will issue a final verdict to be stamped in history till the end of time.
If these defendants are found to be “guilty” and convicted based on a unanimous verdict, they will then be sentenced and placed in the garbage and trash of history, just like world-dictators such as Hitler and his cronies, Milosevic, and Saddam Husayn. Thereafter, no one can dare to ever give them respect or regards and they will be cursed till eternity!
We cannot bring back the lives of the victims nor can we compensate their families. And the fire of love and grief in the hearts of
Husayn’s devotees will NEVER EVER cool down! However, the least that we can do as an intellectual society is bring an iota of human justice for the victims in the case of Imam Husayn’s cold-blooded murder, even if it is much later in time and even if the perpetrators have departed this world long time ago. Hence, we recite in Ziyarat Ashura,
…طَلَبَ ثَارِي مَعَ إِمَامِ هُدىً ظَاهِرٍ نَاطِقٍ بِالْـحَقِّ مِنْكُمْ،…
I ask Allah to provide me the opportunity to fight for justice and seek your vengeance under the leadership of the rightly-guided leader in your progeny who will surely come and speak the truth….
We know that divine justice will ultimately be established by the Absolute Justice and the Almighty Creator on the Day of Judgment. But in the meanwhile, it is our responsibility as human beings to set the stage for establishing justice in this life to the best of our ability till the reappearance of the awaited Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) who will fill the earth with justice and equity after it has been filled with tyranny and oppression.
Without justice and punishment of the oppressors this world will surely turn into a jungle of beasts and predators and there will be no difference between animals and human beings!
Dear fellow humans, to every person in the world who possesses a sound intellect and judgment regardless of your religion, education, race, or culture…Let us go ahead and accomplish our goal of establishing human justice in the murder case of Imam Husayn (as)! It is up to us to find the means and resources to appeal to the whole world about this most peculiar and extraordinary anti-humanitarian case which spews tears of blood from rocks and breaks the heart of even the wildest beast out there!
Dear brothers and sisters in humanity; let us take the steps today to pave the path for this dream to come true…the dream of establishing an “International Court Tribunal against the Killers of Husayn ibn ‘Ali”!
The mock trial presented in the following pages is the way that our simple minds imagine or fantasize for it to take place in the modern-day world. It is up to us to turn these pages into reality instead of a mere thought locked up in the mind or words jotted on paper! Let the merciless criminals earn their punishment in this world before they earn it in the next!
Let their conviction be pronounced in front of all creation in this life before the Day of Judgment!
Let us put an end to all words of praise and/or defense on these inhumane beasts! Let these five heartless criminals be placed in the filthiest garbage and trash of history …until the awaited Mahdi and chosen Imam of our Time (may Allah hasten his reappearance) resonates his call:
يا لِثَارَات الحُسَيْن
“Revenge on [the killers of] Al-Husayn!”
Whether we are Muslim or non-Muslim, black or white, rich or poor…
Let us ALTOGETHER answer to the universal call of Imam Husayn (as) on Ashura with words that are complemented by actions!
Let us call out in our loudest of voices which transcends time and space, “Yes my Master Husayn, we are here with you and we jump to your support which is driven by our utmost love and devotion to you!”
Let us say to our beloved leader from the bottom of our grieving hearts, “Oh Husayn, you didn’t have any helper on the day of Ashura and we wish that we were there with you on that dreadful day…but here we are today revisiting the plains of Karbala with our swords unsheathed against your enemies!”
Today the world witnesses a great and extremely important and serious international event which marks an outstanding beginning in history. Today, a court tribunal will commence in the city of Vienna, Austria, and this is truly one of the most extraordinary and bizarre tribunals to ever take place. Or let us say it is the trial of the age or the mother of all trails!! It is the trial of the killers of Imam Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) and those who are responsible of the massacre which took place on the plains of Karbala, on the 10th day of Muharram, in the year 61 A.H.
The reason for the peculiarity and astonishment is because for the very first time in history, a court tribunal is set to try individuals for a crime that has been committed hundreds of years ago. Its perpetrators and victims have passed away long time ago. The world has not yet witnessed a scenario like that in the past, and this will, without a doubt, be a great event that will stand as an example and model in the future.
Verily, justice knows no place or time, and it will surely prevail even after a long delay or time lag. Who called for the setting of this tribunal and sponsored it is an association called “Justice for the Martyrs of Karbala.”
This association, in addition to the Human Rights Organization and the United Nations, has collectively taken charge of coordinating and setting this tribunal without interfering in its procedures or decisions. As its organizers say, the goal of this tribunal is to educate the whole world of the heinous crimes, tragedies, atrocities and calamities which took place in Karbala.
The aim is also to expose the perpetrators of these crimes, and to submit the clear-cut proofs and evidences against them which lead to their convection. The whole world is then left to judge them, and judge their crimes which they had committed in Karbala since more than 14 centuries ago.
It was initially decided that the court sessions will be held in the holy city of Karbala which witnessed the tragic and bloody events. However, due to security concerns and religious sensitivities and for the sake of having a more universal, unbiased, and transparent court trial, the organizers decided to hold the court proceedings in the Austrian city of Vienna. Vienna is centrally located in Europe and enjoys a high level of freedom, security, beauty, and the resources to organize such an event, as well as an advanced level of telecommunications that makes it feasible to have live broadcast of all the proceedings directly to all parts of the world simultaneously.
This way the greatest number of people across the globe can follow the events of this unique court tribunal. Furthermore, a new satellite channel has been especially set up for this purpose at a high cost which the devotees of Imam Al-Husayn (as) have donated from all over the world. This of course is in addition to other local and satellite channels everywhere.
Twelve judges representing the six continents of the world were chosen for this trial two judges representing each continent. These judges were carefully selected by the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. They are well known for their competence, proficiency, and neutrality, as well as high level of technical expertise in their field globally. It has been decided that the court will follow the jury system as it is currently applied in the US, England, and Australia, with one difference. The judges will also have the right to vote alongside the jurors in reaching a final verdict of “guilty” or not “guilty”.
The panel of jurors has also been carefully selected and their total number is 100; 75 men and 25 women who represent all people and ethnic groups across the globe. This number of jurors is exceptionally high and unprecedented in any other court case.
Their selection took place after a long and tough search which the judges, prosecution, and defense teams all participated in. Among the criteria for their selection is the lack of prior knowledge of the tragedy of Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (as) nor of what has happened in Karbala. The panel of jurors was selected from different age groups, educational, social, and religious backgrounds.
As for the defense team, it is composed of a group of Muslim radicals who believe in the purity of the early Muslims (Salaf Al Saleh) and their followers (Tabe’een). They believe in their cleanness as well as the innocence of those defendants accused of the crimes of Karbala who, according to them, are among Al Salaf Al Saleh.
For that reason, they took the initiative to defend the perpetrators since they believe that these defendants are sacred religious figures who should not be tried. And even if they did sin, it is not permissible to hold them accountable for their sins or accuse them because of their good intentions. Thus, according to the perspective of the defense team, those perpetrators are innocent in any case and God alone is the one who will hold them accountable, not the humans.
As for the prosecution, it is composed of a group of lawyers and former judges from different ethnic backgrounds and religions. What they all have in common is their love and admiration to the personality and the cause of Imam Al-Husayn (as), and the great impact and effect upon them to what has happened to him and his family in Karbala. They were determined to present the case to all mankind and to attain a universal verdict convicting the perpetrators of the inhumane crimes of Karbala.
Perhaps this could be the beginning that will set the stage for other court cases of historical events and incidents in which crimes against humanity has been committed and left behind many victims, while the perpetrators of these heinous crimes walked free and escaped justice in this life and the time has finally come to serve some justice for the victims and the oppressed ones of these crimes.
Since early morning, a big crowd gathered around the huge courthouse which is located at the downtown of the Austrian capital, Vienna. The security arrangements are strict, but without creating troubles or traffic problems. Everything is well-organized, the city is beautiful, the sun is shining, and the weather is a bit cool.
The time has been set for the First court hearing of this historical trial to take place at 10AM sharp. The doors are to be opened at 9 AM and the attendees can begin to enter and be seated. There are big numbers of media correspondents and journalists (representing local and international press and TV channels) carrying their cameras and equipment. There are many TV live broadcast trucks.
At 9AM sharp, the doors opened and attendees started entering the courtroom in a very organized manner. The media representatives have their reserved seats, as well as the audience and spectators who are directed to their seats by certain ushers. There is no disruption or commotion despite the great number of attendees, and the security procedures are proceeding smoothly and easily. Silence and organization are the main elements of the courtroom as if the whole event is under the direct supervision of angels, not humans.
Back doors were reserved for the entrance of judges, court officials, both prosecution and defense teams, jurors, and international spectators. Huge TV screens were set up in the public squares surrounding the courthouse so that viewers can follow the court events directly. The court proceedings would also be broadcasted live in different languages including Arabic, German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Urdu, Farsi, Chinese, Japanese, in addition to many other languages so that people all over the globe can follow closely this great and important event live, minute by minute, regardless of their location or language.
Displaying of anything which may influence the judges or jurors has been prohibited, things such as slogans, pictures, banners, extra-ordinary clothes, etc.
A defendant cage has been placed between the seats of the attendees and the bench of the judges. This cage contained five seats inside it. One seat was located at the front, followed by two seats behind it which is also followed by other two seats. A dummy which is completely covered by a white cloth was placed on each of these seats.
A huge banner was posted over the head of each dummy. The banner carried a name that was clearly printed in several languages. Each dummy is representing one of the defendants in this court case.
The seat located at the front of the cage had a covered dummy which carried a banner above it with the name “Yazid ibn Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan” in several languages. Behind it on the right was a covered dummy with a banner above it which read “Obaidullah ibn Ziyad” in several languages. To its left was a covered dummy which was named “Umar ibn Sa’d” also in several languages.
Behind it to the right was a seat with a covered dummy which carry the name “Shimr ibn Dhil Jawshan” in several languages. And to its left was a covered dummy which had the name “Hurmala bin Kahel” also in several languages. Court guards stood at each corner of the defendants’ cage with serious expressions while they wore their official uniforms.
Ten minutes before 10AM, an announcement was made in different languages via speakers that everyone should be seated so that the historical court trial would begin its first court session in ten minutes. The guests were asked to wear their headphones to listen in the language of their choice and all were requested to maintain silence and abide by the court rules which were clearly displayed on a big screen behind the audience.
The defense team started entering and took their allotted seats. They were nine in number from different ethnic backgrounds and all of them had long beards and signs of prostration on their foreheads. After that, the prosecution team entered and they were composed of five members, one of them was a lady wearing Niqab (complete veil). They also took their seats allotted for them.
At 10AM sharp, the sound of a hammer knocking came from speakers and the bailiff entered in his official uniform and he announced that the court is in session. He requested that everyone stand up out of respect to the judges. Everyone stood up and the twelve judges began to enter, clad in their black gowns. They seemed from different ethnic backgrounds and were headed by the Australian Chief Justice who was selected to head and supervise the trial. He looked in his late 60’s and he had white hair and white beard.
His complexion was pinkish and he wore eyeglasses and looked kind-hearted and laid-back, but he seemed to have a sense of determination and strict. The judges took their seats on the bench and seated in the middle was the Chief Justice, the Australian judge who signaled for all to sit down. Then he announced in a calm voice the commencement of the first court session and ordered that the panel of jurors enter and take their seats. Then he said:
Chief Justice: Today we commence the First court session of this historical and unique trial which I think will not be the last one. Many centuries have passed since the crime that is being looked upon took place, and the defendants in this case are being tried in their absence as they have passed away from this world many centuries ago.
The whole world is watching us with excitement and interest. I hope that this trial will be professional, subjective, and unbiased so that we reach the truth through the facts and incidents which truly took place, not what is said as rumors. I must mention here the well-known rule which states that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. So, it is the duty of the prosecution to prove to us that the defendants are guilty and at fault beyond reasonable doubt.
The burden falls on the prosecution team to prove that, and the defense team has all the right in discussing, challenging, and refuting all the evidences and witnesses that the prosecution presents. In the end, the final word is for the jurors along with the judges to decide the guilty verdict or not. I request that everyone abide by the rules and regulations of this trial which are posted on the screen behind you and have been unanimously approved.
I also ask that you maintain complete silence and discipline regardless of the emotions or reactions that may come to surface with the events of this trial. Let’s start it, I request that the Secretary of the court recite the indictment in a clear and loud voice…you may go ahead. (He turns his head towards the Court Secretary)
Court Secretary: (recites the indictment)
Your honor, respected judges and jurors…
First: On Friday, the 10th day of Muharram, year 61 A.H. according to the Islamic lunar calendar which coincides with October 9th, 680 A.D., the following defendants had committed war crimes, mass murder and crimes against humanity:
1. Yazid ibn Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan
2. Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad ibn Abeeh
3. Umar ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas
4. Shimr ibn Dhil Jawshan Al Dababi
5. Hurmala ibn Kahel Al Asadi
First and foremost, the above defendants planned, coordinated, and participated actively and collectively in the:
A. Encircling and arresting of a civilian caravan in the area of Karbala in Iraq, and preventing the travelers in this caravan from reaching the water despite their knowledge that in this caravan there were women, children, elderly, and unarmed civilians.
B. Rejecting all attempts of peaceful resolutions of the conflict, and the insistence on using military and armed forces.
C. Attacking the small civilian caravan by a strong, well-armed, and well-equipped army that is big in number, despite the lack of equality in strength, using excessive force which led to this heinous and horrific human massacre.
D. Issuing orders to kill children and infants using arrows and carrying out that without any compassion or mercy.
E. Beheading the victims, mutilating their bodies and looting them, and refrained from burying the dead bodies. All that took place in front of the families of the victims and their children.
F. Setting on fire and burning tents and shelter of the women, children, and the sick and injured, after stealing and looting their belongings.
G. Taking the women, the children, and the sick people in captivity. Mistreating them by hitting, looting, and torturing which led and caused the death of some.
H. Terrifying and terrorizing the children in captivity which led to death of one of them.
I. Parading and displaying the captives and the severed heads of the victims in a festive march and rally throughout the cities and villages until they reached Damascus in Syria.
Second: Each of the five aforementioned defendants individually and personally committed mass murder, crimes against humanity and war crimes on the specified date as follows:
1) YAZID IBN MUAWIYA, the Umayyad ruler over the Islamic state. He is charged with:
A. Issuing orders to chase and kill Imam Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) which forced Imam Al-Husayn to leave his homeland city against his own will to seek refuge at a safe haven along with his family and children.
B. Issuing orders to his governor in Iraq, the Second defendant, to fight the civilian caravan that carries Imam Al-Husayn (as) and his family, and to do so without neglect or leniency.
C. Issuing orders to behead the bodies of the dead victims and carry them to Damascus.
D. Issuing orders to take the women and children in captivity and bring them to Damascus.
E. Issuing orders to organize ceremonial and festive celebrations to demean, disgrace, and maltreat the captives
F. Directly ordering the terrorizing of a female child in captivity which caused her immediate death.
2) UBAIDULLAH IBN ZIYAD, Governor of Al-Kufa and Al-Basra. He is charged with:
A. Preparing a big army to face the small civilian caravan with prior knowledge that it contains women, children, and elderly and that it is an unequal match.
B. Rejecting all attempts to make peace and reconciliation. Insisting to attack a civilian caravan and using excessive force.
C. Issuing orders to arrest the civilian caravan and prevent them from reaching the water, knowing well that it includes women, children, and sick people.
D.Threatening and killing all those in his army who refuse to obey his inhumane orders or hesitate to carry out the war crimes, and forcing the soldiers to do so.
E. Issuing orders to behead the dead victims and to mutilate their bodies and bring their heads to him.
F. Issuing orders to take the women, the children, and the sick people as captives, and to mistreat them.
G. Directly and intentionally causing the death of two children among the captives.
H. Issuing orders to march the captives in the worst of conditions in ceremonial parades from Al-Kufa in Iraq to Damascus in Syria, which caused great harm to the women, the children, and the sick.
I. Issuing orders to carry the heads of the victims on raised spears from Al-Kufa to Damascus, in front of their families in such an inhumane and horrendous manner.
3) UMAR IBN SA’D IBN ABI WAQQAS, Field Commander of the Army. He is charged with:
A. Directly commanding the army who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, with a pre-determined intention.
B. Issuing orders to directly attack the civilian caravan, and personally starting the first strike.
C. Urging his army to use excessive force against the civilian caravan.
D. Preventing water from reaching the women, children, and the sick and elderly.
E. Issuing orders to kill the wounded in the battlefield.
F. Issuing orders to kill two children in the battlefield.
G. Issuing orders to behead the dead victims and mutilate their bodies in front of their families.
H. Issuing orders to set on fire and burn the tents and shelter of women, children, and the sick.
I. Taking women, children, and sick as captives and mistreating them.
J. Refraining from burial of the victims’ bodies and abandoning them in the desert.
4) SHIMR IBN DHIL JAWSHAN AL-DABABI, Deputy Commander of the army. He is charged with:
A. Directly urging and causing the armed attack on the civilian caravan.
B. Actively seeking to hinder and fail all peace talks and trials for resolving the conflict in a peaceful manner.
C. Urging the attack on women, children, and the sick.
D. Urging the arrest of the civilians and preventing water from reaching them.
E. Promoting and urging the soldiers to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity.
F. Issuing direct orders to execute the injured and the captives.
G. Beheading the victims and mutilating their bodies in front of their families.
H. Urging and participating in setting on fire and burning the tents and shelter of women and children, and attempting to kill the sick.
I. Mistreating and causing physical harm to women and children in captivity, and terrorizing the children.
J. Raising the heads of the dead victims on spears and displaying them in festive parades and celebrations for the purposes of gloating and rejoicing.
5) HURMALA IBN KAHEL AL ASADI, Commander of the arrow shooters and the chief sniper. He is charged with:
A. Directly participating in committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.
B. Intentional murder of two children with arrows in the battlefield.
C. Killing the injured and the wounded in the battlefield.
Thank you your Honor.
(The court secretary sits down after reciting the indictment. Looks of disgust are noted on the faces of many of the jurors after listening to the indictment. Many of them were attentively listening to the announcement of these charges).
(After concluding the recitation of the indictment, the Chief Justice said):
Chief Justice: Thank you Court secretary. I’d like to remind everyone once again that what you just listened to are simply allegations and does not mean that any of the defendants are guilty of anything. A defendant is innocent until proven otherwise. Because the defendants are being tried in their absence, a white cloth has been placed on each dummy to represent their innocence until their final conviction. I request that everyone take this into consideration especially the respected jurors. The burden lays on the prosecution to prove that those defendants are guilty beyond any reasonable doubt.
And now, due to the fact that these five defendants are being tried in their absence, each of them will have a lawyer to represent him. Each lawyer will represent his client in responding to all the charges in the indictment by stating “guilty” or “not guilty”. Let us begin with the First defendant…
The First defendant Yazid ibn Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan…are you guilty or not guilty of the charges that were directed against you?
Lawyer of Yazid: (stands up and says)
Not guilty in all of the abovementioned charges. (then he sits down)
The Second defendant Ubaidullah bin Ziyad…are you guilty or not guilty of the charges that were directed against you?
Lawyer of Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad:
Not guilty in all the charges directed to him. (then he sits down)
The Third defendant Umar ibn Sa’d…are you guilty or not guilty of the charges that were directed against you?
Lawyer of Umar ibn Sa’d: (stands up and says)
Absolutely not guilty! (then he sits down)
The Fourth defendant Shimr ibn Dhil Jawshan…are you guilty or not guilty of the charges that were directed against you?
Personal lawyer of Shimr: (stands up and says)
Not guilty of anything. (then he sits down)
Court Secretary: (stands up and says)
The Fifth defendant Hurmala ibn Kahel…are you guilty or not guilty of the charges that were directed against you?
Personal lawyer of Hurmala: (stands up and says)
Not guilty. (Then he sits down)
Then the Court Secretary sits down after completing the legal procedure.
Chief Justice: Now, the prosecution may begin their opening statement…Mr. Prosecutor…you may begin. (The Prosecutor stands up. He is a young gentleman in his mid-thirties. He looked smart, neat, and humble with dignity and determination. It’s hard to identify to his ethnic origin. He stands and begins to speak in a clear soft and deep voice which seems to bewilder the minds).
Prosecutor: Your Honor, dear respected judges, and respected members of the jury...thank you for participating in this unique and universal trial…
Since the beginning of man’s life on this planet, history has witnessed many killings, massacres, and mass murders which cannot be accounted for or encompassed. Unfortunately in most of these crimes, the accused perpetrators and those responsible have escaped a fair trial; hence to be judged as guilty or innocent. As a result, the human justice system has become imbalanced and did not serve or bring justice to the victims of these terrible crimes.
Today, as humanity has reached a high level of development and civilization, the time has come to open the doors of justice for the martyrs and victims of the past, so that their suspected killers and oppressors should stand a fair trial and be judged if they are guilty or not based on pure facts of history. Justice would then be served. After all, justice cannot be limited by time and cannot be folded or forgotten. It is alive even if it has been concealed, abandoned, manipulated, or avoided. Justice must wake up one day to reappear, prevail, and fill the earth with equity and fairness, after it has been filled with injustice and oppression!
The case put forth in front of you today is among the most worst and heinous of crimes and massacres committed against humanity which its perpetrators have escaped human justice! This case will indeed be the beginning and will not be the last so that every tyrant and oppressor will come to know that he must ,one day, stand trial and justice prevails and the oppressed and victims get their rights.
What has happened on the plains of Karbala in Iraq on the 10th of Muharram in the year 61 A.H., which coincides with October 9th, 680 AD, is a clear violation to human rights and a horrible crime against humanity.
Indeed; human beings are all one and cannot be separated. If one person’s life or rights are violated, it is like everyone else has been violated. This is a principle which all divine and religious doctrines has agreed upon as well as all secular laws and human traditions.
These five defendants, represented by these dummies, who are being tried in their absence, collectively and individually committed these crimes which were mentioned in the indictment. The prosecution will present irrefutable evidence which will clearly indicate without any doubt that they have committed all these premeditated crimes in cold-blood and that they are guilty of all the charges against them.
We simply ask you to exercise patience and give us your time and undivided attention with an open heart and mind so that we present our historical evidence and witnesses to prove our case and convict these defendants for what they have committed.
Yes, both the victims and the defendants in this case have passed away from this world since long time ago, but the souls of the victims, especially the innocent children haunt us here in this courtroom and call upon you to bring them justice against their oppressors who killed them while they were thirsty and helpless. If we are able to achieve justice today for those oppressed in the past, we would be doing great service to ourselves and our societies. Only then will the principle of justice be ingrained in our conscience and the society will be then in good standing. You never know…perhaps one day we ourselves will be the victims and then need to achieve human justice
for ourselves from those who oppressed, killed, and tortured us. At that moment our souls too will haunt courtrooms calling and seeking justice.
Your Honor, respected judges and jurors, thank you for listening and please accept my regards.
(That awe-inspiring prosecutor who was able in a few words to move the hearts and awaken the minds and conscience and attract the attention of the listeners everywhere, then sat down).
Chief Justice: Thank you Mr. Prosecutor, and now the Lawyer representing the defense team may start his opening statement.
Defense: (one of the nine lawyers with black thick beard, plump face, and tough features with a clearly visible mark of prostration on the forehead and an obese body stands up. He then spoke in a loud sharp resonating voice).
Dear respected judges, your Honor, respected jurors, Asalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
Many centuries has passed since the events of this case in front of you have taken place. Therefore, it is very difficult and rather impossible to find the truth! All we have are simply narrations coming from the far past which are surrounded by doubts and uncertainty.
The defendants in this case are important figures who did not act except within the limits of their religion and its regulations and teachings. So, it is hard to place them on trial without taking into account this religion and its recommendations. Perhaps they made a mistake unintentionally, and in Islam there is a rule which dictates that, “Whoever engages in ijtihad / diligent effort to make a fair judgment and tries to reach an Islamic verdict and was correct in his verdict, he will get double the reward. And if he made a mistake in judgment, still he gets one reward.” They were known for being righteous, pi-
ous, and having good behavior. There may have been mistakes made by the field commanders, or there may have been limits which were exceeded due to lack of good communication during that time! There may have been individual incidents or actions that were carried out by the soldiers on the battlefield, but it was never done intentionally nor was it planned by those five defendants such that they deserve to be on trial.
It is true that killing a human being is considered to be a crime if it was done intentionally and was premeditated. But if it happened by mistake, then it is not a crime. What is worse than killing is to accuse an innocent person with this killing, because in such case we would be correcting injustice with more injustice. Human justice would not be served, rather human injustice!
So, let us leave Allah (God) [SWT] to judge them by His Justice, for only He (SWT) knows the whole truth. These defendants are now under his mercy and justice. So why do we concern ourselves in matters which are not our business? I am confident that your efforts will reach the same conclusion at the end.
Respected judges and jurors, they are wasting your time and our time in something that has no benefit. It will soon become clear to you that the prosecution will completely fail in proving anything or convicting any of the five defendants. Thank you your Honor, Wasalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
(The lawyer who seemed to have stirred confusion in the courtroom by his words then sat down).
Chief Justice: Thank you, Mr. Lawyer. I believe there are two motions submitted by the defense. Is that correct? (he looks at the defense team)
Defense: Yes, your Honor. The motions have been handed over to the court secretary and it is available in front of you. Our first motion is that this court is not qualified to look into a case like this. In our second motion, we request permission to take some Islamic laws in consideration when discussing some of the events in this case. We know that the court rules dictate avoiding discussion of religious matters. But due to the special nature of this case, the defense finds it inevitable to discuss some Islamic laws in our argument. This would be very restricted and within the range of defending our clients only. We also have another motion, your Honor, which is in the process of being submitted to the court secretary.
Chief Justice: What is this motion?
Defense: We request that jurors be totally sequestered from the media so that they are not subjected to influence by the media coverage. This is due to the nature of this case. We do not want their verdict to be affected by emotions.
Chief Justice: We will look into your motions if they are complete and ready, and I shall make a decision about them in the next court session. Do you have any other motions?
Defense: No, your Honor.
Chief Justice: Mr. Prosecutor, do you have any remarks regarding the motions presented by the defense team?
Prosecutor: Yes, your Honor. We totally object on the First motion, but we have no problem with the Second and Third requests, if they met the court stipulations.
Chief Justice: Please submit your remarks in a written statement today to the court secretary clarifying your position regarding these three motions so I can review it before making a decision regarding them. Now the court is dismissed for today and will resume tomorrow morning at 10AM. The prosecution should be ready to start presenting his evidences and witnesses in the case. Thank you all. Court is dismissed!
(Judges and jurors begin leaving the courtroom followed by the defense and the prosecution teams. After that, the attendees start exiting quietly in an organized manner as they entered. But they are now more excited and eager to follow the events of the next court session of this unique and thrilling trial which stirred commotion in all parts of the world).
The court session resumed at 10AM sharp and after greeting remarks, the Chief Justice said:
Chief Justice: Thank you everyone, I’d like to stress once again the importance of abiding by the rules and regulations of the court and completely refraining from voicing any comments or reactions during the court proceedings. Otherwise, I will have to remove the violators from the courtroom. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
As for the defense motions which were presented yesterday, all of the judges have unanimously rejected the First motion, but accepted the Second motion with the condition that it would be within strict limits to both the defense and prosecution teams, and has accepted the Third motion. So, from now on, the jurors will be sequestered from the media (The Supreme Justice looks towards the jurors). We apologize for that and we ask that you fully cooperate with us by avoiding reading the daily newspapers and viewing media coverage which provides daily news and comments about this case. Of course this also includes internet access and receiving phone calls which are directly related to the case. Thank you.
Now, since the parties in this case have departed this world long time ago, both the prosecution and defense agreed upon depending on historical text references to provide events, evidences, and witnesses in this case. It is the right of the defense to discuss and refute every evidence or witness the prosecution presents. In the end, the verdict will be for the judges and jurors.
The prosecution has submitted a list of historical books and references which they will depend on in their presentation. This list will be recited out loud to you shortly, along with the names of their authors. The defense will have the right to object any of them if they feel that it is biased or not trustworthy for them.
In such case, the judges and jurors many only use these rejected references for the purpose of reassurance, but not to solely depend on them in deciding the truthfulness of the data. In other words, if a testimony was presented from one of the approved references (by both the prosecution and defense), then another testimony supporting that same testimony was presented from a controversial source, the jurors and judges may rely on them only for reassurance of the information that was presented in the approved source.
It is the right of the defense to respond or comment on any point presented. It is also the right of the prosecution to rebut in order to clarify any point to the jurors and judges, not just for the sake of argument. Re-rebuttal will also be allowed for the defense.
It has been decided that the judges have the right to question the prosecution and defense teams in any point raised or information presented. It will also be the right of the jurors to pose any question to both teams for clarification after they start deliberations and before reaching their verdict.
The court secretary will now begin to recite the list of historical books and references which the prosecution presented. The defense must respond to each of these references by either saying, “accepted” or “not accepted”.
There is a projector screen located on the witness stand which displays the name of all these books. During court proceedings, the names of each of the sources and references will be displayed on that screen, along with the page number and a screenshot of the original copy of the page. This will be made visible to the judges and jurors via their laptops available in front of them. Now, the court secretary may go ahead and recite out loud the list of the history books and references.
Court Secretary: (stands up and holds a paper from which she recites)
Thank you your Honor. Here is a list of references and history books which the prosecution has submitted. I request the defense to answer “accepted” or “not accepted” after the name of each book is recited.
1) Maqtal Al-Husayn Lil Khwarizmi (The Killing of Al-Husayn by Khwarizmi)
Defense: (representative stands up) Accepted
Court Secretary: 2) Tarikh Al Tabari (History by Tabari)
Court Secretary: 3) Tarikh (Al Kamel) / Ibn Al Atheer (History by son of Atheer)
Court Secretary: 4) Murooj Al Dhahab Lil Mas’oodi (Block of Gold of Mas’oodi)
Court Secretary: 5) Tarikh Al Ya’qoobi (History by Ya’qoobi)
Court Secretary: 6) Al ‘Aqd Al Fareed Li Ibn ‘Abd Rabbo & Sharh Al Nahj Li Ibn Abi Al Hadeed
Court Secretary: 7) Al Bedaya Wal Nehaya Li ibn Katheer (The
Beginning and the End by Ibn Katheer)
Court Secretary: 8) Mizan Al E’tedaal Lil Dhahabi (The Scale of Balance by Dhahabi)
Court Secretary: 9) Irshad Al Sheikh Al Mufid (The Guidance of Sheikh Al Mufid)
Defense: Not accepted
Court Secretary: 10) Maqatel Al Talibiyeen Li Abi Al Faraj Al Esfahani (The Massacres of Talibiyeen by Abi Al Faraj Al Asfahani) Defense: Accepted
Court Secretary: 11) Tarikh ibn ‘Asaker (History of Ibn ‘Asaker)
Court Secretary: 12) A’laam Al Wara Lil Tabarsi (Events of the Past by Al Tabarsi)
Defense: Not accepted
Court Secretary: 13) Maqtal Al ‘Awalem Ibn Nama (The Killing of the Famous Personalities by Ibn Nama)
Defense: Not accepted
Court Secretary: 14) Al Khasa’es Lil Soyouti (The Characteristics by Soyouti)
Court Secretary: 15) Tarikh Al Kholafaa Lil Soyouti (History of the Caliphs by Soyouti)
Court Secretary: 16) Al ‘Isaba Li Ibn Hajar (The Target by Ibn Hajar)
Court Secretary: 17) Manaqib ibn Shahr Ashoob (Virtues by Ibn Shahr Ashoob)
Defense: Not accepted
Court Secretary: 18) Motheer Al Ahzaan Li Ibn Nama (Instigator of Grief by Ibn Nama)
Defense: Not accepted
Court Secretary: 19) Seyar A’laam Al Nobala Al Dhahabi (Autobiographies of the Nobles)
Court Secretary: 20) Al Lohoof Li Ibn Tawoos
Defense: Not accepted
Court Secretary: 21) Al Sawa’eq Al Mohreqa Li Ibn Hajar (The Burning Lightening by Ibn Hajar)
Court Secretary: 22) Al Muntadhem Li Ibn Al Joozi (The Organized by Ibn Al Joozi)
Court Secretary: 23) Al Jara-eh Wal Khara-ej Lil Qutb Al Rawandi (The Cause and Effects)
Defense: Not accepted
Court Secretary: 24) Riyadh Al Ahzaan (Garden of Sorrows)
Defense: Not accepted
Court Secretary: Thank you your Honor. (sits down)
Chief Justice: Thank you Court Secretary. Dear respected judges and jurors, all the list of references that were accepted or rejected by the defense are displayed in front of you. So the total number of historical references presented were 24; 16 were approved by the defense and 8 were rejected. So these rejected references may only be used to support a piece of information which is cited in one of the 16 approved references. Please keep that in mind!
Chief Justice: Now, let us start our journey for searching the truth. I call the prosecution to start presenting his case and evidence to prove that the five defendants are guilty beyond any reasonable doubt of all the charges against them. You may begin, Mr. Prosecutor.
(That distinguished prosecutor stood up with his glorious and prestigious look with a relaxed and beautiful shining face that calms the nerves. He speaks with his melodious and sad voice which takes the minds and hearts away…it is as if there is an invisible strength which mesmerizes your ears…he stood up and said):
Prosecutor: Thank you your Honor, dear respected judges and respected jurors. Our case and our story…or rather our tragedy started on a Sunday morning in one of the days of the month of Rajab, the Islamic lunar month, in the year 60 A.H., which coincides with the Gregorian month April in the year 680 A.D.
It is the day when the ruler of the Muslims (Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan) died in his capital in Damascus after he took the pledge of allegiance for his son Yazid, the First defendant, to become the next ruler of the Islamic state after him. He took that pledge of allegiance for his son from the people by threatening, bribing, and terrorizing because the majority did not see Yazid to be qualified for this position as he lacked the knowledge, morality, and behavioral criteria required to be present in this position, according to Islamic law (Shari’a). It should be noted that the Islamic nation during that time extended from what is today Iran in the east till Egypt in the west. There were a good number of key religious figures in the Islamic society who did not give their alle-
giance to Yazid to take over after his father because of the reasons just mentioned. This fact cannot be denied by the defense team as it is mentioned in all historical references in front of you.
Anyways, after Muawiya’s death on that day, his son Yazid the First defendant automatically became the new ruler as it was planned and arranged before, despite the objection of the opponents.
It is well-known that the Islamic religion, upon which the laws of this new state were built at that time, does not condone forcing people to give their allegiance, against their own free will, to a new ruler. It prohibits the use of threat or persecution if a person does not voluntarily give his allegiance, let alone killing him. It was not either the practice of the rulers before the First defendant and it was not heard of.
This is clearly shown in the references present before you, and Yazid has been preceded by five rulers before him including his own father. Before Yazid, whoever wanted to give his pledge of allegiance to a new ruler can do so, and whoever doesn’t is free to exercise their free will. In both cases, this does not affect the individual civil rights in the Islamic state. No one, at least according to the majority of Muslims historians, was ever forced, persecuted, or kicked out or killed because of his refusal to give a pledge of allegiance to a Caliph (ruler).
This was the norm and the practice before the First defendant succeeded his father as Caliph. The first time in which force and terror was used in this regard was when the First defendant’s father tried to take the allegiance for his son during his lifetime, due to his prior knowledge of the lack of consensus or even a majority support for his son Yazid to become the next Caliph after him.
Muawiya has died and it was announced in Damascus that Yazid became the new ruler of the Islamic state. In order to strengthen the pillars of his regime, Yazid immediately sent a letter to his governor in Al-Madina who was also his cousin, Al Waleed ibn ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Sufyan. This was the first communication he sent since the beginning of his rule, and the quote of the letter is available in front of you as it has been narrated in the following books:
- Maqtal Al-Husayn Lil Khwarizmi
- Tarikh ibn ‘Asaker Tarikh Al Tabari Tarikh Al Ya’qoobi
All of these historical references have been approved by the defense. For the record, the letter reads:
“Verily, Muawiya was a servant of Allah (SWT) Who gave him bounties and rulership. Then He took his life to His mercy and reward. He lived for a specified lifespan and died on the precise time, and he gave a will to me: ‘I warn you from the household of Abi Turab (who are the victims in this case) and their audacity in shedding blood.’ Oh Al-Waleed, you know that Allah will take revenge for the oppressed one, Uthman ibn Affan (the Third Caliph) from the family of Abi Turab through the family of Abi Sufyan because they support truth and justice. So when you receive my letter, take the pledge of allegiance for me from all the people in Al-Madina!”
Then he wrote a small note attached to the letter which read:
“Attention! Force Al-Husayn, Abdullah ibn Umar, Abdul Rahman ibn Abi Bakr, and Abdullah ibn Al Zubair (they all were the key figures in Al Madina who refused to give their pledge of allegiance to Yazid) to give their allegiance to me, without excuse or exception. Whoever of them refuses, behead him and send me his head! Wasalam.”
Dear respected judges and jurors, I think the letter speaks for itself. Not only does it carry a threat; it carries instructions and a direct order to kill any of those four individuals if he kept refusing to give his pledge of allegiance, especially the main victim in this case, Al-Husayn (as). It has been cited in Tarikh Al Tabari that the governor of Al Madina, Al Waleed ibn ‘Utbah whom this letter was addressed to, was surprised at the order of the new Caliph! He exclaimed,
“Am I to kill Al-Husayn simply because he refuses to give his pledge of allegiance?!”
His statement proves that this policy of killing those who do not give their allegiance to the new Caliph was not known before the First defendant. This was a new trend innovated by the First defendant which was not known or heard of before in the Islamic society, as it goes against the laws and principles of the Islamic religion which this new society was built on.
Ladies and gentlemen, Al-Husayn (as) is the grandson of the Holy Prophet who delivered this divine message from God which Muslims embraced. Thus, he was a very important religious figure in the Islamic nation and the solely surviving grandson of a prophet on the face of the earth. He was the focus of attention and veneration from everyone due to his exceptionally good manners, religiosity, noble personality and character, and his kinship to the Prophet of Islam (S).
Defense: Objection your Honor! This type of talk is a clear attempt to influence the jurors!
Prosecutor: I am only trying to explain to the jurors the circumstances during that period of time.
Chief Justice: Objection overruled. You may continue Mr. Prosecutor.
Prosecutor: To make the matter more clear, let’s give this example. Imagine that the new American president issues a decree just after his inauguration to arrest and execute all those who voted against him or abstained in the elections. Is this thinkable or even imaginable?!!
Defense: Objection your Honor! This is an imaginary question.
Chief Justice: Objection sustained. Please continue.
Prosecutor: Ladies and gentlemen, this letter stands as a strong and irrefutable proof of the guiltiness of the First defendant in the first individual charge against them. We now present to you another letter as the second piece of evidence which clearly proves without any doubt that the First defendant is guilty in the First individual charge.
This second letter is a lengthy one sent from Abdullah ibn Abbas, the cousin of the victim in this case (Al-Husayn), addressed to the First defendant. This correspondence was in response to a letter which this defendant had sent to him after the crime in Karbala by almost a year. The First defendant asks, in his primary letter, the support of Ibn Abbas in his (First defendant) fight against Abdullah ibn Al-Zubair, his rival. This reply letter by Ibn Abbas is cited in the following sources: Maqtal Al-Husayn Lil Khwarizmi, Tarikh Al Ya’qoobi, and Tarikh Al Tabari. All of these resources are approved by the defense and here is a piece of this lengthy letter in which Ibn Abbas says to Yazid ibn Muawiya, the First defendant:
“If I forgot everything, I will never forget that you pushed Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali out from the sacred city of the Prophet (Madina) to the sacred city of Allah (SWT) (Makkah). Then you sent your men to assassinate him there, so you forced him to depart Makkah to the city of Al-Kufa. He left Makkah in the state of fear and caution, however, if he decided to stay and to permit for himself to fight and violate the sanctity of Makkah, he would’ve been the most protected among its inhabitants and the dearest to its people and the most obeyed among the inhabitants of the two holy sanctuaries, Makkah and Madina. But he (Al-Husayn) hates to be the one who violates the sanctity of the Holy Kaaba and the city of the Prophet (S). So he respected this sanctity while you didn’t when you sent your men to force him to fight in Makkah.”
It is clear from this letter that Ibn Abbas accuses the First defendant that he is the one who instigated and forced Al-Husayn (as) to leave Al-Madina, his homeland, and head to Makkah, accompanying his family under the threat of them being killed. That is because he knew very well the consequences they will face from the new ruler and his men if they stayed in Al-Madina.
Defense: Objection your Honor! The last part of the prosecutor’s statement is a personal prediction intended to influence the judges and jurors.
Prosecutor: Your Honor, I am simply trying to clarify to all of you the reason why Al-Husayn (as) took his family and children with him in this journey and chase which ended in a horrible massacre in the land of Karbala. Most of these family members and children were victims; some were slaughtered and others were killed or lost in the desert or were taken as captives. We should explain to the judges and jurors why this family and these women and children left with Al-Husayn (as) in his caravan, and why he insisted on having them accompany him despite the surrounding dangers due to threat and persecution.
That is because he knew very well what the new ruler was capable of doing with his family if he left them behind. We will address this shortly while presenting the personal life of the First defendant and his father who established this dictatorship rule which was based on oppression and terror. So, what we stated was not a personal prediction or imagination. Rather, it is a logical conclusion based on facts and events.
Chief Justice: Objection overruled. You may continue.
Prosecution: Ladies and gentlemen, Al-Husayn the victim was forced to leave his homeland in Al Madina accompanied by his family. He left during the night to save his life and his family from inevitable death after he received official notification from the governor Al Waleed ibn Uqbah that if he doesn’t give his pledge of allegiance to the First defendant, he will be killed and his head will be sent to the new ruler in Damascus. Al-Husayn (as) left in a state of fear just like Prophet Musa (as) left Egypt to escape the aggression of Pharaoh.
Defense: Objection your Honor. That comparison has nothing to do with this particular case. It is only intended to influence the emotions of the jurors.
Chief Justice: Objection sustained.
Prosecutor: Al-Husayn (as) and his family went out looking for a safe haven and he didn’t have any better option than going to Makkah where the House of Allah (SWT) is situated. The Arabs and Muslims sanctify this land and do not shed blood there. Sure enough, Al-Husayn (as) and his family arrived to the sacred Haram, but when the First defendant learned that Al-Husayn (as) escaped from Al-Madina and arrived in Makkah, he went crazy. So he fired his cousin from the governorship of Al-Madina and hired someone else because his cousin was hesitant in carrying out the mission assigned to him which is killing Imam Husayn (as).
Then he sent a letter to his governor in Makkah, ‘Amr ibn Sa’eed ibn Al ‘Aas ordering him to track Al-Husayn (as) and watch him closely, and to plan a plot to assassinate him in the sacred Haram since it would not be possible to kill him publicly as that would surely cause great mischief especially since the Hajj (pilgrimage) season was approaching and the new ruler (the First defendant) was still in his beginning days and his opponents were many and the opposition was wide-spreading.
This plot was clearly obvious from the previous letter addressed from Ibn Abbas to the First defendant. As Ibn Abbas stated, the First defendant was not satisfied with chasing Al-Husayn (as) in Al-Madina but now he is after him in Makkah which is a safe haven for every human and even animals! He was threatening Al-Husayn (as) that he would kill him which pushed Al-Husayn (as) to hasten leaving Makkah even though there was only one day left for the Hajj.
That happened when he became sure of the conspiracy and plan to assassinate him. In order to understand the state of mind of Al-Husayn (as) and the extent of conspiracy against his life, we present to you the following narration by Al-Husayn (as) when he was in a dialogue with Abdullah ibn Umar and Abdullah ibn Abbas in Makkah. This text which we present is quoted in Maqtal Al-Husayn Lil Khwarizmi and Tarikh Al Tabari which has been approved by the defense team.
Al-Husayn (as) says, “Oh son of Abbas, what would you say about a group of people who forced the grandson of the Prophet (S) out of his home and the place of settlement and birth, and the sacred Haram of the Prophet (S)?! They deprived him from neighboring the tomb and mosque of his grandfather. They terrorized and threatened him and left him without a place to seek refuge to or a safe haven to stay. They intend by their actions to kill him and shed his blood!”
In another instance, he says, “No way, Oh Ibn Umar! Those people will not leave me alone. Whether they reach me or not, they will keep chasing me until they force me to pay allegiance against my will or kill me!”
We could certainly imagine now the extent of fierce chasing and threatening which took place at the two sacred Harams which forced Al-Husayn (as) to leave with his family from Makkah to Al-Kufa after receiving many communications from its people inviting him and promising to protect him and his family if he answered their invitation. They promised to provide him a safe haven and to protect him from the oppression of the new tyrant regime which was headed by the First defendant, Yazid ibn Muawiya.
Chief Justice: The court will now be dismissed and will resume tomorrow morning at 10AM sharp. Court is dismissed…..
Chief Justice: Thank you, please be seated.
Before I request Mr. Prosecutor to continue presenting his evidences, I’d like to remind the respected jurors to refrain from listening to any comments, news or watching any material in the media about this case, whether directly or indirectly. And now, the Defense, would you like to discuss what the prosecutor has presented so far before he continues?
Defense: Yes, your Honor.
Chief Justice: You may proceed.
Defense: Respected judges, respected jurors. We listened to the prosecutor as he tried to prove the first individual charge against the First defendant when he presented the two historical letters. We do not question their authenticity; however, we do not agree at all with the deductions the Mr. Prosecutor made from these statements, and his efforts to convince you of his deductions.
The first letter addressed from the First defendant to his governor in Al-Madina was intended to avoid giving a chance for the enemies of Islam to cause unrest in the state, and to “unite” the nation under the new ruler who has already been given the pledge of allegiance by many people and tribes from all over the place.
Only the four individuals mentioned in the letter did not give their pledge of allegiance while they held a great position and impact on the nation. If they did give their allegiance, then there would be consensus and hence the new regime would be stabilized and the new ruler can focus more on the affairs of the Muslim state.
I would like to point out here that one of the most important principles of the Islamic religion which the new state was built on is the necessity of unity and agreeing collectively on one ruler and avoiding division. The Holy Prophet (S) has said, “You should listen and obey even to a slave.” He (S) also said, “Whoever tries to divide your decision after you have agreed upon one ruler, kill him no matter who he is.”
So the new ruler who is the First defendant was carrying out the religious instructions and laws on which the state was built, and was trying to maintain the unity of the nation to strengthen his regime and this is his right as a new ruler. As to what he referred to in the letter regarding the threat to kill anyone who refused to pay the allegiance, it was just a way to put pressure and to force everyone to unite under the new ruler. It was not at all a serious threat.
If it was serious, he would’ve ordered his governor to kill them immediately whether they gave their allegiance or not. This is exactly what his governor understood from the letter and so he called upon Al-Husayn (as) and informed him of the ultimatum. He urged him to give his pledge of allegiance and gave him ample time to think about it. He did not rush him because the intent was not to actually kill him.
As for the second letter, it came in response to a friendly communication which the First defendant sent to Ibn Abbas asking for support and thanking him for not participating in the mischief which rose during that time. Let us not forget here that Ibn Abbas is the cousin of Al-Husayn (as) and so his personal emotions and reaction to what has happened in Karbala made him upset and blame the First defendant for being completely responsible to what has happened.
So his words here are simply an over-reaction that is not based on real facts. Rather, it is based on false rumors and incorrect assumptions that are often due to the extreme grief over the loss of a loved one. This is well-observed frequently in our everyday life. Thank you your Honor.
Chief Justice: Mr. Prosecutor, would you like to rebut the defense’s argument?
Prosecutor: Yes, your Honor.
Chief Justice: You may proceed.
Prosecutor: Thank you your Honor. Respected judges, respected jurors, the defense claims that the intention of the first letter was to secure unity and establish the new rulership. Does that get accomplished through forcing people, shedding blood, threatening, and issuing orders of execution? What type of rulership is this and from where did it get its legitimacy?! Did Islam or its Messenger call for that? Can the defense team narrate to us any similar event which took place in the autobiography of the Prophet (S) or even his successors so that we can be guided by it?
As for the two narrations which he referred to from the Prophet of Islam (S), the first one advices people to refrain from racial discrimination and promotes equality among the people without prejudice due to color or social status. It orders them to obey their legitimate rulers regardless of their appearance or backgrounds, so long as they abide by the rules and regulations of the religion in an Islamic state, or as long as these rulers are legitimate according to the constitution in a non-Islamic state.
As for the Second narration, its aim is to put an end to mischief in a case where there is consensus over one individual. Now was there a unanimous agreement over the First defendant such that the narration applies in this case? The First defendant did not obey or carry out the
laws of the religion. On the contrary, he used to openly disobey and go against most of its regulations and teachings which forbid shedding of innocent blood. He did all that for the sake of securing his seat on the throne of caliphate and enjoying its pleasures. This is exactly what forced many to disagree and oppose his rulership.
As for the defense claim that what the first letter contained was only a fake threat, what is his proof for that? If they claim that the governor of Al-Madina did not obey the order due to his knowledge that it was only a fake threat that is completely false because all the books in front of you state that the disobedience of Al-Waleed ibn ‘Uqbah to the orders of the First defendant was based on personal initiative from him. T
he biggest evidence which proves that his act was seen as a disobedience by the First defendant was him being fired from his post immediately after Yazid the First defendant knew that Al-Waleed did not carry out his orders by the word. So the matter was not simply a fake threat for the sake of intimidating, as the defense claims. Rather, it was a serious decision to kill and execute immediately! And when the governor failed to carry out this orders Yazid fired him.
As for the Second letter, Ibn Abbas whom the defense attacks his integrity and claims that he was unjust, accuses people without proof, he was biased because of kinship, and he depended on assumption. The same Ibn Abbas is among the key personalities in Islam because a lot of the Islamic laws and teachings were narrated by him from the Holy Prophet (S).
That is why Ibn Abbas became known as “Habr Al Ummah” / the Chief Priest of the nation. So how could he be qualified to be the chief priest of the nation while he is at the same time unjust, biased, depend on emotions, and accuses based on rumors, assumptions, and predictions, while Islam forbids all that, and he knows that very well because he is the “chief priest of the nation”! This makes no sense at all and I challenge the defense in front of you and the billions of Muslims who are watching us now to make these two contradictory points fit with each other!
Chief Justice: Does the defense wish to rebut the prosecutor’s argument?
Defense: No your Honor.
Chief Justice: Court will break now for a 20 minute recess and will resume afterwards.
Chief Justice: Court session resumes after recess. Mr. Prosecutor, you may now continue presenting the rest of the evidence.
Prosecutor: Respected judges and jurors, now allow me to clarify to you why Al-Husayn (as) took the threats of the First defendant seriously and treated it as a true danger and a real conspiracy to kill and get rid of him, under the excuse of refusal to pay allegiance to the new ruler. Since the defense team opened this topic, it is legitimate for me to respond to this matter. To do so, we must give you an idea about the era of the rule of Muawiya, the father of the First defendant.
Then we will review some of this defendant’s personal attributes so that we may understand why Al-Husayn (as) take the threat seriously and therefore went out with his family looking for a safe haven that would protect him and his family from the persecution of the aggressive and the oppressive ruler. That is a natural right for any person exposed to what Imam Al-Husayn (as) was exposed to.
Defense: Objection your Honor, this has nothing to do with the case at hand and is irrelevant.
Chief Justice: Objection overruled. You may continue, Mr. Prosecutor.
Prosecutor: As for the era of the rule of Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan which lasted about 20 years, the Islamic nation suffered lots of oppression, dictatorship, killing, betrayal of covenants, racism, and ethnic cleansing during this period of time. None of these was seen or heard of before him at all. You will find hundreds of witnesses and events in the references in front of you which prove that.
Despite the different school of thoughts and political inclinations of the Muslim historians, the majority of them acknowledged that. In order not to burden you with too much information, I will only present two tragic incidents which their authenticity has been agreed upon by most Muslim historians and orientalists.
These incidents portray to us the nature of Muawiya’s rule (the father of the First defendant) and the innovations he introduced in his caliphate which the First defendant sought to tread since day one of his rule.
It is the incident of the murder of Al-Hijr ibn ‘Adiy Al Kindi and his companions. It took place after the peace treaty between Muawiya and Imam Al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali (as), the legitimate Caliph and the brother of the victim Imam Al-Husayn (as), had been signed. One of the stipulations of this peace treaty was that, Al-Hasan (as) was passing over the rulership to Muawiya for the sake of avoiding bloodshed in exchange of clemency for all the supporters of Al-Hasan (as).
This would mark the beginning of a new era where everyone would enjoy freedom and equality.
However, Muawiya (the father of the First defendant) did not respect any of the terms of that peace treaty he signed. As soon as he took over, Muawiya immediately started to persecute and chase all those who gave their pledge of allegiance, fought with, and supported Imam Al-Hasan and this was a clear violation to the treaty. It was deceit and betrayal on his behalf which was not seen before. Thereafter, he poisoned Imam Al-Hasan (as) and planned his murder so that the way would be opened for the successorship of his son after him…
Defense: Objection your Honor. This has not been proven such that the prosecutor relies on it. Rather, these are lies fabricated by the enemies of Muslims.
Prosecutor: Actually it is present in many of the history books and references in front of you.
Chief Justice: Objection sustained. Respected jurors, disregard what you heard from the prosecutor about the killing of Al-Hasan (as). You may proceed Mr. Prosecutor.
Prosecutor: After Al-Hasan’s death, Muawiya (father of the First defendant) started killing and persecuting the supporters of Imam Al-Hasan (as), and the supporters of his father ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib in AlKufa specifically, and in Iraq and Hijaz. One of the first victims was Al-Hijr ibn ‘Adiy and his seven companions who were slaughtered by the orders of Muawiya, just for their political inclinations and accusations of being of the followers and supporters of ‘Ali and Al-Hasan (as).
Their execution in this manner and for this reason caused great commotion in the Islamic world because it was the beginning of a dangerous phenomenon and immense deviation from the Islamic rules and teachings. However, Muawiya the ruler did not hesitate to carry that out despite protest and objections of the companions of the Holy Prophet (S). It was yet another tragedy which deserves another human trial by itself!
This incident demonstrates that the father of the First defendant does not respect any treaty or covenant; rather, his own interests and personal greed of acquiring totalitarian authority was greater than anything. It proves that if he threats, he is dead serious about carrying out his threat! Hence, it was not surprising that Al-Husayn (as) takes the threat of his son, First defendant, very seriously. After all, children typically follow the footsteps of their fathers.
It is the incident of the murder of ‘Amr ibn Al-Hamq, one of the companions of the Prophet (S) by Muawiya with the same charges as Al-Hijr. He was beheaded and his head was sent from Mosul in Iraq all the way to Damascus. The head of ‘Amr ibn Al-Hamq was the first head to be carried from country to country in the history of Islam, and it was a horrific innovation which Muawiya, the father of the First defendant, introduced.
Unfortunately, the Muslim rulers after him followed that practice for hundreds of years! Muawiya has kidnapped the wife of ‘Amr ibn Al-Hamq and took her as hostage to force her husband to surrender to him after he escaped. Afterwards, when ‘Amr was killed and his head arrived to Muawiya, he ordered that ‘Amr’s severed head to be placed on the lap of his poor wife. Now imagine this horrific and terrible scene!
The historians are in consensus that the first person who imprisoned women because of charges against their husbands was Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan. This also was another horrible innovation which he introduced in the history of Islam! No wonder then that Islam has become associated with terrorism ever since Muawiya innovated these practices which were adopted by the Muslim rulers after him.
Therefore, it is not surprising that Al-Husayn (as) became concerned for the safety of his family and children under the new rulership of the First defendant as he surely would follow the same path as his father Muawiya! So how can Al-Husayn (as) feel safe to leave his family behind him and escape for his life?!
If he did that, how can he guarantee that his family will not be taken as hostages just like the wife of ‘Amr ibn Al-Hamq Al Khoza’i, to force him to surrender himself for execution or to pay allegiance to Yazid by compulsion? Therefore, it was natural for him to have his women, children, and family members accompany him in his journey in search for a safe haven for himself and his family.
To verify that, we present to you the following document which is a letter that Al-Husayn (as) sent to Muawiya blaming and reprimanding him for the murder of ‘Amr ibn Al-Hamq. This letter quoted the following as it has been cited in Tarikh Al Tabari:
“Are you not the killer of ‘Amr ibn Al-Hamq, the companion of the Holy Prophet (S)? He was the righteous God-servant whose worship weakened his body and turned the color of his face yellow. You did that after you promised him safety and security. Such a promise if you gave to a bird it would’ve flown down to you from the top of mountain, you then you killed him out of audacity to your Lord and in betrayal to your promise!”
This clearly indicates the opinion of Al-Husayn (as) regarding the regime of Muawiya who betrays the covenants and kills the innocent. In the eyes of Al-Husayn (as), the First defendant was even worse than his father. So how can Al-Husayn possibly feel secured as the First defendant officially announced his intention of killing him if he doesn’t pay allegiance to him?! How can Al-Husayn (as) assure the safety of his family if he left them behind and went out looking for a safe haven?!
Just like Muawiya issued orders to carry the slaughtered head of ‘Amr ibn Al-Hamq to him, Yazid ordered that the head of Al-Husayn (as) be carried to him. And as Muawiya issued orders to throw the head of ‘Amr ibn Al-Hamq in the lap of his wife, Yazid ordered that the head of Al-Husayn (as) be placed in the lap of his little daughter, Ruqayyah, who died as a result of the immediate shock and trauma! As you see, the son was like his father and the son treaded the same path as his father, while the innocent people paid the price of all these barbaric practices!
Let us now move on to the autobiography of the First defendant himself, before he became the ruler and after, based on the history books which the defense approved.
First: It has been cited in Tarikh Al Ya’qoobi and Tarikh Al Tabari that when Muawiya wrote to his illegitimate step-brother and his governor over Al-Basra, Ziyad ibn Abeeh, ordering him to call the people to give their pledge of allegiance to his son Yazid after him, Ziyad responded to him in a letter saying:
“Oh Ameer Al Momineen, what will the people say if we called them to give their pledge of allegiance to Yazid while he plays with dogs and monkeys, wears adorned clothes, and is addicted to alcohol, and he walks on the beating of drums, while they have big personalities like Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (the victim in this case), Abdullah ibn Abbas, Abdullah ibn Al-Zubair, and Abdullah ibn Umar! Why don’t you order him to behave like those personalities for a year or two. Perhaps after that we can deceive the people!!”
This is a testimony by the uncle of Yazid and one of the cornerstones of the government of Muawiya regarding the personality of Yazid and his qualification for successorship!
Second: It has been cited in Tarikh Al Ya’qoobi and Tarikh Al Tabari and Ibn Al-Atheer as follows:
“Muawiya took the pledge of allegiance for successorship for his son after the demise of Al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali. Four individuals refused to give their pledge of allegiance: Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali, Abdullah ibn Umar, Abdul Rahman ibn Abi Bakr, and Abdullah ibn Al-Zubair. Abdullah ibn Umar said, ‘Shall we give our pledge of allegiance to he who plays with monkeys and dogs, drinks alcohol, and openly commits sin! How shall we then answer to Allah (SWT)?!’”
Third: It has been cited in Tarikh Al Tabari and Al-Ya’qoobi and Ibn Al Atheer as follows:
“When Muawiya ibn Yazid ibn Muawiyah (who is the son of the First defendant) became ruler after his father’s death, he spoke to the people and said, “My grandfather Muawiya took away the successorship from he who deserved it and was closer in relation to the Messenger of Allah. He who had more right for it, he who was the first to accept Islam, and the first to believe, the cousin of the Prophet (S) and the father of the only progeny of the Seal of Messengers. My grandfather seized the caliphate as you know, and you helped him commit this injustice until he met his death and the time came for him to pay consequences for his actions.
Then my father took over the rulership and he was not qualified for it. He followed his lower desires and saw his vices to be good. His ambitions increased but death overtook him and he ended up being a hostage to his sins in his grave and a captive to his crimes.
(Then he cried and said): One of the toughest matters on me is my knowledge of his awful ending as he has killed the family of the Prophet and violated his sanctity, and burned the Holy Kaaba. I will not take over the governorship of your affairs and I will not be responsible of your deeds! So I return back to you your governorship!”
Now is there anything more clear than that as this is the opinion of the son about his father, the First defendant? This is his confession about the heinous crimes that his father committed in Karbala and his complete responsibility of it, to the point that the son refused to carry the burden of rulership after the crimes of his father, and so he resigned from that post and left it for others to fight over it.
Fourth: Al-Ya’qoobi cites the following in his book:
“Sa’eed ibn Al-Musayyab (one of the great scholars at that time) used to call the years of Yazid’s rulership as miserable. In the first year, Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali was killed along with the household of the Prophet (S). In the second year, the sanctity of the Prophet (S) and the sanctity of Al-Madina have been violated. And in the third year, the blood has been shed in the sacred House of Allah (SWT) and the Holy Kaaba was attacked and burned.”
Fifth: It has been cited in Maqtal Al-Husayn by Al-Khwarizmi Al Hanafi that:
“When Al-Waleed ibn Uqbah the governor of Madina summoned Al-Husayn to pay allegiance to the First defendant, Al-Husayn said to him: ‘Oh Governor! We are the household of the Holy Prophet, the core of His message, the place where angels descend to, and the place of mercy. Allah (SWT) brought victory through us and will conclude by us, while Yazid is a corrupt man who consumes alcohol, kills the innocent, and openly disobeys God. A person like me cannot give the pledge of allegiance to a person like him!”
This clearly explains to us the opinion of Al-Husayn (as) and the family of the Prophet (S) about the First defendant Yazid and his behavior, morals, and qualification for leadership.
Sixth: It has been cited in Maqtal Al-Husayn Lil Khwarizmi Al Hanafi:
“Marwan delivered a speech in the Grand Mosque in AL-Madina while he was its governor appointed by Muawiya, the father of the First defendant. He called the people to give their pledge of allegiance for successorship to Yazid after his father. The people kept silent, then Abdul Rahman ibn Abi Bakr spoke and said, ‘By God you lied! And he who ordered you also lied! By God, Yazid is not a chosen one nor is he acceptable! Are we to accept Yazid who consumes alcohol?! Yazid who plays with monkeys! Yazid who plays with leopards! Alas, you only desire to make it a Heraclius dynasty!”
This clarifies to us the opinion of Abdul Rahman ibn Abi Bakr, one of the companions, regarding the character and lifestyle of the First defendant.
Seventh: It has cited in Maqtal Al-Husayn Lil Khwarizmi Al Hanafi:
“Muawaiya said to his son Yazid (the First defendant) during his will, ‘I have chosen this life over the Hereafter for your sake, and I took away the right of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. I carried the burden of sin on my back and I fear that you not accept my will and rather you kill the best of your people, then you invade the sacred House of your Lord and kill them unjustly. Then death comes to you while you lost both, this life and the Hereafter!”
This is a testimony by the father about his son (the First defendant) and his personal opinion and prediction of him! Yet despite his knowledge, he appoints him as his successor over the people! Indeed this is from the wonders of history!
Chief Justice: Does the defense desire to rebut the evidence presented so far by the prosecution?
Defense: Yes, your Honor. Everything the prosecution presented so far has nothing to do with the charges directed to the First defendant. And I request that all of that be cancelled from the court records with instructions to the judges and jurors to disregard it!!
Chief Justice: Does the prosecution have any comments?!
Prosecution: Yes, your Honor. What we presented surely has a direct relation with our case. The first charge directed against the First defendant individually is “Issuing orders to kill Al-Husayn (as) which forced him to leave his home in Al-Madina with his family and children in search for a safe haven.” So it is our duty to explain how the order of the First defendant was serious and why did Al-Husayn (as) look at it the same way.
The character and demeanor of the First defendant is a mainstay and foundation in this case. All of that we presented has a direct relation to the crime and portrays to the judges and jurors the background information of the tragic crime and the psychological state of its perpetrators and its victims since the very beginning. Otherwise, it is not possible to comprehend the sequence of events and the ending without explaining and understanding the whole story and the real reasons behind this tragedy. This will be more clear as we continue to present the events, evidences, and proofs.
Chief Justice: The defense request is rejected, and I see that what the prosecution has presented is directly relevant with the case and the charges directed against the First defendant. The judges and jurors can rely on the prosecution evidence so far in deciding guilt or not.
And now the court is dismissed and will resume tomorrow morning at 10AM. Thank you. Court is dismissed!
Chief Justice: Court in order. Mr. Prosecutor, you may continue presenting your evidence. (The awe-inspiring prosecutor stands up with confidence, faith, and tranquility while his eyes shine with an extraordinary light having a characteristic look which indicates determination and certainty).
Prosecutor: Your Honor, respected judges, and respected jurors… Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (as) left Makkah only one day before the rituals of Hajj was to start due to the conspiracy plotted against his life as we mentioned before and as cited in Tarikh Al Tabari. He left heading towards Iraq after he received multitude of letters from the people of Al-Kufa inviting him to come so they can support, protect, and provide him a safe haven and this is cited in all of the historical texts in front of you. He did not want his blood to be shed in the Sacred House of God in Makkah and he said, “To be killed in Iraq is better to me than being killed in Makkah.”
Al-Husayn (as) went out with his women, children, and 82 men from his family, relatives, companions, and supporters in a civilian caravan that did not have any soldiers, military equipment, or preparations for war. The sad journey commenced from Makkah in Hijaz to Al-Kufa in Iraq.
When the First defendant Yazid learned of the leniency of the people of Al-Kufa towards Al-Husayn (as) and their letters to him, and when he knew the arrival of Muslim ibn Aqeel to Al-Kufa, who was the ambassador sent by Al-Husayn to verify the authenticity of its people books to Al-Husayn and the seriousness of their commitment to support him…
Yazid then decided to appoint the Second defendant Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad as the governor of Al-Kufa in addition to Al-Basra which he was already governing. Yazid particularly chose the Second defendant because he was known for his rough personality, toughness in ruling, and his thirst for bloodshed and lack of morals or principles, whether religious or humanitarian. Yazid wanted to benefit from these traits in the Second defendant in order to regain control over Al-Kufa and stand up against Al-Husayn (as). This has been confirmed by all the history books which have been approved by the defense team.
Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad, the Second defendant, is the son of Ziyad who is referred to as “the son of his father”. Ziyad was an illegitimate half-brother of Muawiya. The father of Yazid, Muawiya, later acknowledged Ziyad to be his biological brother, which was in contrary to the laws of Islam. This outlawed action by Muawiya stirred a lot of resentment and opposition from the companions of the Prophet (S) and the scholars. But Muawiya did not care because he wanted to use the skills of Ziyad ibn Abeeh in oppression and blood-shedding to follow, persecute, and kill the Shias (followers) of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) in Al-Kufa and Iraq...
Defense: Objection your Honor, this type of talk violates the sanctity of lineages and family reputation which is not acceptable at all and is irrelevant!
Prosecutor: Your Honor, it is imperative to address and clarify this issue so that the respected judges and jurors can understand the nature of the relationship between the Second defendant and the First defendant, and to realize why the Second defendant submitted with all sincerity to carry out the desires and orders of the First defendant.
Chief Justice: Objection overruled, you may continue Mr. Prosecutor.
Prosecutor: As I mentioned, the Second defendant then, is the cousin of the First defendant and they share the same grandfather who is Abu Sufyan. Muawiya, the father of the First defendant had done a favor to the father of the Second defendant by publicly recognizing him to be his biological brother. It was a decision which the First defendant could easily nullify at any time, and if that were to happen, the image of the Second defendant would be degrading and dishonoring since he would become one who has no lineage.
This explains to us the blind obedience of the Second defendant towards the First defendant and his sincerity in carrying out all his orders without hesitation out of fear that the First defendant may withdraw his acknowledgement of him as his cousin. If that were to happen, he would return back to the life of misguidance and loss of lineage which is a great shame among Arabs.
In order to clarify the matter further, I present to you the following historical document which is a letter written by the First defendant Yazid to the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad appointing him as the governor of Al-Kufa in addition to Al-Basra.
This document is cited in Maqtal Al-Husayn Lil Khwarizmi Al Hanafi, Tarikh Al Tabari, Tarikh Al Ya’qoobi, Tarikh Ibn Al Atheer, and they are all references approved by the defense team. This letter is one of the most important evidences that we present to you against the First and Second defendant, and I request for it to be added to the record. The letter reads:
“From the servant of God, Yazid Ameer Al Momineen to Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad…Peace be upon you. He who is praised may be scorned one day, and he who is scorned may be praised one day. You have what you have and what is against you is against you. And you have been promoted to the highest position.
I have been informed that the people of Al-Kufa have written letters to Al-Husayn inviting him and that he has left Makkah heading towards there. From all times, your time has been tested with Al-Husayn. From all towns, your town has been tested with Al-Husayn, and from all governors, you have been tested with Al-Husayn! You better kill him or else you will return to your old lineage and to your claimed (unreal) grandfather Ubaid! So beware that you lose him! If you achieve this mission, you will be free, or else you will become a slave like any other slave! My supporters in Al-Kufa have informed me that Muslim ibn Aqeel is gathering supporters and disuniting the Muslims.
A great number of people from the followers of Abi Turab (‘Ali ibn Abi Talib) have responded to his call. So when you receive this letter, go straight to Al-Kufa and regain control over it. I have added it to your governorship in addition to Al-Basra. Go after Muslim ibn Aqeel and when you arrest him, take his pledge of allegiance or kill him if he refuses. You have to know that I will not accept any excuse so hasten and hurry up and do what I ordered you! Wasalam.”
Ladies and gentlemen, as you see this letter stands as clear evidence which proves that the First defendant directly ordered his governor the Second defendant to kill Al-Husayn, without any doubts! The order to kill which was issued to the governor in Al-Madina is the same one that was issued to the new governor in Al-Kufa!
And the target is the same person, Al-Husayn (as) and this proves that the first order in Al-Madina was not simply just a threat or just for terrorizing as the defense claims. Since the First defendant has failed to accomplish the killing of Al-Husayn (as) in Madina and then in Makkah, now he is issuing the order to his new governor in Al-Kufa to kill Al-Husayn (as) without negotiations or peace talks.
Rather, killing is the ultimate goal and this clearly proves what Al-Husayn (as) was always certain of, that the goal is to kill and get rid of him, so that the First defendant can freely practice a totalitarian dictatorship without any opposition or protest or change.
Furthermore, the First defendant here directly threats the Second defendant that if he doesn’t follow his instructions, he will then withdraw the acknowledgement of the biological relationship which Muawiya gave to his father, and as a consequence, Ibn Ziyad would return back to the unknown lineage and the shameful origin.
Yazid knew very well that this is indeed what the Second defendant fears the most and would therefore do anything asked of him in order not to disappoint the First defendant.
If we come to know that the Second defendant was well-known for his tyranny, oppression, and bloody-thirsty dictatorship style and bloody personality as a ruler and governor, and if we add to that his fear of the threat of the First defendant, we can then predict how this fear will be converted into a destructive and violent force that knows no limit to please his master, the First defendant.
Furthermore, take a look at how the First defendant urges the Second defendant not to have mercy and to be tough on the Shias (followers) of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) in Al-Kufa and to kill the ambassador of Al-Husayn in Al-Kufa, Muslim ibn Aqeel. It is no wonder then that the Second defendant Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad immediately left to Al-Kufa after he has received that letter to carry out the mission and obey the orders of the First defendant with all aggression and violence.
As soon as he arrived in Al-Kufa, a wave of terror, killing, imprisonment, mutilation, and torture began and heads were severed by orders of Ibn Ziyad. Crucifixion started and limbs as well as tongues were cut off. Confiscation of money and property, and fierce persecution took place to all those accused of supporting Al-Husayn or opposing the First defendant, even if there’s just a slight doubt. It also included those who failed to obey the orders of the new ruling tyrant oppressive authority.
The innocent victims fell dead one after the other and among them were Maytham Al Tammar, Hani ibn ‘Urwa, Muslim Ibn Aqeel, Abdullah Ibn Yaqtor, Abd Al Alaa Ibn Yazid Al Kalby, Imara ibn Salkhab Al Azadi, Qays ibn Meshar Al Saidawi, and Abdullah ibn ‘Afeef Al Azdi and others. That’s not to mention those who were being tortured in prison and those who escaped or who were exiled. All this happened in a very short time which set the stage for the great massacre planned to take place against Al-Husayn (as) and his companions
in obedience to the direct orders of the First defendant.
Afterwards, preparations were made to recruit and equip the military forces and prepare them to fight Al-Husayn (as) and kill him. This was not an easy task to accomplish in Al-Kufa especially considering the many supporters of the household of the Holy Prophet (S) who inhabited that city, and Al-Husayn (as) was the only one left from that household of the Prophet (S).
Chief Justice: Court will now take a 30 minute recess and will resume afterwards.
Chief Justice: The defense team, would you like to comment on what the prosecution presented so far?
Defense: Yes, your Honor.
Chief Justice: You may proceed.
Defense: You Honor, respected judges and jurors. The Prosecution insists on twisting the events and incidents to draw the picture which he wants you to see and believe, and he resorts to exaggeration and over-estimation! It is very natural for my client, the First defendant, who has actually become the ruler of the nation, to prevent any division from happening. It is logical for him to fear mischief especially since the enemies of the Islamic state during that time were many, both internally and externally, and were waiting for any opportunity to inflict harm.
Those who seek to create mischief and take advantage of it are waiting for the right opportunity to strike and induce instability. It is the job of any ruler to maintain the regime and secure its stability and security, especially in the beginning of a change in power. This made Yazid ibn Muawiya appoint a strong governor who is capable of putting an end to the mischief and division in Al-Kufa and to protect the unity of the nation as a whole.
Hence, the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad was appointed by Yazid for this mission, but Yazid did not tell him to kill the innocent or punish a person without charge. He left the matter to the judgment of Ibn Ziyad to figure out the method which he sees fit and necessary to stop the mischief before it breaks out. This is a natural action which any new ruler in his place would take if he faced what my client faced. If he did otherwise, he would then be negligent of the state affairs as well as its people. I’ll now hand it over to my colleague, the lawyer of the Second defendant to speak representing his client.
Second Lawyer: (A thin, bearded man stands up with a frown on his face and a look of concern). He says:
Your Honor, respected judges and jurors…The only fault of my client Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad is that he was a governor with strong character who placed the interest of the nation and its unity above anything else. This is actually a positive thing on his behalf and not against him. At the end of the day, he was only carrying out the orders of the higher authority and you saw for yourself the letter addressed to him by the First defendant Yazid ibn Muawiya, the Caliph of the Muslims.
So he went ahead and obeyed the orders issued to him without paying heed to the critics or blamers. He is like a soldier who obeys the orders of his commander; so what responsibility lies on him after that?!
And when he arrived to Al-Kufa, he found a state of chaos and revolt against the state and the legitimate Caliph. How do you expect for him to act in such a case?! He acted in a way which any governor in his place would’ve done in such circumstances which he faced. There was no other way to face the situation and stop the revolt against the legitimate government. Thank you your Honor.
Chief Justice: Prosecution, would you like to comment on what the defense stated before resuming the presentation of your evidences?
Prosecutor: Yes, your Honor. Dear ladies and gentlemen, respected judges and jurors. I will briefly respond to the defense in the following points:
First: We present to you the events and incidences as it happened and was narrated in the books of history and the approved references, as well as the historical documents. So we are not twisting any event, nor are we trying to draw pictures; rather, we leave that for you to judge as it is your job and role. We are only helping you through presenting the historical events, documents, and facts to identify and locate where the truth is, then you can decide whether to convict the defendants or not.
Second: If we accept the logic of the defense in justifying the actions of the First defendant that it was for the sake of preserving the security of the government and maintaining the stability of the regime, then we are also justifying the actions of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and other world dictators. They too used the same logic to defend their injustice and tyranny against their own people.
How is that acceptable! And would humanity accept this justification? If we were to accept that, then we would be opening the door wide open for every tyrant in the future to use that same excuse in justifying his oppression against his people, with the pretext that he is protecting the security and stability of the government!
Third: When the First defendant Yazid appointed the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad to become the governor of Al-Kufa, he did not appoint him because he was decisive and capable. Rather, Yazid chose him because he knew very well that Ibn Ziyad was a bloody man and reckless killer without any conscience or compassion or mercy or any religious or moral values. That is why Yazid did not ask him to follow a specific policy because he knew that Ibn Ziyad would act by his bloody and barbaric nature which he was known for. Hence there was no need for him to give instructions as he knows his way very well.
Despite that, Yazid directly ordered him to kill Al-Husayn (as) as well as Muslim Ibn Aqeel and that is clear from the letter. As for the mischief which the defense mentioned, the First defendant was the one responsible of it due to his oppression, tyranny, and his insistence to take the power illegally without any opposition and without the legitimate process of the Islamic state.
Yazid stirred mischief by his decision to kill Al-Husayn in Al-Madina if he refused to give his pledge of allegiance. This decision led to the sequence of events after that. So Yazid was responsible for the mischief / fitna, if we gave it that name, while it was really a revolt and rebellion against an oppressive and tyrannical regime which has lasted for 20 years with the father, and now it would continue with the son!
Fourth: As for the claim that Ibn Ziyad, the Second defendant placed the interest of the state and its unity over everything, that is surely the distortion of the truth and an attempt to draw a fake picture to deceive you. A person who is truly concerned about the unity and best interest of the nation should first and foremost be concerned to have a just, fair and qualified head of the state, one who is accepted, legitimate, and loved by the people. Now, was the First defendant Yazid such a person?
Verily, a just, legitimate, and wise head of the state is the only guarantee to maintain the unity and security of a nation. And an unjust, oppressive, and foolish ruler is the one who pays no heed to the interests of the nation and instead disrupts its unity and spreads division and mischief.
Therefore, the support of the Second defendant to the First defendant was totally against the best interest and unity of the nation. Ibn Ziyad only cared to take hold of many high positions in the government and gain the trust of oppressive rulers like him so that he continues to be in power over the helpless and oppressed people. That was his aim even if the price for that was the bloodshed of hundreds of people and the beheading of many heads. He is no different in that than Himmler, Goring, Gobbles, and others like them who serve the oppressors and the dictators!
Fifth: The defense claims that Ibn Ziyad was like a soldier who obeyed the orders of his commander-in-chief and is therefore not responsible of anything, and that the First defendant is the only one responsible….at the same time the lawyer representing the First defendant tries to throw the responsibility on the shoulders of the Second defendant claiming that Yazid did not order him to kill Al-Husayn (as).
This is a huge contradiction in the lawyers’ argument which is intended to confuse you and shift the responsibility between the two defendants till it becomes lost. Each one throws the burden of accountability on the other, and this is a well-known defense tactic which lawyers have used in past trials such as Nuremberg, Saddam Hussein, and Milosevic and other war criminals, and you cannot be fooled by it.
Sixth: As for the claim that Ibn Ziyad found a state of rebellion in Al-Kufa, yes that is true, but what is the reason behind that? It was certainly due to the injustice and the oppression of the new tyrant ruler; hence it was a legitimate rebellion. Now, is it proper to face this state of rebellion by implementing the policy of “iron and fire”? Or is it better to be calm, resort to dialogue, implementing justice, reform, and to take the side of the oppressed, even if that meant facing the unjust tyrant in Damascus?
In other words, the Second defendant should have refrained from accepting that new post if he is not able to handle it, and that is the least that one can do. However, the Second defendant chose to stand with and support the injustice against justice, falsehood instead of truth, and to be with the oppressor instead of the oppressed. This is very natural for him and an expected thing from him to do, keeping in consideration his bloody and unjust personality that goes after its ambitions and aspirations of attaining power and authority!
Defense: Objection your Honor, on resembling the defendants with historical figures such as Hitler, Mussolini, Goebbels, Himmler, and others! This talk is intended to influence the judges and jurors.
Chief Justice: Objection sustained. I request the jurors to disregards these resemblances. Mr. Prosecutor, you may continue your presentation.
Prosecutor: Your Honor, respected judges and jurors. We present to you the following document in response to the false claims of the defense. This letter was sent by the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad to his master the First defendant Yazid after concluding the first wave of terror in Al-Kufa.
He desired to send some of the heads of the victims to Damascus in order to win the pleasure of Yazid, the First defendant, and among those heads were the heads of Muslim ibn Aqeel and Hani ibn ‘Urwa. Ibn Ziyad sent these heads with two of his devils, Hani ibn Hayta Al Wada’ey, and Al-Zubair ibn Al Arwah Al Tamimi.
He sent along with them the following letter which is available in front of you and I’d like to include it in the record with the other evidences. As cited in Tarikh Al Tabari, Maqtal Al-Husayn Lil Khwarizmi, Tarikh Al Mas’oodi, Irshad Al Mufeed, Tarikh ibn Al Atheer, Maqtal Al Talibeyeen, and Tarikh ibn ‘Asaker, the letter reads:
“To the servant of Allah, Yazid Ameer Al Momineen (Commander of the Believers)…from Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad. Praise be to Allah who gave the right to Ameer Al Momineen and protected him from his enemy.
I inform Ameer Al Momineen that Muslim ibn Aqeel have sought refuge in the house of Hani ibn ‘Urwah Al Muradi. I have sent spies on them and conspired against them until Allah (SWT) enabled me to arrest them, I then beheaded both of them and sent their heads with Hani ibn Abi Haya Al Wada’ey and Al-Zubair ibn Al Arwah Al Tamimi and both are among the followers of the Prophet’s traditions and the company (Ahl Al Sunna Wal Jama’a) who are obedient to you. So you can ask them what you wish because they are knowledgeable, truthful, and righteous. Wasalam.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, see how the severed heads are being transported from city to city! What type of rulers are they and what legitimacy they have?! Here, the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad is explaining the method by which he conspires against his enemies.
Now are these methods honorable and is it acceptable by the Islamic religion or any other religion? Furthermore, he confesses that he issued an order to kill and behead without trial! Now do you see him mentioning anything in his letter about the best interest of the nation or its unity,
as the defense claims? All what we observe is detestable flattery and sweet talk from the Second defendant to the First defendant as he tries to please him by cutting the heads of his enemies and sending it to him! What’s strange is that he actually describes those who are carrying and transporting heads of the Muslims from city to city as knowledgeable, trustful, and righteous! What type of knowledge, righteousness, or truthfulness is that?!
When the letter arrived to the First defendant along with the severed heads, he became happy and ordered that the heads be placed and displayed at the gates of Damascus to terrorize anyone who even thinks about revolting or rebelling against him in the future. Now is this the just ruler who was chosen by the people and who is concerned about the welfare of the state? Is this the way to prevent mischief and maintain the order and stability of the state, as the defense claims?!
The First defendant sent a letter in response to the Second defendant’s letter thanking him and congratulating him on a job well done and urging him to shed more blood. Here we present to you the text of this letter as it was cited in the previous references. We request that this also be included in the record. The letter reads:
“You did what I liked, and you have done a great courageous job! You have fulfilled my expectations and confirmed my opinion about you. I have questioned your messengers and found them to be as you described. I have granted ten thousand dirhams (the currency at that time) to each of them. So take good care of them. It has come to my attention that Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali has headed towards Iraq. So send your spies, patrol guards, and keep your eyes open. Imprison anyone you suspect, kill those who are charged, and update me every day in this matter.”
Respected judges and jurors, you now see how the head of the Islamic nation congratulates his governor for shedding blood of the innocent and severing heads without any fair trial or even the simple right to defend oneself! He blessed the acts of his governor and encouraged him to do more of the same. He makes him believe that this will bring him more satisfaction.
He urges him to be prepared to fight Al-Husayn (as). In the end, he reminds him of the pillars on which his regime and that of his father before him was built on. It is the pillars of oppression, tyranny, dictatorship, aggression, and bloodshed! This was represented in his expression, “Imprison anyone you suspect, kill those who are charged.” So, mere doubts were enough for anyone to be imprisoned, punished, tortured, tongues severed, and limbs amputated!
If you are simply charged with supporting Al-Husayn (as) and not supporting the First defendant, you will get executed immediately, beheaded, and your severed head will be sent to Damascus where the Caliphs are waiting to enjoy hanging more heads on the gate of Damascus! These were the laws and instructions of the tyrant ruler as he wrote down to his governor the Second defendant.
So, is there any wonder after that why Al-Husayn (as) refused to give his pledge of allegiance to such an oppressive ruler to govern a state that was built on a divine religion which calls for justice, mercy, equality, fairness, and recognizes human rights in an honorable and respectable way!
A religion that prohibits killing; except for a death sentence for a killer that comes after a fair and just trial and after following the principle, “No guilty verdict in the presence of reasonable doubt.”
Now are there any principles left in this religion under the governorship of this reckless tyrant Caliph?! Didn’t this religion descend from the heavens to eradicate such types of rulers at any time and place? Sure it did, then how did a person like Yazid take the seat of rulership of a state built essentially to get rid of people like him?
This is indeed a great wonder and irony! And I feel sympathy to my colleagues in the defense team how they can defend this great deviation and overturn in history such that an oppressive ruler was able to take the seat of rulership on a nation which calls for establishing justice and supporting the oppressed against the oppressive rulers?
Suddenly, such nation became a victim itself for one of these oppressive rulers. Or let us say…the worst of them! To be an oppressive ruler in an oppressive state or a regular state, this is understandable. But what is not understandable and totally reversed and surprising is to be an oppressive ruler on the top of a divine, religious, and just state! For an oppressive caliph to rule over a just and disciplined nation…that is surely the reversed situation and the biggest of ironies!
Chief Justice: I think everyone needs some rest and would like to stop here, so I will call for dismissal so that we resume next Monday at 9AM sharp. Thank you, court is dismissed.
Chief Justice: Court is now in session. I think the defense has a request, you may present it.
Defense: Yes, your honor. I ask you to request the media to refrain from commenting on what the prosecution is presenting, because these comments influence the public opinion which could consequently affect the jurors even with sequestration. I also request you to remind the jurors to completely refrain from accessing the newspapers, radio, TV, and internet due to the negative propaganda they have towards the defendants. Thank you, your Honor.
Chief Justice: As for the media, we have no control over it for we live in a society which respects freedom of expression, so we cannot help you in this request. As for your Second request, there is no problem. (He turns around towards the jurors) I would like to remind the respected jurors regarding the importance of abiding by the court order to refrain from following the media and internet or talk with anybody regarding this case. I thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. And now Mr. Prosecutor, you may proceed in continuing the presentation of your evidence in this case.
Prosecutor: (stands up with confidence and tranquility as all eyes are focused on him, especially after the latest media comments about his strong attractive personality and his extraordinary competence in facing the defense team till now such that he became the talk of everyone and the focus of attention of commentators and reporters).
Respected judges, respected jurors…at the end of the last court session we had presented to you the letter which the Second defendant received from the First defendant in which he requested from him to go after the supporters of Al-Husayn without mercy and to send his armed forces and patrol guards to face Al-Husayn (as).
Regarding this letter, it has been cited in Tarikh Al Tabari, Al-Mas’oodi, Ibn Kathir, Ibn Al-Atheer, Al-Ya’qoobi, Ibn ‘Asaker, and Al Khwarizmi that the Second defendant immediately rushed to carry out the order of the Caliph. So he began to recruit the army, organize the battalions, dispatch the troops, send out agents, spies, and patrol guards all across the roadways, entrances, and exits of Al-Kufa and the surrounding area.
He sent the commander of his police, Al-Hoosuyn ibn Numayr Al Tamimi to Al-Qadisiya to organize the armed forces in it, and to supervise the troops patrolling around Al-Kufa. Then the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad asked Al-Hurr ibn Yazid Al Riyahi to be in front of Al-Hoosuyn with 1000 horsemen to meet Al-Husayn (as).
Sure enough, Al-Hurr ibn Yazid Al Riyahi was the first to meet Al-Husayn’s caravan in a place called “Dhi Hasm” in the southern part of Al-Kufa. To your surprise, Al-Husayn (as) provided water to them as well as their horses, as they ran out of water despite his knowledge that they were an advanced force for Ibn Ziyad’s army against him. After Al-Husayn (as) has led them in the noon prayers (Salat Al-Dhuhr) he delivered the following speech to them:
“Oh People! Here I present my excuse to Allah and to you in this place. I did not come to you until your messengers and letters has reached me stating ‘Come to us as we have no leader, may Allah united us with you on the right path.’ If this is still your opinion and position, here I am!
So, if you assure me about the validity of your invitation, and if you give me your solemn promise and your certified pact, I will then enter your country with you. But, if you did not do that, and you dislike my arrival and hate my coming, I will then depart you and return back to where I came from.”
I request that this speech be added to the record. Respected judges and jurors, is this the speech of a man who came to head a large well-equipped army seeking to fight the ruler or Caliph such that military forces need to be recruited against him? In his speech, does he threat to fight, to use weapon, armed forces, or does he insinuate that in anyway?
Or is it the speech of a peaceful man who has been persecuted, chased, and has fled from the tyranny of the oppressive ruler seeking a safe haven for him and his family, whom the people of Al-Kufa has invited to protect. So he came to them after he found no other alternative and after the new oppressive ruler persecuted him even in the sacred House of Allah!
Here, he is politely offering to them to either give him protection as they promised, or they leave him to return back home. Furthermore, if Al-Husayn (as) was heading a great army, would he be in need to address these 1000 men, while fighting them would be an easy task for him?! Rather, this is a great proof that Al-Husayn (as) was in a civilian caravan that only included his family and some of his companions; all of them did not exceed 100 persons.
Did that deserve the dispatching of an army consisting of 30,000 men to fight this civilian caravan and kill Al-Husayn (as)? Ladies and gentlemen, it is a crime that dishonors the history of mankind! It was just a peaceful innocent civilian caravan that only sought a safe haven to escape the aggression and tyranny of the new ruler, the First defendant.
It was a small civilian caravan composed of wandering men, women, and children whom the First defendant terrorized by his decree to kill all of them. So they became like an injured and imprisoned bird which tries to escape away from its hunter and predator and which seeks protection in any place. Now does this injured and imprisoned bird deserve that military forces be dispatched to fight him? This is impossible to happen even in the worst jungle in the world! So how can this happen in the human world?!
Furthermore, Al-Husayn (as) took out two huge bags filled with the letters of the people of Al-Kufa which he had received from them promising him protection, support, and safe haven. Al-Hurr then said to him:
“I was ordered not to leave you when I meet you until I take you to Ibn Ziyad in Al-Kufa.”
Al-Husayn (as) refused of course, and he attempted to proceed with his caravan, but Al-Hurr prevented him despite his understanding of Al-Husayn’s situation and the fear that a big battle would take place to kill Al-Husayn (as). In fact, Al-Hurr requested Al-Husayn (as) to take another road that would not proceed to Al-Kufa nor take him back to Makkah or Madina till he updates Ibn Ziyad the Second defendant about the matter.
So Al-Husayn (as) proceeded with his companions on one side while Al-Hurr and his horsemen proceeded on the other side. When Al-Husayn (as) reached a place called “Adheeb Al Hajanaat” in Naynawa, a messenger from Ibn Ziyad the Second defendant arrived with a letter to Al-Hurr saying:
“Oh Al-Hurr, when you receive this letter, stalk and harass Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali and do not abandon him until you force him to camp at an open and unprotected place without water and do not leave him until you bring him to me! I have ordered my messenger to accompany you at all times until you carry out my orders. Salam.”
I request the court to include this letter to the record. Ladies and gentlemen, take a look and see how the Second defendant orders Al-Hurr to tighten up his surveillance and harass the civilian caravan of Al-Husayn (as), and to force him to immobilize at an open place where there is no shade, water, or protection.
It is clear now from this letter that when the Second defendant wrote it, he knew very well that Al-Husayn (as) has no army and that he is in a civilian caravan consisting of children, women, and elderly. It is noticeable also that the Second defendant sends a spy to watch over Al-Hurr, the commander of his army to make sure he executes his orders.
It is as if he doesn’t trust him! In fact, that was the habit of Ibn Ziyad to send people to act as spies on each other in order to guarantee their loyalty and to make it harder for anyone to disobey him. Surely, it was a police state which makes the Gestapo and similar organizations seem like toys compared to it.
Defense: I object your Honor to these analogies!
Chief Justice: Objection sustained, you may continue Mr. Prosecutor.
Prosecutor: Al-Hurr starts to harass Al-Husayn’s caravan as he was ordered. Some of Al-Husayn’s companions requested Al-Husayn’s permission to fight Al-Hurr before more enforcement comes to him. But Al-Husayn (as) refused to start any fight with them because he did not come for that. Then Al-Hurr forced Al-Husayn (as) to stop in the land of Karbala on the Second of Muharram 61 A.H. Al-Husayn (as) gathered his children, brothers, and family members; he looked at them and wept. He then said:
“Oh Allah, we are the purified family of Your Prophet Muhammad, and we have been forced out, persecuted, and exiled from the sacred Haram of our grandfather. Bani Umayyad has transgressed and crossed their limits in their aggression to us. Oh Allah, take the revenge for us and give us victory over the oppressive people! Indeed, the people are slaves of the life of this world while religion is only at the tip of their tongues. They stick to it so long as it is in the best interest of their worldly affairs. But when they are tested, the number of the true believers will be few.”
(Then the Prosecutor paused and choked on his tears as they trickled down his beard. His face shined with light even more as if it was a full moon at night. Then he resumed his talk).
I request the court to include this document to the record. Now are these words coming from a man who wants to initiate war, seek mischief, and threat the security of the state?! Or aren’t these the words of a man who escaped away from oppression and injustice, rejecting falsehood and aggression, and sees himself now as a victim of deceit, broken promises, and a grand plot against his life?! After all, does life have any worth or value when it is among the traitors and oppressors? Isn’t death in this case considered to be happiness for every free and honorable person who rejects injustice, aggression, oppression, and lowliness?
Al-Hurr and his men stopped in parallel to the camp of Al-Husayn (as) then he sent a message to the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad informing him that Al-Husayn (as) has stopped in Karbala. So Ibn Ziyad wrote a letter to Al-Husayn (as) saying to him:
“Oh Husayn! I have come to know that you have stopped in Karbala. And Ameer Al Momineen Yazid ibn Muawiya has written instructing me not to rest or sleep or eat a full meal until I kill you, or you surrender to me and acknowledge the rulership of Yazid!”
I request the court to also include this letter to the record. Ladies and gentlemen, here he is the Second defendant announcing clearly that the order was issued to him from the Caliph, the First defendant, to kill Al-Husayn (as) because he knew very well that the option of the surrender was absolutely out of question for Al-Husayn as he would never give his pledge of allegiance to Yazid as Caliph. When Al-Husayn (as) read the letter of Yazid, he threw it from his hand and said,
“Surely those people who bought the pleasure of the creature in return for the wrath of the Creator will never succeed!”
By that he means that the Second defendant has no excuse in following the orders of the First defendant since these orders are unjust, unfair, and does not please God who revealed the Islamic message by which they were ruling the nation. Al-Husayn (as) said to the messenger of the Second defendant when he asked him of his response to the letter:
“I have no response to him because he has deserved the punishment from God!”
By that he means that the Second defendant deserves punishment from Allah, the Just God because he supported the oppressor ruler against the lonely, oppressed, and persecuted one. When Ibn Ziyad learned of Al-Husayn’s response, he became very angry then he summoned his companions and said:
“Oh people, who of you will take the command in the fight against Al-Husayn in return for the governorship of any country he pleases?”
By that, he means which of you volunteers to become the commander of the army that will fight Al-Husayn (as), and in return, Ibn Ziyad will award him with the governorship of any country he wishes. During the time of Muawiya and his son, governorship meant collecting money, enjoying the wealth of the country, seizing hold of properties, and living a luxurious life without accountability ,at the expense of the poor people in that country. So governorship has become a great temptation as it is solely acquisition of wealth, and this is absolutely contrary to what the Islamic law dictates, and totally contradicts the tradition of the Holy Prophet (S)!
Nobody answered the Second defendant despite his offer. Why didn’t anyone answer the Second defendant? Because everyone knew very well the graveness of this matter due to the great position and esteemed personality of Al-Husayn (as) as he is the grandson of the Prophet of Islam and he is the true guardian of the Islamic message.
They also knew that Al-Husayn (as) was in a civilian caravan and was not accompanied by any armed forces; hence, there is no any honor or heroism in fighting him when he is alone in the desert. Moreover, many of the attendees were actually among those who wrote to Al-Husayn (as) inviting him and promising to support and help him.
When nobody answered, the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad turned to the Third defendant Umar ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas and said to him,
“Oh son of Sa’d, you conduct this matter!”
He meant that he chose him to carry out this mission. Few days before, the Second defendant had assigned the governorship of Al-Rayy’ state, which includes what is today most of Iran, to Ibn Sa’d the Third defendant. This state at that time was very rich, wealthy, and a target for the ambitions of those who pursue the opportunities to gain power and wealth. Ibn Sad, the Third defendant then answered,
“Oh governor, if you wish please excuse me from fighting Al-Husayn.”
The Second defendant Ibn Ziyad replied to him and said, “I have excused you from this mission and I have also excused you from the governorship of Al-Rayy’ state. So go and sit in your home and we will appoint someone else.”
It is clear here that the Second defendant is implying that the governorship of Al-Rayy’ state is the price for commanding the army that will fight Al-Husayn (as). In other words, he wants to say “if you refuse to lead the army, then you will not take the governorship of Al-Rayy’ state!” That is how matters were handled in the government of the First and Second defendants! So the Third defendant Umar ibn Sa’d said:
“Oh governor, give me some time to think about this matter...”
This answer means that the ambition of the Third defendant to gain the governorship of Al-Rayy’ state has occupied his mind. So he wanted to balance between the shame of commanding an army to fight Al-Husayn (as) on one hand, and the governorship of Al-Rayy’ state with its wealth on the other. So he requested some time to think about this matter and to make consultation before making his decision. The Second defendant gave him a day to make his final decision.
The Third defendant Umar ibn Sa’d consulted his companions and trustees, and all those whom he consulted advised him to reject the offer of the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad due to its grave consequences on his religion plus living with shame for the rest of his life. So next day he went to Ibn Ziyad and tried to persuade him to appoint someone else to command the army and at the same time to secure his appointment in the seat of the governorship of Al-Rayy’ state. But Ibn Ziyad refused and insisted to tie the two matters together; so either Umar ibn Sa’d takes both together or rejects both. When Ibn Sa’d hesitated, Ibn Ziyad threatened him saying:
“By Allah, Oh son of Sa’d if you don’t go to Al-Husayn and fight him and inflict harm on him, I will behead you and demolish your house and confiscate your properties and I will not keep you alive no matter what!”
I request the court to add this statement to the record. Ladies and gentlemen, look at the method of threatening and terrorizing used by the Second defendant!
Ibn Ziyad threatens him that if he doesn’t accept the mission, he will then kill him for no reason, destroy his home, and seize his property! Bear in mind that this is happening to the proposed commander of the army for just hesitating; then imagine the pressure that the lower-rank and regular soldiers were subjected to in order to go out and fight Al-Husayn (as)! Here, the Third defendant capitulated and gave in to his greed and fear. So he accepted the shameful mission and said,
“I will move to face him tomorrow God-willing.”
Ibn Ziyad then became pleased of him and gave him lots of money. As for why Ibn Ziyad insisted to appoint the Third defendant as commander of the army, the reasons are as follows:
First: Umar ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas – his father is one of the wellknown companions of the Holy Prophet (S). By choosing Umar ibn Sa’d as commander of the army, this will give a false impression that the whole Islamic nation is unified in fighting Al-Husayn (as), and not Bani Umayyad (the First defendant and his father) alone.
Second: The Third defendant was also one of the nobles and dignitaries of Al-Kufa, so his appointment as a commander of the army will indicate that Al-Kufa and its men are the ones who are fighting Al-Husayn, and not Bani Umayyad.
Third: The Third defendant fought with Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), the father of Al-Husayn (as) in the Battle of Siffeen. So his leadership of the army against Al-Husayn now will convince the Shia / supporters of ‘Ali that Al-Husayn (as) is erroneous. And so they will be encouraged to join the army to fight against Al-Husayn (as) or at least be passive.
Fourth: Umar ibn Sa’d was afflicted with phobia of Bani Umayyad after he witnessed with his eyes how Muawiya, the father of the First defendant, during his era has poisoned Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, his father, to clear the way for the successorship of his son, the First defendant.
Defense: Objection your Honor. That is only a claim which has not been approved and it is from rumors and fantasies of the enemies of Islam.
Chief Justice: Objection sustained. You may continue Mr. Prosecutor.
Prosecutor: Ibn Ziyad supplied Ibn Sa’d with 4000 horsemen and said to him:
“Encircle Al-Husayn and cut him off from the Euphrates River!”
I request the court to include this in the record. This was a direct order from the Second defendant to the commander of his army to prevent Al-Husayn and his civilian caravan from accessing water while they are in the middle of the desert under the scorching heat of the sun. This is surely a great crime against humanity and it is also a heinous war crime!
Umar ibn Sa’d moved the next day with 4000 men to Karbala and there he met Al-Hurr ibn Yazid Al Riyahi with 1000 fighters. So the total number of fighters under the command of the Third defendant Umar ibn Sa’d became 5000. Then he sent a message to Al-Husayn (as) questioning what made him come to this place? And what made him leave Makkah? So Al-Husayn (as) responded:
“I did not come to this place, but the people of your country wrote inviting me to come to them so that they give me their pledge to protect, support me, and not betray me. So, if they dislike me, then I shall leave them and return back from where I came.”
I request that the court add this document to the record. The Third defendant Umar ibn Sa’d then wrote to Ibn Ziyad saying:
“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful – to the Governor Ibn Ziyad – from Umar ibn Sa’d: So now Allah has put out the fire and brought unity and goodness to the Nation. I have caught up with Al-Husayn and sent to him a message asking him what made him come to this place. So he mentioned that the people of Al-Kufa sent for him to come so that they can support and protect him.
He added, “If they have changed their minds, then he will return back from where he came, either to Makkah or any city you prefer. So he would be like anyone of the Muslims. I wanted to inform you of that so you can decide. Salam.”
I request from the court to include this letter in the record. When the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad read the letter of Ibn Sa’d, at first thought he was going to consider Al-Husayn’s proposal. But the Fourth defendant, Shimr ibn Dhil Jawshan said to Ibn Ziyad:
“Do you accept that proposal from him after he has landed in your country?! By Allah, if he leaves your country without putting his hand in your hand and gives his pledge of allegiance, he’ll then be more strong than you, and you will be more weak than him.”
I request this letter to be added to the record. By this statement, the Fourth defendant is encouraging Ibn Ziyad to reject the peaceful proposal of Al-Husayn (as). He urged him to attack Al-Husayn (as) and to get rid of him by force. This is a strong proof against the Fourth defendant in urging and pushing towards the massacre and promoting the rejection of all peace talks. Ibn Ziyad thought for a while, and then he embraced the opinion of Shimr, the Fourth defendant, and chanted:
“Now, that our claws caught hold of him….he desires salvation but it is too late!” Then he said, “Does the son of Abi Turab desire salvation? No way! May Allah not make me escape His punishment if Al-Husayn escaped from me!”
This statement of the Second defendant clearly shows his unrelenting insistence to take advantage of the available opportunity at hand and obey the order of his master the First defendant in Damascus to kill Al-Husayn (as) and get rid of him once and for all. It shows his assured intention of completing the mission which had failed to be executed in Al-Madina and in Makkah. He wrote a letter in response to Ibn Sa’d saying in it:
“I received your letter which informed me about Al-Husayn. When you receive this letter, ask him to give his pledge of allegiance to Ameer Al Momineen Yazid. If he does not give his allegiance, then bring him to me. Wasalam.”
I request the court to include this letter to the record. The appearance of these words is different than its hidden because Ibn Ziyad knew very well that Al-Husayn (as) would never give his pledge of allegiance to Yazid as a Caliph as Al-Husayn (as) knew Yazid’s ill behavior, morals, and actions that totally contradict Islamic laws. He also knows that Al-Husayn (as) will never accept unconditional surrender.
So in this case, Ibn Ziyad is leaving only one option for Al-Husayn (as) and that is, direct armed confrontation which he knew that it will definitely end with the killing of Al-Husayn (as) and his companions because he didn’t have any force to face his huge army. There were no two options as it may seem from the letter. So when the Third defendant Ibn Sa’d received the letter, he said:
“We belong to God and to Him we shall return. Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad does not want peace and Allah is the helper!”
I request the court to add this document to the record. Then Ibn Ziyad gathered the people in Masjid Al-Kufa. He preached and ordered them to go out and fight Al-Husayn (as). Then, he distributed money to the chiefs and leaders of the various tribes. He called out to them to prepare and join Umar ibn Sa’d, the Third defendant, to support him in fighting Al-Husayn (as).
The first to go out and join the army of Umar ibn Sa’d was:
- Shimr ibn Dhi Al Jawshan (Fourth defendant) with 4000 men, then
- Yazid ibn Rekaab Al Kalbi with 2000 men, then
- Al Husuyn ibn Numayr Al Sukooni with 4000 men, then
- Mudayir ibn Raheena Al Mazini with 3000 men, then
- Nasr ibn Harsha with 2000 men, then
- Shebth ibn Reb’ey with 1000 men, then
- Hajaar ibn Abjor with 1000 men
All these armed troops joined the forces of Umar ibn Sa’d. So his total number of soldiers reached approximately 22,000 by the Sixth day of Muharram, 61 years after Al-Hijra. Ibn Ziyad then wrote to Umar ibn Sa’d saying:
“So now I did not leave any excuse for you. You have abundance of horses and men, so send me all your news day and night with every traveler coming or leaving!”
I request the court to include this letter to the record. For Ibn Ziyad, all that was not enough. He also sent Zohr ibn Qais Al Jo’afi with 500 horsemen to patrol the Sirat bridge in order to prevent anyone exiting Al-Kufa to support and help Al-Husayn (as). Then he sent Suwaid ibn Abdul Rahman Al Munqari to head another armed force to patrol the streets of Al-Kufa and urge the people to go out and fight Al-Husayn (as) and to arrest those who refuse to do so.
In addition, he sent more recruits to Ibn Sa’d such that his armed forces reached about 30,000 fighters who are supposed to confront a civilian caravan that includes women, children, elderly, and sick! And its total number does not exceed about one hundred, more or less, so what type of equality or justice or bravery is that?!
Chief Justice: Court will break for 30 minute recess and shall resume afterwards. Court is dismissed for now!
Chief Justice: The defense, do you have any comments or rebuttal to what the prosecutor presented so far?
Defense: Yes, your Honor, we would like to exercise our right in discussing the evidence presented, but we request to postpone that to the beginning of the next court session.
Chief Justice: Do you agree with that, Mr. Prosecutor?
Prosecutor: We have no objection to that, your Honor.
Chief Justice: You may then proceed in presenting your evidences, Mr. Prosecutor.
Prosecutor: Respected judges and jurors. In obedience to the order of the Second defendant in preventing Al-Husayn (as) and his civilian caravan from accessing water, the Third defendant Umar ibn Sa’d sent one of his commanders named Al Arzaq ibn Al Harth Al Sada’ey along with a force of 400 horsemen to guard the Euphrates river for this purpose. Al-Husayn (as) and his companions suffered from thirst, so Al-Husayn (as) started digging and searching for water. Fortunately, one spring of water erupted and they all quenched their thirst, then the spring dried. When Ibn Ziyad the Second defendant learned of that, he wrote to Umar ibn Sa’d saying:
“It has come to my attention that Al-Husayn is digging wells and accessing water, so he and his companions drink water. So, when you receive this letter, prevent them from digging for water as much as you can and tighten your encirclement! Do not let them taste a drop of water just like they did to the purified Uthman ibn Affan. Wasalam.”
I request the court to include this letter to the record. This statement from the Second defendant is enough to convict him as a war criminal! The act of preventing water from civilians who include women, children, and elderly is definitely a war crime and a crime against humanity and a crime of mass murder! Apparently, it is a crime that was carried out due to past grudges, animosities, and envy for reasons in the past that has nothing to do with the current events on the plains of Karbala.
The motivation was to seek revenge for an event which happened twenty-six years ago before Karbala. Historians are in consensus that Al-Husayn (as) and all those in his caravan did not play any role, big or small, in what happened to the Third Caliph Uthman ibn Affan. So why did the Second defendant tie the two events together? Surely, it is only to justify that heinous crime which was about to be committed against the whole civilian caravan including women, children, elderly, and sick!
When that letter reached the Third defendant Ibn Sa’d, he toughened up on Al-Husayn’s caravan and called one of his men named Amr ibn Al Hajjaj Al Zobaidi, and sent him leading a big force of horsemen and ordered him to guard the Euphrates banks to completely prevent Al-Husayn (as) and his companions / family from reaching the water. As a consequence, the innocent victims suffered greatly from thirst!
Here, Al-Husayn (as) called the Third defendant Umar ibn Sa’d to a face-to-face peace talks to end this situation. During these negotiations, Al-Husayn (as) tried to convince Ibn Sa’d not to fight him via different proposals. But the Third defendant refused all peace attempts with the excuse of fear that Ibn Ziyad would confiscate his property and harm his family, and so the negotiations failed.
It is important here to note that Al-Husayn (as) proposed to Ibn Sa’d to abandon the fighting and to retreat from the battle since he is forced on it. Al-Husayn (as) proposed to compensate him for any loss that may be inflicted upon him, but Ibn Sa’d rejected all offers. This makes him directly responsible for what happened in Karbala!
Here he had a chance and good opportunity to reject fighting which he expressed his desire not to command and to avoid this matter with honor. Yet here he is wasting this opportunity for the sake of materialistic grants and wealth that is contaminated with the innocent blood of children, women, elderly, and sick! So he is completely responsible of what happened in Karbala along with the First and Second defendant. When Ibn Ziyad, the Second defendant, came to know of these negotiations, he sent a letter to Ibn Sa’d blaming and reprimanding him saying:
“No, I have not sent you to Al-Husayn to make peace with him or to negotiate with him or to promise him safety or to act as an intercessor for him in front of me. Look, if Al-Husayn and his companions accept unconditional surrender, then send them to me peacefully. If they refuse, then march to them and kill them, and then mutilate them as they deserve that! After you kill Al-Husayn, let horses trample on his chest and back. This will not hurt after death, this is to fulfill a promise once I have made.
If you carry out my order, I will reward you greatly for being obedient. But if you refuse then resign from this job and turn over the command to Shimr ibn Dhi Al Jawshan (the fourth defendant) for he is more decisive and stronger than you in determination. And I have ordered him to do so.”
I request the court to include this letter to the record. When Shimr, the Fourth defendant, handed this letter and Ibn Sa’d read it, he then said to Shimr:
“Woe be to you! May Allah keep you from me and may He invalidate what you have brought! And I thought that you are the one who convinced Ibn Ziyad to reject a peaceful resolution to that conflict, and spoiled our efforts for reconciliation! By Allah, Al-Husayn will never surrender, as he is carrying the heart of his father in his chest.”
So, Shimr said to him: “Tell me…what will you do? Will you carry out the orders of your commander? If not, then turn over the commandership to me.”
Umar ibn Sa’d replied to him: “I will carry out the order and no dignity for you! Rather, be a commander on the infantry.”
Your Honor, I would like to add this text to the record. It incriminates each of the Second, Third, and Fourth defendants individually and collectively for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity on the 10th of Muharram in the land of Karbala in the year 61 A.H.
As it is clear from his letter, the Second defendant completely rejects any negotiation for a peaceful solution that may save the undersized and helpless civilian caravan from a dark bloody fate. He insists that Al-Husayn (as) surrender and give his pledge of allegiance to Yazid while he knows very well that Al-Husayn will not accept that no matter what the price is.
Therefore, Ibn Ziyad insists on this so that a bloody conflict will be the only option left. This is actually what he aims based on his bloody nature, his previous animosity to the Household of the Prophet (S), and his strong desire to please his master, the First defendant who is seated in Damascus on the top of this bloody regime!
Ladies and gentlemen, see how Ibn Yazid speaks openly without bashfulness or shame and he tells the Third defendant to mutilate the dead bodies after killing them. He doesn’t even exclude the great personality of Al-Husayn (as) and his high position with respect to religion and his close relation as grandson to the Holy Prophet (S)!
On the contrary, Ibn Ziyad targets the mutilation of Al-Husayn specifically and instructs Ibn Sa’d to let the horses trample over his body after killing him, just to fulfill a statement he has said earlier at a moment of anger. His foolishness here does not make him realize the consequences of his actions at the level of the Islamic nation generally and the people of Al-Kufa specifically.
Furthermore, he threatens Ibn Sa’d that if he doesn’t obey his orders ,which totally contradicts religion, military etiquette, bravery, and humanity, he then has to hand over the commandership of the army to another monster who is more barbaric, tough, and blood-thirsty!
Also, we see the Fourth defendant Shimr ibn Dhil Jawshan was eager to carry out the heinous mission if Ibn Sa’d declines from taking that responsibility. This affirms his satanic role in setting the stage for the massacre to happen and his active participation by pressuring Ibn Sa’d to execute it, and also by presenting himself as a substitute who is ready to carry out all of the deviant and inhumane orders of the Second defendant. Thus, he is completely responsible of everything that took place in Karbala and he cannot claim that he was only carrying out the orders!
Furthermore, the Third defendant agrees to carry out this heinous mission simply because he was threatened to be fired and prevented from getting grants, despite the fact that he had a golden opportunity in front of him which the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad gave him by offering him to resign.
But he decided to stick with obeying the orders when he saw his substitute ready to take over, obey the orders, and redeem the reward which he greedily hopes to acquire for himself. So he chose to commit the crime voluntarily and without pressure from the ruler because of his personal greed and materialistic aspirations. Therefore, the Third defendant is completely responsible for what happened in the land of Karbala.
What’s strange in the whole matter is that each of the three defendants knew very well that the Prophet of Islam forbid the mutilation of dead bodies and he said in an authentic narration that is agreed upon by all Muslims, “Do not mutilate even a mordant dog!” So the Prophet (S) forbids the mutilation of the body of a biting killer dog. Then how can one mutilate the body of an oppressed, estranged believer who is the grandson of the Holy Prophet (S)?
The only sin he committed is that he calls for justice, freedom, respect of human rights, equality, and the respect of Islamic laws which the whole nation was built on! Here, I challenge any of the defense representatives to claim that this narration is not authentic or that the Messenger of Islam allowed mutilation of dead bodies or that he practiced that during his lifetime with any person, even with the worst of his enemies.
The Prophet (S) forbid this practice even with those who mutilated Muslim bodies, like the body of his own beloved uncle, Hamza ibn Abd Al Muttalib, at the Battle of Uhud! Doesn’t that indicate that the Islamic nation at the time of Al-Husayn (as) was not being ruled by the Islamic laws which it was built on?
Rather, it was being ruled based on personal interests, tendencies, and tribal animosities. All of that is totally against the Islamic teachings which call for peace, justice, forgiveness, equality, and respect of human rights. It also indicates that the policies and practices of the First defendant’s regime were not only far away, but totally contradicting the Sunnah / tradition of the Holy Prophet (S) of Islam!
Chief Justice: I think everyone would like a break now, so I’ll adjourn this court session and we shall resume again after tomorrow at 10AM sharp. Thank you. Court is dismissed!
Chief Justice: Court in order. The defense team, are you ready to rebut the evidences which the prosecution presented in the previous session?
Defense: Yes, your Honor.
Chief Justice: Then please proceed.
Defense: Your Honor, respected judges and jurors, we do not belie these letters and historical documents which the prosecutor presented. But at the same time we do not confirm its truthfulness. At the end, they are just narrations that are passed on from one historian to another. So the presence of these same narrations in different books does not mean that they are true. Since these books were written in different times and ages, and their writers have copied these narrations from one to another without verifying its truthfulness and authenticity, therefore, I request the judges and jurors to keep that in consideration and not to take these documents as 100% correct.
Even the writers of these books cannot assert the truthfulness and the validity of these letters, messages, or statements such that they be used as evidence to support the charges without reasonable doubts. By presenting these documents as evidence, the prosecutor is ignoring the reality of the situation and the circumstances during these events. He disregards the stress and pressure placed on many of those who carry the responsibility and this is apparent in some of their messages and statements.
Factors like nervous reaction, fear, anger, and instigation may play a big role in writing these letters, assuming that they are true. Therefore, we cannot rely on them very much and we should view them in light of these circumstances and effects. This is very clear in the matter of mutilation of the dead bodies for it was a result of nervous reaction from the Second defendant. It was a personal act initiated by him, and not an order from the caliph Yazid ibn Muawiya, but it surely doesn’t reflect or represent the religion of Islam.
As the Prosecutor mentioned, Islam does not approve mutilation of dead bodies and this act goes against the teachings and principles of the religion and the tradition of the Holy Prophet (S). If these narrations are true, then it was a big mistake, but we do not know whether this matter really happened or it was from the exaggeration and fabrication of the writers.
So long as there is doubt, then it should be interpreted in favor of the defendant. The doubt in this matter is possible, logical, and reasonable. I will now hand it over to my colleague, the lawyer representing the Third defendant.
Lawyer of Third defendant Umar Ibn Sa’d: Your Honor, respected judges and jurors. Based on what the prosecutor himself presented, it is clear without a doubt that my client, the Third defendant, did not want the fight and was forced to do so by direct threat. Rather, he always sought to find a positive solution to the conflict.
But the callers of mischief / fitna tried otherwise and my client was just a military commander who was forced under threat to lead a war when he did not desire that. He tried to avoid that and at the end, he did not have any other option except to obey the order of the governor Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad. So what responsibility does he carry on his shoulders? He was only a soldier who obeys the orders of his supreme command in the battlefield after he tried his best to avoid the fight. So I request the respected judges and jurors to keep that in mind. I will now hand it over to my colleague, the lawyer representing the Fourth defendant.
Lawyer of Fourth defendant Shimr ibn Dhil Jawshan: Your honor, respected judges and jurors…my client, the Fourth defendant, was not the governor of Al-Kufa, nor was he the commander of the army, nor was he the ruler of the state (caliph). He did not hold any position in the Islamic state and he was only an intermediate who simply shared his opinion. He did not force his opinion on anyone so there is no responsibility on him. At the end, he was only a soldier who simply carried out the orders. Thank you.
Chief Justice: Mr. Prosecutor, would you like to respond to the defense?!
Prosecutor: Yes your Honor, the Defense representative wants to doubt all the historical references which stand as witnesses in front of you while they are the same sources which they themselves approved and acknowledged its authenticity before!
By doubting these sources, he is by the same token doubting all its writers and insinuating that they wrote carelessly and propagated narrations which they did not verify its authenticity. Not only that, but they also copy from each other without any investigation or searching! Is this the opinion of the defense regarding those who wrote these books?!
While they are all very well-known authors in the Islamic library and most of them wrote other famous books in areas like jurisprudence, narrations (hadith), Rejaal (science of narrators), Usool (foundations), and Foroo’ (branches). Does the defense team also doubt their other books which many laws of Islamic societies were built on?!
Does the defense doubt these laws too?! Ladies and gentlemen, surely any religion and all of history was built on books written by witnesses and historians. If we doubted all of them, then there will be no basis for any religion and all of human history!!
In such case, we will not be sure whether Jesus was really the Messiah or whether the story of Moses and Pharaoh was really truth or fantasy. We will have doubt whether Prophets Abraham, Joseph, and David really existed or were imaginary characters. Or whether historical figures such as Napoleon, Alexander the great, Julius Caesar, Neiron, and Bismarck were fake personalities or real!
Now is that what the defense wants to convince us with and want to defend their case through doubting your history and religion, even your present and future! Indeed, if historical evidence came from multiple different sources and pointed consistently to one direction, then without a doubt it is qualified to be taken as valid evidence for conviction. Many people have relied on that logical premise in past civil and criminal cases.
As for the talk about nervous reactions, tension, and emotional responses, etc, these excuses do not justify committing crimes in such great scale against children, women, and elderly in cold blood. Such excuses may be used to justify unintentional actions like breaking something or causing a car accident or manslaughter. As for using this pretext to justify war crimes, crimes against humanity, and mass murder, that is certainly unacceptable. Otherwise, anyone can justify killing thousands of people due to personal mood change resulting from stress. That is clear insanity which cannot be justified by any logic!
As for defending the Third defendant Umar ibn Sa’d by claiming that he was only a commander obeying the orders of his master, we respond by saying that the Third defendant had an opportunity to relief himself and resign from the commandership of that army. The Second defendant, the governor allowed him to excuse himself from his post in exchange for abandoning the governorship of Al-Rayy’ State, but Ibn Sa’d insisted, out of his ambitions, to take commandership of the army. Hence, the Third defendant became a completely responsible partner and direct participant to all what has happened from war crimes and mass murder in Karbala.
As for defending the Fourth defendant Shimr ibn Dhil Jawshan by claiming that he only shared his opinion and didn’t force anyone to accept it, it is a poor argument because the Fourth defendant adamantly sought and exerted efforts to fail the negotiation attempts for peaceful resolution, as we saw earlier.
Furthermore, the Fourth defendant presented himself to Ibn Ziyad to be a replacement for the Third defendant, Ibn Sa’d. Al-Shimr was ready to accept the commandership of the battle if Ibn Sa’d chose to resign from his post. Therefore, he is also completely responsible for what has happened because if Al-Shimr took the leadership instead of Ibn Sa’d, he would not have hesitated to commit what Ibn Sa’d has committed, and maybe even more!
In fact, his action encouraged the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad to stick to his decision to fight Al-Husayn and get rid of him as he now has a substitute, who is ready and committed for a bloody confrontation with the civilian caravan of Al-Husayn (as). Also it encourages the Third defendant to stick to his post when he realized that there are others who are ready to carry out the job of killing Al-Husayn (as), if he himself failed to do so.
When Ibn Sa’d realized that the fight will surely happen with or without him, he determined to stick to his post as a commander so that he may reap the materialistic fruits instead of others. Hence, the role of the Fourth defendant, Shimr ibn Jawshan, in this matter was a very critical and important one and he is totally responsible of what has happened in Karbala.
We will see shortly his direct role in committing the crimes during the massacre against women, children and shelters, as well as mutilating the dead bodies and the maltreatment of the captives. We will elaborate on that when we continue presenting our evidence. Thank you your Honor.
Chief Justice: Court will now take a 10 minutes recess and shall resume afterwards. Court is dismissed.
Chief Justice: Court is in session after recess. The defense, would you like to discuss what the prosecution presented before recess?
Defense: No your Honor. Thank you.
Chief Justice: Mr. Prosecutor, you may then proceed with the presentation of your evidence.
Prosecutor: Al-Husayn (as) came to realize that the confrontation and massacre was inevitable to get rid of him so that the totalitarian regime can be free without any opposition to the First defendant and his assistants. He saw that it is his responsibility to offer his household, supporters, and companions the option to retreat and not to subject their lives to danger and to leave him to face his enemies alone. So he gathered them the day before the battle and said to them:
“Praise be to you Oh Lord for teaching us the Quran, inspiring us the science of jurisprudence in religion, and honoring us by being the closest of kin to your Prophet. You blessed us with ears, eyes, and hearts so make us among those who are thankful. Then after, I do not know companions better than you! Nor do I know a household better than my household. May Allah reward you all dearly! Those people do not target anyone except me. If they arrest and kill me, they will not go after you. Darkness of night has come, so go ahead and escape! Each man of you can accompany one of my household and leave in the middle of the night, and leave me to face those people.”
Here, Al-Husayn (as) presents to us a rare human example which clearly indicates the extent of oppression and injustice which a great personality like him suffered. Now, is there any person who would ask from his few companions and supporters to leave him and escape for their lives so that he alone may face 30 thousand fighters?!
Certainly not, but this was Al-Husayn (as)! Furthermore, through his words he confirms to us that he was the one being targeted behind the massacre of Karbala. This reminds us once again of how it all started when the First defendant issued the death sentence against Al-Husayn (as) as soon as he became the Caliph. He tried to execute it in Madina, then in Makkah. And here he is recruiting 30 thousand men to carry out that mission which he had failed to accomplish in Madina and Makkah.
All of the brothers, family members, and companions of Al-Husayn (as) refused to abandon or desert Al-Husayn (as). Rather, they insisted to stay with him and stand beside him till their last breathe, despite the suffering of thirst, the heat of the sun, and the lack of compatibility in the number of fighters.
Burayr ibn Khudayr who was an ascetic Sheikh (elderly man) and a worshipper among the companions of Al-Husayn (as) tried a last attempt with the Third defendant Ibn Sa’d to convince him not to fight Al-Husayn (as). However, the Third defendant responded to him and said:
“By Allah, Oh Burayr I know with certainty that all those who fight them and seized their rights (meaning Al-Husayn and his household) are definitely in the Hell-Fire. But Oh Burayr, are you suggesting that I abandon the governorship of Al-Rayy’ State so that others take it? No, By God, my ego refuses to respond to that!”
I request that this statement be included to the record against the Third defendant. To him, the matter is not simply a military commander who obeys the orders of his supreme commander. No, it is all about a materialistic reward which, out of greed, he is looking to gain even if the price was shedding the blood of the innocent in a small civilian caravan which includes women, children, elderly, infants, and sick persons. It is as if he is a hired killer who takes the price in exchange for carrying out a heinous crime. What excuse does he have for his actions?!
Subsequently, Habib ibn Muzahir and Zuhair ibn Al-Qain who were among the companions of Al-Husayn (as) addressed the companions of Umar ibn Sa’d and called them for unity and peace, but without any luck, for the ears do not hear and the hearts do not recognize. Then Al-Husayn (as) and his companions spent their last night while engaged in continuous prayers and supplication to Allah (SWT) in preparation for their last decisive day.
When it was the morning of the 10th of Muharram year 61 A.H., Al-Husayn (as) and his companions prayed in congregation and then he rode his horse and proceeded forward. The opposing army which consists of about 30 thousand men approached the camp of Al-Husayn (as). Al-Husayn (as) then said to his companion Burayr ibn Khudayr:
“Go ahead and speak to the people Oh Burayr, and advise them.”
So Burayr proceeded towards the opposing army and said to them: “Oh People! Fear Allah, for the whole family of Muhammad is before you! They are his progeny, his Household, his daughters, and his women. So go ahead and tell me what you want to do with them?”
So they answered him, “We want to hand them over to the governor, Obaidullah ibn Ziyad so he can make his decision regarding them.”
Burayr answered, “Are you not satisfied that they return back to the place which they came from? Woe be to you! Oh people of Al-Kufa, did you forget your letters which you sent to Al-Husayn and your promise to him?! Surely Allah is enough of a witness! What is wrong with you?!
You invited the Household of your Prophet and claimed that you would sacrifice yourselves for them. But when they came to you, you turn them over to Ubaidullah and prevent them from accessing the water of the Euphrates River which is publicly open for all people, even dogs and pigs! Shame on you for your maltreatment of the progeny of Muhammad!”
The opposing army started to shoot arrows at him, so Burayr retreated. Al-Husayn (as) stepped forward and stood in front of the opposing army, then he gazed upon their ranks and rows which looked like waves and he addressed them saying:
“Praise be to Allah who created the life of this world and made its destination perish and destruction. It keeps changing the condition of its people. Surely he who gets deceived by it is the haughty, and he who falls in its mischief is the miserable. So do not be deceived by the life of this world for it lets down those who depend on it and it fails those who are greedy for it. I see that you have collectively joined together in a matter that brings the wrath of Allah (SWT) upon you!
Consequently, He has turned His Face away from you and made His Anger permissible upon you. He (SWT) withheld His Mercy from you. Surely, the best of God is our God and the worst of servants are you! You agreed to obey and you believed in the Messenger Muhammad; then you have marched out to kill his progeny! The Shaytan / devil has overtaken you and made you forget the remembrance of Allah (SWT), so woe be to you and to your aim! To Allah we belong and to Him is our return; those are a group of people who have disbelieved after having faith, so doom be on the unjust people.
Fear Allah your Lord and do not kill me, for it is not permissible for you to kill me or to violate my sanctity! I am the son of your Prophet’s daughter and my grandmother is Khadeeja the wife of your prophet. You must have heard the saying of your Prophet Muhammad (S): ‘Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn are the Master of the youth of the people of Paradise.’
If you attest to the veracity of what I say and it is the truth, by Allah I have never lied as I knew that Allah (SWT) despises the liars. And if you belie me, there are companions of Muhammad among you, so ask them about that. Do you have any doubt that I am the son of your prophet’s daughter? By Allah, there is no any grandson of a Prophet in all of the east and the west except me! Woe be to you!! Are you after me because I killed one of you, or because of money I have confiscated, or an eye for an eye due to wounds I have caused?”
Nobody answered him and they kept silent. Then he said to them:
“By Allah, I will never give up to you like a humiliated one, nor will I escape like slaves. Oh Servants of Allah! I seek refuge to my God and your God lest you stone me! And I seek refuge to my God and your God from every arrogant person who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning.”
As you see ladies and gentlemen, Al-Husayn (as) tried his best to advice the people and avoid confrontation and conflict. First, he orders his companions to preach them and most of his companions were among the worshippers of Al-Kufa who were known for their piety and honesty and were very popular in the army of Ibn Sa’d. Burayr ibn Khudayr, Habib ibn Muzahir, Zuhair ibn Al Qain, and Muslim ibn ‘Awsaja all addressed them, but the people has closed their ears.
Then Al-Husayn (as) addressed the opposing army and reminded them of their religion and the position of their prophet. He reminded them of his close kinship to the Prophet of Islam (S) and warned them of the punishment and wrath of Allah (SWT). Then he questioned them on what basis and according to what law they wanted to kill him?
He did not kill anyone nor did he harm anyone, nor did he confiscate property from anyone! So by what crime are they justifying his murder?! Al-Husayn was not apprehensive of getting killed; rather he desires to set the proof against them in front of history and the future generations. And this is a proof we can use today to convict those killers who are represented in front of you in the defendant seats. Al-Husayn (as) has prepared that proof for us since a century and half ago!
None of them were able to provide him an answer which in itself stands as a proof against them in front of you, in front of Allah (SWT), and in front of all humanity. After he set the proof against them, Al-Husayn (as) recorded by his words an eternal stand that is a great lesson for every free honorable person who rejects lowliness, humiliation, oppression, and aggression…regardless of how heinous is the aggression and the number of aggressors, and despite the lack of supporters and scarcity of helpers, and regardless of the results and sacrifices.
So he refuses to surrender to falsehood, misguidance, tyranny, corruption, oppression, and the dictatorship of rulers who have deviated from the right path. When Al-Husayn (as) became certain that fighting was inevitable, he addressed his companions and family members sympathizing with them, recommending to them patience, and encouraging them to fight. He said to them:
You witness the existing state of affairs. The life has changed, its evil advanced, and its good has retreated. Now, what is left of it is like little sediment that has remained in a pot. Do you not see that righteousness is abandoned, while no one forbids falsehood?! So let a true believer desire the return to his Lord, for I do not see death now but happiness and life with the oppressors but torture.”
The Third defendant Umar ibn Sa’d mobilized his troops in preparation to fight Al-Husayn (as) and he organized them in groups (a center, a right and a left wing). They were approximately 30 thousand fighters. So they surrounded Al-Husayn (as) from all sides while he is in the middle with only 70 of his companions in addition to his family members, women and children. Then Al-Husayn (as) went out from between his companions and stood in front of the enemy and he spoke to them for the very last time. He then told them:
“Woe be to you Oh bunch of people! When we answered your desperate call for support, and came to you ready to fulfill our obligation, you then turned your swords against us and brought the fire of mischief settled by your and our enemy.
You then became a force against your guardian in the hands of your enemy. You did that without any justice this enemy widespread between you, or a hope you have in this regime except that is forbidden (Haram) by Allah. You made that change in your position without any wrong we did or deviation from Islam.
Woe be to you! If you disliked us, then let us go! You prepare for fight without careful thinking. You rushed against us like birds to its food or like butterflies!
Shame on you! You are supporting the oppressors of the Ummah (nation) and you are disregarding the book of Allah, you are a whispers of the devil, you are the gang of sins, you are the changer of the divine book and the eliminator of the Sunnah (traditions of the Prophet), you are the killers of prophets, their progeny, and exterminators of the Guardians’ (Awsiyaa) Household, and you are the falsely claimer of parenthood to an illegitimate child, and you are bringing harm to believers and widespread the message of misguidance through anti-Islamic leaders who nullify the Quran.
You support Ibn Harb (Yazid) and his followers and fail us?! Yes, I swear by Allah, treason is well known trait in you! You were raised on it and you inherited it generation after generation. It covered your hearts and your chests until you became the worst supporter of the enemy of Allah and the tyrants! Curse of Allah be upon those who return back on their oath and do not respect their agreement after confirmation. You made Allah be a witness upon you, you are those people.
Verily, the illegitimate son whom his father was also an illegitimate son too (Ibn Ziyad) offer us only two choices, either the sword or humiliation, and no way that we accept humiliation! Allah, his prophet, good ancestors, purified mothers, and dignified souls which preferred an honorable death over obeying tyrants, all of them reject that for us!
I have warned you and done my duty. I shall proceed with this family despite the lack of supplies and the treason of supporters.”
Then Al-Husayn (as) said: “Where is Umar ibn Sa’d? Call for me Umar.”
He was called and Al-Husayn (as) said to Ibn Sa’d (the Third defendant): “Oh Umar! You want to kill me, and you claim that the illegitimate son of the illegitimate father will appoint you as the governor on Al-Rayy’ state?! By Allah, you will never enjoy it ever! That is a promised covenant, so do whatever you want to do! For you will not enjoy after me in the life of this world or in the hereafter. It is as if I envision your head to be raised on a stick in Al-Kufa and the kids take it as an aim for their shots.”
In these final words, Al-Husayn (as) summarized the whole situation, its causes, and how it has ended up to this confrontation due to oppression, betrayal, greed, deceit, breaking of covenants, and fear from the oppressive tyrant. Once again, Al-Husayn (as) eloquently expresses his rejection to dishonor, humiliation, weakness, oppression, and paying allegiance to an oppressor. He prefers an honorable death over the obedience of an oppressor. He insists on continuing the struggle of dignity, honor, and truth despite the absence of support, the great number of the enemy, and the lack of support from the people.
Furthermore, Al-Husayn (as) confirms to the Third defendant Ibn Sa’d that he (Ibn Sa’d) will not gain what he wished from fighting him, and that Allah (SWT) will take revenge from him. He said that to Ibn Sa’d to give him a chance to reconsider his position, but instead, Ibn Sa’d became outraged and ordered his forces to march and he advanced his flag. Then he charged his arrow in his bow and threw it while saying:
“Testify in front of the Governor (Ibn Ziyad) that I am the first one to shoot!!”
After hearing this statement from the Third defendant, can anyone claim that he refused fighting or that he is not responsible, or that he was simply obeying the orders of his supreme commander? Doesn’t this statement from him stand as a strong proof that he was among the first who competed to attain the pleasure of his masters by carrying out this heinous mission, even if the price was the bloodshed of innocent women, children, elderly, sick, and a small group of helpless men?!
This statement of Ibn Sa’d points clearly to his guiltiness and we request the court to add this to the record. Of course after the commander threw his arrow, the rest of his army threw their arrows at one shot, and most of Al-Husayn’s companions fell down as some were killed and others were injured as a result of this heavy attack, and the fighting officially began!
Chief Justice: Court is adjourned today and will resume tomorrow at 10AM. Thank you. Court is dismissed.
The first news conference of this historical trial took place after the conclusion of the sixth court session at a big conference hall reserved specifically for this purpose. We entered the hall at exactly 3PM along with a big number of journalists and correspondents from all over the world who came to cover this unique and thrilling event which increases in excitement every day.
We had requested for these news conferences with the prosecution and the defense representatives to speak with them directly about the case, but our request was postponed for different reasons until we were finally notified of this first news conference, with the assurance that it will not be the last.
The hall was very crowded and after a little while, two of the prosecutor’s assistants entered and requested everyone to keep quiet and for the questions to be related only to the case, while reserving the right of the prosecution to reject answering any question which may affect the case proceeding or the evidences presented so far or has yet to be presented.
Silence prevailed, then that awe-inspiring prosecutor who was the talk of everyone entered with his neat, attractive, and humble appearance as light radiated from his face. He stood in front of the podium then he said in a calm, humble, and respectful voice:
Prosecutor: I thank you all for your attendance today and I have about 30 minutes only to take your questions and answer them. I request that these questions be brief and non-redundant. The first question (and he pointed to one of the correspondents), go ahead…
Correspondent: What is your opinion regarding the court proceedings so far? Are you satisfied with it?
Prosecutor: We believe that the trial is proceeding very well so far. The Chief Justice of the court is conducting his job in a very professional and adept way, and he gives a fair opportunity for everyone to present his case. We are satisfied with our progress so far and we believe that we are moving slowly but with steady steps towards establishing the guilt of the five defendants. Go ahead (and he pointed towards another correspondent)...
Another Correspondent: Do you think the judges and the jurors are somehow sympathetic to your case? And do you feel that they are following you carefully and understanding what you are communicating? In other words, do you feel a connection between you and them?
Prosecutor: Yes, without a doubt. In fact, we often observe emotional reactions, sadness, and anger clear on their faces. I am sure that they are following the sequence of events with all concentration and attention, as it is expected from them.
Correspondent: Do you feel that they are leaning towards a guilty verdict? And are they all as you described?
Prosecutor: I don’t know whether they are leaning towards a guilty verdict or not, and I think it is too early now for us to conjecture on that, as there are a lot more facts and evidences that have yet to be presented. We believe that everyone is focusing and following the events of the case. Go ahead (and he points to another correspondent)…
Another correspondent: What is your assessment of the performance of the defense team so far? And do you feel that they are a foe to you whom you fear and are on your guard?
Prosecutor: I will not comment on the performance of the defense. However, they carry out their job in a professional manner and due to the nature of their role, they are a foe to us of course. We do not fear them; however, we stand against their trials to belittle and invalidate the evidences we are presenting. Go ahead (and he points to another correspondent)…
Another correspondent: This is the first time that a prosecutor takes on a historical case which took place hundreds of years ago. I personally had thought that this task was impossible, but honestly today I say that you have proved by your unique performance that the impossible have become possible and within reach! We bear witness that you are the pioneer in this field and you will become part of history by this work. My question to you is: How do you find this challenging mission to be? And how did you prepare for it? What is your perspective regarding the establishment of historical court tribunals in the future?
Prosecutor: Thank you for your comments. In reality, the mission is tough and challenging since there are no living witnesses and we can only depend on historical witnesses represented in different history books. This requires careful collection of facts which has a high degree of authenticity, as well as correlation of the facts together so that they are presented as strong, irrefutable, and incriminating evidence.
We believe that we have presented a paradigm which can be followed in future historical court tribunals. The goal here is to fill the earth with justice and fairness after it was filled with oppression and tyranny. We take pride and honor in being the pioneers in this effort and an example and in the forefront in this field. This is our role and we thank God that He chose us for this responsibility.…go ahead (and he points to another correspondent).
Another correspondent: Are you comfortable with the security measures and organization of this event?
Prosecutor: Yes, we are very comfortable and we would like to take this opportunity to direct our thanks to the organizers of the court proceedings and we express our utmost appreciation of their hard work in conducting the court sessions in this honorable form till now. Go ahead (and he points to another correspondent).
Correspondent: We sometimes notice your emotional engagement in the events of this case such that we often see tears in your eyes and detect sadness in your voice. Isn’t that an odd observation from a prosecutor who is simply carrying out his job? And is that reaction intended to influence the judges and jurors? Or is there another reason for it?
Prosecution: The tragedies which transpired in Karbala are the source of great misery and pain for all those who love and support truth, justice, goodness, and humanity. All of that was represented in the character of Imam Al-Husayn (as). The barbaric and aggressive attack on him is in essence an attack on all the values of truth, justice, goodness, and humanity.
We do not deny that we are personally affected by this case for reasons which I prefer not to share and it is out of our will. It is absolutely not meant to affect or influence the judges and jurors. Our personal feelings regarding this case is what made us take on the mission and role of prosecution as we hope to reach to the conviction of the defendants by the end of the trial. Go ahead (and he points to another correspondent).
Correspondent: With all due respect to the personality of Al-Husayn (as), do you not see that he was mistaken to subject himself to confrontation with this huge army and expose himself to harm while he was all alone in that estranged state?
Prosecution: Sir, it seems that you have not been following the events of this case as we have presented with its supporting evidence. I hope that the jurors are not also asking the same question you’ve posed. Indeed, Al-Husayn (as) was forced to go out as he was persecuted and his head was sought for any price. Thus, he did not expose himself, rather he was forced to this confrontation!
He did not leave to Al-Kufa except after he received their letters promising to protect him and his family. However, they betrayed him under the pressure and terrorism of Ibn Ziyad. To verify that, you may listen to the following statement of Al-Husayn (as):
“They will not leave me alone until they kill me! When they did so, Allah will send upon them those who would humiliate and disgrace them such that they become the most inferior of nations.” Also listen to him saying, “Bani Umayyad confiscated my property and I was patient. They cursed me and I was patient. Then they sought to shed my blood, so I escaped.” From this, it is clear that Al-Husayn (as) was forced to have this confrontation and did not seek it. Go ahead (and he points to another correspondent).
Correspondent: The defense team was supposed to also hold a news conference right after your news conference. However, we were suddenly told that their news conference would be cancelled. Do you have an explanation for that?
Prosecution: No, and you may direct that question to them when you see them. I will stop here and thank you all. See you next time soon God-willing. Salam Alaikum!
Chief Justice: Court is in session. The defense, do you have any comments on what was presented so far by Mr. Prosecutor?
Defense: No your Honor. Thank you.
Chief Justice: You may then continue presenting your case, Mr. Prosecutor.
Prosecutor: Thank you Your Honor. Respected judges and jurors…the battle of Karbala started when the Third defendant Umar ibn Sa’d gave the signal and shot his arrow seeking the pleasure of his master. After that, his whole army started to throw their arrows which showered like rain towards Al-Husayn (as) and his companions such that approximately 50 of them were killed instantly.
Of course, when 30 thousand fighters throw their arrows all at once at 100 men, what do you expect to happen? This marked the beginning of the massacre, so which heroism or bravery is being displayed by an army and its command who allowed themselves to participate in an uneven battle?!
Surely, it is a fight that is similar to a wrestling game that takes place between a heavyweight world champion wrestler and a three-month old child. Can you imagine this? It was a war crime and mass murder by all meaning of the word! Only few men were left with Al-Husayn (as) who did not exceed 30 or less. When Al-Husayn (as) saw that, he said:
“By Allah, I will never surrender to their conditions, until I meet Allah (SWT) drenched in my blood!”
Then Al-Husayn (as) sent his eternal call for help saying:
“Is there a rescuer to come to our rescue?! Is there any helper to help us?! Is there any supporter to support us?! Is there any defender to defend the household of the Messenger of Allah (SWT)?!”
However, there was no helper, no supporter, no assistant…and Al-Husayn (as) was left alone with his very few companions while he is steadfast on righteousness, patient on the harm and inevitable death, rejecting oppression and tyranny, and refusing to surrender to the oppressors. Al-Husayn (as) drew a great example and was a role model for honor, dignity, nobility, courage, chivalry, and strength when it comes to truth, dignity and freedom.
Here, we would like to present to you an incident which stands as a strong proof against the defendants who each claim that they were only obeying the orders of their commander and were forced to fight.
This proof is the position and stance of a person who was actually from the commanders of the army of Ibn Sa’d. But soon he realized the obvious oppression and realized that the massacre was about to happen due to lack of compatibility in the size and resources of both side. He saw falsehood to be with the army of Ibn Sa’d whom he is one of his commanders.
And he saw righteousness to be with Al-Husayn (as) – the lonely, persecuted, and oppressed man. When he witnessed all that, he refused to follow Ibn Sa’d. Instead, he revolted and withdrew from his army, then he went over to Al-Husayn (as) in a regretful, repentant, and apologetic state.
This person is none other than Al-Hurr ibn Yazid Al-Riyahi. Ladies and gentlemen, you may remember what we have mentioned earlier that he was the commander of that group of 1000 fighters who were the first to confront Al-Husayn (as) and stalk him and force him to stop in Karbala.
When Al-Hurr heard the call of Al-Husayn (as) for help, he wept. Then he went to the Third defendant Umar ibn Sa’d and said:
“Are you really going to fight this man (referring to Al-Husayn AS)?!”
Ibn Sa’d answered him:
“Yes, by Allah! A tough fight which at the least results in heads being cut off and hands being chopped!”
Here, Al-Hurr decided to rebel on the orders given to him and instead go over to support Al-Husayn (as). Sure enough, he apologetically went to Al-Husayn (as) and asked him for forgiveness since he was the first to confront and stop him. So Al-Husayn (as) accepted his apology. Now, weren’t the second, third, fourth, and fifth defendants all capable of doing the same thing and saving themselves from facing these charges which they are facing today?
Sure, they were capable of excusing themselves, but by their own will they committed their crimes without any excuse or need. Therefore, it was necessary to place them on trial, to convict, and to punish them! The stance which Al Al-Hurr has taken stands as a great proof to their guilt.
Due to the lack of supporters of Al-Husayn (as), it was impossible for his companions to fight simultaneously, so the fight took the form of individual duel (one-to-one). So, Al-Husayn’s companions asked him for permission to go out and fight the enemy one after the other. Al-Husayn (as) would then give them the permission and they would each go out to fight alone and kill many from the enemy.
Then they would be killed and attain martyrdom after demonstrating unbelievable courage and heroism that has no similarity in all of history! It was a dramatic scene which tongues cannot describe! Now what type of love, faith, and sincerity was that which brought together those men who were few in number, so that they stand with Al-Husayn to support him?!
Here, Al-Husayn (as) symbolizes truth, justice, righteousness, freedom, dignity, and all the values of humanity. They protect him with themselves, their blood, their souls, and all that they own without a moment of hesitation or weakness! Surely, it is a scene which all of humanity should take pride in over all other things!
All of the martyrs fell down one after the other in a horrifying massacre which all of humanity never saw a resemblance to it. They fall down as men with their swords in their hands and their hearts bleed; however it is filled with love, faith, certainty, and purity. It is the climax of manhood, honor, and sacrifice on their behalf! And it is the climax of lowliness, lack of chivalry, arrogance, betrayal, and cowardice from their enemy!
The whole scene composes a war crime that is very obvious! To bring the picture closer to you, dear ladies and gentlemen, imagine that there is a wrestling ring where 25 thousand of Matadors fight with swords against one bull. What can we expect the result to be?! Surely, it will be a great massacre and whenever one bull falls down, another bull steps forward to be slaughtered in front of the 25 thousand armed Matadors!
It is a massacre which humanity rejects even for bulls and considers it to be a crime against animals. Then imagine when this situation is not against bulls, but it is against humans! Isn’t that considered to be a crime committed against mankind?!
Defense: Objection your Honor, this is an imaginary hypothetical argument!
Prosecution: Your Honor, I’m only trying to draw an example to help the respected jurors imagine what really happened, and this is the right of the prosecution.
Chief Justice: Objection overruled. You may continue Mr. Prosecutor.
Prosecutor: And now, respected judges and jurors, we are going to present to you only some of the war crimes and the crimes against humanity and mass murder which took place on the land of Karbala on the 10th of Muharram, year 61 A.H.
Abdullah ibn ‘Umayr Al Kalbi: He was among the companions of Al-Husayn (as), so he marched to the battlefield and fought a tough fight till his right hand and his leg got severed and he was taken as a captive to Ibn Sa’d, the Third defendant. Ibn Sa’d then told him, “What a tough fight!” Then Ibn Ziyad ordered the execution of Ibn Umayr Al Kalbi…the execution of an injured captive! Where are the laws that regulate the treatment of captives?! Where is humanity?! Should a captive be executed while he is injured?! And was this action by Ibn Sa’d also an order by Ibn Ziyad?!
Or was it out of his own criminal tendencies? But what was even worse than that was when his wife went over to his dead body weeping and wiping the blood from his head. The Fourth defendant Shimr saw her, and then he ordered his slave named Rostom to hit her head with a pole. So he struck her and broke her head and she died instantly in her place! She was the first woman to be killed and attain martyrdom in Karbala. Now isn’t this a war crime and mass murder and a crime against humanity or not?!
Wahab ibn Abdullah Al-Kalbi: He was taken as a captive after many of the army of Ibn Sa’d were killed in his hands. So he ordered his execution and to chop his head, then his head was thrown towards the camp of Al-Husayn (as). His mother embraced the head of her son, kissed it, and attempted to take a pole and go out to take revenge of her son’s death, but Al-Husayn (as) told her, “Oh Umm Wahab, return back for women are excused from Jihad (fighting).”
The time for Dhuhr (noon) prayers came and Al-Husayn (as) requested the oppressing army to ceasefire to perform the obligatory prayers in Islam, but they refused. So Sa’eed ibn Abdullah Al Hanafi stepped forward and stood in front of Al-Husayn (as) to protect him while he is praying. Sa’eed received many arrows at his chest during Al-Husayn’s prayers until he fell down and died.
He suffered thirteen arrows in his body in addition to sword wounds and spear stabs. Now isn’t the lack of respect to worshipping and killing of worshippers considered to be a war crime or not?! We leave that judgment for you to make, Oh respected judges and jurors.
Nafi’a ibn Hilal Al Jamli marched to the battlefield and fought courageously until his hands got cut and he was taken as captive. Then the Fourth defendant Shimr ibn Dhil Jawshan executed him and chopped his head without taking orders from anyone. Now, isn’t that act considered to be a war crime by all standards in every age and time? He was an unarmed, helpless, and injured captive who is the Third person to be killed without mercy or compassion or regards to religion or humanity.
Amr ibn Junada Al-Ansari who was only eleven years old at that time stepped forward after his father was killed and he sought the permission of Al-Husayn (as) to fight. But Al-Husayn (as) refused to give him the permission, so the young boy pleaded to him and said that his mother ordered him to fight.
So Al-Husayn (as) gave him permission and soon he was killed and his severed head was thrown towards the camp of Al-Husayn (as) and it accidentally fell on the lap of his mother. Now, is there any situation more horrific than this?! An eleven-year old young boy was killed and his head was thrown at the lap of his mother! Doesn’t this crime go against all the values of humanity?!
A ten-years old child from the family of Al-Husayn (as) named Muhammad ibn Abi Sa’eed ibn Aqeel ibn Abi Talib ran out from the tents in a fearful and terrorized state as he looked right and left. He did not know where to go, so one horseman of the companions of Ibn Sa’d advanced towards the young boy and struck him on his head with his sword and killed him.
Now, what do you say dear ladies and gentlemen about the killing of children in the battlefield? Is it a war crime, or a crime against humanity, or is it mass murder, or surely it is all of the above!!!
Another young boy who did not yet reach the age of puberty, Al Qasim ibn Al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib went forward to defend his uncle. He fought courageously then his enemy took the opportunity when he paused to fix his footwear and one of them struck him on his head with the sword at a moment of betrayal and deceit, so the young boy was killed. Now, what type of chivalry, knighthood, or heroism is that, dear ladies and gentlemen?!
The Fourth defendant Shimr proceeded towards the tents of the women and children and attacked them with spears. He wanted to set the tents on fire while women and children were screaming! Now, isn’t that act from him considered to be a war crime, a crime against the humanity and isn’t that considered to be a form of mass murder?!
Chief Justice: Court session will now be in a half hour break and shall resume afterwards.
Chief Justice: The court is in session after the recess and I think that the defense team doesn’t plan to rebut now on the prosecutor’s case.
Lawyer: No your Honor, not at the present time.
Chief Justice: Then Mr. Prosecutor, you may continue presenting your case.
Prosecutor: (signs of deep sadness are clear on his face)…Yes your Honor. The family of Al-Husayn (as) went out to protect him with their lives and blood. His eldest son ‘Ali ibn Al Al-Husayn (as) was the first of them. He fought a brave combat till they killed him and cut him into pieces with their swords, all in front of his father Al-Husayn (as).
After him, Al-Husayn’s nephew from his brothers and sister’s side as well as his uncle’s sons each went forward to sacrifice their lives in his defense, then his brothers proceeded to fight one after the other ending with Al-Abbas ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. They were all massacred and killed in front of Al-Husayn (as) and he was left alone in the battlefield after all his companions, supporters, and family members were killed. He hears the wails of the widows and the screams of the thirsty children, so he called out loud:
“Isn’t there anyone to protect the household of the Prophet?! Isn’t there any monotheist who fears Allah (SWT) by supporting us? Isn’t there a helper who seeks Allah’s pleasure in helping us?! Isn’t there an aide who seeks reward from Allah (SWT) by aiding us?!”
The name of Al-Husayn’s only remaining son who was very ill and was not able to participate in the fight is ‘Ali ibn Al Al-Husayn Al Sajjad (as). Despite his illness, he got up when he heard his father’s plea for help and wanted to fight before him. But Al-Husayn (as) prevented him due to his severe illness. Then Al-Husayn (as) bid his farewell goodbye to his children, sisters, and women as they cried and wept bitterly. Now isn’t this anguish, thirst, grief, and sad farewell which they all suffered considered to be war crimes or not? Oh humanity, you may bear witness to that!!
Then Zainab bint ‘Ali, the sister of Al-Husayn (as) came over to her brother while she was carrying his infant son Abdullah and she said to him:
“Please request some water from those people for this infant, because his mother’s breast has become dry of milk due to severe thirst!”
So Al-Husayn (as) held his infant son in his hands and went over to the army of Ibn Sa’d and appealed to them for some water to quench the thirst of his infant as the child is not guilty of anything. The companions of Ibn Sa’d differed in opinion; some were lenient to give the baby some water while others rejected that idea and wanted to cause agony to his father by hurting his infant son!
At that critical moment, the Third defendant Ibn Sa’d looked at the Fifth defendant, Hurmala ibn Kahel Al Asadi, who was an expert in arrow-shooting and the chief sniper in the army. He ordered him to end this conflict by killing the infant child in the lap of his father! So Hurmala threw an arrow at the child and slaughtered him in the hands of his father!
Al-Husayn (as) then received his infant’s blood in his palm and threw it towards the sky. Narrators are in consensus that not one drop of their blood fell to the ground, and Al-Husayn (as) said at that moment:
“What relieves my calamity is that it is in front of Allah (SWT). Oh God, please do not let this sacrifice be less in your eyes than the baby camel of Prophet Saleh! Oh God, if you are not providing us victory, then grant us what is better and take revenge for us from the oppressors. And make what has been inflicted upon us in this life be a treasure in the hereafter!”
Then Al-Husayn (as) stepped down from his horse and dug a hole using his sword to bury his infant child who was drenched in his blood and he prayed for him. Ladies and gentlemen, now isn’t this horrifying tragedy considered to be a war crime or a crime against humanity or a case of mass murder?!
Or it is much worse and disastrous than all of that?! After all, how can a soldier or a human being shoot an arrow to kill an infant, even if his commander ordered him to do so?! Hurmala was capable of refusing to do that especially as he saw that the army was already divided in this matter. He was capable of targeting his arrow at a wrong direction so that he doesn’t kill the infant baby.
But the Fifth defendant Hurmala, with all his lowliness and wickedness allowed himself to kill an infant baby in the arms of his helpless father in the battlefield! Surely, this is strong evidence against the Fifth defendant Hurmala ibn Kahel Al Asadi! (Tears started streaming down his cheeks and it became very apparent from his voice and facial expression that he was emotionally affected).
Subsequently Al-Husayn (as) rode his horse and faced the opposing army holding his sword while in the state of despair, ready to face death as he chanted these eternal words which in itself constitute a school and lantern to every human being at any place and time. Listen to him saying:
“But God’s reward is higher and nobler! And if our bodies were created to die, then it is better for a person to die in the way of
Allah (SWT) by the sword. And if sustenance is a measured amount, then it is better for a person not to be concerned about earnings. And if money that is collected will eventually be abandoned, then what do you think about a person who is stingy with what he will eventually abandon? I will go ahead and it is not a shame to be killed if I am killed in the way of Allah (SWT)!” (it is a poem in Arabic)
Defense: Objection your Honor! This has nothing to do with the charges in this case, and it is intended to influence the respected jurors!
Prosecutor: Your Honor, it is our right to display the great humanitarian aspects in the personality of the victim, for it is meant to clarify to the judges and jurors the horrendousness of the crime. And to demonstrate to them what type of human blood was shed and what high values and morals were destroyed on the plains of Karbala in a cold-blooded manner!
Defense: Your Honor, the job of the jurors is not to assess the level of horrendousness of the crime, but they are here to decide the guilt or innocence of the defendants.
Prosecutor: Yes without a doubt, but displaying the horrendousness of the crime and the value of the victim is meant to emphasize to the jurors the importance of the guilty verdict, and that is the legal right of the prosecution.
Chief Justice: Objection overruled, you may proceed, Mr. Prosecutor.
Prosecutor: Al-Husayn (as) called out to the opposing army for duel combat, and he went on killing everyone who approached him as he was at the peak of courage and chivalry. He didn’t chase a retreating enemy, nor did he finish off an injured person, nor did he kill a child, nor did he stab in the back, nor did he kill out of deceit.
He was a great example in fighting, courage, heroism, nobility, and chivalry! Now let us hear the testimony of one of the soldiers in the opposing army whose name is Abdullah ibn Ammar ibn Yaghooth which is cited in the history books as he admits:
“I have never seen a broken man whose sons, family members, and companions were killed in front of him, more patient, calm, determined, and courageous than him! When men approached him for combat, none of them would stay standing where he charged at them and all would run away!”
Here the Third defendant Ibn Sa’d shouted:
“He is the son of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, he is the son of the killer of Arabs, attack him from all sides!”
Now did the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad force Ibn Sa’d the third defendant to make that call in which he ordered these thousands of soldiers to fiercely attack the lonely victim? Or was it one of the prerequisites for acquiring the governorship of Al-Rayy’ state?!
Wasn’t it an evil initiation by the Third defendant himself that proves his guilt and complete responsibility of the crime as there was no any source of pressure on him and there was no any military need for that?!
He could’ve simply ordered ceasefire since Al-Husayn (as) became lonely and have lost all of his supporters and family members. He could’ve attempted to resume peace talks or even request Al-Husayn (as) to surrender in order to avoid bloodshed of the rest of his family members including himself, especially being that he is the Prophet’s grandson.
Preventing his murder is a goal in itself that is worthy to be achieved since the battle has been finalized and there is no point to continue it! However, Ibn Sa’d insisted to continue his criminal actions till the very end in fear of losing the pleasure of Ibn Ziyad along with the promised governorship. How did he know?!
Perhaps if he had ordered ceasefire at that time and notified his master Ibn Ziyad in Al-Kufa, the Second defendant may have changed his mind about killing Al-Husayn (as), but that did not happen! Hence, the responsibility of the Third defendant Ibn Sa’d for the crimes committed here is very clear and obvious.
Sure enough, the opposing army carried out the orders of its commander and they all attacked Al-Husayn (as) with 4000 arrows! They encircled him and blocked him from his camp and his family, so Al-Husayn (as) yelled at them:
“What is wrong with you?! Oh supporters of Abi Sufyan! If you don’t have any sense of religion and if you don’t fear the day of judgment, then be freemen in your lives and return to the values of your tribes if you are Arabs as you claim!”
So the Fourth defendant Shimr ibn Dhi Jawshan called out to him and said, “What do you want to say Oh son of Fatima?”
Al-Husayn (as) answered him: “I am saying that I am the one whom you are fighting, and women have nothing to do with fighting. So prevent your vulgar tyrant and ignorant men from harming my women so long as I am alive!”
Ladies and gentlemen, you can see the extent of lowliness of these people as they try to prevent Al-Husayn (as) from reaching his women and children and using that degrading tactic to pressure him…as if what he is going through is not enough to them! Rather, they actually started to attack the tents of women, children, and the sick! Now, isn’t this a war crime that involves terrorizing the civilians and using that as a means of pressure against the opponent? Isn’t this a crime committed against humanity?!
The Fourth defendant Al-Shimr answered Al-Husayn: “Ok, we will give that to you, oh son of Fatima! Then he shouted to his companions “Leave his family alone and go after him. I swear that he is indeed a noble equal!”
The enemy attacked Al-Husayn (as) from all directions while he was alone and helpless among them. Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know how these thousands of people allowed themselves to join together to kill one person!
What type of humanity, religion, chivalry, or bravery is that?! We do not see this type of behavior happening in the animal world, then imagine that it was happening in the human world!
These killer beasts do no have any faith or human values or conscience or feelings at all! In these moments, they rid themselves of everything except evil and lowliness even though they knew well whom they were fighting.
Listen to the words of the Fourth defendant when he said, “I swear that he is indeed a noble equal” which is an expression of deep respect and admiration to the personality of Al-Husayn (as) by his worst enemies!
Severe thirst overcame Al-Husayn (as) and he charged towards the Furat River against ‘Amr ibn Al Hajjaj who was accompanied by 4000 men. He overcame them and drove his horse to the river. But when his horse wanted to drink, Al-Husayn (as) said to his horse: “You are thirsty and I am. By God, I will not drink till you drink!”
Respected judges and jurors, take a look at the peak of humanity and compassion who is about to get killed at the hands of the peak of evil and wickedness! By Allah, it is a horrifying tragedy!!
(Tears streamed from the eyes of the Prosecutor as his voice shook in the midst of complete silence in the court room. But he quickly controlled his emotions and continued).
When Al-Husayn (as) extended his hand to drink, a man from his enemy called out, “Will you enjoy the taste of water, Oh Husayn, while your women are being attacked?!” Al-Husayn (as) then threw away the water from his hand and did not drink it; instead he headed back towards his women in the camp.
Ladies and gentlemen, don’t you see how they can not bear the thought of Al-Husayn (as) even wetting his lips with some water before killing him! So they make up a lie in order to force him to abandon the water. They then falsely claim that his women are being attacked, because they know very well the devotion and protection that Al-Husayn (as) offers his women and his determination that no one harms them while he is alive.
They take advantage of his noble manners and his gallantry so that they prevent him from taking the last sip of water in his life. Now did you ever see a crime against humanity more horrific than this? I leave the answer and judgment for you to make…
Al-Husayn (as) returned to his tents and family to check up on them and to bid them a last farewell and give them his last words of will and recommendation. He went to see his daughters, wives, and his sister Zainab bint ‘Ali (as).
At that moment, the Third defendant Ibn Sa’d who is the commander of the army shouted to his soldiers:
“What is wrong with you?! Attack him while he is busy with his family! By Allah, if he became free to face you, you will then not be able to differentiate the right wing of your army from the left!”
Ladies and gentlemen, take a close look at how this defendant orders his soldiers to be cowards, abandon their dignity, remove the dress of humanity from them, and attack a man who was bidding his last farewell to his women and children! They want to take advantage of this dramatic situation so that they kill him. Now what type of courage, dignity, or honor is that?!
And was that also a military order which his master in Al-Kufa, Ibn Ziyad asked of him? Or was it a personal effort and evil action initiated by him? How can he defend his case when he sees Al-Husayn (as) has become lonely and killing him was imminent and only a matter of time as he faces tens of thousands of soldiers all by himself! So, what is the point and the meaning of this order now?!
Sure enough, the miserable soldiers obeyed the order of their commander. They fiercely attacked Al-Husayn (as) throwing him with arrows which were showering at him like rain from all directions. Some of these arrows even penetrated the tents of women and children who cried out of fear and terror!
Al-Husayn (as) was receiving the arrows on his chest and neck while he was charging back on his enemy! Isn’t this stance from the Third defendant and his army against Al-Husayn (as) and his family members and depriving him from even bidding them his last farewell…isn’t that a war crime and a crime against humanity? I leave the judgment for you to make…
Al-Husayn (as) then returned to his position while he was suffering from extreme thirst and exhaustion and he continuously recites this supplication, “There is no ability or strength except from Allah, the High and the Great!” At that moment, he requested some water to drink but Al-Shimr the Fourth defendant answered:
“You will never taste it until you go to the Hell-Fire!”
And another person said to him, “Don’t you see the Euphrates River running in waves like snakes? You will not drink from it till you die out of thirst!”
Ladies and gentlemen, take a look at this extreme harshness and petrified hearts! By his statement, was the Fourth defendant obeying the order of his master in Al-Kufa or his commander the Third defendant? Or was his statement due to his personal initiation which indicates his extreme evil and lack of compassion?
And is that from the Islamic law and the teachings of the Holy Messenger who narrated in one of his prophetic traditions that a man entered the Paradise simply because he quenched the thirst of a dog in the midst of burning heat of the desert?!
Did the Prophet of Islam order to kill his grandson thirsty in the desert of Karbala? We leave the answer to this question to the defense. Isn’t this a crime committed against humanity? We will leave the answer to this question also to you, respected judges and jurors.
Then Al-Husayn (as) called out: “Oh you evil nation, what a bad reward you gave Muhammad (S) in his household! Verily, after killing me, you will never care to kill any other person! By Allah, I hope that Allah will honor me with martyrdom and then He will take my revenge from you!”
Al-Husayn (as) continued fighting with perseverance until he suffered 72 wounds!! He paused to rest as he felt weak from fighting. As he was standing, ladies and gentlemen (and here the prosecutor’s voice started to shake) a rock was thrown at him and struck his head and the blood flew on his face. Al-Husayn (as) lifted his shirt to wipe the blood from his eyes. Here, the Fifth defendant Hurmala threw a poisoned three-headed arrow directly at him and it struck his stomach area. Al-Husayn (as) then said:
“In the name of Allah, by the help of Allah, and on the path of the Messenger of Allah…Oh Lord, you know that they are killing a man whom there is no other grandson of a Prophet on the face of earth except him!”
Then Al-Husayn (as) pulled out the arrow from his back and the bleeding increased profusely. He placed the palm of his hand on his wound and when it became full of blood, he threw it towards the sky and said:
“What reliefs my calamity is that it is in front of Allah’s eyes.”
It has been narrated by all those who witnessed this dramatic scene that not even one drop of that blood fell down to the ground!
Defense: Objection your Honor, this has nothing to do with the charges directed against the defendants and it is not confirmed. The intention here is only to influence the judges and the jurors!
Chief Justice: Objection sustained.
Prosecutor: Then Al-Husayn (as) placed his hand once again on the bleeding wound and when his palm became full, he wiped the blood on his head and beard and said:
“In this state I shall meet Allah and my grandfather Muhammad the Messenger of Allah, while my beard is stained with blood and I will say ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, this person has killed me!’”
Al-Husayn (as) became so weak and stopped fighting due to the profuse bleeding, so he rest in his place.
Here, ladies and gentlemen, the fighting was supposed to end. As the only man left in that civilian caravan who is Al-Husayn (as) have suffered a fatal injury and is no longer able to fight. Now what does the universal laws of war state…any war even if it took place thousands of years ago?! It states that fighting should stop and the injured should be taken as captives of war and be treated for their injuries.
If the injured ones do not recover from their injuries and die because of it, then they will die after receiving the necessary medical treatment. These are the universal rules of humanity at any place and time! However, did the Third defendant order a ceasefire after there become no any oppressing force in front of his army of 30 thousand fighters?! And if he had ordered ceasefire at that moment, will the First and Second defendants have blamed him for doing so?! Can he confidently say that they will not be pleased of him if he ordered ceasefire? Did
he even consider ceasefire at that point? Or did he bother to consult anyone in this matter?
No ladies and gentlemen, he did not do that! Rather, he insisted to continue fighting the injured man who is breathing his last. About thirty thousand men are now combating only one fatally wounded man who is bleeding to death and has stopped fighting, can you believe it?!
What lowliness and disgrace is that from the Third defendant Umar ibn Sa’d and from all his soldiers?! If this is not considered to be a horrifying war crime committed by them, then what is it called dear ladies and gentlemen?! What a great disgrace to humanity whom they are supposed to be a part of, unfortunately only by name!
Sadly enough, those monsters continued fighting a paralyzed and fatally-wounded man who was about to die. So, a man stepped forward and struck Al-Husayn (as) by the sword on his head. And another one hit him deceitfully while a third person threw an arrow at his neck, while a Fourth one stabbed him in his waist.
Al-Husayn (as) fell down from his horse to the ground; he collapsed as a brave noble hero and lay on the dust not able to get up. All this happened in front of the commander of the army, the Third defendant! Did he do something?! And did he order ceasefire?!
No, he was not satisfied till Al-Husayn gets killed so that his masters, the First and Second defendants get pleased. As we mentioned before, the real target and the whole purpose of this struggle was to kill Al-Husayn (as). This is in spite of their knowledge that the Islamic religion forbids the killing of the injured under any circumstances. So did these criminals apply or respect the Islamic law?
These Islamic laws which the defense team claims that these barbaric human beasts were obeying! Aren’t these actions considered to be crimes committed against humanity…ALL of humanity?!
While Al-Husayn (as) was in this tragic state, Abdullah ibn Al Al-Hasan, the nephew of Al-Husayn (as) who was eleven years old, looked at his uncle who was wounded and surrounded by the army. He went running to his uncle wanting to protect him.
A man came to strike Al-Husayn (as) with his sword, so the boy yelled, “Oh cursed one! Are you trying to hit my uncle?!” The boy tried to shield his uncle from the blow of the sword, so the man struck the boy on his hand which got severed and was left hanging from the skin. So the boy screamed, “Oh uncle!” And he fell on Al-Husayn’s lap and Al-Husayn (as) hugged him and said:
“Oh son of my brother, be patient on what has afflicted you and know that there is good in it, for Allah (SWT) will let you join your righteous fathers.”
Then the Fifth defendant Hurmala ibn Kahel shot an arrow at the boy and killed him while he was lying on the lap of his uncle with a severed hand. Now, is the killing of an injured child in the battlefield with pre-meditated intention considered to be a war crime or a crime against humanity? Or isn’t it something much more horrific and degrading than that?!
Then the Fourth defendant Al-Shimr yelled: “What are you doing standing and staring at the man who has been struck with arrows and spears?! Go ahead and finish him off!!”
So the noble army attacked the unarmed and injured man who is breathing his very last breathe, and they struck him repeatedly with swords, arrows, and spears!! It is as if they were not satisfied with the injuries, stabs, and wounds he already suffered! Instead of ordering ceasefire, the Third defendant ordered the Fourth defendant to kill Al-Husayn and finish him off and relieve his pain and suffering!! What a kind and merciful man he is?! Ladies and gentlemen, take a look at the courage and bravery of the Third defendant Umar ibn Sa’d!
The Fourth defendant Al-Shimr sets out to kill the armless, unguarded injured hero Al-Husayn (as)! Then Al-Shimr chopped the blessed head of Al-Husayn (as) and raised it over a spear to announce the end of the evil and dirty mission which was assigned to that oppressive cursed army!!
All that was not enough! The army started to loot the body of the martyr Al-Husayn (as) and they took his sword, shield, clothes, ring, and seized everything! They left his beheaded body naked in the desert, cut into pieces, and that was the great disaster and crime and biggest calamity ever! Now is there a crime against humanity and a war crime worst and more degrading than that in the history of mankind?!
(Tears streamed from the eyes of the prosecutor as well as all the attendees, even the jurors, judges, lawyers, and security officials, etc).
Chief Justice: (while he is wiping his tears) The court is dismissed and shall resume tomorrow at 10AM. Thank you.
After the conclusion of the Seventh court session which was the longest and most important of sessions as well as the most emotional which engaged the public opinion and the spectators all over the world, a second news conference then took place after 2hrs with both the prosecution and defense teams.
The conference hall was filled with attendees from all the media and international news correspondents. We have been told that that the defense team once again excused themselves at the last minute from attending this news conference due to their engagement in preparing for their defense rebuttal in the next court session.
The Prosecutor who has amazed the world with his competence, personality, and exceptional performance entered the hall. Signs of sadness and emotional distress were clear on his face, but he always maintained an air of respect and a strange light radiating from his face. After greeting and expressing gratitude, he started to receive questions from the different representatives of the media.
Correspondent: Do you think that you are getting very close to reaching the guilty verdict after your great performance in today’s long court session?
Prosecution: I think that we are getting closer with every court session in conveying to the judges and jurors the reality and horrendousness of what transpired in Karbala and thank you for your compliment which I don’t deserve, and for us the trial is still ongoing till the final verdict is pronounced.
Correspondent: Sir, I am a Sunni Muslim, but for the first time in my life I learn about the reality of what has happened in Karbala.
We know that the grandson of the Prophet (S) was slaughtered in Karbala, but there are many, like myself, who do not know about all the dramatic, disgraceful, surprising, and shocking events which you narrated. In your opinion, who is responsible for concealing this truth from the Islamic nation and why was the truth concealed?!
Prosecutor: I share with you the regret for the ignorance of the Islamic nation regarding what has happened in Karbala. The ones responsible for this ignorance are the Muslim scholars and the historians, and Islamic activists who invite people to Islam. They intentionally concealed the truth to avoid focusing on the negative aspects in the history of Islam, and in an attempt to draw a beautiful and idealistic picture of the Islamic history, and to avoid facing the reality of history.
By doing that they think that they are serving Islam, but in reality they are harming Islam by letting the Muslims become a prey to ignorance of their real history, whether it is bitter or sweet, black or white. This has caused a great negative effect on the nation, so it became incapable of accepting criticism at both the individual and societal level. Its state of mind says that so long as the past of the nation was flowery, then its present must also be ornamented and without any mistakes.
This is a serious problem which the nation suffers as it tries to appear every minute in a perfect and beautiful appearance in everything. But the means they use to do so is by keeping quiet on the past and present failures and hiding the mistakes as well as cover up for the wrong-doers. That’s how we reached to what the state of affairs are today in the Muslim world.
This is despite the fact that the Holy Quran has criticized the past nations and the Muslims in many different places and occasions during the revelation. Examples are in the Battle of Uhud and Hunayn as well as many other events yet no one saw that as something negative or insulting. After all, nations are supposed to learn the lessons from its past mistakes and failures, and a nation that refrains from doing so will continue to be ignorant, backwards, and scorned.
Correspondent: Sir, I am also a Muslim and I would like to ask you a question which I hope you answer me honestly. Did the events that you narrated in the courtroom really take place? Are you sure about the authenticity of all that? I am confused and cannot believe that it could happen, for the matter is very grave and I cannot believe that a Muslim can commit all these crimes after only 51 years since the demise of the Holy Prophet (S), so do you have an answer?
Prosecution: Yes sir, everything we said in the court has happened by consensus of all of the history books of Muslim historians. Historical research done by the oriental Europeans researches who studied Islamic history also confirm that. Keep in mind that we do not present except only the events which there are consensus about, and we stay away from the events which are not agreed upon by all the historians.
That is why you can fully trust the authenticity of what we have presented so far about Karbala. It is truly a very grave matter and the whole Islamic nation in particular must know it and face the reality and condemn it without confusion or hesitation! As for the second part of your question, I share with you in your surprise and wonder. However, I suggest that you study the Holy Quran very well and contemplate over it…I am sure that you will find the answer.
Correspondent: Is it true that some of those in the Kufan army of Umar ibn Sa’d were among those who fought with ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib in the Battle of Siffeen against Mu’awiya, the father of Yazid?
Prosecutor: Yes, that is true. Many of those who fought against Al-Husayn (as) and joined the army of Ibn Sa’d also fought with Imam ‘Ali (as) in Siffeen like Shebth ibn Reb’ee, Hajaar ibn Abjor, Shimr ibn Dhil Jawshan and others. But they turned on their backs and chose to fight against Al-Husayn (as) even though they were the ones who invited him to Al-Kufa.
They changed their position out of fear of the aggression of Ibn Ziyad, as we mentioned during the court proceeding. He used to threat to kill anyone in Al-Kufa who refuses to fight against Al-Husayn (as). Many of them were hypocrites too.
Correspondent: Are you ready to face the defense rebuttal case in the next court session?
Prosecution: Yes, and I don’t know how anyone can defend these evil killers who have ridden themselves of all human values! It is surely a very tough task for them and I sympathize with the defense team in this impossible task.
Correspondent: But sir, the barbarism which we heard from you regarding the events of Karbala and especially the killing of Al-Husayn (as) and his family members can not be a result of threat from Ibn Ziyad only as he was not physically present in the battlefield! So how can you explain that?
Prosecution: It can be explained in two ways:
First: The Caliphate of Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan which continued on for about 19 years has filled the Islamic nation with negative propaganda against the family of the Prophet, and especially the two Imams, Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn. It reached to the point that cursing the household of the Prophet became a religious ritual and common practice performed in the Jum’ah prayers and other congregational prayers as well as in celebrations!
This resulted in the raising of generations whose hearts have filled with hatred and animosity towards the household of the Prophet (S), and all that hatred manifested itself and came out in the land of Karbala.
Second: There were many revenge claims deep-rooted in some of the Iraqi tribes against Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) due to those among them who have been killed on his hands while they were fighting against the Prophet (S) and after him against Imam ‘Ali, especially in the battles of Jamal / Camel, Siffeen, and Nahrawan. So they found in Karbala a great opportunity to take these revenges and vent these animosities.
Correspondent: During the court proceedings, we notice that you often quote the words and speeches of Imam Al-Husayn (as) before and during the battle, despite its lack of relevance to the charges directed against the defendants. What is the reason for that?
Prosecutor: Allow me to disagree with you. The speeches and words of Imam Al-Husayn (as) which we presented help us understand the condition and the atmosphere in the battlefield before and after the battle. This is very important in proving the guilt of the defendants to the respected judges and jurors and conveying the truth of what has happened in Karbala.
These speeches and words have been agreed upon by the historians and the narrators even more than the events themselves! So, presenting them as they are with all their indications, hints and direct accusations surely has a direct correlation with the allegations against the five defendants!
Thank you all and I apologize. I need to stop here due to time constraints and see you next time after the next court session by the will of Allah. Thank you and Salam Alaikum!
Chief Justice: Court in order! The defense, you have submitted a motion to the court requesting to invalidate this trial and claiming that the prosecution has exceeded their limits in presenting their case which has caused an irreversible damage and a great effect on the jurors that cannot be repaired.
I ask that you specify in writing these limits which has been exceeded so that we look into it. I request that you submit that today so that it doesn’t interrupt the procession of the trial. And if you have any other motions, please also submit that by the end of the day. And now, are you and the defense team ready?
Defense: Yes your Honor. But, first I would like to clarify the reason behind our request for invalidating and nullifying this trial since the harm that happened cannot be fixed.
Chief Justice: No, no (interrupting) present everything you want to say along with your written motion to the court and we will look into it. No need to waste the court time as well as the time of the respected jurors. Don’t forget that they are sequestered and we don’t want to lengthen that burden on them. So if you are ready to rebut the prosecution case, you may proceed now.
Defense: Yes, your honor. Dear respected judges and jurors. In the last court session, the prosecution went into a long review of details relating to the events which led to the killing of Al-Husayn (as), and he intentionally used a smart, well-directed dramatic theatre presentation to influence you. If we also used this method to describe what usually happens in any battlefield, past or present, you will surely be shocked and emotionally impacted!
Indeed, it is typical for a battlefield to result in tragedies and death, and the military soldiers recognize that very well. Once the battle begins the soldiers forget themselves and only preoccupy themselves with the desire of survival of the fittest, anger, killing, and lack of compassion, because once they have compassion, their enemy will not have mercy on them. So the whole matter at that moment is either to kill or be killed. So why give the whole matter more than what it deserves?
The soldiers only carried out the orders of their commanders, and the commanders were obeying the orders of the governor. And the governor was obeying the orders of the Caliph. And the Caliph, according to his understanding, wanted to maintain the unity of the Muslim nation and avoid mischief / fitna.
And if Al-Husayn (as) remained in Al-Madina or Makkah and didn’t go out to Iraq, no one would’ve harmed him due to his high position in the hearts of the Muslims. To prove my words, I present to you this document which was a will written by Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan when he was on his deathbed to his son Yazid, the First defendant. As it was cited in Maqtal Al-Husayn by Al-Khwarizmi, Muawiya said in his will to his son Yazid the following:
“As for Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali, Oh Yazid! What can I say to you about him? Do not harm him, and be lenient with him. Let him go wherever he wants and don’t bother him. Threat and yell only but don’t hurt him, confront him openly or fight him by sword, nor strike him with a spear.
Rather, give him bounties, bring him closer to you, and respect him. My son, beware that you meet Allah with his blood on your hands! Or else you will be from the losers, for Ibn Abbas has narrated to me that Rasulullah (peace be upon him) at the time of his death hugged Al-Husayn to his chest and said, ‘He is the good of my nation, the righteous one of my household and the best of my progeny; may Allah (SWT) not give blessings to he who does not treat him good after me!’
Then the Prophet (S) added: ‘Oh Husayn, your killer and I will meet at the Day of Judgment in front of Allah and I will be the adversary on your behalf. I am very lucky that Allah (SWT) made me be a plaintiff to your killers on the Day of Judgment.’ Oh Yazid, this is the narration of Ibn Abbas and I narrate to you that the Prophet (S) has said: ‘One day my beloved Jibrael came to me and said, ‘Oh Muhammad! Your nation will kill your son Al-Husayn. And his killer is the cursed one of this nation.’
And the Prophet (S) also cursed the killer of Al-Husayn numerous times, so beware! Beware that you bother or harm him, for he is the beloved of the Messenger of Allah and he has a great right upon you. You did see how I used to have patience with him during my lifetime and I gave him my neck out of submission even though he confronts me with bad talk which hurts me.
But I do not respond to him and cannot do anything to him since he is the only progeny of the Prophet on this earth. I have done my job in warning you!” Then Muawiya said to the commanders of his army: “Bear witness on my words, for by Allah, if Al-Husayn did to me the worst that can be done, I will have patience with him so that Allah would not question me about his blood. My son, do you understand my will to you?” So Yazid answered, “Yes Oh Ameer Al Momineen I understand.”
Ladies and gentlemen, this was the place of Al-Husayn in the eyes of Muawiya. Yazid would not have objected if Al-Husayn stayed in the city of his grandfather. But when he went out to Al-Kufa, its people were in the midst of mischief at that time and conspiracies against the state. Yazid has ordered his governor Ibn Ziyad to put an end to that mischief in any way for the sake of protecting the religion of Islam.
This is how the events have started until it ended, but I assure you that no one intended for the whole matter to end up in this tragic way. Rather it is due to the nature of the battlefields and their traditions and natural consequences including inhumane and barbaric events which come from some people who perhaps outside the battlefield are very compassionate and are in the peak of their humanity and softness!
We see this everyday around us and we hear it from those who go out to fight in the military and confront the enemy. Yes, there were many mistakes which took place, but they were mistakes which usually happen when there is military confrontation with the enemy. But they were not war crimes or mass murder! And they were not even crimes committed against humanity! The presence of women and children in the place of confrontation and the battlefield without a doubt exposes them to harm and serious causalities. Here, it is difficult to say that this killing is “intentional” or “by mistake”, or “by chance”.
There is no evidence to prove pre-meditated and intentional perpetration of war crimes or crimes against humanity. The people accused were all religious with good manners, so how can we expect that from them?! None of the five defendants had the intention of killing Al-Husayn (as); rather, they wanted to stop the mischief / fitna.
Hence, before the start of fighting they requested from him to give his pledge of allegiance to Yazid and to end this conflict. But the matter escalated till it reached the point of military confrontation and then whatever happened has happened. So I ask you, respected judges and jurors, not to judge with your hearts and emotions, but with your minds. Is there any real strong proof without reasonable doubt that war crimes or mass murder or crimes against humanity were committed intentionally in the battlefield?
And I repeat – intentionally!
As for things taking place accidentally or randomly or due to the circumstances of war, that is not considered to be war crime or mass murder or crimes against humanity which are required for them to be done intentionally and premeditated without any doubt such that these five innocent ones represented by the dummies in front of you would be judged as guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
Let us leave the judgment to the divine Creator whom they are now in His hands, for He is more capable in knowing their true intentions and their inner selves. There is no benefit behind this trial and all these great huge costs. There are many other things which deserve our attention much more than this case. Thank you, thank you Your Honor.
Chief Justice: Thank you Mr. Lawyer. Mr. Prosecutor, would you like to response to the defense rebuttal?
Prosecutor: Yes of course if you allow me to, Your Honor!
Chief Justice: Go ahead Mr. Prosecutor. The podium is yours…
Prosecutor: Respected judges, respected jurors…I have never heard in my life the ludicrousness which I am hearing now from the defense! I don’t know if he really intends to influence you such that you forget or ignore all what you heard throughout the last seven long court sessions from narrations, events, documents, speeches, letters, and statements – all of which are authentic and cited in most of the historical references which we agreed upon its validity.
The defense tries to ignore everything and insist that Al-Husayn (as) left Al-Madina by his own will, seeking to fight the ruler and revolt against him. By that, the defense is ignoring all what we presented from documents cited in the Muslim history books which clearly indicate without any doubt that Al-Husayn (as) was forced to leave, and did not leave out of his own free will! He was forced to leave under the threat of being executed and I do not wish to repeat what I already explained.
It is up to the defense team to refer back to the past court sessions and review the evidence presented. And I am sure, oh respected judges and jurors that you will not need that since your memory is strong, thanks to God. Nonetheless, everything that was presented so far is recorded and available in front of you audio and visually, as well as all the documents which you can refer to at anytime.
But what is most peculiar is that document which the defense presented which is supposedly the will of Muawiya to his son the First defendant Yazid. If it is authentic, then it stands as strong incriminating evidence and we thank the defense for presenting it to us. If we analyze this letter, we will find the following:
First: It clearly indicates the father’s knowledge of his son’s nature (the First defendant), he knows very well how this son will deal with Al-Husayn (as) and how he will act, due to his foolishness and lack of wisdom. Thus, he advices his son and warns him not to act in such way. It is as if Muawiya foretells the future when he says, “let him go anywhere he wants” which means not to persecute him or force him to stay at one place. Now, did Yazid really do that?! This is the testimony of a father against his son, so is there any testimony more clear than that?!
Second: The document clarifies and enumerates the virtues of Al-Husayn (as) and his high position in Islam and in the eyes of his grandfather, the Holy Prophet (S). So if you, Oh Muawiya, recognized his high position very well and heard it with your own ears from the Prophet, then why did you take the pledge of allegiance for your son as Caliph when you knew with certainty that Al-Husayn (as) is better than your son, and there is not even room for comparison between the two?!!
Third: And Oh Muawiya, if you have suspicion and felt that your son will be the killer of Al-Husayn, and you knew that the Prophet (S) has said that the killer of Al-Husayn (as) is the cursed one of this nation and that the Prophet (S) will be the plaintiff against him on the Day of Judgment, then, if you truly believe in Islam and the Holy Prophet (S), then you would not have exposed your son to that danger in his Hereafter, especially since you fear that he may commit it.
You should not have appointed him as Caliph and successor, so that you protect him from the evil of his self, and so that he doesn’t ever become the killer of Al-Husayn! But Oh Muawiya, you did not do that…you did not do that…!!!
Fourth: Oh Muawiya, if you knew and were sure that Al-Husayn (as) is the only remaining progeny of the Prophet (S) on earth, then how could you make your son become commander over him and request from Al-Husayn to give your son his pledge of allegiance??!
Fifth: When Muawiya spoke these words, did he for a minute think that Al-Husayn (as) was going to give his pledge of allegiance to his son, the First defendant, regardless of the circumstances?
After all, he himself admitted that Al-Husayn (as) has confronted him with tough talk many times even though he was at the peak of authority and tyranny. So how can one imagine that Al-Husayn (as) would give his pledge of allegiance to his son?
So, Muawiya gave this advice to his son because he knew very well that Al-Husayn (as) would never give his pledge of allegiance to his foolish son. Therefore, he requested Yazid to treat Al-Husayn with respect and softly, even if he didn’t give him his pledge of allegiance.
So, in spite of Muawiya’s prior knowledge of Al-Husayn’s rejection for his son to assume the position of Caliph over the Muslim state, he still advices his son not to harm Al-Husayn (as) due to his lofty position in Islam and among the Muslims.
Sixth: And Oh Muawiya, why are you having your army commanders bear witness on your will to Yazid regarding Al-Husayn? Unless you knew certainly that your son will not follow your advice or carry out your will! Rather, he will step on it with his feet even before you enter your grave! Hence, you want to vindicate yourself from what your son will commit, by having witnesses.
Seventh: Oh Muawiya, if you are a true believer in the religion, how can you accept the position of Caliph over the Muslims while you know very well all these virtues of Al-Husayn which you admitted, how can you accept to govern the nation when you know there is no one else in the whole nation like Al-Husayn (as) in terms of nobility, dignity, and revered position?!
All that is assuming the narration is authentic to begin with! This narration is doubtful and the proof of its falsification is obvious in its own text. For Muawiya to admit and acknowledge the virtues of Al-Husayn and his revered position in the religion and to the nation, in front of his son and his commanders…that act would be invalidating his own authority over the nation, as well as the successorship of his son after him.
Muawiya was not dumb or foolish so that he fall in this grave mistake which can affect his rule as well the successorship of his son after him. For these reasons, this whole narration is illogical, but we accept it because it contains evidence that proves the guilt of Yazid ibn Muawiya and the conviction of Muawiya, the father of Yazid!
As for the defense argument regarding the battlefield and its laws and setbacks, allow me to pose this question to the defense:
Can we consider a confrontation between 20 or 30 thousand soldiers with 100 or less who are in a civilian caravan containing women, children, elderly, and sick…is this confrontation considered to be a battlefield?
Or can we instead call it an execution field or butcher place?! Is there any compatibility or equality in terms of number, equipments and supplies such that we can call it a battlefield and accordingly apply what is usually applied to a battlefield?!
Ladies and gentlemen, what took place in the land of Karbala was not a battlefield; rather it was a court of execution, and the only difference is that those who are sentenced to death are typically chained and handcuffed, while in this case, they were free and have an opportunity to defend their selves to death.
Sure enough, they defended themselves till they were killed as heroes. But the idea of execution or mass murder still remains, so don’t be fooled by the defense argument about the laws and nature of a battlefield.
There was NO battlefield to begin with! If a gang of 200 armed gangsters stopped three persons for robbing them, then the three victims defended themselves till they were all killed. Shall we then call that a battlefield? And if among these three individuals were a woman and a child, is killing them considered to be a mistake simply because they were present in the battlefield?!
Was the slaughtering of Abdullah the suckling infant on the chest of his father Al-Husayn…was that considered to be a mistake? Keep in mind that at that moment, there was no fighting going on as the supporters of Al-Husayn (as) were all killed, so where is the mistake in that? We had previously mentioned that the Fifth defendant Hurmala committed the crime after the commander of the army Umar ibn Sa’d requested that from him. So where was the mistake?
Furthermore, was the killing of Abdullah ibn Al Al-Hasan, the eleven year old child, considered to be a mistake? He was killed while defending his uncle who was breathing his last and about to die, and with the same shot by the Fifth defendant. So how was that action a mistake?
Let the defense explain if they are able to, as there was no any fighting or fighters available at that point to confront the opposing army of Ibn Sa’d. Didn’t that army intentionally commit all these crimes which we have mentioned only a few of? Do you mean to say that they were all mistakes? What nonsense is this and how ridiculous is that?!
Moreover, was the killing of the injured Al-Husayn a mistake and not unintentional? Here is Ibn Sa’d saying to his soldiers, “Go to him and finish him up”, so they carry out that heinous crime on an injured man who is about to die, instead of giving him a sip of water and treating him for his injuries if possible. Weren’t all these events war crimes and mass murder and crimes against humanity? If it is not, then what exactly do we call them? Mistake? Accident? Random?
The defense wants you to believe all that and disregard your intellect, memory, and human logic. No way that this would happen unless we choose to abandon our humanity and leave our minds behind us and follow whatever the defense says without thinking!!
Surely, all of the proofs and evidences for the conviction of the five defendants in committing war crimes and mass murder and crimes against humanity are clearly present in all the events and authentic documents and statements we presented which you may refer to them.
Now let’s address the claim that the five defendants are now facing divine justice. Our goal is to either we vindicate or convict them in this world using our human logic and court system, while giving the defendants all their rights as we are doing now.
The divine justice in the Hereafter does not replace or suffice the human justice in this world. Otherwise, why are we placing the serial killers, criminals, and robbers under trial, despite our knowledge that they will never escape divine justice?!
The benefit of this trial is great and imperative in establishing human justice on earth, without which there is no value or meaning for the presence of any human civilization on this planet! In the animal world, there is only divine justice present and no animal justice, and that is a big difference between humans and animals.
So we must seek the establishment of justice as humans and bring the rights for the oppressed and the victims, whether in the past or present. By successfully achieving justice even if after a big time span, mankind proves its dignified human values and foundations and it escalates as its Creator desired for it to be. Thank you, your Honor.
Chief Justice: The defense team, would you like to rebut the prosecution’s argument?
Defense: No thanks your Honor.
Chief Justice: So, the court will be in recess for a half hour. Court is dismissed.
Chief Justice: Court is now in session after the break. Mr. Prosecutor, are you ready to continue presenting the rest of the evidence?
Prosecutor: Yes, your Honor.
Chief Justice: You may begin and the podium is yours.
Prosecutor: Your Honor, respected judges and jurors…after the hero of Karbala fell down as a martyr drenched in his blood suffering from his numerous injuries and…after the men and youth in his family as well as his companions and supporters were martyred and…after his head was chopped and raised on a spear to announce the end of this heinous mission… after ALL that, the horrifying scene began!
The victorious army under the commandership of the Third defendant and by direct order from the Fourth defendant proceeded towards the camp of Al-Husayn (as) the Martyr. The tents which shelter the women, children, the sick, and contain their personal belongings were attacked. The soldiers started looting and plundering everything and they competed in robbing the women of the Prophet’s household of their clothes and accessories!
It was to the point that a woman, according to Al-Tabari, would be looted from her veil, her ring, her earring, and her bracelet…such that those women ran away without head covering and in tears!!
Ladies and gentlemen, you can very well imagine this horrendous scene in which the huge army consisting of thousands were attacking, looting, and hitting women who no longer have a guardian or protector! Then they set the tents on fire which terrorized the children and women, and everyone went out running in every direction out of fear of the fire which started to spread quickly everywhere.
All that happened in front of the Third defendant, the commander of the army who was doing nothing to intervene and stop this horrendous scene! Doesn’t this scene represent a war crime with all its conditions and represent a crime against humanity?!!
Finally, the soldiers reached ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as) who was the only one left from the sons of Al-Husayn (as) since he was very ill and could not participate in fighting. They found him bed-ridden, so the Fourth defendant Al-Shimr took out his sword wanting to kill this young sick man. As it is cited in Tarikh Al Tabari, someone said to him,
“Are you going to kill the boys too?! He is only a sick young man!”
So Shimr responded, “Ibn Ziyad has ordered to kill all the sons of Al-Husayn.”
Ladies and gentlemen, here, the Fourth defendant Al-Shimr confesses that his master the Second defendant issued orders to his army not only to kill Al-Husayn (as), but also to kill his sons, big or small without any exception!
This happened before the confrontation even started. So was there any sincere intention or serious attempt to negotiate peace and avoid fighting? Wasn’t it a pre-meditated intention to get rid of Al-Husayn and his sons, and all of the progeny of the Prophet of Islam, whom the defense claim that this army went out fighting Al-Husayn (as) and his companions out of abidance to the religion which that Prophet came with? What type of hypocrisy, forgery, and contradiction is this?!
It was only at this point that Ibn Sa’d the Third defendant intervened to prevent Al-Shimr after he saw Zainab bint ‘Ali, the sister of Al-Husayn (as) saying: “He will not be killed until I am killed first!” It was only at this point that they refrained from killing him.
Ladies and gentlemen, is the attempt of killing the sick people during and after war considered to be a crime which calls for the human conscience? Isn’t it a war crime or not?! Isn’t it a crime against humanity or not? And isn’t the instructions of the Second defendant to kill all of the children of Al-Husayn (as) considered to be a genocide and mass murder or not?!
Finally, the commander of the army, the Third defendant Ibn Sa’d came and when the women saw him, they screamed and cried at his face, so he finally issued his very belated orders to his army and said:
“No one is to enter the shelter of these women, and no one is to harm this sick young man. Whoever took something from their belongings should return it.”
Narrators are in consensus that they stopped attacking, but none of them returned any of the belongings that they confiscated from the women.
Following that, another tragic scene took place which was an unbelievable heinous crime against humanity! Ibn Sa’d, out of his obedience to the orders of his butcher master, the Second defendant as we mentioned before, called out to his army saying:
“Who of you would like to be assigned to trample and stampede over the chest and body of Al-Husayn with horses?”
Ten horsemen volunteered and they trampled over the body of Al-Husayn with their horses till they smashed his chest and back! You can imagine this horrendous scene, oh respected judges and jurors! These people were not satisfied with brutally killing Al-Husayn and cutting off his head and raising it on a spear!
They were not content with looting his body and leaving him naked on the dust of Karbala! Now they are even stepping over his torn up and naked body with the hooves of their horses! How terrible is that…how boastful is that…and what type of humans are they?! What type of crime against humanity can that be categorized as?!
There is no doubt as you are imagining that scene that you will feel extreme disgust and disdain and I apologize for that but it is the truth which you must picture and imagine so that your verdict on these inhumane blood-shedders would be just, direct, and decisive.
If Ibn Sa’d the Third defendant did not obey that specific order of Ibn Ziyad, no one would’ve ever blamed him, not even Ibn Ziyad himself! But the strong desire of the Third defendant to please Ibn Ziyad and to win the governorship of Al-Rayy’ state (which covers most of Iran today) made him not hesitate from carrying out such heinous inhumane, un-Islamic, and immoral act. So he carries full responsibility of this act, in addition to the responsibility which his master Ibn Ziyad holds!
Following that, another horrendous scene took place. The Third defendant Ibn Sa’d ordered that all of the heads of the martyrs be severed and they were distributed between different tribes in order to please the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad.
All of that happened in front of the women and children and you can very well imagine the state of these women and children as they witness the heads of their fathers, husbands, sons, and brothers being cut and raised on spears to be presented to Ibn Ziyad! Ladies and gentlemen, can you imagine how much pain, suffering, and grief affect the hearts of these orphaned children and widowed, grievous, devastated women in the mist of that barren desert in the land of Karbala?! I don’t think anyone can even begin to imagine or comprehend all that pain and suffering!!
After that, Ibn Sa’d ordered to send the severed head of Al-Husayn (as) as well as his companions to Ibn Ziyad in Al-Kufa. He spent his night in Karbala and on the 11th day of Muharram, he gathered the bodies of his dead ones and prayed on them and buried them.
But he abandoned the dead body of Al-Husayn (as) as well as those of his family members and companions in the desert without Ghusl/ablutionary bath or shroud or burial. Now is that a humane act from him or isn’t it a crime committed against humanity?! And did his leader Ibn Ziyad also order him to do so?
Or wasn’t that a criminal act that was a personal initiative from him, out of desire for more pleasure from his masters in Al-Kufa and Damascus? Surely, this act has no resemblance! Humanity does not accept to leave a dead animal without burial, so how can it accept to do that with innocent human beings and martyrs who simply rejected oppression, corruption, and tyranny?!!
Finally, the criminal Ibn Sa’d left in the afternoon of the 11th day of Muharram to Al-Kufa and he ordered that the sisters, daughters, wives, and children of Al-Husayn (as) be taken along as well as the rest of the families of the martyrs. Accompanying them was ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as) who was suffering from severe illness at that time. They forced all the captives to ride on camels without saddle. Here, we must note a few things:
First: It is very painful for a person to ride a camel or any other animal without a saddle. The body of such person will be in direct contact with the skin, hair, and body of the animal which causes sores and inflammation in his body, especially with extreme heat of the desert. It is an unbearable situation also considering the long distance of travel.
Second: During that time, it was the habit of Arabs to resort to this practice in order to show extreme disgrace and humiliation to those who undergo this punishment.
Third: This type of practice used to be given to the captives of the enemies of Islam only. However, this act was not Islamic at all and it was not ever imagined that it would be practiced against the family members of the Prophet and Messenger of Islam. Now isn’t this considered to be maltreatment of war captives? And are women, children, and widows considered to be war captives to begin with? Furthermore, isn’t this practice considered to be a war crime in which the Third defendant is responsible of?
The women requested from their captors to allow them to pass by the dead bodies of their loved ones before departing the place. They let the captives pass by the torn, headless bodies of the martyrs which were left for the beasts and birds to devour on the land of Karbala.
The women witnessed this awful and heart-breaking scene and they saw the bodies of their husbands, brothers, sons, and fathers in this pitiful state as they were headless, naked, slaughtered, surrounded by pools of blood, and encircled by hovering birds! In that heart rendering state, the women screamed, lamented, yelled, and many of them fainted! We can imagine their extreme state of grief, sorrow, and anguish as well as pain, fear, and terror which they experienced!!
Naturally, one of the most women affected by this unbelievable scene was Zainab bint ‘Ali (as), the sister of Al-Husayn, and Sakina (as), the daughter of Al-Husayn, who both embraced the purified body of Al-Husayn (as) which made everyone cry from sympathy, pain, and grief. The soldiers had to strike Zainab with the whip by direct orders from the Fourth defendant Al-Shimr, to force her to abandon the body of Al-Husayn (as); then they dragged her away.
Ladies and gentlemen, is that a humane act, or is it a barbaric and aggressive behavior committed against the mourning and grievous women whose hearts were broken from the loss of their loved ones?! Instead of being compassionate to them, they went on striking the women with the whips and dragging them across the desert!
What type of military honor, chivalry, or humanity is that?! And where was the commander of the army Ibn Sa’d when that happened? Didn’t he know about it?! If he didn’t know, then shame on him! And if he knew, then he is responsible for all the behaviors of the Fourth defendant and the suffering of those civilians in captivity, in addition to the responsibility of the Fourth defendant himself.
The army of Ibn Sa’d drove the women of the Prophet’s Household as captives who were led in the worst of conditions till they reached Al-Kufa where the people came out to stare at them. When the common people realized what was done to the household of their Prophet (S), they went on wailing, crying, and lamenting.
As we mentioned before, it was known that the city of Al-Kufa was the homeland of Shi’ism and support to the Household of the Prophet of Islam, before it turned on its back 180 degrees due to the pressure and terror of the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad.
When the people of Al-Kufa surrounded the caravan of the captives of the Household of the Prophet (S) and they were in awe of what they witnessed, the sister of Al-Husayn (as), Zainab bint ‘Ali, delivered a great historical speech which I’d like to recite to you and include it to the record as well as the sermon of ‘Ali ibn Al Al-Husayn Al Sajjad (as).
Defense: I strongly object your Honor! These speeches have nothing to do with the indictment of the five defendants. All what is meant from it is only to inflame the emotions of the judges and jurors against the defendants.
Keep in mind that these speeches were directed to and against the people of Al-Kufa. And the people of Al-Kufa are not the ones who are being tried in this court. So what is the point of wasting the court time by presenting these speeches?!
Prosecutor: Your Honor, the Second, Third, and Fourth defendants have denied that the people of Al-Kufa have sent to Al-Husayn (as) inviting him. These speeches contain a response to them with clear proof and evidence. Furthermore, the defense team is trying to portray Al-Husayn (as) as the one who revolted against Yazid.
But these speeches testify that Al-Husayn (as) was forced to leave and that he sought refuge in Al-Kufa escaping Yazid, after its people invited him and promised to protect and support him. Then they broke their promise and changed their loyalty.
Furthermore, these speeches portray the frustration of the household of the Holy Prophet (S) from the people of Al-Kufa which confirms the severity of the oppression that the Second defendant practiced against the people of Al-Kufa, to the point that he transformed them from a supporter of Al-Husayn (as) to a soldier in his army!! So, this is also a strong evidence of the crimes of the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad.
Chief Justice: Objection overruled, and I’d like to direct the attention of the judges and jurors to focus their attention in these speeches only on what can incriminate the five defendants or what can vindicate them from the charges, putting aside the emotional reaction. You may proceed, Mr. Prosecutor.
Prosecutor: Thank you your Honor. Ladies and gentlemen, we start by presenting the speech of Zainab bint Ameer Al Momineen ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), the sister of Al-Husayn (as). She signaled to the grievous and lamenting crowd to be quiet, so there was pin-drop silence. As it is narrated in most of the references which we previously referred to, after praising Allah (SWT) and praying on Prophet Muhammad (S) and his Household, she then said:
“Oh People of Al-Kufa! You are the companions of treason and betrayal! Do you weep?! May your tears never dry, and may your cry never stop! You are like she who unravels her yarn, disjoining it into thin filament after she has made it strong. You take your oath as means of deceit between yourselves?!
Verily, you only own cowardliness, false pride, obstinance, hypocrisy, deceit, flattery, and backbiting. You are like a herd of lambs that came to bad grassland to eat! What a bad deed you present to yourselves which will incur Allah’s wrath upon you, and eternal torture!
Do you cry and wail?! May Allah make you weep a lot and laugh little! You did carry all the shame and the disgrace on your shoulders and you will never be able to wash that away from yourselves.
And how can you ever wash away the killing of the grandson of the Seal of Prophets, and the Master Youth of the Paradise, your protector and your shelter in tough times, your lighthouse and the best on your tongues. What a wrong you committed! Woe to you, your effort has failed, your hands have perished, your deal is lost, and you gain only the anger of Allah, indignity and humiliation.
Oh People of Kufa, woe be to you! Do you know which blood for the Messenger of Allah you have shed, which female related to him you have captured, and which sanctity for him you have violated,
“Indeed you have put forth a monstrous thing! Might the heavens be broken down in front of it, and the earth cleaves, and the mountains fall down in fragments!” [Surah 19, Verse 89-90]
You have committed an obvious black, horrendous, unbelievable, terrible, and very serious crime!
Do you wonder that the sky has rained a bloody rain, but the torture in the Hereafter is much worst and humiliating and you will then be from the losers! So don’t be deceived that Allah gives you ample time as He the Almighty does not rush to punish because He does not abandon the revenge. Truly your Lord is watching, so wait for the beginning of Surat Al Nahl, and the end of Surat Saad.
Narrators described the people of Al-Kufa to be confused and overcome with grief and regret. Their women have exposed their hair and slapped their own faces and cheeks. The people surrounded ‘Ali ibn Al Al-Husayn (as) who was handcuffed, his hands were chained to his neck, and blood was on his face. So he pointed to the people to be quiet, and when they were silent, he praised and thanked Allah (SWT) and prayed for the Prophet (S) then he said:
“Oh people, whoever knows me, he knows me. And whoever doesn’t know me, I am ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. I am the son of he whose sanctity was violated and whose bounty was confiscated and whose wealth was seized and whose children were taken as captives! I am the son of he who was slaughtered by the Furat river without heritage or a crime. I am the son of he who was killed in execution style and that is enough of an honor!
Oh people, I ask you by Allah, don’t you know that you have written letters to my father and deceived him?! You gave him promises, covenants, and pledge of allegiance! Then you fought and killed him…curse be upon you for what you committed and your poor judgment! With what face will you meet the Prophet when he says to you, ‘You have killed my progeny and have violated my sanctity, so you are not from my nation!’”
Chief Justice: I think that many of you are exhausted now and are in need for rest, so I will conclude this session and we’ll resume after the weekend on Monday at 10AM. Thank you, court is dismissed.
After a one hour break, the journalists and press correspondents as well as the media and TV representatives gathered for a Third news conference with the prosecution and defense teams. As usual, the hall was crowded with journalists and correspondents.
The defense representative entered while accompanied by two members of his defense team. Everyone was anxious as this was the first time that the defense attend a news conference after excusing themselves twice before. Some expected that they would also excuse themselves this time, but to everyone’s surprise the defense representative attended and the questions started trickling in.
Defense: Please…please…silence please so that we can answer your questions. Yes, go ahead (and he points to one of the correspondents).
Correspondent: How do you evaluate the court proceedings so far? And do you think that you are heading towards loosing the case?
Defense: Generally-speaking good, however I want to express our frustration due to the rejection of the Chief Justice to many of our motions and objections, with all due respect to his professionalism and expertise and his handling of the court proceedings.
I do think that the prosecution is given the opportunity to use some of the unauthentic events and statements to emotionally influence the judges and jurors in order to gain their sympathy and support. It was necessary for the judge not to allow him that. We have attempted numerous times to direct the attention of the Chief Justice to that by objecting again and again, but unfortunately these objections were overruled.
As for the claim that we are on our way to loose, I do not think that at all and I believe that the truth will impose itself at the end, and the judges and jurors will become convinced and will realize that the whole trial has no meaning or necessity.
Another correspondent: Do you really believe that the defendants are innocent? And do you think that the Chief Justice is biased against you?
Defense: Yes, we believe that the defendants are innocent from intentionally committing what happened. All of the events which took place was a result of the circumstances, confrontation, stubborn minds, and military mistakes in the battlefield. As for your question regarding the Chief Justice being biased, I don’t think that at all and he enjoys a high level of professionalism which we highly respect.
Another correspondent: The media is in consensus that the prosecution represented by the personality of the Prosecutor takes the focus and attention of the jurors. Do you agree with that? And if true, how will that affect your efforts in persuading the jurors to declare a “not guilty” verdict?
Defense Rep: No, I do not agree with that. I have full confidence that the respected judges and jurors are listening very well to both prosecution and defense teams. In the end, they’ll judge using their minds and conscience in evaluating what each team presents from reasonable evidences, away from any emotional issues or attempts to move their feelings. We will continue to focus only on the materialistic evidence in front of the respected judges and jurors. The burden is on the prosecution to prove the charges against the defendants without reasonable doubts.
Correspondent: Sir, the evidence presented so far proves and incriminates the five defendants without any doubt and proves their participation and involvement in committing war crimes, mass murder, and crimes against humanity. So how will you face all these evidences in the courtroom?
Defense reply: I totally disagree because all of these evidences are not authenticated and are just historical narrations that are conflicting with each other. At least 50% of doubt is present and that is enough for a “not guilty” verdict! Even if that doubt reached only 1%, the jurors should still issue a “not guilty” verdict. We will try to clarify and prove this point in front of the jurors to convince them about the innocence of the defendants from the crimes and the grave charges which they are facing.
Correspondent: So far, how do you evaluate the idea of past historical trials, being that this trial is considered to be the first of these types of trials?
Defense: I regret to say that this experience is not encouraging as the job of prosecution and defense in these cases are very difficult. The further away in history the case is from the present time, the more challenging the mission due to lack of availability of evidence to incriminate or vindicate, and also due to the many doubts which accompany these evidences.
However, the idea that justice does not disintegrate with time is valid, and we support it 100%. Verily, supporting the oppressed is from the foundations of our religion. However, we believe that the Just God alone is the one who establishes justice since He is knowledgeable of the whole truth. There will be a day of Judgment in the Hereafter where Allah (SWT) will take the rights of every oppressed, and every oppressor will pay the price for his oppression and transgression. I will stop here…thank you.
(The defense team quickly leaves the hall and after about 10 min, the Prosecutor entered, accompanied by two of his team members and they were surrounded by journalists. He requested from them all to be seated and he took his place at the podium and said):
Prosecutor: Due to shortage of time, I’ll only take three questions and I apologize to all of you for that. Go ahead (and he points to one of the correspondents).
Correspondent: How do you respond to the accusation of the defense against you that you attempt to influence the jurors emotionally by presenting some of the details which are not authenticated, and that the Chief Justice allows you to do so?
Prosecutor: This is a totally false accusation; rather, the defense ignores the nature of the case which is 100% humanitarian and tragic! For that reason, we are in this trial and we place the defendants on trial for committing crimes against humanity and war crimes against civilians and children, as well as mass murder. In all of these crimes, you cannot separate the humanitarian aspect from the criminal aspect, for they are both two sides of one coin.
As for the claim that what we present is not confirmed or authenticated evidence, that is left for the respected judges and jurors to decide and thank God that this decision is not left for the defense. The jurors and judges are the ones who will finally deliberate and decide if the events and evidences which we presented are enough to convict the defendants or not.
As for the Chief Justice of the court, he is surely distinguished by his great expertise and respected personality. Many times, he restricts us from saying what we want in front of the jurors. I believe that the defense also testified to the high proficiency, caliber, and impartiality of the Chief Justice.
News correspondent: How do you explain or justify the overturn of the people of Al-Kufa against the household of their prophet, even though the Kufans themselves were their supporters and followers? How did the matter change in that way while we have seen later their regret after they witnessed the captives and the women of the
Prophet’s household confined in chains, and they realized the evil that they have committed?
Prosecutor: There are many reasons for that; the most important are the following:
The high level of oppression and persecution which the authority of Ibn Ziyad practiced on the people of Al-Kufa. He targeted the leaders of the true (Shias) supporters of Al-Husayn (as). This was particularly true after his success in putting down the revolt of Muslim ibn ‘Aqeel and killing him. The people feared a lot from his tyranny and were forced to go out and fight against Al-Husayn (as) although most of them were reluctant.
The presence of hypocrites among the Kufans was a factor. They took part in the mischief against the government of Ameer Al Momineen ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) and were the direct reason behind the widespread of the rebellion of Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan against the legitimate leader and later, the tragic assignation of that legitimate leader (caliph), Imam ‘Ali (as). These hypocrites assisted Ibn Ziyad in getting rid of the true Shias / supporters of Al-Husayn (as), and they were the ones who directly coordinated and led the fighting and killing of Imam Al-Husayn (as).
The presence of Al-Khawarij (The Outlawed) in Al-Kufa as well as in the tribes surrounding it was another major factor. Those people harbored extreme animosity to the household of the Prophet (S) and the progeny of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) whom they considered to be the cause of their defeat in the Battle of Al-Nahrawan.
So they took this opportunity and saw in Karbala the place to take the revenge from the Alawi family, as it was the custom of the Arabs to take vengeance of previous losses. Shimr ibn Dhi Al Jawshan, the Fourth defendant, was among those Khawarij as well as Shebth ibn Reb’ey and Muhammad ibn Al Ash’ath and many others who directly participated in the killing of Al-Husayn (as) and his companions.
The widespread of extreme religious ignorance in the tribes and clans played a major role too.
The hostile propaganda against AhlulBayt (the household of the Prophet) which became widespread in the state all throughout the era of the caliphate of Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, which continued for about 20 years. This led to the appearance of a new generation of youth who has been raised on the hatred and animosity towards the family of the Prophet.
They were led to believe at a young age that the Prophet’s household were a source of mischief and so one must get rid of them in order to stabilize the state, and that this is a religious duty.
The presence of grudges and animosities in many of the tribes in Al-Kufa and its surrounding area towards Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) who killed many of their leaders, chiefs, and known warriors in the battles of Jamal, Siffeen, and Nahrawan in addition to the battles he fought beside the Prophet (S).
These tribes would seek vengeance and wait for the right opportunity to take revenge from the Household of Imam ‘Ali (as). The Caliph Yazid ibn Muawiya, the First defendant used to take pride in his poetry after Karbala that he took revenge for his infidels chiefs and ancestors who were killed by Muhammad (S) and ‘Ali (as) on the day of Badr.
Then we can very well imagine the feelings of these tribal members as many of their nobles and sons were killed by the hands of ‘Ali too. In fact, they were also Muslims who participated in Siffeen, Jamal, and Nahrawan against Imam ‘Ali (as)!
Correspondent: Do you have more incriminating evidence to present and when do you expect to conclude your case?!
Prosecutor: We are quickly approaching the end, but I cannot
give you an exact time because that depends on many factors which are not in our hands. For example, the defense response, the legal proceeding, and official holidays, etc. But I assure you that the end of the prosecution case is very near. Thank you all and see you next time God-willing. Salam to everyone. (He exits the hall and the audience begins to depart).
Chief Justice: Court is in session.
In regards to the defense’s motion to void this trial due to crossing of limits by the prosecution and its irreversible damage on the jurors, the court has rejected the motion for lack of any legal foundation or premise to accept it. I ask the Court Secretary to hand a copy of this court ruling to both defense and prosecution teams. Mr. Prosecutor, are you ready to present the rest of your evidence?
Prosecutor: Yes, your Honor.
Chief Justice: You may proceed.
Prosecutor: Respected judges and jurors, narrators relate that the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad took his seat in the Governor’s palace in AlKufa and that he placed the head of Al-Husayn (as) in front of him. Ibn Ziyad went on playing with a cane on the lips of the purified head of Al-Husayn, while saying:
“I have never seen such a pleasant face as his; surely he has a very nice mouth!”
Zayd ibn Arqam was present in this gathering and he was one of the Prophet’s companions. So he called out:
“Raise that cane away from these lips, for I swear by Allah whom there is no God except Him, I have seen many times the lips of the Messenger of Allah (S) kissing these two lips!” Then he wept loudly.
So Ibn Ziyad replied: “May Allah make your eyes weeps always! By Allah, if it was not that you’re an old man who is delirious and have lost your mind, I would’ve beheaded you!”
Ladies and gentlemen, take a look at this tyranny and transgression! The head of a martyr is placed in a public assembly in front of a ruler so that he can express his happiness and gloat over it, instead of burying it with respect as the laws of war dictate! Now is this considered to be a crime committed against humanity and a war crime or what?!
Where is the respect for the human body in its life or after its death? Furthermore, the Second defendant plays with the lips of the martyr’s head with a cane…now how ridiculous and undignified is that?! If this is not considered to be a crime against humanity, then what is it?! Is this also a mistake in the battlefield?!......
Furthermore, if one member of the audience objected to this barbaric act of Ibn Ziyad, he would be reprimanded and accused of hallucination, senility, and threatened with being killed! His old age and companionship to the Holy Prophet does not even excuse him from all that! What type of dictatorship, oppression, and injustice is that?!
This surely gives us an idea of the type of government which existed and how it terrorized people and would terrorize them any time they want, in the midst of absolute dictatorship that has no stop or limit!
Then the captives were finally given permission to enter the presence of Ibn Ziyad while he had the slaughtered head of Al-Husayn (as) placed in front of him and he would intentionally strike the blessed head with his cane.
Ladies and gentlemen, now imagine this harshness in treatment! The women and children would enter who include the sisters, wives, and daughters of Al-Husayn (as)! We can very well imagine their feelings as they witness the head of Al-Husayn (as) placed on a dish in front of the Second defendant as he happily entertains himself with it!
Among these women were female children, so how can a person turn into a beast in such manner?! Even beasts don’t act that way! Isn’t this a crime committed against humanity?
The sister of Al-Husayn (as), Zainab bint ‘Ali (as) who was in veil moved aside from other women, so Ibn Ziyad said, “Who is that women sitting over there?!” She did not respond to him.
He was told that she is Zainab the daughter of Ameer Al Momineen ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), so he directed his words to her out of rejoice to what befell them. He said: “Praise be to Allah who disgraced and killed you and revealed your false sayings!”
So Zaynab (sa)1 responded: “Praise be to Allah who honored us with His Prophet Muhammad (S) and purified us from sins by His Book. Surely, the one who is disgraced is certainly the corrupt one, and the one who lies is the lewd (fajer); and such person is not of us! Praise be to Allah.”
Ibn Ziyad (as) rudely answered: “How did you find the way which Allah treated your brother and your household?”
So Zaynab (sa) with a tone of full pride and power said: “I saw nothing but beauty! Those were people whom killing has been written down upon them so they rushed towards their graves with honor. But know that Allah will summon you and them, and all will be tried by Allah and everyone will be asked to present his argument, defense, and proof. So be worried about the winner on that day! Oh son of Marjanah, may your mother be mournful for you!”
Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad became so outraged by her words in front of his people that he decided to kill Lady Zaynab (sa). But Amr ibn Hurayth said to him, “She is a woman, and one cannot take women’s talk too seriously.”
So Ibn Ziyad turned to her and retorted: “Oh Zainab! Allah has made my heart cured by getting rid of your transgressor Al-Husayn and the disobedient rebels from your household!”
Zaynab (sa) then replied back: “By my life, you have killed my protector, severed my stem, and up-rooted my origin. If that was your cure, then you are cured!”
Now is that dialogue between a ruler and a heart-broken lady whom he killed her brothers and family members…considered to be gallantry and chivalry? Is this behavior of gloating and rejoicing over misfortunes considered to be good treatment of captives? Does that behavior even agree with the Arab customs during the time of ignorance?!
Does it fit well with the teachings of Islam? Isn’t the maltreatment of captives in such manner and their humiliation in front of the people considered to be a war crime and a clear violation of human rights, according to any human law and standard?!
Then Ibn Ziyad, the Second defendant turned to ‘Ali ibn Al Al-Husayn (as) and asked him, “Who are you?”
So he answered, “I am ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn.” Ibn Ziyad then asked,
“Didn’t Allah kill ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn?”
So ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as) replied, “I had a brother called ‘Ali and the people have killed him.”
So Ibn Ziyad snapped back, “No, but Allah has killed him!”
‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as) then said, “Allah collects back souls when its due time comes, and a soul will never die except by Allah’s command. It is a timed book.”
So Ibn Ziyad replied, “By Allah, you are one of them! Look at him and see if he has reached puberty!” They answered yes so he said, “Kill him!”
‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as) then asked, “So who will look after these women and guard them?”
Here, Zainab bint ‘Ali (as) held on to her nephew and said, “Oh son of Ziyad! Are you not satisfied from shedding our blood? By Allah I ask you Oh Ibn Ziyad that if you kill him, kill me along with him!”
So ‘Ali ibn Al Al-Husayn (as) turned to her and said, “Oh Aunt! Keep quiet so that I talk to him.”
Then he directed his words to Ibn Ziyad and said, “Oh son of Ziyad! Are you threatening to kill me? Don’t you know that being killed is our way of life, and martyrdom is our honor from Allah?!”
So Ibn Ziyad looked at both of them and said, “Let him go for her sake. I wonder on the kin relation…she wants to get killed along with him! Get them out of here!”
Is there any proof greater than that of the crime of maltreatment of war captives which is a war crime? I leave the judgment on that for you, dear judges and jurors.
And now, your Honor, allow me to present two events in front of the judges and jurors; the First one is a clear proof which incriminates the Second defendant as a war criminal who committed crimes against humanity.
The Second one clarifies the type and form of the government of Ibn Ziyad in Al-Kufa and his practice; this will give the judges and jurors a closer look at the nature of the personality of the Second defendant which may help them in deciding their verdict.
Defense: Objection your Honor! We must first know the nature of these two events before presenting them to the jurors, as the court regulations dictates, and that has been agreed upon before the trial proceedings to avoid surprises from both sides.
Chief Justice: Mr. Prosecutor, can you postpone the presentation of these two events to the court until you show them to the defense team first so that they are aware of it.
Prosecutor: Your Honor, postponing will interrupt the sequence of evidence presented and I insist on presenting these two events in this session.
Chief Justice: Ok, then the court will take a recess and the three of us meet along with the Court Secretary in my office so that the prosecution may present the content of these events to the defense before presenting it to the jurors. Do you agree with that?
Prosecutor: Yes, we accept your Honor, thank you.
Defense: We accept that your Honor, thank you.
Chief Justice: So, the Court will then take a 45 minutes recess and the defense and prosecution representatives may come to my office along with the court secretary to discuss this matter. Court is dismissed.
Chief Justice: Court is in order now after the recess. Defense representation, based on the understanding between you and the prosecution during the recess, do you agree that the prosecution present the two events which he referred to before the break?
Defense: Yes, your honor, and we reserve our right to respond to all what the prosecution will present in this aspect.
Chief Justice: Ok then Mr. Prosecutor, you may continue and present the events to the judges and jurors.
Prosecution: Thank you your Honor and thank you Defense representative. Respected judges and jurors…the first event took place during the attack of Ibn Sa’d’s army on the tents of Al-Husayn (as) after his martyrdom and the terrorism which happened to the women and children, and the fire that was set on the tents.
In the midst of this dramatic scene, two boys from the children of Muslim ibn Aqeel, Ibrahim and Muhammad escaped. These two children escaped out of fear from the fire and they wandered in the desert till they got lost, and then after awhile they reached Al-Kufa. So Ibn Ziyad issued his order to arrest and imprison both of them!
Ladies and gentlemen, imagine two young kids who did not even reach twelve years of age are being punished for no crime or sin except that they escaped from being killed in the land of Karbala! They are thrown in the prison of Ibn Ziyad awaiting his orders of execution, so that he gets rid of all the members of the Hashemite prophetic family!
Now, is there a crime of mass murder and genocide similar to this?!
However, when the prison guard witnessed the righteousness of these angelic boys, his heart softened. And when he learned that they are cousins in relation to the Holy Prophet (S), he decided to help them escape. When Ibn Ziyad found out that the boys had escaped, he became very angry and announced a monetary reward for anyone who brings them to him or brings their heads.
When the two boys fled, a woman saw them and sympathized with them. When she learned of their relation to the Holy Prophet (S) and the story of their escape, she decided to take them as guests that night in her house, even though her husband was a soldier in the army of Ibn Ziyad. When the husband returned back home in the night and discovered these boys in his house, he became greedy for the reward and decided to arrest these two children.
He killed them and took their heads to Ibn Ziyad so that he can claim his prize. But instead of rewarding him, Ibn Ziyad ordered to behead him in the same place where the two boys got killed, and that is the revenge of Allah (SWT) for the oppressed!
Here, I direct the charge in the name of all humanity against the Second defendant for directly causing the death of these two innocent young boys: first, when he caused the setting of fire in their tents and terrorized them by his army; second, when he ordered to imprison them, and third, when he ordered to arrest them after their escape and offered monetary award to anyone who brings them or their heads to him.
He is truly the real killer and the cause of this tragedy of killing children who did not commit any sin or crime! This is in itself a war crime and a crime against humanity that has no similarity!!
As for the Second event, we present it to you to give you an idea of how the Second defendant oppressively ruled Al-Kufa, and to take a look at his cold-blooded nature which always imposed itself which will help you a lot in issuing your final verdict. This event is the killing and martyrdom of Abdullah ibn ‘Afeef Al Azdi. The events of this incident started after Ibn Ziyad finished parading the captives and expressing
rejoicing over the loss of their loved ones, as we saw before. After that, the caller of Ibn Ziyad called out to the people to gather inside the grand mosque. The people gathered and Ibn Ziyad stood at the pulpit of the mosque and said: “Praise is to Allah who uncovered the truth and its owners, and gave victory to Ameer Al Momineen Yazid and his party, and killed the liar son of the liar Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali and his followers!”
So Abdullah ibn Afeef Al Azdi jumped up to him, and he was one of the leaders of the Shias and the best among them. His left eye had gone in the Battle of Al Jamal (Camel), and the other one lost in the Battle of Siffeen, and he used to always pray and worship in the masjid. He jumped up and said:
“Oh son of Murjana! The liar son of the liar is you and your father and he who appointed you and his father! Oh enemy of Allah and His Messenger! Do you kill the sons of the Prophets yet give such talk on the pulpits of the Muslims?!!
Ibn Ziyad became outraged and asked: “Who is talking?”
Ibn ‘Afeef answered: “I am the one speaking Oh enemy of Allah! You have killed the purified progeny whom Allah (SWT) has purified as He (SWT) cited in the Holy Quran, while you claim that you belong to the Islamic religion?! May God help us! Where are the sons of the Muhajireen and the Ansaar so that they take revenge from your transgressor boss, the cursed one, son of the cursed one, in the words of the Messenger of Allah!”
So the anger of Ibn Ziyad the Second defendant, increased and he yelled: “Bring him to me!”
So his rude men hastened to take Ibn ‘Afeef, but the members of his tribe Al Uzd jumped to his rescue and escorted him to his home.
This bothered Ibn Ziyad very much and he sent a military force to arrest the old man who has lost his vision, Ibn ‘Afeef from his house, only because he opposed him during his speech! Now, is there a dictatorship regime harsher than this?! Finally after a tough fight, Ibn Afeef was arrested and taken to the Second defendant and I would’ve liked to present to you the conversation which took place between Ibn Afeef and Ibn Ziyad. But the defense objected to that and we accepted their objection in exchange for relaying the story to you. In short, the Second defendant ordered to behead Ibn Afeef, so he was executed and his body was crucified!
Ladies and gentlemen, imagine the execution of an old man who has lost both his eyes for no reason except that he dared to argue with the ruler of Al-Kufa, Ibn Ziyad! No matter what he said, still he did not commit a crime that deserves for him to be killed and executed! Ladies and gentlemen, what did this elderly worshipper do except that he expressed his opinion?
Is the expression of opinion considered to be a crime that deserves execution?! This incident surely gives you an idea of the type of government run by Ibn Ziyad and his inhumane characteristics that he possesses. Once again, I leave the judgment of this case to you after what you have heard.
Both these events are mentioned in “Maqtal Al-Husayn Lil Khwarizmi” and many other sources too.
We now return to continue presenting the incriminating evidences. Ibn Ziyad sent a messenger to his master, the First defendant Yazid in Damascus giving him the glad tidings of obeying his orders in killing Al-Husayn (as) and getting rid of all his sons, family members, and companions, and informing him of the captives and the heads whom he had waiting his orders regarding them. Ibn Ziyad, the Second defendant wrote a note which he tied to a rock and threw it at the prison which the captives of the family of the Prophet (S) were confined in. In this letter he wrote the following:
“A letter has been sent to Yazid regarding your matter on such and such date and will arrive on such day. So when you hear the call of Takbeer, so give your final will (Wasiyah), otherwise you will survive.”
The reply came from Al-Sham ordering to send the captives from the household of the Prophet (S) with the heads of the martyrs from Al-Kufa to Damascus. So the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad called Zohr ibn Qais Al Jo’afi and presented him the head of Al-Husayn as well as the heads of the martyrs. He called for ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as) and marched him and his aunts, sisters, and the wives of his father to Yazid while his hands and neck was confined in chains.
Accompanying them were a group of men from Al-Kufa including the Fourth defendant Shimr who often maltreated the captives. He ordered them to parade the captives in this humiliating state while they ride on camels without saddles across the cities from Al-Kufa all the way to Damascus, and to rejoice out of happiness on the afflictions that happened to the family of the Prophet (S)! The captives were paraded in the worst of conditions just like the enemies of Islam were paraded!
Isn’t that considered to be maltreatment of captives and therefore a war crime in which each of the First, Second, and Third defendants are responsible of? Now, what was the motivation behind the orders issued by the First defendant the Caliph of the Islamic state, in the name of Islam, to send the captives, who include women and children along with the heads of the martyrs to him in Syria?
What was the motivation behind him forcing them on this long and tough journey in the midst of the barren and blazing desert? Is that also an action approved by Islam?! And is that from the Islamic teachings which the First defendant follows and acts upon, as the defense claims? Is that how he tries to maintain the unity and security of the Islamic state?!
Furthermore, when he made that decision, was there a battleground or fighting going on such that this order was also a mistake committed by military commanders and due to the rush of soldiers as the defense claims? Or was the whole matter a pre-planned conspiracy arranged carefully and perfectly from the beginning to the end?
As for the orders issued to send the women and children captives in this harsh journey, wasn’t it a cheap demonstration to show the victory of the Caliph and to spread terror among the people for all those who even entertain the idea of objecting to the new ruler, for this will be the consequences! Indeed, whoever treated the family of the Prophet (S) in such manner and did not care, can surely do more than that with any other person.
Furthermore, Al-Husayn (as) is the grandson of the Holy Messenger and the Chief of Bani Hashim, the Leader of the Alawi family, the inheritor of his great ancestors, the true Imam of the Islamic nation without question, and their best and most knowledgeable without question…yet his body was trampled over and stampeded in this barbaric manner while his head is raised above on the spear and paraded in the cities! After that, is there any value left for any other head in the whole nation who dares to object or oppose the new caliph?!
Surely, it was a bloody propaganda procession that was intentionally carried out in order to demonstrate the extent of violence and harshness against any opposition to the new regime. As for the Islamic religion in which the Caliph was ruling under its name, it has no value in his eyes! So, where is the proof to the defense claims?
There is no dispute whatsoever that this order was issued by the First defendant (as it has been narrated in all of the Muslim books) and was carried out by the Second defendant with all the wickedness which stands as a proof of the war crimes and the crimes that were committed against humanity. It is a key point in our case which removes any doubt in incriminating each of the first two defendants in all of their charges.
I request that you study this order well when you deliberate in this case. You can very well imagine the captive women and children being paraded from one city to another in a humiliating and degrading caravan and celebrations rejoicing what happened to the family of the Prophet (S), gatherings which curses and offends them while the heads of their fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons were raised on spears in front of them!
What harshness is that which humanity never ever saw its similarity throughout all of history since mankind originated in this world?! I challenge any person to present me a case that is harsher than that!!
We should lift your attention here that the Fourth defendant Al-Shimr was among those who were chosen to accompany the captives in that horrible and painful journey. He himself coordinated the humiliation of the captives and struck the women and children with his whip. He would order for harsher treatment and stricter surveillance on them and that was out of his own initiative.
This proves the charge of maltreatment of captives on him and it is a big war crime! What he committed is without a doubt a crime against humanity! Its victims were women, children, and a sick helpless person who was confined in chains with no power or strength. What type of humanity and heart does the Fourth defendant possess?!
Chief Justice: We will stop here and the defense should be prepared next court session for rebuttal of the evidence which the prosecution presented so far. Court is dismissed and will resume next Thursday at 10AM. Thank you.
As usual, after an hour the journalists and correspondents were called to participate in a combined news conference for both the prosecution and defense teams. At the specified time, the representatives of the prosecution and defense teams each stood in front of a special podium in preparation to receive questions from the journalists and correspondents. A signal was given to start the questioning:
Correspondent: My question is to the defense. What are you preparing for rebuttal in the next court session in response to the evidences which the prosecution presented?
Defense: You can wait till Thursday comes when the next court session is held and you will hear our responses and I promise you a surprise soon God-willing!
Correspondent: Question to Mr. Prosecutor. Do you have new surprises too for the court trial?
Prosecution: Very sad surprises, unfortunately they are far away from humanity. All of them are episodes that are part of a countless series of crimes, pain, tears, and grief…
Journalist: My question is directed to both the prosecution and defense. How does the high number of jurors which is about 100, in addition to 12 judges who will all participate in voting for or against conviction…how will that affect your mission? There was never such great number in any court trial in the past. So how does this number affect your work and your ability to present your evidence in front of such great crowd?
Prosecutor: Without a doubt, this makes the job tougher especially for the prosecution team. As a matter of fact, I believe that this great number is in favor of the defense team and increases their hopes for division and difference in opinion since conviction requires a unanimous vote from all jurors and judges. So it is easy for the defense team to bring division by convincing only one person to impede a guilty verdict.
As for us, it makes our mission much harder. It is certainly a greater challenge to explain the details and present the evidence in front of 112 persons and to keep their focus and attention, each and every one of them throughout the long court trial sessions. We pray that Allah (SWT) gives us success in this mission because it is not easy at all.
Defense: I disagree with Mr. Prosecutor. The high number of jurors makes our job also difficult, especially considering the manner in which the prosecution tries to affect the emotions and feelings of the jurors. These emotions spread quickly among the jurors and their big number is advantageous in that regard. Dealing with that is difficult; however, we are trying our best to clarify the truth to them and to remove the emotional influence on them which accompanies this tragedy.
Correspondent: My question is for Mr. Prosecutor. How do you explain the celebrations of joy in all the cities which the caravan of captives passed by until it reached Damascus? And what is the reason for these celebrations?
Prosecution: There are three main reasons: ignorance, propaganda, and the political authority. There was a general ignorance with what happened in Karbala, the identity of the victims, and the reasons which led to its occurrence. Then there was the Umayyad propaganda which depicted the captives as Khawarij / outlawed ones who rose against the legitimate Caliph. They gave the impression that the members of the Ahlul Bayt (as) [family of the Prophet (S)] are callers of mischief (fitna) and rebellion against the legitimate government.
Furthermore, the political authority issued direct orders to organize these celebrations and processions in every city and village in order to give the false impression that the whole nation supports the First defendant Yazid in what he committed against Al-Husayn (as) and his purified prophetic family.
This is typically practiced by any oppressive regime by initiating rallies and processions supporting it to give a false impression that the people are supporting that regime until today.
Another correspondent: Question to the defense. Sir, do you agree with me that your job is very difficult and maybe even impossible in defending the defendants, especially the First and Second defendant as the evidence against them is overwhelming and cannot be refuted? How do you deal with this tough and challenging mission?
Defense: We are convinced of the innocence of the defendants, and this belief is what facilitates our mission, and we are confident that we can explain the essence of this case to the jurors. Those whom the prosecution calls as defendants are in reality from ‘Al-Salaf Al-Saleh’ (the righteous ancestors) and from the true believers who abide by the limits of Islam.
We will never accept their incrimination or any offense against them and our job is to clarify that to everyone in the courtroom and in the world. As much as we regret what happened to the family of the Holy Prophet (S) in Karbala, but what happened was only due to bad luck, poor judgment, and misunderstanding which the enemies of Islam contributed to.
Correspondent: My question is to the Defense lawyer. Sir, I am a Sunni Muslim and I don’t understand your statement that the defendants are from Al-Salaf Al-Saleh. They are surely not from the ‘companions’. Also, not everyone who is from Al-Salaf (ancestors) is righteous or sanctified. So how do you ignore all these historical facts which were presented in the court and are cited the Islamic history books and which the Sunni world is considerably ignorant of?!
Yet you insist that the defendants are innocent?! If you continue to be stubborn on your position, then you are surely loosing track of this case to the benefit of the prosecution! So what do you say about that?
Defense: Wait and you will see who will be victorious, for I am certain that we are on our way to victory! We do not claim that Al Salaf (ancestors) are the ‘companions’ of the Prophet or that they are infallible. However, we say that they are religious people even if some of them made a mistake, but it was not done intentionally.
Verily, no one is perfect and what happened in Karbala was due to mistakes and poor judgment from all, which led to that bloody scene. But it was not deliberate and so there was no crime committed nor do they deserve to stand as defendants! Nonetheless, mistakes did happen and those people with evil intentions took advantage of these mistakes to spark fire of war, mischief, and bloodshed which is to the benefit of the enemies of Islam.
Prosecutor: Allow me to say: leave this matter for the judges and jurors to make their judgment. Will they really accept this argument from the defense and ignore all the proofs, letters, and correspondences presented at court which clearly indicate a premeditated conspiracy to commit the crimes, or rather, the massacre in Karbala?! Here, I do not want to engage in a debate with the defense team outside the courtroom, but I only intend to leave this matter for the judges and jurors to decide.
Correspondent: My question is to Mr. Prosecutor. Sir, I agree with you totally regarding what you said in the courtroom about the order of the First defendant Yazid to send the women and children captives along with the severed heads of the martyrs to him in Damascus. This deed has no like in the history of humanity even with the most worst of criminals in history! But the question is: how did the nation accept that and how come they did not take a position against Yazid?
Also, what was the position of the rest of the companions of the prophet who were alive at the time? Why do we not see the majority of the Muslims today condemning Yazid for that decision?
Prosecution: Sir, that is due to oppression and the ruling authority which implements the policy of “the Ironed Fist” .Verily, all those who oppose or object will be prone to the wrath of the Caliph. And so any opponent would be killed, or persecuted, or denied his grants from the treasury house. Or his property would be confiscated or he would be assassinated.
This was the policy of Yazid’s government which was similar to the government of his father before him, but with higher degree of aggression, less clemency, and recklessness that has no limit. Many of the companions of the Prophet objected to the actions of Yazid, but it was a weak objection due to fear of aggression from the tyrant, especially after what he did with Al-Husayn (as) and the household of the Prophet (S).
As to the last part of your question, the Defense representative answered you when he stated that they consider them to be from Al Salaf Al Saleh (the righteous ancestors), and some of them even consider the First defendant to be from the companions of the Prophet!!
So how can they condemn him in anything when they have given him a guaranteed pass of innocence in advance from committing any crime or sin?! I will stop here since we have a lot of work ahead of us and I don’t know if Mr. Defense representative would like to continue or not?
Defense: I agree with you, my colleague, we’ll stop here and thank you all.
Wasalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh…
(Everyone departs the conference hall while side conversations and discussions were taking place among the attendees).
Chief Justice: Court is in session. Defense representative; are you ready to respond to the evidence which the prosecution presented so far?
Defense: Your Honor, the defense prefers to postpone his rebuttal till the next court session, if you may allow.
Chief Justice: No objection, but in that case, you should agree that the prosecutor continues presenting his evidence as there is no room for postponing this session!
Defense: Of course, your Honor. We have no objection…the prosecutor may continue presenting his evidence in this session.
Chief Justice: Mr. Prosecutor, do you agree with that, and are you ready to resume the presentation of your evidence?
Prosecutor: We agree your Honor and we are ready to continue presenting the incriminating evidence.
Chief Justice: You may proceed.
Prosecution: Ladies and gentlemen, the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad called for Zohr ibn Qais Al Jo’afi, so he handed to him the severed head of Al-Husayn (as) as well as the heads of the martyrs. He called ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as) and deported him as well as his aunts, sisters, and all their women to Yazid, the First defendant in Damascus. This caravan that includes the survivors of the Prophet’s family traveled from Al-Kufa on camels without saddles as they were paraded from country to country and village to village.
In every city and village, parties and celebrations were held by special orders from the First and Second defendants to rejoice the victory over the Prophet’s family and to gloat over the slaughtering of Al-Husayn (as) and his household members as well as the martyrs, and to humiliate the women and children captives.
Ladies and gentlemen, you can very well imagine this sad and painful scene and pretend that you were one of these helpless ones who were escorted in the caravan to Damascus! Did you ever see maltreatment to war captives and war crimes worse than this? I think you can agree with me that there is none! And I am sorry here to use the word “war”…as really there was no war…rather a shameful disgusting butchery.
Zohr ibn Qais went forward with the head of Al-Husayn (as) to Damascus till he entered the presence of the First defendant Yazid and greeted him. Then he handed a letter addressed to him from Ibn Ziyad, the Second defendant, so Yazid read it and said, “Give me an update, Oh Zohr.”
So Zohr answered, “Glad tidings to you Oh Ameer Al Momineen on the victory which Allah granted you! Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali has come to us with 82 men from his brothers, family members, and supporters. We marched to them and asked them to obey the orders of the governor Ubaidullah, but they rejected.
So we fought them from sunrise till noontime. So when our swords took them they started to flee away and to hide behind trees and underground as doves fear from hawks. By Allah, O’ Ameer Al Momineen, after a short time we finished them all! Their bodies were left in the open desert, their clothes were drenched with blood, their cheeks were covered with dust, the heat of sun shining is melting their bodies, the wind blowing on them; and their visitors are hawks, eagles, wolves, and insects.”
Your Honor, I request to add this narration to the record, for it clearly indicates what happened in Karbala and the magnitude and horrendousness of the tragedy. The criminal has pride in committing his crime as he knows that it pleases his master the First defendant since it was his instructions.
And here the instructions were obeyed in the most worst and degrading way! This description came from the tongue of one of the cronies who participated in the crime, so is there anything more trustworthy than that?! Verily, confession is the best of evidences and it is not necessary to clarify or comment on the text!
Furthermore, Zohr ibn Qais confirms to us that all those who were with Al-Husayn (as) were only 82 in front of the opposing army of Ibn Sa’d who were about 30 thousand or more! Is that an equal or compatible fight? Wasn’t the whole operation not considered to be a fight, but rather a mass murder?!
Furthermore, here he confesses the abandonment of bodies without Ghusl / ablutionary bath or shroud or burial. Not only that, he takes pride in that and expresses joy over it even after their martyrdom! The criminal would certainly not utter such statement except if he knows that this will please his listener, who is the First defendant. As the famous proverb says, “one who is pleased with an action is like one who committed it.”
When the caravan of captives approached Damascus, Umm Kulthoom, the sister of Al-Husayn (as) sent for Al-Shimr, the Fourth defendant, requesting him to let them enter the city from an entrance which has less people and less spectators, and to let the severed heads which were raised on spears advance forward so that they become more distant from the caravan for the purpose of having the people preoccupy themselves with the heads, and not stare at the women.
But the Fourth defendant refused her request! On the contrary, he ordered that the captives be taken via routes that are crowded so that many people can stare and gaze at them! He ordered that the heads be placed along with the caravan! Ladies and gentlemen, do you now see how the Fourth defendant treated the captives?
Bear in mind that this is only an example of the many heinous actions which he practiced against the captives throughout the journey from Al-Kufa to Damascus. Does that also were instructions from his master, the First defendant!!
On the First day of the lunar month Safar in the year 61 A.H., the caravan entered Damascus from a gate called “Gate of Tooma” and the people came out with drums and trumpets while they were happy and rejoicing over the calamities which have afflicted the family of the Prophet, even though most of the people did not know who those captives were!
Yazid the First defendant who was the absolute ruler of the Umayyad state during that time, was seated in a porch looking at Jayroon (now is the Umayyad mosque in Damascus). When he saw the captives and the severed heads on spears, a crow has cried, and then Yazid chanted these poetic verses:
“What does this caravan bring along with them? These heads to Jayroon
The crow has made its call so I said to it “whether you say or not… I have made up my debt from the Prophet”
From these statements, many of the Muslim scholars judged Yazid to be a nonbeliever / kaafer. Scholars like Ibn Al Joozi, Judge Abu Yali, Al Taftazani, and Jalal Al Suyooti all issued a fatwa / verdict making it permissible to curse Yazid.
Defense: Objection your Honor, this has nothing to do with the charges against the First defendant!
Chief Justice: Objection sustained. Respected jurors, please disregard the poem which the prosecutor recited and his comments afterwards. Please continue, Mr. Prosecutor.
Prosecutor: Later, the captives were brought and made to stand at the entrance to the door of the Umayyad mosque where they were left without care even though they are the family members of the Prophet of Islam. Before they were made to enter the majlis (sitting) of Yazid, his men tied and chained them and there was a rope on the neck of ‘Ali Zain Al Abideen (as) which connected to Zainab to Umm Kulthoom and to the rest of the daughters of the Prophet (S).
Whenever they stopped walking, the guards struck them, and they were made to stand before Yazid the First defendant while he was sitting on his throne and wearing a crown decorated with pearls, rubies, and sapphires, and he was surrounded by many elders from Quraish. The first person who entered was the Fourth defendant Shimr ibn Dhi Al Jawshan who was holding ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as) whose hands were tied to his neck.
So ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as) asked Yazid: “What do you think would be the Prophet’s reaction if he saw us in this state?”
Yazid said to him, “Who are you?” So he answered, “I am ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn.”
The attendees started weeping, so Yazid ordered to take off the chains and to cut the ropes which confined them. The severed head of Al-Husayn (as) was placed on a golden dish in front of Yazid who went on playing with the lips of the blessed head using his cane! Abu Burza Al Aslami, who was from the companions of the Prophet of Islam (S) said to Yazid:
“What is wrong with you Oh Yazid?! Are you fondling the lips of Al-Husayn ibn Fatima with your cane? I bear witness that I saw the Messenger of Allah (S) kissing his lips and his brother Al-Hasan while saying, ‘They are the Master of the Youth of the Paradise. May Allah (SWT) kill and curse their killer, and may He (SWT) make HellFire be his fate!”
So Yazid became outraged and ordered for him to be taken away from his court, and so he was dragged away. Ladies and gentlemen, see how the ruler of the Muslims deals with a man who said a word of truth and testified to it! It did not matter to Yazid that Abu Burza was a companion of the Prophet (S) nor was an old man!
Another man from Al-Sham stood up and requested from Yazid to give him Fatima, the daughter of Al-Husayn (as) as a slave girl. When the little girl heard that, she sought help from her aunt Zaynab (sa), so Zainab said to the Syrian man: “You are lying, by Allah! This is not up to you or to him!”
So Yazid became angry and he said to her, “No, but you are the one who lied; this is up to me, and if I want, I will do it!”
So Zaynab (sa) answered back, “No by Allah, He (SWT) did not give that to you unless you revert from our religion and adopt another religion!”
Yazid then said to her, “You are facing me with such talk?! Surely, he was your father and your brother who has reverted from the religion!”
So Zaynab (sa) corrected him: “Rather it is by the religion of Allah and the religion of my father and my grandfather that you became guided…that is if you are a Muslim!”
Yazid replied to her, “You have lied, Oh enemy of Allah!”
So Zaynab (sa) said, “A tyrant ruler curses unjustly and oppresses with his power and authority! Oh Allah I complain to You and no one but You!”
Ladies and gentlemen, see in what manner the women captives are being treated as they face aggression, disrespect, and humiliation from the ruler of the state and its dictator!
After that, ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as) said to Yazid: “Woe is to you Oh Yazid! If you knew what great crime you have committed against my father and my household, you would then have escaped to the mountains, sat on the sand and cursed yourself!
Is the head of my father Al-Husayn the son of ‘Ali and Fatima, placed at the gate of your city while he is the trust left to you by the Messenger of Islam?! I give you tidings Oh Yazid with humiliation and regret when people will be gathered for the Judgment Day!”
Yazid the First defendant went on playing with the teeth of Al-Husayn’s head with his cane while repeating, “I wish that my elder grandfathers in Badr witnessed this…”
Defense: Objection your Honor, this has nothing to do with the case and it is only poetry!
Prosecution: Your Honor, these poetic verses which the First defendant chanted is very important as they show the motivation behind the crime and indicates his state of mind and the pre-meditated intentions to kill Al-Husayn (as) out of revenge from historical events which took place in the past.
It is a powerful incriminating evidence which the judges and jurors must listen so that they can be assured that the murder of Al-Husayn (as) and his household in Karbala was a planned and pre-meditated crime, and that the matter was not, as the defense tries to describe, a mistake or by accident and not intentional or pre-planned. Let us present the poetic verses which are cited in all the Muslim history books and let’s leave the judgment for the judges and jurors to make.
Chief Justice: Objection overruled, you may continue Mr. Prosecutor.
Prosecutor: “I wish that my elder grandfathers in Badr witnessed
The sorrow of Al Khazraj (the Muslims in Al-Madina) from the effect of the swords…
They would be joyful and happy. They say O’ Yazid may God protect your hands,
I would not be from Khondof if I don’t take revenge From the sons of Ahmad for what he has done
Bani Hashim has juggled the kingship; but nothing has come from heaven, nor revelation descended.
We have taken our revenge from ‘Ali; and we killed the heroic lion knight. And we killed the chiefs of their people; and we made the balance even by revenge from what happened in Badr.”
Ladies and gentlemen, as you see, “confession is the best of evidences!” Here is the First defendant admitting and confessing that the killing of Al-Husayn came as a response and revenge to those chiefs of Quraish who were killed from the family of Yazid in the battle of Badr by the hands oh the Prophet’s Household.
During that battle, there were infidels killed by ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, the father of Al-Husayn, and by Al-Hamza ibn Abd Al Mutallib, the uncle of ‘Ali. The defendant is pleased and happy to have taken his revenge from Al-Husayn and his family and he states that the balance now has become even. He forgot that without ‘Ali, Hamza, and the Household of the Prophet (S), there would be no Islam and no state to sit on its throne and rule over it and be its tyrant!
Furthermore, he confesses his lack of faith in the Prophet of Islam (S) and in Islam which he rules the Muslim nation under its name. What kind of contradiction is that? From here, we understand the root of his animosity against Al-Husayn (as) since he represents the continuation of his grandfather’s religion which Yazid vindicates himself from!
It is no wonder that even some of the Muslim scholars have judged Yazid to be a hypocrite and infidel based on these poetic verses.
After Yazid chanted happily over the murder Al-Husayn (as), Zainab bint ‘Ali who is the sister of Al-Husayn (as) stood up and said to him:
“Praise be to Allah and prayers and peace be upon the master of the messengers. Truthful is Allah (SWT) when He says: “Then evil was the end of those who did evil because they belied the signs of Allah and made a mockery of them.”
Do you think O’ Yazid that because you have conquered the land, and we became your captives, this indicates that Allah is pleased with you and displeased with us?! So you felt proud and happy while seeing your affairs well-guarded and unopposed, thinking that you have control on what we own, but slow down! Did you forget Allah’s saying: “the disbelievers shouldn’t think that Allah gives them ample time because this is good for them but to the contrary We give them this time to let them go deeper in misguidance, so they deserve humiliating punishment.”
Is it fair, O’ son of the pardoned ones (Al Tolaqaa), to veil your women while you drove the women of the Prophet (S) as captives, without veils, bare faces, paraded from village to village, everyone staring at their faces, without their protectors or guardians?! But how could any good be expected from he who ate the liver of the honorable ones, and his flesh grow from the blood of the martyrs?! How can a person who hate us (the prophet’s household) be reluctant or late in committing injustice to us?!
You have eradicated our roots when you shed the blood of the progeny of Muhammad’s household! They were the stars of the earth from the family of Abd Al Muttalib! Are you chanting proudly of your elders?! However, you shall appear before Allah soon! You shall meet your ancestors and shall also join them in their place. At that time you will wish that perhaps you had been blind and dumb, and regretted what you said, that it was a day of rejoicing for ancestors.
Oh Allah! Take away our rights from them and seek revenge from all those who oppressed us, and send Your Wrath upon those who have shed our blood and killed our guardians! By Allah, you have burnt only your skin and cut only your own flesh! You will soon appear in the presence of the Prophet (S) and will see with your own eyes that his children are in Heaven!
It will be the day when Allah (SWT) will deliver the descendants of the Prophet (S) from the state of being scattered and will bring all of them together in the Paradise and take their revenge. This is the promise which Allah (SWT) has made in the Quran. He says, ‘Do not think of those who are slain for the cause of Allah as dead. They are alive with their Lord and receive sustenance from Him.’”
Oh Yazid! Allah is sufficient as a judge upon you, and Muhammad will be your opponent as the Petitioners, supported by Jibrael. All those who instigated you to do what you did and he who appointed you as the Ruler of the Muslims, and set forth this worldly kingdom for you to rule upon the neck of Muslims! You will then realize what an evil place awaits the tyrants! On that day it will become known what penalty the dictators earn, whose position is worse and whose army is more feeble and degraded!
Although calamities have forced me to speak to you, I consider you to be degraded and not fit even to be reprimanded and reproached! Our eyes are shedding tears, our hearts are burning. What is even stranger is that the noble party of Allah was slaughtered by the party of the devil / Shaytan!
Our blood is dripping from their hands and our flesh is falling down from their mouths. The sacred bodies of the martyrs have been placed at the disposal of the wolves, hyenas, and other carnivorous animals (wild beasts) of the desert and are dirtied by the brutes! If you think you have gained something today by this beastly act, by killing and arresting, then you will certainly be a loser on the Day of Resurrection!
On that day, nothing but your deed will count. On that day, you will send La’nat on Ibn Murjanah and in turn he will throw La’nat upon you! ‘And your Lord never treats His servants unjustly.’ By Allah, I do not fear anyone except Him and do not complain to anyone else, and I rely upon Him alone. You may utilize your treachery, traps, and disloyalty (with Islam), but I swear by Allah!
That the shame and disgrace which you have earned by the treatment meted out to us, cannot be eradicated. You shall never be able to wipeout our memories, and inspiration from the midst, nor will you ever be able to wipe off the disgrace of this episode. Your opinion is erroneous, and your days are numbered, and your wealth wasted on the Day when the caller will announce: “Beware! Verily the La’nat of Allah is on the oppressors and unjust.”
I thank Allah, who sealed the life of our early ones with felicity, upon our beginning with forgiveness, and Who destined martyrdom for our conclusion with blessings and accommodated them in the Jannah. I offer dua that may Allah (SWT) elevate their status and complete His reward upon them, and increase it further, and to turn with fairness their succession upon us for He is merciful and a friend, ‘Allah is sufficient for us, the most excellent Protector.’”
Ladies and gentlemen, have you seen the mental and emotional state of one of the victims of this tragedy? She is Zainab, the sister of Al-Husayn (as) and one of the captives. Don’t you sense the pain, frustration, torture, but strength, and courage too in her speech? Do you see how she challenges the tyranny and oppression of the unjust ruler and how she exposes his crime? After listening to her speech, is there any doubt left in his guilt for all the charges directed against him?!
Furthermore, if he really was not responsible for this crime, would the granddaughter of the Prophet of Islam (S) direct these words and charges against him? Would she have accused him falsely without proof or evidence, when she was the one who witnessed all of the events and lived it minute by minute?!
Who like her is qualified to be a witness in this case? Here she is once again giving her testimony after giving it in Al-Kufa. It is as if she wanted to present this speech to you and all of us. It is as if she knew beforehand that no matter how long time extended, the human conscience must wake up one day and these criminals must be tried in the name of all of humanity!
Zainab bint ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib is one of the key witnesses in this case. I leave her testimony between your hands so that you make your judgment and decide whether to convict these defendants for what they have committed on the land of Karbala on the 10th of Muharram, year 61 A.H.
Chief Justice: I think that we are all in need of a break, so the court will be in recess for 45 minutes and shall resume afterwards.
Chief Justice: Court is in session after recess. Mr. Prosecutor, are you ready to continue presenting the evidence?
Prosecutor: Yes your Honor. And by the end of this session, we will conclude our case and we leave the matter after that for the defense.
Chief Justice: That is very good. So continue so that we don’t waste time.
Prosecutor: Ladies and gentlemen…In the majlis of the First defendant Yazid, there was a Jewish Rabbi. When he witnessed how the Caliph dealt with the captives, especially with ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as) and his aunt Zainab, he asked,
“Oh Ameer Al Momineen! Who is that boy?”
So Yazid answered, “He is ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn.” The monk then asked, “And who is Al-Husayn?”
Yazid replied, “The son of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.” The monk then asked, “Who is his mother?”
Yazid answered, “Fatima bint (daughter of) Muhammad.”
The monk then exclaimed, “Glory be to Allah! So he is the grandson of your prophet and you killed him that quickly?! Shame on you
on how you treated the prophet’s progeny! By Allah, if our Prophet Musa ibn Imran left a grandson behind, we may have worshipped him along with our God! Yet your Prophet just departed yesterday, and you jumped to kill his son! Woe be to you as a nation!!”
The monk’s words infuriated the Caliph Yazid and he ordered the beating of the monk in the assembly, as a punishment to him for his audacity in uttering a word of truth, logic, justice, and wisdom in front of an oppressive arrogant tyrant and transgressing ruler! So the poor man was beaten in the court of Yazid in front of the assembly, while his religious position or old age or his representation to Ahl Al-Kitab (People of the Book) did not make any difference to the Caliph.
This clearly shows you the nature of Yazid’s personality and his type of government. Is there any doubt left in your minds after that regarding his conviction of the crimes he’s charged with in this case? If he is ordering to hit an old religious man simply because he spoke a word of truth, then how do we expect him (Yazid) would behave with those who rejected his allegiance and criticized his personality and rulership?!
Especially if his opponent enjoys a special position of love, respect, veneration among the Muslims, due to his relation to the Holy Prophet (S), which makes him a strong competitor to him. I leave the judgment of this comparison to you.
We now reach another horrendous tragedy which I fear on you, ladies and gentlemen, from the emotional effect that it will leave on you, but there is no escape from presenting it to you!
Defense: Objection your Honor, this is an exaggerative statement to the jurors and it is a prediction that is unacceptable!
Chief Justice: Objection sustained.
Prosecutor: The speech of Zaynab (sa) and the statements of the Jewish Rabbi caused a big commotion and chaos in the assembly of Yazid. So he ordered the women to get out of the court and head to a place of wreckage that would not protect them from heat or cold.
They stayed there while they were in the worst and most degrading state as they mourned over their beloved Al-Husayn (as). Yazid ordered to crucify the head of Al-Husayn on the door of his palace for three days! He ordered that the heads of the martyrs be crucified on the doors of Damascus and the Umayyad Mosque!
Ladies and gentlemen, take a look at that barbarism! Is that also from the teachings of Islam? Do these actions indicate to you that Yazid was not pleased with the killing of Al-Husayn (as) and did not order it?! And does it indicate that the killing of Al-Husayn was a mistake that was unintentional as the defense would like for you to believe?!
While the women and children were in the place of wreckage, Ruqayyah, a daughter of Al-Husayn (as) who was only five years old, saw her father Al-Husayn (as) in her dream and she has not seen him since the day of Ashura (10th day of Muharram). She did not know or comprehend that her father was killed for she is only an innocent child.
So when she saw her father in the dream, she woke up screaming hysterically and was very anxious to see her father. She kept crying and begged her aunt Zainab to bring her father. All of the women tried to pacify her unsuccessfully. When her loud screams in the middle of the night woke up the First defendant Yazid, he questioned who was screaming. When he was informed about the girl’s frantic state, imagine what was his reaction, ladies and gentlemen! It is something that you cannot believe, even to come from the most barbaric beast!!
Defense: Objection your Honor, this is an unacceptable comment.
Chief Justice: Objection sustained.
Prosecutor: Ladies and gentlemen, Yazid ordered to present the slaughtered head of Al-Husayn on a platter to his little daughter so that she can see him!
Sure enough, the head was placed in front of the poor grief-stricken young girl who was very anxious to see her beloved father!
You can very well imagine her condition as she does not comprehend anything of what is happening except that she is seeing the head of her beloved father without body! She is not used to seeing him in that physical state! (Here, the judges and jurors were seen to be in a state of shock and extremely affected).
The little girl was not able to handle this severe shock, so she embraced the head of her father and wept bitterly! Then suddenly, she gasped and stopped crying and she became still! When they tried to move her, they found her dead!!!
Ladies and gentlemen, I accuse the First defendant Yazid ibn Muawiya of directly causing the death of Ruqqayah, the daughter of Al-Husayn, the 5-year old girl who was killed by the harshness of the ruler and his carelessness about all the human principles and emotions! It is the worst crime committed against humanity!
It is one of the mass murder crimes intended to eradicate the family of the Prophet Muhammad (S)!! Even the 5-year old girl was not spared from this cruelty! So what is your opinion now about Yazid as a person and a ruler, and does he deserve for you to convict him or not?!
Finally, we conclude with this tragic incident which took place in the court of Yazid. It is such a shameful event that is narrated in most of the sources and books of both the Muslim and non-Muslim historians. Yazid used to order that the blessed head of Al-Husayn (as) be brought in front of him everyday and he would drink the forbidden wine in its presence. One day, the ambassador of Caesar of Rome attended the assembly of Yazid and that man was among the nobles of Rome.
He said, “Oh King of Arabs! Whose head is this?” So Yazid answered, “Why do you care about this head?”
So the ambassador of Caesar said, “When I return back to our king, he will ask me everything I saw, so I want to inform him about the story of this head so that he can share in your joy and happiness.”
Yazid then answered, “This is the head of Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.”
So the messenger asked, “And who is his mother?” Yazid replied, “Fatima Al Zahra.”
The messenger asked him, “She is the daughter of whom?”
Yazid answered, “She is the daughter of our Prophet the Messenger of Allah.”
Here the ambassador exclaimed, “Woe be to you and your religion! It is the worst of religions! Know that I am from the grandsons of the Prophet of Allah, Dawood, and between him and me are many generations. Yet the Christians sanctify me and they embrace the dust beneath my feet as a blessing simply because I am from the grandsons of Dawood. Yet you kill the grandson of your Prophet and there is only one mother between him and your prophet! What religion is that?! Oh Yazid! Did you hear about the story of the ‘Church of the Horse Shoe’ (Kaneesat Al Haafer)?!”
Yazid replied, “Tell me the story.”
The ambassador of Caesar of Rome narrated: “There is a vast ocean between Oman and China which has a town located in an island in the midst of the ocean which is about 80 acres long. From this island, they import camphor, sapphires, and amber. And in this town, there are many churches and its most greatest is known as the Church of the Horse Shoe. This church has a sanctuary box made from gold which contain a hoof of a donkey which Prophet Jesus (as) used to ride.
This sanctuary box has been decorated with gold, jewelry, and silk garment, etc. Every year, many Christians visit it, pay their respects to it, embrace it and pray to Allah by its blessings. This is their position regarding the hoof of a donkey whom they claim that it belongs to a donkey which their prophet Jesus used to ride. Yet you kill the grandson of your Prophet! May Allah not bless you or your religion!!!”
Ladies and Gentlemen, due to the shock of the situation, Yazid the transgressor ordered his soldiers saying, “Kill this Christian, for he will humiliate us if he returns back to his country!”
When the Christian realized that he is about to be killed, he said, “Oh Yazid! Do you want to kill me?!”
Yazid answered, “Yes!”
So the ambassador of Caesar of Rome said, “Know that yesterday I saw your Prophet in my dream and he told me, ‘Oh Christian, you are from the inhabitants of the Paradise!’ I hereby bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and messenger!”
Then he took the blessed head of Al-Husayn, embraced it, and went on crying and weeping till he got killed.
Can you imagine that? The ambassador of Caesar of Rome was killed simply because he voiced his opinion regarding the actions and policies of the Muslim ruler towards the grandson of the Prophet of Islam who Yazid rules the nation in the name of the religion which he brought! Does he deserve to be killed?
Are ambassadors supposed to get killed?! What type of man was Yazid? And what type of government and regime was his government and regime? It is no wonder then that what happened to Al-Husayn (as) and his family took place at the hands of Yazid and his government!!
Surely he was one of the worst tyrants in history! Rather, he is absolutely the worst of them and the most unjust and most barbaric! At least 90% of the responsibility of what has happened in Karbala and its aftermath falls on the shoulders of Yazid alone. And the remaining 10% is distributed among the rest of the defendants
. You have now seen what type of man Yazid was, so do you agree with me that this character which killed a little girl and an ambassador of a king, ordered the crucifixion of severed heads, and have openly shown infidelity and apostasy…this character itself is surely guilty of all the crimes and charges directed against it! Usually, a criminal repeats himself in many different tragic ways.
Your Honor, I now conclude my presentation of the incriminating evidence and we stop here and turn it over to the defense. Thank you your Honor, my thanks on behalf of our team to all of you for your concentration, attention, concern, and your patience.
Chief Justice: Court is adjourned and shall resume next Monday so that we hear the defense case at 10AM. Thank you all. Court is dismissed.
A news conference was scheduled to take place following this court session. After the crowd went over to the hall reserved for this purpose, a surprising announcement was made postponing this Fifth news conference, as requested by the representatives of both the defense and prosecution teams, due to their busy preparations for the final stages of the court trial. Everyone had to leave the hall as they anxiously waited for the next court session and news conference following that.
Chief Justice: Court is in session. Defense team, today is your day and the podium is yours. We are all listening, so are you ready to present your rebuttal to the evidence which the prosecution presented until now?
Defense: Yes your Honor, we are ready.
Chief Justice: You may begin.
The Defense: Your Honor, respected judges and jurors. The prosecution has done a fine job in twisting the truth and moving the feelings and emotions! At the same time, he intentionally ignored some of the facts and historical texts which contradict what he wants to portray to you. I will give you examples of that:
First: Looting and burning of the tents of Al-Husayn (as) was a spontaneous act from the soldiers who jumped to collect what they thought were spoils of war to them. This is clearly a big mistake on their part and a deviation from the religion without a doubt.
But when Umar ibn Sa’d, the commander of the army learned of this, he immediately ordered for it to stop and he instructed to protect the tents, the women, and the sick. He ordered to return everything that was looted and commanded to set up other new tents to replace the ones that were burnt or harmed.
Second: Cutting the heads of those killed in the battlefield was a custom of the Arabs and it was their only way to prove that they killed their victims, as there was no other way to prove it. This act had been practiced in all the battles and also after the emergence of Islam.
Third: As for the incident of the sons of Muslim ibn Aqeel, the person who has killed them is the one who is responsible for their murder. Ibn Ziyad issued orders to arrest the boys due to their escape from the prison and he promised a reward for he who arrests them. But the person who found the boys killed them and Ibn Ziyad punished that person by executing him as you’ve heard which proves that he wasn’t pleased of their deaths.
Fourth: There is no any historical evidence which proves that Caliph Yazid ibn Muawiya issued any orders to hold celebrations in every town which the caravan of captives passed by. There is exaggeration in this matter and if it did happen, then it was initiated by the people of that particular village or city.
Fifth: As for sending the captives to Al-Sham, this also was an Arab custom. The captives were usually sent from the place they’ve been taken as captives to the capital of the state and to the rulers or caliph of the Muslims. For example, the Persian captives were sent to Umar ibn Al Khatab from Al-Mada’en to Al-Madina, and captives were sent to the Caliphs of Banu Umayyad and Banu Al Abbas. So this was a custom which the Arabs were used to.
Sixth: As for the speech of Zohr ibn Qais, it is filled with exaggeration and embellishment for the purposes of pleasing the Caliph.
Therefore, one cannot depend or rely on it.
Seventh: As for the poetic verses which the prosecutor recited to prove the infidelity of Yazid and his revolt against the religion which he was ruling the state under its name, these verses do not belong to Yazid. They were actually verses which Abdullah ibn Al Zobori recited on the day of the Battle of Uhud and he was at that time among the nonbelievers who were fighting against the Muslims. When AlHamza, the uncle of the Prophet (S) was killed, Ibn Al Zobori recited these verses.
Eighth: As for the story of Ruqayyah the daughter of Al-Husayn (as), it is not a verified incident and most of those who narrate it are from the “rejecters” / rafeda. As for those who narrate this story from the Sunni sources, they are very little. Therefore, we can not draw conclusions based on it since there is a doubt; and doubt is to be interpreted always for the benefit of the defendant!
Dear Ladies and gentlemen, the Prosecutor has concealed from you some narrations which were cited in the same references which he used and which are in favor of the First defendant Yazid. For example, it has been narrated in Maqtal Al-Husayn Lil Khwarizmi Al Hanafi that after Yazid heard the words of Zohr ibn Qais, he paused for awhile, and then he raised his head and wept while saying:
“By Allah, oh man I would’ve been pleased with your obedience without killing Al-Husayn (as). By Allah, if he had come to me, I would’ve pardoned him. But may Allah degrade Ibn Murjana (the Second defendant)!”
Then Yazid said, “Yes, may Allah curse Ibn Murjana for killing a person like Al-Husayn ibn Fatima. By Allah, if I was attending there, I would’ve given him anything he asked for and would’ve protected him with all my might, and sacrifice my own sons to defend him!
However, when Allah wills something, there is no change to it.”
It has also been narrated in the same book that Hind, the daughter of Abdullah ibn ‘Amer, the wife of Yazid, opened the curtain while she had exposed her hair as a sign of anger, and she rushed to Yazid exclaiming,
“Is the head of the son of Fatima crucified on the door of my house?!”
Yazid hastened to cover her and said, “Yes! So mourn on him Oh Hind! And weep on the grandson of the Prophet. Ibn Ziyad was haste in killing him, may Allah kill him!”
It was narrated too that Yazid hosted the captives to his private home and he would not eat lunch or dinner without having ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as) accompany him. It was also narrated that Yazid offered that they reside in Damascus, but they rejected that offer and instead requested to return to their home in Al-Madina. So Yazid said to AlNu’man ibn Basheer who was from Al Ansaar:
“Equip them with resources and send with them a good man from Al Sham as a guardian. Provide them with horses and servants.”
Then he provided them clothes and bounties, and he called for ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as) and said to him:
“May Allah curse Ibn Murjana! By Allah if I was with your father, I would’ve given him anything he asked for and would’ve protected Al-Husayn with all might even if I sacrifice some of my sons. However, Allah willed what happened so write to me if you need anything.”
Doesn’t all of that indicate that the whole matter was not premeditated?! Rather, it was the result of unfortunate circumstances, poor judgment, and mistakes on the soldier’s part. And in the end of the day, it is Allah’s will.
We do not deny that it is a horrendous tragedy; however, it was not planned or arranged. Rather, it was a mistake that was due to poor judgment. Who among us do not commit mistakes or make poor judgment in his life? Are we to be placed on trial and be charged for that?! No, ladies and gentlemen!
Furthermore, the First defendant was a young Caliph who wanted to establish the cornerstones of his new government and secure it, which is his right in order to face the enemies of the Islamic state both internally and externally and this is for the best interest of the nation. The ultimate goal and public interest may explain some of the limits that were crossed.
As for the Second defendant, he was a clever and decisive governor who was appointed to put a halt to mischief. So he simply carried out his duty and if the state of affairs demanded from him to be supertough, then likewise, the public interest excuses some of the limits that were crossed.
As for the Third defendant, Umar ibn Sa’d, as a military commander of the army he was forced to take the leadership of the army though he was reluctant. He carried out the duty he was appointed for, just like any military commander, whether he likes it or not! So what is he being tried for?!
As for the Fourth defendant, he was also obeying orders issued to him by those superior to him. He was stubborn in his opinion but he didn’t have the last decision. Perhaps he was rude at times, but in the end, he is only an appointed soldier who carries out what he is ordered. Also, please do not forget that he himself was once a soldier in the army of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) in the Battle of Siffeen against Muawiya, the father of Yazid.
As for the Fifth defendant, the same justification applies to him. He was also a soldier and he was simply a sniper carrying out what is asked of him and he had no choice but to obey the orders, whether he likes it or not. So what are we putting him on trial for and why are we charging him?!
Ladies and gentlemen, the world is filled with tragedies and perils which lead to the presence of victims, pain, tears, and grief! If we established court trials for each of these cases, then we will need to have courtrooms and judges in every corner and street!
The earth would be filled with court trials, prosecutors, lawyers, and defendants! That would surely be overwhelming so we must leave justice for God of heavens and earth! He is the absolute Justice and He possesses knowledge of the whole truth. Let us free ourselves for other more important matters in our lives and religion for we have a lot to fix and take care of!
The Prosecutor has relied on stirring the emotions and influencing the feelings to force you to convict the defendants. All of the prosecution evidences are only narrations in books which may be correct or incorrect. There is a lot of doubt in them and they are not certain facts which you can depend on for conviction. For this reason, these evidences are not qualified by nature to incriminate the five defendants. Thank you ladies and gentlemen.
Chief Justice: Thank you Mr. Lawyer. Mr. Prosecutor, would you like to respond to what was presented in the defense case?
Prosecutor: Yes, of course your Honor.
Chief Justice: Would you like to start now or shall we break for a recess and start after the break?!
Prosecutor: As you like, your Honor and I leave the matter up to you.
Chief Justice: I think it is better that we take a break now so that we don’t interrupt your case with a break. Court session is now in recess for half an hour and shall resume afterwards to hear the prosecution’s response to the defense rebuttal.
Chief Justice: Court is now in session after recess. Mr. Prosecutor, are you ready to respond to the defense case?!
Prosecutor: Yes, your Honor.
Chief Justice: You may proceed.
Prosecutor: Respected judges and jurors, the defense did not find any way to face the overwhelming truth and the strong historical evidence which incriminates his defendants without a doubt…except to resort to what we call “confusing the case”. It is a well-known tactic which lawyers often use to defend their client when they are stuck and can not find any hope in vindicating their client due to the devastating evidences which incriminates them.
In the lawyer’s language, “confusing the case” means to portray the crime as one that is not a crime, and that it is only due to bad luck and the will of God, claiming that it is due to an unqualified individual(s).
Their hope is that when the jurors become convinced that there is no crime, they will then see no value to any evidence and no meaning to having defendants in the case as there is no case. Hence, there is no need for a trial to begin with, or judge or courtroom, and so there is hope in winning the case in that way.
Despite the fact that the statistics point to the fact that this defense tactic does not give a result greater than 10% success of cases due to the fact that most jurors do not buy or get convinced by this method when there is a strong clear evidence available. Despite that, the defense team resorts to the same old tactic hoping that it will affect you! But I have strong confidence in you like my confidence in myself and my case.
I know very well that this maneuver will not work with you and they cannot deceive you, for you are much more intelligent and wiser than that! Here I feel somewhat pitiful for the desperate position that the defense team are in as they couldn’t find any other way to rescue their case except this unsuccessful path!
However, I assure the defense that there is no way out in this very clear case! Despite that, I would like to clarify the following facts:
First: We do not stir up or arouse any feelings or emotions. Rather, the nature of this case is humanitarian since it is filled with torture, pain, and everything inhumane and even animalistic! So how can feelings and emotions not be aroused, and how can the nonliving things not weep even before humans?!
The emotional influence is not from us, but is from the nature of the heinous crimes committed and what these five defendants perpetrated. If the defense wants to direct blame for that emotional influence, then let them blame their clients whom they’re defending!
Second: The burning and looting of tents of the women and children and the sick is the responsibility of the commander of the army, even if it was an accidental act from the soldiers. He is the one responsible of them and it is not a valid excuse for him to say that he didn’t know. At the end, that is his army, he is its commander, and he is completely responsible of what his soldiers do.
This is the logical judgment of the human intellect. If these soldiers were directed before the battle that they are about to fight the household and progeny of the Prophet (S) and so it is not permissible for them to loot belongings or attack tents or take spoils of war from them, they would not have dared to do what they did.
On the contrary, we have seen that the Fourth defendant was also one of those who attacked the tents and wanted to kill the sick among them! Now did the commander of the army give such instructions to his soldiers before the battle, just like ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) did before the battles of Jamal, Siffeen, and Nahrawan? No he didn’t! By failing to do so, he carries full responsibility of what has happened to the women and children after the battlefield.
Third: The severing of heads was a barbaric custom among the Arabs, but when Islam emerged, it prohibited mutilation of dead bodies. Let the defense give us any example from the battles which the Prophet (S) participated in, where he cut the heads and raised them on spears, or had ordered them to be transported to him in Al-Madina.
This degrading and harsh act was practiced before sending Muhammad as the Messenger of Allah (SWT), then he prohibited that act after the commencement of the message and it was non-existent until Muawiya became Caliph (ruler) and then he killed Amr ibn AlHamq who was from the companions of the Holy Prophet (S)!
He ordered to cut his head as we mentioned previously and to have it sent to him in Damascus. Hence, it became the first head in Islam to be severed and paraded in the cities! After Muawiya innovated this heinous Sunnah, his son Yazid followed that same practice after him. Then all of the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphs followed it as well as those who came after them. But it was never a part of Islam, nor from its teachings!
Fourth: As for the sons of Muslim ibn Aqeel, if the person who killed them knew that their murder would not please the governor, he wouldn’t have killed them. But he killed them because the governor’s command was to reward the person who brings them or their heads to him. When Ibn Ziyad executed the criminal who killed the boys, he did so not because he wasn’t pleased with his action. Rather, he executed him to cover up his crime which he himself has committed when he ordered that the two boys be arrested and brought to him, whether dead or alive.
Fifth: It is known that under a dictatorship system, no one can run celebrations or organize processions in multiple cities and villages without the approval of the ruling authority, and this is observed around us. Even if it was not the authority itself who organized and sponsored these events, at the least it didn’t oppose or prevent them, and therefore, this authority is responsible of them!
Sixth: As for the issue of sending captives, if it was an Arab custom then Ibn Ziyad wouldn’t have needed to consult his master Yazid in Damascus about what he would do with them. Furthermore, Islam has nullified such Arab customs. According to the defense’s statement, the family of the Prophet (S) was treated as war captives. Now is that appropriate or permissible? And was there any war taking place such that there would be a Muslim captive?
It has never been heard before or after, that Muslim war captives were driven in that manner from country to country until reaching the capital of the Umayyad in Damascus. Those who were sent to the Caliphs were captives who were enemies of Muslims, not Muslims themselves! This was the only event in which Muslim captives were driven from country to country until Damascus!
In fact, the religion of Islam has encouraged the good treatment of captives who are non-Muslims. As for the Muslims themselves, they cannot be captives in the hands of Muslims and it is supposed that they are all brothers.
Seventh: As for the speech of Zohr ibn Qais, how did the defense assume that it is filled with exaggeration and falsehood? What is the proof for that when there are enough facts available to us from other sources which verified what Zohr ibn Qais had said?!
Eighth: It is true that the first poetic verse which Yazid recited belonged to Ibn Al Zaba’ri on the day of Uhod. But the rest of the poem was innovated by Yazid himself! This is clear in his statement particularly in the last two verses which were innovated by Yazid, and that’s why some scholars concluded that he is a nonbeliever. To begin with, why is he reciting the words of a poet which belong to an infidel on the day of Uhod, while he is “Ameerul Momineen / Commander of the Believers”? That is only a question to think about…
Ninth: The story of what happened to the little daughter and orphan of Al-Husayn (as), Ruqayyah is an actual reality. Ladies and gentlemen, whomever of you wishes to visit her holy shrine in Al-Sham (Syria), you can do so and you can inquire the people there to whom does that shrine belong to.
They will inform you about the tragedy of Ruqayyah (as), the little girl who was killed by Yazid when, with all beastliness, he ordered that the head of her father be placed in front of her! He did not have any mercy to her childhood nor compassion to her orphan status. Now what type of human beast was that person, that is, if we can actually describe him as a human being!
Tenth: When Yazid realized his heinous act and its grave implications…and when he saw with his own eyes in the capital of his state the amount of influence and uproar which the tragedy of Karbala and the killing of Al-Husayn (as) caused, whether from the living companions of the Prophet (S) or the common people…he chose to put the blame of what has happened on the shoulders of Ibn Ziyad the Second defendant to deny responsibility of the murder of Al-Husayn (as) and his family and his companions.
So, we see him using phrases with cunningness and foxiness such as, “Woe be to Ibn Murjana!” (the Second defendant), “Curse of Allah be upon Ibn Murjana”, “Ibn Ziyad was haste in killing him”, “May Allah kill him!” etc. He did so to place the whole blame on Ibn Ziyad and vindicate himself from the blood of the grandson of the Prophet (S).
Unfortunately, many of the Muslim historians were deceived by this tactic. Under the pressure of the ruling authority, they went on propagating these narrations to vindicate Yazid from the blood of Al-Husayn (as) and to throw the responsibility on the shoulders of Ibn Ziyad the Second defendant.
All of the narrations that we previously presented regarding the letters from Yazid to the governor of Al-Madina ordering him to take the pledge of allegiance from Al-Husayn or to kill him and send his head, contradict that claim. All of the letters and documents we presented confirm that the whole responsibility falls directly on the First defendant in terms of conspiring, planning, and issuing orders to the massacre of Karbala.
This great amount of evidence cannot be doubted with one or two narrations which may be fabricated for political reasons under pressure from the ruling authority in order to vindicate the Caliph and throw the blame on others. That’s why we refrained from presenting these ridiculous and fabricated narrations which were clearly propagated under political pressure on the writers and narrators.
Furthermore, let us not forget that Yazid feared the presence of the Prophet’s family in Damascus due to the unrest it may cause in making people revolt against him once the news spreads about this tragedy.
So he insisted to make them leave Damascus soon and to make a show of honoring them at the end so that he convinces the people that he is not responsible for what has happened in Karbala and that it was the mistake of his governor Ibn Ziyad. By that, he presents something for the historians after him to vindicate him despite the great amount of overwhelming evidence against him.
Here we pose a question. If Yazid was really innocent and if it was really the mistake of Ibn Ziyad, then why didn’t he immediately fire him from the governorship of Al-Kufa and Al-Basra and summon him to his headquarters so that he punish him for what he has committed? Did Yazid act in that manner which is logical if he is really innocent?
No, he didn’t do any of that! Rather, he kept Ibn Ziyad in his position, so where is the punishment of the wrong-doer especially when the wrong committed has led to the bloodshed of the holy household of the Prophet and Messenger of Islam and a great personality like that of Al-Husayn (as)! We did see before that Yazid had fired his cousin, the Governor of Al-Madina, when he failed to carry out his orders of killing Al-Husayn (as) there! So, why he didn’t do the same thing with the Second defendant?!
The defense also tries to portray Yazid to you in a picture that is different from the truth and far away from what happened in Karbala.
Ladies and gentlemen, do you know that after one year from the massacre of Karbala, Yazid committed another massacre in the holy city of Al-Madina, the city of the Messenger of Allah (SWT)?!
This happened in the Battle of Al-Harra which is mentioned in all of the Muslim history books, where hundreds of people in Al-Madina and many companions of the Prophet (S) were killed. Then Yazid sent his army to take part in yet another massacre in Makkah, in the sacred Haram of Allah (SWT) and he attacked the Holy Kaaba with the cannonball!
He killed hundreds of Muslims and the hero of all these massacres is the same person – Yazid ibn Muawiya – the First defendant! Perhaps the time will come in the future to put him on trial for these massacres too. Hence, Sa’eed ibn Al Mussayab who was one of the famous scholars and the Tabe’een (the Second generation) who is known for his knowledge and piety once said, “The years of Yazid were all miserable! In the first year he killed Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali and the holy household of the Prophet (S). In the Second year, the event of Harra took place and the holy sanctuary in Al-Madina was violated. And in the Third year, he attacked the Kaaba with cannon and burned it!”
So this is the reality of Yazid whom the defense wants to hide and make a cosmetic surgery to give the matter a new look so that you are misguided from the clear truth and to confuse the whole case in your eyes! Here I say to the defense, ‘No sir, this tactic of planting doubt will not work! At the least, not on this day and not in this case! And not with these judges and jurors!’
Dear respected judges and jurors, the First defendant was a young ruler who was arrogant, a reckless dictator who resembled his father. He wanted to rule the countries by policy of “iron and fire” and to rule by force over the people so that he can enjoy the luxuries of life. He did not care about public interest or the nation’s interest.
On the contrary, his care and concern was his own personal interest and his dictatorship rule. For that sake, he was ready to shed any blood, kill anyone, and destroy anything so long as that would guarantee to him the security of his authority and stability of his regime.
As for the Second defendant, he was a bloody transgressor tyrant who had no religion or conscience or manners. He was ready to do anything to stay in power and acquire wealth and please his masters.
He didn’t care about the public interest or to put a stop to mischief or anything else. All his ambitions were for the power and authority which cannot be achieved except by attaining the pleasure of the caliph in Damascus. And so he took the First defendant as a Lord and God whom he obeys to attain his pleasure and receive his blessings!
As for the Third defendant, he was a slave of wealth and the life of this world. He sold his religion and his conscience in exchange for the governorship of Al-Rayy’ State. So he killed, shed blood, obeyed the oppressors, and supported the tyrants; hence, he became one of them and lost both this life and the hereafter!
As for the Fourth defendant, he was a cruel stone-hearted person who was a puppet of the ruling authority. He plays on what he thought was the winning horse. He bears long-lived hostility and envy to the Holy Prophet (S) and his household. And he found in Karbala an opportunity to express his animosity, so he went on practicing all types of killing, deceit, instigation, and other war crimes with all dedication, devotion, and sincerity.
As for the Fifth defendant, he was only a hired serial killer who lacked military honor. He kills in exchange for reward and doesn’t care whether he kills a child, infant, injured, or he who is breathing his last or an unarmed man!
This last defendant is the worst of all of them and the lowest of them! He sells his religion not for his best interest in this life, but for the interest of others. He kills the most valuable of people for a cheap price and puts his weapon under the service of those who can pay more. Woe and shame be to him!
Ladies and gentlemen, these five individual are an extreme disgrace to humanity! Their inevitable fate in this life is the trashcan of history and in the Hereafter, their fate is eternal Hell-Fire!
Thank you ladies and gentlemen for your attention and patience and thank you your Honor.
Chief Justice: Thank you, the defense, would you like to respond to the prosecution?
Defense: No, thank you your Honor.
Chief Justice: Then court will be dismissed and will resume next session on Thursday where we’ll hear the closing statements from each of the prosecution and the defense teams. Afterwards, the door will be open for questions from the judges and jurors, if they have any. Subsequently, deliberations will begin between the judges and the jurors to reach a verdict of “guilty” or “not guilty” in the case. Thank you all and see you at 10AM on Thursday. Court is dismissed.
Everyone was anxiously looking forward to attend this news conference that was announced after the end of the 11th court session which is considered to be one of the most heated sessions. There seemed to be a display of talents of the defense and prosecution teams, and that young attractive prosecutor became the talk of everyone in the world. He did a great job such that everyone started speculating about the critical situation that the defense was in.
Due to the fact that the previously scheduled news conference was canceled, everyone was anxious for this news conference. The hall became crowded with journalists and news correspondents from everywhere as they awaited the arrival of the representatives of the prosecution and defense teams. Then the young prosecutor walked in with tranquility and self-confidence accompanied by two members of his team. He took his place in front of the podium and the news conference began…
Correspondent: How do you feel now as you approach the end of this trial? And how do you evaluate your performance at the end of this journey?
Prosecutor: We feel a sense of comfort and tranquility as we have done our duty thanks to God! I think that a great number of people in the world now realizes the magnitude of this tragedy which Imam Al-Husayn (as) and his family has been subjected to. They now know what happened in Karbala and who was responsible for it and the facts behind it.
This is indeed the true gain! As for our performance, it is a personal honor for me to be appointed by my colleagues to take lead of prosecution in this case. It is a privilege, honor, and pleasure for me to stand in the courtroom defending the rights of the victims of Karbala, most notably Imam Al-Husayn (as), in a just trial leading to convictions and punishment of criminals.
I feel that I should have exerted more effort in this case, and I also feel far off from what I should do in this case. So I apologize to Imam Al-Husayn (as) for my shortage in this regards and I hope that he forgives me.
Correspondent: Do you feel that you are approaching the final victory?
Prosecutor: Yes, without a doubt and I have full confidence in the respected judges and jurors.
Correspondent: Sir, allow me to ask this question…are you a Sunni or a Shia?
Prosecutor: I support truth and justice. I love righteousness and justice. I am a follower of both of them and am loyal to them.
Correspondent: Sir, why do you reject the possibility that Yazid ibn Muawiya was really innocent from shedding the blood of Al-Husayn and that the whole responsibility falls on the shoulders of Ibn Ziyad regarding what happened in Karbala?
Prosecutor: Because that contradicts the reality and the evidence which we presented and you can refer to them as you like. All of the letters and documents from Yazid to his governor in Al-Madina and to Ibn Ziyad, as well as his expression of joy and the poetry which he recited when he received the captives…all of that clearly proves that he is the primary criminal and the chief delinquent responsible for what happened in Karbala!
Correspondent: There is a group of Muslims who vindicate Yazid from the blood of Al-Husayn (as) and consider Yazid to be one of the ‘companions’ of the Prophet. For that reason, they sanctify him and whenever they mention him, then say “May Allah be pleased with him”. So why don’t they view the case the way you see it?
Prosecutor: Sir, that is due to historical deception which affects the human thought process; hence man follows misguidance thinking that it is truth, and supports fabrication believing that it is reality. This historical deception was fabricated and propagated by the political power and authority during the Ummayad era through suffocating the truth, terrorizing the narrators, and threatening them.
In exchange for endorsement of fabricated narrations, these untrusted narrators were given privileges and brought closer to the ruling authority. As a result, fabrication of historical facts grew and increased with time; then the future generations followed one after the other.
Another key factor was blind imitation, when a person’s mind becomes blind and becomes a tool for fanaticism and bias for the beliefs of his forefathers, ancestors, and elders, even if what they say contradict logic, truth, and historical events. These two factors are the reasons for the presence of this group of Muslims, unfortunately.
Correspondent: If you were in the shoes of the defense, what can you do to save their case?
Prosecution: It is not possible and I cannot accept the idea of being in the position of one who defends a criminal, a cold-blooded killer, and an oppressor! Those are not in need of defenders; rather, they are in need of executors!
Correspondent: It is said that Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali is one of your grandfathers and that you are from his progeny. Is that true?
Prosecutor: Al-Husayn (as) is the father of every freeman anywhere. Every person who loves righteousness, supports the oppressed, seeks justice and equity, and searches for the truth, his father then is Al-Husayn, his grandfather is Al-Husayn, and such person is from the tree of Al-Husayn!
I will stop here and thank you all. (The prosecutor leaves the hall, then the defense lawyer enters accompanied by two members of his defense team and he stands behind the microphone in preparation to receive questions of the media).
Correspondent: Sir, do you still have hope in winning this case and what is the probability of winning it?
Defense Lawyer: Yes, yes we have a lot of hope. Rather, we are confident of winning it and I think that our message has reached the jurors and judges and that they understand it. I can say that we think we are on our way to achieving victory by at least 90% if not more.
Same correspondent: Sir, don’t you think that you are exaggerating a lot in your confidence and predictions, for the majority of us see that you are on your way to losing this case.
Defense lawyer: Praise be to Allah that you are not among the judges and jurors! I think that they have a different opinion than yours, and thank God once again that the media are not the ones who will decide the fate of this case!
Correspondent: Sir, why didn’t Yazid fire his governor Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad, try him, and punish him if he really thought that he is the cause behind the massacre of Karbala?
Defense Lawyer: He did not fire him because Al-Kufa was still unstable and filled with mischief after the murder of Al-Husayn (as). Only few months passed and the revolt of the Repenters / Tawabeen took place under the leadership of Sulaiman ibn Sard Al Khuza’iy. So he could not fire him until Yazid himself died.
Correspondent: Is the majority of the Sunni Muslims with your opinion in vindicating Yazid from the blood of Al-Husayn (as)?
Defense: Yes, those of them who possess the knowledge of Ahl Al Sunna Wal Jama’a. As for the ignorant, they follow any rumor and those who fabricate narrations. We do not deny that some of the early Muslim scholars blamed Yazid and criticized him for killing Al-Husayn, but in the end they said that he repented and made his repentance apparent by treating the family of Al-Husayn in a positive manner and arranging them to be escorted back to the holy city of their grandfather the Prophet (S) in an honorable and dignified way.
Another correspondent: Does your position of defending the murderers of Al-Husayn (as) indicate that you are against Al-Husayn and his mission? And by the way, just a small correction, the rebellion of the repenters (Al Tawabeen) took place almost five years after Karbala and after the death of Yazid!
Defense: Not at all! There is no person in the whole Islamic Nation who doesn’t respect Al-Husayn. As for the talk about his murder and murderers, this only aroused the mischief / fitna. And we have been ordered not to arouse mischief because it is not for the benefit of the nation and it creates disunity, and thank you for the correction!
Correspondent: Don’t you think that Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali was more worthy of the Caliphate than Yazid?
Defense: The matter is not about my opinion and what I think. It is about the Islamic law, and Yazid was given a legitimate pledge of allegiance. Sure, Al-Husayn was more worthy of the Caliphate, but what happened has already happened and Yazid has become the Caliph, hence his obedience becomes obligatory.
Same correspondent: Even if his behavior is unIslamic and he openly disobeys and indulges in corruption, and drinks wine??!
Defense: This is not confirmed and it has been introduced by the enemies of Islam.
Same correspondent: Rather, it is confirmed and repeatedly narrated in many books!
Defense: I think we have deviated from the topic. I apologize for I’ll need to end this news conference due to our many engagements in preparation for the next court session as it will be a decisive session. Thank you all and salam alaikum!
(He walked out quickly with his team members and everyone started to depart. Every 2 or 3 persons were conversing and discussing…and everyone was anxiously waiting for Thursday’s court session which will witness the closing statements for both the prosecution and the defense teams. It will be the semifinal stage of this suspenseful and exciting trial)!
Chief Justice: Court is now in session. Ladies and gentlemen, today we will listen to the closing statements of each of both the prosecution and the defense teams. So it is likely that the court proceeding may extend in time depending on the circumstances.
Afterwards, if there are any specific questions from the judges and jurors to the prosecution or the defense, please bring them forward to me so that they can be presented to the appropriate teams. And if there are no questions, then I will instruct the judges and jurors to commence their closed door deliberations to reach a final verdict in this case. The court will be immediately notified once a verdict is reached. And now I invite the Prosecutor to begin his closing statement. You may go ahead Mr. Prosecutor.
Prosecutor: (stands with tranquility and confidence while a strange light radiates from his eyes and the words are uttered from him gracefully and naturally with eloquence and strength).
Dear respected judges and respected jurors, I would like to start my talk with you with this legendary story which we all learned when we were once young kids. We learn and remember it always for its lesson and wisdom.
It is the story of the three bulls: the white, the yellow, and the black bull who all used to live together safely in the jungle by virtue of their unity in front of their enemy. Their enemy was a cunning and fierce lion waiting for its prey, and when it didn’t have any luck due to their unity, the lion thought of a trick to deceive them. It went to both the black and the yellow bulls and said to them: “the white bull exposes our existence by its white color, so let me eat it so that we become safe and the whole jungle becomes us, a trio only.”
It kept on trying to persuade and deceive them until they finally agreed and handed over the white bull, so the lion attacked the poor bull and ate it while they were watching. After awhile, the lion came over to the black bull and said to it: “the yellow bull eats a lot and exposes us by his bright color, so if you let me eat it we will be relieved and the jungle will be for you and me only.”
The lion kept on persuading and deceiving the black bull until it agreed and surrendered the yellow bull. So the lion attacked and ate the yellow bull while the other bull sat watching. Then after one day, the cunning lion came and stood in front of the black bull which now became alone. The bull detected a look of evil from the lion and knew that it was about to get attacked, so the bull released its famous cry which is a lesson for every person. It said, “I was eaten the same day the white bull was eaten!”
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, if injustice and oppression eats us today or tomorrow, that is because we have abandoned the rights of those who have been eaten by this injustice yesterday and before yesterday. And we allowed for that to happen without convicting and punishing the oppressors of the past.
If we stood up against the oppressor of yesterday and supported the oppressed, and if we stood up against the tyrant of yesterday and supported those who were transgressed against…if we do that we would then be protecting ourselves in our today and also safeguarding our children in their future from the injustice of the unjust, the oppression of the tyrants, and the arrogance of the transgressors.
The injustice committed against Al-Husayn (as) and his tragedy is a lesson and a test for us. If we allow for his killers and oppressors to escape from punishment and justice, then there will not be any justice left. We ourselves will be the next victims and we cannot blame but ourselves!
Actually, injustice is like a disease which knows no time or place. Just like there is no cure for disease except by medicine, there is also no cure for injustice except by establishing justice and capital punishment, and that is the only way to eradicate injustice and oppression. And if injustice and oppression are eradicated, the earth will then be filled with justice and fairness which is our ultimate mission.
On that day, mankind will reach the peak of success, humanity, and civilization and we will feel honored to be associated to it. As for the type of humanity that these five criminals are associated to, we do not feel honored to be associated to it because it is sick with the disease of injustice, oppression, and submission to its evil!
Ladies and gentlemen, we have presented strong and sufficient evidence to you of the cowardly and degrading conspiracy that Al-Husayn (as) was subjected to in Karbala, and he as well as his family and children were the victims to it. It was planned and plotted by the First defendant, Yazid ibn Mu’awiya who was assisted by the other four defendants (Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad, Umar ibn Sa’d, Shimr ibn Dhil Jawshan, and Hurmala ibn Kahel) in carrying out the gruesome details.
The stages of this conspiracy started since day one when Muawiya ibn Sufyan has died, as we explained to you and presented the evidence for that. The final stage of the conspiracy was executed on the land of Karbala on the 10th day of Muharram 61 A.H. Now, are we going to allow for the conspirators, perpetrators, and those who carried out this conspiracy and massacre to escape the responsibility, accountability, and punishment?!
The defense will tell you that we should not concern ourselves with matters that passed by tens of centuries ago and it is hard to know the truth about the past crimes due to its old age. They will suggest for us to leave the whole matter for divine justice which will be achieved on the Day of Reckoning. Respected jurors, by your unanimous conviction, tell the defense that justice knows no time, whether it is tens or hundreds of centuries!
The oppressed must take his right and the oppressor must be punished even if after a very long time, so that justice is finally established!
If the oppressor of the past is punished and convicted for his crimes yesterday, today’s oppressor will think before he oppresses, and the oppression of tomorrow’s oppressor will be confined, hence the people will be safe from them. Tell him by your guilty verdict that the divine justice in the hereafter does not at all replace the human justice in this life, and that is very important for our lives on this planet which can never proceed in the right direction without establishing justice for every human in the past, present, and future without any exception.
Our Creator and God requests us to establish justice on earth, and all of the heavenly books urge man to apply justice on everyone. Our humanity, wisdom, and intellect demand us to apply justice because it is for the benefit of everyone. After all, if justice is not established, oppression will prevail! Injustice and oppression are darkness, and darkness is death, destruction, loss, castigation, and suffering to all of humanity!!
The decision is yours today, so where do you want to take humanity while the whole world is now watching you as well as many of the unjust oppressors around the world? They are closely watching, so if you support and promote justice to those who have been oppressed yesterday, then today’s oppressor will think a thousand times before committing injustice tomorrow because he will know that the hand of justice will reach him, even if after tens, hundreds, or thousands of years!
The defense will try to belittle the case by saying that it was not a crime but was only a mistake, bad luck, and an error in judgment. Tell them by your verdict that this case is very grave and important! Its victim is a grandson of a prophet, a master, a leader, a noble who has no like in his time or after his time in his morals, manners, religion, worship, piety, knowledge, and humanity!
Its victims are also his household members, his followers and devotees, his companions and his whole family who were either killed, slaughtered, taken as captive or persecuted. All of that is not possible to happen without a crime taking place and it is certainly not a coincidence!
Behind this crime is a criminal, and we have pointed to the primary criminal and placed him in front of you as a defendant surrounded by strong proofs and evidence which incriminates him.
He is surrounded also by those who participated with him, helped him, and supported him and they are all worse than him because if an oppressor…any oppressor…didn’t find those who would help and assist him, he may not have been able to commit injustice, murder, and oppression.
They all share with him in committing the crimes and the massacre, and the evidence to that is clear and available in front of you.
As you heard, the defense claim that the historical texts and narrations are all doubtful in its authenticity because they are only narrations which may be truthful or not, which makes all these sources a place of doubt, and doubt is usually interpreted for the benefit of the defendant. So tell them by your guilty verdict that our lives and the religions of all of humanity was based and built on quotes and narrations from the past.
If we doubt all the quotes and narrations, will this lead us to renounce in our religions? The Torah is a narration, the Bible is a narration, and the stories of Prophets Musa (as) and Yusuf (as) are narrations, as well as the story of Jesus (as). And Islam has reached us via narrations and our whole religion was built on narrations and traditions coming from the past. Does that mean our whole religion is tainted by doubt and suspicion?!
Surely this would mark the beginning of infidelity, God forbid! Rather, narrations are of two types: some are authentic and others are fabricated. Hence, we scrutinize the documents and narrations, verify its authenticity, and validate what the narrators say to see if there is contradiction between the narrations. Then we use our minds to judge the narration to determine if it is authentic and in agreement with the historical facts, logic, and other narrations or not.
Thereafter, we decide its level of authenticity and whether we can take and built on it or not? If the narrations were narrated from multiple different sources and are in consensus about a particular event and supported by other evidences, then the narration is authentic without a doubt and we can use it as a clear-cut evidence for the occurrence of a particular event.
We have indeed presented to you the narrations mentioned in multiple sources which the defense approved and did not doubt its narrators or the authors of these references, so where is that doubt coming from?
Ladies and gentlemen, my confidence in you has no limit and throughout the trial I would see in your eyes focusing, concentration, and understanding of the evidence. Behind your eyes I see bright minds that read, recognize, see, discuss, and deduce what should be deduced and concluded.
Today you represent the beating heart of humanity and its live morals and awakened conscience. You represent all of the countries and people of the world, with its different religions and level of intellectuality. Hence, we gathered you to seek help through you and we call upon you in the name of all of humanity to give your last word and support the lonely, estranged, oppressed one of Karbala who was slaughtered while dying of thirst, without compassion or sympathy!
Support him after the people of his time…his Muslim brothers let him down. Support him in the name of humanity; support him by bringing justice from his oppressor and finding the defendants as “guilty” even if after hundreds and thousands of years! Support him because there are some now who defend that oppressor and that murderer and consider him to be a saint, while that is the peak of human degradation!
Say to the supporters of the oppressors in the name of all humanity that you are mistaken and that this oppressor is guilty based on the facts, proofs, and evidences which are beyond reasonable doubt!
The oppressor is guilty based on a just international human tribunal which the whole world participated in and admitted that the criminal is indeed a criminal and the oppressor is indeed an oppressor who ought to have punishment in this world and deserves to be placed in the trash of history!
He deserves to be cursed, condemned, and disavowed by everyone till the day of Judgment. In the end I say to you: “Stand with the oppressed Al-Husayn…stand with the oppressed Al-Husayn…stand with the oppressed Al-Husayn!” May Allah (SWT) give you victory and bless you. May His peace and mercy be upon you!
(There was a strange pin-drop silence which filled the courtroom. The only thing that could be seen was faces filled with reaction, anger, and tears which overcame everyone).
Chief Justice: (as he tries to hide the tears from beneath his eyeglasses) Court will break for recess for half hour and shall resume afterwards.
Chief Justice: Court is now in session after recess. The defense, are you ready to present your closing statement?
Defense: Yes, your Honor.
Chief Justice: You may go ahead.
Defense: Ladies and gentlemen, respected judges and jurors. I will not repeat what I had said previously. Mr. Prosecutor took a smart step when he tried to anticipate what I am going to say. However, we are not here to defend the crime of murder of Al-Husayn the grandson of the Prophet of Islam (S) and the Master of the youth of the people of the paradise, as cited in the prophetic narrations. He is the leader of the Muslims according to the narration of the prophet and he is the sweetheart of the Prophet. So how can a believer or even nonbeliever defend the crime which took place on the land of Karbala?!
We are not here to defend the crime as every Muslim believer and human condemns it. Rather, we are only defending the defendants who are accused of committing the crime. These five defendants did not imagine that the matter will reach to what it has reached. Yes, they threatened and yes they prepared military army, but they left the door of retreat open with conditions which Al-Husayn did not accept. And he had all the right not to accept it.
But it was not in their intention that things proceed the way it did. I say to you that the conditions of a conspiracy here is not available as there is no materialistic proof or strong evidence to prove it. In the end, the matter is left for you to judge based on what was presented to you from evidence throughout the court proceedings.
I agree with my colleague Mr. Prosecutor regarding the necessity of establishing justice and carrying out capital punishment on the oppressor in any place and time so that we protect our societies and future generations.
Verily, injustice is a deadly disease and its prevention is better than its treatment. How many innocent people have died as victims of oppression?! We agree with the prosecutor that human justice must be implemented to take the rights of the oppressed and the rights of the victims from those who committed injustice against them so that justice can prevail on earth.
However, this human justice must be applied very carefully and not blindly so that it doesn’t turn into a tool for injustice. We must first verify without any reasonable doubt the identity of the criminal or the oppressor before issuing the verdict.
Ladies and gentlemen, in this case, are you absolutely sure without reasonable doubt that these five defendants are the real and only criminals? Aren’t there other criminals behind the scene who may have been concealed from this trial?
And if there are other persons or forces, then it would certainly be unjust to let these five defendants alone carry the full burden of responsibility for the crime! Isn’t this also a place of doubt?
Take in consideration that the enemies of Islam during that time were plenty and were widespread everywhere and it was to their advantage to arouse mischief in the state. Also, the presence of hypocrites and those who have high ambitions and political aspirations who had a personal interest in creating a rift and clash between the two sides to get rid of both of them so that the arena would be free for them to do as they please.
All of these possibilities support the probability of the presence of other criminals behind what happened in Karbala. And if these possibilities are true, then it would be unjust to burden these five defendants alone with full responsibility of the crimes.
Furthermore, it is much better in Allah’s (God) eyes not to convict a criminal if there is a doubt, even if he is truly a criminal, than to convict a really innocent person. So ladies and gentlemen, be very careful as Allah (SWT) watches you and will question you one day about your judgment which you will make.
Was it really a fair judgment that serves justice and was built on verification without any reasonable doubt or confusion? Or was it a haste judgment taken under the influence of emotions, feelings, and anger to the heinous crime that was committed, and so the doubts were overlooked?
We all have confidence in your judgment and sense of justice. No matter what your verdict is, we embrace it and accept it. And Allah (SWT) is All-Knowing. Thank you for your time and attention and we apologize to you for taking a lot of your time and for the media sequestration which we requested from you. Thank you, your Honor.
Chief Justice: Respected judges and jurors…do you have any questions to ask the prosecution or the defense teams? (The Chief Judge looks at his colleagues the judges and jurors).
Fine, since there are no questions from you at least for now, I request the judges and jurors separately to start the final deliberations to reach a verdict of “guilty” or “not guilty” in the case. I would like to remind you that conviction should be a unanimous vote from everyone as agreed upon, and if there is no consensus, then the verdict will be “not guilty” even if only one person had a different judgment from everyone else. I would also like to remind you that the “guilty” verdict should only be given without any reasonable doubt. Until you reach a guilty verdict, the defendant is innocent until his guilt is proven.
If at any time during your deliberation you have a question for the prosecution or defense teams, I request that you notify me immediately so that we hold a special court session for that purpose. You may take your time and at the moment that you reach a decision, I request that you notify the court secretary immediately so that she informs me.
Thereafter, we will hold a public court session to announce the result of your deliberations and the verdict for each of the charges directed to each of the defendants individually as well as the charges that were directed to them collectively.
And if you have any questions, please bring them to the attention of the Court Secretary and I will answer it right away, especially regarding the legal and technical issues and procedures.
Finally, I remind you that until you reach a verdict and announce it publicly in a court session, you are still sequestered from talking about the case except with your colleagues. You are also sequestered from reading newspapers or following the media internet or TV reports regarding this court case.
Thank you and I apologize for the inconvenience. I hope to hear from you soon once you reach a verdict in this case.
Court is dismissed and will resume once the judges and jurors reach a verdict in this case. Thank you all.
The whole world was in suspense as everyone anxiously waited for the judges and jurors to reach a final unanimous verdict of “guilty” or otherwise. The majority expected that the deliberation time would extend to days or even weeks, and that is due to the high number of judges and jurors.
Practically-speaking, for 112 individuals to reach one unanimous verdict seems to be a very difficult task. Thus, many predicted that if the time of deliberation extended, then that indicates lack of consensus and a “not guilty” verdict. And if the time of deliberation ended quickly, then that also indicates lack of consensus and a “not guilty” verdict.
Predictions surrounding the case became the topic of discussion and the talk of everyone around the world and there was only one question in everyone’s minds. Will the first historical court tribunal for crimes committed in the past in which neither the defendants nor the witnesses are alive…will it be successful in convicting defendants? Will there be any value to it? Or will this tribunal end in failure as well as other similar court tribunals that seek justice for crimes committed in the past?
To everyone’s surprise, not even 48 hours has passed and the judges and jurors announced that they have reached a verdict! The news was shocking and surprising! Everyone held their breath and a special court session was scheduled to take place on Monday to announce the final jury verdict.
And at the specified time, everyone was present in the court hall as many made predictions and bets. Most of the predictions from the legal experts were of the opinion that reaching a verdict this quickly indicates that the jurors are in big disagreement among each other, and so there is no escape from a verdict of “not guilty”.
Chief Justice: Court is now in session. Respected jurors may enter the courtroom (the 100 jurors entered and all eyes were fixed on them).
Chief Justice: Respected jurors, I have been informed that you and the judges have reached a verdict. Is that true? And did you select someone among you to represent you?
One of the jurors: (who is their eldest stands up) Yes your Honor, my colleagues from the jurors and the judges have all selected me to speak in their name as I am their eldest. I represent all of the judges and jurors and I speak on their behalf. I hereby declare that we have reached a verdict in this case.
Chief Justice: I am very pleased to hear that. Sir, please step forward to the podium and be ready to announce your verdict. I request the court secretary to recite the list of charges and we shall hear the verdict of the judges and jurors regarding each of the charges. I request everyone to please stand during the recitation of the jury verdict and to please refrain from exhibiting any reaction, emotion, or comment until we finish listening to the jury verdict.
Court Secretary: The defendants…
First: Yazid ibn Muawiya
Second: Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad
Third: Umar ibn Sa’d
Fourth: Shimr ibn Dhi Al Jawshan Fifth: Hurmala ibn Kahel
First: They collectively committed war crimes and crimes against humanity and mass murder as it came in the list of charges.
Count (A) Mr. Jury representative, what is your verdict?
Mr. Jury representative: “Guilty”.
Court Secretary: Count (B) – What is your verdict?
Mr. Jury representative: “Guilty”.
Court Secretary: Count (C) – What is your verdict?
Mr. Jury representative: “Guilty”.
Court Secretary: Count (D) – What is your verdict?
Mr. Jury representative: “Guilty”.
Court Secretary: Count (E) – What is your verdict?
Mr. Jury representative: “Guilty”.
Court Secretary: Count (F) – What is your verdict?
Mr. Jury representative: “Guilty”.
Court Secretary: Count (G) – What is your verdict?
Mr. Jury representative: “Guilty”.
Court Secretary: Count (H) – What is your verdict?
Mr. Jury representative: “Guilty”.
Court Secretary: (I) – What is your verdict?
Mr. Jury representative: “Guilty”.
Second: They individually committed the crimes charged against them.
Yazid ibn Muawiya: In the charges directed against him individually, what is your verdict?
Jurors: “Guilty on all counts”.
Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad: In the charges directed against him individually, what is your verdict?
Jurors: “Guilty on all counts”.
Umar ibn Sa’d: In the charges directed against him individually, what is your verdict?
Jurors: “Guilty on all counts”.
Shimr ibn Dhi Jawshan: In the charges directed against him individually, what is your verdict?
Jurors: “Guilty on all counts”.
Hurmala ibn Kahel: In the charges directed against him individually, what is your verdict?
Jurors: “Guilty on all counts”.
(Joy and surprise filled the audience as well as the millions of spectators and those who were following the court trial from all over the world, and signs of relief and joy was clear on the faces as no one expected conviction to be issued unanimously in all the charges this quickly! However, the miracle happened and everyone was elated).
Chief Justice: Much thanks to the representative of the judges and jurors. Thank you Mrs. Court Secretary, please everyone be seated. Before I sentence the defendants based on the conviction announced by the 100 jurors and the 12 judges, I would like to direct the following words to them across the years and generations.
Oh five criminals! You have collectively and individually committed one of the worst and greatest crimes in history! You have forced a pure man, the grandson of a prophet who is your prophet, to leave and escape the sacred home of his grandfather.
You have persecuted him from one country to another as he escaped from you to safeguard his religion and he was accompanied by his children, women, and family members, till you set a trap for him in Karbala!
You insisted to oppress him and to force him against his freedom of expression, liberty, and his efforts to make reform. So when he refused, you killed him while he was alone and estranged in a civilian caravan which doesn’t exceed 100 including men, women, children, and elderly, while you were thousands in number!
So he and his companions fought you with every ounce of courage and bravery till they all sacrificed their lives, and you severed their heads, mutilated their bodies, and took their women in captivity!
You terrorized and killed their children, then you went on parading them from one country to another while you take pride and gloat over that without regret! By your crimes you have subjected yourselves to the wrath and curse of the Lord and the Just God and the damnation of all free dignified humanity which finds great honor to have Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali as its leader throughout all of the ages and generations, including the martyrs who gained martyrdom with him.
Oh five criminals, you did not simply kill Al-Husayn and his companions, family members, and children! Rather, you have killed the essence of dignity, honor, pride, self-respect, moral values and principles, the sanctified entities, freedom, and democracy! You have killed in his personality the religions, the prophets, the messengers, the forbidden and the purified things, and everything that has value in this life!
You have killed nobility, truthfulness, sincerity, humility, generosity, chivalry, loyalty, modesty, knowledge, wisdom, ascetism, and good manners! You did not just kill one personality; rather, you have murdered and slaughtered everything that has meaning and value in this life which is represented in the personality of Al-Husayn (as)! Surely, your crime is most heinous and worst than the crime of Cain / Qabeel the day he killed his brother Abel / Habeel!!!
I personally did not know of Al-Husayn before this trial; however, from these proceedings, I have come to know him more and have come closer to him, for I did not see in my whole life a character of such greatness, graciousness, highness, dignity, extraordinary patience on the calamities and trials, and content over the will of God which cannot be imagined! Can such a person be killed?! Can such an example be slaughtered?!
Can such a miracle be slain?! Can the blood of such a person like Al-Husayn (as) be shed?! Can such peak in humanity be violated?! Wonders to you and your ignorance and your audacity against God, truth, and humanity! Woe be to you and to what your hands have committed! Surely, all of mankind will continue to curse you!! And justice, truth, and freedom will continue to damn you! I personally will curse and damn you!
Here I direct special thanks and regards to Mr. Prosecutor who did his righteous duty in the most competent and proficient manner and great performance and patience which deserves praise. Through this court tribunal, he has directed our attention to a very valuable treasure which we had no any idea about…its name is Al-Husayn (as)!
It is a treasure that is more precious than gold, and more expensive than oil! It is the treasure of a role model which every human being takes pride in and cannot be independent of! It is a priceless treasure that is the target of the seekers of wisdom, role model, happiness, and truth, and everything that has value in this life.
This prosecutor has confirmed to us that indeed justice knows no time or place, and that justice today cannot be established without accomplishing the justice of yesterday. Indeed, justice is one whole entity that cannot be separated or divided!
Mr. Prosecutor, by your great effort, knowledge and insight, you have made our world more just and fair today compared to yesterday which was filled with tyranny and oppression, so thanks to you!
And now I will pronounce the court sentence:
Based on the guilty unanimous verdict of the jury and judges who represent all of dignified humanity regarding these five defendants: Yazid ibn Muawiya, Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad, Umar ibn Sa’d, Shimr ibn Dhi Jawshan, Hurmala ibn Kahel Al Sa’edi in all the crimes and charges directed against them collectively and individually…the court has issued the following sentence on these criminals.
First: To carry out the destruction of the dummies which represent each of the defendants since they have passed away hundreds of years ago. This sentence of death penalty represents the judgment of all of humanity against them.
Second: To strip away from them the dress of humanity which is an honor and dignity from the Creator to those who possess it, and these criminals certainly do not deserve it.
Third: To place them in the garbage and trash of history along with their accomplices and those who are like them.
Fourth: To make it permissible to curse and damn them in all places and time such that they have no dignity, sanctity, regards, or value after today.
This is the final sentence of humanity and mankind which no appeal or plea is acceptable for it!
This sentence is effective immediately and all human beings are instructed to observe and practice it from now on!
Security Guards of the Human Court of Justice…please go ahead and carry out the destruction of these dummies which represent the five criminals!
A special group of court security guards dressed in their official uniforms stepped forward towards the dummies which represent the five convicted defendants. Then they raised the white cover that was placed on each dummy and replaced it with a black sheet as a sign of their conviction.
Then another group of security guards stepped forward carrying a large black trash bag which was written on it “Garbage of History”.
Then each dummy which represents each of the convicted defendants were thrown in one of these bags which were then sealed. Then a third group of guards each carrying a thick cane went on hitting and striking each of the dummies that were inside the bags, as a symbol of carrying out the execution sentence, till each of these dummies turned into dust and ashes!
Following that, a fourth group of guards went on transporting the black garbage bags which contained the smashed pieces of the dummies that represent the five convicted defendants, outside the courthouse where a garbage truck stood waiting. They dumped these bags in it and the truck left to the sanitary location where garbage, trash, bad sanitary material are typically burned.
Chief Justice: Thank you to all the court guards for carrying out the sentence! And now, I announce the end of this very unique and pioneer humanitarian court trial in history! I congratulate you all for participating in the mission of establishing justice even if partially for Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (as) and his family members and the martyrs of the massacre of Karbala!
Thank you to all the respected judges and jurors and the prosecution and defense teams, as well as all those who collaborated with us in this great celebration of justice!!!
As soon as the Chief Justice finished pronouncing these words, there was chaos and commotion in the courtroom and the journalists and media correspondents gathered around the defense representative to ask him questions while he answers with one word only to every question: “No comment…no comment.”
The eyes were fixed on the prosecution team which started to depart the hall and the journalists and media correspondents looked around for that great attractive prosecutor, but they did not find him among them! So they went out looking everyplace here and there but without any luck. And whenever one of them yelled, “Here he is… here he is!”, everyone headed towards that direction but they didn’t find anyone.
They looked and searched but did not find any trace of him, as if he has vanished after leaving the earth in a state of more fairness and justice and less oppression and transgression, and after he was able to extract, by his proficiency and eloquence, from all humanity a just and decisive guilty verdict for the killers and murderers of Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (as) through an international just court tribunal that abides by all the modern standards and universal human regulations and laws.
It was a trial that represented all of mankind, and the defendants in this trial had the right of being represented by a full defense team, and there was a proficient team of prosecutors who represented all of humanity, and a panel of non-biased professional judges, and jurors who were of high caliber.
This prosecutor who has attracted the attention of all people and gained their love and admiration was able to convey the truth of what has happened on the land of Karbala on the 10th of Muharram on the year 61 A.H. to everyone and the entire world.
So, many rushed to him to congratulate him after this great success and huge accomplishment, to give condolences to him, to shake his hands, and to give a look of love and appreciation to him. But they didn’t find him and they didn’t see him!
It is as if he dissolved among them and there was no trace of him! It is as if he was a star which came about and shined, so it filled the vision with light and glowed on earth with its light… then it left and disappeared while leaving behind confusion, questions, and darkness.
Then, I saw an old man sitting on the steps of the courthouse, so I approached him and asked him whether he saw that prosecutor?!........
He sighed and answered me with only one phrase: “May my father and mother be sacrificed for him!”
Then he also disappeared...so I said to myself…now I know the true identity of that prosecutor! And truly, may my own father and mother be sacrificed for him!!!
Dear Lovers and Devotees of Imam Husayn (as):
Who among you will be the chosen one to take the first step and adopt this idea?
Who among you will volunteer to initiate this trial for the killers of Imam Husayn (as)?
Who among you love Imam Husayn (as) so much so as to turn this mock trial into reality?
Who among you would like to be among the blessed companions of Imam Husayn (as) by making this case against his killers?
Who among you would like to please Allah (SWT) by pleasing Imam Husayn (as)?
Who among you would like to please the Holy Prophet (S) by pleasing he who is from him and part of him?
Who among you would like to please the mother of Imam Husayn, Fatima Al Zahra (as) the Master Lady of all Worlds?
Who among you would like to express condolences to Lady Zaynab (sa) by participating actively in this project?
Who among you would like your prayers accepted by the Gateway of Needs, Abul Fadl Al Abbas (as)?
Who among you would like to be qualified to become a soldier of the Imam of Our Time (may Allah hasten his reappearance) by proving your devotion to his grandfather Husayn ibn ‘Ali (as)?
With the help of Almighty Allah (SWT), all what we need to achieve this dream is our determination, perseverance, and resources! The finances should not be a problem as thanks to Him, Allah (SWT) has granted the devotees of Imam Husayn (as), whether governments or people, a wealth of resources.
What we simply need is a person or a group of committed individuals to take this mission on their shoulders and proceed with it till the goal is accomplished. You now have this book available as your “roadmap” to achieve this dream.
If others were able to set an international tribunal to try the killers of their loved ones with their wealth of resources, then we also can and should certainly accomplish the same and more for the holy grandson of the Seal of Messengers (S), Imam Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)!!