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The Family of Imam Husayn (a.s.) in Sham

After Ubayd Allah Ibn Ziyad had dispatched the head of al- Husayn, he ordered the women and the young boys to be made ready for travelling. He ordered ‘Ali Ibn al Husayn, peace be on them, to be chained with a chain around his neck. Then he dispatched them, to follow the heads, with Muhaffir Ibn Thalaba al Aidhi and Shamir Ibn Dhi al-Jawshan.

They set out with them until they caught up with the people with the head. ‘Ali Ibn al Husayn did not speak a word to any of the people who had the head on that journey. Eventually they reached (their destination). When they reached the door of Yazid's (palace), Muhaffir Ibn Tha'laba raised his voice and shouted, “Here is Muhaffir Ibn Thalaba who has brought the Commander of the faithful these vile profligates.”

‘Ali Ibn al Husayn, peace be on him, answered him, “What did the mother of Muhaffir give birth to more evil and more grievous (than him)?”

When the heads were put in front of Yazid and among them was the head of al Husayn, peace be on him, Yazid recited, “We will split the skull of proud men (who come) against us; they were very disobedient and oppressive.”

Yahya Ibn al-Hakam, the brother of Marwan Ibn al-Hakam recited, “On the bank (of the river) a great army met him who is closer in kinship (to Yazid) than Ibn Ziyad (is), the man with a false lineage. The offspring of Sumayya has acquired status, while the offspring of the daughter of the Apostle of God is (given) none.”

Yazid struck his hand against the chest of Yahya Ibn al-Hakam and shouted, “Be quiet!” Then he said to ‘Ali Ibn al Husayn, peace be on them, “Son of al Husayn, your father cut (the bond of) kinship with me and showed ignorance of my rights, trying to deprive me of my position of authority. (Now) God has treated him in the way you have seen.”

No misfortune strikes the earth nor yourselves unless it has been written in a book before we bring it into existence; that is easy for God” (57:22)

replied '‘Ali Ibn al Husayn.

“Answer him,” Yazid urged his son, Khalid. However Khalid did not know what to say in reply. So Yazid answered, “Say rather:

Whatever misfortune has struck you is because of what your hands have earned. And (God) forgives much.” (42:30)

He summoned the women and the children and they were made to sit in front of him. What he saw was dreadful.

“May God detest Ibn Murjana,” he said: “If there had been (any bond of) kinship between him and you, he would not have done this to you; he would not have sent you in this state.”

Fatima, daughter of al Husayn, peace be on him, reported:

When we sat before Yazid, he showed pity on us. An Ahmar of the Syrians stood up and said to Yazid, “Commander of the faithful, give me this one.”

He meant me. (Then) I was a pretty young girl. I shuddered for I thought that that would be allowed to them. I caught hold of the skirt of my aunt Zaynab and she told (me) that that would not happen. She said to the Syrian, “By God, you are a liar. By God, you are (too) lowly born! Such a thing is neither for you nor for him (to decide).”

“You are a liar,” Yazid cried out angrily. “That is for me (to decide). If I wish to do anything, I can do it.”

No, by God,” she replied, “God would only let you do that if you left our faith and professed belief in another (religion).”

“It is me,” screamed Yazid, distraught with anger, “whom you are treating in this (way). It is your father who has left the religion, and your brother I am led by the religion of God, the religion of my father and the religion of my brother.” She answered, “and (it is what) you are led by, and your grandfather and your father, if you are a Muslim.”

“Enemy of God, you lie,” he shouted.

You are a Commander of the faithful, (yet) you vilify unjustly and you have become oppressive with your authority,” she answered.

(At this) he was ashamed and became silent. “Give me that girl,” repeated the Syrian. “Be a bachelor,” Yazid said to him, “May God strike you dead!” Then he ordered the women to be lodged in a house on (the) banks (of the river). With them (also he sent) their brother, '‘Ali Ibn al- Husayn, peace be on them. (Later) a house was set aside for them, which was attached to Yazid's own house. They resided (there) for several days, (After a short time) he summoned al-Nu'man Ibn Bashir and told him to make preparations to take these women back to Medina. When he was about to despatch them, he summoned ‘Ali Ibn al Husayn, peace be on them. He took him aside.

“God curse Ibn Murjana,” he said. “If I had been with your father, he would never have asked me for a favour without me granting him it; I would have protected him from death with all my power. But God has decreed what you have seen. Write to me from Medina and everything that you need will be yours.”

He presented clothes to him and to his family. He sent with them in the group (of men under the command) of Numan Ibn Bashir, a messenger, who brought him (al-Numan) the order to set out with them in the night; and that they should go in front of him but they should never be out of his sight. When they stopped, he should go aside from them and he and his followers should separate around them like a group of guards over them. He should (only) keep away from them when any person of their group wanted to wash or perform a need, so he (or she) would not be ashamed.

(The messenger) set off with them amid the group of al-Numan.

(Al-Nu'man) continued to stay close to them along the road but he was kind to them as Yazid had instructed him and he looked after them until they entered Medina.

After Ibn Ziyad had despatched the head of al Husayn, peace be on him, to Yazid, he went to Abd al-Malik b Abi al-Harith al-Sulami and told him, “Go to 'Amr Ibn Sad Ibn al-As in Medina and give him the good news of the killing of al Husayn (peace be on him).”

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