Table of Contents

The Stations On The Way To Kufah


Al-Husayn (as) continued with his journey until he passed by Tan’im1. There he met a caravan which had been sent to Yazid bin Mu’awiyah and was headed by Buhair bin Raisan al-Himyari2, Yazid’s governor in Yemen. The caravan was carrying waras3 and Yemeni dresses to Yazid.

Al-Husayn (as) took the things [from them] and continued with his journey. He then told the owners of the camels:

“I will not force you; whoever [among you] wishes to come with us to Iraq, we will pay his hire in full and be a good company for him. [But] whoever wishes to part with us right from this place, we will pay his hire for the distance he has travelled.”

Those among them who left him, [their account] was settled and he paid them in full. Those of them who accompanied him, he gave them their hire and [also] clothed them.4


‘Abdullah bin Salim [al-Asadi] and Mudhri [bin Mushma’il al-Asadi] report:

“We moved on until we reached al-Sifah5 where we met Farazdaq bin Ghalib6, the poet, who came near al-Husayn (as) and said to him: “May Allah grant you your request and [fulfil] your hope in what you love [to achieve].”

Al-Husayn (as) asked him: “Tell me about the people you have left behind you?”

Farazdaq replied: “You have asked one who is well-informed. The hearts of the people are with you but their swords are with the Banu Umayyah. [Verily,] the divine decree comes from the heaven and Allah does what He wishes.”

Al-Husayn (as) said to him: “You have said the truth. The affair (amr) belongs to Allah. Allah does what he wills. ‘Every day our Lord manifests [Himself] in a [new] splendour’. If the decree is as we like, then we praise Allah for his blessings and He is the one whose help is sought in order to give thanks to him. But if fate hampers [the fulfilment of our] hopes, then he whose intention is [to attain the] truth (haqq) and whose heart is [filled with] God-conciousness (taqwa) is never concerned [about that].”

Thereafter, al-Husayn (as) set his mount in motion and said [to Farazdaq]: “Peace be upon you” and then they parted. 7,8

When ‘Ubaydullah bin Ziyad learnt of the journey of al-Husayn (as) from Makkah to Kufah, he sent Husayn bin Tamim [al-Tamimi], the head of his bodyguards, to al-Qadisiyyah.9 [Al-Tamimi] stationed at this place and set up a [protective] link of cavalry between [the area of] al-Qadisiyyah to Khaffan,10 and [the area of] al-Qadisiyyah to Qutqutanah11 and La’la’.12


Al-Husayn (as) went on with his journey until when he reached al-Hajir13, which is situated in Batn al-Rumma, he sent Qais bin Musahhar al-Saidawi with a letter to the people of Kufah. He wrote to them:

“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. From Husayn bin ‘Ali to his brothers from among the believers and the Muslims; peace be on you. I praise Allah beside who there is no deity except Him. Muslim bin ‘Aqil’s letter came to me, informing me of your sound opinion and the agreement of your people to support us and to seek our right. I have asked Allah to make your actions good and reward you with the greatest reward. I have set out to you from Makkah on Tuesday, eight of Dhu al-Hijjah, the Day of Tarwiyah. When my messenger reaches you, be urgent and serious in your affairs; for I am coming to you within the [next few] days, if Allah wills. Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you.”

Qais bin Musahhar al-Saidawi set of for Kufah with al-Husayn’s letter. When Qais reached al-Qadisiyyah, Husayn bin Tamim arrested him and sent him to ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad.

Ibn Ziyad said to him: “Go on top of the palace and curse the liar son of the liar!”

He went up and said: “O people! Verily, Husayn bin ‘Ali -the best of Allah’s creatures- is the son of Fatimah, daughter of the Messenger of Allah. I am his messenger to you. I parted with him at Hajir. Answer him.” Then he cursed ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad and his father, and sought Allah’s mercy for ‘Ali bin Abi Talib.

[Hearing this from him,] ‘Ubaidullah ordered him to be thrown down from the top of the palace. He was thrown down and his body crushed into pieces and he died. [May Allah have mercy on him].14

A Watering Place of the Arabs

Al-Husayn (as) continued to proceed towards Kufah till he arrived at a watering place of the Arabs where ‘Abdullah bin Muti’ al-‘Adawi15 happened to have camped. When he saw al-Husayn (as) he approached him and said: “May my father and mother be your ransom, O son of the Messenger of Allah! What has brought you [here]?”

Al-Husayn (as) answered him: “The people of Iraq have written to me calling me towards them.”

‘Abdullah bin Muti’ said: “O son of the Messenger of Allah, I remind you of Allah and the sanctity (hurmah) of Islam lest it be violated! By Allah, I implore you not to let the sanctity of the Messenger of Allah (S) be broken! I adjure you before Allah [to think] about the sacredness of the Arabs! For by Allah, if you seek that which is in the hands of the Banu Umayyah, they will surely kill you. If they kill you, they will never fear anyone after you.16 By Allah, it is the sanctity of Islam which shall indeed be violated, and the sacredness of the Quraish and that of the Arabs. Do not do that and do not go to Kufah. Do not expose yourself to the Banu Umayyah.”

But [al-Husayn (as)] insisted on continuing with the journey.


Al-Husayn (as) proceeded till he reached a watering place somewhere above Zarud17 [known as al-Khuzaimiyyah].18

Zuhair bin al-Qain Joins al-Husayn (as)

A man from Banu Fazarah reports that: “We were with Zuhair bin al-Qain al-Bajali when we left Makkah. [Although] we were travelling alongside al-Husayn (as), there was nothing more hateful to us than that we should stop with him at a halting place. Such that when al-Husayn (as) would start out, Zuhair bin al-Qain would linger behind, and whenever al-Husayn (as) would halt, Zuhair would move ahead, until we reached a station where we could not avoid halting with him. Al-Husayn (as) halted at one side and we halted at the other side. While we were sitting, eating our food, al-Husayn’s messenger approached us, greeeted us and entered [our tent]. He said: “O Zuhair bin al-Qain! Abu ‘Abdillah Husayn bin ‘Ali has sent me to summon you to him.” [Here] each one of us threw away what was in his hands in amazement; it was [as surprising] as if birds had alighted on our heads.19

Dalham bint ‘Amru, Zuhair’s wife, says: “I said to him: “The son of the Prophet of Allah has sent for you and you are not going to him?! Glory be to Allah! Go to him and see what he says, and then come back.”

So Zuhair bin al-Qain went to see him. It was not long before he returned joyfully while his countenance was glowing.

Then he said to his companions: “Whoever among you wishes to follow me [may do so], otherwise this is the last time [we see each other]! I will tell you a story: ‘We participated in the expedition of Balanjar20 and Allah granted us victory and we won booty. Salman al-Bahili said21: ‘Are you happy with the victory which Allah has granted you and the booty you won?’ We replied: ‘Yes.’ Then he said to us: ‘If you met the young men from the family of Muhammad (S), then be happier to fight with them than you are because of the booty you have obtained today.’ As for me, I leave you [all] to Allah’s protection!”

Then he told his wife: “You are divorced. Go back to your family; for I do not want anything to befall you because of me except good.”22,23

Somewhere on the way [to Kufah], Al-Husayn (as) dispatched ‘Abdullah bin Buqtur al-Himyari24 to Muslim bin ‘Aqil25, but he was arrested by the soldiers of Husayn bin Tamim at al-Qadisiyyah. He sent him to Ibn Ziyad who said to him: “Go to the top of the palace and curse the liar son of the liar. Then come down and I will give my judgment on you!”

So he went up. He said while he was looking down at the people: “O people! I am the messenger of al-Husayn, son of Fatimah, daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S). [He is asking] you to help and support him against the son of Marjanah, son of Sumayyah, the bastard!”

‘Ubaidullah [bin Ziyad] ordered him to be thrown from the top of the palace. He [fell on the ground and] broke his bones but was still breathing. Then ‘Abd al-Malik bin ‘Umair al-Lakhami26 came to him and slaughtered him (dhabahahu).



‘Abdullah bin Salim [al-Asadi] and Mudhri bin Mushma’il [al-Asadi] report:

“After we finished the pilgrimage, there was no concern more important to us than to join al-Husayn (as) on the way, so that we may see how his affair develops. So we speedily set off on our camels until we joined him at Zarud.28

As we neared him, we saw a man from Kufah who changed his way when he saw al-Husayn (as). Al-Husayn (as) had stopped as if he wanted [to speak] to him, but then he ignored him and went on. One of us said to the other: ‘Come with us to ask this man. If he has news of Kufah, we will get to know it.’

We went to him and said: ‘Peace be upon you.’

He replied: ‘Peace and mercy of Allah be on you [too].”

Then we asked him: ‘Which tribe do you come from?’

He said: ‘[I am] an Asadi.’

We said: ‘We are from the Banu Asad as well. What is your name?’

He said: ‘I am Bukair bin al-Matha’bah.’ We [also] told him our lineage.

Then we asked him: ‘Tell us about the people you have left behind you.’

He answered: ‘I only left Kufah after Muslim bin ‘Aqil and Hani’ bin ‘Urwah had been killed. I saw them being dragged by their legs in the market.”

[Ibn Salim and Mushma’il] continue: “We went on to al-Husayn (as) and we were travelling close to him until he stopped.


He stopped at al-Tha’labiyyah29 in the evening. So we approached him when he stopped and greeted him. He returned our greeting. Then we said to him: ‘May Allah have mercy on you, we have a news. If you wish, we can say it publicly, and if you wish, in privacy.’

Al-Husayn (as) looked at his companions and said: ‘Nothing is to be concealed from these [people].’

We said to him: ‘Did you see that rider who you confronted yesterday evening?’

He replied: ‘Yes, I wanted to inquire from him.’

We said: ‘We have collected for you the news that he had and spared you [the trouble of] questioning him. He was a man from the Asad, our [tribe], of sound judgement, truthful, of merit and intelligence. He told us that he had only left Kufah after Muslim bin ‘Aqil and Hani bin ‘Urwah had been killed, and he had seen them being dragged by their legs in the market!’

[Hearing this,] he said: ‘Indeed, we belong to Allah and to him do we indeed return’. May Allah’s mercy be on them both!’ He repeated this several times.30

Then we said to him: ‘We implore you before Allah for your own life and for your family members that you should go back [right] from this point; for you have [now] no any helper or follower in Kufah. We are afraid that the [people of the] city will be against you!’

On hearing this, the sons of ‘Aqil bin Abi Talib31 sprung up and said: ‘Nay, by Allah! We shall not leave until we have taken our vengeance, or have tasted what our brothers have tasted!’32

They continue with their report and say: “Al-Husayn (as) then looked at us and said; ‘There is no good in life after these [men].’

So we knew that he is determined to continue with his journey. We said [to him]: ‘May Allah choose the best for you.’

He replied: ‘May Allah have mercy on you both.’

Then he waited till dawn when he told his young men and servants: ‘Take plenty of water.’ So they drew water and stored it in large quantities. Then they set out and went on until they reached Zubalah. 33


There34 he received the news of the martyrdom of his foster brother, ‘Abdullah bin Yuqtur. So he read out a written statement to the people and announced:

‘In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Shocking news has reached us! The martyrdom of Muslim bin ‘Aqil, Hani bin ‘Urwah and ‘Abdullah bin Yuqtur. Our followers35 have indeed deserted us. So any of you who like to leave, may leave; we have freed him of all obligations.’

The people began to disperse from him to right and left until there remained with him only those of his companions who had come with him from Madinah.

He did that because the Bedouins who had followed him were thinking that he was going to a city where he was being steadfastly obeyed. And he disliked them to accompany him without being [fully] aware of what they were getting into. He well knew that if they were informed [of the reality], none would accompany him except he who is determined to help him and die beside him!36

At dawn he ordered his young men [to get prepared], so they drew water and stored it in large quantities. Then he set out until he passed by Batn al-‘Aqabah37.

Batn al-‘Aqabah

He stopped at this point38 [and a man from the Banu ‘Ikrimah told him saying:] ‘I beseech you in the name Allah that you should return; for -by Allah- you are only advancing toward the points of spears and the edges of swords. If those who sent for you had spared you [the trouble of] fighting and had prepared the ground for you, and then you had gone to them, [then] that would be reasonable. But in this situation that you are describing, I do not think that you ought to do so.’

[Al-Husayn (as)] said to him: ‘O servant of Allah! This [i.e. wise decision] is not hidden from me. Your opinion is the [right] opinion. But Allah is never defeated in His affair.’39 Thereafter, he set out from there.40


Al-Husayn (as) went on till he stopped at Sharaf. 41 At dawn he ordered his young men [to get prepared], so they took enough water with them and then left the place. They sped in their journey in the early hours of the day until it was midday. [Suddenly,] a man [from his followers] exclaimed: ‘Allah is the greatest!’

Al-Husayn (as) said: ‘[Indeed,] Allah is greatest! [But] why did you say the takbir?’

He replied: ‘I saw palm trees.’

[‘Abdullah bin Salim and Mudhri bin Mushma’il] the two men from the Banu Asad said to him: ‘This is a place in which we never see a palm-tree.’

Al-Husayn (as) said: ‘In your opinion what did he see [then]?’

They replied: ‘We think he has seen the heads of horses.’

The [man] responded: ‘By Allah, I think so too.’

Dhu Husam

Dhu Husam42

Here al-Husayn (as) said: ‘Is not there any shelter we can seek refuge to and put it at our rear, so that we can face the people in one direction [i.e. so that we are not surrounded]?”

We said to him: ‘Yes, there is [the hill of] Dhu Husam on your side. Turn left to go towards it. If you reach it before them, it will be [in] just [the position] you want.”

So he veered left towards it and we went in that direction with him. We tried to get there before them and we managed to do so. When they saw that we had moved off the road, they [also] moved off towards us. Al-Husayn (as) halted there and ordered for his tents and they were erected.

It was not long before the heads of their horses appeared to us. Their flags looked like the wings of birds. They were one thousand men led by Hurr bin Yazid al-Tamimi al-Yarbu’i. He and his cavalry stood facing al-Husayn (as) under the midday heat, while al-Husayn (as) and his companions were in turbans and with their swords.

Al-Husayn (as) ordered his young men: ‘Provide water to these men and quench their thirst and give some (tarshif) to the horses [also].’

So the young men served them water till they quenched their thirst. [Then] they began filling their jugs, vessels and bowls and take them near [their] horses. When a horse had drunk three or four or five draughts43, it was taken away from it and provided to another one until they had all been watered.”44,45,46

The time for the Zuhr prayer set in and al-Husayn (as) ordered Hajjaj bin Masruq al-Ju’fi to make the call to prayer and he did so. When it was time for the iqamah, al-Husayn (as) came out [before the people] dressed in a waist-cloth (izar), a cloak (rida’) and slippers. He praised and glorified Allah, then he said:

“O people! This is [my] excuse before Allah and you: I did not come to you until your letters came to me and your messengers [saying]: ‘Come to us, for we have no leader (imam); perhaps Allah shall unite us under guidance through you.’ [Now] if you are still on the [same stance], then I have come to you. If you give me promises and pledges that assure me [of your support], I will come to your city. But if you will not and are averse to my coming, I will leave you [and go back] to the place from which I came to you.”

They were silent before him. They said to the caller to prayer (mu'adhhin): “Make the iqamah”, and he did so.

Al-Husayn (as) said to Hurr: “Do you want to lead your followers in prayer?”

He replied: “No, you pray and we will pray [following the lead of] your prayer.”

Al-Husayn (as) thus led them in prayers. Then he entered [his tent] and his followers gathered around him.

Hurr also went back to his place and entered the tent which had been erected for him. Some of his followers gathered around him while the rest returned to their ranks which they had been in and which now they went back to. Each one of them held the reins of his mount and sat in the shade [of its body].

At the time of ‘asr, al-Husayn (as) ordered [his companions] to prepare for departure. He then came out and ordered his muadhhin [to make the call for prayers], and he made the call for the ‘asr prayers and the iqamah. Al-Husayn (as) came forward and led the people in prayer. After saying the final greeting [of the prayer], he turned his face towards the people. He praised and glorified Allah and then said:

“O people! Verily, if you fear Allah and recognize the rights of those who have rights then that is more pleasing for Allah. We, the People of the House (ahl al-bait), are more entitled to the authority (wilayah) of this affair [i.e. the caliphate] over you than those who claim what does not belong to them and who rule amidst you with injustice and oppression! But if you dislike us and do not know our right, and your view is now other than what came in your letters and was brought by your messengers, then I will go away from you!”

So Hurr bin Yazid said to him: “By Allah! We do not know of these letters that you are talking about!”

Al-Husayn (as) said: “O ‘Uqbah bin Sim’an! Bring out the two saddle-bags which contain their letters to me.”47 So he brought out two saddle-bags full of letters and spread it before them.

So Hurr said: “[But] we are not among those who wrote [them] to you. We have only been ordered that when we meet you we should not leave you until we have brought you to ‘Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad!”

Al-Husayn (as) said: “Death is closer to you than doing such a thing!” Then he said to his companions: “Rise and get on your mounts!” So they all mounted and waited until their women had been mounted.

When they set out to leave, the people [with Hurr] prevented them from going. So al-Husayn (as) said to Hurr: “May your mother mourn for your death! What do you want?!”

He replied: “By Allah! If any of the Arabs other than you were to say that to me even though he were in the same situation as you, I would not leave him without mentioning his mother being deprived of him, whoever he might be. But -by Allah- there is no way for me to mention your mother except by [saying] the best things possible!”48

Al-Husayn (as) said to him: “What is it that you want?”

Hurr replied: “By Allah, I want to go with you to ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad!”

Al-Husayn (as) said: “Then by Allah I will not follow you!”

Hurr said: “Then by Allah I will not leave you!”

When the conversation between them became lengthy, Hurr said to him: “I have not been ordered to fight you. I have only been instructed not to leave you until I take you to Kufah. If you refuse [to do that], then take any road which will not bring you into Kufah, nor take you back to Madinah, let that be a compromise between us until I write to Ibn Ziyad [and await further instructions]. And if you wish, you can write to Yazid bin Mu’awiyah, or if you want to ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad. Perhaps Allah will cause something to happen by then which will relieve me from having to do anything against you. So take this [road] here and bear to the left of the road to al-‘Udhaib and al-Qadisiyyah.”

[All this happened while they were still at Dhu Husam] which is situated at 38 miles from ‘Udhaib. Al-Husayn (as) moved with his companions while Hurr [and his army] set out travelling close by him.49]


At al-Baidhah50, al-Husayn (as) addressed his companions and those of Hurr. He praised and glorified Allah and then said:

“O people! The Messenger of Allah (S) has said: ‘Whoever sees a tyrannical ruler making lawful what Allah has forbidden, breaking the covenant of Allah, opposing the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah and behaving sinfully and unjustly with the servants of Allah, but does not [rise to] change the situation neither by his action nor his word, then it is binding on Allah to make him enter where the tyrant shall enter.”

Indeed these people have clung to the obedience of shaitan and have forsaken obeying the All-Merciful. They openly indulge in corruption and have stopped the enforcement of hudud.51 They have appropriated for themselves the spoils of war, they have made lawful what Allah has forbidden and have prohibited that which Allah has made lawful. And I am more entitled to bring changes than anyone else.

Your letters reached me and your messengers had come to me with your allegiance that you will not surrender me [to the enemy] nor desert me. [Now] if you are still on your pledge, [then] you have shown sound judgement; for I am Husayn, son of ‘Ali, and son of Fatimah, daughter of the Prophet of Allah (S). I am with you [i.e. living amidst you] and my family members with your families; you have an example (uswah) in me.

[But] if you do not [do so] and break your pledge and free yourselves from [the] allegiance [you paid me], then I swear by my life that this is not unexpected of you. You did the same to my father, my brother and my cousin, Muslim [bin ‘Aqil]! A deceived is he who has been deceived by you. You have lost your felicity and wasted your share [in the hereafter]. ‘So whoever breaks his oath, breaks it only to his own detriment.’52 And Allah will avail [me] against you. Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you.”53

Hurr said to him as he moved along with him: “O Husayn! I implore you for the sake of Allah to save your life. I bear witness that if you fight [these people], you will definitely be killed. And if they fight you, then I think you will surely be destroyed!”

Al-Husayn (as) said to him: “Do you seek to frighten me with death? Are you going to kill me just because the war has been waged [against me]?! I do not know what to tell you? I can only tell you what the man from the [Banu] Aws said to his fellow tribesman when he met him as he was intending to support the Prophet of Allah (S). [His tribesman] told him: ‘Where are you going? You are indeed going to be killed.’ He said [in reply]:

I will advance, for death is not a shame upon a young man,

When he intends the truth and fights as a Muslim.

And when he consoles the righteous by [sacrificing] his self,

And parts with the sinful who is a deceiver and whose nose shall be rubbed onto the ground.”54

When Hurr heard this [he understood that he is ready to die but not to accept humiliation], so he drew away from him. He and his followers travelled on one side [of the road] while al-Husayn (as) travelled on the other side, until they reached ‘Udhaib al-Hijanat55.

‘Udhaib al-Hijanat

[When the caravan of al-Husayn (as) reached this point] there appeared, all of a sudden, four people who came from Kufah on their mounts and had the horse of Nafi’ bin Hilal with them, accompanied by their guide, Tirimmah bin ‘Adiyy, who was riding on a horse. When they reached al-Husayn (as), they recited him the following verses:

O my camel, do not get terrified by my swift drive,

And get ready [to take me quickly] before the break of dawn.

With the best of riders and in the best of journeys,

Till you get adorned by [being in the presence of] the noble in lineage [i.e. al-Husayn (as)].

A praiseworthy, free and generous man,

Whom Allah has sent to carry out the best mission.

May He preserve him forever!

[Al-Husayn (as)] said: “Indeed by Allah; I hope that Allah has decreed for us the best, whether we are killed or become victorious!”

Hurr bin Yazid came forward and said: “These people who have come from Kufah are not among those who came with you [from Madinah]. I will arrest them or send them back.”

Al-Husayn (as) said to him: “I will indeed defend them against that which I defend myself. These people are my helpers and supporters. You had given me [promise] not to confront me in any matter until after you receive letter from Ibn Ziyad.”

Hurr said: “Yes, but they did not come with you.”

[Al-Husayn (as)] retorted: “They are my companions. They enjoy the same position as those who have come with me. If you stand by the word agreed upon between you and me, [then well and good]. otherwise I will fight you!”

Thus, Hurr desisted [from arresting them].

Then al-Husayn (as) asked them: “Tell me the news of the people you have left behind.”

Mujamma’ bin ‘Abdullah al-‘A’idhi -one of the four men who had just come to him56- said: “As for the noblemen, they have been heavily bribed and their pockets filled. Their hearts have been won and their loyalty secured for them. So they are [now] all united against you! With regard to the rest of the people, their hearts are inclined towards you, but tomorrow their swords shall be drawn against you!”

[Al-Husayn (as)] said: “Tell me, did my messenger come to you?”

They asked: “Who was he?”

He replied: “Qais bin Musahhar al-Saidawi.”

They said: “Yes. Husayn bin Tamim had arrested him and sent him to Ibn Ziyad. [Ibn Ziyad] instructed him to curse you and your father, but he instead invoked [Allah’s] blessings on you and your father, and cursed Ibn Ziyad and his father. He invited [people] to support you and informed them of your coming. So Ibn Ziyad ordered him to be thrown [to the ground] from the top of the palace.”

The eyes of al-Husayn (as) filled with tears and he could not restrain his tears. Then he said: ‘Of them are some who have fulfilled their pledge, and of them are some who still wait.’57 O Allah grant them and us the heaven as an abode, and gather us all under your mercy and your desired reward which is reserved [for the believers].”58

Then Tirimmah bin ‘Adiyy drew closer to al-Husayn (as) and said to him: “By Allah, I see that there is no one to support you. If only these people whom I see following you [i.e. Hurr and his army] were to fight you, they will be enough [to defeat you]. A day before I left Kufah, I saw at the back side of the Kufah and I found there [a crowd of] people such that my eyes had never seen a gathering bigger than that at one place. So I inquired about them and was told: ‘They have gathered [here] to be inspected and then they are going to be sent against al-Husayn (as).’ I implore you not to move towards them even a span if you can! And if you wish to stay in a town through which Allah would protect you until you have considered [the matter] and it has become clear for you what [exactly] you are going to do, then come with me and I will take you to an impenetrable hill which belongs to us and is called Aja’.59 Then I will accompany you until [we] halt at al-qurayyah.”60

[Al-Husayn (as)] replied him: “May Allah reward you and your kinsmen with the best of rewards. There has been an agreement between us and these people, so we cannot leave. And we do not know how will this matter come to an end between us and them!”

Tirimmah bin ‘Adiyy [continues with his report and] says: “So I bade him farewell and said: may Allah avert from you the mischief of the jinn and the mankind.”61

Al-Husayn (as) set out until he reached Qasr Bani Muqatil62.

Qasr Bani Muqatil

He halted [at this point] and there a tent had [already] been erected.63 He said: “Whose tent is this?” ‘It belongs to ‘Ubaidullah bin al-Hurr al-Ju’fi’64, he was answered.

He said: “Ask him to come to me” and send [a messenger] to him. When the messenger came to him he said: “Husayn bin ‘Ali is calling you.”

‘Ubaidullah replied: “Indeed, we belong to Allah and to Him do we indeed return! By Allah, I only left Kufah out of dislike that al-Husayn would enter it while I am there. By Allah, I do not want to see him nor him to see me.”

The messenger returned to him and informed him. So he put on his slippers, stood up and went to see him. He entered [his tent], greeted him and sat down. Then he asked him to accompany him, but Ibn al-Hurr repeated the [same] words [he had said to the messenger]!

[Al-Husayn (as)] said to him: “If you are not going to help us, then fear Allah in that you should be of those who fight us. For by Allah, one who hears our cry but does not come to our help will [indeed] be destroyed!” Then he rose from him.65

‘Uqbah bin Sim’an says: “At the final hours of the night al-Husayn (as) ordered [us] to get provisions of water. Then he ordered us to [continue] the journey and we did so. An hour after we left Qasr Bani Muqatil al-Husayn (as) dropped his head drowsily and then woke up saying: “Verily, we belong to Allah and to Him do we indeed return. All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds.” He repeated this twice or three times.

His son, ‘Ali bin al-Husayn (as) approached him [while he was] on his horse and said: “Indeed, we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return, and all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. O my father! May I be sacrificed for you. Why have you praised Allah and [pronounced] the verse of returning (istirja’)?”

He replied: “O my son! I nodded off and a horseman appeared to me, riding a horse, and he said: “The people are advancing and death is advancing towards them!” So I understood that it is our own souls announcing our deaths to us.”

He said to him: “O father! May Allah never let you see evil! Are not we on the right?”

He replied: “Indeed [we are], by Him to Whom all his servants will return.”

He then said: “O father! Then we need have no concern. We will die righteously.”

He said to him: “May Allah reward you with the best of what he has rewarded a son on account of his father.”

He stopped in the morning and offered the Morning Prayer. Then he hurried to remount and began veering to the left with his companions, with the intention of separating from [the army of Hurr]. So Hurr bin Yazid came to him, driving them back. When he [tried] to forcefully turn them towards Kufah, they resisted him, so they desisted from doing that, but still accompanied them until they reached Nainawa66.


This is a place where al-Husayn (as) halted. There appeared, suddenly, a rider who was on a horse of a noble breed, carrying weapon with a bow on his shoulder, coming from Kufah. They all stopped, waiting for him. When he reached them, he greeted Hurr bin Yazid and his followers but did not greet al-Husayn (as) and his companions. He handed a letter from ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad to Hurr. It read:

“When this letter reaches you and my messenger comes to you, make al-Husayn come to a halt. But only let him stop in an open place, with no shelter and water. I have ordered my messenger to stay with you and not to leave you until he brings me [news of] your carrying out my instructions. That is all.”

When he had read the letter, Hurr told them: “This is the letter of the governor, ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad. He has ordered me to stop you at a point I received his letter. This is his messenger and he has ordered him not to leave me until I carry out his order.”

[Abu] al-Sha’tha’ Yazid bin Ziyad al-Muhasar al-Kindi al-Bahdali67 looked at the messenger of ‘Ubaidullah [bin Ziyad], stood infront of him and said: “Are you Malik bin al-Nusair al-Baddi68 [from the tribe of Kindah]?”

He answered: “Yes.”

So Yazid bin Ziyad said to him: “May your mother mourn you! What an affair you have come to?!”

He replied: “I have not done so! I have [only] obeyed my leader (imami) and remained faithful to my pledge of allegiance.”

Abu al-Sha’tha’ said: “You have been disobedient to your Lord and have obeyed your leader to your own destruction. You have earned shame and hell fire! Allah, the Almighty, the Majestic, says: ‘We made them leaders who invite to the fire, and on the Day of Resurrection they will not receive any help.’69 Such [a person] is your leader!”

Hurr bin Yazid [al-Riyahi] began to make the people halt at that place which was without water and where there was no village.70

So they said: “Allow us to stop at this village –meaning Nainawa, or that one –meaning al-Ghadhiriyyah71, or that one –meaning Shafiyyah72.”

He replied: “No! By Allah I cannot do that. This man has been sent to me as a spy.”

Zuhair bin al-Qain said to [al-Husayn (as)]: “O son of the Messenger of Allah! Fighting these people [now] is easier than fighting those who will come against us after them. By my life, after these there will come against us such [a number] that we will not have the power to face them.”

Al-Husayn (as) said to him: “I will not begin to fight against them.”

Zuhair bin al-Qain said to him: “Let us go to this village and halt there, for it is secured and is situated on the bank of the Euphrates. If they stopped us, we will fight them, as it is easier for us to fight these [men] than to fight those who will come after them.”

So al-Husayn (as) said: “Which village is it?”

He replied: “Al-‘Aqr.”73

Al-Husayn (as) said: “O Allah! I seek refuge with you from ‘aqr (destruction).” Then he stopped. This was on Thursday, second of Muharram 61 H.

On the next day, ‘Umar bin Sa‘d bin Abi Waqqas74 arrived from Kufah with four thousand soldiers

  • 1. Mu’jam al-Buldan (2:416) reports that Tan’im is a place two farsakh away from Makkah. There is a hill on its right known as Na’im and another one on its left called Na’im, and the valley itself is known as Na’iman. There is also a mosque there and beside that it is the nearest miqat and the closest point where the holy sanctuary ends (hill). Today it is located six kilometres from Makkah and therefore it is only one farsakh away from it, and not two. It is connected to Makkah for those who enter the city on the way from Madinah and Jiddah.
  • 2. Al-Tabari: It seems that he was an astrologer and had augured ill for ‘Abdullah bin Muti’ al-‘Adawi when he was sent to Kufah as the governer by Ibn al-Zubair (9:6). The renowned Tawus al-Yamani was his master who died in Makkah in the year 105 H (6:29).
  • 3. Al-wars is a sesame-like plant used for dying and from which saffron is collected and which is not found except in Yemen.
  • 4. Al-Tabari (5:385): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘Harith bin Ka’b al-Walibi narrated to me from ‘Uqbah bin Sim’an that…”
  • 5. It is located between Hunain and the points which identify the sanctuary of the haram. It is situated on the left of one who enters the city of Makkah [from Mushash].
  • 6. Al-Tabari: He is Hamam bin Ghalib bin Sa’sa’ah. His two uncles were Dhuhail and Zahaf, who were in the treasury office (diwan) of Ziyad bin Sumayyah, each being in charge of a thousand people. Farazdaq had mocked the Banu Nahshal and Faqim, so they sued him before Ziyad and the latter summoned Farazdaq but he fled. Whenever Ziyad would come to Basrah, Farazdaq would go to Kufah, and if Ziyad was to come to Kufah, he would go to Basrah. Ziyad used to stay in Basrah and Kufah each for six months. Farazdaq then went to Hijaz seeking refuge with Sa’id bin al-‘Ass from Ziyad until the latter died (5:242-250). Farazdaq scorned at Ziyad and one who elegized him, saying: “You are mourning a disbeliever from the family of Sufyan, who was like Choesroe or Ceaser in aggression” (5:290).
    Farazdaq then returned to Basrah and resided in the city. He went to hajj with his mother in the year 60 H and this is why he did not accompany al-Husayn (as) (5:386). Later, he composed a poem in praise of Hajjaj! (6:380&394) and was among the courtiers of Sulaiman bin ‘Abd al-Malik (5:548). Farazdaq was alive till the year 102 H (6:616). At the time when he mocked at the Banu Nahshal he was a young man, rather a bedouin young boy residing in the desert (5:242). Therefore, he must have been less than thirty years old when he met al-Husayn (as).
  • 7. Al-Tabari (5:386): “Abu Mikhnaf says: “[I narrate] on the authority of Abu Janab from ‘Adiyy bin Harmalah who related from ‘Abdullah bin Salim that…” This report of Ibn Salim and Ibn Mushma’il is not in consistance with what we shall narrate from them that they joined al-Husayn (as) at a point called Zarud, which is located a several stations after Sifah on the way to Kufah. Unless we say that they meant by the statement: “We moved on until we reached Sifah…” that they moved on from Kufah and reached Sifah on their way to Makkah, and then, after finishing the hajj rituals, they joined al-Husayn (as) at Zarud.
  • 8. Al-Tabari says: “Hisham has narrated on the authority of ‘Awanah bin Hakam from Lubtah bin al-Farazdaq bin Ghalib who reported from his father that he said: ‘I went to hajj in the year 60 H and entered the holy sanctuary during the days of pilgrimage. I met Husayn bin ‘Ali outside Makkah, so I approached and asked him: ‘May my father and mother be your ransom, O son of the Messenger of Allah! What made you to rush and leave the pilgrimage [incomplete]?’ He replied: ‘If I do not rush I will be caught.’ Then al-Husayn asked me: ‘Where are you from?’ so I replied: ‘I am from Iraq’, and, by Allah, he did not inquire about me more than this. Then he continued: ‘Tell me about the people behind you.’ So I said: ‘The hearts are with you and the swords are with the Banu Umayyah; and the decree is in the hands of Allah.’ Al-Husayn (as) then said: ‘You have said the truth.’ Then I asked him about some issues related to vowing (nudhur) and hajj rituals, and he explained them to me.” (5:386)
  • 9. Al-Qadisiyyah is situated fifteen farsakh from Kufah and just four miles from ‘Adhib. It is also called al-Diwaniyyah as it was the first big city on the way to the deserts of Hijaz from Iraq. Al-Qadisiyyah was the first place in Iraq to be conquered by the Muslims under the leadership of Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas.
  • 10. According to Mu’jam al-Buldan (3:451), Khaffan is a village near Kufah and contains a water-spring owned by the Banu ‘Abbas.
  • 11. Qutqutanah is some twenty miles away from al-Rahimah on the way to Kufah, as reported in Mu’jam al-Buldan (7:125). According to al-Ya’qubi (2:230; Najaf edition): “The news of the martyrdom of Muslim reached the Imam at Qutqutanah.”
  • 12. Al-Tabari (5:394): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘Yunus bin Abi Ishaq al-Sabi’i narrated to me saying…”
  • 13. According to Mu’jam al-Buldan (4:290) and Taj al-‘Arus (3:139), al-Hajir is a valley in the highlands of Najd, whereas Batn al-Rummah is a point where travelers coming from the cities of Kufah and Basrah meet on their way to Madinah.
  • 14. Al-Tabari (5:394): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘Muhammad bin Qais related to me [saying]…” Al-Mufid has reported the report in al-Irshad (pg.220) also, but he has confused the account of Ibn Qais with that of ‘Abdullah bin Buqtur. The [above] report has also appeared in Tadhkirat al-Khawass (pg.245; Najaf edition].
  • 15. His biography has appeared when mentioning the sources of this text.
  • 16. The sancitity of Islam or that of the Messenger of Allah [s], the Arabs, or of the Quraish was not violated because of the move of the Imam (as), rather it was violated because of the actions of the enemies of Islam. Ibn Muti’ was indeed mistaken when he said: “…If they kill you, [then] they would not fear anyone else after you…” For in contrary to what Ibn Muti’ was thinking, even those among the people of Makkah, Madinah and Kufah who could not dare oppose the Banu Umayyah before the Imam’s martyrdom, became daring after that, including Ibn Muti’ himself as he ruled over Kufah for Ibn al-Zubair. Rather, if it was not for al-Husayn’s movement, no one could dare stand against the Banu Umayyah and they would, accordingly, have done all they wanted to destroy Islam [without encountering any opposition].
  • 17. Al-Tabari (5:394): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘Muhammad bin Qais related to me that…’ He is, perhaps, Ibn Qais bin Musahhar.
  • 18. Al-Khuzaimiyyah is situated before Zarud as one comes from Makkah, and after it for one who comes from Kufah as reported in Mu’jam al-Buldan. It has also been said that al-Khuzaimiyyah is thirty-two miles from Tha’labiyyah, as it is one of the stopping points of the pilgrims coming from Kufah after Tha’labiyyah.
  • 19. Al-Tabari (5:396): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘Al-Siddi narrated to me from a person among the Banu Fazarah saying: ‘During the time of Hajjaj bin Yusuf we used to hide in the house of Zuhair bin al-Qain al-Bajali, as the people of Sham would not enter it. So [one day] I said to this man from the Banu Fazarah: ‘Tell me about your journey with Husayn bin ‘Ali.’ He said…” See also al-Irshad (pg.221) and al-Maqtal (pg.325) of al-Khwarazmi.
  • 20. A city around the Caspian sea at Bab al-Abwab which was conquered in the year 33 H, during the reign of ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan, at the hands of Salman bin Rabi’ah al-Bahili. See Mu’jam al-Buldan.
  • 21. Al-Tabari (4:305) says: Both Salman al-Farsi and Abu Hurairah were among the conquerors of Balanjar. Ibn al-Athir clearly says in al-Kamil (4:17) that the one who spoke to them [about the young men of the family of Muhammad] was Salman al-Farsi, not Salman al-Bahili. This is keeping in mind that the aim of Ibn al-Athir in writing al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh was to supplement Tarikh al-Tabari, and for this very reason he quotes most of his reports from al-Tabari. Among others who have asserted that it was Salman al-Farsi [and not al-Bahili] are al-Mufid in al-Irshad, al-Fatal in Rawdhat al-Wa’i³in (pg.153), Ibn Nama in Muthir al-Ahzan (pg.23), al-Khwarazmi in al-Maqtal (1:275) and al-Bakri in al-Mu’jam min-ma Ustu’jima (1:376). This assertion is also supported by al-Tabari’s report that Salman al-Farsi was present in the expedition. However, what has been said here does not seem to be correct; for what is apparent is that Salman al-Farsi was the governer of Madain after it was conquered in the year 17 H and did not leave the city for any other expedition until he died; and also that he passed away before this [expedition] during the time of ‘Umar.
  • 22. Al-Tabari (5:396): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘Dalham bint ‘Amru, Zuhair bin al-Qain’s wife, narrated to me that…”See also al-Irshad (pg.221).
  • 23. It will be known later from the speech of Zuhair in Karbala’ that he was angry right from the beginning about Mu’awiyah’s declaration of Ziyad as his brother and his killing of Hujr bin ‘Adiyy.
  • 24. His mother was a nurse-maid of al-Husayn (as) and this is why it has been said about him that he is al-Husayn’s foster brother. The word ‘Buqtur’ has appeared with the letter ‘ba’ in al-Tabari and so has been recorded by al-Jazari in al-Kamil. But our masters (mashaikh) like al-Samawi in Ibsar al-‘Ain (pg.52) have recorded it with the letter ‘ya’ (Yuqtur). We shall later see that the news of al-Yuqtur’s martyrdom reached the Imam (as) at a point called Zabalah; that is before he received the news of the martyrdom of al-Saidawi. Therefore, it seems that Ibn Yuqtur was sent [to Muslim bin ‘Aqil] before al-Saidawi [was dispathecd to the people of Kufah].
  • 25. Al-Tabari (5:348): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘Abu ‘Ali al-Ansari narrated to me from Bakr bin Mus’ab al-Muzniyy [saying]…” Al-Irshad (pg.220) has related the report also, but he confused the report of Ibn Yuqtur with that of Qais bin Musahhar al-Saidawi.
  • 26. Al-Lakhami took up the judgeship in Kufah after al-Sha’bi, and died in 136 H at the age of hundred and three, as reported in Mizan al-I’tidal (1:151) and Tahdhib al-Asma’ (pg.309).
  • 27. Zarud is located between al-Khuzaimiyyah and al-Tha’labiyyah on the way to Kufah. See Mu’jam al-Buldan (4:327).
  • 28. This report is inconsistent with what has been narrated from them earlier about their meeting Farazdaq at Sifah, which is several stations before Zarud; for according to this report they joined al-Husayn (as) at Zarud and not before that. It was, however, not possible for them to join him at Sifah if they were to complete their hajj, for Sifah is situated in the beginning of the way [to Kufah] while the Imam (as) had left [Makkah] on the Day of Tarwiyah. Therefore, if they had joined him at Sifah, [then] they could not have completed their hajj. [And since they left Makkah after the completion of hajj, then this implies that they joined him at Zarud]. What is surprising here is that the narrators of both the reports were they themselves, but neither Abu Janab, nor Abu Mikhnaf, nor Tabari could realize the contrariety in the reports. Unless we reconcile between the two reports by saying that they met al-Husayn (as) at Sifah before the hajj and then joined him at Zarud after the pilgrimage.
  • 29. It comes after al-Shuquq for one traveling to Makkah from Kufah. It has been named after a man from the Banu Asad known as Tha’labah. See Mu’jam al-Buldan.
  • 30. What is apparent from this narration is that the news of Muslim's martyrdom had already spread by the time [the Imam (as)] reached this point. But as we shall see later, the Imam (as) informed his companions about this through a letter he read out to the people at Zubalah. Accordingly, it is highly probable that by his statement [at Tha’labiyyah]: “…Nothing is to be concealed from these people”, the Imam (as) meant to say that “Apart from these people who are present, the news must be kept secret”. Hence, it was not disclosed till at Zubalah. But according to al-Ya’qubi (2:230; Najaf edition), the news of Muslim’s martyrdom reached the Imam (as) at Qutqutanah.
  • 31. Al-Tabari (5:397): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘Abu Janab al-Kalbi related to me on the authority of ‘Adiyy bin Harmalah al-Asadi, from ‘Abdullah that…” Al-Irshad (pg.222; Najaf edition) says: “‘Abdullah bin Sulaiman reported that…”
  • 32. Al-Tabari (5:397): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘‘Umar bin Khalid narrated to me on the authority of Zayd bin ‘Ali bin al-Husayn, from Dawud bin ‘Ali bin ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas who said that the sons of ‘Aqil reported that…” See also al-Irshad (pg.222), Muruj al-Dhahab (3:70) and Tadhkirat al-Khawass (pg.245; Najaf edition).
  • 33. According to Mu’jam al-Buldan, Zubalah comes before al-Shuquq for one traveling to Makkah from Kufah. It contains fortresses and a large mosque belonging to the Banu Asad. Zubalah is, in fact, the name of a lady from the ‘Amaliqah.
  • 34. Al-Tabari (5:398): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘I narrate on the authority of Abu Janab al-Kalbi from ‘Adiyy bin Harmalah who related from ‘Abdullah bin Salim that…” See also al-Irshad (pg.222; Najaf edition).
  • 35. This is a clear assertion from the Imam (as) that his followers in Kufah have betrayed him. This is the first announcement of the news about Kufah and the martyrdom of Muslim bin ‘Aqil (as), though he had already received the news before this at Zarud, but it apparently remained disclosed -by the order of the Imam (as)- for other than those who were present around him at the time, until he announced it to them at this point.
  • 36. This is the most complete answer as to why the Imam (as) allowed them to leave him, and it suffices from all other answers.
  • 37. It is a station after Waqisah and before al-Qa’ on the way to Makkah.
  • 38. Al-Tabari (5:398): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘Abu ‘Ali al-Ansari narrated to me from Bakr bin Mus’ab al-Muzniyy that…” See also al-Irshad (pg.222; Najaf edition).
  • 39. According to al-Irshad (pg.223), the Imam (as) then continued: “By Allah, they will not leave me until they take this beating [heart] out of my body. If they do so, then Allah will establish over them who will humiliate them until they become the most disgraced people of all nations.” The same has been reported in A’lam al-Wara (pg.232) also.
  • 40. Al-Tabari (5:399): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘Laudhan -one of the Banu ‘Ikrimah- related to me that one of his uncles narrated to him that…’”
  • 41. Sharaf is two miles from Waqisah and is situated before [one reaches] Iraq. Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas had stopped here before he reached al-Qadisiyyah. Sharaf is named after a person who was known by this name and had discovered a spring in the area. Later several huge wells producing sweet drinking water were dug in the area. See Mu’jam al-Buldan.
  • 42. According to Mu’jam al-Buldan, it is the name of a hill where Nu’man used to go for hunting. It is 33 miles from ‘Udhaib al-Hijanat on the way to Kufah as reported by al-Tabari. Ibn al-Jawzi relates in al-Maqtal (pg.245; Najaf edition) from [some] scholars of history that the Imam (as) did not know about what had befell Muslim bin ‘Aqil until when he was three miles from al-Qadisiyyah, where he met Hurr bin Yazid al-Riyahi who informed him of the martyrdom of Muslim bin ‘Aqil and Hani’ bin ‘Urwah and also about Ibn Ziyad’s arrival in Kufah and his preparation against him, and [then] asked him to return.
  • 43. Drinking a few draughts of water is what exactly tarshif means.
  • 44. Al-Tabari (5:400) says: “I have been informed on the authority of Hisham who related from Abu Mikhnaf who said: ‘Abu Janab narrated to me on the authority of ‘Adiyy bin Harmalah from ‘Abdullah bin Salim and al-Mudhri that…’” See also al-Irshad (pg.223) and Maqatil al-Talibiyyin (pg.73) of Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani.
  • 45. Al-Tabari (5:401) says: “Hisham said: ‘Laqit narrated to me from ‘Ali bin al-Ta’an al-Muharibi that: ‘I was together with Hurr bin Yazid [al-Riyahi] and I was among the last of his companions [in the army] to arrive at Dhu Husam. When al-Husayn (as) saw how thirsty my horse and I were, he said: ‘Make the horse (rawiyah) kneel.’ I thought that by rawiyah he meant ‘the waterskin’. [But when he saw that I misunderstood him] he said: ‘O cousin! Make your camel kneel.’ So I made him kneel. Then he said: ‘Drink!’ So I started drinking but whenever I tried to do so the water used to spill on the ground from the waterskin. So al-Husayn (as) told me: ‘Fold (ikhnith) the waterskin’, but al-Muharibi says I did not know how to do that! So al-Husayn (as) stood up and folded it for me; so I drank myself and watered my horse also.” See al-Irshad (pg.224) and al-Maqtal of al-Khwarazmi (pg.230).
  • 46. Al-Tabari (5:401): “From here Abu Mikhnaf’s chain of reports misses a link. So we had no choice to make up for what was missing except by bringing in the account of Hisham al-Kalbi from Laqit, who narrated from ‘Ali bin Ta’an al-Muharibi. See also al-Irshad (pg.224) and Tadhkirat al-Khawass (pg.231).
  • 47. Khirjain is the dual form of khirj. According to Majma’ al-Bahrain, it is a sack with two straps. Later, we shall see the report by Ibn al-Jawzi in Tadhkirat al-Khawass (pg.251) that when the Imam (as) addressed his opponents on the day of ‘Ashura’ and appealed to them that they were the ones to write to him, they responded saying: “We do not know what you are saying.” So Hurr said: “Indeed -by Allah- we had written to you and we are the ones who invited you to come [to our city]. May Allah eliminate falsefood and its followers! By Allah, I shall not prefer this world over the hereafter.” He then stroke his horse and joined the camp of al-Husayn (as).
  • 48. See also Maqatil al-Talibiyyin (pg.74; Najaf edition) of Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, who narrated it from Abu Mikhnaf.
  • 49. Here comes to an end what al-Tabari reported from Hisham to fill up the missing link in Abu Mikhnaf’s report. See also: al-Irshad (pg.225) and Tadhkirat al-Khawass (pg.232).
  • 50. According to Mu’jam al-Buldan, this point is situated between Waqisah and ‘Udhaib al-Hajanat.
  • 51. The legal punishment prescribed by the Shari’ah. [Editor]
  • 52. Qur’an, 48:10.
  • 53. Al-Tabari (5:403): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘[I narrate] from ‘Uqbah bin Abi al-‘Ayzar…”
  • 54. Both Ibn al-Athir in al-Kamil and al-Mufid in al-Irshad have narrated these verses but with the following addition: “If I live, I will do so without regret and if I die, I shall not be blamed, suffices you as humiliation that you live while your nose is rubbed onto the ground.”
  • 55. Gramatically ‘udhaib is a diminutive noun of ‘adhib. ‘Udhaib al-Hijanat was a valley owned by the Banu Tamim situated on the border of Iraq (al-sawad). A military base of the Persians was [also] situated in the area. It is six miles from al-Qadisiyyah. The horses of Nu’man, king of Hirah, used to graze there, thus the area came to be known as ‘Udhaib al-Hijanat as al-hijanat is the plural of al-hajin meaning an animal with mixed blood (i.e. a hybrid).
  • 56. Al-Tabari (5:446): “They were probably Jabir bin al-Harith al-Salmani, ‘Umar bin Khalid al-Saidawi and Sa’d, the servant of al-Saidawi, about whom Abu Mikhnaf says that they fought together in the beginning of the battle and were killed at one place.”
  • 57. Qur’an, 33:23.
  • 58. Al-Tabari (5:403): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘… and ‘Uqbah bin Abi ‘Ayzar has reported that…” See also al-Irshad (pg.225; Najaf edition).
  • 59. Aja’ is a noun and its grammatical form is fa-‘a-l. It is the name of a person after who the hill of Tay’ has been named. It is situated in the west of this area and on the left of the hill of Sumaira’.
  • 60. Qurayyah is the diminutive noun of qaryah. It is one of the areas in Tay’.
  • 61. Al-Tabari (5:406): “Abu Mikhnaf reports: ‘Jamil bin Murid related to me from Tirimmah that…” The complete report is as follows: [Tirimmah said to al-Husayn (as):] “I have prepared some provision for my family from Kufah and I am carrying their expenditure with me. So I am going to leave the things with them and then I will proceed towards you, if Allah wills. If I happened to join you, then I shall be –by Allah- among your helpers.” Al-Husayn (as) said: “If you are determined to do so then hasten! May Allah shower his mercy on you.” [Tirimmah] says: “When I reached my family I gave them what was of help to them and made my will and informed them of my intentions. Then I set out [to join al-Husayn], but when I neared ‘Udhaib al-Hijanat’, Sama’ah bin Badr approached me and gave me the news of his martyrdom, and so I returned.”
  • 62. According to Mu’jam al-Buldan, this point is situated between Qurayyat, Qutqutanah and ‘Ain al-Tamr.
  • 63. Al-Tabari (5:407): “Abu Mikhnaf reports…”
  • 64. His biography will follow towards the end of this book.
  • 65. Al-Tabari (5:407): “Abu Mikhnaf says: ‘Mujalid bin Sa’id narrated to me from ‘Amir al-Sha’bi that…” See also al-Irshad (pg.226).
  • 66. Nainawa was a village on the bank of the Euphrates which was inhabited until the end of the 2nd century H.
  • 67. He was an archer in al-Husayn's army and was among the first ones to be martyred. He shot [about] a hundred arrows and then stood up and said: “Only five arrows of these [hundred] fell on the ground and so I have come to know that I have certainly killed five men.” Abu Mikhnaf has narrated from Fudhail bin Khudaij al-Kindi that: “Yazid bin Ziyad was with ‘Umar bin Sa’d in the beginning. But when [‘Umar bin Sa’d and his army] refused to make peace as proposed by al-Husayn (as), Yazid bin Ziyad got inclined towards him and fought on his side until he was martyred.” However, this account is not in consistence with the report mentioned in this text.
  • 68. Al-Tabari: Malik bin al-Nusair from the Banu Badda’. Tabari narrates on the authority of Abu Mikhnaf that he was present in Karbala’ and had struck the head of Imam al-Husayn (as) with his sword, cutting his hood and thus causing bleeding. The Imam (as) said to him: “May you never eat or drink with your hand, and may Allah resurrect you with the oppressors.” After the Imam’s martyrdom Malik had snatched his cap from him and as a result he lived a life of poverty till his death. (5:448)
    It has been narrated also that ‘Abdullah bin Dabbas had pointed out for Mukhtar a number of men who had killed al-Husayn (as) and among them was Malik bin al-Nusair al-Baddi. So Mukhtar sent to them Malik bin ‘Amru al-Nahdi who met them at al-Qadisiyyah. Malik arrested and took them to Mukhtar one evening. Mukhtar said to al-Baddi: ‘Are you the one who took his cap?’ ‘Abdullah bin Kamil said: ‘Yes! He is the one.’ Mukhtar then said: ‘Cut off his hands and legs and then leave him to writhe till he dies.’ So was done to him and he bled to death. He died in the year 66 H.” (6:57)
  • 69. Qur’an, 28:41.
  • 70. This indicates that Karbala’ was not the name of a village, rather a name of an area known as Kur Babil, i.e. the villages of Babil, as reported in Kitab al-Dalail wa al-Masail of Sayyid Hibah al-Din al-Shahristani. Ibn al-Jawzi reports in his Tadhkirat al-Khawass (pg.250; Najaf edition): “… Al-Husayn (as) then said: ‘What is this land called?’ They replied: ‘Karbala’. It is also called Nainawa which is a village in it.’ [Hearing this,] al-Husayn wept and said: ‘Karb wa Bala’ [i.e. grief and tribulation].’ He then said: ‘Umm Salamah informed me that: ‘[One day] Jibrail was with the Messenger of Allah [‘s] and you [i.e. al-Husayn] were with me. You happened to cry, so the Messenger of Allah [‘s] said: ‘Leave my son alone’, so I left you alone. He then lifted you and placed you on his lap. So Jibrail said: ‘Do you love him?’ He replied: ‘Yes.’ Jibrail then said: ‘Your nation will [one day] kill him. And if you wish I can show you the earth of the place where he shall be killed.’ So he said: ‘Yes! [Show it to me].’ So Jibrail spread his wing on the land of Karbala’ and showed it to him.’ [After relating this] al-Husayn [(as) took in his hands the sand of this place and] smelled it and said: ‘By Allah! This is the land about which Jibra’il informed the Messenger of Allah, [the land] I shall indeed be killed in.” Ibn al-Jawzi continues and says: “Ibn Sa’d has mentioned something similar in meaning to this report in his al-Tabaqat from al-Waqidi.” Ibn al-Jawzi then says: “Ibn Sa’d has also reported [the following incident] from al-Sha’bi who said: ‘When ‘Ali (as) passed by Karbala’ on his way to Siffin and stood opposite Nainawa –a village on the Euphrates, he stopped and called upon the one who carried water for ablution and said: ‘O Aba ‘Abdillah, tell me what is this land called?’ ‘Karbala’, he replied. So he wept till the place [where he was standing] became wet with his tears. He then said: ‘[One day] I went to see the Prophet of Allah (S) and saw him weeping. So I asked him: ‘What has made you to weep?’ He said: ‘Jibrail was with me a moment ago and he informed me that my son, al-Husayn, shall be killed by the bank of the Euphrates, at a place called Karbala’.’ Jibrail then took a handful of sand [of that land] and made me smell it, so I could not hold my tears.”
    Ibn al-Jawzi says: “Hasan bin Kathir and ‘Abd Khair have said: ‘When ‘Ali (as) reached Karbala’, he stopped [there] and wept and then said: ‘May my father be sacrificed for the young men who shall be killed here. This [land] shall be the resting place of their mounts. This is [the land] where they shall camp. This [land] shall be the battleground of the [young] men.’ [Saying this] he wept [even] more.” Ibn Muzahim has narrated this report through four [different] chains of narration in Waq’at Siffin (pg.140-142; Harun publications).
  • 71. Al-Ghadhiriyyah is named after Ghadhirah which belong to the Banu Asad and which are in fact lands around the grave of ‘Aun which are now a farsakh from Karbala’. There stand the ruins of a fortress which is today known as the fortress of the Banu Asad.
  • 72. These were wells owned by the Banu Asad situated near Karbala’.
  • 73. This was a place where the way station of Nubukhadh Nasr from Kur Babil was located. Kur Babil was later misspelt and came to be pronounced as Karbala’.
  • 74. We have given his biography earlier.