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Chapter 48: Report about the Gazelles in Nainawa

Narrated to us Ahmad bin Hasan Qattan, alias Abu Ali bin Abde Rabb, a tradition scholar from Rayy: Narrated to us Ahmad bin Yahya bin Zakariya Qattan: Narrated to us Bakr bin Abdullah bin Habib: Narrated to us Teem bin Bohlool: Narrated to us Ali bin Asim from Husain bin Abdur Rahman from Mujahid from Ibne Abbas that he said:

“I was with Amirul Momineen (a.s.) during his expedition to Siffeen. When we reached Nainawa at the banks of the Euphrates, Ali (a.s.) called out aloud: O Ibne Abbas, do you recognize this place? I said: I don’t recognize it, O Amirul Momineen. He said: If your awareness about it were like mine you would not have passed it without lamenting like I lament. Ibne Abbas says:

Then he wept till his cheeks were wet with tears and his tears flowed onto his chest. Ibne Abbas says: On seeing him cry we also began to weep. After that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: Ah! Ah! What do I have to do with the progeny of Abu Sufyan and progeny of Harb which is an army of Satan and a group of disbelief?

Then he said: Have patience, O Abu Abdullah, because your father has also suffered the same cruelties at the hands of such tyrants as you suffer. Then he asked for water, performed the ritual ablution and prayed as long as Allah willed.

Then he continued his discourse after stopping to perform the ritual prayer. He said: O Ibne Abbas! I said: Here I am, my master. He said: If you want I can tell you what I saw in dream which was as clear as wakefulness. I said: Master, your eyes slept, what you saw in the dream must be good. He said: I just saw many persons landing here from the sky. They held white flags and wore glittering swords around their necks.

They drew a line around this area and I saw that the branches of the trees of this area drooped low and suddenly fresh blood began to surge through the desert. I saw my son, Husain thrashing his limbs in the sea of blood and pleading but no one came to help him.

The white and luminous persons who had come from the sky said to Husain in a loud voice: Be patient, O progeny of the Messenger, you shall be killed at the hands of the worst of the creatures. O Abi Abdullah (a.s.), the Paradise is eager for you.

After that those luminous persons came to me and offering me condolence said: O Abul Hasan, congratulations to you that the Almighty Allah will brighten your eyes on the Judgment Day due to the martyrdom of Husain when the people would be standing before the Lord of the worlds. After seeing this I woke up. O Ibne Abbas, I swear by One in whose hands is my life that the truthful Prophet Abul Qasim (S) informed me: You will pass through this land when you would be fighting the tyrants.

This land is Karb-o-bala. My Husain will be buried at this place. And with him would be buried 70 persons from my and Fatima’s progeny. This land is famous in all the seven heavens and the folks of heavens talk about the land of Kerbala just as they speak of the Kaaba, Medina and Baitul Maqdas. After that Ali (a.s.) said: O Ibne Abbas, search for deer droppings in this desert. By Allah, neither have I lied nor did the Messenger of Allah (S) lie to me.

The dropping shall be yellow like saffron. Ibne Abbas says: As per the orders of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) I began to search for the droppings and at last found them in a heap. I called out aloud: O Amirul Momineen (a.s.) I have found those same droppings that you told about. Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: Allah and the Messenger said the truth.

Then he came forward, picked up the droppings and smelt them. Then he said: These are the same droppings that the Messenger of Allah (S) has informed about. Then he said: Know that, O Ibne Abbas, these are the same droppings that Isa bin Maryam (a.s.) had smelt. When Prophet Isa (a.s.) passed through this desert with his disciples, he saw a herd of deers and they were weeping. Seeing this Prophet Isa (a.s.) sat down and his disciples sat around him.

Thus Isa (a.s.) cried and his disciples also cried even though they did not know why he had sat down and why he was crying. They asked: O spirit of Allah and His word, why did you cry? He asked: Do you know this land? They said: No, we don’t. He said: It is the land where the son of Ahmad, the prophet of the last period of time and son of the Purified Batool (s.a.) who is an image of my respected mother, Maryam will be martyred and buried.

The dust of this land is purer than must because it is the burial ground of this oppressed martyr. And the essence of the prophets and his progeny is such. These deer talk me to me and they say that they graze on this land in devotion to the oppressed Imam as a result of which they feel secure over here. After that Isa (a.s.) split their droppings and smelt them and said: They smell of grass that grows here. O Lord, preserve these dropping in this state so that the father of the martyr may smell them and obtain comfort.

After that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: O Ibne Abbas, these droppings have remained till now and due to such along time they have become yellow. This place is Karb-o-bala. Then he said in a raised voice: O Isa bin Maryam, may Allah not bless the killers of Husain, those who help his enemies and those who did not help Husain.

After saying this Amirul Momineen (a.s.) wept much. I also began to weep. Finally the Imam fell down unconscious. On regaining consciousness he picked up some droppings and tied them in a corner of his shawl and told me also to pick up some. Then he said: O Ibne Abbas, when you see fresh blood flowing in them you should know that my son has been martyred in this land.

Ibne Abbas says: I used to take care of those dropping more than anything else and always carried them tied up in my sleeve. One day I was sleeping at home. When I awoke I saw that my sleeve was smeared with blood and blood was oozing from the droppings. I got up and began to lament.

I said to myself: The son of Allah’s Messenger has been martyred and my master, Ali (a.s.) has not lied. He never informed me of something that never materialized because the Messenger of Allah (S) used to tell him many things which he did not tell others. When I emerged from the house I saw a dust storm enveloping the whole of Medina and nothing was visible.

As if it was a solar eclipse. The walls of Medina had turned red. It seemed as if blood had been sprinkled upon them. So I sat down and began to cry. I said: By Allah, Husain is martyred. At that moment I heard a call from unseen which was saying:

O progeny of the Messenger, be patient as the exhausted son of Batool, has been killed. And the trustworthy angel descended in lamentation of this oppressed martyr.

Then I heard him cry and I became very sad. I remembered that day it was the month of Mohurrum and the day of Ashura.

When the news of the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.) reached Medina it was learnt that he had been martyred on that day only and those who were with him used to say: We also heard that same voice. But since we were in the battle we could not make out whose voice it was. We think it was Khizr. Bliss of God be on him and Husain; and may Allah curse those who are pleased at the handiwork of the killers of Husain.”

It is mentioned in narrations that Hababa Walbiya met Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) and also other Imams after him; and she lived till the time of Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) and no one denies her long lifespan. Then why should the longevity of the Qaim be denied?