Day of Ashura
The day of Ashura - the tenth of Muharram, was unique in its tragedies, misfortunes, and disasters. On that day, the Ahl al-Bayt had to suffer the most horrifying adversities ever of this world. Hence, it is certainly a day of grieving.
From early morning, when Imam al-Husayn (a) left his tent, he saw that facing him were innumerable warriors and their horses fill up the desert ground with their swords unsheathed, wanting to shed his blood. Thus, he asked for a copy of the holy Quran to be placed over his head and raised his hands upward in supplication to his Lord for seeking His refuge. He said:
اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ ثِقَتِي فِي كُلِّ كَرْبٍ، وَرَجَائِي فِي كُلِّ شِدَّةٍ وَأَنْتَ لِي فِي كُلِّ أَمْرٍ نَزَلَ بِي ثِقَةٌ وَعِدَّةٌ. كَمْ مِنْ هَمٍّ يَضْعُفُ فِيهِ الفُؤَادُ، وَتَقِلُّ فِيهِ الحِيلَةُ، وَيَخْذُلُ فِيهِ الصَّدِيقُ، وَيَشْمُتُ فِيهِ العَدُوُّ، أَنْزَلْتُهُ بِكَ وَشَكَوْتُهُ إِلَيْكَ رَغْبَةً مِنِّي إِلَيْكَ عَمَّنْ سِوَاكَ، فَفَرَّجْتَهُ وَكَشَفْتَهُ، وَأَنْتَ وَلِيُّ كُلِّ نِعْمَةٍ، وَصَاحِبُ كُلِّ حَسَنَةٍ، وَمُنْتَهىٰ كُلِّ رَغْبَةٍ.
O Allah: I place my trust in You in hard times and confide in you with hope during tribulations, and in You lies my faith and hope in every misfortune that inflicts me. Many were the griefs that constricted my heart, they were hardly curable, they caused my friends to disappoint me, and made my enemies rejoice (over my helplessness); but when I relegated them – i.e. the griefs - to You and complained about them to You, because I heartily intended You and no one else, You relieved them and helped. You are certainly the source of all graces, the cause of all favors, and the only intention worthy of aspiration.1
He then decided to deliver a speech before those troops so that they would become full acquainted with the reality of the situation. He rode towards them and raised his voice with the finest words of wisdom so that most of them, at least, would hear him. He said:2
أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَتَبّاً لَكُمْ أَيَّتُهَا الجَمَاعَةُ وَتَرْحاً، حِينَ اسْتَصْرَخْتُمُونَا وَالِهِينَ فَأَصْرَخْنَاكُمْ مُوجِفِينَ سَلَلْتُمْ عَلَيْنَا سَيْفاً كَانَ فِي أَيْمَانِنَا وَحَشَشْتُمْ عَلَيْنَا نَاراً اقْتَدَحْنَاهَا عَلَىٰ عَدُوِّنَا وَعَدُوِّكُمْ، فَأَصْبَحْتُمْ إِلْباً عَلَىٰ أَوْلِيَائِكُمْ وَيَداً لأَعْدَائِكُمْ، بِغَيْرِ عَدْلٍ أَفْشَوْهُ فِيكُمْ وَلا لأَمَلٍ أَصْبَحَ لَكُمْ فِيهِمْ وَعَنْ غَيْرِ حَدَثٍ كَانَ مِنّا وَلا رَأْيٍ تَفَيَّلَ عَنّا. فَهَلاّ -لَكُمُ الوَيْلاتُ- تَرَكْتُمُونا وَالسَّيْفُ مَشِيمٌ وَالجَأْشُ طَامِنٌ وَالرَّأْيُ لَمَّا يُسْتَحْصَفْ. وَلَكِنْ إِسْتَسْرَعْتُمْ إِلَيْها كَتَطَائِرِ الدِّبَا وَتَدَاعَيْتُمْ عَنْها كَتَدَاعِي الفَرَاشِ. فَسُحْقاً وَبُعْداً لِطَوَاغِيتِ الأُمَّةِ وَشِذَّاذِ الأَحْزَابِ وَنَبَذَةِ الكِتَابِ وَنَفَثَةِ الشَّيْطَانِ وَمُحَرِّفِي الكَلاَمِ وَمُطْفِئيِ السُّنَنِ وَمُلْحِقِي العَهَرَةِ بَالنَّسَبِ، المُسْتَهْزِئِينَ الَّذِينَ جَعَلُوا القُرْآنَ عِضِينَ.
So then, fie and grief be on you, O people of this group. When you appealed for our help in distress and we hurried to help you exhausting ourselves, you have unsheathed against us a sword that had been in our right hands and ignited against us the fire that we had struck against both your and our enemy. You therefore formed groups to surround your allies and became a support for your enemies even though they did not spread justice among you and you had lost any hope in them. In addition, you have noticed that no heresy or new opinion has come out from us.
Why did you – woe be on you - not leave us while swords were sheathed, malice was hidden, and the decision was not taken? But, you hurried to your sedition like locusts and fell upon it like the falling of butterflies (in fire). Damn and be away with the idols of the ummah, those who were irregular in these groups, those who deserted the Book, those serving as expectorants of Shaitan, distorters of the meanings, extinguishers of the traditions, those vowing for the illegitimate ones and those who mocked and divided the Quran - believing in some parts and rejecting others.
أَهٰؤُلاءِ تَعْضُدُونَ وَعَنّا تَتَخَاذَلُونَ؟ أَجَلْ وَاللهِ إِنَّهُ لخَذْلٌ فِيكُمْ مَعْرُوفٌ، قَدْ وَشَجَتْ عَلَيْهِ عُرُوقُكُمْ وَتَوَارَتْ عَلَيْهِ أُصُولُكُمْ فَكُنْتُمْ أَخْبَثَ ثَمَرَةٍ شَجاً لِلنّاطِرِ، وَأُكْلَةً لِلغَاصِبِ. أَلا فَلَعْنَةُ اللهِ عَلَىٰ النَّاكِثِينَ الَّذِينَ يَنْقُضُونَ الأَيْمَانَ بَعْدَ تَوْكِيدِهَا وَقَدْ جَعَلُوا اللهَ عَلَيْهِمْ كَفِيلاً. أَلا وَإِنَّ الدَّعِيَّ ابْنَ الدَّعِيِّ قَدْ رَكَزَ مِنّا بَيْنَ اثْنَتَيْنِ؛ بَيْنَ السِّلَّةِ وَالذِّلَّةِ، وَهَيْهَاتَ مِنَّا الذِّلَّةِ: يَأْبىٰ اللهُ لَنَا ذٰلِكَ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالمُؤْمِنُونَ وَحُجُورٌ طَابَتْ وَأُنُوفٌ حَمِيَّةٌ وَنُفُوسٌ أَبِيَّةُ أَنْ نُؤْثِرَ طَاعَةَ اللَّئَامِ عَلىٰ مَصَارِعِ الكِرَامِ. وَإِنِّي زَاحِفٌ إِلَيْهِمْ بِهٰذِهِ الأُسْرَةِ عَلىٰ كَلَبِ العَدُوِّ وَكَثْرَةِ العَدَدِ وَخِذْلَةِ النَّاصِرِ.
How is it that you are supporting them and disappointing us? Yes, why not? By Allah I swear, your disloyalty is expected because it is entwined with your arteries and it has ocurred in your origins. You therefore are the bitterest fruit that causes its caretaker to choke and gives a good taste to its usurper. May Allah curse the disloyal ones who disregard their firm oaths after they have already appointed Allah as their Guarantor. The illegitimate one, son of the illegitimate, has forced me to choose one of two things— either unsheathing of swords or ignominy. Ignominy is impossible for us. Allah, His Apostle, the (faithful) believers, the chaste laps, jealous noses (individuals), and noble souls (personalities) refuse for us to prefer obedience to the mean to the death of the honorable. So, I am advancing towards them with this family despite the alliances formed by the enemies, their great numbers and the betrayal of the supporters.
He then recited poetic verses:3
If we defeat, then we’ve been always triumphant
If we’re defeated, we’ve not wonted to impairment
Cowardice is not our manner, but it’s our
Time of death, and others’ time in power
If death is postponed for some, not all
It shall certainly on others fall
It has hence seized my people’s celebrities
As it had terminated the ancient humanities
If kings had remained forever, we’d have too remained
If chiefs had been maintained, we’d have too been maintained
Then say to the gloaters over our grief: wait
You shall for sure encounter the same fate!
أَمَا وَاللهِ لا يَلْبَثُونَ إِلاَّ كَرَيْثِ ما يُرْكَبُ الفَرَسُ حَتَّىٰ تَدُورَ رَحَا الحَرْبِ وَتُعَلَّقَ النُّحُورُ. عَهْدٌ عَهِدَهُ إِلَيَّ أَبِي عَنْ جَدِّي، صَلَّىٰ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ. فَأَجْمِعُوا أَمْرَكُمْ ثُمَّ كِيدُونِ فَلا تُنْظِرونِ، إِنِّي تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَىٰ اللهِ رَبِّي وَرَبِّكُمْ، مَا مِنْ دَابَّةٍ إِلا هُوَ آخِذٌ بِنَاصِيَتِهَا، إِنَّ رَبِّي عَلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ.
By Allah I swear it, you shall not be respited for very long; very soon, horses will be ridden away, days will revolve around you like millstones, war will flare up, and necks will be decapitated. My father, on the authority of my grandfather, foretold me of it. So, you may plan against me without delay. I trust Allah Who is my Lord as well as yours. It is Allah Who controls the destiny of all living creatures. It is my Lord Who knows the right path.
Imam al-Husayn (a) then raised his two hands towards the heavens and invoked Allah’s curse upon them, saying:4
اللَّهُمَّ احْبِسْ عَنْهُمْ قَطَرَ السَّمَاءِ وَابْعَثْ عَلَيْهِمْ سِنِينَ كَسِنِيِّ يُوسُفَ وَسَلِّطْ عَلَيْهِمْ غُلاَمَ ثَقِيفٍ يَسُومُهُمْ كَأْساً مُصْبَرَةً، فَإِنَّهُمْ كَذَّبُونَا وَخَذَلُونَا وَأَنْتَ رَبُّنَا، عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ المَصِيرُ.
O Allah, deprive them of every drop of blessings of the heavens, and inflict them with years of imprisonment like those (which occurred in the time) of Prophet Joseph, and set up upon them the man of the (tribe of) Thaqif5 as absolute ruler to subject them to the bitterest torture, for they have belied and disappointed us. You are our Lord on Whom we depend, to Whom we trust, and in Whose control everything lies.
The harem could hear some of these words; they therefore wept and cried, but the Imam (a) asked his brother Al-Abbas and his son Ali al-Akbar to ask them to stop this. He then continued with such bright words that should have led every deviant to the right path. However, the Umayyad army could not understand the Imam’s words because they were too ignorant to understand anything other than a criminal mind-set. Rather, they could not say a single word in answer to Imam Husayn (a).
The Imam (a) then addressed to some of them particularly and reminded them of the messages they had sent to him, but they denied the whole matter!
Qays ibn al-Ashath then asked the Imam (a) to surrender and submit to the Umayyad government, but the Imam (a), courageously and steadfastly, refused and declaring his unchangeable situation:
لا واللهِ! لا أُعْطِيكُمْ بِيَدِي إِعْطَاءَ الذَّلِيلِ وَلا أُقِرُّ لَكُمْ إِقْرَارَ العَبِيدِ.
“No, by Allah - I will never extend my hands towards you like the abject do, and I will never submit to you like slaves do”.6
The Imam’s companions, then, spoke similar words before the Umayyad army, but uselessly.
Finally, the Imam (a) decided to advise them again so that none of them would excuse he had not known the matter clearly.
At these moments, the conscience of al-Hurr ibn Yazid woke up. He began to think of his destiny if he should fight against Imam al-Husayn (a) who represented the right party and the true religion of Allah. Finally, he decided to join him. He went to Umar and said, “Do you really want to fight against this man?”
“Yes I do,” answered ‘Umar, “I want to as intensely as possible.”
“Why do you not respond to his calls and accept one of the options he had offered?” asked al-Hurr.
“I would do if it was my right to choose. But the matter is not mine. It is your governor’s,” answered Umar.
Only then did al-Hurr realize that Umar was fully ready to fight Imam al-Husayn (a); therefore, he directed himself towards the Imam (a) and proceeded towards him because he felt sorry for his past deeds against him.
When the Imam (a) conferred upon him with pardon7, al-Hurr turned the face towards the troops of Umar and went on addressing words of reproach and blame for disappointing the Imam (a). Anyhow, his words did not find any place in their hearts.
Because Umar ibn Saad anticipated that other commanders would copy al-Hurr, he hurried towards the Imam’s camp and threw an arrow shouting, “Be the witnesses. I am the first to throw at al-Husayn!”
This was the opening to hundreds of arrows thrown towards the Imam’s camp. Seeing the situation, the Imam (a) turned to his companions and said, “Stand up, generous people. These arrows are your enemies’ messengers to you.”8
Hence, thirty-two horsemen and forty warriors had to encounter ten thousands. However, this little party could stop against those huge well-equipped numbers and show unprecedented scenes of courage and bravery. Then Umar gave the orders of waging a wide campaign during which all the detachments of the Umayyad army fought. Although half of the Imam’s companions were killed during that campaign, they combated extremely courageously and caused great losses to the Umayyad army.
After this general campaign, the other companions began to wage individual campaigns. In fact, their unparalleled heroism frightened the whole camp of the Umayyad army and caused it great losses; therefore, Amr ibn al-Hajjaj cried at them, “Do you know against whom you are fighting? You are fighting against the most courageous horsemen of this country. They will keep killing anyone of you who intends to face them. By Allah I swear, if you only throw at them stones, you will kill them.”9
Umar agreed on Amr’s opinion and ordered his forces to leave facing those heroes. He then gave the orders of waging a general attack against them. Nevertheless, the companions caused great losses to the attacking forces to the degree that Urwah ibn Qays had to ask the commander in chief to supply him with more men and weapons.
Umar then had to call al-Husayn ibn Numayr and supply him with five hundred bowmen who could wound the animals that the Imam’s companions rode on. Thus, all the companions, including al-Hurr ibn Yazid, had to fight against their enemies on feet. This fighting, which has been described by historians as the fiercest in all of history, continued until midday.
In the midst of that horrible scene, Abu Thumamah al-Saidi; one of the Imam’s companions, raised his head to the sky and told the Imam about the time of the Zuhr prayer. The Imam (a) asked his companions to demand with cease fighting so that they would offer the prayer. They responded to this demand, but as soon as the Imam (a) and his companions stood erect for the prayer, the Umayyad army began throwing darts at them. Said al-Hanafi made his body as the armor that protected the Imam (a) while he was praying. When the Imam (a) finished his prayer, Said was heavily wounded that he fell dead.
The other companions continued fighting for sake of their Imam (a) courageously until they all were killed.
After the companions, it was the turn of the youths of the Prophet’s household. Like attacking lions, they rushed themselves to the battlefield and began to bid farewell to each other with tearful eyes for the loneliness of their Imam (a) who would very soon be helpless.
The first to advance was the eighteen-year-old young man10 and the most similar to the Holy Prophet (S) in form, morals, and personality. This was Ali al-Akbar son of Imam al-Husayn (a). The Imam felt immensely sad when he knew for certain that his son would proceed for fighting. He therefore raised his face towards the heavens and complained to the Lord about this gang, which fought against him and was ready to kill his dearest one. He, as well as the harem of the Prophet’s household, sent Ali al-Akbar off with tears, cries and moaning. He then put his hand under his beard, raised it towards the heavens, and prayed:
اللَّهُمَّ اشْهَدْ عَلَىٰ هٰؤُلاءِ القَوْمِ، فَقَدْ بَرَزَ إِلَيْهِمْ غُلامٌ أَشْبَهُ النَّاسِ خَلْقاً وَخُلُقاً وَمَنْطِقاً بِرَسُولِكَ، وَكُنَّا إِذَا اشْتَقْنَا إِلىٰ نَبِيِّكَ نَظَرْنَا إِلىٰ وَجْهِهِ. اللّهُمَّ امْنَعْهُمْ بَرَكَاتِ الأَرْضِ، وَفَرِّقْهُمْ تَفْرِيقاً، وَمَزِّقْهُمْ تَمْزِيقاً، وَاجْعَلْهُمْ طَرَائِقَ قِدَداً، وَلا تُرْضِ الوُلاةَ عَنْهُمْ أَبَداً. فَإِنَّهُمْ دَعَوْنَا لِيَنْصُرُونَا ثُمَّ عَدَوْا عَلَيْنَا يُقَاتِلُونَنَا.
O Allah: be the witness on those people! A youth who is the most similar to Your Prophet in form, morals, and personality is now facing them in the battlefield. We used to look at his face whenever we missed the Prophet. O Allah: deprive those people of the blessings of the earth, scatter them thoroughly, strew about them scatteringly, break them up in sundry paths, and never make their rulers pleased with them, for they are fighting us aggressively after they promised they would support us.
The Imam (a) then turned to Umar and shouted, “What is the matter with you? I (invoke Allah against you and) implore to Him to terminate your kinship, unbless your deeds, and give a free hand to someone who will slay you in your bed, because you have terminated my kinship and violated my relation with the Messenger of Allah (S).”
Imam al-Husayn (a) then recited Allah’s saying:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَىٰ آدَمَ وَنُوحًا وَآلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَآلَ عِمْرَانَ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ. ذُرِّيَّةً بَعْضُهَا مِنْ بَعْضٍ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
Surely, Allah chose Adam and Nuh (Noah) and the descendants of Ibrahim (Abraham) and the descendants of Imran above the nations. Offspring one of the other; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
The young man proceeded by declaring the principles for which he was fighting and his tremendous determination to protect the religion of Allah even if this would cost him his life. He then encountered the enemies and showed indescribable courage and heroism to the degree that historians have described his fighting by saying, “Ali al-Akbar’s fighting reminded the enemies of the attacks of his grandfather Amir al-Muminin.”
In the midst of the fighting, Ali was seriously thirsty because the enemies had deprived them of water. He therefore had to return to his father and ask for some water, but the father (a) had nothing to offer. He did not have a single drop of water to give to his son. Painfully, he apologized and promised that the Prophet (S) would very soon give a drink of water that would save from thirst forever.
The young then returned to the battlefield and fought courageously despite the many wounds he had in the body. The whole camp of the Umayyad army complained about the great losses that the young son of Imam al-Husayn (a) caused to them; therefore, Murrah ibn Munqidh decided to kill him. So, he stabbed him with a spear from the back and struck him with his sword so heavily on the head.
Ali Akbar held fast on his horse’s neck thinking the horse would take him towards his father’s camp. Unfortunately, the horse took him towards the enemies. They encircled him and cut his body into pieces. The air carried the son’s cries to his father who hurried to him and found him in the last moments of his life. He put his cheek on his son’s severed body and shed tears for him, saying:
قَتَلَ اللهُ قَوْماً قَتَلُوكَ. يَا بُنَيَّ، مَا أَجْرَأَهُمْ عَلَىٰ اللهِ وَعَلَىٰ انْتِهَاكِ حُرْمَةِ الرَّسُولِ. عَلَىٰ الدُّنْيَا بَعْدَكَ العَفَا.
May Allah kill those who killed you, son! They are so reckless that they have regarded neither Allah nor the Messenger of Allah to whom you belong. After you, let dust cover this (meaningless) world.11
As soon as the news of Ali al-Akbar’s martyrdom reached her, Lady Zaynab could not control her feelings. She hurried towards the injured body crying, “Oh, for my dear one! Oh, for my nephew!12 Oh, for the light of my eyes! Oh, for the fruit of my heart!”13 She threw herself on the dead body, stained it with ceaseless pouring of her tears, and moaned for the martyred Ali al-Akbar. Imam al-Husayn (a) could do nothing but try to console. He then held on her sister’s hand and took her back to the tent.14
After that, the young descendants of Aqil ibn Abu Talib rushed for jihad intending to sacrifice their souls for their leader. They fought courageously and caused great losses to the Umayyad army. However, they were all martyred.
Then the turn of Imam al-Hasan’s descendants came. They also pushed themselves for protecting their uncle and defending their religion. Among them was al-Qasim whom historians have described as bright as moon. Before he fought against the enemies, he had declared, “As long as I am alive, my uncle al-Husayn shall not be killed.”
The Imam (a) however did not permit al-Qasim to fight, but he insisted importunately, kissed his uncle’s hands and feet, and begged him to let him fight. The Imam (a) then had to permit him with weeping eyes and a burning heart. Like the other heroes of the Hashemites, al-Qasim fought bravely and killed numbers of the Umayyad army.
In the midst of the fighting, the heel of his slipper was cut. As he bent down to repair it, one of the Umayyad soldiers, out of disdain seized that opportunity and struck him on the head. He fell down and cried for his uncle who hurried towards him and killed his killer. He then carried the dead body of his nephew and lined it beside the other martyrs. He looked at the dead bodies for a while and then cursed their killers.
Awn ibn Abdullah ibn Jafar, son of Lady Zaynab, proceeded to fight, even though he was too young. Like the other courageous youths, Awn fought so bravely until he was martyred. His mother received his dead body with steadfastness and offered him for Allah, anticipating His limitless reward.
At any rate, that scene was not strange for her; she had already received the bodies of series of moonlike, martyred youths before her son’s body arrived. It was nothing but her unshakable faith, which provided her with endurance and an ability to remain steadfast in face of such scenes.
Thus, all the Hashemite warriors were martyred, and none remained except the guardian of the Prophet’s harem and the right hand of Imam al-Husayn (a), namely the hero Abul-Fadl al-Abbas.
Al-Abbas watched all these crises and misfortunes patiently, and waited for the proper opportunity to begin fighting against the enemies and take revenge upon them. After the martyrdom of the youths of the Prophet’s household, he directed towards his full brothers and said to them, “Brothers, proceed for fighting so that I will be sure that you have done sincerely for sake of Allah and His Messenger and I will surely avenge your blood as you have no children.” All his full brethren welcomed his call and went on fighting courageously. One by one, they were martyred before their elder brother al-Abbas who stood near their dead bodies and shed tears for the loss of these bright faces.
Al-Abbas was the dearest one to Imam al-Husayn (a) who had brought him up with nobility of character and high moral standards. The Imam also taught him the rulings of the Islamic Shariah that he has been regarded as one of the most virtuous scholars of Islam. Al-Abbas continually sought the company of his brother and gave comfort to him in all misfortunes.
Brightness was very clear in the lines on al-Abbas’ face, that he was called ‘moon of the Hashemites.’ Because he was an unmatched hero, al-Abbas was given the leadership of Imam al-Husayn’s army and was the holder of the standard. In addition, he was the guardian of the harem and children. Finally, he had a special relationship with his sister, Lady Zaynab, who took care of him from early life and loved him tenderly. He, too, loved his sister very much and undertook the task of guarding her and settling all her needs.
When al-Abbas noticed the loneliness of his brother and the martyrdom of his companions and household, he advanced towards him and asked permission to fight. The Imam (a) did not permit him as he said with a sad tone, “You are the holder of my standard…” He, in fact, felt of power and protection so long as al-Abbas was with him. But Al-Abbas insisted on the permission and said, “I can no longer stand it. I want to take avenge upon those hypocrites.”
As the Imam (a) had nothing to do other than permitting his brother to fight, he asked him first to try to get water for the harem and children who were gravely thirsty. Al-Abbas first directed towards the Umayyad army with words of admonition and warning against Allah’s torture; he directed his speech to their commander, “Umar, this is al-Husayn son of the daughter of Allah’s Messenger. You have killed his companions and household. These are now his children and harem. They are thirsty and I ask you to give them water. Nevertheless, he is still calling you to let him go to Rome or India and leave al-Hijaz and Iraq for you…”
None from the Umayyad army could answer al-Abbas except Shimr who said to him, “If the whole surface of this earth is being water controlled by us, we will not give you a single drop of it before you submit to the leadership of Yazid.”
Hence, al-Abbas had to report this situation to his brother. Meanwhile, he heard the cries of the children because of thirst and saw the changes of their faces and the dryness of their lips. Therefore, he decided to get some water for them. He rode his horse, took a waterskin with him, and pushed himself towards the River Euphrates.
The Umayyad troops who were, according to some narratives, about four thousand warriors, fled away and he occupied the bank of that river alone. His heart was hot as if on fire because of thirst, but when he extended his hand to the water and tried to drink, he remembered the thirst of his brother, as well as his children and harem; hence, he threw the water from his hand and declared that he would not drink a single drop of it so long as his brother and leader, Imam al-Husayn (a), was thirsty.
After this tremendous situation of altruism that exceeded all dimensions of time and space, al-Abbas filled the skin with water and took the way back to his brother’s camp. For the meantime, the enemies surrounded him from every side and tried to prevent him from taking that water with him. He, fearlessly, fought against them and causing them big losses.
Chased by terror and fear, the enemies were fleeing away from Al-Abbas who copied his father in courage. However, one of the filthy hypocrites of Kufa waylaid him behind a date-palm tree, struck him from the back on his right hand, and cut it. Nevertheless, al-Abbas, the hero, did not care, and held the standard in his left hand and went on saying, “Even if you cut my hand, I will keep defending my religion and leader.” A few moments later, another man hid behind a tree, struck at al-Abbas with a sword on his left hand, and cut it.
Although he was bleeding and suffering from these wounds besides thirst, al-Abbas held on to the waterskin with his teeth and sped trying to take it to his brother’s children and harem. Meanwhile, a spear hit that skin of water and caused it to leak on the ground. Seeing this scene, al-Abbas stood gripped with sadness and perplexity. He did not know what to do. A few moments later, another man attacked him with an iron post and struck on the head. Al-Abbas fell to the ground and shouted, “Peace be upon you, Abu Abdullah!”
The wind carried the words of farewell to the Imam (a). So, he hurried toward River al-Alqami where al-Abbas fell. He pushed himself among the troops of the enemies and threw himself on the body of his brother. Expressing grief over the grave misfortune he had suffered with the martyrdom of al-Abbas, Imam al-Husayn (a) cried:
الآنَ انْكَسَرَ ظَهْرِي، وَقَلَّتْ حِيلَتِي، وَشَمُتَ بي عَدُوِّي.
From now my back has broken and I am without hope while my enemies are rejoicing at my misfortune.
No one can describe the real feelings of the Imam after the martyrdom of al-Abbas. However, historians have mentioned that he, as he was leaving the dead body of his brother, could barely move his feet. He came towards the camp while he was wiping away his tears. His daughter, Sukaynah, received him with the question, “Where is my uncle al-Abbas?”
The Imam (a) then wept openly and told her about her uncle’s martyrdom. His daughter could do nothing other than moaning aloud. The situation was more difficult for Lady Zaynab to face; as soon as she heard the news, she put her hand on her heart and shouted aloud, “Oh, for my brother! Oh, for al-Abbas! We have certainly lost everything as we lost you.”
It was surely grave misfortune for Imam al-Husayn (a) and the Prophet’s harem whose cries filled that place as they moaned for their guardian and protector. The Imam also participated with them weeping loudly, “We have surely lost everything as we have lost you, O Abul-Fadl al-Abbas.”
Abdullah, the six-month old baby of Imam al-Husayn (a), had fainted because of thirst. So, his mother carried him to Lady Zaynab so that she might do something. Lady Zaynab took the baby to her brother, Imam al-Husayn (a), and pleaded with him to get him some water. The Imam (a) took the baby, kissed him profusely, and carried him to the Umayyad army hoping that their hearts would feel pity for the baby and they would give him some water.
This situation did not have any effect on those heartless, inhumane creatures. Instead of sympathizing with the baby, they shot him an arrow at him that pierced his neck. Feeling the thrust of that arrow, the baby took his two hands away from his swaddle and fluttered like a slain bird against his father’s chest. Finally, he raised his head to the heavens and breathed his last breath before his father’s eyes.
The Imam (a) returned steadfastly and handed the slain baby to Lady Zaynab and then raised his two hands, which were full of the baby’s blood, towards the heavens, and complained to the Creator.
Imam al-Husayn (a) stood completely alone with self-possession and unprecedented resoluteness, in the midst of the battlefield where he was surrounded, from every side, by his brutal foes. Some were surprised at his courage while the others could not hide their amazement. Despite everything, Imam al-Husayn (a) attacked his enemies and caused them great losses.
He then returned to the tents to bid farewell and gave his last instructions to the harem. He ordered them to depend upon Almighty Allah by means of patience and steadfastness. He then turned his eyes towards his sister, Lady Zaynab, and instructed her to adhere to patience and try her best to hide her tears and irritation. He finally ordered her to be the guardian of the children and harem.
When he was about to leave, his harem surrounded him with eyes filled with tears and grievous hearts. The extremely ailing and weak, Ali Zayn al-Abidin, asked his aunt Lady Zaynab, to hand him a cane and a sword; a cane to support him stand erect and a sword to defend his father. Seeing this, Imam al-Husayn (a) asked his sister to keep Ali ibn ul Husayn (a) from proceeding towards the battlefield, and she did so forcibly.
Finally, he gave his last instructions to the harem - to dress in coarse loincloth, ready themselves for misfortunes, and submit completely to Almighty Allah. The Imam’s last words to them were:
اِسْتَعِدُّوا لِلْبَلاءِ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللهَ حَامِيكُمْ وَحَافِظُكُمْ وَسَيُنْجِيكُمْ مِنْ شَرِّ الأعْدَاءِ وَيَجْعَلُ عَاقِبَةَ أَمْرِكُمْ إلىٰ خَيْرٍ وَيُعَذِّبُ عَدُوَّكُمْ بِأَنْواعِ العَذَابِ وَيُعَوِّضُكُمْ عَنْ هٰذِهِ البَلِيَّةِ بِأَنْواعِ النِّعَمِ وَالكَرَامَةِ. فَلا تَشْكُوا وَلا تَقُولُوا بِأَلْسِنَتِكُمْ مَا يُنْقِصُ قَدْرَكُمْ.
Prepare yourselves for the imminent misfortunes. You should know that Allah will guard, protect, and save you from the evils of those enemies. He shall confer upon you with a good end result, shall punish your enemies with the most grievous chastisement, and shall award you for this adversity with the best graces and blessings. You therefore must not complain and must not say things that discredit you.
He then supplicated to his Lord and complained to Him against the misfortunes he had to suffer. He said:
صَبْراً عَلىٰ قَضَائِكَ يَا رَبُّ، لا إِلٰهَ سِوَاكَ، يَا غِيَاثَ المُسْتَغِيثِينَ، مَا لِي رَبٌّ سِوَاكَ وَلا مَعْبُودٌ غَيْرُكَ. صَبْراً عَلَىٰ حَكْمِكَ يَا غِيَاثَ مَنْ لا غِيَاثَ لَهُ، يَا دَائِماً لا نَفَادَ لَهُ، يَا مُحْيِيَ المَوْتَىٰ، يَا قَائِماً عَلَىٰ كُلِّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ، أحْكُُمْ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهُمْ وَأَنْتَ خَيْرُ الحَاكِمِينَ.
O Lord, I take patience from Your providence. There is no god save You. You are the helper of the succor-seekers. Except You, I have no other lord or deity. I take patience over Your rule. You are the helper of those without shelter. You are the everlasting Subsistent. You are the Watcher over each and every soul as to what it earns. (I implore to You to) judge between us and You are the best to judge.
From every side, the criminal, loathsome gang of the Umayyad army attacked Imam al-Husayn (a); they struck him with swords and stabbed him with lances.15
When he rested on the ground, none of them had the courage to put him to death. He therefore rested there for a long time.
Seeing this situation, Lady Zaynab stood at her tent’s open and mourned for the Imam (a) so sadly. She shouted, “Oh, for my brother! Oh, for my master! Oh, for the rest of my household! Would Allah the heavens had fallen upon the earth! Would Allah mountains had been made to crumble on plains!”
She then shouted at Umar ibn Saad, “How do you accept to watch Abu Abdullah while he is being slain?”
In answer, the cursed Umar turned his face away from her while his tears were shedding on his beard.
Because she could no longer see her brother in such a state, Lady Zaynab had to return to the tents to watch over the children and harem who soon would be without protection.
Umar ibn Saad then ordered the commanders of his army to put the Imam (a) to death, but none of them agreed except Shimr. He walked towards the Imam (a) and cut off his head.
The Imam’s horse began to neigh aloud and try to kick the enemies with its legs. It then smeared its face with the blood of the Imam and directed towards the tents of the harem.
Lady Zaynab ran towards the pure body of Imam al-Husayn (a) and saw how it was torn and ripped apart by swords and lances of those ruthless fiends. She then stood with perfect dignity and modesty before that body, although the surrounded by the enemies and glanced towards the heavens. She then uttered the statement, which was lit up with the purest spirit of faith and sincerity. She said to Almighty Allah:
اَللّهُمَّ تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا هَذا الْقُرْبَانَ.
O Allah, accept from us this offering.
Lady Zaynab received that misfortune with steadfastness because it was for sake of Almighty Allah and for keeping His religion as pure and genuine as it was revealed from the Heavens. With these words, she showed the real meaning of the Prophetic heritage and perseverance with the carrying out her father’s will.
After they had slain and marauded the Imam (a), the Umayyad army, on orders of their commandment carried firebrands and headed towards the tents of the Imam’s camp to put them on fire.
When these tents were put on fire, the children and harem had to leave them fleeing in any direction. The ladies of the Prophet’s family had to run from one tent to another, while the children, descendants of the Prophet (S), were crying and trying to cling to their guardian, Lady Zaynab. Some of them ran aimlessly.
These hours were the harshest misfortunes that the Prophet’s family had ever suffered. Throughout his life, Imam Ali Zayn al-Abidin (a) could not forget these hours. He used to remember them with grief, saying, “Whenever I look at my aunts and sisters, tears run from my eyes. I remember when they were running from one tent to another while the enemies were shouting: put the houses of the wrongful ones on fire.”
Moreover, the criminals usurped everything these tents included. They usurped their jewellery too. They also struck the ladies of the Prophet’s household with the lower parts of their lances while the ladies were turning to each other for protection.
The criminals attacked the ailing Ali Zayn al-Abidin. Shimr being determined to kill him, but another man rebuked and tried to prevent him. However, Shimr did not heed; he ran towards the ill Imam (a) to kill him. Lady Zaynab hurried towards her nephew, held on to him, and said, “No, you should first kill me before you kill him.”16 The cursed Shimr stopped because of this.
Out of his brutality, Umar, under a promise of awards, asked for volunteers to drive their horses to run over the chest and back of the body of Imam al-Husayn (a). Ten wicked horsemen stood up, rode their horses, and trampled upon the body of the Imam (a).
Night came, and it was the cruelest night in the life of the Prophet’s household. Despite everything, Lady Zaynab went into her mission as guardian of her martyred brother’s children and harem; she hurried to locate the children in that desolate desert and gathered them all in one place. She then comforted and consoled them with words of patience while the dead bodies of their fathers and brothers were scattered in that area and the criminals who were assigned to keep watch over the children and harem surrounded and them.
On that cruel night too, Lady Zaynab summoned all her strength, stood up, and offered a thanksgiving prayer to the Almighty Lord for the adversities and misfortunes she suffered. She also implored to the Lord to have these sacrifices in acceptance. She also offered the Night Prayer, but in a state of sitting because she had no further strength to stand up.17
The next day, the criminals decided to take the children and harem as captives to Kufa. The ladies however begged to the criminals to make them pass by the dead bodies of Imam al-Husayn (a) and the other martyrs. When her eyes fell on the severed, headless body of Imam al-Husayn (a), Lady Zaynab shouted with a grief-stricken voice:
يَا مُحُمَّدَاهُ! صَلَّىٰ عَلَيْكَ مَلِيكُ السَّمَاءِ! هٰذَا حُسَيْنٌ مُرَمَّلٌ بِالدِّمَاءِ مُقَطَّعُ الأَعْضَاءِ، وَبَنَاتُكَ سَبَايَا! إلىٰ اللهِ المُشْتَكَىٰ وَإلىٰ عَلِيٍّ المُرْتَضَىٰ وَإلىٰ فَاطِمَةَ الزَّهْرَاءِ وَإلىٰ حَمْزَةَ سَيِّدِ الشُّهَدَاءِ. هٰذَا حُسَيْنٌ بِالعَرَاءِ، تَسْفِي عَلَيْهِ الصَّبَا، قَتِيلَ أَوْلادِ الأدْعِيَاءِ. وَاحُزْنَاهُ! وَاكَرْبَاهُ! الْيَوْمَ مَاتَ جَدِّي رَسُولُ اللهِ! يَا أصْحَابَ مُحَمَّدَاه! هٰؤلاءِ ذُرِّيَّةُ المُصْطَفَىٰ يُسَاقُونَ سَوْقَ السَّبَايَا.
Oh, Muhammad! May the King of the Heavens bless you! This is Husayn! He is stained with his blood and his limbs are severed! And these are your daughters! They are being taken captives! Complaining (about this) is only to Allah, to Ali al-Murtada (the Pleased One), to Fatimah al-Zahra and to Hamzah the chief of martyrs. This is Husayn in the desert! Winds are blowing away his body! The illegitimate ones have killed him! Oh, for my grief! Oh, for my bereavement! Only on this day has my grandfather – the Messenger of Allah, dead. Oh, companions of Muhammad! These are the descendants of al-Mustafa -the Divinely Selected Prophet. They are being pushed like captives.
Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a) was the only man alive; he could not control himself when he saw the dead bodies of his father and the other martyrs left abandoned in the desert. His grief was about to kill him, but Lady Zaynab, noticing his nephew’s behavior, hurried to him and said:
مَا لِي أَرَاكَ تَجُودُ بِنَفْسِكَ يَا بَقِيَّةَ جَدِّي وَأَبِي وَإِخْوَتِي؟ لا يَجْزَعَنَّكَ مَا تَرَىٰ؛ فَوَاللهِ إنَّ ذٰلِكَ لَعَهْدٌ مِنْ اللهِ إلَىٰ جَدِّكَ وَأَبِيكَ. وَلَقَدْ أَخَذَ اللهُ مِيثَاقَ أُنَاسٍ مِنْ هٰذِهِ الأُمَّةِ لا تَعْرِفُهُمْ فَرَاعِنَةُ هٰذِهِ الأُمَّةِ، وَهُمْ مَعْرُوفُونَ فِي أَهْلِ السَّمَاوَاتِ، أَنَّهُمْ يَجْمَعُونَ هٰذِهِ الأَعْضَاءَ المُتَفَرِّقَةَ وَهٰذِهِ الجُسُومَ المُضَرَّجَةَ فَيُوارُونَهَا، وَيَنْصِبُونَ بِهٰذَا الطَّفِّ عَلَماً لِقَبْرِ أَبِيكَ، سَيِّدِ الشُّهَدَاءِ، لا يَدْرُسُ أَثَرُهُ وَلا يَعْفُو رَسْمُهُ عَلَىٰ كُرُورِ اللَّيَالِي وَالأَيَّامِ. وَلَيَجْتَهِدَنَّ أَئِمَّةُ الكُفْرِ وَأَشْيَاعُ الضَّلالَةِ فِي مَحْوِهِ وَتَطْمِيسِهِ، فَلا يَزْدَادُ أَثَرُهُ إلا ظُهُوراً وَأَمْرُهُ إلا عُلُوّاً.
O the legacy of my grandfather, father, and brothers: what for is it that I see you plead for death?18 Do not be sad for what you see. It is, by Allah I swear, it is only the announcement that Almighty Allah has already made to your grandfather and father.
Allah has certainly made a covenant with some people, who are not known by the tyrants on this earth but they are well known by the inhabitants of the Heavens, that they shall gather these severed organs and these bloodstained bodies to bury them. They shall also hoist in this land, al-Taff, a flag on the tomb of your father the Master of the Martyrs. Throughout days and ages, the mark of this tomb shall never be obliterated and its figure shall not be blotted out. Nevertheless, the heads of atheism and the spreaders of deviation shall exert all efforts for obliterating it, yet this shall make it more and more elevated instead.19
By these words, Lady Zaynab could calm her distressed nephew. She confirmed that these dead bodies would be buried and their tombs would be signs of perseverance with principles and sacrifice for the religion. The tomb of Imam al-Husayn (a), in particular, would be a never-ending cry in the face of every tyrant and would persist forever despite the very often attempts to obliterate it.
History has proved this fact; the Umayyad and Abbasid kings did their best to wipe out the tomb of Imam al-Husayn, but all their attempts failed, because it has not been only a place of burying a dead, yet severed, body, but it has been a loud statement in the face of everyone who tyrannizes or tries to persecute. It has been evidence about the fate of the wrongdoers, and the bright outcome that is awarded to those on the right path.
The earth too, has accepted not to hide its pride in having buried within - the severed bodies which carried unmatched, elevated souls that in turn upheld the most honorable principles of humanity. In reality, this earth has never contained an area more honorable and excellent than that which had the body of Imam al-Husayn (a) - the father of freedom, buried in it.
In modern history too, bombs and tanks could not stand against the elevated, lofty dome of the tomb of Imam al-Husayn. It was very natural that those who gave orders to bomb that dome met the same fate of those who gave orders and mobilized their powers to fight against the Imam (a).
Humanity too, must take pride in the anniversary of Imam al-Husayn's martyrdom so as to regain its true face and play the very role that the Creator has chosen for it.
- 1. See al-Nuri al-Tabrasi, Mustadrak al-Wasail, vol. 11, p. 112, as quoted from Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Irshad.
- 2. See Ibn Shubah al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-Uqul; the Masterpieces of the Intellects, p. 282, translated by Badr Shahin, First Edition, Ansariyan Publications, 2001.
- 3. See Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin al-Amili, Lawaij al-Ashjan, p. 131.
- 4. See Sayyid Murtaza al-Askari, Maalim al-Madrasatayn, vol. 3, p. 101.
- 5. The man of the tribe of Thaqif is either al-Mukhtar ibn Abu-Ubaydah al-Thaqafi who led a revolution after the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) and retaliated upon those who had fought against the Imam (a), or al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf al-Thaqafi who was given a free hand on the people of al-Kufah and, accordingly, ruled them extremely oppressively. However, Shaykh al-Shurayfi, in his book titled Mawsuat Kalimat al-Imam al-Husayn, p. 423, and Abdullah al-Bahrani, in his book titled al-Awalim – al-Imam al-Husayn, p. 253, recording this supplication of Imam al-Husayn (a), adds to it the following statement, “and set up upon them the man of the (tribe of) Thaqif as absolute ruler to kill all of them, each according to the sort of his participation (in the battle against the Imam).” Accordingly, the “man of the (tribe of) Thaqif” is al-Mukhtar ibn Abu-Ubaydah al-Thaqafi.
- 6. Shaykh al-Mufid, in his al-Irshad, vol. 2, p. 98, this statement is recorded as follows:
“No, by Allah! I will never extend my hands to you like the abject do, and I will never flee like slaves do.”
- 7. See Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 289.
- 8. See Ibn Shahrashub’s Manaqib Al(i) Abu-Talib; 3:250.
- 9. See Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari Tarikh al-Umam wa al-Muluk; vol. 4, p. 331.
- 10. See Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 44, p. 42.
- 11. See Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Mashhadi, al-Mazar al-Kabir, p. 487.
- 12. See Abul-Faraj al-Isfahani, Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 76.
- 13. See Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 45, p. 44.
- 14. See Sayyid Ibn Tawus al-Hasani, al-Lahuf fi Qatla al-Tufuf, p. 68.
- 15. See Shahid Hamid ibn Muhammad al-Mahalli, al-Hadaiq al-Wardiyyah, vol. 1, p. 126.
- 16. See Ibn San al-Qirmani, Akhbar al-Duwal, p. 108.
- 17. See Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi, Hayat al-Imam al-Husayn, vol. 3, p. 309.
- 18. According to Kamil al-Ziyarat, Imam Ali Zayn al-Abidin answered his aunt:
How should I not give myself up and be impatient while I see my master, my brothers, my uncles, my cousins, and my family members stained with blood, lying bare and looted without coffins and without burial, nobody can visit their bodies, and nobody can approach them, as if they are non-Arabs.
- 19. See Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Qummi, Kamil al-Ziyarat, p. 447. This is however a long narration the rest of which is as follows: Imam Ali Zayn al-Abidin, then asked his aunt, “What is that covenant and what is that promise?” Then Lady Zaynab reported:
Ummu-Ayman had narrated to me that the Messenger of Allah (S), once, visited the house of Lady Fatimah (a). She cooked for him a harirah – a soup of oil and flour, and Ali (a) offered to him a dish of dates. I, Ummu-Ayman, then served them with a big cup of milk and butter. The Messenger of Allah (S), Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn ate from that dish and drank from that milk. Then, the Messenger of Allah (S) washed his hand and Ali poured water on them. After that, the Prophet (S) passed his hands over his face and glanced at Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn with a pleasant gaze.
He then raised his sight to the Heavens for a while, directed himself towards the Qiblah, and extended his hands for supplication. He then prostrated himself and began sobbing in a loud voice and tear falling from his eyes. He then nodded his head down while his tears were shedding like rain. For this scene, Fatimah, Ali, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn (a), as well as I, felt sorry but no one dared to ask him for the reason. But when that weeping took a long time, Ali and Fatimah asked him, "O Messenger of Allah: what are you weeping for? May Allah never make you weep. Seeing your like this has wounded our hearts."
The Prophet (S) answered: Brother, when I was looking at you, I felt the pleasure that I have never felt before. I thus thanked Allah for this grace. For the meantime, Archangel Gabriel descended and foretold:
Muhammad, Allah the Blessed and Exalted has known your feelings and has known your pleasure with your brother, your daughter, and your two grandsons. He therefore has perfected for you this grace and congratulated you for this gift. He has decided to join their descendants, partisans, adherents, and them to you in Paradise. He has also decided not to separate them from you. He shall honor them in the same way as He shall honor you and shall give them the same graces He shall give to you until you will be pleased or even beyond your pleasure.
This is for many misfortunes that they will suffer and many adversities they will encounter at the hands of some people who falsely claim of having embraced your religion and belong to your ummah, while you and Allah disavow them. They will inflict massacres and killing upon your household and their adherents until their places of killing will be in various areas and their graves will be very far from one another. This is what Allah has chosen for them and for you. You should then thank Him for this choice and satisfy yourself with His providence.
The Prophet (S) then commented:
I therefore thanked Allah, and satisfied myself with that which He has decided for me regarding you. Then Archangel Gabriel added: Muhammad, after your demise, your ummah will persecute and discriminate against your brother (Ali). Your enemies will annoy him. After all, he will be killed at the hands of the most evil and most vicious creature who will be regarded as same as the killer of the she-camel of Prophet Salih. That will happen in a country to where Ali will emigrate, and that country, later on, will be the center of his and his descendants' adherents. On this land, too, they will suffer the harshest ordeals and the most catastrophic misfortunes.
Regarding your grandson, al-Husayn, he, along with a noble group of his family members and the most virtuous men of your ummah, will be slain on the bank of the River Euphrates in a land named Karbala. For that reason, your enemies will unavoidably suffer too much agony and torment on the day whose agony is ceaseless and ordeals are never-ending (namely, Day of Resurrection).
That land, namely Karbala, is the best place on this earth and the most sacred. It is a part of Paradise, as well. On that day when your grandson and his household will be slain and surrounded by groups of atheists and cursed ones, the earth shall be shaken, mountains shall swing and sway, waves of oceans shall move disorderly, and heavens shall quiver with their inhabitants, as signs of wrath for you and for your household, as well as the tremendous sin of violating your progeny and your sanctity and the ingratitude to you concerning your progeny.
All these creatures—the earth, mountain, oceans, and heavens will beseech to Almighty Allah to give them permission to stand for your wronged, persecuted descendants who are Allah's claim over humankind after you. As a result, Almighty Allah shall reveal to the heavens, earth, mountains, and oceans, saying:
"I am Allah the Omnipotent, the All-powerful. No fleer can escape Me and nothing can stop against My power. I am the worthiest of defending and avenging upon those criminals. I swear by My Supremacy and Majesty that I shall punish him whoever intruded upon My messenger and his chosen one by wronging his progeny, whoever violated his sanctity, whoever killed his descendants, whoever breached his pledge, and whoever persecuted his household. I shall punish all those with a punishment wherewith I have not punished any of My creatures."
By then, everything in the heavens and the worlds will invoke Allah's curse against those who will wrong your progeny and violate your sanctity. When the noble group (who will fight with al-Husayn) depart from life, Allah the All-mighty and Majestic will receive their souls Himself. Angels from the Seventh Heaven, having with them bowls of corundum and emerald filled with the Water of Life and garments and odors from Paradise, will descend to the earth to wash their dead bodies with that water, dress them with those garments, and treat them with camphor to give that odor.
Then, all angels will line up in rows to offer prayer on those bodies. After that, Allah will bring forward some peoples from your ummah, who are not known by the atheists and have not participated in that bloodshed in deed, word, or even intention, to bury those dead bodies and mark the tomb of the Master of Martyrs (namely, al-Husayn) with a sign on that land. This sign will be the stamp of the right party and will be the cause of success for the faithful believers.
On every day and night, one hundred thousand angels from each heaven will encircle that tomb, bless it, praise Allah there, seek Allah's forgiveness for anyone who visits it, and record the names of their fathers, tribes, and countries. They finally mark their foreheads with a sign of the Light of Allah's Throne and will record there: This is the visitor of the tomb of the Master of Martyrs and son of the best Prophet.
On the Day of Resurrection, that sign will glow in their faces so flashily that it will catch others' sights. From these signs, the visitors of al-Husayn's tomb will be recognized. On that day you too, Muhammad, will stand between Angel Michael and me, Ali will be with us, and innumerable angels will be with us as well. We will know them from that luminous signs in their faces as separate from other creatures until Almighty Allah will save them from the ordeals and difficulties of that day.
This is the certain award of Allah for those who visit your tomb or the tombs of your brother, Ali, and two grandsons purely for sake of Allah. Some people who deserved Allah's curse and wrath will exert all efforts for obliterating and wiping out the place of that tomb. But, Allah will not give them an opportunity to do.
The Messenger of Allah (S) commented: This prediction has grieved me and made me weep.
Then, Lady Zaynab added: When Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljim, the cursed, struck my father to death, I went to him and asked whether the report that Ummu-Ayman had narrated to me true or not. My father said: Ummu-Ayman has told the truth. I see coming that you, as well as your family’s harem, will be captives in this country. You will be submissive and terrified, fearing lest people might carry you away by force. At that time, be patient and adhere to patience, for, on that day, there will be no disciple (of Allah) on the earth except you, your followers and you partisans. I swear it by Him Who split the grains and created the souls.
When he informed us of these news, the Messenger of Allah (S) added: On the same day as al-Husayn will be slain, Iblis the cursed will be overjoyed and will wander about the earth with his devils and afreets to declare: “O devils, only today have we revenged ourselves on the descendants of Adam, attained our objective of wiping them out, and led them to the fire of Hell. Now, you must turn all your efforts towards filling people’s minds with doubt towards al-Husayn and his companions, inciting them to bear hostility against them, and provoking them against anybody who shows loyalty to them (i.e. al-Husayn and his companions) in order that people’s straying and atheism would be so guaranteed that none of them would be saved (on the Day of Resurrection).”
Even though he is the biggest liar, Iblis said the truth in that question. It is quite true that the good deeds of anyone who bears hostility against the Ahl al-Bayt are of no avail (no matter how great they are), and the sins, not the grand ones, of anyone who loves them and is loyal to them are of no harm.