The discussion of al-Husayn's martyrdom has been one of the mysteries of creation, one of the legacies of the prophets, and one of the subjects quite often discussed by the wasis and the bearers of the secrets, so that the Master, Praise to Him, would acquaint them with this great revolutionary and with his superiority over everyone else: he was the one who safeguarded the conclusive Shari’a.
All those prophets came to pave the way for such Shari’a and train the souls to accept it. Allah will surely reward them for grieving over him, for denouncing such a painful tragedy.
Adam wept over him, and so did Abraham, the Friend of Allah Moses (‘a) and Jesus (‘a) condemned his killer and ordered the Israelites to curse him saying, “Whoever lives to see him should fight on his side for he would be rewarded as though he was martyred fighting on the side of a prophet, whether charging or retreating. It is as though I can see his spot; each and every prophet visits it.” He also addressed it saying, “You are a spot of plenty of goodness; in you shall be buried the magnificent moon.”1
Prophet Isma’il (‘a), the one who was truthful to his promise, opted to follow his example after being informed of his martyrdom so that the Awaited Imam, may Allah hasten his reappearance, may avenge his murder.2
The news of Husayn's impending martyrdom caused the holiest Messenger of Allah (S) to weep, and he eulogized him though he was still alive3, so what if he had seen him slain at Karbala’ among a group of his kinsfolk who all were like lanterns that shatter the darkness after depriving him and all those with him from drinking the same water they had permitted the animals to drink?
Yes, the Prophet of Mercy (S) witnessed a piece of his heart in such a condition for which the heavens are rent asunder, and he saw that a huge multitude immersed in falsehood was bent on eradicating his Progeny anew from the world. Some of those who were with him saw him looking once at them and once at the sky, submitting to destiny.4
When the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) passed by Karbala’ on his march to Siffin, he alighted there, pointed to a particular spot and said, “There shall they alight,” then he pointed to another spot and said, “There shall their blood be spilled.
The offspring of Muhammad (S) shall alight there.” After a while he said, “Alas! O soil from which some people shall enter Paradise without judgment!”5 Then he released his tears, and all those who were with him shed their tears, too, for seeing him thus weeping. He informed his closest followers that his son al-Husayn (‘a) would be martyred on that spot together with many youths who descend from Muhammad (S) together with his companions who are the masters of martyrs. Nobody ever reached their lofty status, nor will any..., ever.6
In another statement which he (‘a) made when word was circulated that a group of young people belonging to Muhammad's family would be killed at Karbala’, he said, “The heavens and the earth shall weep for them, too.7
May my father be sacrificed for one whose only supporter was Allah.”8 Then he added saying, “Banu Umayyah shall not cease immersing themselves in their misguidance till they unjustly spill the forbidden blood during the forbidden month It is as though I look at a handsome young man swimming in his blood. So once they do so, they will have none to seek excuses on their behalf, nor will they be able to maintain their government.”9
Salman the Persian once passed by Karbala’ on his way to Mada'in and said, “These are the places where my brethren will be killed, and this is the place where they will camp and their blood spilled! Here will the son of the best of the first generations and of the last will be killed.”10
Jesus son of Mary (‘a) passed once by the land of Karbala’ and saw gazelle grazing. The gazelle told him that they were grazing there only because of their love for the soil of the blessed offspring of Ahmad the Prophet (S), and that they felt secure in that land. Jesus (‘a) took some of their dung, sniffed it then supplicated saying, “O Allah! Preserve it so that his [Husayn's] father may sniff it, too, and find in it means of condolence and solace.”
The dung remained there till the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) came to Karbala’. By that time, it had turned yellow due to the passage of time. He took it, sniffed it then wept. He passed it on to Ibn ‘Abbas saying, “Keep it; if you one day see it boiling in blood, you should then know that al-Husayn is killed.” He did. On ‘Ashura Day in the afternoon, he saw it boiling in blood.11
- 1. Shaikh Abul-Qasim Ja’far Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ja’far Ibn Musa Ibn Qawlawayh al-Qummi (d. 367 A.H./978 A.D.), Kamil al-Ziyarat, p. 67.
- 2. Kamil al-Ziyarat, p. 65.
- 3. al-Suyuti, Al-Khasa’is, Vol. 2, p. 125, quoting Umm al-Fadl and Anas. It is also narrated by al-Marudi on p. 83 of his book A’lam al-Nubuwwa quoting ‘Ayisha. When such news came to the Messenger of Allah (S), he was in the company of ‘Ali (‘a), Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Huthayfah, ‘Ammar, and Abu Tharr. Ibn Hajar al-Haythami narrated it on p. 188, Vol. 9, of his book Mujma’ al-Zawa'id quoting ‘Ayisha. It is also narrated by Zakariya al-Ansari in his book Fath al-Baqi edited by the faqih al-Iraqi where it is mentioned at the end of p. 25, Vol. 1.
- 4. Ibn Qawlawayh, Kamil al-Ziyarat, p. 65.
- 5. Nasr Ibn Muzahim, Siffin, pp. 157-159.
- 6. Ibn Qawlawayh, Kamil al-Ziyarat, p. 27.
- 7. Abu Na’im, Dala'il al-Nubuwwa, Vol. 2, p. 211.
- 8. Usd al-Ghabah, Vol. 4, p. 169.
- 9. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha (first Egyptian edition), Vol. 4, p. 363.
- 10. al-Kashshi (Indian edition), Rijal, p. 13.
- 11. as-Saduq, Ikmal ad-Din, p. 295.