Ibn Sa’d attributed to Imam Husayn (‘a) doing something which he actually never did. He wrote Ibn Ziyad claiming that he desired the reform of the nation and the beauty of unity. He stated the following in his letter:
“Allah has put out the fire of dissension, united the views, and reformed the nation's affairs. This Husayn has offered me to go back to where he had come from, or to go to one of the border towns and be one of the Muslims receiving what other Muslims receive and shouldering the same responsibilities like anyone else, or that the commander of the faithful, Yazid, comes and places his own hand in Husayn's and both men may discuss their views. All of this meets your pleasure, and there is in it goodness for the nation”.1
Far away it is that such a man of dignity could do any such thing. He is the one who taught people how to persevere when facing what they dislike and when meeting death. How could he place himself at the service of Marjana's son or follow the views of the son of the liver-chewing woman?!
Al-Husayn (‘a) had said to his brother, al-Atraf, “By Allah! I shall never submit to lowliness.” To Ibn al-Hanafiyya he said once, “I know of certainty that in that place shall I meet my death and the death of my companions; none shall survive except my son ‘Ali.” To Ja’far Ibn Sulaym’an al-Zab’i he said, “They shall never leave me till I am dead.”
The last statement he made during the Battle of Taff was:
“The bastard-son and the son of the bastard-son gave me the option to either accept a reward or to succumb to humiliation. Far away it is from us to do that! Allah refuses, and so does His Messenger, and so do the believers. [We are] good and purified families, dignified people, and honourable men who prefer to be killed in dignity rather than obey the abased.”
The statement made by Uqbah Ibn Sam’an explains the condition from which Abu ‘Abdullah, peace be upon him, was suffering. Said he, “I accompanied al-Husayn from Medina to Mecca, and from the latter to Iraq, and I did not part with him till he was killed.
I heard all his statements, but never did I ever hear him say what people claim, i.e. that he wanted to put his hand in Yazid's hand. I never heard him say so when I was with him in Medina nor in Mecca or on any highway, in Iraq or at his own camp, till he was killed. Yes, I heard him say, ‘Let me go in this spacious land.'”2