Departure from Medina

Al-Husayn (‘a) left Medina for Mecca on the eve of a Sunday, two days before the end of Rajab, accompanied by his offspring, brothers, and the offspring of his brother al-Hasan (‘a) together with his family1 He kept reciting this verse from the Holy Qur’an:

“So he went out of it fearful, apprehensive. Said he: Lord! Save me from the oppressive people!” (Qur’an, 28:21).

The Imam (‘a) took the main highway, whereupon some people suggested to him to take a side route as Ibn al-Zubayr had done, perhaps he would not be caught by those who sought to arrest him. “No, by Allah,” said the Imam (‘a), “I shall not abandon it till Allah carries out His will.
He reached Mecca on a Friday, three days after the beginning of the month of Sha’ban as he was reciting,

“When he went in the direction of Midyan, he said: Perhaps my Lord will guide me to the right way”2 (Qur’an, 28:22).

He stayed at the house of al-’Abbas Ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib3 here the people of Mecca and those who went there for the ‘umra met him, and so did those who came from the suburbs.

[‘Abdullah] Ibn al-Zubayr was camping near the Ka’ba as al-Husayn (‘a) kept meeting people. It was hard for him to see al-Husayn (‘a) entering Mecca because he (‘a) was greater than him and more prestigious and because people were more willing to swear fealty to him; so, nobody would go to Ibn al-Zubayr to swear it to Yazid.
Al-Husayn (‘a) went out one day to visit the grave of his grandmother Khadija. He prayed there then supplicated to Allah for a good while.4

My heart do I present to the noble ones who
To nobility they saddled their mounts
Trailed by fates, troubled with eulogies,
A caravan for whom Paradise is the destination,
Passing through many a trial and tribulation,
The earth shrunk for a man like al-Husayn,
Not knowing a haven, an entrance,
Seeking security in the desert while
Being ever apprehensive of Banu Sufyan.
The Sacred House was honoured by him,
After blindness, his line became clear to all.
O perturbed one! None other than the light
Of your will can guide anyone at all.
Vast in munificence, to space confined,
Should anyone else be with calamity strained?
Who would from his trouble free?
O king! You did your own subjects oppress
Your Lord decreed caliphate should you possess.5


  • 1. al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 190.
  • 2. al-Mufid, Irshad.
  • 3. Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh, Vol. 4, p. 328.
  • 4. Shaikh Ja’far al-Shushtari, Al-Khasa’is al-Husayniyya, p. 35 (Tabriz edition).’Abdullah Nur-Allah al-Bahrani, Maqtal al-’Awalim, p. 20.
  • 5. Excerpted from a poem by Hujjatul-Islam Shaikh Muhammad Husayn Kashif al-Ghiťa’, may Allah sanctify him.