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Majlis 18

Speech Of Imam Al-Husayn (A) After He Prepares To Set Out For Karbala

Imam Al-Husayn (A) was a like his holy father in all aspects. In oratory also it was the same though he did not get as much opportunity as Imam Ali (A) during his apparent caliphate. The little opportunity he got was on his way from Mecca to Karbala.

Then the jewels of his oratory became manifest during the last eight days in Karbala. Most sermons of Imam Al-Husayn (A) present today were delivered during this period. The style of Imam Al-Husayn (A) resembled his father’s and a sea of essence and wisdom is seen surging in them.

Imam Ali (A) had said that the tongue is the medium of the expression of the soul. If gems of wisdom do not emerge from the tongue, what is the use of it? And if wisdom is present in the soul, the tongue cannot stop its emergence. Imam (A) said:

“We Ahl al-Bayt are masters of oratory. We are sovereigns of the country of oratory. The roots of elocution are buried in our existence and its branches provide shade only to us.”1

The first sermon of Imam Al-Husayn (A) while departing for Karbala from Mecca is full of magnificence and eloquence; it comprises of guidance, bravery, high-mindedness and faith in the unseen. After announcing his decision of traveling to Karbala Imam (A) informed the people that whoever supported his ideas could join him. Imam (A) said:

“Death has left a mark on the progeny of Adam like a mark is left on the neck a young woman because of her necklace. Death in the way of rightfulness is a matter of pride. I am eager to meet my ancestors as Yaqoob was eager to meet Yusuf.”

Further on, the Imam (A) said:

Whoever wants to meet Allah after getting martyred in our way should prepare to accompany us. God willing, we will depart from here tomorrow morning.”2

The Imam says: “O people! Whoever among you desires to sacrifice a small thing in the right way should think what to sacrifice. Come, let me show you that to end the fear hidden inside you, you must buy an arrow so that you can depart to meet your Lord. God willing, I will also depart tomorrow morning with the same intention. If Allah wills”.

  • 1. Nahjul Balagah, Faiz ul-Islam, sermon 224, pg 72: Nahjul Balagah, Subih Salih Sermon 233
  • 2. Lohoof, Pg. 60, Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 44, Pg. 366, Mausuat al-Kalimat al-Imam al-Husayn, Pg. 328.