Mourning of the Heavens and Earth and its inhabitants upon Imam Husayn (a.s.)

Shaikh Abu Ja’far Al-Tusi relates from Shaikh Mufeed, who relates from Ahmad bin Waleed, from his father, from Saffar, from Ibn Isa, from Ibn Abi Umayr, from Husayn bin Abi Fakhta, who says that I, along with Abu Salamah Sarraj, Yunus bin Ya’qoob, and Fazl bin Yasar, was in the presence of Imam Ja’far as Sadiq (a.s.). I asked, “May I be your ransom! I have to go the presence of these men (perhaps referring to the Bani Umayyah or Bani Abbas), we remember you there, and then what should we say?” Imam (a.s.) replied,

“Say thrice: May Allah’s blessings be upon you O Aba Abdillah”!

Then he turned towards us and said,

“Verily, when Abu Abdullah Imam Husayn (a.s.) was martyred, the seven heavens and the seven earths, and it’s inhabitants, and what lies in between them, and whatever whirls in paradise or hell, whether manifest or concealed, wept upon him, except three”.

I asked, “May I be your ransom! What are those three that did not weep upon him?” Imam Sadiq (a.s.) replied,

There is no other Deity except Allah in all certainty, there is no other Deity except Allah in devotion and humility, there is no other Deity except Allah in faith and truth”.

Shaikh Saduq relates from Jabalah Makkiyah who says that I heard Meytham at Tammar saying that, “By Allah! After the passing of the ten days of the month of Muharram, this nation will kill the son of their Prophet (S), while the enemies of Allah will consider this day to be that of affluence. While this shall certainly occur, and this has passed forth in the knowledge of Almighty Allah. I inquired regarding it from my master, the Commander of the faithful Imam Ali (a.s.), and he told me that everything, including the wild beasts of the forests, the fishes of the oceans, and the birds, shall weep upon him. As also the sun, the moon, the stars, the heavens and earth, and the believers from among the men and genie, as also all the Angels of the heavens and earth, and Rizwan (the gate-keeper) of paradise and Malik (the gate-keeper of hell), and the bearers of the empyrean will lament upon him. The heavens shall rain blood and sand”. Then he (Meytham) said, “O Jabalah! Then when you see that the sun has turned red in color similar to fresh blood, then know that the Master of Martyrs has been killed”. Jabalah says, that one day I stepped out of my house, and I saw the shade of sun upon the wall similar to a red linen. I started wailing and weeping and said, “By Allah! Our Master Husayn bin Ali (a.s.) has been killed”.

Shaikh Abul Qasim Ja’far bin Qawlawayh relates through his chain of transmitters from Imam Ja’far as Sadiq (a.s.), that (Caliph) Hisham bin Abdul Malik dispatched a messenger and called for my father (Imam Muhammad al Baqir). He reached Syria and when he entered therein, Hisham asked, “O Aba Ja’far! We have called you so that we may question you regarding an issue for which none is worthy of questioning except myself. Nor have I found anyone else upon the earth knowing its answer and being questioned, except one (i.e. you)”. My father (a.s.) asked,

“The commander may question me whatever he desires, if I know the answer I shall say so, and if I do not know it, I shall say so, while honesty is the best”.

Hisham said, “Tell me regarding the night on which Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) was killed, how would the one who was not present at the town of his martyrdom be aware of it, and what would be the sign for men regarding it? Then if you know the answer tell me, while also tell me whether this sign was apparent regarding Ali (a.s.) only or for anyone else too?”

My father (a.s.) replied,

O Commander! When the night, in which the Commander of the faithful Imam Ali (a.s.) was martyred, came forth, no stone was lifted up from the earth, except that fresh blood was seen underneath it, and this prevailed until the dawn. And similar happened on the night of the martyrdom of Prophet Haroon (a.s.), the brother of Prophet Moosa (a.s.). And it was repeated on the night in which Yusha’ bin Noon (the Vicegerent of Prophet Moosa) was martyred, as also the night on which Prophet Isa (a.s.), the son of Mariam (a.s.) ascended up. This was reiterated again on the night Sham’oon bin Jawn as Safa (the vicegerent of Isa) was martyred, and similarly on the night in which Husayn bin Ali (a.s.) was martyred”.

Hearing this Hisham was enraged until the color of his face faded away and he desired striking at my father. My father (a.s.) said,

O commander! It is incumbent upon people to obey their leader and guide him righteously. And my aim in answering the question of the commander was that his obedience was incumbent upon me, then you should be optimistic towards me”.

Hisham said, “You may return to your family whenever you desire”. But while he was just going, Hisham told him, “Then promise me and take an oath upon Allah, that until I am alive you shall not relate this to anyone”, and my father promised him.

We (the author) say, that what is said regarding the martyrdom of the martyrdom of Prophet Haroon is contrary to the reports that prove that Prophet Haroon (a.s.) died a natural death. Thus it is related from Imam Ja’far as Sadiq (a.s.), that Prophet Moosa (a.s.) one day told Prophet Haroon (a.s.) that,

“Come with me to the Mount Sinai”.

They went there until they reached a house near the door of which was a tree, while two sheets of clothes were hung upon it. Moosa (a.s.) told Haroon (a.s.),

“Go into the room and wear the two clothes and lie upon the platform therein”.

Haroon (a.s.) did as told, and when he lay upon the platform, Allah took away his soul. It is similarly quoted in the authentic reports, while Imam Baqir (a.s.) had intended to speak in view of the belief of Hisham, who believed that Prophet Haroon (a.s.) had been killed. Thus the Jews told Moosa (a.s.), “Haroon did not die, but you killed him”.

An account of Zuhri on the Martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.)

Ibn Abd Rabbah, while narrating regarding the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.), quotes through his chain of authorities reaching Umar bin Qays and Aqeel. While both of them narrate from Zuhri, who says that I, along with Qutaybah, left for the city of Masseesah and went to visit Abdul Malik bin Marwan. He was seated in his portico while people were standing in two rows from the gate till near him. And whatever he desired, he would convey it to him who was standing near him and he in turn would pass on to the one near him until it reached the door. None would be trespassing from in between the two rows, and then we came and sat at the door.

Abdul Malik addressed one of them seated on his right side saying, “Are you aware as to what occurred in Bait al Muqaddas on the night, the morning of which Husayn (a.s.) was killed?” Each one started questioning the other until it passed the door, while none could answer it. Then I said, “I possess a report regarding this”.

This statement of mine passed through one another until it reached Abdul Malik who summoned me. I went and stood in between the two rows near Abdul Malik and saluted him. He asked, “Who are you?” and I replied, “I am Muhammad bin Muslim bin Abdullah bin Shihab Zuhri, while I am included among the genealogists”. Abdul Malik was very curious with regards to the reports, and asked, “Tell me as to what occurred in Bait al Muqaddas on the night, the morning of which Husayn (a.s.) was killed?”

I replied, “Verily, such and such person (here I named the traditionist) narrated to me, that on the night, the morning of which Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) as also Husayn bin Ali (a.s.) were martyred, pure blood was visible beneath every stone which was lifted from the ground in Bait al Muqaddas”.

Abdul Malik replied, “You speak the truth. Whoever has narrated to you has also narrated to me similarly, while you and me are the sole recipients of this narration”. Then he retorted, “Why have you come here?” I replied, “I have come here to guard the frontiers”. He said, “You may remain at guard upon my door”. I remained with him and he bestowed abundant wealth upon me. Then I took permission from him to go to Madinah, and accompanied by my slave, I proceeded further with a bag of wealth with me.

I lost the bag and my suspicion went upon the slave, I tried by bribing and warning but he did not admit it. I threw him down and sat upon his chest, and placed my elbow upon his chest while pressing it hard. I had no intention of killing him, but he succumbed to the pressure of my elbow while I regretted it. I returned to Madinah and inquired from Sa’eed bin Musayyab, Abu Abdul Rahman, Urwah bin Zubayr, Qasim bin Muhammad and Salim bin Abdullah. They replied, “We do not know the repentance for it”.

This news reached Imam Ali bin Husayn (a.s.) and he called for me. I went to his presence and narrated to him the entire episode. He said,

“You can certainly repent. Then fast for two months consequently, and free a believer from the bondage of slavery and feed sixty destitutes”.

I performed these acts and then left to meet Abdul Malik bin Marwan. News had reached him that I had lost the wealth, I remained at his door for some days while he did not grant me permission to enter. I became friendly with the teacher of his children who taught his son (the etiquette as to) how to speak to his father. I told his tutor, “How much wealth do you aspire to acquire from Abdul Malik, while I shall give you the wealth equal to it. But you will have to teach his son that when he goes to the presence of his father, he should plead on my behalf”.

The teacher asked, “What do you desire?” I replied, “He should say that Zuhri pleads that the commander should be pleased with him”. He taught him to do so, hearing which Abdul Malik laughed and said, “Where is Zuhri?” He said that I was upon the door, and he permitted me to enter. I went to his presence and said, “O ‘Commander of the faithful’! Sa’eed bin Musayyab narrates from Abu Hurayrah, who narrates from the Prophet of Allah (S) that he said: A believer does not fall in the same pit twice (i.e. a believer does not commit the same mistake twice)”.

I (the author) say, that Masseesah is a city adjoining Jeehan, a border-town of Syria. It is situated in between Antioch (an ancient city of Syria, now in South Turkey) and Rome, and is an ancient place of shelter for the Muslims. While Masseesah is also the name of another village among the villages of Syria near ‘Bait Laheeya’ adjoining the ‘Door of Damascus’.

While Zuhri meant the former one for he introduced himself as related to the border-town. And as regards Abdul Malik telling him that, “Both of us are alien (ghareeb) with regards to this tradition”, he meant that they were the sole recipients, while one of the meanings of ‘Ghareeb’ in Hadees is that one man may narrate the text of the tradition.

Shaikh Abul Qasim Ja’far bin Qawlawayh Qummi relates from Zuhri, that when Imam Husayn (a.s.) was martyred, there was no pebble in Baitul Muqaddas, except that pure blood was found beneath it.

It is also narrated by Haris A’awar, that Imam Ali (a.s.) said,

“May my parents be ransom upon Husayn (a.s.), who shall be martyred behind Kufa! By Allah! It is as if I see the species of beasts stretching their necks upon his grave and weeping and lamenting upon him from the night until the dawn. Then when this happens, one should remain away from tyranny and ungratefulness”.

Zurarah relates from Imam Ja’far as Sadiq (a.s.) that he said,

“O Zurarah! Verily the heavens wept blood for forty mornings upon Husayn (a.s.). The earth turned dark for forty mornings, and the sun was eclipsed and turned red for forty mornings, while the mountains crumbled and scattered and the seas exploded. The Angels wept for forty mornings upon Husayn (a.s.), and until the head came to us, our women did not dye or oil they hair nor did they apply colyrium or comb their hair. We always remained grief-stricken after him, while my grandfather (Imam Zainul Abdeen) wept whenever he remembered him until his beard was soaked in his tears. And whoever would see him would become sorrowful and weep. The Angels at the head of his grave weep too, and whoever is there in the environment and heavens weep due to their weeping.

And it is said that: No tears or eyes are more cherished near Allah than these eyes, which shed tears upon him. Then whoever weeps upon him, Fatemah (a.s.) receives news regarding it, while this being the cause for his felicity. And this news reaches the Prophet of Allah (S), and it is as if he has fulfilled our rights. There is no man who shall not arise weeping on the day of Qiyamah, except those who weep upon my grandfather, while they shall arise with enlightened and illuminated eyes and a cheerful countenance. The people will be in fright, while they will be in peace. Others would be standing for accounting, but they will remain along with Husayn (a.s.) among his associates under the empyrean and it’s shade, while they shall not be fearful of the evils of accounting.

It shall be said to them: Proceed towards paradise. They shall not pay any heed and their hearts will not detach from the companionship of Imam Husayn (a.s.) and conversing with him. The houries will send invitation to them that they, along with the ‘the youths of unchanging bloom’, are anxious to have a view of them, but they shall not lift their heads and shall remain engrossed in joy and mercy of the companionship of Imam Husayn (a.s.).

While some of his enemies shall be seized by their disheveled hair and thrown into hell, while some will call out that they do not have any intercessor or a friend in need for them. Their (the mourners of Imam Husayn) friends in Paradise will behold their (exalted) status, but will not be able to near them or inquire from them. The Angels of paradise will bring forth good-tidings for them from their mates (houries) and the bearers of their wealth as to what pleasantries awaits them. They shall reply that, Allah willing, we shall come to you. The Angels shall convey their messages to the houries, whose eagerness will increase after they hear regarding their excellence due to their proximity with Imam Husayn (a.s.). Then they shall say: Praise be to Allah, that He has delivered us from the great calamity and the frightful desert of Qiyamah and saved us from what we feared. Then their mounts shall be brought forth and they shall sit upon them, while eulogizing Allah, the Praiseworthy, and greeting Muhammad (S) and his Progeny (a.s.) and shall reach their destination”.

It is related from the Commander of the faithful Imam Ali (a.s.), that he was in Rahbah and recited the following verse:

“So wept not on them the heavens and the earth nor were they respited” (Surah ad-Dukhan, 44:29).

Instantaneously Imam Husayn (a.s.) came to his presence while entering from one of the doors of the Mosque. Seeing him, Imam Ali (a.s.) said,

It is he, who shall be killed, and the heavens and earth shall weep upon him”.

Imam Ja’far as Sadiq (a.s.) says that,

“The heavens and the earth wept upon Imam Husayn (a.s.) and turned red. They did not weep upon anyone else except Prophet Yahya bin Zakariyya (a.s.) and Husayn (a.s.)”.

While at another place it is quoted from him that,

“The murderer of Yahya bin Zakariyya (a.s.) was an illegitimate child, as also the murderer of Imam Husayn (a.s.). The heavens and the earth did not weep upon anyone else except these both”.

The narrator asked, “What does the weeping of the heavens mean?” Imam replied,

“The sun arose with a red color and set similarly”.

Dawood bin Firqad says, that I was seated in the house of Imam Ja’far as Sadiq (a.s.), when we saw a pigeon named Ra’ebee (or Zaghabee) humming excessively. Imam (a.s.) looked towards me for a lengthy time and said,

“Do you know what this bird says?”

to which I answered in the negative. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said,

“It curses the murderers of Imam Husayn (a.s.). Thus preserve these birds in your houses”.

Husayn bin Ali bin Sa’ed Barbari, the caretaker of the grave of Imam Ali ar Reza (a.s.), relates from his father, that Imam Reza (a.s.) said,

“Do you see this owl? In the days of my grandfather, the Prophet of Allah (S), it took residence in buildings, mansions and houses. Then when people would sit to eat, they would fly and sit close to them. The people would throw food for them and they would also drink water and fly away. But when Imam Husayn (a.s.) was martyred, they went away from the inhabited places to the deserted places, mountains and deserts. Then they said : What an evil nation are you, that you killed the son of your own Prophet! We do not find ourselves safe near you with regards to our lives”.

Shaikh Saduq relates from Imam Ja’far as Sadiq (a.s.), who relates from his father (Imam Muhammad al Baqir), who narrates from his father (Imam Ali Zainul Abedeen), that he said that one day Imam Husayn (a.s.) went to his brother Imam Hasan (a.s.). When he looked at Imam Hasan (a.s.), he started weeping. Imam Hasan (a.s.) asked, “O Aba Abdillah! Why do you weep?” Imam Husayn replied that he wept on account of the oppression that would befall him. Imam Hasan (a.s.) said,

“The last oppression that shall befall me is the fatal poison that will be poured in my mouth and I shall succumb to it. But my day would not be similar to that of yours’ O Aba Abdillah! Thirty thousand people, claiming to follow our Grandfather Muhammad (S) and follow Islam, will unite to attack you and shed your blood, and violate the sanctity, while captivating your women-folk and children, and plundering your tents. At that moment the wrath (of Allah) will descend upon the Bani Umayyah, and the heavens shall rain blood and sand, and all things will lament upon you, to the extent that the wild-beasts of the forests and the fish of the rivers will also weep upon your sufferings”.

In the salutations recited by Sayyid Murtaďa, ‘The Standard of Guidance’, it is said, “Islam smeared in dust along with you, and the statutes and ordinances (of Islam) came to a standstill, the day turned dark while the sun became eclipsed, the moon became dusky while the rain and blessings of Allah halted, the heavens and the earth trembled as also the earth of Batha, trials became universal and ideals became diverse, the Prophet turned sorrowful as also Batool (Sayyidah Fatemah), intelligence and talents were routed”.

Ibn Hajar in his Sawaeqe Muhriqa, and Abu Na’eem in his Dala’ilun Nubuwwah, relate from Nusrah, a woman from the clan of Azd, that she said, “When Imam Husayn (a.s.) was martyred, the heavens rained blood. When it dawned, our buckets and jars were full of blood”.

It is quoted similarly in other traditions, and among the signs of martyrdom are that the sky turned pitch black during day until stars were visible. While no stone was lifted up, except that there was pure blood underneath it.

Abush Shaikh says, that the seeds of green-weeds that were there in their camps turned into ash. This caravan had come from Yemen towards Iraq and reached them during the time of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.).

Ibn Uyaynah relates from his grandmother, who says that a Camel-rider, whose seeds had turned into ash, narrated to me, that we slaughtered a camel in our camp and rats entered into its flesh. We cooked the meat but it tasted bitter similar to a colocynth. The heavens had turned red due to his martyrdom and the sun was eclipsed until the stars were visible during mid-day. People assumed that Qiyamah had arrived while no stone was lifted up in Syria, except that there was pure blood visible beneath it.

Usman bin Abi Shaybah relates, that after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.) the sky became such, that for seven days the walls showed red-like crimson linen, while the stars seemed as if colliding with one another.

Ibn Jawzee relates from Ibn Sireen, that the universe became dark for three days and then redness became visible in the heavens.

Abu Sa’eed says, that no stone was lifted up anywhere upon the world, except that there was pure blood underneath it. The heavens rained blood, stains of which remained for a long time upon the clothes.

Sa’labi and Abu Na’eem relate similarly, and then say, that it rained blood. While Abu Na’eem states further, that when it dawned, their buckets and jars were full of blood. It is also related, that it rained blood upon the walls and houses of Khurasan, Syria and Kufa. And when the head of Imam Husayn (a.s.) was taken to the house of (Ubaydullah) Ibn Ziyad, blood flowed upon his walls. Sa’labi says, that the heavens wept, while their weeping was that it turned red. Some others say, that the horizon of the sky became red for a period of six months after his martyrdom. And thereafter the redness persisted (until today).

Ibn Sireen says, that report has reached us, that the redness of the evening twilight was never visible before the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.).

Ibn Sa’ad says, that this redness was not visible in the sky before the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.).

Sibt Ibn Jawzee says, that when we are enraged our faces turn red, but Allah Almighty is independent of possessing a face and thus His anger upon the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.) was the effect of redness in the skies so as to portray this great crime. Here ends the quotation from Sawaeqe Muhriqa. While in the interpretation of the Qaseedah of Hamziyah, it is quoted with similar contents.

It is related in Tazkirah of Sibt Ibn Jawzee from Hilal bin Zakwan, that when Imam Husayn (a.s.) was martyred, we saw the walls as if smeared with blood for a period of two or three months from the time of the morning Prayers until the sun-set. We went on a journey and suddenly it rained, stains of which, similar to blood, remained upon our clothes.

Ibn Shahr Ashob relates in his Manaqib from Qarzah bin Ubaydullah, who says that once during mid-day it rained upon the white blankets, and when we saw it was blood. When the camels were taken to the waterfront to partake of it, it (the river) had turned into blood. Then we received news that Imam Husayn (a.s.) was martyred on that day.

It is related in the same book from Aswad bin Qays, who says that when Imam Husayn (a.s.) was martyred, redness appeared (in the heavens) from the east, and another from the west. It seemed that soon they would join each other, and this continued for six months.

It is related in Uqud al Juman of Suyuti, that they (the astrologers) say, that the sun eclipse does not appear, except on the twenty- eighth or twenty-ninth of a month, this is nothing but conjunction, may Allah kill them. According to what is related by the Saheehayn (Saheeh of both Bukhari and Muslim) that the sun entered into eclipse on the day of the death of the Ibrahim, the son of Prophet (S), which was on the tenth of the month of Rabi’ul Awwal. This is related by Zubayr bin Bukar. It is quite renowned in history that it entered eclipse again on the day of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn, the day of the tenth (of Muharram).

Our Shaikh Shaheed (al Awwal) in his Zikra says, that it is quite renowned that the sun entered eclipse on the day of Ashura due to the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.) such that stars were visible during mid-day.

Bayhaqi and others too relate similarly, and as we have quoted earlier, that on the day of the death of Ibraheem, the son of the Holy Prophet (S), the sun was eclipsed. And Zubayr bin Bukar, in the book Ansab says, that he died on the tenth of the month of Rabi’ul Awwal.

Our Masters relate, that one of the signs of the (reappearance of) Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) is that the sun would be eclipsed in the first-half of the month of Ramazan.