Relating to the Martyrdom of Our Master Abu Abdullah Husayn (a.s.), and furthermore the Martyrdom of a suckling child and Abdullah bin Hasan (a.s.)
This is the section that causes the tears to flow, grills the heart, and scorches the liver of the believers! Complaint (against this tyranny) is to Allah and aid is requested from Him (alone)!
In some books of Martyrdom it is related that when Imam Husayn (a.s.) saw that seventy-two persons among his friends and relatives had fallen down, he turned toward the tents of his family and called out,
“O Sakinah! O Fatemah! O Umm Kulthum! My salutations be upon you all!”
Hearing this Sakinah said, “O dear father! Have you resolved to die?” Imam replied,
“How could the one, who is bereaved by his friends and helpers, not resolve to die?”
Sakinah said, “O dear father! Then return us back to the sanctuary of our grandfather”. Imam replied,
“Alas! If a sand-grouse (a type of a bird) is released at night, it will sleep in peace”.
Hearing this, the women of his family started lamenting and Imam Husayn (a.s.) consoled them.
It is related in the same book that Imam Husayn (a.s.) then turned towards Umm Kulthum (a.s.) and said,
“I enjoin you towards goodness in matter of yourself. I am proceeding towards the battlefield in the midst of these enemies”.
Hearing this Sakinah started lamenting while Imam loved her extremely. He pressed her to his chest and wiped her tears and said,
“Know O my dear Sakinah! Very soon you will have to weep after me when death will have surrounded me, then do not aggrieve me now with your tears until the spirit remains in my body. Then when I am killed, you are more worthy of weeping upon me, O the best of women!”
It is related from Imam Muhammad al Baqir (a.s.), that when Imam Husayn (a.s.) resolved to be martyred, he called for his eldest daughter Fatemah (a.s.). He then handed over to her a sealed envelope and an open testament. Imam Ali bin Husayn (Zainul Abedeen) (a.s.) was ill at that moment, Fatemah later handed over the letter to Imam Ali Zainul Abedeen (a.s.) and from him it came down to us.
It is related in Isbatul Wasiyyah of Mas’oodi, that Imam Husayn (a.s.) called for Imam Ali Zainul Abedeen (a.s.) in his state of illness, and then handed over to him ‘the Exalted Name’ (of Allah) and the legacy of the Prophets. He told him that he had handed over the (esoteric) wisdom, texts, books and weapons to Umm Salama (a.s.) and had advised her to hand over those things to him.
It is related in the same book that Khadijah, the daughter of Imam Jawad (a.s.) and sister of Imam Hadi (a.s.) says that Imam Husayn (a.s.) apparently bequeathed to his sister Sayyidah Zainab (a.s.), and during the days of (the Imamate of) Imam Ali Zainul Abedeen (a.s.), the Knowledge of Ale Muhammad (a.s.) spread through her medium so as to conceal Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s.) (from the enemies) and to safeguard his life.
Qutubuddin Rawandi in his Da’wat relates from Imam Ali Zainul Abedeen (a.s.), that on the tenth of Muharram, my father pressed me to his heart while blood was flowing through him, and he said,
“O dear son! Memorize the supplication which Sayyidah Fatemah (a.s.) received from the Prophet of Allah (S), who in turn received from Jibra’eel and which was handed down to me, for it is beneficial for fulfillment of all desires, in important matters, anxieties, harsh circumstances and vital tasks.”
The supplication is as follows:
BISMILLAHIR RAHMANIR RAHEEM
BEHAQQE YASEEN WAL QUR’ANIL HAKEEME, WA BEHAQQE TAHA WAL QUR’ANIL ‘AZEEME, YA MAN YAQDERO ‘ALA HAWA’EJIS SA’ELEENA, YA MAN YA’ALAMO MA FIZ ZAMEERE, YA MUNAFFESAN ‘ANIL MAKRUBEENA, YA MUFARREJAN ‘ANIL MAGMUMEENA, YA RAHEMASH SHAIKHIL KABEERE, YA RAZEQAT TIFLIS SAGEERE, YA MAN LA YAHTAJO ILAT TAFSEERE, SALLE ‘ALA MUHAMMADIW WA ALE MUHAMMAD.
We (the Author) say, that another supplication of Imam Husayn (a.s.) is quoted on the morning of the tenth, while a third one narrated from him on the same day and which has been quoted by Shaikhut Taifa (Al-Tusi) in the supplications of the third of Sha’ban wherein he says:
“Then recite the supplication of Imam Husayn (a.s.) on the day of Kauthar (referred to the tenth of Muharram).”
It is related by Kaf’ami that the last supplication of Imam Husayn (a.s.) on the day of Ashura is ....... (until the end).
It is related in Biharal Anwar, after quoting the martyrdom of an infant child who had come out of the tent, that Imam Husayn (a.s.) turned towards the right and did not find anyone. He then turned towards the left and saw none, Imam Ali Zainul Abedeen (a.s.), who did not even have the strength to lift up a sword (due to ailment), came out. Umm Kulthum (a.s.) followed him calling out, “O dear son, return back”. He replied,
“O dear Aunt! Leave me so that I may strive for the son of the Prophet of Allah”.
Imam Husayn (a.s.) saw him and said,
“O Umm Kulthum! Stop him, lest the world may turn vacant of the descendants of Muhammad (S)”.
His mother was Rabab, the daughter of Imru al Qays bin Adi, and her mother was Hind al Hanood. Sayyid Ibn Tawoos says that when Imam Husayn (a.s.) saw the corpses of his youth and friends, he resolved to be martyred, and called out,
“Is there anyone who could defend the family of the Prophet of Allah? Is there any monotheist who would fear Allah in respect of us? Is there any aide who could come to assist us for the sake of Allah? Is there anyone who could rush to our aid in lieu of reward from Allah?”
The voice of lamenting of the ladies arose and Imam came to the door of the tent and called for Zainab (a.s.) saying,
“Give me my infant child so that I may bid him farewell”.
Then he took him in his arms and bent to kiss his lips. Hurmala bin Kahil Asadi shot at arrow at the child, which pierced his neck and severed his head. (May Allah’s Mercy and Blessings be upon him and may Allah’s curse be upon his murderer) A Poet says regarding this, “And the one who bent to kiss his child, but the arrow preceded him in kissing his neck”. Then he called out to Sayyidah Zainab (a.s.) to take him back. He filled his palm with the child’s blood and threw it towards the heavens saying,
“Every hardship is easy upon me when Allah is the Beholder”.
Shaikh Mufeed says regarding the suckling child that Imam Husayn (a.s.) sat in front of the tent while Abdullah, who was an infant, was brought to him. A man from the Bani Asad killed him by shooting an arrow at him.
Azdi says that Aqabah bin Basheer Asadi relates from Imam Muhammad al Baqir (a.s.) that he told me,
“O Bani Asad! We hold a liability of blood among you”.
I asked, “O Aba Ja’far! What sin do I share in it? And which is that blood?” Imam replied,
“A child was brought to Imam Husayn (a.s.), who held him in his lap, one person from among you, the Bani Asad, shot an arrow at him and severed his head. Imam gathered his blood and when both of his palms became full of the blood, he sprinkled it upon the earth and said, ‘Almighty Allah! If You have withheld assistance from the heavens, then bestow upon us that which is better, and take our revenge from these evil-doers’.”
Sibt Ibn Jawzee relates in his Tazkirah from Hisham bin Muhammad Kalbi, that when Imam Husayn (a.s.) saw them persistent on killing him, he brought the Qur’an and opening it placed it upon his head, and called out,
“The Qur’an and my grandfather, the Prophet of Allah (S), are the judge between yourselves and me. O people! How do you consider the shedding of my blood to be lawful? Am I not the grandson of your Prophet? Has not the tradition of my grandfather reached you regarding me and my brother that we are the Masters of the youth of Paradise? Then ask Jabir (bin Abdullah Ansari), Zaid bin Arqam and Abu Sa’eed Khudri. Is not Ja’far at Tayyar my uncle?”
Shimr replied, “You shall shortly hasten towards ‘the raging fire’ (of hell) (Allah’s refuge)”. Imam said,
“Allah is great! My grandfather the Prophet of Allah informed me, that he saw a dog filling his throat with the blood of his Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), and I perceive that it is none other than you”.
Shimr replied, “I shall worship Allah by the tongue only, if I understand what you speak”. Imam Husayn (a.s.) turned his face and saw his infant weeping due to thirst. He took him in his lap and said,
“O people! If you do not pity me, at least pity this young one”.
A man shot an arrow at the child and severed his neck. Imam wept and said,
“O Allah! Be a judge between us and those who invited us, having promised assistance, and in return killed us”.
A voice came from the heavens calling out to him,
“Leave him O Husayn! For he has a maid awaiting to nurse him in Paradise”.
Then Haseen bin Tameem shot an arrow at his lips and blood flowed from it. Imam wept and then said,
“O Allah! I complain to You regarding how they have faired with me, my brothers, my sons and my family”.
Ibn Nima says that then he lifted up the child and placed him among the martyrs of his family.
Muhammad bin Talha quotes in his Matalibus Su’ool from the book Futooh, that Imam Husayn (a.s.) had an infant child. An arrow was shot at him that killed him, and then Imam dug a grave with his sword for him and reciting Prayers upon him, buried him. Then he quotes an elegy.
It is stated in Ehtijaj, that when Imam Husayn (a.s.) was left alone and none remained with him except his son Ali Zainul Abedeen (a.s.) and a suckling child named Abdullah. He lifted up the child to bid farewell, when an arrow came and pierced the neck killing him. Imam dismounted from his horse and dug a grave with the sheath of his sword, then he buried the child under the sand drenched in his blood, he then leapt from his place, arose and recited elegies. The writers of Martyrdom, as well as the author of Ehtijaj say, that then Imam mounted his horse and went for the battle while saying:
“The nation has disbelieved and have turned their face away from the reward of the Lord of the worlds; the nation killed Ali and his son Hasan, the excellent, the son of esteemed parents; they were filled with hatred and rancor and called upon people and gathered to fight Husayn; Woe be to the ignoble nation that assembled groups to fight the people of the ‘Two Sacred Sanctuaries’; thus they left while inviting others towards obedience of the apostates; opposing Allah to shed my blood, for the sake of Ubaydullah from the progeny of the polytheists; and the son of Sa’ad has killed me aggressively with the help of an army similar to torrential rains; and all this was not in restitution of any crime committed before me, except that my pride are the two stars, Ali who was the best after the Prophet, and the Prophet who was the son of Quraishite parents; my father is the best among men and I am the son of the two best ones, the silver which has emerged from gold, I am the silver the son of the two golden ones; then is the grandfather of anyone among men similar to my grandfather, or their father similar to my father; then I am the son of the two best ones, my mother is Fatemah az Zahra and my father is the one who fractured the back of the polytheists in (the battles of) Badr and Hunain, and who worshipped the Lord since childhood when the Quraysh worshipped the two idols and worshipped the Lat and Uzza together; and my father is the one who offered Prayers while facing the two Qiblahs, then my father is the sun and my mother a moon, while I am a star, the son of the two moons; and he (Ali) displayed such wonders on the day of Uhad, that warded off envy, by splitting the two armies, as also in the (battle of) Ahzab and Fathe Makkah in which death was the word of the day for both the armies, and all this was performed in the way of Allah; but how has the debased nation dealt with the two children, the progeny of the righteous Prophet Mustafa (S) and of Ali, similar to red roses, on the day of striking of the two armies”.
Then he stood facing the army with his sword unsheathed, renouncing life and heart resolved to die. And he was saying,
“I am the son of Ali the chaste from the progeny of Hashim, and this grace is enough for me whenever I pride, my grandfather is the Prophet of Allah the most eminent among all, we are the lanterns of Allah among the creatures, and my mother is Fatemah Zahra (a.s.), the daughter of Ahmad (S), and my uncle Ja’far is known as the possessor of two wings, and among us is the Book of Allah and has been revealed in truth, and in us lies lawfulness and the revelation proclaimed with goodness, and we are the trusts of Allah among all men, while we declare this in secret and in the open that we possess authority upon the spring (of Kauthar) and we shall feed our followers with the cup of the Prophet, which cannot be denied, and our followers are the eminent among followers, while the one who bears animosity towards us shall be doomed on the day of Qiyamah”.
Muhammad bin Abu Talib says that Abu Ali Salami relates in his history, that this elegy is composed by Imam Husayn (a.s.) himself and there is no other elegy similar to it.
“Although this world is considered to be pleasant, the reward of Allah is magnificent and meritorious; and if the body is created for death, then martyrdom in the way of Allah is the best for man; and if sustenance is distributed and assured, then man should not strive hard to seek it; and if the gathering of this wealth will result in leaving behind, then why should man be avaricious”.
Then he called the army for combat and whoever came close to him, he would be killed instantly until he piled up the corpses. Then he attacked the right wing of the army and said,
“Death is better than perpetration for humiliation, while humiliation is better than entering the fire of hell”.
Then he attacked the left wing of the army and said,
“I am Husayn the son of Ali, I have sworn not to run away from the enemy, and defend the household of my father, until I die on the Religion of the Prophet”.
It has been related by some narrators that, “By Allah! I have not seen a more valorous man similar to him, who is broken by the death of his son, household and friends. The warriors initiated the attack upon him and he responded to their attack similarly. And he scattered them, similar to a wolf that enters the ranks of the sheep, and routed them and scattered them. He attacked the well-equipped army of thirty thousand and they scattered like locusts in front of him. Then he returned to his place and said,
“There is no Might and no Power except with Allah, the Most High, the Most Great”.
It is related in Isbatul Wasiyyah, that he killed one thousand and eight hundred warriors with his own hands.
It is quoted in Biharul Anwar, that it is related by Ibn Shahr Ashob and Muhammad bin Abi Talib that he attacked continuously until he had killed one thousand nine hundred and fifty men, excluding the wounded ones. Umar bin Sa’ad called out to his army, “Woe be to you! Do you know with whom you fight? He is the son of a pot-bellied one. (Here he desires ridiculing Imam Ali, Allah’s refuge). He is the son of the assassin of the Arabs. Attack him from all sides”. Four thousand archers surrounded him and blocked his way to the tents.
Muhammad bin Abi Talib, Ibn Shahr Ashob and Sayyid Ibn Tawoos say, that Imam Husayn (a.s.) then said,
“Woe be to you O followers of the family of Abu Sufyan! Then if you are irreligious men and do not fear the day of Qiyamah, at least be noblemen and come to your senses if you be from the progeny of Arabs”.
Shimr said, “O son of Fatemah! What do you mean?” Imam replied,
“I say that we should fight with one another, while the ladies have not erred. Lift your hands off plundering my household until I am alive”.
Shimr said, “Verily right is with you”. Then he called out, “Return from the tents and make him your target while he is a merciful match”. Then the entire army turned towards him and Imam Husayn (a.s.) asked for water. And whenever he tried to go towards the Euphrates, the army would attack him and turn him away from the river.
Ibn Shahr Ashob says that Abu Makhnaf relates from Jaludi, that Imam Husayn (a.s.) attacked A’awar Salami and ‘Amr bin Hajjaj Zubaydi, who were deputed with four thousand men to guard the bank of the Euphrates. Then he entered his horse into the river and when the horse put his mouth into the water to drink it, Imam said,
“O my horse! You are thirsty as also myself, and until you do not drink I shall not quench my thirst”.
When the horse heard these words of the Imam, he lifted his head up and did not partake of the water as if he understood what the Imam said. Imam said,
“I shall drink and you too drink”.
He extended his hand and filled his palm with water, when a person from the army called out, “O Aba Abdillah! You are pleasantly drinking water while your tents are being plundered?” Hearing this, the Imam threw away the water and lay siege while splitting the army and found his tents to be safe”.
Allamah Majlisi in his Jilaul Uyoon says that then again he bade farewell to his household and enjoined them with forbearance, and promised them reward and recompense, then said,
“Wear your veils and prepare to face trials, and know that Allah is your protector and support and will deliver you from the evil of the enemies and will make excellent your conclusion. His wrath will engulf your enemies in different trials and He will bestow upon you distinct blessings and wonders in lieu of these trials. Do not complain and do not utter such things which would lessen your status”.
It is stated in Biharul Anwar, that Abul Faraj says that Imam Husayn (a.s.) went towards the river and Shimr said, “You shall not go towards the river, rather you shall go towards the fire” (Allah’s refuge). A man called out to him, “O Husayn! Do you not see the Euphrates waving similar to the bellies of the fishes? By Allah! You shall not taste of it until you perish due to thirst”. Imam said,
“O Lord! Kill him due to thirst”.
The narrator says that the (same) man would say, “Give me water to drink”. Water would be handed over to him and he would partake of it and vomit it. Then again he would say, “Give me water to drink, for thirst kills me”. This went on and on until he died. (May Allah’s curse be upon him)
A man named Abu Hatoof shot an arrow at Imam Husayn (a.s.) that pierced his forehead. He pulled it out and blood flowed upon his face and beard. Then he said,
“O Lord! Do You see what I have to face at the hands of these evil men? O Lord! Diminish their number and kill them until the last one. And do not leave anyone among them upon the earth, nor forgive them”.
Then he attacked them similar to a ferocious Lion, and there was none who would reach him, except that he would split open his belly and kill him. They shot arrows at him from all sides and he took them upon his chest and neck and said,
“How badly have you treated the Progeny of Muhammad (S) after him. After killing me you shall not fear killing any of the servants of Allah, and killing me would make their slaughter easy upon you. I desire from Allah that in exchange of this humiliation of your’s he may bestow martyrdom upon me, and then seek my revenge upon you through means that you have never ever thought of”.
Hearing this Haseen bin Malik Sakuni said, “O son of Fatemah! How shall Allah take your revenge from us?” Imam replied,
“He shall engulf you in wars and shed your blood, then a fierce punishment shall befall you”.
Then he fought until he was inflicted with enormous wounds. Ibn Shahr Ashob and Sayyid ibn Tawoos numbers them to be seventy-two.
Ibn Shahr Ashob relates from Abu Makhnaf, who relates from Imam Ja’far as Sadiq (a.s.) that,
“The body of Imam Husayn (a.s.) was inflicted with thirty three wounds of the lance and thirty four cuts of the sword”.
Imam Muhammad al Baqir (a.s.) says that Imam Husayn (a.s.) was inflicted with three hundred twenty plus wounds of lances, cuts of swords and injuries by arrows.
In another narration it is stated that the number of wounds were three hundred and sixty. While still in another three hundred and three wounds, and it is also said that the wounds numbered one thousand three hundred. The arrows were pierced in his armor similar to the thorns on the body of a porcupine. And it is also related that all the wounds of his body were upon his front side only.
It is related that (excessive) fighting had tired Imam Husayn (a.s.) and he paused for sometime to rest. At that moment a stone was flung at his forehead and he lifted the front part of his dress to clean it (the blood), when a poisoned three-pronged arrow came towards him piercing his chest. In some narratives it is stated that it pierced his heart and he said,
“In the name of Allah! And by Allah! And upon the custom of the Prophet of Allah (S)”!
Then he lifted his head towards the heavens and said,
“O Lord! You know that they have resolved to kill the one besides whom there is no other son of the Prophet upon this earth”.
Then he pulled the arrow from his back (or chest) and blood started flowing down similar to a groove. He filled his palms with it and threw it towards the heaven, and not a single drop of it fell back. The redness in the heavens was not seen before Imam Husayn (a.s.) did so. Then he filled his other palm with it and wiped it on his head and beard saying,
“I desire to meet my grandfather, the Prophet of Allah (S), dyed with this blood of mine. And I will say: O Prophet of Allah! Such and such persons killed me”.
Shaikh Mufeed, after quoting the mounting upon the horse of Imam Husayn (a.s.) and going to the bank of the Euphrates and martyrdom of his brother Abbas (a.s.) says, that when Imam Husayn (a.s.) returned from the Euphrates towards his tents, Shimr bin Ziljawshan, accompanied with a group of his accomplices, came to him and surrounded him from all sides. A man named Malik bin Bashr Kindi stepped ahead and started abusing Imam Husayn (a.s.) and struck at his head with his sword. It cut the night-cap which he had worn and reached his head while blood started pouring forth filling the night-cap.
Imam Husayn (a.s.) said,
“You shall never eat or drink again with this hand of yours’ and you shall arise (on the day of Qiyamah) along with the oppressors”.
He removed the cap from his head and asked for a kerchief and tied his head with it. Then he wore another cap and fastened a turban upon it.
We (the Author) say, that Tabari too quotes similarly but says that he wore a burnoose instead of a nightcap, and further says that Imam Husayn (a.s.) was exhausted when a man from Kinda (Malik bin Bashr) stepped forward and seized the burnoose from his head, which was made of fur. He brought the burnoose to his wife Umm Abdullah, the daughter of Hurr and sister of Husayn bin Hurr Badi. When he tried to wash the blood from it, his wife perceived that it was of Imam Husayn (a.s.) and she said,
“You have brought the stolen cloth of the grandson of the Prophet of Allah (S) into my house? Get away with it from here”.
His friends say that he remained indigent until he died.
Tabari says that Abu Makhnaf relates, that Shimr gathered ten Kufan foot soldiers and proceeded towards the tents of the ladies of Imam Husayn (a.s.) and stood between the Imam and his household. Imam Husayn (a.s.) said,
“Woe be to you! Then if you are irreligious men and do not fear the day of returning (Qiyamah), at least be free-minded in the world of yours and be noblemen. Keep your scoundrels and stupid men away from my household”.
Shimr said, “O son of Fatemah! Verily right is with you”. Then he proceeded towards Imam Husayn (a.s.) with his group of lackeys which included Abul Junub Abdul Rahman Ju’fi, Qash’am bin ‘Amr bin Yazid Ju’fi, Saleh bin Wahab Yazbee, Sinan bin Anas Nakha’i and Khawli bin Yazid Asbahi. Shimr incited them to kill Imam Husayn (a.s.).
He told Abul Junub, who was well equipped with arms, “Proceed further”, and he said, “Why don’t you proceed further?” Shimr replied, “Do you back-answer me?” And he said, “Then do you order me?” They started abusing one another, and Abul Junub, who was a valorous man, said, “By Allah! How I wish to thrust this spear into your eye”. Shimr lifted his hands off him and said, “By Allah! I wish I could strike at you with the sword”.
It is related that Shimr, accompanied by the foot soldiers, turned towards Imam Husayn (a.s.) and he attacked them and scattered them. Then they surrounded him with severity when a child ran towards Imam Husayn (a.s.) from the tents of the household. Imam called out to his sister Sayyidah Zainab (a.s.) saying,
“Take care of him”.
The child did not pay heed and ran until he reached Imam and stood at his side. Shaikh Mufeed identifies him as being Abdullah bin (Imam) Hasan. The child said, “By Allah! I shall not part from my uncle”.
(Tabari) Bahr bin Ka’ab struck at Imam Husayn (a.s.) with his sword and the child said, “Woe be to you O son of ill-natured man! Do you intend killing my uncle?” The accursed struck at him with his sword, which the child took upon his hands, and cut it till the flesh, while it hung. The child cried, “O mother! Come to my aid”. Imam took him in his fold and said,
“O nephew! Forbear upon this trial and consider it to be blessing for you. You shall unite with your virtuous fathers the Prophet of Allah (S), (Imam) Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.), Hamza (a.s.), Ja’far (at Tayyar) (a.s.) and (Imam) Hasan bin Ali (a.s.)”.
Then he lifted his hands for Prayers and said,
“O Lord! Hold back the rains of the heavens and the abundance of the earth from them. O Lord! Then if you give them some more life, then dispel them, and take Thou among them, then make the rulers to be ever displeased with them. For they invited us to render assistance and then rebelled against us and killed us”.
(Malhoof) Sayyid ibn Tawoos says that Hurmalah shot an arrow at him (Abdullah bin Hasan) and killed him and he was in the arms of his uncle Imam Husayn (a.s.). (May Allah’s Mercy and Blessings be upon him)
Ibn Abd Rabbah in his Iqdul Fareed says that the sight of a Syrian man fell upon Abdullah bin Hasan bin Ali (a.s.), who was handsome among men, and he said, “I desire to kill this youth”. A man told him, “Woe be to you! Lift your hands off him”. He did not pay any heed and struck at him with his sword and killed him. When the sword reached him, he cried out, “O uncle! Come to my aid”. Imam replied,
“Here I am! This is a voice of the one who possesses less companions and abundant murderers”.
Imam attacked his murderer while severing his hand and with another stroke killed him. I (the author) say, that Ibn Abd Rabbah has clearly committed error and has identified Abdullah bin Hasan instead of Qasim bin Hasan (whose martyrdom has already been discussed).
Tabari says that Imam Husayn (a.s.) then attacked the foot soldiers and pushed them away from him.
Shaikh Mufeed says that the foot soldiers attacked the companions of Imam Husayn (a.s.) from the left and right sides and killed them until three to four men remained with him.
Tabari and (Ibn Aseer) Jazari quote similarly and say, that when Imam Husayn (a.s.) was left with three or four men, he called for a long fringed shirt that dazzled the eyes. It was of Yemeni origin and minutely stitched. He tore it from some sides so that it could not be removed off his body. One of his companions said, “I wish you wore breeches underneath your clothes”. Imam replied,
“It is a garment of disgrace, and wearing it is not befitting me”.
It is said that when he was killed, Bahr bin Ka’ab robbed the shirt away from his body leaving it bare.
Azdi says that ‘Amr bin Shu’ayb relates from Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman, that both the hands of Bahr bin Ka’ab would ooze out pus in the winters and in the sUmmrs it would turn dry similar to wooden sticks.
Sayyid Ibn Tawoos says that Imam Husayn (a.s.) said,
“Bring me a garment which I may wear below my dress so that they may not bare me”.
Breeches were brought for him, and he said,
“This is the dress of the disgraceful ones”.
Then he called for a worn-out shirt, and tearing it, wore it below his dress. When he was martyred, it was removed off his body.
Shaikh Mufeed says that when only three men remained with Imam Husayn (a.s.), he turned towards the enemies while the three men defended him and warded off the army away from him until they were martyred and Imam was left alone. He was wounded upon the head and body, he then attacked them from the left and right side and scattered them.
Hameed bin Muslim says that, “By Allah! I have not seen a shattered person more valorous than him whose sons, family and friends have been killed yet his heart being invincible. The foot-soldiers attacked him and he faced them similar to a wolf who attacks the sheep and scatters them to the right and left”.
When Shimr saw this, he called for the cavalry and stationed them behind the frontline of the foot soldiers. Then he commanded the archers to shoot their arrows at him. And such number of arrows pierced his body that it looked similar to a porcupine, then he lifted his hands off them and they came and stood facing him.
Zainab (a.s.) came to the door of the tents and called out to Umar bin Sa’ad, “Woe be to you O Umar (bin Sa’ad)! Abu Abdullah is being killed why you behold?” He did not reply and she said, “Woe be to you! Is there not a Muslim amongst you?” But again none replied.
Tabari says that Umar bin Sa’ad neared Imam Husayn (a.s.), and Zainab (a.s.) said, “O Umar bin Sa’ad! Abu Abdullah is being killed while you behold?” The narrator says that it is as if I see tears flowing upon his cheeks and beard while he turned his face away from Zainab (a.s.).
Sayyid Ibn Tawoos says that when Imam Husayn (a.s.) was exhausted by numerous wounds and he looked similar to a Porcupine, Saleh bin Wahab Yaznee thrust a lance at his flank and he fell on his left cheek upon the ground from the Horse’s back. Then he said,
“In the name of Allah! And by Allah! And upon the Creed of the Prophet of Allah”!
Then he stood up.
The narrator says that Sayyidah Zainab (a.s.) came out of the door of the tent calling out, “O my brother! O my Master! O my family! I wish the heavens would fall upon the earth and I wish the mountains would scatter upon the desert”.
It is related that Shimr called out to his companions, “Why are you waiting for this man?” Then they attacked him from all sides.
Hameed bin Muslim says that Imam Husayn (a.s.) had worn a fur cloak and a turban upon his head, while his hair was dyed with Wasmah. I heard him say, before he was martyred, when he was on foot but fought as if he was mounted, and defended himself from the arrows, while the cavalry were split from all sides and he attacked them with sword,
“You conspire together against me? By Allah! After me you shall not kill anyone else by whose murder Allah would have been more wrathful towards you. By Allah! I desire that Allah cherish me in lieu of this contempt of yours’. And He may take my revenge from you through means of which you are unaware. Beware! By Allah! If you kill me, Allah too shall kill you and shed your blood. Then He shall not lift His Hands off you until He doubles the grievous punishment”.
It is related that he remained alive for a lengthy period of time that day, and if the army had desired they would have killed him. But they considered one another for it, and each group desired that the other would kill him. Shimr called out in their midst, “What do you have to wait for? Kill this man, may your mothers mourn upon you”. Thus they attacked him from all sides.
Shaikh Mufeed says that Zar’ah bin Shareek severed his left arm and struck at his shoulder with his sword and he fell down upon his face.
Tabari says that then they retreated back and he was in a very bad state and he would rise and fall. At this moment Sinan bin Anas bin ‘Amr Nakha’i hit him with a lance and threw him upon the ground.
Shaikh Mufeed and Tabarsi say, that Khawli bin Asbahi came forward hastily and alighted from his horse to severe his head, but he trembled. Shimr said, “May Allah break your hands! Why do you tremble?” Then he alighted from the horse and beheaded him.
Abul Abbas Ahmad bin Yusuf Damishqi Qirmani, who died in the year 1019 A.H., says in Akhbarul Dawl, that thirst became intense upon Imam Husayn (a.s.) and they did not give him water to drink. A cup of water came to his hand and when he bent to drink it, Haseen bin Nameer shot an arrow at him, which pierced his chin, and the cup became full of blood. He then lifted his hands towards the heavens and said,
“O Allah! Lessen their quantity, kill each one of them, and do not spare a single one from among them upon the earth”.
Then they attacked him from all sides and he flaunted upon them from the left and right side until Zar’ah bin Shareek struck at his left hand with the sword and entered another into his shoulder. Then Sinan bin Anas thrust a lance into his body throwing him down. Shimr then alighted from his horse and beheaded him and handed it over to Khawli Asbahi. Then they looted his clothes.1
I (the author), say, that it is related in the narrative by Sayyid Ibn Tawoos, Ibn Nima, Shaikh Saduq, Tabari, (Ibn Aseer) Jazari, Ibn Abdul Birr, Mas’oodi and Abul Faraj, that Sinan (bin Anas), the accursed, beheaded him.
Sayyid Ibn Tawoos says that Sinan came forward and said, “Although I know that he is the grandson of the Prophet of Allah (S) and his parents are the best among humans, I shall behead him”. Then he struck at his blessed neck with his sword and severed his sacred and honorable head.
A poet says regarding it: “And what other disaster can be greater than that of Husayn, when the hands of Sinan were killing him”.
Abu Tahir Muhammad bin Hasan (or Husayn) Barasi (or Narasi) says in Ma’alimud Deen, that Imam Ja’far as Sadiq (a.s.) said, that when Imam Husayn (a.s.)’s matter reached this stage, the Angels started lamenting in the Audience of Allah and said, “O Lord! This Husayn is Your guest, he is the grandson of Your Prophet”. Then Allah created an image of Imam al Qaem (a.t.f.s.) and said,
“I shall seek revenge from them through his medium”.
It is related, that Mukhtar arrested Sinan and severed each of his fingers one after the other. Then he cut off his hands and feet and flung him into a large vessel in which olive oil was boiling hot.
The narrator says that at the moment when they beheaded Imam Husayn (a.s.), a violent and dark hurricane erupted engulfing the entire horizon into darkness. Then a red storm blew and nothing could be seen, while the army presumed that the curse of Allah had descended. This continued for an hour and then ceased.
Hilal bin Nafe’ says that I was standing along with the companions of Umar bin Sa’ad and someone called out, “O commander! Have glad tidings that Shimr has killed Husayn”. I then went to the spot of his martyrdom and stood at his side and he was dying. By Allah! I have never seen a better corpse drenched in blood than his, and a face more illuminated than his. While the light of his countenance and his formidable beauty made me forget his death. In this state he asked for water, and a man said to him, “By Allah! You shall not partake it until you enter ‘the raging fire’ (of hell)” (Allah’s Refuge). I heard Imam say,
“Woe be to you! I am not proceeding towards ‘the raging fire’, nor shall I taste ‘the boiling water’ therein. Rather I am going to the presence of my grandfather, the Prophet of Allah (S), and I shall be residing in his place of the truthful residue in the shelter of Allah, the Almighty. And I shall drink of the pure water, and then I shall complain to him regarding what you did to me”.
Hearing this all of them became enraged, as if they had no mercy in their hearts, and in this very state, while he was speaking to them, they beheaded him. I was astonished at their ruthlessness, and said, “I shall never ever accompany you in any task from now on”.
Kamaluddin Muhammad bin Talha says in his Matalibus Su’ool, that the head of the grandson and the beloved of the Prophet of Allah (S) was severed with a sharp sword. Then they raised his head upon the lance as is done with the apostates, and they paraded it in the midst of the slaves of Allah in the cities. And they lead his family and children in a state of disrespect, and mounted them upon the shaft of the Camel without saddle or seat, in spite of knowing that they were the Progeny of the Prophet, while their love was incumbent as specified by the Qur’an and the true faith.
If the heavens and earth would have the power to speak, they would have bemoaned and lamented upon them. And if the disbelievers had been aware of it, they would have wept upon them and lamented. While if the obstinate ones of the age of ignorance would have been present, they too would have wept upon them and would have condoled one another upon their martyrdom. And if the oppressive tyrants had been present at the episode of his martyrdom, they would have assisted and aided him.
Woe be upon this catastrophe which has afflicted the hearts of the God-fearing and remained as an inheritance for them! Woe be upon the calamity which has grieved the hearts of the believers and pained those who shall come in the future! Alas upon the Progeny of the Prophet, whose blood was shed, and upon the family of Muhammad (S) whose swords had decelerated, and Alas upon the Alawites who were left deprived of aide and their masters being killed! Alas upon the Hashimites, whose sanctity was violated, and shedding of whose blood was considered lawful!
It is related in Nawadir from Ali bin Asbat, who relates from some of his companions, that Imam Muhammad al Baqir (a.s.) said, that on the tenth of Muharram, my father (Imam Zainul Abedeen) was very ill and was inside the tent. I saw my friends walking to and fro along with Imam Husayn (a.s.) and bringing water for him. Once he attacked the right wing of the army and then the left wing, while once the central part. They killed him in a manner that the Prophet had prohibited them to slaughter an animal. They killed him with swords, lances, stones, sticks and batons. Then they trampled his body by the horse’s hooves.
I (the author), say, that Imam Husayn (a.s.) was martyred on Friday, the tenth of Muharram, sixty first year of the Migration (Hijrah) after the Prayer of Zuhr. He was fifty-seven years of age. In another narration it is related, that he was martyred on Saturday or Monday, but the more accurate one seems to be Friday.
Abul Faraj (Isfahani) says that what has been related by the Ammah (Non-Shi’ah) regarding the day of Monday is an error and is not supported by any narration. This is so because the first day of Muharram, the month in which the martyrdom occurred, according to the conclusion from all astronomical deductions by the procedure of Indian calculations, fell on Wednesday, hence the tenth cannot be on Monday (but on Friday). And this itself is an evidence for truth that confirms the narration.
Shaikh Mufeed, in context of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.) on the tenth of Muharram says that at the dawn of Friday, while some others say Saturday, Umar bin Sa’ad (mobilized his forces), and according to the previous report it is evident that it was Friday. And in context of his entering Karbala, Shaikh Mufeed says that then he came forward, and that was on Thursday, the second of the month of Muharram, sixty first year of Migration (Hijrah).
It is narrated in the Tazkirah of Sibt Ibn Jawzee, that he (Imam Husayn) was martyred on Friday, in between the Prayers of Zuhr and Asr, for he had recited the Salatul Khawf along with his companions, while some say that it was Saturday, which we have already discussed.
In the same book it is mentioned, that there are numerous reports regarding his murderer. Hisham bin Muhammad (Kalbi) says that it was Sinan bin Anas Nakha’i, the other one who is named is Haseen bin Nameer, who shot an arrow at him and came forward and beheaded him. Then he hung it in the neck of his horse so as to be endeared by (Ubaydullah) Ibn Ziyad. The third name being that of Muhajir bin Aws Tamimi, the fourth one Kaseer bin Abdullah Sha’abi, the fifth Shimr bin Ziljawshan. We say that the sixth one who is named is Khawli bin Yazid Asbahi. (Allah’s curse be upon all the murderers of Imam Husayn).
Muhammad bin Talha Shafe’i and Ali bin Isa Irbili Imami say, that Umar bin Sa’ad ordered his companions saying, “Come forward and behead him”. Nasr bin Harshah Zababi came forward and repeatedly struck at the neck of Imam Husayn (a.s.). Umar bin Sa’ad was enraged and signaling to a man standing on his right side, said, “Woe be to you! Go forward and relieve Husayn”. Khawli bin Yazeed, May Allah enter him in the fire of hell eternally, came forward and beheaded him.
Daynoori says that Sinan bin Aws Nakha’i thrust a lance at him and threw him down, and then Khawli bin Yazeed Asbahi stepped forward to behead him. His hands trembled and his brother, Shabal bin Yazid beheaded him and gave it to his brother Khawli.
Ibn Abd Rabbah says that Sinan bin Anas killed him and Khawli bin Yazid Asbahi, who was from the clan of Hameer, ended his life by beheading him. He took his head to Ubaydullah and said, “Fill my stirrup with abundant wealth ........” (as will be quoted later).
It is related from Imam Ja’far as Sadiq (a.s.), that when a stroke was dealt upon Imam Husayn (a.s.), he fell off his horse and they ran to behead him. A voice sounded from the heavens
“O the nation which has become obstinate and turned astray after the passing away of their Prophet! May Allah not bestow upon you the grace of fasting and the (Eid of) Fitr”. Then he (a.s.) said, “Therefore by Allah! They have not prospered nor shall they thrive until the seeker of revenge (Imam Mahdi) for Imam Husayn rises”.
Ibn Qawlawayh Qummi relates from Halabi, who in turn relates from Imam Ja’far as Sadiq (a.s.), that when Imam Husayn (a.s.) was martyred, someone called out in the Kufan army. When he was reprimanded for it, he said, “Why should I not cry when I see the Prophet of Allah (S) standing, at one time he looks at the earth and another time at your battle, and I fear lest he imprecate upon the dwellers of the earth and you would be damned”.
The Kufan army said, “He is insane”, while the ‘repentants’ among them said, “By Allah! What have we done to ourselves? We killed the Master of the youth of Paradise for the sake of the son of Sumayyah”. Then they revolted against Ubaydullah and their situation reached such as aught to be. The narrator says that I asked them, “May I be your ransom! Who was the caller?” They replied, “We presume it was Jibra’eel”.
In the narration of Mashhadi it is related that Salmah went to the presence of Umm Salama (a.s.) while she was weeping. He asked, “What makes you weep?” She replied, “I saw the Prophet of Allah (S) in a dream and his head and beard were smeared with dust. I asked: O Prophet of Allah (S)! What has happened to you that you are smeared in dust? He replied: Just now I have witnessed the murder of my Husayn”.
It is related in Sawaeqe Muhriqa of Ibn Hajar, that one of the signs that appeared on the day of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.), was that the heaven turned dark so much so that the stars were visible during the daytime. And whichever stone was lifted up, fresh blood was found beneath it. And it is also said, that the heavens turned red due to his martyrdom and the sun pitch-black. The stars became visible during the daytime, while the men presumed that the (day of) resurrection had arrived. And on that day whichever stone was lifted up in Syria, fresh blood appeared beneath it.
- 1. Daynoori says that Imam Husayn (a.s.) was thirsty and asked for a cup of water, and when he lifted it up unto his lips, Haseen bin Nameer shot an arrow at his mouth and he could not drink it. Then he kept the cup upon the ground.