Chapter 42: Holy Family Returns to Madina

The people of Madina came to know about the martyrdom of the Imam in this way and awaited the return of the Ahlul Bayt who had been made prisoners. At last Imam Sajjad and his companions reached Madina. He dismounted near Madina and made the ladies descend. He then sent a man to Madina to inform the people about his arrival. The messenger says that when he arrived in Madina he went to the Masjid of the Prophet of Allah. There he wept loudly and said: "O people of Yathrib! With what hope can one continue to live in this city? Husayn bin Ali has been martyred and the eyes of the people are shedding tears for him".

The Imam's messenger could content himself with saying this. However, he did not consider it sufficient to explain his own object as well as that of his Imam. He did not desire that people should weep and lament much. However, he wanted to add a document to the documents about the tragedy of Karbala so that the study of the event might become easier for those who came later.

It was not the only object of the rising of Imam Husyan that spiritual reward should be earned by arranging meetings for mourning his martyrdom and it should not always be made the subject matter of religious discourses from the pulpit as a touching event which provokes tears. The event of the rising of Imam Husayn is in itself a very important event and has a vital significance in the history of Islam which should be studied keeping in view its own value and worth. It is more valuable than that it should be mentioned lightly while studying other matters.

In the second poetic verse recited by the messenger of the Imam he disgraced the Umayyad dynasty for ever. Standing by the grave of the Holy Prophet he said: "These faithless people killed the son of their Prophet, besmeared his body with dust and blood and hoisted his head on the spear".

Then he informed the people about the arrival of the Holy family and added that they had at that time dismounted outside the city of Madina.

The people started going out of the city and the roads were blocked. Madina assumed an unusual appearance. When Imam Sajjad saw himself face to face with the people of Madina he made a sign to the people to remain quiet. At this moment he considered it necessary to inform the Muslims of Madina about the events which had taken place during the journey covering a number of months. The details of his speech on this occasion will be given later.

When the Ahlul Bayt left for Madina they were, notwithstanding their being bereaved and mournful, fully confident about their own victory and the helplessness of the enemy. While they were still in Syria the signs of Yazid 's helplessness began to appear. As we have alluded earlier, the Ahlul Bayt were released from imprisonment soon and were transferred to the capital as ordered by the caliph. There they were treated by the people of Damascus with honor and respect. As written by Tabari the women of the family of Mu'awiya went, without exception, to the ladies of Bani Hashim to offer condolences.

They mourned the martyrdom of Imam Husayn and a gathering to mourn for the martyrs of Bani Hashim was held in the palace of the caliph for three days. Yazid did not spend the morning and the evening except in the company of Imam Sajjad. It was on one of those days when a child of Imam Hasan or Imam Husayn had accompanied the fourth Imam and during the course of conversation Yazid said to him: "Are you prepared to fight with my son Khalid?" He replied: "No, except that you may give a knife to me and a knife to him and then we may fight with each other". Yazid was deeply impressed by the bravery and frankness, especially of a child who had suffered so many hardships. He embraced him and said words which mean: "The cub of a lion is also a lion".