The Eighth Court Session
Chief Justice: Court in order! The defense, you have submitted a motion to the court requesting to invalidate this trial and claiming that the prosecution has exceeded their limits in presenting their case which has caused an irreversible damage and a great effect on the jurors that cannot be repaired.
I ask that you specify in writing these limits which has been exceeded so that we look into it. I request that you submit that today so that it doesn’t interrupt the procession of the trial. And if you have any other motions, please also submit that by the end of the day. And now, are you and the defense team ready?
Defense: Yes your Honor. But, first I would like to clarify the reason behind our request for invalidating and nullifying this trial since the harm that happened cannot be fixed.
Chief Justice: No, no (interrupting) present everything you want to say along with your written motion to the court and we will look into it. No need to waste the court time as well as the time of the respected jurors. Don’t forget that they are sequestered and we don’t want to lengthen that burden on them. So if you are ready to rebut the prosecution case, you may proceed now.
Defense: Yes, your honor. Dear respected judges and jurors. In the last court session, the prosecution went into a long review of details relating to the events which led to the killing of Al-Husayn (as), and he intentionally used a smart, well-directed dramatic theatre presentation to influence you. If we also used this method to describe what usually happens in any battlefield, past or present, you will surely be shocked and emotionally impacted!
Indeed, it is typical for a battlefield to result in tragedies and death, and the military soldiers recognize that very well. Once the battle begins the soldiers forget themselves and only preoccupy themselves with the desire of survival of the fittest, anger, killing, and lack of compassion, because once they have compassion, their enemy will not have mercy on them. So the whole matter at that moment is either to kill or be killed. So why give the whole matter more than what it deserves?
The soldiers only carried out the orders of their commanders, and the commanders were obeying the orders of the governor. And the governor was obeying the orders of the Caliph. And the Caliph, according to his understanding, wanted to maintain the unity of the Muslim nation and avoid mischief / fitna.
And if Al-Husayn (as) remained in Al-Madina or Makkah and didn’t go out to Iraq, no one would’ve harmed him due to his high position in the hearts of the Muslims. To prove my words, I present to you this document which was a will written by Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan when he was on his deathbed to his son Yazid, the First defendant. As it was cited in Maqtal Al-Husayn by Al-Khwarizmi, Muawiya said in his will to his son Yazid the following:
“As for Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali, Oh Yazid! What can I say to you about him? Do not harm him, and be lenient with him. Let him go wherever he wants and don’t bother him. Threat and yell only but don’t hurt him, confront him openly or fight him by sword, nor strike him with a spear.
Rather, give him bounties, bring him closer to you, and respect him. My son, beware that you meet Allah with his blood on your hands! Or else you will be from the losers, for Ibn Abbas has narrated to me that Rasulullah (peace be upon him) at the time of his death hugged Al-Husayn to his chest and said, ‘He is the good of my nation, the righteous one of my household and the best of my progeny; may Allah (SWT) not give blessings to he who does not treat him good after me!’
Then the Prophet (S) added: ‘Oh Husayn, your killer and I will meet at the Day of Judgment in front of Allah and I will be the adversary on your behalf. I am very lucky that Allah (SWT) made me be a plaintiff to your killers on the Day of Judgment.’ Oh Yazid, this is the narration of Ibn Abbas and I narrate to you that the Prophet (S) has said: ‘One day my beloved Jibrael came to me and said, ‘Oh Muhammad! Your nation will kill your son Al-Husayn. And his killer is the cursed one of this nation.’
And the Prophet (S) also cursed the killer of Al-Husayn numerous times, so beware! Beware that you bother or harm him, for he is the beloved of the Messenger of Allah and he has a great right upon you. You did see how I used to have patience with him during my lifetime and I gave him my neck out of submission even though he confronts me with bad talk which hurts me.
But I do not respond to him and cannot do anything to him since he is the only progeny of the Prophet on this earth. I have done my job in warning you!” Then Muawiya said to the commanders of his army: “Bear witness on my words, for by Allah, if Al-Husayn did to me the worst that can be done, I will have patience with him so that Allah would not question me about his blood. My son, do you understand my will to you?” So Yazid answered, “Yes Oh Ameer Al Momineen I understand.”
Ladies and gentlemen, this was the place of Al-Husayn in the eyes of Muawiya. Yazid would not have objected if Al-Husayn stayed in the city of his grandfather. But when he went out to Al-Kufa, its people were in the midst of mischief at that time and conspiracies against the state. Yazid has ordered his governor Ibn Ziyad to put an end to that mischief in any way for the sake of protecting the religion of Islam.
This is how the events have started until it ended, but I assure you that no one intended for the whole matter to end up in this tragic way. Rather it is due to the nature of the battlefields and their traditions and natural consequences including inhumane and barbaric events which come from some people who perhaps outside the battlefield are very compassionate and are in the peak of their humanity and softness!
We see this everyday around us and we hear it from those who go out to fight in the military and confront the enemy. Yes, there were many mistakes which took place, but they were mistakes which usually happen when there is military confrontation with the enemy. But they were not war crimes or mass murder! And they were not even crimes committed against humanity! The presence of women and children in the place of confrontation and the battlefield without a doubt exposes them to harm and serious causalities. Here, it is difficult to say that this killing is “intentional” or “by mistake”, or “by chance”.
There is no evidence to prove pre-meditated and intentional perpetration of war crimes or crimes against humanity. The people accused were all religious with good manners, so how can we expect that from them?! None of the five defendants had the intention of killing Al-Husayn (as); rather, they wanted to stop the mischief / fitna.
Hence, before the start of fighting they requested from him to give his pledge of allegiance to Yazid and to end this conflict. But the matter escalated till it reached the point of military confrontation and then whatever happened has happened. So I ask you, respected judges and jurors, not to judge with your hearts and emotions, but with your minds. Is there any real strong proof without reasonable doubt that war crimes or mass murder or crimes against humanity were committed intentionally in the battlefield?
And I repeat – intentionally!
As for things taking place accidentally or randomly or due to the circumstances of war, that is not considered to be war crime or mass murder or crimes against humanity which are required for them to be done intentionally and premeditated without any doubt such that these five innocent ones represented by the dummies in front of you would be judged as guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
Let us leave the judgment to the divine Creator whom they are now in His hands, for He is more capable in knowing their true intentions and their inner selves. There is no benefit behind this trial and all these great huge costs. There are many other things which deserve our attention much more than this case. Thank you, thank you Your Honor.
Chief Justice: Thank you Mr. Lawyer. Mr. Prosecutor, would you like to response to the defense rebuttal?
Prosecutor: Yes of course if you allow me to, Your Honor!
Chief Justice: Go ahead Mr. Prosecutor. The podium is yours…
Prosecutor: Respected judges, respected jurors…I have never heard in my life the ludicrousness which I am hearing now from the defense! I don’t know if he really intends to influence you such that you forget or ignore all what you heard throughout the last seven long court sessions from narrations, events, documents, speeches, letters, and statements – all of which are authentic and cited in most of the historical references which we agreed upon its validity.
The defense tries to ignore everything and insist that Al-Husayn (as) left Al-Madina by his own will, seeking to fight the ruler and revolt against him. By that, the defense is ignoring all what we presented from documents cited in the Muslim history books which clearly indicate without any doubt that Al-Husayn (as) was forced to leave, and did not leave out of his own free will! He was forced to leave under the threat of being executed and I do not wish to repeat what I already explained.
It is up to the defense team to refer back to the past court sessions and review the evidence presented. And I am sure, oh respected judges and jurors that you will not need that since your memory is strong, thanks to God. Nonetheless, everything that was presented so far is recorded and available in front of you audio and visually, as well as all the documents which you can refer to at anytime.
But what is most peculiar is that document which the defense presented which is supposedly the will of Muawiya to his son the First defendant Yazid. If it is authentic, then it stands as strong incriminating evidence and we thank the defense for presenting it to us. If we analyze this letter, we will find the following:
First: It clearly indicates the father’s knowledge of his son’s nature (the First defendant), he knows very well how this son will deal with Al-Husayn (as) and how he will act, due to his foolishness and lack of wisdom. Thus, he advices his son and warns him not to act in such way. It is as if Muawiya foretells the future when he says, “let him go anywhere he wants” which means not to persecute him or force him to stay at one place. Now, did Yazid really do that?! This is the testimony of a father against his son, so is there any testimony more clear than that?!
Second: The document clarifies and enumerates the virtues of Al-Husayn (as) and his high position in Islam and in the eyes of his grandfather, the Holy Prophet (S). So if you, Oh Muawiya, recognized his high position very well and heard it with your own ears from the Prophet, then why did you take the pledge of allegiance for your son as Caliph when you knew with certainty that Al-Husayn (as) is better than your son, and there is not even room for comparison between the two?!!
Third: And Oh Muawiya, if you have suspicion and felt that your son will be the killer of Al-Husayn, and you knew that the Prophet (S) has said that the killer of Al-Husayn (as) is the cursed one of this nation and that the Prophet (S) will be the plaintiff against him on the Day of Judgment, then, if you truly believe in Islam and the Holy Prophet (S), then you would not have exposed your son to that danger in his Hereafter, especially since you fear that he may commit it.
You should not have appointed him as Caliph and successor, so that you protect him from the evil of his self, and so that he doesn’t ever become the killer of Al-Husayn! But Oh Muawiya, you did not do that…you did not do that…!!!
Fourth: Oh Muawiya, if you knew and were sure that Al-Husayn (as) is the only remaining progeny of the Prophet (S) on earth, then how could you make your son become commander over him and request from Al-Husayn to give your son his pledge of allegiance??!
Fifth: When Muawiya spoke these words, did he for a minute think that Al-Husayn (as) was going to give his pledge of allegiance to his son, the First defendant, regardless of the circumstances?
After all, he himself admitted that Al-Husayn (as) has confronted him with tough talk many times even though he was at the peak of authority and tyranny. So how can one imagine that Al-Husayn (as) would give his pledge of allegiance to his son?
So, Muawiya gave this advice to his son because he knew very well that Al-Husayn (as) would never give his pledge of allegiance to his foolish son. Therefore, he requested Yazid to treat Al-Husayn with respect and softly, even if he didn’t give him his pledge of allegiance.
So, in spite of Muawiya’s prior knowledge of Al-Husayn’s rejection for his son to assume the position of Caliph over the Muslim state, he still advices his son not to harm Al-Husayn (as) due to his lofty position in Islam and among the Muslims.
Sixth: And Oh Muawiya, why are you having your army commanders bear witness on your will to Yazid regarding Al-Husayn? Unless you knew certainly that your son will not follow your advice or carry out your will! Rather, he will step on it with his feet even before you enter your grave! Hence, you want to vindicate yourself from what your son will commit, by having witnesses.
Seventh: Oh Muawiya, if you are a true believer in the religion, how can you accept the position of Caliph over the Muslims while you know very well all these virtues of Al-Husayn which you admitted, how can you accept to govern the nation when you know there is no one else in the whole nation like Al-Husayn (as) in terms of nobility, dignity, and revered position?!
All that is assuming the narration is authentic to begin with! This narration is doubtful and the proof of its falsification is obvious in its own text. For Muawiya to admit and acknowledge the virtues of Al-Husayn and his revered position in the religion and to the nation, in front of his son and his commanders…that act would be invalidating his own authority over the nation, as well as the successorship of his son after him.
Muawiya was not dumb or foolish so that he fall in this grave mistake which can affect his rule as well the successorship of his son after him. For these reasons, this whole narration is illogical, but we accept it because it contains evidence that proves the guilt of Yazid ibn Muawiya and the conviction of Muawiya, the father of Yazid!
As for the defense argument regarding the battlefield and its laws and setbacks, allow me to pose this question to the defense:
Can we consider a confrontation between 20 or 30 thousand soldiers with 100 or less who are in a civilian caravan containing women, children, elderly, and sick…is this confrontation considered to be a battlefield?
Or can we instead call it an execution field or butcher place?! Is there any compatibility or equality in terms of number, equipments and supplies such that we can call it a battlefield and accordingly apply what is usually applied to a battlefield?!
Ladies and gentlemen, what took place in the land of Karbala was not a battlefield; rather it was a court of execution, and the only difference is that those who are sentenced to death are typically chained and handcuffed, while in this case, they were free and have an opportunity to defend their selves to death.
Sure enough, they defended themselves till they were killed as heroes. But the idea of execution or mass murder still remains, so don’t be fooled by the defense argument about the laws and nature of a battlefield.
There was NO battlefield to begin with! If a gang of 200 armed gangsters stopped three persons for robbing them, then the three victims defended themselves till they were all killed. Shall we then call that a battlefield? And if among these three individuals were a woman and a child, is killing them considered to be a mistake simply because they were present in the battlefield?!
Was the slaughtering of Abdullah the suckling infant on the chest of his father Al-Husayn…was that considered to be a mistake? Keep in mind that at that moment, there was no fighting going on as the supporters of Al-Husayn (as) were all killed, so where is the mistake in that? We had previously mentioned that the Fifth defendant Hurmala committed the crime after the commander of the army Umar ibn Sa’d requested that from him. So where was the mistake?
Furthermore, was the killing of Abdullah ibn Al Al-Hasan, the eleven year old child, considered to be a mistake? He was killed while defending his uncle who was breathing his last and about to die, and with the same shot by the Fifth defendant. So how was that action a mistake?
Let the defense explain if they are able to, as there was no any fighting or fighters available at that point to confront the opposing army of Ibn Sa’d. Didn’t that army intentionally commit all these crimes which we have mentioned only a few of? Do you mean to say that they were all mistakes? What nonsense is this and how ridiculous is that?!
Moreover, was the killing of the injured Al-Husayn a mistake and not unintentional? Here is Ibn Sa’d saying to his soldiers, “Go to him and finish him up”, so they carry out that heinous crime on an injured man who is about to die, instead of giving him a sip of water and treating him for his injuries if possible. Weren’t all these events war crimes and mass murder and crimes against humanity? If it is not, then what exactly do we call them? Mistake? Accident? Random?
The defense wants you to believe all that and disregard your intellect, memory, and human logic. No way that this would happen unless we choose to abandon our humanity and leave our minds behind us and follow whatever the defense says without thinking!!
Surely, all of the proofs and evidences for the conviction of the five defendants in committing war crimes and mass murder and crimes against humanity are clearly present in all the events and authentic documents and statements we presented which you may refer to them.
Now let’s address the claim that the five defendants are now facing divine justice. Our goal is to either we vindicate or convict them in this world using our human logic and court system, while giving the defendants all their rights as we are doing now.
The divine justice in the Hereafter does not replace or suffice the human justice in this world. Otherwise, why are we placing the serial killers, criminals, and robbers under trial, despite our knowledge that they will never escape divine justice?!
The benefit of this trial is great and imperative in establishing human justice on earth, without which there is no value or meaning for the presence of any human civilization on this planet! In the animal world, there is only divine justice present and no animal justice, and that is a big difference between humans and animals.
So we must seek the establishment of justice as humans and bring the rights for the oppressed and the victims, whether in the past or present. By successfully achieving justice even if after a big time span, mankind proves its dignified human values and foundations and it escalates as its Creator desired for it to be. Thank you, your Honor.
Chief Justice: The defense team, would you like to rebut the prosecution’s argument?
Defense: No thanks your Honor.
Chief Justice: So, the court will be in recess for a half hour. Court is dismissed.
Chief Justice: Court is now in session after the break. Mr. Prosecutor, are you ready to continue presenting the rest of the evidence?
Prosecutor: Yes, your Honor.
Chief Justice: You may begin and the podium is yours.
Prosecutor: Your Honor, respected judges and jurors…after the hero of Karbala fell down as a martyr drenched in his blood suffering from his numerous injuries and…after the men and youth in his family as well as his companions and supporters were martyred and…after his head was chopped and raised on a spear to announce the end of this heinous mission… after ALL that, the horrifying scene began!
The victorious army under the commandership of the Third defendant and by direct order from the Fourth defendant proceeded towards the camp of Al-Husayn (as) the Martyr. The tents which shelter the women, children, the sick, and contain their personal belongings were attacked. The soldiers started looting and plundering everything and they competed in robbing the women of the Prophet’s household of their clothes and accessories!
It was to the point that a woman, according to Al-Tabari, would be looted from her veil, her ring, her earring, and her bracelet…such that those women ran away without head covering and in tears!!
Ladies and gentlemen, you can very well imagine this horrendous scene in which the huge army consisting of thousands were attacking, looting, and hitting women who no longer have a guardian or protector! Then they set the tents on fire which terrorized the children and women, and everyone went out running in every direction out of fear of the fire which started to spread quickly everywhere.
All that happened in front of the Third defendant, the commander of the army who was doing nothing to intervene and stop this horrendous scene! Doesn’t this scene represent a war crime with all its conditions and represent a crime against humanity?!!
Finally, the soldiers reached ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as) who was the only one left from the sons of Al-Husayn (as) since he was very ill and could not participate in fighting. They found him bed-ridden, so the Fourth defendant Al-Shimr took out his sword wanting to kill this young sick man. As it is cited in Tarikh Al Tabari, someone said to him,
“Are you going to kill the boys too?! He is only a sick young man!”
So Shimr responded, “Ibn Ziyad has ordered to kill all the sons of Al-Husayn.”
Ladies and gentlemen, here, the Fourth defendant Al-Shimr confesses that his master the Second defendant issued orders to his army not only to kill Al-Husayn (as), but also to kill his sons, big or small without any exception!
This happened before the confrontation even started. So was there any sincere intention or serious attempt to negotiate peace and avoid fighting? Wasn’t it a pre-meditated intention to get rid of Al-Husayn and his sons, and all of the progeny of the Prophet of Islam, whom the defense claim that this army went out fighting Al-Husayn (as) and his companions out of abidance to the religion which that Prophet came with? What type of hypocrisy, forgery, and contradiction is this?!
It was only at this point that Ibn Sa’d the Third defendant intervened to prevent Al-Shimr after he saw Zainab bint ‘Ali, the sister of Al-Husayn (as) saying: “He will not be killed until I am killed first!” It was only at this point that they refrained from killing him.
Ladies and gentlemen, is the attempt of killing the sick people during and after war considered to be a crime which calls for the human conscience? Isn’t it a war crime or not?! Isn’t it a crime against humanity or not? And isn’t the instructions of the Second defendant to kill all of the children of Al-Husayn (as) considered to be a genocide and mass murder or not?!
Finally, the commander of the army, the Third defendant Ibn Sa’d came and when the women saw him, they screamed and cried at his face, so he finally issued his very belated orders to his army and said:
“No one is to enter the shelter of these women, and no one is to harm this sick young man. Whoever took something from their belongings should return it.”
Narrators are in consensus that they stopped attacking, but none of them returned any of the belongings that they confiscated from the women.
Following that, another tragic scene took place which was an unbelievable heinous crime against humanity! Ibn Sa’d, out of his obedience to the orders of his butcher master, the Second defendant as we mentioned before, called out to his army saying:
“Who of you would like to be assigned to trample and stampede over the chest and body of Al-Husayn with horses?”
Ten horsemen volunteered and they trampled over the body of Al-Husayn with their horses till they smashed his chest and back! You can imagine this horrendous scene, oh respected judges and jurors! These people were not satisfied with brutally killing Al-Husayn and cutting off his head and raising it on a spear!
They were not content with looting his body and leaving him naked on the dust of Karbala! Now they are even stepping over his torn up and naked body with the hooves of their horses! How terrible is that…how boastful is that…and what type of humans are they?! What type of crime against humanity can that be categorized as?!
There is no doubt as you are imagining that scene that you will feel extreme disgust and disdain and I apologize for that but it is the truth which you must picture and imagine so that your verdict on these inhumane blood-shedders would be just, direct, and decisive.
If Ibn Sa’d the Third defendant did not obey that specific order of Ibn Ziyad, no one would’ve ever blamed him, not even Ibn Ziyad himself! But the strong desire of the Third defendant to please Ibn Ziyad and to win the governorship of Al-Rayy’ state (which covers most of Iran today) made him not hesitate from carrying out such heinous inhumane, un-Islamic, and immoral act. So he carries full responsibility of this act, in addition to the responsibility which his master Ibn Ziyad holds!
Following that, another horrendous scene took place. The Third defendant Ibn Sa’d ordered that all of the heads of the martyrs be severed and they were distributed between different tribes in order to please the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad.
All of that happened in front of the women and children and you can very well imagine the state of these women and children as they witness the heads of their fathers, husbands, sons, and brothers being cut and raised on spears to be presented to Ibn Ziyad! Ladies and gentlemen, can you imagine how much pain, suffering, and grief affect the hearts of these orphaned children and widowed, grievous, devastated women in the mist of that barren desert in the land of Karbala?! I don’t think anyone can even begin to imagine or comprehend all that pain and suffering!!
After that, Ibn Sa’d ordered to send the severed head of Al-Husayn (as) as well as his companions to Ibn Ziyad in Al-Kufa. He spent his night in Karbala and on the 11th day of Muharram, he gathered the bodies of his dead ones and prayed on them and buried them.
But he abandoned the dead body of Al-Husayn (as) as well as those of his family members and companions in the desert without Ghusl/ablutionary bath or shroud or burial. Now is that a humane act from him or isn’t it a crime committed against humanity?! And did his leader Ibn Ziyad also order him to do so?
Or wasn’t that a criminal act that was a personal initiative from him, out of desire for more pleasure from his masters in Al-Kufa and Damascus? Surely, this act has no resemblance! Humanity does not accept to leave a dead animal without burial, so how can it accept to do that with innocent human beings and martyrs who simply rejected oppression, corruption, and tyranny?!!
Finally, the criminal Ibn Sa’d left in the afternoon of the 11th day of Muharram to Al-Kufa and he ordered that the sisters, daughters, wives, and children of Al-Husayn (as) be taken along as well as the rest of the families of the martyrs. Accompanying them was ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as) who was suffering from severe illness at that time. They forced all the captives to ride on camels without saddle. Here, we must note a few things:
First: It is very painful for a person to ride a camel or any other animal without a saddle. The body of such person will be in direct contact with the skin, hair, and body of the animal which causes sores and inflammation in his body, especially with extreme heat of the desert. It is an unbearable situation also considering the long distance of travel.
Second: During that time, it was the habit of Arabs to resort to this practice in order to show extreme disgrace and humiliation to those who undergo this punishment.
Third: This type of practice used to be given to the captives of the enemies of Islam only. However, this act was not Islamic at all and it was not ever imagined that it would be practiced against the family members of the Prophet and Messenger of Islam. Now isn’t this considered to be maltreatment of war captives? And are women, children, and widows considered to be war captives to begin with? Furthermore, isn’t this practice considered to be a war crime in which the Third defendant is responsible of?
The women requested from their captors to allow them to pass by the dead bodies of their loved ones before departing the place. They let the captives pass by the torn, headless bodies of the martyrs which were left for the beasts and birds to devour on the land of Karbala.
The women witnessed this awful and heart-breaking scene and they saw the bodies of their husbands, brothers, sons, and fathers in this pitiful state as they were headless, naked, slaughtered, surrounded by pools of blood, and encircled by hovering birds! In that heart rendering state, the women screamed, lamented, yelled, and many of them fainted! We can imagine their extreme state of grief, sorrow, and anguish as well as pain, fear, and terror which they experienced!!
Naturally, one of the most women affected by this unbelievable scene was Zainab bint ‘Ali (as), the sister of Al-Husayn, and Sakina (as), the daughter of Al-Husayn, who both embraced the purified body of Al-Husayn (as) which made everyone cry from sympathy, pain, and grief. The soldiers had to strike Zainab with the whip by direct orders from the Fourth defendant Al-Shimr, to force her to abandon the body of Al-Husayn (as); then they dragged her away.
Ladies and gentlemen, is that a humane act, or is it a barbaric and aggressive behavior committed against the mourning and grievous women whose hearts were broken from the loss of their loved ones?! Instead of being compassionate to them, they went on striking the women with the whips and dragging them across the desert!
What type of military honor, chivalry, or humanity is that?! And where was the commander of the army Ibn Sa’d when that happened? Didn’t he know about it?! If he didn’t know, then shame on him! And if he knew, then he is responsible for all the behaviors of the Fourth defendant and the suffering of those civilians in captivity, in addition to the responsibility of the Fourth defendant himself.
The army of Ibn Sa’d drove the women of the Prophet’s Household as captives who were led in the worst of conditions till they reached Al-Kufa where the people came out to stare at them. When the common people realized what was done to the household of their Prophet (S), they went on wailing, crying, and lamenting.
As we mentioned before, it was known that the city of Al-Kufa was the homeland of Shi’ism and support to the Household of the Prophet of Islam, before it turned on its back 180 degrees due to the pressure and terror of the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad.
When the people of Al-Kufa surrounded the caravan of the captives of the Household of the Prophet (S) and they were in awe of what they witnessed, the sister of Al-Husayn (as), Zainab bint ‘Ali, delivered a great historical speech which I’d like to recite to you and include it to the record as well as the sermon of ‘Ali ibn Al Al-Husayn Al Sajjad (as).
Defense: I strongly object your Honor! These speeches have nothing to do with the indictment of the five defendants. All what is meant from it is only to inflame the emotions of the judges and jurors against the defendants.
Keep in mind that these speeches were directed to and against the people of Al-Kufa. And the people of Al-Kufa are not the ones who are being tried in this court. So what is the point of wasting the court time by presenting these speeches?!
Prosecutor: Your Honor, the Second, Third, and Fourth defendants have denied that the people of Al-Kufa have sent to Al-Husayn (as) inviting him. These speeches contain a response to them with clear proof and evidence. Furthermore, the defense team is trying to portray Al-Husayn (as) as the one who revolted against Yazid.
But these speeches testify that Al-Husayn (as) was forced to leave and that he sought refuge in Al-Kufa escaping Yazid, after its people invited him and promised to protect and support him. Then they broke their promise and changed their loyalty.
Furthermore, these speeches portray the frustration of the household of the Holy Prophet (S) from the people of Al-Kufa which confirms the severity of the oppression that the Second defendant practiced against the people of Al-Kufa, to the point that he transformed them from a supporter of Al-Husayn (as) to a soldier in his army!! So, this is also a strong evidence of the crimes of the Second defendant Ibn Ziyad.
Chief Justice: Objection overruled, and I’d like to direct the attention of the judges and jurors to focus their attention in these speeches only on what can incriminate the five defendants or what can vindicate them from the charges, putting aside the emotional reaction. You may proceed, Mr. Prosecutor.
Prosecutor: Thank you your Honor. Ladies and gentlemen, we start by presenting the speech of Zainab bint Ameer Al Momineen ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), the sister of Al-Husayn (as). She signaled to the grievous and lamenting crowd to be quiet, so there was pin-drop silence. As it is narrated in most of the references which we previously referred to, after praising Allah (SWT) and praying on Prophet Muhammad (S) and his Household, she then said:
“Oh People of Al-Kufa! You are the companions of treason and betrayal! Do you weep?! May your tears never dry, and may your cry never stop! You are like she who unravels her yarn, disjoining it into thin filament after she has made it strong. You take your oath as means of deceit between yourselves?!
Verily, you only own cowardliness, false pride, obstinance, hypocrisy, deceit, flattery, and backbiting. You are like a herd of lambs that came to bad grassland to eat! What a bad deed you present to yourselves which will incur Allah’s wrath upon you, and eternal torture!
Do you cry and wail?! May Allah make you weep a lot and laugh little! You did carry all the shame and the disgrace on your shoulders and you will never be able to wash that away from yourselves.
And how can you ever wash away the killing of the grandson of the Seal of Prophets, and the Master Youth of the Paradise, your protector and your shelter in tough times, your lighthouse and the best on your tongues. What a wrong you committed! Woe to you, your effort has failed, your hands have perished, your deal is lost, and you gain only the anger of Allah, indignity and humiliation.
Oh People of Kufa, woe be to you! Do you know which blood for the Messenger of Allah you have shed, which female related to him you have captured, and which sanctity for him you have violated,
“Indeed you have put forth a monstrous thing! Might the heavens be broken down in front of it, and the earth cleaves, and the mountains fall down in fragments!” [Surah 19, Verse 89-90]
You have committed an obvious black, horrendous, unbelievable, terrible, and very serious crime!
Do you wonder that the sky has rained a bloody rain, but the torture in the Hereafter is much worst and humiliating and you will then be from the losers! So don’t be deceived that Allah gives you ample time as He the Almighty does not rush to punish because He does not abandon the revenge. Truly your Lord is watching, so wait for the beginning of Surat Al Nahl, and the end of Surat Saad.
Narrators described the people of Al-Kufa to be confused and overcome with grief and regret. Their women have exposed their hair and slapped their own faces and cheeks. The people surrounded ‘Ali ibn Al Al-Husayn (as) who was handcuffed, his hands were chained to his neck, and blood was on his face. So he pointed to the people to be quiet, and when they were silent, he praised and thanked Allah (SWT) and prayed for the Prophet (S) then he said:
“Oh people, whoever knows me, he knows me. And whoever doesn’t know me, I am ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. I am the son of he whose sanctity was violated and whose bounty was confiscated and whose wealth was seized and whose children were taken as captives! I am the son of he who was slaughtered by the Furat river without heritage or a crime. I am the son of he who was killed in execution style and that is enough of an honor!
Oh people, I ask you by Allah, don’t you know that you have written letters to my father and deceived him?! You gave him promises, covenants, and pledge of allegiance! Then you fought and killed him…curse be upon you for what you committed and your poor judgment! With what face will you meet the Prophet when he says to you, ‘You have killed my progeny and have violated my sanctity, so you are not from my nation!’”
Chief Justice: I think that many of you are exhausted now and are in need for rest, so I will conclude this session and we’ll resume after the weekend on Monday at 10AM. Thank you, court is dismissed.