Translator’s Foreword

” هل من ناصر ينصرنا هل من معين يعيننا هل من ذاب عن حرم رسول الله صلى الله عليه واله"

Is there anyone to help me? Is there anyone to support me? Is there any defender to defend the Household of the Messenger of Allah?

That was the call of Husayn ibn ‘Ali, the grandson of the Holy Prophet (S) on the day of Ashura, year 61 A.H. (which coincides with October 9th, 680 A.D.) after all his family members and close companions were killed on the plains of Karbala.

Did Imam Husayn (as) get any response? Did anyone answer his call? Did anyone even bother to quench the thirst of his infant baby?

Sadly there was no answer, no response, no support, and no water! The only reaction he got was a shower of arrows, spears, and stab wounds!

The departed souls of his close companions and family members could only watch sorrowfully from the heavens as they wished to return back in human form once again to sacrifice themselves in his defense!

Their utmost pleasure was not in Paradise, but in giving their blood and body parts out of love to their divinely appointed Leader. And the souls that were not yet created regretted not being alive on this day to offer a helping hand or a cup of water, or at least bury his trampled, naked, and headless body.

Imam Husayn (as) was left alone on the day of Ashura without anyone to help him and he met his fate with full submission and surrender to His Lord.

This everlasting call of Husayn in Karbala is not specific to the day of Ashura in 61 A.H. but it is a call resonating everyday till the end of time. This plea is not only directed to those present in the battlefield in Karbala; it is aimed for all of us today as well as future generations to come. The universal message of Imam Husayn (as) is echoing beyond the plains of Karbala…so long as there is oppression and injustice in this world, his mission to fight injustice and oppression will eternally live. It was Imam Husayn (as) and his family who sacrificed all they had for the sake of upholding the truth!

• Among the questions which beg itself to each one of us today are:

• What exactly are we doing to answer that universal call of Imam Husayn (as)?

• How are we offering him support, helping him, and shielding his family from harm?

• Are our hearts with Husayn, yet our swords against him (by action)? Or are we playing deaf to Husayn’s appeal while we claim to be his followers?

• We recite in our Ziyarah to Imam Husayn (as),

يَا لَيْتَنَا كُنَّا مَعَكُم فَنَفُوزُ فَوْزاً عظيماً

We wish we were with you and so we would have won the greatest victory!

Yet, what are we doing to prove that we really wish to be with him?

• What is our strategy in enjoining the good and forbidding the evil and how are we supporting the truth and fighting oppression?

• Last but not least, what steps are we taking to pave the road for the reappearance of the Imam of our Time (may Allah hasten his reappearance)? Or will we shamefully be among those who disbelieve and deny him when he reappears, God-willing?

When identifying the master criminals of the tragedy of Karbala, authenticated history points its fingers to five main cursed culprits who carefully conspired behind the scenes, designed, and planned the murder of Husayn, the son of Fatima who is the Master Lady of all Worlds according to the Last Messenger (S).

They perpetrated and committed multitude of heinous crimes in this catastrophe which has no like in the history of mankind, whether in the past or the future. In the order of their criminal offense starting with the chief delinquent, their names are: Yazid ibn Muawiya, Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad, Umar ibn Sa’d, Shimr Ibn Dhil Jawshan, and Hurmala ibn Kahel (may Allah deprive them of His Mercy).

They are the wicked villains who tainted their hands with the purified blood of the most righteous one on earth during their time, the grandson of the Holy Prophet (S), Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)!

The crimes they committed are not like any other crimes. And the victims in this case are not like any other victims. Hence, their status as criminals and offenders is certainly not like any other criminal and offender!

They surely deserve to be condemned, convicted, and sentenced at the very least like any other criminal and much more!

Quite surprisingly and unfortunately, we still find in the Muslim world today those who give regards and respect to the killers of Imam Husayn (as). We find those who defend them with the pretext that they are among the ‘companions’. We find those who refuse to condemn their actions and instead blame the victims. We find those who equate the perpetrators of the tragedy of Ashura with any wrong-doer who simply made a ‘mistake’ and have ‘repented’.

We find those who intentionally try to hide the facts of history and drive the spotlight away from the truth. We find those who belittle what happened in Karbala to protect certain political figures, perhaps out of fear for their own personal interests and material gain.

There is an inclination among some people to mix the good and bad forces in the same pot hoping for a chemical reaction to yield a good product. What they don’t realize is the mathematical law which dictates that positive multiplied by negative equals nothing but negative! One cannot equate Husayn (as) with Yazid (LA)1 or ‘Ali (as) with Muawiya (LA)!

As stated in the Holy Quran:

قُلْ لَا يَسْتَوِي الْخَبِيثُ وَالطَّيِّبُ

“Say, the evil and the good are not equal…” (5:100)

Hence, we cannot claim to bear love of Husayn and ‘Ali in the same heart which bears love or leniency towards Yazid and Muawiya! The result is clear hypocrisy which leads to none other than absolute darkness and misguidance.

The Satanic forces that were present on the day of Ashura are also here with us today as they aim to cover up the truth and present it in a sugar-coated form. The Yazidi supporters of Kufa are living among us on this earth disguised in the dress of Islam. The Kufans whose hearts were with Husayn yet their swords were against him…are also existing today! Their hearts may be with Husayn today but these same hearts are already tainted with the love of the enemies of Husayn, or if not, they lack hatred and condemnation of these enemies!

Perhaps the opportunity is not there today for them to unsheathe their swords against Husayn. But if history was to repeat itself, they will be the first to rush to Yazid’s support and may even be worse than their predecessors whom they blindly follow. In fact, the reality of today tells us that they are indeed unsheathing their swords to support the Yazid-of-today against the upholders of truth and justice.

Brothers and Sisters in humanity, our proposal today is to place these five cold-blooded killers under trial for the multitude of war crimes and mass murder committed in the massacre of Karbala. In this historical trial, we can scrutinize the overwhelming evidence that is cited in many of the well-known books and references authenticated by the majority of the Muslims.

Even though these criminals are not alive today, we can still attempt to establish an iota of justice for the victims of Karbala by placing these villains on trial for the crimes they committed hundreds of years ago. Our idea is to create an International Tribunal where a court composed of judges and jurors from all over the world listen to the heart-aching story of Karbala and make the judgment themselves to decide whether these defendants are guilty or not.

This final decision would be purely based on the humanitarian aspect (without need to delve deep into the religious aspect) as the case of Imam Husayn (as) is filled with many atrocious crimes that go against the basic principles of humanity and civilization.

What does the Geneva Convention say about the rights of prisoners of war, the wounded, the sick fighters, and the treatment of civilians during the time of war? In fact, the Third and Fourth Geneva Convention considers war crimes to be ‘grave breaches’ when it involves willful killing, torture, inhuman treatment, compelling one to serve in the forces of a hostile power, taking of hostages, extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly, as well as unlawful deportation, transfer, or confinement.

Let us analyze the actions of these criminals in light of the Nuremberg Principles which set the guidelines for determining what constitutes a war crime. Why not present this tragic case of Imam Husayn (as) to key organizations which claim to work for and support human rights such as the United Nations, International Human Rights group, Amnesty International, and World Organization for Human rights, etc.?!

Let the whole world judge based on the evidence and facts whether these defendants violated any or all of these laws during and after the massacre of Karbala. Let mankind use its own intellect and logic to establish justice and defend humanitarian rights!

We envision that the judges in this international court tribunal would be carefully selected to represent all different cultures and religions across the globe. The evidence which incriminates these five defendants is available in the approved references of the common school of thought of Islam which will act as ‘witnesses’ in this case. After hearing out the details of the litigation, the jurors will issue a final verdict to be stamped in history till the end of time.

If these defendants are found to be “guilty” and convicted based on a unanimous verdict, they will then be sentenced and placed in the garbage and trash of history, just like world-dictators such as Hitler and his cronies, Milosevic, and Saddam Husayn. Thereafter, no one can dare to ever give them respect or regards and they will be cursed till eternity!

We cannot bring back the lives of the victims nor can we compensate their families. And the fire of love and grief in the hearts of

Husayn’s devotees will NEVER EVER cool down! However, the least that we can do as an intellectual society is bring an iota of human justice for the victims in the case of Imam Husayn’s cold-blooded murder, even if it is much later in time and even if the perpetrators have departed this world long time ago. Hence, we recite in Ziyarat Ashura,

…طَلَبَ ثَارِي مَعَ إِمَامِ هُدىً ظَاهِرٍ نَاطِقٍ بِالْـحَقِّ مِنْكُمْ،…

I ask Allah to provide me the opportunity to fight for justice and seek your vengeance under the leadership of the rightly-guided leader in your progeny who will surely come and speak the truth….

We know that divine justice will ultimately be established by the Absolute Justice and the Almighty Creator on the Day of Judgment. But in the meanwhile, it is our responsibility as human beings to set the stage for establishing justice in this life to the best of our ability till the reappearance of the awaited Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) who will fill the earth with justice and equity after it has been filled with tyranny and oppression.

Without justice and punishment of the oppressors this world will surely turn into a jungle of beasts and predators and there will be no difference between animals and human beings!

Dear fellow humans, to every person in the world who possesses a sound intellect and judgment regardless of your religion, education, race, or culture…Let us go ahead and accomplish our goal of establishing human justice in the murder case of Imam Husayn (as)! It is up to us to find the means and resources to appeal to the whole world about this most peculiar and extraordinary anti-humanitarian case which spews tears of blood from rocks and breaks the heart of even the wildest beast out there!

Dear brothers and sisters in humanity; let us take the steps today to pave the path for this dream to come true…the dream of establishing an “International Court Tribunal against the Killers of Husayn ibn ‘Ali”!

The mock trial presented in the following pages is the way that our simple minds imagine or fantasize for it to take place in the modern-day world. It is up to us to turn these pages into reality instead of a mere thought locked up in the mind or words jotted on paper! Let the merciless criminals earn their punishment in this world before they earn it in the next!

Let their conviction be pronounced in front of all creation in this life before the Day of Judgment!

Let us put an end to all words of praise and/or defense on these inhumane beasts! Let these five heartless criminals be placed in the filthiest garbage and trash of history …until the awaited Mahdi and chosen Imam of our Time (may Allah hasten his reappearance) resonates his call:

يا لِثَارَات الحُسَيْن

“Revenge on [the killers of] Al-Husayn!”

Whether we are Muslim or non-Muslim, black or white, rich or poor…

Let us ALTOGETHER answer to the universal call of Imam Husayn (as) on Ashura with words that are complemented by actions!

Let us call out in our loudest of voices which transcends time and space, “Yes my Master Husayn, we are here with you and we jump to your support which is driven by our utmost love and devotion to you!”

Let us say to our beloved leader from the bottom of our grieving hearts, “Oh Husayn, you didn’t have any helper on the day of Ashura and we wish that we were there with you on that dreadful day…but here we are today revisiting the plains of Karbala with our swords unsheathed against your enemies!”

  • 1. (LA) = May that person be deprived of God’s Mercy