You are to help us reach this goal, win back our rights from those powers who have considered it acceptable to wrong you and who have attempted to put out the light kindled by your Prophet. God suffices us, upon Him do we rely, to Him do we return, and to Him shall we return.
Encounter with Waleed (L.A.) and Marwan (L.A.)
After Muawiyah’s death Yazid wrote a letter to Waleed-the governor of Medina, "Now then! Ask for the oath of allegiance from Husain, Abdullah bin Umar and Abdullah bin Zubayr, and do not give them respite until they do so."
Waleed called for Abdullah bin Umro bin Usman, who was just a lad, to summon Imam Husain (a.s.) and Abdullah bin Zubayr to meet him. It was a time when Waleed usually did not meet anyone. Abdullah bin Umro saw them seated in the Mosque and conveyed Waleed's message to meet them. They told him to go back and that they would soon follow him. Abdullah bin Zubayr turned towards Imam Husain (a.s.) and said, "In your opinion what is the reason for Waleed to call us to meet him at this unusual hour"? Imam replied, "I presume that their leader of rebels has died and he has called us to swear the oath of allegiance to Yazid before the news spreads among other people." Abdullah too consented to it and asked as to what he would do. Imam replied that he would go to meet Waleed accompanied by some youths. (Irshad)
Then he called for a group from among his relatives and said,
"Lift up your arms, for Waleed has called me at this hour and might force me to do that which I detest. I do not trust him, thus remain with me. When I go inside to meet him, you all sit at the door, and when you hear my voice raised, barge inside to defend me."
When Imam came to Waleed, he saw marwan sitting with him. Waleed gave the news of the death of Mu'awiyah to Imam Husain (a.s.), and he recited: "Verily we are Allah's and verily unto Him shall we return." Then Waleed read the letter of Yazid and his order to get the pledge of allegiance for him. Imam replied,
"I understand that you shall not agree if I swear the oath of allegiance in secrecy and privately until and unless I do so publicly so that people may be informed about it."
Discourse at Holy Prophet’s (P.B.U.H.) Grave
It is said that one night (before departure)Imam Husain (a.s.) stepped out of his house and went to the head of the grave of his Grandfather and said.
"Salutations be upon you O Prophet of Allah! I am Husain the son of Fatemah (a.s.). I am your beloved and the child of your beloved. I am your son whom you have left as your heir among your ummah. Thus O Prophet of Allah! Be a witness that these people have deserted me and neglected me while refusing to protect me. This is my complaint to you until I come to your presence."
Then he arose and started reciting the Prayers, constanty bowing and prostrating. Waleed went to his house to inquire whether the Imam had left Madina of no. When he saw that the Imam was not there he said, "Thanks to Allah that he has left and I have been saved from being indicted and involved in spilling his blood." Then Imam returned back to his home and on the second night he again went to the grave of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and recited some units of Prayers. After finishing the Prayers he said,
"O Allah! This is the grave of Your Prophet, and I am the grandson of Your Prophet. You are aware as to what has befallen me. Verily I cherish virtue and righteousness and abhor evil. O Lord of Glory and Honour! I adjure You by the right of this grave and the one who is buried therein, to bring forth for me that which is approved by You and Your Prophet."
Imam continued weeping until the morning, then he placed his head on the grave and slept for a short time. He dreamt that the Prophet (s.a.w.s.), surrounded by the Angels from the left, right and front, coming towards him. The Prophet came near and pressed Imam Husain (a.s.)'s head to his chest. Then he kissed him between his eyes and said,
"O my beloved Husain! It is as if I see you smeared in blood at the place of grief and trials, and a group from among my people have beheaded you, and you are thirsty while they do not quench your thirst. Inspite of this they desire my intercession (on the day of Qiyamah). May Allah keep them away from my intercession. O my beloved Husain! Your Father, Mother and Brother have come to me and they are desirous of meeting you. And you have acquired such a lofty position in Paradise, that unless you attain Martyrdom you shall not get there."
Imam looked at his Grandfather and said,
"O Grandfather! I do not desire to return back to this world. Please take me along with you and enter me into your grave."
The Prophet replied,
"You should return back (towards the world) and attain Martyrdom, and thus gain whatever great rewards Allah has reserved for you. For on the day of Qiyamah, you, your Father, your Uncle and Yours Father's Uncle shall arise as a distinguished group until you all enter Paradise."
Will to Muhammad-e-Hanafiya
When Imam was departing , Muhammad ibne Hanafiyah came to him and said, "O dear brother! You are most dear and beloved to me than anyone else. And I will not refuse to advise anyone except you, being most worthy of it, for you are from me, and are my life, my spirit and my eyes and the elder of my family. Your obedience is obligatory upon me for Allah has exalted you over me and has chosen you as the Master of the Youth of Paradise." Then he recited the entire Tradition narrated by the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) viz. "Hasan and Husain are the chiefs of the youth of Paradise."
Then he said, "I desire that you go to Makkah, if you find peace, stay there, and if the matter turns out to be different, then go to Yemen, for the people therein are among the helpers and followers of your Grandfather and Father. And they are the most kind-hearted and merciful among men, while their towns and cities are vast. Then if you can hault there, do so, if not, then seek shelter in the deserts and mountain-caves and go from one town to the other until you witness the state of affairs of people, and may Allah judge between us and the group these of evil-doers."
Imam Husain (a.s.) replied,
"O brother! Although there is no place left in this world for sheltering me, I shall never ever swear the oath of allegiance to Yazid."
Hearing this Mohammad ibne Hanafiyah concluded his speech and started weeping and the Imam too wept. Then he said,
"O Brother! May Allah reward you favourably, for you have advised me and have opined righteously. As regards yourself O dear brother! You may stay behind in Madina and be alert and keep informing me about the affairs of the enemies."
Then Imam Husain (a.s.) asked for paper and pen and wrote the following recommendation for his brother Mohammad bin Hanafiyah:
"In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. This contains that which has been willed by Husain bin Ali bin Abi Talib to his brother Mohammad renowned as Ibne Hanafiyah. Verily Husain bears witness that there is no Lord except Allah Alone. And bears witness that Mohammad (s.a.w.s.) is the Slave and the Messenger of Allah, who has been righteously chosen by Him. And that Paradise and hell are truth, and without doubt the day of Qiyamah will come. And Allah will arise all those who are buried inside their graves. I have not risen to spread evil or to show off, nor for spreading immorality or oppression. But I have left for the betterment of the ummah of my Grandfather and I desire to propagate the Religion and forbid against evil, thus following the foot-steps of my Grandfather and Father Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.). Thus the one who accepts truth through me, will have received truth from Allah, while the one who betrays me, I shall forebear until Allah judges between myself and the oppressive creed and verily Allah is the Best Judge. This is the testimony to you from me O brother. And my favour is with Allah alone on Whom (alone) I rely, and unto Him (alone) do I return."
Imam Hussain (A.S.) and Hazrat Umme Salma (R.A.)
Grandmother! I know that I have to meet martyrdom unjustly and oppressively, divine decree is such that, my household be taken as captives door to door, my children be slaughtered, they be made prisoners' and no one be the hearer of their appeals when they implore, in this itself is the remains and life of religion.
Grandmother! If I do not go today then I will go tomorrow and if I do not go tomorrow then I will have to go the day after tomorrow - there is no refuge from death, I know that day and hour too when I have to get killed, and also know that place where I have to get buried. As if I am seeing that place and if you like I can also show you the place, saying this he showed her the place and lifted a handful of soil and gave it to Umme Salmah, as when this soil turns into a fresh blood, then know that your Husayn (a.s.) has been martyred. (Maqtal Awaalim, page 27.)
Discourse with the army of genie
Numerous groups of Muslim genie came to Imam Husain (a.s.) and said, "O our Master! We are your adherents and helpers thus we shall fulfill your command, whatever it be. If you desire we will halt here and slay all your enemies." Imam replied,
"May Allah reward you with goodness! Haven't you read the Qur'an which was revealed to my Grandfather, wherein is stated:
"Wherever you be, death will overtake you, even if you be in towers (strong and) lofty."
And it is stated,
"Those for whom slaughter was ordained would certainly have gone forth to the places where they (now) lie (slain)."
Then if I remain in this place, how would this unfortunate nation be tested and tried? And who will lay in my grave in Karbala. (On the day) When Allah the Glorious spread the earth, He chose that land for me. And has made it a place of refuge for my followers (Shi'ah) so that they might find peace there under in this world as well as the hereafter. Come to me on Saturday, for I shall be martyred in the end of the week on the tenth. No one from among my family, friends, brothers and relatives will remain alive after my death, my head will then be taken to Yazid."
The genie said, "O friend of Allah! And O the son of the friend of Allah! If the obedience of your orders would not have been obligatory on us and killing would not have been unlawful, we would surely have killed all your enemies before they reach you." Imam replied,
"By Allah! We are competent enough to kill them than you. But the intention is that one should be killed with (presenting valid) proofs and reasons, and should be guided with proofs and reasons."
In other words, the Imam did not wish that they be destroyed before submitting his proofs unto them. (Here ends that which has been quoted in the book of Muhammad bin Abi Talib)
Conversation with Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari
Sayyed Bahrani in Madinatul Ma'ajiz quotes from Saqibul Manaqib, and others quote from Manaqibus Sua'da that Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari says, that when Imam Husain (a.s.) intended going towards Iraq, I came to his presence and said, "You are the son of the Prophet of Allah and one of his two endeared grand children. I do not hold any other opinion except that you too enter into a peace-treaty (with Yazid) as your brother had done with Mu'awiyah, and verily he was trustworthy and rightly guided." Imam Husain replied,
"O Jabir! Whatever my brother did was ordained by Allah and the Prophet, and whatever I shall do too shall be according to the command of Allah and His Prophet. Do you wish that at this very moment I invite the Holy Prophet, Imam Ali, and my brother Hasan to testify regarding my action"?
Then Imam looked towards the heavens, suddenly I saw that the doors of heavens opened ajar and Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.s.), Imam Ali (a.s.), Imam Hasan (a.s.), Hazrat Hamza (a.s.) and Hazrat Ja'far at Tayyar (a.s.) descended from the heavens upon the earth. Seeing this I became frightful, when the Prophet said,
"O Jabir! Did not I inform you prior to Husain during the time of Hasan, that you would not become a believer unless you surrendered to the Imams and not object to their actions? Do you desire to see the place where Mu'awiyah will dwell and the place of my son Husain and of his murderer Yazid"?
I replied in the affirmative. Then the Prophet struck his foot onto the ground and it tore apart and another ground appeared beneath. Then I saw a river flowing, which also tore apart, underneath which was another ground. Thus seven layers of the ground and rivers ripped apart (one below the other) until there appeared hell. I saw that Waleed bin Mughirah, Abu Jahl, Mu'awiyah and Yazid were bound together in a chain along with the other rebellious Satans. And their torment was more severe than that of the other people of hell. Then the Holy Prophet commanded me to lift my head. I saw that the heavens had opened their doors and Paradise was apparent. Then all those blessed people who had descended from there returned back. When they were in the air the Prophet called out to Imam Husain,
"Come and mingle with me my dear Husain."
I saw that Husain ascended too and joined them onto the high status in Paradise. The Holy Prophet then caught hold of the hand of Husain and told me,
"O Jabir! This son of mine is here along with me, submit to him and do not fall in doubt so as to become a believer."
Jabir says that, "May both my eyes turn blind if whatever I have seen and related from the Prophet is false."
Letter in Reply to Kufi’s pleading letters
Imam Husain (a.s.) sent the following reply with Hani bin Hani Sabee'i and Sa'eed bin Abdullah Hanafi, who were the last messengers (from Kufa):
"In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful.
From Husain bin Ali to the noblemen among the Muslims and believers. Now then! Hani and Sa'eed have brought me your letters, they being your last messengers. I have realized your opinions through them and your judgement is that: There is no Imam over us. You come towards us, perhaps Allah will unite us through you upon the truth and righteousness. I send to you my cousin, my brother and a trustworthy person from among my family Muslim bin Aqeel. And I have instructed him to inquire about your affairs and write to me regarding it. And if he writes to me that your elders, the wise and the learned men hold the same opinion as your messengers have conveyed to me and as written in your letters, then I shall come to you quickly, Allah willing. I swear by my life, that he is not an Imam and guide except he who judges in accordance to the Book of Allah, and establishes justice, and professes the True Religion and dedicates himself to the will of Almighty Allah. Greetings."
Letter to the nobleman of Basra
"Mu'awiyah has died, and we do not grieve nor regret his death, because the doors of injustice and tyranny have cracked and the pillars of oppression have been given a severe blow. He has made innovations in the form of (demanding) allegiance for his son (Yazid) and he was adamant about it, when how far from right is it what he had decided. He endevoured but was weakened and he asked for counsel and opinion from his friends, but they betrayed him. Then his son Yazid who drinks wine and is wicked has arisen and has claimed to be the Caliph of the muslims. He rules over them without their consent inspite of being an ignorant and foolish man, he cannot even recognise his own footsteps. I swear by Allah, that fighting Yazid is more worthy than fighting with the polytheists. And this is Husain bin Ali, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.s.). He is of genuine dignity, an honest counselor, a great intellectual, and is more worthy and rightful for the Caliphate. For he is an antecedent among the emmigrants, a senior, and foremost in Religion, he is attached in proximity to the Prophet. He is affectionate towards the young and sympathetic towards the elders while being kind to others. He is a thorough Leader, and Paradise is attained through his medium, while he propagates through preaching and counsel. Hence do not close your eyes against the Light of Truth and do not fall into the pit of falsehood. Sakhr bin Qays misled you on the day of (the battle of) Jamal and disgraced you, hence wash off the stains of disgrace from yourselves by assisting the grandson of the Prophet. By Allah! None will withhold their hands from assisting him except that their progeny will be humiliated, deprived and abandoned. I have now worn the helmet for the battle and have fastened the armor. For the one who is not killed will ultimately die, and the one who flees from it will not escape it. Thus answer me well, may Allah's blessings be upon you."
Other letter to the five nobleman of Basra
Imam Husain (a.s.) wrote a similar letter to the noblemen of the five divisions of Basra and their chiefs through his retainer named Sulayman. The letters with similar contents were addressed to Malik bin Musme' Bakri, Ahnaf bin Qays, Manzar bin Jarood, Mas'ood bin Umro, Qays bin Haysam and Umar bin Abdullah bin Mu'ammar.
"Now then! Verily Allah has chosen Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.s.) above all His creatures and granted him (the prestige of) Prophethood and chose him for the Apostleship. Then the Almighty took him towards His mercy (death) after the Prophet having guided all people towards the truth, and after having propagated the message for which he was sent. Thus we are his Household (Ahlulbayt), friends, vicegerents and his successors and are more worthy of succeeding him than anyone else. Then the nation has tried to precede us in this matter and we helplessly withdrew to avoid dissentions. We cherish peace although we consider ourselves more worthy and deserving of it (Caliphate) than them. I have sent towards you my messenger and I invite you to the Book of Allah and the tradition (sunnah) of the Prophet, for I see that the traditions (sunnah) have been destroyed and innovations have crept up. Hence if you pay heed to my words and obey my command, then I shall guide you to the Righteous path. And peace be upon you and Allah's blessings and mercy."
Sermon while proceeding towards Iraq from Makkah
When Imam Husain (a.s.) intended going towards Iraq, he stood up and delivered the following sermon:
"Praise be to Allah! By Allah's will only! There is no power but with Allah! And Blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger! Verily death is bound with the sons of Adam as a necklace around the neck of a maiden. How I desire and long to meet my Ancestors similar to (Prophet) Ya'qoob (a.s.), who was desirous of meeting (Prophet) Yusuf (a.s.). Verily I proceed towards the place of my martyrdom, which has been selected for me. It is as if I see the wolves of the desert (of Bani Umayyah) separating each part of my body between Nawawees and Karbala, and filling their empty bellies and utricles. There is no escape from that which has been written down by the pen of destiny, and the pleasure of our Household (Ahlulbayt) lies in the pleasure of Allah. Verily we will endure His trials and secure the reward due for the forbearing ones. The cord of the Prophet and his child cannot be separated from him, but will all be united together with him near the Right (Allah). Thereby his (the Prophet's) eyes will be cooled due to us and thus Allah will fulfill what He has promised through them. Then whoever desires to lay down his life for us and strive in the way of Allah, should come out with us, for I shall be leaving tomorrow morning, Allah willing."
Letter to Muslim ibn Aqeel through Qais
"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. From Husain bin Ali to his believer and Muslim brothers. I praise Allah Almighty, besides Whom there is no other Deity. Now then! I have received the letter from Muslim bin Aqeel, informing me regarding the fairness of your intentions and the compliance of your noblemen to assist us and seek our rights. I invoke Allah, the Honourable, the Glorified, that we may face fairness and reward you with the greatest reward. I have left Makkah on Tuesday, the eighth of Zilhaj, the day of Tarwiyyah. When my messenger reaches you, speed up your task and prepare yourselves that I shall reach you within some days. Peace be upon you and Allah's Mercy and His Blessings"
Sermon to Hurr and his companions
Imam Husain (a.s.) delivered a sermon at Bayzah amidst his companions and that of Hurr's. He praised and glorified Allah and said,
"O people! The Prophet has said, that when you see an oppressive ruler legitimizing that which has been prohibited by Allah and breaking His covenant, and opposing the customs of the Prophet, and he behaves unjustly and oppressively with Allah's servants, then if a person does not oppose him through his word or deed, it is incumbent upon Allah to place that person on the status of that oppressor. Beware that these statesmen (of Bani Umayyah) have adhered to the commands of shaitan and disobeyed the orders of Allah, and have made corruption the custom of the day. They have gathered the rights at one place and have reserved the treasury of Muslims (Baytul Mal) for themselves, and permitted the prohibitions of Allah and forbade that which is allowed by Him. I am more worthy among all the men to stop and oppose them. You sent your letters to me, and your messengers too, saying that you have taken the oath of fealty to me and promised that you would not hand me over to my enemies nor forsake me. Then if you (still) persist on your allegiance, then you are on the right. I am Husain, the son of Ali and Fatimah the daughter of the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.s.). My life is associated with you and my family with yours, and you should be symphathetic towards me. And if you do not do so and have committed breach of trust, while having taken off the pledge of allegiance from your necks, then I swear by my life, that this is nothing new from you. You have done the same with my father, brother and cousin Muslim (bin Aqeel), the one who falls prey to your deception turns helpless. You have let go your share from your hands and have toppled up your fortunes. The one who commited breach of trust shall himself face deceit, and very soon Allah will make me independent of you. Peace be upon you and Allah's Mercy and Abundance."
Uqbah bin Abu Eizar says, that Imam Husain (a.s.) halted at Zee Hasam, and after praising and glorifying Allah said,
"Now then! You have seen what unrighteousness has come forth. The world has changed colour and has shown unacquaintance. It's righteousness has parted and this has continued until the remnants of good in it amounts to the thin sediment at the bottom of a drinking utensil. And life is degraded like the grazing ground of death. Do you not see that truth is not being practiced and wrong not being discouraged? The righteous believer is the one who aspirers towards righteousness. I alone consider death to be a prosperity, while living with the oppressors is nothing but undesirable."
Encounter with Hurr ibn Yazid Riyahi
When the time of Asr came, Imam commanded his companions to ready themselves to leave and they conceded. Then he commended his muezzin to say the Azan and Iqamah, which he did. Imam was again urged to lead the Prayers, which he did. He recited the salutations and turned towards them. He praised and glorified Allah and said,
"Now then! O people! If you fear Allah and you recognize the dues of the rightful, Allah will be pleased with you. And we are the Household of Mohammad (s.a.w.s.), and hold more authority upon this matter (the Caliphate) than those who claim it. They have sown the seeds of oppression and enmity amongst you. Then if you despise us and do not recognize our rights, and if your opinions are averse to what you had written to me in your letters and conveyed to me through your messengers, then I shall go away from you."
Hurr replied, "By Allah! I do not not anything regarding the letters nor the messengers as you say." Then Imam called out to one of his companions and said,
"O Utba bin Sam'an! Bring to me the two saddle-bags containing their letters."
He brought the bag full of letters and scattered the letters in front of them. Hurr said, "We are not of those who had written to you. We have been commanded not to part with you as soon as we find you, and then to take you to Kufa to the presence of Ubaydullah bin Ziyad." Imam replied,
"Verily death is nearer to you than this."
Then he directed his companions to mount and they complied. When they started proceeding, Hurr stopped their way to which Imam said,
"O Hurr! May your mother mourn over your death, what do you intend"?
Hurr replied, "If anyone else among the Arabs had said this in the same position as you are, I would have answered him equally, whoever he might be, but I cannot utter the name of your mother, except with fairness." Imam said,
"Then what do you desire"?
Hurr said, "I desire to take you to the commander Ubaydullah." Imam said,
"By Allah! I shall not do so."
Hurr said, "By Allah! I too shall not leave you." They repeated this thrice, and when their conversation got heated, Hurr said, "I have not been commanded to fight with you. I have been ordered to remain with you until I take you to Kufa. Then now when you refuse to go to Kufa, take a way, which does not go to Kufa nor Madina, while this being a compromise between us. Then I shall write a letter to the commander and you write to Yazid or Ubaydullah, and Allah should bring forth fairness, so that I may not be entangled in your matter." Imam turned his horse towards Qadsiyah and Uzayb towards the left, and Hurr and his followers travelled by their side.
Imam Hussain's (A.S.) words with Ali ibn Hussain (Ali Akbar) (A.S.) on his way to Kufa
Uqbah bin Sam'an says, that we went along with the Imam and he took a short nap on the horse's back. Then he woke up and uttered the words:
"Verily we are Allah's and verily unto Him shall we return. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds."
Then he repeated it twice or thrice. His son Ali bin Husain (a.s.), who was riding a horse, came up to him and asked, "Why did you (suddenly) praise Allah and utter the words of "returning to Him"? Imam replied,
"O my dear son! Sleep overtook me, and I saw a rider come up to me from behind and said: These people are proceeding further, while death is advancing towards them. I perceived that they were our spirits informing us of our death."
Ali bin Husain said, "O dear father! May your Lord not bring forth evil! Are we not on the right"? Imam replied,
"Why not, by Him towards Whom all servants return."
Then Ali said, "Then we do not fear, for we shall die on the right." Imam said,
"May Allah reward you abundantly, the reward which is due from a father to his son."
Encounter with Ubaydullah bin Hurr Johfi
Shaikh Sadooq in his Amaali, relates from Imam Ja'far as Sadiq (a.s.) that when Imam Husain (a.s.) reached Qatqataniyah, he saw a tent pitched and inquired as to whose tent it was. People replied that it was of Abdullah bin Hurr Hanafi (while the correct name is Ubaydullah bin Hurr Jo'fi). Imam sent a messenger to him saying,
"You are an evil and guilty person. Allah shall call you to account for whatever you have done. Then if you now turn back to Allah and assist me, my Grandfather will intercede for you in the audience of Allah."
He replied, "O son of the Prophet of Allah! If I come to assist you, I shall be one of the first persons to sacrifice my life in front of you. You may take my horse. I have never attended to any work seated on it, except that I have attained what I desired, and no one has ever reached me except that it has saved me, hence I present it to you, so take it." Hearing this Imam turned his face away from him and said,
"Neither do I need you nor your horse. I do not desire to enter misled people into my ranks. Run away from here and do not side with us or against us, for the one who listens to the cry of us, the Household (Ahlulbayt), and does not hasten to assist us, Allah shall throw him head-long into the fire of hell."
Last Letter to the Chief’s of Kufa
Though there was little hope left from kufa and kufians, Imam Husayn(a.s) decided to make a last attempt and fulfill his obligation. He wrote”
“In the name of God, the Merciful, the compassionate
Abdullah and all other believers. Friends! You know the words of my grandfather, the Prophet(s) , who said ‘When people see a tyrant breaking the limits of the Almighty, permitting what He has forbidden, acting against the Sunnah of the Messenger and ruling over the people with tyranny and sinfulness and oppressing them, and still they continue to keep their silence and do not take any step to stop him, then God will drive them towards the place why they rightly deserve (Hellfire). My Friends! You know that the Bani Umayyah is a Satanic and they disobey the commands of God. You know what corruption they have publicized of earth and to what extent they have suspended the law of the Almighty, permitting what he has forbidden and forbidding that which he has allowed.
My friends, You know that I, more than anybody else deserve the right of khilafat and only under the justice it is possible to be delivered of oppression and exploitation.
O people of Kufa! It was you who wrote the large number of letters and sent so many messengers. It was you who had sent all those invitations and gave hope-raising promises. Now I have answered your call and come towards you. If you have remained faithful to your promise, then you have taken your own share from life and taken the right road to felicity and deliverance from tyranny and oppression. If, however you are now ashamed and regretful, having broken your covenant, then it is not something new and not without precedent; since it was you who have similarly treated my father and brother in the past, and laterly my cousin. If that is so, then you have ruined your lives with your own hands and closed all doors to everlasting felicity!
Know that God has always been my protector and Helper, and it is not I who is in need of you. Wassalam.”
Address to the people of Kufa
Sayyed ibne Tawoos relates that Imam Husain (a.s.) mounted his Camel (while some are of the opinion that it was a horse) and signaled them to remain silent. Then he praised and glorified Allah and extolled Him such as was due to Him. He sent salutations upon the Angels, Prophets and Apostles (a.s.) with great eloquence. Then he said,
"O people! May you be ruined and afflicted. You enthusiastically invited us to assist you, and we hastened to do so. Then now you have unsheathed those very swords, which we had given to you, and you have kindled the fire for us which we ourselves had kindled for your enemies and ours. You have sided with your own enemies and have proceeded to fight your friends along with them, although they have not acted with justice with you nor do you expect any kindness and fairness from them. A hundred woes be upon you! You have betrayed us at the time when the swords are still in their sheaths, the hearts in peace, opinions rightly apparent and free from error. But you are like the locusts, who have hastened towards battle, and are like the moths, who fall upon one another. May you be ruined O adorers of female slaves, those you have abandoned their ranks, those who have shun the Qur'an, those who have modified the right speech, the pillars of evil, O the ones enticed by shaitan, and the severer of Divine codes! You side with them and betray us? Yes, verily treachery and breach of trust has been your ancient custom, which had been established by your fathers and the branches thereof have come forth from it. You are the filthy and unpleasant fruits of it which suffocates it's own grower and are pleasing to the oppressors. Beware! Now this illegitimate son of the illegitimate father (Ubaydullah bin Ziyad) has stationed me between unsheathing the swords or then bear humiliation, and far be it that we accept humiliation. Verily Allah, His Prophet, and the Sacred Laps which have nursed us, the modest and those who abhor disgrace, disagree to it that we bow down to the ignoble men, and they exhort us to being killed manly in the battlefield over it. Beware I shall fight you, even when there are a few men with me, and although some have deserted me."
Then Imam Husain (a.s.) recited the couplets of Farwah bin Maseek Muradi:
"Should we defeat our enemy, we will go on defeating them, but should we be defeated, it will be only once, tell those who rejoice in our affliction: wake up, for you too will end up like us, when death lifts it's grip off the necks of some people, it surely will cling to others, then by Allah! you will not remain on the earth longer than the time needed to ride a horse, then the earth will wheel on you like a millstone and turn like a pivot, this has been handed over to me by my father (a.s.), who had got it from my grandfather (s.a.w.s.),'Muster therefore your designs and (gather) your accomplices, then let not your designs be dubious, then execute on me and give no respite (to me).' 'Verily I rely on Allah, my Lord and your Lord, there is no living creature, but He holds it by it's forelocks (is in His control)','Verily my Lord is on the Right Path'. O Allah! Hold back the rains of the heavens from them, and let them be entangled in the drought (similar as the time) of Prophet Yusuf (a.s.), and appoint a man of Bani Saqeeh (referred to Mukhtar bin Abu Ubaydah Saqafi) over them, who would pour the bitter cup into their throats. For they have belied and deserted us. You are our Lord, we rely upon You and we return towards You, and Your Audience is the conclusion (of everything)."
Then he alighted from his mount and sat on the horse of the Prophet, named Murtajaz, and started arraying the group of his companions.
(Malhoof) Umar bin Sa'ad came forward and shot an arrow towards the army of Imam and said, "Bear witness in the presence of the commander, that I was the first person to shoot an arrow." Then those under his command started shooting arrows in large number which appeared like birds. Imam turned towards his companions and said,
"May Allah bestow His blessings upon you! Arise to face the inevitable death, and these arrows are the messengers from the army, which is proceeding towards you."
Then they attacked them in the part of the day and a group of the companions of Imam were killed.
The narrators say that then Imam Husain (a.s.) caught hold of his beard and said,
"Allah's wrath became severe upon the Jews when they attributed a son to Him, and His anger descended upon the Christians when they made Him the third of the three gods, while His wrath descended upon the fire worshippers (Magians) when they worshipped the sun and the moon instead of Him. And now the wrath of Allah shall befall this community, who has united to kill the grandson of the Prophet. Beware! By Allah! I shall not agree to their desires until I meet my Lord drenched in my blood."
Word’s on reaching Karbala
Imam Hussain entered Karbala on the second of Moharram 61 A.H. Then he turned towards his companions and said,
"People are the slaves of this world and Religion is only a lip-service for them, and they will take care of it until it is pleasurable, and when the crucible of trials approaches, only a few religious ones remain."
Then he asked,
"Is this place Karbala"?
The people replied in the affirmative. He said,
"This is the place of grief and trials and this is the place of the resting of our Camels, our halting place, station of our martyrdom and where our blood shall be spilled."
Reply to Ubaydullah bin Ziyad's letter
"Now then O Husain! I have been informed that you have haulted at Karbala. Yazid has written to me not to recline my head on the bed and not be satiated until I send you to Allah, or you submit yourself to me and Yazid bin Mu'awiyah. Greetings."
When his letter reached Imam Husain (a.s.), he read it and threw it away saying,
"The one who seeks the pleasure of people against the displeasure of Allah can never succeed."
The messenger asked him the reply for the letter, to which Imam said,
"He has no reply, but has the wrath (of Allah)."
Proposal to Umar ibn Saad
Tabari) Imam Husain (a.s.) sent Umro bin Qartah Ansari to Umar bin Sa'ad saying, "Come to meet me tonight between the two armies." Umar came with twenty horsemen, while Imam too went accompanied with the same amount of men. When they reached face to face, Imam told his companions to move far away and Umar too ordered his companions to do so. Both the groups moved away and they started talking to one another until one part of the night passed away. Then they returned back to their armies and no one knew as to what was discussed between them. But the sane ones said that the Imam told Umar bin Sa'ad, "Accompany me in revolting against Yazid and leave his ranks." Umar replied, "My house shall be destroyed (if I do so)." Imam said,
"I shall build it (back) for you."
He said, "My properties shall be confiscated", and Imam said,
"I shall give you better than that from my property in Hijaz."
But Umar was not pleased by it.
Sermon to His (A.S.) Companions on the Night of Ashura
Imam Husain (a.s.) gathered his companions at night. Imam Ali Zainul Abedeen (a.s.) says that: I went closer to them so as to hear what they said, and at that time I was unwell. I heard Imam telling his companions that,
"I glorify Allah with the best glorification, and praise him in times of prosperity as well as misfortunes. O Allah! I praise You that You have likened Prophethood to be bestowed in our family, You taught us the Qur'an thus making us intellectuals in Religion, and conferred upon us the faculty of hearing and foresight and an enlightened heart. Thus enter us among the fold of your grateful servants. Now then! I have not known any companion who are more faithful and devout than you, nor have I known any family who is more considerate, affectionate, favorable, and amiable than my family. Thus may Allah reward you well on my behalf. And I presume that the enemy will not spare even a single day, and I permit all of you to go away freely while I validate this for you. I lift up from you the responsibility of the allegiance and oath (which you have swear at my hands). The darkness of the night has enveloped you, thus free yourself from the whirlpool (hiding) in the waves of darkness. Then each of you may catch hold of the hand of each of my family members and disperse into the villages and cities, until Allah bestows relief upon you. For these people desire me only, and after having laid their hands upon me, they shall not pursue anyone else."
Hearing this his brothers, sons, nephews and the sons of Abdullah bin Ja'far said, "We shall never do this so as to remain alive after you. May Allah never cause this to happen." Hazrat Abbas bin Ali (a.s.) preceded in the declaration and others followed suit.
Then Imam turned towards the sons of Aqeel bin Abi Talib and said,
"The sacrifice of Muslim is sufficient for you, hence I permit you to go away."
They replied, "Glory be to Allah! What will the people say? They will say that we have forsaken our chief, master and a cousin who was a best cousin. And that we did not shoot arrows alongside him, thrust spears and did not strike our swords besides him, and we would not know what to do (regarding this accusation). By Allah! We shall never ever do this. In fact we shall sacrifice our lives, wealth and our family for you. We shall fight alongside you until we reach the fate besides you. May life be ugly after you (if we remain alive)."
Then Muslim bin Ausaja arose and said, "Shall we forsake you? Then when we go to the presence of the Almighty, what excuse shall we present to Him regarding the fulfillment of your rights? No, By Allah! I shall pierce this lance of mine in the hearts of the enemies, and shall strike them with my sword until its hilt remains in my hands, and if no weapon remains with me to fight with them, I shall attack them with stones. By Allah! We shall not lift our hands off you, until it is proved to Allah that we have honored the regard of the Prophet in respect of you. By Allah! Even if I know that I shall be killed and then made to rise again and then killed and burnt and my ashes be scattered around, and this shall happen seventy times, even then I shall not forsake you until I am killed in your obedience. Then how should I forsake this when I know that death is to come only once, after which a great blessing awaits me."
Then Zuhayr bin Qayn arose and said, "By Allah! I hold dear that I should be killed then made to arise and again killed, and this should happen to me a thousand times, and thus Allah, the Mighty, the Sublime, may defend you and your family from being killed."
Then all the other companions unanimously repeated the same. (Tabari) They said, "By Allah! We shall not abandon you; in fact our lives shall be sacrificed for your life. We shall defend you with our necks, faces and hands. Then we all shall die while having performed our duty."
The following couplet best suits their discourses: "O my Master! Even if the throne of my greatness reaches the empyrean, I shall remain your servant and a beggar at your door, if I lift my heart and it's love from you, then whom should I love and where should I take my heart"? May Allah reward them favorably with respect to Imam Husain (a.s.) Then Imam Husain (a.s.) returned back to his tent.
Qutubuddin Rawandi relates from Abu Hamza Sumali that Imam Ali Zainul Abedeen (a.s.) said that I was along with my father (Imam Husain) on the night preceding his martyrdom. Then he addressed his companions thus,
"Consider this night to be armor for yourselves, for these people desire me and after having killed me they will not turn towards you, while you are pardoned and are capable."
They replied, "By Allah! This shall never ever happen." Imam said,
"All of you will be killed tomorrow and no one will be spared."
They replied, "Praise be to Allah who has bestowed grace upon us to be martyred along with you." Then Imam prayed for them and told them to lift up their heads. They did so and saw their status in Paradise, and Imam showed them one after the other their places therein. Thus every one was forwarding his face and chest facing the swords, so as to enter the status in Paradise.
It is related in the Amali of Shaikh Sadooq from Imam Ja'far as Sadiq (a.s.), who says that after the discourse of the Imam with his companions, he ordered a trench to be dug around his army. The trench was dug and filled with firewood. Then Imam ordered his son Ali Akbar (a.s.) to fetch water, accompanied by thirty horsemen and twenty-foot soldiers, while they were in the state of severe fright and Imam was reciting the following couplet:
"Time, shame on you as a friend, at the day's dawning and the sun's setting, how many a companion or seeker will be a corpse, time will not be satisfied with any substitute, the matter will rest with the Mighty One, and every living creature will have to journey along my path."
Then he commanded his companions,
Discourse with Qasim ibn Hasan(A.S.)
After Imam Hussayn(a) delivered his sermon on the eve of Ashoor, Then Qasim bin Hasan (a.s.) asked, "Am I too included in the list of the martyrs"? Hearing this Imam was moved and said,
"O my dear son! How do you consider death (martyrdom in the way of Allah) to be near you"?
Qasim replied, "It is sweeter than honey." Imam said,
"Verily, by Allah! May your uncle be your ransom! You are one of them, who shall be martyred along with me after having fallen prey to a severity, and my (infant) son Abdullah (Ali Asghar) shall be martyred too."
Hearing this Qasim asked, "O dear uncle! Then will the enemies reach the womenfolk so as to kill the suckling child Abdullah"? Husain replied,
"Abdullah will be killed at that time when I, absorbed in intense thirst, will come back to the tent and ask for water and nothing will be available. Then I will request my child to be brought to me so that I may kiss his lips (and thereby find relief). The child will be brought and placed in my hands, and a lewd man (from among the enemies) will shoot an arrow upon his neck and the child shall raise a cry. Then his blood will get filled in my palms and I shall raise my hands to the heavens and say: O Allah! I forebear and leave the accountability to You. The lances of the enemies will then be hurriedly thrown at me, while the fire in the trench dug behind the tents shall be roaring. Then I will attack them, the moment being the most bitter of my life. Then whatever Allah wills shall come forth."
The fourth Imam says: "I understood that my father meant to inform us of his martyrdom, and tears almost choked me, but I controlled myself. I realized that a calamity was about to fall. However, my aunt Zaynab also heard what I had heard, and as she was a woman, and the women are tender-hearted by nature, and lose patience, she could not control herself. She got up suddenly and went before her brother without wearing a veil and said: "Oh! That I should become brotherless! I wish that I had died earlier. O successor of the deceased and O the refuge of the survivors! It is today that I am going to be left without mother, father and brother". On seeing his sister in a distressed condition Imam Husayn said: "Sister! Be patient lest Satan should make you lose your self-control".
It may be said that these words of the Imam were a lesson for his sister which prepared her to face the difficult situations in Kufa and Damascus later. It was Zaynab who had to assume the leadership of this movement from the time of the Imam's martyrdom till the return of Ahlul Bayt to Madina, and by means of this lesson the Imam was entrusting this Divine trust to her. The Imam said: "Dear sister! Be patient lest Satan should make you lose your self-control". O dear sister! Control yourself and desire consolation from Allah alone. And know that everyone upon the earth shall die, while the dwellers of the heavens too shall perish, except the Face (Self) of Allah. Allah who has created with His power, and will make them alive again, and they shall all return to Him, while Allah is Unique. My grandfather was better than me, my father was better than me, and my mother was better than me. It is obligatory upon me and all Muslims to follow the example of the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.s.)."
The Imam in his brief speech gave a significant lesson to his sister. Tears came in his eyes and he said: "Sister! What am I to do? You can see with what condition I am faced and what a large army has gathered to kill me".
After these consolatory remarks the Imam said: "Dear sister! I administer an oath to you that you will follow my advice. Do not tear your dress on account of my suffering, do not scratch your face and do not lament".
Zaynab also uttered some touching words and became unconscious.
Imam Hussain’s (A.S.) supplication on the Morning of Ashura
"O Allah! You are my support in all severities and are my hope in all adversities. And You are my support and reservoir in all unpleasantaries which befalls me. Whatever numerous grief comes to heart, remedies blocked, and friends (having) deserted, and enemies rejoicing, I have brought forth to You and complain to You regarding them, and I do not turn to anyone except You. And You warded them off and sufficed. You are the Master of all blessings and the Possessor of all virtues, and the last Resort of all desires."
Speech to Shimr (L.A.) and his army on first approach
Azdi says that Abdullah bin Asim has related from Abdullah bin Zahhak Mashriqi that he said, that when the army advanced towards us and saw the moat, which we had dug filled with fire, they could not attack us from behind. Suddenly a man, riding a horse and well-equipped with ammunition, advanced towards us and without uttering a word inspected the tents. Then he retreated back and called out, "O Husain! You have hastened towards the fire before the day of Qiyamah (Allah's refuge)." Imam said,
"Is he Shimr bin Ziljawshan"?
The companions replied in the affirmative. (Irshad) Imam said,
"O son of a goat-herdess woman! You are more worthy of it."
Muslim bin Awsaja attempted to shoot an arrow at him but Imam stopped him from doing so. Muslim said, "Please let me shoot at him, for this wretched man is one of the great oppressors and Allah has made it possible for me to kill him." Imam replied,
"Do not shoot your arrow, I do not befriend that the battle may begin from my side."
(Tabari) Imam Husain (a.s.) possessed a horse named Lahiq, which he had given to his son Ali (Akbar) to ride. When the infantry advanced closer, Imam called for his Camel and mounted it while calling out in a loud voice, which was heard by most men:
"O people! Listen to what I say and do not make haste, so that I may fulfill the responsibility (to counsel you) which rests upon me and that I may submit my plea regarding my arrival towards you. Then if you accept my plea and believe my words while giving me justice, then you shall be fortunate and there will be no excuse for you to fight with me. And if you do not accept my word and deal unjustly with me, then  'Muster therefore your designs and (gather) your accomplices, then let not your designs be dubious, then execute on me and give no respite (to me)'. And Verily my Protector is Allah Who sent down the Book (Qur'an) and He guards the virtuous ones'
When his sisters heard his words, they started weeping and wailing, along with his daughters. Imam sent his brother Abbas bin Ali (a.s.) along with his son Ali (Akbar) to console and quite them. Then he said,
"By my life! They still have a lot more to weep."
And when they became silent (Irshad) Imam praised and glorified Allah and remembered Him as He aught to be remembered. Then he sent salutations upon the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), Angels and the other Prophets (a.s.). He spoke with such eloquence that no one had ever done so before him nor after him.
Sermon on the Day of Ashura (10th Moharram)
"Now then! Consider my family, and ponder as to who I am and then admonish yourselves. Then do you consider that killing me and plundering my sanctity and respect is lawful for you? Am I not the grandson of your Prophet and the son of his Vicegerent and cousin, who was the foremost in believing and the bearer of witness upon everything that the Prophet had brought from Allah? Was not Hamza, the chief of Martyrs, the uncle of my father? Was not Ja'far, who flies with two wings in Paradise, my Uncle? Did not the Tradition of the Prophet reach you in which he has said about me and my brother that both of us are the chiefs of the youth of Paradise? Then if you agree to what I say, and verily what I have said is nothing but the truth, then it is better, for by Allah, from the time I have realized that Allah dislikes the liars, I have never ever spoken a lie. Then if you do not believe to what I say, there are alive among you the companions of the Prophet. Go to them and ask them and they shall bear testimony to the truthfulness of my speech. Ask Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, Abu Sa'eed Khudri, Sahl bin Sa'ad Sa'edi, Zayd bin Arqam and Anas bin Malik, they will tell you that they have heard this tradition from the Prophet of Allah regarding me and my brother. Is not this sufficient to refrain you from shedding my blood"?
Then Shimr bin Ziljawshan, the accursed said, "I worship Allah (only) by lips (half heartedly), and do not understand what you say." Hearing this Habib bin Mazahir said, "I can see that you worship Allah with seventy types of doubts, and I bear testimony that you have spoken the truth and you cannot understand what the Imam says, for Allah has placed a seal (of ignorance) upon your heart."
"Then if you doubt this, do you even doubt that I am the grandson of the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.s.)? By Allah! There is no other grandson of the Prophet in the east or the west except myself from among yourselves or anyone else. Woe be to you! Have I killed anyone from among you whose revenge you desire? Or have I usurped the wealth of anyone or hurt anyone whose retribution you desire from me"?
When no one answered him, he called out in a loud voice,
"O Shabas bin Rab'ee! O Hajjar bin Abjar! O Qays bin Ash'as! O Yazeed bin Haris! Have you not written letters to me saying that the fruits had ripened and the surrounding earth had blossomed, and to come to a huge army prepared for me"?
They replied that they had not written any such letters. Imam said,
"Glory be to Allah! Yes by Allah, you had written it."
Then he continued,
"O people! Then now if you do not like my arrival, then leave me so that I may go away to a place of refuge."
Qays bin Ash'as said, "We do not know what you say. Then submit yourselves to your cousins (Bani Umayyah), they shall deal with you in a manner which you like." Imam replied,
"By Allah! I shall not give my hands in yours like a base man, nor shall I flee away like a slave."
Then he called out in a loud voice,
"O servants of Allah! 'And verily, I take refuge with my Lord and your's, lest you stone me (to death)' and I take refuge with my Lord and your's, from every arrogant, who does not believe in the day of reckoning."