The Great Historical Tragedy of Fakh
By: Syed Muhammad Bokreta
Once the 117 year long Umayyad reign came to an end , Muslims and specially the followers and lovers of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA)'s progeny thought and bore glad tidings to the end of the despotic rulers who committed much atrocities against all kind of opposition to their regime.
*But paradoxically as it may seem, the new Abbasid rulers were no exception to the rule and took the same line of conduct towards the Muslims in general and to any opposition to their rule dead worstly time was to take place under the tyrannical rulers such as Abu-Jaffar al-Mansoor, Mohammed Al-Mahdi, Mousa Al-Hadi and Haroon Al-Rasheed, as a result of that the descendents of Ahl Al Bayt (A.S.) or the Descendents of the Prophet’s Family suffered beyond description. They were terrorized in the most heartbreaking way. The years of oppression dragged on, heavy and bitter, for both descendents of the “Youth Paradise Masters” Hassan (A.S.) and Hussain (A.S.) in particular.
During the reign of Abu Jaffar The Abbasid caliphs confiscated the property of the Alawites, threw them behind bars, and hunted them down. They subjected the those remnants of the Beloved Prophet (SAWA) to unspeakable torture, innovated new ways of killing them, and shed their blood ruthlessly as in many cases such the one with Al Qassim Ibn Muhammad an-Nafs Zakia, were put in half-built pillars and the building was completed on top of them leaving them there to die, while food and water were withheld from the prisoners to let them die from starvation in the depths of dark horrible cells as the case was with Abdullah al Kamil and his Brothers.
For such relevant reasons related to Dignity and fear of Islamic loss of all what had been achieved from the Blessed era of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), his Household and his close Companions , the “ Fakh uprising” took place on the 08th of Dul hijja 169 AH (the day of Tarwiyya Hajj rituals) corresponding to the 11th of June 786 the uprising was led by Hussayn Ibn Ali Al Abid Ibn Hassan Al Mouthalath Ibn Hassan Al Mouthana Ibn Hassan As Sibt Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Taleb and Fatima sublime lady and Daughter of Prophet Muhammad, Peace and Blessings be upon all of them.
The tragedy of “Fakh” emerged exactly 108 years after another huge tragedy “ Karbala ” which is seen by all Historians as the second greatest movement in the history of Islam after the Karbala, sooth to say as the case is with all despotic and unjust regimes throughout the history , the Descendents of Hassan (A.S.) and Hussein (A.S.), the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s Grandsons could not bear any more the daily scornful attitude of the Abbasids towards them specially the savageness of the “ Abbasid caliph” Mousa Al-Hadi, no wonder that the “Fakh Uprising” reflected the spirit of the struggle between the true followers of Ahl Al Bayt (A.S.) and the corrupt Abbassid rulers, true the great tragedy of “ Fakh” is actually a repetition of “ Karbala”, and an echo of the great Martyr Imam Hossein (A.S.),in the sky of Islamic history, places, events and great Personalities shone ,from the heart of the Ummah and its arteries too much pure blood flowed and irrigated the sapling of faith.
Linked and sealed in the ever heroic historic great traditions and other achievements of their grandfather: Imam Ali(A.S.),no sooner had a star of Ahl Al Bayt (A.S.) faded in the sky of Jihad than a new star rose, they were the blood of Islam, its heart, and its guiding brain, mostly they were the driving force, and the hand that pushed forward the jihad, opposition, reform and change, indeed ,they were the articulate tongue of right, in the name of the downtrodden and victims, and the drawn sword over the necks of the tyrants and oppressors.
Recalling back a famous Hadith or saying of the Blessed Messenger of Allah , who once told his Companions about the battle of Fakh, Imam Abu-Jaffar Muhammad Al-Baqir (A.S.) is reported to have said through a chain of transmitters, that the Blessed “ Prophet (SAWA)” once passed by Fakh, he dismounted and offered two rak'ah prayers,in the second rak'ah his eyes welled with tears, when some of the Companions saw the Prophet (SAWA) crying, they cried, too,when they left that place the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) asked them, what made you cry?' 'When we saw you crying, we also cried, O Apostle of Allah, said the people,at the end of the first rak'ah, Gabriel descended, replied the Prophet (SAWA), and said: 'O Muhammad(SAWA), a man from your descendents will be murdered in this place , and the Divine reward for everyone who would be martyred with him shall be twofold”. (Abul-Faraj al-Asfahani, Ibid., p. 436)
The Heroic Hussein ibn Ali called the Hashimites, his followers and servants , they were twenty-six men from the family of Abu-Talib, ten from the pilgrims and a band of servants answered his call. Accompanied by about 200 people from his own family and followers, he set out on the journey hoping to meet as many pilgrims as he could, from Al Madinah the blessed city of the Beloved Prophet , they drew near Makkah and arrived at Fakh, near the Valley of Baldah, the Abbassid army attacked them, and a ferocious battle ensued between the two parties on the morning of the day of Tarwiyah (the ninth of Dil-Hijjah) , naturally and due to their small number, Al-Hussein and his pious followers were horrifically butchered.
This heroic uprising ended in a horrible tragedy and great sacrifice, it is reported by truthful historians and tradition narrators that more than one hundred men were martyred from these courageous revolutionaries, according to these historians who stated that the Abbassids cut off the heads of the martyrs, while the rest of the small army was taken captive, tortured and then slain, not only did the murderers shed the blood unjustly, mutilate the bodies of the martyrs and kill the prisoners, but they razed the victims’ houses to the ground, confiscated their property, and set their orchards on fire.
In a gloomy and tragic, heartrending story about the savagery and brutality of the Abbassids was recounted by Hamid bin Qahtabah, a senior assistant of Harun al-Rasheed, to one of his closest friends, the story says that when Al-Rasheed was in Toos (Khurasan-Iran), he sent for Hamid bin Qahtabah. Al-Rasheed asked him about his loyalty to him, to which question Hamid answered that he was quite ready to carry out whatever task he might assign him,when Al-Rasheed felt Hamid was staunchly loyal to him and that he was capable of doing what he wanted him to do, he ordered his servant to give him a sword and take him to a closed house in whose centre there was a well and there were three big rooms in the house.
When Hamid opened the door of the first room, he saw twenty men; young, middle-aged and old, from the descendants of Ali bin Abi-Talib (AS) and Fatimah (AS). They were all in shackles and chains. The servant ordered him to kill them and throw their bodies into the well, which he did.
In the second room there were also twenty men from the descendents of Imam Ali (AS). Hamid killed them all with his sword. And he did the same thing to the Alawite men in the third room who were also twenty in number. (Uyoon Akhbar al-Ridha, Vol. 1, p. 88)
Nowhere in the history of Islam appeared such atrocities against the best people of that time , the legacy of the Messenger of Almighty Allah, among the Survivors of the tragedy of “Fakh” is our 28th Grand-Father Idriss I Son of Abdullah Al Kamil who from 788 until 921 A.D established the Idrisid Islamic dynasty of Sharifian rulers, Idris was a very Respected of the descendants of Ali (A.S.) Fatima (A.S.), the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), fleeing from “Fakh”,he arrived to Walili as a , Idriss and his servant Rashid were hosted by the Aouraba tribe who warmly received them.
Accordingly, they regarded him as their protector from Eastern Authority. He founded a dynasty independent of the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad and established Maghreb Aqsa as the third Islamic power in the world. After being assassinated, he was buried in a religious shrine at Moulay Idriss Zarhoon near Volubilisin present Morocco.
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. We ask Him (SWT) to accept this piece of writing for His sake from us and we ask Him to forgive us our sins and make us of the successful ones in this life and the hereafter.