بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Tuesday, 23rd January 2018


Imam Hussain meets al-Hur on the way...


Al-Husain (A) left al-’Aqaba then set up his camp at Sharaf[28]. In the pre-dawn, he ordered his servants to fill their water bags with water. At midday, he heard a man among his companions crying, “Allahu Akbar!” Al-Husain (A) asked him about the reason. “I did so upon seeing palm-trees,” said the man, but those who were in his company denied that there could be any palm-trees in such a place, and that what he saw could have been lances and horses' ears. Al-Husain (A) said, “I am of the same view,” then he asked them whether they could shelter themselves anywhere. They suggested a place called Thu Hasam [29] on their left side. Al-Husain (A) swiftly moved there and set up his camp.

Soon, al-Hurr al-Riyai [30] came to them face-to-face escorted by a thousand cavaliers. He was dispatched by [‘Ubaydullah] Ibn Ziyad in order to prohibit al-Husain (A) from going back to Medina, to arrest him, and to bring him to Kufa. It was a very hot midday when al-Hurr and his men confronted al-Husain (A). [31]                           

When the Master of Martyrs (A) saw how thirsty that band was, he ordered his followers to serve water to them and to their horses. They gave each and every one of them water, then they filled water pots and brought them near the horses each one of which drank three to five times of them till they all drank to their fill. [32]

‘Ali Ibn al-i’an al-Muaribi was in al-Hurr’s company. He happened to be the last to be served, so he was suffering acutely of the pangs of thirst. In his Hijazi accent, al-Husain (A) said to him, “Ankhi al-rawiya,” but the man did not understand what he (A) meant. The Imam (A), therefore, repeated his statement, this time using classical Arabic: “Ankhil-jamal.” When the man tried to drink, he caused the water to run wastefully out of the water-bag, so the Fragrant Flower of the Messenger of Allah (S) now said to him, “Ankhi al-siqa,” but the poor man did not know exactly what to do due to his inability to think because, again, of the thirst from which he was severely suffering. This time the Imam (A) stood up and adjusted the water-bag for that man in person till he drank enough, then he (A) watered his horse as well. Such is the kindness and compassion of the most Oppressed One towards that band that met in a desert where each drop of water was as precious as life itself. Surely he was fully aware of the situation being so precarious, knowledgeable of the consequences should water run out the next day, knowing that it could be the sole cause of death. But the Prophet's blood that ran in his veins, and the exemplary generosity of his father ‘Ali (A), did not leave him any choice.

O son of al-Zahra’, heart of ‘Ali the valiant,
O soul of the guiding Prophet!
Strange how these people did not
Come to you to sacrifice themselves for you;
But they did not value your precious soul:
How can dust be compared with the mountain?
How wondrous to see Allah's Clemency
When they, as He watched, violated your sanctity!
How strange, the favourites of Allah became
For Yazid and for Ziyad a booty to claim!

Then al-Husain (A) welcomed them. He praised Allah and glorified Him then said:

This is to seek pardon of Allah, the most Exalted One, the most Mighty, and of your own selves: I did not come to you except after having received your letters which your messengers delivered to me, requesting me to come to you, saying, “We have no Imam, so come to us, perhaps Allah will gather all of us under the shade of His guidance.” So if the case is as such, then I have come to you; therefore, provide me with that whereby I can trust your promises and covenants. But if you hate my arrival, then I shall leave you and go to where I had come from.

The men did not utter one word. Al-Hajjaj Ibn Masruq al-Ju’fi called the athan for the noon prayers. It was then that al-Husain (A) asked al-Hurr, “Would you like to lead your men for the prayers?” He answered: “No. Rather, we will all pray behind you.” The Imam (A) led the prayers.

Having finished the prayers, the Imam (A) faced them, praised and glorified Allah and blessed Prophet Muhammad (S) then said,

 “O people! If you fear Allah and wish to get to know who follows righteousness, it will please Allah better. We, the family of Muhammad (S), are more worthy of you in shouldering the responsibility of authority, more so than these who lay a claim to what does not belong to them, whose tradition is oppression and transgression. If you insist on hating us and ignoring our right, and if your view now is different from what your letters to me described, then I will part from you.”

Al-Hurr said, “I do not know what letters you are talking about.” Al-Husain (A) immediately ordered ‘Uqbah Ibn Sam’an to bring out two saddlebags full of letters. Al-Hurr said, “I am not among their senders, and I have been ordered not to part with you once I meet you till I bring you to Ibn Ziyad in Kufa.” Imam al-Husain (A) said, “Death is closer to your reach than that.” He ordered his companions to ride, and the women, too, rode, but al-Hurr forbade them from going to Medina, so al-Husain (A) said to al-Hurr, “May your mother lose you! What do you want of us?” “Should anyone else other than you say so to me,” al-Hurr responded, “and he is in the same boat as you now are, I would not hesitate to let his mother lose him no matter who he may be! By Allah! I have no way to refer to your mother except in the very best of way of which we are capable. But let us come to a mid-way between both of us which neither leads you to Kufa nor takes you back to Medina till I write Ibn Ziyad, perhaps Allah will grant me safety and not try me with anything relevant to your issue.” After a short while he added saying, “I admonish you to remember Allah with regard to your life, for I testify that should you fight, you will be killed.” Al-Husain (A) said, “Are you scaring me with death?! Will your calamity really lead you to kill me? In that case, let me say what the brother of the Aws [tribe] said to his cousin who desired to support the Messenger of Allah, peace of Allah be upon him and his Progeny: [33]

I shall proceed: There is no shame
A man to his death goes.
If he truly intends so and
As a Muslim struggles,
And if he the righteous with his life consoles,
Leaving a depraved one, opposing a criminal.
So if I live, I shall not regret or be shamed
But if I die, surely I shall not be blamed
Humiliation suffices you if you accept to be oppressed

Having heard him say so, al-Hurr stayed away from him. Al-Husain (A), therefore, rode with his companions in one area while al-Hurr and his fellows rode in another. [34]


At al-Baydha [35], the Imam (A) delivered a speech to al-Hurr's companions after having praised and glorified Allah In it he said,

 “O people! The Messenger of Allah (S) has said, “If one sees an oppressive ruler, who makes lawful what Allah has made unlawful, and he does not get him to alter his conduct through something he does or says, it will be incumbent upon Allah to resurrect him in that ruler's company. These folks have upheld Satan and abandoned their obedience to the most Merciful One, demonstrating corruption and making mischief evident. They idled the limits (set forth by Allah) and took to their own selves what belonged to others, prohibiting what Allah has permitted and permitting what He has prohibited. I am the best suitable person to change the situation. Your letters reached me, and so did some of your messengers who brought me your oath not to hand me over [to my foes] nor to betray me. If you, therefore, complete the terms of your oath of allegiance, you will achieve the right guidance, for I am al-Husain son of ‘Ali and Fatima daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S). My soul is with yours, my family is with your families, and you have in me a model of conduct. But if you do not, and if you violate your promise and renege in your oath of allegiance to me, then, by my life, it will not be the first time that you do so: you did so to my father, to my brother [Imam al-Hasan (A)], and to my cousin Muslim. Deceived is whoever trusts you. Surely it is to the detriment of your own luck that you thus err, rendering your lot a loss. Whoever reneges, he, indeed, reneges against his own soul, and Allah shall suffice me for you, and peace be with you and the mercy and blessings of Allah”. [36]


At al-Ruhayma [37], a Kufian named Abu Haram met the Imam (A) and said to him, “O son of the Messenger of Allah! What made you leave the sanctuary of your grandfather?” The Imam (A) said, “O Abu Haram! Banu Umayyah taunted my honour, and I took to patience. And they confiscated my wealth, and I again took to patience. Then they sought to kill me, so I fled. By Allah! They will kill me. Allah will then cover them with an overwhelming humiliation and with a sharp sword which He will place over their heads, a word that will abase them [38] till they become more abased than the people of Saba' (Sheba) who were ruled by a woman over their wealth and their lives.” [39]


At al-Qadisiyya, al-Hasin Ibn Namir al-Tamimi arrested Qays Ibn Mishir al-Saydawi, al-Husain's messenger to the people of Kufa. Al-Hasin had been ordered by Ibn Ziyad to station cavaliers to guard the area between Khafan and Qaqaana [40]. When he wanted to search the messenger, the latter took the letter out and shredded it. He was brought to Ibn Ziyad who asked him why he had shredded the letter. He told Ibn Ziyad that he did so in order that they would not know what it contained. But Ibn Ziyad insisted that he should tell him about its contents. Qays refused, whereupon Ibn Ziyad said to him, “Ascend the pulpit and curse al-Husain and his father and brother; otherwise, I will cut you to pieces.”

Qays ascended the pulpit, praised and glorified Allah and blessed the Prophet (S) and his Progeny (A) and was profuse in imploring Allah's blessings on the Commander of the Faithful (A) and on al-Hasan and al-Husain (A). Moreover, he cursed ‘Ubaydullah Ibn Ziyad and his father and all Banu Umayyah, then he said, “O people! I am the messenger of al-Husain (A) to you! I have left him in such-and-such a place; so, you should rush to his aid.” Ibn Ziyad ordered him to be thrown from his mansion's rooftop. He was thrown; his bones were crushed, and he died [41]. Some accounts say that he did not die immediately, so ‘Abd al-Malik Ibn ‘Umayr al-Lakhmi slit his throat [as stated above]. When he was blamed for doing so, he said, “I only wanted to put an end to his suffering.”[42]


At ‘Uthayb al-Hajanat [43], al-Husain (A) met four men who were leaving Kufa on camel-back, taking with them “al-Kamil,” a horse belonging to a man called Nafi’ Ibn Hilal. They were: ‘Amr Ibn Khalid al-Saydawi, his slave Sa’d, Majma’ Ibn ‘Abdullah al-Mathaji, and Nafi’ Ibn Hilal. Their guide, al-Tarmah Ibn ‘Adiyy al-Ta’i, was chanting the following verses:

O my she-camel! Do not complain of my impatience,
And set out just before the sun rises,
So we may join the best of riders and embark
Upon the best journey till we reach
One beautified with the best of descent,
The munificent, the free, the open-hearted one
Whom Allah brought for the best of affair:
May He preserve him as He preserves time!

When they reached al-Husain, peace be upon him, they chanted those verses for him, so he (A) said, “By Allah! I hope what Allah fares with us will be good, whether we are killed, or whether we win victory.”

Al-Husain (A) asked them about the public opinion. They said, “Prominent personalities have received great bribes; people's hearts are with you, while the swords are turned against you.” They informed him of Qays Ibn Mishir al-Saydawi having been killed, so he, peace be upon him, quoted the Qur’anic verse saying,

“... of them is he who accomplished his vow, and of them is he who awaits” (Qur’an, 33:23).

“O Allah!” he added, “Make Paradise our home and theirs, and include us and them in Your mercy and in all what is desired of Your treasured rewards.”

Al-Tarmah has said, “I saw people before my departure from Kufa meeting outside. I asked them about it, and they said to me, ‘They are being paraded, then shall they be sent away to fight al-Husain.' I, therefore, plead to you in the Name of Allah not to go to fight them, for I see none aiding you. If only this group fights you, the same one I see watching you, they will suffice to put an end to you. Come with us in order to settle at our mountain, ‘Aja. It protected us from the kings of Ghassan and imyar, from al-Nu’man Ibn al-Munthir, and from al-Aswad and al-Amar. By Allah, after no more than ten days, Tay's men will come to your aid riding or on foot. I guarantee you twenty thousand men from Tay who will defend you with their swords till it becomes clear to you what you wish to do.”

Al-Husain (A) prayed Allah to reward him and his people with goodness then said, “A covenant binds us to the people, and we cannot depart till destiny deals between us and them.” Al-Tarmah then asked his permission to get provisions to reach his own family, promising that he would hurry back to support him. He granted him permission as others accompanied him.

Al-Tarmah delivered the provisions to his people then quickly returned. Having reached ‘Uthayb al-Hajanat, he came to know that al-Husain, peace be upon him, had been killed, so he went back. [44]

Qasr Bani Muqatil

A-Husain (A) marched from ‘Uthayb al-Hajanat till he reached Qasr Bani Muqatil [45]. There, he saw a tent, a lance planted in the ground, and a mare waiting. He inquired about them and was told that they belonged to ‘Ubaydullah Ibn al-Hurr al-Ju’fi [46]. Al-Husain (A) sent him al-Hajjaj Ibn Masruq al-Ju’fi as his messenger. Ibn al-Hurr asked him what he wanted. He said, “I have a gift for you and I have esteem, if you only accept. Al-Husain (A) invites you to support him. If you fight for him, you will be rewarded, and if you get killed, you will be a martyr.” Ibn al-Hurr said, “By Allah! I did not leave Kufa except on account of the large number of people whom I saw going out to fight him, and on account of his own Shi’as betraying him; so I realized that he was certainly going to be killed and that I am unable to do much for him; I do not like him to see me, nor do I like to see him.” [47]

Al-Hajjaj relayed what he had heard to al-Husain (A) who stood up and, accompanied by a number of his family members and companions, entered al-Hurr's tent. The latter seated the Imam (A) in the middle. Ibn al-Hurr himself narrated later saying, “I never saw in my life anyone better looking or greater than al-Husain, nor did I ever feel sorry for anyone as much as I felt sorry for him when I saw him walking surrounded by very young men. I looked at his beard and found it as dark as a raven's wing, so I asked him whether it was naturally black or whether he had dyed it. He said to me, ‘O Ibn al-Hurr! Gray hair hastened to me,' so I realized that he had dyed it.” [48]

Having settled there, Abu ‘Abdullah (A) praised Allah and glorified Him then said, “O Ibn al-Hurr! Your countrymen wrote me saying that they were unanimous in supporting me. They asked me to go to them, but it seems it is not as they claimed [49].

You have committed a great many sins; so, would you like to seek repentance whereby you wipe out your sins?” He said, “And how is that, O son of the Messenger of Allah?” Al-Husain (A) said, “You should support the son of your Prophet's daughter and fight on his side.” [50]

Ibn al-Hurr said, “By Allah! I know that whoever supports you will be happy in the hereafter, but how much help can I afford you, having left in Kufa none to support you? I, therefore, plead to you in the Name of Allah to agree to this plan of mine, for I hate to die! My mare, al-Muliqa, is such that I never pursued anything except that it caught up with it, nor did anyone pursue me except that I outran him. Take her; she is yours.” Al-Husain (A) said, “Should you prefer your own safety over supporting our cause, we have no need for your mare nor for you[51]:

‘You should not take those who mislead others for friends' (Qur’an, 18:51) [52].

 I advise you just as you advised me that if you can, do not hear our cries, nor should you witness our battle, for by Allah, whoever hears our mourners and refuses to come to our rescue will be hurled by Allah into the fire of hell headlong.” [53]

Ibn al-Hurr regretted having lost the opportunity to support al-Husain (A), so he composed the following poetic lines:

So long as I live, so shall my sigh
Reverberating between my chest and my choke
When he did say to me at the mansion:
“Should you really leave us and from us depart?”
Husain in humility seeks my support
Against the people of enmity and dissension.
Should sighing cleave a freeman's chest,
My heart would now be cleft.
Had I defended him with my life
I would have earned mercy on the Day of Meeting.
Had I fought beside Muhammad's son, may I
For him sacrifice my life;
So bid farewell and hurry to set out,
Surely winners are those who support Husain,
While deeds of others, the hypocrites, will be in vain.

At the same place, ‘Amr Ibn Qays al-Mashfari and his cousin met al-Husain (A) who asked them whether they had met him in order to support him. They said to him, “We have a large number of dependents and we have many items which belong to others. We do not know what will happen, and we hate not to give people back what they had entrusted to us.” He, peace be upon him, said to them, “Go, and do not hear our women mourn, nor should you see us wearing black, for whoever hears our women wailing or sees our black without supporting us, it will be incumbent upon Allah, the most Exalted, the most Great, to hurl him in hellfire headlong.” [54]

The Taff Villages

When the night came to a close, the Imam (A) ordered his servants to fill their water bags and to leave Qar Bani Muqatil. On their way, al-Husain (A) was heard repeating: Inna lillah wa inna ilayhi rajia’un, wal hamdu lillahi rabbil ‘a lamin... (We belong to Allah and to Him shall we return, and all Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds).

His son, ‘Ali al-Akbar, heard him and asked about the reason which prompted him to keep repeating these statements. Said the Imam (A), “I drowsed for a moment, whereupon I saw a horseman saying, ‘These people are marching as fates march towards them,' so I realized that we are being eulogized.” “May Allah never permit you to see any evil,” said ‘Ali al-Akbar, “Are we not right?” “We are, by the One to Whom all the servants shall return,” al-Husain (A) answered. “O father! In that case, we do not mind at all having to die so long as we are right,” said ‘Ali. Al-Husain (A) said, “May Allah reward you for being such a good son with the best of rewards whereby He rewards a son on behalf of his father.” [55]

Al-Husain (A) kept marching till he arrived at Nineva [56].

There, an armed man riding a camel was seen coming in their direction. They waited for him. He turned out to be a messenger sent by Ibn Ziyad to al-Hurr carrying a letter wherein he was ordering al-Hurr to be rough in treating al-Husain (A) and not to permit him to set up his camp anywhere other than in the wilderness where there was neither access to water nor any natural fortifications.

Such was the letter which al-Hurr himself had read to al-Husain (A) who said to him, “Let us camp at Nineva, or al-Ghadiriyya, or Shfayya.” “I cannot do that,” said al-Hurr, “for the man [governor] has already assigned men to spy on me.” [57]

Zuhayr Ibn al-Qayn said, “O son of the Messenger of Allah! Fighting this band is easier for us than fighting those who will come after them. By my life! Armies will come to us which our eyes had never seen before.” Al-Husain (A) said to him, “I shall not be the one who fights them first.” Then Zuhayr said, “There is a village nearby at the bank of the Euphrates; it is defensible and it overlooks the Euphrates from all but one direction.” Al-Husain (A) asked him about its name, and when he came to know that it was called “al-’Aqr,” [58] [which means in Arabic “hamstringing”], the Imam (A) said, “We seek refuge with Allah against hamstringing.”

Al-Husain (A) then turned to al-Hurr and asked him to keep on marching further.

They all marched till they reached an area called Karbala’. There, al-Hurr and his company stopped in front of al-Husain (A), forbidding him from going any further, saying, “This place is near the Euphrates.” It is said that as they were marching, al-Husain's horse stopped and refused to move just as Allah had caused the she-camel of the Prophet (S) to stop at the Hudaibiya [59]. It was then that al-Husain (A) inquired about the name of that place. Zuhayr said to him, “Keep on marching and do not ask about anything till Allah brings us ease. This land is called al-Taff.” He, peace be upon him, asked him whether it had any other name, so he told him that it was also called “Karbala’”. It was then that the Imam (A) started weeping[60]. He said, “O Allah! I seek refuge with You against the karb [affliction] and bala’ [trial and tribulation]! [61] Here shall we camp, and here will our blood be spilled and our graves be dug! My grandfather the Messenger of Allah (S) had told me so.” [62]

By Allah! Never shall I forget, even if all do,
How his charging mare stood at al-Taff,
O mare of his! Did the hand of fate tie you
So you stood and refused to budge?
You used to be faster than a cloud's lightning;
Calamity descends whether you speed or not.
Should you not have avoided the road and strayed
From that valley to the wide expanse?
How did you take him to perdition, may you
Lose your father, how dared you?
Why did you not refuse, why?
O what a great stand when
Those throngs did gather and stand!
A great stand that shook the foundations
Of Allah's ‘Arsh a great shaking,
So shall Yazid stand One Day
When it will be said to Ahmad:
“Stand up and intercede!”
A stand, it was, followed by a fall
That gave us a drink hard to take
A stand, it was, that caused Muhammad's progeny
To always grieve till the Pretender, for eternity.

To be continued...


Maqtal al-Husain: Martrydom Epic of Imam al-Husain (A) by 'Abd al Razzaq al-Muqarram
Published by: Al-Kharsan Foundation for Publications, Beirut, Lebanon, 1426 AH/2005 AD


[28] Mu’jam al-Buldan tells us that it is named after a man bearing this name who had dug a well there followed by many large and plentiful wells of sweet water. According to p. 87, Vol. 4, of al-Tabari's Tarikh, when Sa’d Ibn Abu Waqqass was at Sharaf, al-Ash’ath Ibn Qays joined him with a hundred Yemenites. He left the throngs of men at Sharaf and took to Iraq.

[29] It is named after a mountain where al-Nu’man Ibn al-Munthir used to hunt, and al-Thubyani, the genius poet, composed poetry about it.

[30] According to p. 215 of Ibn Hazm's book Jamharat Ansab al-’Arab, his full name is al-Hurr Ibn Yazid Ibn Najiyah Ibn Qa’nab Ibn ‘Atab al-Radf Ibn al-Harmi Ibn Riya Yarbu’. ‘Atab is called “al-Radf” because kings used to ride with him. On p. 213 of the same reference, the name of Yarbu’ is provided as: Yarbu’ Ibn Hanzalah Ibn Malik Ibn Yazid-Manut Ibn Tamim.

[31] al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husain, Vol. 1, p. 230, Chapter 11.

[32] al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 226.

[33] The reference to his citing these verses has already been indicated above.

[34] al-Mufid, Irshad. On p. 193, Vol. 2, of his book Al-Manaqib, Ibn Shahr Ashub adds the following verses to them: My soul do I present, not sparing it, To meet a lion in the battle, a charging one.

[35] It is located between Waqia and ‘Uthayb al-Hajanat and is a spacious land inhabited by the offspring of Yarbu’ Ibn Hanzalah

[36] al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 229. Ibn al-Athir, Al-Kamil, Vol. 4, p. 21.

[37] According to Mu’jam al-Buldan, it is located about three miles from Khifya, and the latter is located westward more than ten miles from al-Raba.

[38] as-Saduq, Amali, p. 93, majlis 30.

[39] al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husain, Vol. 1, p. 226. Ibn Nama, Muthir al-Azan, where the entire hadith is cited.

[40] According to Vol. 3, p. 451, of Mu’jam al-Buldan, Khafan is a place near Kufa where there is a well near a village inhabited by the offspring of ‘Eisa Ibn Musa al-Hashimi. On p. 125, Vol. 7, al-Qaqaana is located more than twenty miles from Ruhayma.

[41] al-Mufid, Al-Irshad. al-Fattal, Rawat al-Waizin. Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidaya, Vol. 8, p. 118. al-Tabarsi, I’lam al-Wara, p. 136 (first Iranian edition). It is stated on p. 151, Vol. 1, of al-Thahbi's book Mizan al-I’tidal, that Abd al-Malik Ibn ‘Umayr al-Lakhmi was made governor of Kufa after al-Sha’bi, but his memory was weak, and he was prone to err quite often. On p. 309, Vol. 1, of al-Nawawi's book Thahthib al-Asma’, he died in 136 A.H./754 A.D. at the age of a hundred and three.

[42] al-Mufid, Al-Irshad. al-Fattal, Rawat al-Wa’iin.

[43] Al-’Uthayb is a valley inhabited by Banu Tamim where a Persian garrison is [then and there] stationed. The distance between it and al-Qadisiyya is six miles. It was named so because the horses of al-Nu’man, king of ‘ira, used to graze there.

[44] al-Bukhari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 230.

[45] “Qasr Muqatil” means: the castle of Muqatil, namely Maqatil Ibn Hassan Ibn Thu’labah who, according to Yaqut al-Hamawi's Mu’jam al-Buldan, descended from Imri'ul-Qays Ibn Yazid Ibn Manat Ibn Tamim [the famous poet] . It is situated between ‘Ayn al-Tamr and al-Qaqaana. It was demolished by Eisa Ibn ‘Ali Ibn ‘Abdullah Ibn al-’Assbbas, then he rebuilt it.

[46] On p. 168, Vol. 7, of al-Tabari's Tarikh, and also on p. 385 of Ibn Hazm's book Ansab al-’Arab, it is stated that this man was a staunch follower of ‘Uthman [Ibn ‘Affan] ; this is why he went out to support Mu’awiyah against ‘Ali (‘a) in the Battle of Siffin.[47] al-Dinawari, Al-Akhbar al-Tiwal, p. 246.

[48] al-Adib al-Baghdadi, Khazanat al-Adab, Vol. 1, p. 298 (Bulaq, Egypt, edition). al-Balathiri, Ansab al-Ashraf, Vol. 5, p. 291.

[49] Shaikh ‘Abbas al-Qummi, Nafs al-Mahmum, p. 104.

[50] Sayyid Kaďim al-Ha’iri, Asrar al-Shahada, p. 233.

[51] al-Dinawari, Al-Akhbar al-Tiwal, p. 249.

[52] as-Saduq, Al-Amali, p. 94, majlis 30.

[53] Khizanat al-Adab, Vol. 1, p. 298.

[54] as-Saduq, ‘Iqab al-A’mal, p. 35. Al-Kashshi, Rijal, p. 74.

[55] al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 231. On p. 48 of Maqtal al-’Awalim (of ‘Abdullah Nur-Allah al-Bahrani), it is stated that “Al-Husain (‘a) took a nap in the after-noon at al-Uthayb. He saw in a vision someone saying, ‘You are speeding, yet death is speedily taking you to Paradise.'” According to p. 226, Vol. 1, of al-Khawarizmi's book Maqtal al-Husain, al-Husain (‘a) reached al-Tha’labiyya where he slept in the after-noon. He woke up weeping. His son, ‘Ali al-Akbar, asked him why he was weeping. ‘Son! This is an hour in which no vision tells a lie! Just as I felt drowsiness overtaking me..., etc.'”

[56] According to Vol. 10, bound edition No. 7, dated 1330 A.H./1912 A.D., it was one of the Taff villages, a town full of scholars and scholarship. It reached its zenith during the time of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (‘a). At the beginning of the third century, it did not amount to anything.

[57] al-Mufid, Kitab al-Irshad.

[58] al-Ghadiriyya is named after Ghadira, a clan of Banu Asad. It is said to lie to the north of ‘Awn’s grave.

[59] al-Turayhi, Muntakhab, p. 308, Hayderi Press edition (dated 1369 A.H./1950 A.D.).

[60] Ibn Shadqam, Tufat al-Azhar (a manuscript). On p. 209, Vol. 3, of Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’, al-Thahbi writes saying that when al-Husain (‘a) asked which land it was, and when he was told it was called Karbala’, he said, “Karb (affliction) and bala’ (trial and tribulation).”

[61] al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 10, p. 188.

[62] See Al-Luhuf of Ibn Tawus.

[63] Excerpted from a 93-line poem by Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Sharif Ibn Fala al-Kaďimi, the same poet who had composed the “Kerrari Poem” in praise of the Commander of the Faithful (‘a), one critiqued by as many as eighteen of his contemporary poets. Both poems are among the manuscripts at the library belonging to the authority critic al-Amine, author of the Al-Grader encyclopaedia.


Imam Hussain's Journey Continues...


Al-Husain (A) marched on his way out of Mecca via al-Tan’im [1] where he met a caravan laden with merchandise and clothes sent to Yazid Ibn Mu’awiyah by Bair Ibn Yasar al-imyari, his governor over Yemen. Al-Husain (A) seized it and said to those who tended to the camels, “Whoever among you wishes to join us in our march to Iraq will be paid in full, and we will keep him good company. And whoever prefers to part with us, we shall compensate him according to the distance he travelled.” Some of them parted from him, whereas others preferred his company. [2]


Al-Husain (A) considered that caravan his own wealth that Allah Almighty put at his disposal on account of his being the Imam appointed by the Omnipotent, Praise to Him. Yazid and his father had already confiscated what belonged to him as well as what belonged to the Muslims, so it became mandatory on him to take control of the Muslims' spoils to distribute to the needy among them. He, indeed, gave of it generously to the bedouins who accompanied him on the way and who complained to him of the pain of poverty from which they were suffering. But it was a destiny that the Master of the Youths of Paradise could not give what the oppressors had confiscated of Prophet Muhammad's nation back to its rightful owners, although his precious sacrifice removed from visions the veils of the misguidance of those who transgressed on Divine Authority.


At al-Sifah, al-Husain (A) met al-Farazdaq Ibn Ghalib, the poet, so he asked him about the people whom he had left behind. Al-Farazdaq said, “Their hearts are with you; the swords are with Banu Umayyah, and Destiny descends from the heavens!” Abu ‘Abdullah (A) said, “You have said the truth To Allah belongs the affair, and Allah does whatever He pleases. Every day, our Lord deals with a matter. If Destiny descends with what we love, we shall praise Allah for His blessings, and He is the One Whose help we seek so that we may thank Him enough But if we are destined not to attain our desires, then none whose intention is to effect righteousness, and whose heart is full of piety, has transgressed.” Al-Farazdaq asked the Imam (A) about his verdicts regarding issues such as nathr, rituals, etc. After that, they parted. [3]

Thar ‘Irq

Abu ‘Abdullah (A) heedlessly marched on. At That ‘Irq [4] he met Bishr Ibn Ghalib and asked him about the people of Kufa. “Their swords are with Banu Umayyah,” he said, “and their hearts are with you.” “You have said the truth,” said the Imam (A). [5]


Having reached al-Hajir [6] from the direction of al-Rumma, he sent the people of Kufa the answer to the letter he had received from Muslim Ibn ‘Aqil and dispatched it with Qays Ibn Mushir al-Saydawi [7].  In it, he said, “Muslim Ibn ‘Aqil's letter reached me. In it, he informs me of your consensus to support us and to demand our rights; therefore, I plead to Allah to enable us to do what is good and to reward you with the greatest of His rewards. I have come to you from Mecca on the eighth of Thul-Hijjah; so, if my messenger reaches you, maintain your stand, for I shall reach you in a few days.

Some Informers

Al-Husain (A) departed from al-Hajir. As he passed by each watering place of the Arabs, the number of those who joined him kept increasing [8]. Finally he reached a watering place where he met ‘Abdullah Ibn Muti’ al-’Adawi. When the latter came to know that al-Husain (A) intended to reach Iraq, he said to him, “I fear for you, O son of the Messenger of Allah, lest the sanctity of Islam should be violated, and I plead to you in the Name of Allah with regard to the Arab's sanctity. By Allah! If you seek what is in the hands of Banu Umayyah, they will kill you, and once they have killed you, they will not fear anyone else after you,” but al-Husain (A) insisted on marching [9].


He, peace be upon him, stayed at al-Khuzaymiyya [10] for one day and one night. In the morning, his sister Zainab, peace be upon her, came to him and said, “I heard a voice saying:

O eyes, do exceedingly celebrate!
Who, after me, shall the martyrs mourn?
Who shall mourn folks driven by fate
To their destiny, to fulfill a promise sworn?”
He said, “O sister! Whatever is decreed shall come to pass
.” [11]


When al-Husain (A) reached Zarud [12], Zuhayr Ibn al-Qayn al-Bijli [13], who did not support him and even hated to be near him, alighted near him. Water gathered them somehow at the same place. As Zuhayr and his group were eating, a messenger sent by al-Husain (A) came to them inviting Zuhayr to meet his master Abu ‘Abdullah (A). Zuhayr hesitated to say anything, but his wife, Dulham daughter of ‘Amr, urged him to meet the Imam (A) and to listen to what he had to say [14].

Zuhayr, therefore, went and swiftly returned elated with his face showing signs of excitement. He ordered all is belongings to be packed. He also ordered everyone to go to the Master of the Youths of Paradise (A). He said to his wife, “Go to your family, for I hate to see you receiving any harm on my account.” Then he said to those around him, “Whoever among you loves to support the son of the Messenger of Allah (S), let him join us; otherwise, this should be the last time I see you.”

Zuhayr's wife said, “Allah has chosen this honour for you, and I request you to remember me on the Day of Judgment and say a good word on my behalf to al-Husain's grandfather, peace be upon him.” [15]

At Zarud, the Imam (A) was informed of how Muslim Ibn ‘Aqil and Hani Ibn ‘Urwah were killed, so he kept repeating: Inna lillah wa inna ilayhi rajia’un (We belong to Allah, and to Him shall we return), as he wept, pleading to Allah to have mercy on them [16]. With him the Hashemites wept, too, and there was a great deal of wailing coming from the women’s quarters, so much so that the whole place was shaken because of Muslim Ibn ‘Aqil being killed. Tears poured profusely. [17]


At al-Tha’labiyya, a man came to Imam al-Husain (A) and asked him about the meaning of the verse saying,

(Remember) the Day when We will call every people by their Imam” (Qur’an, 17:71).

He, peace be upon him, said to him,

An Imam calls others for guidance and is answered positively, while another imam calls others to misguidance and is also answered positively: this group shall be in Paradise, and that shall be in hell, and it is the explanation of the verse saying,

‘A party shall be in Paradise, and another shall be in the burning fire' (Qur’an, 42:7).” [18]

At the same place, a man from Kufa met him. The Imam said to him, “By Allah! Had I met you in Medina, I would have showed you the marks Gabriel had left in our house and the place where he used to descend with revelation to my grandfather, O brother of Kufa! It is from us that knowledge initiates. Have they become learned while we became ignorant? This shall never be. [19]

Bajir, of al-Tha’labiyya, narrates saying, “Al-Husain passed by us when I was a young lad. My brother said to him, ‘O son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah! I see your followers to be very small in number.' With his whip he pointed to a saddlebag a man was carrying [for him] and said, ‘This is full of letters.'” [20]


At al-Shuquq [21], al-Husain (A) saw a man coming from Kufa [22], so he asked him about the people of Iraq. He informed the Imam (A) that they were all against him. He, peace be upon him, said, “The affair is with Allah; our Lord does whatever He pleases. Our Lord, Praise to Him, each day manages the affairs.” Then he quoted the following verses of poetry [23]:

If this abode is held as dear,
In the abode of Allah, the rewards
Are more sublime and noble.
If wealth is hoarded to be left behind,
Why should one be miser with what is left?
If sustenance is destined in proportion,
To be less concerned about it is more beautiful.
And if the bodies are for death made,
One killed for the sake of Allah is surely better. So peace of Allah be upon you,
O family of Muhammad!
For I see myself from you soon departing.


At Zubala, he was informed that ‘Abdullah Ibn Yaqur, the man dispatched by al-Husain (A) to Muslim Ibn ‘Aqil, had been killed. Al-Hasin Ibn Namir arrested him at al-Qadisiyya and sent him to ‘Ubaydullah Ibn Ziyad who ordered him to ascend the pulpit and to curse the liar son of the liar. When ‘Abdullah Ibn Yaqtur looked at the people from the pulpit, he said, “O people! I am the messenger of al-Husain son of Fatima (A) to you so that you may support and assist him against the son of Marjana,” whereupon ‘Ubaydullah ordered him thrown from the mansion’s rooftop. He was hurled down from there. His bones were crushed, but he did not die. A man named ‘Abd al-Malik Ibn ‘Umayr al-Lakhmi came to him and cut his throat. When the latter was shamed for having done so, he said, “I killed him in order to put an end to his suffering.” It is also said that the man who killed him was tall and that he looked like ‘Abd al-Malik Ibn ‘Umayr.

The Imam (A) informed those who were in his company of what had happened, giving them the option to leave. They dispersed right and left. Those who remained with him were his own companions who had come with him from Mecca. Actually, a large number of bedouins had joined him thinking that he was going to a land where he would be welcomed by supporting natives. He, peace be upon him, hated for them to march with him except with their knowledge of what to expect, knowing fully well that if he permitted them to leave, only those who were ready to support him to the end would remain. [24]

In the Heartland of al-Aqaba
The Imam (A) left Zubala, reaching al-’Aqaba's heartland where he said to his companions, “There is no doubt in my mind that I am going to be killed. In a vision, I saw myself being mauled by dogs the most fierce among them was spotted. [25]

‘Amr Ibn Lawthan, of Banu ‘Ikrimah, suggested to him to return to Medina due to the treachery and betrayal upon which the people of Kufa were bent. Abu ‘Abdullah, peace be upon him, said, “I am not unfamiliar with their attitude, yet Allah's will shall never be overruled.” [26]

Then he, peace be upon him, said, “They shall not leave me till I am dead, and once they have done it, Allah will send upon them those who will humiliate them till they become the most abased among all nations.[27]

To be continued...


Maqtal al-Husain: Martrydom Epic of Imam al-Husain (A) by 'Abd al Razzaq al-Muqarram 
Published by: Al-Kharsan Foundation for Publications, Beirut, Lebanon, 1426 AH/2005 AD


[1] On p. 416, Vol. 2, of Yaqut al-Hamawi's Mu’jam al-Buldan, it is said to be a place located two farasangs from Mecca.

[2] al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 218. Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husain, Vol. 1, p. 220. Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidaya, Vol. 8, p. 166. Shaikh Al-Mufid, Al-Irshad. Ibn Nama, Muthir al-Azan, p. 21. Ibn Abul-Hadid, Shar Nahjul Balagha, Vol. 4, p. 327 (first Egyptian edition).

[3] al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 218. Ibn al-Athir, Al-Kamil, Vol. 4, p. 16. Al-Thahbi, Tathkirat al-uffa, Vol. 1, p. 338.

[4] Sayyid ‘Ali Khan, Anwar al-Rabi’, p. 703, in a chapter dealing with repetition.

[5] According to p. 317, Vol. 2, of Al-Bar al-Ra’iq by the Hanafi author Ibn Najim, it is located at the distance of two stages between That ‘Irq and Mecca. On p. 216, Vol. 2, of Ibn Muflih's book Al-Furu’, it is said to be located at the distance of two days' travel. It is named as such after a small mountain in its locality as indicated on p. 8, Vol. 7, of Taj al-’Arus.

[6] According to Mu’jam al-Buldan, “al-hajir” is a water jetty built at the borders of a valley as a safeguard against the flood. On p. 290, Vol. 4, however, it is also referred to as a resting area for those travelling from Bara to Medina, a place where the people of Kufa and Bara meet.

[7] On p. 152 of ‘Ali Ibn Muhammad al-Fattal al-Naishapuri's book Rawat al-Wa’iin, it is indicated that he was dispatched by ‘Abdullah Ibn Yaqtur, and it is quite possible he had sent them two letters, one with ‘Abdullah Ibn Yaqur and another with Qays Ibn Mushir. On p. 492, Vol. 3, of Al-Isaba (of Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalani), following the discussion of Qay's lineage, the author says, “He was with al-Husain (‘a) when he [al-Husain (‘a)] was killed at the Taff.” This is incorrect. Ibn Ziyad killed the man at Kufa.

[8] Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidaya, Vol. 8, p. 168.

[9] al-Mufid, Al-Irshad.

[10] It is named after Khuzaymah Ibn Hazim and it is located one stage after Zarud on a traveller's way from Kufa to Mecca.

[11] Ibn Nama, Muthir al-Azan, p. 23.

[12] On p. 327, Vol. 4, of Mu’jam al-Buldan, it is described as sand dunes between al-Tha’labiyya and al-Khuzaymiyya on a pilgrim's way coming from Kufa, and it lies one mile from al-Khuzaymiyya. There is a lake in it, and it is the site of the Battle of Zarud.

[13] Having discussed the Bijli tribes, Ibn Hazm, on p. 365 of his book Jamharat Ansab al-’Arab, says, “[His full name is:] Zuhayr Ibn al-Qayn Ibn al-Harith Ibn Amir Ibn Sa’d Ibn Malik Ibn Zuhayr Ibn ‘Amr Ibn Yashkur Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Malik Ibn Sa’d Ibn Tuzayn Ibn Qasr Ibn ‘Abqar Ibn Anmar Ibn Arash Ibn ‘Amr Ibn al-Ghawth Ibn Nabt Ibn Malik Ibn Zayd Ibn Kaylan Ibn Saba'.” On p. 310, the author traces the lineage of Saba' [known to Westerners as Sheba] thus: “Saba' Ibn Ya’rub Ibn Qahtan (Joktan).”

[14] Ibn Tawus, Al-Luhuf, p. 40.

[15] Ibn Nama, Muthir al-Azan, p. 23. Ibn Tawus, Al-Luhuf, p. 40.

[16] al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 995. Ibn Kathir, on p. 168, Vol. 8, of his book Al-Bidaya, says that he did so repeatedly.

[17] Ibn Tawus, Al-Luhuf, p. 41. But I could not find even one reliable reference stating that al-Husain (A) took Muslim's daughter Hamida by the head, so she sensed that something terrible must have happened.

[18] as-Saduq, Amali, p. 93. Al-Tha’labiyya was named after a man belonging to Banu Asad named Tha’labah who had been there and who was able to dig a well in it. It is one stage after al-Shuquq for one travelling from Kufa to Mecca as we are told by Mu’jam al-Buldan. On p. 35, Vol. 2, of al-Samhudi's book Wafa’ al-Wafa’, it is an area located near a watering place called al-Tha’labiyya. On p. 311 of al-Ya’qubi's book Al-Buldan, and also according to the offset edition of Ibn Rastah's book Al-A’laq al-Nafisa, it is a city surrounded by a bulwark.

[19] al-Saffar, Baa ‘ir al-Darajat, p. 3. It is also recorded in al-Kafi's Usul, in a chapter headed “Knowledge Derived from the Fountainhead of the Prophet's Family.”

[20] al-Thahbi, Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’, Vol. 3, p. 205.

[21] According to p. 213, Vol. 2, of Ibn Shahr Ashub's book, it is one stage following Zubala on the way of one who travels from Kufa to Mecca, and it belongs to Banu Asad. According to Mu’jam al-Buldan, al-Abadi's grave lies there.

[22] On p. 233, Vol. 1, of his book Maqtal al-Husain, al-Khawarizmi claims he was al-Farazdaq, the poet, but this is an error that he made.

[23] Ibid. But al-Khawarizmi does not quote the fifth line of the original Arabic text, attributing these lines to the Imam, peace be upon him.

[24] al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 226. It is located after al-Shuquq on a traveller's way from Kufa to Mecca. There is a fort there and a mosque for Banu Asad named after Zubala daughter of Mas’ar, a woman belonging to the ‘Amaliqah. The Battle of Zubala is well known to the Arabs, and there are some narrators of hadith whose last names are derived from Zubala as we are told by Mu’jam al-Buldan.

[25] Ibn Qawlawayh, Kamil al-Ziyarat, p. 75.

[26] al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 226.

[27] al-Mufid, Irshad. Shaikh ‘Abbas al-Qummi, Nafs al-Mahmum, p. 98 and following pages, first edition (Iran).


Eid Night: Importance & Performances

Alhamdu lillah we fasted, prayed, recited the Holy Qur’an, supplicated and performed many more good deeds during the Holy month of Ramadhan, recognizing its importance. Now it’s time to receive full compensation from the Divine banquet by also considering the greatness of theNight of Eid and trying to perform some of the recommended deeds. May the Almighty increase our tawfiqaat in continuing the good practices we developed during the Holy month!

Holy Prophet (s): "Allah (swt) pours down good (al-khyayr) in abundance on 4 nights: Night of [Eid) al-Adhaa, [Eid] al-Fitr, . . " (Muhammad al-Ray Shahri, Shahrullah fil-kitaab wal-sunnah, p. 495, H. 767 taken from Kanzul ‘ummal, 12, 322, H. 35215)

Imam Ali (a): "If you can preserve [the importance] of Nights of Fitr and Nahr . . . then do so; say a lot of supplications, prayers and recitation of the Qur’an." (Ibid, p. 496, H. 769 taken fromMisbah al-tahajjud, p 852 from Harith b. ‘Abdullah)

Imam al-Sadiq (a): "The Night of Fitr is the night of receiving in full the reward of the laborer" (Ibid, H. 770 from al-Hidayah, p. 210)

In al-Fiqh attributed to Imam al-Ridha (a): "Put efforts in spending the Night of Fitr in supplications and keeping awake." (Ibid, H. 771 fromFiqh al-Ridha p. 206)
It is mustahab to perform ghusl on the Night of Eid al-Fitr which includes the physical bath of the body and the [spiritual] bath of purifying hearts from sins. If it is know that it indeed is the Night of the Eid then the ghusl is performed before sunset; and it has also been narrated that the ghusl should be taken at the end of the Night of Eid. (Ibid. H. 772 from al-Iqbaal, 457)

Holy Prophet (s): One who recites two rak‘aat prayer on the Night of Fitr such that in the first rak‘ah he says al-Hamd followed by one thousand times Qul Huwallahu Ahad, and in the second rak‘ah he says al-Hamd followed by Qul Huwallahu Ahad once, then Allah, the Exalted, will grant him what he asks for. (Ibid p. 497, H. 773 from Tahdhib al-ahkam, 3, 71, 228). According to al-Kaafi it was the practice of Amirul Mu’mineen to recite this prayer (a) on the night of Fitr (Ibid, H.774 from al-Kaafi 4, 168, 3).

Imam al-Sadiq (a): He who visits the grave of al-Husayn (a) on three nights, Allah forgives his past and future sins. “Which are these nights,” asked ‘Abdur Rahman b. Hajjaj. The Imam said, “the Night of Fitr, Night of al-adhaa and Night of the Middle of Sha‘baan.” (Ibid. H. 781 from Tahdhib al-ahkam 6, 49, 112). [Translator’s comments: if we recite the ziyaarah al-Husayn from far & we will inshaa Allah be rewarded amply for it.]

Holy Prophet (s): He who keeps awake on the Night of Eid, his heart will not die on the day  when the hearts [of others] will die. (Ibid. H. 783 from Tahdhib al-ahkam 6, 51, 119).

Holy Prophet (s): He who keeps awake on the Nights of Two Eids (i.e. al-Fitr & al-Adhaa) expecting reward from Allah (muhtasiban lillah), his heart would not die on the day when hearts [of others] die (Ibid. H. 784 taken from Sunan ibn Maajah 1, 567, 1782).

Authored by the director of Academy for Learning Islam (ALI)
Source: www.hujjat.org

Eid-ul-Fitr: Before, During and After

Ah, what will convey unto thee what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months” (97:2-3)

Staying awake the whole night, praying 100 rakats of Salat, reciting Dua Abu Hamza Thimali … but why?  What makes Laylatul Qadr the greatest and most important night in the Islamic calendar?  The answer is twofold.  Firstly, the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Holy Prophet (SAWW) on this night, and secondly, we Shia believe that our fate for the following year is also decided on this night.  In fact, whilst Qadr literally means ‘measure’, it has also been translated as ‘power’, ‘predestination’ and ‘destiny’.  Therefore, we spend each of the possible nights of Qadr observing Ehyaa (‘revival’), by praying for forgiveness, salvation and success for the forthcoming year.

"Say in the grace of Allah and in His mercy in that they should rejoice" (10:58)

Though we regret the passing of this auspicious month, and though Shaytan is released from his imprisonment, we are told by Allah to celebrate on the day immediately after Ramadhan.  This is because we have succeeded in controlling our desires and purifying our souls.  Moreover, the night of Eid has been likened in significance to that of Laylatul Qadr.  Therefore, it is highly recommended to pass the night in worship and then attend the mosque in the morning for Eid Salat.  After completing prayer and greeting friends and family, you can eat as much Jalebi as you wish.

"So that you may learn restraint" (2:183)

The above verse highlights the aim of fasting for the month of Ramadhan, and it should be an aim we carry on into the next month, the one after that and all those that follow.  The Holy Prophet (SAW) has said that only the wretched do not achieve forgiveness from Allah in this month, and as none of us are wretched, it is as if we have been born again, ready to start afresh.  We should, therefore, enter Shawwal striving to be better Muslims.  We can achieve this by continuing to pray on time, fasting on those days it is Mustahab to do so and reciting Qur’an whenever possible.

Eid al-Fitr – Before, During and After; By Mohammed Abbas Jaffer

Source: www.hujjat.org

Dua for 24th Mahe Ramadhan

Dua to be recited on the 24th Day of Ramadhan


O Allah I beseech Thee (to make me do) that which pleases Thee, in this month. I take refuge with Thee from that for which Thou may treat me with contempt. I beseech Thee to arrange my life in such a manner that I obey Thee and never break or tamper with Thy laws, O He who liberally gives abundantly to the beseechers.


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