Part 1 - Deliberation and Prepartion
At the dawn of the 10th of Muharram, 62 A.H. (680 AD.) after Imam Hussain (A) led his
followers for the morning prayer he wore the coat of arms of his grandfather,
the Apostle of Allah (SAW), and put his turban on; he wore his father's sword,
"Thul-Fiqar" or The two-pronged.
He then addressed his followers, stating with praise of and thanks-giving to Allah,
"Allah has destined that you and me shall be killed today. I, therefor, would urge you
to be resilient in fighting".
Thereupon, he mobilised his band for war. He made Zuhair bin (son of) Alqain commander of the
right flank, Habib bin Mudhahir the left flank, and his household in the centre; he en-trusted
the bearing of the standard to his brother Al-Abbas (A). The troops gathered in front of the
tents where women and children were housed. He ordered the digging of a trench, surrounding
the tents enclosure from the back, filling it with firewood during the night of the tenth of Muharram,
setting fire to it when fighting broke out so that it may serve as a back buffer between his fighters and the enemy's army.
Part 2 - The Arena (The desert of Kerbala, Iraq)
Omar bin Sa'ad, the commander of the enemy's army came with 30,000 of troops. He made Amr bin al-Hajjaj
az-Zubaidi the commander of the right flank of his army and Shimr bin Thil al-Jawshan the commander of the
left flank. Izra bin Qais Al-Ahnasi was made the commander of the horsemen, Shibth bin Ribi'e took charge
of the archers.
Part 3 - Meeting the Enemy
When the two belligerent sides confronted each other and the fire was raging in the trench, Shimr shouted,
"Oh Hussain! you are in a hurry to go to hell fire before the day of judgement!" Hussain enquired: Isn't this Shimr bin Thil al-Jawshan;
he was told that it was him. Hussain then retorted "Oh son of goatherdess! You are more deserving to burn in it".
When Imam Hussain (A) saw their gathering, which was like a torrent he raised both his hands to the sky and prayed,
"Oh My Lord! You are my haven in every mishap, my hope in every predicament my refuge and defender in every ordeal.
How many a distress that weakens the heart, makes the enemy rejoices at the misfortune when I entrusted it to You
and resorted to You out of preference over others, you did not let me down and had driven away and eliminated all
these distressing things. You are the Giver of every boon and the ultimate source of every wish to be granted."
Qaiyim bin Haseen Al-Fizari shouted, "Oh Hussain and followers of Hussain!
Can't you see the water of the Euphrates the currents of which twist like the
bellies of snakes? I swear by the Almighty you are not going to drink a drop of
it until you taste death in doses". It is worth noting that Imam Hussain and his
followers were denied access to the water the days earlier at the orders of Ibn Ziyed
through Ibn Sa'ad. This was achieved by stationing 500 horsemen between Imam Hussain's
camp and the River Euphrates. Imam Hussain was forced to ask his brother Al-Abbas to
bring them water on two occasions before the 10th of Muharram. The enemy troops made
it exceptionally difficult for Imam Hussain and his band to get water supplies on the
night and day of 10th Muharram.
Imam Hussain, convinced of the enemy's determination to fight him, asked for his horse
and mounted it; he then addressed them in a high voice saying, "Oh people!, heed my speech
and do not get restless until I preach you as I see it my duty towards you and until I explain
why I came to you. If you accepted my reasoning, believed in my speech, and were fair to your
selves and mine, you would because of that be happier, then you would have no reason to attack me.
If you do neither, resolve upon your affair and (gather) your associates, let not your affair be in
darkness to you, then have it executed against me and do not reflect (any further). Allah is my
helper and He is the Guardian of the righteous."
When the women heard him say this, they raised their voices screaming and crying. He sent his brother
Al-Abbas and his son Ali Al-Akbar to the women to calm them down and remarked, "Alas! they will be crying a lot".
When the crying came to an end, Imam Hussain (A) resumed his talk and said, "Oh people!, Allah created
this world and made it an abode of destruction and transience, taking its inhabitants from one phase to another.
It deceives the conceited and seduces the wretched. Let not this world deceive you for it is capable of d
ashing the hopes of those who put their trust in it and let down those who are greedy for its riches.
I can see that you agreed on an affair capable of bringing the wrath of Allah upon you, causing Him to
turn His face away from you, spread amongst you His revenge. Glory be to our Lord, and woe to you.
You pledged allegiance (to Allah) and believed in the Messenger Mohammad (S), then ganged up against
his progeny intent on killing them. Satan has taken hold over you, precipitating you to forget the
remembrance of the Almighty. May evil befall you and may your aspiration come to nothing."
"From Allah we come and unto Him we return. Those are people who disbelieved after they had believed;
so away with the unjust people."
Part 4 - Hussain, the Grandson of the Prophet (S)
"Oh people! Track back my lineage. Relate me and consider who I am. Then look back and remonstrate with yourselves.
Consider whether it is right for you to kill me and encroach upon my integrity. Am I not the son of your Prophet's
daughter and the son of his vicegerent and cousin, the first of the believers in Allah and his Messenger? Was not Hamza,
the master of martyrs, the uncle of my father? Was not the 'winged' Ja'far my uncle? Have you not heard of the
tradition of the Prophet (S) concerning myself and my brother, "These are the two lords of the youth of the
inhabitants of paradise". Whether you believe in what I say - and it is the truth, for I swear by the Almighty
I have never told a lie since I learnt that Allah hated people who told them - or you regard me as a liar, and
chose not to believe my statement, there are amongst you who, if you asked them, would tell you! Ask
Jabir bin Abdullah Al-Ansari, Aba Sa'eed Al-Khudri, Sahl bin Sa'ad Al-Sa'idi, Zaid bin Arqam and Anas bin Malik,
to tell you that they heard these words from the messenger of Allah (SAW) in favour of me and my brother."
"Is there not (sufficient) deterrent in this to prevent you from shedding my blood?"
"If I understand what you are saying," interrupted Shimr bin Thil al-Jawshan, "then I only worship God (very shakily) on the edge".
"I think that you worship God (very shakily) on seventy edges", said Habib b. Mudhahir, "For I testify that you are right.
You do not understand what he is saying. For God has impressed (ignorance) upon your heart".
"If you are in any doubt about this", Imam Hussain (A) told them, "you are in doubt that I am the son of the daughter
of your Prophet. By God there is no son of a Prophet other than me among you and among the peoples from East to West.
Shame on you, are you seeking retribution from me for one of your dead I have killed, or for property of yours I expropriated,
or for a wound I have inflicted?
They did not say anything to him. Then he called, "Shabath b. Rib'ie, Hajjar b. Abjar, Qays b. al-Ash'ath,
Yazid b. al-Harith, didn't you write: 'The fruit has ripened; the dates are ready for picking; come to an army which has been gathered for you' ?"
"We don't know what you are talking about", said Qays b. al-Ash'ath, "Submit to the authority of your
kinsmen (the Umayyads). They have never treated you with anything but what you liked".
"By God, I will never give you my hand like a man who has been humiliated;
nor will I flee like a slave", said al-Hussain (A). Then he called out, "0 servants of God,
I take refuge in my Lord and your Lord from your stoning." (44:20). "I take refuge in my Lord
and your Lord from every haughty man who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning." (40:27).
Part 5 - Warning to the People of Kufa
He then dismounted his camel and ordered Aqaba bin Sam'an to hobble it with a tie. The troops of the enemy marched towards him.
Among them was Abdullah bin Hawza al-Temimi who shouted, "Is Hussain amongst you?" He said it three times. The followers of Hussain (A) replied,
"This is Hussain, what do you want from him?" He retorted, "Oh Hussain! You lied. Be sure you will be consigned to hell". Hussain answered,
"I come to a Lord who is forgiving, generous, commanding and intercessor. But who are you?" He replied, "I am Ibn Hawza". Hussain raised
his hands very high so much so that his armpit showed and said, "Oh Allah! posses him to hell fire." Ibn Hawza became very angry and charged
Hussain with his horse; there was a stream between them; he fell from his horse but his foot got entangled in the stirrup; the horse dragged
him on the stones and trees; his free leg was severed; the rest of his body was still attached to the horse who threw him in the fire which was
raging in the trench; he was burnt to death.
Imam Hussain (A) raised his voice and said, "Oh Allah! We are the Household of your Prophet, his progeny and his kinship, shatter those who
did us injustice and usurped our fight. You are All-hearing, Near".
Masrooq bin Wa'il Al-Hadhrami said, "I was at the forefront of the horsemen which advanced to fight Hussain in the hope that I succeed in
dealing a blow to him in order to get a prize from Ibn Ziyad. But when I saw what happened to Ibn Hawza, I was certain that the members of
this house (the Household of the Prophet) have sanctity from and position with Allah. I then left their ranks and said to myself,
"I am not fighting those people lest I should be in hell fire".
When the followers of Hussain (A) saw the determination of the people of the opposite camp to fight their Lord and Imam Hussain (A)
Zuhair bin al-Qain came forward and stood in front of them and addressed them, "Oh people of Kufa! I warn you of the chastisement of Allah.
It is incumbent on every Muslim to give counsel to his fellow Muslim. We are still brethren of one religion unless we resort to war.
You need advice more than we do. If you resort to the sword there will no longer be any bond between us. We will be two nations (Ummas).
Allah has entrusted us with the progeny of His Prophet, Mohammad (S) as a measure just to see how you and we behave towards them. We call
upon you to support them and let down the dictator Yazid and Obaidullah bin Ziyad. Under their rule, you will only reap mistreatment,
gouging of eyes, chopping of limbs, making a dreadful example of you, hanging you on tree trunks, killing your good men and reciters
(of al-Qur'an) like Hijr bin Adi and his followers, and Hani' bin Urwah and his likes". He was heckled and interrupted by the people of Kufa;
they swore at him and praised Ibn Ziyad and added that they would not budge until they killed Hani's companion (Imam Hussain) and those who
were with him or sent them under escort to Ibn Ziyad.
Zuhair retorted, "Oh Men! the sons of Fatima have more right to befriend and support than the son of Sumayya. If you do not support them
I pray to Allah that He guard you against killing them. You are therefore, requested to dissolve this man from Yazid; upon my life! He
will be contented with your obedience without the killing of Hussain (A)".
Shimr shot at him with an arrow and said, "Shut up, May Allah silence your camel; we are fed up with your excessive talk".
Zuhair said, "Oh! you son of the incontinent, I do not mean you in my address for you are no more than an animal. I swear by the
Almighty that you cannot master not even two ayas (verses) of the Book of Allah (Al-Qur'an). Surely, disgrace and chastisement will
befall you on the day of judgement".
Shimr said, "Allah will kill you and your companion in an hour's time".
Zuhair said, "Are you threatening me with death. By the Almighty! Death with him is dearer to me than eternity with you".
Ziad then moved forward raising his voice and said, "Oh bondsmen of God! do not let this rude ruffian and his like deceive you.
By the Almighty! Mohammad's (S) intercession is denied to those who shed the blood of his Progeny, and killed their supporters
who protected their women."
A man from Hussain's camp called him and said, "Aba Abdillah (Hussain) says to you to come back. Upon my life! Like the
faithful of the Pharaohs, you counselled and warned those people to the best of your ability. But alas! they do not seem
to heed your admonition".
Part 6 - Water is Denied
As it was very hot, Hussain and his household, and supporters were very thirsty. Therefore, Burair bin Khudhair Al-Hamadani
who was an old devout man, an authority on Qur'an recitation, and well placed and revered by the Hamadani's asked to be permitted
to address the people of Kufa. He was given the permission. He called, "Oh you people! Allah has sent Mohammad as a harbinger and warner,
calling for the way of Allah, and a shining lantern. And this is the River Euphrates, the water of which is free for all kinds of animals
pigs and dogs. Yet you have denied the son of daughter of the Messenger of Allah access to it. Is this the way Mohammad should be rewarded?".
A group of people from the camp of Ibn Ziyad retorted, "Enough of this nonsense. By the Almighty! Hussain shall not quench his
thirst with its water like those who were denied to quench their thirst before him".
Burair said, "Oh you people! The heritage of Mohammad has ended up in your midst. And these are his progeny, household,
daughters and holy members of his family. So what do you have to say and what are you going to do with them?".
They replied, "We want Emir Obaidullah bin Ziyad to get hold of them, and then decide what he would do with them".
He said, "Are you not satisfied that they go back whence they came? Oh people of Kufa! Woe unto you! Did you
forget the letters you wrote and the pledges you made to me to which Allah bears witness? You invited the progeny
of your Prophet and claimed that you would protect them with yourselves. When they responded and came to you, you
want to hand them over to Ibn Ziyad, and denied them access to the water of the River Euphrates. What evil heirs
to your Prophet and his progeny you turned out to be! What has become of you! May Allah not give you a drink on
the day of judgement. What an evil folk you are!.
A group of them replied, "We do not know what you are talking about".
He said, "Praise be to Allah for making me more discerning. Oh Lord! I seek refuge with you and disown the actions of these people.
Oh Allah! Sow discord among their ranks and make them use their fortitude against each other until they meet with Your wrath."
The response from them was that they fired arrows at him which made him retreat.
Part 7 - Hussain's Sermon
At forenoon of the tenth of Muharram when the heat of the sun started scorching the earth, Hussain,
his household and companions began to feel the severity of thirst. The enemy was adamant not to give
them access to the water of the River Euphrates out of Jahili'ite enmities and Badri'ite grudges.
Therefore, Aba Abdillah AI-Hussain, feeling the strain of thirst, mounted his horse and opened the
leaves of Al-Qur'an over his head and stood in front of the belligerent camp and shouted, "The Book
of Allah and the Sunna (tradition) of my grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (S) are the arbiters between
you and me". He then made them bear witness on his pure soul and that he was wearing the coat of arms of
the Prophet (S), his buckler and his turban.
They said that his statement was true. He then asked them what made them decide on fighting him.
Their answer was that it was out of obedience to the Emir Obaidullah bin Ziyad. He then delivered this sermon:
Part 8 - Al-Hur bin Yazid seeks Forgiveness
He continued with his address stating, "By the Almighty, soon you have done away with us, you will be shaken like a stone mill, like an axis."
"This is a covenant passed, to me from my grandfather the Messenger of God (SAW) through my father.
'You may resolve upon your affair and gather your partners then let not your affair be in darkness to you,
then have it executed against me and do not reflect (any further)'. (10:71) 'Surely I rely on Allah, my Lord and yours;
there is no living creature but He holds it by its forelock; surely, my Lord is on the right path'. (11:56)"
Then he raised his hands towards heaven and said, "Oh Lord! give them no rain, afflict them with barren years
like the years of Yusuf (Joseph) - (draught and famine). Give mastery over them to the boy from Thaqeef (reference to Al-Hajjaj al-Thaqafi),
who will give them bitter water (torment them) because they branded us as liars and let us down. You are our Lord; we rely on You and unto You we return."
He returned to his camp and was surrounded by his brethren and followers. He said to them,
"The folk are intent on fighting you. May Allah have mercy on you." Then he appealed for help and support.
When Al-Hur bin Yazid ar-Riyahi heard his plea for help he went to Omar bin Sa'ad and asked him,
"Are you fighting this man?" Ibn Sa'ad replied, "Yes, by the Almighty! a kind of fighting the bottom
line of which is heads will roll and limbs will be chopped".
Al-Hur said, "Are you not satisfied with what to you?" Ibn Sa'ad replied, "Had it been for me I would have accepted his proposal. But your master is adamant".
Al-Hur then stood a middle ground and shuddered, gradually drawing nearer to Hussain (A).
One of his companions asked him, "What are you doing?" Al-Hur answered, "I am giving myself
the choice between heaven and hell; by the Almighty I choose nothing short of heaven so much so that
I do not mind if I were chopped into pieces and burnt. He then spurred his horse aiming towards Hussain (A)
with his lance turned around, his bow upside down. He stood before Hussain (A), eyes cast down, and asked him, "0!
could I but sacrifice myself for you, You son of the Messenger of Allah! I have been stalking you all the way.
It was me who prevented you from going back (to where you came from), kept close watch on you, and roared on you in this place.
I have never thought that the people would not agree to your proposition. Oh Lord! I turn to you in repentance for I frightened the
hearts of Your friends, the offspring of Your Messenger."
"Oh father of Abdullah! I seek penitence from Allah for what I did. Do you, think that He will accept it? "Hussain (A) answered,
"Yes, he will accept your repentance".
He then asked Hussain (A) for permission to address the belligerent camp; he was given it. He called in the highest pitch of his voice,
"Oh, people of Kufa! You called on this good servant of God; when he responded you welcomed him and claimed that you do not mind getting
killed to spare him. Then you changed your minds, transgressing against him with a view to killing him. You put a stranglehold on him,
stretched his patience, and besieged him to prevent him from seeking a safe haven in Allah's vast land. He became like a hostage.
You denied him, members of his household, and companions access to the waters of the River Euphrates from which Jews, Christians,
and fire worshippers drink, and pigs and dogs wade in. Yet Hussain, his family, and companion, are dying of thirst. What misery you
inherited the offspring of Mohammad (S)! May Allah not give you drink on the day of thirst." A group from the camp of Ibn Sa'ad attacked
him shooting at him with arrows forcing him to retreat.
Omar bin Sa'ad drew nearer to the camp of Imam Hussain (A) and called Draid, the bearer of the standard, to move forward. He then
took an arrow, placed it in his arch and released it in the direction of Hussain's (A) camp, and said, "Bear witness for me with
the Emir that I was the first to shoot." The arrows then followed like rain, causing injuries among the companions of Imam Hussain (A).
Having made sure that the enemy is intent on fighting them, Hussain (A) ordered his followers, "Rise to certain death; may Allah
have mercy on you; the arrows are the messengers of those people to you".
The companions of Hussain (A) waged a campaign and fought for an hour or so. When the dust settled, there were fifty dead.
When Hussain (A) saw this elite group of his companions killed he held his beard and said, "Allah's wrath on the Jews was
great because they claimed that he had a son, on the Christians because they made him one of the trinity, on the Magians
because they worshipped the sun and the moon, and on the people who were unanimous in the agreement to kill the son of their
Prophets daughter. By the Almighty! I am not going to give in to them until I meet Allah blood-dyed".
Part 9 - Is there any amongst Man to help us ?
He then shouted, "Is there any one who can come to our rescue? Is there any one who can protect the sanctity of the family
of Allah's Apostle?" The screaming and crying of women could be heard as a result of his plea.
One by one the companions of Hussain (A) asked for permission to meet in combat with the enemy bidding him farewell, saying,
"Peace be with you Oh Aba Abdillah!"; he answered. "Peace be with you; we will follow", reciting, "...so of them is he who
accomplished his vow, and of them is he who yet waits, and they have not changed the least". (33:23)
Then the two Jabiri cousins, Saif bin al-Harith bin Sari' and Malik bin Abid bin Sari' emerged crying and asked for permission to fight.
Hussain asked them, "What makes you cry? I am hopeful that you will after a very short time have peace of mind and tranquillity".
They answered, "We are not crying for ourselves, but for you. We can see that you are beleaguered, and we have no power to be of any good to you".
Hussain thanked them. They fought till death.
Then the two Ghifari brothers, Abdullah and Abdul-Rahman sons of Urwah followed and fought and were killed close to Hussain (A).
A group consisting of Omar bin Khalid as-Saidawi, his servant Sa'ad, Jabir bin Al-Harith as-Salmani, and Majma' bin Abdullah
Al-A'aithi came out and raided the enemy, the Kufi'ites; when they went deep into their ranks, they were encircled by the
troops and cut off. Hussain sent his brother Al-Abbas in a bid to rescue them, which he did successfully. But due to their
severe wounds they were overpowered by the Kufi'ites and were killed in one place.
Al-Hur bin Yazid ar-Riyahi attacked the enemy troops killing over forty of them. When his horse got wounded he fought them
on foot and fell to the ground. Hussain stood over him wiping away soil and blood which was oozing from his face, saying,
"Congratulations oh you Hur! You are Hur (free) as your mother named you". He passed away.
Wadhih, the Turkish servant of Al-Harth al-Mithiji came forward and asked for permission to fight. He fought until he was
severely wounded; he called Hussain by name to come to his rescue. Hussain responded. But it was too late as he was in his
final moments of life. Hussain hugged him. He said, "I am so lucky; the son of the Messenger of Allah putting his cheek on
mine". He died immediately after that.
Aslam, the servant of Hussain (A) was next. He fought bravely. When he was badly wounded he called on Hussain for help.
Hussain came to him and hugged him. He was still alive. He smiled, thanked God for granting him martyrdom and passed away.
Muslim bin Awsajah assaulted the enemy and fought very bravely. Amr bin al-Hajjaj and a band of his companions counter
attacked the camp of Hussain from the direction of the Euphrates. When the two belligerent forces clashed and the dust settled,
Muslim bin Awsajah was found fallen but still with a spark of life.
Hussain (A) and Habib bin Mudhahir walked towards him. Hussain said to him, "May Allah have mercy on you oh Muslim!"
and recited, " ... so of them is he who accomplished his vow, and of them is he who yet waits, and they have not
changed the least". (33:23)
Habib bin Mudhahir approached him and said, "God knows how sorry I am that you will die, Oh Muslim! the good news
is that you will go to heaven". Muslim replied in a faint voice, "May Allah bring good news to you
Habib added, "If I am not absolutely sure that I will follow in your foot steps I would have asked you to let me
know of your will". Muslim answered, "I urge you to take care of this", pointing to Imam Hussain, "You should
sacrifice your life protecting him". Habib said to him, "Feel serene and be confident about that". He gave up
the ghost to its Creator.
When the followers of Ibn Sa'ad knew of the death of Muslim bin Awsajah they shouted in elation. Shibth bin Rib'ii
said to those who were around him, "May your mothers be bereaved. You are killing yourselves with your own hands
and bring humiliation to yourselves Do you rejoice at the death of Muslim? He has credit in the service of Muslims.
I saw him at the battle of Azerbaijan killing six atheists before the horsemen of the Muslim army had the chance to re-group.
When the troops of Ibn Sa'ad suffered many casualties at the hands of the followers of Hussain (A), Amr bin Al-Hajjaj shouted at
his followers, "Do you know who you are fighting? You are fighting clear-sighted knights, bent on killing you; by the Almighty!
if you would use only stones against them you would have killed them!." Omar bin Sa'ad retorted, "You are right. Tell the troops
not to meet with them in duel, for if you do so you will all perish".
Amr bin AI-Hajjaj attacked the right flank of Hussain's camp. The remaining combatants withstood their ground, falling on their
knees, aiming their arrows at the enemy. Thus, forcing the horses of the enemy to refrain from forging ahead. When they resumed
their attack they came under a hail of arrows from Imam Hussain's (A) followers causing many casualties among their ranks.
Shimr bin Thil al-Jawshan took on the left flank of Hussain's (A) camp. The combatants proved to be as steadfast as their
companions in the right flank. The result was complete failure of the enemy to break through the solid defences of Hussain troops.
Among those who remained alive at this stage of the battle was Wahab bin Abdullah Al-Kalbi who was with his mother and wife.
His mother urged him to come out and support the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah. He answered, "0 mother! I will
do my best". He came out chanting these sonnets.
"You better deny me not as I am the son of Al-Kalbi. You will see me and how fatal my blows are. How my assault and campaign
seeking my revenge and that of my companions. I repulse the attack in the wake of the attack. For my struggle in the battlefield
is not a playing matter."
Then he attacked the enemy killing some and wounding others, returning to his mother, saying to her, "Are you satisfied with my deed?"
She answered. "Never! unless you are killed before Hussain (A)".
His wife intervened asking him, "I put you to oath by the Almighty! Do not bereave me by getting killed".
His mother said to him, "Do not pay attention to what she says; go back and carry on fighting in front of the son
of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah; you will be worthy of his grandfathers intercession on the Day of Judgement".
He resumed combat, killing nineteen horsemen and twelve infantry troopers. He lost both his arms and was killed. May his
soul rest in peace.
His wife walked towards his body and sat near his head, wiping away blood and saying. "Congratulations for you are guaranteed
a place in heaven; I pray to the Almighty to bestow it on me to make me join you". Shimr was very angry at the spectacle. He
dispatched his servant to kill her; he dealt a fatal blow to her head with a truncheon; she died instantly. She was the first
women among the companions of Hussain (A) to be killed.
The enemy chopped off Wahab's head hurling it towards the tents of Hussain (A); his mother hugged it and wiped the blood off his face.
She then was seen holding a tent pole and heading towards the enemy. Imam Hussain (A) prevented her from engaging in combat saying,
"Go back. May Allah have mercy on you. You are relieved of jihad (holy war)". She returned uttering, "Oh Lord! do not frustrate my hope".
Hussain said to her, "Allah will not do so".
Shimr attacked the tent of Imam Hussain (A) using his spear threatening to set it ablaze. The ladies inside the tent
fled screaming and were in a distraught state. Hussain (A) called on him, "Oh you son of Thil Jawshan! Are you calling
for my house to be burned while my family are inside? May Allah burn you in hell fire."
Shibth bin Rib'ii said to Shimr, "You have become a source of fright to women. I have never come across neither a deed
nor a stance worse than yours". He felt ashamed and withdrew.
Part 10 - The Martyrs Die - One by One
It was just after midday when the fighting was still raging. Aba Thummamah as-Sa'idi approached Hussain (A) and said,
"I can see that the enemy is getting very close. By God! I will not let them kill you and I am still alive. I wish to meet Allah,
the Exalted after I have said my prayers in your company". Hussain raised his head towards the sky and said, "You remembered prayer!
May Allah make you among those who say prayer and invoke Him; indeed, this is the start of (Dhuhr) Noon prayer". "Ask those people to
give us a respite until we say our prayer", he added. Al-Hosein (of the enemy camp) said, "It will not be answered". Habib bin Mudhahir
replied, "You claimed it will not be accepted from the house of the Messenger. Would it then be accepted from you? Al-Hosein attacked
him dealing a sword blow to the head of his horse causing it to rear; he fell of and was rescued by his companions.
Hussain (A) then got ready for prayer - several versions as to how and what sort of prayers was said have been related.
One version is that he led what was spared of his followers at that stage of the battle in 'fright prayer'; Zuhair bin Al-Qain
and Sa'eed bin Abdullah Al-Hanafi together with half of the followers were in front of him. A second version claims that they
said their prayer individually i.e. not in a congregational manner. A third story is that he led them in a quick prayer.
When Sa'eed was badly wounded he fell to the ground and said, "Oh God Almighty! Damn them as you have condemned the people
of A'ad and Thamoud; give my regards to Your Prophet and let him know of the pain I am suffering; my aim is to be rewarded
by You for defending the progeny of Your Prophet (S.A.W.)". He turned to Hussain and asked, "Have I lived up to my vow?"
Hussain replied, "Yes, you are preceding me in entering paradise". He perished. He was found to have received thirteen
arrows apart from wounds caused by swords and spears.
When Hussain (A) had finished his prayer he said to his companions, "Oh you noble folk! The gates of paradise are ajar,
its rivers are flowing, its fruits are ready to be reaped; its dwellers - the Messenger of Allah and the martyrs who were
killed in the way of Allah are waiting to welcome you; they yearn for your company. It is, therefore, incumbent on you to
protect the religion of Allah, and His Messenger; drive away the enemy from his family. Their answer was, "Our souls are a
protection to yours and our blood for yours; By the Almighty no harm will befall you and members of your kindred as long
as we still breathe".
Omar bin Sa'ad ordered Amr bin Sa'eed who was in command of a group of archers to stun the horses of the followers of
Hussain (A). The result was that no horseman was spared save Adh-Dhahhaq bin Abdullah Al-Mashriqi. He said the sight
of our combatants falling led me to enter my horse in a tent to spare it destruction.
Abu Thamama as-Sa'idi came out and fought valiantly until he was critically wounded. A cousin of his, who had a grudge
against him, set upon him and killed him.
Salman bin Mudharib al-Bajli, who is Zuhair bin Al-Qain's cousin, forged ahead fought and got killed.
Handhala bin Sa'eed ash-Shabami shouted "Oh people! I fear for you the like of what befell the (Al-Ahzab) parties,
the like of what befell the people of Nuh (Noah), and A'ad and Thamoud, and those who came after them, and Allah
does not desire injustice for (His) servants; 0 my people! I fear for you from the day of calling out, the day on
which you turn back retreating; there shall be no saviour for you from Allah, and whomsoever Allah causes to en,
there is no guide for him. (40:30-93)
O my people! do not kill Hussain "lest Allah should destroy you by a punishment, and he who forges (a lie)
indeed fails to attain (his desire)". (20:61)
Hussain rewarded him with a good recompense and said "May Allah's mercy be with you; surely, they will deserve
the punishment when they brushed aside your call for them to follow the truth, and rose to shed your blood as
well as that of your coreligionists Just imagine how much more would befall them as they killed your good brethren!.
He retorted. "You told the truth, 0 son of the Apostle of God! Is it not then the time to leave for the hereafter?
Hussain gave him the permission to join the fray; he saluted Hussain and attacked the enemy and got killed.
Meanwhile, Aabis bin Shabih ash-Shakiri approached Shawthab, the servant of Shakir, who was a trustworthy follower
in whose house Shia Muslims used to gather together and talked of the exploits and virtues of Ahl al-Bayt. Aabis
said, "What do you like to do?" He replies, "I would like to fight alongside you until I got killed. Aabis
wished him well and said to him, step before Hussain so that he can acclaim you as he did with the others
who preceded you for that which we can expect reward in the hereafter". Shawthab saluted Hussain and pressed on, fought and got killed.
Aabis drew near Hussain and said, "There remained neither a kindred nor a friend who is dearer to
me than you; if I am in a position to avert a diversity from you with any-thing that is more valuable to
me than my own life, I would have never hesitated to do so. Peace be with you; I bear witness that I
have been on the right guidance of your father and that of yours! He then advanced towards the enemy,
sword in hand, and shouting. Since they knew him to be a very brave man, no one stood his ground in
the face of his assault. Realising the danger, Omar bin Sa'ad shouted, "Pelt him with stones". As he
was overwhelmed by stone throwing, he parted with his coat of arms and headgear and charged the enemy
troops who fled. They regrouped and managed to encircle him and kill him. Dispute erupted among the
troops each claiming the reward for his killing. Ibn Sa'ad said, "He has not been killed by any of you
single-handed". He, therefore, denied them the recompense.
John, the servant of Aba Thar, stood before Hussain asking for permission to fight. He said to him, "0 John! You
joined us in quest of welfare; you are therefore, free to part my company". John knelt kissing the Imam's feet
and pleading with him "In felicity, I lick your bowls; in adversity I will never let you down! Since my smell is bad,
my lineage is humble and my colour is black, I look forward to that day in heaven when you breathe in me making my smell pleasant,
my pedigree honourable, and my complexion white. Nay! by God I am not parting with you until this black blood of mine is fused
with your blood!" Hussain gave him the permission. He fought valiantly killing twenty five soldiers. He then was killed. Imam
Hussain attended his body and said, "0 Lord! Whiten his face and sweeten his smell and gather him (on the Day of Resurrection)
with Mohammad and let him be identified with the household of Mohammad". It was related that whomsoever passed by the battlefield
smelled the aroma of his body which was more pleasant than musk.
Anas bin Al-Harith bin Nabih Al-Kahili, who was an elderly Companion saw the Apostle, heard his talk, and took part with him in
Badr and Hunain battles, sought permission from Hussain, With his turban cloth, he assaulted the enemy troops killing about
eighteen before he was killed. When Hussain sow him thus he wept and said,
"May Allah reward you!".
Amr bin Junadah Al-Ansari, a boy of eleven years, whose father was already killed in the battle, approached Hussain
for permission to join the fight. Hussain was adamant not to let him do so saying, "This is a boy whose father was
killed in the early campaign; his mother may hate to see him killed". The boy said, "My mother ordered me". He gave
the permission to fight. No sooner the boy was killed and his severed head was thrown towards Hussain's camp. His
mother took the boy's head, wiped the blood from it and hurled it at a nearby man and killed him. She then returned
to the camp and fetched a tent pole, or some say a sword, singing war poetry and assaulting the enemy. Imam Hussain
returned her to the camp after she had injured two men.
Al-Hajjaj bin Masrouq Al-Ju'fi fought until he was drenched with blood. He returned to Hussain to tell him how happy
he was to meet Hussain's grandfather, Apostle of God, and his father the, vicegerent. Hussain replied, "I will soon
meet them too". He then returned to the battlefield and got killed.
The Ansaris (Medinese) Sa'ad bin al-Harith and his brother Abul Hutoof heard Hussain's cry for help and the wailing
of members of his family. They defected from Ibn Sa'ad army and joined Hussain's band. They fought the enemy and got killed.
Abush-Sha'tha Yazid bin Ziad Al-Kindi, who was on Sa'ad's side did the same by joining Hussain's. He was an archer.
He knelt in front of Hussain and shot a hundred arrows. Hussain used to pray for him, "0 Lord! Make his shot hit the
target and reward him with paradise". When his arrows ran out he stood up and said, "It seems as though I killed five combatants".
He attacked the enemy and killed another nine.
Bidding Hussain farewell, Swaid bin Amr bin Abil Muta' set forth and fought bravely until he was critically wounded.
He fell face down. It was thought that he was dead; however when heard that Hussain was killed, he got up brandished
a knife, and attacked the enemy; he was then set upon by the thugs and was killed. He was the last of Hussain's
companions to be killed before Hussain's martyrdom,
Part 11 - The Martyrdom of Ali al-Akbar
Since none of the companions who fought with Hussain was spared, members of his immediate family got ready to make the
ultimate sacrifice in a manner that was characteristic of the pedigree of the Prophet - sheer determination, unrivalled bravery,
and scant regard to personal safety. They bade farewell to each other, The first to come forward was Abul Hassan Ali al-Akbar
who was twenty seven years old. He took permission from his father, Hussain and mounted his horse and met in combat with the Kufans.
A man from amongst the crowd shouted, "O Ali! You relate to Yazid - for his mother Layla was daughter of Maymoona daughter of
Abi Sufyan - and we want to respect this relationship. We may grant you an amnesty and a refuge if you wish". He said
"The kinship of the Apostle of God should be second to none." He pressed on proclaiming who he was.
Imam Hussain could not hold back his tears and shouted at Omar bin Sa'ad, "What has become of you?
May Allah bereave you of your kindred as you have made me bereft of mine, and did not respect my relationship of the Prophet.
May Allah set on you an adversary who will slay you in your bed." He then raised his hands to the sky and said,
"0 Lord! Bear witness on those people for he who emerged to them is bearing a strong likeness to Your Prophet in
all departments - resemblance of disposition, complexion, and logic. Hence we look at him when we crave to see Your Apostle.
0 Lord! Deprive them of the riches of the land, divide them, rend them asunder and turn them into smithereens.
Never make the rulers be happy with them, for they sent for us so that they may support us but transgressed against
us and killed us." He then recited Allah's words, "Surely, Allah chose Adam and Nuh and the descendants of Ibrahim and
the descendants of Imran above the nations, offspring, one of the other, and Allah is Hearing Knowing".
Ali al-Akbar continued fighting. He killed all those who had the guts to meet him in duel. He killed scores of combatants.
Since thirst greatly contributed to his overstraining, he returned to his father to rest and complain of
what thirst had done to him. Hussain cried, appealed for help and said, "You will soon meet your grandfather
who will water you from his tumbler that you will never be thirsty again". He sucked his tongue to alleviate
his predicament and gave him his ring to put in his mouth.
Ali returned to the battlefield happy to be told by his father that be would meet his grandfather, the Prophet.
He delved into their ranks dispersing them. It seemed as though it were his grandfather, Imam Ali roaring in
the battle ground fighting them. He killed more Kufans.
When the death toll mounted, Murra bin Munqidh al-Abdi made a pledge saying, "I shall bear all the sins of the
Arabs, if I do not bereave his father." He ran his lance into his back and dealt him a blow on his head
causing it to split. He embraced his horse which took him to the enemy camp where he was encircled by the
troops who cut him into pieces.
On the brink of dying, he could muster a shout, "0 Aba Abdillah! Farewell. Here is my grandfather; from whose cup I have drunk.
Never again I will be thirsty. He says that there will be a cup waiting for you". Hussain hurried to him bending on him,
putting his cheek over Ali's and murmuring, "Life is no longer worth living after your departure. How dare they encroach
on Allah and violate the sanctity of the Prophet. Alas! It is hard on your grandfather and your father that you call on
them for help which they cannot provide".
He then scooped a handful of his pure blood and throw it to the sky; not a single drop fell to the ground! That is why in the
visitation ceremony we used to address him, "May my parents be sacrificed for you as you were wrongfully slain; for your blood
which ascended to the heavens, for your sacrifice before your father in anticipation of God's reward. Yet he parted with you
in extreme heart rending situation when he threw your blood to the sky as an offering and none of it fell to the ground.."
Hussain ordered his youth to carry his body to the tent, where the free females of the household of the Apostle of
God gathered around him crying, wailing beating their breasts, and plucking their hair. Zainab al-Kubra (Senior),
the pick of Bani Hashim threw herself on his body cuddling it for she saw in his demise her waning strength,
the departure of the protector of her privacy and honour, and the crumbling of the buttress of her house.
Part 12 - The Campaign of the Abi Talibs
After Ali ul-Akbar, Abdullah bin Muslim bin Aqeel bin Abi Talib whose mother was Ruqaiyyah al-Kubra,
daughter of the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali, was next to go to war. In three attacks, he killed a
bunch of enemy soldiers. Yazid bin ar-Raqqad al-Juhni shot him with an arrow from which he protected his
head with his arm. The arrow pierced his arm and lodged into his forehead sewing the two together. Failing
to dislodge his arm from his forehead, he sent an outcry saying, "0 Lord! They trampled on and humiliated us.
So, God kill them as they killed us." As he was in that state, a man thrust his spear into his heart causing
his death. Yazid bin Ar-Raqqad approached the dead body and plucked his arrow from his forehead causing the
arrow to come off leaving the arrowhead buried into the forehead.
Abu Bakr Abdullah al-Akbar (Senior) son of Imam Ali son of Ramla, who was a slave-girl, fought bravely until he was killed.
After Abu Bakr al-Qassim, the turn was for his brother al-Qassim who was just a boy. When Hussain looked at him
he embraced him and wept. He gave him permission to fight. His face exuding with light, sword in hand, wearing a
shirt and a loin-cloth, and a pair of sandals. As he was engaged in combat his sandals snapped. Paying scant
regard to the enemy soldiers, he stopped to tie it up for he did not want to be seen bare-footed by the enemy.
As he was thus Amr bin Sa'ad bin Nufail al-Azdi assaulted him. Hamid bin Muslim said to him, "What do you want of
this boy? Is it not enough that all these troops have cut him off!" Amr replied, "By God! I have to harass him."
He did not turn away before he dealt him a blow on the head causing him to fall face down. He called on his uncle,
"0 Uncle!" Hussain hurried to him as if he were a furious lion and struck Sa'ad with his sword; he lift his arm to
protect his head, only to be severed from the elbow. He sent out a loud cry. When the troops heard it, the horsemen
launched an attack to evacuate him; he was knocked down and trampled on by the horses and was killed.
When the dust settled, Imam Hussain was seen standing near the boy's head; the boy was kicking. Hussain was saying,
"Lo! to those who killed you. Their adversary on the Day of Judgement shall be your grandfather".
"It is with regret that your uncle has been helpless, when you called on me I could not respond to your call,
and when I responded there was nothing I could do. By God! It is a cry met with abundance of harm than help",
he added. He carried him to the make-shift mortuary, where the bodies of Ali ul-Akbar and members of the Apostle's
household lay. He lift his head towards the sky and invoked God, "0 Lord! Do not lose count of them, and do not
forgive them ever! 0 Cousins! forbear in adversity; you shall never see disgrace after today".
Part 13 - The Killing of Al-Abbas and his Brothers
When Abbas saw the death toll mounting amongst members of his family, he said to his brothers, Abdullah,
0thman and Ja'far, "0 Sons of my mother! Go forth to meet the enemy so that I may bear witness that you
kept your covenant with Allah and His Apostle". He turned to Abdullah who was older than Othman and said to him,
"Come forward, brother, so that I may witness your killing and thus be considered (by God)". So, they all fought
in the presence of their brother, Al-Abbas till they were killed.
Al-Abbas reached the tether of his patience not to follow in the footsteps of his brethren and companions,
especially when he could see that "The proof of the Time", Imam Hussain is getting increasingly beleaguered,
his supply root cut, the screams of women and the crying of children, who were thirsty, filled his ears. He,
therefore, asked his brother to allow him to meet the enemy in combat. Since Abbas was the most valued asset
Hussain cherished because the enemy are wary of his attack and fearful of his courage, and the women feel safe
and secure so long as they saw the standard hoisted, Imam Hussain did not wish to part company with him and said,
"0 Brother! You are the bearer of my flag".
Abbas replied, "I am sick and tired of these hypocrites, and I want to exact my revenge on them". Hussain ordered him.
to ask them for water for the children. Abbas approached the enemy, preached and warned them of the wrath of the Almighty
but to no avail! He shouted as high as he could, "0 son of Sa'ad! This is Hussain the son of the daughter of the Prophet.
You have killed members of his family and companions."
"All what is left are his womenfolk and children who are thirsty. Quench their thirst with water for they may die of it".
He, nevertheless, was pleading with them to let Imam Hussain and what was left of his household to leave Hijaz for the land
of the Romans or the Indians. His words found sympathy with some of the crowd so much so that they cried. But ash-Shimr
shouted, "0 son of Abu Turab (one of Imam Ali's titles)! Even if the whole of the earth's surface were awash and we were
in control, we would have never allowed you access to it, unless you pledge allegiance to Yazid."
Abbas returned to his brother Hussain to advise him how the enemy were adamant not to give them water. In the meantime,
he heard the children crying of thirst. He could not take it any more; his Hashimite ardour left him no room for
manoeuver nor more forbearance, He took the skin water container with the intention of bringing water. He was
surrounded by some 4,000 troops who shot at him with their arrows. He did not fear their multitudes. The standard
hoisted over his head, He started attacking them causing them to flee in front of him. His gallantry used to remind
them of his father, Imam Ali who used to annihilate brave and formidable foes in the battlefield. Thus, they did not
stand their ground in the face of his determined and ferocious attacks. He managed to reach the waterline of the
River Euphrates with fortitude.
He took a handful of water to drink whereupon he remembered the thirst of Imam Hussain and those who were with him.
He threw the water away choosing not to drink out of empathy with his kinship.
Part 14 - Abbas - the Lion Roars
He filled in the skin container with water, mounted his horse, and aimed towards the camp. Enemy soldiers
cut him off, upon which he engaged them; he managed to fend them off and gained a leeway.
Zaid bin ar-Raqqad al-Juhui was laying in wait for him behind a tree. Helped by Hakim bin at-Tufail
as-Sanbasi, he hit him on the arm and severed it. He was indifferent about his right arm, forging ahead
to deliver the water to Hussain's children and household. Hakim in the meantime was still laying in wait
for him behind a tree. When Abbas got passed him, Hakim dealt him a sword blow on his left arm and severed it.
Taking advantage of his weakened state, the rest of the troops took heart and swooped down upon him. They
rained him with arrows from every direction; one arrow hit the water container and punctured it, spilling
its contents; another hit him in the chest. A man hit him with a pole on the head, crushing his skull.
Thereupon he fell to the ground calling, "0 Aba Abdillah! Farewell". Hussain rushed to him only to find
him aimless, his forehead ruptured, an arrow embedded into the eye, the brain strewn on the shoulders,
the colours and water container beside him. Hussain face showed signs of despondency Throwing himself
down upon him, sobbing and saying, "Now is the time my backbone broke; I can see no way out, and my
enemy is rejoicing at my misfortune".
Despondent, sorrowful, weeping, wiping his tears with hit shin sleeves, Imam Hussain returned to his camp only
to see that the enemy soldiers had already invaded it. He appealed to the crowd, "Is there not one from amongst
you who can respond to our cry for help? Who can grant us a safe haven?.. Is there not a seeker of right who can
lend support to us? Is there not one, who is wary of hell fire, who can protect us?" Sukaina approached and asked
him about her uncle.
He told her that he had been killed! Zainab overheard him and screamed, "0 Our Abbas! What a loss!".
The women started crying and Hussain joined them saying, "We are at a loss after your demise!".
Part 15 - The Infant Martyr
When Abbas was killed, Imam Hussain searched around only to find out that there was no one who could bail him out;
he looked to his family and companions to find them slain like sacrificial lambs; in the meantime he used to hear
the incessant crying and wailing of his children and women, whereupon he repeated his plea, "Is there not a protector
who can defend the sanctity of the Prophet? Is there not a believer who may fear God of that which is befalling us?
Is there not a deliverer who may aspire to God's reward in alleviating our distress?" The crescendo of women and
children crying and waiting reached a new peak.
As-Sajjad, Ali son of Hussain got up leaning on a stick and dragging his sword for he was ill and could hardly move.
Hussain shouted at Umm Kulthoom, "Do not let him lest the earth should be devoid of the stock of the posterity of Mohammad".
She returned him to his bed.
He ordered his family to stop crying and bade them farewell. He was wearing a dark jubba (a long outer garment, open in front,
with wide sleeves), a flowered turban with its two ends loosened, covered with the Prophet's garment, and wearing his sword,
He asked for a dilapidated piece of cloth to use it as an underwear, and put on torn pair of trousers so that nobody
would wish to strip him off and, particularly, leave his private parts exposed!.
Imam Hussain asked for his son to kiss him farewell. Zainab brought him Abdullah son of ar-Rabbab; he put him in
his lap kissing and cuddling him murmuring, "Away with those people! for your grandfather, the chosen Apostle,
will be their opponent on the Day of Judgement". Clutching him in his arms, he approached the enemy and asked for
water for the baby. Harmalah bin Kahil al-Azdi shot him with an arrow and slew him. Hussain scooped the blood into
his hands and threw it to the sky. Abu Ja'far al-Baqir was reported as saying, "Not a drop [of Abdullah's blood]
descended to the ground". The Awaited Imam (May Allah hasten his reappearance) was also reported as saying,
"May peace be with Abdullah, the infant who was slain by an arrow, drenched with blood, and whose blood ascended
to the heavens. May Allah curse his killer Harmalah bin Kahil al-Azdi".
Imam Hussain said, "I find solace in the fact that what has befallen me is in the way of Allah, the Exalted.
0 Lord! Let his position with you not be less than the station of the young (weaned) camel of Salih's she-camel.
0 Lord! if you have withheld victory from us, substitute it with that which will be better than victory; exact your
revenge on the oppressors, make the afflictions that befell us in this world a treasure for us in the hereafter."
Part 16 - Imam Hussain in the Battlefield
After he had buried the baby, he met in duel with many a man who never stood a chance of emerging alive.
He then charged the enemy troops who did not stand their ground in the face of his attacks.
Thereupon Omar bin Sa'ad yelled at the crowd, "Mind! He is the son of the exterminator of the Arabs. Set
upon him from every direction." They rained him with 4,000 arrows. The soldiers cut him off his camp.
He shouted, "0 followers of Abi Sufian! If you arc godless and you do not dread the Day of Judgement
be free in his world and recall your ancestry if you c]aim to be Arab".
Shimr exclaimed, "What are you saying, son of Fatimah?" Hussain replied, "I am the one who is fighting you,
and the women are not at fault. So long as I am alive, forbid your insolent thugs from harassing my inviolable".
Shimr acceded to his request, whereupon the enemy soldiers targeted him. A fierce fighting raged.
Since he was very thirsty, he attacked the flank of the army which was sealing off the River Euphrates.
He managed to disperse them and make his way to the river. Once he was in the water, he extended his
hand to drink. A caller shouted, "Do you enjoy drinking water whilst the integrity of your family is
being violated?" He let the water spill from his hands without drinking, and returned to the tents.
Imam Hussain bade his family farewell for the second time and ordered them to show forbearance saying,
"Get ready for affliction, and be reassured that Allah is your protector; He will guard you against the evil of
the enemy, turn your mishap into good, chastise your enemy with all sorts of torment, and compensate you for this
tragedy with a plethora of bounties and dignity. So do not complain, and do not utter that which may degrade
your lofty prestige".
Hussain turned to his daughter Sukaina who was standing aloof, crying and lamenting. He stood by her showing sympathy and solace.
Part 17 - Surrounded by the enemies of Islam
Omar bin Sa'ad yelled, "Woe unto you! Attack him while he is busy with himself and his family.
By the Almighty! Once he is free neither your right nor your left flanks would be more lucky."
They swooped on him, raining him with arrows which were so abundant that they lodged in to the
tent ropes; some found their way to the women's mantles, startling and causing them to cry and
enter the tent; they looked at Hussain in the expectation that he might do something.
Imam Hussain attacked the enemy like a roaring lion, No sooner he could engage anyone
he left him dead. He received many wounds all over his body mainly as a result of arrows.
He returned to his position, repeating the saying, "There is neither power nor strength
save in God Almighty". He asked for water, Shimr answered, "You are not going to taste it until
you enter hell fire!" Another one called him, "0 Hussain! can you not see the waters of the River
Euphrates flow, glittering like the belly of a snake? You are not going to drink from it till you
die of thirst". Imam Hussain invoked God, "0 Lord! Let him die of thirst". It was then reported that
the man used to ask for water, once he drank, the water gushed out of his mouth. He continued thus
until he perished of thirst.
Abul Hutoof al-Ju'fai shot Hussain with an arrow which lodged into his forehead, Hussain took it
off causing the blood to stream down his face, whereupon he said, "0 Lord! You are witnessing the
transgression against me by Your sinful creatures. 0 Lord! Do not let anyone of them get away with
it. Kill them all and do not let anyone of them live on the face of the earth. Never forgive them
He shouted, "0 Bunch of evil! Shame on you. What bad guardians of the household of the Prophet you
turned out to be. Since there is no man of my band left, you are not going to be deterred from killing
anyone after me, for killing me would make it a forgone conclusion. By God! I hope that Allah bestow
on me martyrdom, and avenge my death whence you do not expect."
Al-Hosein said, "How is he going to exact revenge on us?" Imam Hussain said, "He will sow enmity
amongst you, shed your blood, and pour down punishment upon you, pouring it in abundance".
As he was weakened, he paused to rest. A man hurled him with a stone hitting him on the head
causing the blood to stream down his face. He took out a piece of cloth to wipe the blood from
his face, whereupon another archer aimed at him with a three-pronged arrow; it lodged into his
chest in the area of the heart. He said, "In the name of Allah, by Allah, and following the path
of the Apostle of Allah". He then raised his head towards the sky and said, "0 Lord! You know full
well that they are killing a man there is not on the face of the earth, a son of the daughter
of the Prophet, save him!!".
He pulled out the arrow causing the blood to gush out. He put his band underneath the gaping wound.
When it was filled with blood he threw it towards the sky and said, "My only solace is that what has
befallen me is in the way of Allah". It was reported that not a single drop of that blood fell down.
He filled it again. This time be stained his head, face, and beard with it saying, "I want to meet
Allah and my grandfather in this state - splattered with blood".
Since losing blood weakened his body, he sat on the ground hardly lifting his head, whereupon
Malik bin an-Nisr approached him, called him names, and hit him with his sword on his head which
was covered with a burnoose. The burnoose was drenched with blood. He took of the burnoose,
wrapped his turban on the cap and said, "May Allah deprive you of eating with your right hand,
and gather you [on the Day of Judgement] with the oppressors".
Hani bin Thubait al-Hadhrami was quoted as saying, "I was one of a group of ten people when
Hussain was killed. I was looking to a boy from the household of Hussain, who was wearing
a shirt and loin cloth; two rings dangling from his ears, clutching to a shaft; he was
distraught turning left and right. A horsemen headed towards him, leaning over the boy
and hitting him on the head causing his death". The boy was Mohammed bin Abi Sa'eed bin Aqeel bin Abi Talib.
His mother was overwrought by the spectacle of witnessing the killing of her son.
After a short while the enemy troops came back to Hussain who was still in a sitting
position for he was overcome by the severity of his wounds. Abdullah bin al-Hassan, an
eleven-year-old boy looked towards his uncle only to see him surrounded by the enemy.
He rushed towards his uncle after he managed to break free from his aunt, Zainab, When
he arrived at the scene near his uncle, Bahr bin Ka'b descended his sword to hit Hussain.
The boy yelled at him, "0 son of the bad woman! Are you dealing a blow to my uncle?"
He hit the boy who lift his arm to protect his head causing it to be severed. The boy
shouted, "0 uncle!" and fell into his uncle's lap. Hussain embraced him and said,
"0 nephew! Be patient at what has befallen you and consider it as a blessing for Allah,
the Exalted will reunite you with your noble ancestors". He then raised his hands
in supplication and said, "0 Lord! If You had granted them enjoyment for a while,
cause them to divide among themselves, disperse them into sects following different
ways, do not let the rulers be pleased with them for they called on us so that they
may be among our partisans, instead they transgressed against and killed us".
Harmalah released an arrow towards the boy, whilst he was in his uncle's lap,
and slew him.
Imam Hussain, fatally wounded, was left lying for a considerable time. What prevented them
from finishing him off sooner was the fact that every tribe was relying on the other to do the
job i.e. each tribe hated to be seen as the one which killed Hussain.
Shimr yelled, "Why are you standing idly by? The man is critically wounded. Attack and finish him off".
Zar'a bin Shariek hit him on the shoulder blade; al-Hosein shot him in the mouth; another hit
him on the shoulder, Sinan bin Anas lodged his spear in the area of the collarbone, then in
his chest; he also shot him with an arrow in the throat, Saleh bin Wahab stabbed him in the loin.
Hilal bin Nafi' was reported as saying, "I was standing near Hussain as he was on the brink
of dying. By God, I never saw a person getting killed with own blood all over his body in a
better state than Hussain. His face was exuding with light and awe! I was so overwhelmed by
the radiance of his face that I refrained from contemplating killing him! He asked for water;
they did not give him any to drink".
Part 18 - Hussain is killed on the Plains of Kerbala
One from amongst the crowd said to him, "You are not going to drink water until you enter hell fire,
whereupon you can drink from its boiling water". Imam Hussain replied, "I do not enter hell fire, but
enter unto my grandfather, the Apostle of God and stay with him in his own house (in the seat of honour
with a most powerful King) and complain to him of that which you have done to me and your transgression
against me". All were very furious at his remarks as if Allah did not instil a grain of mercy in their hearts.
When his condition deteriorated, he raised his eyes towards the sky in supplication and said, "0 Lord!
You are mighty in Prowess, the Supreme, the Possessor of every greatness and glory, not in need of the
creation, having mastery over everything; Your mercy is high, Truthful in your promise, Giver of bounty and
favour; You are close to those who invoke You; encompassing all Your creation; You accept repentance from
those who repent, capable of exacting Your will, Having full knowledge of what You are after, Thankful when
thanked, remembering when remembered. I invoke You as I am in dire need, ask You as I am poor! I seek refuge
in You for I am fearful, weep for I am grieved; I rely on Your succour for I am weak; I put my trust in You
alone. 0 Lord! You are the Arbiter between our folk and ourselves for they trespassed against us, let us down,
betrayed us, and killed us not with-standing our kinship to Your Prophet whom You chose for delivering the
Message and made the repository of revelation. Alleviate our predicament and relieve our suffering for You
are the Most Merciful".
"Forbearance with what You have destined is our solace, 0 Lord! There is no god but You. You are the
Deliverer of the distressed. I have no God save You. Surely, You are the only Refuge for those who are
"There is no other one to worship apart from You. Forbearance with that which you have resolved is our
consolation. 0 Lord! You are the Everlasting. 0 Lord! You are the Resurrector of the dead. 0 Lord! You
are Watching over every soul and what it did. Adjudge between me and them for You are the best of judges".
Hussain's horse started roaming around Imam Hussain and staining its forehead with his blood, whereupon
Ibn Sa'ad yelled saying, "Stop the horse as it is a thoroughbred of the horses of the Apostle of Allah."
A company of horsemen surrounded him. He started galloping and kicking with his forelegs killing some
men and horses. Ibn Sa'ad ordered the soldiers to leave the horse and to see what it was going to do.
When the horse calmed down and felt secure enough, it went back to Hussain's blessed body staining its
forehead with his blood, smelling him, and neighing loudly. Imam Abu Ja'far al-Baqir was quoted as saying,
"The horse was saying: What an injustice was done to the grandson of the Prophet by his own umma (community)."
The horse, still neighing, then headed towards camp. Once it was there, the women saw the horse stained
with blood and its saddle twisted, they came out from their tents spreading their hair! unveiling their
faces, beating their cheeks, screaming, seeing their glory vanish, and spontaneously taking to the place
where Imam Hussain fell and died, headed by Zainab who was wailing On arriving at the scene, she put her
hand under his body raising it to the level of her breast where she left the body to rest. She said,
"0 Lord! Accept this sacrifice from US".
In the meantime Omar bin Sa'ad with a group of soldiers were approaching the scene as
Imam Hussain was at the point of death. Zainab shouted at him, "Yes Omar! Abu Abdillah is
being killed and you are standing watching him perish?!" He turned his face away from her
with his tears streaming down his beard.
She said, "Woe unto you! Is there not amongst you a Muslim?" Nobody replied! Thereupon Ibn Sa'ad
ordered the crowd, "Descend upon him and administer the mercy shots to him". Shimr initiated the attack;
he kicked him, sat on his chest, got hold of his blessed beard, dealt 12 sword blows to his body,
and finally beheaded him.
1)Absarul Ain Fi Ashabil Hussain - Mohammad bin at-Tahir as-Samawi, Haydari Press, Najaf.
2)Irshadul Quloob Illas Sawab - Al-Hassan bin Mohammad ad-Dailami (d. 448 H.), Iran Print.
3)A'yan ash-Shia - Muhsin al-Amin al-Amili, Darut Ta'aruf, Beirut. 2nd edition.
4)Al-Irshad - Mohammad bin Mohammad bin an-Nu'man al-Baghdadi, known as ash-Sheikh al-Mufid.
5)Al-Amaali - Mohammad bin Ali bin Babaweih al-Qomi (d. 381 H.), Al-Haydari. Press, Najaf.
6)Ansarul Hussain - Mohammad Mahdi Shamsuddin - ad-Darul Islamiyah Press, Beirut.
7)Bihrul Anwar - Mohammad Baqir bin Mohammad Taqi al-Majlisi - Tehran 2nd edition.
8)Batal al-A'lqami - Abdul Wahid al-Mudhaffar - An-Najaf edition.
9)Tarikh Ibn Asakir - Ali bin al-Hassan bin Hibatillah ad-Dimashqi (d. 571 H.), Egypt edition.
10)Tarikh al-Umam wal-Mulook - Abu Ja'far Mohammad bin Jareer at-Tabari, Al-A'lami Press, Beirut.
11)Tarikh al-Bidayah Wan-Nihaya - Ismail bin Omar bin Kathir ash-Shafie (d. 774 H.), Egypt edition.
12)Tarikh al-Ya'qoubi - Ahmed bin Abi Ya'qoub, known as al-Ya'qoubi, Dar Sabir Press, Beirut.
13)Tathkirat Khawwashil Umma - Yousuf bin Qaz'ali al-Baghdadi, known as Sibt bin al-Jawzi (d. 654 H.), Al-Haydari Press, Najaf.
14)Al-Khasaa'is al-Hussainiyah - Ja'far bin Hussain ash-Shoushtari, Tabriz edition.
15)Rawdhatul Wa'idheen - Mohammad bin al-Hassan bin Ali, known as al-Fattal, Iran edition.
16)Zahr al-Aadaab Wathamar al-Albaab - Ibrahim bin Ali al-Ausari al-Husari al-Qairawani, Cairo edition.
17)Sharh Nahjil Balaagha - Ibn Abil Hadeed, Egypt first edition.
18)Al-Fusool al-Muhimmah fi Ma'rifat Umoor al-A'imah -Ali bin Mohammad al-Maliki, known as Ibn Sabbagh, Al-Adl Press, Najaf.
19)Kashfil Ghumma Fil M'arifatil A'imah - Ali bin Issa bin Abil Fath Arbilli, Najaf edition.
20)Alluhoof Ala Qatlat et-Tuffoof - Radhiyiddin Ali bin Mousa bin Tawoos, Najaf edition.
21)Al-Majalis al-Fakhirah - Abdul Hussain Sharafuddin al-Mousawi, Najaf edition.
22)Muthirul Ahzan - Shareef bin Muhsin - Sahibul Jawahir, Najaf edition.
23)Maqtalul Hussain - Abdul Razzaq al-Muqqarram, Darul Kital al-Islami, Beirut.
24)Maqtalul Hussain - Mohammad Taqi Bahrul Uloom, Darul Zahra', Beirut.
25)Manaqib Aal Abi Talib - Mohammad bin Ali bin Shahrashob, Qom edition.
26)Al-Muntakhab Fi Jam'il Marathi WM Khutab - Fakhruddin bin Mohammad bin Tarech an-Najafi, Al-Haydari Press, Najaf.