From Hajir Imam Husyn sent out a letter to the people of Kufah through Qays b. Mushir Saydawi.
In the letter he informed that he has received letter from Muslim b. Aquil informing of the positive and supportive attitude, and the concenseous of your leaders to restore our rights.
He also informed them that he has left Mecca and when you receive my letter, put your affairs in order and I will reach you in a few days.
Qays b. Mushir set out towards Kufah with the letter from Husayn until he reached Qadisiyyah, where Hasin b. Tamim seized him and sent him to ‘Ubaydallah b. Ziyad.
The latter said, “Climb up to the top of the palace and curse the liar, the son of the liar.” Qays went up and said, “O people, this Husayn b. ‘Ali is the best of Allah’s creatures. He is the son of Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet. I am his messenger to you. I left him at Hajir. Respond to his call.”
Then, he cursed ‘Ubaydallah b. Ziyad.
‘Ubaydallah gave instruction for him to be hurled down from the top of the palace. They threw him down and he was killed, his body shattered.
Imam Husyn’s onward journey towards Kufah led him to a watering place, where Abdullah b. Muti was staying
When Abdullah came to know that Imam Husyn was going to Kufah, he also implored him not to go as he feared the Ummayads who give no value to security and guarentees.
However Imam Husyn continued his journey and arrived at Khuzaymiah.
At Khuzaymiah it so happened the caravan of Zuhayar b. Qayn which was coming from Mecca stopped at the same time as that of Imam Husyn.
A man from Zuarah tribe states that while we were sitting and eating our food, a messenger of Husayn arrived. After greeting us, he entered, saying, “Zuhayr b. Qayn, I have been sent to you from Husayn b. ‘Ali with a request that you come to meet him.”
Zuhayr b. Qayn immediately got up to meet Imam Husayn, whose caravan had halted at the opposite side of the road.
Soon he returned with a joyful and glowing face. He said to his companions, “Whoever wishes to follow me may do so. Otherwise, it is the end of our affiliation.
I will relate to you an incident : We were engaged in a battle in Balanjar and Allah granted us victory along with a substantial amount of war booty. Salman Farsi asked us, ‘Are you happy with the victory that Allah has granted
to you and the amount of booty?’
We replied, ‘Yes.’ Then he said to us, ‘When you meet the young members of Muhammad (SA) family, show more zeal for fighting alongside him than you would for the booty you have acquired.’ Thus, I am bound
to bid you farewell.”
With this, he said to his wife, “You are divorced. Return to your family, for I do not desire anything else but goodness and prosperity for you.”
At Zarud ‘Abdallah b. Sulaym and Madhrib Mushma‘il from Asad tribe who were intending to join Imam Husyn after completing Haj met with Bukayr b. Math‘abah who also belonged to the same tribe and was returning from Kufah.
We enquired about the state of affairs in Kufah. He replied, “I left Kufah shortly after the killing of Muslim b. ‘Aqil and Hani b. ‘Urwah. I saw them being dragged by their legs in the marketplace.”
We hurried to catch up with the caravan of Imam Husyn and finally at evening we arrived at Tha‘labiyyah were Imam Husyn caravan had halted.
At Tha’labiyyah Imam Husyn was informed by Bukayr of what he had witnessed at Kufah. The killing of Muslim and Urwah.
They implored Imam Husyn not to go to Kufah, telling him they feared no one will assist but fight against him. Hearing this the sons of Aquil exclaimed ” By Allah we will not retreat until we have exacted vengeance or tasted death like our brother (Muslim)”
Iman Husayn looked towards us and said, “There is no point in living after the death of these two men.”
After taking ample food provisions next morning Imam Husyn started the journey and reached Zubalah.
At Zubalah Imam Husyn assembled his followers and said : “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Very troubling news has reached us regarding the murder of Muslim b. ‘Aqil, Hani b. ‘Urwah and ‘Abdallah b.Yuqtur.
Our Shi‘ah have abandoned us. Thus, those of you who wish to part company with us are free to go without any sense of obligation.”
People began to scatter away from him in all directions, only those remained with him , those who had joined him from Medina.
Husayn made the announcement and gave them a choice to leave him, realizing that many of the Bedouin Arabs had joined him on the assumption that he was traveling to a place where people had already pledged allegiance to him.
This proves beyond doubt that the journey of Imam Husyn was not for any worldly glory. A leader aspiring for power would never disclose such news to his followers, it is not in his interest.
The journey of Imam Husyn was for a much larger cause full of hiqmats. As a layman I fail to understand fully , but my Moula A’li Qadr Muffadal Moula knows fully the hiqmats and feels the pathos and pain of the tragedy as it unfolds. Every Muharram he relives the tragedy and it was for these reasons that just his deedar on the Takht stirs our hearts and minds, and we cry out aloud.
Ya Husyn ! Ya Husyn ! Ya Husyn !!
Imam Husyn reaches Batn al Aqabah where he is once again besseched not to travel to Kufah.
Imam Husayn replied, “Servant of Allah, sound decisions are not concealed from me, but the decree of Allah prevails.”
Then he left from that place and arrived at Sharaf.
At dawn, he instructed his entourage to quench their thirst and load up more supplies of water. Then they proceeded at a good pace until about noon.
One of the man cried out aloud that he saw some palm trees, but the Asadi guide found out that it was a cavalry that was approaching them. Imam Husyn asked the guides if they knew of a strategic place which they could use to protect themselves from an attack from the rear.
This would then allow them to confront the opponent from one direction only. The two Asadi men replied, “Yes, there is this place, Dhu Husham your left. It is suitable, if you can get there before them.”
Thus, he steered to the left and managed to arrive at Dhu Husam before the oncoming cavalry. When the enemy saw that Imam Husayn had veered off the road, they changed direction and came towards him. Imam Husayn dismounted and instructed that tents be set up.
No sooner had the tents been set up that the heads of the army unit and their standards were clearly visible, which resembled bird’s wings. The army unit approached
numbering 1,000 horsemen under the command of Hurr b. Yazid Tamim.
In the heat of noon, they came to a halt facing Imam Husayn. Imam Husayn and his followers wore turbans and wielded swords. Husayn said to his followers. “Supply them with water and quench their thirst. Also provide water to their horses little by little.”
The attendants first provided water to the people and quenched their thirst. Then they filled their bowls, basins and cups and took them to the horses and made them drink.
When time came for zuhr namaz Imam Husyn gave raza to Hajjaj b. Masruq to give azan and he came out of his tent and adressed the Kufahns as follows :
“People, I have a sound justification before Allah, Mighty and Exalted, and you that I did not come to you before either your numerous letters had found me or your messengers had invited me: ‘Come to us we have no imam over us. Perhaps, Allah will unite us with guidance from you.’
I came to you based on that positive attitude of support. Thus, if you honor what you had promised through covenants and oaths, then I will set out for your town. If you will not honor your promises and are displeased with my arrival, then I am prepared to leave you and return to whence I started my journey. (Medina)
They all became silent and numb. Imam Husyn asked Hurr to lead his men in prayer to which Hurr said that we will pray with Imam Husyn.
After asr namaz Imam Husyn told Hurr that if you are not convinced and unwilling to honour the commitment made than let us part company.
When Hurr said that we know nothing of the letters Imam Husyn asked Uqbah b. Sim’an to bring two saddle bags which had letters of the invitation and he instructed to spread it out in front of the Kufahan army.
Hurr than replied that we are not the ones who have wrote the letter and my orders are to bring you before Ubbaydallah b. Ziyad.
Imam Husyn mounted his horse and ordered his followers to prepare to leave. Hurr insisted that Imam Husyn follow him.
Finally a compromise was reached. Hurr agreed to write a letter to Ibn Ziyad and await his instruction with the hope that the matter will be resolved without fight.
They took the road towards Udhaby away from Kufah.
At Bid’ah Imam Husyn once again in a soul stirring sermon addressed the Ummayad cavalry warning them that Allah’s wrath will manifest on those who break the allegiance.
‘Surely, your leaders have clung on to the obedience of Satan and have abandoned obedience to the Merciful.
They have made corruption rampant, suspended the legal, religious application of punishment… they have made lawful what Allah has made unlawful, and prohibited what Allah has made lawful. I am more
entitled than anyone else to bring about a positive reform.
If you honor your pledges, then you will attain proper guidance, for I am Husayn b. ‘Ali, the son of Fatimah, daughter of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings upon him. I am prepared to be with you through thick and thin, and my family is with your families.
You will find in me an excellent ideal. However, if you are not prepared to act positively, and are determined to violate your covenant and withdraw your obligation to honor your pledges of allegiance, then, by my life, it is not something unusual or bizarre. You betrayed my father, my brother and my cousin, Muslim. You can
deceive a blind person. Thus, you have erred in your good fortune and have lost your destiny. ‘Whoever breaks his oath only injures his own soul.’ (Quran Surah 48 Ayah 10)
Allah will free me from any need of your support. Peace, mercy and blessings on you.”
Hurr who was riding alongside Imam Husyn cautioned that his not submitting to Ummayad may result in his being killed.
Husayn replied, “Do you think that you can frighten me with death. Could a worse misfortune fall upon you than killing me? He quoted the words of a brother of Aws tribe
‘ I will carry on, for there is no shame in embracing death for a young man so long as he aims for the truth and struggles as a Muslim.
Upon hearing this stern reply, Hurr retreated from Husayn. He and his followers remained on one side of the road and Imam Husayn on the other side , till they reached Udhay b Hijanat
At Udhayb Hijanat four people coming from Kufah wanted to join Imam Husayn but Hurr objected and said that they should return to Kufah. Imam Husyn said that they are his followers and under his protection.
Imam Husyn asked Mujammi A’idhi, one of the four, to give him news of Kufah. He said : “The eminent leaders have been heavily bribed and their sacks have been filled to ensure their support and loyalty. They are united in their campaign against you. As for the remaining
people, their hearts are tilted in your favor but their swords will be displayed against you.”
Then he informed him of the death of his messenger Qays, who was hurled down from the highest top of the palace.
Hearing this news Imam Husayn’s
eyes overflowed with tears, which he could not hold back.
He said, “’Some of them have reached their death and som are waiting [to die] and have not changed [their determination] in the least.’ Quran Surah 33 Ayah 23.
Allah make paradise our abode and for those who have been martyred. Gather us and them in a place that embraces Your mercy and bestow upon us what precious rewards you have reserved.”
Another companion informed Imam Husyn that he had seen a large army being mobilized in the outskirts of Kufah.
After leaving Qasr Bani Muqatil while travelling at night Imam Husyn had a dream while riding and when he awoke he said out aloud twice or thrice Quran Ayah ” we are from Allah and to Him is our return. All praise belongs to Allah the Lord of the Universe”
On hearing this Moulana Ali Akbar brought his horse near his father and asked him the reason for reciting this particular ayah.
Imam Husyn replied to his dear son that “in my slumber, I saw a horseman in a vision who said to me: ‘People are journeying and their fates are marching
towards them.’ With this, I realized that it was informing us of our death.”
Ali b. Husayn asked, “O my father may Allah spare you from all evil. Are we not on the truth?”
He replied, “Indeed we are, by the One to whom all servants return.”
Hearing this Moulana Ali Akbar said, “In that case, O father, there is no need for us to be concerned as long as we die in the path of truth.”
Husayn said, “May Allah give you the best reward that a son is entitled to from his father.”
When morning came, Imam Husayn halted and offered the morning namaz. Then, he rushed to mount his horse and began to steer towards the left with his followers in order to split away from Hurr and his companions.
Hurr prevented them from changing direction. Hurr attempted to divert them toward Kufah but this was strongly opposed by Imam Husayn. As a result, Hurr stopped insisting, but continued to march alongside Imam Husyn till they reached Nainawa.
At Nainawa a rider on a fast horse appeared from the direction of Kufah and handed Hurr a letter from Ubbaydallah b. Ziyad ordering immediate halt of the caravan in an open space away from water supply.
It was Karbala where the horse of Imam Husyn halted and he dismounted and ordered the tents to be set up.
2nd Muharram 61 H
3rd October 680 AD.
With this post I conclude, and feel deeply indebted to all those who have undertaken this ASHARA OHBAT journey with me, and specially those who have shared my posts with mumineen and done OHBAT.
DOA ni iltemas.
The names of the stations enroute from Mecca to Karbala of the Kafala of Imam Husyn (SA)
Saffah – Dhat el Irq – Batn er Rumma- Zurud – Zubalah – Batn e Aqeeq – Sorat – Sharaf – Zuhasm – Baiza – Uzaibul Hajanat – Qasr e Bani Makatib – Nainawa – Karbala