This page looks plain and unstyled because you're using a non-standard compliant browser. To see it in its best form, please upgrade to a browser that supports web standards. It's free and painless.
"When nobody except a group of three
members of his family was left with al-Husayn, he moved against the
people (the soldiers), while the three (moved with) him until (all)
three were killed. Al-Husayn was left alone. Despite being weighed down
by wounds in his head and body, he began to strike against them (the
his sword and they scattered, to right and left, away from him.
Humayd b. Muslim said: "By God, I have never seen such
persistence. His sons have been killed, and the members of his
household and his followers, yet he is still as brave as ever and he
has not allowed his spirit to leave him...."
When Shamir b. Dhi al-Jawshan realised (the position), he called for
the cavalry and they came up at the rear of the foot-soldiers. He
ordered the archers to shoot at (al-Husayn) and they showered him with
arrows until his (armour) became (quilted with arrows)....
Then Shamir b. Dhi al-Jawshan shouted at the foot soldiers and the
calvary: "Why are you waiting for the man? May your mothers be deprived
of you!" So they attacked him from every side.
Zur'a b. Sharik struck him on the left shoulder-blade and cut into it.
Another of them struck him on the shoulder. He fell prostrate on his
face. Sinan b. Anas al-Nakha'i stabbed him with a spear and killed him.
Khawali b. Yazid al-Asbahi) hurried to him and bent down to cut off his
head but he trembled (too much). Shamir said to him: "May God crush
your arm why are you trembling?" Then Shamir bent down and decapitated
him. He lifted the head (and handed it) to Khawali saying: "Take it to
the commander 'Umar b. Sa'd."
Then they began to plunder (the body of) al-Husayn.
Ishaq b. al-Hayat al-Hadrami, may God curse him, took his shirt. Abjar
b. Ka'b, may God curse him, took his trousers. Akhnas b. Marthad, may
God curse him, took his turban. One of the Banu Darim took his sword.
They plundered his saddle and his camel and they looted his womenfolk.
Humayd b. Muslim reported: By God, I did not see one of his women or
or the women of his family who did not have her clothes ripped from her
back, taken away and removed from her forcibly. Then we came to 'Ali b.
al-Husayn. He was stretched out on a bed and he
was very ill. Shamir had a group of foot-soldiers with him and they
asked him, "Shall we kill this sick one?" I said: "Praise be to God,
will boys be killed (too)? This is only a youth even though he is what
he is." And I went on (arguing) until I had moved them away from him.
After this, he returned to his tent and called out to his followers:
Then Umar b. Sa'd arrived and.the women cried out and wept in his face. He ordered his followers: "None of you should enter the tents of these women nor disturb this sick boy." The women asked him to return what had been taken from them so that they could clothe themselves again. So he commanded that whoever had taken any of their belongings should return them to them. But by God, none of them returned anything. He then entrusted charge of the main tent and the tents of the women to a group (of men) who were with him. He said: "Guard (the women) so that none of them may leave and do not harm them."
"Who will volunteer (to go) to al-Husayn and make his horse trample on
(al-Husayn's body)?" Ten volunteered. Of these, Ishaq b. Hayyat and
Akhnas b. Marthad trampled on (the body of) al-Husayn with their horses
until they had broken, and bruised his back.
Umar b. Sa'd despatched on that day - it was, the day of Ashura, - the head of al-Husayn, with Khawali b. Yazid al-Asbahi and Humayd b. Muslim al-Azdi, to Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad. Then he ordered the heads of the remainder of his followers and members of his House (who had been slain) to be cut off. There were seventy-two heads. He sent Shamir b. Dhi al-Jawshan, Qays b. Ash'ath and Amr b. al-Hajjaj with these. They journeyed until they brought them to Ibn Ziyad. He took with him the daughters and sisters of al-Husayn, together with Ali b. al Husayn. The latter was sick with a dysentry and was almost on the point of death.
When Ibn Sa'd departed, some of Banu Asad, who had been staying at
al-Ghadiriyya went to al-Husayn, and his followers.
They performed the funeral prayer over them. Then they buried al-Husayn
at the place where his tomb still is, and they buried his son Ali b.
al-Husayn al-Asghar (the younger) at the foot of the body. They dug
around the area next to the two feet of al-Husayn, for
the martyrs from his House and his followers. They gathered them
together and buried them all together. However, they buried al-Abbas b.
Ali, in the place where he was killed, on the road to al-Ghadiriyya,
where his tomb still is.
After Ibn Ziyad had despatched the head of al-Husayn to Yazid, he went to Abd al-Malik b. Abi al-Harith al-Sulami and told him, "Go to Amr b. Sa'id b. al-As in Medina and give him the good news of the killing of al-Husayn"
Abd al-Malik reported:
When I went to Amr b. Sa'id, he asked: "What is your purpose?"
"What will please the governor," I answered, "Al-Husayn has been
"Go out and announce his being killed," he told me.
I announced (it). I have never heard such wailing as the wailing of
the Banu Hashim in their houses for al-Husayn b. Ali, when they heard the announcement of his death. I went back (in) to Amr b. Sa'id. When he saw me, he smiled at me and laughed. Then he quoted a verse of Amr b. Ma'dikarib:
'Then women of Banu Ziyad raised a great lament like the lamentation of our women mourning (after the battle) of al-Arnab.'
....Umm Luqman, the daughter of Aqil b. Abu Talib, came out crying when she heard the news of the death of al-Husayn. With her were her sisters Umm Hani, Ramla and Zaynab, daughters of Aqil b. Abu Talib, may God have mercy on them. She wept for her (relatives) slain on the bank and she recited:
"What would you say if the Prophet asked you: What have you, the last of the (religious) communities, done
With my offspring and my family after my departure from them? They are prisoners and slain and have been stained with their own blood.
What sort of reward is this for my
advice to you - that you should now oppose me by doing evil to my
household (to my near ones)."
(excerpted from Kitab-al-Irshad of Shayk al-Mufid)
"Say (to the people, O Prophet): I
do not ask of you any
reward...but love for my near relatives; and whoever earns good, We
give him more of good therein; surely Allah is Forgiving, Grateful."
The Qur'an is an opening, a fatiha, an entry point to a great reality. It is a verbal symbol, a compressed representation of the "mother of the Book" which is in the presence of Allah and which is the source of all revelation to all Prophets, in all times. The "Umm al-Kitab" (mother of the book) is said to be the originating point of the book of the universe, the book of existence, the repository from which truth enters into our material universe and takes on the clothing of form, substance, space, and time.
(Qur'an 43:004) "And verily, it is in the Mother of the Book, in Our Presence, high (in dignity), full of wisdom."
The Qur'an also speaks of the "clarifying book" (kitab-ul-mubeen) and the "clarifying imam" (imam-ul-mubeen) (Qur'an 36:12), referring to a book and a guide that clarifies and illuminates as befits a source of profound knowledge. And if we follow, in detail, the arc of Imam Husain's journey to kerbala, we see a detailed, vivid, clear tafsir - a clarification (as is befitting an Imam) of the most profound and powerful verses of the qur'an.
The Imam's behaviour along every step of the journey is a living model of the qur'anic ayats concerning the most 'ihsan' (beautiful and appropriate) actions for humans (insaan). Everything the Imam does is modelled on the qur'an and clarifies, through action, the qur'anic view of a true human being.
At no time do we see a deviation from the qur'an. As the difficulties for the Imam and his followers mount, we see them grow in stature, in spirit - "they take up wings", they demonstrate the highest ideals of human behaviour without a single misstep, without faltering, in exact accordance with the criterion (furqan) of the Qur'an. Through their behaviour they clarify the right from the wrong. They become living furqan (one of the titles the Qur'an gives itself).
They fulfill beautifully the intention of a most profound ayat of the qur'an:
(Qur'an 2:30) Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent
on earth." They said: "Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?- whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?" He (Allah) said: "I know what ye know not."
They showed the meaning of vicegerency - they demonstrated the true meaning of khilifat-ul-Allah, while the Banu Umayaa, like all those who live solely as bashar (the qur'anic term for the animal or earthly aspect of human beings), created mischief, lived in submission to ego, desired worldly power, and sought to shed blood.
But Allah knew that which none else knew. ("I know what ye know not.") That His qur'an is a fatiha (an opening) for his creation. If they step through it, it can lead them to a station near to Him, in His presence, guided by Him, to the station for which man was created, the station of true vicegerency.
The station demonstrated by the shuhada of kerbala and by the survivors (among Husayn's family) who were witnesses to their glory.
- Irshaad Hussain