10th Muharram (Part-4): Return To Your Lord, Hussain!

The following blog is created by building upon the extensive groundwork by Sayed Muhammad Baqer Qazwini for #WithHussainInKarbala, the first-ever Twitter-based Maqtal. You can view the original campaign on this link.

Imam Hussain’s Call for Help

All alone on the battlefield after losing his brother and right-hand Abbas, Imam Hussain stood by his tent, and in a heartbreaking voice, he uttered, “Is there anyone to support us? Is there anyone to protect the women and children?

Imam Sajjad was very ill in his tent. When he heard this soul-stirring cry by his father, he dragged himself resting on a cane in an attempt to go out and defend his father. Imam Hussain told Lady Zaynab, “Take him back to the tents, for if he is killed, the progeny of the Prophet will be cut off.” She took him back.

Jihad of the Six-Month-Old Baby

Imam Hussain asked Lady Zaynab to let him see his young infant so he could bid him farewell. The women informed him that Ali Asghar is withering and dying from thirst. And asked Imam if he could get him some water.

The Imam took him in front of the enemy camp. He raised Ali Asghar with his two hands and said:

“You have killed all my companions and family members. No one remains except him. He is dying from thirst. Give him some water. What is his crime?!” There was a commotion in Yazid’s army. Some said to give him water, while some suggested not to.

Meanwhile, Omar Ibn Saad ordered the skilled archer Hurmala to kill the baby. Hurmala shot a three-headed arrow at the baby’s neck and slaughtered him. Ali Asghar took his hands out of his swaddle and embraced his father. Imam Hussain collected the blood from his neck, threw it towards the sky, and said:

“What gives me patience is that Allah is watching!”

Then he took back the slaughtered baby to the tents and buried him. The women started to wail upon seeing Ali Asghar killed.

The Tragedy is Moments Ahead

Then Imam Hussain called on the women and children to bid farewell to them. He called them by their names. He said,

“This is our last meeting, and the tragedy has come near. But Allah is your Guardian, and He will be with you.”

Imam Hussain told Zaynab to bring him his horse. She cried and said, “Which sister brings to her brother the horse of death?

Lady Fatima Zahra’s Wish

As the Imam was about to ride towards the battlefield, Lady Zaynab asked him to dismount from his horse, “I need to fulfil something“. When he approached her, she said, “Show me your neck.”

When he did, she kissed his neck and turned to Medina and said, “Mother, I have fulfilled your will.” Imam enquired which Will is she referring to, so she told him: “Shortly before our mother Fatima passed away, she told me if one day you see your brother alone and about to die, kiss his neck for me, for that is the place where the sword shall sever!

Last Effort to Protect the Women & Children

Imam Hussain raced into the battlefield reciting these words:

“I am Hussain son of Ali. I am determined not to give up. I protect my father’s family, and I uphold the religion of the Prophet.” He fought courageously, killing many enemies.

When they surrounded him and got near the tents, he said to them: “O followers of Abu Sufyan, if you have no religion and do not fear the hereafter, then at least be free in this world and go back to your roots if you are Arabs as you claim.

Shimr asked, “What do you mean?” Hussain said: “As long as I am alive, do not attack the women and children.” They accepted.

Stabbed with Rocks, Arrows, Spears, and Swords

Omar ibn Saad shouted to his army: “Do not spare him. Attack him from all directions! He is the son of the killer of the Arabs.” They surrounded him from every direction, hurling rocks at him and shooting arrows and spears at him.

This attack caused Imam almost 72 injuries. He was now weakened by it that he paused to rest; this is when Abol Hotout al-Jo’fi struck him on his forehead, causing him to bleed. Then a three-pronged arrow shot his chest, making blood gush out from his chest. Imam collected the blood in his hands and stained his beard with it. He said:

“This is how I shall meet my grandfather! I will tell him to see how they killed me!”

The strike on the forehead and the three-pronged arrow made Imam fell to the ground. The horse of Imam Hussain started circling him, trying to protect him and attack anyone who would get close to him. But more and more enemies came forward, compelling the horse to run back to the tents of Imam Hussain.

The Final Moments Arrive

Lady Zaynab saw the horse of Hussain coming to the tents without its rider! When the women saw the horse alone, they started to lament. Lady Zaynab ran outside and stood on a small hill overlooking the battlefield. She saw Hussain bleeding profusely, struck with so many arrows. She addressed Omar Ibn Saad and shouted,

“Omar, Hussain is getting killed, and you are watching?” Then she looked at the other men standing by and said, “Is there no Muslim amongst you? How can you kill your Prophet’s grandson?!”

Hussain is Supplicating in His Last Moments

Many came forward to kill Imam Hussain, but they could not. They could see the Prophet’s eyes in his eyes. Finally, Omar Ibn Saad ordered, “Go to him and finish him!” The Imam was praying to Allah, saying:

O Allah, I am patient. O Allah, I am satisfied with your Will. Help me O Allah (by achieving martyrdom).

The Unspeakable Happens

Shimr Ibn Zil Jawshan came forward. He kicked Imam Hussain and struck him twelve times with his sword. Then he sat on his chest and severed the head of Hussain, the Master of Paradise. Just then, severe winds and sand blew, and Lady Zaynab could not see what was happening. As soon as the dust settled, she saw Hussain’s head raised high on a spear.

The text for this series is prepared from the following reference books:

  • Behar al-Anwar by Allama Baqer Majlisi
  • Tarikh al-Tabari by al-Tabari
  • Maqtal al-Hussain by Abu Mekhnaf
  • Mawsou’at kalimat al-Imam al-Hussain by Scholars of Baqer al-Uloom Research Institute
  • Laylat Ashura fil Hadithi wal Adab by Sheikh Abdullah Hasan
  • Probe Into History of Ashura by Dr Ibrahim Ayati
  • Luhoof by Sayyid Ibn Tawoos
  • Nafasul Mahmoom by Sheikh Abbas Qummi

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