Rafed English

After Karbala' in Kufah

When the captured prisoners went into Kufah on their way to Ibn Ziyad's castle, people were gathering to look and see whom the prisoners were. A lady came and asked, "Which war are you prisoners of?"

They said, "We are the prisoners from the House of Prophet Muhammad." They paraded them in the streets to show the people that the army was victorious. People asked questions as they passed and some people gave food. More people gathered giving them food and bread. Zaynab and Umm Kulthum took the food from the kids and gave it back to the people, saying, "Charity given to the Prophet's House is a sin."

When Zaynab reached a large group of people, she stood and pointed to the people to be silent. When everyone became quiet to hear what she wanted, she said:

"All praises to God and blessings to our forefather Muhammad! O, people of Kufah; people of treachery and deception! You cry? May you never end your crying!"
And she quoted: "You are like women who untie what they have woven." 1

"You have no one among you but dirty, stubborn, liars, and you have done what will bring the wrath of God!

May you never end your crying! And may your laughs be very few! You carry all of the shame that cannot be washed away again! You have killed the descendants of the Prophet, the Lord's Claim (against you) of your time, and the light of your world. Woe onto you, and you will be humiliated forever!

O, people of Kufah! Do you not know what heart of the Prophet you have cut out? Do you not know what honored women of the Prophet's House you have enslaved and dishonored? Do you not know what blood of the Prophet you have shed? Indeed, you have done so grave an error that nothing will be able to take its place! It will be no wonder if the sky rains blood! And the punishment of the Hereafter is the worst punishment."

'Ali al-Sajjad noticed some movement among the troops and said to her, "O, my aunt! Please be silent. Indeed you are knowledgeable without being taught."

Then Fatimah, daughter of Husayn, spoke:

"Praise God! I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger, and that the children of the Prophet were killed at the Euphrates without any help. O, God! You know that I speak the truth and I do not say anything but what is according to the teaching of 'Ali, son of Abi Talib, who was killed in your house. And his son was killed yesterday. He returned to his Lord without any blame. O, God! You have chosen him for Islam when he was a child, and he helped your Prophet when he was young. O, people of Kufah, people of deceit, treachery and arrogance! We are the People of the House of the Prophet. God has made this a trial for you and for us. God has honored us by our Prophet Muhammad.

You called us liars and unbelievers. You looted our wealth as if we were the children of Turk or Kabul. Your swords shed our blood-blood of the People of the House of the Prophet. You think you are smart, but God is smarter than you! Whatever reaches us from God is the best."

Then she quoted: "Allah says, 'so you do not grieve over what has missed you, and you may not be happy with what has come to you. Indeed, God does not like proud, arrogant people." 1

"Woe unto you! Wait for the punishment and the curse of God! You have hard hearts and Satan has captured you!"

When they heard this, the people started crying and yelling. Umm Kulthum said, "Be silent, people of Kufah! Your men kill us and your women cry for us. The judge between you and us is God on the Day of Judgment. O, people of Kufah! Woe unto you! What is the matter with you? You kill Imam Husayn, loot his wealth, capture his women, and then cry for him? Do you know what kind of catastrophe you have brought upon yourselves? You have killed the best person after the Prophet! Indeed, the party of God is the successful and the party of Satan is the losers!"

People tried to cry and yell more and more. When 'Ali's camel came forward, all the people gathered in the street and saw him in chains bleeding on the unsaddled camel. He pointed to them to be silent, and every one became quiet to hear what he would say. Imam Sajjad began:

"Praises and thanks to God. Bless the Prophet. O, people! Whoever knows me knows me, and whoever does not know me, I am 'Ali son of Husayn son of 'Ali son Abi Talib. I am son of the one whose women are taken captives. I am son of the one whose wealth was looted. I am son of the one whose honor was humiliated. I am son of the one who was killed at the Euphrates and that is a great honor for us.

O, people! I ask you, by God, do you know that you wrote to my father and deceived him? That you gave him a promise and broke it? That you fought against him? Woe unto you! By what eyes can you look at Prophet Muhammad when he tells you: You have killed my family and humiliated my honor. You are not from my nation!"

The people cried intensely and all of their faces were wet with tears. The Imam said:

"May God bless the person who listens to me and honors my will."

The crowd answered: "Yes, O son of the Prophet of God! We hear you and we obey you. We await your order, for war or peace. We reject anyone who dishonors you."

The Imam said, "Hayhat! Hayhat! (Never again! Never again!) You, the deceivers! Do you want to do the same to me as you did to my father? The wound has not even healed yet. My father was killed yesterday and we still hear the cries of the People of the House."

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1. The Holy Qur'an; Sura of al-Hadid 57: 23.

Adapted from the book: "Karbala & Ashura" by: "Ali Hussain Jalali"

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