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Events of the Ninth of Muharram

Thursday, the night of the ninth of Muharram, 'Umar ordered his entire army to attack the Imam's camp at once. The Imam was sitting, then said to his brother 'Abbas, "Go to them and see what they are up to."

'Abbas went with twenty followers. Among them were Zuhayr and Habib. They asked the army, and the army replied that the order of the governor came that they must obey him and his rule, or fight. 'Abbas went back to the Imam and told him.

Meanwhile, his people were preaching to the army of 'Umar. Habib Ibn Muzahir said, "Indeed, by God, you are the worst people. Who are you going to kill? The children of your Prophet? Those who spend all of their time in worshipping God?

The head of the army said, "You just want to show yourself as a good person."

Zuhayr said, "God has made people different. Do not help the unjust people in killing the righteous people."

The head of the army said, "But, Zuhayr, you are not a Follower!" Zuhayr said, "Do you not see I am with them now? Is this not enough for you to see that I am a Follower? God knows that I did not invite him and I did not write him a letter and I did not promise him anything, but when I saw him and recognized him and knew who his enemy was, I decided to be on his side."

'Abbas came from the Imam with a message, "Leave us alone for one night. Delay the fight for one night so that we can pray to our Lord and recite the Holy Qur'an."

'Umar hesitated to do it but some of his army said, "We should let them. Even if they were non-Muslims, we would have let them."

'Umar knew that he would not have the support of his army if he ordered to attack immediately, so he answered, "I know that if I give him this, they will be stronger tomorrow. However, I will let them delay the war one night.

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

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