Rafed English

Hussain's sermon

At forenoon of the tenth of Muharram when the heat of the sun started scorching the earth, Hussain, his household and companions began to feel the severity of thirst. The enemy was adamant not to give them access to the water of the River Euphrates out of Jahili'ite enmities and Badri'ite grudges. Therefore, Aba Abdillah AI-Hussain, feeling the strain of thirst, mounted his horse and opened the leaves of Al-Qur'an over his head and stood in front of the belligerent camp and shouted, "The Book of Allah and the Sunna (tradition) of my grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (S) are the arbiters between you and me". He then made them bear witness on his pure soul and that he was wearing the coat of arms of the Prophet (S), his buckler and his turban.

They said that his statement was true. He then asked them what made them decide on fighting him. Their answer was that it was out of obedience to the Emir Obaidullah bin Ziyad. He then delivered this sermon:

Hussain's sermon

"May grief and evil befall you, You wretched bunch! You distressfully called upon us to come to your rescue and when we responded fully, you unsheathed your swords against and pushed us unto the fire which we set alight for our enemy as well as yours. You, therefore, played into the hands of your enemy against your masters (the friends of God). Without justice the enemy administered amongst you and without hope you placed in them. Woe unto you! You abandon us while the sword is still blemished, oneself is collected, and the mind is yet to be made up. Yet, you rushed like the creeping bird and fell over yourselves like butterflies crowding on a flower; then you wrecked it; to hell with you! Oh you slaves of the bondmaid! Ahzab outlanders, forsakers of the Book [of Allah], distorters of facts, bunch of evil, blow of Satan, extinguishers of norms! Woe unto you! Have you chosen to support those, and let us down? Yes, by the Almighty this emanates from an old intrinsic treachery, fed to your origins and handed down to you; therefore, you are like a malignant fruit - distressing to look at and sickening when eaten."

"The bastard and the son of a bastard has left us but two choices, either resorting to the sword or capitulating. How preposterous! Humiliation is not our cup of tea! Allah shall never let this happen to us; so shall His Messenger, the believers, and chaste and pure laps and proud souls. For the sake of these values we would rather die in an hour and not submit to the ignobles. Hence my march leading this family albeit meagre in number and deserted by would-be supporters."

Hussain thundered: "0, wretches you

Before the swine pearls I threw.

Don't venom spit in religion's name

Comprehend I do, your noxious game.

When degeneration marks its way

An entire nation goes astray.

Delusion, do not let you sway

Confounded whims induce decay.

For you is mild profoundest hell

That infernal jail can't match you well.

A hideous deed, sponsor not

Save your conscience, mend your lot

Erase and efface your sins' stains

With tainted conscience, no one gains

The lure, the virtuous to pursue

The crass chase it, to grab it, run.

This pathless desolation, do not tread

'Tis disquietude, self-imposed dread

Don't your conscience push and goad

Vainly, trudge not a craggy road".

Adapted from the book: "Tale of Hussain's Martyrdom" translated by: "Najim al-Khafaji"

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