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Imam al-Hussein (a,s.) Rejects Yazid's Leadership

In the dusk, al-Waleed ibn Aqaba, the ruler of Medina, summoned Imam al-Hussein. As he realized the reason beyond such a summon, the Imam asked his brother al-Abbas, as well as the other men of his household, to protect him. He ordered them to sit out of the ruler's hall until they would hear his loud voice as a sign to come in and save him.

The ruler welcomed the Imam warmly before he informed him about he death of Muawiya and Yazid's decision of taking the acknowledgement of allegiance to him as the new leader of the Islamic nation from people of Medina in general and the Imam in particular.

The Imam asked al-Waleed to give him a respite until next morning. By this respite, the Imam intended to gather people the next morning to declare his rejection of Yazid's leadership and his call to mutiny against him.

Marwan ibn al-Hakam who attended that situation burst forth to agitate the fire of sedition. He addressed to al-Waleed: "If he departs you without taking the homage from him, you will never be able to take it any time else before numerous victims from both parties will fall. Detain him so as to take his acknowledgement of allegiance to the new caliph. If he does not give it, you should then behead him."

Looking at Mawran with contempt, Imam al-Hussein said to him: "Is it you or he who will kill me? By God I swear, you, the mean one, have lied."

He then turned to al-Waleed and said:

"Emir, we are the household of prophecy, the core of the divine mission, the object of the visiting angels, and the center of the (divine) mercy. Allah commenced (the creation) with us and will seal with us. Yazid is a faithless man. He drinks wines, kills the respectful soul, and declares lechery openly. My example does not acknowledge allegiance to his. But, let both of us wait until morning and see which one is more meritorious of the caliphate -the religious and political leadership of the Islamic nation- and of being acknowledged for homage…" 124

By these words, Imam al-Hussein, indifferent to the ruling authorities and their threats, rejected paying homage to Yazid and declared the reason beyond such rejection.


124. See Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi's Hayat ul-Imam il-Hussein; 2/255.

Adopted from the book : "Al-Abbas"

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