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Imam Husayn (a.s.) Enters Mecca

Imam Husayn settled at the house of Abbas Ibn Abdul Muttalib. The people of Mecca visited him and pilgrims visiting the city for the upcoming Hajj season also visited him. Ibn az-Zubayr also visited the Imam, but he was jealous that the Imam was attracting all the attention. Occasionally, Imam Husayn went to visit the grave of his grandmother Khadijah, and prayed there. Before he left Mecca, he sent messages to the leaders of the city of Basrah, Malik Ibn Musma' al-Bakri, al-Ahnaf Ibn Qays, al-Mundhir Ibn Jarud, Mas'ud Ibn 'Amr, Qays Ibn al-Haytham, and 'Amr ibn 'Ubayd Ibn Mu'ammar.

Imam Husayn's letter read "Indeed, God has chosen Muhammad from among His creation for His prophethood, then He took him to Himself. God has advised His Creatures through His Prophet. We are his family, his followers, and heirs, and we deserve his succession more than anyone else. People chose me for this and I have accepted that, and I have sent my deputy to you with this book, and I call you to observe the book of God and the tradition of His Prophet, because his tradition has been denied and innovation has been revived. If you listen, I will guide you to the right path."

Al-Mundhir Ibn Jarud immediately turned in the messenger to the authorities because he thought the messenger was a spy of Ibn Ziyad, posing as the Imam's messenger in order to trap Imam Husayn's followers. When the messenger was turned in, al-Mundhir realized that he was truly the Imam's messenger but it was too late, and Ibn Ziyad ordered him to be hung that same night. Al-Ahnaf Ibn Qays replied to the Imam, saying, "Be patient. Indeed, the promise of God is truth," and hinted that now is not the right time to stand up to Yazid. Mas'ud Ibn 'Amr gathered the tribes of Tamim,

Hamdarah, and Sa'd and asked Bani Tamim, "What do you think of me'"

They answered, "You are the backbone of our tribe, you are the head, and the honorable one."

He said, "I have gathered you for consultation on an important matter."

They asked, "What can we do'"

He said, "Mu'awiyah is dead, and you know what Mu'awiyah has done and he appointed his son Yazid as his successor. He is a drunkard and a womanizer, and has been appointed as the leader for Muslims without the consent or knowledge of the people. I swear by the name of God that I wish to fight in Jihad against him. And, this is Husayn, son of Ali, grandson of the Prophet of God, with a clear lineage, and firm knowledge, and excellent character, and he is most fit for this matter.

I am going to go and get my armor and battle gear, and whoever wants to do whatever he wants, it is up to him." Banu Hamdarah replied, "We do what you do, we help you by our swords, and protect you by our bodies!"

Banu Amir also said similar things, but the tribe of Bani Sa'd replied, "Let us think about it, and we will get back to you with a response."

So, Mas'ud Ibn 'Amr wrote to Imam Husayn saying, "You come and I am going to be your helper. All of our necks are in your obedience."

When Imam Husayn read the reply, he said, "May God protect you on the Day of Judgment."

Later, Mas'ud gathered his army but, as they were on their way to meet the Imam at Karbala', the news reached them that Imam Husayn was killed. Mas'ud was very upset that he was not able to help the Imam in time.

One man in the city had ten children, and when the Imam's messenger came with the message, he gathered his children and said, "I am going to help Imam Husayn. Whoever wants to help me is welcome." Two of his sons, Abdullah and 'Ubaydullah, accepted. The three of them joined the Imam in Mecca and stayed with him until they were killed with him at Karbala'.

While the Imam was in Mecca, the people of Kufah sent letters inviting him, individually and in groups, all asking the Imam to come to Kufah. They stated that they were rejecting the governor of Kufah, an-Nu'man Ibn Bashir. The letters of invitation continued. In one day, he received six hundred letters.

They insisted, but he never replied to any of them. The last letter that came to him was from Shibth Ibn Rab'i, Hajjaj Ibn Abjar, Yazid Ibn al-Harith, Azra Ibn Qays, 'Amr Ibn al-Hajjaj, and Muhammad Ibn 'Umayr Ibn 'Utarib. Their letter said, "Indeed, people are waiting for you. They have no choice but you, O son of the Messenger of God! Hurry! Hurry! The land is green, the fruits are ripe, and if you arrive, you arrive to an army totally loyal to you."

The Imam received two sacs of letters, 12,000 in all, and wrote one letter in response to all of them. He gave replies to the last two messengers of Kufah, saying: "In the name of God, the Most Kind, the Most Merciful. From Husayn Ibn 'Ali, to the group of Muslims and believers: Indeed, Hani and Sa'id came to me carrying your letters and they are the last messengers that came from you. I understand every episode you have mentioned, and the arguments of most of you, 'We have no leader, come to us, and may God guide us through you to the truth.' Therefore, I send to you my brother and cousin; a trustworthy one from my family, and I commanded him to write to me about your situation and your decision. If he writes to me the decision of most of the people and the intelligent ones among you, as you have written to me and I have read your letters, then I will come to you as soon as possible. Indeed, a leader should follow the Qur'an and be just to the people. He should believe in truth and strain himself for the sake of God. Peace."

Then, he gave the letter to Muslim Ibn 'Aqil and said, "Go to Kufah. Whatever God wishes will happen, and I wish that you and I will be in the ranks of the martyrs. When you arrive in Kufah, reside with the reliable people."

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

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