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Stops on the Imam Husayn's (a.s.) Journey - Part 2


Here, someone came and asked Imam Husayn, "What is the Verse of Qur'an 'The day when we shall call all people by their leader.' about?"

The Imam replied, "A leader who calls to guidance and people obey his call and a leader who calls to misguidance and others follow him. One leads to heaven and the other leads to hell."

Also at this stop a man from Kufah met with the Imam and the Imam told him, "If I had met you in Medinah, I would have shown you the place of Gabriel in our house. (The window, in the house of the Prophet Muhammad, which was used as an entrance by the angel Gabriel, whenever he came to visit the Prophet) Do you think we do not know what we are doing?"

Another came and said, "O son of the Messenger of God! I see you with only a few followers."
The Imam pointed to a sack of letters and said, "This is filled with letters."


Here, the Imam saw a man coming from Kufah and asked him about the people there. The man said, "All of them are against you."

The Imam said, "Whatever God wishes will happen."


There was still no reply from his third messenger to Kufah, Qays Ibn Mashar al-Saydawi, but here, at Zubalah, the news reached the Imam that 'Abdullah Ibn Yaqtar, his second messenger to Kufah, was killed.

When he was captured he was sent to Ibn Ziyad, and Ibn Ziyad ordered him to go to the pulpit and curse the liar son of liars. 'Abdullah showed his willingness to do so, but when he went up he said, "O, people! I am the messenger of Husayn son of Fatimah, to help him against son of Marjanah! (Ibn Ziyad)"

Ibn Ziyad ordered him to be toppled from the top of the castle. He fell and broke most of his bones, but he was still able to talk. A man named Lakhmi, one of Ibn Ziyad's soldiers, came and cut off his head. When the people in the street asked him why he did that, he said, "To put him out of his misery."

After this news, the Imam announced, "Anyone who has joined this caravan for any purpose other than dying for this cause should leave now." And people left him except for those who chose to stay, his family, and his companions.


Here the Imam announced, "I am going to be killed and I saw in a dream that dogs are going to eat my flesh and the worst of those dogs will be an albino dog."

At this point, 'Amr Ibn Luthan asked the Imam to return to Medinah. The Imam replied, "I know your opinion but I do not do but what God wishes. Indeed, they are not going to leave me alone until they take out my insides and if they do that, they will be the most humiliated nation in the world."


Here, the Imam set camp and asked his children to re-supply with water and carry more water than they needed. When he heard one of his followers saying "Allahu Akbar," the Imam asked him, "Why did you say that?"

He answered, "I see palm trees in the far distance."

All the people around him said, "There are no palm trees around here in this desert?"

When they looked carefully, they saw spears and horses.

The Imam agreed and said, "That must be it." Then he asked, "Is there any shelter here?"

They told him there is a place called Dhu-Hasm on the left and that is the best place to take shelter. The Imam went there and set his camp.

Then, at noon, Hurr al-Riyahi, with 1,000 soldiers, appeared in front of the Imam, carrying a message from Ibn Ziyad ordering him to prevent the Imam from returning to Medinah or capture him and bring him to Kufah.

When the Imam saw that the army of Hurr was thirsty, he asked his followers to give them and their horses water. They gave all of them and all of their horses water except for the last animal. The inexperienced rider of this last camel came to the Imam, not knowing how to water his animal, and Imam Husayn told him, "Anikh al-Rawiyah."

In the Hijazi Arabic dialect, it means "loosen the ropes around the camel's neck" (so it can drink), but in the Kufi Arabic dialect it means "loosen the neck of the water bag." So, the soldier loosened the knot around the water bag and the water spilled out.

Then, Imam Husayn did it himself and showed the soldier how to loosen the ropes and let the camel drink. Then, after all of the army and their animals were finished drinking, the Imam stood and said, "I did not come here until all of your letters came to me, and the letters say that you do not have any leader and that you need me to help teach you guidance. If that is still your demand, give me something that shows that you are truthful in your promises, and if you do not like me, I will return to where I came from."

The soldiers were silent. No one spoke a word. Then, Hajjaj Ibn Masraq made the call to prayer for the Dhuhr -Noon- Prayer. The Imam said to Hurr, "You are the chief of your army. You go and pray with your own people."

Hurr replied, "No. We pray with your prayer." and Hurr, with all of his troops, prayed with the Imam.
When the Imam finished the prayer, he stood and said, "O people! Fear God and find the truth and follow it. We are the members of the House of the Prophet. We deserve trust more than those who do injustice. If you do not like us or you ignore our rights or you have changed your minds from whatever you have written to us before, then I will leave you."

Hurr said, "Written? I do not know what letters you are talking about!" The Imam asked one of his followers to bring two sacks of letters.

Hurr said, "I am not one of these people. I have been ordered not to leave you alone until I bring you back to Kufah to Ibn Ziyad.

The Imam said, "Death is before that." He turned and told his followers to get ready to ride their horses, but Hurr stopped them from going.

Then, for the first time in his life, the Imam spoke an insult, "Your mother sits mourning you." Then he said, "What do you want from us?"

Hurr replied, "If anyone beside you had said those words to me, l would have replied the same to him, but I cannot do that to you. However, take a road between you and Kufah, which does not reach Kufah nor goes to Medinah, until I write to Ibn Ziyad and see what his orders are. May God relieve me from this catastrophe."

Then he said to the Imam, "I bear witness that if you fight, you will be killed."

The Imam said, "Are you threatening me with death? Are you going to kill me? Are you helping the Messenger of God?"

When Hurr heard this, he turned around and left the Imam. He did not want a confrontation with the Imam.

The Imam's caravan continued in an unknown direction, and Hurr's army followed behind.


Here, the Imam gave a sermon to the people of Hurr:

"O people! The Messenger of God said, 'Whoever sees an unjust governor who changes the forbidden to allowed and who breaks his promise, who is against the tradition of the Prophets, who acts unjustly and does not do anything against it in action or in words, God will enter him where the unjust person enters.' Indeed, these people follow Satan and have left the obedience of God. They spread mischief, they abandon all rules, they misuse wealth, and they make the illegal legal and the legal illegal. I deserve this leadership more than anyone else. Your letters came to me and your deputies came to me offering allegiance to me, saying that you will not betray me and that if I lead you, you will succeed. I am Husayn, son of 'Ali and Fatimah, daughter of the Messenger of God. My soul is with your soul, my family is with your family, and I am one of you. If you do not do so and change your promise and your allegiance to me, that would not be a surprise to me. You have done so before to my father, my brother, and my cousin (Muslim Ibn 'Aqil). If you do that, you have missed your chance and you have lost your share and whoever breaks his promise he breaks it against himself. Peace be upon you."

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

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