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Warning to the People of Kufa

He then dismounted his camel and ordered Aqaba bin Sam'an to hobble it with a tie. The troops of the enemy marched towards him. Among them was Abdullah bin Hawza al-Temimi who shouted, "Is Hussain amongst you?" He said it three times. The followers of Hussain (A) replied, "This is Hussain, what do you want from him?" He retorted, "Oh Hussain! You lied. Be sure you will be consigned to hell". Hussain answered, "I come to a Lord who is forgiving, generous, commanding and intercessor. But who are you?" He replied, "I am Ibn Hawza". Hussain raised his hands very high so much so that his armpit showed and said, "Oh Allah! posses him to hell fire." Ibn Hawza became very angry and charged Hussain with his horse; there was a stream between them; he fell from his horse but his foot got entangled in the stirrup; the horse dragged him on the stones and trees; his free leg was severed; the rest of his body was still attached to the horse who threw him in the fire which was raging in the trench; he was burnt to death.

Imam Hussain (A) raised his voice and said, "Oh Allah! We are the Household of your Prophet, his progeny and his kinship, shatter those who did us injustice and usurped our fight. You are All-hearing, Near".

Masrooq bin Wa'il Al-Hadhrami said, "I was at the forefront of the horsemen which advanced to fight Hussain in the hope that I succeed in dealing a blow to him in order to get a prize from Ibn Ziyad. But when I saw what happened to Ibn Hawza, I was certain that the members of this house (the Household of the Prophet) have sanctity from and position with Allah. I then left their ranks and said to myself, "I am not fighting those people lest I should be in hell fire".

When the followers of Hussain (A) saw the determination of the people of the opposite camp to fight their Lord and Imam Hussain (A) Zuhair bin al-Qain came forward and stood in front of them and addressed them, "Oh people of Kufa! I warn you of the chastisement of Allah. It is incumbent on every Muslim to give counsel to his fellow Muslim. We are still brethren of one religion unless we resort to war. You need advice more than we do. If you resort to the sword there will no longer be any bond between us. We will be two nations (Ummas). Allah has entrusted us with the progeny of His Prophet, Mohammad (S) as a measure just to see how you and we behave towards them. We call upon you to support them and let down the dictator Yazid and Obaidullah bin Ziyad. Under their rule, you will only reap mistreatment, gouging of eyes, chopping of limbs, making a dreadful example of you, hanging you on tree trunks, killing your good men and reciters (of al-Qur'an) like Hijr bin Adi and his followers, and Hani' bin Urwah and his likes". He was heckled and interrupted by the people of Kufa; they swore at him and praised Ibn Ziyad and added that they would not budge until they killed Hani's companion (Imam Hussain) and those who were with him or sent them under escort to Ibn Ziyad.

Zuhair retorted, "Oh Men! the sons of Fatima have more right to befriend and support than the son of Sumayya. If you do not support them I pray to Allah that He guard you against killing them. You are therefore, requested to dissolve this man from Yazid; upon my life! He will be contented with your obedience without the killing of Hussain (A)".

Shimr shot at him with an arrow and said, "Shut up, May Allah silence your camel; we are fed up with your excessive talk".

Zuhair said, "Oh! you son of the incontinent, I do not mean you in my address for you are no more than an animal. I swear by the Almighty that you cannot master not even two ayas (verses) of the Book of Allah (Al-Qur'an). Surely, disgrace and chastisement will befall you on the day of judgement".

Shimr said, "Allah will kill you and your companion in an hour's time".

Zuhair said, "Are you threatening me with death. By the Almighty! Death with him is dearer to me than eternity with you".

Ziad then moved forward raising his voice and said, "Oh bondsmen of God! do not let this rude ruffian and his like deceive you. By the Almighty! Mohammad's (S) intercession is denied to those who shed the blood of his Progeny, and killed their supporters who protected their women."

A man from Hussain's camp called him and said, "Aba Abdillah (Hussain) says to you to come back. Upon my life! Like the faithful of the Pharaohs, you counselled and warned those people to the best of your ability. But alas! they do not seem to heed your admonition".

"When mortals to heinous gains are lured

Their doom, eternal, is procured

Wallow in lustful lap of wealth

With a joyful face, sparkling health

Gloat over, regale, waver not

Indulge, frolic; then meet your lot

Perpetual remorse, unceasing pain

(Ceaselessly equate the ephemeral gain)

Truth sustains, exists, prevails

Knavery flops, infamy fails,

Repent you surely will, I warn

Callously, my "platitudes" you scorn.

A dealer in platitudes, l am not

Explicit support for the faith I sought

Sanity, ethics, sense I preach

Pursue I do whatever I teach.

With effortless clarity I speak

I never talk with tongue-in-cheek

A torch, to light your way I show

Follow its beam and safely go.

Initiate don't an abject act

'Tis futile if done and then retract.

All discernible trends in human thought

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