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Exegesis of Ziyarate Naahiyah

(Continued from the previous issue of Al-Muntazar)

(3) “Salutations upon the one, whose soil (dust) is blessed with healing powers.”

The above sentence infers that Allah the Almighty has decreed the soil, upon which the pure blood of Imam Husain (a.s.) was spilled, to become a cure for every ailment.

Our magazine Al-Qaem Al- Munatazar (Muharram Special Issues) has devoted many articles in previous issues to ‘the dust with healing powers’. For more details, people should refer to these articles. However, we present just one tradition for the benefit our revered readers. Our seventh Imam, Hazrat Musa Kazim (a.s.) narrates in his will:

“…And do not eat anything of the soil of our graves for blessing. Surely, the (eating) of all soils has been prohibited except the dust of (the grave) of our forefather Husain (a.s.). Verily, Allah (s.w.t.) has made it a cure for our Shias and our friends…”

(Behaar al-Anwaar, Vol. 58, P. 225, extract of Oyoon -o- Akhbaar Ar-Reza Vol. 1, P. 85)

He (a.s.) mentions in another tradition:

“Our Shias are never devoid of four possessions: (1) Mat made from date leaves on which he can pray namaz (2) A ring on his finger (3) Miswaak for brushing (4) A rosary made from the dust of Husain (a.s.)’s grave having 33 beads in it. When he turns the beads in Allah’s remembrance (Zikr), Allah writes forty rewards for every bead. And when he turns them unmindfully, Allah writes for him, twenty rewards.”

(Behaar al-Anwaar, Vol. 76, P. 135, extract of Raudhah al-Waaezeen)

(4) “Salutations upon the one, under the dome of whose shrine, prayers are accepted.”

Without doubt, there is no place in the universe more revered and purer than the shrine of the Chief of the Martyrs (a.s.) where prayers are accepted.

Allamah Shaikh Muhammad Baqir Majlisi (a.r.) writes in his invaluable work ‘Behaar al-Anwaar’:

I have read this incident in the books of a few Shia Ulama that Sulaiman al-A’mash narrates, “I lived in Kufah. I had a neighbour whom I frequently visited. I met him one Thursday night and asked his opinion about the ziyarat of the grave of Husain (a.s.). He replied that the ziyarat of the grave of Husain (a.s.) was an innovation (bid’at). And every innovation was a deviation and all deviants would go to Hell.

Sulaiman says: Hearing this, I stood up in anger and rage. I deliberated that I would go to him the next morning and narrate some of the excellences and virtues of Imam Husain (a.s.). If he remained upon his hatred and enmity after this, I would kill him. I left for his house the next morning, knocked on his door and called out his name. (To my utter amazement) his wife answered that he had left for the ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) late last night.

Sulaiman continues: I followed him to Karbala. On entering the shrine, I saw a person performing prostrations to Allah, praying and crying. He was asking forgiveness from the Mighty Lord. He lifted his head after a long time and I recognised him. I asked him: O Shaikh! Just a day before, you were telling me that ziyarat of Husain (a.s.) was an innovation and that all innovations are deviations and that deviants would taste hell-fire. And now, you yourself have come for the ziyarat? He replied: O Sulaiman, do not rebuke me for I was not a believer in the Imamat of Ahle Bait (a.s.) until last night. But the vision I had dreamt in the first part of the night has shaken me. I enquired: And what did you dream of? He continued: I saw a noble person, of medium height, of such great stature and grace that words cannot describe. There were other personalities with him as if in a procession. There was a horse in front of them. He wore a four pointed crown with studded jewels whose brilliance could illuminate a distance of a journey of three days. I asked a few of his servants: Who is this dignified personality? They replied: He is Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.a.). I questioned: Who is the other person? They informed: Hazrat Ali Murtuza (a.s.), the successor of the Prophet. I looked beyond them. I saw a camel which was a brilliant light. A saddle of light was placed upon it with ladies sitting upon it. The camel was flying between the heavens and the earth. I asked: Whose camel is this? The answer came: The camel of Janabe Khadijah al-Kubra (s.a.) and Janabe Fatima Zahra (s.a.). I further enquired: Who is this youth? They replied: This is Imam Hasan Ibn Ali (a.s.). I asked: Where are these Pure Personalities going?

They replied: To visit the shrine of the martyr of Karbala, the oppressed of Nainawa, Imam Husain Ibn Ali (a.s.). I attempted to go towards the camel on which the princess, Hazrat Zahra (s.a.) was sitting when suddenly some pages with something written on them started to rain from the sky. I solicited: What are these Pages? The answer came: These are permits of freedom from the hell-fire for the pilgrims of Imam Husain (a.s.), those visitors who go for the ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) on Thursday night. On hearing this, I too requested for a permit. I was told: But you are of the view that visiting the shrine of Imam Husain (a.s.) is an innovation. You will definitely not receive a permit until you visit the shrine of Imam Husain (a.s.) and be steadfast in the belief of his greatness and elevated status.

As soon as I heard this, I woke up fearful and left immediately for the ziyarat of my master, Husain Ibn Ali (a.s.). I repent to God upon my past. By Allah! O Sulaiman, I will not separate from the grave of Husain (a.s.) until death overtakes me.

(Behaar al-Anwaar, Vol. 45, P. 401)

(5) “Salutations upon the one in whose progeny continues the chain of Imamat”.

It concurs that the chain of Imamat continued through Imam Husain (a.s.) and not through Imam Hasan Mujtaba (a.s.). This famous tradition of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) has been narrated by both Shia and Sunni scholars:

“O Abu Zar! …and soon nine of the Imams (a.s.) from the lineage of Husain (a.s.) who are infallible, will be steadfast on justice. And from us is the Mahdi of this ummah.” I asked: O Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.), how many are the Imams (a.s.) after you? He (s.a.w.a.) replied: “Their number is equal to the nuqaba of Bani Israel. (i.e. twelve).”

In yet another tradition, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) says:

“O Husain (a.s.)! You are an Imam, the son of an Imam, the brother of an Imam, the father of Imams. There will be nine Imams from your progeny.”

(Behaar al-Anwaar, Vol. 36, P. 312 narrating from Kifaayatul Asar)

It is possible that a question arises as to why the lineage progressed from Imam Husain (a.s.) and not Imam Hasan Mujtaba (a.s.)? This question was put forward by a companion of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.). Imam (a.s.) replied:

“Surely Hazrat Musa (a.s.) and Hazrat Haroon (a.s.) were messengers, prophets and brothers. But, Allah established prophethood in the progeny of Hazrat Haroon (a.s.) and not Hazrat Musa (a.s.). And nobody has the right to question the authority of Allah regarding this. Verily, Imamat on this earth is the representation of God, and nobody has the right to ask why Allah established it in the progeny of Imam Husain (a.s.) and not Imam Hasan (a.s.)? For, there is wisdom in all the acts of Allah (A.W.J.). He will not be asked regarding His action but people will be questioned regarding their actions.”

(Kamaaluddin of Shaikh. Saduq, P. 358 and Yanaabiul Mawaddah of Hafez Shaikh Sulaiman Qondoozi)

(6) “Salutations upon the son of Seal of the Prophets.”

The seal of the Prophets is one of the titles of our Prophet, Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.a.). He (s.a.w.a.) was the seal of all Messengers and Prophets, i.e. there is neither any messenger nor any prophet after him. This is an open announcement of the Holy Quran and traditions. It is also a fundamental of Islamic faith. If someone harbours the belief that there can be any messenger or prophet after the Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad Ibn Abdillah (s.a.w.a.) or another shariah or a new religion, then surely he has departed from the religion of Islam. He will no longer be called a Muslim. The Holy Qur’an has announced this in Surah Ahzab: Verse 40.

“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Apostle of Allah and the Last of the prophets…”

Those desirous of further information can refer to books written on this subject of Khaatamiyyat. To put it briefly, proponents of new religions like Qadiyaaniat or Bahaai’iat were indeed false claimants and pseudo-Prophets and their adherents and sympathizers are outside the pale of Islam.

It is elucidated in this verse of Ziyarate Naahiyah that Imam Husain (a.s.) is the son of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). A few of the ignorant and some of the opponents question the correctness of the assertion that Imam Husain (a.s.) is the son of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), while he (a.s.) is of the progeny of Hazrat Ali Murtuza (a.s.) and Janabe Fatima (s.a.). This question has been answered by the Holy Quran itself. At the time of revelation of Ayah Mubaahelaa (Surah Aale Imraan: Verse 61), the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was ordered:

“..Then say (O Prophet): Come let us call our sons and your sons…”

All Shia and Sunni exegeses are unanimous that, upon revelation of this verse, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had only taken Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.) along with him to the field of malediction (Mubahilah) as “our sons” of the verse. Innumerable narrations quote the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a.) saying: “my son Husain.” Hence the doubts are either due to ignorance or sheer enmity.

(7) “Salutations upon the son of the chief of vicegerents.”

It is apparent that the ‘chief of vicegerents’ represents the master of the universe, Ameerul Momeneen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.). Imam Sadiq (a.s.) narrates: Hazrat Jibraeel (a.s.) came to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and said:

“(O Prophet) Surely Allah selected you as the chief of the messengers and made Ali as the chief of the vicegerents.”

Hence, Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) is the chief and master of all the vicegerents, whether they precede him or the eleven Imams (a.s.) who succeed him. And this promise has been made by the Almighty God Himself. Imam Husain (a.s.) is the son of the chief of the vicegerents, which increases his superiority and excellence.

(8) “Salutations upon the son of Fatima Zahra (s.a.), Salutations upon the son of Khadijatul Kubra (s.a.).”

The world knows about the position and distinction of Fatima Zahra (s.a.). It is sufficient to note that she is the leader of the women of the world. Numerous verses have been revealed in the Holy Qur’an eulogizing her majesty and splendour.

She is the daughter of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), the wife of Ali (a.s.) and the mother of Imams (a.s.).

Similarly, narratives would fall short in describing the sacrifices of Janabe Khadijatul Kubra (s.a.). She is the lady who spent all her wealth in the way of the Lord. She also made such momentous contributions as a devout wife that people were astonished. She was a true helper of Islam.

Did the Muslims repay her kindness and obligations to Islam? Had they really done so, her grandson Husain (a.s.) would not have been martyred in the battlefield of Karbala with his family, friends and companions after being kept hungry and thirsty for three days.

The lineage of the chief of the martyrs was discussed in these verses of Ziyarate Nahiyaa. This was to clarify that the war of Karbala was not a fight between two princes (as some of the fools perceive) but a battle between the Divine and the Satanic, between truth and falsehood. (Will be continued in the next issue, Inshaallah).

Allah the High sent Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.a.) as His Prophet and Messenger and took the responsibility of all his words and deeds on Himself. All of his (s.a.w.a.) words bore divine endorsement and all his deeds were approved by the Almighty. Nay, these were divine acts in themselves. Allah the Almighty declares in the Holy Quran,

“And he speaks not of his own desire. It is not but what has been revealed to him.”

(Surah Najm (53): Verses 2&3)

In another place, Allah – Mighty and Majestic be He – approves (the actions of the Holy Prophet s.a.w.a.).

“And you did not shoot an arrow when you shot, but it was Allah Who shot the arrow.”

(Surah Anfaal (8): Verse 14)

From the above two verses, it is amply demonstrated that Allah – Glorified be He – has regarded the words and deeds of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) as His Own. The inevitable consequence is marked out in the following verse,

“And whosoever obeys the Messenger, indeed, he has obeyed Allah.”

(Surah Nisaa (4): Verse 80)

“And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, then surely for him is the fire of the Hell; in it shall he reside forever.”

(Surah Jinn (72): Verse 33)

Moreover, the Holy Quran commands its followers thus:

“And whatever the Messenger gives you, you take it; and from whatever he refrains you, keep away from it.”

(Surah Hashr (59): Verse 7)

Keeping the aforementioned verses and numerous other similar verses in consideration, everybody can comprehend the fact that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) did not speak anything from his own side and none of his talks were emotional outbursts. They were definitely not due to personal love or proximity. Rather, whatever he (s.a.w.a.) uttered was from Allah’s side. Every single word uttered by him (s.a.w.a.) was the interpretation of Divine will. The complete personality of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) was divine and godly. In other words, all the attributes of Allah, beautiful as well as majestic, are manifested in his persona. He (s.a.w.a.) is the most perfect manifestation of divine attributes. Considering the above, kindly pay attention to the following tradition:

Ya’laa Ibn Murrah narrates, “We accompanied the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) to an invite. On the way, Imam Husain (a.s.) was playing. Right in front of us, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) ran ahead and stretched his hands. The child was running here and there. Seeing this, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) was laughing (in amusement). Finally, he (s.a.w.a.) took the child in his arms, placed one hand on his chin and the other on his head, hugged him and declared, ‘Husain is from me and I am from Husain (a.s.). Allah loves the one who loves Husain (a.s.). Husain (a.s.) is my grandson.’

From the aspect of the chain of narrators, this tradition is very reliable and authentic. The author of Saheeh Bukhari, Hafiz Muhammad Ibn Ismaaeel Bukhari, has recorded it in his book, ‘Al-Adab al-Ghurar’.  Besides this, Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, vol. 2, p. 172,  Haafez Ibn Maaja in his Sunan, vol. 1, p. 64 and Haafez Muhammad Ibn Isa Tirmidhi in his Saheeh, vol. 13, p. 195 have also recorded the above tradition. Moreover, sixty traditionalists and scholars have chronicled it in their respective books. All these references are Sunni references; of these Sunan Ibn Maaja and Sunan Tirmidhi are counted amongst the six most authentic Sunni books (Sehaah al-Sittah).

On deliberating the words of the tradition it becomes apparent that the personalities of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and Imam Husain (a.s.) cannot be separated from each other. They are two faces of the same coin. This ‘sameness’ is possible only if Imam Husain (a.s.)’s infallibility is accepted and each and every act of his is in accordance with divine satisfaction and not a single moment of his life should have contradicted it. In the light of this tradition, barring Messengership and Prophethood, all the perfections applicable to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) would apply for the holy being of Imam Husain (a.s.). It is obligatory to respect and revere Imam Husain (a.s.) just as it is for the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). Similarly, it is compulsory to obey Imam Husain (a.s.) as it was to comply with the orders of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). In other words, the defiance and disobedience to Imam Husain (a.s.) is tantamount to that of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), which by all means is non-permissible.

The second statement of the tradition “Allah loves him who loves Husain (a.s.)” establishes in no uncertain terms that in the entire life of Imam Husain (a.s.), there is not a single aspect or facet that is disliked by Allah the Almighty. Love for Imam Husain (a.s.) would be the love for Allah only if each and every thought, word and deed of his life is in accordance with divine approval.  Consequently, bearing even an iota of dislike or hatred towards this beloved grandson of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) would inevitably lead to Allah’s wrath and displeasure. Obviously, to displease Allah and invite His wrath is in total contrast with Islamic teachings and expectations. If somebody does it wittingly, he becomes eligible for eternal chastisement. So, in the light of this tradition, since every step of Imam Husain (a.s.) in accordance with divine agreement, every step of Yazid is against godly approval and such a person can never be addressed as ‘may Allah be satisfied with him’ (raziallaho anhu).

Before we proceed, let us take the liberty of narrating a few more traditions regarding Imam Husain (a.s.). Please note that all of these are recorded and well-chronicled in the books of the Ahle Sunnah.

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) declared,

“O Allah! Surely, I love him (Imam Husain (a.s.)), You too love him and I love the one who loves Husain (a.s.).”

(Marefato Uloom al-Hadis, Haakem Neishapuri, p. 89)

On seeing Imam Husain (a.s.), he (s.a.w.a.) remarked,

“Whoever loves him loves me.”

(Al-Mo’jam al-Kabir of Tabaraani, p. 133; Majma’ al-Zawaaed of Haithami, vol. 9, p. 185)

Jabir narrates, “We were in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) when Imam Husain (a.s.) entered thirsty. He (s.a.w.a.) asked for water but it was not available. So, he (s.a.w.a.) placed his tongue in the mouth of Imam Husain (a.s.) due to which his thirst was quenched.”

(Maqtal al-Husain (a.s.) of Khaarazmi, p. 152)

One day, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was proceeding to the home of Janabe Fatima Zahra (a.s.) from the house of Umm al-Momeneen Ayesha , when he (s.a.w.a.) heard the voice of Imam Husain (a.s.) crying. He (s.a.w.a.) said,

“Are you not aware that his crying hurts me?”

(Majma’ al-Zawaaed, vol. 9, p. 201; Al-Mo’jam al-Kabir of Tabaraani, p. 146)

Hudhaifah Ibn al-Yamaan recounts, “I saw the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) holding the hand of Imam Husain (a.s.) and saying, ‘O People! This is Husain – the son of Ali.  Recognize him and give him preference over others. The status of his grandfather is greater in the eyes of Allah than that of the grandfather of (Prophet) Yusuf Ibn Yaqub. This is Husain – the son of Ali. His paternal and maternal grandmothers both are in Paradise. His parents are in Paradise. His uncle too is in Paradise. His maternal aunt (father’s sister) is also in Paradise. His brother is in Paradise and so is he himself. Those who love him will be in Paradise and the lovers of his lovers too will be in Paradise.”

Al-Manaaqeb of Ibn Maghaazeli, p. 214; Yanaabee’ al-Mawaddah, p. 278

Can one ever think in the wildest of his imaginations that Imam Husain (a.s.), in whose glory and praise the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) has said such traditions, would rise and rebel for worldly power  While, Allah the Almighty in His narration of the story of the tyrannical Pharaoh (Firaon) and His Proof, Prophet Musa (a.s.), declares in no uncertain terms,

“(As for) that future abode, We assign it to those who have no desire to exalt themselves in the earth nor to make mischief and the good end is (only) for those who guard (against evil).”

(Surah Qasas (28): Verse 83)

There is a very famous Prophetic narration accepted by all Muslims,

“Surely, Hasan and Husain are the leaders of the youths of Paradise.”

The leadership of Paradise will be given only to those who don’t desire any exaltation or supremacy in the land. Had the life of Allah’s religion and the protection of the divine Shariah not been the sole objective of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) uprising against Yazid – the accursed – and had he desired worldly power, supremacy and control, surely he (a.s.) would not have been bestowed with the lofty position of leadership of the youths of Paradise. The aforementioned Quranic verse and Prophetic tradition amply demonstrate that the goal of his (a.s.) uprising was certainly not worldly. Such preposterous ideas can be propounded only by those who don’t possess an iota of cognition vis-?-vis Imam Husain (a.s.).

Imam Husain’s (a.s.) martyrdom was not an accident that occurred unexpectedly for anybody to exonerate Yazid citing ignorance as a pretext, otherwise he would not have allowed this to transpire. Rather, the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.) was an event that was prophesied by none other than the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) a number of times. He (s.a.w.a.) not only prophesied martyrdom in general but also gave the details like the name of his killer, the fate of the killer, the land of martyrdom, etc. We will present a few traditions hereunder, albeit keeping brevity in consideration:

Prophecy Through A Dream

The mother of the faithful, Janab Umme Salmah (r.a.) narrates, “One night, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) was asleep when suddenly, he (s.a.w.a.) got up in a state of extreme anxiety. After a brief while, he (s.a.w.a.) went back to sleep. Again, after some time, he (s.a.w.a.) got up from his sleep in angst, only to lie down again. But when he (s.a.w.a.) woke up for the third time, he (s.a.w.a.) had some red-colored soil in his hand, which he (s.a.w.a.) was kissing copiously. I asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah! What is this soil?’ He (s.a.w.a.) replied,

“Archangel Jibraeel (a.s.) informed me that this is the soil of Iraq where my beloved Husain will be martyred. I asked Jibraeel to show me the soil where Husain will be killed and he brought for me this piece of clay.”

(Al-Mustadrak of Haakim Neishapouri, vol. 4, p. 398)

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) was informed of this incident in his dream. Its importance can be gauged from the fact that it was not shown all at once.

News in the House of Umm-e-Salmah (r.a.)

Janabe Umme Salmah (r.a.) informs that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) was in my house when Husain (a.s.) was with me. He (a.s.) wanted to go the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) when I took him in my arms. He (a.s.) started crying, so I left him. Again, as he (a.s.) proceeded towards the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), I took him in my arms and yet again he started crying. Jibraeel (a.s.) asked, ‘O Muhammad! Do you love him?’ He (s.a.w.a.) replied in the affirmative. Jibraeel (a.s.) prophesied, ‘Soon, your nation will kill him. If you desire, I can show you the soil of the land where he will be martyred. Jibraeel (a.s.) stretched his hand and brought the soil from the land  of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) martyrdom. At this, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) started crying.

(Eqd al-Fareed, vol. 2, p. 219)

In this tradition, along with the news of the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.), it is also proved that crying at the sight of the soil of Karbala is the tradition (sunnah) of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

When The Soil Turned Into Blood

Janabe Umme Salmah (r.a.) recounts, “I saw the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) stroking the head of Imam Husain (a.s.) with utmost affection and crying. I asked him (s.a.w.a.) the cause of his crying. He (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‘Jibraeel informed me that this son of mine will be killed in a land called Karbala.’ Thereafter, he (s.a.w.a.) gave me a fistful of red soil and said, ‘This is the soil where Husain will be killed. When this soil turns into blood, you conclude that Husain has been martyred.’ I kept this soil in a glass bottle and said to myself that the day this glass bottle contains blood will be a day of colossal calamity.”

(Zakhaaer al-Uqba, p. 147; Yanaabee’ al-Mawaddah, p. 319)

Janabe Umme Salmah was in Madina when Imam Husain (a.s.) was martyred in Karbala. But the soil turning into blood on the Day of Aashurah shows the far ranging effects of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) martyrdom and that its news was conveyed to distant Madina. We will mention a similar tradition ahead.

Cursing The Killers

Ibn Abbas recounts, “A few days before his death, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) had embarked on a journey. When he (s.a.w.a.) returned, his face turned red. At this juncture, he (s.a.w.a.) delivered a brief but extremely eloquent sermon while tears flowed down his cheeks incessantly. His words were as follows:”

“O people! I am leaving behind you two weighty things: the Book of Allah and my Ahle Bait (a.s.)….Yes, pay attention! Jibraeel has informed me that my nation will kill Husain at Karbala. May Allah curse the killers of Husain and subject them to perpetual disgrace.”

(Maqtal al-Khaarazmi, vol.1, p. 164)

He (s.a.w.a.) Exhibited the Land  of Karbala

Ibn Abbas chronicles, “Imam Husain (a.s.) was sitting in the lap of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). Jibraeel asked him (a.s.), ‘Do you love him?’ He (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‘And why should I not love him? He is the apple of my eye.’ At this, Jibraeel said, ‘Yes. Your nation will kill him. Should I not show you his grave? Jibraeel picked up a fistful of soil. It was red in color.”

(Al-Bidaayah wa al-Nihaayah of Ibn Katheer, vol. 6, p. 230)

Martyrdom will occur in 60 A.H.

Janab Umme Salmah (r.a.) quotes on the authority of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), “Husain Ibn Ali will be killed in the beginning of the 60th year of my migration.”

(Majma’ al-Zawaaed, vol. 9, p. 190)

Yazid The Killer

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) declared,

“Yazid! May Allah never bless Yazid! It is because of him that I have received the news of Husain’s martyrdom and I have also been informed about his killer. Those, in front of whom this battle will transpire but will not help and assist Husain, will be subjected to the chastisement of Allah.”

(Muntakhab Kanz al-Ummaal, Marginal Notes on the Musnad of Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, vol. 5, p. 111)

In another narration, he (s.a.w.a.) informed,

“Allah will instill disputes and disagreements in the hearts of those who will not help Husain and make the evil and tyrants dominate them.”

Narration of Janab-e-Ayesha

Urwah Ibn Zubair has quoted the following tradition on the authority of Ayesha, “Husain Ibn Ali came to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) when revelation was descending upon him (s.a.w.a.). Husain was on the back of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). Jibraeel asked him (s.a.w.a.), ‘Do you love him?’ He (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‘O Jibraeel! Will I not love my son?’ To which Jibraeel responded, ‘Your nation will kill him after you.’ Thereafter, Jibraeel extended his hand and handed over some white soil to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and said, ‘Your son will be killed in this land and its name is Tuff. (One of the names of Karbala is Tuff). When Jibraeel went away, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) came out of the house, with the soil firmly clutched in his hand, and was crying bitterly. He (s.a.w.a.) said, ‘O Ayesha! Jibraeel has informed me that my son (Husain) will be martyred in the land of Tuff. After me, my nation will be severely examined.’ When the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) came to the companions, they asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah! What made you cry?’ He (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‘Jibraeel informed me that after me, my son will be killed in the land  of Tuff. He also gave me the soil in which he will be buried.”

(Al-Mo’jam al-Kabir of Tabaraani, p. 144)

Traditions concerning the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.) have been narrated not only by Janabe Umme Salmah, Ibn Abbas and Janabe Ayesha  but also by Ameerul Momeneen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), Anas Ibn Haarith, Ma’az Ibn Jabal, Abu Umaamah, Zainab Binte Jahsh, Umm al-Fazl Binte Haarith, Anas Ibn Maalik, etc. Those interested in details may refer to Ehqaaq al-Haqq, vol. 11.

After perusing the above traditions, it becomes manifest that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) has on a number of occasions, in numerous places and in front of many persons informed about the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.). Not only did he notify, but he even named the land where he will be killed, the exact place of his martyrdom, showed the soil of the land where he will be martyred and even ordered the people to preserve and revere this soil and land. He gave the date of martyrdom and named the killer. Moreover, whenever he (s.a.w.a.) mentioned the incidents related to Imam Husain’s (a.s.) martyrdom, he (s.a.w.a.) wept bitterly. When the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.) bore such an impact before its actual occurrence, one can only imagine its after-effects. In this regard, please pay attention to the tradition of Janabe Umme Salmah and Ibn Abbas. Allamah Muhammad Ibn Isa Tirmidhi has recorded a tradition on the authority of Umme Salmah, “Once, I went to Umme Salmah and saw her crying. I enquired the reason for the same. She replied, ‘I dreamt that there was dust on the holy head and beard of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). I asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah! What is this state in which I am seeing you?’ He (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‘I am returning after witnessing the martyrdom of Husain.

(Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, vol. 13, p. 193)

Besides Tirmidhi, twenty six other narrators have recorded this tradition.

(Ehqaaq al-Haqq, vol. 11, pp. 355-359)

Ibn Abbas narrates, “One afternoon, I saw the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) in my dream while there was dust on his head and face. He (s.a.w.a.) had a glass in his hand in which there was blood. I asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah! May my parents be held your ransom! Why are you in this state?’ He (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‘This is the blood of Husain and his companions. Since morning, I am collecting their blood.’ Ibn Abbas says, ‘Later, when we counted, it was the day of the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.)’.”

(Musnad-o-Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, vol. 1, p. 283

From the aforementioned reliable traditions, it is proved beyond doubt that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) was present in Karbala at the time of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) martyrdom. Not only was he (s.a.w.a.) witnessing the martyrdom but was affected to the extent that his head, face and body was covered in dust. He (s.a.w.a.) was not only present but was also collecting the sacrosanct blood of Imam Husain (a.s.) and his companions.

In yet another tradition, he (s.a.w.a.) sighed,

“Alas! O Ibn Abbas, do you know what my nation did after me? They killed my Husain. This is the blood of Husain and his companions. I will present this blood in front of Allah the Almighty.”

Al-Bedaayah wa al-Nehaayah, vol. 8, p. 200

One can only imagine the importance and significance of the drops of blood collected by the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and presented in the presence of Allah the Almighty. Can a true and sincere Muslim have any sympathy or attachment towards those who have shed this holy blood?

Can anyone find any other incident in the annals of Islam when the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) has himself collected the blood of the martyrs? No, never. Thus, the very fact that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) collected the blood of the extremely loyal and devoted companions of Imam Husain (a.s.) at Karbala is sufficient to establish that their martyrdom is the greatest martyrdom and the martyrs of Karbala are the most superior of all martyrs.

Moreover, would the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) ever collect the blood and be so mournful and grief-struck for somebody who lays down his life in the quest for worldly power and kingdom (we seek refuge in Allah from such preposterous and outrageous assumptions)? Such outlandish ideas can be propounded only by those who are completely ignorant and uninformed of the holy status and elevated position of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). On the contrary, his (s.a.w.a.) presence in Karbala and his collection of the blood of the loyal companions of Imam Husain (a.s.) proves beyond dispute that each drop of the devoted soldiers of Imam Husain (a.s.) was shed in the way of Allah the Gracious. This martyrdom was only and only for Allah the High, none else. If someone does not acknowledge that the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.) and his loyal companions was solely in the way of Allah the High, it does not – by any means – affect its greatness and significance; rather, it only proves the wretchedness and misfortune of the person bearing such an idea.

It should also be borne in mind that the reaction displayed by the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) was not on account of the blood-relation he (s.a.w.a.) enjoyed with Imam Husain (a.s.). In other words, his response was not of an ordinary human but it was because of the eminence and importance of this martyrdom in front of Allah the Almighty. Therefore, this was the reaction of the Messenger and his Messengership, not his human aspect; a Messenger whose thoughts, words and actions -without exception – are bound by divine inspiration and revelation.

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) in the Presence of Allah the High

Allamah Khaarazmi in his book Maqtal al-Husain (vol. 1, p. 173) has related the following tradition:

“In his will to his son Yazid, Muawiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan said that Ibn Abbas has narrated to me the following tradition, ‘I was present when the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) was on his death-bed and breathing his last in this transient world. He (s.a.w.a.) embraced Imam Husain (a.s.) and said,

‘O Husain! On the Day of Judgment, I will stand in the court of Allah against your killer. I will be the complainant against him. I am happy that on the Day of Judgment, Allah will make me stand against your killer.’

Then, Muawiyah said to Yazid, ‘O Son! This was the narration of Ibn Abbas. Now, I will relate to you a quote from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) which I have heard from him (s.a.w.a.) directly. He (s.a.w.a.) said, ‘My beloved Jibraeel came to me one day and said, ‘O Muhammad! Your nation will kill your son Husain and his killer will be the most accursed person of your nation.’ Thereafter, he (s.a.w.a.) proceeded to continuously curse the killer of Husain (a.s.).

Muawiyah’s narration of two traditions to his son Yazid – the accursed – one from Ibn Abbas and other from his own self was certainly not meaningless and insignificant. Muawiyah was aware of his son’s nature. He desired that his son should not participate in this killing. But adventurous and wild kids never obey their parents, do they?

Janab-E-Zahra (s.a.) in the Presence of Allah The High

Ameerul Momeneen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) has narrated a tradition from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.),

“On the Day of Judgment, my daughter Fatima will come with a dress soaked in blood and will plead by holding the leg of the Divine Throne, ‘O Just  Lord! You judge between me and my son’s killer!’ The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) said, ‘By the Lord of the Ka’bah! Allah the High will rule in favour of my daughter Fatima.”

(Maqtal al-Husain of Khaarazmi, vol. 2, p. 52)

Allama Haafiz Shaikh Sulaiman Qundoozi – the author of Yanaabee’ al-Mawaddah – has recorded the following tradition in his book,

“Ameerul Momeneen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) has cited on the authority of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.),

‘On the Day of Judgment, an announcer will call out from the foot of the Divine Throne: O people! Shut your eyes so that Fatima – the daughter of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) – may pass with the blood-soaked dress of her son Husain’. She will come to the foot of the Throne and plead, ‘O Allah! You are Mighty and Just. You judge between me and the killer of my son.’ I swear by the Lord of the Ka’bah! Allah will rule in favour of my daughter.” After this, Janab-e-Fatima (s.a.) will say, ‘O Allah! Those who shed tears on the martyrdom of my son Husain, please accept my intercession for them.’ Allah the Gracious will accept her intercession for all of them.”

(Yanaabee’ al-Mawaddah, p. 260)

The aforementioned traditions prove that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and Hazrat Zahra (s.a.) will file complaints against the killer of Imam Husain (a.s.) in the court of Allah the Just. When such personalities are the complainants, one can only imagine the fate of the convicts. These traditions are strong evidence that those who were involved in the killing of Imam Husain (a.s.), firstly, they will not get the opportunity to repent and secondly, even if for the sake of argument, we accept the case of the shameless partisans of the wretched killers of Imam Husain (a.s.) that they may have repented for their deeds, it can be easily concluded from the above quotes that their repentance was not accepted by Allah the Just and Mighty.

Moreover, the killing of Imam Husain (a.s.) is from the category of the rights of humans. So, only the close relatives of Imam Husain (a.s.) like the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), Janab-e-Zehra (s.a.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) – who are his rightful heirs – have the right to revenge or forgiveness. It is evident that these holy personalities (a.s.) have certainly not forgiven the killers of Imam Husain (a.s.). Otherwise, there was no need at all to present their complaints in the court of Allah the Almighty on the Day of Judgment.

Killer of Imam Husain (a.s.) in a Casket of Fire

Not only has the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) prophesized about complaining against his killer on the Day of Judgment and its ruling but he (s.a.w.a.) has also mentioned about the most painful chastisement for his killer. Such traditions are so many that they cannot be refuted. The eighth Imam, Hazrat Ali Ibn Musa al-Reza (a.s.) has narrated a tradition vide his ancestors from Ameerul Momeneen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) prophesied,

‘The killer of Husain will be in a casket of fire. Half of the punishment of Hell will be unleashed on him. His hands and feet will be tied in chains of fire and he will be dragged around in the hell-fire on his face till he is thrown in the lowest pit of hell. His smell will be so foul and pungent that the inmates of hell will complain about its stink to Allah. He will stay in this painful chastisement forever. When his skin will be completely roasted, it will be replaced with a new skin that he may feel its pain continually.”

(Maqtal al-Husain of Khaarazmi, vol. 2, p. 83)

Besides Khaarazmi, eight other scholars have recorded this tradition.

From the above narration it is amply evident that the story of repentance by Imam Husain’s (a.s.) killers is the concoction of their wretched partisans. There isn’t an iota of truth to it.

Who is the Killer?

Some people pin the blame of killing of Imam Husain (a.s.) only on those present in Karbala. Since Yazid was not physically present in Karbala, therefore, some of his pitiful supporters try their best to exonerate him from the heinous act of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) murder.

We have mentioned earlier that apart from Shiite scholars, a multitude of Sunni scholars too have laid the blame of killing Imam Husain (a.s.) on Yazid’s shoulders. Keeping brevity into consideration, we shall present only two arguments:

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1)   The Holy Quran, in Surah Baqarah, from verses 47-98, has addressed the Jews in various ways. This address is in the second person and present tense. That is, those Jews are addressed who were present in the time of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and are being reprimanded for the crimes they have not committed. For example,

a)   When we saved you from the chastisement of the progeny of Firaon (verse 49)

b)   When we carved a path for you in the midst of the ocean (verse 50)

c)   You were unjust to yourselves by worshipping the calf (verse 54)

d)   When you said to Musa, ‘We shall not believe in Allah till we see him evidently. (verse 55)

e)   Then We made the clouds shadow you and send down heavenly foods (mann and salwa) for you. (verse 57)

f)   And you said that one dish will not suffice us (verse 61)

g)   When you were unjust concerning the Sabbath (verse 65)

h)   So when messengers from Allah came to you, whom you detested, so some of them you denied and others you killed. (verse 87)

There are numerous such verses in the Holy Quran. Why did Allah the Almighty address them and why on earth did He reprimand them for crimes that they did not commit? Why did He curse and reproach them for no fault of theirs? For, the Jews of the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) era were not directly involved in these misdemeanors. More importantly, they even did not exonerate themselves in front of Allah’s reproach citing their absence.

The reason for the Holy Quran addressing them and holding them responsible for the offenses and felonies of their forefathers was their agreement with the misdemeanors of their ancestors. Forget about denouncing the misdeeds of their ancestors, they were proud of their crimes and continued with their evil ways. Therefore, the Holy Quran has established this law: If somebody is not the perpetrator of a crime but is satisfied with it, he will be enumerated amongst those who have committed it and will be subjected to equal condemnation and reproach.

2)   True, Yazid was personally not present in Karbala but the moot point is that it was he who appointed Ibn Ziyad as the Governor of Kufah. Also, who can deny the fact that Yazid had summoned the Ahle Bait (a.s.) to Syria in his court as captives? The holy head of Imam Husain (a.s.) was kept right in front of him and he was playing with it with his stick!! Are these not enough evidences that Yazid was satisfied with the killing of Imam Husain (a.s.)? Now, kindly pay attention to the following incidents that have been recorded by Sunni historians in their books as these were related to history (i.e. not recorded in the books of traditions because they are not related to traditional issues):

“Ibn Ziyad imprisoned the Ahle Bait (a.s.) in Kufah. He sent a letter to them wrapped in stone in which it was written, ‘Regarding your affairs, I had sent a messenger to Syria (to Yazid). He has brought this message from Yazid, ‘Dispatch the family of Husain to Syria’.

(Tarikh Tabari, vol. 6, p. 266)

“Ibn Ziyad sent the heads of Imam Husain (a.s.) and his companions to Yazid with Zajr Ibn Qais, Abaa Bordah Ibn Auf Azdi, Taariq Ibn Zibyaan and a group of Kufans.”

(Tarikh Tabari, vol. 6, p. 264; Tarikh Ibn Atheer, vol. 4, p. 34; Al-Bedaayah, vol. 8, p. 191)

“Along with these heads, he also sent (Imam) Ali Ibn Husain (a.s.) in a state that his hands were tied around his neck and his womenfolk kept him company.”

(Tarikh Tabari, vol. 6, p. 254)

“One would tremble on seeing their state.”

(Tarikh al-Qermani, p. 108)

Yaafei has recorded thus,

“The daughters of Husain Ibn Ali were taken as captives. They were accompanied by Ali Ibn Husain who was ill then and were paraded as prisoners. May Allah curse and condemn the doers of this act.”

(Mir’aat al-Jinaan, vol. 1, p. 134)

“This caravan of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) family reached Syria on the first of Safar.”

(Tarikh Tabari, vol. 6, p. 266)

“At that moment, Yazid – the accursed -was sitting at a place called ‘Jabaroon’. When he saw the heads of the martyrs hoisted on the lances and the caravan of captives, a crow passed over him crowing incessantly. To capture the entire scenario, which undoubtedly thrilled him no end, Yazid – the accursed – said an impromptu poem, the concept of which was as follows,

When the captives appeared and so did

The heads at the lips of Jabaroon

The crow crowed, so I said, You say or you don’t

I have avenged my debt from the Messenger

Based on this poem, Ibn Jauzi, Qazi Abu Ya’laa, Taftaazaani and Jalaaluddin Suyuti have declared Yazid to be an infidel and permitted him to be cursed.

(Rooh al-Ma’ani by Aaloosi, vol. 26 p. 73)

Aaloosi writes, “Yazid’s statement that I have avenged my debt from the Messenger implied that he had taken revenge of his kith and kin killed at the hands of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his companions in the Battle of Badr. This is clear disbelief; there is no doubt about it.”

Are the above references not enough proof that not only was Yazid satisfied with the killing of Imam Husain (a.s.) but was also thrilled at holding the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) family as captives and on seeing the severed craniums of the martyrs raised on the lances of his soldiers.

Would Yazid celebrate the killing of Imam Husain (a.s.) if he was truly sorrowful and remorseful for what happened? There are numerous such incidents. Again, keeping conciseness as a criterion, we present hereunder only a few:

“Before taking the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) family in the court of Yazid, all the womenfolk were tied with one rope, one end of which was lassoed around the neck of Imam Zainul Aabedeen, Ali Ibn Husain (a.s.). Zainab, Umme Kulthum and other daughters of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) family were tied in the same rope. Whenever they stopped walking on account of fatigue and tiredness, they were whipped mercilessly till they were accosted to the court of Yazid, who was (unabashedly and shamelessly) perched on his throne.  Imam Ali Ibn Husain (a.s.) addressed Yazid thus, ‘If the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) sees us in this state, what will be your fate?’ On hearing this heart-rending statement, all those present started crying. Yazid the accursed ordered the rope to be cut.”

(Lohoof of Sayed Ibn Tawoos, p. 101; Tazkerah al-Khawaas, p. 49)

“The womenfolk were made to stand on the door of the Mosque and the holy head of Imam Husain (a.s.) was kept in front of Yazid.”

(Mir’aat al-Jinaan of Yaafei vol. 1, p. 135)

“Yazid ordered that the head of Imam Husain (a.s.) be brought and he placed it in front of him in a golden tray.”

(Mir’aat al-Jinaan of Yaafei vol. 1, p. 135)

“The womenfolk were standing behind. Zainab and Sakina were trying to take a glance at the head of Imam Husain (a.s.).  Yazid was trying to hide it. When they finally did manage to see it, they broke down.”

(Al-Kaamil of Ibn Atheer, vol. 4, p. 35; Majma’ al-Zawaaed, vol. 9, p. 195)

“They were ultimately allowed to enter the court.”

(Al-Kaamil of Ibn Atheer, vol. 4, p. 35)

Now, hold your heart and listen to this heart-wrenching fact recorded in history,

“Yazid took a stick and started hitting the lips of Imam Husain (a.s.) with it!!!”

(Tarikh Tabari, vol. 6, p. 267; Al-Kaamil of Ibn Atheer, vol. 4, p. 35; al-Sawaaeq al-Mohreqah, p. 116; Majma’ al-Zawaaed, vol. 9, p. 195; Al-Bedaayah of Ibn Katheer, vol. 8, p. 192)

After all these evidences, can one still exonerate Yazid for killing Imam Husain (a.s.)? If Yazid is acquitted merely for not being on the actual scene of the crime, then going by the same yardstick, all the tyrants and despots will be cleared of their crimes and tyrannies. For, most of the tyrants don’t indulge by themselves in acts of injustice and oppression. Their cohorts do the job for them.

But all the justice-lovers of the world condemn the oppressors, put them to trial and subject them to the severest of punishments because all the oppressions were committed right in front of them and they were game to these acts of genocide and murders.

The incidents of Syria are indisputable evidences of the fact that whatever transpired in Karbala was with the explicit consent of Yazid. Therefore, he cannot be acquitted at any cost. On the contrary, one can easily and rightfully claim that the real killer of Imam Husain (a.s.) and his faithful companions, the tyrant who held the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) family as captives and subjected them to the most inhuman tortures was none other than Yazid, the son of Muawiyah.

If still somebody cannot follow these obvious facts, then he should know that the Day of Judgment will clarify everything. So, wait for the day when destinies will not benefit anyone.).