HOME 16/I/1432 (21/12/10)


Day 16 of Ashura gathering in Zaria : Karbala Massacre was a Vengeance on the Prophet and his Progeny

Those who continue to follow recent speeches made by the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sayyid Zakzaky (H), at the Ashura mourning congregations conducted at the Baqiyyatullahi Husainiyya in Zaria, would realize that he had been trying to analyze causes and effects of the series of events that culminated into the Ashuratragedy. Today, the 16th of Muharram, Shaykh (H) touched on the fate that befell Muslim ibn Aqeel, who was sent by Imam Husain (AS) on a fact finding Mission to Kufa. In addition he made some rather brief remarks on the adventures of the Imam before finally camping at the destined land of Karb wa bala’. It could be recalled that the deputation from the people of Kufa with letters signed by multitude of them approached Imam Husain at Mecca.

The call was to rescue the faith and the faithful. He could not but respond, but not blindly. So he commanded his cousin Muslim son of Aqeel, to proceed to Kufa and assess the genuineness and sincerity of the calls. The merciless Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad was appointed as Governor to Kufa to ensure that the people did not pay allegiance to the representative of the Imam (AS), in the person of Muslim ibn Aqeel. So Muslim had to stay in the house of Hani ibn Urwah Muradi to attend to loyalists.

Ubaydullah had all the spy reports on the activities in the house of Hani. At last he arrested Hani. This aroused peoples’ sentiments so they surrounded the palace and there were clear signs of rebellion. Ubaydullah and his cohorts then deliberately spread rumours that a formidable re-enforcement of troops was advancing from Syria to crush Kufa. The trick worked. People gradually withdrew. Muslim bn Aqeel was deserted and became homeless. He managed to get a refuge in the house of a pious lady. The son of the lady, a security agent and a hopeless delinquent, went and informed the authorities of the whereabouts of Muslim bn Aqeel. The Army contingent sent to arrest him experienced a stiff resistance. They had to resort to treachery before they finally conveyed him to the court of Ubaydullah. Hani bn Urwah was mercilessly butchered.

Ibn Ziyad commanded that Muslim be taken to the roof of a tall building to be beheaded and his body to be thrown down along. Before execution, he was allowed to say his last will to Umar bn Sa’ad bn Abi Waqqas: that he should write to inform Imam Husain never to come over to Kufa; that he should sell his horse and armour to settle some debt.However, they abused the trust and used this as privilege information to set up troops to hunt for the Holy Imam.

As the caravan of the Imam moved through the desert, some members saw something that appeared to be a date palm garden not too distant away in their front. They recognized later that it was but a 4,000 strong army contingent under the command of Hur bn Yazid, who was commanded to arrest the move of Husain. They were not commanded to fight. They had to await further directives. The regiment were about to perish due to thirst. Imam ordered the stored water to be given to this enemy contingent. After this, there was a compromise: that the caravan of the Imam should not advance towards either Madina or Kufa.

At a place near the Euphrates, the Holy Imam ordered the caravan to be stopped. He inquired from the near inhabitants about the name of the place. Some said it is called Nainawa. This place was the abode for the people of Prophet Younus (AS). Other names were said. At last Karbala was mentioned. The Imam then knew well that he had arrived atthe desired destination of martyrdom. Yazid’s forces were dispatched to Karbala.

The first regiment to set for Karbala was that under the command of Umar bn Sa’ad. Umar bn Sa’ad was promised the Governorship of Ray and Isfahan, with headquarters at Ray. These two used to be large flamboyant cities. Rai is now assimilated as part of the contemporary Tehran in the Islamic Republic. Umar bn Sa’ad, a contemporary of Husain, hesitated to fight. ‘Could I decline the governorship of Ray, while it is my dream, or should I return back blamed for killing Husain? Should I kill him, then I will wind up in the hell from which there is no escape, while the governor-ship of Ray is the refreshment of my eyes." At last he yielded to temporary worldly pleasures at the expense of the everlasting ones in the hereafter. Regiments were re-enforced. It was estimated that the well armed troops numbered not less than 65,000. The caravan, comprising of less than 100 members, was overwhelmingly surrounded by the hostile forces.

At last on the 7th Muharram 61 A.H. the command of Yazidi forces received orders to cut off all sources of water supply to the Imam’s caravan. The poor caravan had to ration the meager water drops left for them initially. Later they had to sustain the thirst and save the little for the children and infants. At last, even the infants could only get a piercing arrow to quench their thirst! One can imagine such horrific scenes under the scorching sun in the desert!

Starvation and strangulation by thirst goes contrary to all human norms and hence a terrible violation of fundamental human rights. Banu Umayya, being the rulers of the Muslim lands for some time, intended to neutralize this shameful inhuman action by fabricating a tradition to implicate the Holy Prophet (SAWA) during the battle of Badr. They alleged that the Prophet destroyed some wells to cut water supplies to enemy forces. This was proved false considering the incidence at the battle of Khaybar when the Prophet refused to cut the only water supply to the Jewish fort. Similarly, at the catastrophe of Siffin, Muawiyya attempted to block the water supply to the forces of Imam Ali.The Imam’s forces routed them swiftly. In return, they allowed everybody to use the water as appropriate. Thus the Imam proved to be a truly dedicated disciple of the Prophet.

They distorted facts that confirm the brevity of Imam Ali at the Badr encounter. They even went to the extent of trying to establish the fiction that the prophet follows his personal opinions in some rulings. They considered the Prophet as an ‘ordinary’ personality. They also considered Imam Ali as such. They wanted to erase the fact that the Prophet never talk out of his opinion. He did everything based on manifest revelation. The Imams after him were divinely guided.

All these atrocities committed on the Prophet and later on the members of his Progeny could be traced to the tribal Quraishite feud against the Banu Hasheem. The inhuman massacre of Husain and other family members among the progeny of the Prophet was an act of vengeance on the Prophet. They avenged Badr. This fact was even acknowledged openly by Yazid.

After prayers, Malam (H) recited the Du’a tawassul, as is usual on
each Tuesday night, before finally closing.

Dauda Nalado reports