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
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
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
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