On the early morning of the tenth day (Ashura), the Master of Martyrs (PBUH) organized his companions whom were thirty two cavalry and forty infantry. He placed “Zuheir” on the right side of the troops and “Habib” on the left side; he assigned his brother “Abbas” as the flag bearer. The Master of Martyrs (PBUH) placed the troops in front of the tents and ordered to dig a channel behind the tents; he filled it with woods and set it on fire to prevent the enemy’s attack from behind.
Umar Bin Sa’ad with an army of roughly thirty thousand men, organized his troops as such, he placed “Amr ibn Hajjaj” in charge of the right side of his army, and “Shimr ibn Dhi al-Joshan” in charge of the left side; “Orwah ibn Qeys” was in charge of the cavalry, and “Shabath ibn Rabe’i” was in charge of the infantry; His slave was the flag bearer. (1)
When Imam Hussain (PBUH) looked at the enemy’s army, he raised his hands in prayer and said:
“O Lord! You are my haven in any sadness and misery, you are my essence of hope in all tragedies, and you are my weapon in all incidents. The moment in which the hardest miseries would fall upon me, and all ways shut, I would surpass all miseries, miseries in which friends would stay away and enemies would taunt, by turning to Your presence and lose hope in all others. It was You who freed me from sadness and misery. You are the Master of all blessings and my final purpose and destination.”(2)
Then the Imam (PBUH) mounted his horse and with a voice that everyone could hear said:
“O people of Iraq! Listen to what I want to say and do not act abruptly; so that I can perform my duty which is to advise you and to clarify my reason for this journey. If you accept my reason and believe in my words and judge me with fairness, then you have chosen the path to salvation. But if you do not accept my reason and do not judge with fairness, you can decide whatever you wish amongst yourselves and leave me with no options. My supporter and helper is the one Allah Who sent the Holy Quran. He is the supporter and companion of the pious people.”(3)
All were silent; Imam Hussain (PBUH) began to praise Allah (SWT), he saluted Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), the angels and all messengers of Allah (SWT). Then he said:
“O People! Tell me: Who am I?! Then ask yourselves if it is appropriate to kill and disrespect me?! Am I not the grandson of your Prophet?! Am I not the son of Ali (PBUH), the successor and cousin of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP)?! Am I not the son of the first man who believed in Allah and His Prophet and turned to Islam? Am I not the son of the man whom Hamzah, the master of martyrs, is his uncle?! Is Ja’far Tayyar, who has two wings in paradise, not my uncle?! Haven’t you ever heard the Prophet’s narration about me and my brother in which he has said: ‘These two are the Master of Youth in Paradise’ ”?!
If you confirm my words, then what I have told you earlier does not have the slightest false; because I know for certain that Allah returns the evil of lying to the liar, and I have never lied in my life. So if you think that which I have said is a lie, there are people amongst you who can answer and approve if you ask them. Ask Jaaber ibn ‘Abdulllah, Abu Sa’eed Khidri, Sahl ibn Sa’ad Saa’idi, Zeid ibn Arqam and Maalik ibn Anas; they shall tell you that, they have heard this narration from the Prophet of Allah (PBUH&HP). Isn’t all this reasoning enough to avoid shedding my blood?!”
Then he continued: “Even if you have doubts in the Prophet’s narration about me and my brother, do you actually doubt in the fact that I am the son of the Prophet’s daughter? By Allah (SWT) there remains no other grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) than me! Woe on you! Have I killed anyone from among you, for which you are revenging? Have I usurped anyone’s wealth, or hurt anyone in any way, such to deserve punishment? ”
No one said a word. Then Imam Hussain (PBUH) continued:
“O Shabath Bin Rabe’i and O Hajjar ibn Abjar and O Qeis ibn Asha’ath and O Yazid ibn Harath! Was it not you who wrote letters to me expressing that the fruits of your gardens have ripened, that all places are filled with green leaves, that you are counting the minutes to my arrival; and that you have prepared an army in Kufah ready for my command?”
Qeis ibn Asha’ath replied: “We don’t know what you are talking about! But (we advise you) obey Yazid as he is only seeking your approval to his rule”…
Imam Hussain (PBUH) responded: “I swear to Allah (SWT)! I shall never place my hand in his hands and shall never flee the battle like a slave. I seek refuge in my Lord and your Lord that you are ignoring my words; I seek refuge in my Lord and your Lord from any arrogant human who does not believe in the Day of Judgment.”
He then made his camel sit. At this time, the army moved towards Imam Hussain (PBUH). He requested for the Prophet of Allah’s (PBUH&HP) horse, his outfit, his armor and sword; he wore the Prophet’s war outfit, mounted his horse, and stood in front of the army.
At this time, Hurr ibn Yazid joined Imam’s army and Umar Sa’ad ordered the battle to start. Two men in the name of “Salim” and “Yasaar” entered the battlefield.
Shemr and Amr ibn Hajjaj screamed at their army: “These men will resist until their death; don’t fight them alone”. At this moment, Umar ibn Sa’ad’s army surrounded the Imam’s forces. Shemr attacked the Imam’s forces from the left and Amr attacked the Imams forces from the right. But his brave companions kept strong, attacked them back with arrows, and the enemy had to pull back. This was known as the first enemy attack, and Imam Hussain’s (PBUH) low number of forces became apparent.
Imam Hussain (PBUH) performed his noon prayer on time, and during this time and before that several struggles happened between the companions who were protecting Imam and the enemy. The battle continued after the noon prayer until all companions were martyred. Thus, Imam’s family members entered the field. They were martyred one after another.
Then Imam said the following loudly: “Is there anyone left to defend the household of the Prophet of Allah? Isn’t there anyone to reach out to us for the sake of Allah? Is there anyone who wants to support us for the hope of Allah’s mercy and reward?”
The crying and weeping of women could be heard. The Imam (PBUH) returned to the tents to calm them down. He took his infant from his sister Zainab (PBUH). Shortly after, the infant was shot in the neck by Harmaleh’s arrow. Imam Hussain (PBUH) filled his hands with his infant’s blood, and released it into the sky saying: “This tragedy is easy on me because Allah observes it”…
(The above is a selection taken from “Absaar al-Ayn fi Ansar al-Hussain (PBUH)”, by Shaikh Muhammad Samaawi)
The Roshd Website offers condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the master of martyrs,
Imam Hussain ibn Ali (PBUT) and his loyal companions.
1. Irshad, vol. 2, p. 95
2. Irshad, vol. 2, p. 95
3. Irshad, vol. 2, p. 95