An established tent, a grounded spear, a hanging sword, and a horse could be seen from a distance. Moments later, a messenger spawned off from the caravan to deliver Imam Hussain’s (PBUH) message to the head of the people within the tent. The messenger delivered the message and returned to the caravan. Obaidullah ibn Hurr Jo’fi however, who knew of the people’s love for money and leisure had rejected Imam Hussain’s (PBUH) invitation and said that he had not left the city of Kufah except for the fact that he feared the arrival of Imam Hussain (PBUH) and his plead for help.
Nonetheless, Imam Hussain (PBUH) is the Ark of guidance. This time, Imam Hussain (PBUH) himself along with some of his companions went toward the tent of Obaidullah. When Obaidullah saw Imam Hussain (PBUH) in front of his tent, he felt ashamed. He stood up and respected the Imam greatly. He invited the Imam in and told the Imam of the news and events, which had recently occurred in Kufah. Imam Hussain (PBUH) listened to all of them and then began to speak about all the invitations that were sent to him from the people of Kufah. Imam Hussain (PBUH) asked Obaidullah to accompany and support him, so that the Prophet’s progeny (PBUT) would intercede for him and Allah (SWT) would accept his repentance.
The request of Imam Hussain (PBUH) had again put Obaidullah in doubt. He did not know which way to choose. The love towards worldly aspects would not leave him and his mind alone. He began to create excuses to reject Imam’s request.
Obaidullah thought for some time and said: “You will not find a supporter and helper in Kufahh. Fear has caused everyone remain and hide in their homes. For the sake of Allah, please do not ask for my help. I will give you whatever I have, anything from swords to good horses, just please do not ask for me to risk my life.”
Obaidullah said that, in order to relieve the guilt that had built inside of him. When Imam Hussain (PBUH) heard his reply, he said,
“I did not come here to receive a sword and a horse. I came to ask for your companionship. Now that you are not willing to devote your life, then I have no need for your sword and horse. And I am not one who accompanies those who have gone astray. But I recommend you not to stay here, because the Prophet said: Whoever ignores the voice of my progeny asking for help and does not support them, Allah will throw him with face in the Hellfire.”
Obaidullah heard Imam Hussain’s (PBUH) last words; slowly and embarrassed began wrapping up his stuff and left.
Another one was a follower of Othman and hence, was not very fond of the Prophet’s progeny (PBUH&HP). While moving his caravan from Mecca to Kufah, he had tried to keep as much distance as he could from the caravan Imam Hussain (PBUH), so that he does not come face to face with Imam Hussain (PBUH). Indeed, just as everyone is under examination in this world, Zuheir too was not an exception.
Despite Zuheir’s efforts, the two caravans, one of Zuheir and the other of Imam Hussain (PBUH), came to rest in the same area. While Zuheir was in his tent having his meal with his friends and family, a messenger entered and said: “Hussain Ibn Ali has sent me to tell you that he wants to see you.”
Everyone paused eating for a moment, and Zuheir got very upset of the news. Silence ruled the tent, and everyone was waiting for Zuheir’s reaction. Zuheir lost in his thoughts, was taking too long to respond to the messenger. His wife broke the silence and shouted from the other side of the curtain, “Zuheir! Why are you rejecting the invitation of Prophet’s Son? Why do you not go and listen to what he has to say?”
This was a moment of realization for Zuheir. He rose and went to see Imam Hussain (PBUH). Though Zuheir was very sad and confused at the time of leaving the tent, when he returned from the tent of Imam Hussain (PBUH), his eye had a new brightness and his soul felt a certain joy. Indeed, a conversation with Imam Hussain (PBUH) had changed a rock into a diamond.
Zuheir ordered to wrap up his tents and establish them near Imam Hussain’s (PBUH) tents. He told his friends that he is going to accompany Imam Hussain (PBUH) in his trip. Therefore, whosoever wanted to support him may come; otherwise this will be the last meeting. Further, Zuheir gave some money and food to his wife and sent her to her family. His wife cried during the farewell and asked Zuheir not to forget her in the day of resurrection. Zuheir left while he was confident in supporting the truth and fighting for the right cause. It has been narrated that Zuheir was one of the few who stood in front of Imam Hussain (PBUH) and other companions while they were praying the noon prayer on the day of Ashura. Zuheir’s face and body had become armor for Imam Hussain (PBUH) against the arrows thrown by the enemies.
Please accept our condolences to all on the tenth of Muharram, the Martyrdom anniversary of the great revival of religion, the Master of Martyrs:Imam Hussain (PBUH) ibn Ali, and that of his great companions in the desert of Karbala.