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Imam Husain (A)’s final moments

In: Muharram

Grant me patience to bear Your destiny, O Lord! There is no god but You! O Helper of those who seek help! [787] I have no god besides You, nor do I adore anyone but You! Grant me to persevere as I face Your decree, O Helper of the helpless, O Eternal One Who knows no end, O One Who brings the dead back to life, O One Who rewards every soul as it earned, do judge between me and them; surely You are the best of judges.” [788]

Had Isma’yl to slaughter surrendered,

In the lap of the one who would to him have mercy,
Becoming Allah’s sacrifice and was not greeted by
White deer, nor did they shake his hands peacefully,
Husain patiently surrendered his soul
To be slain by the sword of his own oppressor,
And to defend Allah’s creed he surrendered his soul
And every precious one so its pillars would stand tall.
His ribs and body were by the steeds trampled upon
As his ladies on bare beasts to captivity borne.

His horse came circling around him, rubbing his head on his blood. [790] It was then that Ibn Sa’d shouted, “The horse! Get the horse, for it is one of the horses of the Messenger of Allah (SWT)!” Horsemen surrounded that horse which kept kicking with its front legs, killing forty riders and ten horses. Ibn Sa’d then said, “Leave him and let us see what he does.” Once he felt secure, the horse went back to al-Husain (A) to rub his head on the Imam’s blood as he sniffed him. He was neighing very loudly. [791]

Imam Abu Ja’far al-Baqir (A) used to say that that horse was repeating these words: “Retribution! Retribution against a nation that killed the son of its Prophet’s daughter!” The horse then went to the camp neighing likewise. [792] When the women saw the horse without its rider and its saddle twisted, they went out, their hair spread out, beating their cheeks, their faces uncovered, screaming and wailing, feeling the humiliation after enjoying prestige, going in the direction of the place where al-Husain (A) had been killed. [793]

One kneels in earnest at him to hug
While another covers him with a robe,
Another with the flow of his bleeding neck
Her faces does she for glory paint,
And another wishes she was his own sacrifice,
And another does not help kissing him.
Yet another out of fear seeks with his corpse refuge,
And another because of her calamity knows not what to do. [794]

Umm Kulthum, namely Zainab the wise, cried out, “O Muhammad! O father! O ‘Ali ! O Ja’far! O Hamzah! Here is Husain in the open slain in Karbala’!” [795] Then Zainab said, “I wish the heavens had fallen upon the earth! [796] I wish the mountains had crushed the valley!” [797] She was near al-Husain (A) when ‘Umar Ibn Sa’d came close to her flanked by some of his men.

Al-Husain (A) was drawing his last breath She cried out, “O ‘Umar! Should Abu ‘Abdullah be killed as you look on?!” He turned his face away. His tears were flooding his beard.[798] She said, “Woe unto you! Is there any Muslim man among you?” None answered her. [799] Then [‘Umar] Ibn Sa’d shouted at people, “Alight and put him to rest!” Al-Shimr was the first to do so. He kicked the Imam (A) with his foot then sat on his chest and took hold of his holy beard. He dealt him twelve sword strokes. [800] He then severed his sacred head…

Al-Husain (A) Murdered

Those folks now took to maurauding the Imam (A). Ishaq Ibn Hawayh took his shirt. Al-Akhnas Ibn Murthid Ibn ‘Alqamah al-Hadrami took his turban. Al-Aswad Ibn Khalid took his sandals. Jami’ Ibn al-Khalq al-Awdi, but some say a man from Tamim named al-Aswad Ibn Hanzalah, took his sword.

Bajdal came. He saw the Imam (A) wearing a ring covered with his blood. He cut his finger off and took the ring… Qays Ibn al-Ash’ath took his velvet [801] on which he since then used to sit, so he came to be called “Qays Qateefa.” [802]

The Imam (A)’s worn out garment was taken by Ja’oonah Ibn Hawiyyah al-Hadrami. His bow and outer garments were taken by al-Rail Ibn Khaythamah al-Ju’fi, Hani Ibn Shabib al-Hadrami and Jarir Ibn Mas’ud al-Hadrami. [803] A man from among them wanted to take his underpants after all his other clothes had been taken away by others.

This man said, “I wanted to take it off, but he had put his right hand on it which I could not lift; therefore, I severed his right hand… He then put his left hand on it which I also could not lift, so I severed it, too, and was about to bare him and take it off. It was then that I heard something like an earthquake, so I became frightened. I left him and fell into a swoon. While I was unconscious, I saw the Prophet (S), ‘Ali, Fatima, and al-Hasan (‘a). Fatima was saying, ‘O son! They killed you! May Allah kill them!’ He said to her, ‘O mother! This sleeping man has severed my right hand!’ She then invoked Allah’s curse on me saying, ‘May Allah cut your hands and legs, and may He blind you and hurl you into the fire!’ Indeed, I am now blind. My hands and legs have already been amputated, and nothing remains from her curse except the Fire.” [804]

O slain one snatched by death away,
Without being helped, without being supported,
They washed him with the blood of his every wound,
They shrouded him with the earth of the ground,
They killed him though they knew,
That he was the fifth of Ashab al-Kisa’.
O Messenger of Allah! O Fatima!
O Commander of the Faithful al-Murtada!
May Allah’s rewards for you be great,
For the one whose insides were killed
By thirst till he spent,
At Karbala’ he struck his tent,
Hardly he erected it before it was no more,
Dead mourned by Fatima, by her father and by ‘Ali
The man for him testifies sublimity.
Had the Messenger of Allah been after him raised,
He would have now been mourning him.
They carried a head whose grandfather they greet,
Be it is out of their free will, involuntarily,
Being handled by them as they pleased.
They neither honoured him nor sanctified…
O Messenger of Allah! If you only eyed
How they kept killing and taking captive,
How they were prohibited from enjoying any shade,
How their thirsty ones were met with the spears
How they were driven, stumbling, one following behind,
Another transported on a bare conveyance, how unkind!
Your eyes would have seen a sight
That would surely have grieved your insides
And would surely have been for your eyes a sore.
Such should not be how the Messenger of Allah,
O nation of oppression and corruption, be treated
They slaughtered like sacrifices his offspring that day,
Then they drove his family like slaves away.
They kept calling upon the Messenger of Allah
Whenever marching was hard, whenever they stumbled.


Maqtal al-Husain: Martrydom Epic of Imam al-Husain (A) by ‘Abd al Razzaq al-Muqarram
Published by: Al-Kharsan Foundation for Publications, Beirut, Lebanon, 1426 AH/2005 AD


[786] al-Kaf’ami, Misbah al-Mutahajjid. Al-Iqbal. Both references are quoted on p. 107 of Mazar al-Bihar, p. 107 in a chapter on his ziyarat on his birth anniversary.

[787] Sayyid Kaďim al-Rashti al-Ha’iri, Asrar al-Shahada, p. 423.

[788]Riyad al-Masa’ib, p. 33.

[789] Excerpted from a poem by the authority Shaikh Muhammad Taqi Al-Sahib al-Jawahir

[790] as-Saduq, Amali, p. 98, majlis 30. al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husain, p. 37. Taallum al-Zahra’ of al-Qazwini, p. 129. al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 10, p. 205.

[791] al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husain, Vol. 2, p. 37.

[792] al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husain, Vol. 2, p. 37.

[793] From the ziyarat of the sacred area.

[794] From a poem by al-Hajj Hashim al-Ka’bi.

[795] al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 10, p. 206. al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husain, Vol. 2, p. 37.

[796] al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 259.

[797] Ibn Tawus, Al-Luhuf, p. 73.

[798] Ibn al-Athir, Al-Kamil, Vol. 4, p. 32. al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 259 (first edition).

[799] al-Mufid, Al-Irshad.

[800] ’Abdullah Nur-Allah al-Bahrani, Maqtal al-’Awalim, p. 100. al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husain, Vol. 2, p. 36 and following pages.

[801] Ibn Tawus, Al-Luhuf, p. 73.

[802] al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husain, Vol. 2, p. 38. Ibn al-Athir, Al-Kamil, Vol. 4, p. 32.

[803] Ibn Shahr Ashub, Manaqib, Vol. 2, p. 224.

[804] al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husain, Vol. 2, p. 102.

[805] From a poem by al-Sharif al-Rai, may Allah elevate his status.

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