The events of Muharram 9th as narrated by Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

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makarem news The chronicle of events of Muharram:

The events of Muharram 9th as narrated by Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

The arrival of Shimr in Karbala/Besieging Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)’s camp in Karbala/Safe-conduct for Umm Al Banīn (ʿa)’s sons/The mobilization of troops to begin the war/The speech of Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) to his companions/Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) advises the women of the Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa) to be patient in the face of calamities to come

 

The arrival of Shimr in Karbala

On Muharram 9th, Shimr ibn Dhiljawshan arrived in Karbala with ʿUbaydullah ibn Ziad’s new directive to Umar ibn Saʿd. In the new directive, Ibn Ziad had ordered Umar ibn Saʿd to put more pressure on the Imam and his companions to force them to surrender. He had then added that, if they still refuse to surrender and swear allegiance to Yazid, Umar ibn Saʿd was to fight and kill them all[1]![2]

 

 

Besieging Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)’s camp in Karbala

With regard to the events of Muharram 9th, 61 Ah., Shaykh Kuleinī has related the following tradition from Imam Ṣādiq (ʿa):

On the day of Tāsūʿā [i.e. Muharram 9th] the enemy besieged the area where Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) and his companions had set up their camp in Karbala. They began deploying their troops to that area to begin the war with the Imam. The son of Marjānah [i.e. Ibn Ziad] and Umar ibn Saʿd took pride in the abundance of their troops and they thought little of Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) and his companions. By that time, Ibn Ziad and Umar Saʿd were sure that no one would come to help Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) and that the people of Iraq would not come to his aid

Then Imam Ṣādiq (ʿa) continued: “May my father be sacrificed for he who was wronged and was left alone away from home![3][4]

 

Safe-conduct for Umm al-Banīn (ʿa)’s sons

Muharram 9th is also the day that Shimr offered Abbas ibn ʿAli (ʿa) safe-conduct in return for leaving Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)[5]. His offer, however, was vehemently rejected by Abbas (ʿa)[6].

As Abbas was angrily rejecting the offer of safe-conduct, Zuhayr ibn Ghayn was looking at him affectionately and, when he turned to him, Zuhayr said: “Let me tell you a story; I remember when your father wanted to get married, he asked his brother Aqīl who knew the Arab tribes well to find him a wife from a clan who were known for their bravery and valiance. I now believe he wanted to have a valiant son who would stay by Ḥusayn’s side in Karbala”[7].

Abbas replied: “are you encourageing me to help my own brother?!)[8][9]

 

The mobilization of troops to begin the war

After all avenues to peace had been exhausted and due to Imam Ḥusayn’s invincible determination not to submit in humiliation to Yazid, Umar ibn Saʿd commanded his troops to march forward to begin the war.

Upon this command, one thousand cavalrymen and infantrymen marched toward Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) and his companions’ camp, shouting war cries so loudly that their ruckus could be heard from far away. Their war cries were also heard at Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)’s camp and they realized the war was to break out.[10]

Zuhayr ibn Gheyn’s remarks on Tāsūʿā evening

On Tāsūʿā evening when the enemy troops prepared to launch an attack, Abbas ibn ʿAli (ʿa) together with twenty other men went to confront them. One of these brave men was Zuhayr ibn Gheyn[11].

As he was looking at the enemy lines, Zuhayr suddenly saw ʿUzrah ibn Qays, one of the people who had written letters to Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa), inviting him to j o i n them in Kūfah and vowing to help him upon his arrival. However, he now was a soldier in the enemy army, advancing to attack Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)’s camp!

Upset to see how perfidious men like him were, Zuhayr called out to him and said: “O’ ʿUzrah! Be careful not to be one of those who aid the misguided in killing the pure and the chaste.[12]

ʿUzrah replied: “O’ Zuhayr! You did not use to be a follower of this family! Rather, you used to be a follower of ʿUthmān!”[13]

Zuhayr answered: “Do you not see that now I am a follower and Shiʻa of Ḥusayn (ʿa)? I swear by Allah that I did not write him any letters, nor did I sent him a messenger, nor promised him any help! I just encountered him on the road to Kūfah and I considered his high standing with the Messenger of Allah (ṣ); so I felt that I had a God-given duty to accompany and help him”.

 

Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) asks the enemy to postpone the war for one night so that he and his companions could pray for one last night  

Still refusing to submit to the enemy’s will in humiliation, Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) asked them to postpone the war for just one night so that he could spend one last night worshipping Allah. He told them that he would be ready to face them on the battlefield the next morning[14].[15]

According to historical accounts, when Abbas (ʿa) heard the war-cries of the enemy troops approaching, he went to the Imam and said: “O’ brother! The enemy is marching toward us!”[16]

Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) got up and said:

يا عَبَّاسُ! ارْكَبْ بِنَفْسِي أَنْتَ- يا أَخِي- حَتّى‏ تَلْقاهُمْ فَتَقُولَ لَهُمْ: ما لَكُمْ؟ وَ ما بَدالَكُمْ؟وَ تَسْأَلْهُمْ عَمَّا جاءَ بِهِمْ؟

O’ Abbas! May I be sacrificed for you! Mount your horse and go to them and ask them what their purpose is. Ask them what has happened and what new orders they have been given![17]

So Abbas ibn ʿAli (ʿa) together with twenty other men, among whom were Zuhayr ibn Ghayn and Ḥabīb ibn Muẓāhir, rode up to the enemy lines and asked them: “What has happened? What do you want?”[18]

They said: “the Emir has sent us a new directive to tell you either to accept his terms [and surrender completely] or prepare to go to war!”[19]

Abbas (ʿa) said: “Wait a while and let me go to [my brother] Aba ʿAbdillah (ʿa) and give him your message”.[20]

They agreed and told him to deliver their message to the Imam and bring them his answer. So Abbas came to the Imam (ʿa) alone and explained what he had heard. In the meantime, the men who had come with him to the enemy lines began exhorting the enemy soldiers and warning them against violating the sanctity of the Prophet’s Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa).[21]

When Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) heard the new orders of the enemy troops, he said to his brother:

[22]“…أَنِّي كُنْتُ أُحِبُّ الصَّلاةَ لَهُ وَ تِلاوَةَ كِتابِهِ وَ كَثْرَةَ الدُّعاءِ وَ الْإِسْتِغْفارِ

Go back to them and persuade them to postpone war until tomorrow morning so that we could worship Allah and pray for his forgiveness one last night; God knows how much I love prayer, reciting His Book [i.e. the Quran], and imploring Him for forgiveness”.[23]

 

So Abbas (ʿa) returned to the enemy lines and addressed them, saying: “O’ people! Aba ʿAbdillah asks you for one nights’ reprieve!”[24]

When they heard the Imam’s request they began conversing amongst themselves, until ʿAmr ibn Hajjāj Zubaydī said: “Glory to Allah! I swear by Allah that if these were non-Muslim disbelievers and they asked you this you should have accepted it!”

Gheys ibn Ashʿath also said to Umar ibn Saʿd: “Accept their request! I swear on my own life that they will not accept to swear allegiance to Yazid and will fight you tomorrow!”

Ibn Saʿd replied: “I swear by Allah that if I were sure that they would do that, I would not give them any reprieve!”[25]

According to a tradition, ʿAli ibn Ḥusayn (ʿa) has been quoted as saying: “Umar ibn Saʿd’s messenger came toward us and stood where we could hear him and said: “we give you until tomorrow; if you surrender we will take you to ʿUbaydullah and if you do not we will not leave you alone [until we have killed you]![26][27]

Imam Ḥusayn’s (ʿa) speech to his companions

After the enemy army retreated, Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) summoned his companions near the sun set.[28]

Imam ʿAli ibn al-Ḥusayn has made the following remarks regarding this issue:

“Though I was severely ill at the time, I too went to the Imam to hear his speech. I heard my father say to his companions:

All praise be to Allah who is worthy of the best praise, and I thank Him in times of ease and adversity. O’ Lord! I thank You for honoring us by raising your Prophet from among us and for teaching us the Qur’an and made us learned in the knowledge of  the religion, and for giving us hearing and sight and an acute sense of perception and understanding, and for not making us polytheists![29]

I know no better companions than my own, and no family members more righteous and loyal than my own! May Allah reward you all with the best of rewards![30][31]

I know perfectly well what the end of our conflict with these enemies will be tomorrow; so now I am letting you go and I relieve you of the bounds of your allegiance to me. Now you have no duty toward me. So use this darkness of the night like a mount [and save yourselves from the forthcoming danger]![32]

When the Imam’s companions heard these words, they unanimously said: “No, by Allah! Never shall we do such a thing!”

When the Imam (ʿa) saw the loyalty of his companions, he said:

إِنَّكُمْ تُقْتَلُونَ غَدَاً كَذلِكَ، لا يَفْلِتُ مِنْكُمْ رَجُلٌ

But you will all be killed tomorrow and none will remain alive![33]

The companions replied merrily:

الْحَمْدُلِلَّهِ الَّذي شَرَّفَنا بِالْقَتْلِ مَعَكَ

“Praise be to Allah who honored us with the grace to be killed in His cause alongside you!”[34]

So the Imam (ʿa) prayed for them all, then he said to them: “now look up and see your station in the Heaven!”[35]

And all the companions looked up and miraculously saw their station and place in Heaven; the Imam would also call them one by one and show them their place in Heaven.[36] In fact, this was why the next day the companions would rush to the battlefield happily and would welcome the enemy swords and spears; they wanted to go as soon as they could to their Heavenly abode.[37][38]

 

Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) advises the women of the Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa) to be patient in the face of calamities to come

According to the late Sayyid ibn Ṭāwūss, one of the events on Tāsūʿā afternoon was Imam Ḥusayn’s words with the women of the Ahl-al-Bayt. According to his accounts, Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) addresses Ruqayyah, Umm-i-Kulthūn, Zeynab, Fatimah, and Rubāb and asks them to be patient in the face of the adversities to come[39].[40]

 

 

Researched, complied, and edited by: the news editorial of the website of the office of Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi: www.makarem.ir

 

 

[1] Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 44, p. 392.

[2] The New Mafātīḥ, p. 599

[3] Kāfī, vol. 4, p. 147, Hadith No. 7.

[4]The New Mafātīḥ, p. 599.

[5] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, p. 447.

[6] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, p. 448.

[7] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, p. 448.

[8] Muqarram. Maqtal al-Ḥusayn. P. 209.

[9] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, p. 448.

[10] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, p. 389.

[11] Ibid, p. 448.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 44, p. 392.

[15] The New Mafātīḥ, p. 599.

[16] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, 389.

[17] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, 389.

[18] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, 389.

[19] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, 389.

[20] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, 389.

[21] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, 389.

[22] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, 390.

[23] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, 390.

[24] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, 390.

[25] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, 390.

[26] Tabari. Tabari Chrinicle. Vol. 4, pp. 315-316; Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 44, pp. 391-392 [with minor differences].

[27] ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, p. 390.

[28] Ibid, p. 391.

[29] Ibid, p. 392.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Tabari. Tabari Chronicle., vol. 4, p. 317; Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 44, pp. 392-393.

[33] “ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications”, p. 392.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Biḥār Al Anwār, vol. 44, p. 298.

[38] “ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications”, p. 392.

[39] Malhūf [Luhūf], p. 141.

[40] “ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications”, p. 615.


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