The events of Muharram 11th as narrated by Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

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The chronicle of events of Muharram:

The events of Muharram 11th as narrated by Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

The dividing of the martyrs’ heads among the clans of Kūfah/The caravan of captives leaves Karbala/The names of the captives of the Prophet’s Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa)/The caravan of captives passes the beheading site of Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)/Zeynab (ʿa) gives Imam al-Sajjād (ʿa) solace/The manner in which the women and children of the Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa) were moved as captives.

 

The dividing of the martyrs’ heads among the clans of Kūfah

On Muharram 11th, Umar ibn Saʿd and his army began burying their own dead and they were busy doing so until noon. At noon, he ordered his troops to cut off the heads of all the companions of the Imam (ʿa) in order to take them to Ibn Ziad and claim rewards[1].

Having buried their own dead and having cut off the heads of all the martyrs of Karbala including that of Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa), the wretched army of Umar ibn Saʿd left the sacred bodies of the Imam and his companions in the sun. They then began dividing the sacred heads of the martyrs between the different clans that inhabited Kūfah.

The 72 sacred heads including Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)’s head were divided among the clans of Kūfah as follows[2]:

 

  1. The Kindah clan, led by Qays ibn Ashʿath: 13 heads
  2. The Hawāzin clan led by Shimr ibn Dhiljawsahn: 12 heads
  3. The Tamīm clan: 17 heads
  4.  The Bani-Asad clan: 9 heads
  5. The Midh-haj clan: 7 heads
  6. Other clans: 13 heads[3].[4]

   

The caravan of captives leaves Karbala

After burying their wretched dead, Umar ibn Saʿd ordered his troops to leave for Kūfah on Moharram 11th at noon, taking with them the remaining members of the Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa) as captives.

 

The names of the captives of the Prophet’s Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa)

Based on the accounts of Ibn ʿAbd Rabbah in his book “Aqd Al Farīd” there were twelve minor boys among the captives; these included Mohammad ibn Al Ḥusayn (ʿa)[5] and ʿAli ibn Al Ḥusayn (ʿa)[6]. [7]

Among the women of the Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa) who were taken captive in Karbala were the following[8]: [9]

Zeynab al-Kubrā (ʿa), Umm Kulthūm[10]; Fatimah, daughter of Amir al-Mu’minīn (ʿa); Fatimah, daughter of Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)[11]; Sakīnah, daughter of Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)[12]; Ruqayya, the four-year-old daughter of Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)[13]; Rubāb the Daughter of ’Imra’ Al-QAys, Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)’s respectable wife[14]; Ramlah, Imam Ḥassan (ʿa)’s wife and mother of Qāsim ibn AlḤassan (ʿa)[15].[16]

These were the remaining members of the Prophet’s Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa) whom Umar ibn Saʿd and his army disrespected by chaining them together like war captives. They then sent the most respected women of the Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa) to Kūfah with a group of non-Mahram men who had so brutally murdered the Prophet’s grandson and his loyal companions[17].

 

The caravan of captives passes the beheading site of Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)

One of the most tragic incidents in the history of Karbala was the heartrending last farewell of the captive women and children to the martyrs of Karbala.[18]

When taking the captives toward Kūfah, the enemies moved the caravan past the slaughter site of the martyrs of Karbala where the shredded bodies of the purest and most innocent men in history were left on the ground[19].

According to some historical accounts, the captives themselves requested to be moved past the slaughter site of the martyrs to bid them one last farewell.[20]

Needless to say that leaving the shredded bodies of their loved ones like that, unattended and unburied, and going away from Karbala was terribly difficult for those grief-stricken women and children. This was particularly heartbreaking as the enemies had already buried their own dead properly, but had left the pure bodies of the descendants of the Prophet (ṣ), particularly that of Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa), unattended and unburied on the ground.  

Moreover, not only did the atrocious enemies not burry the bodies of the martyrs themselves, they even did not allow anyone else to bury those pure bodies.[21] 

The horrific scene of the bodies of all those brave and beloved men, mostly unrecognizable as they were trampled down by horses, could make any onlookers faint and die out of grief. However, the calm and patient behavior of Zeynab, the daughter of Amir al-Mu’minīn, and her soothing words calmed everyone down and made those heartrending scenes bearable for them.[22]

 

 

Zeynab (ʿa) the chief of the caravan of captives

At the first sight of the shredded bodies of their loved ones, the women of the Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa) began wailing, mourning, and beating themselves on their faces[23].[24]

Zeynab (ʿa), however, knew that the enemies were waiting for this moment to glory in the Ahl-al-Bayt’s despair. So when she saw her brother’s body, trampled down and dipped in his own blood, she look up to the sky and prayed:

[25]أَللَّهُمَّ تَقَبَّلْ هذا الْقُرْبانَ

O’ Lord! Accept this sacrifice from us![26]

 

This, however, was what the enemy had never excepted! Every single one of these words was like a severe blow to the enemy, completely ruining their victorious mood.[27]

 

Zeynab (ʿa) gives Imam al-Sajjād (ʿa) solace

During these difficult times for the Prophet’s Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa), whenever the time was right Zeynab would begin lamenting for the martyrs of Karbala, thus letting the women cry a little to calm them down.

At one of these times, Zeynab noticed her nephew, Imam al-Sajjād (ʿa) was lamenting so hard that his soul was nearly leaving his body. So she rushed to him and began calming him down[28] by telling him about the future and the everlasting implications of the event of Karbala in the human history.

14 centuries later, we now know for sure that Zeynab was fully aware that the martyrdom of Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) was just the beginning, not as the atrocious Umayyads thought, the end. She knew perfectly well how devastating the consequences of that unspeakable crime would be for all the tyrants throughout history, something the blind-hearted Umayyads were unable to perceive.[29]

 

The manner in which the women and children of the Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa) were moved as captives.

They made the women, girls, and small children of the Ahl-al-Bayt (ʿa) mount unsaddled camels and moved them without proper garments among their enemies like non-Muslim captives[30]. They then set out with those grief-stricken captives toward the city of Kūfah[31].

 

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

 

[1] “ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications”, p. 544.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 45, p. 62; for more information refer to: Malhūf [Luhūf], p. 190; Ansāb al-Ashrāf, vol. 3, p. 412. According to the book Malhūf, the Bani-Asad clan carried thirteen heads.

[4] “ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications”, p. 544.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Apparently, the writer meant “Mohammad ibn ʿAli ibn Al Ḥusayn (ʿa)”, i.e. Imam Bāqir (ʿa).

[7] ‘Iqd al-Farīd, vol. 4, p. 385; for more information refer to: Maqātil Al-Ṭālibiyīn, p. 79.

[8] “ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications”, p. 545.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Maqātil Al-Ṭālibiyīn, p. 79.

[11] ‘Iqd al-Farīd, vol. 4, p. 385.

[12] Maqātil Al-Ṭālibiyīn, p. 79.

[13] Nafas Al-Mahmūm, p. 259.

[14] Ibn Athīr. Al-Kāmil. Vol. 4, p. 88.

[15] ’Ibṣār Al-ʿAyn, p. 130. Some history references have recorded the names of some other women among those who were taken captive in the event of Karbala [for more information in this regard refer to: “The Story of Karbala”, pp. 405-406].

[16] “ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications”, p. 545.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid, p. 546.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Muqarram. Maqtal al-Ḥusayn. P. 309; Nafas al-Mahmūm, p. 201.

[24] “ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications”, p. 547.

[25] Muqarram. Maqtal al-Ḥusayn. P. 307.

[26] “ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications”, p. 547.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid, p. 549.

[29] Ibid, p. 550.

[30] Ibid, p. 544.

[31] Ibid, p. 545.


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