The events of Muharram 3rd as narrated by Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

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The chronicle of events of Muharram:

The events of Muharram 3rd as narrated by Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) narrates the story of prophet Yaḥya (ʿa)’s martyrdom/ Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) predicts his own martyrdom/the promise of the advent of Imam Mahdi (ʿa) who will avenge Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)/the arrival of Umar ibn Saʿd in Karbala/Umar ibn Saʿd’s letter to Ibn Ziad

 

Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) narrates the story of prophet Yaḥya (ʿa)’s martyrdom

Imam Sajjād (ʿa) is narrated to have said: “There was not a single place that we stopped on the road to Karbala but Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) talked about Yaḥya ibn Zakariah, the great prophet who was wrongfully killed by the tyrant of his time.

Once the Imam said: “وَ مِنْ هَوانِ الدُّنْيا عَلَى اللَّهِ أَنَّ رَأْسَ يَحْيَى بْنَ زَكَرِيَّا اهْدِىَ الى بَغِىٍّ مِنْ بَغايا بَني إِسْرائيلَ

It suffices for this world to be base in the sight of Allah that Yaḥyā ibn Zakariah was beheaded and his head was brought as a gift to an adulterer among the Children of Israel”[1].[2]

This is an indication as to Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)’s martyrdom, which was similar to that of Yaḥyā in some respects.[3]

 

Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) predicts his own martyrdom

At the end of his remarks in above mentioned tradition, Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) addresses his son, Imam Sajjād (ʿa) and says:

يا وَلَدِي يا عَلِىُّ وَاللَّهِ لا يَسْكُنُ دَمِي حَتّى يَبْعَثَ اللَّهُ الْمَهْدِىَّ فَيَقْتُلَ عَلى دَمِي مِنَ الْمُنافِقِينَ الْكَفَرَةِ الْفَسَقَةِ سَبْعينَ أَلْفا

O’ Ali, my son! By Allah, my wrongfully-spilled blood will not be forgiven or forgotten until Allah raises my descendant, Mahdi (ʿa) who will then kill seventy thousand hypocrites, disbelievers, and transgressors [to accomplish my aim, the establishment of justice][4].[5]

Undoubtedly, these remarks are a prediction regarding the Imam’s imminent martyrdom[6]; by referring to the story of Yaḥyā’s tragic martyrdom, the Imam (ʿa) intends to convey the fact that he too will be killed by a ruthless tyrant and his head will be presented to a wretched and transgressing oppressor as a gift! And all of this will be because the Imam prefers chastity and purity to impurity and transgression and that he is ready to risk all he has to fight injustice, transgression, and licentiousness.

Moreover, Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) divulges the details of his martyrdom to his companions and sons[7] in order to prepare them for the difficult task of fighting to the last breath for their noble cause[8].

 

The promise of the advent of Imam Mahdi (ʿa) as the Avenger of Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)

As it was discussed above, in his remarks to his son Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) said that his blood would neither be forgotten nor forgiven until Mahdi (ʿa) rises up. This is an illuminating indication as to the numerous uprisings that were going to follow that of Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa). these would be sparked either to avenge the Imam’s martyrdom or to further his cause.

This is very much what we witness today: numerous uprisings all inspired by the uprising of Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa), sparked against tyrannical systems or monarchs[9].

 

Muharram 3rd: the arrival of Umar ibn Saʿd in Karbala

Umar ibn Saʿd[10] arrived in Karbala with a huge army on Muharram 3rd to confront Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)’s small army[11]. On this day, Umar ibn Saʿd’s messenger came to the Imam and delivered his letter. As he gave Umar’s letter to the Imam he asked: “My master! Why have you come to our city?”[12]

Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) replied:

كَتَبَ إِلَىَّ أَهْلُ مِصْرِكُمْ هذا أَنْ أَقْدِمَ، فَأَمَّا إِذْ كَرِهُونِي فَأَنَا أَنْصَرِفُ عَنْهُمْ!

Your townsmen wrote me letters and invited me to your town; now if they have changed their minds and are upset with my presence here, I will go back![13][14]

Khwarizmi has related the following with regard to the Imam’s remarks to Umar Saʿd’s messenger:

“The Imam (ʿa) said to the messenger of Umar ibn Saʿd:

 “يا هذا بَلِّغْ صاحِبَكَ عَنِّي انِّي لَمْ ارِدْ هذَا الْبَلَدَ، وَ لكِنْ كَتَبَ إِلَىَّ أَهْلُ مِصْرِكُمْ هذا انْ آتيهُمْ فَيُبايَعُونِي وَ يَمْنَعُونِي وَ يَنْصُرُونِي وَ لا يَخْذُلُونِي فَانْ كَرِهُونِي انْصَرَفْتُ عَنْهُمْ مِنْ حَيْثُ جِئْتُ

Tell your commander that I have not come to this town of my own accord; I have come here because the people of this town invited me here so that they could pledge allegiance to me and help me against my enemies; now if they have changed their minds and are upset by my presence, I will go back[15][16]

 

 

Umar ibn Saʿd’s letter to Ibn Ziad

When his messenger returned and informed him of what Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa) had replied, Umar ibn Saʿd said: “I hope Allah will spare me the fight with Ḥusayn (ʿa)!” then he wrote a letter to Ibn Ziad to inform him of Imam Ḥusayn (ʿa)’s decision.[17]

 

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

 

 

 

 

[1] Ibn Shahrāshūb. Manāqib. Vol. 4, p. 92; Biār al-Anwār. Vol. 45, p. 89.

[2] “ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications”, p. 377.

[3] Makarem Shirazi, N. Nemūneh Quranic Exegesis. Vol. 13, p.21.

[4] Ibn Shahrāshūb. Manāqib. Vol. 4, p. 92; Biār Al Anwār. Vol. 45, p. 89.

[5] “ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications”, p. 378.

[6] “The Message of Amir Al Mu’minīn (ʿa)”, vol. 15, p. 179.

[7] “ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications”, p. 378.

[8] Ibid, p. 379.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Umar ibn Saʿd was the greatest criminal who led Ibn Ziad’s army in the battle of Karbala [ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications, p. 129]. Though being guilty of the unforgivable crime of ruthlessly slaughtering most of the Prophet’s Ahl-al-Bayt, he never repented for his sins and burned all his bridges. He was so deeply engulfed in the love of ruling over Rey [a region in Iran nearby Tehran] that he went to the point of saying: “They say that Allah has created heaven and hell to recompense people for what they do; if that is true then I will repent of the crime of killing Ḥusayn and the love of ruling over Rey, and if these things are only lies then I have not missed my chance to rule!”   [Minhāj al-Dumūʿ, p. 291]; [The Firm Vows of the Quran, p. 410].

[11] “ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications”, p. 386.

[12] Ibid, p. 386.

[13] Tabari. Tabari Chronicle. Vol. 4, p. 311; Irshād, p. 435; Biār Al Anwār, vol. 44, p. 384.

[14] “ʿĀshūrā: the roots, the motives, the events, and the implications”

[15] Khwarizmi. Maqtal al-Ḥusayn. Vol. 1, p. 241.

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

[17] Ibid.


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