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On the 22nd of Rajab, the great Sahabi, Hadrat Sayyiduna Ameer Mu’awiyah – may Allah be pleased with him – passed away. He was the son of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Sufyan – may Allah be pleased with him –.

 

This is when the tyrant Yazeed usurped power. The first thing that Yazeed did was to send out people to spy on those who were refusing to accept his leadership. Obviously, his intention was to force such people to accept him as the new leader of the Muslims.

 

In that period, there were a few eminent Muslims still living and who were highly respected by the general population. Yazeed sent a message to the Governor of Madina Shareef, Waleed bin Uqbah, to make them swear allegiance to him. They were Husain bin ‘Ali, Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr, Abdullah bin Zubair and Abdullah ibn ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with them –. Yazeed also feared that Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – and Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Zubair – may Allah be pleased with him – might try to start their own government and get people to swear allegiance to them.

 

When Waleed bin Uqbah discussed this with his deputy, Marwan, the latter mentioned to him, “Yes, yes. This is absolutely correct. If these people are not prepared to swear allegiance to Yazeed, then they should be killed immediately. Whatever the consequences, this can be dealt with later.”

 

Waleed then called Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – and conveyed the message of Yazeed to him. When Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – heard what had happened in Damascus, he made Du’a for Hadrat Sayyiduna Ameer Mu’awiyah – may Allah be pleased with him – and pertaining to swearing allegiance to Yazeed, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – told Waleed, “This cannot be something which can be done silently and secretly. The people of Madina Shareef should be called and whatever decision they make, I will have no objection to this. However, I must also admit that I have heard many things about Yazeed and his behaviour is certainly not like the rightly guided Khulafa. He is in the habit of consuming alcohol and also does not read his Salaah. He does not care about the laws of Haraam and Halaal. He also considers it permissible to marry those females whom it is Haraam to marry and does not care about what is permissible and what is not permissible in Islam.”

 

Since Waleed was an honest person, he liked the opinion of Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him –. However, according to ibn Katheer, after he had left, he mentioned that he had wasted a good opportunity and that Husain had now left his control. He also asked Waleed why he had given Imam Husain the opportunity to speak further. He should have presented the option of him swearing allegiance to Yazeed and if he refused, he should have been immediately killed. However, Waleed replied, “You are certainly an evil person. You want that I become guilty of spilling the blessed blood of the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him –? By Allah Almighty, I swear that person who spills the blood of Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him –, he will never be successful.”

 

As a precaution, it is also reported that when Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – was travelling for this meeting with Waleed, he had also taken with him thirty brave young men with him who were fully armed and ready for any trouble. Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – had made them stand at the door of this government building in case there was trouble. He also mentioned that they were not allowed to take any action without his strict command and permission.

 

It is stated that when Marwan had made the suggestion that Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – be killed, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – had heard this suggestion. Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – then bravely said, “Who is this person who even suggests such an evil act. Let him look at me. Anyone who dares to attack me, even before me, he will be killed. The ground would be red with his blood. O Marwan! You dare to threaten me in the blessed city of Madina Shareef. What are you, no one will be able to kill me in Madina Shareef. I am also completely fearless and I also know exactly where I will be killed because this was already told to me by my grandfather many years ago.”

 

When these voices became louder, the young people at the door wanted to enter the court and get rid of Marwan once and for all. However, anticipating this, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – quickly walked out of the court before these young men could do anything and then walked away with them.

 

After this Waleed mentioned to Marwan, “O Marwan, may you be cursed. Think carefully on what you are asking me to do. Even if the entire world was given to me as a gift, still too, I will never carry the sin on my head of killing Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him –. One day, I will have to meet Allah Almighty and I will also have to meet Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him –.”

 

Governor Waleed then wrote a full report and had it dispatched to Yazeed. When the tyrant heard this report, he also mentioned the same words which had been mentioned by Marwan. In other words, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – should have been killed.

 

Thereafter, Yazeed continued to send dispatches to Waleed and even offered him huge sums of money, however Waleed remained firm and did not allow himself to be swayed by any greed. In fact, whatever dispatches were coming to him from Yazeed, he used to call Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – and show him these letters. When Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – realized that these people would not allow him to stay peacefully in Madina Shareef, he he decided to gather his family and advice them that it would be better for all of them to leave Madina Shareef.

 

Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – then visited the blessed grave of the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – and conveyed his greeting and also bade farewell to his blessed grandfather. He then visited Jannatul Baqi and also bade farewell to his beloved mother and brother.

 

Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – leaves for Mecca Shareef

 

It is mentioned that he left for Mecca Shareef either on the 4th of Shaban or the 27th of Rajab.

 

On the way to Mecca Shareef, the great Imam met many people who wanted to know what had forced him to leave Madina Shareef. However, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – mentioned that this seemed to be his destiny or Taqdir and he had no choice in the matter. Whatever is to happen, he was certain of the Divine Help of Allah Almighty.

 

A person name Abdullah bin Matee’e advised him that he should camp inside the Haram Shareef and that the people in Mecca Shareef were prepared to guard him with their lives. At the same time, he was advised not to travel to Kufa.

 

However, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – made Du’a for the person and continued on his journey. As he was reaching Mecca Shareef, most of the people came out to meet him and welcome him.

 

Enters Mecca Shareef

 

In one report, it is mentioned that he arrived in Mecca Shareef on the 4th of Shaban 60 A.H.

 

At that time, the Governor of Mecca Shareef was Sa’ad bin ‘Aas who recognized the status of Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – and therefore did not in anyway trouble the Imam. In this manner, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – stayed in Mecca Shareef for the month of Sha’ban, Ramadaan, Shawwal and Zil-Qada. He used to also perform the Salaah in the Haram Shareef with the congregation.

 

On the other side, the people of Kufa came to know that the great Imam had now left Madina Shareef and was living in Mecca Shareef. They then started to write to the great Imam. It is mentioned that during this period, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – received nearly two hundred letters from the people in Kufa to come their city. In fact, in some reports it is mentioned that there were nearly seventy thousand correspondences between them and this is even mentioned in some books of the Shia.

 

However, some people in Mecca Shareef and even some of blessed Ashaab that were there mentioned that the people in Kufa were noted for their back-stabbing and that he should not listen to them. They also made it clear that these were the people who were instrumental in killing his brother and therefore should not be trusted. Some idiots are of the opinion that Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – invited this on himself by insisting on travelling to Kufa. Yet, they are certainly extremely short-sighted.

 

Why did Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – leave Mecca Shareef?

 

Firstly, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – knew full well that Yazeed was an open Faasiq and Faajir and the people of Kufa were constantly informing him about this fact. By virtue of this, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – understood that if he did not go to rectify this wrong which had been committed, what answer would he give on the Day of Judgement? On the Day of Judgement if the people in Kufa informed Allah Almighty that they had called for help but the blessed grandson had chosen to hide in Mecca Shareef, what answer would he give in this regard? And if they claimed that they were forced to swear allegiance to Yazeed because the great Imam did not arrive in Kufa, again, what answer would he give? Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – clearly understood that if these types of objections and explanations were presented to Allah Almighty on the Day of Judgement, he would be speechless.

 

Another factor which concerned him was a report which he had heard from his blessed father who had narrated that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – has stated that the sacredness of Mecca Shareef will be tramped underfoot merely for the sake of a sheep. In other words, people would destroy Mecca Shareef and kill the people inside the Haram Shareef merely in revenge for sheep. He did not want that he becomes an excuse for the destruction of Mecca Shareef. When the people around him heard these words, they wept so much that it was impossible to stop some of them. (‘Anaasir Ash Shahaadatain)

 

These words and explanations of the great Imam completely silenced many people. After all, this was the son of the door of knowledge.

 

The immense perception of the great Imam!

 

One of the most amazing decisions of the great Imam took the form of who he sent to Kufa as his emissary. Bear in mind that the great Imam already knew that there were people who would appear in this Ummah later on who would be ardent enemies of the blessed Ashaab.

 

Today, we all know these people as the Shia. In a mark of brilliance, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – nominated his own blood cousin to be his emissary. In other words, he nominated Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Muslim bin Aqeel – may Allah be pleased with him – to carry out this mission. If he had sent one of the blessed Ashaab or one of the children of the blessed Ashaab as his official emissary, later on, people would in their stupidity say that it was the blessed companions or their children who had led Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – into the a trap and hence, they were responsible for the annihilation of the Ahle Bayt!

 

This action of his, actually protected the dignity of the Ahle Sunnah wa Jamaah. Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – knew there would be people calling themselves lovers of the Ahle Bayt but in reality, they were hidden enemies of the blessed Ashaab. In this decision of his, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – made sure that he protected the respect and stature of the blessed Ashaab so that no one could point a finger at them later in Islamic history.

 

In other words, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – made it clear that those who wished to join him were free to do so, but that they should never insult the blessed companions of his blessed grandfather.

 

Imam Muslim bin Aqeel – may Allah be pleased with him – leaves Mecca Shareef

 

Finally, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – informed the people in Kufa that he was sending his cousin to monitor the events in Kufa and that his cousin would inform him when it would be proper for him to come to Kufa. Imam Muslim bin Aqeel – may Allah be pleased with him – then left his young daughter, Sakeenah, with the great Imam and took his two young sons with him who were not prepared to leave the side of their father. Their names were Muhammad and Ebrahim.

 

Imam Muslim bin Aqeel – may Allah be pleased with him – then arrived in Kufa. He choose to stay at the residence of Mukhtaar bin Ubaid Saqafi and the news spread all over Kufa of his arrival. People came in their hundreds to swear allegiance to him. It is said that on the first day itself, nearly forty thousand people swore allegiance to him. They also swore on the fact they were prepared to die and kill for him. The Governor of Kufa was the blessed companion, Hadrat Sayyiduna Numan bin Basheer – may Allah be pleased with him –. Obviously, he had immense love and respect for the Ahle Bayt and did not object in the slightest about what was happening in Kufa at that moment.

 

However, the hidden spies within the city did not like the idea that it was the government of Yazeed but allegiance was taken with someone else. One of these imbeciles, Amaarah bin Yazeed, asked the Governor to stop this happening or even have these people killed. However, Hadrat Sayyiduna Numan bin Basheer – may Allah be pleased with him – replied, “I am not such a disgraceful person that I would kill the blessed family of the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – merely for the sake of a government position. Even if I am removed from this position, it is fine, but I can never remove the love and reverence from my heart which I have for the blessed family of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him –.”

 

When the spies of Yazeed saw that the Governor was not prepared to stop this and that people were continuing to swear allegiance to Imam Muslim bin Aqeel – may Allah be pleased with him –, they then wrote a secret note to Yazeed informing him of whatever was happening. Yazeed then sent strict instructions to the Governor of Basra, namely the idiot, Ubaidullah bin Ziyaad, to immediately come to Kufa and leave his brother in charge of Basra. When Ubaidullah bin Ziyaad arrived in Kufa, he was commanded to remove Hadrat Sayyiduna Numan bin Basheer – may Allah be pleased with him – as the Governor and also kill whoever he wanted to make sure that the situation in the city once more stabilizes itself. This idiot then decided to enter the city in disguise so that he could see what was happening. He decided to wear clothing which is normally worn by people coming from the Hejaz and also entered the city travelling on this route.

 

Obviously, the people were tricked because they were convinced that Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – was entering the city with his people. However, when they realised that this person was travelling to the seat of government and not towards Imam Muslim bin Aqeel – may Allah be pleased with him –, they realised their mistake.

 

On his arrival, Ubaidullah bin Ziyaad became the new Governor and decided to follow the instructions of Yazeed. The next morning, he called a meeting in the main Masjid and began to threaten the people. At this time, Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – was now living in the house of Hani bin Urwah. Hani had also come to this meeting and heard what was happening. As he was retuning home, he pondered about what should be done. Ibn Ziyad also sent a person with presents to spy on where Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – was staying and the purpose was to survey the area.

 

The name of this person was Ma’qal. In another report, it is mentioned that ibn Ziyaad actually threatened Hani with death but he remained steadfast and did not reveal anything. Finally, this ninety nine year old person was whipped in public. (Some admit that he was one of the companions and some admit that he had spent a long time in the blessed company of Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Ali – may Allah be pleased with him –). He was then locked in jail and other prominent people in Kufa were also treated the same way.

 

These people were then placed on a roof top and made to announce to others that they should stop supporting Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him –. When Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – heard that his host had been captured, he came out fully armed on the streets to free this person. Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – then gave such an eloquent speech that again, another forty thousand surrounded him and swore support to him. If he wanted, at that moment, he could have destroyed everyone who supported Yazeed, but he did not want bloodshed. Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – only surrounded the government house. However, as the day progressed, more and more people began to leave him. By the time Maghrib arrived, there were only about five hundred people who stood around him.

 

Another sad point to be noted is that these people stood behind the Imam with their hands at their side so that if ever they were questioned by Ibn Ziyad, they would say that they did not perform Maghrib behind Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – or nominate him as their Imam. And if Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – asked them, they would say that they were still standing behind him. However, many events had already transpired.  At the end of the day, no one stood with the great Imam. Hani had been martyred and a letter had already been dispatched to Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – to come to Kufa. The two sons of the great Imam only remained with Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him –.

 

While Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – was walking on the streets of Kufa, most of the doors were shut on him. An old lady by the name of “Tu’a” appeared. She then asked Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – to enter the house with his children. She then made sure that she fed them and made certain that they were comfortable.

 

However, her son who later arrived was someone who was to become a victim of greed. When he saw who his mother had in the house, he immediately informed ibn Ziyad that these people were in his house. Ibn Ziyad then sent Muhammad bin Ash’as with a small battalion to capture Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him -. They then surrounded the house. When Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – came out of the house, he realised that except for fighting for his life, there was nothing else to be done. However, this was no ordinary person. This was someone in whose veins ran the Hashimi blood. Before ibn Ash’as could realise what was happening, five hundred of his soldiers lay dead on the ground. When he realised that he could not defeat this one single person, he decided to speak about peace. Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – then informed him that even when he had forty thousand people with him, he spoke about peace, yet these people did not listen to him. Eventually, Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – decided to talk peace with these people.

 

Martyrdom of Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him –

 

In one report it is mentioned that when Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – decided to speak peace and arrived at the government house with his two children, he was attacked from behind and all of them were martyred.

 

Another report is that while been surrounded and fighting against these people, he was severely injured and then taken to the government house alone. Ibn Ziyad then forced him to swear allegiance to Yazeed which he refused to do. Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – was then taken to the roof top and asked whether he had any final words. He then asked that his horse and other items be sold to pay someone he owed money to in Kufa. He also asked that his children be returned to Mecca Shareef. Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – also asked that his cousin, Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him -, be told not to come to Kufa. Sadly, none of these were honoured by ibn Ziyad and his troops. He then asked that he be given an opportunity to read two rak’ah of Salaah which he did quickly so that these people did not think he was afraid of death. He was then beheaded. Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon.

 

Ibn Ziyad was now extremely happy thinking that he had achieved a great victory. However, while this was going on, an old lady approached ibn Ziyad and began to curse him. This was the same old lady named Tu’a. Such was the ferociousness of her insult and attack against ibn Ziyad and his people, that they had this old lady immediately killed.

 

The martyrdom of the blessed children of Imam Muslim bin Aqeel – may Allah be pleased with him –

 

After the martyrdom of Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – a general notice was sent out on the capture of his children. A reward was also offered in this regard. At the same time, both children were in the house of Qadi Shurah – may Allah be pleased with him -. They were weeping and waiting for the arrival of their father. They had still not received the message that their father had been martyred. However when Qadi Shurayh – may Allah be pleased with him – heard about the martyrdom of Imam Muslim – may Allah be pleased with him – and began to weep, the children realised that their father had passed away. When they began to weep, Qadi Shurayh – may Allah be pleased with him – also informed them to remain silent so that people would not be able to find where they were. He also informed them as per the final instructions of their father, he was to smuggle them out of Kufa so that they could travel to Mecca Shareef. Qadi Shurayh – may Allah be pleased with him – also mentioned about a caravan that was leaving the same night.

 

Qadi Shurayh – may Allah be pleased with him – then gave them money and wrapped some food for them. He called his son, Asad, and told him that he was to take the two young children to a certain door of the city that night and let them join a certain caravan that was leaving for Mecca Shareef. When they arrived at this spot, the caravan had just left but they could see the dust not far off. The both of them then began to run after this caravan. However, as it was destined, the more they ran, the more the caravan seemed to have left them. In the morning, they realised that they were at the same spot.

 

Suddenly a rider appeared in front of them and when he asked them who they were, they revealed their true identity. After all, these were the true Ahle Bayt and they were not in the habit of lying. Because of greed for wealth in the form of a reward, this soldier then took both of them to the court of ibn Ziyad. They were then sent to jail.

 

However, the guard at their cell was someone who had a lot of respect for the Ahle Bayt. He made sure that they were comfortable and also made sure that they were fed. During the night, he then handed them his special ring and informed them, “This is a road which leads straight to Qadasiyah. My brother is also a senior official in that city. Give him this ring and he will make sure that he sends the both of you to Mecca Shareef as safely as possible”.

 

The name of this guard was Mashkur. He then released them from this cell. However, ibn Ziyad came to know of the secret plan. He then had Mashkur captured and finally put him to death.

 

In one report, it is mentioned that some people came to Ibn Ziyad and informed him that since Mashkur had already been whipped in public, he should be spared any further humiliation because he also comes from a powerful family and they did not want any secret sedition to be caused through this. However, when Mashkur heard about this intercession on his behalf, he made it clear that they should do nothing of the like because with every lashing on his body, he could see the beautiful countenance of the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him –.

 

Again there was a large reward placed on this children and they continued to hide during the night. They then approached a well and hid in some of the brushes near this well. We can imagine the state and condition of these blessed children! When people speak of a royal family, this is the real royal family! Every other so-called royal family is a just that, a so-called royal family.

 

A woman then appeared at this well and noticed these children. She asked who they were and they again spoke the truth about their identity. She then informed them that her master was a lady who had great respect for the Ahle Bayt and that they should follow her to her house. When they arrived at this house, they were cleaned, fed and then put to sleep.

 

However, the husband of the slave’s master was a greedy person and he himself had spent the entire night looking for this children so that he could claim the reward. Little did he realise that these children were in his own house. When he arrived home, he asked his wife for some food and heard the sound of these children in the next room.

 

In fact, the the children were weeping. The elder brother was informing the younger brother that he had seen a dream. He had dreamt that he had seen their father and Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – was asking their father, “O Muslim! Why did you come alone? Why did you not bring the children as well?” Our father then replied, “O Prophet of Allah, they would be arriving very soon.” When the husband of this lady called Haarith heard these voices, he rushed into the room and asked who they were.  The innocent children replied, unaware of the danger, that they were the orphan children of Imam Muslim.  Enraged and furious, he started to beat the children.  His wife tried to defend and confronted him but he kicked her and pushed her aside.  She got hurt and siffered the head injury and started to bleed.  He tied them and had them imprisoned until the next morning.  In the morning he brought the children at the river Euphrates and mercilessly murdered them with his sword.  After this idiot had these children killed, he came to the court of ibn Ziyad.

 

Ibn Ziyad then asked Haarith that if Yazeed asks him for these children how he would be able to present them in the court of Yazeed. He then decided to teach Haarith a severe lesson. He had his hands and legs chopped off and this was performed by a person named Muqaatil. In fact, his entire body was chopped in pieces and then placed in a box. He then had this box placed in a river. However, a few minutes a wave again brought this box on shore. This happened three times. This box was then placed in a dark cave and again, this cave also threw out this box. Again this happened on three occasions. Finally, they decided to burn the body and his ashes were thrown into the river.

 

As for the bodies of these two children. Some reports suggest that they were found floating in a river after been killed by Haarith and were buried on the banks of this river. Allah Almighty knows best.