The time arrived for the martyrdom of the son of Batool, the king of Karbala, Hazrat Sayyiduna Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). When Hazrat Imam Hussain intended to go onto the battleﬁeld, Hazrat Sayyiduna Zainul ‘Aabideen (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) approached him with a spear in his hand and requested that he be granted permission to go onto the battleﬁeld before his father and sacriﬁce his life in the way of Allah Ta’ala. This was in spite of the fact that he was extremely frail due to ill health. Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) embraced him with love and thereafter said to him, “Son, how can I permit you to go onto the battleﬁeld? Ali Akbar has been martyred and so has Qasim. All those relatives and friends who accompanied us have sacriﬁced their lives in the way of Allah. If I permit you to go onto the battleﬁeld then no Mahram (non-marriageable person) will be left to be the guardian of the women from the Ahle Bait. How shall these helpless women reach Madinah from this foreign land? Who shall take care of your mothers and sisters, attending to their needs? My beloved son, you have to remain alive. You cannot die. Otherwise, how shall my lineage continue? Oh my ﬂesh and blood, all these hopes are bound around your personality. Remember to remain ﬁrm on patience (Sabr) and steadfastness (Istiqaamat). Forbear all the problems and calamities you face during your travel upon the path of truth and always follow the Shariah and the Sunnah of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). You are my successor. Therefore, you are not permitted to go onto the battleﬁeld.” Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) made him the bearer of all responsibilities and took off his turban and placed it on the head of Sayyiduna Zainul ‘Aabideen (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and thereafter, Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) placed his hands on Sayyiduna Zainul ‘Aabideen’s head and made him lie down on his sick bed.
Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) went to his camp and wore an Egyptian outer garment. He also had many Tabarrukaat (sacred relics) such as the blessed turban of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) which he tied around his head. He placed the shield of Hazrat Hamzah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) on his back; he had the sword ‘Zulfiqar’ of Hazrat Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) which was hanging around his neck, and he had the spear of Hazrat Ja’far Tayyaar (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), which was in his hand. Thus the King of Karbala after sacrificing everything in the way of Allah was now prepared to sacrifice his own life for the sake of Islam.
When the wives saw this, tears began to flow from their eyes. Sayyidah Zainab (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha) looked towards Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) (her brother) tearfully and Hazrat Sakeenah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha) (his daughter) said, “Father where are you going? Under whose guardianship are you leaving us? Those beasts of prey that could not leave innocent Ali Asghar alone, what shall they do to us?” Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) replied that Allah Ta’ala was their guardian and their assistant. He advised them to remain patient and grateful at all times and after bidding them all farewell, he rode on his horse. With tearful eyes, this group of helpless travellers looked towards Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) for the last time. These veiled women of pure descent were watching on as they saw him leave. All these emotions could not stop Sayyiduna Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) from proceeding towards the battlefield. He had left everything in the hands of Allah Ta’ala and he reached the battleground. He was physically and emotionally exhausted as he had been hungry and thirsty for days and he was still sorrowful for the loss of his children, his nephews and many of his relatives and friends. In spite of this, he stood before the enemy like a lion even though the enemy was similar to immoveable mountains.
Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) recited an inspirational verse which was based on his lineage and personal virtues. Thereafter, he delivered an eloquent speech, in which he said (after praising Allah and His Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)), “O people! The Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) who you claim to follow has stated that the one who holds enmity with Hassan and Hussain has held enmity with him (i.e. The Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)). Whosoever holds enmity with Allah’s Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has held enmity with Almighty Allah. O followers of Yazeed! Fear Allah and refrain from holding enmity with me. If you believe in Allah and His Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then think about the day when you have to answer in His court with regard to your actions. Indeed Allah sees everything as He is Al-Baseer and he witnesses everything as He is Ash-Shaheed. How shall you face the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)? You treacherous people! You wrote many letters to me inviting me (to Kufa) and when I arrived you treated me in such an awful manner that you exceeded all limits of oppression. You shed the blood of my children, my nephews and my brothers. You cut the fragrant ﬂowers of Az-Zahra’s garden one by one. You killed all my companions and now you are thirsty for my blood. O you who wish to ruin the household of your own Messenger! If you believe in the day of Judgement, consider the result of your actions and analyse your hereafter. Contemplate with regard to who I am and whose grandson I am. Who are my parents? Whose daughter is my mother? I am the son of that Fatimah with regard to whom it shall be announced on the Day of Judgement when she is crossing the bridge of Siraat, “O people of Mahshar! Bow your heads and close your eyes as this blessed woman of Jannah is about to pass in the company of 70 000 heavenly virgins.” O shameless nation! Be shameful. You still have a chance to avoid staining your hands with my blood.”
Hazrat Imam Hussain’s (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) speech had mesmerized many within the Yazeedi army whose tears had begun to ﬂow. Shimar and his ﬁlthy associates however, were unmoved and when they saw the effect that the speech had had on some soldiers, they screamed, “Pledge allegiance to Yazeed or prepare for war! Apart from this we do not wish to hear anything!” Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) replied that he was well aware that their hearts were dark and stamped with misfortune and wretchedness as their power of faith had died. The only reason that Imam Hussain delivered his speech was to get rid of any room for mitigation. As for Bay’ah to Yazeed, Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) explained how he could never bow down before falsehood. He realized that these misfortunate individuals were ready to carry the burden of his murder and they would not refrain from shedding his blood. Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) therefore announced, “It is now time for you to fulﬁl your desires and bring forth whoever you wish to compete against me.”
Very famous warriors had been selected to ﬁght against the lion of Allah’s lion. Amongst these courageous warriors, the ﬁrst to be chosen by Ibn Sa’d was Tameem Ibn Qahtabah who was a Syrian warrior. With pride and arrogance, he was jumping up and down displaying his bravery. He came before Sayyiduna Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and attacked him but Hazrat Imam Hussain struck Tameem so ﬁercely with Zulfiqar that his head was separated from his body and his arrogance was buried beneath the ground. Yazeed Al-Bathi then moved forward with a pompous attitude and desired to show his great ability before Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) so that he could be praised in the community of the Yazeedis and be awarded with many gifts. When he came before Hazrat Imam Hussain he shouted a slogan and said, “Amongst the great brave people of Shaam and Iraq, my bravery is infamous. I am known in Rome and Egypt. Within a blink of an eye, I can send a person into his grave. The people of the entire world accept me to be a brave man who is stronger than metal and they ﬂee in front of me like sheep. No one has the ability to challenge me. Today you shall witness my power and my ability to trick during a ﬁght.” Hazrat Imam Hussain replied, “You do not know me. The blood ﬂowing in my veins is Hashimi blood. I am the lion of the lion of Allah. People like you who are not actually men have no essence in front of me. According to me, you are not worth more than ﬂies and mosquitoes.” The Syrian youth was angered and he attacked Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) after making his horse jump. Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) rendered his strike useless, leaped onto him and stabbed him in the waist so viciously that he was separated into two pieces and he fell onto the ground.
Badr Ibn Sohail Al-Yamani was outraged to see this happening and he said to Shimar, “What type of villagers, who have no talent whatsoever, have you sent to compete against Hussain? Send one of my four sons to ﬁght with Hussain and you shall witness how Hussain’s head shall be struck off within a few minutes.” Ibn Sa’d signalled towards Badr’s eldest son who came before Imam Hussain whilst exciting his horse and making it jump. Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said to him that it would be better for his father to come as the father would then have avoided having to see his son drenched in blood. With one strike of Zulfiqar, Badr’s son collapsed and thereafter he proceeded to the pits of Hell. Badr was overcome with rage and fury upon seeing his son, who was a great warrior, being disgraced and killed in this manner. Thus Badr came in front of Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) gnashing his teeth and he immediately attacked the great Imam with his spear. Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) broke his spear. Badr then raised his sword and said “Hussain I shall attack you with this sword so viciously that if I was to strike the mountain so harshly, it would crush into pieces. He attempted to strike him but Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) managed to avoid his strike and then used Zulfiqar so effectively that Badr’s head was cut off and it landed at a far distance rolling like a ball.
Many infamous ﬁghters from Shaam and Iraq fought with Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) but he sent them all to the grave, leaving not of one of them to return to his comrades alive. Through his immense courage and bravery (in spite of being deprived of nutrition and hydration for three days) Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) cultivated the land of Karbala with the corpses of the tyrannical warriors of Kufa and Shaam. He stabbed some of them in the chest with his spear whilst he lifted others on the edge of his sword and dropped them onto the ground, breaking their bones. He grabbed others by their belt throwing them onto the ground and treading on them with his horse’s feet. He stabbed others on their chests separating them into two parts. He struck others on their necks with Zulfiqar causing their heads to roll like balls. His strike was often so severe that his opponent would often be cut together with the saddle.
It was his awe and bravery which caused the hearts of his enemies to tremble and there was agitation spreading across the enemy lines that if the battle continued in this manner then not one of their soldiers would remain alive, resulting in their wives being widowed and their children being orphaned. Thus the strategy was altered to attack Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) from all four corners. The Yazeedi’s had been defeated in the face to face battle with Sayyiduna Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) so therefore thousands of them now surrounded him. Thousands of swords and spears began to clash and the enemies were continuously proceeding towards Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). He was displaying his huge courage, slaughtering his enemies and the heads of the tyrants were flying before him like the leaves that fall from the trees during the winds of autumn.
When Ibn Sa’d realised that there was no success in this tactic, he commanded that arrows be showered upon Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) from all four corners and when he was severely wounded by the arrows, they were to use spears. The archers targeted him from all four corners and at once thousands of arrows left their bows. His horse was severely injured and he was forced to stop at one point. Arrows were flying from everywhere and his blessed body became wounded and covered with blood. Eventually, an arrow struck Sayyiduna Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) on his blessed forehead, a place which had been kissed by Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) many times before. As soon as the arrow hit him, a stream of blood began to ﬂow from his blessed face. Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) collapsed onto the land from his horse. The vicious tyrants now began to attack with spears. The devilish Sanaan threw a spear which crossed through the blessed body of Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). After receiving 72 wounds from the arrows, spears and swords of the Yazeedis, Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) reunited with his Lord whilst in the state of prostration (Sajdah), thanking Allah for all His blessings. At the age of 56, Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) departed from this mortal world on Friday, 10 Muharram 61 A.H.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to learn from the courage, bravery and sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Hussain (Radiallahu Anh) and the Taufeeq to stand up for Haqq even in adversity, Ameen.
[Compiled from Khutbaat-e-Muharram by Faqeeh-e-Millat Hazrat Allama Mufti Jalaaludeen Ahmad Amjadi Rahmatullah Alaih]