Sermon of the Holy Imam on the day of Ashura – #Muharram

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Imam Hussain (pbuh) thanked and praised Almighty God first. Then mentioned Holy Prophet (pbuh) and prayed on him and said:

Citizens of Kufa, Remember my image and look who I am, then awaken yourselves. Ask if it is fair for you to kill me and to violate the honor of my women? Am I not the son of your prophet’s daughter, the son of his successor, his cousin and the first one who believed in what he attains from God? Isn’t Hamzah, Master of martyrs, my father’s uncle? Haven’t you heard the words that God’s Messenger said to me and my brother that we are the masters of the Heaven’s youths.

Are you asking me for a dead person I killed, or money I usurped, or by punishment for wounds?

When no one answered, he shouted loud and said: I beseech you by God; do you know me? Yes, you are the Grandson of God’s Messenger (pbuh), they replied.

I beseech you by God; do you know that Muhammad is my Grandfather? And do you know that Ali son of Abu Talib is my father? I beseech you by God; do you know that Fatima the daughter of God’s Messenger is my mother? I beseech you by God; do you know that Khadija daughter of Khuwayled the first women in Islam is my Grandmother? I beseech you by God; do you know that Hamzah master of martyrs is my father’s uncle? I beseech you by God; do you know that this is the prophet’s sword? I beseech you by God; isn’t the Turban I am wearing Prophet’s Turban? I beseech you by God; wasn’t Ali the most all-knowing the bravest man in Islam, and the master (Maula) of every faithful Muslim? Yet you are shedding my blood and he is my father.

Yes, we know all that and we will not leave you until you taste death from thirst.

When his daughters and his sisters (Zainab & Kulthoom) heard his speech they cried, wept, slapped their cheeks, and shouted. Imam Hussain sent his brother Abbas and his son Ali to silence them. Then he continued another speech, by saying I swear that they will have to cry a lot later.

Woe, to you: You cried for help and we came running, but you drew your sword of faith against us and tried to burn us with the fire we set for your enemies. You have turned to them and became their allies, without any justice or any hope they have given you.

May your fate be as tragic as your actions. You have left us while we were in the midst of the battle, and you run to the pleasures of life. May God’s curse be upon you, for you are the slaves of this nation and the outcast of any party, the deviators of their words, the bandits of evil and the breath of Satan. How could you ally with our enemies against us? But treason is a habit that runs deep into you, in your roots and in your branches as well as the air you breathe and the food you eat. That Swindler son of Swindlers had left me to choose between death and humiliation. But there is no way humiliation could find a route to us. God, His messenger and our pride would neither wish us nor let us obey those vicious mean people. May God bear witness I am going to fight with my family no matter how few our supporters are?

Imam Hussain (pbuh) made this speech so that later no one would be able to say that it was Imam Hussain (pbuh) who started this battle. Umar son of Saad became worried that Imam Hussain (pbuh)’s words might change the minds of some of the troops. Hence ordered his slave Durayd saying: Hay Durayd holds your banner and be me witness in front of the prince that I was the first to fight Hussain (pbuh). He put an arrow to his bow and shot it towards Imam Hussain (pbuh)’s tent. There followed thousands of arrows towards Imam Hussain (pbuh)’s camp.

Hurr joins the Holy Imam

Hurr son of Yazid Al-Riyahi, the commander of Yazid’s regiment, who had obstructed Hussain’s way near Kufa, was also present in the enemy’s forces in Karbala. He spent all his time in repenting and feeling very guilty for having obstructed the way of the son of the Holy Prophet, and blamed himself for bringing Imam Hussain to Karbala. The enemy’s officers and soldiers were only wondering at the mysterious sorrowful silence and the serious pensive mood in which Hurr spent all his time since his arrival on the plain.

On the morning of 10th Muharram, Hurr called his son secretly in his tent and said: “We are doomed driven towards ‘hell’. There is yet time. I have decided to dash out of the ranks of Satan and join the side of the Imam Hussain (pbuh) and seek pardon of the son of the Apostle of God. Would you like to accompany me or stay where you are?”

The son of Hurr readily consented to accompany him and Hurr’s slave who was a faithful & trusted one of his master, was present in the tent and implored saying Master! Take me away from this God’s cursed side, along with you. Please don’t leave me for hell and Hurr agreed.

Hurr, with his son and a slave, dashed out of the enemy’s ranks. After that, Hurr approached until he took a place ahead among the people then he started to approach Imam Hussain little by little. ‘Al- Mouhajer son of Awss’ asked him: What do you want to do? Do you want to fight Hussain?

Hurr began to tremble and Al-Mouhajer said: You arise my doubt; I swear by God that I have never seen you like this in any situation and if someone asked me about the most courageous man in Kufa, I would have never chosen anyone else other than you. But what happened to you today? For God’s sake, I am choosing between heaven and hell and by God I’ll never choose but heaven even if I am to be cut into pieces and burnt.

Hurr appearing before the Holy Imam with tears in his eyes begged his pardon for the wrong he had done. “O my Imam, I am so sorry for forcing you to come to Karbala. Please allow me to fight along with you. I would be honored if you would let me lay down my life first before anyone amongst you is killed. I have brought my son to die with me defending your sons.” The return of Hurr had already been foretold by Imam Hussain in his camp. Hurr was received very warmly by Imam Hussain and his companions as special guest. Hurr was amazed by the kindness of Holy Imam. And when the fight against the devil began, Hurr was the first one who went into the field against the enemy and charged bravely like a wolf among a herd of Sheep and laid down his life, after killing more than forty (40) of enemies.

Imam Hussain rushed to him found him with big cut on the head and the wound was bleeding badly. Imam Hussain took his scarf which had belonged to his mother Fatima (pbuh) and bandaged his wound and cleaned his eyes from blood. Hurr told Imam “Did I do well and are you satisfied?”

The last thing Hurr heard before he died was Imam Hussain telling him your mother made the right choice by naming you Hurr (The Freeman). Body of Hurr was carried by his tribe and buried.

The Battle of Truth against Falsehood

Thus the battle of Truth against Falsehood began. One after another of the Godly ones from the Holy Imam’s side went into the field and laid down his life after exhibiting wonderful bravery, courage, valor and prowess. It looked as if the thirst, hunger, heat and the wounds had no affect whatsoever on the patience, the strength and the determination of Imam Hussain (pbuh)’s devotees. At last when the deceitful Umar son of Saad saw the wonderful fight, he was astonished that each one from the Holy Imam’s side easily destroyed dozens before he fell, and who proved unconquerable, he ordered a sally in contravention of the solemn agreement entered into, the previous night. The bravery and the skill displayed by the faithful supporters of the sacred cause, the matchless resignation to the Divine Will, and the flawless devotion and the ideal attachment of each one of the hungry and thirsty sufferers of the Godly camp, to the Holy Imam and to the sacred cause of Truth, drowned the Devil’s army and their officers in wonder and astonishment, and they had become so awe-stricken at the miraculous strength and unparalleled courage of the helpless sufferers that they began to dread the very countenance of each of the Godly devotees of the Holy Imam who came alone into the field and fought and fell in the way of God.

Imam Hussain’s companions were determined that as long as one of them was alive, they would not allow the blood of Imam Hussain and his family spill in Karbala. From early that morning, Imam Hussain together with Abbas the brave, Ali Akbar and others carried the bodies of their companions back to the camp. Although these brave soldiers did not have their own families to mourn their death, the ladies in Imam Hussain’s camp cried for them as if they were part of their own family.

Thus, whenever a supporter of the Holy cause went against the Devil’s forces and fell, Imam Hussain, Abbas the brave and Ali Akbar would rush out to be by the side of their dying companion and brought his body back and laid it in a tent pitched particularly for the martyrs. As the battle for Right against Might proceeded and the supporters of the Truth fell one after another, the tent containing the bodies of the martyrs was turned into a ‘Ganj-e-Shaheedan’ or the ‘Repository of the Martyrs’. When the dust of the battle settled, around fifty of Imam Hussain (pbuh)’s companions were martyred.

Wahab and his Family

Wahab son of Abdullah Al-Kalby was a Christian, who was accompanied by his newly married wife and mother. All of them declared their Islam before Imam Hussain (pbuh) on the way to Karbala.

During the Battle between Holy Imam (pbuh) and his enemies Wahab’s mother said: “My son, go and support the son of God’s messenger.” That is what I intend to put my best resolve into. Wahab replied.

He rode to the battlefield saying: “If you deny me. I am the son of Al-Kalby. You’ll see me and my fighting. And learn of my strength and steady fastness.”

Wahab killed some of them and returned to his mother and said: Mother are you satisfied with me?

I’ll never be satisfied until you are killed for the cause of Imam Hussain (pbuh).

His wife said “For God’s sake we have just got married I cannot stand even the thought of your death.”

His mother interrupted saying “Go away from her sight; don’t listen to her. Go back and fight for Imam Hussain (pbuh). You will earn his Grandfather’s intercede on Doom’s Day.”

He got back fighting until he killed nineteen knights and another twenty of the infantry. Then his fingers were cut; at that moment his wife carried a pole and rushed towards him, saying: May my father and my mother be your redemption. Fight for the sake of the women of God’s Messenger.

He tried to make her return back to the women camp, but she held his clothes and said: I’ll never go back until I die with you.

Wahab turned back to her saying “Some time ago you were objecting and now you are urging me to fight! What happened?”

She replied: Wahab, I have forsaken life since I heard Imam Hussain calling: Oh My God, Oh How few are my resources. I am left alone; is there anyone to support us? his voice really broke my heart.

Then Wahab sought assistance from Imam Hussain to tell her to go back to her tent. Imam Hussain said: May God reward you and May God have mercy upon you, go back to the women. So she returned and Wahab fought like an angry lion and he killed so many of the enemies, but the enemies had no choice but to shower him with arrows till he was martyred.

The enemies beheaded Wahab and threw his head besides his wife’s tent. His wife came out and started to wipe the blood and dust from Wahab’s face. Shimr saw her and ordered his slave to strike her; she fell down beside her husband’s head, thus becoming  the first women to be killed from Imam Hussain’s camp.

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