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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Nainawa- second of Muharram 61 H.

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Second of Muharram 61 H.



This is a place where al-Husayn (as) halted. There appeared, suddenly, a rider who was on a horse of a noble breed, carrying weapon with a bow on his shoulder, coming from Kufah. They all stopped, waiting for him. When he reached them, he greeted Hurr bin Yazid and his followers but did not greet al-Husayn (as) and his companions. He handed a letter from ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad to Hurr. It read:

“When this letter reaches you and my messenger comes to you, make al-Husayn come to a halt. But only let him stop in an open place, with no shelter and water. I have ordered my messenger to stay with you and not to leave you until he brings me [news of] your carrying out my instructions. That is all.”

When he had read the letter, Hurr told them: “This is the letter of the governor, ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad. He has ordered me to stop you at a point I received his letter. This is his messenger and he has ordered him not to leave me until I carry out his order.”

[Abu] al-Sha’tha’ Yazid bin Ziyad al-Muhasar al-Kindi al-Bahdali67 looked at the messenger of ‘Ubaidullah [bin Ziyad], stood infront of him and said: “Are you Malik bin al-Nusair al-Baddi68 [from the tribe of Kindah]?”

He answered: “Yes.”

So Yazid bin Ziyad said to him: “May your mother mourn you! What an affair you have come to?!”

He replied: “I have not done so! I have [only] obeyed my leader (imami) and remained faithful to my pledge of allegiance.”

Abu al-Sha’tha’ said: “You have been disobedient to your Lord and have obeyed your leader to your own destruction. You have earned shame and hell fire! Allah, the Almighty, the Majestic, says: ‘We made them leaders who invite to the fire, and on the Day of Resurrection they will not receive any help.’69 Such [a person] is your leader!”

Hurr bin Yazid [al-Riyahi] began to make the people halt at that place which was without water and where there was no village.70

So they said: “Allow us to stop at this village –meaning Nainawa, or that one –meaning al-Ghadhiriyyah71, or that one –meaning Shafiyyah72.”

He replied: “No! By Allah I cannot do that. This man has been sent to me as a spy.”

Zuhair bin al-Qain said to [al-Husayn (as)]: “O son of the Messenger of Allah! Fighting these people [now] is easier than fighting those who will come against us after them. By my life, after these there will come against us such [a number] that we will not have the power to face them.”

Al-Husayn (as) said to him: “I will not begin to fight against them.”

Zuhair bin al-Qain said to him: “Let us go to this village and halt there, for it is secured and is situated on the bank of the Euphrates. If they stopped us, we will fight them, as it is easier for us to fight these [men] than to fight those who will come after them.”

So al-Husayn (as) said: “Which village is it?”

He replied: “Al-‘Aqr.”73

Al-Husayn (as) said: “O Allah! I seek refuge with you from ‘aqr (destruction).” Then he stopped. This was on Thursday, second of Muharram 61 H.

On the next day, ‘Umar bin Sa‘d bin Abi Waqqas74 arrived from Kufah with four thousand soldiers


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