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In the Name of God بسم الله

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The Day of A'shura: The First Speech of the Al-Imam Al-Husayn (as)


The First Speech of the Imam (as)

When the enemy had neared him, he [called] for his mount and mounted it. He then called out at he top of his voice which was heard by most of the people [and said]:

“O people! Listen to my words and do not hurry [to attack me] so that I may remind you of the duties you have towards me, so that I may free myself from any blame for coming to you. If you accept my excuse, believe in what I say and give me justice, you will become happier through that and you will have no reason to fight against me. [But] if you do not accept my excuse and do not give me justice of your own accord, ‘So conspire together, along with your partners, leaving nothing vague in your plan, then carry it out against me without giving me any respite.’7 ‘My guardian is indeed Allah who sent down the Book, and He takes care of the righteous.’”8

When his sisters heard what he said, they screamed and lamented. His daughters also [began] weeping and their voices rose. So [al-Husayn (as)] sent to them his brother, ‘Abbas bin ‘Ali, and his son, ‘Ali, and told them: “Make them silent. For by my life, they are going to weep even more.”

When the women became quite, he praised Allah and extolled Him and mentioned what He is entitled to. He called for blessings on Muhammad (S) and on the angels and the prophets.

[Here the reporter says:] “By Allah, I have never heard a speaker before or after him more eloquent in his speech than he was.”

He then said: “Trace back my lineage and consider who I am?! Then look back at yourselves and remonstrate with yourselves. Then consider whether it is right for you to kill me and to violate my sanctity. Am I not the son of the daughter of your Prophet, and the son of his successor and cousin, the first of the believers in Allah and the one who believed [first] in what the Messenger brought from his Lord? Was not Hamzah, the lord of the martyrs, the uncle of my father?! Was not Ja’far, the martyr, the one who flies [in Heaven] and the one with two wings, my uncle?! Have you not heard the words common amidst you that the Messenger of Allah (S) said to me and my brother: ‘These [two] are the lords of the youths of Paradise?’

If you believe in what I am saying, [then know that] it is the truth, for, by Allah, I never thought of lying since I learnt that Allah hated the liars and that he punishes the one who lies. [But] if you regard it as a lie, then there are among you those who, if you asked them about it, would inform you [that the Prophet (S) had said so]. Ask Jabir bin ‘Abdillah al-Ansari9, or Abu Sa’id al-Khudhri10, or Sahl bin Sa‘d al-Sa’idi11, or Zayd bin Arqam12,

or Anas bin Malik13 and they will inform you that they have heard this statement from the Prophet of Allah (S) concerning myself and my brother. Is there not [sufficient] in this to prevent you shedding my blood?!”

Shamir bin Dhi al-Jaushan said: “Whoever understands what you are saying is [indeed] worshipping Allah on the fringe.”14

So Habib bin MuZahir said to him: “By Allah, I think you are worshipping Allah on seventy edges. I testify that you are right, you do not understand what he is saying; for indeed Allah has sealed your heart [from the truth].”

Al-Husayn (as) then told them: “If you are in any doubt about this, then are you going to doubt what I am going to say after this? Am I not the son of the daughter of your Prophet? By Allah, there is no son of the daughter of a prophet, between the East and the West, other than me; neither from among you, nor from other than you. I, only, am the son of the daughter of your Prophet. Now tell me, are you seeking retribution from me for one of your dead whom I have killed, or for property [of yours] which I expropriated, or are you seeking retaliation for a wound [which I have inflicted on one of you]?”

[They remained silent and] did not say anything to him.

Then he called out: “O Shabath bin Rib’i, O Hajjar bin Abjar, O Qais bin al-Ash’ath, O Yazid bin Harith! Did you not write to me [saying]: ‘The fruits have ripened, the gardens have grown green and the water spots have been filled. You are only coming to an army which has been prepared for you. So come’?”

They replied: “We did not!”15

So he said [with amazement]: “Glory be to Allah! Indeed, by Allah you did so.” Then he said: “O people! [Now] that you dislike me, let me go away from you to a secured place on this earth.”

So Qais bin al-Ash’ath said to him: “Will you not submit to the authority of the sons of your uncle [i.e. the Banu Umayyah]?! They will only treat you the way you wish and nothing detestful will touch you from them!”

Al-Husayn (as) said: “You are the brother of your brother [i.e. Muhammad bin al-Ash’ath]. Do you want the Banu Hashim to seek [retribution] from you for more than the blood of Muslim bin ‘Aqil?! Nay by Allah, I will not give them my hand like one who has been humiliated, nor will I submit [to their demands] like the submission (iqrar) of the slaves!16 O servants of Allah! ‘I seek the protection of my Lord and your Lord, lest you should stone me.’17 ‘Indeed I seek the protection of my Lord and your Lord from every arrogant one who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning.’”18

Then, [he returned to (his tent)] and made his mount kneel and ordered ‘Uqbah bin Sim’an to tie it up and he did so.19


The Event of Taff, The Earliest Historical Account of the Tragedy of Karbala’

Abu Mikhnaf

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