Muharram: How did the tragedy of Karbala unfold

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa • 4 Months ago
The scene of Battle of Karbla recreated during Muharram
The scene of Battle of Karbla recreated during Muharram


Sayyed Taleef Haider

According to Islamic tradition, if a king is acknowledged by everybody, no other can claim to be the ruler. In case someone does so, he gets a death sentence. When Yazeed Ibn e Muawiyah was appointed Caliph after Amir Muawiyah, four persons spoke out against him. Imam Hussain was one of them. Yazeed was not obligated to follow Islam, hence Imam Husain refused to accept him as the Caliph. This opposition was also backed by the people of Kufa.

Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, received letters from thousands of people in Kufa in support of his appointment as the Caliph and that he must come to Kufa so that the people could pledge allegiance to him. After receiving many letters, Imam Hussain sent Muslim bin Aqeel, as his spokesman, to Kufa to assess the situation. When Muslim bin Aqeel arrived in Kufa and learned that the locals were supporting Imam Hussain, he tried to call Imam Hussain to the city.

In light of this, Imam Hussain and his 82 companions, including Muslim bin Aqeel's children, left for Kufa on the third day of Zil-Hijjah. Meanwhile, Yazeed chose Ibn Ziyaad as the Governor of Kufa to control the rising rebellion. As Ibn Ziyad started ill-treating the people of Kufa, they began to turn away from Imam Hussain and killed Muslim bin Aqeel.

Imam Hussain had already left Mecca for Kufa which was some 1000 km away and took 20 days to cover. Before he was killed, Muslim bin Aqeel requested the people of Kufa that if there was any believer amongst them, he must convey this news to Imam Hussain that the people of Kufa have rebelled against him.

When Imam Hussain left Mecca, poet Farazdaque, who was returning from Kufa, met him at Safaah. He told Imam Hussain that the people of Kufa are afraid of Ibn e Ziyad. “Their Hearts are with you but their swords are with Bani Umaiyyah,” he told Imam Hussain.

Imam Hussain became anxious about his family. When he entered the border of Iraq, Basheer bin Ghalib conveyed a similar message to him. Therefore, when Imam Hussain arrived at Batan al-Harmah, he gave a letter to Qais bin Masahar and sent him to Kufa, in which he advised the people of Kufa to assemble and wait for him. However, his letter never reached the people of Kufa as Ibn e Ziyad killed Qais bin Masahar by throwing him from the rooftop of a house.

When Imam Hussain reached Shaqooque, another person from Kufa came to meet him and told him that Muslim bin Aqeel and Hani bin Arwah had been killed. Imam Hussain was deeply regretful to this man. He stayed in Qasr Bani Al-Muqatal and decided to go to the next location of Saalbiyah. He gathered all of his companions at Qutqutanah and told them about the murder of Muslim bin Aqeel and the disloyalty of the Kufa people to him. He told everyone to

When he reached the place of Mariah after two-day travel from Kufa, he was faced with  Ibn e Ziyaad’s army. Its commander Hur informed Imam Hussain that he was under instructions to prevent him from leaving. To this, Hussain replied that he had come there at the demand of the Kufa people. Hur was surprised because very few people knew about the letters sent to Hussain.  
Hur told Imam Hussain that Ibn e Ziyaad had asked him to cut off the supply of water and imprison him. However, Hur said he feared the Day of Judgment. Therefore, he asked Imam Hussain to return home. After this Imam Hussain returned from Maria. It’s narrated that the descendants of Muslim bin Aqeel pledged revenge.
Imam Hussain did not want war, so he offered three conditions to Umar Ibn e Saad, commander of one of Ibn e Ziyad's armies. These were:  Let me go back to where I came from; let me settle my case with Yazid; and Let me go to the borders.
Umar Ibn e Saad was happy with these conditions, but Ibn e Ziyad did not accept them. Shimar Ibn e Al-Jawsh told Ziyad that if he let Imam Hussain go he would return with a larger army and instigated him for war. 
Imam Hussain tried to know the real name of Maria, he realized that one of its names was Karbala. He pitched his tent there and said “This is the place where I will be martyred.”