Caravan of Captives at Yazid’s court
Arrival of Caravan of Captives at Yazid’s court was the climax of a journey which turned to a way of spreading the message of Karbala.
Bringing the head of Imam Hussain to Damascus[edit | edit source]
It is related in Asarul Baqiyah of Abu Rayhan (al Biruni), that on the first day of the month of Safar, the head of Imam Hussain was brought to Damascus. Yazid placed it in front of him and poked at his teeth with the staff of his hand while saying, “I wish those of my clan who were killed at Badr, and those who had seen the Khazraj clan wailing (in the battle of Uhad) on account of lancet wounds, were here.
They would have hailed me with loud cries and said, ‘O Yazid! May your hands never stupefy’, for we have killed the chiefs of his (the Prophet’s) clan. I did so as revenge for Badr, that has now been completed. The Bani Hashim only played a game with sovereignty. There has come no Message (Risalah, from Allah), nor was anything revealed (as Wahy). I would not belong to the Khandaq family, if I had not taken vengeance upon the descendants of Ahmad for their deeds”.
Sayyid Ibn Tawoos relates, that when the head of Imam Hussain as well as the captives neared Damascus, Sayyidah Umm Kulthum told Shimr, “I desire something from you”. Shimr asked her as to what it was, and she replied, “Enter us into the town from a door which is less crowded, while also command the bearers of the heads to move away from amidst the Camels, so that a few men may have a glimpse of us in this state”.
The wicked man, in reply to her answer, commanded that the heads be kept amidst the Camels, and then he took them from the midst the people who had gathered for a spectacle. Then he took them in this state until they reached a gate of the Grand Mosque of Damascus where the prisoners were stationed.
It is related, that when one of the virtuous Tabe’een saw Imam Hussain’s head upon the lance, he secretly disappeared from the midst his companions for a month. When he was questioned regarding the reason for it, he replied, “Do you not see what agony has befallen us?”
Then he recited the following elegy, “They have brought your head O grandson of Muhammad, which is drenched in blood, it is as if they have purposefully killed the Prophet in your stead during the light of the day, they killed you thirsty and did not honor the interpretation and revelation (of the Qur’an) regarding you, they pronounce the Takbeer (Allaho Akbar) after having killed you, when in fact they have killed the Takbeer and Tahleel (La Ilaha Illallah)”.
A Companion of Prophet’s narration[edit | edit source]
It is related in Bihar, as also Manaqib, through chain of transmitters from Zayd, who relates from his fore-fathers, that Sahl bin Sa’ad said: I intended going to my house, when I entered the central territory of Syria, I reached a town in which streams were flowing and there were green trees. I saw that the town had been decorated and there was merry and rejoicing all around. While the women were beating the tambourine and drum and were busy in amusement. I said to myself that I was well aware of the celebrations of the Syrians, while that day was not a day for celebration. I saw a group of people speaking to one another.
I went up to them and said, “You are celebrating in Syria of which I am unaware”. They said, “As if you are from the desert?” I replied, “I am Sahl bin Sa’ad, one of the companions of Muhammad”. They replied, “O Sahl! It is strange that the heavens do not rain blood nor does the earth swallow its inhabitants”. I asked as to why they said this and they replied, “How strange! The head of Hussain has been brought from Iraq as a present, while these people rejoice”. I said, “How strange! The head of Hussain is being brought in and they rejoice?” I asked, “From which gate are they being entered in?” They pointed towards a door named Baab as Sa’at.
Suddenly I saw standards one after the other, and one horseman held a long pointless lance on which was mounted a head that resembled most to the Prophet of Allah with regards to his cheeks than anyone else. Following the head were the women mounted upon saddle less camels. I went towards them and asked one of them, “Whose daughter are you?”
She replied, “I am Sakinah, the daughter of Hussain”. I asked, “Do you have any desire? I am Sahl bin Sa’ad, one of the companions of your Grandfather, the Prophet of Allah”. She replied, “Tell the bearer of this head to take it further away from our midst, so that the people may be busy in looking at it while the family of the Prophet of Allah may be relieved from their sight”.
I went to the bearer of the head and said, “Do you desire obtaining four hundred Ashrafi and in lieu of this fulfill my desire?” He asked as to what was it, and I replied, “Take this head further away from the midst of these women”. He agreed and took the Ashrafi. They then put the head in a trunk and took it to the presence of Yazid while I too accompanied them.
In Yazid’s Court[edit | edit source]
Yazid was seated upon a throne wearing a crown studded with pearls and rubies, while a group of the Qurayshite notables were seated near him. The bearer of the head entered therein and said, “Fill my stirrup with gold and silver, for I have killed the Master of the guarded ones, I have killed the best one with regards to father and mother, whose ancestry is the best one when the ancestry is discussed”.
Hearing this Yazid said, “If you knew that he was the best among men, why did you kill him?” He replied, “In greed for a gift from you”. Yazid ordered him to be beheaded and it was complied. Then he placed the head of Imam Hussain in front of him and said, “How do you see this, O Hussain?”
The author of Kamile Bahai relates the narration of Sahl bin Sa’ad briefly and says that he said, that I saw the heads mounted upon the lances while the head of Abbas bin Ali was in the forefront. The head of Imam Hussain followed them while the women of the Prophet’s family were behind the head.
It is stated that the Prophet’s family was halted behind the door of Syria for three days, while the town was being decorated in a manner as was never seen before. Five hundred thousand Syrian men and women, accompanied by tambourines, cymbals and drums wore new dresses and prepared themselves and went towards them. It was Thursday, the sixteenth day of Rabi’ul Ula, while inside the town (the crowd of people) were similar to the day of resurrection and the people therein were rejoicing. When the day advanced further, the heads were entered into the city.
At the end of the day, with great difficulty, could they reach the gate of the palace of Yazid due to the large crowd of men. A throne, studded with jewels, was laid for Yazid and his house was decorated, while golden and silver chairs were kept surrounding his throne. The courtiers of Yazid ordered the bearers of the heads to enter therein and they complied. They said, “By the honor of the commander! We killed the Progeny of Abu Turab (Imam Ali) and severed their origins”.
Then they narrated the entire episode and laid the heads in front of him. The Ahl al-Bayt were imprisoned for a prolonged time, for sixty-six days, and during this period, there was none who could salute them. On that day an old Syrian man went to Imam Ali bin Hussain and said, “Praise be to Allah that he has killed and destroyed you, and put off the fire of revolt”.
Shaikh Mufid says, that when they reached the gate of the palace of Yazid, Makhfar bin Sa’labah called out, “I am Makhfar bin Sa’labah! I have brought these vile profligates (Allah’s refuge) to Yazid”. Hearing this Imam Ali bin Hussain said,
“The son of Makhfar’s mother is the worst and the most degraded”.
While some say that Yazid himself replied to him thus.
It is quoted in Tazkirah of Sibt Ibn Jawzee, that Imam Zayn al-Abedin and the women of the family were bound in ropes, while he was calling out, “O Yazid! In your opinion, if the Prophet would have seen us in this captivated state and mounted upon the bare Camels without litters, what would have been the state of his mind?” There was none who did not weep.
Shaikh Mufid and Ibn Shahr Ashob say, that when the heads of the Martyrs, along with that of Imam Hussain, was placed before Yazid, he hit the teeth with his stick and said, “This day is in lieu (revenge) of the day of Badr. We split open the skulls of the honorable men, for they had turned obstinate and oppressive”.
Yahya bin Hakam, the brother of Marwan, who was seated near Yazid said, “The one killed at Taff (Karbala) is more near (in relation) than the son of Ziyad, the debased, of unknown descent; the progeny of Umayyah is scattered like the particles of sand, while the progeny of the daughter of Prophet is scarce”. Yazid struck at the chest of Yahya bin Hakam and said, “Keep quite! May your mother not remain”.
Abul Faraj Isfahani relates from Kalbi, that Abdul Rahman, the son of Hakam bin Aas, was seated with Yazid, when Ubaydullah dispatched the head of Imam Hussain to him. When the tray, containing the head of Imam, was placed in front of Yazid, Abdul Rahman wept and said, “Send message to the commander, that do not be of those who pull the (string of the) bow without an arrow in it, the one killed at Karbala ...” (until the end).
It is related, that when Hasan bin Hasan saw that Yazid was hitting at the place where the Prophet had kissed (the lips of Imam Hussain), he said, “O disgrace! The progeny of Umayyah is scattered like the particles of sand, while the progeny of the daughter of Prophet is scarce”.
Shaikh Saduq, relates from Fazl bin Shazan, who says, that I heard Imam Ali al-Reza say that,
“When the head of Imam Hussain was brought to Syria, Yazid ordered it to be kept upon the ground and an eating carpet was spread in front of it. He then ate facing it with his associates and drank wine. When they had finished, he ordered the tray to be kept below his throne. And he spread the sheet of backgammon upon the throne and started playing. He started mocking, while uttering the names of Imam Hussain, his father and grandfather, and when he would win, he would drink wine. Three times he drank wine and then threw some of it near the tray (May Allah’s curse be upon him). Then whoever is one of our Shi’a, should refrain from drinking wine and playing backgammon. Then whoever, when his sight falls upon wine and backgammon, remembers Imam Hussain and curses Yazid and his progeny, Allah will forgive their sins even if they be equal to the stars”.
It is also related from Imam Reza, that the first one to consume wine in Islam in Syria (openly) was Yazid, the accursed. When the eating-carpet was spread facing the head of Imam Hussain, it was brought for him. He drank from it and gave some to his associates and said, “Drink it, for it is an auspicious drink.
While one of its auspiciousness is that at the start of consuming it, the head of our enemy Hussain is in front of us, while our eating-carpet is spread facing his head. And we eat with a cheerful mind and heart at peace”. Then whoever is amongst our Shi’a should refrain from consuming wine, for it is a drink of our enemies.
It is quoted in Kamile Bahai from Kitabe Hawiyah that Yazid drank wine and sprinkled some of it upon the blessed head (Allah’s refuge). His wife lifted it up and washed it with water, while perfuming it with rose. Then at night she saw the ‘Mistress of the Women’ Sayyidah Fatima Zahra in a dream and apologized to her.
Shaikh Mufid says, that Yazid then turned towards Imam Zayn al-Abedin and said, “Your father severed relations with me and did not recognize my right, and he disputed with me regarding the kingdom. Then you saw what Allah did to him”.
“Befalls not any disaster in the earth or in your own selves, save it is in a Book, ere We cause to be, verily that is easy for Allah” .
Yazid turned towards his son Khalid and said, “Answer him”, but Khalid did not know what to say. Yazid himself said, “Say: And whatever befalls you of a misfortune, it is what your (own) hands have wrought.”
Then he called for the women and children, who were made to sit down facing him. He looked at their miserable state and said, “May Allah detest the son of Marjanah! If he held relations with you, or had pitied you, he would not have dealt with you in this manner and would not have dispatched you in this wretched state”.
Ali bin Ibraheem Qummi relates from Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq, that when the head of Imam Hussain and the daughters of the Commander of the faithful Imam Ali were brought to Yazid, Imam Zayn al-Abedin was bound in a collar. Yazid said, “O Ali bin Hussain! Praise be to Allah that he has killed your father”.
“May Allah’s curse be upon them who killed my father”.
Yazid was infuriated and ordered him to be beheaded. Imam Sajjad said,
“If you kill me, then who is there to reach the daughters of the Prophet of Allah to their destination, and there exists no other intimate man for them except myself.” Yazid said, “You may take them to their destination”, saying this he immediately called for a file. He cut off the collar with the file with his own hands and said, “Do you perceive what I intend?”
“You intend that none other than yourself would oblige me”.
Yazid replied, “By Allah! I intended the same”. Then he said, “O Ali bin Hussain! “And whatever befalls you of a misfortune; it is what your (own) hands have wrought.” .
“Nay! This verse was not revealed regarding us. Verily this verse was revealed regarding us that, ‘Befalls not any disaster in the earth or in your own selves, save it is in a Book, ere We cause to be verily that is easy for Allah. Lest distress you yourselves for what escapes you, and be over joyous for what He has granted you and Allah loves not an arrogant boaster. We are of those who do not regret upon that which has gone forth from our hands, nor are we of those who rejoice upon that which comes to us”.
It is stated in Iqdul Fareed, that Imam Hussain was enraged by the sovereignty of Yazid bin Mu’awiya and went towards Kufa. Yazid wrote to Ubaydullah bin Ziyad, who was the governor of Iraq, “News has reached me that Hussain is in route to Kufa, while your age and your city has been entangled in him than any other age or city, and also among the governors you have been entangled in him.
Therefore you may choose a life of liberty (by killing him) or turn a slave due to him (by not killing him)”. Ubaydullah killed him and dispatched his head, along with his family, to Yazid. When the head was placed before Yazid, he cited a proverb by quoting a couplet of Haseen bin Jamajim Maznee: We split open the skulls of honorable men, for they had turned obstinate and oppressive”.
Imam Ali bin Hussain, who was among the captives, told him,
“The book of Allah, the Almighty, is more exalted than the couplet. Allah says: ‘Befalls not any disaster in the earth or in your own selves, save it is in a Book, ere We cause it to be verily that is easy for Allah. Lest distress you yourselves for what escapes you, and be over joyous for what He has granted you, and Allah loves not an arrogant boaster.'
Yazid was enraged and started playing with his beard, then said, “Another verse of the Qur’an refers to you and your father: “And whatever befalls you of a misfortune, it is what your (own) hands have wrought...” .
O Syrians! What do you opine regarding them?” One of the accursed men uttered such words that we decline to quote. Nu’man bin Basheer Ansari said, “If the Prophet of Allah would have seen him in this state what would he have done, then treat them similarly”.
Yazid replied, “You speak the truth, release them and bring veils for them”. He then ordered food to be prepared for them and bestowed clothes to them. He gave them abundant gifts and said, “If the son of Marjanah shared any relation with them, he would not have killed them”. Then he dispatched them to Madinah.
It is stated in Manaqib and other historical books, that then Yazid turned towards Sayyidah Zainab, so that she may speak, but she signaled towards Imam Ali bin Hussain, saying, “He is our master and the orator of our community”.
Imam Sajjad said,
“Do not place avarice and greed in your heart for us, that you may reward us and we may honor you, and that you may oppress us while we may ward away oppression from you. Allah is witness that we do not like you, nor do we despise that you do not like us”.
Yazid said, “O son! You speak the truth. Rather your father, and grandfather, had desired to acquire sovereignty. Praise be to Allah that He killed them and shed their blood”. Imam replied,
“Prophethood and Imamate has always been decreed for my fathers and ancestors long before you were even born”.
With reference to this, Sayyidah Sakinah said, “I have not seen a more harsh man than Yazid. Nor have I seen an infidel and polytheist worst and more tyrant than him”.
It is related in Manaqib from Yahya bin Hasan, that Yazid told Imam Zayn al-Abedin, “I wonder at your father who named all his sons Ali”.
“My father loved his father very much and hence named his sons Ali”.
Sayyid Ibn Tawoos says, that the head of Imam Hussain was placed facing Yazid, while the women were seated behind his throne, so that they may not look at it. Imam Zayn al-Abedin looked at the head and then never ever ate the flesh of the head after that. When the sight of Sayyidah Zainab fell upon it, she tore her collar and called out in a grievous voice,
“O Hussain! O beloved of the Prophet of Allah! O son of Makkah and Mina! O son of Fatima, Mistress of the womenfolk! O son of the daughter of Mustafa”!
The narrator says, that whoever was in the presence of Yazid started weeping, while Yazid himself remained silent. One of the women of Bani Hashim, who was in the house of Yazid, started lamenting for Imam Hussain, and called out, “O beloved! O Master of the Prophet’s family! O son of Muhammad! O refuge of the widows and orphans! O the one killed by the illegitimate ones”! The narrator says that whoever heard her started weeping.
“The act which makes the heart shift from it’s firm place, and burns the heart with the fire of anger and rage, is the standing of the `Daughters of Revelation’ in front of their freed one, in a manner that even their enemies weep for them”.
Then Yazid called for a bamboo stick and hit at the teeth of Imam Hussain. Seeing this, Abu Barzah Aslami said, “Woe be to you O Yazid! You hit the teeth of Hussain with your stick? I bear witness that I have seen the Prophet kiss his teeth as well as that of his brother Hasan”. Then he continued, “Both of you are the Masters of the youth of Paradise. May Allah kill your murderers and descend His wrath upon them. And may Allah prepare hell for them, and what an evil end shall it be”. The narrator says, that hearing this Yazid was enraged, and said, “Get him out of here”. He was dragged and thrown outside.
Then Yazid recited the couplets of Ibn Zab’ari: “I wish those of my clan, who were killed at Badr, and those who had seen the Khazraj clan wailing (in the battle of Uhad) on account of lancet wounds, were here. They would have hailed me with loud cries and said, ‘O Yazid! May your hands never stupefy’, for we have killed the chiefs of his (the Prophet’s) clan. I did so as revenge for Badr, which has now been completed. The Bani Hashim only played a game with sovereignty. There has come no Message (Risalah, from Allah), nor was anything revealed (as Wahy). I would not belong to the Khandaq family, if I had not taken vengeance upon the descendants of Ahmad for their deeds”.
Source[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Surah al-Hadeed, 57:22
- Surah al-Shura, 42:30
- Surah al-Shura, 42:30
- Surah al-Hadeed, 57:22-23
- Surah al-Hadeed, 57:22-23
- Surah al-Shura, 42:30