Dhu Husam (Arabic: ذوحُسَم) is a way station between Mecca and Kufa where Imam Hussain encountered the army of ‘Ubaydullah B. Ziyad led by al-Hurr al-Riyahi. When Imam found the army of enemy thirsty, he ordered his companions to give water to Hurr’s army.
Naming[edit | edit source]
It is named after a mountain where al-Nu’man Ibn al-Munthir used to hunt, and al-Thubyani, the genius poet, composed poetry about it.
Events[edit | edit source]
al-Hurr al-Riyai came to Imam Hussain’s caravan escorted by a thousand cavaliers. He was dispatched by ‘Ubaydullah B. Ziyad in order to prohibit Al-Hussain from going back to Medina, to arrest him, and to bring him to Kufa. It was a very hot midday when al-Hurr and his men confronted Al-Hussain.
Giving Water to al-Hurr’s Army[edit | edit source]
When the Master of Martyrs saw how thirsty that band was, he ordered his followers to serve water to them and to their horses. They gave each and every one of them water, then they filled water pots and brought them near the horses each one of which drank three to five times of them till they all drank to their fill.
Ali B. al-Ti’an al-Muharibi was in al-Hurr’s company. He happened to be the last to be served, so he was suffering acutely of the pangs of thirst. In his Hijazi accent, Al-Hussain said to him, “Ankhi al-rawiya,” but the man did not understand what he meant. The Imam, therefore, repeated his statement, this time using classical Arabic: “Ankhil-jamal.”
When the man tried to drink, he caused the water to run wastefully out of the water-bag, so the Fragrant Flower of the Messenger of Allah now said to him, “Ankhi al-siqa,” but the poor man did not know exactly what to do due to his inability to think because, again, of the thirst from which he was severely suffering.
This time the Imam stood up and adjusted the water-bag for that man in person till he drank enough, then he watered his horse as well.
Such is the kindness and compassion of the most Oppressed One towards that band that met in a desert where each drop of water was as precious as life itself. Surely he was fully aware of the situation being so precarious, knowledgeable of the consequences should water run out the next day, knowing that it could be the sole cause of death. But the Prophet's blood that ran in his veins, and the exemplary generosity of his father Ali, did not leave him any choice.
O son of al-Zahra’, heart of Ali the valiant,
O soul of the guiding Prophet!
Strange how these people did not
Come to you to sacrifice themselves for you;
But they did not value your precious soul:
How can dust be compared with the mountain?
How wondrous to see Allah's Clemency
When they, as He watched, violated your sanctity!
How strange, the favourites of Allah became
For Yazid and for Ziyad a booty to claim!
Then Al-Hussain welcomed them. He praised Allah and glorified Him then said:
“This is to seek pardon of Allah, the most Exalted One, the most Mighty, and of your own selves: I did not come to you except after having received your letters which your messengers delivered to me, requesting me to come to you, saying, “We have no Imam, so come to us, perhaps Allah will gather all of us under the shade of His guidance.”
So if the case is as such, then I have come to you; therefore, provide me with that whereby I can trust your promises and covenants. But if you hate my arrival, then I shall leave you and go to where I had come from.”
The men did not utter one word. Al-Hajjaj B. Masruq al-Ju’fi called the athan for the noon prayers. It was then that Al-Hussain asked al-Hurr, “Would you like to lead your men for the prayers?” He answered: “No. Rather, we will all pray behind you.”
The Imam led the prayers.
Imam Hussain’s Speech[edit | edit source]
Having finished the prayers, the Imam faced them, praised and glorified Allah and blessed Prophet Muhammad then said,
“O people! If you fear Allah and wish to get to know who follows righteousness, it will please Allah better. We, the family of Muhammad, are more worthy of you in shouldering the responsibility of authority, more so than these who lay a claim to what does not belong to them, whose tradition is oppression and transgression
If you insist on hating us and ignoring our right, and if your view now is different from what your letters to me described, then I will part from you.”
Imam’s Conversation with al-Hurr[edit | edit source]
Al-Hurr said, “I do not know what letters you are talking about.” Al-Hussain immediately ordered ‘Uqbah B. Sam’an to bring out two saddlebags full of letters. Al-Hurr said, “I am not among their senders, and I have been ordered not to part with you once I meet you till I bring you to Ibn Ziyad in Kufa.”
Imam Al-Hussain said, “Death is closer to your reach than that.” He ordered his companions to ride, and the women, too, rode, but al-Hurr forbade them from going to Medina, so Al-Hussain said to al-Hurr, “May your mother lose you! What do you want of us?” “Should anyone else other than you say so to me,” al-Hurr responded, “and he is in the same boat as you now are, I would not hesitate to let his mother lose him no matter who he may be!
By Allah! I have no way to refer to your mother except in the very best of way of which we are capable. But let us come to a mid-way between both of us which neither leads you to Kufa nor takes you back to Medina till I write Ibn. Ziyad, perhaps Allah will grant me safety and not try me with anything relevant to your issue.” After a short while he added saying,
“I admonish you to remember Allah with regard to your life, for I testify that should you fight, you will be killed.” Al-Hussain said, “Are you scaring me with death?! Will your calamity really lead you to kill me? In that case, let me say what the brother of the Aws [tribe] said to his cousin who desired to support the Messenger of Allah, peace of Allah be upon him and his Progeny:
I shall proceed: There is no shame
A man to his death goes.
If he truly intends so and
As a Muslim struggles,
And if he the righteous with his life consoles,
Leaving a depraved one, opposing a criminal.
So if I live, I shall not regret or be shamed
But if I die, surely I shall not be blamed
Humiliation suffices you if you accept to be oppressed.”
Having heard him say so, al-Hurr stayed away from him. Al-Hussain, therefore, rode with his companions in one area while al-Hurr and his fellows rode in another .
Source[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 1, p. 230, Chapter 11.
- al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 1, p. 230, Chapter 11.
- al-Mufid, Irshad. On p. 193, Vol. 2, of his book Al-Manaqib, Ibn Shahr Ashub adds the following verses to them: My soul do I present, not sparing it, To meet a lion in the battle, a charging one.