Al-Sifah is a place where Imam Hussain on his way to Kufa met Farazdaq who was among famous Arab poets of the first/seventh and second/eighth centuries. Al-Farazdaq advised the Imam not to go to Kufa because though people's hearts were with him (Imam), their swords would be against him. Farazdaq himself mentioned this meeting in a poem.
Event[edit | edit source]
At al-Sifah, Al-Hussain met al-Farazdaq B. Ghalib, the poet, so he asked him about the people whom he had left behind. Al-Farazdaq said, “Their hearts are with you; the swords are with Banu Umayyah, and Destiny descends from the heavens!”
Abu ‘Abdullah said, “You have said the truth. To Allah belongs the affair, and Allah does whatever He pleases. Every day, our Lord deals with a matter. If Destiny descends with what we love, we shall praise Allah for His blessings, and He is the One Whose help we seek so that we may thank Him enough.
But if we are destined not to attain our desires, then none whose intention is to effect righteousness, and whose heart is full of piety, has transgressed.” Al-Farazdaq asked the Imam about his verdicts regarding issues such as nathr, rituals, etc. After that, they parted. 
It is narrated that al-Farazdaq said, “I went out of Basra seeking to perform the ‘umra. I saw an army in the desert and inquired who it belonged to. I was told that it was the army of al-Hussain B. ‘Ali, so I decided to express my gratitude to the Messenger of Allah. I came to him and greeted him.
He asked me, ‘Who is the man?' I said, ‘Al-Farazdaq B. Ghalib.' He said, ‘This is a short name!' Said I, ‘Your name is even shorter! You are the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah!'”
Discrepancy in Historical Sources[edit | edit source]
There is a disagreement among scholars about the place where meeting between al-Hussain and al-Farazdaq took place. According to Tarikh al-Tabari, Imam Hussain met Farazdaq in Sifah. Al-Thahabi says that this meeting took place at Dhat ‘Iraq, whereas in Yaqut al-Hamawi's Mu’jam al-Buldan, it is said to have taken place at al-Sifah between Hunayn and the Haram's nusub, on the west side upon entering Mecca.
Source[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 218. Ibn al-Athir, Al-Kamil, Vol. 4, p. 16. Al-Thahabi, Tathkirat al-Huffaz, Vol. 1, p. 338.
- Sayyid ‘Ali Khan, Anwar al-Rabi’, p. 703, in a chapter dealing with repetition.