The event of taff: the earliest historical account of the tragedy of Karbala

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The book The event of taff: the earliest historical account of the tragedy of Karbala aims to convey the message of Islam to the people of the world.

The book The event of taff
The event of taff the earliest historical account of the tragedy of Karbala.jpg
AuthorAbu Mikhnaf

About the author[edit | edit source]

Abu Mikhnaf was born in the second half of the 1st/7th century in Kufa. He has written many books. According to al-Najashi, Abu Mikhnaf has written twenty-eight books; also Ibn al-Nadim mentioned thirty books, including: the books on the death of 'Uthman b. 'Affan, the Battle of Siffin, Maqtal of Muhammad b. Abi Bakr, Maqtal of Amir al-Mu'minin. There is no evidence proving that Abu Mikhnaf was a Shi'ite Muslim, but there are reasons that show he respected Ahl al-Bayt and loved them.

About the book[edit | edit source]

This book written by Abu Mikhnaf and translated into English by Umar Kumo was published in ABWA Publishing and Printing Center. It has 434 pages.

This book is a collection of reports of those who narrated the events of Karbala directly or indirectly to Abu Makhnaf (the total number of them is thirty-nine that have brought sixty-five narrations along with their complete documents (Musnad).

Abstract of chapters[edit | edit source]

The Detailed List of the Narrators[edit | edit source]

In this chapter, the author divides those who witnessed the war [in Karbala] and narrated it to him into six lists and explains about each group and their type of report in detail.

Al-Husayn in Madinah[edit | edit source]

When Mu’awiyah became afflicted with the illness that took his life, he called upon his son Yazid and said:

My dear son!  the grounds are prepared for you and I have produced a consensus [among Arabs] in favor of you and anyone will contend with you in this matter which has already been settled in your favor, except for four people from the Quraish that one of them is Husayn bin ‘Ali. If he were to rise against you and you were to gain victory over him, then you should pardon him; for he belongs to an important family and has a great right [on the people]!

Husayn in Makkah[edit | edit source]

Husayn bin ‘Ali set out for Mecca and entered the city on the night of the third Friday of Sha'ban. He stayed there during all Sha'ban, the month of Ramadan, Dhi Al-Qaeda, and the first eight days of Dhi Al-Hijjah. The people of Mecca came and went to him, as well as others who came for Umrah and those who were from other places.

The Events in Kufah After the Arrival of Muslim Bin ‘Aqil[edit | edit source]

This chapter is about Hani’ bin ‘Urwah and Muslim Bin ‘Aqil and their martyrdom.

Al-Husayn’s Departure from Makkah[edit | edit source]

Hussein left Mecca on the eighth Tuesday of Dhu al-Hijjah, the day of Tarwiyyah, the same day that Muslim ibn Aqeel began his uprising.

  • The Stations on the Way to Kufah
  • The Events from the 3rd to the 8th of Muharram
  • The Events of the 9th of Muharram

These three chapters are a detailed report of the stations that Hussein and his companions passed through on the way to Kufa and what happened to them in the first nine days of Muharram.

The Events of the Night of ‘Ashura’[edit | edit source]

Here, Husayn gathers his household and his companions and after appreciating them, advises them to get scattered to their [respective] residences and cities so that may Allah deliver [them]; for his enemies are after him only, and if they get hold of him they will not be concerned about the rest.

The Day of ‘Ashura’[edit | edit source]

On the day of ‘Ashura’ –which fell on Saturday- ‘Umar bin Sa‘d offered the morning prayers and then came out with his men. When the cavalry approached al-Husayn, the mountain [prayed] for him and he rode on it. Then, in a loud voice, which most people heard, he gave his first speech:

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.’

The Beginning of the Battle[edit | edit source]

Umar bin Sa‘d advanced towards [the camp of al-Husayn] and put an arrow in his bow and let it fly. He was the first [person] to shoot. When ‘Umar bin Sa‘d came closer and shot an arrow. Then Hussein's allies, one by one, asked him for permission to fight and the people began to shoot at each other.

The Martyrdom of the Companions of Al-Husayn[edit | edit source]

One by one, Hussein's companions proudly went forward and fought with strength. Suwaid bin ‘Amru bin Abi Muta’ al-Khath’ami was the last person [from among al-Husayn’s companions] to be killed. When al-Husayn was killed and he heard them saying: ‘Al-Husayn has been killed!’, he regained consciousness. He had a knife with him, so he [got up and] fought them with his knife for a while until Zayd bin Ruqad al-Janabi and ‘Urwah bin Battar al-Taghlabi killed him.

The Martyrdom of the Family Members of Al-Husayn[edit | edit source]

Husayn's family members, like his companions, sought Hussein's permission one by one to fight and were martyred:

  • Ali bin al-Husayn al-Akbar
  • Qasim bin al-Hasan
  • Abbas bin ‘Ali and His Brothers
  • the Infant of al-Husayn
  • the Two Sons of ‘Abdullah bin Ja’far
  • the Members from the Household of ‘Aqil
  • other Two Sons of al-Hasan bin ‘Ali

The Martyrdom of Al-Husayn[edit | edit source]

Zur’ah bin Sharik al-Tamimi struck Al-Husayn on his palm and struck [another blow] on his shoulder. Thus, he would [try to] stand, but would fall prostrate on his noble face. In such a condition, Sinan bin Anas al-Nakha’i stabbed him with a spear such that he fell [to the ground]. No one would get closer to al-Husayn except that Sinan bin Anas would charge on him, fearing that the head of [al-Husayn] may fall in the hands of someone else. He then bent down, slaughtered him and separated his head. Thereafter, he handed [the head] to Khauliyy bin Yazid [al-Asbahi].

Al-Husayn was plundered of all that was on him…

After The Martyrdom of Al-Husayn[edit | edit source]

After the martyrdom of Husayn, the looting of the tents started. The people turned to the womenfolk of al-Husayn, plundering them, his belongings and provision, the [Yemeni] dye1, the garments and the camels. [The people] would wrest the clothes of the women from their backs and take them.

The Household of Al-Husayn in Kufah[edit | edit source]

Umar bin Sa‘d remained [there for the rest of] the day of Ashura and the next day. He ordered the heads of the remainder [of al-Husayn’s followers who had been slain] to be cut off. He then sent seventy-two heads with Shamir bin Dhi al-Jaushan, Qais bin Ash’ath, ‘Amru bin al-Hajjaj and ‘Azarah bin Qais. They journeyed until they brought them to ‘Ubaidullah bin Ziyad. He then ordered Humaid bin Bukair al-Ahmari to summon the people for the journey to Kufah. He took with him the daughters and sisters of al-Husayn, the children, and ‘Ali bin al-Husayn who was [still] sick.

The Household of Al-Husayn in Sham (Syria)[edit | edit source]

Ibn Ziyad summoned Zahr bin Qais, with whom were Abu Bardah bin ‘Auf al-Azdi and Tariq bin abyan al-Azdi, and sent them with the head of al-Husayn and those of his companions to Yazid bin Mu’awiyah. He then ordered for the womenfolk of al-Husayn and his children, so they got ready. Shackles were put on the neck of ‘Ali bin al-Husayn on his order. Then he sent [the caravan] under the command of Muhaffaz bin Tha’labah al-‘A’idhi [al-Qarashi] and Shamir bin Dhi al-Jaushan. So they set out with them [towards Sham] and entered upon Yazid.

The Household of Al-Husayn in Madinah[edit | edit source]

When Household of Al-Husayn intended to return from Sham, Yazid bin Mu’awiyah orderd Nu’man bin Bashir to prepare for them whatever they need and send a righteous and trustworthy person from among the people of Sham with them.

Source[edit | edit source]