Departure from Medina
With a heavy heart, Imam Hussain (as) left the Holy city of Medina along with his noble family on the eve of Sunday the 27th of Rajab.
Visit to his Grandfather (pbuh)
The Imam visited the grave of his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), for the final time. He knew that after this visit, the next time they would meet, would be after his martyrdom.
He stood by his Grandfather’s grave and prayed to his Lord, saying:
“Oh God, this is the tomb of your Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him and his family), and I’m the son of his daughter, and You know what has fallen upon me, Oh God, I love doing good, and I deny evil, and I ask you, by Your Glory and Honor, the right of the grave and in it, and by this grave and who is in it, that You choose for me what is satisfying for You, and satisfying for Your apostle.”
Visit to Um Salamah
Before leaving the city, he visited his Grandmother, the wife of the Prophet (pbuh), Um Salamah. She told him:
“O Son, don’t let your departure from Medina sadden you, because I have heard your Grandfather say: ‘My son will be killed in the land of Iraq, in a place called Karbala.”
The Imam answered:
“O Mother, by God I know that, I will certainly be killed, and by God I know the day of my killing, and my killer, and the place that I will be buried in, and I know who will be killed from my household and my family and companions. And if I want, I will show you my grave, Mother.”
Then Imam Hussain (pbuh) continued:
“O Mother, it is the will of God to see me killed, my throat cut, by oppression and wrongfulness, and it is His will to see my family and the women banished and my kids slaughtered, oppressed and captive while they cry out for help without getting any answer.”
During his journey, the Imam was reciting the following verse from the Holy Qur’an:
“So he left it, fearful and anticipating. He said, “My Lord, save me from the oppressive people.”
Here, one may ask, was the Imam afraid of death?
Certainly not, as fear of death is an impossible state for the infallible Imams. The fear in this verse is referring to any event that could hinder the Imam from fulfilling his mission of awakening the slumbering folk and reviving Islam in the hearts and minds of the Muslims. In other words, a fear of reaching martyrdom before fulfilling his mission.
The Imam arrived in Mecca on a Friday, the 3rd of Sha’ban this time reciting:
“And when he directed himself toward Madyan, he said: Perhaps my Lord will guide
me to the right way” (Qur’an, 28:22).
In the city of Mecca, he visited the grave of his beloved grandmother, Khadija. When the season of Hajj started, the Imam wore his white Hajj clothes and started to perform the Hajj pilgrimage. But when it came to his knowledge that Yazid had ordered to kill Al Hussain even if he was clinging to the Ka’ba, the Imam decided to leave Mecca before completing the pilgrimage.
Arrival to Karbala
Imam Hussain (as) arrived at Karbala on the 2nd of Muharram year 61 A.H/ 5th of October 680 A.D. Upon his arrival, the horse that he was riding stopped, so he went down from it and rode another, but this didn’t move further either. The Imam then asked about the name of the place and when he found out it was the land of Karbala, he said:
“Settle down, here is the residence of our carriage. Herein is the shed of our blood. By God, herein is the laceration of our women. By God, herein is the killing of our men. By God, herein is the slaughter of our children. By God, our graves will be visited here, and this is the land that my grandfather, the apostle of God, promised me in, and there is no contrary to his words.”
He then gathered his children and other family members. He cast a look at them and tears started flowing down his cheeks. Then he supplicated saying:
“O Allah! We are the progeny of Your Prophet Muhammad! We have been expelled and estranged from our grandfather’s sanctuary, and Bani Umayyad oppressed us. O Allah! Seek revenge on them on our behalf, and grant us victory over the oppressing people.”
Then he turned to the companions saying:
“People are the worshippers of this life, giving religion their lip-service; they uphold it as long as their livelihood is profitable. Once they are afflicted with a trial, few, indeed, will be those who uphold religion.”
He praised Allah and glorified Him, blessing Muhammad and his Progeny, and continued:
“Our situation has reached the point which you can see. Life has changed and turned against us. Its goodness has abandoned us, leaving nothing but a trickle like a pot dripping and a life of hardship like an afflicted pasture. Do you not see how righteousness is not upheld and how falsehood is not shunned? Let every believer desire the meeting with Allah. I see death as nothing but a source of happiness while living with the oppressors as sure displeasure”.
Zuhayr stood up and said:
“We have heard your statement, O son of the Messenger of Allah! Had life been secured for us forever, we would still have preferred to rise with you.”
Burayr then stood up and said:
“O son of the Messenger of Allah! Allah has blessed us with your company, so that we may fight defending you till our parts are cut off for your sake, then your grandfather will intercede on our behalf on the Day of Judgment.”
And they fulfilled their promises, and their words stayed alive long after their bodies were cut into pieces, so peace be upon you, O defenders of the lonely Hussain (as). You were pure; therefore, the land wherein you are buried has been purified. Your bodies may remain trapped in the land, but your souls live eternally in your rightfully earned place of Heaven.
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