The rude and roguish Umayyads set fire to the tents of Imām al-Husayn, peace be on him, paying no attention to the Prophet’s womenfolk and children who were in them. They carried firebrands in their hands and cried out: “Set fire to the houses of the oppressors!”
These people thought that the tents of al-Husayn were the houses of oppression while the houses of the Umayyads and of their agents were the houses of justice. They forgot that the Umayyads had drowned the Muslim countries in oppression and tyranny.
When they set the tents to fire, the women of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, escaped to the desert while the fire was following them. As for the orphans, they cried and ran away towards the desert asking the people for help, but nobody helped or aided them. That was the most tragic sight which Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin saw. He did not forget it throughout his lifetime. After the martyrdom of his father, he always said: “By Allah, when I look at
my aunts and my sisters, tears choke me because I remember the day of al-Taff when they escaped from tent to tent and the caller of the people was calling: ‘Set fire to the houses of the oppressors.Ibid., p. 3.
The rude unbelievers attacked Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin whose strength was sapped by illness, and whose heart was torn by the terrible tragedies. The wicked criminal, Shimr b. Dhi al-Jawshan wanted to kill him, but Hameed b. Muslim scolded him, saying: “Glory belongs to Allah! Do you really kill children? He is only a sick lad!”
But Shimr paid no attention to Hameed, so his aunt, the wise lady Zaynab, hurried to him and cling to him, saying: “You will not kill him before killing me first.Al-Qarmāni, Tārikh, p. 108.
” So, the mean ones left him alone.
Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin felt greatly grieved and worried. He wished that he left life. This is because he witnessed the horrible tragedies which befell the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt) , peace be on them. He was about to die when he saw the corpse of his father, the corpses of the male members of the House (ahl al-Bayt) , and of his companions exposed to the wind. When his aunt, the wise lady Zaynab, saw him, she consoled him, saying: “Why do I see you pleading for death, O the legacy of my grandfather, of my father and brothers? By Allah, this is something which Allah had divulged to your grandfather and to your father. Allah took a covenant from the people whom you do not know, the mighty ones on this land, and who are known to the people of the heavens, that they would gather these severed parts and wounded corpses and bury them, then shall they set up on his Taff a banner for the grave of your father, the lord of martyrs, the traces of which shall never be obliterated, nor shall it ever
be wiped out so long as there is day and night. The leaders of apostasy and the promoters of misguidance shall try their best to obliterate and efface it, yet it shall become more and more lofty instead. Kāmil al-Ziyarāt, p. 261.
The rude and mean ones from among the Kufāns buried the corpses of their dead and left on the hot sand of Karbalā’ the corpse of the plant of the sweet basil of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, (i.e., al-Husayn), the corpses of the male members of his family, and of their companions. So some of the Banu Asad, who did not take part in the battle, dug graves for those pure corpses. They were perplexed because they could not identify the corpses especially since the killers had separated the heads from the bodies. While they were perplexed, Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, according to the Shi‘ite sources, came and informed them of the names of the martyrs from among the male members of the House, and of their companions. The Imām himself carried the corpse of his father and buried it in its final resting place while he was shedding bitter tears and saying: “Congratulations to the land that contains your pure body, for the world after you is dark whereas the hereafter in your light shall shine. As for the night, it is the harbinger of sleep, while grief remains forever, for Allah shall choose for the members of your House your abode wherein you shall abide. From me to you is greeting, O son of the Apostle of Allah, and the mercy of Allah and his blessings.”
On the holy grave he wrote these words: “This is the grave of al-Husayn b. ‘Ali b. Abi Tālib, the one whom they killed even as he was a thirsty stranger. Beside the legs of Imām al-Husayn, he buried his son ‘Ali al-Akkbar. He buried the martyrs from among the Hāshimites and other than them in one grave. Then he went with the Banu Asad to the river of al-‘Alqami, where he ordered a grave to be dug and in it he buried Qamar Banu Hāshim (the Moon of the Hāshimites),
Abū al-Fadl al-‘Abbās b. ‘Ali, the Commander of the
faithful, peace be on him. Then he burst into bitter tears and said: “May the world after you be obliterated, O Moon of Banu Hāshim, and greetings from me to you, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings.Hayāt al-Imām al-Husayn, vol. 3, pp. 324 – 325.Those pure graves have become a symbol for the dignity of humanity, for every sacrifice stands on honor, justice, and the truth. They have become the holiest center for worship in Islam.
The wise ladies of Revelation and the Message were taken prisoners to Kūfa, so the Umayyad army blew its trumpets and raised its banners to show its victory over the plant of the sweet basil of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and lord of the youths of the heaven. Muslim al-Jassās described that sight, saying: “Ibn Ziyād summoned me to repair the House of the Governor in Kūfa. While I was plastering the doors, I heard cries coming from everywhere in Kūfa, so I went to the servant of the palace and asked him: “Why is Kūfa noisy?”
“This hour, they will bring the head of a rebel (khārijite) who revolted against Yazid,” answered the servant.
“Who is this rebel?” I asked.
“Al-Husayn b. ‘Ali,” was the answer.
He (Muslim al-Jassās) said: “So I left the servant, struck at my face to the extent that I feared that I would become blind, washed my hands from plaster, left the palace, and went to al-Kanās. While I was with the people waiting for the arrival of the captives and the heads, forty camels came carrying women and children, and ‘Ali b. al-Husayn came riding a camel without saddle. Both sides of his neck were bleeding. He was weeping and repeating these verses:
O community of evil, may your region be not
O community that never respected in our regard
on bare camels of burden have you transported
us as if we never put up a creed for you Ibid., p. 333.
Jadhlam b. Bashir said: “When I came to Kūfa in the year 61 A. H., ‘Ali b. al-Husayn along with the womenfolk came from Karbalā’ to Kūfa surrounded by soldiers. The were (riding) bare camels. The people came out to look at them, so the women of Kūfa wept and lamented over them. I saw that ‘Ali b. al-Husayn was sapped by illness, chains were placed on his neck and he was handcuffedShaykh al-Mufeed, al-Amāli, p. 143.He was saying with a weak voice: ‘They are weeping and lamenting over us! So who has killed us?’Abd Allah, Maqqtal al-Husayn.