Click to download PDF printer friendly version of the dua. Arabic and transliteration is included in the PDF download. This is the first Ziarat of Ashura and the better known ziarat which is recited. What about he who lives in cities far away from Karbala and as a result he cannot go to the shrine of Imam asws on this day?
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Mother: Fatimah az-Zahra a. Birth: He was born in Madina in the month of Shaban in the year 4 A. Martyrdom: He was martyred with his companions by the army of Yazid in the month of Muharram 61 A. His tomb is in Karbala, a town of Iraq. As if, apparently, he PBUH made the ears of his son familiar and acquainted with the name of God for the first time. On the seventh day of the birth, an angel came from the God and he said, "Just as Haroon was the brother, sympathizer, and helper in each and every difficulty of Moses PBUH similarly Ali PBUH is your sympathizer, helper and brother in each and every matter of yours.
Imam Husayn lived under the most difficult outward conditions of suppression and persecution. This was due to the fact that, first of all, religious laws and regulations had lost much of their weight and credit, and the edicts of the Umayyad government had gained complete authority and power. Those who were ruled, and especially the well known among them, would give their hand in alleging, agreement and obedience to their king or prince and in this way would show their support for his actions.
Disagreement after allegiance was considered as disgrace and dishonour for a people and it was like breaking an agreement after having signed it officially, it was considered as a definite crime. Following the example of the Holy Prophet sawas , people believed that allegiance, when given by free will and not through force, carried authority and weight.
He had especially told Yazid in his last will that if Husayn refused to pay allegiance he should pass over it in silence and overlook the matter, for he had understood correctly the disastrous consequences which would follow if the issue were to be pressed.
After the governor of Medina informed Imam Husayn of this demand, the Imam, in order to think over the question, asked for a delay and overnight started with his family toward Mecca. He sought refuge in the sanctuary of God which in Islam is the official place of refuge and security.
For nearly four months Imam Husayn stayed in Mecca in refuge. This news spread throughout the Islamic world. On the other hand a flood of letters began to flow, especially from Iraq and particularly the city of Kufa, inviting the Imam to go to Iraq and accept the leadership of the populace there with the aim of beginning an uprising to overcome injustice and iniquity. Naturally such a situation was dangerous for Yazid. The stay of Imam Husayn in Mecca continued until the season for pilgrimage when Muslims from all over the world poured in groups into Mecca in order to perform the rites of the hajj.
The Imam discovered that some of the followers of Yazid had entered Mecca as pilgrims hajjis with the mission to kill the Imam during the rites of hajj with the arms they carried under their special pilgrimage dress ihram. The Imam shortened the pilgrimage rites and decided to leave. Amidst the vast crowd of people he stood up and in a short speech announced that he was setting out for Iraq. In this short speech he also declared that he would be martyred and asked Muslims to help him in attaining the goal he had in view and to offer their lives in the path of God.
The next day he set out with his family and a group of his companions for Iraq. Imam Husayn was determined not to give his allegiance to Yazid and knew full well that he would be killed. He was aware that his death was inevitable in the face of the awesome military power of the Umayyads, supported as it was by corruption in certain sectors, spiritual decline, and lack of will power among the people, especially in Iraq. Some of the outstanding people of Mecca stood in the way of Imam Husayn and warned him of the danger of the move he was making.
But he answered that he refused to pay allegiance and give his approval to a government of injustice and tyranny. He added that he knew that wherever he turned or went he would be killed. He would leave Mecca in order to preserve the respect for the house of God and not allow this respect to be destroyed by having his blood spilled there. Their feet had been tied and they had been dragged through the streets.
The city and its surroundings were placed under strict observation and countless soldiers of the enemy were awaiting him, There was no way open to him but to march ahead and to face death. It was-here that the Imam expressed his definitive determination to go ahead and be martyred; and so he continued on his journey. Approximately seventy kilometres from Kufa, in a desert named Kerbala, the Imam and his entourage were surrounded by the army of Yazid. Finally the Imam, with his household and a small numbers of companions were encircled by an army of thirty thousand soldiers.
During these days the Imam fortified his position and made a final selection of his companions. At night he called his companions and during a short speech stated that there was nothing ahead but death and martyrdom. He added that since the enemy was concerned only with his person he would free them from all obligations so that anyone who wished could escape in the darkness of the night and save his life. Then he ordered the lights to be turned out and most of his companions, who had joined him for their own advantage, dispersed.
Only a handful of those who loved the truth--about forty of his close aides--and some of the Banu Hashim remained. Once again the Imam assembled those who were left and put them to a test. He addressed his companions and Hashimite relatives, saying again that the enemy was concerned only with his person. Each could benefit from the darkness of the night and escape the danger. But this time the faithful companions of the Imam answered each in his own way that they would not deviate for a moment from the path of truth of which the Imam was the leader and would never leave him alone.
They said they would defend his household to the last drop of their blood and as long as they could carry a sword. On the ninth day of the month the last challenge to choose between "allegiance or war" was made by the enemy to the Imam. The Imam asked for a delay in order to worship overnight and became determined to enter battle on the next day. That day they fought from morning until their final breath, the Imam, the young Hashimites and the companions were all martyred.
Among those killed were two children of Imam Hasan, who were only thirteen and eleven years old; and a five-year-old child and a suckling baby of Imam Husayn.
The army of the enemy, after ending the war, plundered the haram of the Imam and burned his tents. They decapitated the bodies of the martyrs, denuded them and threw them to the ground without burial. Then they moved the members of the haram, all of whom were helpless women and girls, along with the heads of the martyrs, to Kufa. Among the prisoners there were three male members: a twenty-two year old son of Imam Husayn who was very ill and unable to move, namely Ali ibn Husayn, the fourth Imam; his four year old son, Muhammad ibn Ali, who became the fifth Imam; and finally Hasan Muthanna, the son of the second Imam who was also the son-in-law of Imam Husayn and who, having been wounded during the war, lay among the dead.
They found him near death and through the intercession of one of the generals did not cut off his head. Rather, they took him with the prisoners to Kufa and from there to Damascus before Yazid. The event of Kerbala, the capture of the women and children of the Household of the Prophet sawas , their being taken as prisoners from town to town and the speeches made by the daughter of Ali; Zaynab, and the fourth Imam who were among the prisoners, disgraced the Umayyads.
The matter reached such proportions that Yazid in public disowned and condemned the actions of his agents. The event of Kerbala was a major factor in the overthrow of Umayyad rule although its effect was delayed. It also strengthened the roots of The Followers of Ahlu Bayt.
Among its immediate results were the revolts and rebellions combined with bloody wars which continued for twelve years. Among those who were instrumental in the death of the Imam not one was able to escape revenge and punishment.
Anyone who studies closely the history of the life of Imam Husayn and Yazid and the conditions that prevailed at that time, and analyses this chapter of Islamic history, will have no doubt that in those circumstances there was no choice before Imam Husayn but to be killed.
Swearing allegiance to Yazid would have meant publicly showing contempt for Islam, something which was not possible for the Imam, for Yazid not only showed no respect for Islam and its injunctions but also made a public demonstration of impudently, treading under foot its basis and its laws.
Those before him, even if they opposed religious injunctions, always did so in the guise of religion, and at least formally respected religion. They took pride in being companions of the Holy Prophet sawas and the other religious figures in whom people believed. Moreover, with his ability to set the stage to accomplish his desires he could have had them killed by their own people and then assumed a state of mourning and sought to revenge their blood, just as he sought to give the impression that he was avenging the killing of the third caliph.
Excellenes of Imam Hussain as in Ahadeeth 1. Hassan as and Hossein as are the leaders of the Youths of Paradise. Whoever wishes to see such a person who lives on earth but whose dignity is honored by the Heaven dwellers should see my grandson Hossein as. O my son! The punishment inflicted on the murderer of Hossein as in Hell would be equal to half of the total punishment to be imposed on the entire sinners of the world.
When the Holy Prophet as informed Hazrat Fatima of the Martyrdom in store for his grandson, she burst into tears and asked, "O my father! When would my son be martyred?