The Aftermath of Karbala
After the supreme sacrifice and martyrdom of Holy Imam Hussain (A), a gloomy silence hung over the battlefield of Karbala.
Every now and then the silence would be broken by the sound of drum-beating to celebrate victory. Not content with spilling the innocent blood of Imam Husain (A) and his companions, Umar ibne Sa’ad, the commander of Yazid’s army, ordered the horses to be shod afresh and then run over the bodies of the dead Muslims. Although some people from his army objected to this gross disrespect to the dead, he managed to enforce this horrible action. Having trampled over the bodies of the martyrs, the enemy next turned their attention to the defenceless camp of Imam Husain (A).
Yazid’s soldiers marched into the camp where they subjected the grief-stricken ladies to further torment and indignity. They had expected to find luxurious articles in the tents of the family of the Holy Prophet (S), but all they found were simple items and clothes, some of which had been stitched by Bibi Fatima (A) with her own hands. The ruthless soldiers snatched away these few possessions of sentimental value. They were angry at the lack of booty, and they took the veils off the struggling ladies forcing them to expose their faces. This humiliation was almost too much to bear.
Not satisfied with this, the enemy set fire to the tents. The terrified ladies gathered their children and rushed from tent to tent, trying to escape the burning flames.
Bibi Zainab (A), who had been left in charge of the camp by Imam Husain (A), was at a loss as to what to do. She went to the seriously ill Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A), the second son of Imam Hussain(A), who was prevented from taking apart in the war because of his severe illness and the inability to carry arms. He lay unconscious on the ground after the enemy had even robbed the mattress on which he lay. She shook him urgently to ask his advice. He was burning with fever but with a great effort he replied that it was compulsory on them to save their lives and he asked her to get everyone out from the burning tents into the open.
Soon the raging fires subsided leaving only one tent standing, although it was also damaged by fire. The ladies and children salvaged whatever they could of their few belongings and huddled together in that little shelter waiting for nightfall.
The night following the day of Ashura is known as “Shame Ghariban”. It was the night when the exhausted, hungry and tired families of Imam Husain (A) and his companions sat in loneliness, each thinking about the loved ones they had lost in the unjust battle on that day.
Due to the illness of Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A), Bibi Zainab (A) realised that she would have to take care of the small group of women and children herself. She called her sister Bibi Umme Kulthum (A) to help her.
The next day, Umar’s forces gathered all the dead bodies of the army, buried them, and prayed on them. He left the Imam’s body and his followers without burial.
In the After noon, Yazidi forces took the womenfolk of Imam Hussain(A) as captives. Some soldiers were appointed to bind them and tie ropes and chains round their hands, feet or neck. Among them there were just two male members: Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) who was twenty‑three years old and his son, Mohammad Baqir, who was 4 years old at that time and became the fifth Imam. The heartless forces mounted the captives on bareback camels and horses and Then moved the caravan of captives toward the battlefield and passed them by the bodies of martyrs, while they were weeping, crying and hitting their faces. Many of the ladies and children threw themselves down from the camels to the bodies of their relatives who were whipped by the soldiers. Suddenly, Zaynab yelled, “O Muhammad! This is Husayn, stoned by catapults, mixed with blood and sand! His body parts cut off! O, Muhammad! Your children are taken captives and your descendants are killed!”
Suddenly, Zaynab looked at ′Ali Zainul Abedeen(A). She saw him very weak and almost about to faint. She went to him and said, “O the memory of my grandfather, my father, and my brothers! This is the covenant of God to your grandfather and your father. The tyrants of this earth do not understand that. Indeed, the followers of the Prophet’s House will come and honor these decapitated bodies, and the parts and limbs that were cut off, and raise a flag on this land, a flag which would never be lowered. The tyrants work day and night to eradicate his name, but whatever they do only increases the respect for his name.”
The women and children did not want to leave the bodies. Finally, Zajr Ibn Qays came and whipped them with lashes, and they were forced to leave. Once the captives were made ready, the heads of all the martyrs, even the head of Imam Hussain’s (A) suckling baby, were mounted on spears. Then they moved the captive caravan along the heads of the martyrs, to Kufa. It was decided that the captives should be led through Kufa to Damascus to the court of Yazid.
The consequences of Karbala
The Yazidi forces had taken the womenfolk of Ahl al-Bayt(A) as captives from one city to another with the intent of humiliating the holy family and also presenting them as an example for any potential opposition to Yazidi’s rule. But Allah had planned it otherwise: the journey of the captives turned, instead, into an opportunity for the Ahl al-Bayt (A) to present their innocence to the people, convey the message of Hussain(A) and enlightened the masses about the atrocities of the Yazidi regime. The caravan of the captives exposed the true face of Yazid and his establishment. The most important role played in this awakening of the masses was by Zainab bint ‘Ali, Hussain’s sister, and Imam Zainul Abedeen(A). The speeches of the holy Imam(A) and Bibi Zainab in the court of Ibn Ziyad(the governor of kufa), in Damascus and in the court of Yazid himself are excellent example a of how they were able to gain victory for Hussain(A) and expose the tyranny of Yazid. And all this was done while they were prisoners. The situation was led in a way that Yazid disowned his men actions and after a period of time sent the Ahl al-Bayt family back to Medina.
Source:Islam- Faith, practice & history/ Seyyed Mohamad Razavi/ Ansariyan publication
DUA: Allah please accept this from us. You are All-Hearing and All-Knowing. You are The Most Forgiving.You are The Most Relenting and repeatedly Merciful. Allah grant us The Taufiq to read all the 5 prayers with sincerity.
(Taken from: To Be Earnest In Prayers By Amina Elahi)
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