The Journey of Imam Hussein (4)
["Uqba b. Sim"an reported:]
We set out at once with him and he became drowsy while he was on his horse"s back. He woke up, saying: "We belong to God and to Him we will return. Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds."
He did that twice or three times, then his son, "Ali b. al-Hussein approached him and asked: "Why are you praising God and repeating the verse of returning to Him?"
"My son," he answered, "I nodded off and a horseman appeared to me, riding a horse and he said: "Men are traveling and the fates travel towards them." Then I knew it was our own souls announcing our deaths to us."
"Father," asked (the youth), "does God regard you as evil? Are we not in the right?"
"Indeed (we are)," he answered, "by Him to Whom all His servants must return."
"Father," said (the youth), "then we need have no concern, if we are going to die righteously."
"May God give you the best reward a son can get for (his behaviour towards) his father," answered al-Hussein, peace be upon him.
In the morning, he stopped and prayed the morning prayer. Then he hurried to remount and to continue the journey with his followers, veering to the left with the intention of separating from (al-Hurr"s men). However al-Hurr b. Yazid came towards him and stopped him and his followers (from going in that direction) and he began to (exert pressure to) turn them towards Kufa, but they resisted him. So they stopped (doing that) but they still accompanied them in the same way until they reached Ninawa, (which was) the place where al-Hussein, peace be upon him, stopped. Suddenly there appeared a rider on a fast mount, bearing weapons and carrying a bow on his shoulder, coming from Kufa. They all stopped and watched him. When he reached them, he greeted al-Hurr and his followers and did not greet al- Husayn and his followers. He handed a letter from Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad to al-Hurr. In it (was the following):
When this letter reaches you and my messenger comes to you, make al-Hussein come to a halt. But only let him stop in an open place without vegetation. I have ordered my messenger to stay with you and not to leave you until he brings me (news of) your carrying out my instructions. Greetings.
When al-Hurr had read the letter, he told them: "This is a letter from the governor Ubayd Allah. He has ordered me to bring you to a halt at a place which his letter suggests. This is his messenger and he has ordered him not to leave me until I carry out the order with regard to you."
Yazid (b. Ziyad) b. al-Muhajir al-Kindi who was with al-Hussein, peace be upon him, looked at the messenger of Ibn Ziyad and he recognized him.
"May your mother be deprived of you," he exclaimed, "what a business you have come to!"
"I have obeyed my Imam and remained faithful to my pledge of allegiance," (the other man) answered.
You have been disobedient to your Lord and have obeyed your Imam in bringing about the destruction of your soul,"responded Ibn al-Muhajir. "You have acquired (eternal) shame (for yourself) and (the punishment of) Hell-fire. What a wicked Imam your Imam is! Indeed God has said: we have made them Imams who summon (people) to Hellfire and on the Day of Resurrection they will not be helped. Your Imam is one of those.