On 10th of Muharram known as Ashur, the Battle of truth against falsehood began. One after another of the godly ones from the holy Imam’s side went into the field and laid down his life after exhibiting wonderful bravery, courage, valor and prowess. It looked as if the thirst, hunger, heat and the wounds had no effects whatsoever on the patience, the strength and the determination of Imam Hussain’s devotees.
At last when the deceitful IBN-I-SA’D saw the wonderful fight, he was astonished that each one from the holy Imam’s side easily destroyed dozens before he fell, and who proved unconquerable, he ordered a sally in contravention of the solemn agreement entered into, the previous night. The bravery and the skill displayed by the faithful supporters of the sacred cause, the matchless resignation of each one of the hungry and thirsty suffers of the godly camp, to the holy Imam and to the sacred cause of Truth, drowned the Devil’s army and their officers in wonder and astonishment, and they had become so awe-stricken at the miraculous strength and unparalleled courage of the helpless sufferers that they began to dread the very countenance of each of the godly devotees of the holy Imam who came alone into the field and fought and fell in the way of God.
Thus, whenever a supporter of the holy cause went against the Devil’s forces and fell, the holy Imam rushed out and brought his body and laid it in a tent pitched particularly and the supporters of the Truth fell one after another, the tent containing the bodies of the martyrs was turned into a ‘GANJE SHAHEEDAN’ or the ‘Repository the Martyrs’.
Lady ZAINAB sends her two young sons
When devotee after devotee fought and fell, in defense of the holy family, Hussain’s sister, Lady ZAINAB peace be upon her, called her two young sons, AUN and Muhammad aged 10 and 9 years respectively, who were with the holy Imam, and asked them: “What! Death has come to so many of the holy Imam’s devotees and you are still alive?” The children submitted: “Mother dear! We are only waiting for the holy Imam’s permission get it for us now, our mother dear! And then see what these two slaves of yours would do “.
Zainab immediately sent for her brother the holy Imam and implored that her two sons be permitted to go into the field. Hussain could not say no to his sister. When these two boys went into the field, they got martyred. HUSSAIN and ABBAS brought the two bodies of the young martyrs and laid them down in the tent of Zainab. Zainab came to the two bodies of her sons and addressing them said, “My dear children! Now I am pleased with you for you have proved your worth and laid down your lives for Truth and pleased God and His holy Prophet”.
Qasim, Son of Hassan
When the young Qasim aged about 14 years, son of Imam Hassan and nephew of imam Hussain sought permission to go, it is reported that Hussain remembered the wish of his late brother Hassan that one of his daughters be wedded to his son Qasim. At the same time Qasim presented to the holy Imam a closed note, written and given to him by his father, to be opened only when the worst calamity befell him, in which was written addressing Qasim: “My dear Son QASIM when your uncle HUSSAIN is besieged by his enemies from all sides and when every true lover of God and the holy Prophet, lays down his life, defending the cause of Truth, you sacrifice yourself for the cause on my behalf”.
The holy Imam kissed his late brother’s writing. QASIM took his uncle’s permission and went into the battlefield and after killing five famous warriors of the Devil’s army (AZRAG and his four sons) fell from his horse. Alas! Before HUSSAIN could reach QASIM in response to his call for help, the whole cavalry of the Devil moved trampling over QASIM’S body.
ABBAS THE BRAVE: THE STANDARD BEARER
When ABBAS, the Lion-Hearted son of Ali, went into the field, his fight very much resembled the fight of his father Ali, the Lion of God. ABBAS’ fight can never be described in a line or two. ABBAS’ strength valor, dexterity, prowess, his devotion to the cause of Truth and his attachment to the holy Imam, are unique in the history of the world.
Against the wonderful dash which the Lion-Hearted son of Lion of God-made, the Devil’s men had to give way. After a terrible fight, ABBAS reached the bank of the river and filed the sack with water for the thirsty children in HUSSAIN’S camp but never tasted a drop of it saying:
“Ah! When my Lord, the holy Imam and his innocent children are thirsty, how can ABBAS taste this water”. Alas! While ABBAS was returning from the river with the sack of water on his shoulder, he was attacked from al sides and at last he fell near the bank of the river but not until he had lost both his hands which were severed by a treacherous attack from a hiding.
After ABBAS, came the turn of ALI-E-AKBAR, to go to the battlefield. It is reported that his eighteen year old son was so very much loved by one and all in the camp that the account of his taking leave of his mother, aunts, sisters, brothers and other relatives is so pathetic that none can resist shedding at least a few tears over the heart-rending event. At last when the holy Imam sent ALI-E-AKBAR, the ‘AHMED-I-THANI’ i.e., (Muhammad the Second), to the battlefield, he raised his head towards Heaven and said: “Lord! Here is sent in Thy way, the one who resembleth the most with Thy Prophet Muhammad, whenever we did desire to have a view of holy Face departed away from us, we used to look the face of this youth”.
“Lord! HUSSAIN has one ALI-E-AKBAR and he is sent to be sacrificed for thy cause, had I many more like him, I would have similarly offered them all in Thy way”. Is not this offer more acceptable to God than that of Abraham who offered with his eyes blindfolded? Is not this a Greater Sacrifice than that of ISMAEL?
When ALI-E-AKBAR went into the battlefield, it is reported that the Devil’s forces were so much amazed at his resemblance with the holy Prophet that such of those who had seen him before, wondered if the holy Prophet had reappeared in the world to help his dear grandson HUSSAIN. People were so anxious to have a look at the enchanting beauty of the youth that those in the rear of the enemy’s ranks, mounted on the horses and camels, even stood on the backs of the animals to have a look at the matchless and the wonder-striking beauty of this son of the holy Imam. But no! there was a treacherous onslaught and ALI-E-AKBAR fell with lance pierced through his breast as the holy Imam had prophesied. God alone knows what a patient heart the holy Imam had been endowed with, which never gave way against any catastrophe even that of the loss of such a son. The holy Imam stood looking at his son dying before his eyes and lifting his head towards Heaven said:
“Lord! It will be quite sufficient for Thy HUSSAIN if thou accepted this sacrifice and if thou art pleased with this humble offer”.
Martyrdom of the infant ALI ASGHAR: the bravest soldier of Imam Hussain
If a homes electricity goes out for 2-3 hours during the summer time, parents won’t be concerned about themselves getting heat-sick; they won’t be distraught by their own sweat and frustration with the heat. But when a mother sees her child restless, finding it difficult to sleep due to the extreme heat, her heart burns in despair.
Now imagine the events on the afternoon of Ashura (10th day of Muharram) in the camps of Imam Hussain (as), his family and companions, under the scorching heat, all so thirsty for three days. For this little infant some abstained from drinking out of the remaining water supply, in that scorching heat. Certainly they weren’t thinking about themselves when they watched little Ali Asghar.
The main reason Imam Hussain (as) brought Ali Asghar to the enemy’s army, to ask for water in order to nourish the infant—while there was very little hope that these lupine enemies would have sympathy and give the baby water– was that Imam Hussain (as) had no other option and there was nothing he could do to help. When the Imam (as) moved about the tents, he noticed the air was filled with anguish and much commotion, this small infant’s thirst, hunger and distress had moved everyone. Hussain Ibn Ali (as) had to take the baby in his arms—although there was very little chance the enemy would give the baby a cup of water to sooth his thirst.
Nevertheless, Hussain Ibn Ali (as) held the infant, then lifted him up for all to see. The baby’s conditions were so heart-rending that he would certainly move anyone—no matter how coldhearted—to feel sadness for him.
Imam Hussain (as) sought mercy purposely. It has been narrated correctly that he said, “even if you don’t have mercy towards me, have mercy towards this little baby.” A father would do so for his little baby at a time of distress. Hussain Ibn Ali’s (as) fatherly instincts allowed him to ask the enemy for water in order to save the life of this little infant. At that moment Hussain Ibn Ali (as)—probably in agony, gloom, and distress—raised the baby in his hands and was talking to the enemy when he felt something strange! He noticed his baby, who was drooping and still, due to thirst and hunger, could no longer hold his head, his head hung to one side. Suddenly he started floundering in his father’s hands.
Imam Hussain (as) looked at him; he saw the enemy’s arrow had stricken the baby in the throat and blood was flowing from Ali Asghar’s throat. May God curse the oppressors!
HUSSAIN STANDS ALONE
When everyone his devotees was slain and none was left on the holy Imam’s side, he stood all alone in the field with his head resting on a lance and his garments drenched not only in his own blood but also of his martyred son, brothers, nephews and devotees, with the Devil’s forces all around him.