Part 3 - Meeting the Enemy
When the two belligerent sides confronted each other and the fire was raging in the trench, Shimr shouted, "Oh Hussain! you are in a hurry to go to hell fire before the day of judgement!" Hussain enquired: Isn't this Shimr bin Thil al-Jawshan; he was told that it was him. Hussain then retorted "Oh son of goatherdess! You are more deserving to burn in it".
When Imam Hussain (A) saw their gathering, which was like a torrent he raised both his hands to the sky and prayed, "Oh My Lord! You are my haven in every mishap, my hope in every predicament my refuge and defender in every ordeal. How many a distress that weakens the heart, makes the enemy rejoices at the misfortune when I entrusted it to You and resorted to You out of preference over others, you did not let me down and had driven away and eliminated all these distressing things. You are the Giver of every boon and the ultimate source of every wish to be granted."
Qaiyim bin Haseen Al-Fizari shouted, "Oh Hussain and followers of Hussain! Can't you see the water of the Euphrates the currents of which twist like the bellies of snakes? I swear by the Almighty you are not going to drink a drop of it until you taste death in doses". It is worth noting that Imam Hussain and his followers were denied access to the water the days earlier at the orders of Ibn Ziyed through Ibn Sa'ad. This was achieved by stationing 500 horsemen between Imam Hussain's camp and the River Euphrates. Imam Hussain was forced to ask his brother Al-Abbas to bring them water on two occasions before the 10th of Muharram. The enemy troops made it exceptionally difficult for Imam Hussain and his band to get water supplies on the night and day of 10th Muharram.
Imam Hussain, convinced of the enemy's determination to fight him, asked for his horse and mounted it; he then addressed them in a high voice saying, "Oh people!, heed my speech and do not get restless until I preach you as I see it my duty towards you and until I explain why I came to you. If you accepted my reasoning, believed in my speech, and were fair to your selves and mine, you would because of that be happier, then you would have no reason to attack me. If you do neither, resolve upon your affair and (gather) your associates, let not your affair be in darkness to you, then have it executed against me and do not reflect (any further). Allah is my helper and He is the Guardian of the righteous."
When the women heard him say this, they raised their voices screaming and crying. He sent his brother Al-Abbas and his son Ali Al-Akbar to the women to calm them down and remarked, "Alas! they will be crying a lot". When the crying came to an end, Imam Hussain (A) resumed his talk and said, "Oh people!, Allah created this world and made it an abode of destruction and transience, taking its inhabitants from one phase to another. It deceives the conceited and seduces the wretched. Let not this world deceive you for it is capable of dashing the hopes of those who put their trust in it and let down those who are greedy for its riches. I can see that you agreed on an affair capable of bringing the wrath of Allah upon you, causing Him to turn His face away from you, spread amongst you His revenge. Glory be to our Lord, and woe to you. You pledged allegiance (to Allah) and believed in the Messenger Mohammad (S), then ganged up against his progeny intent on killing them. Satan has taken hold over you, precipitating you to forget the remembrance of the Almighty. May evil befall you and may your aspiration come to nothing."
"From Allah we come and unto Him we return. Those are people who disbelieved after they had believed; so away with the unjust people."
Hussain was coaxed to change his heart
Induced, to play that heathen's part
Adamant to surrender, though he remained
Aggression he shunned, conflict abstained.
Hussain, explicitly, did explain:
"Vain, 0' Yazid, is temporal gain.
Through calumnious and dissolute ways
Your prevaricate what the Prophet says.
Your evanescent, sordid, slippery boon
will vanish, like a mirage; too soon.
The morbid manoeuvers; you deploy
Islam will ruin, the faith destroy.
Through muddled thinking and notions dark
On a feckless mission do not embark
Potentially hazardous whims dispel.
This mood of bleak despair expel.
This sense of spiritual emptiness
By rational thinking do suppress.
Sanity do not in this bog sink
And push Islam to disaster's brink
Decay of the faith, I do perceive
The Prophet's mission I will retrieve.
Like a looming disc, on the horizon
Poised is the religion's setting sun.
To bury the hatchet, and heal the breach
I show an olive-branch; peace I preach.
A vain strife do not provoke
Save your necks from a hellish yoke.
Listen to me for goodness' sake
(Do not just acquiesce - advice take)