The arrival of the captives from the family of Imam Al-Hussain to Kufa

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The caravan of the captives from Ahl Al-Bayt (peace be upon them) moved on the eleventh of Muharram, and after passing by deserts, and carrying dreary and painful memories of the night of loneliness spent close to the martyrs’ corpses, it entered Kufa on the twelfth of Muharram 61 AH. People of Kufa got scared and went out to the streets, between those ignoring who the captives were and those who knew and were crying out of remorse.

The captives caravan headed towards the Emirate Palace, breaching the masses of the people in Kufa, crying for what happened to the House of Prophecy, for deceiving their promises to the grandson of the Prophet (Allah’s prayers be upon him and upon his holy Household) and the Imam of the Muslims; Al-Hussayn (peace be upon him). And here they are seeing his family and women captives, led by the Imam’s head on top of a long spear flying in the Kufa sky, after they have called him to be the leader of the Islamic nation and its guide towards wisdom.

Lady Zaynab (peace be upon her) stared at the arrayed crowds, her mouth filled with the bitterness of the loss of her brother, and her caravan is surrounded by the captivity humiliation. She looked at the people of Kufa with anger and contempt and said her well-known reprimanding and scolding speech.

The head of Al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) was entered to the palace, and put in front of Ibn Ziyad (Allah’s curse be upon him), who started beating the holy head with a stick he had in hand, with pride and joy, then the women, children and Ali Ibn Al-Hussayn (peace be upon them) were entered to his court.

There, Lady Zaynab disguised herself among the other women. Once Ibn Ziyad noticed her, he asked: “Who is that disguised woman?”

No one answered him; so he repeated his question. Then, one of his servants replied: “She is Zaynab, the daughter of Fatimah, daughter of the Messenger of Allah”.

Ibn Ziyad recognized this honored Lady, and decided to express his joy of victory in front of the honorable daughter of Imam Ali (peace be upon him). Through addressing Lady Zaynab he planned to take advantage of the opportunity and advertise the cruel and disgraced tyranny of Yazeed. He however, failed to realize that the Lady he was addressing happened to be the heroine who would disgrace Yazeed and all other oppressors through her firm logic. Ibn Ziyad rudely said: “Praise be to Allah who disgraced you, and revealed your sayings as false.”

Lady Zaynab (peace be upon her) immediately frustrated his conspiracy by replying: “Praise be to Allah who has honored us with His Messenger, and purified us from impurity. The one who is disgraced is certainly the libertine, and the one who lies is the lewd; and we are not such people. Praise be to Allah.

Ibn Zyad, who never expected to be talking to such a knowledgeable and courageous woman, changed the subject and said: “How did you find the way Allah treated your brother and your family?”

Lady Zaynab (peace be upon her), with a tone full of pride and power, indicating her faith and submission towards Allah (S.W.T), answered:

I saw nothing but beauty. …It was Allah’s wish that they should be martyred, and they met their deaths valiantly. If this was your heart’s desire then you must indeed be content today. But you have killed those whom the Prophet (Allah’s prayers be upon him and upon his holy Household) held upon his knee when they were children and whose play filled him with joy. Soon you will stand with them before Allah and they will demand justice. Beware the day of reckoning. O son of Marjanah! May your mother be mournful for you.

It seemed to all, that Lady Zaynab (peace be upon her) spoke so forcefully that her voice resembled the voice of her father, Imam Ali (peace be upon him). Taken aback, the arrogant and vindictive Ibn Ziyad turned to Imam Zayn Al-‘Abideen (who was still sick), and he asked: “Who are you?” Imam As-Sajjad (peace be upon him) answered, “Ali, son of Al‑Hussayn.” Ibn Ziyad retorted, “Was not Ali Ibn Al‑Hussayn slain by Allah?”

Imam As-Sajjad (peace be upon him) answered, “I used to have an older brother also names Ali, and he was slain by people.” Ibn Ziyad retorted to intimidate him, “But Ali was killed by Allah.” As-Sajjad (peace be upon him) then quoted the Holy Quran {Allah takes the souls at the time of their death} (39:42). Ibn Ziyad did not appreciate him thus responding to his statement rather than remaining silent, so he ordered him to be killed, but his aunty, the venerable lady Zaynab, put her arms around him and said, “O Ibn Ziyad! Suffices you what you have shed of our blood… have you really spared anyone other than this? If you want to kill him, kill me with him as well.” Imam as-Sajjad (peace be upon him) said [to Ibn Ziyad], “Do you not know that we are used to being killed, and that martyrdom is one of Allah’s blessings upon us?”

Ibn Ziyad looked at both of them then said, “Leave him for her. Amazing is their tie of kinship; she wishes to be killed with him.”

The hatred, tyranny and barbarism of Ibn Ziyad did not stop at this, but he ordered the police to jail the captives and to carry al-Hussayn’s severed head around Kufa streets to frighten its people, defying any revolutionary spirit in them.