Dr Yasir Qadhi : The Massacre of Karbala : A Historical Analysis


1. This topic is a very contentious and emotional one. It’s possible to stoke the flame of anger and Shaykh Yasir Qadhi vehemently insists that he’s opposed to any hatred and bigotry. The purpose of this lecture is to educate, and discuss the incident of Karbala.

2. The Karbala massacre is a detailed event of history and history is, by its nature, subjective. We cannot go into a detailed analysis, so it’s going to be a summarized version of this event. The interpretations given are standard Sunni interpretations and by and large, it is agreed upon within Sunni scholarship. Our version will be based upon the works by Ibn Katheer, Ibn Hajar, etc.

The Other version popularized By shiaa- details comes from one person  Early Muslim Historian Abu Mikhnaf Luth Ibn Yahya 157 A.H , First to write a book on details of Karbala titled “Maqtaloo  Hussain”

– From our perspective this person cannot be trusted because he is theologically inclined to the other group

Our perspective with Ahlul Bayt

Ahlul Sunnah believe that Ahlul Bayt have a high rank and we love them with a Genuine Love.

Some people even Astagfirulla Curse them ! And the other extreme consider that Ahlul Bayt have supernatural powers

We believe that Ahlul Bayt are most noble if they are believers and from the sahaba have a triple blessing- believers -sahaba and Ahlul Bayt

We firmly affirm blessings mentioned about them in Quran and Sunnah

Allah wants to purify you of any filth O Ahlul Bayt”- Quran

Prophet s.a.w called Ali and Fatimah and Hasan and Hussain and put them under a cloak and said “They are My family” this is Called Hadith of the Cloak

We firmly believe and implement what Prophet s.a.w said “That I remind you by the rights of Allah and the rights of my family- Uzakkirukumullah Fee Ahlil Bayti- he repeated this three times

Abu Bakr said to Ali r: I swear By Allah that I would rather be kind and generous to ahlul bayt than My own family”

When Umar r wrote the category of Stipends the Ahlul Bayt got the most

Umar r loved the ahlul bayt  so much that he married the daughter of Ali r Umme Kulthoom bint Ali

There could not be animosity between Ali and Umar r. as Umar r married the daughter of Ali

Umar r : I want to have some relation with the Ahlul Bayt

Ibn Taimiyyah: Of the fundamentals of Ahlul Sunnah is to love the Ahlul Bayt

But if a person is sinful blood line has no consequence

Prophet s.a.w said : Whose ever deeds pull him back his blood won’t push him forward (Tirmidhi)

Just because a person is from Ahlul bayt doesn’t make them angels!

When they are righteous we love them with double love

Fundamental difference between Ahlul Bayt and twelver shiaa

As for them Primarily the ahlul bayt are the descendants of Fatimah – Hasan and Hussain ra

For us yes they are included but for us it is wider; included are the wives of the prophet s.a.w

“Ya Nisa An Nabiy-His wives are their mothers” Fatima , Ali and Hussain are the crux; the kernel of Ahlul Bayt but we also affirm Aqeel the brother of Ali r and Jafar the brother of Ali ra and their children are ahlul bayt

We also affirm Abbas the uncle of the prophet s.a.w is of the ahlul bayt- and his children and out of respect we do not give charity/zakat to the ahlul bayt

For us Ahlul Abbas is also Ahlul Bayt !

Hussain Ibn Ali

He was born In Shaban in the 4th year of Hijrah, Hasan was born Ramadan in the third year of Hijrah. They are less than a year apart

Many Ahadith praised Hassan and Hussain r.a as the leaders of the young men of Jannah

Once he hugged them and said “They are my two rayhanatayyah – two sweet flowers of this world, two blessings of this world”(Bukhari)

Hussain was born and lived in Medina until Ali became Calipha and moved to Kufa and along with His brother Hassan they both witnessed the Battle of Jamal and Siffeen and then Ali ra was assassinated by the Khawarij- then Hassan was given oath of Allegiance by people of Kufa and Muawiya was given oath of allegiance by people of Syria. For the first time in the Muslim world there were two Caliphas!

Muawiya and Hassan were about to go to war but Hassan ra after 6 months he resigned and did not want any further bloodshed and the ahlal bayt returned to Medina after Hassan’s resignation and also Hussain returned to Medina and they lived there until the death of Muawiya in 60 A.H and Yazid coming to power after which  Hussain left Medina.

Hussain ra was greatly respected by All companions

Abdullah Amr bin Al As was once sitting in the shadow of the Kabah and he saw Hussain coming and he said this man is the most beloved man on earth to the inhabitants of the heavens!

Yazid and The coming of Power to Yazid

We are all aware vaguely that during the end of the Khulafa Ar raashidoon civil war broke out between the sahaba and more Muslims lost their lives in these civil wars- In Jamal and Siffeen than all of the Muslims who had participated in the ghazwah against the kuffar. It was a very traumatic Civil war, the quantity of Muslims that died were horrendous

when Hasan came to power in 41 A.H and Muawwiyah came to power In the same year the two of them were almost going to go into a third battle bigger and more horrendous than the other two, after much contemplation Hassan r said there is not going to be more bloodshed and said if Muawwiya wanted it he can take it, that He will Give up!

We as Ahlul Sunnah believe that Hassan r was more entitled to the Khulafah than Muawwiya, Hassan was more righteous than Muawwiyah and Hasan because of His righteousness didn’t want to spill more blood and so he voluntarily gave up!

The Kufioon – people of Iraq found it difficult to accept his surrender as He was their leader but he managed to calm them down and the people of Iraq grudgingly agreed to throw in their towel and Hassan ra peacefully returned to Medina. Hussain r it was said he was not happy with his brothers decision and out of respect for his brother Hussain did not do anything while His brother was alive. Hassan died in 50 A.H in Medina

After the death of Hassan , Yazid Ibn Muawwiyah was nominated by his own father to become the successor. Who is Yazid and who is Muawwiyah Muawwiya?

Yazid Ibn Muawwiyah

Yazid ibn Muawwiyah ibn Abu sufyan ibn Sakhr ibn Harb ibn Ummayyah. The Banu Ummayyah and Banu Hashim were the most elite of the Quraysh even though they were cousins there was some type of rivalry. That is why when prophet s.a.w conquered Makkah he made the house of Abu Sufyan one of the most noble houses to give honor to Banu Ummayyah. Abu Sufyan is Yazeed’s grandfather, Badr took place because of Abu Sufyans Caravan, Uhud he was the leader.

Yazeed by Unanimous consensus of all scholars is not a sahabi– He was born in 26 A.H more than 15 years after the death of Prophet s.a.w One of the first things we hear about him as a young man was that His father put him in change of conquering the city of Constantinople which is now called Istanbul, the heart of the Roman Empire.

It was in this battle that Abu Ayyub Al Ansari passed away and this is why his grave to this day is in one of the suburbs of Istanbul as he wanted to be buried as close to the walls of Constantinople as he can which Yazeed did

Ironically Hussain ra also participated in this battle, so Hussain and Muawwiyah were fighting on the same side against the Romans!

There is a Hadeeth narrated by Bukhari in which the Prophet (sa) said: “The first army of my Ummah which will attack the city of Caeser (Constantinople) will be forgiven.

This is one blessings we have to give yazeed as he was the leader of this army . Imam Dhahabi who is generally negative of Yazeed he said ‘With all of his evils he got this blessing”

They were not successful but it was the first attack on Constantinople

After the death of Hassan , Muawwiyah decided to nominate Yazeed as the Calipha. Many pros and Cons

We firmly believe there were far more people more qualified and righteous to be calipha than yazeed such as Ibn Umar ,Ibn Zubayr , Hussain r was alive. We also believe that a person of lesser stature can be calipha in the presence of those of higher stature- This is called “Imaamatul Mafdool”-

We do not have to agree with Muaawiyyah’s decision- fundamental principle in sunni theology. We respect the sahaba in their Islam, But we do not have to agree with every political decision they made, But WE CANNOT DO IS CAST ASPERSIONS ON NIYYAH OF MUAWWIYA R.A. HE IS A SAHABI. He did what he did out of some concern for the Ummah. He has witnessed the worse civil wars and he wanted to close the chapter and said My son shall we calipha after me and he reasoned with him and said if Hassan can become Calipha after Ali and Hasan and Ali are son and father , well then why Can’t I?. That’s his reasoning.

We do not have to agree with their political decisions but we cannot cast aspersions. Their goal was Unity

Muawwiya announced that after his death Yazeed will be calipha. The bulk of the Muslim world agreed except Makkah and Medina.

In Makkah there was Abdullah Ibn Zubayr- son of Zubayr ibn Awwam r.a and In Medina there was Hussain ra and other ahlul bayt who felt they were more qualified for calipha than yazeed. But in the lifetime of Muawwiya they didn’t do anything.

Hussain (rta) refuses to pledge allegiance to Yazeed

Muawwiya died in Rajab 60 A.H. there were three people whom the ummah were looking at what they were going to do, that if they made a hue and cry the ummayads would be in trouble

they were:

Number one on the list Abdullah ibn Umar– the senior most sahaba who was alive at this time. Remember Hussain r.a. his respect was mainly lineage he was barely 6-7 years old when prophet s.a.w passed away. Ibn Umar participated in Ghazawat. He is a faqeeh. Ibn Umar was senior to Hussain in age and experience and participating in ghazawat and Hussain was senior in blood. Ibn Umar decided to be A- Political- didn’t want bloodshed. He gave bayya’ to yazeed but never took part in politics.

2nd person was Abdullah Ibn Zubayr senior to Hussain in age. Whole family is family of prestige. He was a political person from a young age. Abdullah Ibn Zubayr decided to revolt and he revolted In Makkah and was killed and crucified in Makkah and Yazeed dealt with him after he dealt with Hussain.

CLARIFICATION NOTICE:, Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi made a sincere mistake and has clarified by stating: “I made a mistake; I was intending to refer to the incident of Harra in Madinah, but instead I mentioned the death of Ibn Al-Zubayr. Yazid was not able to deal with Ibn al-Zubayr in his lifetime. Rather, it twas during the reign of Abd al-Malik b. Marwan that eventually Ibn al-Zubayr was killed.”

3rd person is Hussain ibn Abi Talib. The massacre of Hussain and Ibn Zubayr are the two big stains in the rein of Yazeed and for causing fitnah in Medina

HUSSAIN— MAKKAH—MEDINA- 3 big calamities in the time of Yazeed

Muawwiya died and the governor of Medina knows the tension between Hussain and the Ummayads. The governor of Medina calls Hussain to his house and he asks him to give oath of allegiance in the masjid and Hussain refused. Hussain when he saw the pressure coming asked for time and the governor being a soft man agreed to this. Hussain immediately left to his house and informed his family that they were going to leave in 2 hrs to Makkah!. Hussain left to Makkah in the middle of the night- he chose Makkah because Makkah was relatively less under control of Ummayds. The sympathizers of Abdullah Ibn Zubayr were also there

It became public that Hussain had fled and he didn’t give oath of allegiance to the governor on behalf of Yazeed and when this spread to Iraq- the people of Koofa they rejoiced! They were waiting for Rebellion they were never happy with the Ummayads. When they heard this it was Ramadan of 60 AH.. Message came to them that Hussain has refused to the allegiance and they wrote letters to Makkah saying that they will support him!

It was said that more than 60 messages came to him from the people of Koofa. On a daily basis people kept on sending. All of the major tribes of Koofa sent messages. They sent many threats as well e.g. we wont pray jumuah until you come. Praying Jumuah was also a political act , in that the Calipha or the governor led Jummuah prayers. In those days governor led jumuah By not praying Jumuah they were sending the message that you are not legitimate.

List upon list of noblemen signed this- saying that he had their support

Koofa was a very unique and peculiar place. In the year 37 when Ali shifted his caliphate to Koofa and since then Koofa became a place of sympathy to Ahlul Bayt. It was in Koofa that the political movement SHEEATU ALI began. In the beginning it was Political movement no theology or aqeedah no cursing. It was just politics-

Ali r.a. also had own tensions with the people of Koofa. When Hassan resigned people of Koofa were not happy and they wanted rebellion but Hassan calmed them down and Hassan r passes away and Hussain takes charge. They say your brother didn’t do it we will support you!

Muslim bin Aqeel leaves for Kufa

Hussain r.a. after getting the letters he sent his cousin to check it out. Muslim ibn Aqeel bin Abi Talib , Aqeel is brother of Jafar and Ali.

1st cousin of Ali. He is Ahlal Bayt and tells him to check if Koofa is ready or not. He left with a small group, like on a scouting mission. Muslim arrives in Koofa in Dhul Qadha in 60 A.h ( Note Muharram 61 it comes to an end- 2 months before massacre)the people rejoiced like they never rejoiced before

Thousands and thousands of people At Tabari says: More than 12 thousand people in the course of the next two weeks gave oath of allegiance to Muslim on behalf of Hussain.

These 12,000 people represented the bulk of Koofa, as the leader of tribe pledge allegiance on behalf of tribe – so over 30-40,000 people gave bayya’ that they were with Hussain. Muslim bin Aqeel was overjoyed. He writes to Hussain that All of people of koofa are behind you , and as soon as you get this letter, don’t letter come to Koofa!

Muslim sends this letter somewhere at the end of Dhul Qadha 60 A.H. Now rumors spread and reach Yazeed in Damascus. Hussain is in Makkah and His supporters are in Koofa.

Yazeed the first thing he does- he sends the most vicious politician he knows. A person Infamous in early Islamic History Ubaydillah Ibn Ziyaad ibn Abeehi known as Ibn Ziyaad. He was really a Machiavellian politician and he got the job done for the Ummayads. His only goal in life was to rise in ranks. No ones has respect for his morals in history. Yazeed gets rid of governor of Koofa who was a gentle person  and sends Ibn Ziyaad with a entourage of 17 people!. Ibn Ziyaad was rash and hot tempered and he was only 28 years old! Young men are generally rash. This was very dangerous and by putting this young tempestuous man in power was one of the reasons that led to karbala.

Ibn Ziyad isolates Muslim bin Aqeel

Ibn ziyaad enters Kufa in the month of Dhul Qadha 60 A.H and he tells the governor to resign that he was in charge. He entered Koofa after the time of fajr salah with a turban around his face, and when he entered early morning with an entourage the people thought that he might be Hussain. The people started chanting and praising ‘Welcome O son of Rasoolullah” Ibn Ziyaad understood these rumors are true. Ibn Ziyaad is shrewd he just observes, but one of the entourage says “Shut up this is not Hussain this Is your governor Abdur rahman ibn Ziyaad” That is when people realized something was going on- that plot was exposed.

Ibn Ziyaad takes residence in fortress that was the governors office and the first call to order was to get to Muslim Ibn Aqeel who was the scout and find out what was happening.

How is he going to get to Muslim in this large city?

Notice his shrewdness- he takes one of his 17 men anonymous to the people he dresses him like a traveler and gives him lots of money and gives him the plot- “You shall pretend that you are sheeatu Ali coming from As sham- Syria and you make yourself known to the sheea that you have to give the money to the one in charge”. This spy spent days getting to the houses of Sheea.

Note: now Shiia is a political group, not theological.

He makes his way to the host of Muslim bin Aqeel who was a Nobleman who pretended to be supporter of the Ummayads but was a Sheea and he was known to the governor. His name was Haani ibn Urwa- he was one of the nobleman of koofa who pretended to be pro Ummayad but actually he was Pro- Hussain. Lo and Behold the spy realizes that Hani ibn Urwa was the main person organizing this and Hani insists you have to hand over the money to me, soon as he hands him the money the spy informs Ibn ziyaad about this. Ibn Ziyaad calls him over and tells him that You are the one housing Muslim Ibn Aqeel hand me over Muslim and I will forgive you! and then the spy comes out and he realizes he has been exposed. Ibn Ziyaad takes his spear and causes hani to bleed- and he beats him up because he was a traitor in his eyes. When news spread that Hani is being beaten the tribe of hani comes and requests that he should be handed over or else we will rebel. Ibn Ziyaad negotiates that we won’t harm him , we just want to know where Muslim ibn Aqeel was. Muslim Ibn Aqeel realizes the plot has been exposed and no going back and he sends a secret message to his followers. One of the reasons later on why shiaa believed in hiding etc because they really did go through political repression so they had to invent ways of keeping things secret- kitmaan. The secret code Muslim sent was “yaa Mansoor Amith” the code that we are going to attack!.

Muslim sends forth the cry! out of 12,000 that actually gave Bayya’ 4000 come forth armed for battle. They agree that they are going to free Haani and kill Ziyaad. They camp outside gate of Fortress. Ibn Ziyaad the shrewd person he is he assesses which tribes are there and he finds a sympathizer in his own group and negotiates a deal with them to cut them off- as tribes follow their leaders. At tabari mentioned that he even used mothers and fathers against their children!- emotional Blackmail

By the time of Asr that same day from 4000 less than 70 men are left!

Ibn Ziyaad negotiates with every tribe giving them bribes. By the time Muslim ibn Aqeel prays magrib salah barely 30 are there and then down to ten when darkness falls

It made him very angry. He decided to spend  the night in the quarters of the tribe of Kinda one of the main supporters of sheeatu Ali and when he walks in the darkness of the night the 10 slip away until he finds himself literally alone discarded without even a shelter over his head, without money or food or drink!

They abandoned the grandson of Abu Talib alone just for some money! penniless, no food and water! and he is forced to go to anonymous house and knocks on a door and a old lady gives him some food and water and she tells him to go away and he introduces himself and the old lady sympathizes with him gives him shelter.

The son returns home and notices this man- the mother tells him not to expose him but the son is greedy too and he makes an excusethat  he has to go the masjid and in the masjid he sees the Lieutenant of Ibn Ziyaad and he says sends the troops that Muslim is in his house. The Whole house surrounded He surrenders as they threatened to burn down the house and he was concerned about the Old lady. Abdur Rahman ibn Muhammed Ibn Ash’ath well known to historians he was leader of the entourage.

On his way to the governors house , Ibn Asha’th had a soft spot and Hussain  made him promise and says get the message to Hussain GET BACK TO MAKKAH THE PEOPLE OF KOOFA WILL BETRAY YOU

Ibn Ash’ath sent this message to Hussain.

Later on in that day The governor was rude to Muslim ibn Aqeel and beats him as well that was the day of Arafah in the 60th year of Hijrah

on the holiest day of the year 9th of dhul hijjah Muslim ibn Aqeel the grandson of Abu Talib and 1st cousin of Hussain r.a. he is taken to the highest rampart of the fortress and in front of people thrown to his death the last word he said before istigfaar and shahadah was “O Allah you be Judge between us and own sheea- people they deceived and desserted us”

Hussain bin Ali (rta) leaves for Kufa

Hussain r.a. is on his way and Muslim ibn Aqeel was killed and it would take at least two and half weeks to get a message from Koofa to Makkah this was not the age of internet etc therefore Hussain only gets the first message sent by Muslim  which said : come immediately!

The host that hosted Muslim was not just killed but crucified in the city centre.

Ibn Ziyaad had only entered the city with 17 men- it was just the fear what would happen if they disobeyed Ibn ziyaad and the bribe was enough to make the koofans flee

Ibn Aqeel was killed 9th or 10th of Hijrah. Hussain r.a. was going to Koofa , he makes an announcement he is going to Koofa. In Makkah all of  the senior sahaba advised against this. Abdullah ibn Abbas is also ahlul bayt, cousin of Ali r.a. way senior to Hussain r.a. in age and wisdom Abdullah in umar, Jabir ibn Abdullah, Abu saeed Khudri- they warned him as it was going to be war.

They feel Hussain is being a bit rash he was young when Jamal and Siffeen took place- but Hussain  was insistent. He had huge bags- and he had so many letters that had come from Koofa. They reminded him that they betrayed Ali r.a. but Hussain r didn’t agree he said they wouldn’t do it now

So he left on 8th of Dhul Hijjah one day before Muslim ibn Aqeel is thrown from the top and he takes with him his younger brothers Muhammed ibn Haniffiya ( brother of Hussain not through Fatimah) and there were other brothers as well. He also takes with him his nephews from Hasan and Ibn Aqeel’s children and Abdullah In Jafar’s children. Total of 100 people of Ahlal bayt .

Muhammed Ibn Haniffyah his younger brother was trying to persuade him not to go. Abdullah ibn Abbas intercepted caravan and told him not to go!

They are convincing Hussain not to go and Hussain says “I would rather die elsewhere than to open up the haram to become bloodshed”

out of respect for Makkah I don’t want civil war in Makkah!

Ibn Umar r senior most companion alive and he tracks him and tell him its also in hadith books in Ibn Hibban

He says let me tell you a hadith I am telling you I haven’t told any one

When prophet s.a.w was on his death bed and jibreel ahs came him choice to live in dunya or meet Allah he said I choose Allah

and Ibn Umar r.a. said you are the grandson of prophet s.a.w so when prophet s.a.w chose Akhira you O Hussain are part of him you shall not share any matter of that- Allah only turned it away from you to give you something better!

So true! when you are a king or ruler no one else likes you! Ahlal bayt are above that, Ibn Umar r.a. is saying you are not meant to be kings! and he said as for the people of Iraq don’t you remember the treachery they gave to your father!

But he refused to listen. Muhammed ibn Haniffah refused to send his sons to go with Hussain

The point is that contrary to what other group says- we love Hussain but we are not on the side of Yazeed – Yazeed is not our Hero. Hussain we love him but his emotions got the better of him , it would have been better if he listened to the senior Ahlal Bayt. They were not anti Hussain but Anti Khurooj of Hussain

When he comes close to Iraq he sends a messenger to koofa that he is about to come.

Ibn Ziyaad is waiting for Hussain r.a. and the messenger is caught and doesn’t return and is executed. He sends a second messenger and before he was executed when he was taken to the fortress he is a brave and shouts out that Hussain is on his way prepare yourself. Eventually Hussain is very close to Koofa and it was here that Ibn Ash’ath’s messenger reaches him , Ibn Ashath the lieutenant who captured ibn Aqeel he was faithful to this one request even though he killed ibn Aqeel. Now the message reaches Hussain- Ibn Aqeel has been killed and none of the koofans support him

Dialogue begins in the camp. Muslim ibn Aqeel’s sons are present and they want to avenge the death if their father, and another person says you are not like Ibn Aqeel you are the grandson of prophet s.a.w they won’t do the same to you.

We as Sunnis do not believe that Hussain marched to a suicide we believed Hussain though he will win, Shiaa believe that Hussain knew he was marching to his death. Hussain was hoping that the Koofans would support him against Ummayds. He decided to march forward to koofa.

Troops intercept Hussain (rta) at Karbala

Ibn Ziyaad get a large amount of troops that were sent to fight the Turkish province of Dailam the Dailamites – 4000 men . Ibn Ziyaad intercepted them and got permission from yazeed that he needed to fight Hussain

they were not sent from damask to fight Hussain they were sent to fight a Turkish group and they were not sent to fight Hussain

Hussain made his way to koofa and it was in the plains of karbala were these 400o men intercept Hussain. Karbala very close to koofa- not far away. Hussain makes his way to a stone throws away from koofa

On the third of Muharram 61st year of Hijrah- forces of ibn ziyaad intercept forces of Hussain they were 100 people and a little more when messenger of of ibn Ashhat informed him of situation Hussain ra gave them permission to leave and he was left with only 70 of the ahlul bayt

leader of the Dailam army was Umar ibn saad ibn abi waqqas- Umar wasn’t a sahaba. Umar is the military Commander. Governor is Ibn ziyaad. Umar ibn Saad was reluctant to trap hussain but he didn’t stand up and say no- he wasn’t the one encouraging he was a loyal soldier. Umar ibn saad intercepts entourage of Husain and on third of Muharram 61 AH contrary to other report that siege lasted for 40 days these are exaggerations no authenticity – the actual siege was 6 days. Impossible for a siege to last for 40 days- not actually a siege but like it.

Umar ibn saad asks why have you left Makkah and Hussain r.a. says that he came on the invitation of the people of Koofa– Very Honest. He tsays if they have abandoned me I will go back. Umar ibn Saad send a message to ibn Ziyaad and he says tell Hussain that he has to come to the palace and come and give me allegiance on behalf of yazeed. We believe the main culprit of entire episode is Ibn Ziyaad he was arrogant – young and rash!

Exchange of options

Hussain gives Umar ibn saad three options 1. Let me go to Makkah

2.if you refuse to do this take me to yazeed directly I will speak to him directly– Hussain felt more comfortable to speak to yazzed than this impetuous ibn ziyaad. They had a history and Muawwiyah was very careful of how he dealt with Hassan and Hussain r.a.. Yazeed r.a. would never have killed Hussain directly 3. Send me into exile into one of the far away lands

These three conditions were so reasonable- of the close friends of Umar ibn saad said if the Dailams gave you this option you would be forced to accept

Ibn ziyaad refused all! he said either war of allegiance. Ibn Ziyaad sent  Shimr ibn Dhi’l –Jawshan  

– he was  a barbaric warrior – he sent Shimr to be the shadow of Umar ibn saad by the time Shimr comes 9th of Muharram and he tells him – Hussain you come to ibn ziyaad or there will be war. Many people on the side of Umar ibn saad a Small group defected to the side of Hussain saying : we didn’t come to fight grandson of prophet s.a.w

6 days go by and no one from people of Koofa came to help Hussain r.a.! Hussain ra.. did not go to Ibn Ziyaad he was brave and he was grandson of prophet s,a.w  he was not  a coward he refused to give bayaa to ibn ziyaad on behalf of yazeed.

Fighting and martyrdom

On the morning of the 10th of Muharram a cold pitiless battle barely 60-70 men versus 3-4000 brutal men

Prophet s..aw narrated that Ali r.a. came to prophet s.a.w and he saw him crying and he said reported In Musnad ibn ahmed and tabarani and he said jibreel told me that my ummah will kill Hussain near Euphrates river and he brought me the sand and we later knew it was the sand of karbala

Hussain was initially protected by ahlal bayt Sinan ibn anas gave hussain r.a final death blow –army led by shimr of 3-4 people sinan ibn anas gave final blow and as a final act of brutality they cut the head of hussain ra and they sent it to ibn ziyaad on  a plate as a gift! it was first time in Islamic history that this barbaric act was done

He took a stick and poking the head of Hussain and said Vulgar things

Anas bin Malik the famous sahabi was in koofa he was an old man and could not stand it and he stood up in the gathering and said wallahi I saw the prophet s..aw  kiss the lips of hussain r.a that you are hitting with a stick and it was Hussain r.a. who resembled prophet s.a.w the most in His manners!

We love Hussain r.a. we are the true shiaa of Hussain!

Those who killed Hussain they will be questioned by Allah!

Some reports say that Ibn Ziyaad sent it to Yazeed but there seems to be some confusion it was not Yazeed who poked the face of Hussain it was ibn ziyaad-

70 people killed from the party of Hussain 16 ahlal bayt

all women and children were protected

Only male survivor the son of hussain Ali- Zaynul Aabideen. he was sick with very high fever and he was in tent of women and when massacre took place he was in the tent of women so progeny of Hussain continues through him

Effects of this massacre

4 years after the death of Hussain 65 A.H the people of Koofa called themselves Sheeatu Ali- this is how the term came. In the 65th year  on the 10 of Muharram a group emerged from them called the “Tawwaboon”- we are sorry/ the repenters

they made it their duty to avenge the death of Hussain, they said they will kill everyone who participated in the massacre of Hussain and on their way to Syria to Kill Ibn Ziyaad they passed by Karbala and of course the body of Hussain is in Karbala and they spent the whole night lamenting and crying and singing poetry and beating themselves for having failed to protect Hussain when Hussain needed their help and with this incident we can mark the beginning THELOGIAN SHIISM. Upto now Shiism was Political- it was just Umayyads verses Ahlul Bayt –

Then the issue of making the descendants of Ali Imams and into figures up and beyond what our shariah says and with the death of Hussain is the birth of theological Shiism. This incident was similarly repeated dejavu in 122 AH from the son of Ali Ibn Hussain –Zaynul Aabideen and His name is Zaid. Zaid the son of Ali the son of Hussain the son of Ali son of Abu Talib

Zaid was once again in Medina and the people of Koofa promised him the same thing and his older relatives said don’t go don’t go and he said no this time it will be different

and in 122 AH Zaid did the same journey from Medina to Koofa and in Koofa the people quizzed him and most of them rejected him why? they asked him do you curse Abu Bakr and Umar? why because in Koofa theology is changing- they are making a theology out of it and Abu Bakr and Umar become the worse people. They asked “do you curse Abu Bakr and Umar? and Zaid ibn Ali said “these are the wazeers of the prophet s.a.w do you want me to curse them!!! I am not going to do this! I am against the Ummayads!

This shows us the real clash between Theological shiism and Political Shiism ,the Ahlul Bayt were SHIIA POLITICALLY NOT THEOLOGICALLY

and the SHIIA of Koofa became what we call SHIIA The irony of the ironies is that when Zaid came they rejected their own Imam as being “too Sunni” you don’t curse Abu bakr and Umar so we cannot fight behind you!

and the Abbasids came and massacred Zaid and this was the beginning of ‘

ZAIDI SHIISM” it is a different branch of shiism that is still strong and powerful today in the world which is in Yemen. The Ithna Ashari shiia which is the shiia of Pakistan and Bahrain and Iran and Iraq-this is twelver shiism. You compare the doctrine of Zaidi Shiism to Twelver Shiism and you see the reality between political and theological Shiism . Zaidi Shiism respect Abu Bakr and Umar they do not curse the sahaba, don’t consider to be Infallible. Zaidi Shiism is the real shiism of the Ahlul Bayt. Twelver Shiism went a whole different way


the sahaba – the companions at that time knew exactly who to blame. Squarely place the blame on the people of Koofa. The number 1 culprits the very people who claim to be the partisans off Ali and it is authentically narrated in the books of hadith not even in the books of history

when Umme Salamah the wife of the prophet s.a.w when she heard about the martyrdom of Hussain she said “May Allahs La’ana be on the people of Iraq they were the ones who murdered- they killed him may Allah curse them”

Abdullah Ibn Umar r the senior most sahaba alive- he is not Pro yazeed he doesn’t like the Umayyads and the Politics going on This hadith is in Bukhari and Muslim- when a group of Hujjaj came to Makkah and one of them comes and says If I swat a Mosquito do I have to pay dam(blood money)– he said amazingly are you people, you murder the grandson of prophet s.a.w and you ask me about a mosquito! Wallahi this is crystal clear and this is something that nobody can deny!

This is why this group beat themselves to this day and the sahaba that was alive none of them were pro yazeed! It is impossible for a believer to be pro Yazeed! we say that the people who promised Hussain should have been the ones who lived to the promise! where were they when Ibn Aqeel is thrown ? where were they when Ibn Hussain is camped outside for 6 solid days! where were they?

instead without cursing everyone in the world even those born before Hussain Wallahi they need to look at themselves. Their betrayal and cowardice and the fact they were bribed so easily

The number 1 culprit according to our and their own sources that’s why they beat themselves on that day and they continue to do so. The number 1 culprit is the one who promised and swore solemn oaths and they disappeared between morning and afternoon from Ibn Aqeel and not one of them helped Ibn Hussain when he was camped outside.

They are guilty of cowardice and betrayal that was number 1 because if the people of Koofa had stood up Karbala wouldn’t have happened! they would have protected Hussain!

Number 2 who is the mastermind the culprit is Ibn Ziyaad the impetuous young governor He has the Lion’s share of the blame. Even in His lifetime Allah punished him his whole life was uprisings and intrigues and back stabbings until he died a miserable death,. The forces of Mukhtar As sakafi and other internal uprisings was killed by forces of Mukthar. Notice the ironies of Ironies and this is the Sunnah of Allah in His creation His own head was Decapitated and it was brought in front of Mukhtar on a plate and it was shown just like the head of Hussain was brought in front of him. This is books of tirmidhi not even in books of History and they say when the head was brought in front of the majlis everybody was terrified because out of nowhere a snake came into the audience and made his way straight into the head and went into the nose and resided in the skull of Ibn Ziyaad, He was punished

Ibn Ziyaad was the brains but he didn’t come to blame. Who gets the lions share of the physical blame ? the leader of the army Umar ibn Saad’ he was a coward , when push came to shove he didn’t get in the way. Umar ibn saad we don’t say he is innocent –he could have done something there is some share on Him. When it comes to the actual blood on the sword it is Shimr ibn Dhi’l –Jawshan  and Anas ibn sinaan – these were the people, The first person who raised his sword was Shimr! he charged when he did that 3-4 of his thugs followed suit.

Yazeed ibn Muawwiya  Abu Sufyan– what is our position? there is a whole spectrum of opinion within sunni Islam. Those within sunni Islam curse him by name and says he is worst person to have existed. Opposite extreme is that some people make him to be a righteous man and makes excused for him and exonerate him. The Bus stops there- Yazeed sent Ibn Ziyaad

The opinion of Ibn Hajar, Ibn Zahabi and Ibn Taimiyyah this is the standard Modern Sunni Position which Shaykh Yasir believes as well- that Yazeed takes the share of the blood but he did not intend Hussain to be killed. He sent the ruthless guy – he didn’t tell Ibn Ziyaad to Kill Hussain

when the news of the death of Hussain came to him he didn’t punish a single person! He didn’t lift a finger- There is no doubt that Yazeed Takes a good share of the blame!

when the news of death of Hussain reached Yazeed he said “I did not tell you to kill him I would have been content with allegiance of Koofa and left Hussain alone” Historically this is correct as Hussain was surrounded on 3rd of Muharram by Ibn ziyaad and killed on the 10th – it was impossible for  a message to reach Damascus and koofa and back- no way yazeed could have known details.

Ibn Taymiiyah: Yazeed did not order the killing of Hussain nor did he show happiness on this event though he showed sadness still he did not support Hussain nor did he exact any revenge on those who killed Hussain

He expressed regret but what use is expression when the guilty culprit goes away

Abdullah asked his father Imam Ahmed about Yazeed : O Abati O my dear father are we supposed to Love Yazeed

He said: Does anyone with Iman Love yazeed? His son flipped the question and said : should we curse him? Imam Ahmed said: Have you heard your father curse anyone by name?

when another person asked him should we curse yazeed? he said we do not curse people by name we curse generically we should say :Ala La’natullahi Alal Dhalimeen(May Allah’s curse be on the unjust).


The message was clear: we don’t love Yazeed

but It is not in our methodology -we do not curse people by name

Yazeed was a king and politician and the blood on his hand was no more or greater in quantity than many later kings it maybe even lesser but what is greater is the quality of the blood – The people that yazeed killed one of whom was the grandson of prophet s.a.w

Ibn Taymiiyah said we are just in this regard we don’t curse him and he was like the other kings he had good and bad and we leave the affair to Allah

No doubt we love Hussain and are saddened by his death but our love for Hassan is greater than Hussain. Number of AHadith on Hassan are greater than ahadith on hussain

Once prophet s.a.w was giving a khutbah and Hassan came and he tripped and fell down- the prophet s.a.w came and he picked Hassan up and he kissed him on mimbar and said he couldn’t bear to see his son fall down and he said  Innabniy haza sayyid this son of mine shall be a true leader, even if Muawwiya doesn’t consider him a leader the world considers him a leader! He is a sayyid over and above Muawwiyah! Perhaps Allah will bring reconciliation between 2 large groups of Muslims through Him. Hassan was the better of the two men (I.e. between Hassan and Muawwiyah) Hassan was the one who said No more bloodshed you want bloodshed you take it! I don’t want Muslims to be killed- this was maturity, Iman and Wisdom. Hussain Had Iman but the wisdom of Hassan was more than Hussain. This is what we believe, that Hassan had a wiser methodology, Hussain was a brave man and he did what he did and Allah SWT will accept from him his martyrdom InshaAllah

To conclude: The tragedy of a Karbala is a great tragedy Our hearts bleed for the death of Hussain but the tragedy of Karbala is a historical tragedy not a theological one. The fact of the matter is that the murder and the assassination of Uthman ibn Afwan r.a. caused more harm to the Ummah and more doors of fitnah were opened up than the murder and assassination of Hussain ibn Ali. Our love for the ahlul bayt doesn’t cause us to go to the 2 extremes we are between the 2 extremes we love them for the sake of Allah SWT and we are angry at all those who oppose them and we say to those who abandoned him at the very last hour that you are the primary culprit in the death of Hussain! Don’t curse Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman YOU WERE THE VERY PEOPLE WHO ABANDONED WHOM YOU PROMISED TO HELP, you have the Lion’s share of the blame therefore this is something that we firmly believe. I firmly believe that we are the true followers of Ahlul Bayt we are the true lovers of Ahlul bayt, we are the TRUE SHEEA OF ALI IBN ABU TALIB  we go between the 2 extremes we pray that Allah exalts their ranks and causes them to enter jannah and causes us to be with them in Jannah!

Allahumma Salliala Muhammdin Wa’ala Muhammed…

Question: What happened to the head of Hussain?

Whole treaties on the head of Hussain written by ibn Taimiyyah. The head of Hussain was sent to Yazeed wrapped in a silk cloth and he didn’t dishonor it and he handed it to the family of Hussain and they took it to Medina and buried it in Baqi Al Garqad next to the body of Hassan. The body of Hassan and the head of Hussain they are buried in Medina. The strongest opinion and Allah knows best

Question: Is the salvation of a Muslim dependent upon acknowledging the martyrdom of Hussain?

We said before as well. The martyrdom of Hussain is a historical tragedy but it is NOT A THEOLOGICAL ISSUE. It is a Historical tragedy and our heart bleeds for what happened historically but our theology our aqeedah our fiqh do not change by the death of Ali or Hussain or Uthman. Their martyrdom will be accepted by Allah InshaAllah but it is not something that changes our belief and our theology and Allah knows best.

Transcribed by a dear sister. May Allah reward her Ameen.


One thought on “Dr Yasir Qadhi : The Massacre of Karbala : A Historical Analysis

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