Islamic History Podcast 3-10: Mecca And Medina

Islamic History Podcast 3-10: Mecca And Medina

كربلاء العراق واحد و ستين سنة هجرية

Karbala, Iraq 61 AH

Whenever Zaynab closed her eyes, she saw her brother’s lifeless, headless body.

The Umayyads had stabbed her brother over thirty times. After he was dead, a man named Sinan ibn Anas, who was rumored to be slightly insane, had taken off his head.

The Umayyads ripped the clothes off Husayn’s dead body searching for wealth and plunder. But they found nothing. Her brother had very few personal possessions.

But the humiliation was not yet over.

The Umayyad commander, Umar ibn Sa’d, ordered ten riders to trample Husayn’s body. They rode over him three times at full speed.

Zaynab could do nothing. She had lost two sons and most of the men in her family. She had cried everything she had and yelled and screamed and cursed at the Umayyads until her voice was hoarse.

Now she was back in the tent. Husayn’s second oldest son, Zaynul Abideen, too sick to partake in the battle, lay with his head on her lap.

Perhaps that was a mercy, Zaynab thought. For certainly, had Zaynul Abideen been healthy, he would have been out there with his father.

Zaynab heard the Umayyad soldiers laughing and yelling as they pulled down the tents, searching for plunder.

She heard the women of Banu Hashim screaming as the soldiers chased them down and tore the clothes from their backs.

She heard the officers’ futile efforts to exert some control over the soldiers.

But inside the tent, it was dark and quiet. All she heard was the labored breathing of Zaynul Abideen. He was awake and aware, but too sick to move. She imagined he felt the same way she did, knowing that his entire world had been destroyed in a matter of moments.

Harsh sunlight flooded the tent as the opening flapped open and several Umayyad soldiers stepped inside. They squinted their eyes trying to adjust to the darkness in the tent.

They were led by Shamir ibn Dhi al-Jawshan, the man who gave the final order to kill Husayn. When he saw Zaynab and Zaynul Abideen, he took out his sword and walked towards them.

“Shouldn’t we kill this one also,” he asked, jabbing his sword at the boy.

Zaynab was about to unleash a tirade of curses on him when one of the soldiers spoke up.

“No!” the soldier said. “By Allah, are we here to kill little boys?”

“We’ve killed many boys today, Humayd,” Shamir retorted.

“This one is sick and helpless,” said Humayd. “Killing him would be murder.”

At that moment, Umar ibn Sa’d entered the tent.

“What’s going on here?” he asked.

“We’ve found one of the enemy hiding in here,” said Shamir.

Umar looked at Zaynul Abideen then at Zaynab. “Put that sword away, you fool,” Umar snapped at Shamir. “Leave this boy alone and get your men out of here.”

Shamir reluctantly sheathed his sword. “This ‘boy’ is the enemy’s son. He will want revenge one day. It’s best you take care of him now.”

“What’s best is that you obey your commander,” Umar replied. “Now go outside and get your soldiers under control. Order your men to return everything they’ve taken.”

Umar ibn Sa’d turned and stormed out of the tent. Shamir cast a final, evil glance back at Zaynab and her nephew, then silently followed his commander.

Humayd was the last to leave. He looked at Zaynab, then lowered his head.

“My apologies for the tragedy your family suffered today,” he said quietly. “I wish it had turned out differently.”

“May Allah reward you, good man,” said Zaynul Abideen. “Allah protected me from evil through your words.”

دار الإمارة الكوفة واحد و ستين سنة هجرية

The Governor’s Palace, Kufah, 61 AH

Show Notes

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Links related to this episode

Episode 3-7: Husayn And Karbala Part 1

Islamic History Podcast 3-8: Husayn And Karbala Part 2

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