Category: Holidays » Islamic holidays
The Day of Tasu'a (Persian: تاسوعا) refers to the ninth day of Muharram and the day before Ashura. Several events occurred on this day, including: Shemr's entrance to Karbala, the granting of safe conduct for the children of Umm ul-Banin, preparation for war, and besieged day. This day is devoted to Abbas ibn Ali in Shia communities, especially in Iran and Iraq, because of his bravery as the great general of Hussein's army. Abbas embodies manliness, chivalry and loyalty in Shia culture.
Husayn ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (Arabic: الحسين بن علي بن أبي طالب; 10 October 625 – 10 October 680) (3 Sha'aban AH 4 (in the ancient (intercalated) Arabic calendar) – 10th Muharram AH 61), also spelled as Husain, Hussain or Hussein, was the son of Ali ibn Abi Ṭalib (fourth Rashidun Caliph of Sunni Islam, and first Imam of Shia Islam) and Fatimah Zahra (daughter of Muhammad) and the younger brother of Hasan ibn Ali. Husayn is an important figure in Islam, as he is a member of the Ahl al-Bayt (the household of Muhammad) and Ahl al-Kisa, as well as being the third Shia Imam.
Hussain became the head of Shia Imam and the head of Banu Hashim after the death of his older brother, Hasan ibn Ali, in 670 (AH 50). His father's supporters (Shi'a Ali) in Kufa gave their allegiance to him. However, he told them he was still bound to the peace treaty between Hasan and Muawiyah I and they should wait until Muawiyah was dead. Later, Hussain did not accept the request of Muawiyah for the succession of his son, Yazid I, and considered this action a breach of the Hasan–Muawiya treaty. When Muawiyah I died in 680, Husayn refused to pledge allegiance to Yazid I, who had just been appointed as Umayyad caliph by Muawiyah, because he considered the Umayyads an oppressive and religiously misguided regime.
He insisted on his legitimacy based on his own special position as a direct descendant of Muhammad and his legitimate legatees. As a consequence, he left Medina, his home town, to take refuge in Mecca in AH 60. There, the people of Kufa sent letters to him, asking his help and pledging their allegiance to him. So he travelled towards Kufa. At a place near Kufa, known as Karbala, his caravan was intercepted by Yazid I's army. He was killed and beheaded in the Battle of Karbala on 10 October 680 (10 Muḥarram 61) by Shimr Ibn Thil-Jawshan, along with most of his family and companions.
The following are the main events of Tasu'a:
Shemr's entrance to Karbala
In the forenoon of Tasu'a, Shemr, accompanied by a four thousand-man army, arrived at Karbala. He brought a letter from Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad to Umar ibn Sa'ad, telling him to take Bay'ah from Husayn or fight.
Safe conduct for the children of Umm ul-Banin
Shemr was one of the tribesman of Umm ul-Banin. He was given a guarantee of safe conduct from Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad for children of Umm ul-Banin in Tasu'a. He asked Abbas ibn Ali and his brothers to abandon Husayn ibn Ali and obey Yazid. Abbas didn't accept his safe conduct and answered him: "God curse you and your safe conduct! You give us safe conduct and you do not give safe conduct to the grandson of the Prophet of God? And you are asking us to enter the obedience of the cursed people and those who are children of cursed people?
Preparing for war
After rejection of the safe conduct by Abbas and his brothers, Umar ibn Sa'ad ordered his army to attack Husayn's camp. When Husayn ibn Ali understood their intent, he asked his brother to go to them and ask about his plan. Abbas ibn Ali, Zuhayr ibn Qayn, Habib ibn Madhahir and a few others went and asked them. They answered that our governor ordered us to ask you to Bay'ah him and his rule or fight. Abbas returned to Husayn and said their message. "Go back to them and ask them to give us this evening as a respite till tomorrow so that we may pray to our Lord, supplicate to Him, and seek His forgiveness, for He knows how much I love prayers, the recitation of His Book, the abundance of invocations, and the seeking of His forgiveness", Husayn said to Abbas. Abbas went back to the army and said them the message. Umar Ibn Sa'ad agreed to delay the war until the next day.
In a Hadith by Ja'far al-Sadiq it is said: "Ninth of Muharram is the day, when Imam Husayn and his companions were besieged at Karbala by the army of Syria from all sides and offloaded their luggage. The son of Marjanah (Ubaydullah bin Ziyad) and Umar ibn Sa’ad were pleased at the large number of their army and they deemed Imam and his companions to be weak. They knew that Imam Husayn had no helpers or aides in Iraq. May my father be ransom upon the oppressed traveler."
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