Burial of Karbala Martyrs – a historical perspective
By: Zaynab S. Abbas
Allamah Ne’matollah Al-Jazaeri narrates
from Abdullah Al-Assadi, and Sayyed Muhammad Ali Shah Abdul-Azimi
writes in Iqaz-ol Qaloub that when Al-Imam Al-Hussein (p) was martyred
on Ashura Day along with his 72 near and dear ones, and Omar bin Sa’ad
(c) planned to depart Karbala for Kufa, he wrote to Ibne Zyad asking
him what to do now.
Ibne Zyad (c) ordered him to bury slain of Yazidi army, chain the holy
chaste ladies of Holy Prophet (p)’s house, raise the heads of martyrs
of Progeny of Prophet Muhammad (p) on lances and leave the holy bodies
of Imam Hussein (p) and his companions without shrouds and burial on
the burning plain.
Omar bin Sa’ad replied that burial of slain belonging to Yazidi army
is not easy as they number over 150,000. How could I bury them all?
Ibne Zyad then ordered to bury only chiefs and heads that were killed.
He did so and left Karbala taking the chaste women of holy Prophet (p)’s
house being chained without their veils, raising heads of Progeny of
Prophet (p) on lances, and leaving the holy bodies of Prophet (p)’s
progeny without shrouds and burial on the scorching plain.
Imam of Era Imam Al-Mahdi (p), twelfth and final imam from the progeny
of Holy Prophet (p), says in his Zyarah An-Nahiyah:
“Salutations upon the un-shrouded and unattended corpses,
Salutations upon the corpses whose colors were transformed by the
Salutations upon the pools of blood that were absorbed by the earth of
Salutations upon the scattered, dismembered limbs,
Salutations upon the (severed) heads that were raised on lances,
Salutations upon the pure ladies, that were paraded without their
Salutations upon the one, whose bloodthirsty enemies violated their
covenants regarding his honor and the honor of his family.”
These holy corpses remained unshrouded
and without burial in the hot plain of Karbala for three days. Clan of
Bani Assad was housed on a bank of river Euphrates. After the
departure of Yazidis, women of Bani Assad came to the plain of Karbala
and saw headless shroud less corpses of offspring of Sayyeda Fatimah
Az-Zahraa (p) were scattered all around. They found fresh blood was
gushing out of their wounds even on the third day of their unjust
slaughter, rays of brightness were coming out of these holy bodies as
well as these were making everywhere fragrant.
Seeing all this, these women stressed upon their men to arrange
shrouding and burial of progeny of holy Prophet (p) highlighting to
them the high status of Al-Imam Al-Hussein (p) and his progeny in the
sight of Allah and holy Prophet (p).
The men of Bani Assad clan said they were afraid of Bani Umayyad, who
slaughtered Al-Imam Al-Hussein (p) and his 72 near and dear ones. The
men were mentally disturbed and were badly ashamed for not helping
Sibt-or Rasul Al-Imam Al-Hussein (p) on Ashura. They said to the women
that Ibne Zyad is grand tyrant; he would kill us on knowing all this.
The women warned their men that if they would not bury, these women
themselves would do it.
Then the chief of the clan suggested to place one of their men on the
way to Kufa. If he would feel any danger from Ibne Zyada, he would
inform them, and that they should go to the shrouding and burial of
offspring of the Mistress of the Women of World Sayyedah Fatimah
Reaching in the plain, they found all corpses were headless. They were
worried how to identify the bodies. They were in their deep thoughts
when an Arab veiled rider was seen coming towards them. They all got
afraid for fear that if he was a man of Ibne Zyad.
The rider asked them: “What were you doing here?” they replied:
“whoever you are, we’ll tell you truth. We came here to bury progeny
of Holy Prophet (p), but we are unable to identify without heads that
which body belongs to which martyr.”
The rider promptly replied: “Don’t worry. I’ll guide you.” He got down
of his mount and walked on the ground in the midst of corpses. He sat
by a holy body; lifted him, embraced and while weeping bitterly told
him: “O father! Enemies are happy on your martyrdom; illuminations are
being arranged in the houses of Bani Umayyad. Father! After your
martyrdom our pains have increased. After you O father sufferings of
Sajjad have enlarged…”
Then he put the body on earth, saw right and left; pushed back some
earth from his right side, there a grave was appeared. He lifted the
badly wounded horses-trampled body of the beloved son of Zahraa (p)
about whom his grandfather holy Prophet Muhammad (p) had said:
‘Hussein is from me and me from Hussein,” the men of Bani Assad
stepped forward to help him, but he stopped them weeping bitterly and
saying “my helpers are with me. I am not alone.” Men of Bani Assad
were in deep wonder.
Imam Ali bin Mousa Ar-Reza (p) says: “No one could count the wounds of
my grand father Hussein (p). The wounds over his Holy body were equal
to the letters of Holy Quran in number”.
After laying the holy body of Al-Imam Al-Hussein (p) in the grave, the
rider put his cheeks on the chest of the holy corpse, wept for long,
then raised his head and said: “Lucky is the earth which is going to
become keeper of your holy body. After you, world is dark, and
hereafter is bright with your brightness. My grief is eternal … o the
son of Prophet (p)! Peace be upon you from me…”
Then he raised the grave with earth, put his hand on the grave and
wrote with his finger thereon: “This is grave of Al-Hussein bin Ali
bin Abi Talib who was slaughtered thirsty while he was out of his
Then he ordered by making a line on the earth with his finger: “Make a
grave for 17 martyrs here.” 17 martyrs were buried therein.
Marking on another place, he ordered to bury other corpses except
Habib bin Mazaher therein, and got him buried on the head side of
Al-Imam Al-Hussein (p).
Then, the rider came to another holy corpse, embraced him and said
weeping grudgingly: “Uncle! would that you have seen that scene of
torching tents when all women (from progeny of holy Prophet) were
The rider ordered to make a grave. After it was made, he alone buried
that holy body (p). Only two corpses were left, and the rider ordered
to make a grave for these two by the side.
After completion of burial of Martyrs of Karbala, the rider mounted on
his horse to depart. The men of Bani Assad grasped his stirrup and
asked: “Tell us who are in these graves?”
He replied that as far as grave of Hussein is concerned you know it
(as the rider had written on it with his finger). The grave in which
17 bodies were buried is that of progeny of Ali (p) and Batool (p),
nearest of these is that of Hussein (p)’s son who was resembled with
holy Prophet (p). The other big grave is that of companions of Hussein
(p). The single grave on the head side of Al-Imam Al-Hussein (p) is
that of Habib bin Mazaher. The grave on the bank of river Euphrates is
that of Qamar Bani Hashem (p), and the two graves by him are that of
Qamar bani Hashem (p)’s brothers. “If anyone asks you after me, tell
The men of Bani Assad asked the rider: “Introduce yourself as well,
that who you are?”
On this question, the rider began weeping and said: “Now I’m your Imam
Ali bin Al-Hussein … I came from prison of Ibne Zyad for burial … May
Allah give you good reward … agonize not if any suffering befalls you
in this connection.”
The men surprisingly asked: “Are you Zayn-ol Abidin?”
He said: “Yes” and disappeared from the sight.
Imam Ali bin Al-Hussein (p) had came there with the power of his
imamate for burial as only Imam can bury an Imam and no one else.
As far as authentic traditions of history are concerned, they tell
that Holy Prophet (p) got graves of all martyrs prepared by angels
under his eyes. Al-Imam Ali bin Al-Hussein (p) had only pointed out to
There is a narration of Omm Al-Mo’mineen Omm-e-Salma in Bihar that she
was weeping bitterly. Someone asked him reason and she replied that
since the departure of holy Prophet (p) from this world, she had never
seen him in dream. Now I’ve seen him that his holy beard was
blood-stained, his hair was troubled, his neckline was slit open, and
he was crying aloud. I asked him reason and he told me: “My Hussein
has been martyred. Just now I got free from making their graves.”
Narration of Sheikh Tousi shows that the holy body of the Chief of
Martyrs Al-Imam Al-Hussein (p) was not taken on hands but Bani Assad
brought a mat, Imam Sajjad (p) put all pieces of Sibt-or Rasul (p)’s
holy body on it and then buried him.
Peace be upon Hussein, and upon Ali bin Al-Hussein, and upon the
progeny of Hussein, and upon the companions of Hussein
Reference: Ma’aali-os Sibtayn by Mahdi Mazendarani
better than wealth because it protects you while you have to
guard wealth. it decreases if you keep on spending it but the
more you make use of knowledge ,the more it increases . what you
get through wealth disappears as soon as wealth disappears but
what you achieve through knowledge will remain even after you."MORE