8 Zilhajj - Start of Imam Hussain (A) journey from Makkah to Karbala
By: Ahmed Abbas
Research: Syed M.R. Shabbar
8 Zilhajj is the day when holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (S)’s
grandson Hazrat Imam Hussain (A) converted his Pilgrimage (Hajj) into
off-seasonal Pilgrimage (Umra) and started his journey from Makkah
towards Iraq so to save the sanctity and honor of this sacred place (ka’aba).
In this way the heinous conspiracy of Bannu Umayyad to trample the
sanctity and honor of Ka’aba by shedding blood of Imam Hussain (A)
there, had been failed.
Route of Imam Hussain (A) from Makkah to Karbala:
After leaving Makkah there were 14 places mentioned in history books
where Imam either stayed or met people or gave sermons.
1. Saffah: Here Imam met Farazzdaq the poet whom Imam asked about
conditions in Kufa. He said, 'People's hearts were with you but their
swords were against you.' Imam replied, 'Allah does what he wishes. I
leave it to him who proposes the just cause.
2. Dhat-el-Irq: Here Imam's cousin Abdullah Ibne Jafar brought his two
sons Auwn and Mohammed to their mother Hazrat Zainab to help the imam.
He tried to persuade the Imam to return to Madina but Imam replied,
'my destiny is in the hands of Allah.'
3. Batn-er-Rumma: Imam sent a letter to Kufa with Qais bin Mashir, met
Abdullah bin Mutee who came from Iraq. When he heard of Imam's
intention, he tried to stop him. He said Kufans were not faithful and
could not be trusted. But Imam continued his journey.
4. Zurud: Imam met Zohair Ibne Qain. Zohair was not among the
followers of Ahlulbait. But when Imam told him of the purpose of his
journey Zohair gave all his possessions to his wife, told her to go
home and said that he wished to be martyred with the Imam.
5. Zabala: Imam learnt from two tribesmen coming from Kufa of the
death of Hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel, his envoy to Kufa. Imam said, 'Inna
Lillahe wa Inna Elaihe Rajeoon. Indallah-Nahtasib Anfusana.' 'We are
for Allah and we shall return to Him who surely accounts for our
sacrifices. Asadi Tribesmen tried to dissuade the Imam from his
journey but he persisted. Here Imam told his companions the news of
the death of Muslim and Hani and that people in Kufa were not prepared
to be their helpers. Imam said, 'Those who want to depart leave now.'
Hoards of various tribesmen who had followed the Imam in the hope of
collecting the booty realised their false hopes and scattered to their
own homes. Only 50 odd people remained.
6. Batn-e-Aqeeq: Imam met a man from the Tribe of Akrama who told him
that Kufa was no more a friendly town and was now surrounded by
Yazid's army. No one could get in or out of the town. But the Imam
7. Sorat: Imam stayed the night here and in the morning ordered his
companions to take as much water as they can.
8. Sharaf: While the Imam was passing from this place, one of his
companions shouted that he could see the approach of an army. Imam
asked for a safe place, preferably a mountain behind them. A guide
took them to the nearest mountain.
9. Zuhasm: It was here that Imam met Hurr's army of 1000 men. They wre
thirsty so Imam ordered his men to give them water. Imam himself
helped several thirsty soldiers to drink. Even animals were given
water to drink. Zohr prayers were led by the Imam and all followed him
including Hurr's soldiers. Here Imam told hurr about many letters from
Kufa. He said, 'O People of Kufa, you sent me your delegations and
wrote me letters that you had no Imam and that I should come to unite
you and lead you in the way of Allah. You wrote that we Ahlulbait are
more qualified to govern your affairs than those who claim things to
which they have no right and act unjustly and wrongly. But if you have
changed your mind, have become ignorant of our Rights and have
forgotten your promises, I shall turn back. But he was denied to turn
back by Hurr's army and was lead to by-pass Kufa.
10. Baiza: Imam reached Baiza the next day and delivered one of his
most famous sermons. 'O People, the Prophet has said that if a man
sees a tyrannical ruler transgressing against Allah and the Prophet
and oppressing people but does nothing by word or action to change the
situation then it will be just for Allah to place him where he
deservingly belongs. Do you not see to what low level the affairs have
come down... Do you not observe that truth has not adhered to and
falsehood has no limit. And as for me, I look upon death as but a
means of attaining martyrdom and I consider life among transgressors
as nothing but an agony and an affliction.'
11. Uzaibul Hajanat: Here Imam stayed away from the army of Hurr and
met Trimmah bin Adi. After having learnt about the Kufan abandonment
of his envoy it was clear that he had no hope of support or even
survival in Kufa. Nevertheless he refused an offer of safety, if not
success extended to him. Trimmah pleaded to him to accept the offer of
20,000 trained men of his tribe to help him if he wanted to go to Kufa
or he could retire to the mountains and safety. Imam replied to Ibne
Adi, 'Allah bless you and your people. I cannot go from my word.
Things are destined. It is clear from this reply that he was fully
aware of the dangers he would face and that he had a certain strategy
and plan in mind to bring about a revolution in the conscience of the
Muslim Ummah. He did not try to mobilise military support which he
could easily have done in Hejaz nor did he try to exploit whatever
physical strength was available to him.
12. Qasr-e-Bani Makatil: It was evident here that Kufa was no more his
destination. As Hurr did not want to leave him, he by-passed Kufa and
took a new route. Resting in the afternoon he uttered 'Inna Lillah.'
His 18 years old son Ali Akber approached him and enquired. Imam said
that in his sleep he had heard someone saying that these people were
going to their deaths. Ali Akber asked, 'Are we not on the Right path.
Death meant nothing to them. Death of this kind transforms into the
glory of martyrdom.
13. Nainawa: At this place a messenger of Ibne Ziad brought a message
for Hurr not to leave the Imam. The battered caravan passed through
Ghaziriya to a place called Karbala. Imam sighed, asked for the name
of the place. Someone said Kerbala. Imam said, yes, this is the place
of Kerbin-wa-bala. (a place of pain and torture.) Let us stop here for
we have arrived at our destination. This is the place of our
Martyrdom. This is Karbala.
14. Karbala: On the orders of the Imam, the tents were erected near
the river which was a tributary of the River Euphrates some miles
away. The date was 2nd Muharram 61 Hijri (3rd October 680 AD).
The map shows the Route that Imam Hussain (A.S) took when he left
Makkah for Iraq. The date was 8 Zilhajj 60 Hijri. With him there were
about 50 people including women and children of his family and
friends. His uncle Ibne Abbas and his brother Mohammad-e-Hanafiya did
not go with him. They came to bid farewell and tried to warn the Imam
of the dangers ahead. Mohammad-e-Hanafiya told him that the Makkans
and other pilgrims were wondering why he was leaving just one day
before the Hajj. Imam left a letter with his brother which explained
his position clearly. The letter read as follows:
"I have not come out to stir emotions, to play with oppression.
I want to bring the Ummah back to the path of Amr-bil-Marouf and Nahyi
Anil Munker. I want to lead them to the path of my Grandfather and my
father Ali Ibne Abi Talib."
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