After Imam Hasan’s Shahdat came Hazrat Imam Husain’s period, who took over the charge of Imamate. Hazrat Zainab dedicated herself to the service of her brother. Hussain observed that the Caliphate was shifting from the family of the Prophet to the family of The Ummaya in the shape of dynastic monarchy. Within six years of martyrdom of Imam Hasan, Moavia started openly inviting people to pay allegiance to Yazeed. People inevitably accepted his decree.
Only five people were against this order. Amongst all the five persons opposing this allegiance, the most worthy and imposing was Hazrat Imam Husain who was Hazrat Ali’s and Hazrat Zehra’s son and grandson of Apostle Mohammad PBUH. Moavia survived for four years after getting the oath of allegiance for his son Yazeed. Imam Husain throughout this period remained constantly against his succession, because Yazeed did not believe in the tenets of Islam. Yazeed’s only interest was in pursuing unholy actions and acquiring an ever expanding empire and amassing more and more wealth. If Imam Husain would have remained quiet, the empire of which his grandfather was the founder and the religion of Islam would have been obliterated from the earth
Yazeed is the grandson of Hind. His father Moavia wanted to convert Islamic Caliphate into the likes of the empire of Rome, where if one Harqal died another Hargal would succeed him (Title of The King). Moavia wanted to convert it into dynastic rule. There, at that time, were a large number of companions of the Prophet, the most excellent and prominent amongst them being Hazrat Zehra’s son and
grandson of Hazrat Khadeeja, Imam Husain. They all found this proposal highly improper. Neither Islam could tolerate such a deliberation nor Imam Husain.
Moavia had thorough knowledge of Yazeed’s character. As per this understanding, in his last will he addressed Yazeed thus
“I have subdued the disobedient persons who could confront you. I have put down your enemies. I have made the mission of Caliphate easy for you in every respect. But I fear, for you three persons: Husain Ibne Ali, Abdullah Ibne Umar and Abdullah Ibne Zubair.”
However, after assessing amongst the three, he considered the danger from Imam Husain to be greatest because he was the closest relative of the Messenger of God. In consequence, he deserved highest dignity. That is why he told his son.
“Let Abdullah Ibne Umar be busy in meditation. And pursue Abdullah Ibne Zubair with fury and displeasure, because he is very deceitful and cunning.
Then Ameer Moavia expresses his longing and yearning in the form of a prayer, “May God impose these persons on Husain, on your behalf, those who murdered his father and abstained from helping his brother and I think these people will not stop chasing him until they bring him to confront you.”
Zainab and Bani Hashim had to face the Caliphate of this Yazeed in Rajab of 60 Hijri.
On the second day after the death of Moavia he wrote a letter to the Governor of Medina, Waleed bin Utba bin Abi Sufyan ordering him to deal with Husain, Abdullah bin Umar and Abdullah bin Zubair with fury and hate. Unless they paid allegiance, they would not be allowed to remain alive.
Waleed realized the importance of this task and he consulted Marwan Ibne Hakam. Hakam advised that before the news Moavia’s death becomes public, people should be called for allegiance. If they accepted the allegiance, that development would welcome, if not they would be slaughtered.
Husain along with some of his relatives and friends went to meet Waleed. After leaving the relatives at the entrance, he went inside and saw that Waleed was sitting with Marwan. As expected, the Governor of Medina asked Husain to pay fealty to Yazeed. Husain replied, “A person like me will not pay allegiance in a concealed place. I am of the opinion that you would also not appreciate fealty in privacy but would like to obtain it in public.” Waleed said, “Yes, of course.”
Imam Husain commanded then, “When you call the people for public allegiance, you can call me also.”
After listening to this, Waleed fell silent and Husain got up to go. But Marwan tried to frighten Waleed and said, “By God! If he goes away without allegiance you will not be able to control him and many people amongst yours and his will be killed. Arrest him immediately, force him to pay allegiance. If he doesn’t accept it then get him murdered.”
Imam Husain turned towards Marwan and said, “O son of Zarga! Will you murder me or him (Waleed)? By God,
told a lie and you are guilty of a sin.” saying that he went you out.
Marwan again addressed Waleed, “You did not obey me. By God, he will never obey your order.” Waleed said, “You advise me to commit a sin so that my faith is destroyed. By God, I will not like such a job that I become the master of the world and be the murderer of Husain. Glory be to God! Because he refuses to pay allegiance to Yazeed, I should murder him? On the Day of Judgments, the conduct of the murderer of Husain will be very low in the scale in front of God.”
Imam Husain went to his house from Waleed’s quarters and he narrated these events to his relatives. He then asked them to prepare for a journey.
The following night, Hazrat Fatima’s son gathered his relatives and before the spread of moonlight and before people of Medina could discern their movement, taking advantage of the darkness, they cautiously moved out of the town. Amongst his relatives, he left only Mohammed bin Hanafia in Medina. Before they left, Mohammed Bin Hanafia addressed Imam Husain, “Brother, in my observation you are the most exalted elder and the rightful recipient of my regards and veneration. As far as possible, maintain a safe distance from Yazeed and townships and send your messengers towards people. If they pay allegiance to you it is well and good and thanks God for that. If they pay allegiance to a person other than you, even then it does not reflect any stain on your religion and wisdom. Nor does it highlight any blemish on your nobility and venerable lineage. I am afraid that you are going to a city where half of the population is with you and half is against you. There is an apprehension that they may fight amongst each other and battle may erupt. In such circumstances the
first person who will be targeted by the sword, will be you. May your blood not be shed and your family, ladies and children bear the indignity of being imprisoned fruitlessly. My heart bleeds that inspite of the fact that you are the most honored person and your parents are the noblest and most distinguished and you may suffer such a fate.”
Imam Husain inquired, “Brother where should I go?” Mohammed Hanafia said, “First of all you should go to Mecca and if possible, stay there, if it is not possible then turn towards wilderness and valleys. And keep on moving from one city to another and wait for the culmination of events.”
Imam Husain took leave of him and said in a grief stricken voice. “O my brother! You have been very generous in your love and in your advice to me. I hope that your advice will be correct and perfect, God willing.
On the way to Mecca, the Ahl Bait passed through those places from where their grandfather had traversed sixty years ago at the time of migration. The absence of the light enveloped them in the curtain of darkness. There was no sound except that of the steps of camels. No one even uttered a word to spur the camels to move on fast. In the loneliness, Imam Husain was murmuring softly.
“O my Sustainer, give me freedom from tyrants.” Para 20 Surah Alqasas Ayat 21, the Quran
When the caravan reached a spot from where they could see nothing except the lofty hills of Mecca and the top shoot of a date palm tree, the dejected, grief stricken passengers threw a last glance at the consecrated city of Medina, where they had spent their wondrous childhood and the golden period of youth. With grief, they looked back again and yet again, bidding farewell forever.
If the exalted pardanasheen ladies had an inkling of the soul tormenting misfortunes, that were to soon befell them, it is certain that they would have wailed and sobbed in the dark night
After a few hours of further travel, the caravan was proceeding still towards its destination in the dark and stillness of the night. The rays of the moon light bathed them, revealing Husain, his brothers, nephews, sisters, and sister’s children. The entire family was with him.
Aqeela Bani Hashim Zainab was waiting eagerly for the spread of moonshine so that the loneliness and grief which had so engulfed them and their caravan may be erased. The Caravan traversed for many days and nights. At last, Mecca was visible Husain recited a verse from the book of God. When he diverted his attention towards Medina, he said, “Surely? My Lord will tell me the straight path.” Para 20 Sura Alqasas Ayat 22.
They had stayed in Mecca for just a few days that a spate of letters of Kufis started coming. They had written, “We don’t recite Namaze Juma behind the Hakim and we are eager to pay fealty to you. Please make haste and come here.”
The Ahl-Bait started planning for the second journey.