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Sermon of Imam Husayn to the Army of Yazid

Listen to me and do not make haste to kill me so that I may tell you what I must, and apprise you of the reason of my coming to Iraq. If you accept my excuse, believe in what I say, and behave towards me fairly, you will level for yourselves the path of prosperity, and then you will have no reason to kill me. And even if you do not accept my excuse and deviate from the path of justice, you must ponder over the pros and cons of the matter before you kill me, and should not undertake such a delicate task rashly and without deliberation. My supporter is the Almighty Allah Who revealed the Qur'an. Allah guards His deserving slaves.

Am I not the son of your Prophet's daughter? Is the wasi (vicegerent) of your Prophet and his cousin and the first person, who expressed belief in Allah and confirmed what was brought by His Prophet, not my father? Is the Doyen of Martyrs, Hamza bin 'Abd al-Muttalib, not the uncle of my father? Is the martyr Jafar bin Abi Talib who has two wings and flies with Allah's angles not my uncle? Have you not heard that the Holy Prophet has said about me and my brother.. "These two sons of mine are the Chiefs of the young men of Paradise". If you think that whatever I am saying is true so much the better. I swear by Allah that I know Allah hates the liars, and I have never told a lie. And even if you do not believe in my words and refute me, there are, still some companions of the Holy Prophet amongst you who, when asked, will apprise you of the facts. Ask Jaabir bin Abdullah al-Ansari, Abu Sa'id Khudari, Nahl bin Saadi, Zayd bin Arqam or Anas bin Malik, so that they may tell you that they have heard these words from the Holy Prophet about me and my brother. Is this tradition itself not sufficient to restrain you from killing me? If you are doubtful about this tradition can you doubt even this that I am the son of your Prophet's daughter? I swear by Allah that between East and West there is no son of the daughter of a Prophet except me either amongst you or amongst others.

You should tell honestly whether I have killed anyone from amongst you so that you may take revenge! Is it that I have appropriated your wealth and you are claiming it? Have I injured you for which you have risen to compensate? (None of them, however, came forward to give a reply to what the Imam said He was, therefore, obliged to call some of them by their names and addressed them in these words): O Shabath bin Rabie, Hajjar bin Abjar, Qays bin Ashath and Yazid bin Harith! Did you yourselves not write letters to me saying: 'The fruits have become ripe and the lands are green and fresh and the soldiers of Iraq are ready to sacrifice their lives for you and you should, therefore, proceed to Iraq as early as possible?'.

I will not swear allegiance to these people like weak and mean persons and will not flee the battlefield like slaves while fighting against the rascals. I seek refuge in Allah from the mischief of you people and of every arrogant person who does not believe in the Day of Judgement'.

Adapted from: Al-Noor No.36:12, 1414:6, 1994