A glimpse at the killers of Imam al-Husayn, peace be upon him
وَقَدْ تَوازَرَ عَلَيْهِ مَنْ غَرَّتْهُ الدُّنْيَا، وَبَاعَ حَظَّهُ بِالأَرْذَلِ الأَدْنَى، وَشَرَى آخِرَتَهُ بِالثَّمَنِ الأَوْكَسِ، وَتَغَطْرَسَ وَتَرَدّى فِي هَوَاهُ، وَأَسْخَطَكَ وَأَسْخَطَ نَبِيَّكَ، وَأَطَاعَ مِنْ عِبَادِكَ أَهْلَ الشِّقَاقِ وَالنِّفَاقِ وَحَمَلَةَ الأَوْزَارِ الْـمُسْتَوْجِبِينَ النَّارَ، فَجَاهَدَهُمْ فِيكَ صَابِراً مُحْتَسِباً حَتَّى سُفِكَ فِي طَاعَتِكَ دَمُهُ وَاسْتُبِيحَ حَرِيمُهُ،
أَللَّـهُمَّ فَالْعَنْهُمْ لَعْناً وَبِيلاً وَعَذِّبْهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً
اَلسَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا ابْنَ رَسُولِ اللهِ، اَلسَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا ابْنَ سَيِّدِ الأَوْصِيَاءِ،
In this portion of the ziyarat, Imam as-Sadiq, peace be upon him, describes the killers of his grandfather.
1. Umar ibn Sa’ad ibn Abil Waqqaas was one of the people directly involved in the events of Karbala. Sa’ad who was the father of Umar was one of the first people to accept Islam during the initial appointment of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his family. He witnessed and went through many hardships in the formative years of Islam and through which Iran was conquered and Islam was brought to that nation and he was also responsible for the establishment of Kufa as a city.
However like many other companions of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his family, the love of this transient world took him over and when the issue of the caliphate came up, he did not support the rights of Imam Ali, peace be upon him, and died sometime between the years of 55 and 58 ah.
Umar ibn Sa’ad, even though he was well-known due to his father’s name and history, he too was a man who was enamored by the material world and was a person whom both the Prophet and Imam Ali did not think highly of and it is for this reason that Sa’ad himself did not leave any inheritance for his son.
Umar ibn Sa’ad played an instrumental role in Karbala as he was the commander of the forces of Ibn Ziyaad. He gathered over 4,000 soldiers from Kufa to stand up against Imam al-Husayn, peace be upon him.
2. Shimr ibn Dhil Jawshan was another perpetrators of Karbala. During the era of Imam Ali, peace be upon him, he was actually on the side of and a fervent supporter of the Imam and fought alongside the Commander of the Faithful in the Battle of Siffeen against Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan, however he ended up “changing” and then supported the likes of Yazid and fought against Imam al-Husayn, peace be upon him, on the day of Ashura, and he committed many atrocities against the Ahlul Bayt, peace be upon all of them.
This is an example of the types of people who fought against and killed Imam al-Husayn, peace be upon him, and his noble family and companion.
Both the historical narrations and the traditions of the Prophet and his family show us that one of the principle reasons for what transpired in Karbala had everything to do with “love of the transient world” and a desire to attain as much of it as possible.
Farazdaq, the famous poet has stated: “In the year 60 ah, I accompanied my mother from Kufa towards Mecca for the Hajj. On the way, we met Imam al-Husayn, peace be upon him. The Imam asked me, “What is the news from Kufa?” I replied: “The hearts of the people are with you, however their swords are with the Bani Umayyah…”
To this Imam al-Husayn, peace be upon him, replied: “Indeed people are servants of this transient world and the religion is but a plaything on the tips of their tongues. They gravitate around the religion so long as it meets their material needs and requirements, however when they are tested with tribulations and difficulties, very few people hold firm onto the true faith.”