The narrator says that Ibn Ziyad called his companions for fighting against Husayn (a.s.) and they accepted. Though he held them in a low esteem they carried out his order. He offered Umar Ibn Sa'ad the command of the army, which he accepted blindly. Umar bin Sa’ad left Kufa with four thousand riding soldiers for fighting against the Imam (a.s.).
Ibn Ziyad sent many armed groups to support him till their number became twenty thousand on the night of the 6th Muharram of 61 A.H. Ibn Sa'ad surrounded Husayn (a.s.), putting him in an extremely difficult situation. He cut off water supply from him, his families, and his companions. They all suffered a terrible thirst.
Then Imam (a.s.) stood up, leaned on his sword and proclaimed in a loud voice: I administer an oath on you. Do you know me? They said: "Yes! You are the son of the holy Prophet."
Husayn: "I administer the oath of Allah. Tell me, do you know that the Prophet of Allah is my grandfather?" They replied: "By Allah, yes." He then asked: "I administer the oath of Allah to you. Do you know that my mother Fatima is the daughter of Muhammad?" They said: "Yes." He said: "I administer the oath of Allah to you. Do you know that my father is Ali Ibn Abi Talib?" They replied: "By Allah, yes." He said: "I administer oath of Allah to you. Do you know that my grandmother is Khadija, daughter of Khuwailid, the first Muslim lady of the nation?"
They said: "Yes." He said: "I administer oath of Allah to you. Do you know that Hamza, Chief of the martyrs, is the uncle of my father?"
They replied: "It is true."
Husayn (a.s.) said: "I administer the oath of Allah to you. Do you know that Ja’far, who can fly in Paradise, is my uncle?" They said: "By Allah, yes." Husayn (a.s.) then said: "I administer oath of Allah to you. Did this sword, which I have unsheathed and which is now in my hand, belong to the holy Prophet (S)?"
They said: "Yes." Husayn then said: "I administer the oath of Allah to you. Is this turban which is now on my head, the turban of the holy Prophet (S)?" They replied: "By Allah, yes it is."
Husayn (a.s.) then said: "I administer oath of Allah to you. Do you know that Ali (a.s.) was the first man who accepted Islam, his knowledge was deeper than that of everyone else, and his patience and tolerance was higher than that of anyone else, and that he is the Master of every Muslim man and woman?"
They replied: "By Allah, yes."
Husayn (a.s.) then asked: "How do you al- low yourself to shed my blood when on the Last Day, my father (a.s.) will be the master of Kauthar Pool, who will drive away people from that Pool, as camels are hushed away from water, and that the flag of Praise (Liwaul Hamd) will be in the hands of my father on the Day of Judgment?"
They replied: "We know all of this, and yet we will not leave you until you taste death in thirst."
When the women heard the speech of the Imam they wept and wailed and lamented, slapped their faces and their voices arose.
Imam (a.s.) sent his brother Abbas and his son Ali towards them and said: "Make them quiet. By my life, how much wailing they would have in the future!"
The narrator says: Umar Ibn Sa’ad received a letter from Ibn Ziyad. He had ordered Umar to start fighting immediately and had warned him for any delay. It made Ibn Sa?ad and his army to launch an attack on Husayn (a.s.).
Shimr Ibn Ziljushan (may Allah curse him) rushed ahead and cried: "Where are my nephews Abdullah, Ja’far, Abbas, and Uthman."
Husayn (a.s.) said to the sons of Ummul Banin: "Though he is a fasiq and evil-doer, give him a response."
The sons of Ummul Banin replied: "What do you want?"
Shimr said: "O’ sons of my sister! You are under protection (amnesty). Do not get killed with your brother Husayn, and come to the service of Yazeed bin Muawiyah, the Amirul Momineen!"
Abbas Ibn Ali (a.s.) shouted in response: "May your hands be cut! May your offer of amnesty be cursed! O? enemy of Allah! Are you asking us to leave our brother and master Husayn Ibn Fatima (a.s.), and to come under the command of the rejected, the cursed, and sons of those con- demned by Allah?"
Shimr returned angrily to his army.
The narrator says: "When Husayn (a.s.) saw that the effect of his admonition was less, and the enemy was very eager to begin fighting he told his brother Abbas, If you could get a period, and delay the war, it will be nice. We may offer prayers during this night for Allah, as He knows that I am very fond of prayers (Salat) and of reciting His holy Book."
Abbas put up his proposal before them. Umar bin Sa’ad kept quiet. Amr bin Hajjaj Zubedi said to Sa’ad: "They are the family members of Muhammad; even if they were poor and low class people, their requests would have been accepted."
Thus, their demand was accepted. The narrator says: Husayn (a.s.) who was in a sitting position fell asleep, and then woke up and said: "O sister! During this hour I saw in a dream my grandfather, Muhammad (S), my father Ali (a.s.), my mother, Fatima (a.s.), and my brother, Hasan (a.s.)." They said to me, "O? Husayn! You are coming to us very soon."
According to another narration they said: "You’ll be with us tomorrow." The narrator says: "Zainab slapped her face and screamed." Husayn (a.s.) said: "Be quiet and calm. Do not make the enemy rejoice."
Then came the night of Ashura.
Husayn (a.s.) gathered his companions. After praising Allah he turned towards them and said: "Now, verily, I do not find companions better than you, nor any family more righteous than my family! Allah may give you the best rewards. Now the darkness of the night has covered you. So make its use. Each one of you may hold the hand of one of my family members and get dispersed in this darkness, and leave this place because they do not want anyone except me!"
His brother, sons and the sons of Abdullah bin Ja’far said in one voice: "Why should we do like that?
To remain alive after you? May Allah never bring such a day."
The first one to speak thus was Abbas Ibn Ali (a.s.), and others also spoke one after another.
The narrator says: Husayn (a.s.) looked at the sons of Aqil and said: "The martyrdom of Muslim is sufficient for you. All of you may leave. I permit you." According to another narration: "At that moment all the brothers and family members of Husayn (a.s.) spoke up unanimously: "O son of the holy Prophet (S)! What will people say about us, and what should we say to the people? That we left our elder, chief, Sayyid, the Imam, the son of the daughter of the Prophet, and did not threw an arrow along with him? Nor held a spear in our hands nor did our sword fall on the enemy. No, by Allah! O son of the holy Prophet (S), we would never leave you. Rather our lives will guard your life until we die before your eyes. Whatever befalls you, will fall on us too. How wretched is the life after you!"
Thereafter, Muslim Ibn Awsajah stood up and said: "Shall we leave you alone, and return so that the enemy may surround you? No, by Allah! Allah may never allow such situation until I plunge my spear in the chest of your enemy till the time only its handle may remain in my hand, and I may crush the enemy under my feet. Even when I was unarmed I will fight with them. I will stone them, and will not separate from your honor until I drink the cup of martyrdom by your side."
It is said that Saeed Ibn Abdullah Hanafi got up and said: "No, by Allah! O son of the Messenger of Allah! I will never leave you alone, unless Allah sees that we have remembered and acted upon the will of His messenger Muhammad regarding you. If I come to know that I were injured in your path and then will be burnt alive, and my ashes were dispersed in the air, and if this would be repeated for seventy times, even then I will not leave you until I see death and embrace martyrdom in front of you. Why not? This is only one death and thereafter, I will gain the eternal and everlasting generosity of Allah."
Thereafter Zohair bin Qain Bajali stood up and said: "By Allah! O son of the messenger of Allah! How much do I like to be killed one thousand times and to return to life so that, by this deed, Allah may protect you, your brothers, and the young members of your family from any damage."
A group of companions also uttered such words: "May our lives be sacrificed for you. We shall protect you by our entire beings, and if, we get martyred in your path, we would have fulfilled our promise of loyalty and would have kept our words."
In the meantime news came to Muhammad Ibn Bashir Hazrami that his son was captured in the territory of Ray.
Muhammad said: "I like to get its compensation from Allah. I did not like to see him caught during my lifetime." Husayn (a.s.) heard his words and said: "May Allah have mercy on you. I take back my allegiance from you for freeing your son. So go and so on." Muhammad said: "May wild animals eat me up alive if I ever leave your company."