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Ismaili History 357 - Zayn al-Abidin in Kufa

When the blood-thirsty soldiers of Yazid were bent on destroying Hussain and his dear ones at Karbala, sparing neither old nor young, the survival of Zayn al-Abidin was nothing but a miracle. His severe illness had prevented him from taking up arms, and confined him to bed. According to Tabari (2nd vol., p. 367), 'The only surviving male of the line of Hussain, his son, Zayn al-Abidin, who because of serious illness did not take part in the fighting, was lying on a skin in one of the tents. The skin was pulled from under him and Shimar would have killed him, but he was saved when Zainab covered him under her arms and Ibn Sa'd restrained Shimar from striking the boy.' But the morning of 12th Muharram saw a peculiar procession leaving Karbala for Kufa. Tabari (2nd vol., p. 369) writes that, 'Seventy-two heads were raised on the points of the lances, each of them were held by one soldier, followed by the women of the Prophet's family on camels and the huge army of the Umayyads.' After reaching Kufa, the captives were presented to Ibn Ziyad. According to Tabari (2nd vol., p. 371), Zaid bin Arram, an old companion of the Prophet was present in the court, who was stricken by shock and grief to see the captives. He quitted the court of Ibn Ziyad, and the people heard him saying outside that, 'O people of the Arabs, after this day you have made yourselves home-born slaves and cattle. You have massacred the son of Fatima and your ruler, Ibn Marjana (kunya of Ibn Ziyad), who will now keep on killing your best men, and force you to do the most hateful things. You must now be ready for the utmost disgrace.'

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