Reactions of the Muslims

A storm of grief and anger raged in every heart in the Muslim world because of the tragical event of Karbala, putting great deal of thrill of horror. It caused rise to a universal feeling of revulsion against the tyrants. From the start of 62/681, the people of Medina unitedly turned out the Umayyad governor, and beleaguered the Umayyad ashes in the town. Ibn Athir (d. 630/1234) writes in "Kamil fi't Tarikh"(Beirut, 1975, 1st vol., p. 186) that Marwan bin Hakam, the sworn enemy of Ahl-al-Bait was also unable to stay safely in the city. The only person he could find to offer protection to his wife was Zayn al-Abidin, who sent her safely to Taif escorted by one of his sons. Yazid sent an army under Muslim bin Aqba to suppress the rising in Medina. According to Tabari (7th vol., pp. 6-7), "He ordered that for three days on end, Medina should be given over to rapine and murder, and that the army might appropriate to its own use whatever it might capture including the prisoners of war." Dinawari writes in "Akhbar at-Tiwal" (p. 260) that the instructions to Muslim bin Aqba were given that, "If you obtain victory over the people of Medina, plunder the town for three days without break." The orders were carried out on the 28th Zilhaja, 63 and for three full days and nights, Medina was given over to plunder. The Umayyad forces gained such ascendancy that the remaining citizens of Medina avowed allegiance specifying that they would be the slaves of Yazid who would possess plenary powers over their lives, properties and dependents, but Zayn al-Abidin and his family were left unmolested, and when the citizens of Medina were forced to take oath of allegiance of Yazid, the Imam was exempted.

The Meccans too had been aroused against Umayyads. Abdullah bin Zubayr, the son of Asma bint Abu Bakr, who had long yearned to secure the office of caliph for himself, considered it an opportune moment to advance his interest, delivered a forcible speech, decrying the inconstancy of the Kufans, and paying rich tributes to Hussain. The Meccans became alienated from Yazid and agreed to pledge their allegiance to Abdullah bin Zubayr. After the savage massacre and ravage of Medina, Yazid's commander, Muslim bin Aqba advanced on Mecca as ordered by Yazid. On his way to Mecca in 64/683, he was picked up by death. Before his death, he had made Haseen bin Namir the head of the army. Thus, Haseen invaded Mecca and laid siege to the Kaba. Our chronicler Tabari (7th vol., p. 14) writes that, "Not only stones but also live wood were catapulted at Kaba which caught fire." This was Yazid's last operation after which he died in 64/683 after ruling for 3 years and a half.

After Yazid's death, the pent up feelings of revulsion entertained by the people of Iraq against Ibn Ziyad were released with such a violence that he had to flee from Basra. The climax in the exertion of disgust with Yazid was reached when his son and successor, Muawiya bin Yazid, who had been accepted as the ruler, mounted the pulpit and delivered speech. He then retired into the palace and forty days later, he left this world. Thus the office of caliph was lost to the descendants of Abu Sufian for ever, and in Syria, the old Marwan bin Hakam received the pledge of allegiance, and the office of caliph of the Umayyads was for long held by his progeny.

As soon as Yazid died, the people of Mecca rose once again, and began to hunt the Umayyad soldiers in the city. Thus, it was difficult for Haseen bin Namir and his forces to move from Mecca to Syria. They started their journey from Mecca in secret, and meanwhile they felt acute need of fodder for their horses. Tabari (7th vol., p. 342) writes that when Zayn al-Abidin knew the difficulties of the Umayyad forces, he came down from Medina with grass and foods and rescued them from starvation. Haseen bin Namir was highly impressed with the generosity of the Imam, and offered him to accept the caliphate of Damascus with his all supports. Zayn al-Abidin did not answer him, and went away after casting a smile.

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