Leaving Medina

Imam, after leaving Madinah in the month of Rajab, stayed in Makka for about 5 months. It was in the month of Zilhijja 60 Hijri when he noticed that there were Yazid’s soldiers in Makka in the garb of Ahram to kill the Imam inside the Masjidul Haram.

It is to be noted that Hussain(AS) had sufficient supporters in Hijaz whom he could easily mobilize, but did not.

The people of Kufa had sent several letters to Hussain(AS), inviting him to fill the void left by demise of Imam Hassan(AS) and to lead them in religious affairs.

Yazid, who was already paranoid, perceived this a danger to his throne. He plotted to kill the grandson of the prophet(SAW) during the Hajj, in the precincts of the Holy Kaaba, thus defiling and desecrating it (Killing a person in Mecca is prohibited in Islam).

In order to avoid this sacrilege, Imam Hussain(AS) changed the rituals of Hajj into Umra and decided to leave Makka along his wives, children, relatives and his followers and headed towards Kufa.

The date was 8th of Zilhijja 60 Hijri. When people saw the Imam leaving before completing the Hajj they began to ask questions as to why he was leaving in such a hurry. Some doubted his motives, saying that he might be leaving Makka for Iraq to confront Yazid and take power into his hands.To quell these doubts he left a letter with his brother Muhammad-e-Hanafiya which clearly states his purpose of leaving Makka. He wrote in the letter, “I have not come out to stir emotions, to play with discontentment, to provoke dissension or to spread oppression. I wish to bring the Umma back to the path of Amr-bil-Ma’arouf and Nahyi Unil Munker. I wish to bring them back to the path of my grandfather the Messenger of Allah and of my father Ali Ibne Abi Talib”.

On his way, he was offered military support by the tribe of Banu Tayy as well as sanctuary in their hills from where he could (if he wanted to) safely lead a revolt and overthrow Yazid. But Husayn refused the offer and continued his journey.
It thus becomes clear that the objective of Hussain,s(AS) campaign was not caliphate. It was the honor of prophet Mohammad(SAW) which he stood for.

The momentous journey of Imam Hussain(AS) begins from Makka towards an unknown destination which eventually ended at Kerbala.

Their Thirteenth Manzil was Nainawah. At this place a messenger from Ibn Ziad the Governor of Kufa came to meet the army of Hur and told them not to leave the Imam and his party under any circumstances. The battered Caravan passed through Ghaziriyah and arrived at a place by the river Banks of the Euphrates.

Imam asked the name of this place and he was told the name “KERBALA”. Imam replied, this is the place of Kerbin-wa-bala, i.e. the place of torture and pain. Let us stop here, Imam ordered to dismount. We have reached our destination. Tents were pitched near the River Bank. The date was 2nd of Muharram 61 Hijiri (3rd October 681 AD).