Tightening the siege on the camp of Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him).
In such day, on the ninth of Muharram 61 AH, the cursed Shimr arrived to Karbala carrying a letter from Ubaydullah Ibn Ziyad to Omar Ibn Sa'd, stating: "I did not send you to al-Hussayn for you to restrain yourself from [fighting] him, nor to idle the time away with him, nor to promise him peace and preservation [of his life], nor to be an intercessor on his behalf with me. Look now, if al-Hussayn and his companions submit to [our] authority and surrender, then send them to me as captives. But if they refuse, then march against them until you kill them. Treat them in a manner that it should serve as a lesson for others, for they indeed deserve that!
When al-Hussayn is killed, make the horses trample on his chest and back; for he is disobedient and an opponent, an oppressor and one who is set to sever [all] relations. I do not consider that this [i.e. trampling his body] will be in any way wrong after death. But I have promised myself that I would do this to him if I killed him! If you carry out our command with respect to him, we will reward you the reward of one who is obedient. [But] if you refuse, then leave our service and army and hand it over to Shimr Ibn Dhi al-Jawshan; for we have given him our instructions. That is all.”
When he arrived and read it to him ‘Umar said: “Woe onto you! What is wrong with you? May Allah never show favour to your house. May Allah make abominable what you have brought to me? By Allah! I suspect you to have dissuaded him from accepting what I wrote to him. You ruined for us a matter which we had hoped to set right. By Allah, al-Hussayn will not surrender. An unsubmissive soul exists within him!”
Shimr said to him: “Tell me what you are going to do. Are you going to carry out the instructions of your governor and kill his enemy? Otherwise leave the command of the army to me.”
[Ibn Sa‘d] replied: “No! There is no honour for you! I will carry that out. Here you are! Take control of the foot soldiers!”…
It is narrated that Imam as-Sadeq (peace be upon him) said: "Tasu'a [ninth of Muharram] is the day when al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) and his companions were besieged in Karbala and the army of Syria gathered against them; and 'Ubaydullah Ibn Ziyad and Omar Ibn Sa'd became so happy of the gathering of so many forces. That day, they considered al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) and his companions weak and became sure that no help will come for them and Iraqi people will not support them either."
He (the Imam) then said, ‘The day of ‘Ashura’ is the day on which al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) was murdered and his friends around him were all murdered and looted. How can there be fast on that day! No, by the Lord of the sacred house there is no fasting on such a day. It is only a day of mourning and lamentation that came upon the inhabitants of the sky and earth and all believing people. It is a day of happiness and joy for ibn Marjanah and family of Ziyad and people of al-Sham, may Allah subject them to His anger as well as their offspring. This was a day when all locations of earth wept except al-Sham.”
Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon him) rejecting the evil’s security
It is narrated in history books that on the afternoon of Thursday ninth of Muharram, Shimr came and stood facing the companions of Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) and called out it a loud voice, “Where are the sons of our sister (of clan)”? Where is Al-Abbas and his brothers? But they did not answer him.
Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) said: "Answer him even if he is an evildoer." Then they asked him as to what he desired. Shimr replied, “O sons of my sister! You are guaranteed security, do not kill yourselves with al-Hussayn and be committed to obey our commander Yazeed.” Al-Abbas (peace be upon him) replied, “Woe be upon you and your security! You offer us security while the son of the Prophet is devoid of it”? Do you desire that we should obey the accursed sons of accursed fathers”? Then Shimr went back enraged.
Some historians have stated that after his conversation with Shimr, Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon him) returned like a furious lion, the immaculate Lady Zaynab (peace be upon her) welcomed him after that she has heard his words to Shimr and told him: Dear brother.. Do you want me to tell you a story? He said: Tell me O Zaynab, It is always sweet to talk to you.
She (peace be upon her) said: "Know, O son of my father, when our mother Fatima (peace be upon her) died, my father told his brother 'Aqeel: I want you to choose for me a wife from a courageous family, so I can have with her a son who will support my son al-Hussayn in the desert of Karbala. And your father has spared you for such day, do not shorten [do your best], O Aba Al-Fadl.
When al-Abbas (peace be upon him) heard her words, he mounted his saddle until he cut it, and told her: Is it in such day you encourage me and I am the son of the Commander of the Faithful (peace be upon him)?! Thus, when she heard his words she felt great joy.
Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) addresses his family and companions (peace be upon them).
After the sunset, Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) led the obligatory prayers with his companions. As soon as the prayers were finished, Imam Al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) made a speech before his companions. First, he praised the Lord for giving so many sincere companions and friends. He then said, “I am thankful to you all for your affection and your willingness to help me at this hour. But, I assure you that Yazeed is only thirsting for my blood. I hereby discharge you from the obligation under your pledge of allegiance to me and I release you from all bonds you pledged to assist me. I like that you leave me now and go back to your homes. I shall not hold you responsible if you go away now, as it is now not obligatory for you to remain with me. If you feel shy to leave before my eyes, I will make it easy for you by putting out the lights so that, in the darkness, nobody can see who has left the camp.”
Then, some companions declared their loyalty to Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) over again. After the descendants of Banu Hashim, Muslim b. 'Awsajah was the first one who said:
Oh, Abu 'Abd Allah! We would never leave you alone. How is it possible to bring excuses to Allah? O, by Allah, never! We will never leave you alone; I will never give up; I will slay the enemies with my spear and sword until it drops on the ground; then I stone them. By Allah, I would never leave you alone until I fulfill my duties to Allah, and defend the descendants of Prophet Mohammad (Allah’s prayers be upon him and upon his holy Household). O, by Allah, if I am perished, I would reborn, and then if I am burnt and turned into ashes, I would reborn; and if it happens seventy times I would reborn and fight for you until I am martyred for you. I would never leave you as I know I will be perished once. Consequently, eternal prosperity and dignity would be mine.”
And Zuhayr Ibn Qayn al-Bajali said: “By Allah! I prefer that I get killed once, then get resurrected, then killed again, and repeat this a thousand times, in order that you and the youths from your family may survive.”