A series of tragedies, pains and great atrocities in the timeless epic of at-Taf, including the slaughtering of the baby Abdullah son of Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him).
The Ashura condolences processions, as custom since hundreds of years ago, commemorate this painful tragedy at the shrines of Imam al-Hussayn and of his brother Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon both of them), and on the ninth night of Muharram the commemoration is dedicated to chanting slogans that show the depth of their condolences to Imam al-Hussayn for the loss of his baby (peace be upon both of them), with the participation of children dressed in white and green clothes, with bands on their foreheads with slogans about the slaughtered baby, in addition to carrying a cradle symbolizing the cradle of the baby.
It is narrated that when Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) saw the corpses of his youth and friends, he resolved to be martyred, and called out,
“Is there anyone who could defend the family of the Prophet of Allah? Is there any monotheist who would fear Allah in respect of us? Is there any aide who could come to assist us for the sake of Allah? Is there anyone who could rush to our aid in lieu of reward from Allah?”
The voice of lamenting of the ladies arose and Imam came to the door of the tent and called for Zaynab (peace be upon her) saying,
“Give me my infant child so that I may bid him farewell”.
He put him in his lap kissing and cuddling him murmuring, "Away with those people! For your grandfather, the chosen Apostle, will be their opponent on the Day of Judgement". Clutching him in his arms, he approached the enemy and asked for water for the baby:
“O people! You have killed my brother, my sons and supporters, and only this child is left and he is thirsty, so give him water. O people! If you do not pity me, at least pity this young one”.
The people differed between each other, some of them said give him water, others said do not give him a single drop but kill him, do not let this family any progeny. At this point, Omar Ibn Sa'd, commander of Yazid Ibn Mu'awiyah's army, said to Harmala Ibn Kahil al-Asadi, O Harmala, make an end to the dispute of these people.
Harmala said: I understood the words of the Commander and I put an arrow in my bow, and I started looking where to throw it. while I was waiting for the opportune moment, a light wind lifted his cloth and I could see the neck of baby shining like a silver jug, I threw then my arrow, the baby was unconscious due to the severity of thirst, when the arrow reached his neck and slaughtered it from the vein to the vein, he raised his hands from under his swaddle and embraced his father al-Hussayn, and started fluttering in his hands like a slaughtered bird. Al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) put his palm under the baby's throat until it was filled with blood, then threw it towards the sky saying: "O Allah, You are witness on these people who vowed to not leave any descendants of your prophet." Abu Ja'far al-Baqer (peace be upon him) was reported as saying, "Not a drop [of Abdullah's blood] descended to the ground".
Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) took him back to the camp, Sakina welcomed him asking: O father, maybe you quenched Abdullah and brought us the remaining of water. He said: Dear daughter Sakina, This is your brother slaughtered from the vein to the vein.
Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) said, "I find solace in the fact that what has befallen me is in the way of Allah, the Exalted. O Lord! Let his position with you not be less than the station of the young (weaned) camel of Salih's she-camel. O Lord! If you have withheld victory from us, substitute it with that which will be better than victory; exact your revenge on the oppressors, make the afflictions that befell us in this world a treasure for us in the hereafter."
The Awaited Imam (May Allah hasten his reappearance) was also reported as saying, "May peace be with Abdullah, the infant who was slain by an arrow, drenched with blood, and whose blood ascended to the heavens. May Allah curse his killer Harmalah bin Kahil al-Asdi."