The Quraishites (tribe of Quraish) were the direct descendants of Prophet Abraham through Prophet Ishmael, and Abd Manaf. Abdush Shams and Hashim were the twin issues of Abd Manaf. The children of Hashim through his son Abdul Mutalib were called the 'Hashimites/Banu Hashim' (tribe of Hashim). Abdush Shams had adopted a clever, crafty and active Roman slave boy Umayya, whom Abd Manaf had purchased and presented to his son Abdush Shams.
However, the issues of Umayya become known as the 'Umayyads/Banu Umayya' (tribe of Umayya). Abd Manaf, before his death, had handed over the charge of his privileged hereditary duties of service to the House of God, the 'Holy Kaaba' to Hashim his eldest son who was very noble by nature and godly in temperament. This aggravated the hatred, jealousy and animosity of Umayya whose tendency continued as a personality trait from generation to generation in his seed. Much fuel was added to the already burning fire of envy and enmity of the Umayyads when Abdul Mutalib, miraculously discovered the natural spring-well of 'Zamzam' which lay hidden and unknown to any one, for ages together. Umayya became angry and started being very rude towards Hashimites. When the elders of the tribe saw this, they decided that he should not be allowed to remain in Makkah, and was therefore sent to Syria. This was the beginning of the hatred of the Umayyads towards the Hashimites, which eventually led to the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (pbuh).
Hashim was the Great Grandfather of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and that is why the families of the Prophet are known as the Hashimites. The Hashimites were good, noble and gentle, while the Umayyads were wicked, mean and aggressive. The Hashimites held the Trusteeship and the Custody of the Kaaba, which was the most coveted and unique honor enjoyed exclusively by the Hashimites. The Umayyads envied this the most, and could not bear it. While the charitable disposition of the Hashimites could not allow the hoarding of any personal wealth, the selfishness and niggardliness of the Umayyads had enabled them to store abundant wealth which had made the Umayyads ever more haughty and proud against the noble, the gentle and the meek ones of the Hashimites.
Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) started preaching to the people of Makkah at the age of forty (40) years. If anyone goes through the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), he will not be able to resist shedding tears for the tortures, the miseries and calamities which the great godly soul suffered at the hands of the people. Any intelligent reader would find that all the sufferings which every one of the preceding apostles of God had suffered, had been inflicted on the Last Apostle of the Lord, along with other additional tortures and miseries which none else had ever experienced and he suffered all the calamities with ideal patience, matchless fortitude, unparalleled steadfastness and unshakable determination to fulfill the covenant established with the Lord.
Karbala's Foundation laid:
The events of history give out a clear verdict that the series of the sufferings, the miseries and the calamities inflicted on the Ahlul Bayt, which culminated at one stage in the wholesale massacre of the Holy Imam Hussain (pbuh) and his faithful devotees at Karbala, and the misfortunes and the assassinations of the other Imams and their families and their devotees, which thereafter followed up to the eleventh Imam Hasan Al-Askari, was inaugurated at the Saqeefa. Had the people remembered the repeated declarations about Imam Ali (pbuh), and his Ahlul Bayt, the world would never have witnessed the hideous scenes of the sufferings and the massacre of the Holy ones; on the other hand, today the world would have been ruled by the Men of God, and humanity had enjoyed the Godly kingdom on earth, and the human race by this time would have been united under one single brotherhood which was inaugurated by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) at Madina.
Yazid succeeded the Caliph at Damascus:
After the death of Muawiya in 60 Hijra, Yazid succeeded his father to the throne. Imam Hussain was then fifty seven (57) years old. Yazid was known to be even worse than his father and represented a real danger to the Islamic nation, for he was not a true Muslim. He was not properly educated with the teachings of Islam. And he used to drink alcohol, gamble, and commit all other sins according to historic sources. He said: "Hashimites staged a play to obtain the Kingdom. Actually, there was neither any news (from God) nor any revelation." Such a man could not be entrusted with the affairs of the nation.
The Call from the Governor:
On receipt of the letter from Yazid, 'Al-Walid son of Utbah son of Abu Sufyan' the Governor of Madina immediately called his servant (Abdullah son of Omer son of Uthman) and sent word inviting Imam Hussain (pbuh) and Abdullah son of Al-Zubayr, to visit him. Imam Hussain (pbuh) and son of Al-Zubayr were in the Mosque at night time, when Walid's servant came to them with the message inviting them to the Governor House. The moment Imam Hussain (pbuh) heard the call from the Governor; he suddenly exclaimed that Muawiya had died.
In reply to the call Imam Hussain (pbuh) sent word to the Governor Walid saying, it was too late and he will visit him the next morning.
I invite you to the Book of Allah and the tradition (Sunnah) of the Prophet, for I see that the tradition (Sunnah) have been destroyed and innovations have crept up. Hence if you pay heed to my words and obey my command, then I shall guide you to the Righteous path. Imam Hussain (p.b.u.h.)
The next day Imam Hussain (pbuh) accompanying around thirty (30) Hashimites courageous youths visited the Governor, but reaching the entrance of the Governor's house, he told the Hashimites to stay at the door watchful and if they hear Imam Hussain (pbuh) talking unusually aloud they may get in to him.
Walid received Holy Imam (pbuh) with all respect and regard. Offered him the seat besides him and read out the letter he had received from Yazid and when he reached the matter asking him to send the severed head of Hussain, if Imam Hussain refuses to pay allegiance. Imam Hussain (pbuh) smiled and said:
"O Walid! Pledge of allegiance cannot be given secretly. Invites the Muslims of Madina tomorrow and ask them if they say that I should pay allegiance to Yazid, let us then decide."
Walid readily accepted the Holy Imam's reply but 'Marwan son of Al-Hakam' the old enemy of Islam who was expelled by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) out of Madina, seated there, addressing Walid said:
"Let not Hussain go out of the grip now, lest the fox is out of the four walls of the court you will not approach the dust behind it. Cut off his head now and let not this unique opportunity go for, you will never get it again."
Imam Hussain (pbuh) stood up to depart from the Governor and hearing the insulting words of Marwan, Imam Hussain (pbuh) the son of Imam Ali the Lion of God got angry and retorted aloud: "Woe to you, O son of a foreign women, will you cut my head off? By God, you have told a lie and showed your base origin." Then he turned to al-Walid and said to him:
"O Walid! We are the household of the Prophet (pbuh). We surely are the centre of the message, and to our house the angels descend from heaven. By us God sent his first Apostle and by us He sent the seal of the Prophets. Yazid, on the other hand, is a corrupt man, who imbibes wine, puts to death the soul which God forbids to be destroyed and declares his debauchery in public. A man like me would never give a vow of loyalty to him. But we will see about that in the morning, so will you. We will see and so will you, who is more entitled to the office of Caliphate and to receive the pledge of allegiance."
Marwan immediately got up and ran away and the Hashimites youth who stood restless and anxious, hearing the voice of the Holy Imam (pbuh), rushed into the court with drawn swords. Imam Hussain (pbuh) immediately commanded restraint and had not Imam Hussain (pbuh) controlled the situation, the matter would have been settled then and there. The meeting came to an end. Imam Hussain (pbuh) returned home.
Imam Hussain (pbuh) decides to leave Madina