At the break of the dawn of the fateful day, 10th Muharram 61 Hijra, Imam Hussain (pbuh) called his son Ali Akbar who resembled the Holy Prophet (pbuh) the most, and said:
"My dear son, Ali! Let me hear the 'Azan' (the call for Prayer) for the last time in this world!"
When Ali Akbar gave the call 'Azan' in the Sahara, reporters say that the voice resembled the voice of the Holy Prophet and Imam Hussain (pbuh) hearing the last 'Azan' of his son in the voice of his Grandfather, remembering the Apostle of God, shed tears, and as the voice of Ali Akbar reached the inmates in the camp, Zainab along with other ladies hear the call for prayer in the sweet enchanting voice of the beautiful son of Imam Hussain (pbuh).
It was the third day of the thirst inflicted on the whole camp of the Holy Imam. The Holy Imam and his devotees performed 'Tayammum' instead of 'Wozu' (Ablution) and the Holy Imam offered the last congregational prayers with his devotees on earth.
After the prayer is over, in the morning of that day 'Umar son of Saad' led the attack against Imam Hussain (pbuh). He positioned 'Amr son of Al-Haj Al-Zubaidi' on the right wing of the army and 'Shimr son of Zil Jawshan' on the left wing. And on the infantry he positioned 'Shibthah son of Al-Rubay' and gave the banner/standard to his slave Durayd.
Then Holy Imam (pbuh) ordered all his faithful companions, who were about seventy two men to fall in, and divided his small Godly band into three flanks, i.e., the right and the left wings and the central body. Imam Hussain (pbuh) appointed 'Zuhayr son of Al-Qayn' as the Commander of the army's right wing and 'Habib son of Mouzaher' on the army's left wing. Imam Hussain (pbuh) called his brave brother, Abbas, the Faithful and presented to him the Holy Standard of Truth and thus Abbas from that day came to be known as 'Abbas-e-Alamdar' or Abbas the Standard Bearer. They positioned themselves with the houses and tents behind them.
Shimr become angry and shouted as loud as he could: Why are you in such a hurry for hell?
Imam Hussain (pbuh) replied: your mother was a goat herder; you more deserve to roast in it.
Then 'Muslim son of Awsaja' wanted to shoot him with an arrow but Imam Hussain (pbuh) stopped him and said: I hate to start the fight.
Then Imam Hussain (pbuh) approached the people with some of his companions and 'Burayr son of Khudayr Al-Hamadani' in front of him. Imam Hussain (pbuh) said: Talk to them Burayr.
Then Burayr approached forward and said: Oh, fear God. Muhammad's household is now between your hands and those are his children, daughters and women. What do you have to say?
We want to capture them and let the prince Ubayd Allah son of Ziyad decide what to do with them.
Burayr answered: Don't you accept that they return back to the place where they came from? Calamity on you citizens of Kufa, Have you forgotten all about your letters and the pledges of allegiance you sworn by God on. Calamity on you citizens of Kufa, You invited the Prophet's household. May God punish you on Doom's day. We don't know what you are talking about, said someone from opposite.
Then Burayr said: Thank God who gave me a better mind than yours. Oh, God I am innocent of their doings; Oh, God let their powers fall on them until they meet you, while you are angry with them. And the troops from opposite started shooting arrows at him.
At last when it became sure that the devilish forces were bent upon a wholesale massacre, Imam Hussain (pbuh) spoke out a rhetorical speech aloud addressing the men of the Yazidian forces in an apostolic tune as a protest on them on Doom's Day.
Sermon of the Holy Imam on the day of Ashura:
Imam Hussain (pbuh) thanked and praised Almighty God first. Then mentioned Holy Prophet (pbuh) and prayed on him and said:
Citizens of Kufa, Remember my image and look who I am, then awaken yourselves. Ask if it is fair for you to kill me and to violate the honor of my women? Am I not the son of your prophet's daughter, the son of his successor, his cousin and the first one who believed in what he attains from God? Isn't Hamzah, Master of martyrs, my father's uncle? Haven't you heard the words that God's Messenger said to me and my brother that we are the masters of the Heaven's youths.
Are you asking me for a dead person I killed, or money I usurped, or by punishment for wounds?
When no one answered, he shouted loud and said: I beseech you by God; do you know me? Yes, you are the Grandson of God's Messenger (pbuh), they replied.
I beseech you by God; do you know that Muhammad is my Grandfather? And do you know that Ali son of Abu Talib is my father? I beseech you by God; do you know that Fatima the daughter of God's Messenger is my mother? I beseech you by God; do you know that Khadija daughter of Khuwayled the first women in Islam is my Grandmother? I beseech you by God; do you know that Hamzah master of martyrs is my father's uncle? I beseech you by God; do you know that this is the prophet's sword? I beseech you by God; isn't the Turban I am wearing Prophet's Turban? I beseech you by God; wasn't Ali the most all-knowing the bravest man in Islam, and the master (Maula) of every faithful Muslim? Yet you are shedding my blood and he is my father.
Yes, we know all that and we will not leave you until you taste death from thirst.
When his daughters and his sisters (Zainab and Kulthoom) heard his speech they cried, wept, slapped their cheeks, and shouted. Imam Hussain (pbuh) sent his brother Abbas and his son Ali to silence them. Then he continued another speech, by saying I swear that they will have to cry a lot later.
Woe, to you: You cried for help and we came running, but you drew your sword of faith against us and tried to burn us with the fire we set for your enemies. You have turned to them and became their allies, without any justice or any hope they have given you.
May your fate be as tragic as your actions. You have left us while we were in the midst of the battle, and you run to the pleasures of life. May God's curse be upon you, for you are the slaves of this nation and the outcast of any party, the deviators of their words, the bandits of evil and the breath of Satan. How could you ally with our enemies against us? But treason is a habit that runs deep into you, in your roots and in your branches as well as the air you breathe and the food you eat. That Swindler son of Swindlers had left me to choose between death and humiliation. But there is no way humiliation could find a route to us. God, His messenger and our pride would neither wish us nor let us obey those vicious mean people. May God bear witness I am going to fight with my family no matter how few our supporters are?
Imam Hussain (pbuh) made this speech so that later no one would be able to say that it was Imam Hussain (pbuh) who started this battle. Umar son of Saad became worried that Imam Hussain (pbuh)'s words might change the minds of some of the troops. Hence ordered his slave Durayd saying: Hay Durayd holds your banner and be me witness in front of the prince that I was the first to fight Hussain. He put an arrow to his bow and shot it towards Imam Hussain (pbuh)'s tent. There followed thousands of arrows towards Imam Hussain (pbuh)'s camp.
Hurr joins the Holy Imam:
Hurr son of Yazid Al-Riyahi, the commander of Yazid's regiment, who had obstructed Hussain's way near Kufa, was also present in the enemy's forces in Karbala. He spent all his time in repenting and feeling very guilty for having obstructed the way of the son of the Holy Prophet, and blamed himself for bringing Imam Hussain to Karbala. The enemy's officers and soldiers were only wondering at the mysterious sorrowful silence and the serious pensive mood in which Hurr spent all his time since his arrival on the plain.
On the morning of 10th Muharram, Hurr called his son secretly in his tent and said: "We are doomed driven towards 'hell'. There is yet time. I have decided to dash out of the ranks of Satan and join the side of the Imam Hussain (pbuh) and seek pardon of the son of the Apostle of God. Would you like to accompany me or stay where you are?"
The son of Hurr readily consented to accompany him and Hurr's slave who was a faithful and trusted one of his master, was present in the tent and implored saying Master! Take me away from this God's cursed side, along with you. Please don't leave me for hell and Hurr agreed.
Hurr, with his son and a slave, dashed out of the enemy's ranks. After that, Hurr approached until he took a place ahead among the people then he started to approach Imam Hussain (pbuh) little by little. 'Al-Mouhajer son of Awss' asked him: What do you want to do? Do you want to fight Hussain?
Hurr began to tremble and Al-Mouhajer said: You arise my doubt; I swear by God that I have never seen you like this in any situation and if someone asked me about the most courageous man in Kufa, I would have never chosen anyone else other than you. But what happened to you today? For God's sake, I am choosing between heaven and hell and by God I'll never choose but heaven even if I am to be cut into pieces and burnt.
Hurr appearing before the Holy Imam with tears in his eyes begged his pardon for the wrong he had done. "O my Imam, I am so sorry for forcing you to come to Karbala. Please allow me to fight along with you. I would be honored if you would let me lay down my life first before anyone amongst you is killed. I have brought my son to die with me defending your sons." The return of Hurr had already been foretold by Imam Hussain (pbuh) in his camp. Hurr was received very warmly by Imam Hussain (pbuh) and his companions as special guest. Hurr was amazed by the kindness of Holy Imam. And when the fight against the devil began, Hurr was the first one who went into the field against the enemy and charged bravely like a wolf among a herd of Sheep and laid down his life, after killing more than forty (40) of enemies.
Imam Hussain (pbuh) rushed to him found him with big cut on the head and the wound was bleeding badly. Imam Hussain (pbuh) took his scarf which had belonged to his mother Fatima (pbuh) and bandaged his wound and cleaned his eyes from blood. Hurr told Imam "Did I do well and are you satisfied?"
The last thing Hurr heard before he died was Imam Hussain (pbuh) telling him your mother made the right choice by naming you Hurr (The Freeman). Body of Hurr was carried by his tribe and buried.