Author: admin - 2016/03/12

Husayn’s body is buried in Karbala, the site of his death. His head is said to have been returned from Damascus and interred with his body,[45] although various sites have also been claimed to house, or have sheltered, Husayn’s head, among others: Aleppo, Ashkelon, Baalbek, Cairo, Damascus, Homs, Merv, and Medina.[46]

Return of his head to the body[edit]

Husayn’s son Ali returned his head from Ash-Sham to Karbala,[47][48][49][50] forty days after Ashura, reuniting it with Husayn’s body.[51][52] Shi’i Muslims commemorate this fortieth day as Arba‘īn.[53][54][55][56] According to the Shi’i belief that the body of an Imam is only buried by an Imam,[57][58][59] Husayn ibn Ali’s body was buried by his son, Ali Zayn al-Abidin.[60]

Husayn’s head in Isma’ilism[edit]

Niche for Husayn’s head at the Umayyad mosque in Damascus

After the battle of Karbala, the forces of Yazid I raised the head of Husayn on a lance. They took it to Kufa, then to Damascus to be presented to Yazid. The head was then buried in a niche of one of the internal walls of the Umayyad Mosque for about two hundred twenty years.

When the Abbasids took over from the Umayyads, they also confiscated the head of Husayn.[citation needed] The Abbasid caliph al-Muqtadir (d. 295/908) attempted many times to stop the pilgrimage to the head but in vain. Ultimately, he secretly transferred the head to Ashkelon. The Fatimid caliph al-Aziz Billah traced the site through his contemporary in Baghdad, in 985.[61]

Inscription on the minbar of Abraham’s Mosque in Hebron
Monument marking the former resting place of Husayn’s head in Ashkelon

According to an Arabic inscription on the Fatimid minbar of Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron,[61] the Fatimid vizier Badr al-Jamali conquered Palestine under Caliph al-Mustansir Billah and discovered the head of Husayn in AH 448. He constructed the minbar, a mosque and the mashhad at the place of burial. [46][62] The shrine was described as the most magnificent building in Ashkelon.[63] During the British Mandate it was a “large maqam on top of a hill” with no tomb but a fragment of a pillar showing the place where the head had been buried.[64] Israeli Defense Forces under Moshe Dayan blew up Mashhad Nabi Husayn in July 1950 as part of a broader operation.[65] Around the year 2000, Isma’ilis from India built a marble platform there, on the grounds of the Barzilai Medical Center.[66][67][65] The head remained buried in Ashkelon until AD 1153 (for about 250 years) only. Fearing the crusaders, Ahkelon’s ruler Sayf al-Mamlaka Tamim brought the head to Cairo on 31 August 1153 (8 Jumada al-Thani, AH 548).[61][67]