Finally, the day of Ashuraa dawned upon the soil of Karbala. It was the day when Jihad would be in full bloom, blood would be shed, 72 innocent lives would be sacrificed, and a decisive battle would be won to save Islam and the Ummah.
It had been a few days since the water supply was cut off by the enemy. Children were crying for water, the women were desperate for water, Zainul-Abideen, the son ofImam Husayn (a.s.) was sick with fever. The suffering from the thirst was too painful to bear. And despite this, not a single person in the camp made any complaints or even questioned the mission ofImam Husayn . Each member supported the Imam wholeheartedly and enthusiastically.
Next morningImam Husayn (a.s.) went out of the camp and saw Umar Ibn Sa'ad mobilizing his troops to start the hostility. He stared at the intimidating army, and as large as it wasImam Husayn showed no signs of compromise.Imam Husayn raised his hands in prayer:
"O Allah! It is Thee in whom I trust amid all grief. You are my hope amid all violence. Thou are my refuge and provision in everything that happens to me. How many grievances weaken the heart, leaving me with no means to handle them, during which friend deserts me, and enemy rejoices in it. I lay it before Thee and complain of it to Thee, because of my desire in Thee, Thee alone. You relieve me of it and remove it from me. Thou are the Master of all Grace, the Essence of Goodness, and the Ultimate Resort of all Desire."
Before the actual engagement was to take place, Hurr, the previous commander of the enemy force, felt his conscience violently stirring, he was in turmoil. Upon realizing the gravity of the situation, he suddenly broke away from Umar Ibn Sa'ad's camp (along with two others). They rushed towardImam Husayn (a.s.) to join his camp.
Hurr's heart was jumping with joy, his mind relieved of an agonizing tension. Hurr's defection worried Umar Ibn Sa'ad very much, lest others do the same and defect. So Umar Ibn Sa'ad threw an arrow in the air to indicate the start of the battle. This was the outset of a catastrophe and a tragic event that Mu'awiya had once conceived to happen.