Page 1143

1143 MOHAMMEDAN ASCENDENCY-OMMIADES AND FATIMITES.

to the banks of the Euphrates. Finding that

every thing had turned against him he would

fain have returned into Arabia. Those who

had him in charge would gladly have shown

consideration to a descendant of the Prophet,

but Obeidallah had resolved that Hosein

should acknowledge Yezid or perish for his

temerity. The son of Ali, however, chose to

die rather than submit. With his small band

he attempted to defend himself in his camp.

Desultory fighting continued for several

days. His followers fell one by one until

he was left alone. At last he sank to the

earth, bleeding with thirty wounds, and

died under the swords of his assailants. His

head was then cut off and carried to Obeidallah

in Cufa. After being displayed to that savage warrior the bloody trophy was sent to

the Caliph Yezid at Damascus, who either

through real or affected grief denounced

the murder of the prince and cursed Obeidallah

as the son of a Greek slave. The Caliph

treated the family of Hosein with consideration, and thus in some measure made atonement for the destruction of the grandson of

the Prophet.

The assassination of their prince made a

profound impression on the minds of the Fatimites. The day of his death became an anniversary of mourning, and was called the Day

of Hosein. On the spot where he fell a

sepulcher was built, and tradition recited

.to the coming generations the omens and

portents wherewith Allah threatened the

world when the descendant of his Apostle

was slain.

Among those whom the dying Moawyah

had named as persons to be feared by his successor was Zobeir's son, Abdallah. The caution was well taken; for after the death of

Hosein the tribe of Hashem proclaimed Abdallah as Caliph, and he was recognized as such

by the people of Medina and Mecca. The

prince thus made conspicuous was ambitious

and warlike. The party of Fatima, enraged at

the murder of Hosein, rallied to the support of

Abdallah, and a sage out of Egypt declared

that the Prophet Daniel had predicted for this

prince the honors of royalty. The Caliph

Yezid became alarmed at the condition of affairs in Western Arabia; but pretending to

despise the presumption of Abdallah, he sent