Husayn was martyred on Ashura day while he was thirsty
Drinking water is universally held to be one of the most basic of human rights and is vital to the survival of any living creatures, but Imam Husayn, the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, was martyred along with all his companions on the day of Ashura in Karbala while they were all thirsty. The tents of his family were pitched just a walking distance from the banks of the river Euphrates and yet he and his camp – including his six month old baby – were not allowed a single drop.
Access to water had been closed for three days and nights, but during this time, Hadrat Abbas, the brother of Imam Husayn, was able to get some water for children on one or two occasions, including the night of Ashura and That’s why Abbas had been received the nick name of Saqqa which means “water carrier”.
On the day of Ashura, Hadrat Abbas went to get some water again. The number of men who guarded the river bank was four thousand. He descended along the river bank and led his horse into the water (all historians have written this). First, he filled the waterskin that he has brought and lays it on his shoulder. He was thirsty and the air was hot, But as he set on the back of his horse and the horse stood in water reaching up to its belly, he lowered his hands into water, took water into them and raised them towards his sacred lips.
Those who were watching him from a distance reported that he hesitated for a while. Then they saw that he threw the water back and came out of the river without drinking any. No one knew why Abbas did not drink water there, But when he came out he recited verses which were addressed to himself:
O soul of Abu al-Fadl!
My wish is that you live not after Husayn!
Will you have a drink of cold water,
While there stands Husayn, thirsty, near the tents,
And about to drink the cup of death!?
Such is not the way of my faith,
Nor that of one who abides in conviction and truth!
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Reference: The book of Ashura: Misrepresentations and Distortions by Martyr Mortaza Motahari