Who Killed Al-Hussain? (radiyAllâhu ‘anhu)
Part – 4
The Shiites seek to hide their Treachery – 2
There are also the numerous references to the people of Kûfah as the followers (albeit capricious followers) of his father and brother (radiyAllâhu ‘anhum). And were we to assume that many, or even most of them were not Shî‘ah in the “religious” sense, the question which next presents itself is: Where were the real Shî‘ah when their Imâm (radiyAllâhu ‘anhu) required their help?
Were they only that handful who emerged from Kûfah? It is strange that while there is so much reluctance on the part of the Shî‘ah to accept the deserters of Kûfah as their own, they are quite proud and eager to identify themselves with the movement of the Tawwâbûn. The speeches made at the inception of the movement of the Tawwâbûn very clearly prove that they were the same people who invited Sayyidunâ Hussain (radiyAllâhu ‘anhu) and then deserted him. 
Their very name is indicative of their guilt in this regard. The attempt by the Shî‘ah to absolve themselves from the crime of deserting Sayyidunâ Hussain (radiyAllâhu ‘anhu) is therefore at best nothing more than pathetic.
The Sheite Treachery against Zayd ibn ‘Alî ibn Hussain (radiyAllâhu ‘anhum) Karbalâ was not to be the last act of treason by the Shî‘ah against the Family of Rasûlullâh (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him). Sixty years later the grandson of Sayyidunâ Hussain, namely Zayd ibn ‘Alî ibn Hussain (radiyAllâhu ‘anhum), led an uprising against the Umayyad ruler Hishâm ibn ‘Abd al-Malik. He received the oaths of allegiance of over 40 000 men, 15 000 of whom were from the very same Kûfah that deserted his grandfather (radiyAllâhu ‘anhu).
Just before the battle could start they decided upon a whim to ask his opinion about Abû Bakr and ‘Umar (radiyAllâhu ‘anhum). Zayd answered: “I have never heard any of my family dissociate himself from them, and I have nothing but good to say about them (radiyAllâhu ‘anhum).”
Upset with this answer, they deserted him en masse, deciding that the true imâm could only be his nephew Ja‘far as-Sâdiq. Out of 40 000, Zayd was left with only a few hundred men. On the departure of the defectors he remarked: “I am afraid they have done unto me as they did to Hussain (radiyAllâhu ‘anhu).” Zayd and his little army fought bravely and attained martyrdom. Thus, on Wednesday the 1st of Safar 122 AH another member of the Ahl al-Bayt fell victim to the treachery of the Shî‘ah of Kûfah. 
This time there could be no question as to whether those who deserted him were of the Shî‘ah or not.
The fact that the thousands of Shî‘ah who deserted Zayd ibn ‘Alî looked upon Ja‘far as-Sâdiq as their true Imâm shows that by and large they were the same as the Ithnâ ‘Asharî, or alternatively Imâmî or Ja‘farî Shî‘ah of today.
Why then, if he had so many devoted followers, did Imâm Ja‘far not rise up in revolt against the Umayyads or the ‘Abbâsids? The answer to this question is provided in a narration documented by Abû Ja‘far al-Kulaynî in his monumental work al-Kâfî, which enjoys unparalleled status amongst the hadîth collections of the Shî‘ah:
Sudayr as-Sayrafî says: I entered the presence of Abû ‘Abdillâh ‘alayhis salâm and said to him: “By Allâh, you may not refrain from taking up arms.” He asked: “Why not?” I answered: “Because you have so many partisans, supporters (Shî‘ah) and helpers. By Allâh, if Amîr al-Mu’minîn (Sayyidunâ ‘Alî (radiyAllâhu ‘anhu) had as many Shî‘ah, helpers, and partisans as you have, Taym (the tribe of Abû Bakr) and ‘Adî (the tribe of ‘Umar) would never have had designs upon him.” He asked: “And how many would they be, Sudayr?” I said: “A hundred thousand.” He asked: “A hundred thousand?” I replied: “Yes, and two hundred thousand.” He asked again: “Two hundred thousand?” I replied: “Yes, and half the world.” He remained silent.
Then he said: “Would you accompany us to Yanbu‘?” I replied in the affirmative. He ordered a mule and a donkey to be saddled. I quickly mounted the donkey, but he said: “Sudayr, will you rather let me ride the donkey?” I said: “The mule is more decorous and nobler as well.” But he said: “The donkey is more comfortable for me.” I dismounted. He mounted the donkey, I got on the mule, and we started riding. The time of salâh arrived and he said: “Dismount, Sudayr. Let us perform salâh.” Then he remarked: “The ground here is overgrown with moss. It is not permissible to make salâh here.” So we carried on riding until we came to a place where the earth was red. He looked at a young boy herding sheep, and remarked: “Sudayr, by Allâh, if I had as many Shî‘ah as there are sheep here, it would not have been acceptable for me to refrain from taking up arms.” We then dismounted and performed salâh. When we were finished I turned back to count the sheep. There were seventeen of them. 
Copied from Mu’uminīna Şādiqīna with thanks by Muhammad Sharif