under discussion is more significant than most because it is associated with the Shi’ite martyr Imam
al-Husayn, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. When the Crusaders
marched to Ashqelon (which lies roughly 50 km south of Jaffa) in 548 / 1143, devout Muslims took their chance to rescue both the severed head of al-Husayn and the minbar
itself, which they smuggled successfully into Hebron and placed in the Ibrahimi Mosque
. Tradition has it that the severed head of al-Husayn was taken to Cairo.