When Imam Husain (a.s) stopped at the plain of Karbala, (Kamil) he inquired as to what was the name of the place. People replied that the place was known as "Aqar." Imam said,
"Almighty Allah! We seek your refuge from Aqar" (Aqar means barren, sterile).
Sibt ibne Jawzi has written in his Tazkirah, that Imam Husain (a.s) asked as to what was the name of the place. They replied that it was Karbala and was also called Ninawa, which was a village therein. Then Imam started weeping and said: Ummu-Salamah has informed me, that one day Jibra'eel came to the presence of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.s), and you (Imam Husain) were with me. Suddenly the Prophet said,
"Leave my child",
hearing this I left you and the Prophet made you sit on his lap. Jibra'eel asked him, "Do you cherish this child"? The Prophet replied in the affirmative. Then Jibra'eel said, "Your Ummah will kill him, and if you desire I shall show you the earth of the place where he shall be martyred." The Prophet showed his willingness to do so. Then Jibra'eel spread his wings towards Karbala and showed the Prophet the place.
Thus when Imam Husain (a.s) was told that the name of the place was Karbala, he smelt the earth and said,
"This is the same place regarding which Jibra'eel had informed the Prophet, and I shall be killed herein."
Then Sibt ibne Jawzi relates from Sha'bi, that when Imam Ali (a.s) was proceeding towards Siffeen, he came face to face with Ninawa, which was a village near the river Euphrates. Imam haulted there and commanded his
companion, who had the job of providing water for ablutions that, "Tell me the name of this place." He replied that it was called Karbala. Hearing this he wept bitterly until the earth became wet with his tears. Then he said,
"One day I went to the presence of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s) when he was weeping and asked him as to what made him weep."
"At this moment Jibra'eel came to me and informed me that my son Husain will be killed at a place called Karbala near the river Euphrates. Then Jibra'eel lifted a handful of earth and gave it to me, I smelt it, thus I could not control my tears."
Furthermore it is related in Bihaar al-Anwaar from Kharaej, that Imam Mohammad al Baqir (a.s) says, that one day Imam Ali (a.s) went out with his companions one or two miles away from Karbala. Then he advanced further until he reached a place called Maqdafan and started wandering there. Then he said,
"Two hundred Prophets and the progeny of the Prophets have been martyred at this place, and this the haulting station, the place of martyrdom of the felicitious martyrs, which has not been acquired by the ancient, while those after them shall not reach it too."
(Malhoof) When Imam Husain (a.s) reached that place, he asked as to what was the name of that place. People replied that it was called Karbala. Imam said,
"O Allah! I seek your refuge from Karb (Grief) and Bala (trials)"
Then he said,
"Grief and trial dwells herein, hence alight down, and this is our haulting place. Here will our blood be shed and here shall we be buried. My Grandfather, the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.s) has foretold me regarding it."
Everyone complied to his order and dismounted, while Al-Hurr too pitched his tents with his companions at another place.
(Kashful Ghummah) Everyone complied to his orders and dismounted and off-loaded their equipments, while Al-Hurr dismounted his army opposite Imam Husain (a.s). Then Al-Hurr wrote to Ubaydullah informing him that Imam Husain (a.s) had haulted at Karbala.
It is stated in Murujuz Zahab, that Imam Husain (a.s) proceeded towards Karbala accompanied by five hundred horsemen and around a hundred on foot from his family and companions.
It is related in Bihaar al-Anwaar from Manaqib that Zuhayr bin Qayn said, "Take us along, so that we may hault at Karbala near the bank of the river
Euphrates, and we shall hault there. Then if they fight us, we shall fight them and seek help from Allah." Tears rolled down the eyes of Imam and he said,
"O Allah! I seek your refuge from Karb (grief) and Bala (trials)."
Imam settled therein and Al-Hurr dismounted too facing him with a thousand soldiers. Then Imam ordered that pen and paper should be brought and he wrote a letter to the affable chiefs of Kufa:
"From Husain bin Ali, to Sulayman bin Surad, Musayyab bin Najabah, Rufa'ah bin Shaddad, Abdullah bin Wa'al and the group of believers. Now then! You very well know that the Holy Prophet in his lifetime said that the one who witnesses a cruel and oppressive ruler …(till the end)",
which has been related earlier in context of his sermon delivered in the presence of his companions and that of Al-Hurr's. Then he folded the paper and affixing his seal over it, handed it over to Qays bin Mushir Saydawi ..... (till the end), which has already been related earlier.
When he received the news of the Martyrdom of Qays, tears flowed from his eyes and he said,
"O Allah! Assign an exalted station for me and my followers (Shi'ah) near You. And assemble us into the place of repose of Your Mercy, for You have power over all"
Then one of the companions from among the followers (Shi'ah)viz. Hilal bin Nafe' Bajali  leapt forward and said, "O son of the Prophet of Allah! Your grandfather, the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.s), could not force his affection into the hearts of all men, nor could he bring people to his command, for there were hypocrites among them, who would say that they would assist him but in their hearts intented to deceive him. Their attitude was sweeter than honey in his presence and behind his back they were bitter than Colocynth, until the Almighty Allah summoned the Prophet to Himself. And your father was similar to him. A group of people united to assist him but later he had to fight the Nakeseen, the oppressive Qaseteen and the perverse Mareqeen.  Then the
 The author in his note says that according to me the right name is Nafe' bin Hilal bin Nafe', while the historians have erroneously mentioned it as Hilal bin Nafe' because of the repetition of the name Nafe' as is quoted in Manhajul Maqal etc.........
 Nakeseen or the violators of oath, referred to by Imam Ali (a.s) to the group who fought against him at Jamal, derived from the Qur'anic verse "So whoever violates his oath (nakasa), does violate it only to the injury of his (own) self" (Surah al Fath: 10). Qaseteen or the deviators, referred to by Imam Ali (a.s) to the group who fought against him at Siffeen, derived from the Qur'anic verse "And as for the deviators (Qasetoon), they shall be a fuel for the hell" (Surah al Jinn: 15). Mareqeen or those who missed the religion, referred to by Imam Ali (a.s) to the
end of Imam Ali (a.s) came and he proceeded towards the bliss of Paradise. And now today those with us are similar to those people of that day. And the people have not broken off the pledge and the allegiance, except that they have done loss to none other than their own selves, and Allah has made us independent of them. You may, with sobriety and welfare, take us to whichever place you desire, whether it be in the east or the west. By Allah! We do not fear the decree of Allah, nor do we despise His meeting. We shall take the opportunity with our determination and sightedness, and will befriend your friends and will bear enmity with your enemies."
Then Burayr bin Khuzayr Hamadani arose and said, "By Allah! O son of the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.s)! Allah has graced us through you that we may be cut to pieces in front of you and on the day of Qiyamah your Grandfather would intercede for us. The one who has betrayed the grandson of their own Prophet, shall not find salvation. Fie upon them for what they shall see tomorrow in Qiyamah, and shall groan and wail in (the fire of) hell."
Then Imam Husain (a.s) gathered his sons, brothers, relatives around him and wept for some time and said,
"O Allah! We are the progeny of Your Prophet. These people have dragged us out of our houses and have driven us and have constrained us from the place of our Grandfather (Madina). The Bani Umayyah have oppressed us. O Allah! Take away our rights from them and help us over these tyrants."
Then he proceeded from there and on Wednesday or Thursday entered Karbala on the second of Moharram 61 A.H. Then he turned towards his companions and said,
"People are the slaves of this world and Religion is only a lip-service for them, and they will take care of it until it is pleasurable, and when the crucible of trials approaches, only a few religious ones remain."
Then he asked,
"Is this place Karbala"?
The people replied in the affirmative. He said,
"This is the place of grief and trials and this is the place of the resting of our Camels, our haulting place, station of our martyrdom and where our blood shall be spilled."
Then they dismounted there, and Al-Hurr accompanied with a thousand men too alighted facing him. Then he wrote to Ubaydullah bin Ziyad saying that Husain had encamped at Karbala.
group of Kharijites who fought against him at Naharwan, derived from a Prophetic Tradition.
source : http://www.maaref-foundation.com