9

1 For a crime against the One who gave you the life
For a crime of worship of this world that soon will part
For a crime of denying the Source of your very being
For the crime against the One who has no end and no beginning
In that confrontation, unlike today,
You can claim no ignorance that led you astray

2 O people of this world, O people with no shame
The cover on my head is exactly the same
That my grandfather wore in the strive for truth
On my shoulders his garment, the same as in Uhud
The horse I ride is from a line of his steed
The sword on my belt is also his, indeed

3 Every amanet of his, I carry on this day
His light guides me from any disbelief away
My mother Fatima, the light of Prophet’s eyes,
Is watching us today from the highest wisdom gates
My father also watches, the Murtaza Ali
All witnessing your falsehood and the crime of Yazid

4 In my entire life, in this world of dreams,
I never performed an act contrary to his
And never will. O people misled in your deeds
Their words are true, while yours are sorely amiss
Did not the Prophet, to my father say the words:
You are my flesh, my blood, my body, and my soul

5 Men kuntu mewlahu fe aliun mewla
Who takes me as a teacher, takes Ali likewise
Is not brave Hamza uncle of my father?
Is not Hasan my beloved brother?
Do not Christians respect every Jesus’ sign?
Do not Yahud every law of Musa obey?

6 But you led astray in your misguide
Don’t respect your prophet and his very awlad
O people of Kufa, what evil to you I did?
Never spilled your blood. Never hurt you indeed
I was content in Mecca serving Almighty Lord
Breaking your word of peace, you greet me with a sword

7 O Omar ibn Saad. And you, ibni Hujaj
O Shis bin Rabbi. And you, bin Enis Sinan
And you, Shimir bin Zulshayn. Give me your reply:
Am I not your guest? Confirm or deny
By your own letters, to Kufa I came
Here are your parchments. He set them to flame

8 The whole army was silent like their mouths were bound
The silence in the desert was solemn and profound
Until Husein again challenged them to respond:
Are your mouths sealed to utter a word?
From the enemy crowd, Shimir finally spoke,
But none of his words was worthy of any note

9 At his empty words, one of the Ehlel Bayt
The mighty and intrepid Habib bin Mezahere
Shouted at Shimir to stop, at which he remained still
But ready to attack and eager to kill
But one of the foes was touched by Imam’s word
Deciding to defect with his horse, his life, his sword

10 The commander of the faithless, Omar ibni Saad,
Shouted to Husein: Your words will not add
One single relief unless you heed the last chance
Avoid your death, lay down your weapons at once
To our king Yazid, announce your bayat
You will be honored and avoid his wrath

11 No reply received, he shot the first swift arrow
Witness that I started this fight, he announced
I am starting the battle against Husein
You are my witnesses, as it is so plain
That I obeyed my orders. And in highest heat of day,
Hundreds of arrows followed like the rain

12 This event occurred in the year sixty-one
Second Friday of Muharram and sealed the fate of Sham
The darkest days in the saga of the falling man
With the blood of shaheeds, with Husein kurban
Thirty-three thousand men under the banner of Yazid
Seventy-two alone in the line of shaheed

13 Seventy-two martyrs, all thirsty and fatigued
Seventy-two between fires from the sky and under feet
Seventy-two, only thirty-two riding horse
Seventy-two, forty on foot with no fear or remorse
Seventy-two against thirty-three thousand
Seventy-two shaheeds fell on Karbala sand

14 No words can describe it. My pen cannot record
No paper can contain the pain of my every word
How hard it is to leave this life when fire burns
How hard to confront the arrow and the lance
And sharp spears, but the worst of all pain
Hurts most of all when an innocent soul is slain

15 With no sin. Only devotion to justice and truth
No fault. But submission to the eternal Lord
Each of the martyrs was shining in the light
Their hearts in flames, in the last decisive fight
With no hesitation, with no step of retreat
To heaven they ascended, victorious in defeat

16 At the break of dawn on Muharram the tenth
To his son Ali Akbar, Imam Husein went:
O you who resemble the Prophet, announce the azan
The voice of the Prophet was heard over the sand
Ummu Layla, Akbar’s mother, lifted her hands
Towards heaven to which her son’s voice ascends:

17 Almighty Lord who are listening to his voice,
In whose sweetness the men and angels rejoice
Protect us with your power in the hour of our pain
She wailed while for the prayer prepared Husein
He performed tayamum with the desert sand
Amidst the rain of arrows from the camp of ibni Saad

18 Husein distributed weapons for the fight
While only one spear he kept unassigned
For whom is the lance? His companions asked
For the one who will join us from the enemy ranks
On the other side, in one tent a secret meeting was held
Where Hur with his brother and his son conferred

19 I made my decision, Hazrat Hur declared
To abandon the evil while little time remains
To escape the wrath of Almighty Creator
To abandon the ranks of evil dictator
I’m joining Husein as a willing shaheed
Will you not join me against Yazid?

20 They were joined by the servant of Hur
Who in tears implored: I’m joining you without any fear
To escape the fire of awaiting hell
Please let me break out from this evil spell
Hur with his servant and brother and son,
All rode to Husein as battle began

21 One after another the holy martyrs fell
Each fallen was taken to Gazi Shahidin tent
By the hands of Husein, in rows they were lain
With no hesitation, victorious over pain
For each shaheed fallen, many enemies fell
Ibn Saad could not restrain his surprise and lament

22 What power sustained the weak and thirsty troops?
Dozen for each fell before cut with their swords
One thirsty man against the multitude of ogres
Defiant they stood before advancing hordes
Like wheat cut by the scythe of the evil incarnate
Fell one after one without retreat

23 O human heart, how can you stand unbroken
Listening to the words that mother’s lips have spoken
Imam’s sister Zaynab addressed her two sons
One of ten years, the other of nine:
O my son Muhammad. O my son Aoun
Why are you still alive when the rest are flown?

24 The children responded: Our mother beloved
For your and Imam’s permission we only awaited
Without your izn, isn’t it the best
To wait for your command before we join the rest?
Zaynab asked her brother to permit her boys
To join the battle, which he could not refuse

25 As soon as they stepped in front of the raging beasts
Both boys were slain like two flowers of spring
Husein and Abbas, like laying them in bed
Placed them before their mother, who looked at them and said:
My beloved children, I’m pleased with you
You have pleased our Lord and the Prophet and the Truth

26 The history of this bleak world has never recorded
A mother’s heart like Zaynab’s nor the story reported
What is the pain of a mother burying her children
When in blossom of youth, not touched by illness
For no guilt or sin like pierced with a thorn
Laid on the red ground, Muhammad and Aoun

27 Followed noble Qasim, son of Imam Hasan
He stood before Husein with letter in his hand
And said: My father asked me to open it
In the time when my uncle will fall as shaheed
In front of all, the letter was read:
I ask you my son Qasim, for him lay your head

28 When he was fourteen, Husein his promise gave
Of hand of his daughter to young Qasim the brave
So Fatima Qubra, in the battlefield was wed
To Qasim ibn Hasan who advanced straight
In single hand combat, he slew famous al-Azrag
With his four mighty sons before himself was cut

29 Abbas, son of Ali, the lion’s heart
Followed in the same manner, in superhuman fight
Through the crowd as thick as a mosquito swarm
He rode through their ranks, like a sandy storm
The river he reached, with water he filled the sack
To carry it for children in Husein’s camp

30 With no drop for himself, he charged his mount
To reach the thirsty children, in the ultimate attempt
Though dying with parched lips, not a single drop
Did Hazrat Abbas drink: O Lord, don’t let me stop
Allow me to provide them relief. While horsemen of Yazid
Like a swarm of insects crowded around him