(11) The Journey To Kufa

The sun rose, crimson-red was its color
Downcast with shame, the world looked duller
Ladies and children, huddled with shambled remains
The victors rejoiced, without compunction or shame.
Vying with one another, to torture and torment
They took delight, in causing them lament
Marching them, by the bodies of their dear ones
Before being taken to Kufa, in a caravan.
Without any saddles, on camels' bare-backs
The ladies were put in a sheep like pack
Bound hand and foot, with ropes and chains
Children's necks were tied with their hands.
Burning with fever and heavily chained
Zainal Abedeen was marched, though in pain
The heads of the martyrs, carried on spears
Headed the procession of Muhammad's dears.
Kufa was reached in a few hectic hours
Shimr and Khooli gloated, over and over
To the governor was sent a courier
The caravan stopped at a barrier.
Zaynab and Kulthum had resided for four years
In Kufa as daughters of Islam's ruler
Now, they were captives of those Muslims,
Who were steeped in vices and sins.
The grand daughters of the Prophet of Islam
Were too noble, to cause anyone least harm
Helpless victims of those followers of Muhammad;
The lofty principles of Islam were thrown in mud.
O' Kufa, recall the days of glory of Zaynab!
The honored daughter of the noblest of Arabs
For four years, Kufians vied with each other
Every wish of theirs to fulfill like a mother.
The same Kufa now wore a festive look
People gathered in every corner and nook
To watch the grand daughters of Muhammad
People of Kufa were now thirsty for their blood.
Heading the caravan, the town crier was crying aloud
The prisoners are Zaynab and Kulthum, beyond doubt
Husayn and his followers have all been slain,
By Yazid's might and power, on Karbala's plain.
All who question Yazid, such is their fate
Beware, lest you be subjected to such hate
If you obey Yazid, without any question
Rewards will be plenty and pleasingly handsome.
When the identity was revealed, some were sad
Ladies and children of the house of Muhammad;
Could they be captives and his grand-son murdered?
None, however, dared protest; they merely shuddered.
It was noon, the sun increasingly blazing
Continuous pleading for water, Zaynab was facing
It was futile, to ask the brutes for water
Zaynab was explaining to Husayn's daughter.
A lady in balcony, saw the plight of Sakina
Rushing down with water, she was in a dilemma
She went to Sakina, breaking the police cordon
A tumbler of cool water; O' merciful heaven!
Was it Umm Ayman? Zaynab was not sure
Two decades had passed, since the days of yore
"I am thankful for your noble gesture,
May God, on you, His blessings shower."
She was astonished and completely dazed
Zaynab brushed aside the hair, from her face
The same Zaynab, whom she adored and venerated,
Was now a picture of woe, a victim of fate.
Kissing Zaynab's feet, out of reverence
Umm Ayman, weepingly, asked for forgiveness;
Lest, such display rouse public sympathy
The guards pounced and whipped, Ayman, mercilessly.
Thrown aside, she weepingly complained to Allah
The caravan proceeded to the court of Obeidullah
Seated on a throne, holding his royal court
The prisoners were marched in the villain's fort.
Seeing Zaynab and Kulthum, he ordered his men
To place at his feet, the head of Husayn;
He mockingly inquired, the son of a bitch'
"Are these slave girls or children of Prophet?"
as per the parting promise given to Husayn
Zaynab, who was controlling herself, lost restrain
"We are grand-daughters of your acknowledged Prophet,
Sisters of Husayn, whom your henchmen murdered!"
In frenzy, she gave him a bit of her mind
"You are the stooge of Yazid, O' you fiend!
He has flouted all the principles of Islam
The house of Prophet, he has unjustifiably harmed!"
"He has trampled all ethical concepts
reduced all beings to a condition abject
your success, is ephimeral, be sure
very soon, God's wrath, you will endure."
Ibn Ziad, was stunned by this bold rebuke
His embarrassment was apparent, though he fumed
The awe inspiring atmosphere of the court
Held no terrors for Zaynab and Kulthum, both.
He looked around to see the devastating effect
If she went on, the masses would defect
He shouted at the top of his heartless voice
Undaunted by threats, Zaynab dared him twice!
She projected the issues, the sacrifices of Husayn;
Most poignantly, she recalled his piety and fame
A blind companion of the Prophet, Ziad bin Arkan
Protested at the indignities on founders of Islam.
Ibn Ziad, shouting him down, ordered his removal
By nature, he was crafty and vindictively cruel
He hurriedly dismissed the corrupt court
"Carry the prisoners to Damascus", he roared.