Today is ‘Ashura’ dayl Today is the day of the 10th of Muharram.
‘Ashura’ day is the most tragic day for all Muslims, in particular Shi'as.
The Day of ‘Ashura’…
The day, when 72 brave and faithful men were martyred… The day of great sacrifice… The day Islam was saved from destruction.
The Day of ‘Ashura’…
The day the Holy Prophet leaves Heaven to join us in mourning, the day Mawla ‘Ali leaves Heaven……..The day Bibi Fatimah leaves Heaven, to cry with us, for the 72 martyrs.
The Day of ‘Ashura’……..A very sad day…….A day full of tragedy.
What shall we recite today? Which tragedy shall we remember today? So much suffering! So many dead! So much sacrifice! So much patience!
Who shall we cry for today? Who shall we do matam for today?
So much to cry for. So much to do matam for.
My friends, if we do not cry today, when else would we cry?
If we do not do matam today, when else would we do matam?
Traditionally, we recite the Shahadat of Imam Husayn today. My fellow Husayni! I have neither the courage nor the heart to recite in detail the Shahadat of Imam Husayn.
Bibi Fatimah is with us. She would like us to recite the last farewell of Husayn from Sakina, Zainab, Kulthoom and the other ladies.
‘Ashura’ came to the land of Karbala’.
‘Ali Akbar gave the Adhan. Everyone prayed Fajr Salat (Prayer).
Yazid's men blew the trumpets to start the battle.
The battle began.
One-by-one, Husayn's friends and companions went to the battlefield and gave their lives for Islam.
By Zuhr time, all the friends and companions were martyred.
‘Aun - Muhammad, Bibi Zainab's young sons, went to the baftlefield and were martyred.
Qasim, Bibi Farwah’s only son, went to the battlefield and was martyred and trampled by the horses.
‘Abbas could not bear the sad cries of “Al-Atash! Al-Atash! Al-Atash!”, from his beloved niece, Sakina. He went to get water and did not return. His arms were severed.
‘Ali Akbar, the 18 year old youth, went to the battlefield and was martyred with a dreadful wound in his chest.
Since dawn, Imam Husayn had carried 72 bodies to the camp.
Husayn was thirsty, tired, heartbroken…….but he kept on!
Patience was his prayer. And sacrifice to save Islam was his goal.
All Husayn was worried about was saving Islam.
By Asr time, Husayn was left with his baby ‘Ali Asghar and his son, Sayyid al-Sajjad - Imam Zainul Abideen who was ill.
‘Ali Asghar was very thirsty. Husayn took his baby son to get some water.
‘Ali Asghar, the young soldier, did not get any water. Instead he got an arrow in his neck.
Imam Husayn and Bibi Rubab dug a grave themselves and buried ‘Ali Asghar.
Our poor Imam inflicted with so much suffering in just one day!
So many dead in one day!
Husayn is all alone, thirsty, tired and heartbroken. he stood in the centre of the camp and cried out:
“My salaam to you, O Zainab, O Umm Kulthoom! My salaam to you O Ruqayya! O Kubra! O Sakina! My salaam to you O Rubab! O Laila! O Umm Farwah! O Amma Fizza!…... Fi aman Allah! Fi aman Allah!”
All the ladies gathered around Husayn. They all cried and cried as they said their last farewell to Husayn.
“Zainab . . . . Take me to my son, Zainul Abideen. Zainab, let me say Fi aman Allah to my son, Sayyid al-Sajjad.”
Husayn and Zainab went to Imam Zainul Abideen's tent.
Sayyid al-Sajjad was lying unconscious on his bed. Bibi Zainab shook his shoulder and said:
“Son, Sajjad! Your father has come to see you.
Sayyid al-Sajjad opened his eyes. He saw his father, who was wearing white clothes, marked with blood spots everywhere. “My son Sajjad! I have come to say Fi aman Allah. I am going to the battlefield.”
“Why you Baba? Where is Habib Ibn Mazaahir?”
“Qutil, my son! Habib has been killed, my son.”
“Baba! Baba! ainna aaina, ‘Abbas? Baba, where is uncle ‘Abbas?”
“Qutil, my son, qutil. ‘Abbas has been killed, my son.”
“Baba…., ainna ainna ‘Ali Akbar? Where is ‘Ali Akbar?”
“Qad qutil ‘Ali Akbar has been killed, son Sajjad.”
Tears poured from Husayn's and Zainab's eyes, as Sayyid al-Sajjad enquired about ‘Ali Akbar.
“Son Sajjad! Don't ask me about anyone else! My son, everyone is dead, except for you and me”
Sayyid al-Sajjad tried to get up from his bed. He said:
“Auntie! Auntie Zainab! Give me my sword. I will go to the battlefield. I will save my father's life.”
“No, son Sajjad, no! You are too sick for Jihad. Son Sajjad, your Jihad is still to come.”
Imam Husayn continued…….
“Son Sajjad, you will have a lot of work to do after my death. You will face lots of hardship and suffering, my son. Sajjad! Stay on the true path. Son Sajjad, do not be afraid to fight for truth and justice. Sajjad……Just be patient! Son Sajjad, maintain your patience at all times. Son, Allah is with people who remain patient. Patience, my son, patience.”
Imam Husayn continued:
“My son Sajjad, convey my salaam to all my friends, my Shi'as, when you reach Medina. Son Sajjad, do tell them Husayn died for truth and justice. Lastly, my son, tell my Shi'as to remember me whenever they drink water, Fi aman Allah, my son, Fi aman Allah.”
Imam Husayn and Bibi Zainab left the tent.
“Sister Zainabl My last will to you. Zainab, I am leaving you in charge of this caravan. Sister Zainab, take care of Sayyid al-Sajjad. My sister, Zainab, I am leaving Imamat under your protection. Zainab……, O my sister Zainab! Look after my little Sakina. She will cry a lot after my death.”
Tears flowed from Husayn's eyes as he spoke about Sakina.
“Sister Zainab, be patient. Patience, my sister, patience. My sister Zainab! Fi aman Allah!”
Imam Husayn walked to his horse. Husayn had helped everyone to mount their horses, but now……Husayn is alone. There is no-one to help him mount his horse.
Bibi Zainab saw her brother struggling to get on the horse.
“Brother Husayn, bring your horse nearer my tent. My brother, let me help you.”
Bibi Zainab held the reins as Husayn mounted his horse, Zuljiana.
Zuljana moved a few steps and stopped. Husayn gently stroked the horse's neck and said:
“My faithful horse, I know you are thirsty. I know you are tired.
You have been helping me carry the bodies from the battlefield since dawn.
My faithful horse, for the last time, take me to the battlefield. I will not bother you after that. Please Zuljana, let us go.
With tears in his eyes, the horse turned his neck and looked down at his legs.
What did Husayn see?
My friends, you will not be able to stop the tears flowing from your eyes.
Husayn saw his beloved daughter Sakina clinging to the horse's legs. Sakina - only four years old. Sakina - the answer to Husayn's prayers for a daughter - Sakina who loved Husayn like Bibi Fatimah loved Husayn.
Sakina, the delight of Husayn's heart.
Little Sakina was crying and saying:
“O horse! Do not take my father away. No, horse, no. You will not bring my father back. Since dawn, everyone who has gone to the battlefield has not come back. Please, horse, do not take my father away. I will not be able to live without my father. Please, horse, please.”
What a tragic scene. This is when Bibi Fatimah cries most. She knows how Husayn felt. Husayn loved Sakina very much.
Husayn got off his horse.
“My darling Sakina. Do not cry my love! Did you not give me permission to go? Sakina…….go, my darling, go. Go and recite duas with your auntie and mother. Your grandmother is waiting for me.
“Father, I am so used to sleeping on your chest every night. Tell me, father, how will I go to sleep without you. Father, one last request! Please let me lie down one more time on your chest, father.”
Husayn laid down on the sands of Karbala’. Little Sakina put her head on her fathers chest.
After a few seconds, Sakina got up and said:
“Go, father, go. Fi aman Allah, father.”
Husayn mounted his horse and headed for the battlefield. Thirsty, tired, wounded and heartbroken………
Husayn was not a coward. He was brave and strong. Husayn was the son of ‘Ali.
Husayn fought the battle with his greatest might.
One-by-one, Husayn killed the best warriors of Yazid.
The enemy were pushed back by the mighty Husayn.
Our great Imam fought like a lion. He was the best.
No-one dared come near our Imam.
Imam Husayn reached the banks of River Furaat. He saw ‘Abbas lying there.
“‘Abbas! My brother, ‘Abbas! Did you see me fight? ‘Abbas, did you see my Jihad? My brother, ‘Abbas, I wish you were with me. We would have fought the battle together, ‘Abbas.”
At that moment, Angel Jibrael appeared in the sky and said:
“O Husayn! Allah is very pleased with your bravery. Husayn! The time has come to put your sword down. Enough, Husayn, enough. Come to us, Husayn, we are waiting for you.”
Husayn heard Allah's command. He put his sword down.
The enemies saw Husayn put his sword down. They attacked our Imam from all sides.
Arrows were shot at Husayn. Husayn was attacked with swords.
People who did not have arrows or swords, threw stones at Husayn.
Allahu Akbar! Our poor Imam……..With a thousand wounds…Bleeding…Blood gushing out of the wounds.
Husayn could not stay on his horse. He fell from his horse.
My fellow Husayni! Our Imam is covered with arrows.
Imagine his fall on the land of Karbala’!
He falls but his body does not touch the ground.
Husayn's body rests on the arrow blades.
Enough! Enough! Enough!
A black slave from Yazid's camp comes to Husayn.
He has a dagger in his hand. He wants to cut off Imam Husayn's head from his Holy body. Imam Husayn looked at the slave and said:
“My friend, you look so much like Bilal, the Holy Prophet's companion. Have you prayed the Dhuhr Salat (Prayer)?”
The black slave threw away the dagger and ran off screaming:
“What am I doing? How can I cut off this man's head? Such a pious man He is dying but still remembers to remind me of Salat (Prayer).
Shimr, the most evil of Yazid's men, walked to Imam Husayn. He had a big dagger in his hand. Imam made a request to him.' “O Shimr, I know your intention. I beg of you to give me a little time to do two sajdah.”
Husayn did the first sajdah on the musallah of arrows:
“O Allah! All Praise is to You and You Alone!”
Husayn lifted his head and went down to perform his second sajdah.
Shimr did not let Imam Husayn lift his head from this last sajdah.
The earth trembled. The sky turned black.
Jibrael cried out:
“Husayn has been killed in Karbala’! Husayn has been killed in Karbala’!”
Bibi Zainab saw her brother's head on a lance, She cried out:
Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaih Raja’oon!
We are from Allah and to Him we will return!
Ya Husayn! Ya Husayn! Ya Husayn!