Today is the 6th night of Muharram.
Our majaalis continue. Insha’Allah, our eyes will shed more tears for the martyrs of Karbala’.
We will do more Matam al-Husayn.
“Husayn! Karbala’! Matam! Majaalis!”
When these words echo from the walls of our mosque, a lady in black hijab joins us. She is Bibi Fatimah. She watches us. She cries with us. She collects our tears.
Cry! Cry for Husayn! Inshallah, our tears will not be wasted. Our tears for Husayn will become our weapons against the hardships in our grave and on the Day of Judgement.
Husayn is in Karbala’. He hardly has 72 men with him. They are not all grown up adults. Some of Husayn's men are children. ‘Aun and Muhammad, Bibi Zainab's young sons are there. ‘Aun is only 13 years old. Muhammad is only 11 years old.
Tonight is the night of these two children, ‘Aun - Muhammad.
First, let us send our greetings to those mothers of Karbala’ who sacrificed their children for Islam. Lucky are those mothers of Karbala’ whose children willingly and happily sacrificed their young lives for Islam.
Tonight, let us first comfort those mothers of Karbala’ who were proud to sacrifice their children for Islam.
Mothers of Karbala’! Mother of ‘Aun - Muhammad, Bibi Zainab; mother of Qasim, Umm Farwah; mother of ‘Ali Akbar, Umm Laila; mother of Al Asghar, Umm Rubab.
Mothers of Karbala’ were proud of their children. They loved their children. Of course, like any mother they had the heart of a mother. A mother loves her children the most.
“Why then, did the Mothers of Karbala’ let their children die in Karbala’?'
They knew Husayn was on the Right Path. They knew their sacrifices would help save Islam and us from the Fire of Hell.
Mothers of Karbala’ squashed their motherly love and sacrificed their children for Husayn - for Islam!
How can we, the Husayni, ever forget those Mothers of Karbala’?
Why shouldn't we cry and do matam for the Mothers of Karbala’ and their children ‘Aun - Muhammad, Qasim, ‘Ali Akbar and ‘Ali Asghar.
Majaalis al-Karbala’ will never die. Matam al-Karbala’ will never die. Yazids of yesterday have failed to stop it.
Yazids of today will not be able to stop it. Yazids of tommorrow may try thousands of times to crush it, but Majaalis al-Husayn, Matam al-Karbala’, will not die. Allah Himself has promised to keep the name of Husayn alive till the Day of Judgement.
Let us now focus our minds on Karbala’.
Days and nights of Muharram unfolded on the land of Karbala’.
The night of the 9th of Muharram came. ‘Ashura’ night, a very tragic night and the last night of the martyrs of Karbala’.
No-one in Husayn's camp slept on ‘Ashura’ night.
Men spent the whole night praying, reciting duas and the Holy Quran.
Mothers of Karbala’ were preparing their children.
The next day was ‘Ashura’ day. The day of the battle of Karbala’.
What were the mothers telling their children? To be careful? To hide and save their lives?
No! They were telling their children to sacrifice their lives.
They were telling them to die! Didn't they love their children? Or course they did! They had the heart of a mother. They were proud of their children. They loved their children very much. Then why were they telling their children to sacrifice their lives? To die?
Because, THEY KNEW HUSAYN WAS ON THE RIGHT PATH!
Because, THEIR SACRIFICE WOULD SAVE ISLAM!
Because, Allah would be pleased with them!
Now, let us listen to what the mothers of Karbala’ were telling their children on the right of ‘Ashura’.
Umm Laila is with her son, ‘Ali Akbar.
“My darling son, ‘Ali Akbar, tomorrow is the day of the battle. My son, ‘Ali Akbar, remember your life is not more important than the life of your father. Your father's life will be in danger tomorrow. My darling, don't hesitate to give your life to protect your father's life.”
Umm Rubab is with her baby, ‘Ali Asghar.
“My baby Asghar, I wish you were a young man. I would have sacrificed your life to save your father's life.”
Umm Farwah is with her son, Qasim.
“Qasim! My son, my darling. If your father was alive today, he would have sacrificed his life first. My daring, don't embarrass me in front of your father on the Day of Judgement. Qasim, my son, do not hesitate to sacrifice your life to protect your uncle's life.
Umm Kulthoom, Imam Husayn's sister, was sitting alone, weeping.
‘Abbas, her brother, heard her crying. He came to her tent.
“My sister, Kulthoom, why are you crying? What's the matter?”
“‘Abbas! Tomorrow is the day of sacrifice. I have no children to sacrifice.”
“My sister, Kulthoom! Don't cry. ‘Abbas is still alive. Tomorrow I will sacrifice my life as a gift on your behalf. I will be your sacrifice,”
Bibi Zainab is with her two sons, ‘Aun - Muhammad.
“My sons, ‘Aun - Muhammad, tomorrow is the day of battle. Your uncle, Husayn's life will be in danger. My darlings, if anything happens to Uncle Husayn, while you are still alive, I will be filled with shame. My ‘Aun - Muhammad, I will not be able to face your grandmother, Bibi Fatimah, on the Day of Judgement. Please, my dearest sons, don't let me down. Be the first ones to sacrifice your lives.”
‘Ali Akbar gave the Adhan. Imam Husayn led the Fajr prayers.
The day was already very hot. The battle began.
Imam Husayn's army of 72 thirsty and hungry men, against 20,000 of Yazid's men.
Hurr went to the battlefield and was martyred by Yazid's beasts.
One-by-one, Husayn's companions went to the battlefield and were killed.
Since dawn, Bibi Zainab was watching the bodies being brought to the tent - one-by-one.
She called her sons, ‘Aun - Muhammad.
“My sons, what are you waiting for? Why have you not been to the battlefield yet? Go and fight the enemies of Islam.”
“Mother, since dawn, we have been to Uncle Husayn many times for permission to fight. He keeps refusing us. Mother, you help us. Ask Uncle Husayn to give us permission to fight Jihad.”
Bibi Zainab called her brother, Husayn, to her tent.
“Brother Husayn! I have been like a mother to you, haven't I? Husayn, your mother is begging you to let ‘Aun - Muhammad go to the battlefield.”
“Zainab, my sister, Jihad is not wajib on children. How can I let my sister's sons be killed while I am still alive? No, Zainab, no!”
“Husayn, my brother! If ‘Ali Akbar dies before ‘Aun- Muhammad, how will I be able to face our mother on the Day of Judgement. My brother, I will be filled with shame. Please, brother! Let them go.”
Husayn saw the disappointment on Zainab's face. Her eyes were filled with tears.
Husayn put his arms around ‘Aun - Muhammad and led them to their horses. He kissed them and helped them mount their horses.
“Go, go and show those beastly men that you have the blood of Ja’far and ‘Ali in your veins.”
‘Aun - Muhammad looked at their mother and said:
“ Fi aman Allah, mother! Fi aman Allah, mother!”
“Fi aman Allah, my sons.”
‘Aun - Muhammad rode out on to the battlefield. They fought bravely together. They were the grandsons of Ja’far and ‘Ali. They pushed the enemies back. Hundreds of Yazid's men were killed.
‘Abbas and Husayn watched the two brothers fight so fiercely despite being thirsty for three days. ‘Abbas, who had trained ‘Aun - Muhammad in the art of sword fighting, was filled with pride.
Umar Saad, Yazid's commander, got worried. He ordered his soldiers to separate the two brothers and then attack them from all sides.
‘Aun - Muhammad were separated. Each one was then surrounded by Yazid's soldiers.
The two brothers were attacked by horsemen running from one side to another. ‘Aun - Muhammad were attacked with arrows, swords, spears and daggers from all sides.
How much can two young children, thirsty and hungry for three days take? As they fell, they called out for their uncle.
'Uncle! Came quickly! Uncle, come and help us.”
Husayn and ‘Abbas rushed to the battlefield.
The children were severely wounded. They were taking their last breaths.
“Uncle, give our salaam to our mother. Uncle, please tell our mother that just as she had told us, we did not go towards the river”.
Imam Husayn and ‘Abbas carried the two young bodies to the tent.
‘Ali Akbar cried out:
My brothers, ‘Aun - Muhammad, have been killed.”
Zainab heard the cry from her tent. She did not cry. She laid her muslah and performed a sajdah.
Ya, Allah I thank you for accepting my sacrifice. Ya, Allah! I am proud of my two sons who have given their lives for Islam!”
‘Aun – Muhammad’s bodies were laid on the floor. The ladies gathered around. They cried and did matam.
“ Ya ‘Aunna, ya Muhammada! Ya ‘Aunna, ya Muhammada!”
Zainab did not cry. She did not do matam for ‘Aun- Muhammad.
Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaih Raja’oon!
We are from Allah and to Him we will return!