Majlis 9: Hazrat ‘Ali Akbar
Tonight is the night of 9th Muharram.
It is the second night without water.
It is very hot in Karbala’. Children cannot sleep.
How can they? They are very thirsty and hungry.
The sound of “Al-Atash! Al-Atash! Al-Atash!” breaks Husayn's heart.
What can Husayn do? He is patient.
For the sake of Allah, he is bearing it all.
More is to come. Husayn's patience and sacrifice will be tested further.
On ‘Ashura’ day…….Husayn sacrificed all his faithful friends but remained patient.
‘Aun - Muhammad were killled. Yet Husayn remained patient.
Qasim was torn to pieces. Yet Husayn remained patient.
‘Abbas' arms were severed. Yet Husayn remained patient.
How much can Husayn bear? How much more can he sacrifice?
My fellow Husayni for the sake of Islam, Husayn, our Imam, sacrificed the most precious thing in his life - His teenage son, his 18 year-old son – ‘Ali Akbar!
Tonight, my fellow Husayni, we will cry more and we will do more matam.
Bibi Fatimah will cry with us. Mawla ‘Ali will join us. Husayn will pray with us. Husayn and Zainab will cry with us.
Tonight, is the night of the teenage son of Husayn, the life of Husayn, the darling of Zainab and Umm Laila, the image of the Holy Prophet - Tonight is the night of ‘Ali Akbar!
The day of ‘Ashura’ unfolded on the land of Karbala’. It was Fajr time. Husayn called his son, ‘Ali Akbar.
“My son, ‘Ali Akbar, go and give the Adhan. ‘Ali Akbar I want to hear the voice of my grandfather. ‘Ali Akbar, you sound so much like your great grandfather, the Holy Prophet.”
‘Ali Akbar's Adhan echoed through the land of Karbala’.
‘Ali Akbar's last Adhan…….It was no ordinary Adhan……..
It was filled with emotion…
Husayn began to cry. He remembered his grandfather.
All the ladies in the tents began to cry. Zainab burst into tears.
Everyone prayed Fajr Salat (Prayer).
Soon after, the battle of Karbala’ began.
One-by-one, Husayn's companions went to the battlefield and were martyred.
‘Aun - Muhammad went. They were martyred too.
Qasim went. He was torn to pieces.
‘Ali Akbar and ‘Abbas helped Husayn, carry the bodies to the tent.
Sakina was thirsty. ‘Abbas went to get water. ‘Abbas did not come back.
Husayn is alone with ‘Ali Akbar.
Heartbroken. Full of grief! So many dead in one day.
How much can Husayn take? Enough - enough - enough.
No, my fellow Husayni more is to come. The greatest sacrifice in history, is to come……..
‘Ali Akbar - the life of Husayn - the teenage son of Husayn - the darling of Husayn - came to his father and said:
“Father, may I now have permission to go for Jihad?”
Allahu Akbar! My fellow Husayni, imagine the scene! Put your hand on your heart and think of what is happening?
A teenage son has come to his old father for permission to DIE! How does a father allow his teenage son - 18 years old - to die?
Poor Husayn! What does he do now? How does he allow his teenage darling son to die?
Husayn is helpless. His promise to Allah had to be honoured.
“My son, ‘Ali Akbar, go, you have my permission, but Akbar, my darling, go and ask permission from your mother. Go and ask permission from Zainab, your auntie who has brought you up. Go, son, go.”
‘Ali Akbar took permission from his mother, Umm Laila.
‘Ali Akbar then went to his auntie, Zainab.
“Auntie Zainab, tell me one thing. Whose life is more important? Your ‘Ali Akbar's, or Bibi Fatimah's son, Husayn's?”
“My son, ‘Ali Akbar, I would sacrifice a thousand lives to save Bibi Fatimah's son - Husayn's life.
Then auntie, do not stop me. Grant me permission. No one is left to save Husayn. Let me go, auntie, let me go.”
“Bismillah, my son. Go my ‘Ali Akbar, go.”
‘Ali Akbar mounted his horse.
Husayn was crying. Umm Laila was crying. Bibi Kulthoom was crying. Zainab was crying.
“Fi aman Allah, mother. Fi aman Allah, father. Fi aman Allah, auntie Kulthoom. Fi aman Allah, auntie Zainab.”
‘Ali Akbar rode to the battlefield.
He heard footsteps following him. He stopped and looked back. What did he see?
His father Husayn, was following him.
With his hands on his back, Husayn was running behind ‘Ali Akbar.
“Father, where are you going? Please father, go back to the tent.”
“My son ‘Ali Akbar, I want to see you as long as I can. I will stop here, my son, but promise me, you will keep on looking back after every few steps. Akbar, my darling, your old father wants to see you as long as he can.”
‘Ali Akbar continued……He looked back every few seconds. Husayn was there watching him.
He reached the battlefield.
‘Ali Akbar fought bravely. He killed many well-known warriors.
‘Ali Akbar came back to his father.
“Father, did you see me fight? I wish uncle ‘Abbas was here to see me. Father, a few drops of water……., father, I am very thirsty. If I could just have a little water, I would send the entire army of Yazid to Hell.”
“My son. come near me. Touch my tongue. See if you can get some comfort from me.”
‘Ali Akbar touched Husayn's tongue.
“Father, your mouth is much drier than mine. Father, you must be more thirsty than myself.”
‘Ali Akbar returned to the battlefield.
Umar Saad ordered his soldiers to kill ‘Ali Akbar.
While a few soldiers together attacked ‘Ali Akbar, one crept up to him and thrust a spear into ‘Ali Akbar's chest.
Allahu Akbar! The spear penetrated Akbar's chest. The handle broke. A sharp blade stuck into Akbar's heart. He felt faint.
‘Ali Akbar fell off his horse. He cried out:
“O Father, accept my last salaam to you.”
‘Ali Akbar did not call his father to come to see him.
Husayn was alone and ‘Ali Akbar did not want to bother his old father.
Husayn rushed to the battlefield.
“My son, my darling, my ‘Ali Akbar, where are you? Speak to your father, my son. Akbar..... Akbar.... My darling… Where are you?”
Husayn saw his son, ‘Ali Akbar. His son was lying on the sands of Karbala’ with both his hands on his chest.
‘Ali Akbar was taking his last breaths.
Poor Husayn! What shall Husayn do now? A father facing his teenage son, dying!
He placed ‘Ali Akbar's head on his lap.
“My son, ‘Ali Akbar, my darling, ‘Ali Akbar, why are you covering your chest? My son, is your chest hurting? Let me look at it, my son.”
“No, father, no! Don't remove my hands from my chest. You will not be able to bear it, father.”
Husayn gently moved ‘Ali Akbar's hands.
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar! What did Husayn see?
What did a father see?
The blade of the spear stuck deep into ‘Ali Akbar's chest. ‘Ali Akbar was in a lot of pain.
What shall Husayn do now? What shall Husayn do now?
Husayn put both his hands on the blade and looked towards Najaf. He cried out loudly:
“Baba, Ya Mushkil Khusha! Help Me!… Baba! It was easy for you to pull out the gates of Khyber… Baba! It is difficult for me to pull out the blade from my son's chest…… Baba! Help me, Baba!”
With a cry of “Ya ‘Ali”, Husayn pulled the blade out.
Blood gushed out of ‘Ali Akbar's chest. Husayn was covered with his son, ‘Ali Akbar's blood.
‘Ali Akbar took his last breath.
What does Husayn do now?
“‘Aun - Muhammad, help me carry your brother's body. Qasim, help me. ‘Abbas, I need your help. Where are you, ‘Abbas?”
Husayn was alone. How does he carry ‘Ali Akbar's body?
Husayn alone could not carry ‘Ali Akbar's body.
He put ‘Ali Akbar's hands around his neck…..
Husayn carried his 18 year old son's body with great difficulty.
‘Ali Akbar's feet dangled, touching the sand of Karbala’.
Poor Husayn! So much patience! So much sacrifice!
As he reached the tent……..he cried out:
“Z-A - I - N - A – B……..Help me, Zainab. Take our ‘Ali Akbar.”
“U-M-M-E - L-A-I-L-A…….Help me. Take your darling….
Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaih Raja’oon!
We are from Allah and to Him we will return!