The Eleventh Night (Shaam -e- Ghariba)

shame20ghariban203And what a night it was for the daughters of the Messenger of Allah (S) whom lofty eminence never forsook ever since they were born! It was only yesterday that they lived in the pavilions of greatness and the chambers of dignity, lit during the day by the sun of Prophethood and during the night by the star of caliphate and by the lanterns emitting the radiance of sanctity. During this night, they were left in the pitch dark, having lost those shining lights, their belongings plundered, their chambers burnt, fear overwhelming them.

They remained among the corpses of those who used to be their protectors. Now they have neither protectors nor defenders. They do not know anyone who could defend them if they were to be attacked, or who would repel those who might terrorize them, or who would calm and pacify those who have lost their loved ones. Yes, there were among them children crying in anguish There were mothers of children waned by the arrows, sisters of those who were martyred, mothers who lost their sons. And they were mourning their dear ones.


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Imam Husain (A)’s final moments

When his condition worsened, al-Husain (A) raised his eyes to the heavens and said,

O Allah! Sublime You are, Great of Might, Omnipotent, Independent of all creation, greatly Proud, Capable of doing whatever You please, Forthcoming in mercy, True of Promise, Inclusive of Blessings, Clement, Near to those who invoke Him, Subduing His creation, Receptive to Repentance, Able, Overpowering, Appreciative when thanked, Remembering those who remember Him! You do I call upon out of my want, and You do I seek out of need! From You do I seek help when in fear and cry when depressed! Your help do I seek in my weakness, and upon You do I rely! O Allah! Judge between us and our people, for they deceived and betrayed us! They were treacherous to us, and they killed us though we are the ‘Itrat of Your Prophet and the offspring of the one You love: Muhammad (S) whom You chose for Your Message and entrusted with the revelation! Do find an ease for our affair and an exit, O most Merciful of all merciful ones! [786]

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The Infant – Ali Asgher (A)

When al-’Abbas was killed, al-Husain (A) turned to see none to help him against his foes. He looked and saw how his family members and companions lied slaughtered on the ground. He heard the wailing of the orphans and the cries of the children. As loud as he could, he called out, “Is there anyone who defends the sanctity of the Messenger of Allah? Is there anyone who believes in the Unity of Allah and who fears Allah in our regard? Is there anyone who comes to our rescue and who wishes by doing so to please Allah?” The women’s voices now grew even louder as they cried. [730]

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Hadhrat Ali Akber (A)

aliakberwebNone remained with al-Husain (A) except his Ahl al-Bayt who were determined to face death with their might and to maintain their dignity. They came bidding each other farewell [661] the first being Abul-Hasan [662] ‘Ali al-Akbar [663] who was twenty-seven years old. He was born on the 11th of Sha’ban, 33 AH/653 AD [664], and he was a mirror reflecting the Prophet’s own beauty and a model of his own sublime code of ethics, a specimen of his wise speech One poet of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) praised him saying:

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Asalaamu ‘alayka Ya Abu Fadhl Abbas

Al-’Abbas could no longer bear life after having seen how his companions and the members of his family killed and how the Hujjah of his time was suffering from the great number of the enemies surrounding him after his supply route had been cut off and after hearing the women wailing and the children crying of thirst. He, therefore, sought permission from his brother. Since al-’Abbas (A) was the most precious asset to the grandson of the Prophet (S), who is soon to be martyred, especially since the foes always dreaded having to fight him and feared his advance, and how the ladies felt a sense of security upon seeing the standard raised high, the sacred soul of the Father of the Oppressed did not accept to part with him.

The Imam (A) said to him, “O brother! You are my standard-bearer! [718] Al-’Abbas (A) said, “I am fed-up with these hypocrites, and I want to seek revenge against them.” Al-Husain (A) ordered him to bring water for the children, so al-’Abbas went to those people and admonished them, warning them of the Wrath of the Omnipotent, but all of that fell on deaf ears. He then shouted: “O ‘Umar Ibn Sa’d! Here is al-Husain son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah! You have killed his companions and family, and here are his children suffering from thirst! Give them some water, for thirst has burnt their hearts!” As he kept repeating his pleas, he also kept saying to them, “Let me go to Rome or to India, and I shall leave Hijaz and Iraq for you all.

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Hadhrat Qasim ibn Hassan (A)

qasimHadhrat Qasim was the youngest son of Imaam Hassan (A). Qasim was born in 47 AH, three years before his father was martyred. When Imam Hussain prepared to leave Madina in the month of Rajab 60 AH. Qasim’s mother Umme-e-Farwa asked Imaam Hussain to take her and Qasim with him. Imam Hussain agreed. Hazrat Qasim, although only 13 years old, had, like his cousins Aun and Muhammad, learnt fencing from Hadhrat Abbas and Hadhrat Ali Akber. Hazrat Abbas was very fond of Hadhrat Qasim.

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Hadhrat Aun and Muhammad

aunmohammedAun and Muhammad were the sons of Bibi Zainab. They had not accompanied Bibi Zainab when she left Madina with Imaam Hussain (A). Just before Imaam Hussain started his journey from Mecca, Hazrat Abdullah ibne Jaffer brought his two sons to Mecca and handing them over to Imaam Hussain said, “Ya Imaam, since you have decided to go and will not allow me to come with you, please take my two sons with you. Aun will represent his maternal grandfather Hazrat Ali (A) and the other will represent his paternal grandfather Hazrat Jaffer-e-Tayyaar“.

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Habib ibn Mazahir

Bibi Zainab said to her brother: “Brother Husayn! Thousands of soldiers are gathering to fight you. We have hardly 72 men with us. Do you not have anyone to come to your help?

My sister Zainab, many wanted to join me during the journey from Medina to Kerbala. I politely discouraged them because their intention was not truthful. Many joined and have run away during the journey because they were scared of dying.”

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Hurr repents

Having heard al-Husain’s speech and his plea for help, al-Hurr came to ‘Umar Ibn Sa’d and said, “Are you going to fight this man?” “Yes, by Allah,” said ‘Umar, adding, “a fight in the easiest part of which heads will roll down and hands will be cut off.” Al-Hurr asked him, “What is your objection to his offer of departure?” ‘Umar answered: “Had it been up to me, I would have accepted it, but your governor refuses.

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Arrival in Karbala

His arrival at Karbala’ took place on Muharram 2, 61 A.H/October 5, 680 A.D. [64] He gathered his children, sisters, and other family members. He cast a look at them then burst in tears. He supplicated saying, “O Allah! We are the progeny of Your Prophet Muhammad! We have been expelled and estranged from our grandfather’s sanctuary, and Banu Umayyah oppressed us. O Allah! Seek revenge on them on our behalf, and grant us victory over the oppressing people.

He approached his companions saying, “People are the worshippers of this life, giving religion their lip-service; they uphold it as long as their livelihood is profitable. Once they are afflicted with a trial, few, indeed, will be those who uphold religion.” [65]

Then he praised Allah and glorified Him, blessing Muhammad and his Progeny, adding,

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