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Departing from Karbala’ - Part 2

When Zainab al-Kubra, daughter of ‘Ali (‘a),21 read his face, she felt upset on his account and took to consoling him and admonishing him to be patient although even the mountains could not match him in his patience and fortitude. Among what she said to him is the following:
“Why do I see you pleading for death, O the legacy of my grandfather, of my father and brothers? By Allah, this is something which Allah had divulged to your grandfather (S) and to your father (‘a).

Allah took a covenant from people whom you do not know, the mighty ones on this land, and who are known to the people of the heavens, that they would gather these severed parts and wounded corpses and bury them, then shall they set up on this Taff a banner for the grave of your father, the Master of Martyrs (‘a), the traces of which shall never be obliterated, nor shall it ever be wiped out so long as there is day and night.

And the leaders of apostasy and the promoters of misguidance shall try their best to obliterate and efface it, yet it shall get more and more lofty instead.”22
To Allah do I complain about the patience of Zainab the pure
How many a tribulation did she have to endure?
From the calamities and from the pain
From pains, from which death is welcome, she did suffer.
She witnessed the men of dignity from her people of honour
On the ground slaughtered in a row without cover:
The winds on their corpses freely blow,
The beasts over their bodies come and go.
Her people's chief lying slain she saw,
To them did the folks’ swords deal many a blow.
She saw heads on the lances carried
And corpses with only sands shrouded.
She saw an infant with an arrow waned
And children after their father orphaned.
She saw the enemies gleeful, with their misery pleased,
She saw how with her brother they dealt every foul deed.23
Zajr Ibn Qays came to them and shouted at them to leave as he kept whipping them. Others surrounded them and mounted them on camel humps.24
Zainab the wise rode her own she-camel. She recollected the days of lofty honour and inviolable prestige, guarded by fierce and honourable lions of ‘Abd al-Muttalib's offspring, surrounded by anxious swords and polished spears. And she was surrounded by servants who would not enter without her permission.
None like her prestige in the morning was
Nor like her condition on the after-noon.
Where is she going? To what fate?
What is her refuge and what is her aim?
On whose shoulder should she lean
When she was conveyed, and her cameleer rebukes,
And Shimr is her cameleer?
O Muhammad! Light the house for Zainab so
Even in the night none can see her shadow.
How I wish on the Taff your eyes saw
Your daughters' ornaments to looters did go.
Their ears torn, either slain or widowed,
Moaning like camels that lost their young.
To Allah do I complain and say:
Allah help him how he was bereaved,
And suddenly both prestige and men deceased.
No loss by death is to them a cause of complain
Except it was done by those who were not humane,
And with humiliation they were treated,
They received the night in a condition that
Before it you would stand and feel awfully,
If only you stand to think about it carefully.25
21. Zainab, titled “al-Kubra,” is the daughter of Fatima al-Zahra’ (‘a). She is identified as such by al-Tabari on p. 89, Vol. 6, of his Tarikh and by Ibn al-Athir on p. 158, Vol. 3, of his book Al-Kamil. In his book Al-Ma’arif, Ibn Qutaybah says, “Zainab al-Kubra daughter of Fatima (‘a) was the wife of ‘Abdullah Ibn Ja’far. She gave birth to a number of sons.”
22. Ibn Qawlawayh, Kamil al-Ziyarat, p. 361, chapter 88, virtues of Karbala’ and merits of visiting the gravesite of al-Husayn (‘a).
23. This poem by the authority Ayatullah Shaikh Hadi Kashif al-Ghiťa’, may Allah sanctify him, is recorded in full on p. 61 of Al-Maqbula al-Husayniyya.
24. al-Qazwini, Tazallum al-Zahra’, p. 177.
25. Excerpted from a poem by the trusted authority Shaikh Muhammad Tahir who belongs to the family of the sect's faqih, Shaikh Radi, may Allah sanctify him.
Adapted from: "Maqtal al-Husayn; Martyrdom Epic of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.)" by: "Abd al-Razzaq al-Muqarram"

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