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The Imam Husayn's (a.s.) Son, 'Ali al-Akbar

By now, no one was left but the Imam's family. The first one that came forward was 'Ali al-Akbar. He was twenty-seven years old, born on the 11th of Sha'ban in the 33 Hijrah (653 CE). He was similar to the Prophet in his features and speech. The women were very upset when he volunteered to fight. His mother was related to Abu Sufyan (Yazid's grandfather) because she was the daughter of Maymunah, the daughter of Abu Sufyan.

Because of this, a man called to 'Ali al-Akbar and said, "You have a relationship to the leader of the faithful Yazid, and we want to honor that relationship. If you want clemency we will give it to you."
'Ali al-Akbar replied, "The relationship of the Messenger of God is more important that your relationship," and he attacked the enemies while reciting this poetry:

"I am 'Ali son of Husayn son of 'Ali
We are closer to the Prophet than any
Indeed, Ibn Ziyad does not rule over us
I will fight to protect my father
The fighting of a Qurayshi and Hashemi."

When the Imam heard that, he cried and said, "'Umar Ibn Sa'd, you did not honor the relationship to the Prophet. May God send someone to kill you in your bed." Then he said, "O, God! Indeed, the one who is most like the Prophet in his features, manners, and his talk, has gone to them.

Whenever we wanted to be reminded of the Prophet, we looked at him. O, God! Prevent from them the blessings of the earth, and divide them and do not make anyone pleased with them." Then he recited: "Indeed, God has chosen Adam and Noah and the House of Abraham and the House of 'Imran over the worlds." 1

'Ali al-Akbar fought once on the right flank, then again on the left flank and killed one hundred and twenty horsemen. He came back to his father so thirsty, that the Imam cried and said, "Soon you will see your grandfather. He will give you water which you will never forget." He put his tongue on his son's tongue to show him how dry his own mouth was, and then gave him his ring to put in his mouth and whet his mouth with it.

'Ali al-Akbar went back again to fight until he killed eighty more soldiers.

Meanwhile, on the enemy side, Hurrah Ibn Munqidh said, "I am going to kill this boy," and went after him. He hit 'Ali in the back with a spear, then hit him on the head. 'Ali leaned forward and hugged the neck of his horse, and the horse kept going forward until they were at the enemy's side, and they started cutting him into pieces. He screamed to his father the Imam saying, "To you, from me, peace! O, father!" This is my grandfather giving me my water and he says yours is here waiting for you."

The Imam reached him, scattered the soldiers away, put his cheek on his son's cheek, and said,

"There is nothing good in this world after you. Now disgraceful are these people against God, by humiliating the family of the Prophet. It is difficult for your father and grandfather that you call them but they do not answer you. You call them for help but they cannot help you." The Imam then asked the others to take 'Ali al-Akbar to the tent. The women all cried and beat their chests. Next, 'Abdullah Ibn Muslim Ibn 'Aqil attacked the enemy and killed three of them. Yazid al-Raqqad shot an arrow at him. 'Abdullah tried to block it with his hand, but it hit him in the forehead and he could not take it out. Another arrow pierced through his heart and he died.

Then, among the People of Abu Talib, all of the remaining men went in one group and attacked the enemy. Awn Ibn 'Abdullah Ibn Ja'far al-Tayyar, his brother Muhammad, 'Abdul Rahman Ibn 'Aqil, his brother Ja'far, Muhammad Ibn Muslim Ibn 'Aqil, Hasan al-Muthanna, Muhammad Ibn 'Ali Amir al-Mu'minin, and 'Abdullah Ibn 'Aqil all went to fight.

1. The Holy Qur'an; Sura of Aal-Imran 3:34.

Adapted from the book: "Karbala & Ashura" by: "Ali Hussain Jalali"

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