The Infant Martyr
When Abbas was killed, Imam Hussain searched around only to find out that there was no one who could bail him out; he looked to his family and companions to find them slain like sacrificial lambs; in the meantime he used to hear the incessant crying and wailing of his children and women, whereupon he repeated his plea, "Is there not a protector who can defend the sanctity of the Prophet? Is there not a believer who may fear God of that which is befalling us? Is there not a deliverer who may aspire to God's reward in alleviating our distress?" The crescendo of women and children crying and waiting reached a new peak.
As-Sajjad, Ali son of Hussain got up leaning on a stick and dragging his sword for he was ill and could hardly move. Hussain shouted at Umm Kulthoom, "Do not let him lest the earth should be devoid of the stock of the posterity of Mohammad". She returned him to his bed.
He ordered his family to stop crying and bade them farewell. He was wearing a dark jubba (a long outer garment, open in front, with wide sleeves), a flowered turban with its two ends loosened, covered with the Prophet's garment, and wearing his sword,
He asked for a dilapidated piece of cloth to use it as an underwear, and put on torn pair of trousers so that nobody would wish to strip him off and, particularly, leave his private parts exposed!.
Imam Hussain asked for his son to kiss him farewell. Zainab brought him Abdullah son of ar-Rabbab; he put him in his lap kissing and cuddling him murmuring, "Away with those people! for your grandfather, the chosen Apostle, will be their opponent on the Day of Judgement". Clutching him in his arms, he approached the enemy and asked for water for the baby. Harmalah bin Kahil al-Azdi shot him with an arrow and slew him. Hussain scooped the blood into his hands and threw it to the sky. Abu Ja'far al-Baqir was reported as saying, "Not a drop [of Abdullah's blood] descended to the ground". The Awaited Imam (May Allah hasten his reappearance) was also reported as saying, "May peace be with Abdullah, the infant who was slain by an arrow, drenched with blood, and whose blood ascended to the heavens. May Allah curse his killer Harmalah bin Kahil al-Azdi".
"Holding a babe was he in arms,
of water deprived, 'gainst humane norms
Like fading stars, his eyes did show
His wavy hair by the wind did blow.
The babe hovered between life and death,
Breathing he was an erratic breath.
Hussain did gently hold his hand,
This tender touch was a magic wand.
A smile flickered, at the baby's face,
Appeared a sweetness, lovely grace.
An innocent gesture, to quietly tell:
"Worry not father, all is well."
(A died-down candle just flickered
Briefly, a sinking ship anchored.)
True love played its mystic part,
A conscious heart knew a conscious heart
Hussain caressed the babe, with care
With fingers combed his wavy hair.
(A babe subjected to pangs of thirst,
By the despicable, Caliphs, heartless, worst)
His drought was "slaked" by the wild mob,
An archers arrow, did its job.
Appalled was nature, did providence weep,
The babe in his father's arms, did "sleep ".
With his firm, unshaking hand,
The father dug the glowing sand,
An emotions' tempest, though did blow,
No solitary tear, his grief did show.
His visage reflected a desolate grace,
A muffled anguish engulfed his face
The babe he put in the gloomy grave
This charming gift to Islam he gave
Imam Hussain said, "I find solace in the fact that what has befallen me is in the way of Allah, the Exalted. 0 Lord! Let his position with you not be less than the station of the young (weaned) camel of Salih's she-camel. 0 Lord! if you have withheld victory from us, substitute it with that which will be better than victory; exact your revenge on the oppressors, make the afflictions that befell us in this world a treasure for us in the hereafter."
Adapted from the book: "Tale of Hussain's Martyrdom" translated by: "Najim al-Khafaji"
Share this article