Rafed English

The Martyrs of Karbala

Adapted from: "The Revolution of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.)" by: "Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Shams ad-Din Al-Amili"

The martyrs who were killed at Karbala' with Imam al-Husayn are given special honour in lamentation poetry. Hardly any poem is without some mention and praise of them, sometimes for their religious conscience and at other times for their loyalty to the Prophet. In every case, the poet lays emphasis on their courage and their self-sacrifice by dying with the Imam.

Among the poets who mention them is 'Ubayd Allah ibn al-Hurr al-Ju'fi (d. 68). He calls upon God to let the rain fall constantly on the souls of those who set out to help al-Husayn. He describes himself standing at their graves while his stomach churns with grief and his eyes fill with tears.

He swears by his life that they were heroes in the battle which they hurried to. Then he imagines how they consoled one another by helping the son of the daughter of the Prophet with their swords like fierce lions. If they were killed, every pious soul should have become shocked at that. No one has seen more excellent men than them; they were leaders and the flower of men in the face of death.

Talha ibn 'Ubayd Allah al-'Awni al-Misri (d. 350) also composed verses about them. He said: 'His close associates defended him and embraced the swords and spears. They were seventy against thousands and they were covered in wounds. Then they all were struck dead and met their fate.'

The emir Muhammad al-Susi (d. 370) described their heroism in some of his verses. He told of the man who brought the news of the death of a great man on the banks of the Euphrates. It was the news of the death of al-Husayn. The poet says that he wishes he could sacrifice his soul to alleviate how al-Husayn was surrounded by enemies. Yet he was with men who helped each other, comforted each other and fought the fiercest battle until they died.


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