Rafed English

The Prophesied Desert of Karbala

AT A PLACE near the Euphrates, the Holy Imam's steed suddenly stopped and inspite of the unusual spurrings, the animal did not move; but raised its head towards heaven, as if to say that it was helpless and could not step forward any more. Husain changed six horses one after another but none of the animals moved from the spot. Gathering the people in the neighbourhood, the Holy Imam enquired the name of the place. Some said 'Maria' some said Wainawa' and some said 'Shattul-Furat' but the Holy Imam was not satisfied and continued his enquiry asking if there was any other name for the place. An old man stepped forward and said "0' Son of the Apostle of God! I have heard from no, ancestors this plain being called also as 'Karbala'." The moment the Holy Imam heard the name of 7' -1)ala, he smiled and thanked God and said :-

"Surely this is the plain I was in quest of This is the place where my holy Grandfather had prophesied that I, with all my faithful companions, will lay slain after suffering three days' hunger and thirst. Here will the Garden of Fatema be cut and destroyed. I can not and I will not move an inch from this place-I have reached the destined destination."

Saying this, the Holy Imam ordered the Caravan to be stopped and declared that the journey had ended as he had arrived at the desired destination. Tents were ordered to be pitched but. Hazrat Zainab, Husain's sister, hearing of the Imam's decision to camp there, wept and sent for Husain and requested him saying:

"Brother dear! Do not camp here! Somehow my heart is restless and does not consent. Brother dear! since our arrival on this plain, I distinctly hear the lamenting voice of our dear mother, wailing somewhere nearby in this desert."

Husain, hearing his mother's name, shed tears and said:-

"Zainab ! We need not fear when God is with us. It is immaterial, Sister, where we camp. This is the place, Sister dear, I was in quest of, and thanks to God I am at it, and now Sister dear, I cannot move from here."

Tents were pitched at the bank of the Euphrates for the Holy Imam's Caravan.

Adapted from the book: "Husain; The Saviour of Islam" by: "S.V. Mir Ahmed Ali"

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