Rafed English

The Second Farewell

Then he (‘a), bade his family farewell for the second time, ordering them to be patient. He put on the outer mantles as he said, “Get ready for the affliction, and be advised that Allah Almighty shall protect and safeguard you, and He shall save you from the evil of the enemies and make the ultimate end of your affair good.

He shall torment your enemy with various types of torture, and He shall compensate you for this trial with many sorts of bliss and honour; so, do not complain, nor should you say anything that may demean your status.”30
Indeed, anyone may say that that was the most critical situation the Master of Martyrs had to face that day.31

The ladies who were raised in the lap of Prophethood saw then the pillar of their security, the bulwark of their protection, the defender of their prestige, and the symbol of their honour telling them of a departure from which he would never return, so they did not know who would after him protect them from the oppression of the foes or who would be their solace once he is gone.

No wonder, then, that they all assembled and surrounded him, holding to his clothes as the children were moaning, being stunned by the situation, and little girls kept begging for security against their fear while others kept begging for water.

How, then, would have been the condition of the master of those endowed with a conscience and the example of affection as he saw, through his vast knowledge, the trustees of the Message and the ladies who descended from the Infallible Ones, who had never known before anything but honour and prestige, now running in this empty desert wailing, crying in a way that splits the most solid of stones, sighing most depressingly...?

They were in a constant danger of being plundered and beaten, having none to protect them besides the Imam (‘a) whom fatigue had exhausted.
Had Job suffered as he did for one day
He would surely have stood to say:
“This one is he whose calamity
“Is greater than what happened to me.”

As for the wise lady of Banu Hashim, namely Zainab al-Kubra, she saw all of that. We see how the secure niche of the religion was about to be dislocated, the rope of Prophethood to be cut off, the lantern of the Shari’a to be put out, and the tree of Imamate to wither.
The mighty lions mourn their young,
And their saviour when calamity overwhelms
Mourning them with blood, so tell the burning heart
How the red sigh does ascend.
It yearned but its yearning is crying,
And it mourns, but its mourning is only by sign.32
Al-Husayn (‘a) turned to his daughter Sukayna who was described by al-Hasan II as one “who was always overcome by a deep meditation upon Allah,” finding her staying aloof from the other women, crying, wailing. He stood to ask her to be patient and to solace her. His condition could best be described in these verses:
This is my farewell, my dear one, and we shall meet
On the Day of Judgment at the Pool of Kawthar
So bid your tears good-bye and come to greet
And enjoy the fruits of your patience forever.
And when you do see me lying on the ground
Bleeding, bear it and do not be by tears bound.33

It was then that ‘Umar Ibn Sa’d said to his men, “Woe unto you! Attack him, since he is distracted and surrounded by his women! By Allah! Should he direct his full attention to you, your right wing will not be separated from the left!”

They, therefore, assailed him with their arrows till the arrows reached his camp and some of them pierced through the clothes of some of the women, causing them to be stunned and frightened.

They screamed and entered the tent as they looked at al-Husayn (‘a) to see what he would do. Al-Husayn (‘a) attacked the enemy like an angry lion. Anyone who could catch up with him he stabbed with his sword and killed as he was receiving the arrows from all directions, bracing them with his chest and neck.34
He went back to his quarters profusely repeating this statement: La hawla wala quwwata illa billah al-’aliyy al-aďim (There is no might nor power except in Allah, the Sublime, the Great.”35 In such a condition, he asked for some water.

Al-Shimr said to him, “You shall not have a taste of it till you reach the Fire.” A man shouted at him saying: “O Husayn! Do not you see how the Euphrates water is as clear as the snakes' bellies? You shall not taste of it till you die of thirst.” Al-Husayn (‘a) said, “O Allah! Do cause him to die of thirst.”

That particular man, to be sure, kept asking for water ever since, and water was always brought to him, yet it would come out of his mouth and never goes down, and he kept doing so till he died of thirst.36
Abul-Hutuf al-Ju’fi shot al-Husayn (‘a) with an arrow in his forehead that he pulled out, causing blood to run on his face. The Imam (‘a) said, “O Allah! You see in what condition I am with regard to Your servants, these disobedient ones!

O Allah! Decrease their number, kill them and leave none of them on the face of earth, and do not ever forgive them.”
In a loud voice did al-Husayn (‘a) shout, “O nation of evil! It is, indeed, evil the way how you succeeded Muhammad (S) in faring with his ‘Itrat! You shall not kill anyone after me and contemplate on the consequences of killing him; rather, you will think very lightly of it once you have killed me.

By Allah! I hope that Allah will grant me the honour of martyrdom then will He seek revenge on my behalf from whence you know not.”
Al-Hasin said to the Imam (‘a), “And how will He seek revenge on our behalf on you, O son of Fatima?!” The Imam (‘a) answered, “He will cause you all to kill one another and thus get your blood spilled, then shall He pour His torment upon you in the most painful manner.”37
Having become too feeble to fight, he stood to rest. It was then that a man threw a stone at him, hitting his forehead and causing his blood to run down his face.

He took his shirt to wipe his blood from his eyes just as another man shot him with a three-pronged arrow that pierced his chest and settled in his heart.

He instantly said, “In the Name of Allah, through Allah, and on the creed of the Messenger of Allah [do I die].” Raising his head to the heavens, he said, “Lord! You know that they are killing a man besides whom there is no other son of Your Prophet's daughter!”

As soon as he took the arrow out of his back, blood gushed forth like a drain pipe.38 He placed his hand on his wound and once his hand was filled with blood, he threw it above saying, “Make what has happened to me easy for me; it is being witnessed by Allah” Not a single drop of that blood fell on the ground.39

Then he put it back a second time and it was again filled with blood. This time he rubbed it on his face and beard as he said, “Thus shall I appear when I meet my Lord and my grandfather the Messenger of Allah (S), drenched in my blood. It is then that I shall say: ‘O grandfather! So-and-so killed me.'”40
In the al-Hajeer he fell on the ground,
Under the swords and their every sharp edge.
The stars stood motionless when he fell,
And their motions turned still.
In them the Spirit mourned him as he said.
Sadly echoing the bereaved one's heart:
O conscience of Allah's ghayb, how could you
Be the victims of their very spears?
They pierced from behind His preserved veil,
And swords struck your forehead and they
Without your right hand would have had no right.
You were not, when you were killed, weak in might,
But no help came to your rescue
O by your blood-stained beard, gray in hue,
It is the most glorious of every right hand,
Had you preferred at all in your stand,
The fates would have made everything
Precious for you as though it were nothing,
Or if you had wished your foes to be wiped out,
None of them would have remained on the ground.
You would have removed them from every land,
And you would have raised death-conquering hosts,
So none would remain to light a fire
Nor to build a fort nor a highway,
But a band invited you to spend your all
When their misguidance spread what was buried before.
So you saw that meeting with your Lord
Sacrificing for Him would surely be
Better than to live in misery.
You took to patience even as the deer from thirst on fire
Striking every valiant in a way melting every heart,
And the lances, like ribs, over you bend,
And the white swords over you like lids descend.
So your life did you spend among folks
Who tried to subject you to their yokes,
Folks who are your enemy and mine,
Born in the vilest of womb and of loin.41
Bleeding soon sapped his strength, so he sat down on the ground, feeling his head being too heavy. Malik Ibn al-Nisr noticed his condition, so he taunted him then dealt him a stroke with his sword on the head. Al-Husayn (‘a) was wearing a burnoose that soon became full of blood. Al-Husayn (‘a) said,

“May you never be able to eat nor drink with your right hand, and may Allah gather you among the oppressors.” Having said so, the dying Imam (‘a) threw his burnoose away and put on a turban on top of his capuche cap.42
30. al-Majlisi, Jala’ al-’Uyun (in Persian).

31. This is evident from the will of the truthful lady, al-Zahra’ (‘a), as recorded by al-Majlisi, may Allah elevate his status. In this text, the author refers to the agony of her children at bidding her farewell. It is also recorded in Vol. 1 of al-Nawari's book Dar al-Salam.

32. From a poem by Kashif al-Ghiťa’, may Allah sanctify him

33. From a poem by the orator Shaikh Muslim son of the orator Shaikh Muhammad ‘Ali al-Jabiri al-Najafi, may Allah Almighty have mercy on both of them.

34. Ibn Nama, Muthir al-Ahzan.

35. Ibn Tawus, Al-Luhuf, p. 67.

36. Abul-Faraj al-Isfahani, Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 47 (Iranian edition). Tahthib Tarikh Ibn Asakir, Vol. 4, p. 338, where the whole incident is narrated. According to p. 254, Vol. 10, of al-Majlisi's Bihar al-Anwar (Kampani edition), where al-Isfahani's text is cited, also on p. 203, Vol. 10, of Bihar al-Anwar, where al-Mufid is quoted, and also according to Ibn Tawus and Ibn Nama, when thirst took its toll on him, al-Husayn (‘a) went to the Euphrates, but he was not permitted to reach its water.

37. ’Abdullah Nur-Allah al-Bahrani, Maqtal al-’Awalim, p. 98. Shaikh ‘Abbas al-Qummi, Nafs al-Mahmum, p. 189. al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 2, p. 34.

38. Shaikh ‘Abbas al-Qummi, Nafs al-Mahmum, p. 189. al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 2, p. 34. Ibn Tawus, Al-Luhuf, p. 70.

39. Tahthib Tarikh Ibn ‘Asakir, Vol. 4, p. 338. al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 2, p. 34. Ibn Tawus, Al-Luhuf, p. 70.

40. al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 2, p. 34. Ibn Tawus, Al-Luhuf, p. 70.

41. This poem is published in the diwan of Sayyid Hayder al-Hilli, may Allah have mercy on him.

42. Ibn al-Athir, Al-Kamil, Vol. 4, p. 31. al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 2, p. 35.
Adapted from: "Maqtal al-Husayn; Martyrdom Epic of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.)" by: "Abd al-Razzaq al-Muqarram"

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