Rafed English

The Women of the Holy Family

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

Another theme of the lamentation poetry are the women of the Holy Family. The Lady Fatima, the fair, is frequently mentioned and consoled for the death of al-Husayn when the dreadful events are described.

Zaynab is mentioned: her state on the journey; her state at Karbala '; her conversations with al-Husayn and al-'Abbas, or with her nephews, 'Ali al-Akbar and 'Ali Zayn al-'Abidin, or with her sister, Umm Kulthum, or with her niece, Sakina. Her circumstances when they were taken prisoner are mentioned and the words she spoke to Shimr, 'Umar ibn Sa'd, Ibn Ziyad and Yazid ibn Mu’awiya, or to the Umayyad soldiers generally.

Sakina, the daughter of al-Husayn, is remembered in scenes with her father, Imam al-Husayn, before his death and in a pathetic scene after his death on the battlefield, and also in conversation with Shimr.

Al-Rabab, the wife of Imam al-Husayn, is particularly mentioned when her child, 'Abd Allah, is discussed. This element concerned with the women of the Holy Family in lamentation poetry is not only presented for its own sake. It is also presented as one of the elements which raise emotions. When it is mentioned for its own sake, the women are presented as a group and not as individuals.

This happens when the 'daughters of the Apostle of God' are humiliated by the Umayyads or the Kufans or the Muslims. Some of the scenes of battle are dealt with in this way especially, like the burning of the tents and the women and children fleeing from the fire, or the plundering of al-Husayn's camp and family by the Umayyad soldiers, or becoming prisoners and the scene of the women and children being made to ride on emaciated camels without humps, or the scene of the heads raised on spears in the midst of the prisoners.


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