Rafed English

Water Supply to Husain's Camp Cut Off

AT LAST ON the 7th Muharram 61 A.H. (October 68(:) A.D.) the Commander of Yazid's forces received orders to cut off all sources of supply to the Holy Imam's camp and not to allow even a drop of water to reach any of the inmates therein. It can better be imagined than described what the condition of Husain's camp would have been under the scorching Arabian sun. The camp was in the midst of the burning desert, with the heat-waves blowing from all sides. The unavailability of water, with nothing to feed even the young children, the wriggling of the babies for milk which the poor mothers, who were themselves suffering from the killing thirst, could not give, caused distress. What a torturous situation it must be, and how did those Holy ones suffer all these unbearable tortures, it is very difficult for any human mind to conceive, but all these are facts which the Holy Imam and his godly companions suffered with wonderful fortitude and patience. Over and above all these tortures, the sight of the enemy's forces preparing all around for the massacre and a whosleale destruction was there, before the ladies and the children in the besieged camp.

In short, the torture of thirst which actually began from the 7th Muharram and the sufferings of the Imam with his companions, including the young children and the babies, could not be described here. The sufferings of the Holy ones for the sake of Truth can better be imagined than described.

Abbas, the brave, who was next only to the Holy Imam in charge of the Holy Imam's camp, after a very strenuous fight with the enemy at the river, got a sack of water but when the sack filled with water was placed before the thirsty children, the poor innocents not waiting till it was properly opened, and not knowing how to open the sack, rushed to it and fell upon it, one over the other, in the haste to at least cool their burning bodies. But alas! the knot at the mouth of the sack gave way to the pressure and the whole water flowed away on the sand. It can be imagined what the feelings of despair and disappointment of the poor children and the helpless mothers would have been, and how disappointed the brave son of Ali, who got the water, would have felt at the loss of the water which he could get for the poor children and the inmates of the camp after so much of fight with the enemy guarding the banks of the river. Attempts to dig a well were also made but in vain, for instead of water, stones came out. The Holy Imam preached patience and fortitude to every one at each disappointment and torture, saying:

"Be ye all cheerful and always surrender to the will of the All-Merciful Lord, for Me end of all these trials is at hand and the water of Paradise awaiteth there to quench your thirst."

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

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