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Back You are here: Home Islamic Articles Seerah ‘Ali al-Akbar (a.s.) in Ashura - Part 2

Seerah

‘Ali al-Akbar (a.s.) in Ashura - Part 2

Al-Husayn (‘a) wept and said, “O help! How quickly shall you meet your grandfather who will give you a drink after which you shall never suffer of thirst.” He gave him his tongue to suck then his ring to put in his mouth.16
 
He returns to bid farewell, and he is heavy-hearted,
His heart is thirsty, his iron is heavy,
His insides burn, his sword's thirst is quenched with dew,
But his own thirst was not, mind you.
Yet he with his saliva preferred him over his own self
Had only his saliva not dried yet.
As soon as he was bent to meet his death with a smile,
Death, from his ears and sight, stayed only for a while.
He turned the battle around and moved its grinding stone,
With his sword he struck their flesh and their bone,
With his withered shoulders he meets their braves
And places his sword in the necks of their knaves,
While on his body it leaves its mark
From their midst he disappeared and did not come back,
Mounting his steed though almost bear.
Time stumbled on him, so his body now
Is food for every sword and every bow.

‘Ali went back to the battlefield feeling very happy about the good news which he had just heard from the Imam, the Hujjah (‘a), who had told him that he would soon meet his grandfather, the chosen one, peace of Allah be upon him and his progeny.

He, therefore, advanced towards them with courage reminiscent of [his grandfather] Imam ‘Ali (‘a). He met the enemies face-to-face. The latter could not tell whether it was ‘Ali al-Akbar who was chasing the enemy or whether it was the wasi (‘a), roaring like a lion on the battlefield, or whether thunderbolts came emitting in an array from his sword. He kept killing the Kufians till the number of those whom he killed reached fully two hundred.17
 
Murrah Ibn Munqith al-’Abdi18 said, “I shall bear all the sins of the Arabs should I not succeed in causing his father to lose him for good!”19 He stabbed him with his lance in the back20 and hit him with his sword on the head, splitting it in half.

‘Ali embraced his horse that carried him to the enemy camp. There, he became the target of their swords, so they cut his body into bits and pieces.21
 
He wiped out shame, Allah fight the shame
A crescent in the dark, a shining one
The one sought by both houses of Hashim
The haven of both honour and loftiness
How could death to you reach?
You have not hesitated nor tarried.
May my life be for him a sacrifice
Like a fresh flower that dried
In the ocean of thirst and the heat of the sword.
Early did witherness visit his fresh flower,
Withering is the foe of a fresh flower.
By Allah! What a moon on them did he shine!
The sword mixed his substance with its gold,
The water of youth and the blood both flew
Within him, and his heart was still on fire.
Never shall I him forget
How he was turbaned with the youth of the deer
Among the warriors, wearing only their every spear,
Drenched in blood was he yet the Euphrates was
Turning green what was still black.

He called out saying, “Peace be upon you from me, O father of ‘Abdullah!22 My grandfather has given me a drink with his own cup after which I shall never suffer any thirst, and he says that there is another one reserved just for you!”23

Al-Husayn (‘a) came to him and placed his cheek on his as he said, “There is no good in life after you... How dare they defy the most Merciful One, and how dare they violate the sanctity of His Messenger!24 Hard it is upon your grandfather and father that they cannot respond to you when you call upon them, and that they cannot help you when you ask for their help.”25
 
Then he took a handful of his pure blood and threw it towards the heavens. Not a drop of it fell. This explains the recitation in his ziyarat of the following statement:

“May my father and mother be your sacrifice! How you were slaughtered without having committed a crime! May my father and mother be your sacrifice! How your blood ascended to the one loved by Allah! May my father and mother be sacrificed for you!

He mourns you with a burning heart, raising your blood to the depth of the heavens, not a drop whereof returns, nor one sigh of your father finds an ease!”26
 
He ordered his servants to carry him to the tent. His corpse was brought to the tent in front of which they were fighting.27
 
The honourable ladies who grew up in the home of revelation kept looking at him as he was carried away with blood covering him with its red mantle of dignity. Stabs and wounds had spared no place in his body.

They welcomed him with very heavy hearts, their hair uncovered, their wailing defeaning the world. Before them stood the wise lady of Banu Hashim, namely Zainab, the great one, daughter of Fatima daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S), crying and wailing.28 She threw herself on the corpse of her nephew, hugging it, grief-stricken, for he was the guardian of her home and its pillar.29
 
Notes:

16. al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 2, p. 31. ‘Abdullah Nur-Allah al-Bahrani, Maqtal al-’Awalim, p. 95. According to p. 51, Vol. 2, of al-’Abbasi's book Ma’ahid al-Tansis, when Yazid Ibn Mazid al-Shaybani was pursuing al-Walid Ibn Tarif, and when thirst took its toll on him, he put his ring in his mouth and kept pursuing al-Walid till he stabbed him with his lance. In his book Al-Kafi, al-Kulayni quotes Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (‘a) saying that it is all right for a fasting person to suck on his ring. Such is the fatwa of religious scholars.

It is possible one of the reasons for it is that it stimulates the glands; therefore, there is no particular function played by the ring but by what those glands do when a stone or such thing is put in the mouth.

17. al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 2, p. 31.

18. Ibn al-Athir, Al-Kamil, Vol. 4, p. 30. al-Dinawari, Al-Akhbar al-Tiwal, p. 254. al-Mufid, Al-Irshad. Ibn Nama, Muthir al-Ahzan.Ibn Tawus, Al-Luhuf. According to p. 265, Vol. 6, of al-Tabari's Tarikh, his name is Murrah Ibn Munqith Ibn al-Nu’man al-’Abdi al-Laythi. On p. 95 of Maqtal al-’Awalim (of’Abdullah Nur-Allah al-Bahrani), his name is given as Munqith Ibn Murrah.

19. al-Mufid, Al-Irshad. al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 256.

20. Ibn Shahr Ashub, Al-Manaqib, Vol. 2, p. 222.

21. al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 2, p. 31. Maqtal al-’Awalim, p. 95.

22. Riyad al-Masa’ib, p. 321.

23. ’Abdullah Nur-Allah al-Bahrani, Maqtal al-’Awalim, p. 95. al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 2, p. 31.

24. al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 265.

25. ’Abdullah Nur-Allah al-Bahrani, Maqtal al-’Awalim, p. 95.

26. Ibn Qawlawayh, Kamil al-Ziyarat, p. 239. This statement is supported by accurate Isnad and is taught by Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (‘a) to Abu Hamzah al-Thumali. In our discussion of the Eleventh Night, we will refer to Sunni texts saying that the Prophet (S) used to preserve the blood of his Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) and that of the Sahaba.

27. al-Mufid, Al-Irshad. al-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 6, p. 256. al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 2, p. 31.

28. According to p. 256, Vol. 6, of al-Tabari's Tarikh and p. 185, Vol. 8, of Ibn Kathir's book Al-Bidaya, Hamid Ibn Muslim has said, “When ‘Ali al-Akbar was killed, I saw a woman coming out of the tent crying, ‘O nephew!' She went and fell on his corpse. Al-Husayn (‘a) took her in his hand and brought her back to the tent. I asked about who she was, and I was told that she was Zainab [granddaughter of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his progeny].”

29. According to p. 256, Vol. 6, of al-Tabari's Tarikh and p. 31, Vol. 2, of al-Khawarizmi's book Maqtal al-Husayn, Zainab daughter of Fatima (‘a) came out screaming and fell on his corpse. Al-Husayn (‘a) took her back to the tent. Should the head lady of those bereaved women, the lady who was trying her best to comfort them, come out in such a manner, can anyone expect that there were ladies who remained inside the tent?

Adapted from: "Maqtal al-Husayn; Martyrdom Epic of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.)" by: "Abd al-Razzaq al-Muqarram"