Karbala – Day VIII

As of the last post, the battle of Karbala had begun and many men from both sides had been killed. The Imam’s side had grown considerably small and only a few men from his immediate family were left. His son, Hazrat Ali Asghar, and his brother, Hazrat Abbas had been killed.

Whenever a man from the Imam’s side was martyred, Imam Hussain (A.S) entered the battlefield to pick their bodies up. He had been doing so since the morning of the tenth of Muharram, and would continue to do so until the time of Asr prayers.

The martyrdom of Hazrat Qasim
Hazrat Qasim was the son of Imam Hassan (A.S) and Bibi Umme Farwa. He was only 14 years old at the time of the battle, and was betrothed to Imam Hussain’s (A.S) daughter, fulfilling a promise the Imam had made to his brother. During the battle, Hazrat Qasim came to ask the Imam for his permission to battle. The Imam declined, as he could not bear to see his brother’s kin going into battle. He tried a few more times but the Imam declined every time. After this, Hazrat Qasim went to his mother with the matter, who brought out a letter addressed to Hazrat Qasim. In his letter, Imam Hassan (A.S) told his son about a time when his brother and Islam would be in danger, and when his sacrifice could save Islam. Hazrat Qasim took the letter to Imam Hussain (A.S), who now had no choice but to allow the young boy to fight.

On the battlefield, Hazrat Qasim fought well, taking down many men. A man from Yazid’s army struck him behind his head by a sword, causing him to fall off his horse. He cried out for his Uncle. After this, all hell broke loose. Yazid’s men, mounted on horses, tried to reach Hazrat Qasim before the Imam, and, in the process, trampled over his fallen body. When the Imam finally reached his nephew, his body had been broken into pieces. He could not pick him up like he had the others since morning. Finally, Imam Hussain (A.S) spread out his Kurta and gathered the pieces of his nephew and carried them back to the tent where the men, women and children stood awaiting news.

The martyrdom of Hazrat Ali Akbar
Hazrat Ali Akbar was the son of Imam Hussain (A.S). He resembled the Prophet (p.b.u.h) greatly. He was raised by Imam Hussain’s (A.S) sister, Zainab binte Ali. On the day of the battle, after the Imam grant him permission to fight, Ali Akbar went to bid farewell to his aunts and sister. The women were more reluctant to let him go, but eventually, Imam Hussain (A.S) took him out and helped him mount his horse. He walked behind him until he was far into the battlefield.

Hazrat Ali Akbar fought with utmost bravery. He killed many of the enemy’s men and was too much of a threat for anyone to want to challenge him to a duel. At one point, he went to the Imam saying that he could fight no more because of his thirst, and the Imam told him that he should embrace martyrdom, and that his grandfather will be waiting for him with the sweet water from Heaven. He was knocked off his horse when Murrah ibn Munqad sent a spear piercing through his chest. He then came forward and broke the wooden handle, leaving the blade inside his chest. Ali Akbar called out as a final greeting to the Imam, who came forward to his son. Ali Akbar embraced his father with one arm, clutching his chest with the other. The Imam asked removed his other arm and saw the blade embedded within his chest. He held the blade firmly with both his hands and called out to his father, Imam Ali (A.S), for help. With that he pulled out the blade from his son’s chest, and with it came the heart of Hazrat Ali Akbar.

The Imam was distraught at the martyrdom of his beloved son. The person who had picking up bodies of his loved ones since morning had finally reached a peak. He broke down and looked towards the Euphrates river, where lay the body of his brave brother Hazrat Abbas. He called out to him, asking why he was not here when he needed him the most. With utmost difficulty, he picked the body of his son up and carried it back to camp.

The martyrdom of Imam Hussain (A.S)
Towards the end of the battle, all the men in Imam Hussain’s camp, except for his son Zainul Abideen, who was sick at that time and hence unable to take part in battle, and the Imam himself, had been martyred. Imam Hussain (A.S) was the only one now left to fight. Until now, he had been escorting the men into the battlefield. However, there was no one left to do the same for him. His sister, Hazrat Zainab binte Ali, came out to see him off to the battle which had already cost her her brother, husband and sons. The Imam mounted his horse, called the Zuljanah and asked it to proceed to the battlefield. To his surprise, the horse remained stationary. Seeing the horse facing towards the ground, he saw Sakina (A.S), his daughter, holding on tightly to the horse’s hind legs. The Imam dismounted and addressed his daughter’s concerns. She spoke fearfully, unwilling to let her father go into the battlefield. She said that she had been observing since morning, and that anyone who went into the battlefield never came back. The Imam held his daughter in his arms and pacified her. He, then, climbed back onto the horse and strode off to the battlefield of Karbala, where seventy-one of his men had already lost their lives.

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