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AshuraPoemsinEnglishExplainedandAnnotated(Volume1)

Author:Compiledby:MuhammadRezaFakhrRohani

Foreword

Preface

Acknowledgments

Introduction

HariKumar:Ashura

T.D.Chattani:ValeofSorrow

AmeenKhorasanee:HusainofKerbala

SarojiniNaidu:TheNightofMartyrdom

SarojiniNaidu:TheImamBara

W.C.Tailor:AnOde

Anonymous:VisionofKerbala

H.Wells:ImamHusain

TabishKhair:PoemfromOutsideaMuharramProcession

Anonymous:OntheMornofMuharram

FarahYeganeh:AShapedElegyforKarbala

EthelM.Pope:TragedyofMoharram

Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Hislittlechildrendear

JusticeA.D.Russel:TheMartyrofKarbala

MariamRizvi:UntitledPoem

SyedAhmedAliMohani:TheHeroofKerbala

Anonymous:AJourney

A.K.Esmail:TheConquerorofKerbala

SayyedAliMusaviGarmarudi:TheTrackofBlood

WorksConsulted

Foreword

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PraiseisalltoAllah,theLordoftheWorlds.PraiseandsalaamsaretotheProphetMuhammadb.
AbdullahandhisnobleandinfallibleAhlalBayt.Denunciationandcursearetotheirfoesforever
untiltheJudgmentDay.Amen!

Elegyisaliterarytechniquewhichenablesthepoettocomposefinepiecesofpoetry.Inelegy,the
mindandsoulofthepoetgetelevated,forhefindshimselfconfrontedwiththemysterious
phenomenonofdeath.

Facedwiththemysteriesoflifeandthevicissitudesoftimesandfate,hetriestofinda
justificationforthateternalsilence.

Asiswellknown,elegyisanimportantelementintheliteratureoftheadherentsoftheAhlal
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Baytschoolofthought.Itisherethatinelegydeepsorrowgetscommingledwithfiercewrath,
leadingtoatypeofsentimentalliterature.Inlikemanner,itmayalsoberegardedasatypeof
politicalliterature,becausethiswrath,sometimesdiscernibletherein,isindicativeofpolitical
thoughtwhichhasfoundexpressioninthismanner.

ItcanhardlybeforgottenthatbeyondthemartyrdomofImamalHusaynb.Alitherewere
politicalreasonswhichcanneverbeseveredfromtheincentivesandthebloodshedinfavorof
thereligiousconvictions.

Here,therelationsignifiesthesamefirmrelationwhichtiestheheartsofthestaunchbelievers
withtheholyProphetMuhammadandhishonorableAhlalBayt.

AmongthefirstwhoelegizedImamalHusaynwasBishrb.Hidhlam.IthappenedwhenImamAli
ZaynalAbidin,thentheleaderofthecaravanofthesurvivorsoftheKarbalamassacre,enroute
home,senthimonamissiontohastentowardthecityandinformtheinhabitantsofMedinaof
themartyrdomofImamalHusayn.

Wearingablackturbanandpullinghishorsewithapieceofblackrope,heenteredthecityand
impartedtothemtheominousnewsofthemartyrdomofImamalHusayn.Therehecomposedan
elegyofwhichthefollowinglinesarefamous:

OInhabitantsofYathrib!Whyareyousittingstill,While[Imam]alHusaynwasmartyred,HenceI
amsheddingtears.

MayGodnottakemeawayfromthosehomesandtheirinhabitants,Whiletheyhaveturned
uninhabited,despitemydesire.TheMartyrofTaffbelongstotheBaniHashim,

8ThoughhismartyrdomcausesMuslimstobeashamed.

Elsewhere,itisreportedthatthefirstelegyonImamalHusaynwascomposedbyBahilalJumhi,
whoexpressedhimselfasfollows:

DrowsyanddrunkardaretheUmayyads'eyes,WhiletheTaffincidentneverletsthefriendssleep
awink.

EversincetheKarbalatragedy,therehavebeeninnumerablepoetswhogainedthegraceof
composinganelegyinpraiseofandinmemoryofImamalHusaynb.Ali,ortheheartbreakingand
woefulKarbalatragedyanditsmournfulconsequences.Suchalineofdevotionalliteraturehas
neverstoppedandwillnevercease.

Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

ThetraditionofelegizingImamalHusaynandtheKarbalatragedyhasbynomeansbeenconfined
totheAraborArabicspeaking,poets;poetsofotherlanguageshavealsomadesignificant
contributionsaswell.

IntheUrdulanguage,thereisalonglistofpoetswhogainedfameandreputationfortheirelegies
onImamalHusayn.AmongthemareMirBabarAliAnis(18011874),MirzaSalamatAliDabir
(180375),MuhammadBaqir,thefoundingfatherofUrdujournalism(d.1857),ShamsalUlama
MawlanaMuhammadHusaynAzadDihlawi(d.1910),the

poetMawlanaHasanRazaKhan(d.A.H.1326/1908)andthepoetFaizAhmadFaiz(d.1984).

InPersian,agreathostofpoetsareknownfortheirpoetryandelegiesonImamalHusayn.Mulla
HusaynVaezKashefiSabsevari(d.A.H.910/1532)includedmanysuchpoemsinhisworkRawzat
alShohada.

OfPersianpoetswhoelegizedImamalHusayn,themostwellknownisMuhtashamKashani(d.
A.H.996/1588),whousedtoserveatthecourtofShahTahmasbtheSafavid.Othersinthesame
lineincludeAbulmajdMajdudSanayie(d.A.H.1131/1719),

Adibulmamalek(d.A.H.1308),MahmoudKhanMalekalShoara(d.A.H.1311),SafiAliShah(d.
A.H.1316/1890),theauthorofErfanalHaq,BahralHaqaeq,andMizanalMa`refah,and
Yaghmayie,aprofessorofPersianliteratureatDaralFonounCollegeinTehran.

InTurkish,quiteagoodnumberofgreatpoetshavecomposedpoemsinmemoriamImamal
Husaynb.AliandtheheartbreakingincidentsoftheAshuratragedy.Amongthem,mentionmust
bemadeofthefollowing:Lameie(d.1531),Hairati(d.1535),FuzuliBaghdadi(d.1555),Abidi(d.
1572),Safi(d.inthe16thcentury),ShamsiPasha(d.1580),andSabouhi(d.1647).

Inlinewiththeabove,Englishspeakingpoets,whetherMuslim,Christian,Hindu,etc.,havealso
madesignificant

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contributionstoproduceelegiesforImamalHusaynandtheKarbalatragicincidents.

IthasbeenthegraceoftheAlmightytoourfriendandbrotherDr.MuhammadRezaFakhr
Rohani,presentlyprofessorofEnglishattheUniversityofQom,thathehasanthologizedafine
collectionofsuchEnglishpoemsinthepresentbook,titledAshuraPoemsinEnglish.
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com


Heshowedinterestandaninclinationtohavehisbookpublishedintheseriesofthebooks
publishedby,andwiththeemblemof,theLibraryofImamalHusayn'sSacredSanctuary;the
curatorialcounciloftheLibraryconsentedtothisrequest.

Withthepublicationofthisbook,wewishDr.FakhrRohanimoresuccessandgraceful
opportunitiestorenderservicestotheAhlalBaytandtothrowlightontheafflictionsthey
enduredthroughouthistory.

MuhammadalHassoun
1stRamadan1427/25thSeptember2006

Preface

TheprimereasonandmotiveforcompilingthefollowinganthologyofdevotionalpoemsonImam
alHusainistorecordandmarkmyhumblestdegreeofreverenceanddevotiontothe
unimaginablyhighstatusofImamalHusain,

andthentoprovidereaderswitharangeofsuchpoemssofarcomposedinEnglish.

WhenmycolleagueMr.AbdulHosseynTale'isuggestedtometoembarkonsuchatask,ithardly
seemedpracticable;however,ithasbeencertainlybydivinegracethatIhavebeenableto
graduallycomeacrosssuchpoemshereandthereandproducethefirstvolumeofsuchan

anthology.

Consideringthatthisismyfirstendeavortotakeasteptowardcollectingandanthologizing
AshuraliteratureinEnglish,Iwishtorequesteachandeveryesteemedreadertoprovidemewith
additionalpoemsofthenaturecollectedhere.

Thisisjusttoworkoutafurtherrevisedandenlargededition.Surelyanybodywhocontributesto
thiscollectiontheywillreceivethedivinegraceandwillbenefitfromthefavorofImamalHusain.

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Thepoemsareanthologizedinthiscollectionjustastheyappearonwebsitesorinthesources
fromwhichtheyaretaken.

Iwouldsincerelyappreciateanycomment,suggestion,contribution,orreminder.Icanbe
reachedatthefollowingaddresses:dr_fakhr_1385@yahoo.comorP.O.Box:37185744,Qom,
Iran.

Qom,Iran
MuhammadRezaFakhrRohani,Ph.D.

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Acknowledgments

Firstandforemost,IamthankfultoAllahWhoprovidedmewiththisopportunitytocarryoutthe
presenttaskastheleastculturalservicetothosewhohavegottoknow,orlearnedtolove,Imam
alHusain(MayDivinegraceandsalaamsbebestoweduponhim).

Nodoubt,itisagratifyingandblessedworkwhich,Ihope,willberecognizedasamarkofmy
humblestservicetothedivinestatusofImamalHusainwhichisbeyondconjecture.Isimplyhope
toreceivehisgracefulfavorforsuchahumbletask.

IamgratefultoMr.AbdulHoseynTale'iforhisinitialsuggestiontocompilesuchananthology.
Next,mysincerethanksgotoSheikhAlialFatlawi,presentlytheCuratoroftheLibraryofImam
alHusain'sSacredSanctuaryinKarbalaforhispermissiontoletushavethehonorofindicating
ImamalHusain'sSanctuaryasthepublisherofthepresentvolume.

Thiswillcertainlyremainaneverlastinghonorforallthosewhohavebeeninvolvedinproducing
thisbook.IcannotforgetSheikhMuhammadalHassounforhiskindandsincerehelp.

Indeed,SheikhMuhammadalHassoun'scooperationmakesmeindebtedtohimforever;he
suggestedtometohavethis

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bookpublishedintheseriesofthepublicationsofImamalHusain'sSacredSanctuary.AlsoSayyid
HashimalMilani,theCuratoroftheLibraryofImam?Al?'sSanctuaryinNajafdeservesmysincere
appreciationforthissupport.

IexpressmysincereappreciationtoDr.AliAfkhamiandDr.AliMuhammadHaghshenasLari,
distinguishedprofessoroflinguisticsattheUniversityofTehran,andhisfamilyforhavingreadthe
finaldraftofthepresentvolumeandthesuggestionstheymade.

MyspecialthanksgotoHisGraceArchbishopSebouhSarkissian,SheikhMuhammadSadiq
MuhammadalKarbasi,theeditoroftheLondonbasedImamalHusainEncyclopedia,Sheikh
MuhammadKalbasi,Dr.AliRezaBabazadeh,andMr.KamalalSayyid.

Amongmyuniversitystudents,Mr.HamedAkhyanideservesmyprofoundandspecial
appreciation.Hehasalwaysexpressedkeenacademicinterestaswellasdevoutlyreligious
fascinationandrenderedhissubstantialassistancewhilethepresentvolumewasingestation.I
am,andwillalwaysremain,appreciativeofhiseffectiveandinvaluablecooperationandcrucial
help.

Regardingofficejobs,Mr.GholamRezaYazdandoost,Mr.MuhammadHosseynShahri,andMiss
MinooJalalialsohelpedmealot.

IcannotforgettheassistanceIreceivedfrommygoodfriendsinNewDelhiinthesummerof
2006.Amongalonglistoffriendswhoprovedcooperative,Ioughttomentionthefollowing:Mr.
MortezaShafi'iShakib,Mr.MohammadHosseinMozaffari,Dr.SyedQuayamHussain,allatIran
CultureHouseinNewDelhi,Mrs.M.Vijayalakshmi,

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LibrarianofSahityaAkademi(NationalAcademyofLetters),NewDelhi,Mr.MuradAliBaig,Prof.
MakarandParanjapeofJawaharlalNehruUniversity,Mr.MortazaDaneshHusainiandher
eminentmother,Dr.BilquisFatimahHusainioftheUniversityofDelhi,Dr.NonicaDatta,professor
ofhistoryattheUniversityofDelhiaswellasatNehruMemorialMuseumandLibrary,Dr.Shah
MuhammadWaseemofAligarh,Prof.

AbdurRahimKidwaiandDr.SyedFaizZaidibothofAligarhMuslimUniversity.Iamalsogratefulto
Prof.RichardParmentierofBrandeisUniversity,andDr.TabishKhairoftheUniversityofAarhus,
Denmark,forcontributingoneofhispoemstothiscollection.Theyhelpedmeinmanywaysand
mademyshortresearchtriptoIndiaaspleasantandfruitfulaspossible.MayGodrewardthem
all.

Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Dr.MahmoudMahdaviDamghaniofMashhad,Iran,Dr.FaridehMahdaviDamghaniandher
eminentfather,Dr.AhmadMahdaviDamghani(presentlyatHarvardUniversity)showedgreat
interestandencouragedmetogoalongwiththeproject.

IalsothankmyFrenchfriendDr.MouslimFidahoussenandthefamousLebaneseChristianliterary
figure,Dr.GeorgesGordak,widelyrenownedforhisscholarshiponthelifeofImam?Al?b.Ab?
T?lib,fortheirmoralsupport.

Lastbutnotleast,Ioffermymostheartfeltthankstomywifeforherpatienceandunderstanding
andforcreatingafittingenvironmentfortheaccomplishmentofthistask.

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Abbreviations

A./rabic
b.,Arabicibn,son(of)
E./nglish
L./line
Lit./eral(ly)
Ll.,lines
P./ersian
s.v.,Latinsubverbo,under
Var./iant,various

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Permission(tofight)isgivenuntothoseuponwhomwarismadefortheyhavebeenoppressed,
andverily,tohelpthem,GodisMostPotent;Thosewhohavebeenexpelledfromtheirhomes
unjustlysavethattheysay:?OurLordisGod!?TheHolyQuran,22[alHajj].3940.

AndsaynotofthosewhoareslaininGod'scause,?Theyaredead?:nay,theyarealive,butyou
perceiveitnot.TheHolyQuran,2[alBaqara].154.

Godloveswhoeverloves[Imam]alHusain.

TheProphetMuhammadTheplacewhere[Imam]alHusainisburiedhasbeenoneofParadise
Gardenssincehewasburiedtherein.

ImamJafaralSadiq
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com


OnceGodwishestodoafavortosomeone,Hemakesthemlove[Imam]alHusain.

ImamJafaralSadiq

InadistantageandclimatethetragicsceneofthedeathofHussainwillawakenthesympathyof
thecoldestreader.

EdwardGibbon,TheDeclineandFalloftheRomanEmpireThebestlessonwhichwegetfromthe
tragedyofKarbalaisthatHusainandhisfollowersweretherigidbelieversofGod,theyillustrated
thatnumericalsuperioritydoesnotcountwhenitcomestotruthandfalsehood.Thevictoryof
Husaindespitehisminoritymarvelsme.

ThomasCarlyle,
HeroandHeroworship

Introduction

Thereissomethingquitestrangeyetintriguingwiththename?ImamalHusain?.Oneofthemost
charmingandpleasingnames,thename?ImamalHusain?impliesnoblecharacteristicsandmost
admirablequalities.

Yet,itmysteriouslyinspireshisadherentsandadmirerstocarryouttheirmostsinceredutiesand
modesofservitude,simplyforthesakeofmeetinghissatisfaction.Thecompilerofthepresent
volumesimplyaspirestoberegardedasonesuchperson.

Throughouthistory,thepurestandnoblestformsofart,literature,architecture,andsoforthhave
beenassociatedwitheitherreligionitself,orfigurescloselyassociatedwithGodand/orreligion.
Hence,themostsincerefeelingsofdevotionarecrystallizedintheformofpoetry,regardlessof
thelanguageused.

TheimpactofImamalHusainonpoetsishighlyevidentinsuchlanguagesasArabic,Persian,
Urdu,orTurkish,beingthedominantlanguagesofMuslimpopulations.
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com


SuchpoemsrevealtheextentanddepthoftheimpressiontheImamhassinceexertedonthe
cultureofthelanguageinquestion.Bythesametoken,itisinterestingtoexaminesuch

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devotionalpoemsinEnglish.Indeed,suchpoemsonlyexpressthepoet'smostsincerefeelingsor
reflectionsabouttheadmirablefiguresinquestion.

Thebulkofziarat1texts,poems,prosepieces,laments,sermons,andtazia(Shiiteversionof
passionplay)2scriptsdevotedtotheAshuratragedycollectivelymakeupwhatcangenerallybe
calledAshuraliterature.3GrantedthatsuchformsofAshuraliteraturenecessitateredefinitionof
?

literatureproper?simplytocoverliteraryandlinguisticmanifestationsofthewholeevent,Ashura
literatureisbynomeanslimitedtotheIslamicera,beginningspecificallyfromtheverydayof
Ashura.

AccordingtoTheOxfordEnglishDictionary(2nded.,20vols[1989],s.v.?ziarat?),theword
?ziarat?isdefinedas?AMuslimplaceofpilgrimage,ashrine;apilgrimagetosuchaplace.?Thisis
onesenseoftheword?ziarat?asusedinArabicandPersian.AlthoughnotrecordedinTheOxford
EnglishDictionary,thereisstillanothersenseofthewordwhichconcernsprescribedandoften
recommendedtexts,ofvariouslengths,tobereadwhilepayingsuchavisit.?Ziarattexts?deal
withthesecondsensenotedhere;theysignifyareligiousmeeting,farbeyondtheboundsoftime
andplace,withamostlymonologuetypeoftalking.

2ShorterOxfordEnglishDictionary(5thed.,2vols[2002])definesitinthisway:?Aplay
commemoratingthesufferinganddeathofHusain,performedesp.ontheanniversaryofthe
eventeachyear.?

3InArabic,itiscalledAdabalTaff(lit.Karbal?Literature).TaffisanotherdesignationofKarbal?.
See,forexample,J.Shubbar,AdabalTaff,10vols(Beirut:DaralMurtada,1409AH/1988).In
Persian,thefollowingworksmustbementionedasexamples:H.GoolMuhammadi,ed.,Ashura
vaShe'reFarsi[AshuraandPersianPoetry](Tehran:Atlas,1366Sh/1985)andM.A.Moj?hedi,
ShokuheShe?re?shur?darZab?neF?rsi(Qom:ShahidMahall?tiInstitute,1379Sh/1999).

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AshuraliteraturedatesbacktothepreIslamicperiod.

AccordingtoanaccountrelatedinMaf?t?halJin?n,1followingtheSafw?nprayer,ImamJa?far
alS?diqremarks,throughthechainofauthoritiesindicatedtherein,thatthetextoftheAshura
ZiaratwasinitiallycomposedandissuedbytheAlmighty.

(SupposingthattherehadnotbeenanypraiseforImamalHusainexcepttheveryaccount
indicatedhere,thissingleaccountitselfproveswellindicativeofthemagnificenceand
significanceoftheAshuraincidentandtheuniquepersonalityofImamalHusain.)

IfsuchanauthoritativetextastheAshuraZiaratcouldprovisionallybeputasideonthebasisof
thefactthatitssourceofproductionwasGodtheAlmighty,thefirsthumanproducedworkinthe
restofthecommonheritageofAshuraliteraturedatesbackatleasttotheveryfirstelegywhich
theChristianapostleZachariahcomposedontheAshuraincident23

Maf?t?halJin?nisacollectionofprayersforrecitation,nonobligatory,recommendedrituals,
andsoforthanthologizedbythelateSheikhAbbasQommi.Althoughtheexplanationswere
originallyphrasedinPersian,thewholetextlateronappearedinArabicandUrdutranslations.
Variouseditionsandselectionsofthebookarewidelyavailable.

2SeetheannotatedEnglishtranslationoftheHolyQuranproducedbyS.V.MirAhmedAli(1stUS
ed.,Elmhurst,NY:TahrikeTarsileQur'an,1988),s.v.theQuranicmysteriouslettersK?F,H?,Y?,
?AYN,S?DinthefirstverseoftheSuraMaryam(viz.Mary),p.242f,1309.

3Viewedfromthisbroadperspective,onemaycomeupwithaclassificatoryschemeofAshura
literature.Thatis,itmaybeclassifiedasa)preIslamicvs.b)postIslamicaccountsoflamenton
ImamalHusain

Whileoftheformertherearejustsomereportsincertainhadithbasedexegeses(tafs?rs)ofthe
HolyQuran,thelattercan(convenientlyandirrespectiveofthelanguageused)besubdividedinto
poeticprosepieces,lecturesandsermons,andpoems,allfocusingonthecaptivatingpersonality
ofImamalHusain,hisspeeches,addresses,thepoems(ascribedtohim),andparticularlythe
hardshipsheandhismatchlessadherentsendured.Assuch,

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severalcenturiesaheadofitstakingplace.(TherearesomeoutstandingandhighrankingShiite
ulema[clerics]whohavewrittenvariousaccounts1ofthesimilaritiesobservablebetweenthe
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

attributesandfatesoftheChristianapostleJohn[ArabicYahy?]

andImamalHusain.)Suchliteraryformsareentirelydevotedtorevealingthepurestandnoblest
kindsofsincerefeelingsoftheircomposersaswellasservingasaccountsofthehardshipsand
afflictionsImamalHusain'sfrontsufferedandenduredintheAshuratragedy.

2IntheIslamicperiod,sincetheAshuratragedyonward,almosteverydevoutbelletrist,author,
orresearcher,howeveramateurorproficient,hasproduced(atleast)awork,literaryorscholarly,

chieflytomarkhisorherreverenceandtremendousrespectforAshuraliteratureprovestobe
oneofthemostinterestingliterarygenresnotonlyfarbeyondthefrontiersofIslambutsignifying
alinkingthreadbetween(atleast)suchAbrahamicreligionsasJudaism,ChristianityandIslam.

Unfortunately,suchanarchetypalandsymbolictragedyseemsnottohavereceivedthedue
attentionitdeservesinmostWesternorIslamicliterarycircles.Needlesstosay,Ashuraliterature
cannotlogicallyberestrictedtoanypredeterminedlanguagesandgenres,nortothefaithand
denominationofanyonewhocomposessuchadevotionalpieceofliterature.

1See,forexample,J.Sh?shtar?,Dam?al?ayn?al?Khas?'isalHusain,Persiantitle[AshkeRav?n
barAmireK?rav?n],trans.SayyedMuhammadHosseynShahrestani(firstlithographiced.,1313
AH/1895;9thed.,Qom:DaralKetab,1381Sh/2002),pp.439443,andpp.423450,forImamal
Husain'ssimilaritieswithotherprophetsandapostles;cf.

theArabicoriginalunderthetitleofAlKhas?'isalHusain?yya:Khas?'isalHusainwaMaz?y?al
Mazl?m,ed.SayyedJa?farB?qiralHusain?(Qom:Anw?ralHud?,1425AH/2004),pp.496503,
onthesimilaritiesbetweenImamalHusainandtheApostleJohn;theentireChapter10,pp.475
515,isconcernedwiththesimilaritiesbetweenImamalHusainandotherprophetsandapostles.

2Undoubtedly,theearliestpieceofAshuralament(viz.nawha)wasproducedbyLadyZaynab,
ImamalHusain'ssister,besidetheImam'sdecapitatedbodyontheKarbalabattlefieldofAshura.

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ImamalHusain.SuchworksarebynomeanslimitedtoShiiteliteraryfigures;rather,quitealotof
Sunnite,evenChristian,Jewish,andHindufigureshaveshownandcontinuetoshowtheirrespect
andreverencebycomposingsuchpieces.1TrulyamazingisthefactthatAshuraliterature
transgressesbeyondallboundsofreligion,politicalleaning,orlanguageinthatalmostnothing
canstandonaparwithitassopenetratingandmovingand,atthesametime,smoothing.

Themoreapersonreadsorwritesaboutit,themoreeagertheyfeeltogoonwithit.Itmakes
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oneponder,feelaflame,produceawork,2feelsatisfiedforhavingdonehisorherduty,andthen
finditfarfromexpressingtheirtruefeelingsandpathostheyexperience,letalonetoreflectthe
smallestdegreeofthedepthandwidehorizonsoftheevent!Inanutshell,fatiguedoesnotmake
sensehereforthisisatrueinstanceofalaboroflove.

Ashuraliteratureinitsentiretyisnot,andshouldbynomeans,berestrictedtothemain
languagesoftheMuslimpopulation.Suchliteraturehasbeeneithertranslatedintomajor
Europeanlanguagesorproduceddirectlyinsuchlanguagesas

See,forexample,A.Bara,AlHusainf?alFikralMasi?hi(2nded.,Beirut,1979;Qum:Fadak,
1426AH/2005);A.alN?blus?,Al?qahalMas?h?yy?nbiAhlBaytalNab?yy(Beirut:D?ralH?d?,
1422AH/2001).HerementionmustbemadeofArchbishopSebouhSarkissian'swork?TheEvents
ofKarbala:ASurveyofSomeClassicalSources:alYa?qubi,alTabari,andalMas?udi?

(Unpublishedthesis,UniversityofBirmingham,1981),andKam?lalSayyid,BoulesSal?mah:Sh?'ir
alGhad?rwaKarbalaf?alZamanalAkhir(Beirut:DaralGhadir,1425AH/2004).Partofthelast
work(pp.4676)focusesontheAshuraincidentasmirroredinthepoemsofBoulesSalamah,a
famousLebaneseChristianpoet.

2Thisencompassesanytypeofworkcoloredandmintedwithasinceresenseofdevotion,beit
drawinganartisticwork,e.g.thecontemporaryIranianpainterMaestroFarshchiyan'sfamous
painting?Asre?Ash?r?[TheAshuraAfternoon].

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English,French,andsoforth.AslongasAshuraisrememberedanddevoutlycommemorated,its
literaturewillremainandsurvive,forAshurahasbeenanincidentfarbeyondtheboundsand
confinesoftheprecisedayofAshura,theplainofKarbala,andthereligionofIslam.Itwillremain
imbuedwithinvaluableandperenniallessons,moral,religious,andeducationalforallhumanity.

Ashurawillalwaysremainaneverendinglesson.Ithassincevociferatedthevoiceofthe
perennialbattlebetweenrightandwrong,darknessandlight,anditcontinuestomarkthe
oppressionofpurereligiousthoughtandnoblehumancharacters.Inthisway,itreverberatesthe
voiceofreligiousnobilityasexemplifiedandcrystallizedintheAshurabattle.

Throughouttheages,ImamalHusain,themourningceremoniesheldforhim,andevengoingon
pilgrimagetohumblypayvisitationtohissacredtombandsanctuary,andevenpayingavisitto
thosewhohavebeenonpilgrimagetoKarbala,havenotbeenaltogetherdevoidofpolitical
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implicationsforthosewhohaverealizedtheinherentpoliticalforcebehindthebeliefinthe
personalityofImamalHusainaswellasthespiritualandreligiousrewardsandvirtuesrecordedin
theauthoritativeandcanonicalhadithtexts.1Tothese,one

Thebulkofhadithliteratureinthisregardislegionandamazinglyabundant,thoughtprovoking,
andaweinspiring.See,forexample,thehadithsrecordedinsuchtextsasJa?farb.Muhammadb.
Q?lawayhalQumm?,K?milalZ?y?r?t,ed.?AbdulHusainalAm?n?([lithographiced.]Najaf:al
Murtadaw?yya,1356AH/1937),?AbdulHusainalAm?n?,'AdabalZ?'irLimanYamammalH?'ir,
ed.

Naj?hJ?birSalm?nalHusain?([orig.lithographiced.]Najaf,1362Ah/1943;repr.Beirut:alBalagh,
1424AH/2003);Muhammadb.?Al?b.alHasanal?Alaw?alShajar?,FadlZiy?ratalHusain
?AlayhalSal?m,ed.SayyedAhmadalHusain?26

mustaddtheinnumerablebiographies1,nawhas(viz.laments),marthiyas(viz.elegies),and
dramas,2producedinArabic,Persian,Turkish,andUrdu,tomentionjustafew.3

Thepresentbookisbynomeansthefirstandlastvolumecollectedinthisfield.Contrarytoan
initialanticipation,itseemsthatAshuraliteratureinEnglishwilloccupyatleastfivevolumesof
books.Hence,readersand(Qom:AyatollahMar?ash?PublicLibrary,1403AH/1982)which
containseightyninehadithsonthistopic.

1AhugenumberofvolumesofbibliographieshavebeencompiledonthebiographiesofImam
alHusain.Thebulkofbiographicalaccountsislegionandincalculable.Certainlynootherfigure
canmatchImamalHusainasthesubjectofsomanybooks,treatises,theses,dissertations,and
biographicalaccounts,shortorlong,publishedorunpublished,inhistory.Excludingmanuscripts
andessaysonhisbiography,compilingabibliographyofthepublishedbooksdealingwiththelife
ofImamalHusainwouldturnintoavoluminouswork.

Thereisashortlistof103importantArabicbooksonImamalHusaininM.A.alAm?n?al
Najaf?'sthirtytwopageIntroductiontoMaqtalalImamalHusainofM.R.alTabas?alNajaf?
(Qom:Muhibbin,1382Sh/2003),pp.920.Seealsothebibliographiesofsuchshortaccountsas
M.T.alSam?wi,Ibs?ral?aynf?Ans?ralHusain,rev.ed.,ed.A.J.alHasan?(Beirut:alBal?gh,
1424AH/2003),andM.B.

PourAmini,Chehreh?darHem?seyeKarbal?(Qom,Iran:Boust?neKet?b,1382Sh/2003).The
Persianbooksandmonographsonthesubjectarealmostinnumerable.Thepresentauthorhas
nothadaccesstoalistofsuchbiographiesandresearchmonographswrittenparticularlyin
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

English;however,itisnotillogicaltoguessthatquiteagreatnumberofsuchaccountsmusthave
beenproducedinMuslimcountrieswhereEnglishisthelinguafranca.

2Forinstance,A.AlSharqawi,HusaintheMartyr:APlayinSixScenes,trans.A.AbdulRazzak
(Chicago,Ill.:TheOpenSchool,1997).

3See,forinstance,thearticles?An?s?,?Marthiya?,and?MuhtashamiK?sh?n??inThe
EncyclopaediaofIslam,newedition(Leiden:E.J.Brill,1960).Ishouldhereliketomentiona
researchprojectontheTurkishheritageofAshuraliterature,currentlyunderdevelopmentbyDr.
AmiralKhalediattheUniversityofKufainNajaf,Iraq(personalcommunication).

27

criticsarerequestedtocontributetothiscollectionbyprovidingthecompilerwithpoemsnot
includedinthelargecorpussofarcollected.

Anattempthasbeenmadetofacilitatethereaders'tasks.Whereaperson,aconcept,aterm,or
aneventismentionedinapoem,thereadermayrefertotheendnoteindicated,gearedtoits
properlinenumber.

Thisisforthereader'seaseofreferencetothelinesinwhichtheyappear.Justaftereachpoem,
therearesomeexplanationstosavethereaders'time,andtoprovidethemwithsomebasic
informationtocomprehendthefragment(s)inquestion.

Thepresentintroductoryessaycanhardlyberegardedasatrueintroductiontoapoeticcollection
onAshura.Itmerelyservesasatextbywayofintroduction.And,nodoubt,anyintroductionto
thelifeandafflictionsofImamalHusainwillprovefarfromadequateinrespectofthegreatest
tragicincidentintheworld.

1Afterall,whodares,ormayevenclaim,toadequatelydescribethelifeofImamalHusainwhom
Godhonoredwithmartyrdom?2Anyattempttodescribesuchagreatincidentwouldbelikean
ant'sdescriptionoftheProphetSolomon'skingdom.

TakenoteofthefollowingphrasequotedfromtheAshuraZiarat?mus?batanm?'a?zamuh?wa
'a?zamaraz?yyatuh?f?'lisl?mwaf?jam??alsam?w?twa'lard?[anagonyforwhichthereis
nothingcomparableinIslamandeveninthewholeworld].2Considerthefragmentofthe
'Arba??nZiaratwhichreads?akramtah?bialshah?da?[you,viz.God,respectedandhonored
him[ImamalHusain]withmartyrdom].
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com


28

ThepresentintroductorydiscourseendswithafragmentofapoembytheIranianpoetSeyyedAli
MusaviGarmarudi:?Herethewordends/WhereIreachanend/Atyounoendbends.?

MayGodtheAlmightyconsiderandacceptthepresenthumbleattempt.Amen!

HariKumar:Ashura

Thechainwhipsawaken
ahundredeyesontheirbacks.
Redtearstrailthestreets
tothegolddomedtombofHusain.
Agoldenspiderwithlegsofblood.
Wailsshaketheskytheminaretprops.
Buttoday,foreverylashforHusain,
alashwilltearforawardedson.*

31

T.D.Chattani:ValeofSorrow

ThroughtheValeofsorrowdoeshistorytrace
TwomatchlessmartyrsourProphet'spets
WholefttheirhearthswithIslamicgrace
Inhungerandthirsttheirdutytoface.
Severedfromhome,exhaustedonthefield
OpposedbyenemieswhohadSatan'sshield
Theygavetheirlivesthatothersbefreed
Fromfalsehood,tyrannyandaKafir'screed.
Mostpreciousbloodflowedfromtheirveins
BattlefieldofKarbalahasstillthosestains

Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Fromourheartsshouldrushriversofblood
Renewingourfaithwiththisvitalflood.!*

10

*Khurshed,ed.,ImamHusain,2nded.,p.157
L.8?Kafir?refersto?infidel,unbeliever,orpagen?.

32

AmeenKhorasanee:HusainofKerbala

Menweepforyoutodayinmanylands,
Andontheirbreastsinbitteranguishbeat,
Andinsad,mournfultunes,thetalesrepeatofhowyou
lostyourfamilyuponthesands.
Younoblyspurnedthetyrant'sbasedemandsandchose5
Deathtopreventyoursoul'sdefeat,
Becameamartyrwithunflinchingfeet
Forthesewellmayoneweepwhounderstands.
Thissorrowatyourdeath,despitetheyearsisstillas
fresh,
WhichTimehasfailedtoquell.10
Ineveryheartthisdaynewpainappears
Andofyoursufferingsmeneachothertell.
Theyseeavisionthroughslowfallingtearsofthatlone
Battlewhereathirstyoufell.*
*Lalljee,TheMartyrdomofImamHusain,p.60.

33
SarojiniNaidu:TheNightofMartyrdom

Blackrobed,barefooted,withdimeyesthatrain
Wildtearsinmemoryofthywoefulplight,
Andhandsthatinblind,rhythmicanguishsmite
Theirbloodstainedbosomstosadrefrain
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Fromtheoldhauntinglegionofthypain,
Thyvotariesmourntheethroughthetragicnight
Withmysticdirgeandmelancholyrite,
Cryingtothee?Husain!Husain!
Whydothymyriadloverssolament?
Sweetsaint,isnotthymatchlessmartyrhood
Thelivingbannerandbravecovenant
OfthehighcreedthyProphetdidproclaim,
Bequeathingfortheworld'sbeautitude
Th'enduringlovelinessofAllah'sname?*
5
10
*Naidu,TheFeathersoftheDawn,p.6.

34

SarojiniNaidu:TheImamBara

I
Outofthesombershadow,
Overthesunlitgrass,
Slowinasadprocession
Theshadowypageantspass
Mournful,majestic,andsolemn,
Strickenandpaleanddumb,
Crownedintheirpeerlessanguish
Thesacredmartyrscome.
Hark,fromthebroodingsilence
Breaksthewildcryofpain
Wrungfromtheheartoftheages
Ali!Hassan!Hussain!
II
Comefromthistombofshadows,
Comefromthistragicshrine
Thatthrobswiththedeathlesssorrow
Ofalongdeadmartyrline.
Love!Letthelivingsunlight
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Kindleyoursplendideyes
Ablazewiththesteadfasttriumph
Ofthespiritthatneverdies.

SomaythehopeofnewagesComfortthemysticpainThatcriesfromtheancientsilenceAli!
Hassan!Hussain!*

ImamBara.?Imambara,Imaumbara,Eemaumberra=AbuildingmaintainedbytheShiaMuslims
fortheexpresspurposeofcelebratingtheMuhurrumceremonies,towhichtheybringtheirTazias
andTaboots.?inLewis,Sahibs,Nabobs,andBoxwallahs:ADictionaryoftheWordsofAnglo
India,Delhi:OxfordUniversityPress,1991.

*Naidu,TheSceptredFlute:SongsofIndia,pp.152153.

36

W.C.Tailor:AnOde

Tellmefriendswhatshallyousay
OntheawfulJudgmentDay
WhenMohammadasksyouwhere
Arethosetrustedtoyoucare?
Dearerthanathousandlives?
Boundbymanyafasteningchain
Someindungeonsdarkremain,
OnKerbala'sbarrenstrand
Otherslie,areakingband.
Tornwithwoundsandstain'dwithmud
Welteringintheirownheart'sblood.
WhenbeforetheJudgmentseat
YoutheHolyProphetmeet,
Heshallask.Ifthusyoushow
Thegratitudeyoujustlyowe,
Forallthebenefitsbestow'd
Bywhomwhosebountyfreelyflow'd.*

Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

*Khurshed,ed.,ImamHusain,2nded.,p.158.

37

Anonymous:VisionofKerbala

Here'sthetaleofmynightlytrance
TheVisionofKarbalainadeathlydance
WhenaMartyrgreatfacedthelance,
OfshamefulShimrforIslamtoenhance,
Nowarofweaponsorbattles'sound
Equalsthistragedyallworldround,
Noherohookedtoholinessstood
Withsuchheadheldhighwithoutshelterorfood.
Histrumpetspakenottoanarmedthrong
Buttoseventytwosaints,thecelestialstrong
Theyallsangtheirheavenlysong
Givingtheiralltoavengeawrong.
Satanicsceptresarrangedwithawfuleye
Thisorgyofbloodwithoutasigh
WhileourSovereignLordwaspassingby
Inscorchingsandtoanswerpeople'scry.
ForIslam'sunityhesurrenderedhishead
Withhisdarlingchildrenhenoblyfed
ThestarvingUmmatonitsdeathbed
Becausethroughsacrificearenationsmade!*
*Khurshed,ed.,ImamHusain,2nded.,p.156.

L.4.?Shimr?,fullname?Shimrb.Dh?alJawshan?,wasthemostnotoriousfigureintheAshura
incident.HisrealnamewasShurahb?lb.?Amrb.Mu??w?yyah.Hesymbolizescrueltyandatrocity
becausehewasreportedlythepersonwhodecapitatedImamalHusain.

HeinstigatedanddispatchedhismentoattackandplunderthetentsonImamalHusain'sfront.L.
10.Although?seventytwosaints?referstothewidelyacceptednumberofmartyrsoftheAshura
battle;however,thenumberofmartyrslistedinsideImamalHusain'ssacredshrineamountsto
someonehundredmartyrs(personalobservation).
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com


L.19.?Ummat?,var.umma,means?TheMuslimcommunity

39

H.Wells:ImamHusain

Pitcheduponthescorchingdesert,
ThetentofHusainlay,
EncompassedroundwithSatan'shounds
Uponthatblacksadday.
Theynumberedlessthaneightystrong,
Womenandchildrentoo,
WhileYazid'sthousandsstoodaround,
Awaitingthefiend'smight.
Drivenawayfromthecoolingstream,
Hischildrenwaitingforwater.
Awaitingwithpatienceextremelysublime
Likesheepforthebutcher'sslaughter.
Oh!Howvaliantlyfoughtthatpitifulfew,
AgainstYazid'swildmurderers,
FoughtwithacourageunequalledinTime
FoughtwithafiercenessthatwassurelyDivine.
Theearthquakedandtrembledasnoondrewnear.
Butstillthesurvivorsknewnofear
Butfewergrewthatpitifulband,
ForIslam,God,andHusaintheystand.
Atlast,allweredead,thedevilhadwon,
Bloodredsankdownthemercilesssun,
TrampledandtornlaythegallantHusain,

ForIslam,God,andthefaithfulwereslain.*
*Khurshed,ed.,ImamHusain,2nded.,pp.141142.

Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

41

TabishKhair:PoemfromOutsideaMuharramProcession

Theclashofarms,theclaspofarmour
(YaHassan,YaHussain):
Thisisnotsorrow,thisissomethingelse.
Thisisdefeat
That'smorethanvictory,thisis
Thepastthat'spassedbyfathertoson
Asatrinketheirloomwithoutprice,
Thisistheinheritanceofpain.
Theretheywhirl,bleeding,bleeding
(YaHassan,YaHussain)
Fromwoundsinflictedonotherbodies
Andinanothercentury.
Thisisnotwar,thisiswomenwailing
Afterthebattleisover,after
Theheadissevered,mitredonalance.
Thisistheknowledgeofdeath
Passedonfrommothertodaughter
(YaHassan,YaHussain).
Thisisnotreligion,this
Istheexchangeofunwrapped

Presents.Thisisayoungboyfeeling
Withhisfather'sheart,thisis
Aponytailedgirlspeaking
Withthevoiceofhermother.
Thisisnotanger,notevenpassion:
(YaHassan,YaHussain)
Thisisdancingwiththewoundoftime.
Thisismystudiedfailuretofeel.*
25
*Khair,WhereParallelLinesMeet,pp.910.
L.2.?Ya",anArabicvocativeorattentiongetter,almost
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

equivalenttoEnglishO,Oh,orLo.ImamalHassan,here
mentionedasHassan,wasImamalHussain'selderbrother.

43

Anonymous:OntheMornofMuharram

Wakeupmyfriends;forthemornof
Qiamahasarrived
ItisthemonthofMuharram
Thecrescentofgriefhasappeared
Themonthofmourninghasarrived
Muharramisthemonthoftears
Muharramisthemonthofblood
Bodiesareshredded
Andthedesertisagardenofblood
Thecrescentofgriefhasappeared
Themonthofmourninghasarrived
Thecreationissadandinmourning
Itisthemonth:
WhenHusainwasmartyred
Whentheeyesof'Alishedblood
Thecrescentofgriefhasappeared
Themonthofmourninghasarrived
HusainsacrificedfortheepathofIslam
Hisheadisonthespear
Hisbodyisontheground
Thecrescentofgriefhasappeared
Themonthofmourninghasarrived
Thearmsof'Abbaswerecutinthismonth
Thethreeedgedarrowsettledinthe
parchedthroatoflittleAsghar

Thecrescentofgriefhasappeared
Themonthofmourninghasarrived
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Zainabwillhugthedustoftheedungeon
inthismonth
TheeinnocentfaceofSakinawillbe
Bruisedinthismonth
Thecrescentofgriefhasappeared
Themonthofmourninghasarrived.*
30

L.2.?Qiama?(correctformqi?mah)meanstheResurrectionDay.

L.15.?'Ali?referstoImam?Al?,thefirstInfallibleImam.

L.23.?'Abbas?refersto?Abb?sb.?Al?,ImamHusain'sstepbrother,whowasmartyredatthe
KarbalaBattleonAshura.L.25.?Asghar?refersto?Al?alAsghar,ImamHusain'ssixmonthbaby.

L.28.?Zainab?wasImamHusain'ssister.

L.29.?Sakina?wasImamHusain'sbeloveddaughter.

45

FarahYeganeh:AShapedElegyforKarbala

Wheredoyouresidenow?
Whereyoureside?
Whereyou?
Where?
Wherehavetherainbowsperishedto?5
Whererainbowsperished?
Whererainbows?
Where?
Whydoesthecitylooksodark?
Whycitydark?10
Whydark?
Why?
I'velosttheorangeandthevioletoftherainbow.
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Orangeandvioletofrainbow.
Lostrainbow.
Lost.Whatshouldbedonewiththesilentconfusion?
Whatwithsilentconfusion?
Withsilentconfusion?
What?20
Iusedtostandunderthebigtalltree.
Standunderbigtalltree.
Standundertree.
Stand.
Andwonderatthemagicofthecolors.25
Wonderatmagicofcolors.
Magicofcolors.
46

Magic.
Whathavetheydonetotheechoes?
Whatdonetoechoes?30
Whattoechoes?
What?
Havetheyeventuallydissolvedinnothingness?Eventually
dissolvedinnothingness?
Dissolvedinnothingness?35
Nothingness?*
*Ms.FarahYeganehherselfcontributedthispoemtothis
volume.

47

EthelM.Pope:TragedyofMoharram

Goldmoonbeamshedtheirmistylight
O'erasaddenedworld;
Tosoundofdeepestfuneraldirge.
Islam'sbannerisunfurled,
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Withslowandmeasuredstep,?tisborne,
Aloftamidthethrong,
Theemblemofamightyhand
E'erraisedtorightawrong,
Inbygonedaysitssilkenfolds,
WavedproudlyinIran;
FromContinenttoContinent,
TheArabsymbolran.
Itspathwasmarkedbyvictory,
Thetriumphoftheright;
TilldarkestAfrica'sheathenhands,
Werebathedinpurestlight.
Thatdayofhappinessisgone;
Nomoreinecstasyborne,
Thebannerheadsasobbingthrong;
Whosedutyistomourn.
Thelossofhimbelovedbyall
Aherowithoutstain,
Whosenoblesacrificehasmade
Theworldringwithhisname
Withopenhandhegavehisall;

Hislittlechildrendear

Brothers,friendshelplesswomentoo,
Clingtohiminfear,
Unflinchingly,normovednorwept,
Secureinhisjustcause,
Henoblyfoughtandnoblydied,
TosaveIslam'sgreatlaws.
Allthememoryofmartyrdom
Anewthepassionsrise;
Abitter,sobbing,wailingcry,
Goesupuntotheskies;
Witheachnewyearthelatentgrief,
Pentup,breaksoutagain,
AndHeavenreturnstheimpassionedcry,
Husain,Husain,Husain!*
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com


*Khurshed,ed.,ImamHusain,2nded.,pp.153154

49

JusticeA.D.Russel:TheMartyrofKarbala

Fromagetoage,onVirtue'sage,
Shalllivethedeathlessstory,
HislossremaintheMartyr'sgain,
HisshametheMartyr'sglory;
Tilltruthshalllie,andHonordie,
Andtimeitselfbehoary.
?AriseHusain,arise,
ChiefoftheProphet'sseed;
Flingbroadthybannertotheskies,
Andcomewithutmostspeed,
OrerethethroneoftheAllWise
UsurpedbebyfoulYazid?.
He'sdonnedhisarmourbright,
Hisfather'sswordgirton;
TheswordofAli,asthemight
OftheDestroyer'sown:
Andheisofferemorninglight
Acrossthedesertwideandlone,
?Now,Kufa,keepthyword!
Tothegoodcausebetrue;
Yazidhassentagianthorde
Tomarchthyprovincethrough;
Thehirelingsofhisfather'shoard,
Whograceormercyneverknew.?
Theyborehisgodlikeheadaloft,

Hismouthstruckwiththeirwhips.
?Omouth,thatIhaveseensooft,
Ateemwithangelquips,
Inbabykisses,warmandsoft,
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

PressedtotheProphet'slips!?
Obody,trampled,fouled,disdained,
Whichcharmedthegazer'seye,
Thebloodfromoutthyveinsthatdrained
Washeaven'selectuary;
Nohorseshooveswereeverstained
Insodivineadye.
ObarrenplainofKarbala,
Withherb,noryetwithsod
Becladeternally;forah!
There,overwhelmed,downtrod,
TheholysonofFatima
GaveuphissoultoGod!*
*Khurshed,ed.,ImamHusain,2nded.,pp.136140.

L.19.Kufa,oralKufa(ArabicalK?fa),isatownonwesternbankoftheEuphrates.Itisnowquite
closetoalNajaf.AlKufaservedasaseatofImam?Al?'sgovernment,hencearefugeandcenter
fortheShiites.JustpriortotheKarbalaincident,severalofitsinhabitantswrotelettersof
invitationtoImamalHusain;however,mostofthembetrayedhimandparticipatedinthe
unbalancedwaragainsthiminKarbala.

51

MariamRizvi:UntitledPoem

Peace,withsceptionandhope,Iseek,
(congruity'sscopeIknowisbleak)
TomendIcrave(ratherthankill)
Tospillblood,abhorIwill.
IntendIdo,noforcetouse(IfsenseinyouIcaninfuse)5
Buttherules,supreme,ofthedivinefaith
ResolvedIam,todefendtilldeath.
FaceyourhostilemovesIwill.
ThoughtaccordIcovet,seekpeacestill.
Aholywaritmeansindeed
Ifwagedtocrushthedevil'screed.
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Norancour,`againstyou,'Ihold
ButfaithdocherishasItold.
IslamIwillresolutelyshield
Burntwillstandandneveryield.
Wouldwelcomedeath(andmakeittame)
Wouldratherdiethanliveinshame.
YourProphet'sscionI'myouknow
Atleastsomeregardtohisnameshow.
Hissingulardictumismycreed:

"Universalgood"Iadore,indeed.
Ali,theparagon,theseraphicImam
Champofthefaith,theshieldofIslam
Inimitable,impeccable:Iamhisson
HispeerlessattributesIhavewon.
Myheartisvirtues'abodeandnest
Blessednessharboursinmybreast.
MuhammadcameinthekingdomofGod,
asamessengerofpeaceasthemasterofcreed.
HeinfluencedtheworldwithAli'shelp,
andallthesonsfromhisdaughter'sbreed.
FatimatheladyofGod'sparadise,
Alithewarrior,theleader,thewise.
Hassan,theheirofeternallore,
Hussain,themartyr,theheaven'sdoor.
CallAliinthetrouble,Almightysays,
becauseinhispresencetheevildecays.
He'sthelionofGod,he'stheswordofGod,
andallhisbelieversareonerighteoussquad.
Islam'sprosperityisthegiftofHussain,
InthewayofGod,hesacrificedhisclan.
Hegavehisheadbutnothisgrace,
Hismartyrdomisaslaponthedevilsface.
Thegrandsonofprophetdecidedtofight,
tounveiltheSatan,andbringhiminlight.
Thefoodwasbanned,thewaterwasstopped,
butonhismindthetriumphhadtopped.
Zainabwaswithherbrotherallthetime,
andparticipatedasmuchtodemolishthecrime.
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

HersuretywasAbbas,theholderoftheflag,
Whosehandontheemblemisthevictory'stag.
Thethirstwasamenace,thehungerathreat,
anexampleforallthemankindwasset.
Buttherighteuosfought,anddiedonthefaith,
andtherightwon,againsttheevilswraith.*
45
50
55
*Publishedon:Thursday,9Muharam1424(13March2003)
L.34.HassanwastheeldersonofImam?Al?andthesecond
infallibleimam.HewastheelderbrotherofImamalHusain.
54

L.48.Zainab,orZaynabbint?Al?,wasImamalHusain's
youngersisterwhoaccompaniedImamalHusainfromMedina
toKarbala.Shemarriedhercousin?AbdAllahb.Ja?farand
hadfoursonsandadaughter.Twoofhersons,?Awn(var.
Aun)andMuhammad,weremartyredonAshurainKarbala.
ShebravelyactedastheleaderofthesurvivorsoftheKarbala
incidentandeloquentlyactedasthedisclosingvoiceofthe
Karbalarevolttorevealtherealfaceandunjustcharacterof
Yaz?d.
L.50.?Abb?s(var.Abbas)b.?Al?wasImamalHusain'sstep
brother.Hetypifiesandsymbolizesbravery,religiouszeal,
chivalrouspoliteness,andabsoluteobediencetowardImamal
Husain.

55

SyedAhmedAliMohani:TheHeroofKerbala


Many,manyyearsago,
OnbloodyfieldofKerbala,
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Anobleherofacedhisfoe,
AschampionofGod'sFaithandLaw.
Ov'erheadtherewasascorchingsun,
Therewerenoshadytrees,
Beneathaburningsandyplain,
Withnorefreshingbreeze.
AscionofHashim'snobleline;
OfHeroismamodel,
SonofAli,theLionofGod,
GrandsonofGod'sApostle.
Hiscomradesfewbutloyalandbrave,
Someyoungandsomeadvancedinage,
Therecordofwhoseactionsgave,
Tohistoryitsbrightestpage.
Ofworldlycomfortstheyhadnone,
Nocouchnorrosybed,
Tocomforttheirafflictedhearts,
TheHolyWordofGodtheyread.
Threedaystheyeverydistressbore,
Deprivedofdrinkandfood,
Theworlddoesstillwonderat,
Theirunexampledfortitude.
Theyfellaroundhimonebyone,

Firmintheirrighteousways,
Andfortheirloyaltyhavewon,
Fromfriendandfoeaworldofpraise.
Hisfriendswithlovinggriefheeyed,
Lyingdeadinsun'sscorchingrays,
Tojustifyhisaimhetried,
Todealwithfoesinpeacefulways.
Hebroughtinarmshisbabyson,
Askedthemtogivehimwater,
Saidhe,?Thebabenoharmhasdone,
Todieofthirstorslaughter.?
Stonestheythrewandarrowsshot,
ObedienttoYazid'sbehest,
Andintheirfurysparednot,
Ev'nlifeofbabyatthebreast!
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Alittlebeforehisenemieswere,
Forwatersorelypassed,
Reliefhegavethemthenandthere,
Andcouldnotseeevenfoesdistressed.
HehumblyprayedandpraisedtheLord,
TheGiverofSpiritualbeauty,
Andthoughmidstdangerneverfailed,
Todohissacredduty.
Wickednesscannofurthergo,
Crueltyneedsnogreaterproofs,
Hissacredbody,afterdeath,
Wastrampledunderhorses'hoofs!
Victory,thoughmean,theygained,butstill,
Noboundsknewtheirire.
Orphansandwidowstheycaptivesmade,

Andsettheirtentsonfire.
Thecaptivessawwithchokinggrief,
Andeyesdimmedwithtears,
ThetragicsightofMartyrs'heads,
Upliftedonspears!*

60

*Lalljee,TheMartyrdomofImamHusain,pp.6365.

L.2.?Kerbala?isavariantspellingof?Karbala?or?Karbela?,correctArabicpronunciation
?Karbal?'?,Englishspelling?Karbala?.

L.9.Hashim,orH?shimb.?AbdMan?f,wasthegreatgrandfatheroftheProphetMuhammad.

L.11.?TheLionofGod?isanhonorifictitleforImamAlisignifyinghisbravery.ItsArabicoriginalis
AsadAllahwithaPersianequivalentasShireKhoda.

58

Anonymous:AJourney
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

Itwaspeakofthemischiefandvirtuesinchains;
Justlawsweresackedwithrulesinsane;
Asthetyrantsontherise,andmassconfused,
offeredlustwithlies,andfaithabused.
Thusthesignsindicated,andtimedictated.
SomesoulselevatedasalHusain(A.S.)navigated;
aseedoftheProphet(P)andthesightofhisParents(A.S.)
thattimeindeluge,hewasarksoapparent.
IntheNameofGod,forthesakeofIslam;
forthefreedomoflifeandsoulofIslam;
gavegreatestsacrifice,butnothishands,
withthemembersofhiskinandmanyofhisfriends.
Hur,Muslimandthefriendsthoseheartssopure;
theyofferedtheirlivesasshieldandcure;
thustyrantscameforthfromthecurtainwayold;
thenpeacewasboughtandlivesweresold.

Anddaringinthemannerswerethetwoyoungbrothers;

intheboldnessoftheirmovesweretheteachingsofamother

59

ShoneAunandMuhammadwiththevalorknownasHaider(A.S.);

Thosechildrenwereslainnotthefeelingofthemother.20Withamessagefromhisfatherwas
QasimbinHassan(A.S.);

aradiantjewelofIslamwasthisglowingyoungson;
butQasimintopieceswithabridedayold;
onthesandinheatitwassavageandcold.
ThentheprideoftheHashimsrodebackfromtheriver;
Andthetyrantsmadesurethathedidnotdeliver;
theycutoffhisarms,butspiritwasset;
tillanarrowhitthebag,onlyeyesgotwet.
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com


25

FellAbbas(A.S.)fromthehorse,withnohandsforresort;

thenalHusain(A.S.)rushedtoshoreforabrother'sendresort;30

thosechildrenwhowaitedwiththepatienceweretold;andthirstinthecampwasthreedaysold.
SoonAkbarcamdownwithspearinhischest;

whichafatherhadtopullsoseverewasthetest;

HewasimageoftheProphet(P),andthelifeofalHusain(A.S.);

HewasvisionofamotherandtheeyesofalHusain(A.S.)

60

NowtheLeaderwasaloneashecalledforthehelp,
thenababyfelldown;aresponsefromthecrib!
Thisthirsty,pure,infantwasasonofImam,
Who,acknowledgedhisfatherandthecallofImam.
40ThusalHusain(A.S.)broughthimforsomewaterinthefield,

andshowedthembaby'sdriedlipsandappealed;
butthesixmonthsoldgotanarrowsothick,
thatturnedhimoverandtorehisneck.
AliAsgharwenttosleep,withhisfatherandnofear;45
withthecradleonthefire,andtheirheadonspear;
andthemother'semptyhand,withtheteardriedeyes,
wholookedforthebabytosinglullabies.
Andasisterbythecampsawthehorrorofthistrip;
asaknifetoretheneck,wheretheProphet(P)puthislips;50
Earthingrief,roaredheavensandmourned,
SandturnedredwhenalHusain(A.S.)wastorn.
Andachildfulloftearswithhertinybleedingears,
bruisesonherfaceandherthirstsosevere;
Sheranforherfatherwholaidbeheaded,
andcriedfortheuncleforhelpsheneeded;
SyedaZainab(A.S.)lookedforherinthesadnessofthatnight;
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

61

didinquireeverysoulinthelandoftheplight;
butSakinawassleepingonthechestofabody;

withtheloveofthefather,fromthefragranceofhisboy.

Thenthecamppusheddown,whileflameswentup;
littlechildrenrushedout,astheirdresseslitup;
itwasnightfullofcriesandtheinnocentquests;
shatteredwerethedreamsandbrokenwerethenests.
60
Alldefenseslaidtorest,aftertrialsandthetests;65
lefttoface,oneImam,evenhistorywoulddetest,
whofaintedwiththeillnessfacedtortureandtorment;
aMasterofthepiousanddevotees'ornament.
LashesonhisbackheavychainsonImam;
butladiesweretheprisoners,wasthewoundofImam;70
Nochadorforthembuttheirropetiedarms;

andgriefsoaredhighfromKufatoShaam.

But,thedaughterofAli(A.S.)challenged,miserieswiththemessages;

withthefamiliesinbazaars,anddeadlycourtsofsavages;Withthedepthofthepatienceandthe
ZenithofBraverBravery;

Islamwasrescuedforeverfromtheslavery.*

62

L.6.?A.S.?istheabbreviatedformofanoriginallyArabichonorificandprayerlikesentence.
??AlayhialSal?m?formales,or??AlayhaalSal?m?forfemalesarebasicformsusedtoexpress
one'sreverenceandhighrespectforthedignitariesmentioned.AlthoughwidelyusedinIslamic,
particularlyShiite,devotionalandreligioustextsproducedinEnglish,theabbreviation?A.S.?has
notbeenrecordedinEnglishdictionaries.

L.13.ForHurr,seenotetoL.181above.
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L.19.AunandMuhammadaretwosonsofLadyZaynabwhowasmartyredinKarbala.

L.19.?Haider?isatitleofImam?Al?.

L.21.Q?simwassonofImamalHasan,ImamalHusain'selderbrother.Q?simfoughttheenemy
andwasmartyredindefenseofhisuncle,viz.ImamalHusain.

L.25.?[T]heHashims?referstotheH?shimidspresentatKarbala,viz.ImamalHusainandthose
oftheH?shimiddynasty.

L.29.?Abb?s(var.Abbas)b.?Al?wasImamalHusain'sstepbrother.Hetypifiesandsymbolizes
bravery,religiouszeal,politeness,andentireobediencetowardImamalHusain.

63

L.33.?Akbar?,lit.?elder?,isatitleof?Al?b.alHusain,theelderbrotherofthefourthInfallible
Imam.Akbarisusedhereasashortenedform.OnAshura,hewasthefirstoftheH?shimidswho
wenttothebattlefield,foughttheenemy,andwasmartyred.

L.45.AliAsghar,Arabictitle?Al?alAsghar,is?Al?b.alHusain.[Asgharmeanstheyoungest.]
WhenImamalHusainlostallhiscompanions,hegotbacktothetentsandfoundhimsuffering
fromintensethirst.Topreventhisbabyfromdyingofthirst,ImamalHusainbroughthimtothe
enemysoastogethimsomewater.

ImamalHusainrequestedsomewaterfromtheenemysoldierstosavehimfromcertaindeath,
butawickedandcruelsoldiershotanarrowandslewthebabyintheImam'sarms.

L.57.SyedaZainab.?Syeda?(lit.Lady,Miss,orMrs.)isthefeminineformof?Syed?,itselfthe
IndianSubcontinentEnglishvariantformof?sayyid?whichmeansMr.orSir.

RegardingZainab,orZaynabbint?Al?,shewasImamalHusain'syoungersisterwho
accompaniedImamalHusainfromMedinatoKarbala.(Bintmeans?daughterof?.)Shemarried
hercousin?AbdAllahb.Ja?farandhadfoursonsandadaughter.

Twoofhersons,?Awn(var.Aun)andMuhammad,weremartyredinKarbalaonAshura.She
bravelyactedastheleaderofthesurvivorsoftheKarbalaincidentandeloquentlyactedasthe
disclosingvoiceoftheKarbalarevolttodisclosetherealfaceandunjustcharacterofYazid.

64
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L.59.Sakina(Sak?nabintalHusain),wasImamalHusain'sdaughter.

L.71.Theword?chador?symbolizesformalandreligiouscoveringforwomenandgirlswhenthey
getout.AlreadyaloanwordinEnglish,itinsignifiesworrenlshighsocialstatusinMiddleEatern
Muslimcommunities.

L.72.KufatoShaam.Kufa,oralKufa(ArabicalK?fa),isatownonthewesternbankofthe
Euphrates.ItisnowquiteclosetoalNajaf.AlKufaservedasaseatofImam?Al?'sgovernment,
hencearefugeandcenterfortheShiites.JustpriortotheKarbalaincident,severalofits
inhabitantswroteletters,invitingImamalHusaintomovethere;however,mostofthem
betrayedhimandparticipatedintheunbalancedwaragainsthiminKarbala.

L.72.?Shaam?,or?alSh?m?referstotheLevantthatisaregionpresentlycomprisingSyria,and
theneighboringpartsofLebanon,Palestine,andJordan.ItspecificallyreferstoDamascus,the
capitalandseatoftheUmayyaddynasty.

InShiiteculture,itimpliesthehardestandmostunbearablephaseofcaptivityforthesurvivorsof
theKarbalaincident.

65

A.K.Esmail:TheConquerorofKerbala

Thetremendoussurgefrommiddeserts
Hadjustreachedthebrink
Onitsvictoriousonwardsmarch
And,thereforawhileitstopped.
Forawhileitwastouchandgo
Forawhileitseemed
Desertborndesertcontained.
Thatwasnottobe
Itwasnotsodecreed
Muhammad'sownblood
Wastheretoanswerthecall.
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

AtKerbalathefaithwasreborn
AndHusain'smartyredblood
Blossomedforthand
Lo,therewasuniversalIslam.
Tothelastdaylastminute
Shallshinetheimmortaldeeds
OfHusainandhiscohorts
TheFaithfulFew
YestheGreatonehimselfwasontrial
TheLastProphet'sownblood
Hisdarlingandhisheir
Husainhimselfhadtofall
Beforethegrandmessagespread.
Themouthsthathadfed

66

BitthehandsthatheldTheungratefulserpent'sbiteThatwasaProphet'sreward.

Bereftofgold,bereftofhomeBereftoffoodandwateritselfButfullofMuhammad'sbloodFullof
pluckfulloffaithTheCourageousledon.

LedonthelastseventytwoSeventyandtwoofthegrandhostSpiritualancestorsofthelikeWho
fromageskeepthefaithaliveThosethatdonotquit.

Thronesareusurped,goldstolenButnotthethornyCrownThatalwaysrestsonthebrowsofa
rareJesus.

ThatwasHusain'sheritageThatwentbackofChristAheritagetostandlikerockTosuffertostrive
andtodieTodieandceasetobeSothatTruthforeverbe.

Theydon'tdieTheheroesofKerbalaTheywhogothroughfieryfurnacesandwalkinthevalleyof
shadesFortheendtheyemergeInshiningarmoursradiatingLightoftruthforever.

Invain,invaindidYazidfoam

67

Invain,didhisarmiesstormForthefieldwastheirsWhohadtheirpreciousliveslainThe
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conquerorofKerbalawasHusain.

HeretheunmatchablebecameinvincibleHerethepricefortheperfectwaspaidWhatfatherhad
conceivedThebravesonhadfulfilled.

Ye,fieldsofKerbalaStandusinneedMuslimsarteagainontrialThereisnoHusaintolead.

Ya,MuhammadMustaphaGrantusthyson'sspiritLetKerbalabeourbeaconForwehaveonlyto
repeatTheoriginaldeedisdoneCanwenotjustrepeat?

YazidsareyetallaboutWithinusandalsowithoutHistribedoesnotdieYe,watersofoldlady
FuratTellushowHusainfought

Tellushowhewon
Foragainhavewetowin
Andleaveanexamplebehind
ThatthemessageofMuhammad
ThesacrificeofHusain
Shallnotbeinvain
Islam,Allah'snoblestgift

68

Hastobeearnedagainandagain.*

*Lalljee,TheMartyrdomofImamHusain,pp.6063.

L.19.?TheFaithfulFew?referstoImamalHusain'scompanionswhowererelativelymuchless
thanthenumberoftheenemy'sarmy,whichreportedlyexceeded30,000.

L.21.?TheLastProphet?referstotheProphetMuhammad.

L.53.Yaz?db.Mu`?w?yyahsymolizesaverynotoriousanddetestablefigure.Hewasthecruel
monarchoftheUmayyaddynasty.Soonafterhisgainingpower,heorderedhisagentinMedina
togainImamHusain'salliancebyforce.

AsthiswasallincontradictiontothecontentsofthepeacetreatysignedbyMu??w?yyahand
ImamHassan,ImamalHusainrightlyrefusedtorecognizeYaz?dasaMuslimruler.Hence,the
ImamleftMedinaforMeccaindefiancetotheunjustforceexerted.
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AsthepeopleofalKufahadinvitedImamalHusain,heintendedtogothere.Enroutetoand
nearKufa,itwasatKarbalawhereYaz?d'sagentsandhenchmenmadeImamalHusainstop.In
fact,Yaz?dorderedhisforcestosurrender,fight,andslayImamalHusainandhiscompanions
therein.

L.66.?Ya,MuhammadMustapha?.?Ya?isanArabicvocativeorattentiongetter,corresponding
roughlytoEnglishO,Oh,orLo.

Mustapha,orMustafa,?lit.Chosen,selected,preferred,favorite,isanotherlaqab(designationor
appellation)oftheProphetMuhammad.

69

L.72.?Yazids?signifiesthosewhoarelikeYazidincharacter.Althoughpropernamesareregarded
asinherentlydefinite,andnoncount,insuchsecondaryusestheyqualityasaset,orcategory
denotingnoun,hencetheymaytakeapluralmarker.

L.75.Furat,orFur?t,[EnglishEuphrates]isoneofthetwomajorriversofIraqwherethecityof
Karbalaislocatedon.ItsymbolizesthethirstImamalHusainandhiscompanionsenduredaswell
asthebattleoccurredtherebyatKarbala.

AccordingtonumerousIslamichadiths,itisregardedasaParadiseriverimbuedwithvirtuesfor
whoevergetsconsecratedwithit.Alsorecommendedistoperformghusl[i.e.,washingthewhole
bodyinaprescribedwayforreligiousorritualpurposes]withitswaterpriortoperformingziarat,
viz.pilgrimage,toImamalHusain'ssacredsanctuary.

70

SayyedAliMusaviGarmarudi:TheTrackofBlood

TreesIlikethem
Inyourreverencetheystandfirm;
Likewisethewater,
It'sthedowryofyourmother.
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

It'syourbloodbrightenedthehonor,
It'syournobilitythehorizondoesmirror.
Theduskisthatniche,
Inthemornbymartyrdomyoudidpray.
Inmymindthoughtsaboutthatvalleyflood
Thesoilofwhichsuckedyourblood.
No,indeednot,avalesohighIsawnever.
Itisyou,onlyyou,inadownfalldear,
Betterfromthevaleitselfhear!
Aswordwhichatyourthroatdidply
Cuteverythingintotwounderthesky.
TurnedHussainiwhateveratyourside
WhileYaziditheotherside.
Nowrocksandwe!
Watersandwe!
Hills,canals,meadows,trees
SomeareYazidis
Else,theyareHussainis.

71

BloodyourneckirrigatedEverythingundertheskyintotwodividedEventhecolorResidedin
everyparticleInadazzlinggarishcarbuncle.

Else,notHussaininordoesconcur.

Yourdeath,lo,whatagage!

Laughedatlifeandvilifieditsstage

Thattothedeathdesiredlifetopage.

Yourbloodstoodthere

andstoodtheTruthinitscare:
Oneitisbutafare.
Determinationstoodasecurity;
Rivetedtheworldintoitsguarantee.
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Althoughfalseespousestheworld
Truthincanopyofyournamebridestheworld.
Peepintotruthiftoseeyou
Andthegrasswhenitistogrow,
Thewaterinadrinkwhenit'stoflow,
Thestoneaschallengesathrow,
Intoaswordwhenitcutsintotwo
Orthelionwhenitsroarthewindsblow,
Intothehorizonwhichisbloody,
Inthesmileofduskwhichisruddy.
Inastand,
Inademand.
Youtobefoundincrevices,

72

Tobesmelledinroses
Andtheburningsuntobedemanded,
Theearlymorntobecommanded.
Shouldbeopenedheartofthenight,
Seedsscatteredthedelight
Andthewindscarryyoursight;
Tobepluckedfromthebunches'height.
InGodaloneyoutobeseen,
WhosoeveruponTruthiftolean,
Goryisheandhisfingersbeam
Theglowofyourbloodanditssheen.
Eternityisthemirror
Hungbeforeyouforeveryviewer.
Alas,thesun,itisnobetter;
Hence,wewouldn'tutter:
'Itisyourlooks'glitter.'
Inacozycornerofhistory'sconscience
GuardingtheTruthstandsheisvigilance.
Inhissmiletactsflowinmellifluence.
Strong,straight.Starstriking
Suchthedeterminationsaredemonstrating
Theelevationsiftobeviewedbyahumanbeing.
Lo,infancyofreasonastonishesinadazeconfusing.
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Itisthelakeofyourownblood
Agatewayofhistorywhereyouhavestood
Holdingajugofcivilizationforhumangood
Toquenchthecaravanofmankind
Inamartyrdompacingonwardpressingthehind.

73

YournamedisturbsthesleepundermoonAnddelugesinwateraTyphon,Lo,reststhelawin
yourtone.

80

Tobattleyourdeterminationonlyfoolsprone,
Yourdistinctionisblood,onlyblood,bloodalone.
O,you,notadivinebutindivinitydrown.
Deathisvileinyourhold
Asaflyaplaythingamongchildren'sfold85
AndYazid,apretext.Anexcuseriftobetold,
Asthoughahandkerchiefbeforeyouunrolled
andyouspitedthefilthoftyrannyinitsshroud
andthrewintothehistory'sdustbinforothertoscold.
Ahugebloodsucker,90
Notanentitybutalier;
SuchwasYazidanidler.
Sinspersonifiedinhim
Andhetomankindamegrim.
Robberyofnameitisittonamehim95
'Aman'howeverthesenseheclaim.
O,you!O,Gloriousvictim!
Beuponyoublessing!
Notbecausethirstyyoumetmartyrdom
Butyourenemyisofsuchasum.
Yourdeathred
BrokeYazid'snameintoashred,
Andmadethesenseinthewordtyrannydead.
Troopsofwordswithbarracksofdescriptionfled.

74
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Indeed,defeatediseveryhumantoil;
Battlewithyouisfoulandtoil.
Freedarethelionsinyourcoil.
Yourbloodoverflowstheexpression'ssoil.
Beyondthewordsistheflowforhistory'sturmoil.
OutofthetrackoftimeproceedsasaprocessionRoyal
O,"Zabeehullah"!Divinityinyourbloodflows;
Youthe"Ismayeel"ofGod,inyouonenessglows.
"Abraham'svision"fromadreamrealitybarrows,
Karbalawhereyourappointmentwallows,
Moharramthehouroflovewhentheloveloves.
And,lo,youarethatsoleperson
Carriedfortydaysthepilgrim'sseason.
"AndWehavecompleteitinten"
Ah,burnsmethedesireofcomprehension;
Theincompletepilgrimagepawnedinsuspension,

Gainedinyourkissatthedaggeritsperfection;
Forthe"BLACKSTONE"virtualthebestcompensation.
Beginsthelove'shistory,
Theredgainsitsentity,
Fromyourdeathtolifeatreaty.125
Lettercommencesfromyourblood
Religionfoundwaythetimeyoustood
Asyoufellthetruthstood
AndtooktheRightamouldgood.
Weakenedthetyranny'sbaseinyourblood'sflood.
Autumnofyourdeathdeliveredeternalspring,

75

Grassandtreesinapleasantring,
Andablossomofredateverybranchtoswing,
Else,adryfuelwooditistothetreescling.
Secretofdeathyouhaveopened.
Noknotremainedunderyourwill'snailunopened.
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Wailingandweepingisthehonor;
Youaheadanditentailsyouforever.
Beyondthemanlinessyouarefarandfurther.
Prayers:you;intention:you;
Oneness:you;andtheoneyou;
Oh,theverdure,theevergreen'
Oh,theredthatfrillsthegreen
Noblerthaneverypureandclean
Nohumanaparalleltoyoueverhasbeen.

O,sweetbutstaunchandstaunchbutsweet,
Gapeswidehistoryitsmouthforyoutospit.
Youanironarm,youthescaleofbalance
YousenseoftheBookandyoutheQur'an'sessence.
Inyourlooksinterpretationglow,150
Andthepacestotheearthdignitybestow.
Andbecomeagravityforgalaxiesononwardgrow
Divineverseslipandyourlipsutter
Whereveryoubeinyouheavensglimmer.
Wonder!Oh,wonder!youawonder'155
MyastonishmentendsnotifItoponder
Foolhardyitistofathomoceansbyafinger.

76

WeepweGainsyourbloodinourtearsconstancyOurtearsapolishandswordintendencyIts
seatisinthearenaoftyranny.

YouareaQur'aninredVersesofyourbraverywrotethebloodInthedesertasfarasthesands
scudThosesandsturnedintoafieldRichinredbunchesasashield.

Bloodisthecrop,bloodistheyieldItseverybranchisasword,adaggerUprootsthetyrannyin
thenoonofitssummer.

Hence,redisthefieldandshallheforever.

O,Tharallah!
ThegardenofEden;lo,whatamania!
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YouplantedintheburningdesertofKarbala.
Withfruitsred,
Riversbloodyfrombedtobed
Budstobloommartyrdom'sred
Andtreesinarowformingagreenshade.
Onlylovefuleyesseewithlooksinlovefed.
Akbaryouandinaqualitybred;
Andthepalmtreesofconsummatered.
Hurr?notapersonbutanattribute.
Atthatsideoftherivertocontribute:
Hepartedthecaravananditsplenitude.
Bridgestoamanyourword,yourlook;
Towardsyouheisinahook

77

Asafoodinacaravanforacook.
Thebrainsinsearchofrefuge
Obtainfromyoulightinadeluge.
Desireforenvyisabefittingsubterfuge.
Hurr'sbleedingheadandyourskirtafateprofuse!

Goodisredafteryourmartyrdom;
Tearsaredaggersinyourkingdom.Yourpainisthepabulum
Forajourneydestinationnotdatum
Thetrackofyourbloodistheway
TerminatesattheGod'sgateway.195
Youarefromtheblood'sstrain
Andweinyourlovemadremain.
Yourbloodsandsweretosustain
Togushfromstonesinafountain.
Oh,thefertileview200
Tyrannyhasnoenemybetterthanyou,
Toavictimnoacquaintancenearerthanyou.
Historygetsbriefinyourclass
HandsdonotmeetatKarbala'spause,
GalaxyofExistencethereheatsthebrass;
Theworshipmovesroundit,solariumdraws.205
Herethewordends,
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Endtootoendtends,
Atyounoendbends.*

78

*FirstpublishedinMessageofThaqalayn,vol.2,no.1

L.16.Hussaini,orHusaini,isanadjective,denotingassociation,orleaning,towardImamal
Husain.ThesuffixiisanadjectivemarkerinbothArabicandPersian.

L.17.YazidisignifiesassociationorinclinationtowardYaz?d(var.Yazid),orhavingsomeofhis
disgustingcharacteristics.Ll.21and22.Thefinalsinthewords?Yazidis?and?Hussainis?is
Englishpluralmarker.

L.111.Regarding"Zabeehullah",or?Dhab?hAll?h?,?dhab?h?denotes?(blood)sacrificeor
oblation?;consequently,?Dhab?hAll?h?meansanentitypresentedasanoblatorysacrificetothe
pleasureofAllah.Basically,thetitlewasappliedtoIsm???l(BiblicalandEnglishIshmael;also
Samuel),sonofIbr?h?m(BiblicalandEnglish)Abraham.IntheShiiteculture,thetermisusedwith
aconnotationtorefertoImamalHusain.

L.112."Ismayeel"isaPersianizedformof?Ism???l?(explainedabove).

L.115.?Moharram?,avariantformof?Muharram?.

L.171.?Tharallah?,or?Th?rAll?h?isatitleofImamalHusain.Grantedthat?Th?r?literally
means?bloodrevenge?,

79

?vengeance?,orsimply?retaliation?,itoccursfrequentlyintheprescribedziarattextstoberead
forImamalHusainasoneofthetitlesdescribingImamalHusain.Intheziaratcontexts,it
signifies?thepersonwhosebloodrevengewillbetakenbyGod?.

L.172.?ThegardenofEden?referstotheParadiseGarden.Therearehadithsconfirmingthatthe
precisesiteofImamalHusain'sburialchamberandsanctuaryareindeedoneofParadise
Gardensinthisworld.

L.179.?Akbar?lit.?elder?,isatitleof?Al?b.alHusain,theelderbrotherofthefourthInfallible
Imam?Al?b.alHusainZaynal??bid?n.Akbarisusedhereasashortenedform.OnAshura,he
Presentedbyhttp://www.alhassanain.com&http://www.islamicblessings.com

wasthefirstoftheH?shimidswhowenttothebattlefieldandachievedmartyrdom.

L.181.Hurrb.Yaz?dalR?y?h?wasarenownedmaninKufa.HemetImamalHusainataspot
calledDhuHasm,andpreventedhimfromreachingKufa.Hedidthisonamissionfromandatthe
commandofIbnZiyad.

However,onthedayofAshura,herealizedthegravesinhehadcommittedanddecidedto
repent.Toaccomplishthis,heleftthearmywhereinhewasacommander,andapproachedImam
alHusain'sfront.

HavingjoinedtheImam'sarmyandexpressinghisrepentance,heaskedImamalHusainifhis
repentancemightbeacceptedtoGod.Afterwards,hesoughtpermissionfromtheImamtofight
theenemiesandwasmartyred.Hesymbolizeslastminuterepentance,eternalfelicity,and
salvation.

80

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Nodoubtthatthebookunderconsiderationisveryinteresting.Iverymuchappreciateyour
effort.Godblessyou.

HisGraceArchbishopSebouhSarkissian,PrimateofTehranDiocese

87

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