Savagery Knows No Bounds
After Imam Hussain was martyred, the enemies trampled his blessed body with their horses. They blindfolded the horses so they could not see the body. Then they attacked the tents and set them on fire. The women and children fled the tents, running in the desert land of Karbala. The men attacked them, hitting them with sticks and the back of spears. They looted the earrings and bracelets the children were wearing, causing them to bleed.
Shimr and his men entered the tent of Imam Sajjad and violently pulled a sheet Imam Sajjad was sleeping on and drew his sword to kill him. Lady Zaynab shielded Imam Sajjad by throwing herself in front of him and told Shimr that he’d have to kill her first if he intends to kill Imam Sajjad. Shimr withdrew his sword. Then Imam Sajjad said to his aunt, “My aunt, you must flee the tents, for they have set them to fire!”
Orphan of Hussain
Hameed Ibn Muslim, a reporter who attended the battle, approached a young girl whose clothes caught fire. He helped her extinguish the fire. He asked her, “Who are you?” She said to him, “O man, have you recited the Quran?” He said, “yes,” she said, “Have you recited the verse ‘and as for the orphan do not be harsh with’?” He said, “Yes, I have.” She said, “I am the orphan of Hussain!“
Hameed took her to the river to give her some water. When her eyes fell on the running water, she said, “How can I drink when the son of the Messenger of Allah died in thirst?” She refused to drink, so Hameed took her to the women and handed her to Lady Zaynab.
Zaynab’s Role Begins
The sun had set; it was going to be dark soon. Lady Zaynab took charge; she gathered all the women and children to protect them from the enemies. She realized that Ruqaiyyah (Sakina), the beloved young daughter of Hussain, was missing. She went to the battlefield in the darkness of the night, looking for her. She heard a faint voice coming from where Imam Hussain’s body was lying on the ground. When she came close, she saw Sakeena crying,
“Father, who severed your head? Father, who made me an orphan!“
Lady Zaynab comforted her and took her back to the tents.
Lady Rubab was also missing. Zaynab went to look for her too; she heard a voice speaking faintly, “My dear baby, now I can nurse you!” Zaynab asked, “What are you doing here?” Rabab said, “When the enemies gave us water, I felt the milk in my body, and I can now nurse my child! So I came out here looking for the body of my Ali Asghar.” Lady Zaynab calmed her and helped her get back to the tents.
Zaynab Mourns Her Brother Hussain
It was a difficult night. Lady Zaynab never skipped her Night Prayer, so she prayed and remembered her brother in her prayer. But she was overwhelmed. When the children slept, she quietly went into the battlefield in the darkness of the night. She reached the body of Hussain. She put her hands under his body and raised her head to the sky; she then cried,
“O, Muhammad! The angels of the sky send blessings upon you! This is your Hussain, slaughtered in the desert! His turban and cloak have been looted! His head is severed!”
Then she supplicated to Allah and said, “O Allah, accept this sacrifice of your Prophet!“
Tomorrow will be a different day for Lady Zaynab. Her first day without her brothers!
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