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Exegesis of Ziyarat-e-Naahiyah (contd)

(Continued from previous issue)

“Salutations be upon the one smeared in sand and blood.”

Our discussion will revolve around two words ‘Murammal’ and ‘Dima’ in this sentence of Ziyaarat-e-Naahiya.

a)    The root of the word “murammal” is “R-m-l” meaning ‘sand’. It occurs in Bab-e-taf’eel in the form of ‘Ism-e-Maf’ool’. When it is used with the word ‘Dima’ it acquires the meaning of smeared in sand and blood.

(It might be noted that if we make the ‘meem’ in the word discussed above to be ‘maksoor’ i.e. change ‘murammal’ to ‘murammil’ then the meaning would differ greatly. It would convey the literal meaning of lion. Obviously, this meaning would be unsuitable to the context, underlying the importance of placement of proper signs on Arabic alphabets).

b)    Dimaa: It is the plural of ‘damm’ which means blood. Its root was ‘dama’ or ‘dama’un’. The last alphabet of the word was dropped. At times it is changed to ‘meem’ and pronounced as ‘dammun’. The dual is ‘damaane’‘damyane and ‘damwaane’ and its plural is ‘dima’.

It is reported in Maqtal-e-Abi Mikhnaf:  “Imam Husain (a.s)  made a very severe assault and put scores of the wretched soldiers of Yazid to the sword. On witnessing this, Shimr came to the accursed Sa’ad and said: ‘This brave warrior will not spare any of us in this battle.’ Umar Sa’d replied: ‘What should we do?’  Shimr suggested: ‘Divide the army in three parts – one group consisting of archers, another group of spear throwers and a third group that will hurl stones and missiles of fire. And tell them to act in unison.’

The plan was put into action. Some were firing arrows while others simultaneously rained blows with their swords and spears. The body of Imam Husain (a.s) was swathed with injuries. The accursed Khuli aimed for the throat of Imam Husain (a.s) and when the arrow pierced its target, Imam Husain (a.s) could not balance himself on the saddle and descended to the earth while he was bathed in blood.”

(Maqtal-e-Abi Mikhnaf (Urdu);  P. 101 printed by Abbas Book Agency)

With one hand, Imam (a.s.) pulled out the embedded arrow from his throat. Then as he cupped the gushing blood on his head and rubbed it on his face and beard, he remarked:

“I will meet my grandfather in this state and complain to him of this oppression.”

Unconsciousness finally overtook him. When he regained consciousness, he tried to stand so that he could continue fighting but he could not do so. Crying profusely he wailed:

“O Muhammad! O Ali! O Hasan! O my loneliness! There is no helper left! Will I be martyred when my grandfather is Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.a)? Will I be martyred thirsty when my father is Ali Murtaza (a.s)? Will my sanctity be tarnished while my mother is Fatima Zahra (s.a)?”

Once again unconsciousness overcame him. For three hours, he remained in a state of inertia. The soldiers were bewildered and confused. It was not clear whether he was alive or had passed away. A person belonging to the Kindaha tribe came near him and delivered a severe blow which split his head. Blood streamed down the face and the beard. The turban slid to the ground which Kindi took it for himself.


“Salutations upon the one whose tents were torn asunder.”

In this phrase we will discuss two words “Al-Mahtook” and “Al-Khibaa”

a)    Al-Mahtook: has been derived from ‘h-t-k’ which means “to split or to pull and tear apart”. ‘Hatk al-Sitr” in Arabic is used in the meaning of “insult”. For example ‘Hatak-allahu Sitral Faajir’ – “Allah insulted and humiliated the transgressor”. ‘Mahtook’ is the Ism-e-Mafool of this word.

b)    Al-Khibaa: is taken from ‘Khaba’a’. Al Khab’o or ‘Al-Khabio’ means hidden or a secret thing. Hence, the vegetation in Arabic is also called as ‘Khibaa’ul Arz”. Al-Khiba’a means a tent made of camel or sheep wool, fur or hair. Its plural is ‘Akbi’ah’ (on the pattern of af’elal).  Al-Khabi’at is also derived from this root (the plural being Khabayee) which means a thing kept hidden. Hence, daughters are also called as ‘Khubaat”. However,in this phrase of the Ziyaarat, Imam Zamana (a.t.f.s) has described the attack of the wretched villains on the housing tents of Imam Husain (a.s) when he (a.s) laments and says, “Salutations upon the one whose tents were plundered and the women forced to come out in the open.”  It is agonising for any man of honour if an outsider sets his eyes on his womenfolk. Let alone the Imam of the time who is honour personified.

“Salutations upon the fifth of the people of the cloak!”

‘Khaamis’ means the fifth. The ‘people of the cloak’ refers to the five pure ones viz. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a),  Ameerul Momineen Ali (a.s), Hazrat Fatima (s.a), Imam Hasan (a.s) and Imam Husain (a.s) – in other words, the chaste personalities whose purity is explicitly announced in the blessed verse of Tatheer (Surah Ahzaab (33): Verse 33).  Keeping in mind the popularity and the stature of this verse, we will not explain it further lest it takes us beyond the limits of our discussion.

“Salutations upon the most helpless of stranger!”

In Arabic ‘ghareeb’ is the one who is far away from his homeland and is ignorant of his surroundings. The plural is ‘ghurabaa’. Imam Zamana (a.t.f.s) has remembered his forefather Imam Husain (a.s) with this title i.e. ‘gharib al-ghurabaa’. In other words Imam Husain (a.s) was a stranger in a foreign land far away from his home, in the desert of Karbala surrounded by bloodthirsty villains.  The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) has said, “When a believer dies in a strange land, the angels mourn his death and are sympathetic to him because very few people are present to grieve for him. His grave is made vast and a light descends in his grave and the dead person feels as if he is buried in his homeland

The point to ponder is if an ordinary believer who passes away while traveling is accorded such excellence, then  what can be said of the one who is the grandson of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a), the beloved of Ali (a.s) and the light of the eyes of Fatima Zahra (s.a) and the leader of the youths of paradise? What will be status and position of his grave? The question that would surface in the minds of some people would be: Why has the title of ‘Gharib al-Ghurabaa’ been used for Imam Husain (a.s) in this Ziyaarat? The answer is that there is no disparity in the title being used for two Imams (a.s) (the second being the eighth Imam, Ali Ibn Moosa al-Raza (a.s)). Each was the ‘Gharib al-Ghurabaa’ of his time. Keeping in mind the status, position and the calamities of Imam Husain (a.s), it would not be wrong to say that Imam Husain (a.s) is ‘Gharib al-Ghurabaa’ of all times whereas Imam Raza (a.s) is the ‘Gharib al-Ghurabaa’ of his time. And none can dispute the fact that there is no greater ‘Gharib al-Ghurabaa’ than the Chief of the Martyrs, Imam Husain (a.s.).

“Salutations upon the Chief of the Martyrs!”

“Salutations upon the one killed by the illegitimate one.”

Two words from this verse will be explained. ‘Qateel’ on the scale of ‘Fa’eel’ actually bears the meaning of “Ism-e-mafool” – ‘The one who was killed’. ‘Ad’eyah’ is the plural of dai’yya referring to a person who is illegitimate. He is the one who is referred to being without a recognizable father or a known tribe.

This is the title with which the chief of martyrs Imam Husain (a.s) addressed Ibn Ziyad when he demanded allegiance from him. He (a.s) said: ‘Dai’yy ibn Da’iyy’ (meaning a person whose legitimacy of birth is in question and who is the son of a father who is illegitimate himself).  He has demanded allegiance from me so that he can humiliate and insult me through it. But degradation is far from us! (In other words, humiliation and degradation cannot come near us). All nobility and excellence is with Allah; and one who is for Allah, Allah too is for him.

Who can be closer to Allah than the household of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a)?

Anyway, the struggle between the honourable people and the corrupt has been going since the dawn of mankind and will continue till the reappearance of Imam of the time (a.t.f.s)

(To be continued Insha Allah in the next issue)

September 1, 2020