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Exegesis of Ziyarat-e-Naahiyah

(Continued from Al-Muntazar Muharram 1437 A.H. Issue)

Peace be upon the one who tasted bitter spears raining down over his body in a state of thirst.

Al-Mujarra’ means the one who was made to drink. It is the Nominal Object in Baab Taf’eel. In Arabic, the root word used for drinking is j-r-a’ whereas b-l-a’ is used for eating. ‘Ka’sah’ means a bowl whose plural is ‘Ka’saat’. ‘Maraaraat’ is the plural of ‘marrah’ which means bitter and ‘Rimaah’ means the tip of a spear.

Imam Husain (peace be upon him) was parched for three days at the time when he fell from his horse onto the ground. The pure body of Zahra’s (peace be upon him) beloved son had completely worn out like a piece of dry wood due to effect of carrying dead bodies of his helpers and dear ones. In such a state, the enemies were piercing the holy body of Imam (peace be upon him) and were taunting him. Hence, Imam-e-Zamaana (may Allah hasten his reappearance) has used the word bitter instead of painful for this piercing. A statement by the Chief of Martyrs (peace be upon him) himself, truly explains this bitterness:

Do you not see the water of Euphrates? It sparkles like the belly of fishes. Jews, Christians, dogs and even pigs are drinking from it but the progeny of Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) is dying of thirst.

[Sognameh Aale Muhammad (peace be upon him), p. 351 narrating from Nahj al-Shahaadah, p. 189]

Imam Muhammad Baqir (peace be upon him) describes:

Imam Husain (peace be upon him) fell from the horse and he suffered three hundred and twenty or more wounds from spears, swords and arrows. It is narrated in another tradition that there were three hundred and sixty wounds.

[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 45, p. 52]

Peace be upon the one who was the victim of oppression and whose garment and tents were plundered.

The root word of “Al-Mustazaam’ is ‘z-y-m’ and it is the Nominal Object in Baab Istef’aal. ‘Zaym’ means oppression. ‘Al-Mustazaam’ means an oppressed person whose rights were violated.

The root word of ‘Al-Mustabaah’ is ‘b-w-h’ and this too is the Nominal Object in Baab Istef’aal. Here it means that everything which Imam (peace be upon him) possessed was labeled as war-booty, lawful and was hence looted by the enemies to the extent that the dress worn by Imam (peace be upon him) was also taken off. Tyranny reached its peak when the enemies started to ransack the tents of the womenfolk and looted everything down to the earrings of Janabe Sakina (peace be upon her).

(It should be repeatedly borne in mind that all statements of this Ziyarat are those of Imam-e-Zamaana (may Allah hasten his reappearance) who witnesses the events of Karbala from his infallible eyes even today.)

Peace be upon the one who was deserted by everyone.”

‘Al-Mahjoor’ is derived from the root word ‘h-j-r’. It is a Nominal Object which means the deserted one. ‘Waraa’ means everyone.

Everyone had abandoned Imam Husain (peace be upon him) and he remained alone. An extremely heart rending statement is found in the books of Maqtal. Imam (peace be upon him) stood in a corner to rest for a while. While he (peace be upon him) stood there, a huge stone was hurled at him which injured his blessed forehead and blood oozed out. The moment Imam (peace be upon him) made to wipe off the blood with his sleeve, a poisonous three pronged arrow was shot at him which pierced his abdomen.

Imam Husain (peace be upon him) called out:

Bismillah wa billah wa a’laa millate Rasoolillah i.e. In the Name of Allah, by Allah and upon the religion of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny)!

Then he (peace be upon him) raised his head towards the sky and cried out,

My Lord! You surely know that they are about to kill a man, there is no other son of the Messenger on this earth except him.

Then Imam (peace be upon him) pulled out the arrow and blood spurted out from it.

  • Nafas al-Mahmoom by Shaikh Abbas al-Qummi (a.r.), p. 191
  • A’yaan al-Shiah by Syed Mohsin Ameen al-Aameli (a.r.), vol. 1, p. 610
  • Al-Luhoof fi Qatalat al-Tufoof by Syed Ibn Tawoos (a.r.), p. 119 – 121)

It is befitting to quote here that one aspect of the injustice upon all the Imams (peace be upon him) from the progeny of Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) that people of their time had abandoned them. In the Holy Quran, verse 30 of Surah Furqaan (25) states:

And the Apostle cried out: O my Lord! Surely my people have treated this Quran as a forsaken thing.

Under the exegesis of this verse in Tafseer al-No’mani, it is mentioned that ‘forsaken thing’ refers to Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him) and other Imams (peace be upon him) after him.

Peace be upon the one who was left unclothed.

When Imam Husain (peace be upon him) was martyred, the merciless and materialistic enemies didn’t even spare his clothes and left his blood stained body unclothed on the scorching land.

Bahr Ibn Ka’ab removed a garment. Akhnad Ibn Marsad snatched the turban. Aswad Ibn Khaalid took away the slippers. Bajdal Ibn Saalim tried to remove the ring from his (peace be upon him) finger. When he was unable to do so, the accursed one chopped of the finger of Imam (peace be upon him) and then removed the ring. Umar Ibn Sa’ad took away the armour. Jamee’ Ibn Khalq took away the sword. What happened thereafter was dreadful. One after another, many groups attacked the Husaini tents and looted the womenfolk in such a ruthless manner that even the waistbands of the women from the Prophet’s (peace be upon him and his progeny) family were also forcibly snatched. The women of the holy household rushed out of their tents wailing and mourning over their martyrs.

[Al-Luhoof by Syed Ibn Tawoos (a.r.), p. 130-131]

Hameed Ibn Muslim (who was an enemy informer) states, “By Allah! I can never forget how Zainab Ibnt Ali (peace be upon him) wailed over the bodies of the martyrs and cried out in an extremely sorrowful voice: O Muhammad, salutations of the angels in the sky be upon you! This is Husain (peace be upon him), who has been beheaded, his turban and cloak has been plundered.

Peace be upon the one, in whose burial, villagers had participated.”

Syed Ne’matullah Jazaaeri (a.r.) has narrated a tradition from Abdullah Asadi which can be summarised as follows:

When Imam Husain (peace be upon him) and his companions were martyred, Umar Ibn Sa’ad had the funeral prayers recited for his soldiers who were killed and then buried them but left the bodies of the sacred martyrs unattended. He took the household of Imam Husain (peace be upon him) as captives and proceeded to Kufa.

A group from the Bani Asad tribe lived in one of the villages near the river Euphrates. The Bani Asad women reached near the martyrs and looked at their dismembered bodies from which fresh blood was still dripping as if they had been killed only a while ago. They were shocked at this. They went back to their tribe, informed their men about whatever they had witnessed and then asked them, “What excuse will you have in front of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny), Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him) and Janabe Fatima Zahra (peace be upon her) and how will you face them that neither did you help their offspring nor did you defend their family with your arrows, spears and swords?

Their men replied, “We are fearful of Bani Umayyah but at the same time also ashamed that we did not defend the progeny of Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny).

The women retorted, “Now that we have been deprived of the good fortune of assisting their family, get up and bury those blessed bodies so that you can be saved from this disgrace at least.

Bani Asad men agreed to it and said, “We accept your counsel.” They then arose, went to the battle field and decided that firstly they would bury the sacred body of Imam Husain (peace be upon him). But all bodies were headless and hence they couldn’t identify them. They stood perplexed when suddenly they saw an unidentified rider who approached them and asked, “Why are you all standing here?” They replied, “To bury these bodies but we cannot identify them.” The moment that rider (who was none other than Imam Sajjad (peace be upon him)) heard this he wailed out a cry, “My dear father! O Aba Abdillah! I wish you would have been here to see how I have been imprisoned and humiliated.

Then Imam Sajjad (peace be upon him) told them, “I will guide you.” He (peace be upon him) dismounted from his horse and passed through the bodies. Suddenly, he fell over the holy body of Imam Husain (peace be upon him), held it and lamented thus,

Dear father! By killing you the Syrians are elated, Bani Ummayyah are rejoicing after killing you. Dear father, after you our grief and sorrow has been prolonged.

Then he went near the body, picked up some mud and an already dug grave was found. Imam Sajjad (peace be upon him) himself lowered the body of Imam Husain (peace be upon him) into that grave and then came out of the grave. He (peace be upon him) then identified the body of every martyr for Bani Asad and then with their help he buried each of them.

Some traditions state that Imam Sajjad (peace be upon him) asked for a mattress from Bani Asad, kept the body parts of his noble father in it and the moment he wanted to bury it, suddenly two arms which were similar to those of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) emerged from the grave, took the body and placed it in the grave.

[Kibriyat al-Ahmar, p. 493]

(To be continued Insha Allah)

August 31, 2020