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  • 994
  • Date :
  • 3/7/2007

The Loot

The Loot

Eerie silence hung over the battleground

Broken occasionally by drum beating sounds

The carnage, the massacre, of saintly souls

Caused a shudder, in Islam"s true believers" fold.

The massacre being over, they raided their tents

To loot and destroy, they were all fiendishly bent

Helpless ladies and children, they mercilessly bashed

Young innocent babes, to the ground they dashed.

Daughters of the Prophet, simple lives had led

Coarse and patched clothes, were all they had

Woven by Fatima, they were immensely treasured

In terms of money, none could be measured.

They were shamelessly looted of even their veils

The Yazidi hordes outclassed, themselves, the devils

Earrings were snatched of the child of Husayn

She was slapped mercilessly, for crying in pain.

In stupor, lay the only surviving adult male

Ali Zainal Abedeen was flogged as in horror tales

After the looting, the tents were set on fire enmasse

Hell was let loose, with a vengeance, quick and fast.

Zaynab was perplexed, she was lost

Perish in flames or face still worst

This hour of trial, whom to consult

Her nephew was unconscious, lying in dust.

"Ali Zainal Abedeen, I appeal to you

As our Imam, tell us what are we to do?"

He opened his eyes, burning with fever

With utmost effort, advise he delivered.

"To save our lives is a religious duty

Go in the open and seek security."

Ladies and children, they left the tent

Salvaging what they could, as they went.

The loot, the pandemonium, was soon over

Burning embers of fire only hovered

A partially burnt tent was all that remained

A solitary witness of torture and blood stain.

The Ahl Bait cuddled together therein

Shattered in mind and body, beyond dream

The time had come almost to a standstill

The night was in sorrow; one could feel.

The mourning widows of Husayn"s friends

Their anguished hearts, who could mend?

Zaynab and Kulthum consulted each other

The orphaned children, they had to mother.

Zaynab counted the children; one was missing

To her dismay, it was Sakina, her darling

"Tell me Sakina, where are you my child?"

In wilderness, the echo was the only reply.

Frustrated, she ran towards the battlefield

"Sakina is lost, your darling child

Husayn, where shall I look for her?"

She imploringly sobbed, in utter despair.

The silvery moon, behind the clouds was hid

The clouds dispersed, the ground was lit

Lying with her head on Husayn"s chest

Little Sakina was sleeping in her usual nest.

"Sakina, my child, I have come here

After searching the desert, my dear

Your father"s beheaded body, how could you find

In this dark night, with your frightened mind?"

"An irresistible urge seized me, though dampened

To tell my father all that had happened

How they snatched my earrings, after his death

The slaps I received, the treatment we met."

"Running aimlessly in the desert I cried

Tell me dearest father, where do you lie

Sakina, my darling Sakina, come here, come here!

I heard him calling and found my father dear."

"I narrated to him, all I had endured

It lightened my heart: I was re-assured

An urge to sleep on his chest, for the last time

I placed my head in the nest of mine."

With Sakina, Zaynab hurried to the camp

Again it was dark; there was no lamp

All were anxiously waiting in the ghostly night

Praying silently to God, the Eternal Light.

She placed Sakina in her mother"s arms

She had several other duties to perform

No, not to protect any worldly treasure

The children had suffered, beyond measure.

Advancing towards them, she saw a group

"There is nothing left, which you can loot

Pray, do not disturb the children in sorrow

If you want something, come in the morrow!"

"We do not want anything from you

We know, what you have said is true

We have brought some water and food

We know, you are in a sorrowful mood."

Zaynab was surprised; so polite was the speaker

It was the widow of Hur, the truth seeker

"Soldiers of Omar Saad have deputed me

To carry food and water for thee."

"Lest you perish, due to hunger and thirst,

Before Yazid, they want to take you first

That is why they have sent water and food

Not because they have suddenly turned good."

"O, sister, we are indebted to your husband

For his precious life, in defending Husayn

He was our guest, but at a time, alas!

We had not even water; no, not a glass!"

"My lady, I am grieved, you lost not one

But eighteen members to death, were done."

They offered condolences to each other

Zaynab was large hearted like her mother.

"At last there is water for you

Wake up, Sakina, see it is true

Wet your throat, sobbing will stop."

For days, she had not even a drop.

"Let Ali Asghar drink first, he is the youngest

My dear brother died of sheer maddening thirst

Now that water is available, give him first

Before I can taste it and quench my thirst."

Guarding her folks, with a half burnt pole

Alone, all alone, with no waking soul

Due to exhaustion, Zaynab fell in a swoon

O" Merciful God, it was, indeed, a boon!

One person came galloping in her dream

"O" Shaikh, please go back" she screamed

"I am daughter of Hazrat Ali and Fatima

We are guardians of the holy "Kalima "!

The person lifted the veil from his face

It was her father Ali himself, by Divine Grace

She poured out her mutilated and bleeding heart to him

The outpourings caused convulsions, ending the dream.

Lying on the desert sand, clothes wet with tears

The dawn was breaking, time of prayer was near

Events of previous day, she recalled with pain

Ali Akbar had given Azan; prayers led by Husayn.

Finishing her prayer, she laid her head

Prostrate before God of the living and dead

To give her courage, to carry on the mission

Which, to the world, would be an everlasting lesson.

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