Mazloom father’s mazloom daughter


Syed Zafar Mehdi

Whenever talk veers to Karbala, we are reminded of the tales of unflinching loyalty, unrivaled steadfastness and the exalted sacrifices. We are reminded of the sweltering heat, blazing desert and the intense thirst. We are reminded of the shifting sand dunes smeared with blood. We are reminded of the helpless father carrying his infant son to the battlefield. We are reminded of the brave young warrior crashing on the ground. We are reminded of the 13 year old orphan, whose small frame was reduced to pieces. We are reminded of the prostrate figure lying lifeless on the banks of Euphrates. We are reminded of two tender souls fighting like veteran combatants. We are reminded of the grief-stricken lady who saw her kith and kin being mowed down in cold blood. We are reminded of the ailing man wedged in heavy iron chains. We are reminded of a little girl clutching onto her dry water bag, crying and wailing inconsolably.

Bibi Sakeena(sa) was barely four year old when the caravan set out for Karbala from Madinah. She was the heartthrob of family. Imam Hussain(as) was often heard saying, “A house without Sakeena (sa) would not be worth living in”. The beloved daughter of Imam e Mazloom(as) witnessed the gory events at Karbala unfold before her eyes. She is one of the eyewitness reporters of Karbala and its aftermath. Let us listen to one piece of the story from her:

“I was in my tent when the enemies attacked it. They were so cruelly looking for whatever they could plunder, until one of them noticed the necklace that I was wearing. He attacked me, trying to grab it from my neck. I was escaping from him until he pulled off my scarf. I fell down unconscious and all I remember was that I awoke in the bosom of my aunt (Zainab).”

The tender soul watched in absolute horror as every male member of her family left for battlefield, never to come back. She watched in utter helplessness and dismay as Yazid’s large battalion of hoodlums pillaged the tents and ripped the earrings out of her ears. Her ears bled profusely and tears yelled from her eyes. She was not used to sleeping alone, but now there was no one left to tell her fairy tales and put her to sleep. She wandered around in the darkness of night to look for her father. Husain was lying lifeless in the pools of blood. Sakeena managed to find him, she hugged him tightly and slept. Zainab was worried for her brother’s beloved daughter. She came out to look for Sakeena, and found her asleep over the corpse of her father.

Bibi Sakeena (sa) shared a close bond with her uncle (Ammu) – Alamdar e Karbala Jenab Abbas (as). Abbas could not see the tears in Sakeena’s eyes. He could not see her in pain. But, Abbas was no more, and now, Sakeena’s feeble shoulders had to bear the brunt of heavy metal chains. She had sent her uncle to Euphrates to fetch some water for the inconsolable and thirsty children in tents. Abbas could not keep his promise, for the first and last time. Sakeena cried loudly. Her shrieks were deafening. She did not crave for water. She just wanted her uncle back.

Bibi Sakeena(sa) suffered from terrible fatigue and thirst on the forced march to Damascus, and later from cold and starvation in Yazid’s dark dungeon. She cried silently and inconsolably. But, the suffering and thirst of other children in caravan made her forget her own misery. She consoled her mother when the corpse of Ali Asghar(as) – her 6-month old brother – was brought back to tent, even as she struggled to hold back her own tears. On seeing any lady or child weeping, she would innocently put her little arms around them and pacify them.

Bibi Sakeena(sa) forgot to smile after Karbala. Kufa saw her as a little girl lost in thoughts. Quite often she would sit up at night and stare curiously at dark sky. “I just heard a baby cry? Is that Asghar? He must be calling out for me!,” she would often say and break into tears. But, she knew her weeping and wailing would upset her mother, so she would cry silently and quickly wipe away her tears. In the Damascus prison, she would stare at the flock of birds flying to their nests at sunset and innocently ask Bibi Zainab(s.a.), “Will Sakeena ever be going home like those free birds flying to their nests?”

Bibi, your tale of helplessness, patience and chivalry will continue to inspire us forever. May Allah bless everyone with a daughter like you. Aameen!

Ala La’anatul Laahi Alal Qoum e Zaalimeen!!!

About Zafar Mehdi
Maverick journalist, irreverent rebel, travel freak, cricket junkie, reluctant fundamentalist, student of life, dreamer, believer.

One Response to Mazloom father’s mazloom daughter

  1. Shiwa says:

    This topic was very meaningful .
    the writer of this topic has been described his popuse by his hear
    God bless you ( Sayed zafar mehdi)

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