When the young ‘Ali took the mantle of Imamate, times were hard on the Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet. His is the saddest story of all time. On the 10th of Muharram at the time of Asr Prayers, when his father Husayn (as) was alone in the battlefield ready to do battle, he withdrew to the camp of his ailing son, came beside his bed, woke him and told him that the story of Karbala’ was over, that he was about to go to sacrifice his own life for the cause of Islam.
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Dawn breaks out on the desolate sands of Karbala’. What was the battle field yesterday, is a stretch of desert covered with the bodies of the slain. In the corner where there had stood Imam Husayn’s camp the mourning widows and orphans have completed their morning prayers.
It was after ‘asr on the day of Ashura. Imam Husayn lay dead. The earth had trembled! Furaat had broken its banks! From the camp of the family of the Holy Prophet such lamentation arose as had never been heard before!
Yazid’s army had brutally murdered our Imam, his sons, his brothers, his nephews, his companions. No one was spared. Amongst the male adults there remained only our fourth Imam, Imam Zain ul ‘Abideen, who lay unconscious in his tent with his young son Muhammad hovering around him, weeping.
Our Imam is all alone! He looks around him. There lie Habeeb ibn Mazahir, Muslim ibn Awsaja, Zuhair ibn Qain and all his friends and companions. There lie Awn and Muhammad. He looks at Hazrat Qasim’s trampled remains. He looks at Hazrat Ali Akbar, his beloved son, with that dreadful wound on his chest. He looks towards Furaat. Gently he whispers, ‘Abbas, Abbas, I am alone! So very alone!’
“O son! I am teaching you a dua’ which you should remember. Angel Jibrael taught it to my grandfather the messenger of Allah who passed it to my mother Fatima. Whenever you have a special need or are faced with any calamity or crises, or are inflicted with any grief or hardship, then recite the following supplication”:
Hazrat Ali Asghar was the youngest child of Imam Husayn. He was born only a few weeks before Imam left Madina. His mother’s name was Rubaab daughter of Imra’u’l Qais who was the chief of the tribe of Kinda.
Rubaab had two children, Bibi Sakina and Ali Asghar. She and her two children accompanied Imam to Karbala’. The fact that Imam took with him a newly born baby further demonstrates the his intention was never to engage in any armed rebellion.
Hazrat Ali Akbar was the son of Imam Husayn. He was a handsome young man of eighteen. His mothers’ name was Umm al-Laila. He was also a brave soldier. He had been taught fencing and archery by Hazrat Abbas. He so much resembled the Holy Prophet that Imam Husayn was often heard to say: “whenever I remember the Holy Prophet I look at Akbar”.
Hazrat Ali married Fatimah Binti Huzaam Ibn Khalid in 24 Hijrah. Fatimah gave birth to Hazrat Abbas on the 4th Shabaan, 26th Hijrah. In 27th Hijrah Ja’far was born and in 29th Hijrah Uthmaan was born. Abdullah was born in 32nd Hijrah. Because she had four sons Fatima Binti Huzaam was known as Ummul Baneen.
Hazrat Qasim was the youngest son of Imam Hassan (A.S.). Hazrat Qasim was born in 47 A.H. three years before his father was martyred. When Imam Husayn prepared to leave Madina in the month of Rajab 60 A.H. Hazrat Qasim mother Umme al-Farwa asked Imam Husayn to take her and Hazrat Qasim with him. Imam Husayn agreed.
Aun and Muhammad were the sons of Bibi Zainab. They had not accompanied Bibi Zainab when she left Madina with Imam Husayn (A.S.) Just before Imam Husayn started his journey from Mecca, Hazrat Abdullah ibn Ja’far brought his two sons to Mecca and handing them over to Imam Husayn said, “Ya Imam, since you have decided to go and will not allow me to come with you, please take my two sons with you. Aun will represent his maternal grandfather Hazrat Ali (A.S.) and the other will represent his paternal grandfather Hazrat Ja’far al-Tayyaar.”