The 40th (Arba’een or Chehlum) marks an important turning point in the movement of Kerbala. This day, which is no less important to the day of Aashura is important for many reasons – the prime being that the Ahlu’l Bayt reached the land of Kerbala on this day and performed the visitation to Sayyid ash-Shuhada Imam Hussain (A) and the loyal family and friends who gave their life for the cause of Islam.
On the 21st night of the Ramadan of 40th Hijra his father Hazrat Ali ibn-e-Abi Talib (A) passed away making all the people sorrowful and grieved. Imam Hassan (A) who was 27 years of age came along with the people to the mosque and said:
In the Arab world, the youngest daughter of Imam Hussain(a.s.) is known as Bibi Rukkaya(a.s.) whereas she is known as Bibi Sakina)(a.s.) in rest of the Islamic World. We will refer to her as Bibi Sakina(a.s.). Bibi Sakina (as) was the youngest daughter of Imam Husayn (A.S). Sakina is a derivative of “Sukoon” meaning “Peace”.
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.
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”.