Aun and Muhammad
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.”
Aun and Muhammad were quite young. It is reported that Aun was about thirteen and Muhammad was a year or two younger. They had learnt the art of fencing from their uncle, Hazrat Abbas.
On the night before Ashura Bibi Zainab said to them, “My sons, tomorrow there will be a battle. I can not ask you to fight because you are young. But if anything happens to Imam Husayn, while you are still alive, I will be filled with shame.” Both the boys stood up and said “Mother, we have the blood of Ali and Ja’far in our veins. Our grand fathers were warriors whose fame will always be remembered.
Do you think we can possibly shame them? More over we are the pupils of Uncle Abbas. Mother, unless you forbid us and stop us from fighting, we shall go to the battlefield and show the enemies of Islam how bravely the children of Islam can fight. All we want from you is a promise that you will never weep for us. Or souls will never rest in peace if you grieve for us after we are gone.”
Tears of joy and pride flowed down Bibi Zainab’s eyes as she embraced her two boys. In the morning during the general attacks from the enemy, Aun and Muhammad fought side by side with Hazrat Ali Akbar, Hazrat Qasim and Hazrat Abbas. Every time either of them succeeded in felling an enemy, he would look proudly at Hazrat Abbas who would smile and nod his approval. Imam Husayn would not, however, give the two boys permission to go for single combat.
They were very disappointed. They came to their mother for help. Bibi Zainab sent someone to request Imam Husayn to come to her tent. When the Imam came Bibi Zainab said, “Husayn, at the battle of Siffeen Hazrat Abbas was only eight years old. When he saw someone trying to attack you, he rushed into the battle field and killed the man. Do you remember how proud our father Ali was? Today I too want to be proud of my sons. I want to see them go out there and defend Islam. Will you not allow me that privilege?” Imam Husayn stood there in silence.
He looked at his sister. He saw the disappointment on her face. He saw tears forming around her eyes. He put his arms around the two boys and led them to their horses. He kissed them and then helped them mount.”Go,” said Imam, “Go, and show the world how those as young as you can fight the injustice and oppression of Yazid!” Then he turned round and lifted the curtain of the tent. The boys raised their hands and said “Fi Amaani-llah, mother!” Bibi Zainab replied, “Bismillah my sons. Allah be with you!”
The two boys rode out into the battlefield. They fought bravely. At one point Umar Sa’ad asked, “Who are these two youngsters? They fight like I have seen Ali ibn Abu Taalib fight.” When he was told who they were he ordered his soldiers to give up single combats and surround and kill the boys. Aun and Muhammad were attacked from all sides. Soon they were over-powered and brutally killed. Imam Husayn and Hazrat Abbas carried the two young bodies to a tent and laid them on the floor. Imam walked to Bibi Zainab’s tent. He found her in sijdah praying, “Ya Allah, I thank you for accepting my sacrifice. My heart is filled with pride because my two sons have given their lives for your religion.”