Mir Babar Ali Anees

(1803 - 1874 / Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India)

A Memorial For The Lives Lost In Karbala Was Done - Poem by Mir Babar Ali Anees

A Memorial for the lives lost in Karbala was done
And the bodies and the heads had finally become one
And Husain’s slain army was remembered by all
And the children of Mohammed lamented His son
For three days and nights in the desert they mourned
Embracing His grave as though never to be torn
Hearts lit like candles, their love for Him bloomed
Their sons, like flowers, scattered around His tomb
Remembering those killed, they cried out in grief
And clutched at their hearts and in pain swooned
“Where are those who watched over us?” they cried
“Now we wander, unveiled in broad daylight”
The air was fraught with sobs as the widows wept
And the noble sister’s face on His tomb did rest
And cried “Oh my beloved brother Husain
For three days and nights I’ve been your guest”
“Heartbroken and forlorn I am indeed
For I feel as though my services are not well-received”
“The will of the Imam, I will gladly accept
But the bruises on my arms I haven’t shown you yet
I am alone today, no friend in sight
Without you I am nothing, how can you forget?”
“I’ve lost sons and brothers and you in this war
An my back is bruised with the tip of the spear” “I cared for the orphans, the fathers lay dead
Their tender ages and prison, the pain and the dread
To divert them from their misery, I narrated your tale
I was their mother, their aunt, or their father instead”
“And I will live on to see them suffer and die
For it is not my destiny to see beloveds thrive”
“I had imagined that pilgrims would surround Your grave
And angels would gather to applaud the brave
And I would hold a memorial to remember the souls
But there is no one here today, I am amazed”
“By your graveside I sit alone, my Brother, and weep
And console my heart though my pain is deep”
Saying this, Zainab inconsolable, sobbed
And the tomb of the Prince shuddered and rocked
Basheer approached Abid and asked, head bowed
“May we leave Oh Imam? Your aunt is distraught”
Abid approached His aunt, weary and concerned
He asked “Dear aunt shall we return?”
Zainab replied, “As you wish my dear Imam”
And preparations to leave for Medina began
The tents were untied and the camels lined up
And around the holy graves gathered Ali’s clan
Bidding farewell to those who slept in their graves
The old and the young stood around in a daze
At the thought of leaving her brother’s tomb
Distraught, Zainab cried “How can I leave you alone?
In this forsaken desert away from us all
This empty, desolate city now your home”
“Where nothing grows and nothing lives
Such a place you have chosen to gather and rest” “Oh noble Lord of Karbala, farewell
Oh the sands that cradle His body, farewell
Dear grave of the noble lofty Prince, farewell
My brother, I part from you, bid me farewell”
“You do not answer me, ill is my fate indeed
For it means that you not pleased with my deeds”
“How do I face Medina having left you here?
What if the Prophet questions, how can I bear?
If I go to Najaf, the same question I will face
‘Where is Husain?’ That is all I will hear”
“You have not asked me to stay, so I must depart
But where do I go with my broken heart?”
“Won’t you come, hold my hand as I alight?
Won’t you shelter my being from strangers’ eyes?
Won’t Abbas or Akber come to bid me farewell?
Won’t you bring Asgher for whom Banu cries?”
“You are our leader, come lead us ahead
We’re ready, yet you sleep, the grave your bed”
“Although I weep my Brother and call out your name
You do not answer O Prince, I am amazed
If only you will come and embrace me now
I will leave for Medina, though never the same”
At this, the Prince answered “My dear Zainab farewell
Give my love to Soghra, my daughter who is ill”


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 19, 2012



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