Mir Babar Ali Anees

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

Banu’s Son Has Had No Water For Days - Poem by Mir Babar Ali Anees

Banu’s son has had no water for days
His pulse is weak and his mother prays
No hope in sight of getting water or milk
Helpless, she lingers by his cradle in a daze

“Pray tell me, what shall I do now Ya Husain?
The baby’s eyes now roll back in pain”

“Oh Ya Ali, Ya Ali where can I go?
I cannot watch my baby suffer so
How do I find a way to make him live?
Ya Ali he needs water, which I cannot give”

“Last night I saw him open his eyes
But today he lays still, doesn’t move, doesn’t cry”

Then everyone said, “Lets call the Imam
For God’s sake somebody, go get the Imam
The baby is dying, go tell the Imam
His face is blue, his body calm”

“Taking Akber’s body to lay it to rest
The Imam’s on his way, with grief beset “

Face stained with the blood of His eighteen year old
The Imam entered, his head bowed
And everyone led Him to the baby’s crib
And showed Him the baby’s still fingers and toes

“He barely breathes Oh Noble Prince” they cried
“Its seems as though he has already died”

At the head of the crib, the Prince knelt down
In the baby’s ear He whispered, head bowed
Hearing the Prince’s voice, the baby smiled
Toward Husain he extended his arms and glowed

“It is indeed a miracle” Sakina cried
“Oh mother, my brother has opened his eyes”

The baby in His arms, the Prince left the camp
And death followed, eyeing them askance
To shelter her baby from the midday sun
The mother draped a sheet over the Imam’s arms

Holding Asgher close, Husain walked, head bowed
In the arms of the heavens, a snow white cloud

As He neared the lowly enemy, Husain stood silent in pause
Couldn’t ask for water, couldn’t utter the words
With embarrassment He paled, He bowed His head
He uncovered the baby, to the army He showed

Head bowed, he said, “I’ve brought my son to you
Seeking water Asgher now has come to you”

Then He kissed the baby’s parched lips and mouth
And whispered “My son I’ve said what I could
There are no words to describe your pain my son
So maybe you can show them your dry, parched tongue”

In response the baby licked his lips parched and dry
And Husain shuddered and looked up to the skies

And as Husain looked to the heavens so
The cursed Hurmula strung an arrow in his bow
And aimed the arrow at Asgher’s throat
Pulling taut the bow, let the arrow go

As the tiny neck the arrow gashed
Asgher lurched and clung to his dad

A six month old baby and an arrow’s force
Blood poured from the tiny, thirsty throat
Once more he lurched and then went still
His cap fell to the ground and he breathed his last

Tiny fists curled over his chest, body numb
A minute ago he was sucking his thumbs

And the desolate Father, watched His son
Saw the devastation the arrow had done
And watched the baby in the throes of death
The tiny hands groping at the injured neck

The lifeless eyes rolling back in the head
Blood gushing forth from the battered neck

Gently pulling out the arrow from the baby’s neck
Husain lifted His son toward the heaven and said
“My God please accept my last sacrifice
For your cause, in your path, my son is now dead”

“Little in age but magnanimous in deeds
Thus are the children of Allah’s creed”


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 19, 2012



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