Mir Babar Ali Anees

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

Nothing More Precious Than Your Child In This World - Poem by Mir Babar Ali Anees

Nothing more precious than your child in this world
Nothing more important than their wellbeing in this world
Just as no better flavor than a freshly picked fruit
Or the fragrance of a rose with dew in its swirls
Soothing your troubled heart, they make you whole
They are your solace, they calm your troubled soul
Ask a master of the loss of a household destroyed
Ask the members of the household who can only cry
Ask a parent of the ruin the death of a child brings
Ask Husain of Akber’s parting, the answer is in His sighs
May a parent never so suffer, nor a child thus part
In the tears of a parent, is the blood of a bleeding heart
When the dastardly arrows pierced Akber’s heart
His breathing became labored and almost stopped
He thought of Husain, as he fell from his horse
And he cried out “Oh father from you now I part”
“Pray come to this wounded soldier, alone and bruised
Come help your Ali Abkar, whom you’re about to lose”
Hearing the cries, towards the call Husain ran
His legs gave way, He dropped often to the sands
With every breath He felt He could breathe no more
“Oh Asadullah” He cried, clutching His heart in pain
With shock His face ashen, the desert dust in His hair
Trembling He rose again, blinded with pain, He stared
He shouted “Oh Ali Akber, which way do I come?
Do I search in the sand dunes under the blazing sun?
My heart palpitates, do I ask for the enemy’s help?
I will come, I will find you, to me you cannot come”
“Your loss has robbed me of the desire to live
Me you should have buried, the job to me you give”
“Akber, call out my name, ask me once more to come
Call your desolate father, call me, my precious son
Call for your isolated, your heart-broken father again
Call your anxious father so that I may come”
“God’s wills must be done, I submit, I agree
Death must be beheaded, so what, let it be”
Stumbling and falling, Husain found His injured son
Lodged in Akber’s heart was an arrow, damage done
He felt as though the arrow had pierced Hhs own heart
He clutched His chest in anguish, Oh Akber, so young
He heard Akber’s labored breath, his toil to hide the pain
A son dying before his eyes, the father watched in vain
Lips dry, ashen faced, hair matted with dust
In his eyes a distant look, his body bruised and cut
Shoulders and neck wounded with arrows and swords
Blood smeared on his face, on his cheeks tears of hurt
His lips whispering, “My master hasn’t come yet
My father isn’t here and I’m so close to my death”
“Oh my fluttering heart, keep beating until he is here
Stay Oh parting life, the Lord of Gin and Men is near
Linger Oh departing soul, the Imam must come
Await him Oh Death, my plea you must hear”
“I wish to see Him once more before I die
On His laps, in His arms, once more I wish to lie”
“I am here Ali Akber,” Husain cried “I have come”
“Get up my beloved, my dear, lovely son
You’re waiting for me, your eyes searching the battlefield
Your forlorn father is hear, your wait for me is done”
“Say something Akber, open your eyes, look at me
I’ll hold you in my arms, my miserable face can you see?”
“You moan in pain Akber, in your neck an arrow is stuck
Does it hurt to move? Should I lay you on the dust?
My world has darkened; my vision filled with gloom
I’ve raised you in my lap, do I watch you die thus?”
“Your injured heart protrudes from your wounded chest
Through the open gashes I see broken ribs no less”
“Oh Ali Akber, Ali Akber, say something, talk to me
Open your eyes Ali Akber, so my face you can see
If you’re leaving, say goodbye, do not so quietly go
You must die and I live on, Akber how can it be?”
“Even tired grooms do not sleep as soundly as you do
I weep for you in pain, and yet you do not move”
In his unconscious state Akber heard Husain’s cries
The obedient son opened his arms, midst his sighs
Husain held Ali Akber to his chest and wept in pain
Showed the thirsty son, His own tongue, parched and dry
And said “Oh dearest Akber, not a dropp I could find
I couldn’t get any water, Oh dearest son of mine”
Tears flowed from Akber’s bruised, bloodied eyes
He looked helplessly at Husain and cried
He whispered “Mother Zehra has come for me”
He took his last breath, shuddered and sighed
Eyes open toward Husain, Ali Akber passed away
Resting in his father’s arms, nothing more did he say
Historians say that the moment Akber died
Zainab left the camp, “Oh my Akber” she cried
Her veil forgotten, so intense was her grief
Wailing, the ladies followed - a harrowing sight!
The air echoed with their anguished cries
“Oh Ali Akber Ali Akber” in unison they cried
“Take me to Akber, show me where he lies
Have mercy on me, guide me, hear my painful cries
My Brother sits alone with His wounded youth
What cloud hides my moon, show me” Zainab cried
“In grief I am now blinded, where must I go?
I’m searching for my son, look at my tears flow”
Hearing Zainab’s cries Husain ran to her side
Covering her with His cloak, her face He tried to hide
And said “Oh my Zainab, why did you leave the camp?
Oh daughter of Ali, dead is my joy and pride”
“Bruised and dead, Akber lies on the desert floor
What do you wish to see Oh Sister? Akber is no more”

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 19, 2012

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