Mir Babar Ali Anees

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

To Leave Home Is Hard, But We Have To Leave - Poem by Mir Babar Ali Anees

The Prince leaves His home, to the desert He heads
Friends and loved ones follow, in His path they tread
“He’s leaving, He’s leaving” cry the people in grief
Causing unrest, the news of His departure spreads
The homeland of the Prophet is losing its soul
Where heaven’s fragrance resided, that very home
The ladies of His household are beset with grief
The neighboring women arrive in disbelief
His Noble Sister says goodbye to them all
Twisting their hands, helplessly the women speak
“Oh mercy, Oh mercy, He’s leaving us all
In this heat He will walk the desert floor?”
“Looking at Ali Asgher, our hearts are filled with pain
Can this tender baby survive the journey with Husain?
Where is the Imam headed? Where does He plan to go?
What if He finds no water in the desert barren?”
“Leaving this town, to the forsaken desert He goes
Taking the baby with Him, the Prince leaves home”
To the wailing women, the Noble Sister says
“We follow God’s will, we have no say
Letters from Koofa arrive daily, insisting we come
We’re now headed for Kaaba, there we will pray”
“Who knows what awaits us, grief or peace?
We will do what God wishes, we follow His will”
“God knows I will miss all of you and this home
The memories will follow me wherever I go
While the entire family on this journey leaves
Yet a sickly child we leave behind, did you know?”
“At the thought of leaving her, my dear Brother weeps
For Fatima Soghra, our hearts are filled with grief”
Hearing this, the women shed more tears
And the mother sat, holding Fatima Soghra near
Grief-stricken, the mother gazed at Soghra’s face
And Soghra said “Oh mother, have no fear”
“I am ill no more, why do you weep for me?
I’m coming with you mother dear, don’t you see?”
“Oh Soghra, I love you my dear” Banu cried
“It would make me so happy to have you at my side
But do not ask me the question, whether you can come
Your Father is our Master, He will decide”
“Let’s see what the Prince decides to do
He may leave me behind to care for you”
As she spoke, the Prince walked in through the door
Heart heavy, eyes teary, troubled His soul
Sakina cried “Oh mother, my Father is here”
Soghra said “Its my healer who has come home”
To His sister He said “The hour draws near
Come say farewell to Soghra my daughter dear”
“The caravan, all assembled, waits ready to depart
Friends have loaded our belongings with a heavy heart
The street has been cordoned, so the ladies may board
The camels await, let the journey start”
“To leave home is hard, but we have to leave
My heart weeps for Soghra, I’m filled with grief”
Approaching Fatima Soghra this He said
Trembling with weakness, she rose from her bed
Hugging her close to His heart, the Prince cried
“You’re ill my dear, please lie down and rest”
“What is fated will happen, it will not turn
You’re ill my dearest, with fever you burn”
Holding her close, He sat by her bed
He recited Al Hamd and prayed for her health
Then He hugged her once more and said “Soghra dear
It is the will of God that you stay back and rest”
“We would take you with us if you were well my dear
But you’re too ill to travel, that much is clear”
Hearing this Soghra’s heart shattered with pain
She cried out, her face now growing pale
At the thought of their departure, she gasped and cried out
All peace was gone, grief-ridden her face
Tears flowed from her eyes, onto her gaunt cheeks
Everyone wept, seeing Soghra weep
Collapsing on her bed, in sorrow she cried
“Help me Oh help me, I will certainly die
Fate has turned against me, I will not survive
Leaving me You will go Oh Father tonight?”
“How can You bear to part, to leave me thus?
This decision will kill me, take me You must”
“In my longing for You, I will certainly die
Seeing my family leave, I will not survive
A father leaves his daughter? How can it be?
Forgive my sins, take me, hear my cries”
“In Your absence I will not suffer here thus
Pray take me with You, please take me You must”
“I beg You, have mercy, take me with You
Do not leave me behind, I will come with you too
I love You dear Father, with You I will stay
Pray take me with You, my needs are few”
“If I’m ill, please wait until I’m well again
Or stay till I die, You may leave then”
Head bowed, the Prince listened Soghra implore
At that moment Ali Akber walked in through the door
Reaching up to her brother Soghra hugged him tight
“Come dear brother” she pleaded yet even more
“Father will not listen to my pleas today
Will you also leave me and go away?”
“I am but alive for a few more days
Goodbye dear bother, you won’t see me again
The pleasure of your company can I have once more?
Come sit close to me, hear of my pain”
“In my heart the sorrow of your parting now rests
I’ll leave this world, with grief beset”
“My dearest, my loving, my handsome Akber
I’ll miss you, I’ll suffer, I will die Akber
How can I bear to see you leave me and go?
Leaving your dying sister, you depart Akber”
“If only you would wait for my death, and then leave
Bury me and shed a few tears at my grave”
“I’ll suffer, I’ll wonder when you will return
Will I ever see your beautiful face again?
If you hold a wedding, will you invite me then?
I’ll die of misery, if you take too long”
“If I’m dead dear brother do not first go home
Visit my grave dear Akber first when you return”

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 19, 2012

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