Mir Babar Ali Anees

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

When Hur Was Delivered From The Bounds Of Hell - Poem by Mir Babar Ali Anees

When Hur was delivered from the bounds of Hell
And the gates of Paradise opened wide for him
And the Prince rested Hur’s head on His lap
Hur rose in rank from sinful to blessed
Many envied his position, coveted his place
Angels brought glad tidings, praised his fate
When acquaintances and friends had laid down their lives
For Husain’s cause each on fought and died
And Qasim stood ready to do the same
Zainab sat head-bowed and silently cried
“I am surprised at my boys” in dejection she said
“They have shamed me, to face the Imam I dread”
As she said these words, cries rose from the camps
Akber cried out from the door of the Imam’s tents
“Aunt Zainab’s wealth is plundered in battle today
They fought and died together, the two brothers are slain”
“Abbas hastens to the battlefield to find the boys
Husain rushes to get their bodies from the enemy vile”
Hearing this Zainab toward the Kaaba bowed
Rested her head on the sand, grief-stricken, yet proud
“I triumph, my wish is fulfilled” she cried
“My two boys are dead, no worries abound”
“My Lord I beseech you, save the Prophet’s Grandson
Let everyone die, yet live my Husain”

In grief Fizza cried out to the ladies within
“Come gather around my lady, come all kin
Where is Banu? Pray call her to Zainab’s side
Lets weep for Zainab’s sons, my lady is ruined”
“The Prince searches for their bodies in the battleground
Let’s gather to receive them, His grief knows no bounds”
By the door the Prophet’s family gathered to wait
And with the bodies of Zainab’s sons Husain came
Abbas held the body of the older boy in his arms
And Husain carried the younger one into the camps
And cries and moans filled the desert air
Everyone gathered around the bodies in despair
Carrying in the bodies, the Prince laid them down
Weeping, kith and kin gathered around
But not a word did Zainab say nor did she cry out
She sat quietly by the bodies, her head bowed
Face ashen, lips parched, her robe tear-soaked
Oblivious to all around, lost to the world
Banu laid the boys’ heads on Zainab’s lap
And the ladies sobbed as she motionless sat
Then slowly Zainab bent to take a look
At their battered faces, their many wounds alas
Their cheeks gashed, their foreheads scratched
Arms torn from their shoulders, limbs detached
Zainab rested her face on their chests and cried
“In thirst, rest can induce sleep my dear boys
Everyone here is talking about your courage my sons
Stand up and say thank you, awaken, come rise”
“You didn’t sleep last night, you’re tired I’m sure
Yet your manners you must remember my children dear”

“The Imam praises your courage, come, wake up
Abbas talks proudly of your battle skills, wake up
Akber tells everyone of how well you fought
All complain of your silence, my dear boys wake up”
“Do not part from your Master in His time of need
This is a time of conflict, not a time to sleep”
“You’ve never in the past slept so deeply, so sound
I’d wipe your face except there is no water around
You’re lost to me forever, gone from my sight
It was fated that your loss, your death, I mourn”
“On my behalf you fought, I’m proud my boys
For the Prince, in His cause, you laid down your lives”
“By yourself you’ve never been away anywhere
The path that you now take is unfamiliar and strange
The road after death can be frightening indeed
Wise men have trembled, though better prepared”
“Of the horrors of this passage, the Prophet had warned
The road can be frightening, be strong, my sons”
“You embark on this route, leaving your mother alone
Remember you’re men, though tender and young
Oh stars of my eyes, you will hide from me now
Pray tell me where you’re headed leaving your home”
“In the valley of death or among the living you abide?
Where is the place that you will rest tonight?”
“I have lived too long, I’m weary with grief
Yet it’s destined that I continue to suffer, to live
I wonder how much longer I must live this life
Your loss darkens my world, yet I live still”
“I wonder what other losses I am destined to mourn
For many more I must weep, many more will be gone”

“In dark graves, how can you possibly rest?
I will ache with longing to see your faces at dusk
How do I console my heart, what do I say?
You won’t hear my cries, won’t see my tears”
“In wilderness, in cities, I will seek you everywhere
This is a mother’s heart, such a loss it cannot bear”
“You laid down your lives for my Brother’s cause
I’m obliged, my little soldiers, my little boys
How do I thank you, where do I find the words?
Mother is indebted to you forever and more”
“I wish I had died before this fateful day
I wish by your loss my Brother’s life can be saved”
“Where is the place that you go to rest tonight?
Tell mother of your journey, will you be alright?
The day is almost over, the sun will soon set
Where will you sleep tonight, what is the place like?”
“Away from the comfort of your bed, on the sands
On the bloody battleground, you lay down to rest”
“No pillows, no covers, no such comforts tonight
Stay together, keep each other company my boys
Take care of Mohammed, my son Aon dear
You know how the shadows frighten him at night”
“Unless I held him, Mohammed could never sleep
Tonight he must rest by himself indeed”

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 19, 2012

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