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Mourning for Imam Hussain (A.S)

Lady Ummul Baneen (S.A) was among the first individuals to hold mourning sessions (Majalis) for Imam Hussain. Imam Sadiq (A.S) has narrated, “Ummul Baneen (S.A), the mother of the four martyred brothers would go to (the cemetery of) al-Baqi and would lament with heart-rending and grief-stricken words upon her sons. People would gather and listen to her (sorrowful words). One day Marwan bin Hakam came and heard her lamenting and started weeping (in spite of being ruthless himself).” Along with the other ladies of Bani Hashim, she virtually transformed Jannat al-Baqi into a Hussainiya, a center of mourning for Imam Hussain and the tragedy that befell his family. She is considered the first person to recite poetry lamenting the plight and suffering of Imam Hussain and the orphans in Karbala, as well as the tragic martyrdom of her own sons. The lamentations and poems she wrote are highly regarded as important masterpieces of Arabic literature. One famous elegy she wrote is as follows:

Whoever has seen the courageous advances of Abbas?
And along with him were the brave sons of Haidar
I heard that he lost his arms, and his head was wounded
O Lord, how did my son fall on the ground with no arms to break his fall?
Were it that he had a sword, no one would have dared approach him

Don’t call me the Mother of Her Sons anymore
This title reminds me of those Haidari lions
As long as my sons were alive, I was Ummul Baneen
Now that I have lost them, this title doesn’t suit me

Those four sons of mine were like four lions
The ones who sleep in the desert after giving their heads
Whoever faced them in the midst of the battlefield?
Surely would have fallen to the ground like rain
How I wish someone had come and informed me
That the arms of my Abbas were brutally severed


A few years after the tragedy of Karbala, Lady Ummul Baneen (S.A) passed away on 13th Jamadi al-Thani, 64 AH. But the mourning sessions and traditions she established have kept the sacrifice of Imam Hussain (A.S) and the Prophet’s Family alive, and it is incumbent upon us to maintain this legacy and keep the incident of Karbala alive in our hearts.

Ref: Islamic insight

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