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 THE FOURTH JOURNEY - KUFA TO SHAAM

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PostSubject: THE FOURTH JOURNEY - KUFA TO SHAAM   Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:14 am

Bibi Zainab's speeches had stirred Kufa. The people of Kufa were filled with remorse. There was unrest in the city. In the market place they were whispering: 'What have we done? How could we invite the Prophet's grandson and then desert him to be mercilessly butchered at Kerbala? How can we permit the Holy Prophet's grand daughters be paraded in the streets like slaves? What have we done?'

Ibne Ziyad feared that the people of Kufa might rise against him. He ordered that the prison be strictly guarded. No one was allowed to visit them. Only the most trusted guards were allowed in or around the prison.In the mean time messengers ran between Kufa and Damascus. Although at first Yezid had ordered that the captives be detained at Kufa until he had completed all the arrangements for their entry into Shaam (Damascus), because of the mood in Kufa, Ibne Ziyad was anxious to have the prisoners out of Kufa as soon as possible. It was agreed that they be taken to Shaam.

Once again the prisoners were assembled and a procession left Kufa. But this time the departure was kept secret from the people of Kufa and took place at night.

So began the fourth journey of tears! It was a long and difficult journey. Who was the hero and who was the heroine of this journey through the Iraqi and the Syrian deserts? Was it Bibi Rubaab, who from her unsaddled camel kept on staring at Ali Asghar's cradle loaded on another camel carrying the goods looted from Hussain's camp during the Shaam-e-Gareeba? Was it Sakina who now sat mournfully on her mother's lap staring at the 'alam of Hazrat Abbas and her mashk still tied to the 'alam, and who kept whispering: "I am not thirsty, Uncle, I am not thirsty!" Was the hero Imaam Zain ul 'Abideen who was made to walk all the way, the hot chains eating into his flesh?

Some times our Fourth Imaam would faint. His captors however knew no pity. They would flog him if he slowed down or fainted. On these occasions Bibi Zainab would intervene to stop the Imaam from being flogged to death.

This was the journey of which the hero was the valour of Hazrat Ali which ruled the heart of Imaam Zain ul 'Abideen and the heroine was the sabr of Fatimah Zahra which inspired Bibi Zainab.

The journey from Kufa to Shaam was a long one. It took over twenty days. The women and the children were exhausted. Their suffering was great! Quite often the children would faint under the scorching desert heat and fall off the camels. The mothers would scream. Imaam Zain ul 'Abideen and Bibi Zainab would go looking for the children. Sometimes they would find them by the road side barely alive and there were occasions when they were discovered too late. Our fourth Imaam would dig a grave to bury the dead child. An historian revisiting this route a few years later discovered a large number of small graves on the way side!

Some Zakirs narrate the following story:

Once Bibi Zainab looked at the camel on which Sakina was riding. Sakina was not there! She looked at all the other camels, Sakina was nowhere to be seen. She panicked. Where could Imaam Hussain's darling daughter be? She asked Shimr to untie her to that she could go and look for Sakina. At first Shimr responded with his whip. Unmindful of her own pain she kept on begging. Shimr untied her with the warning that if she did not return soon he would flog Imaam Zain ul 'Abideen to death. Bibi Zainab ran in the direction from which they had travelled. Some distance away she saw an elderly lady holding Sakina affectionately, kissing her cheeks and wiping away her tears. She could hear Sakina telling the lady how her uncle Abbas had gone to fetch her water and how he had never returned. When Sakina saw her aunt she explained that she had fallen off the camel but the kind lady had looked after her. Bibi Zainab turned to the lady and said, "May Allah reward you for your kindness to this orphan!" The lady replied, "Zainab, my dear, how can you thank your own mother? Do you not recognize me?" As the lady lifted her face, Bibi Zainab saw that it was Fatimah Zahra!!

When the caravan reached the outskirts of Damascus Omar Sa'ad sent a message to Yezid that they had arrived. Yezid ordered that the caravan remain where it was until the morning. He wanted the people of Shaam to line the streets to look at the captives and witness his victory. In the meantime the streets through which the captives were to be marched were being decorated with flags and pennants.

Bibi Zainab had conquered Kufa. Now Shaam had come and was waiting for her!
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