PART 2 Karbala, the Aftermath


Click here to listen to the sound clip at the beginning of scene 1


Scene 1: KARBALA, 10 MUHARRAM (Martyrdom of Imam Husain (as) )


(dead bodies with torn clothes and blood lying around)


Narrator: (in a very factual voice, always offstage) Karbala, the Tenth of Muharram


Imam Husain: (enters stage, looks at dead bodies, and then faces audience) Hal min naasirin yansuruna? Will no one help us? Hal min mu'eenin yu'eenuna? Will no one come to our aid?




Imam Husain: (turns to Zainab) My dear Zainab, the end has come. Take care of the widows and the orphans and my sick son Ali. And stand firm. Do not succumb to sorrow. For you have the responsibility of passing on our message.


Zainab: I will do what you say, my brother.


Imam Husain: Sukayna, my daughter, I must go.


Sukayna: No Baba, don't leave me!


Imam Husain: My dearest, I have to. Allah has ordained that we stand up for truth and justice, and fight for the oppressed against the oppressors, even if we have to give up our own lives.


Sukayna: Promise me you'll take me with you.


Imam Husain: Allah has favored us all with martyrdom, Sukayna. Soon I will see your brothers and your cousins in Heaven, and one day I will see you there too.


Sukayna: Go then, I will wait to see you again.


Zainab: Dear brother, Abbas is gone, Ali Akbar is gone, Qasim is gone, and so are Ja'far and Aun. No one is left to help you onto your horse. Let me come with you and do this final task for you.

Imam Husain: May Allah bless you, my sister.


(SFX: Horse neighing)


Imam Husain: (facing the women) I give my final farewell to you now. Al-widaa! Al-widaa!


(Women remain in tent on edge of stage)


Laila: (crying) Husain! Husain! (other women and children wail and weep)


Imam Husain: (facing soldiers of Yazid) Emissaries of Yazid! Do you know who I am?


Ibn Sa'd: You are Husain, the son of Ali, the son of Fatimah, the grandson of the Prophet!


Imam Husain: You acknowledge my grandfather is your prophet, and you still want to kill me? What crime have I committed?


Ibn Sa'd: We give you one last chance. Accept Yazid as your leader, or die.


Imam Husain: I can never submit to an unjust tyrant. I look at death, and I see only prosperity and happiness. Inni la araa al-mawta illa sa'aada wal-hayaat ma'a al-zaalimeena illa barama. Al-widaa!


Ibn Sa'd: Fire!


Click here to listen to the sound clip for when Imam Husain (as) gets hit


(Imam Husain rides out. Enemy soldiers pelt him with arrows. Eventually he falls)


Imam Husain: Allah, I have sacrificed myself and my loved ones for You and for Islam. I give myself to Your decree, and I accept Your will.


Ibn Sa'd: (from a safe distance) Cowards! Hadha ibn anza'a al-bateen, haadha ibn qattaal al-'arab. You've got the son of the guy who massacred the infidels cornered. Cut off his head! (Looks at soldiers, who back off uneasily)


Harmala: They won't cut off the head of the grandson of their Prophet. They're afraid to.


Ibn Sa'd: (sarcastically, taking the Lord's name in vain) God... (to Harmala) Bring me a Christian man.


(Harmala drags Christian Soldier, who is wearing a large cross, over)


Ibn Sa'd: You see that man. (pointing to Imam Husain)


Christian Soldier: Yes.


Ibn Sa'd: Go out into the field, and bring me his head.


Christian Soldier: Yes, Commander.


Imam Husain: O Christian man.


Christian Soldier: (disturbed, surprised -- how does Imam Husain know that he is Christian?) What?


Imam Husain: O Christian man, have you read the Bible?

Christian Soldier: Yes, I have.


Imam Husain: Have you read what it says about my grandfather, Ahmad the Comforter?


Christian Soldier: (awed) Sayyidi, you are Husain, the son of Ali, the son of Fatimah, the grandson of your Prophet?


Imam Husain: I am.


Christian Soldier: And the grandson of their Prophet too?

Imam Husain: Yes.


Christian Soldier: Sayyidi... take my hand... I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger. Ashhadu an laa ilaahi illa Allah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasul Allah. (looks at army) What can I do?

Imam Husain: Take your sword, and defend the Household of the Prophet.


(Arrows fired at Christian Soldier; he falls)


Ibn Sa'd: This is a disaster. Is there anyone out there who doesn't care who he is?


Shimr: I don't. I will do it.


Ibn Sa'd: You will be rewarded.


Shimr: Husain! Meet your last! (Rushes out and attacks Imam Husain, who defends himself)


Imam Husain: Shimr, do you know what you are doing?

Shimr: Your life is through, son of Fatimah!


(Shimr sits on the chest of Imam Husain, sword poised. A brief pause)


Zainab: Wa Muhamadaa! Wa abatah! Wa Aliyaa! Look at Husain, lying on the ground! May the sky fall and the mountains crumble. O Allah!


Imam Husain: Shimr, we give the animals water before we kill them. Are you going to slaughter me when I have had no water for three days?


Shimr: Wallah that is exactly what I intend to do!


Imam Husain: O Allah, guide these people, for they know not what they do.


(Shimr slices at Imam Husain's blessed neck)


Imam Husain: Bismillah wa billah wa 'alaa millati rasul allah.


Shimr: Die! (Slice at Imam Husain's head)


(Lights out)


Imam Husain: (the voice of one dying) I come to meet you, O Lord. La ilaaha siwaak. [dies]


Shimr: (cuts off the head of imam Husain and holds it up) Behold! The head of Husain Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib!!!! (takes it, leaps in victory and goes off)


Click here to listen to the sound effects after the head of the Imam (as) is severed


(Darkness. SFX: eerie winds whistling, horse hooves trotting)


Laila: (offstage, yelling) Dhul Jenah has returned! Husain is dead!


(Lights on)


(Women and children rush on, screaming, crying, and hitting themselves)

Sukayna: (throwing herself beside the body) Baba!


Zainab: My brother! My imam!


Laila: Wa Husainah, Wa Imamah!


(Women and children yell and cry. Soldiers standing staring in shock and awe.)


Ibn Sa'd: (putting his arm around Shimr in congratulations) Well done, well done!


Zainab: (standing over the body, hands raised in prayer) Ilaahi taqabbal minna haadhal qurbah. O Allah, accept from us this sacrifice! Inna lillah wa inna ilayhi raji'oun! To You we belong, and to You we return!


(Fade out crying of women/children. SFX: Latmiyyah about the death of Imam Husain (as))


Click here to listen to the sound clip at the end of Scene 1


Historical note: Despite popular belief, Shimr attacked Imam Husain (as) AFTER he finished salaat al-zuhr and salaat al-'asr.