Scene 4: DAY OF 11 MUHARRAM

 

JOURNEY TO KUFA

 

Narrator: At the outskirts of Kufa....

 

(At the entrance to Kufa. Soldiers enter leading women/children in ropes and chains. Some are crying and clearly exhausted. Sajjad is being dragged along on foot, clearly unable to walk)

 

(Sajjad holds his hand to his head and staggers. A soldier pokes him with the sword)

 

Zainab: He can't walk! He's ill! Can't you see that??

 

Soldier with Whip: Mind your own business lady. (Snaps whip at her)

 

Sajjad: (delirious) O Allah, look after the women, look after the children....

 

Shimr: Forward march! (Soldiers drag everyone along) Where's the head! Don't loose the head! Bring me the head! (Someone brings the head of Imam Husain by)

 

Sukayna: (screaming) Baba! Baba! (Soldiers rush up with whips)

 

Uneasy soldier: (to fellow soldier) I don't like the feeling of this.

 

Fellow soldier: Me neither. I've been through twenty-five campaigns, and I've never seen anything like this. I hope they know what they're doing.

 

(Shimr beckons to Town Crier, gives him some instructions, and Town Crier rushes ahead)

 

Town Crier: Good news, people of Kufa! We have the rebels! Here are the insurgents who dared flout the divine authority of our great leader Yazid. Here are your prisoners of war and your slaves, Zainab bint Ali, Ali ibn Al-Husain, and the family of Husain ibn Ali. We have put down the rebellion, and we will bring the traitors to justice!

 

(Crowd murmurs)

 

Amazed Kufan: (whispering) Did they say... Zaynab the daughter of Ali? The granddaughter of the Prophet?

 

Shocked Kufan: I never thought I would live to see these times.

 

Amazed Kufan: We have betrayed Husain ibn Ali. He came to defend us, and we abandoned him!

 

Shocked Kufan: What have we done?

 

(Amazed Kufan gasps, and some Kufans start crying)

 

Crier: Rejoice, Kufans, justice!

 

Zainab: Traitors of Kufa! Why do you cry? Cry more and laugh less, for you have slain the Imam of your time. The blood of my brother is on your hands, and you will never be able to wipe them clean!

 

Amazed Kufan: God, forgive us our treachery!

 

(Ibn Ziyad emerges, and all fall silent)

 

Ibn Ziyad: Who do you bring to me? I do not see the Family of the Prophet.

 

Sajjad: You do not recognize us, but we are they. I am Ali the son of Husain the son of Ali the son of Abu Talib, the brother of the Holy Prophet. (faces people) Ayyuha an-naas! O people! Whoever knows me, knows me, and he who does not know me, let him know that I am the son of that person who was dishonored and plundered and whose women and children were taken prisoner. I am the son of that man who was beheaded on the bank of the Foraat, although he had not shed any blood or committed any crime. I am the son of the man who was overwhelmed by armies and martyred after he had fallen from weakness. This is sufficient honor for us.

 

Zainab: Ibn Ziyad, we are the sisters of Husain and the granddaughters of Muhammad. You and the tyrant Yazid have sold the next life for the delusions of this world. Enjoy yourselves today, for soon you will meet the wrath of God. You have slaughtered innocent people, and you have demolished the family of the Prophet. And for what? We did not seek rule. All we sought was to save the people from the torture and the oppression that you brought them.

 

(Crowd murmurs some more)

Amazed Kufan: Listen to her talk!

 

Shocked Kufan: She's right.

 

Ibn Ziyad: Enough! (To commander) We do not desire to have the prisoners here. Take them to Shaam! Let our caliph choose how to punish them.

 

(Women and children led back away)

 

Amazed Kufan: May Allah save us from this.

 

Click here to listen to the sound clip at the end of Scene 4