Scene 6: IN THE PALACE OF YAZID

 

Click here to listen to the sound clip at the beginning of Scene 6

 

Narrator: Inside the palace of Yazid ibn Mu'awiyah.

 

(Prisoners gathered before Yazid, who has a great drinking goblet next to him. Yazid is drinking and eating from great trays of fruit and sweets being held by a slave while he drinks and leers. The Royal Aide is reclining on some cushions and drinking wine)

 

(SFX: drumbeats, first loud, then fade so conversation can be overheard)

 

Guard: (whispering) Not even one date!

 

Other guard: (also whispering) Not even one?

 

Guard: They said charity is haraam for them, because they are the family of Rasul Allah.

 

Other Guard: You really think it's them?

 

Guard: What other prisoners would be refusing food?

 

(Yazid dismisses the slave girl with his hand)

 

(fade out drumbeats completely)

 

Ibn Sa'd: ORDER! You stand before the great caliph Yazid ibn Mu'awiyah!

 

Yazid: (taking a swig) My dear Ibn Sa'd, who are these pitiful creatures? I was expecting the daughters of Rasul Allah.

 

Ibn Sa'd: My master, these are them. They have been walking for days. Who could recognize them in this state?

 

Yazid: (peering at them) Is that so... I don't really remember what they look like. Actually, I never saw them. They were always covered. (peers some more) I think there's a family resemblance.

 

Ambassador: Permission to speak.

 

Yazid: Yes, go on.

 

Ambassador: With all due respect, my leader, have you killed the men of the family of the Prophet and enslaved the women?

 

Yazid: (proudly) Yes, I have, haven't I?

 

Ambassador: With all due respect, my leader, fear Allah, for you have committed a great crime!

 

Yazid: Off with his head! (Silence as a guard drags the ambassador away) Once upon a time, we were YOUR captives and YOUR slaves at the battles of Badr and Hunain.

 

Sajjad: We did not take you captive!

 

Yazid: Silence! Now, the tables have turned. Now, you are OUR captives and OUR slaves. Taste the sweetness of vengeance. No longer does my grandfather have to be disgraced by pretending to submit to your grandfather Muhammad. Today, victory is at our hands! (motions to the guy with the head of imam husain and the head is brought to him) What a little head, what little lips, all dead....

 

(Members of the court staring aghast)

 

Guard: (whispering to other guard) He's insane, he really is

 

Yazid: (bellowing) Bring me some more wine. (No one dares move) I said, more wine!! (guard rushes to fetch him wine) (To Sajjad) I will torture YOU like I am torturing this little head.

 

Sajjad: No torture could be worse than seeing my aunt and cousins captive, without hijab. But Allah aids the patient. You soon shall know.

 

Yazid: Allah? Allah killed your father Husain, and brought him to me.

 

Sajjad: You blame Allah for your tyranny! You poor man. Allah has given you freedom of choice, and Allah will take you to account for your unjust actions.

 

(Wife of Yazid bursts out from behind a curtain)

 

Wife of Yazid: Then it is true? My husband, you have really captured the Family of the Prophet? How could you? My lady Zaynab, forgive us....

 

Yazid: Get back woman, veil yourself!

 

Wife of Yazid: I should cover myself, when you leave the daughters of Rasul Allah uncovered?

 

Yazid: Get back, I said, get back! (Wife runs away) (Flustered, trying to change the subject) Call the adhaan! Al-salaat! Al-salaat!

 

Royal Aide: (puts down his wine and rises to do the adhaan) Allahu akbar, allahu akbar

 

Sajjad: La shay' akbar min Allah. Nothing is greater than Allah.

 

Royal Aide: (trying to ignore him) Ashhadhu an laa ilaaha illa Allah

 

Sajjad: My entire being bears witness that there is no god but Allah.

 

Royal Aide: (still trying to ignore him) Ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasul Allah --

 

Sajjad: Yazid, is Muhammad my grandfather or yours? If you say he is your grandfather, then you are lying; and if you say he is my grandfather, then why did you kill his children??

 

Wife of Yazid: (offstage, crying) Forgive us, God, forgive us!

 

Sajjad: Can any of you that can say that YOUR grandfather is Rasul Allah?

 

Other guard: (cannot restrain himself) No, son of Rasul Allah, we cannot!

 

Yazid: Enough! (Royal Aide looks confused but shuts his mouth) Get them out of here! Now! End session! Put the prisoners in jail!

 

(Whisperings throughout court)

 

Click here to listen to the sound clip at the end of Scene 6