SCENE 7: KARBALA, 10 MUHARRAM, Noon

 

Click here to listen to the sound clip at the beginning of Scene 7 (unusual adhaan)

 

(Note: This scene continues from the prior scene with no scene transition)

 

(lights go back to normal)

 

Imam Husain: As-salaat, as-salaat.

 

Ibn Sa'd: Salaat, at a time like this!

 

Shimr: (sarcastically) Yes, do pray, grandson of Rasul Allah, so we can butcher you in your prayers like your father! (laughs)

 

Imam Husain: I came here to establish my grandfather's religion. Unlike you, we are not fighting for power. We are fighting for the salaat.

 

Ibn Sa'd: Pray as much as you like. You have broken from the community, and your prayers will never be accepted.

 

Imam Husain: You stand here violating the commands of Allah, and you say our prayers will never be accepted?

 

(Akbar and Abbas stand guard while Imam Husain says one rakat of salaat al khawf - this is theatre. The soldiers back off)

 

(While Imam Husain is praying, Sympathetic bad soldier goes to the rear of his army and prays one rakaat, then returns to his position)

 

Shimr: (While Imam Husain is praying) Don't let him last till salaat al-maghrib.


Ibn Sa'd: Agreed.

 

Imam Husain: Rabbana atina fi-dunia hasana wa fil akhirati hasana waqina adhaab an-naar. (stands up and looks around at the devastation) May Allah reward you. We are the only ones who are left now -- Akbar, my son; your cousins; and your uncle Abbas. Ibn Sa'd will not turn back.

 

Akbar: I want to fight, father.

 

Imam Husain: (looks at him for a moment) I know you do. I raised you to be a man. But I can't watch you go out to the battlefield and get torn to pieces by those -- those -- those people. If you were a father, you'd know how I feel.

 

Akbar: I am sorry, father.

 

Imam Husain: There is no need to be sorry. You are fighting in the way of Allah, and you are defending the women of the household of Rasul Allah. And you must fight. There is no question about it. It is your duty to fight, and it is my duty to let you. Go to your mother, and your aunt Zaynab, and get permission. And then -- and then -- (Cannot finish sentence)

 

Akbar: Yes, father. (goes towards tents as army waits)

 

Zainab: (rushes towards him) Ali Akbar, you were like my own son to me. How can I let you die, when my own children still live?

 

Akbar: Dear aunt, my time has come, and I cannot escape death. You love your brother too, don't you?

 

Zainab: Yes, most of all.

 

Akbar: Then for his sake, let me go. Let me fight under his banner. No one else is left. Abbas is our Commander. (they look at him, still holding the standard) We'll fall without him. The others are too young. Let me go.

 

Zainab: If your time has come, you must go. Leila -- Leila -- (She has been staring into space. She shakes her) It's your son.

 

Leila: (crying) You meant everything to me, Akbar. I gave every moment of my life for you. If something happens to you, I can't stand to live anymore. (Cries. Zainab comforts her)

 

Zainab: Leila, don't let him leave like this. He has to fight.

 

Leila: (quietly; soliloquy) I wish I had died before you. (to Akbar) Go. Go in the way of Allah.

 

Zainab: We entrust you to Allah. Go, before it is too late.

 

(Akbar turns towards Imam Husain. Zainab, picks up a green turban and sword and gives them to Imam Husain.)

 

Zainab: (calling out) Akbar, The turban of the Prophet. We saved it for you, Akbar.

 

(Zainab gives it to Imam Husain who takes it and puts it on Akbar's head)

 

Imam Husain: Take this sword. (He fastens it on him)

 

Leila: (crying, soliloquy) I never thought I would see you like this.

 

Zainab: (in awe) It's as if we're looking at the Prophet himself.

 

Imam Husain: No one in this world will ever be more like the Prophet than him. But shahaadah is his destiny.

 

Zainab: I remember we used to look at you, Akbar, when times got hard and we wanted to see the kind face of our grandfather. Now we have to let you go.

 

(Roqayyah comes up to him and hangs on his leg)

Roqayyah: Don't go, brother. No one ever comes back.

 

Akbar: I have to. (bends down) Don't worry. That way (points) is the way to Jannah. I am going to Jannah. I will see you there too someday.

 

Roqayyah: (cries) I'll miss you....

 

Akbar: I'll miss you too.

 

Imam Husain: It's time to go, my son.

 

Akbar: Farewell, all. Remember me. (Akbar rides out)

 

Roqayyah: Akbar...

 

Akbar: I am 'Ali, the son of Husain the son of 'Ali!

Nahnu wa bayt Allah awlaa bin-nabiy!

We, by Allah, are more worthy of the nabiy!

Sympathetic Soldier: Look at him. It's like the Prophet is standing in front of us.

 

Akbar: Adribukum bis-sayf hatta yaltawi

With this sword, I shall defend my family!

Dharba ghulamin haashimiyyin 'alawiyyin qurayshiyyi

And strike like a young Hashemi, Qurayshi --

 

Ibn Sa'd: (to Sympathetic Soldier) What are you waiting for? Attack him!

 

Sympathetic Soldier: No-- I can't--

 

Ibn Sa'd: What do mean, you CAN'T??

 

Sympathetic Soldier: He looks just like the Prophet. I can't attack our Prophet.

 

(Shimr hits him)

 

Ibn Sa'd: Attack, now!

 

Akbar: I shall fight you to the end, for, by God, we are on the side of the Prophet, and you are not!

 

(Shimr throws Sympathetic Soldier out into battle, and he attacks Ali Akbar)

 

Click here to listen to the sound clip for when Ali Akbar starts fighting in the middle of Scene 7

 

Imam Husain: What is wrong with you, Ibn Sa'd? Don't have sons of your own? May Allah cut off your progeny the way you are cutting off mine!

 

(Soldiers ride out and fight Ali Akbar. They fall, but the offensive continues)

 

Imam Husain: O Allah, witness that the mirror image of Your Prophet has come out to fight, and they are attacking him. God, deprive them of all good in this world. Scatter them into warring sects, and turn their khalifahs against them, for they called us here for help and then turned against us!

 

Ibn Sa'd: What's your problem? Finish him off!

 

Leila: O You Who returned Ismail to Hajar. O You who returned Musa to his mother. (Cries and takes a deep breath) O You who returned Yusuf to his father, let me see my son one last time!

 

(Soldiers come and attack. Akbar kills them all. A pause)

 

Fellow Soldier: What can we do? He fights like Ali!

 

Ibn Sa'd: You'll be going out there next.

 

(Akbar turns back to the camp)

 

Akbar: Father, Father, I can't fight. I'm thirsty.

 

Imam Husain: Soon you will meet your grandfather in Paradise. He will quench your thirst. Stay strong.

 

Akbar: I will, father.

 

Leila: (rushes up to him) I never thought I would see you again! (cries) I can't let you go.

 

Zainab: Leila....

 

Leila: (takes another deep breath) All right. Go, Akbar, follow the footsteps of your grandfather.

 

Akbar: I will. I promise you, mother, I will only come back victorious! (turns to enemy)

 

Ibn Sa'd: You, fight! (Soldiers go out; a soldiers pushes out the one who had made the comment. Eventually, Akbar falls)

 

Akbar: Assalaamu alayka ya aba abdillah. (Leila screams; Imam Husain rushes forward, and the soldiers flee) You told me the truth. I see our grandfather Muhammad in front of me. He's holding water from the Fountain of Kawthar and saying I will never be thirsty again. He's telling me he has another cup waiting -- for you-- (dies)

 

Imam Husain: O Allah, bear witness that I sacrificed my dearest one for Your sake. My son, what have they done to you. I raised you as a man, and they murdered you. What did you do to them? Nothing! Akbar, my son, my flesh and blood. (to camp) Bear him back to the tents. For the love of God, bear him back to the tents. (4 people come out and carry him, one on each side, slowly) To Allah we belong, and to Allah I return you. Inna lillah wa inna ilayhi raji'oun. Leila, Zainab, Um Kalthoum... Akbar has returned.

 

(Women rush out and surround the body. Leila starts crying)

 

Leila: No, this can't be. Hes not dead! Akbar!

 

Imam Husain: Inna lillah wa inna ilayhi rajioun, wal hamdulillah rabbil 'aalameen.

 

Zaynab: Akbar, you meant so much to me. I look at you here and I see your grandfather lying in front of us, bloody, covered with dust, slain by his own followers. God curse them for what they have done. They have killed you for no reason.