SCENE 8: KARBALA, 10 Muharram (Martydrom of Hazrat Qasim)

 

Click here to listen to the sound clip at the beginning of Scene 8

 

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

 

(Qasim gets up)

 

Qasim: I can't sit here and watch anymore, Uncle. I have to fight.

 

Imam Husain: No, Qasim. You are too young. You're not strong enough yet. You cannot fight these men.

 

Qasim: No one else is left. I will follow Ali Akbar. I will die fighting for you.

 

Imam Husain: What about these women? They cannot lose any more of their sons in one day.

 

Qasim: I would rather fall defending them than be captured by that army, or die of thirst.

 

Imam Husain: Qasim, you are still young, and you are still under my care. Before your father died - when he was poisoned - he left me his will. He told me to look out for you. I have to keep my word. I cannot leave you to get slaughtered like -- like everyone else.

 

Qasim: (Approaches women) What can I do? I can't just sit here and wait for that army to kill us.

 

Um Farwah: My son, there is something I never told you.

 

Qasim: What is it? Tell me, mother, please!

 

Um Farwah: Qasim, before your father died, he left a letter for you. He told me to give it to you in your time of need. I think -- I think if there ever was any time, this is it.

 

Qasim: Do you have it?

 

Um Farwah: I always carried it with me. I never knew when you would need it. I had hoped I would never see that day. It pains me so much to see you like this. (gets letter and hands it to Qasim who opens it eagerly)

 

Voice of Imam Hassan: (offstage, as Qasim reads along) My child, when this letter reaches you, I will be long gone. When you read this letter, you will find yourself torn between two choices. Honor will demand that you fight, and love will entreat you to stay behind. Dear Qasim, I have written this letter to you to grant you my permission for you to fight. Do not be sad when you read this, for your time left in this world is short. Soon, we will be reunited, and I am waiting for you at the Fountain of Kawthar with the Prophet. Your father, Hasan ibn Ali.

 

Um Farwah: (brief silence - she has been hearing the words of her dead husband) I never would have believed it. Take this letter to your uncle. He will let you go.

 

Qasim: Thank you, mother. Uncle! Uncle! Look! It's a letter! From my father!

 

Imam Husain: (taking it) From -- my brother -- Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib to Qassim ibn Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib... My child, when this letter reaches you… (reads it) Then my duty is done. I never wanted to see you go, Qasim, but if you are prepared to die, then you may fight.

 

Qasim: I will make you and my father proud.

 

Imam Husain: Qasim, let me ask you one thing before you go. My Qasim, how do you see death?

 

Qasim: Death, Uncle? Fighting for your cause, Uncle, I feel like death is sweeter than honey.

 

Imam Husain: You already have made us proud. Allah be with you. Fight well.

 

Qasim: I will fight like Akbar. You will see.

 

Imam Husain: God, how can I watch this young man get torn apart like this.

 

(Goes out)

 

Qasim: Go back to where you came from! You will never touch my uncle before you get past me!

Ibn Sa'd: Move it! (Soldiers come out)


Evil Soldier: They're sending us a child!

 

Bad Soldier: First an old man, then a child! (Falls)

 

Ibn Sa’d: Get that kid out of the way!

 

(Suddenly Qassim is hit in the chest. Falls)

 

Qassim: Uncle, help! (Soldiers stand over him) Assalaamu 'alayk. Assalaamu alayka, ya aba abdillah.

 

Imam Husain: Qasim! (Rushes out) They've hit you!

 

Qasim: I fought bravely, didn't I?

Imam Husain: Yes you did. (embraces him)

 

Qasim: (with effort) Give my salaam to my mother. I -- I don't think I will be coming back.

 

Imam Husain: No,you will not. Go with God. (Qasim dies and Imam Husain stands) God, if they want to kill me, let them kill me. But why do they want to kill my family? (He returns)

 

Um Farwah: It's not true! He's not dead!

 

Imam Husain: He fought well. His last words were to you.

 

Um Farwah: My son! Come back to me!

 

Zainab: It's ok. (Puts arms around her but still addresses Imam Husain) They can't take this anymore.

 

Sukayna: (Roqayyah is holding onto her) Where is Qasim? Qasim?

 

(Um Farwah cries more)