SCENE 9: MADINAH

 

(Imam Husain's camp, Soldier with Spear, and Nice Soldier move along stage)

 

Narrator: Freed from Shaam, the captives neared Madinah.

 

(Bishr enters stages and approaches Imam Sajjad)

 

Bishr: Assalaamu 'alaikum, my Imam!

 

Imam Sajjad: Wa 'alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. (nears him) You are Bishr, the son of the poet, are you not?

 

Bishr: I am.

 

Imam Sajjad: Your father -- may Allah have mercy upon him -- was a great poet. How are you at poetry?

 

Bishr: I am nowhere near as skilled as he, but I can recite a few lines.

 

Imam Sajjad: In that case, Bishr, enter Madinah and mourn the death of Aba 'Abdillah!

 

Bishr: (in grief; advancing off)

 

People of Madinah! Sadness has overwhelmed me, for the son of 'Ali has been murdered in Karbala!

 

ya ahla yathrib la maqaama lakum bihaa

qutilal hussain fa'admu3ee midraara

al-jismu minhu bikarbala mudharaj

wal-ras'su minhu 3alal qanaati yudaaru

 

His body lies unburied, and they bore his head away. Mourn with me, people of the city of the Prophet!

 

(Um al-Baneen approaches)

 

Um al-Baneen: Bishr, tell me it's not true!

 

Bishr: A great battle has been fought. My lady, your son Abbas has been killed!

 

Um al-Baneen: Tell me about Husain.

 

Bishr: My lady, your son 'Abdullah has been killed.

 

Um al-Baneen: Tell me about Husain.

 

Bishr: My lady, your son Usmaan has been killed!

 

Um al-Baneen: Tell me about Husain.

 

Bishr: My lady, your son Ja'far has been killed.

 

Um al-Baneen: For the love of God, tell me about Husain!

 

Bishr: My lady, Husain has been killed in Karbala!

 

Um al-Baneen: God rest your soul, beloved son of Fatimah. Um Salama was right. (rushes up to Zaynab) Would I had been there with my sons and sacrificed myself too. I am so sorry!

 

Sajjad: Do not be sorry. The blood of Husain will revive our ummah.

 

Person from Madinah: I never met this man you call Husain. Why do you mourn him?

 

Bishr: It is not enough that he is the grandson of our Prophet?

 

Person from Madinah: Our Prophet taught that all Muslims are equal and stand shoulder to shoulder no matter who their fathers are. Only the fear of Allah and taqwa raise one Muslim above another.

 

Sajjad: You speak the truth. But my father was no ordinary man. Allah appointed him and eleven others to carry on the message of Islam after the Prophet died. He protected those twelve from misdeeds so that they could show the best examples to humankind. My father embodied the way of Allah and devoted his life to spreading the true teachings of Islam. He worked all day, and he worshipped and served the poor all night. He gave up his life and his family to save the people of Kufa, although they betrayed him. His faith and self-sacrifice elevated him above the people, and for these traits, he will be remembered forever

 

Person from Madinah: What a loss for our ummah.

 

Bishr: (walking along) O people of Madinah. Mourn the death of Husain!

 

Um al-Baneen and Zainab: Husain..... Husain.........

 

(women start crying)

 

Narrator: The illegitimate rule of Yazid ibn Mu'awiyah did not last long. In the year 683, the people of Madinah rebelled, and he was killed by an unknown assailant.

 

Click here to listen to the sound clip at the end of Scene 9

 

(Lights out)