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February 18, 2005

The ninth and tenth of Muharram (with edits and explanations)

kr edit: several people asked for some clarification to some of the references in the poem. please see below for the commentary.


The month
of Muharram is a sanctified month among all the other months of the
year. Even among the days of this month, the tenth day, in
particular, is noteworthy for its merits above all the other days:

–According to `Abdullah b. `Abbas, both good deeds and bad deeds are counted more in this month.
hadith on the authority of Abu Hurayrah tells us that “the best of
fasting after Ramadan is fasting Allah’s month of

–It is the day that Prophet Musa (`alayhi al-salaam) led the Children of Israel out of Egypt

–According to a
somewhat not-as-sound hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad, this is also the
day when the ark of Nuh (`alayhi al-salaam) landed on Mt. Judi, so he
fasted on this day as a day of thanks.

–When the
Prophet (salallahu `alayhi wa sallam) was in Madinah, he saw the Jews
were fasting on this day (the 10th). He said, “We have more right to
Musa than you,” and told his Companions to fast the 10th and either one
day before or after that. The more preferred opinion is to fast both
the 9th/10th (Friday/Saturday… corresponding to 2/18 and 2/19/2005),
for which the reward is expiation of the past year’s sins. (Note that
if one has to make up fasts from Ramadan, one has to do those fasts
first… unless youre in the awesome Hanafi school [hehe] which allows
you to fast on `Ashura with a “double” intention… it is because of
things like this that the Hanafi school rules ).


In addition to
the awesomeness of this day, it’s also one of the most tragic days in
Muslim history. It is the day when the grandson of the Prophet and the
son of Fatima and Ali, was brutally and treacherously slain on the
field of Karbala. I won’t recount the story here because I fear I won’t
do justice to narrating it. It’s something that you really have to read
for yourself and you’ll find your heart melt and your eyes well up with
tears as you read about the demise of the grandson of the best of


I wrote this following poem as a way of expressing my thoughts when reflecting on this darkest day in Muslim history.


Tell the sons of Kinânah about the cry of Hulays—

When he saw the deed of Abû Sufyân;

But be sure to tell them that there was no Hulays

To cry out against the deeds of Yazîd.

As for the dwellers of Kufa, bring for them an excuse

For they were the serpents of the earth!

But what excuse can you bring

To those who would betray the line of Abu’l Qâsim?


To the sons of `Abdu Manâf, your son was slain

By those to whom treachery was dear;

Weep not, though you desire vengeance

For the blood of the beloved of the Beloved.

As for Yazîd, I know not what Allah will do—

But I fear to be next to him on the Day of Reckoning

For what hopes does a man have of entering the Garden

If he slays the leader of the youth of Paradise?


As for the believers, tell them not to weep:

How strange is history with its tales of joy and sorrow;

The day that the brother of Hârûn led his people to freedom

That same day the brother of Hasan fell.

Though his blood was the noblest in the earth

It flowed freely when he was struck.


He was son of the door to the city of knowledge

The baby of the mother who is part of the Beloved

The brother of the one who was being bathed and garlanded

As his grandfather and his Lord loved him.

His forefathers had founded the pact of Fudûl

But none of these could save him on this day.


Know then that if our rewards were to be given here—

Our master Husayn would not have met his demise this way

If the merits of lineage had any worth in this world—

The accursed feet of Yazid would never have met his lips.

And if people were to ever show gratitude for our favors to them

Then Karbala would be another barren plain.


Yet you weep for the sacrifice of Husayn

Believing that his blood flowed in vain.

Know that he laid down his life for your Islam.

And if you were now to throw it away:

His martyrdom would have been in vain;

But will you be able to look into his eyes on that Day?


Thus the poet writes–

Qatl-e-Husayn asl mawte Yazid hai

Islam zinda hota hai har Karbala kay baad


(the martyrdom of Husayn is in reality the death of Yazid

for Islam is reborn after every such Karbala)


–“the sons
of Kinanah”: Kinanah was one of the forefathers of the Prophet
(salallahu `alayhi wa sallam), his great (x12) grandfather. From him,
the various clans of Quraysh descended, and he was considered as one of
their greatest men and remembered amongst the Arabs, to whom blood-ties
and lineages were sacred. So this is relating Husayn (the “last son”)
to the numerous sons of Kinanah.
–“the cry of Hulays”: When Abu Sufyan was abusing the slain corpse of
Hamzah, Hulays was the one who had the courage to rebuke Abu Sufyan
with his disgust that a chief of Quraysh would behave so unhonorably
towards his own cousin. Abu Sufyan, upon hearing the cry, ceased his
behavior. Since the Sons of Kinanah, like all Jahili Arabs, considered
courage and honor to be paramount virtues, this is a reference to that,
as if to remind these deceased men about the courage of Hulays, and
juxtapose that with the wretched behavior of Yezid, who also had the
same forefathers by virtue of his being Umayyad.
–`Abdu Manaf was the father of Hashim who was the father of `Abdul
Muttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet. This is a similar reference
as to the one made to Kinanah, since `Abdu Manaf was considered as a
key figure in Quraysh history and lineage.
–“The son of the door to the city of knowledge”: The Prophet said, “I
am the city of knowledge and `Ali is its door.” This is one of the
numerous virtues of `Ali that the Prophet mentioned. This extends to
increase the virtue and rank of Husayn as well.
–“baby of the mother who is part of the Beloved”: Husayn was the
“baby”, since he was the younger child of Ali and Fatima. The Prophet
said, about Fatima, that she is part of him, and he is the beloved of
Allah. By extension, this also increases the rank and virtue of Husayn.

From → Uncategorized

  1. wow.
    barakallahu feek.

  2. whoa wait, nice post, but what’s this about it being ok to fast with double intentions if ur Hanafi?… Are u serious!?!? 
    I thought that wasn’t allowed… do you have nething backing that up (say, in Hanafi’s words)?

  3. MashaAllah.

  4. are you today i hope that every things is okwithyou as is my pleassure to contact you after viewingyour profile in love.www.really interest me in having communication with youifyou will have the desire with me so that we canget toknow each other better and see what happened infuture.i will be very happy if you can write me through myemail for easiest communication and to know allabouteach other here is my email ( will be waiting tohear from you as i wish you all the best for yourday.yours new friend. blessing

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