Fulk al-Husain bi Karbala

Published: 1430 AH

Praise be to Allah and salaams upon His chosen devotees.


History bears witness to Hudaat Kiraam’s AS firm devotion to the zikr of Imam Husain’s AS shahaadat, bukaaʾ and ibkaa (the endeavour to make others mourn). They encourage Mumineen and Muminaat to continuously adhere to this zikr in light of Rasulullah’s SAW hadith mubarak:

He who sheds tears upon [the tragedy of] my son Husain, or causes another to shed tears, or if unable to cry, reveals his grief through his facial expressions, is guaranteed jannat (heaven).

The zikr of Imam Husain’s AS shahaadat is of such paramount importance that even the sacrifice of one’s soul for it is too little. Allah Ta’ala has imbued the Quran-e-Majeed with the profound hikmat of this shahaadat, venerating its status and rendering this hikmat quintessential.

Fatimi literary works bear testimony to the importance of Imam Husain’s AS zikr. Written under the instructions of Imam al-Mustansir AS, Syedna al Mu’ayyad al Shirazi’s RA Majaalis Muʾayyadiyah incorporate haqaaʾiq and instill the barakaat of zuhoor in the Daʿwat of satr. In these majaalis he included various elegies and noha dedicated to Imam Husain AS that stir the soul and cause crimson tears to flow.

In one such noha he states:

Mumineen! May Allah place you amongst those who have taken His beloved as caverns for the najaat (نجاة) – salvation) of their souls, so that they may receive their shafaʿat (شفاعة)- intercession) on the Day of qiyamat (قيا

مة). Mumineen! Weep a downpour of tears! Clothe yourselves in grief and mourning! Express lamentations and wail! Shed tears upon this great khatb (خطب) – calamity) in the morn and eve. A khatb in which even the foregoing of souls is too little and any amount of matam (مأتم) is insufficient. This khatb grieved Rasulullah SAW and distressed Moulatena Fatema al-Batul AS. Why should it not! For Imam Husain AS lies slain upon the scorching desert sands while his raas mubarak (رأس مبارك) is raised upon a spearhead swaying in the wind. His Ahle-bait (اهل البيت) have been imprisoned and their heads uncovered. They have been bound in shackles and made to wander throughout the land on bareback camels. O Grief, for those bodies drenched in blood! O Anguish, for those dry lips parched with thirst! O Sorrow, for my Moula Husain AS who summons but remains unanswered, who seeks help but his words go unheard! He asks for a sip of water but none is given and no compassion is shown. Water is forbidden for him, although it is permitted for everyone else.

If only Moulatena Fatema AS would see her daughters, without veil amidst enemies, shouting in grief for their brothers, fathers and judd (جد – grandfather). Their clothes are torn, their hearts distressed by the loss of their loved ones, their hair unfurled and they have been forced to leave their sanctuaries.

How can mourning be justified on anyone but these pure descendants? How can grief be appropriate but for the loss of Amir al-Mumineen’s AS progeny?

Throughout the period of Daʿwat al-Satr, Duʿat Mutlaqeen RA have remained engrossed in the zikr and bukaaʾ of Imam Husain AS. That the first al-daʿi al-mutlaq, al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Zoeb bin Musa al-Wadiʾee RA departed for his eternal abode on the day of Aashura is divine indication of their dedication to this zikr. In a marthiyah describing his grief for Imam Husain AS, the 19th al-daʿi al-mutlaq, al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Idris Imaduddin RA, conveys the anguish and sorrow shared by all Duat Mutlaqeen RA.

This grief has melted my heart and has made my tears flow like a flood.

O Day of Aashura! You have set ablaze my sorrow intensifying my anguish and restlessness.

Along with occupying themselves in Imam Husain’s AS zikr, the Duʿat Mutlaqeen RA in Yemen and then Hind, also stressed its necessity to Mumineen and the importance of attending the majaalis dedicated to this zikr. Daʿwat al-Satr is flourishing due to the efforts of Duʿat Mutlaqeen RA in the zikr and bukaaʾ of Imam Husain AS.

Words cannot express the contribution of the 51st al-daʿi al-mutlaq, al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA, to the zikr of Imam Husain AS in bukaaʾ and ibkaaʾ. Every word written by him in Imam Husain’s AS zikr is a vivid portrayal of Karbala, most evident in his marthiyah ‘Ya Syeda as Shohadai’. A marthiyah so dear to Allah Ta’ala, that celestial tidings, absolution and purity are bestowed upon those who recite it. Due to his devotion to this zikr, Allah Ta’ala honoured al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA with the ziyaarat (زيارة) of Najaf al-Ashraf and Karbala al-Muʿalla and the dedication of a zareeh mubarak in at both sacred sites.

The 52nd al-daʿi al-mutlaq, al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA has followed his illustrious father in the zikr and bukaaʾ of Imam Husain AS, making it the basis of all his spiritual and temporal endeavours. Allah Ta’ala graced him with many opportunities for the ziyaarat of Moulana Ali AS and Imam Husain AS with al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA and also after his ascension to the throne of dawat.

With the restoration of Jame Anwar (1401 AH) and the ensuing zikr of Imam Husain AS within its walls, Mumineen the world over were invigorated. Thus, the zikr of Imam Husain AS and the revival of Fatemi masaajid (مساجد) led to the sanctification and betterment of Mumineen.

The renovation of other jawaame (1416 AH), the baytus salaah (بيت الصلوة) and mihraab of Masjid-e-A’zam in Kufa (1423 AH) and the shahaadat-gah of Moulana Ali AS followed in subsequent years. In 1430 AH, following the renovation of both zareehs on the niyat (نية) of al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA and the imaarat of Masjid-e-Azam in Kufa, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA undertook a historic pilgrimage to the revered lands of Najaf al-Ashraf and Karbala al-Muʿalla.

In his waʿaz mubarak (24th Shawwal 1430 AH) in Masjid-e-Azam Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA praised Allah Ta’ala and expressed his gratitude towards Imam al Zaman AS in honouring him with the ʿimaarat of the mihrab and masjid. He beseeched him to accept this khidmat and to bestow duʿa mubarak upon him as well as Mumineen. He also offered gratitude for Allah Taʿala’s facilitation of ziyaarat, fulfilling a heartfelt wish after a number of years.

As a further tribute, during his stay in Najaf al-Ashraf, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA composed a qasida mubaraka (قصيدة مباركة) addressing Moulana Ali AS. He states in its first verse:

‘O Aba Hasan! The namesake of al Ali (Allah Taʿala), grant me both your subtle and apparent benevolence.’

The various verses of this qasida mubaraka express Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal’s RA devotion to Moulana Ali AS and his desire for the ziyaarat of Imam Husain AS.

Thereafter, upon reaching the zareeh mubarak of Imam Husain AS and being blessed with his ziyaarat, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA expressed in a marthiya his sincere sentiment of tafaadi and devotion towards Imam Husain AS. He prayed for all mumineen and supplicated his duʿa mubarak with the wasila (وسيلة) of Imam Husain’s AS name by beseeching him with the words: My Moula! My Moula Husain!

This revered name and its recurring invocation incorporate the manifold barakaat of zuhur and satr. Thus, this marthiya is the most radiant pearl and precious jewel of Fatimi literature, crowning it and surpassing all in its eloquence and articulation of haq and haqaaʾiq.

Throughout his life al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA shed tears of grief in the zikr of Imam Husain AS as seen in his following words:

طول الزمان بكائي

My bukaaʾ is eternal!

اداء حق الفداء

Fulfilling the haqq (obligation) of fidaaʾ (sacrifice).

This devotion and eternal grief is now evident in his revered son Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal’s RA unremitting address to Imam Husain AS:

ابكيك مولاي الحسين، افديك مولاي الحسين، مولاي مولاي الحسين

I will continue to weep upon you, my Moula Husain! My tafaadi (sacrifice) for you is eternal, my Moula Husain! My Moula! My Moula Husain!

The extent of the Duat Mutlaqeen’s RA pleasure in Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal’s RA marthiya is such that it results in their bukaaʾ upon Imam Husain AS. Furthermore, the marthiyah has established that the correct path for acquiring the benevolence of Aimmat Tahereen AS is the zikr of Imam Husain AS.

On Thursday 4th Zilqada al-Haraam, 1430 AH Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA recited two verses from this marthiyah by the zareeh mubarak of Imam Husain AS. He then recited it in its entirety that evening, Friday evening, in a majlis held in al-Masjid al-Najmi, Karbala al-Muʿalla. Mumineen in attendance from all over the world partook in the recitation of this marthiya filled with grief, sorrow, piety and faith.

The following pages provide a summary of this marthiya mubaraka. May Allah Taʿala grant Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s mansoos and upholder of his legacy in the zikr, bukaaʾ and ibkaaʾ of Imam Husain AS, al-Dai al-Ajal al-Fatimi Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS a long and prosperous life.

Marthiya Mubaraka

Each verse consists of seven lines, with the final three lines recurring in all 52 verses.

In the marthiya’s opening verse, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA summarises the importance and eternal nature of Karbala in four words: fulk (فلك), mulk (ملك), nusk (نسك) and misk (مسك). He explains that Imam Husain’s AS shahaadat allowed for the survival of his fulk (ship), the Safina-tun-Najaat (سفينة النجاة) that is sailing towards the shores of jannat. Due to Imam Husain’s AS shahaadat, his mulk (kingdom), the kingdom of Imaamat (امامة) will continue forever. Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA recalls Imam Husain’s AS nusk (ibaadat – (عبادة, worship) in Karbala, especially on the eve of Aashura. It is this nusk that has ensured that Allah Taʿala’s ibaadat will be done for eternity. Lastly, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA informs us that the scent of the misk (musk) Imam Husain AS gave to his Able-bait and Ashaab (اصحاب) on Aashura remains fragrant even today.

The first verse, like every other, culminates with, ‘I will continue to weep upon you, my Moula Husain! My tafaadi for you is eternal, my Moula Husain! My Moula! My Moula Husain!’

In the second and third verses, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA addresses Imam Husain AS by citing his various noble traits followed by ‘Ya Husain’. Similarly, the fourth verse is also in his praise, with all three verses eulogising his lineage, his personal attributes and most importantly, the fact that he is Imam al-Haq (امام الحق)

In the fifth verse, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA proclaims that his sorrow for Imam Husain AS and his longing towards him are eternal. The third and fourth lines are a supplication to Imam Husain AS and declaration of faith in his blessings and benevolence.

With the sixth and seventh verses, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA begins his description of Imam Husain’s AS plight. Estranged in Karbala in the cause of Allah Taʿala, he patiently endures the numerous adversities and hardships brought about by those consumed with hatred for Aale Mohammed “. The eighth verse is a prayer to Allah Taʿala to curse them and rid the world of their descendants.

In the ninth verse Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA once again proclaims that his bukaaʾ and tafaadi for Imam Husain AS are unwavering and everlasting. He will always grieve and call out Imam Husain’s AS name and in doing so continuously seek jannat. In verse ten, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA instructs mumineen to weep and grieve with him, for those aware of the meanings and implications of this plight will always respond with buka.

The ensuing verses narrate the tragic events of Aashura. The eleventh and twelfth verses mention the unsurpassed loyalty, piety, tafaadi and resolve of Ahle-bait and Ashaab. They fought the enemies of Imam Husain AS, pleasing him and ultimately sacrificed themselves for him.

Illustrating the elevated stature and standing of Ahle-bait, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA laments them individually in subsequent verses. Mohammed AS and Aun AS, with the help of their respected mother Moulatena Zainab AS secured the raza (رزا) of Imam Husain AS and acquired the honour of shahaadat (verse 13). Imam Hasan’s AS shahzada (شهزاده) Moulana Qasim AS, radiant like the full moon, sacrificed himself for Imam Husain AS, thereby pleasing his revered father (verse 14). Karbala’s bridegroom, Moulana Abdullah AS, presented Imam Husain AS with the most eloquent of letters, Imam Hasan’s AS words instructing him to sacrifice all for Imam Husain AS. Seeing his beloved brother’s handwriting, Imam Husain AS remembered his other wasiyat (وصية), the marriage of his shahzadi (شهزادي) to Moulana Abdullah AS. Through this resolve of tafaadi, Moulana Abdullah AS received sakina (سكينة) which eloquently refers both to his marriage to Moulatena Sakina AS and also his acquiring of sakina (tranquility) (verse 15).

In the next two verses (16 & 17), Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA laments Moulana Abbas AS, Imam Husain’s AS standard bearer. He fought with the strength of a lion and even today, his revered mashki (مشكي) – waterskin) continues to quench our thirst. He sought to bring water to the parched throats and when he fell he beseeched Imam Husain AS for his presence. Imam Husain AS hurried towards Moulana Abbas AS and at the sight of his slain standard bearer clasped his back.

Moulana Aliakbar AS refused offers of refuge presented by his respected father’s enemies on grounds of kinship. Instead he declared ‘I am Ali bin Husain bin Ali. I will strike you with my sword and defend my noble father.’ Whilst in jihad (جهاد), he came to Imam Husain AS and informed him of his thirst. Imam Husain AS quenched his thirst and bestowed upon him Rasulullah’s SAW ring, revealing a great sirr (سر – secret) (verses 18 & 19). Finally, as his shahaadat approached, Imam Husain AS granted him the deedar mubarak (ديدار مبارك) of Panjatan AS.

The next three verses (20, 21 & 22) grieve Moulana Aliasgar AS, the 6-month old shahzada of exalted position. The mushtari (مشتري) of qiyamat in the hands of shams al-imamat (شمس الامامة) – the sun of imamat), he was slain by an arrow that pierced his throat releasing a fountain of dum mubarak (دم – blood). Imam Husain AS took this dum casting it towards the sky, and because of his shahzadah’s great reverence and standing, the sky assimilated it all and not a drop fell to the earth. Displaying incredible endurance and composure, Imam Husain AS prepared a qabr (قبر – grave) with his scabbard and buried his beloved Aliasgar AS with his own hands.

From the 23rd verse onwards Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA mourns Imam Husain AS with a vivid depiction and narration of the events of Aashura that culminate in shahaadat. These moments are of qiyamat as Imam Husain AS, standing alone amongst adversaries, glances towards Madina and Najaf seeking solace and assistance. Nevertheless, whatever Allah Taʿala has intended for him, is Imam Husain’s AS intent as well (verse 23). He proceeded towards the haram (حرم) and bade farewell to Ahle-bait with his final salaam and placed the crown of nas (نص) upon the raas mubarak of Moulana Ali Zain al-Abidin AS. He conveyed many wasaaya (وصايا) to him and prior to his parting assured him that the line of Aimmat Tahereen AS will continue in his descendants until the advent of Moulana Qaim ala zikrihi al-salaam (verse 24 & 25).

Imam Husain AS gladly accepted his shahaadat knowing that it would fulfill the debt of qisaas (قصاص – retribution). Therefore, upon hearing Allah Taʿala’s will from Jibraeel he signaled that he had chosen shahaadat by placing his sword Zulfaqar in its scabbard (verse 26). Imam Husain SA a celestial star venerated by thousands of stars for giving rise to them all, slowly descended from his horse Zil Janah (verse 27).

The next three verses (28, 29 & 30) are devoted to Imam Husain’s AS horse and his pivotal khidmat on the day of Aashura. Zil Janah accepted and carried out the task that Imam Husain AS desired. In a testimony to his faith and belief, he suffused his mane in Imam Husain’s AS dum mubarak, an act of exceptional provision for him. He then came to Imam’s encampment and with his neigh called the Ahle-bait, conveying his sorrowful message. Hearing this, the Ahle-bait came out and exclaimed, ‘the horse is here but where is the faaris (فارس – rider)?’ Looking in all directions they shouted, ‘where is the faaris?’ In agony they wailed, ‘where is the faaris?!’

Imam Husain AS was seated against a khajoori (كهجوري – date palm) as his enemies surrounded him from all sides and rained upon him a shower of spears, swords and arrows (verse 31). One stone struck his radiant forehead and wounded it. As blood gushed from this wound, he spread it over his face, like a rubescent moon, and stated that ‘this is how I will meet my respected grandfather Rasulullah SAW’ (verse 32).

The narration of Imam Husain’s shahaadat begins in the 33rd verse. In an extraordinary expression of grief and fervour, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA exclaims:

How appalling is Shimar’s defiance that he strikes my Moula! Does he not realise who he strikes! The Quran-e-Natiq. Woe is I, and my woe is eternal. Take a moment to consider the vileness of Shimar’s swine-like feet as he strikes my Moula’s divine and pure being! Why should my breathing not cease, why should I not lose my senses when I think of the wretched Shimar seated upon Imam Husain’s sadr mubarak (صدر مبارك)! Why should a mumin’s heart not tremble in distress! Why should tears not flow from his eyes (verse 34)! Shimar, in all his evil and deviltry, attempted to hew at the hulqum mubarak (حلقوم مبارك) of Imam Husain AS with his blunt dagger, however, due to Allah Taʿala’s great sirr failed to have any effect. Imam Husain AS informed him that it would not pass for it was Rasullallah’s SAW bosah gaah (بوسہ گاہ – place of affection) (verse 35).

Imam Husain AS ordered him to get up. Shimar had no choice and thus failed in his attempt to slay Imam Husain AS from his hulqum mubarak. At this point, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA reveals that all things were unfolding just as Imam Husain AS had intended (verse 36). Who is Husain? He is the shahzada of Moulana Ali AS and has manifested himself in the same manner as he. He protected deen (دين) and disgraced his oppressors by his final sajda (سجدة) (verse 37). Imam Husain’s AS final sajda at asr (عصر) is of paramount importance. In this sajda he did the dua mubarak he had intended and through it fulfilled his promise to Rasulallah SAW and attained shahaadat (verse 38). This promise was fulfilled by sacrificing the Ikhwaan al-Safa (اخوان الصفاء – Brethren of Purity) and at the end, with the blade at his qafaa (قفاء) – nape), the oppressor severed his raas mubarak (verse 39).

How was Moulatena Zainab AS able to bear the sight of Imam Husain AS drenched in blood, glancing towards her at the time of his shahaadat (verse 40)! Why should the earth not quake! Why should the sun and moon not veil themselves in grief! For Imam Husain AS, the epitome of strength, has been weakened and oppressed (verse 41)!

Grief! For Imam Husain’s AS radiant jism (جسم) lies on the plains of Karbala trampled upon by the hooves of the enemy’s horses (verse 42). Raised on a spearhead, Imam Husain’s AS raas mubarak recites Surah al-Kahf, an allusion to the dawat-us-satr (verse 43).

Great is my regret for the Syedaat of Imam Husain’s AS haram, their purda seized and earrings snatched. Surrounded by enemies and with uncovered heads, they mourn Imam Husain AS with matam and wails of Ya Husain! Ya Husain (verse 44)! When I think of the fate of the haram following Imam Husain’s AS shahaadat, I shudder! On one hand, they are subjected to atrocities with darkness having fallen and on the other, their camps have been set afire (verse 45).

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA addresses the day of Aashura, ‘O! Aashura, your afternoon saw the children of Ahle-bait left with no solace following the shahaadat of Imam Husain AS (verse 46)! O Aashura! How were you able to witness that sight? If you were a person you would have sacrificed yourself for Imam Husain AS. If you were a spring you would have provided water to the thirsty haram. If only I was with you, I would have also surely sacrificed myself (verse 47)!’

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA then addresses Imam Husain AS with pledges and gratitude.

‘My Moula! I am constantly occupied with your remembrance and forever grateful for your munificence. I am eternally present in your khidmat, at your behest so bid me as you wish, for you are my Moula (verse 48). Moula, I am standing at your baab (باب – door) and have

dedicated my life to your grief. With full conviction I know that through this bukaaʾ and tafaadi I am drinking handfuls of kauthar (كوثر) (verse 49). Moula Husain! Strengthen my courage with your might. With your help, dispel all troubles. Fulfill with your benevolence my wishes and unite me with my beloved (verse 50).’

‘Imam al-Zaman, shahzada of Imam Husain al-Shaheed AS. You are ever-present and all observing. We long for your presence; you must mercifully grace us for we continue to do bukaaʾ and matam upon your respected father Imam Husain AS (verse 51).

In the 52nd verse Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA supplicates his Creator Allah Taʿala to bless Nabi Mohammed SAW, Aimmat Tahereen AS and Duat Multaqeen RA with his salawaat (صلوات).

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal RA culminates his bayan mubarak (بيان مبارك) with the following invocation:

Moula Husain! Always grace us with your benevolence. I am always weeping in your grief and making others mourn your plight, solely so that I may attain your and your honoured grandfather Rasulullah’s SAW happiness. ‘This attainment assures our najaat.

Who are we? We are those whom our mawali (موالي) (plural of maula – مولى) have embarked upon Imam Husain’s AS and his shahzada, Imam al-Zaman’s AS fulk. We reside in his walk and our ibaadat is in accordance with his nusk. This will provide us with miskul khitaam (مسك الختام), a fragrant ending to our lives, a fragrance that shall continue to linger even in our quboor (قبور – graves).

Our mawali are beckoning us: Come! Come! Through the zikr and remembrance of Imam Husain AS, drink from Kauthar. My father, al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA spent his life quenching our thirsts and even today from his qabr mubarak, continues to do so.

May Allah enable us to remain aboard this fulk of najaat in serenity and composure; the fulk that will one day, without doubt, bring us to the shores of jannat. We have no apprehensions, indeed, we have no worries.

May Allah always keep us joyful and prosperous. May He show us no grief other than the grief and sorrow of Moula Husain AS! Ya Husain!

This marthiya is a great bounty upon all mumineen for it is a beneficial provision for the lengthy journey towards jannat. May Allah Taʿala grant us tawfiq (توفيق) to recite this marthiya, especially during the days of Ashara Mubaraka, engrossed in the nusk of bukaaʾ and matam.

May Allah Taʿala grant al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS a life in prosperity and perfect health for all eternity.