Muharram Night 6: The Forlorn Lady

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She glanced up at me, us, exchanging smiles weakly… it was the night of the sixth…

Her back against the wall, she leaned back with her hand faithfully thumping against her chest… يا حسين

She disappeared into the moment, looking ahead, almost as if in a trance. I would think she witnessed images of Karbala that resulted in the tears slowly rolling down her face, memories that translated into the physical reality she was now in. It was as if she was in a different world completely—I could feel the words of the latmiyyah be at one with her soul:

‎ياحبيبي ياحسين يانور عيني ياحسين

Oh my beloved, ya Hussain, the light of my eyes, ya Hussain…

When she sank away into her the soft florals that adorned her chador, I am reminded of one woman who loved Imam Husayn (as) more than we could ever imagine:


This woman reminded of me Bint Ali. When the nights grew dark following Ashura and Sayyida Zaynab (as) was greeted with her shadows as the children slept, her back broken from sorrow, leaning also against a wall, what could she possibly have thought?

I can’t even imagine… we are here, hundreds of years later, and with such an intensity we love him and hold Imam Husayn’s (as) memory as close to our hearts as our own father, or brother… I can only shudder to imagine what Sayyida Zaynab (as) could have thought in the aftermath of Ashura.

May Allah (swt) give us the tawfiq to love Imam Husayn (as) with as much sincerity as Syeda Zaynab (as) and every woman who follows in her footsteps.

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