Name: Rukeya (also known as Sakina)
Father: Imam Hussain-bin-Ali-bin-Abu Talib (A.S)
Mother: Bibi Umm-e-Rubab (A.S)
Birth: 20th of Rajab
Death: 13th Safar-al-Muzaffar, at Damascus, Syria
Bibi Rukeya (AS) (also known as Bibi Sakina (A.S)) was the youngest daughter of Imam Hussain (A.S). Sakina is a derivative of “Sakoon” meaning “Peace”. Imam Hussain (A.S) used to pray for a daughter in his night prayers, a daughter who would give him peace, and Allah (SWT) granted him his wish and blessed him with Bibi Sakina (AS).
BIbi Sakina was the most beloved daughter of Imam Hussain (A.S) and used to sleep on his chest every night. She was a lively child, full of love and happiness. Being the daughter of the holy Imam, she was different from other children of her age in many ways. She was very religious and enjoyed reading the Holy Quran and never missed her prayers. From a very early age, she took great care to make sure that her head and face were properly covered when in public.
Imam Hussain (A.S) was often heard saying, “A house without Sakina (A.S) would not be worth living in” She always had a sweet and cheerful smile and a very friendly nature. Everyone loved Sakina (A.S). Other children sought her company as much as the grown ups did. She was very generous and always shared whatever she had with others.
Like any other four-five year old when Sakina went to bed at night she wanted to spend some time with her father. Imam Hussain (A.S) would tell her stories of the Prophets (A.S) and of the battles fought by her grandfather Imam Ali (A.S). She would rest her head on her father’s chest and Imam Hussain (A.S) would not move from her until she fell asleep.
There was a special bond between Bibi Sakina (AS) and her paternal uncle, Hazrat Abbas bin Imam Ali (A.S). He loved her more than he did his own children. If Sakina (AS) requested for anything, Abbas (A.S) would not rest until he fulfilled her request. There was nothing that Abbas (A.S) would not do to make Sakina (A.S) happy. During the journey from Madina to Mecca and then Mecca to Kerbala, Abbas (A.S) was often seen riding up to the mehmil (a special saddle made for women) in which Sakina (A.S) sat to make sure that she had everything she wanted. Sakina loved her uncle just as much. While in Madina she would, several times a day, visit the house in which Hazrat Abbas lived with his family and his mother, Ummul-Baneen (A.S).
When from the 2nd of Muharram the armies of Yazid bin Muaweyah(L.A) began to gather at Kerbala, Imam Hussain (A.S) said to his sister Lady Zainab (A.S), “The time has come for you to get Sakina used to going to sleep without my being there”. Bibi Sakina (A.S) would follow her father at night and Imam Hussain (A.S) had to gently take her to Lady Zainab (A.S) or Lady Rubaab (A.S)(Bibi Sakina’s mother).
At Kerbala when from the 7th of Muharram water became scarce, Sakina (A.S) shared whatever little water she had with other children. When soon there was no water at all, the thirsty children would look at Bibi Sakina (A.S) with their eyes full of hope, and because she could not help them she would have tears in her eyes. Bibi Sakina’s (A.S) lips were parched with thirst.
Several times Hazrat Abbas (AS) asked Imam Hussain (A.S) for permission to go and fight the armies of Yazeed (L). Each time Imam Hussain (A.S) would reply “Abbas, you are the captain of my army; you are my Alamdaar, (the standard bearer)”. Hazrat Abbas (A.S) would never argue with Imam Hussain (A.S).
Just then Bibi Sakina (AS) came out holding a dried up mashk (water-bag). The little princess of the generous Imam leading 42 children, each with a dry water-bag. The children were shouting as if in chorus
Thirst, consuming thirst, is killing us.
She walked up to Hazrat Abbas (A.S) and told Abbas (AS) that the children had all come to her asking for water. He could see that thirst, aggravated by the scorching heat of the desert, was squeezing their young lives out of them. Abbas (A.S) went to Imam Hussain (A.S) and requested his permission to go and get water for Sakina (A.S) and the other children. Imam Hussain then gave his permission. Abbas put Sakina’s (A.S) mashk on the Alam (Flag), mounted his horse and rode up to Imam Hussain (A.S).
Abbas (AS) said “I have come to say goodbye”. Imam Hussain (A.S) said “My brother, come and embrace me”. Hazrat Abbas (A.S) dismounted his horse. There were tears in Imam’s (A.S) eyes. As Hazrat Abbas (A.S) prepared to mount his horse, Imam Hussain (A.S) said, “My brother, I want a gift from you. I want your sword”. Hazrat Abbas (A.S), without uttering a word, gave his sword to Imam Hussain (A.S) and rode into the battlefield, armed only with a spear and holding the Alam. Each action of Imam (A.S) varified that he was not out there to fight
When Hazrat Abbas (A.S) went to get the water, the children gathered around Bibi Sakina (A.S) with their little cups, knowing that as soon as Hazrat Abbas (A.S) would bring water, Bibi Sakina (A.S) would first make sure that they had some before taking any herself.
Sakina (AS) was standing next to Imam Hussain (A.S), also with her eyes fixed on the Alam of Abbas (A.S). Abbas (AS) reached the river bank fighting Yazid’s men trying to block his way, killing many with his spear. Abbas’ (AS) bravery was well known among the Arabs and the Yazidi troops started to flee in different directions. As he bent down to fill the mashk, the Alam disappeared from sight. Sakina (A.S) was frightened and looked at her father. Imam (AS) said, Sakina (A.S), your uncle Abbas is at the river bank. Sakina smiled and said, Alhamdulillah (all praise is for Allah) and called out all the children to welcome Abbas.
With the water-bag filled, Abbas (AS) wanted to get the water to the anxiously waiting children as quickly as possible. Seeing him gallop towards the camp of Imam Husain (AS), a Yazidi commander shouted from the enemy ranks that if even a single drop of water reaches Hussain’s camp, it would be impossible to fight them on the battlefield.
When arrows were coming form all sides, Abbas had only one thought in his mind, how to protect the water-bag than his life. Hazrat Abbas (A.S) lost both his arms during the attack, trying to save the water-bag. The Alam fell onto the ground. Bibi Sakina (A.S) could not see it any longer. She looked at Imam Hussain (A.S), but he turned his face away. Bibi Sakina (A.S) began to tremble with fear and her eyes filled with tears. She raised her hands and prayed, Ya Allah! Do not let them kill my uncle Abbas (A.S), I will not ask for water again and ran inside to her mother (A.S).
When Bibi Sakina (A.S) saw Imam Hussain (A.S) bringing the blood drenched Alam (Flag) she knew that her uncle Abbas (A.S) had been martyred.
Then came the time when the earth shook and Bibi Sakina (A.S) became an orphan. The tyrannical forces of Yazid (L.A) came to the tents. They looted all the belongings of the holy Ladies (A.S). They even snatched away the hijab of the holy ladies (A.S). Bibi Fatima (A.S) daughters were left bare-headed. Shimr (L.A), the most evil of Yazid’s men, came too. Sakina was crying for her father. Instead of comforting words, Shimr (L.A) slapped Sakina’s face and pulled off earrings from her ears. Blood poured from little Sakina’s ears. Surely they would stop now. But they did not. One-by-one they set fire to the tents. The helpless ladies and children ran from one tent to another. Little Sakina’s dress was on fire, her ears were bleeding. All Sakina wanted was her dear father.
She ran to the battlefield screaming: “Father, where are you? Father, father, speak to me father.”
As the night descended, since Imam Ali bin Hussain (AS) also known as Zain-ul Abideen (A.S), was unconscious due to his illness, Bibi Zainab (A.S), the daughter of Imam Ali (A.S), took it on herself to protect the ladies and children. She gathered all the ladies and children, in to one small space in between the gutted tents. Imam Zain-ul Abideen (A.S) lay on the ground surrounded by these widows and orphans. There was no fire, no light. Only the moon cast its dull light.
On the night of Ashura (also known as Sham e Ghreeban), when Imam Hussain (A.S) and his companions were lying headless in the battlefield, back in the tents, Bibi Zainab (A.S) was gathering all the children and the ladies together. She noticed that little Sakina (A.S) was missing. She asked Bibi Rubab (A.S), but even she did not know where Bibi Sakina (A.S) was. The two holy ladies panicked and ran out of the tents looking for her.
The two ladies searched everywhere for the young girl but in vain. Finally, in desperation, Bibi Zainab (A.S) went to the place where the body of her brother Imam Hussain (A.S) lay and cried, “O my brother, Sakina, who you left in my care, is nowhere to be found. Where shall I look for her in this wilderness?” Just then, the moon came out from behind a cloud and Bibi Zainab (A.S) saw that little Sakina (A.S) lay on her father, sleeping on his chest like she always used to.
She shook the child awake and said, Oh, Sakina! How did you recognize your father? A person can be recognized by their face or the clothes they wear. Your father has neither. Bibi Sakina (A.S) replied innocently, I wanted to tell my father about what the people had done to me. I wanted to tell him how Shimr had robbed the earrings that my father had so lovingly given me. I wanted to tell him how he had ripped them from my ears leaving my earlobes torn and bleeding. I wanted to tell him how the beast had mercilessly slapped me when I cried in pain. When I was running aimlessly in the desert I thought I heard my father’s voice telling me he was here. I followed the voice and I found him lying here. I told him everything and then I felt like sleeping on his chest the way I always did, for the last time. So I kept my head on his chest and slept till you came. Noor Ali Merchant, in his poem titled “Sorrows and Sufferings” describes the event as,
Zaynab counted the children; one was missing
To her dismay, it was Sakina, her darling
“Tell me Sakina, where are you my child?”
In wilderness, the echo was the only reply.
Frustrated, she ran towards the battlefield
“Sakina is lost, your darling child
Hussain, where shall I look for her?”
She imploringly sobbed, in utter despair.
The silvery moon, behind the clouds was hid
The clouds dispersed, the ground was lit
Lying with her head on Hussain’s chest
Little Sakina was sleeping in her usual nest.
“Sakina, my child, I have come here
After searching the desert, my dear
Your father’s beheaded body, how could you find
In this dark night, with your frightened mind?”
“An irresistible urge seized me, though dampened
To tell my father all that had happened
How they snatched my earrings, after his death
The slaps I received, the treatment we met.”
“Running aimlessly in the desert I cried
Tell me dearest father, where do you lie
Sakina, my darling Sakina, come here, come here!
I heard him calling and found my father dear.”
“I narrated to him, all I had endured
It lightened my heart: I was re-assured
An urge to sleep on his chest, for the last time
I placed my head in the nest of mine.”
With Sakina, Zaynab hurried to the camp
Again it was dark; there was no lamp
All were anxiously waiting in the ghostly night
Praying silently to God, the Eternal Light.
In the dark desolate dungeon, the caravan halted
The scorpions and snakes took fright and bolted
Zaynab and Zainal Abedeen, prostrated themselves in prayer
Without a word of complaint, without any demur.
Umar Sa’ad (L.A) asked Hur’s widow to take some food and water to the ladies and the children. As she neared to where they were resting, Bibi Zainab recognized her. She stood up, went towards Hur’s widow and offered her condolences for the martyrdom of Hur. This gesture on the part of Bibi Zainab (A.S), who had suffered so much, lost so many, and carrying so much grief in her heart, is a lesson in real Islamic manners which the world should never be allowed to forget.
Hur bin Reyahi (RA) was a general in Yazid’s army but left the Satanic camp and joined Imam Hussain (AS). Hur had realised and accepted the holy status of the Prophet’s grandson.
Bibi Zainab (A.S) took the jug of water. She went to Sakina who had fallen into a fretful sleep. Gently she stroked the Sakina’s (A.S) uncombed hair. Bibi Sakina (A.S) opened her eyes. Bibi Zainab (A.S) said, “Here is some water Sakina, please drink a little. You have been thirsty for so long. On hearing the word ‘water’ Sakina cried out hopefully, has my uncle Abbas come back?
When she was told that Hur’s widow had brought the water, she got up, went to Hur’s widow, thanked her and then asked Bibi Zainab (A.S), Have you all drank water? Bibi Zainab (A.S) shook her head. Bibi Sakina (A.S) asked, why then do you ask me to drink water? Bibi Zainab (A.S) said, because, my dear, you are the youngest”. Sakina (A.S) replied, no, Asghar is the youngest. Bibi Sakina (A.S) took the jug of water, ran towards where Asghar (A.S) lay buried, crying O Asghar, O Asghar.
Ali Asghar was Bibi Sakina’s baby brother. The Yazidees killed the six-month-old child with an arrow when Imam Hussain (AS) requested them to give him some water as he was dying of thirst.
This was how the homeless spent their night at Kerbala. This was Sham-e-Ghareban, the night of the homeless. They had lost everything. Their men had died. Their children had been killed. In this desolate desert the fourth Imam, Imam Zain-ul Abideen (A.S), the women and the remaining children are huddled where only a few hours earlier stood their camps. Abbas (A.S), Qasim (A.S) and Ali Akbar (A.S) had taken turns to guard the camps. Now, the daughters of Imam Ali (A.S) and Bibi Fatima (A.S), Bibi Zainab (A.S) and Bibi Kulthoom (A.S), lay awake to make sure that Imam Zain-ul Abideen (A.S) and the children were not attacked.
The next day, the caravan of the unfortunate was made to start traveling towards Kufa. Imam Zain-ul Abideen (A.S), frail with illness, was bound in heavy chains and forced to walk barefooted as the Ladies, including the grand-daughters of the Prophet (pbuh&hp), were forced to sit on bare backs of the camels and with their necks and hands tied tightly in ropes.
The caravan suffered the tortures of the journey and when they reached Kufa they were forced to march through public roads and through the streets of Kufa.
Suddenly the camel on which the holy daughter of Imam Hussain (A.S), Bibi Sakina (A.S) and the holy sister of Imam Hussain (A.S) , Bibi Zainab (A.S) were seated, stopped near a house. Bibi Zainab’s (A.) eyes fell on Bibi Sakina (A.S) and immediately knew that she had something to say. She asked her and Bibi Sakina (A.S) answered, I am about to say something, I know my dear aunt, that at this moment it is impossible for you to fulfill it. When Bibi Zainab (A.S) insisted, Bibi Sakina replied, O my dear aunt my throat is so dry I do not think I can endure my thirst anymore. Bibi Sakina’s words were heard by the women who were on the top of the houses so that they could see the holy caravan march clearly. Among these women, a goodhearted lady immediately got up from the crowd and rushed home to bring water for Bibi Sakina (A.S).
But when she came near the camel and near Bibi Zainab (A.S) she asked for a favor in return and said to Bibi Zainab (A.S) that when this thirsty child has tasted this water I want her to pray for me. On hearing this Bibi Zainab (A.S) prevented Bibi Sakina (A.S) from tasting the water and said to her, Dear Sakina, first fulfill this lady’s request. Bibi Zainab (A.S) asked the lady what Sakina (A.S) should pray for and she answered that, My first wish is that may my children never be orphans like you , please pray for me oh my dear child , I see that you are an orphan and I am aware of that God always listens to the prayer of an orphan. Bibi Sakina (A.S) raised her little hands and prayed for the lady.
Then Bibi Zainab (A.S) asked her about her second wish? The lady answered, My second desire is that I wish to visit Madina, please pray for me that God will give me the opportunity to visit the holy city. On hearing the name of Madina, Bibi Zainab (A.S) asked the lady why she wanted to go to Madina. She answered, Because it is my wish to visit the Holy prophet’s (P.B.U.H&F) grave and I would also like to meet my holy lady Bibi Fatima (A.S). Bibi Zainab (A.S) replied, But don’t you know Bibi Fatima (A.S) is no longer alive? So what, the lady said, I have also served her holy daughters Bibi Zainab (A.S) and Bibi Umm-e Kulthom (A.S). I will go to Madina to have my last chance to have the honor to meet them. Now Bibi Zainab (A.S) asked her one final question.
Dear Momina, if you would see your lady Zainab (A.S) would you recognize her? She immediately answered, Of course I would. Bibi Zainab (A.S) removed her hair from the face and cried, Then your prayer has been answered, behold Umm-e Habiba, it?s me Zainab (A.S), then why don’t you recognize me, don’t you recognize us all?
Umm-e Habiba began to cry and said, Oh God, what crime have they committed so that they are being tortured this brutally? Bibi Zainab (A.S) continued, We are the children of the Holy prophet (P.B.U.H&F), your master Imam Hussain (A.S) has been martyred along with his devotees and left unburied on the burning sand in Karbala, their heads have been taken and raised on the lances . Look ahead Umm-e Habiba, your master’s head is in front of you, the head which lips are reciting the holy Quran.
From the time when Imam Hussain (A.S) fell in the battle field, Sakina forgot to smile. Kufa saw her as a sober little girl lost in thought. Quite often she would sit up at night. When asked if she wanted anything, she would say, “I just heard a baby cry? Is it Asghar? He must be calling out for me.
From Kufa, the next phase of the journey started for the holy prisoners. This journey was to take them to Damascus, in Syria, which was the capital of Yazid (L.A).
Bibi Sakina (A.S) was tied, with a rope, on a bare camel. At one point in the journey, Bibi Sakina (A.S) fell from her camel. The caravan didn’t stop. No one, apart from the holy prisoners (A.S), noticed the fall of this little princess (A.S). Noor Ali Merchant, in his poem titled “Sorrows and Sufferings” describes the event as,
Through the desert of Mesopotamia they marched on
Falling every few feet, due to sheer exhaustion
Ali Zain-ul Abideen was mercilessly whipped
Even if he stumbled, even if he tripped.
Sakina fell down from the camel’s bare-back
Zaynab raised an alarm; she was taken aback
The soldiers were intoxicated, they paid no heed
Without any succor, she would perish indeed!
In desperation, Zaynab turned towards the spear
“Hussain, fallen down is your daughter dear;
I am helpless, my feet and hands are bound.”
The spear, with Hussain’s head, got planted down!
Khooli jumped down, to uproot the spear
The stooges rushed forth, from far and near
The spear remained stuck as if cemented
The impact would be great, if soldiers got scent.
Shimr approached Ali; his anger was boiling
The Imam looked at the head; tears were trickling
He turned his gaze, Zaynab caught his weeping eye
“Sakina has toppled over, the child may die!”
Shimr picked up the unconscious exhausted child
Dumping her in Zaynab’s arms, rushed the hostile
Khooli could now lift the spear from the ground
The caravan proceeded quietly, onwards bound
After this incidence, the wretched army changed the formation of the holy prisoners (A.S). Imam Zain-ul Abideen (A.S), was already tied with chains in his (A.S) neck and feet, The wretched army tied his (A.S) son, Imam Mohammed Baqir (A.S)- the fifth Imam, on Imam Zain-ul Abideen’s (A.S) back and then the same rope was tied on his sister, Bibi Sakina’s (A.S) neck, so that Imam Zain-ul Abideen (A.S) could not stand straight. If he did stand straight, the rope used to get tight and strangle Bibi Sakina (A.S).
Even at these times of hardship and misery, Imam Hussain’s little princess always thought of the others first. She would console her mother on the death of Ali Asghar (A.S) and when she saw any other lady or child weeping Sakina would put her little arms around her.
In those days, it used to take thirty two days, on a camel, to reach Damascus, but this holy family (A.S) was taken in such a way that it only took them sixteen days to reach Damascus.
After the tragedy of Kerbala, sixteen days of suffering the miseries, the tortures and calamities for the Ahl-e-Bait – Prophet’s family (A.S), they reached Damascus. When Yazid (L.A) heard the news of the caravan reaching the outskirts of Damascus, he ordered them to stop, while he and the people of Damascus prepared for celebrations and jubilations. This caravan of holy prisoners was made to wait out side Damascus for four days.
Someone asked Imam Zain-ul Abideen (A.S), after the holy family (A.S) was released from the Zindan-e-Sham (Dungeons of Syria), as to what was the hardest part in that whole period, and Imam (A.S) had replied that the hardest part was the time when the holy family (A.S) was made to stop outside Damascus for four days. They were treated like animals, with their hands tied; and no food or water was given.
Then they are asked to enter the city, the holy ladies (A.S) were forced to pass through the bazaar with out their hijab (veils), while the locals were cheering and singing, finally they reached the court of Yazid (L.A).
The holy family of Imam Hussain (A.S) was now facing Yazid (L.A). They were acting with patience on his actions as it was Imam Hussein’s (A.S) will that they should do so. Every lady, every child was standing in front of Yazid (L.A) tied in ropes and with no veils and Imam Zain-ul Abideen (A.S) bound in heavy chains.
The shocking scene is that the evil Yazid (L.A) is drinking wine and in front of him in a tray is the severed head of Imam Hussain (A.S) and Yazid (L.A) is hitting the mouth and teeth of the holy Imam with a stick.
Suddenly Yazid’s eyes fell on the four year old girl who was standing with her one hand on her face and the other hand on her neck. Yazid (L.A) asks his men who this child is and gets the answer that this is the most beloved daughter of Imam Hussain (A.S), Sakina (A.S), and it is known that Bibi Sakina (A.S) never fell to sleep until she laid her head on her father’s chest. Is that true? Yazid (L.A) said and ordered to talk to her and when Bibi Sakina (A.S) approached Yazid (L.A), he wanted to test this love of her father Imam Hussain (A.S) in front of hundreds of courtiers.
Yazid (L.A) said to Bibi Sakina (A.S), if that is true what I have just heard then try to call upon your father and we’ll see if your father’s head will come to your lap. Bibi Sakina (A.S) raised her little hands and prayed to God and then turned herself towards the head of her holy father (A.S) and said with tears flowing from her eyes, O my dear father please come to your daughter. This evil Yazid is putting our love to the test.
At once the severed head of Imam Hussain (A.S) rose from the tray and came miraculously to Bibi Sakina (A.S) who started to kiss her father’s holy head and rubbed her face to her father’s face.
While in the court, Yazid tried to humiliate the Ahl-e-bait (A.S), but every time, would get humiliated him self. At this time, one wretched soul who was one of Yazid’s (L.A) servant, to please Yazid (L.A), came up with an idea, and asked Yazid (L.A) to give the little princess (A.S) to him, so he could have her (A.S) as his slave. This enraged the daughter of Imam Ali (A.S), Bibi Zaynab (A.S). Noor Ali Merchant, in his poem titled “Sorrows and Sufferings” describes the event as,
A subservient courtier, anxious to curry favor
Bowed before him, thinking himself too clever.
“Your Majesty, your indulgence I crave
Bestow that girl, Sakina, on me as a slave.”
Zaynab standing nearby, with her head bowed
Was furious, and infuriated as never before.
“You, wretched soul; no shame you have
Prophets grandchild, you wish to enslave
Is there none amongst you, even to protest?
Against the shocking and shameless request.”
Hearing this, the people present at court got shocked, and Yazid (L.A) sensing that people might get angry and a revolt might take place, said no to the servant’s request. Meanwhile, Hind, Yazid’s (L.A) wife, who had been a servant of Bibi Zaynab (A.S), was passing from that area. She heard the voice of Bibi Zainab (A.S), and rushed towards the court. She entered the court without her veil in a frenzied style. Yazid (L.A), who knew that his wife Hind was very devoted towards Ahl-e-Bait (A.S), quickly ordered the court be adjourned, and the Holy Ahl-e-Bait (A.S) be taken to the prison. Yazid (L.A) calmed his wife by telling her that it was a group of rebels and not Ahl-e-Bait (A.S).
Yazid’s (L.A) servants, by the order of their master, placed the holy prisoners in a dark and unclean prison room. After being released, when Imam Zain-ul Abideen (A.S) reached Madina, people asked him about this jail room. Imam (A.S) said, It was a very old and unclean house, even the ceiling had fallen down. And since it had no ceiling, the holy Ahl-e-Bait (A.S) were unwrapped to the heat and cold.
After so many trials and humiliations with the Ahl-e-Bait (A.S), Yazid continued with his terror and then put the Ahl-e-Bait (A.S) in prison in a dark underground cell and gave them so little food that was barely enough for every one. In this prison the little princess Sakina had troubles to go to sleep every night as she missed er father Imam Hussain (A.S). Bibi Zainab (A.S) used to try to console Bibi Sakina (A.S) that she should soon meet her father and with these words tried to make her go to sleep.
It was dark inside, despite the sun’s bright rays
The stone walls were damp, crumbling with decay
Looks of sorrow and despondency, was on each face
Of joy and laughter, there was not even a trace.
The faces depicted sufferings, beyond human endurance
Prayer was the solace, they enjoyed, without hindrance
A few stale morsels of bread and a little water
Was their daily ration, in these horrible quarters.
“Stone walls do not a prison make nor iron bars a cage,”
Was equally true in that merciless land and cruel age
Though in shackles, every night their spirits soared high
To heights sublime, beyond all plains, in the heavenly sky.
(Noor Ali Merchant, Sorrows and Sufferings)
Knowing that her weeping upsets her mother, Bibi Sakina (A.S) would cry silently and quickly wipe away her tears. In the prison, at Syria, she (A.S) would stare at the flock of birds flying to their nests at sunset and innocently ask Bibi Zainab (A.S), will Sakina be going home like those birds flying to their homes?
One night Bibi Sakina (A.S) was asleep and she suddenly woke up crying and started to look for her father everywhere. All the Holy ladies tried to console her so she would stop crying but she didn’t get any peace and continued crying, O my dear aunt , where is my father , a few minutes ago I was with my father and he kissed me and said to me that my dear Sakina you will soon be with me. But where is my father now??
When Bibi Sakina told her dream, all the holy ladies (A.S) started to cry and now this noise of crying was heard by Yazid (L.A) at his court. Yazid (L.A) sent a servant to ask why the little princess (A.S) was crying. The servant was informed that Bibi Sakina (A.S) missed her father and that is why she was crying. They informed Yazid (L.A) of the situation, and Yazid (L.A), for his sadistic pleasure, sent the severed head of Imam Hussain (A.S) to the prison and when Bibi Sakina (A.S) received the head of her father she started to cry even more and held it very tight and asked her father, who cut off my father’s head, who martyred my father, why are we held as captives?
With these words of sorrow suddenly Bibi Sakina (A.S) was quiet and there was a silence in the cell. Everyone thought that Bibi Sakina (A.S) had finally gone to sleep again but this was not a temporary sleep, Bibi Sakina (A.S) had now gone into a permanent sleep to meet her holy father. Bibi Zainab (A.S) summoned Imam Zain-ul Abideen (A.S) to check the status of Sakina as they thought she had fallen unconscious. When the Imam (A.S) went over to check on his sister (A.S), he noticed she had stopped breathing. All the Bibis (A.S) were crying standing around Bibi Sakina (A.S).
Sakina, woke with a shriek, in the dead of the night
She had seen her father’s heavenly soothing light
“O’ Sakina, you have suffered enough, come with me
the days of your sufferings are over; O’ where is he?”
It was just a dream, what a disappointment!
It was not a reality, to her bewilderment
Her uncontrollable lamentations, gathered a crowd
The ladies also lost control and wailed aloud.
Hearing the wails, Yazid sent slaves to inquire
Pacing up and down, he had not yet retired
On knowing the cause, his crooked mind strived
A devilish scheme, he soon mischievously contrived.
Yazid’s men entered with a covered tray,
“I do not want food, please take it away
I want my father; promises he did give
Without taking me, why did he leave?”
They removed the cloth; Sakina beheld the face
Even in death, it was full of heavenly grace
With a cry, she flung herself on the wooden tray
Hugging to her heart, she snatched the face away.
Inconsolably, she bent down over the head
Putting, her cheeks, against that of her dad
Within a few moments, her sobbing had stopped
Her mortal remains, she had quietly dropped.
“How long will you lie on your father’s head?”
Zaynab touched her hand; she was shockingly dead
Sakina had gone with her father, never to return
Hussain had kept his promise, as he had always done
(Noor Ali Merchant, Sorrows and Sufferings)
Left) The grave of Syeda Sakina (SA) inside the dungeon. She was later moved to Damascus city and is now burried near the palace of Yazeed.
Bibi Sakina (A.S) was buried in the same dungeon. Bibi Zainab (A.S.) held the still child as Imam Zain-ul Abideen (A.S) dug a grave for her sister in the dungeon. Her (A.S) clothes were burnt in Kerbala, and due to injuries, had intermingled with her flesh. Therefore, she was buried in the same burnt, ripped clothes right there in he Dungeon of Syria (Zindan-e-Shaam.)
As the grave was being filled up after the burial the mother let out a scream. All the ladies huddled around her, and the prison walls began to shake with the cry, Ya Bibi Sakina (A.S), Ya Mazloomah. (O Sakina! O Oppressed one!)
When the time came and they were released from the prison, Bibi Rubaab (A.S) came to the grave of her beloved daughter (A.S), put her cheek on Bibi Sakina (A.S)’s grave and cried out,
Speak to me Sakina. Only a word, my child, speak to me.
Right) The entrance to the shrine of Syeda Sakina (AS) near the palace of Yazeed (L) in Damascus.
Bibi Sakina (A.S)’s body was removed from its original burial place, Dungeon of Syria, some centuries later, when a pious man of Damascus was informed in his dream that water was pouring into the grave of this young Hashmite princess (A.S). Upon confirmation that ground water was actually entering the grave, Bibi Sakina (A.S)’s body was buried in a new shrine near Yazeed’s palace, where she rests today. Her body was in the condition that if she had been buried the same day.
It was her father Imam Hussain (A.S) who was brutally killed in Kerbala. It was her baby brother Ali Asghar (A.S) who had an arrow shot through his neck. It was her beloved uncle Abbas (A.S) that had both his arms cut off. It was she who spent her last days in a dungeon. The little princess of Imam Hussain (A.S). The only person to never make it out of that desolate dungeon. She was Bibi Sakina (A.S), the young Hashemite princess.
(Left) The Zareeh of Syeda Sakina (AS) in the shrine near the palace of Yazeed (L)
My Salutaions to the little princess of Imam Hussain (AS)
My salam on you, O Grand-daughter of Ali (A.S), Amir-ul-Momineen.
My salam on you, O Grand-daughter of Bibi Fatima (A.S), The Radiant.
My salam on you, O daughter of Hussain (A.S), Mazloom-e-Kaerbala.
My salam on you, O niece of Abbas Alamdar (A.S).
My salam on you, O niece of Bibi Zaynab (A.S).
My salam on you, O sister of Ali (A.S), Zain-ul Abideen
My salam on you, O noble one, from nobel linage.
My salam on you, O pious, pure one.
My salam on you, O young Mazloomah.
My salam on you, O who suffered and was oppressed.
My salam on you, O who was held captive.
My salam on you, O who is buried far from home.
My salam on you, O who never made it out of that desolate dungeon.
My salam on you, O young Hashemite Princess (A.S).
My salam on you, O Bibi Sakina-bint-Al Hussain (A.S).
My salams on you and May Allah (SWT) grant you abundant peace and blessings.
Allah’s (SWT) choicest blessings be upon Mohammed and his holy progeny.