Thursday, December 1, 2011

"The time has come for you to get used to going to sleep without me"

This is the true story of a little four-year-old from over a thousand years ago. Her name was Ruqqayah.

Ruqqayah was her father's most beloved daughter. He re-named her "Sukaina" (Peace) because she brought peace to his mind. She was a princess in her home.

Ruqqayah was no ordinary little girl. She was the grand-daughter of Muhammad. Her father was Hussain- the leader of the youth in paradise. If things had turned out the way they should have been, she would have lived in the glory of a nation that loved and protected her for being the little girl of their messenger.

But things didn't.
Instead, the ruthless seized leadership. They set out to attack her beloved father. She watched, from a tent in a burning desert in Karbala, as the men of her family, one by one, were killed. She felt her tongue dry and shrivel up, denied water for three days, as the outline of the Euphrates River gleamed before her. She saw what was done to her uncle, Abbas, when she complained to him of her thirst. His two hands, carrying a container of water for her, cut off and his right eye shot at with an arrow. She watched what happened when her father went out to the enemy carrying her ten-month-old brother, asking for water for him. Her baby brother returning to her mother with an arrow in his tiny heart. On the tenth of Muharram, she was there when her protector was killed. When the skies wept blood. She spent the night pleading for her father.

Then she was dragged along the scorching desert with the rest of the women and children. For sixteen days, until they arrived at the palace of the "Muslim" leader- the killer of her father. She wept, asking for her father.

She was presented with his head on a tray.

She watched as his killer played with her father's lips with a stick. "Take your cane away from those two lips. For, by God, I have seen the lips of the Apostle of God kiss those two lips countless times."*

She died hugging the head of her father, in the palace of those that ruled in the name of Islam.

*Spoken by Zaid ibn Arqam, one of Muhammad's companions

See here for the full account of The Tragedy of Karbala according to The History of al- Tabari (the most popular historical chronicle concerning Muslims and the Middle East)


  1. Tears pooled in my eyes. I never knew why the events of Karbala were so important to some Muslims (or maybe all, I'm not sure) this gave me a glimpse. Astaghfurullah... I couldn't help but think this is the prophets family how could this happen to them? I thought they had some sort of immunity towards these kind of things. I kept on saying Haram 3leykom while reading it felt helpless anger. Thanks for posting it.

  2. Love the way this post was written, from the perspective of a child. I will read it to my kids tomorrow iA. One of them is named Sakina :)

  3. This is haunting and so heart wrenching... such a chilling episode. I am actually reading up about the tragedy of Karbala.. I havent heard about it before. Well written though.

  4. Beautifully written. It is such a tragedy. Watched a television programme about it and sobbed. Wish humans weren't this way. InshaAllah we will meet these sweet souls in Jannah.

  5. remembrance who we are always lead us

  6. This is the saddest thing I have read in a while. Sigh. I have no words.


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