Home / Islamic Insights / The Mother of Her Sons (Part 2)

The Mother of Her Sons (Part 2)

Loyalty to the Holy Household

Lady Ummul Baneen loved the Prophet’s family more than she loved her own sons. When news of the heart-breaking events of Karbala reached her, she did not ask about the fate of her four sons first and instead said, “Tell me about Hussein”, and when she received the news of Imam Hussein’s martyrdom, she said: “All of the arteries of my heart are torn. May all of my children and whatever that exists under this azure heaven be sacrificed for the sake of Imam Hussein.”

Indeed, the characteristics of Ummul Baneen’s sons are a reflection of her own greatness. Evil Shimr, one of the killers of Imam Hussein was from the same clan of Lady Ummul Baneen. During the events of Karbala, Shimr came and stood facing the companions of Imam Hussein and called out in a loud voice, “Where are the sons of our sister (of clan)?”

Hearing this, Abbas and his brothers Abdullah, Jafar, and Uthman came out and asked him what he desired. Shimr replied, “O sons of my sister! You are guaranteed security.” They replied, “Woe be upon you and your security! You offer us security while the son of the Prophet is devoid of it?”

Abbas then called out in a loud voice, “May your hands be amputated! What an evil security you have brought for us. O enemy of God! Do you desire that we should betray our brother and master Imam Hussein and obey the accursed sons of accursed fathers?”

Lady Ummul Baneen trained her children to love and remain loyal towards the Prophet and his Household, and to serve Islam regardless of the cost. Their morals and guidance could not have been manifested without the courage and selflessness of their mother, and once again, we find more examples of lessons to draw from the life of Lady Ummul Baneen.

Mourning Imam Hussein

Lady Ummul Baneen was among the first individuals to hold mourning sessions (Majalis) for Imam Hussein. Imam Sadiq has narrated, “Ummul Baneen, the mother of the four martyred brothers would go to (the cemetery of) al-Baqi and would lament with heart-rending and grief-stricken words upon her sons. People would gather and listen to her (sorrowful words). One day Marwan bin Hakam came and heard her lamenting and started weeping (in spite of being ruthless himself).” Along with the other ladies of Bani Hashim, she virtually transformed Jannat al-Baqi into a Hussainiya, a center of mourning for Imam Hussein and the tragedy that befell his family. She is considered the first person to recite poetry lamenting the plight and suffering of Imam Hussein and the orphans in Karbala, as well as the tragic martyrdom of her own sons. The lamentations and poems she wrote are highly regarded as important masterpieces of Arabic literature. One famous elegy she wrote is as follows:

Whoever has seen the courageous advances of Abbas

And along with him were the brave sons of Haidar

I heard that he lost his arms, and his head was wounded

O Lord, how did my son fall on the ground with no arms to break his fall?

Were it that he had a sword, no one would have dared approach him

Don’t call me the Mother of Her Sons anymore

This title reminds me of those Haidari lions

As long as my sons were alive, I was Ummul Baneen

Now that I have lost them, this title doesn’t suit me

Those four sons of mine were like four lions

The ones who sleep in the desert after giving their heads

Whoever faced them in the midst of the battlefield

Surely would have fallen to the ground like rain

How I wish someone had come and informed me

That the arms of my Abbas were brutally severed

A few years after the tragedy of Karbala, Lady Ummul Baneen passed away on 13th Jamadi al-Thani, 64 AH. But the mourning sessions and traditions she established have kept the sacrifice of Imam Hussein and the Prophet’s Family alive, and it is incumbent upon us to maintain this legacy and keep the incident of Karbala alive in our hearts.

* Source: islamicinsights.com

Check Also

Al-Miqdad bin al-Aswad

In Ramadan, 2 A.H., 313 Muslim fighters went outside Madina to attack a Quraishi trade ...