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When a Tear Is an Ocean

All of us have surely experienced, one time or another, physical or emotional pain which made us cry and filled our eyes with tears. In fact, for a newborn child it is considered a sign of life.

To describe a feeling in just a few words may sometimes be difficult, but a single tear in one's eye can relate an entire story of a feeling, as powerfully as lightening in the sky. A tearful eye communicates a feeling. This is how a child communicates with his mother or a wife with her husband.

A crying child with tears in his eyes can move the heart of an enemy. But how come in Karbala, six-month old Maulana Ali Asgar's (AS) tears and his cries for water did not stir the hearts of his enemies? This gives us a picture of the ruthless enemies Aqa Husain (AS) had to deal with.

Dulha Abdullah (AS) bids farewell to Sakina (AS) and rushes into the Maidaan wearing the clothes of a bridegroom. Tears in the eyes of Sakina (AS) at that moment would slice the heart of any father, brother, or any human being. But instead, how come the hearts of the enemies of Husain (AS) rejoiced in piercing the heart of this Dulha with arrows and swords? This gives us a sense of the brutal enemies Aqa Husain (AS) had to deal with.

Can one imagine the tears in the eyes of Aqa Husain (AS) when he bid farewell to his wounded son Ali Akbar (AS)? These were the tears which must have struck, like cannonballs, the heart of Nabi Mohammed (SA). But how come the enemies of Husain (AS), the so called Ummah of Nabi (SA), would show now sympathy to his dying grandson?

The tears of sadness in the eyes of Sakina when she brought the Sukhi Mashki (dry clay jug) to Abbas Alamdaar (AS) created such an impact on him that no one would dare stop him from reaching the river of Furaat to bring back water. These were the tears which made "Abbas the Brave" into "Abbas the Magnificent." Maulana Abbas (AS) was unable to deliver the Mashki filled with Furaat's water to Maulatena Sakina (AS). But look at the millions of Maatamdarane Abbas, who for 1400 years, have been filling Maulatena Sakina's (AS) Mashki with their tears!

Just imagine a person on a hot afternoon in the desert of Iraq, the scorching sun, the sizzling sand and without water for three days! His body would be drained of water in no time. And if he wanted to cry, his eyes would not be able to generate even a tear drop. But remember Zainab (AS) in Karbala?! She kept crying and tears gushed out of her eyes like a raging river--tears created by her boiling blood, in agony. No wonder her tears would not stop! Because in a single day, she had witnessed her two sons Aun (AS) and Mohammed (AS) being cut into pieces by the swords of barbarians! She saw with her own eyes the children of her brothers and sisters being slain by the butchers of Banu Umaiyah! And worst than a knife in her back, she witnessed the ultimate brutal and barbaric act of Shimar (Laanat-ullah alaihe) cutting the throat of her brother Husain (AS). A thirsty woman of three days would have only one word on her lips: "water...water...water." But look at Maulatena Zainab (AS), the daughter of Maulana Ali (AS) and Maulatena Fatema tuz-Zahra (SA), and the sister of Imam Husain (AS)! The only words she could utter were "YA HUSAIN...YA HUSAIN...YA HUSAIN!" Her agonizing screams of YA HUSAIN penetrated every corner of the universe, like an echo. And this echo is still alive, even after 1400 years, in the hearts of Maatamdarane Husain.

Let us pray to Allah Ta'lah that with our every utterance of "YA HUSAIN" he increases a notch in the intensity of the burning fires in Jahannam (Hell) for the enemies of Husain (AS) and the followers of Shaitaan. No wonder Shaitaan rejoices when he sees a Mumin no participating in the Maatam of Imam Husain (AS).

A value of a tear is based upon the person and the circumstance. A tear of a mother may be equal in value to many tears of a young child. The value of a tear of a divine person such as Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb (TUS) is a thousand and a million times greater than ours. Our tears are like drops in the ocean, but each tear of Imam Husain (AS) was like an ocean in itself. Millions of people for 1400 years have been shedding tears over Imam Husain (AS) and millions more will shed them, until the Day of Judgement. But still, the sum of all those tears will not equal a single tear of Imam Husain (AS), in Karbala, on the day of Aashura.

by Hatim Bhaisaheb Shakir, courtesy of Rabeha International Newsletter, July 1994