Exegesis of Ziyarat-e-Naahiyah

(Continued from the previous Al-Muntazar Muharram Issue)

“Peace be upon the blood-smeared necks.”

There are two words in this sentence of Ziyarat-e-Naahiyah i.e. ‘Juyoob’ (necks) and ‘Mudharrajaat’ (blood-smeared). ‘Juyoob’ is the plural of ‘Jaib’ meaning collar and the root of ‘mudharrajaat’ is ‘dh-r-j’ and it is Nominal Predicate, Unbroken plural (feminine) in Baab-e-Taf’eel. It would be incorrect to read the alphabet ‘ra’ with a ‘kasrah’ (zer) because the meaning of the word would then completely change and it would mean those (females) who tear the collar. Hence, we should be careful and read it as ‘mudharrajaat’ and not ‘mudharrijaat’ (like it is printed erroneously in many books). Nevertheless, Imam-e-Asr (a.s.) is sending his salutations upon those collars which were torn. It cannot be ascertained who Hazrat Hujjat (a.s.) has addressed here but many scholars recite in their elegies that when Janabe Qasim (a.s.), the orphan of Imam Hasan Mujtaba (a.s.), proceeded to the battlefield, at that time Imam Husain (a.s.) tore his collar. When the child asked his uncle the reason for doing so, Imam Husain (a.s.) said, “Son, this is a sign of the orphans”. It is also possible that Imam-e-Asr (a.s.) has addressed this to all the martyrs of Karbala whose collars were ripped apart by the accursed ones after their martyrdom. Allah and His Proof (a.s.) know best what is right.

“Peace be upon the lips, that were parched due to thirst.”

‘Shifaah’ is the plural of ‘Shafatun’ which means lips and ‘zaabilaat’ means parched. These were lips which the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to kiss. Shaikh Mufeed (a.r.) narrates in Kitaab al-Irshaad:

“When the head of Imam Husain (a.s.) was kept in front of Ibn Ziyaad (may Allah curse him), he was looking at it and smiling. There was a stick in his hand with which he was disrespecting the lips of Imam (a.s.). At that time, Zaid Ibn Arqam, a companion of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) who was very old, was present there. When he saw this, he scolded Ibn Ziyaad and said, ‘Move away your stick from these (blessed) lips. I swear by Allah, apart from Who there is no god, I have seen the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) kiss these lips so many times that it cannot be counted.’ Saying this, he started weeping.”

[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 45, p. 116]

“Peace be upon those (martyrs) who were cut into pieces.”

‘Nufoos’ is the plural of ‘nafs’ which means life, soul, etc. and ‘mustalamaat’ is derived from the infinitive ‘istelaam’. Its meaning has been explained thus, “When a nation is destroyed from its very foundation then it is said to have been a victim of ‘istelaam’.

[Lesaan al-Arab by Ibn Manzoor, vol. 12, p. 340]

It is the Nominal Predicate of Baab-e-Ifte’aal and is unbroken plural (feminine). Bani Ummayyah inflicted so many atrocities in Karbala as if they tried to completely destroy Bani Haashim.

“Peace be upon the souls whose bodies were mutilated treacherously.”

The plural of ‘rooh’ is ‘arwaah’ and the root of ‘mukhtalasaat’ is ‘kh-l-s’. It is the Nominal Predicate of Baab-e-Ifte’aal and is unbroken plural (feminine). Peace be upon the souls who were killed deceitfully. They were invited as guests and were killed, they were promised help and assistance but were martyred.

“Peace be upon the uncovered dead bodies.”

‘Ajsaad’ is the plural of ‘jasad’ meaning body and ‘aariyaat’ is derived from ‘uryaan’ which means bare-bodied and without clothes. The accursed person who had snatched the dress of Imam Husain (a.s.) was Ishaaq Ibn Huwayyah al-Hazrami. It is written in the books of ‘maqtal’ that the moment he wore the shirt of Imam Husain (a.s.), he was inflicted with leucoderma.

[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 45, p. 57]

“Peace be upon the emaciated bodies (due to the severity of heat).”

‘Jusoom’ is the plural of ‘jism’ and ‘shaahibaat’ is its attribute. A person whose body has become lean and whose skin-colour has paled due to extreme toil, hunger or travel is known as ‘shaahib’.

Nimr Ibn Toolab writes in his poem:

And about the body whose patron is a beggar like him

It is emaciated and not due to the lack of bait

Whereas Lubayd pens:

He saw me, indeed I had become pale and he was seeking my body

The seeker of distances from affliction

The colour of the bodies of Imam Husain (a.s.) and his companions had turned pale and they had become weak due to hunger, thirst, weight of the sword, tiring journey, etc. But none of these causes had the ability to become a hindrance for them from fulfilling the right of the holy war.

“Peace be upon the deluge of blood (of the martyrs).”

‘Dimaa’ means blood and ‘saaelaat’ is derived from  ‘s-y-l’ which means ‘to flow’. Till the time blood circulates, there is warmth in the human body and when the soul departs from the body, the blood freezes and a person is termed dead.

By shedding their blood, the martyrs of Karbala breathed a soul into the life of humanity which will not allow it to die till the Day of Judgment and will grant an eternal life to the human body. It is due to the blood of the martyrs of Karbala that there exists warmth in the existence of humanity and will remain so forever. This is the biggest favor of Imam Husain (a.s.) on humanity.

“Peace be upon the dismembered limbs.”

‘A’azaa’ is the plural of ‘a’zw’ and ‘muqatta’aat’ means pieces. The mourners of Imam Husain (a.s.) who attend his mourning ceremonies are very well aware of the manner in which Imam Husain (a.s.) used to bring the dead bodies of his companions and relatives to the tents from morning till evening on the day of Aashura. Sometimes, the dead bodies were trampled upon by the horses. Imam Husain (a.s.) used to collect the broken pieces of the dead bodies and bring them to the tents.

“Peace be upon the heads that were raised on spears.”

The singular of ‘ruoos’ is ‘ra’s’ meaning head and ‘mushaalaat’ is derived from ‘sh-y-l’ which means ‘to raise’. It is a Nominal Predicate and Unbroken Plural (Feminine). The celebrated scholar, Syed IbnTawoos (a.r.) says: “Ibn Ziyaad ordered Imam Husain’s (a.s.) head to be paraded in the markets of Kufa”. Then, the Syed presents a few couplets from an elegy:

The head of the son of the daughter of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and his (s.a.w.a.) Vicegerent

Was raised on spears for the onlookers

And Muslims were looking at this sight and hearing it

None of them were opposing it nor were they remorseful

“Peace be upon the (chaste) women who had to come out (of their tents) with uncovered heads.”

Hameed Ibn Muslim says: “(On the evening of Aashura) when the tents were set on fire and flames erupted, the women of the household came out of the tents when they had been completely plundered, bare-feet and wailing…” When these women saw the dead bodies of the martyrs, they started wailing aloud and hitting their faces. Hameed says: “By Allah, I can never forget Zainab binte Ali (a.s.) when she was weeping over Imam Husain (a.s.) and complaining in an extremely heart-rending tone, ‘My dear grandfather! The angels of the heavens send their salutations upon you. This is your Husain (a.s.), drenched in blood, his body has been cut into pieces and your daughters have been taken as captives.’ (In some traditions it is mentioned: This is your Husain (a.s.) whose head has been severed from his body and his turban and cloak have been seized.)

[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 45, pp. 58-59]

“Peace be upon the Proof (Hujjat) of the Lord of the Worlds. Peace be upon you and your pure ancestors. Peace be upon you and your martyred sons. Peace be upon you and your offspring who help you. Peace be upon you and the angels who are the caretakers (of your grave).”

Those who have been saluted in the aforementioned statements of the ziyaarat are as follows:

1.    The Divine Proof

2.    The infallible parents of Imam Husain (a.s.)

3.    The martyred sons of Imam Husain (a.s.)

4.    The descendants of Imam (a.s.) who help him

5.    The caretaker angels of the grave of Imam Husain (a.s.)

(To be continued Insha Allah in the next issue)