Who Was Hazrat Sakinah (A.S)? (1)

Who Was Hazrat Sakinah (A.S)? (1)

 Sakinah was the youngest daughter of Imam Hussein. She was a vivacious child, full of love and happiness. Everyone loved Sakinah. She was also a very religious girl. She enjoyed reading the Holy Quraan and never missed her prayers. From the age of two she took great care to make sure that her head and face were properly covered when in public. Sakinah was Imam Hussain's most beloved child. Our Imam was often heard to say, "A house without Sakinah would not be worth living in!" She always had a sweet and cheerful smile and a very friendly nature. Other children sought her company as much as the grownups did. She was very generous and always shared whatever she had with others. There was a special bond between Hazrat Abbas and Sakinah. He loved her more than he did his own children. If Sakinah requested for anything, Abbas would not rest until he satisfied her request. There was nothing that Abbas would not do to make Sakinah happy.

During the journey from Medina to Mecca and then Mecca to Karbala, Abbas was often seen riding up to the mehmil in which Sakinah sat to make sure that she had everything she wanted. Sakinah loved her uncle just as much. While in Medina she would, several times a day, visit the house in which Hazrat Abbas lived with his family and his mother, Ummul Baneen. Like any other four-five year old when Sakinah went to bed at night she wanted to spend some time with her father. Imam Hussein would tell her stories of the prophets and of the battles fought by her grand-father Ali. She would rest her head on her father's chest and Hussein would not move from her until she fell asleep. When from the second of Muharram the armies of Yezid began to gather at Kerbala, Hussein said to his sister Zainab, "The time has come for you to get Sakinah used to going to sleep without my being there !". Sakinah would follow her father at night and Hussein had to gently take her to Zainab or Rubaab.

?At Kerbala when from the seventh Muharram water became scarce Sakinah shared whatever little water she had with other children. When soon there was no water at all, the thirsty children would look at Sakinah hopefully, and because she could not help them she would have tears in her eyes. Sakinah's lips were parched with thirst. On the Ashura day, she gave her Mashk to Hazrat Abbas. He went to get water for her. The children gathered round Sakinah with their little cups, knowing that as soon as Hazrat Abbas brought any water, Sakinah would first make sure that they had some before taking any herself. When Sakinah saw Imam Hussein bringing the blood drenched 'alam she knew that her uncle Abbas had been killed. From that day on Sakinah never complained of thirst.

Then came the time when the earth shook and Sakinah became an orphan! But even then she always thought of the others first. She would console her mother on the death of Ali Asghar and when she saw any other lady or child weeping Sakinah would put her little arms around her. Yes Sakinah never again asked anyone for water. Zainab would persuade her to take a few sips, but she herself would never ask for water or complain of thirst. From the time when Imam Hussain fell in the battle field, Sakinah forgot to smile! Kufa saw her as a sombre 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 Ali Asghar? He must be calling out for me!" Knowing that her weeping upset her mother, Sakinah would cry silently and quickly wipe away her tears! In the prison in Shaam she would stare at the flock of birds flying to their nests at sunset and innocently ask  Zainab, "Will Sakinah be going home like those birds flying to their homes?"

Then one dreadful night Sakinah went to bed on the cold floor of the prison. For a long time she stared into the darkness! The time for the morning prayers came. Sakinah was still lying with her eyes wide open. Her mother called out: "Wake up, Sakinah! Wake up, it is time for prayers, my child!" There was only the painful silence! Our fourth Imam walked up to where Sakinah lay. He put his hand on her forehead. It was cold! He put his hand near the mouth and the nose. Sakinah had stopped breathing. In between sobs Imam Zain ul 'Abideen said: " ‘Indeed we belong to Allah and to Him do we indeed return!". (1)

How was Sakinah buried? Zainab held the still child as Imam Zain ul 'Abideen dug a grave in the cell. As the grave was, being filled up after the burial the mother let out a scream! How could anyone console Rubaab? What could they say? They huddled around her, and the prison walls began to shake with the cry: "YA SAKINAH, YA MAZLOOMAH!!" Rubaab put her cheek on Sakinah's grave and cried out: "Speak to me, Sakinah! Only a word, my child! Speak to me!"

All those who are familiar with the Imam's life do certainly realize that his role in serving Islam had started very early in his life. He has contributed to the rising Islamic movement when he was a boy, and played a significant role, when his father was the Commander of the faithful, taking part in all three wars that his father fought along with the rest of the faithful companions and followers. When his brother Hassan (A.S.) became Imam, he obeyed and followed him in all what he said or did. Then his role entered a new stage with the passing away of his brother. And since the role of any Imam of Ahl ul-Bait is defined in accordance with the nature of the social and political conditions of his age, the Imam drew a new course in determining the direction of the Islamic movement.

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1. (The Holy Quran 2:156)