light is breaking its way through gentle night
with the reddened tones of a blood sunrise
through the tents of Hussain on Ashura
a morning breeze in deep sorrow sighs
 
those who’ve just spent the night in prayer
prepare now to face the battle call
bidding farewell to the ones they love
their words, La ila ha illAllah
 
on the other side of the desert plain
an enemy is preparing now for war
amongst them is seated a man named Hurr
a different battle waging at his core
 
what is this he is hearing around him?
what is this he has heard the soldiers say?
who is this they are planning to kill –
planning now the murder of al-Hussain?
 
as if Hurr has summoned him with his thoughts
Hussain on the horizon makes this call:
How will it be that you will spill my blood,
am I not the son of the Prophet of Allah?
 
suddenly, Hurr’s body begins to shake,
it was he who brought Hussain to this land
the Commander halting the path to Kufa
instead, turning them toward these sands
 
it was Hurr who led them to Karbala
O Hurr, what horror is it that you’ve done?
when Hussain arrived, he’d looked on the scene
as if knowing what was to come
 
Hussain’s call is like the quake of the earth
dividing the world clean into two sides
before him is the drop of jagged cliffs
behind him, the beauty of al-Hussain’s eyes
 
will he ignore the call of al-Hussain
choosing instead to fight on the enemy’s side?
knowing that this side’s army is much larger
knowing on this side, he will not yet die?
 
or will Hurr cross to the side of the truth
his life’s course changed in a single breath
even though Hussain’s ranks are much smaller
even though he would be choosing certain death?
 
Hurr cries out to the sky, I stand between
Heaven and Hell, and Hell I have spurned
by God, I will choose nothing but Heaven
even if I’m cut to pieces or if I am burned
 
Hurr mounts his horse and rides out to Hussain
his stance that of a prisoner newly set free
with each step, his heart is pleading this call
my master Hussain, somehow forgive me…
 
when he reaches Hussain, it is as if
Hussain’s been waiting for him all this while
when Hurr had not yet known what he could be
Hussain showed him with a single smile
 
Hussain says, I forgive you, may God accept
Hurr’s life is changed with a single repent,
and around him begins to fill the air
the sweetest aroma of heaven’s scent
 
Hurr would gladly get down from his horse
to kiss the burning plains of Karbala
but he is eager to defend the Imam of his time
his life for the life of Aba Abdillah
 
the next time he will dismount from his horse
it will be to take his final breath
when once he’d feared death’s seeking of him
now with faith and courage, he seeks death
 
Hurr looks bravely across the battlefield
an eagle’s vision in his gaze
arrows begin to fall, strong like rain,
he meets them strengthened with God’s praise
 
when his body becomes covered in wounds
death meets him, and his heart cries
peace be upon you my master Hussain,
my farewell to you beneath these skies…
 
Hussain kneels beside the body of Hurr,
who had been with him for less than a day –
but who was a true companion of his soul
in his sacrifice, this lesson would stay:
 
at the start of Hurr’s day, he was just a man
but at the end, he was martyred, a friend of God
life’s candle can quiver with the person you’ve been
…or it can blaze with the person you truly are
 
Hussain says, you are indeed free, O Hurr
as the name your mother upon you has blessed
like the eagle that chose to soar past its cage
free in this world, and free in the next
 
the skies lower their heads in deep regard
as the soul of Hurr, the free, leaves Karbala
his success: a soul journeying from Hussain…
to the welcoming arms of al-Mustafa
 
it is as if the grounds of Karbala shake
as they call out to mankind with this voice
O you who seek God, know the journey to Him
is traversed in the span of a single choice
 
Imam Hussain gently wipes away blood
from the slopes of Hurr’s glimmering face
with just one choice, a man like Hadhrat Hurr
became worthy of this beautiful grace
 
and in this moment, it seems as if
Hussain wishes for the centuries to see
if we wish to walk amongst his ranks
amongst them we must simply choose to be
 
when it comes to Hussain, time falls away
centuries shrink themselves down in awe
if in each day we choose to live like Ashura
if in each land, we choose to see Karbala
 
if we stand on the plains of our life
and see the branching of a noble tree
 
the purest roots of the Prophet of God
the guardians of religion, the deepest sea
 
if comes before us, the Imam of our time,
eagles in cages, and before us, the key
 
asking if we’ll choose to fight the war to
conquer the self, or if we will choose to flee,
 
if, in the desert of our souls, we’ll choose to defend
Hussain, wounded, falling to his knees,
 
in that moment, we must choose to be brave, like Hurr,
 
brave enough to choose to be free.

 

“You are Hurr – the free one – as your mother named you;
you are free in this world as well as in the next world.”
-Imam Hussain (a)-

please accept my salaams, now, and forever,
O Hurr, Free man amongst the free.