nothing but beauty

by Aqeela Naqvi

ya Zaynab, the time has come to bid Hussain farewell
horrors to pass the rising of a bloody moon foretells

ya Zaynab, how shall i say what’s to come tomorrow?
creeping to the desert’s shores are crimson waves of sorrow

ya Zaynab, with what words can i say
what heartbreak is yet to happen on Ashura’s tragic day

ya Zaynab, with the rising of Ashura’s sun
to come to the aid of your Hussain there will be left no one

ya Zaynab, when he gives to you his final call
make sure that you kiss his neck, for here the sword will fall

ya Zaynab, to the battlefield he is to go
and will shower down upon him rain of merciless arrows

ya Zaynab, facing thousands he’ll stand as one
yet all will scatter from the sword of Ali’s fearless son

ya Zaynab, your Imam will still be standing tall
“O God! It is You I trust in grief…” will still remain his call

ya Zaynab, seeing light the darkness will be scared
more archers will be signaled and more swordsmen prepared

ya Zaynab, then wounds on wounds will kiss his skin,
and when they do the enemy will start to circle in…

ya Zaynab, from his horse he’ll be shot down
and snarling wolves snapping their jaws your lion will surround

ya Zaynab, and when he falls to his knees
the heavens will hear wailing of an anguished sister’s screams

ya Zaynab, will choke with grief your tears!
as the chest of your Hussain is ripped and torn apart with spears

ya Zaynab, a man will skulk forward steadily
in his eyes you’ll see the sunken gaze of forgotten humanity

ya Zaynab, above Hussain will be raised a sword
but in his eyes you’ll see the calm of one conversing with his Lord

ya Zaynab, his head from his body will be severed
and the brother you held close to you will in his blood be covered

ya Zaynab, you will see the blood-red tears
of Imam Sajjad when his father’s head is raised upon a spear

ya Zaynab, this world for you will turn to ash
when your brother, your Imam, when your Hussain breathes his last

ya Zaynab, yet Hussain will leave you with this mission
to remain strong and carry on the message of his revolution

so ya Zaynab,

even when your tents they come to burn
even when you are imprisoned by those who truth’s call have spurned

ya Zaynab, even when they tie your hands
even when they drag you as captives across miles of lonely land

ya Zaynab, even when the tyrant brings you in his hall
your spine will not be broken, like your brother you’ll stand tall

ya Zaynab, you will not have with you a sword
but each tyrant’s throne will shatter by the grandeur of your words

ya Zaynab, in fear before you they will stand
when you pronounce the Prophet’s blood is dripping from their hands

ya Zaynab, for all who listen you’ll attest
the truth of who these tyrants are, of who has devoured your flesh

ya Zaynab, to them you will proclaim
their strongest efforts will not erase the splendor of your names

ya Zaynab, in fear they’ll shout: your brother died!
with sweaty palms cry out: Hussain is no longer alive!

but ya Zaynab, you’ll call towards the sky
do not name as dead those in God’s way slain – no, they are alive (2:154)

ya Zaynab, with your brother’s head they will then taunt
with this, in fright, their assumed victory in Karbala they’ll flaunt

but ya Zaynab, you will still look them in the eye
and declare with the firmest gaze the victory of the Most High

and ya Zaynab, all will tremble, in your voice they’ll hear Ali:
as you call with pride that Karbala was nothing but beauty

as you declare

that Karbala

was nothing
but
beauty