In Remembrance of Martyrdom

A translation of the Urdu elegy “Zikr e Shahadat” by Mawlana Hassan Raza Khan

By Asif Jehangir

Bagh jannat kay hain behr-e-midah-khwaan-e-Ahle Bayt
Tum ko mizhdah naar ka ay dushmanaan e Ahle Bayt

The gardens of Paradise await the eulogisers of the Ahlul Bayt

For you glad tidings of Hellfire O’ enemies of the Ahlul Bayt[i]!

Kis zabaan se ho bayaan ‘izz o shaan e Ahle Bayt
Madah go-ye Mustafa hai madahkhwaan e Ahle Bayt
How can one’s tongue do justice to the glory of the Ahlul Bayt?

He actually praises the Prophet—the one who praises the Ahlul Bayt


Unki paaki ka Khuda e Paak karta hai bayaan

Aayah e Tat.heer se zahir hai shan e Ahl e Bayt


The Pure God Himself mentions their purity:

The Verse of Purification[ii] shows the purity of the Ahlul Bayt


Mustafa izzat badhanay kay liye ta’zim dein

Hai buland iqbal tera doodmaan e Ahle Bayt


Mustafa, the Chosen One, respects you to increase your honour

How elevated is your good fortune O’ family of the Ahlul Bayt!


Unkay ghar bay-ijazat Jibril aatay nahin

Qadr walay jaantay hain, qadr-o-shan e Ahle Bayt


Gabriel dares not enter their house without prior permission!

The worthy ones know the worth of the Ahlul Bayt!


Mustafa ba’-ye-kharidar uss ka Allah ashtari

Khoob chandi kar raha karvaan e Ahle Bayt


The Prophet is the buyer, Allah the seller!

How much business it is doing, the caravan of the Ahlul Bayt!


Razm ka maidan bana hai jalva gah e husn o ‘ishq

Karbala mein ho raha hai imtehan e Ahle Bayt!



The place of love and beauty has become a field of combat

Their love is being tested in Karbala, the Ahlul Bayt!


Phool zakhmon kay khilaaye hain havaaye dost ne

Khoon say seenchaa gya hai gulistan e Ahle Bayt


The breeze from the Friend has spread wounds like flowers

With blood is watered the rose-garden of the Ahlul Bayt!


Hoorain karti hain ‘aroosan e shahadat ka singar

Khoobru dulha bana hai har javaan e Ahl e Bayt


The houris themselves bedeck the brides of martyrdom

Like a handsome groom today every youth of the Ahlul Bayt


Ho gayee tahqiq e ‘eid e deed aab e taigh se

Apne rozay kholtain hain sa’imaan e Ahle Bayt


The blood from the swords served as a sighting of the Eid moon

Thus do they break their fasts today, those fasting from the Ahlul Bayt!


Juma’h ka din hai, kitabein zeest kii tai karke aaj

Khailtay hain jaan par shahzadgaan e Ahl e Bayt


It is Friday and with their lives they are firmly resolved
To lay down their lives, these Princes of the Ahlul Bayt


Ay shabab e fasl e gul yeh chal gayee kaisee havaa

KaT raha hai lehlehata bustan e Ahle Bayt


Oh youthful roses what kind of storm is this blowing?

That is cutting down the blossoming garden of the Ahlul Bayt?


Kis shaqqi ki hai hukumat, haaye kya andhera hai

Din dihaaray luT raha hai kaarvaan e Ahle Bayt


Which tyrant is in power? Oh what darkness!

In broad daylight is being looted the caravan of the Ahlul Bayt!


Khushk ho jaa khaak ho kar, khaak mein mil jaa ay Furat

Khaak tujh par dekh tu sookhi zabaan e Ahle Bayt!


Become dry, be nothing  O’ Euphrates, turn to dust!

Shame on you for silently watching the parched tongues of the Ahlul Bayt!


Khaak par Abbas o Uthman Alambardar hain

Baikasi ab kaun uThaaye ga nishan e Ahle Bayt?


Uthman and Abbas the Flagbearer are on the dusty ground

Helplessness, who now shall carry the flag of the Ahlul Bayt?


Teri qudrat jaanvar tak aab se seraab hon

Pyaas kii shiddat mein taRapay bai-zabaan e Ahle Bayt



Thou God art all Powerful! Even animals quench their thirst

But from thirst do writhe the speechless amongst the Ahlul Bayt!


Qafila salaar manzil ko chalay hain saunp kar

Waris e bay-warisan ko kaarvaan e Ahle Bayt


The leaders of the Caravan are going away leaving

In charge to heirs of the heirless the caravan of the Ahlul Bayt.


Fatima kay laadlay ka akhri deedar hai

Hashr ka hungama barpaa hai miyaan e Ahle Bayt


It is the last vision of Fatima’s darling

The Day of Judgement has come amidst the Ahlul Bayt!


Waqt e rukhsat keh raha hai khaak mein miltaa suhaag

Lo salam e aakhri ay bevagaan e Ahle Bayt


It is time to part and so speaks the bridegroom as he writhes in the dust:

“Accept my final greetings O’ widows of the Ahlul Bayt!”


Abr fauj e dushmanaan mein ay falak yoon doob jaaye

Fatima ka chand mehr e aasmaan e Ahle Bayt


May the clouds, O’ sky, gather over the enemies’ army.

Fatima’s moon is the sun of the empyrean of the Ahlul Bayt!


Kis mazay kii lazzatein hain, aab e taigh e Yaar mein

Khaak o khoon mein looTtay hain tishgaan e Ahle Bayt


What joyous bliss is this they experience, from the water o’ the Friend’s sword

Amidst the blood and dust, the thirsty of the Ahlul Bayt?


Bagh e jannat choR kar aaye hain Mahboob e Khuda

Ay zahe qismat tumhaarii kashtgaan e Ahle Bayt


The Beloved of God himself has come, leaving Paradise

Oh how great is your destiny, Oh slain ones amongst the Ahlul Bayt!


Hoorain bay-pardah nikal aayii hain sar kholay hu’ay

Aaj kaisa hashr hai barpaa miyaan e Ahle Bayt


The houris have come out bare-headed their hair dishevelled!

What a terrible calamity is befalling the Ahlul Bayt!


Koii kyoon pooche kissi ko,  kyaa gharz ay baikassi?

Aaj kaisa hai mareez e neem jaan e Ahle Bayt


Why should anyone bother to ask? Who will care, O helplessness?

How fares the barely-alive, sorely ill one[iii] from amongst the Ahlul Bayt?


Ghar luTana jaan dena koii tujh se seekh jaaye

Jaan e aalam ho fida ay khandan e Ahle Bayt


One should learn the spirit of ultimate sacrifice from you!

May the world be sacrificed for you, O’ family of the Ahlul Bayt!


Sar shahidan e mohabbat kay hain naizon par buland

Aur oonchii kii Khuda ne qadr o shaan e Ahle Bayt


Heads of the martyrs of love are raised atop lances, spears

God has elevated even higher the status of the Ahlul Bayt!


Dawlat e deedar paayii paak jaanein baich kar

Karbala mein khoob chamakii dukaan e Ahle Bayt


They achieved the Divine Vision by selling their lives

How well it performed in Karbala, this business of the Ahlul Bayt!


Zakhm khaanay ko tau aab e taigh peenay ko diya

Khoob da’wat kii bulaa kar dushmanaan e Ahle Bayt


Wounds to eat and blood from swords to drink:

What a meal they gave after inviting them—the foes of the Ahlul Bayt!


Apna sauda baich kar bazaar soona kar gaye

Kaunsee basti basaii taajiraan e Ahle Bayt


By selling their lives they cleaned up the bazaar

What a place they inhabited these merchants of the Ahlul Bayt!


Ahle Bayt e paak se gustaakhiyaan, bai-baakiyaan

La’anatullahi ‘alaykum ay dushmanaan e Ahle Bayt


Insolence and disrespect towards the pure Ahlul Bayt?

“May Allah’s curse be upon you” O’ enemies of the Ahlul Bayt!


Bay adab, gustaakh firqay ko sunaa do ay Hassan

Yoon karte hain Sunni, daastaan e Ahle Bayt!


Recite this to the disrespectful, insolent sect O’ Hassan:

This is how the Sunnis remember the story of the Ahlul Bayt!



[i] Ahle Bayt [or Ahlul Bayt in Arabic]: term for the People of the House and, specifically, referring to the Family of the Prophet i.e. Imam Hasan, Imam Husayn, Lady Fatima and Imam Ali (and their descendents) –i.e. the Prophet’s daughter, cousin and son-in-law, and his grandsons—and also the wives of the Prophet. A full discussion of who exactly is included in this Arabic term is found at

[ii] Qur’an 33:33: “Allah’s wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing.” (33:33)

[iii] i.e.  the saintly and ascetic Ali ibn Husayn ibn Ali, known as Zayn al Abidin, the son of Imam Husayn and the Fourth Imam of the Ahlul Bayt and one of the greatest Sufis of all time. He was very ill during the tragedy of Karbala.

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