• Abbas

"Who was Bibi Sakina a.s bint Al Hussain a.s"

In the Arab world, the youngest daughter of Imam al Hussein (as) is know as Sayyidah Ruqayya (sa) [Hazrat Roghayeh or Bibi Rukkaya] whereas she is know as Bibi Sakina (sa) or Sayedah Sakinah bint al Hussein (as) in rest of the Islamic World.

Bibi Sakina (sa) was a vivacious child, full of love and happiness. Everyone loved Bibi Sakina (sa). She was also a very religious girl. She enjoyed reading Glorious Qur'an 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 as per the Islamic dress of code Hijab when in public.

Bibi Sakina (sa) was Imam al Hussein's (as) most beloved child. Our Third Imam (as) used to pray for a daughter in his Tahajjud Prayer (Namaz E Shab) and the birth of Bibi Sakina (sa) was a result of those night prayers. Imam al Hussein (as) was often heard to say, "A house without Sakina 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 grown ups did. She was very generous and always shared whatever she had with others.

There was a special bond between Hazrat Abbas (as) and Bibi Sakina (sa). Hazrat Abbas (as) loved her more than he did his own children. If Bibi Sakina (sa) requested for anything, Hazrat Abbas (as) would not rest until he satisfied her request. There was nothing that Hazrat Abbas (as) would not do to make Bibi Sakina (sa) happy.

During the journey from Madina to Makkah and then Makkah to Karbala, Hazrat Abbas (as) was often seen riding up to the Mehmil (A decorated framework on a Camel) in which Bibi Sakina (sa) sat to make sure that she had everything she wanted. Bibi Sakina (sa) loved her uncle just as much. While in Madina she would visit, several times a day, the house in which Hazrat Abbas (as) lived with his family and his mother, Bibi Ummul Baneen (sa).

Like any other four-five year old when Bibi Sakina (sa) went to bed at night, she wanted to spend some time with her father. Imam al Hussein (as) would tell her stories of the Prophets (as) and of the battles fought by her grand-father Imam Ali (as). She would rest her head on her father's chest and Imam al Hussein (as) would not move from her until she fell asleep. When from the second of Muharram the armies of Yazid began to gather at Karbala, Imam al Hussein (as) said to his sister Bibi Zainab (sa), "The time has come for you to get Sakina used to going to sleep without me being there." Bibi Sakina (sa) would follow her father at night and Imam al Hussein (as) had to gently take her to aunt, Bibi Zainab (sa) or Bibi Rubab (sa) - her mother.

At Karbala from the seventh Muharram, access to water was blocked by the army of Yazid and water became scarce. Bibi Sakina (sa) shared whatever little water she had with other children. When soon there was no water at all, the thirsty children would look at Bibi Sakina (sa) hopefully, and because she could not help them she would have tears in her eyes. Bibi Sakina's (sa) lips were parched with thirst (Pyas).

On the day of Ashoora - the 10th of Muharram, Sakinah gave her Mashk (water carrier) to Hazrat Abbas (as) to get some water for her and the children. When Hazrat Abbas (as) went to fetch water, the children gathered round Bibi Sakina (sa) with their little cups, knowing that as soon as Hazrat Abbas (as) brought any water, Bibi Sakina (sa) would first make sure that they had some before taking any herself. When Bibi Sakina (sa) saw Imam al Hussein (as) bringing the blood drenched Alam (Flag) she knew that her uncle Hazrat Abbas (as) had been martyred. From that day on Bibi Sakina (sa) never complained of thirst (Pyas). Bibi Sakina (sa) never again asked anyone for water. Bibi Zainab (sa) would persuade her to take a few sips, but she herself would never ask for water or complain of thirst.

Then came the time when the earth shook and Bibi Sakina (sa) became an orphan! But even then she always thought of the others first. She would console her mother, Bibi Rubab (sa) on the death of her six month old brother, Ali Asghar (as) and when she saw any other lady or child weeping Bibi Sakina (sa) would put her little arms around her.

From the time when Imam al Hussein (as) was martyred in the battle field, Bibi Sakina (sa) forgot to smile! Kufa saw her as a 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 Asghar? He must be calling out for me!"

Knowing that her weeping upset her mother, Bibi Sakina (sa) would cry silently and quickly wipe away her tears! In the prison in Damascus she would stare at the flock of birds flying to their nests at sunset and innocently ask Bibi Zainab (sa), "Will Sakina ever be going home like those birds flying to their homes?"

Then one dreadful night Bibi Sakina (sa) 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. Bibi Sakina (sa) was still lying with her eyes wide open. Her mother called out: "Wake up, Sakina! Wake up, it is time for prayers, my child!" There was only the painful silence! Our fourth Imam Zainul Abideen (as) walked up to where Bibi Sakina (sa) lay. He put his hand on her forehead. It was cold! He put his hand near the mouth and the nose. Bibi Sakina (sa) had stopped breathing. In between sobs Imam Zainul Abideen (as) said: "Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Raji'un!"

How was Bibi Sakina (sa) buried? Bibi Zainab (sa) held the still child as Imam Zainul Abideen (as) 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 Bibi Rubab (sa)? What could they say? They huddled around her, and the prison walls began to shake with the cry: "Ya Bibi Sakina (sa), Ya Mazloomah!" Bibi Rubab (sa) put her cheek on Bibi Sakina's (sa) grave and cried out: "Speak to me, Sakina! Only a word, my child! Speak to me!"

I am Sakinah daughter of Imam al Hussein (as), today is Ashoora and here is Karbala

Perhaps an hour has passed noon. I do not know. From morning to now, for us, it has seemed like a lifetime; especially these moments that my father has gone towards the battlefield. It is hard to gaze at the cloud of dust rising in the battlefield and to hear the shrieks of the enemy, while my father is among them; it is very hard.

The sound