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Incident of Karbala in the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai

By: Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti

The battle of Karbala and the martyrdom of Imam Husain (R.T.A) along with his beloved family members and companions is the only incident of its kind which we find in the history of mankind where the party of the Imam showed patience, courage and firm belief in Allah almighty. The evergreen poet laureate of Sindh Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai in his Sur Kedaro has sung this incident.

He says in Surr Kedaro that the sufferings in the course of martyrdom, are a source or pride for those who die like martyrs. Only the wise can understand the truth about the incident of Karbela, in which Imam Hussain and his companions quaffed the cup of martyrdom. This incident is replete with great wisdom.

He makes the love of the family of The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) a measure for the success in the life hereafter. He say those who do not have love for Imam Hussain (R.T.A.) and imam Hassan (R.T.A.) they will never be forgiven by the Allah Almighty. He showing the greatness and chivalry of Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.T.A.) says The set their tents in the field of Karbala. They fought with Yazid’s army face to face and never turned their faces after feeling the warmth of swords.

While praising the example of patience, courage, love, bravery and faith set by Imam Hussain (R.T.A.) Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai also condemns the cruelty of Yazid and warns him not to do so or otherwise will never be able to get anything hereafter, he says, do not fight with the decedents of Hazrat Ali (R.T.A.) otherwise you will not be among those who will celebrate in Paradise with Imam Hussain (R.T.A.)

He further says stay away from all such people who are engaged in military conflict against the Imam directly or indirectly, and are bent upon creating chaos. They belong to the party of Yazid. Always keep away from them. He says that to fight against cruelty or for the deference of one’s motherland does not come in the fate of everybody but very courageous and brave people. Not every one is brave and courageous on the battlefield. The really valiant are those who do not desert the field out of fear. Rather, without caring for their lives, die fighting against the enemy. Whom God loves embrace martyrdom on the battlefield. He allows them to be inflicted with pain and trials. God’s will is done in whichever manner he desires. It is a mystery beyond the limited human understanding.

The contents of this Sur, are section-wise are described below:
Coming of Muharram, the month of mourning of martyrdom of Hussain (R.T.A.) a trial of their love.
The apparent helpless state of Imams.
Their bravery in fighting-their murder a wish of God.
Their union with God after death.

He emphasizes the need to create a sense of courage and sacrifice in the minds of the people of Sindh. Through Sur Kedaro, dealing with the sacrifices of Imam Hussain, he urges the people of Sindh to rise against their illegitimate rulers and on the path of this struggle they should not hesitate to sacrifice their lives. He motivates them in the following manner:
In the battlefield, brave people face each other with courage. Their shining swords clash with a din. The combatants charge each other fearlessly. The tossing chopped heads are spread everywhere in the battlefield.

He then make the grieved descendants of the martyrs consoled that horses and bridegrooms (warriors) have very short lives. They spend a part of their lives in prisons or forts, and the remaining part of it in the battlefield.

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