Alhassanain(p) Network for Heritage and Islamic Thought

Hazrat Umm al Baneen - First Husseini Eulegy Chanter

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It is recorded in historical accounts that mother of King of Fidelity Hadrat Abul Fazl al-Abbas (A.S.) and spouse of Commander of Faithful Al-Imam Ali bin Abi Taleb (A.S.) Hadrat Fatima Binte Hazam bin Khalid Ibn-e-Rabi'ea Ibn-e-Amer Al-Kalabi, also known as 'Ummul Baneen' (S.A.), was died on 13th Jamadi al-Thani 64 AH.
She was buried in the Jannat al-Baqi cemetery in the holy city of Medina, Saudi Arabia.
She belonged to the clan of Banu Kalab, which was one the noblest families amongst the Hashimites and famous for the bravery and valor of its warriors.
When the two arms of one of the Holy Prophet (S.W.)'s bravest followers and his army’s standard-bearer Hadrat Ja'far Tayyar, the brother of Hadrat Ali (A.S.) were cut off in the battle of Mauta and he was martyred, and the news reached the Holy Prophet (S.W.) he cried and prayed for Ja'far's soul and the angel Gabriel came down and consoled (the Prophet), saying "Ja'far was a brave and loyal soldier. God has given him everlasting life, and in place of two arms which were cut off in the battle, the Lord has given him a pair of wings".
Then the Lord of the Worlds told Holy Prophet (S.W.) that Ali (A.S.) will have a son from Umm al-Baneen (S.A.) who will be the standard-bearer of your son Hussein (A.S.); he will sacrifice himself in the desert of Karbala for Hussein (A.S.); his two arms will also be cut off by oppressors.”
Holy Prophet (S.S.) narrated this to Hadrat Ali (A.S.) and said: “O Ali! Your this son has resemblance to Ja’far but your son’s status is much higher than Ja’far. When your this son will take birth, kiss him on my behalf because I would have been expired at that time.”
At that time, Hadrat Fatima Zahra binte Rasul (S.A.) said: “I make him my son.”
Knowing all this from the Holy Prophet (S.W.), Hadrat Ali (A.S.) said: “You named my two sons (Shabbar and Shabbir) Hasan and Hussein, so also name my this son.”
Gabriel descended and said: “O Allah’s beloved! Name this son on the meaning of Assad (Lion).”
From that time Imam Ali (A.S.) eagerly awaited the birth of that son. (This prophecy was made in the year 8 A.H. when Imam Hasan (A.S.) was 5 years old and Imam Hussein (A.S.) was 4).
After the martyrdom of Hadrat Fatima Zahra(A.S.), Imam A1i (A.S.) called his brother Aqeel who was known for his knowledge about the tribal genealogies and told him to find out a respectable lady of a noble family, known for its bravery, for him to wed for he wanted to have a brave son from her to be his own representative there at Karbala to serve Hussein (A.S.) the son of the Holy Prophet (S.W.) and help him in the calamitous situation against his enemies and lay his life defending Hussein (A.S.) on his own behalf, for Hasan (A.S.) and Hussein (A.S.) were hailed as the sons of the Holy Prophet (S.W.) and each one was addressed as Ibne Rasoolullah' (son of the Holy Prophet).
Aqeel said: "Marry thou, Umm al-Baneen Kalabi, the daughter of Hazm bin Khalid-e-Kalabi, for braver than her father, there was none in the tribes.
Hadrat Umm al-Baneen bore Hazrat Ali's four sons, Abbas, Abdulla, Ja'far and Usman. The meaning of 'Ummul Baneen' is 'Mother of Sons'. All of her sons were martyred along with Imam Hussein. After their martyrdom, she requested people not to call her 'Umm al-Baneen' ever again.
The day she entered the household of Hadrat Ali (A.S.), she made it very plain to Imam Hasan (A.S.) and Imam Hussein (A.S.) that she considered herself their slave, and she hoped and prayed that they would accept her as one. Her respect and affection for them was reciprocated by the two brothers, who occupied a foremost place in her heart.
When Imam Hussein (A.S.) was leaving Madinah for Iraq Hadrat Umm al-Baneen asked her four sons, Hadrat Abbas(A.S.), Abdulla, Ja'far and Usman to sacrifice their lives in the sacred cause of Imam Hussein (A.S.).
Ummul Baneen had such sincerity toward the Holy Prophet's progeny that she loved Imam Hussein (A.S.) more than her own children.
She was the first who received Bashar bin Hazam, the man who proclaimed to the people of Medina “Qotelal Hussein…” (Hussein has been killed...). It was to the extent that when she received the news stating the martyrdom of her four sons, she said: "Tell me about Hussein (A.S.)" and when she received the news of Imam Hussein (A.S.)'s martyrdom she said: "All of the arteries of my heart are torn. May all of my children and what ever that exists under this azure heaven be sacrificed for the sake of Imam Hussein (A.S.).”
After the arrival of Imam Sajjad (A.S.) and Hadrat Zainab (A.S.) in Medina Hadrat Umm al-Baneen used to gather women in her house and used to narrate them how Imam Hussein (A.S.) and his companions were martyred by Yazidi forces.
Hadrat Ummul Baneen is considered as the first Noheh Reciter (dirge reciter) for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (A.S.). She used to visit regularly the famous Jannat al-Baqi cemetery in Medina and recite her Noheh in a very sad and pathetic voice that everybody present there used to weep bitterly.
She transformed the Jannat al-Baqi cemetery as "the Centre of Azadari of Imam Hussein (A.S.)". The Noheh recited by Hadrat Umm al-Baneen for the martyrdom of Imam Hessian (A.S.) are recorded in history and are considered as masterpiece in Arabic literature.


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Alhassanain(p) Network for Heritage and Islamic Thought