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The Martyrdom of Ali Akbar (AS)

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Ali Akbar, the eldest son (according to some narrations) of Imam Hussain (PBUH), was the man most resembling the Prophet (PBUH) in appearance, ethics, and speech. His bravery, courage, and religious and political insight were particularly evident during the journey to Karbala, especially on the Day of Ashura. He was around 25 years old (according to some historians) in Karbala. He was the first martyr of Ashura from the Bani Hashim. He is buried at the foot of his noble father, which is why the shrine of the Imam is hexagonal.

It seems that during the event of Karbala and especially as the Day of Ashura approached, and the dangers and difficulties intensified, Ali Akbar and Abbas, as two trusted companions, were constantly with Imam Hussain. During those tumultuous and terrifying times, they never took their eyes off their Imam and were always alert for the Imam’s commands and orders.

The Biography of Ali Akbar (AS)

Ali ibn al-Hussain, also known as Ali Akbar (PBUH), the eldest son of Imam Hussain, was born on the 11th of Sha’ban in the Hijri year 33 in Medina. His honorable mother is Layla, the daughter of Abu Murra. Layla gave birth to a son for Imam Hussain, a boy who was righteous, brave, handsome, and the closest in resemblance to the Messenger of Allah. His face mirrored that of the Prophet, his speech resembled the Prophet’s discourse. Anyone who longed to see the Prophet would look upon the face of Layla’s son, to the point that his noble father used to say, “Whenever we longed to see the Prophet, we would look at his face.”

For this reason, on the Day of Ashura, when he asked for permission to enter the battlefield and headed to the front lines, Imam Hussain looked up to the sky and said, “Oh Allah, bear witness over these people, for a youth has emerged amongst them who most closely resembles your Prophet Muhammad in character, appearance, and speech. Whenever we missed seeing your Prophet, we would look at him…”

Ali Akbar (AS), a Role Model for Youth

One of the most prominent exemplars of perfection, purity, and manliness is Ali Akbar (AS), the illustrious martyr of the Ashura epic and the virtuous son of Sayyid al-Shuhada (PBUH). It is appropriate for us to familiarize ourselves with the character and attributes of this noble and sagacious youth of firm resolve, learning lessons of bravery, resilience, faith, and decency from him, and nurturing a generation that follows the luminous path of this martyr.

The exemplary upbringing provided by Imam Hussain (PBUH) ensured that Ali Akbar was adorned with the finest attributes of perfection. Factors such as family nobility, upbringing, inheritance, the pursuit of knowledge, and virtues, all of which are elements that form the character of a person, were prevalent in his life and being. His nature, character, conduct, actions, decency, and dignity were exceptionally outstanding and brilliant. It is said and written that his actions and behavior revived in minds the conduct of the Prophet of Allah (PBUH).

Ali Akbar was a branch of that blessed tree and a pure root, considered an inheritor of all the good qualities of a lineage characterized by innocence and purity.

The Dream of Imam Hussain (PBUH) and the Conduct of Ali Akbar (AS)

In the land of Tha’labiya, at noon, Imam Hussain (PBUH) took a brief nap. Upon awakening, he said: “In my dream, I saw a voice proclaiming: ‘You are rushing forward, and death is swiftly carrying you to Paradise.’ Hearing these words from his father, Ali Akbar (PBUH) asked: ‘Dear father, aren’t we on the side of the truth?‘ Imam Hussain (PBUH) replied: ‘Yes, by Allah, we are indeed on the side of the truth.’ Ali Akbar then expressed, ‘In that case, we have no fear of death.’

Delighted with his son’s acceptance, Imam Hussain (PBUH) praised him, saying: “My son, may Allah reward you with goodness.”

The Martyrdom of Ali Akbar (PBUH)

Ali Akbar was the first martyr of Ashura from the Banu Hashim. His courage, bravery, martial skill, religious insight, and political acuity all found profound expression during the journey to Karbala, especially on the day of Ashura. His words and sacrifices serve as an ample testament to these qualities.

On the day of Ashura, following the martyrdom of Imam’s companions, he was the first to request permission to sacrifice his life for the cause of the faith. His venture into the battlefield, while deeply difficult for the Ahl al-Bayt and for the Imam, was entirely in keeping with his spirit of self-sacrifice. As he stepped onto the field, Imam Hussain, in his heartrending supplications to the divine threshold, cursed those cowardly people who had invited them only to unsheathe their swords against them.

Ali Akbar ventured into the battlefield several times, demonstrating gallant feats against the enemy forces. After his martyrdom, Imam Hussein laid his face on the bloodied countenance of Ali Akbar and once again cursed the enemy.

The Holy Shrine of Ali Akbar (AS)

The burial place of the brave and valiant youth of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) lies at the foot of the Imam’s resting place.

The shrine of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him), as described in the previous pages, is hexagonal, with the two lower sides dedicated to Ali Akbar and the martyrs of Banu Hashim. This part is connected to the external shrine of Imam Hussein’s tomb, with a length of 2.6 meters and a width of 1.4 meters. Therefore, it encompasses the width of one section and the length of two sections, dedicating two sides to itself. (Atabat Aliyat Iraq, Qa’edan, Asghar)

Poem For Ali Akbar (AS)

In the realm of celestial beauty, where martyrdom casts its light,

Resides a star, Ali Akbar, whose brilliance shimmers in the night.

A beacon of unwavering faith, courage eternally in flight,

His tale a resonating hymn, echoing through the darkness, so bright.

Born to Hazrat Hussain, in a lineage pure and grand,

Embodied he, the Prophet’s grace, a reflection of that sacred hand.

From his eyes, the wisdom flowed, across the barren, sun-scorched land,

His essence, a testament to faith, few could truly understand.

His voice, a gentle breeze, whispering through the shifting sands,

Mirroring the Prophet’s words, fulfilling his divine commands.

His countenance, the Prophet’s echo, leaving footprints on time’s strands,

In his presence, yearning hearts found solace, as comfort expands.

In the face of looming peril, he stood steadfast, a solitary tower,

In the heart of the battlefield, his courage in full flower.

Astride his horse, he charged, in that decisive, tragic hour,

A valiant prince of Islam, undeterred by death’s sour power.

Young Ali Akbar, hero bold, in the tragic saga of Karbala,

His martyrdom, a poignant tale, echoing through the Muharram’s qawwala.

A symbol of selfless sacrifice, an enduring spiritual novella,

A beacon for all who seek the path of righteousness and valor.

In the shadow of his sacrifice, we bow our heads in reverence,

In his tale, we find strength, his life, our perseverance.

For in the heart of Ali Akbar, radiates an eternal luminescence,

A testament to valor, faith, and divine essence.

The moon reflects the sun, as Ali Akbar did his lineage,

A legacy of strength, a life lived on faith’s edge.

His name forever etched in time, his story, a sacred pledge,

A guiding light for us all, from time’s unfolding hedge.

Through tears, we honor you, O Ali Akbar, in mournful tones,

Your spirit continues to guide us, through life’s unpredictable zones.

Your sacrifice, a beacon, amidst life’s unpredictable cyclones,

In your eternal memory, we offer these heartfelt sones.

Though the pain of Karbala, in our hearts, deeply ingrain,

Your sacrifice reminds us, in hardship, resides gain.

As we remember you, Ali Akbar, in this mournful strain,

Your legacy lives on, in our hearts, it shall forever reign.

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