Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Those beautiful forms are now food for the worms!"

Our precious 10th Imam, Ali al-Naqi al-Hadi was often harrassed and annoyed by the tyrannical false caliph of his time. His oppressor constantly harrassed him psychologically by intimidation tactics like periodically sending delegations to search his house for weapons and controversial literature. Of course, no such thing was ever found, because it was not part of his character or his religion, to put his trust in weapons and anarchy. Once al-Mutawakkil forced Imam al-Naqi to attend one of his parties where the guests were all drinking and getting drunk. The king tried to force al-Naqi to drink also, but he politely said: " Spare me this order, for the flesh and blood of my forefathers, and my own, have never been mixed with wine." Al-Mutawakkil then changed his order and said, "...then sing a song for us." To which the Imam replied, "I do not know that art, either." So al-Mutawakkil finally said, "You shall have to recite a few verses of poetry, then, in any tone you like." The clever saint took this oppotunity to preach to this party boy and his peeps:

The glories of our blood and state

are shadows, not substantial things

There is no armour against the fate;

Death lays its icy hand on kings.

Sceptre and crown

must tumble down,

and in the earth be equal made

to the labourer's scythe and spade.

No fortress on the mountain peak

could save the kings from the jaws of death,

their pomp and power proved too weak;

they lie in graves, deprived of breath.

The cold earth asks them in contempt:

"Whither is the robe, the crown, and the throne?!

Did cruel death thy beauty exempt?!

Did it respect thy royal blood and bone?!"

The grave replies

with sorrowful sighs:

"Those beautiful forms

are now food for the worms!"

After hearing this poem, all of the partiers became very quiet and they all started crying, including the ridiculous king, so he let the Imam go. -from Kerbala and Beyond, by Yasin T. al-Jabouri

May Allah bless Prophet Muhammed and his Holy Progeny!

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