Sleep reigned over the Kufan town,

As from the mosque came a godly sound.

The call for prayer filled the sky,

Moving the air with a gentle sigh.

Awakening Muslims with a gentle prod,

“O people come, and pray to God.”

And in the silent mosque, Ali (AS) stood alone,

Gazing at every wall and stone.

He knew that these walls would be stained with blood,

Innocent, pious, saintly blood.

Today his blood would be shed,

These clean walls would be covered in red.

He was eager for martyrdom I am sure,

It was then he heard a tiny snore.

In a corner a sleeper lay,

Ali (AS) knew he had not come to pray.

Gently Ali (AS) awoke the man,

“Awake awake, O Ibn Moljim.

Come it is nearly time to pray,

Awake for the coming day.

I know your work, I know why you’ve come,

Remember your deed cannot be undone.”

Ibn Moljim, nothing did say,

Quickly he rose and walked away.

Ali (AS) prepared for prayer as the Muslims came,

Ready to pray in Allah’s Name.

“Allah-u-Akbar” his voice began,

Behind him stood Ibn Moljim.

“Allah-u-Akbar” Ali (AS) said again,

And knelt before God with the other men.

Suddenly Ibn Moljim moved forward to kill,

His sword with poison was definitely filled.

He raised his sword and struck it down,

Confusion was there all around.

Ali’s neck was covered with blood,

His head prostrated before his God.

Ibn Moljim quickly ran,

He was a scared and sinful man.

And Ali (AS) reeled back not crying out his pain,

His blood-drenched lips spoke in Allah’s name.

His heart felt happy, his mind so light,

He was finally ending his worldly life.

His sons held him in their arms,

As if to protect him from this physical harm.

His smiling lips parted and then he said,

“I thank Thee O Lord for a martyr’s death.”

Soon Ibn Moljim was brought before Ali (AS),

His state was terrible, Ali (AS) could see.

His bonds were cutting deep in his skin,

Causing the blood to spurt from within.

A frown creased Ali’s brow,

He ordered the bonds be loosened NOW.

The murderer into tears broke,

Ali (AS) smiled faintly and then he spoke.

“It is not too late to repent O Ibn Moljim,

Was I an unjust or cruel Imam?”

Then to his sons, Ali (AS) said,

“Give him a drink to relieve his head.”

But Ibn Moljim didn’t trust Ali,

He refused the drink quietly.

Ali (AS) then spoke, “O Ibn Moljim,

Why do you not trust your dying Imam?

If you had taken this juice of mine,

You’d be with me in Heaven divine.”

In two more days Ali (AS) died,

So “Think not of those slain in the way of Allah as dead, Nay, they are living, with the Lord they have provision.”

(Qur’an, 3:169) 

- Zainab Kazim

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