Shaheed Sibte Jafar Zaidi

The sorrowful news of the martyrdom of Shaheed Sibte Jafar has grasped the hearts of hundreds of thousands of Muslims around the world, particularly South Asians who were blessed with someone like him; someone who changed the shape of eulogy and poetry reciting for the Ahlul Bayt in recent times. As someone who grew up listening to him and reciting his poetry in gatherings, this news has been very hard for me to bear personally.

A month ago, he addressed a seminar where he has been quoted to have said:

I am constantly receiving death threats from outlawed militant outfits. My family, friends and some academic friends are offering me full support for US or Canada migration. But why would I go? My whole life is spent in service of Imam Hussain (as) who got martyrdom for saving Islam. If I am to die for the same cause, why would I leave this country? I preach martyrdom, I enlighten about martyrdom, I write in praise of martyrs, than why should I run away from it? For a Shiite Muslim, martyrdom is the ultimate success.

You don’t realize the effect someone has had on you until they are taken away from us, and I believe today many are feeling the effects of his demise. Many who didn’t even know him personally, or have never even seen him have still been effected as if a close member of their family has passed away. He seems to have lived up to the words of Imam Ali (as): “Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.” Nevertheless, he truly earned his Shahadat. He was someone who has been defending and propagating the religion like no other poet of Ahlul Bayt (as) has done so in recent times and left behind a legacy that will not be forgotten – that is an essence of a true martyr. May Allah (swt) give him a high lofty rank. A lot of his poetry all of a sudden seems so real, as if in every poem of his he wished for martyrdom and spoke about death in general, and his great desire to be with the Prophet (pbuh) & his progeny in the hereafter, has all come true. It is as if he was writing it all for specifically this day. He was well aware of the threat of being killed and had been receiving threats for years, in a few clips I watched online, one as far back as 2002, he speaks about how dying in this cause will be the best thing to ever happen. In a recent clip that was uploaded by Shaheed Foundation of Pakistan, he says that hopefully soon my family will become dependent on this foundation to help support them (implying that he may be killed).

I’ve taken one of my favourite poetry of his and have tried to translate it into English. It is a mixture of an audio recording of his from 2000 and a video of him reciting it for another martyred individual on 19th September, 2012. At the end he changes the wording around from saying “Some more of your children have become martyred” to “One more of your children has been martyred” as a tribute to the individual who the gathering was being held for. It was such a strong line, and it fits perfectly with his own situation today.

Please note that translating in it self is a hard job, and translating poetry requires a notch of skill higher than that. I was not able to do justice to the poetry with my translation.

 

Shaheed Ho Gayai Kuch Aur Teray Laal Hussain
A few more of your children have become martyred, O Hussain

Jo Reh Gayai Hain, Unhay Ab Tu Hi Sambhaal Hussain
The ones who are left are placed under your protection, O Hussain

Hain phir sai gehray huwai ham ko, Shaamiyo Kufi
Kufiyans and Shaamis have once again surrounded us

Dai Azm Hazrat e Muslim Sa Bai Misaal Hussain
Give us the unmatched vigour of Hadhrat Muslim, O Hussain

Kuch Aur Bibiyan Bazaar Main’ Hain’ Nangay Sar
A few more ladies are in the bazaar with their heads exposed

Ridayain Khair Ki In Kai Saron’ Pai Daal Hussain
Place cloths of calmness over their heads, O Hussain

Hain’ Teray Dost Kai Dost, Aur Ghair Kai Dushman
We are friends of your friends, and enemies of those who aren’t

Gunah-gaar Samajh Ker Na Ham Ko Taal Hussain
Do not consider us sinners and leave us hanging, O Hussain

Hamari Bai Amali Nai Keeya, Hamay Ruswa
Our lack of practice has made us dishonoured

Bichar Kai Tujh Sai Huwi Zindagi Wabaal Hussain
Being separated from you, our life has become a punishment, O Hussain

Gunah Aur Tark-e-Amal, Azaab Kai Aagay
Sins and lack of practice, and in front of punishment

Hain’ Teri Majlis o Matam, Hamaari Dhaal Hussain
Your gatherings and mourning will serve as our sheild, O Hussain

Khatain’ Fitrus Bai Par Ki Bakshnay Waalay
O the one who was able to forgive the mistakes of the wingless Fitrus

Misale Hurr Hamay Girdaab Sai Nikaal Hussain
Just like Hurr, also take us out of the whirlpool we are in, O Hussain

Tha yun’ to tera bhi waaris, magar aseer o aleen
Even you had a successor, but alone and a captive

Na hoti warna teri laash, payaimaal Hussain
Otherwise, your body would not have been trampled upon, O Hussain

Ijazat Us Ko Dila Day, Zahoor Ki Rab Sai
Through Allah (swt), get him permission to reappear

Woh Muntaqim Jo Parday Main’ Tera Laal Hussain
Your loved one, the avenger who is in occultation, O Hussain

Laqab Hai Tera, Mera Naam Sibte Jafar Hai
My title is yours, my name is Sibte Jafar

Tu Rakhna Dono Jahan’ Main’ Mera Khayaal Hussain
Please take care of me in both the worlds, O Hussain

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