Monday, December 05, 2011

'Ashura 2011 (1433 Hijri) Series Post #5: Latmiya for Ruqayya, Youngest Daughter of Imam Husayn bin 'Ali

Inside the shrine and mosque of Ruqayya in Damascus

This is a traditional latmiya (mourning recitation) for Ruqayna, the youngest daughter of the third Shi'i Imam, Husayn bin 'Ali. She is also known as Sukayna. She was one of the two daughters of Imam Husayn present at Karbala when he was killed by the army of 'Umar ibn Sa'd, which had been sent by 'Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad, the governor of the region, by the Umayyad caliph Yazid bin Mu'awiya.

You will notice that the latmiya is interspersed with natural sections in the rhythm and mourning recitation to match the traditional Shi'i mourning practice of matam, the rhythmic pounding of the chest.

In the video that this YouTube user has made for the latmiya, we see scenes from a movie about the tragedy of Karbala. Such movies are particularly popular in Iran. In the beginning, we see Husayn bidding farewell to Ruqayya, who in traditional accounts is said to have been 4, before he goes off to fight the forces of 'Umar ibn Sa'd, the Umayyad general sent by 'Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad, Yazid's governor. Husayn is in the white scarf and can be seen holding his sword. The scenes than progress to show Ruqayya's reaction to his death and eventual decapitation by the Umayyad soldier Shimr. In one traditional Shi'i account, after Shimr killed Husayn, Ruqayya ran onto the plain of Karbala and shouted, ""Abi, where are you!? Speak to me, Abi!" The video's closing scenes, which are interspersed with scenes of Yazid and his courtiers, are of Ruqayya when she sees the head of her father, which is brought out by Yazid's soldiers. According to Shi'i traditions she dies soon thereafter of grief in a Damascus prison where the members of the Ahlul Bayt, the descendants of the prophet Muhammad through Imam 'Ali ibn Abi Talib and his wife Fatima al-Zahra, were kept by Yazid. Today there is a mosque and shrine dedicated to her in that city.


First post in this series HERE

Second post in this series HERE

Third post is HERE

Fourth post is HERE.

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