9/14/2021 9:49:34 AM
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The longest Sofra of Saint Ruqayyah
In an annual ritual that the people of Karbala and the visitors of Imam al-Hussayn and his brother Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon both of them), are accustomed to perform in such night
In an annual ritual that the people of Karbala and the visitors of Imam al-Hussayn and his brother Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon both of them), are accustomed to perform in such night of the 4th of the month of Safar, to extend the condolences to Ahl Al-Bayt (peace be upon them) for what happened to them during such days in the ruin of the Levant [Kharibet Ash-Sham], the longest "Sofra" [Table] was held in the name of the orphan of Imam al-Hussayn; Saint Ruqayyah (peace be upon her), which died oppressed and aggrieved in the ruin of the Levant, embracing the decapitated head of her martyred father (peace be upon him) on the 5th of Safar 61 AH.
These condolences, which are held for the ninth year in a row under the supervision of the International Forum for the Servants of Saint Ruqayyah (peace be upon her), and in coordination with the department of the area between the Two Holy Shrines, and the Department of the Hussayni rituals and processions of the holy shrines of Imam al-Hussayn and al-Abbas (peace be upon both of them). This Sofra was regularly held by the people of the Karbala Governorate, with the participation of the visitors of the two holy shrines.
This event started by reciting verses from the Holy Quran by Haj Mustafa al-Sarraf, followed by reading the Ziyarat of Saint Ruqayyah (peace be upon her) by the reader Mohamad Redha, after which Sayed Mustafa al-Twayrjawi delivered a condolence elegy that brought tears to the attendees.
After that, there were poetic participations by a number of Hussayni poets and Radoods, who chanted their sad verses wailing over the misfortunes of Saint Ruqayyah and grieved the hears of everyone who attended this Sofra. The conclusion was a representative scene that embodied the depth of the tragedy of Lady Ruqayyah (peace be upon her).
As for the Sofra, it is a green rug on which pieces of thorns were placed, as a sign that this young martyr was exposed to walking on thorns on the day of Ashura, and luminous lamps and candles adorned it. Mourners gathered around this Sofra, especially women and children.
The narrations state that during the stay of Ahl Al-Bayt (peace be upon them) in kharibet Ash-Sham [Ruin of the Levant], one night Lady Ruqayyah (peace be upon her) was asleep and she suddenly woke up crying and started to look for her father everywhere. All the ladies tried to console her so she would stop crying but she didn't get any peace and continued crying, "O my dear aunt where is my father a few minutes ago I was with my father and he kissed me and said to me that my dear Ruqayyah you will soon be with me. But where is my father now?"
When Lady Ruqayyah told her dream, all the ladies started to cry and now this noise of crying was heard by Yazeed (the cursed) at his court. Yazeed (Allah's curse be on him) sent a servant to ask why they were crying. The servant was informed that Lady Ruqayyah (peace be upon her) missed her father and that is why she was crying.
They informed Yazeed of the situation, and Yazeed, for his sadistic pleasure, sent the severed head of Imam Al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) to the prison and when Lady Ruqayyah received the head of her father she started to cry even more and held it very tight and asked her father, who cut off my father's head, who martyred my father, why are we held as captives?
With these words of sorrow suddenly Lady Ruqayyah was quiet and there was a silence in the cell. Everyone thought that Ruqayyah had finally gone to sleep again but this was not a temporary sleep, Ruqayyah had now gone into a permanent sleep. Lady Zaynab (peace be upon her) called Zayn al-'Abideen, Imam Ali Ibn al-Hussayn (peace be upon both of them) to check the status of Ruqayyah as they thought she had fallen unconscious. But the Imam (peace be upon him) told them that she had died.