Hazrat Ali Akber was the son of Imaam Hussain. He was a handsome young man of eighteen.

His mothers' name was Umm-e-Laila. He was also a brave soldier. He had been taught fencing and archery by Hazrat Abbas.

He so much resembled the Holy Prophet that Imaam Hussain was often heard to say that whenever I remember the Holy Prophet I look at Akber.

Ali Akber had a loud beautiful voice. It was he who always recited adhaan. On the morning of Ashura day Ali Akber recited adhaan.

Every one knew that it was the last time they would hear Ali Akber's adhaan.

Imaam Hussain began to weep when Ali Akber began his Adhaan. The ladies could also be heard crying in their tents.

After Zuhr prayers Ali Akber stood in front of Imaam Hussain. He said, "Father I request for permission to go and fight the enemies of Islam." Imaam looked at his son lovingly. He said, "Akber, you have my permission.

May Allah be with you! But Akber, you know how much your mother, sisters and aunts love you. Go and say farewell to them."Ali Akber went into the tent of his mother.

Every time he wanted to come out of the tent the mother, aunts and sisters would pull his cloak and say, "O Akber, How can we live without you!" Finally Imaam Hussain had to go in and plead with all to let Ali Akber go.

Imaam helped his youthful son to mount the horse. As Akber began to the ride towards the battlefield, he heard foot steps behind. He looked back and saw his father. He said, "Father, we have said good-bye. Why are you walking behind him.

" Hussain replied, "My son, had you been a father you would surely have understood !!"

Ali Akber fought very bravely. No one dared come close to him in single combat after he had killed many well known warriors. Umar Sa'ad ordered his soldiers to finish off the young man saying, "When he dies, Hussain will not want to live! Ali Akber is the life of Hussain." While a few soldiers attacked Ali Akber another slowly crept up to him and threw a spear at his chest with such ferocity that it penetrated Akber chest and he felt faint.

As he was falling from his horse, he cried out. "O Father, my last salaams to you!" As he hit the ground the spear broke but the blade remained lodged in Akber's chest.

When our Imaam heard Akber's salaam he looked at Furaat where Abbas lay and said, 'Abbas! Now that this brother of yours needs you most, where have you gone?' With all his strength sapped by the anguish in Akber's voice, Hussain began to walk towards the battle-field.

Let us pause briefly to remind ourselves of an incident in the seventh Hijrah. The Jews of Khaiber had revolted against the Holy Prophet. The Prophet and the Muslims of Madina laid a siege on Khaiber.

They surrounded the fortress in which the Jews had taken shelter. The Muslims could not get victory unless they entered the fortress. There was a moat surrounding the fortress.

Hazrat Ali had been unable to accompany the Muslims due to his illness. Three days passed and the Muslims could not find any solution. Even if they got across the moat they would face the famous gates of the fortress. These were made of steel, and it is said that at least twenty men were needed to push open or close each gate.

On the third day, after the morning prayers, the Prophet summoned Ali. Hazrat Ali immediately responded. He jumped his horse over the moat and with one hand swung open both the gates of the fortress with such force that they broke off their hinges.

He carried them and put them across the moat to form a bridge. The Muslims rode into the fortress and conquered Khaiber.

Now let us go back to Kerbala. When Imaam Hussain got to where Akber lay he took him in his arms. Akber had his right hand on the chest.

He placed his left arm over the shoulder of his father. Hussain said "Akber, why do you embrace me with one arm only?" Akber would not reply. Hussain tried to move Akber hand. Akber resisted. Imaam gently moved the hand. Then he saw it! He saw the blade of the spear.

Imaam Hussain laid Ali Akber on the ground and sitting on his knees he put both his hands on the blade of the spear.

He then looked at Najaf, and cried out, "Father, I too have come to my Khaiber!" He pulled out the blade. Jibraeel cried out "Marhaba! Marhaba!" Akber took a deep sigh and then lay still.