After Abbas (pbuh), came the turn of Ali Akbar (pbuh), to go to the battlefield. The battle drums of the enemies were now getting louder and louder. It is reported that this eighteen (18) year old son was so very much loved by one and all in the camp that the account of his taking leave of his aunts, sisters, brothers and other relatives is so pathetic that none can resist shedding at least a few tears over the heart-rending event. At last when the Holy Imam sent Ali Akbar, the 'Ahmad-e-Thani', i.e., (Muhammad the Second), to the battlefield, he raised his head towards Heaven and said:
"Lord! Here I sent in your way, the one who resembled the most with the Holy Prophet Muhammad, whenever we did desire to have a view of the Holy face departed away from us, we used to look at the face of this youth."
"Lord! Hussain has one Ali Akbar and he is sent to be sacrificed for your cause, had I many more like him, I would have similarly offered them all in your way."
Is not this offer more acceptable to God than that of Abraham who offered with his eyes blindfolded? Is not this a Greater Sacrifice than that of Ishmael?
When Ali Akbar went to the battlefield, and faced the enemy with all the bravery that he inherited from his Grandfather Imam Ali (pbuh), it is reported that the enemy forces were so much amazed at his resemblance with the Holy Prophet (pbuh) that such of those who had seen him before, wondered if the Holy Prophet (pbuh) had reappeared in the world to help his dear Grandson Hussain. People were so anxious to have a look at the enchanting beauty of the youth that those in the rear of the enemy's ranks, mounted on the horses and camels, even stood on the backs of the animals to have a look at the matchless and the wonder striking beauty of this son of the Holy Imam (pbuh).
Ali Akbar (pbuh) reminded the enemy that his father, Imam Hussain (pbuh) spent his life in the way of Islam, and did no harm to them. By spilling his blood they were making the Holy Prophet (pbuh) very sad. 'Umar son of Saad' told his troops not to listen to Ali Akbar, and ordered them to attack him. One by one he fought them with great skill, and killed many of them. Ali Akbar received several wounds, and was losing a lot of blood. The thirst was getting more unbearable. At the moment he longed to see his loved ones for the last time.
Ali Akbar turned his horse back towards his camp. He found his aged (57 year old) father standing at the entrance of the tent; watching the battle between his beloved thirsty son and the enemy. Holy Hussain (pbuh) congratulated his son and then said "I am sad that I do not have any water to give you." Ali Akbar (pbuh) met each and every one of his family. They were all in tears because they knew that this time he wasn't coming back alive.
It was not long before Imam Hussain (pbuh) heard the painful cry from the battlefield. Ali Akbar fell with a fatal wound in his chest. He called out to his father to come to him quickly. Imam Hussain (pbuh) went towards his son; and found him lying in a pool of his own blood. When he saw his son he cried out "Here I am my son, please talk to me." Ali Akbar was in great pain, the broken end of the lance was sticking out of his chest, and blood was gushing out. Ali Akbar died in his father's arms. God alone knows what a patient heart the Holy Imam (pbuh) had been endowed with, which never gave way against any catastrophe even that of the loss of such a son. The Holy Imam (pbuh) stood looking at his son dying before his eyes and lifting his head towards Heaven said:
"Lord! It will be quite sufficient for your Hussain if you accept this sacrifice and if you pleased with this humble offer."
Imam Hussain lifted Ali Akbar carefully, as if protecting him from any more pain. He cried all the way back to his camp.
Note: 'Laila daughter of Abu Murra and the cousin of Yazid' is the mother of Ali Akbar. According to scholars she was not alive at the time of Karbala.
Baby Ali Asgher (Abd Allah) comes into Battlefield:
When Imam Hussain (pbuh) stood all alone in the battlefield surrounded by the enemies, he was summoned by a call from his sister Zainab (pbuh) in his camp. When he went into the tent, he (pbuh) found his six (6) month old baby son Ali Asgher, dying of thirst in his cradle. And the poor mother Rubab, whose milk had dried up by the continuous thirst and hunger, could not help the baby with even a drop of milk. Telling the mother that he would show the baby to the enemy and get some water for it if they give it, Imam Hussain (pbuh) took the babe to the battlefield by covering with his robe and raising it up in his arms to enable everyone in the enemy's forces to see it, and said:
"O People! If, in your opinion, Hussain is guilty of any sin or crime, this innocent babe has done nothing to hurt any one of you. It does not even speak, and has not even uttered anything against you or your Amir at Damascus. He is dying of thirst. He had neither milk nor water for the last three days. Would you quench his thirst by a few drops of water? If you suspect that I demand water for myself in the name of the babe, then I will leave it here, if you want, and go easy and you may return it with his thirst quenched."
It is reported that the address of the Holy Imam (pbuh) and the scene, with the thirsty innocent babe in his hands, was so touching, so pathetic and so heart-rending that even the men in the enemy's army could not help weeping and cursing the Yazid and his Deputy 'Ubayd Allah son of Ziyad', Governor of Kufa, who had gathered them there against such Holy ones. 'Umar son of Saad', fearing a revolt of his forces in sympathy for the Holy Imam, at once ordered a stonehearted brute named Hurmula to answer Hussain. The tyrant, shot a arrow from his bow which after piercing through the Imam's arm got stuck into the tiny neck of the innocent babe. Blood gushed out of his neck and splashed on to Imam Hussain's face. Ali Asgher died in his father's arms with his smiling face.
Imam Hussain (pbuh) walked back to the camp weeping with Ali Asgher in his arms. At the door he waited for a moment and then turned back, this he did seven (7) times as if he was building his strength to face the mother of the baby who had been so brutally murdered.
Rubab looked at her husband's face covered in blood and cried out "What have they done to my son, did they even give him a drop of water before they killed him?" Imam Hussain (pbuh) said "I pleaded with them to give him water, but instead they drenched him with blood." Rubab said "Please bury Ali Asgher with your own hands." Hence he sat down to bury his baby son in the burning sand of the desert, by digging a grave using sword. After that he looked up and said. "O Almighty God bear witness that I have done my duty to the last."
Does not even this one single sacrifice suffice to touch every human heart? Can we not call this one sacrifice alone greater than the sacrifice offered by Abraham? God alone knows the degree of the patience and the fortitude which He had endowed in the Imam Hussain (pbuh) to bear the series of such unbearable calamities.