Category Archives: Ali ibn Husayn (658-713) (Arabic: علي بن حسين

Ali ibn Husayn (658-713) (Arabic: علي بن حسين زين العابدين) is the fourth Shi’a Imam. He is the son of Husayn ibn Ali and the great-grandson of Islamic Prophet Muhammad. He is known to Shi’a Muslims as Zainul Abedin (Jewel of the Worshippers) and Imam Sajjad (The prostrating Imam).

The Caravan of Pride

The Caravan of Pride (Mawkeb-ul Abaa) is an eye-opening movie which skilfully portrays the heart wrenching series of events that unfolded after the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. After the massacre which took place on the plains of Karbala, the remaining members of the Family of the Holy Prophet (saw), who were not killed in the war, were taken captive and paraded in a humiliating and degrading fashion from Kufa (Iraq) to Shaam (Syria).

After the Caravan were paraded through the most difficult of conditions, underwent the most excruciating pain and were afflicted with the greatest of torments, they were finally brought to Yazids Palace in Damascus, Syria. It was here, in the very stronghold of Yazid, that the light of Truth pierced through the dark veils of ignorance Satan had thrown over the eyes of the Muslim masses, it was here, under the eternally damned eyes of the tyrant Yazid, that Syeda Zainab, the daughter of the ever victorious Lion of Allah, Ali ibne abi-Talib, delivered a unparalleled, pivotal and crucial sermon which awoke the people of Damascus from their deep slumber of heedlessness and shook the foundation of the Umayyad Dynasty, sending it crumbling to the ground. It was here, that Imam Zain ul-Abideen, in such magnificent words of eloquence, informed the people of Damascus who exactly it was they were oppressing by telling them the relationship he holds with the Holy Prophet, his great grandfather. Thus was the revolution of Imam Hussain completed, a revolution against injustice, a revolution against tyranny, a revolution seeking honour over humiliation, truth over falsehood, courage over fright, righteousness over immorality, knowledge over ignorance, a revolution whose shockwaves continue to resonate thousands of years later, and a revolution, an eternal stand against corruption, which proves to be the source of inspiration for humanity at whole…


QUESTION PUT TO IMAM :Ali ibn Husayn (658-713)

QUESTION PUT TO IMAM :Ali ibn Husayn (658-713)


IMAM REPLIED : ” The knowledge of ALLAH and the viligance of the PROPHET, besides ; these taking granted this world affairs as the most dangerous enemy of you. There are so many branches of it.

The first is the proudness and haughtness, due to which the dis obedience occured in action, what was the sin of the Iblees, the same pride in the presence of Allah, disobedience made him rejected.

The other thing is enviness , the sin of son of Adam, who killed his brother due to enviness. This creates many issues, love affairs of a women with a men, love of the worldly things, love and fondness of worldly pleasures and things, love of power and position to rule over and dictates orders to others, love af pleasure of luxury life, wealth, riches, power, property, partnership, all evils are included in one ;the enjoyment of life in any way and of any style. The pleasure of this world is the key to all evils. The world has two shapes , one is to blaming and devastating and the other is towards a happy journey end of life Hereafter.”
Hazrat Imam Mohammad Baqar (A.S) said that my father Imam Zainul Abideen (A.S) advised me to have a company of good man and be away from five men ; and do not talk much to people , and do not accompany with them during a travel . He asked who were those men to whom you pointed out . His father told him those were wretched sinners, inpious and transgressors people , be away from their company and their friendship. They are greedy and benefits seekers, selfish, troublesome to others. The others are miser men, do not meet with them. The third one is the lier, he will not say any thing truth to you, deceivers and put to you in wrong and under shades and clouds. The fourth one is the fool and innocent. He will be of no use to you ; but create troubles and put you in loss. The fifth one, cruel and ill treated men, who is the friend of Iblees and rejected by Allah in His

Survival in the holocaust of Karbala

The 4th Imam, Imam Ali Zaynul Abideen (A.S), son of Imam Hussain (A.S), was one of the very few survivors of the massacre on Ashura. Throughout the events in Karbala.

Imam ali Zainul-Abideen (A.S.) was born in Medina on Saturday, 11th Jamad al-Awwal, 37 (A.H.).  His father was Imam Al-Husain (son of Ali and Fatima Al-Zahraa’, the daughter of the Prophet (PBUH).  Zainul-Abideen’s mother was Shar Banu.  ur Imam was famous for his prayers to Allah.  This earned him the titles of “Al-Sajjad” meaning with Sujood-intensity; “Al-Aabid” meaning the worship-minded, and “Zainul-Abideen” meaning the one who surpasses all in worship. 

Like all our other Imams, Imam Zainul-Abideen had a life of immense hardship and suffering.  During the early part of his life, he witnessed the martyrdom of his father, brothers, friends and family members in Karbala.  His own life was spared, on account of his grave illness during this tragedy.  Despite his condition, he still asked for the permission to fight, but was denied it, as he was the next Imam after Imam Al-Husain (A.S.).

The Imam’s survival in the holocaust of Karbala is no less than a miracle in itself.  It proves, however, that Allah wanted to save “Imamah” from extinction.

The gruesome ordeal of Karbala was extremely difficult if not profoundly arduous.  In the immediate period after Karbala Imam Zainul-Abideen was treated in a harsh and unkind manner by the tyrannical powers of the time.  After the grotesque manner his father as well as all male members of his family were killed by Yazid’s forces, Zainul Abideen was made a prisoner of the despotic ruler, Yazid.  He was even put in shackles while traveling from Kufa to Damascus, a distance of 700 miles on camel back, for such was the cruelty of the rulers!

In Damascus, as well as in Kufa beforehand, Zainul Abideen faced the tyrannical rulers with enormous courage and fortitude.  Singlehandedly he exposed Yazid’s cover up of the butchery that took place in Karabala, and valiantly brought to mind to those attending the court of Yazid (as well as the crowd at Jumu’a Salat) of who the family of the Prophet (Ahlul Bayt) were, and what atrocities took place in Karbala as well.

Hazarat Zainab(A.S), The Sage of Bani Hashim at Karbala

fter the demise of the Holy Prophet (SAW), there came the period of distress and hardship in the life of Sayyeda Zainab (s.a.). She stood by her mother as far as the question of supreme mandate of her father was concerned. When her mother delivered the Fadak sermon, she was only 4 years old, but narrated the sermon so lucidly and expressively that the people from Bani Hashim remembered it by heart. Later the Shiite scholars recorded it that is why she is called Zainab the narrator of traditions.

Zainab (s.a.) is the shining sun in the history of Islam and of humanity. Her brother’s name and Karbala associate the idea of freedom, justice, humanity, virtue, fighting against despotism, with the realization of the sovereignty of Allah. The history of Karbala is based on two pillars: the rising of Imam Hossein (a.s.) and the rising of Zainab (s.a.). She was an outstanding figure in the history of Karbala endowed with divine steadfastness and fortitude. She sacrificed her two sons and one should not say anything if one devoted his life for the cause of Allah. After the martyrdom of her brother and her two sons, she said: “O my Lord! Accept our humble sacrifice to You.”

When Zainab reached Kufa, she addressed people with fury words: “Praise to Allah, and may the blessing of Allah be upon Muhammad and his progeny. O people of Kufa, you are hypocrites and deceitful. You feign to be sorry for the death of my brother and his companions. May you always shed tears. I find nothing in you but flattery, evil acts and thoughts, pride and spite and ill will. By Allah! You deserve lasting sorrow instead of joy. Shames on you, your hands are imbrued with the blood of the son of the Holy Prophet (SAW), the one who was your sole refuge in case of adversity. By your evil act and disloyalty, you incurred the wrath of Allah against you. Woe betides you! No one will intercede with Allah for you.” Her furious words provoked people of Kufa to avenge Hussain’s martyrdom. This frightened Ubaidullah and his cruel agents. She also delivered a furious sermon in the court of the caliph that made his authority and despotic rule feel undermined. She said: “I fear no one but Allah. Make whatever evil plot you can. Blazes are waiting for you in the hereafter. You’ll he accountable to Allah for your atrocities.”

The life of Imām

The life of Imām


Zayn al ‘Abidin




Bāqir Sharif al-Qarashi






Jāsim al-Rasheed

Setting the Tents to Fire

The rude and roguish Umayyads set fire to the tents of Imām al-Husayn, peace be on him, paying no attention to the Prophet’s womenfolk and children who were in them. They carried firebrands in their hands and cried out: “Set fire to the houses of the oppressors!”

These people thought that the tents of al-Husayn were the houses of oppression while the houses of the Umayyads and of their agents were the houses of justice. They forgot that the Umayyads had drowned the Muslim countries in oppression and tyranny.

When they set the tents to fire, the women of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, escaped to the desert while the fire was following them. As for the orphans, they cried and ran away towards the desert asking the people for help, but nobody helped or aided them. That was the most tragic sight which Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin saw. He did not forget it throughout his lifetime. After the martyrdom of his father, he always said: “By Allah, when I look at my aunts and my sisters, tears choke me because I remember the day of al-Taff when they escaped from tent to tent and the caller of the people was calling: ‘Set fire to the houses of the oppressors!

Ibid., p. 3.


The Captives of the Household taken to Kūfa

The wise ladies of Revelation and the Message were taken prisoners to Kūfa, so the Umayyad army blew its trumpets and raised its banners to show its victory over the plant of the sweet basil of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and lord of the youths of the heaven. Muslim al-Jassās described that sight, saying: “Ibn Ziyād summoned me to repair the House of the Governor in Kūfa. While I was plastering the doors, I heard cries coming from everywhere in Kūfa, so I went to the servant of the palace and asked him: “Why is Kūfa noisy?”

“This hour, they will bring the head of a rebel (khārijite) who revolted against Yazid,” answered the servant.

“Who is this rebel?” I asked.

“Al-Husayn b. ‘Ali,” was the answer.

He (Muslim al-Jassās) said: “So I left the servant, struck at my face to the extent that I feared that I would become blind, washed my hands from plaster, left the palace, and went to al-Kanās. While I was with the people waiting for the arrival of the captives and the heads, forty camels came carrying women and children, and ‘Ali b. al-Husayn came riding a camel without saddle. Both sides of his neck were bleeding. He was weeping and repeating these verses:

O community of evil, may your region be not


[1] Hayāt al-Imām al-Husayn, vol. 3, pp. 324 – 325.

O community that never respected in our regard

our grandfather,

on bare camels of burden have you transported

us as if we never put up a creed for you ![1]

Jadhlam b. Bashir said: “When I came to Kūfa in the year 61 A. H., ‘Ali b. al-Husayn along with the womenfolk came from Karbalā’ to Kūfa surrounded by soldiers. The were (riding) bare camels. The people came out to look at them, so the women of Kūfa wept and lamented over them. I saw that ‘Ali b. al-Husayn was sapped by illness, chains were placed on his neck and he was handcuffed.[2] He was saying with a weak voice: ‘They are weeping and lamenting over us! So who has killed us?’[3]”

Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin delivers a Speech

The Kufāns surrounded Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, peace be on him, so he thought that he had to address them to make them know the sin of what they committed against themselves and the community. He, peace be on him, lauded and praised Allah, and then he said: “O men, whoever recognizes me knows me, and whoever does not, let me tell him that I am ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. ‘Ali b. Abi Tālib. I am the son of the man whose sanctity has been violated, whose wealth has been plundered, whose children have been seized. I am the son of the one who has been slaughtered by the Euphrates neither on blood revenge nor on account of inheritance. I am the son of the one killed in the worst manner. This suffices me to be proud.

“O men, I plead to you in the Name of Allah: Do
you not know that you wrote my father then deceived him?
Did you not grant him your covenant, your promise, and your
allegiance, then you fought him? May you be ruined for what
you have committed against your own souls, and out of
your corrupt views! Through what eyes will you

[1]Ibid., p. 333.
[2] Shaykh al-Mufeed, al-Amāli, p. 143.
[3] ‘Abd Allah, Maqqtal al-Husayn.

look at the Messenger of Allah when he says to you: ‘You killed my progeny, violated my sanctity, so you do not belong to my community’?”

Those slaves who blackened the face of history wept loudly and lamented, and they said to each other: “You have perished, yet you are not aware of it.”

The Imām continued his speech, saying: “May Allah have mercy on anyone who acts upon my advice, who safeguards my legacy with regard to Allah, His Apostle, and his Household, for we have in the Apostle of Allah a good example of conduct to emulate.”

So they all said with one tongue: “We, son of the Apostle of Allah, listen and obey, and we shall safeguard your trust. We shall not turn away from you, nor shall we disobey you; so, order us, may Allah have mercy on you, for we shall fight when you fight, and we shall make peace when you do so; we dissociate ourselves from whoever oppressed you and dealt unjustly with you.”

In response to this false obedience, the Imām said: “Far, far away it is from you to do so, people of treachery and conniving! You are separated from what you desire. Do you want to come to me as you did to my father? No, by the Lord of those (angels) that ascend and descend, the wound is yet to heal. My father was killed only yesterday, and so were his Household, and the loss inflicted upon the Apostle of Allah, upon my father, and upon my family is yet to be forgotten. Its pain, by Allah, is between both of these (sides) and its bitterness is between my throat and palate. Its choke is resting in my very chest.[1]” Then the Imām refrained from speech, turning away from those treacherous conniving people who were the mark of disgrace against mankind. It was they who killed the plant of the sweet basil of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, (I. e., al-Husayn), who came to free them and to save them from the oppression and tyranny of the Umayyads. After that, they repented and wept over him.

[1] Ibn Namā, Muthir al-Ahzān.

The Tyrant with Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin

The captives of the Household of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, were caused to enter the palace of the Governor of Kūfa, b. Marjāna (i. e., ‘Ubayd Allah b. Ziyād). When the tyrant, b. Marjāna, saw Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, peace be on him, who was sapped by illness, he asked him: “Who are you?”

“I am ‘Ali b. al-Husayn,” answered the Imām.

“Did not Allah kill ‘Ali b. al-Husayn?” Ibn Ziyād asked the Imām.

The Imām carefully replied: “I used to have an older brother also named ‘Ali whom you killed. He will request you on the Day of Judgment.”

Ibn Ziyād burst with anger and shouted at the Imām: “Allah killed him!”

The Imām answered him with bravery and steadfastness: “Allah takes the souls away at the time of their death; none dies except with Allah’s permission.”

Ibn Marjāna was perplexed, not knowing what to answer this young captive who defeated him through giving proofs and quotations from the Qur’ān, so he shouted at him, saying: “How dare you answer me like that!”

The wicked sinner, b. Marjāna, ordered one of his swordsmen, saying: “Take this lad and behead him!”

The wise lady Zaynab, granddaughter of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, put her hands around the Imām and bravely said to b. Marjāna: “O Ibn Ziyād, it suffices you what you have shed of our blood! Have you really spared anyone other than this? If you want to kill him, kill me with him as well!”

The tyrant admired her and said to the swordsman with astonishment: “Leave him for her! Amazing is their tie of kinship; she wishes to be killed with him!”

Were it not for this heroic attitude of the wise lady Zaynab,

Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin would have been killed and the rest of the progeny of Imām al-Husayn, peace be on him, who was the source of good and honor in the earth, would have been destroyed. In his book ‘al-Rasā’il’, al-Jāhiz reported that b. Marjāna said to his companions concerning ‘Ali b. al-Husayn: “Let me kill him, for he is the rest of this progeny (i. e., the progeny of al-Husayn), so through him I will sever this horn, deaden this disease, and cut off this material.”

However, they advised him to refrain from killing him, for they thought that the Imām would be destroyed by his illness.[1]”

A Kufān Kidnaps the Imām

A Kufān Kidnapped the Imām, hid him in his house, entertained and treated him kindly. When he saw the Imām, he burst into tears. The Imām thought that the Kufān was trustworthy. A short time later, the caller of b. Ziyād announced: “Whoever finds ‘Ali b. al-Husayn and brings him will have three hundred dirhams.” When the Kufān heard the caller, he put a rope around the Imām’s neck, tied his hands with the robe, and took the dirhams.[2] This initiative, if correct, gives a picture of the Kufāns who spared no effort to get money.

The Captives of the Household taken to Damascus

The womenfolk and the children of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, were taken as prisoners to Damascus. They were in a condition the sight of which would cause anyone’s soul to melt. All the Kufāns went out to see the captives of their Prophet off. The men and the women wept for them. Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, peace be on him, wondered at their attitude and said: “They killed us and are weeping over us![3]”

[1] Hayāt al-Imām al-Yusayn, vol. 3, pp. 345 – 347.
[2] Mir’āt al-Zamān fi Tawārikh al-A’yān, p. 98. Ibn al-Jawzi, vol. 5. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqāt.
[3] Mir’āt al-Zamān fi Tawārikh al-A’yān, p. 99.

The wicked sinner, Shimr b. Dhi al-Jawshan, ordered a rope to be put around Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin’s neck.[1] The historians said: “Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin did not say even a word to the rude people who accompanied him, nor did he ask them for a thing throughout the journey, for he knew that they were wicked and ignoble, and that they would not respond to any of his requests.

The caravan of the captives arrived at a place near Damascus and stopped there because the Umayyads wanted to decorate the city to show their rejoicing and the victory which the grandson of Abi Sufyān gained over the grandson of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.

When Damascus was fully decorated, the captives of the Household of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, were caused to enter it.

A Syrian with Zayn al-‘Ābidin

An elderly Syrian, who was misled by the false rumors, came near Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, peace be on him, and said to him: “Praise belongs to Allah Who annihilated you and Who granted the governor the upper hand over you.”

The Imām looked at the elderly Syrian. He understood that the elderly Syrian misunderstood the truth and was deceived by the false Umayyad mass media, so he asked him: “Shaykh, have you read the Qur’ān?”

“Yes,” answered the man.

“Have you read,” continued the Imām, “the verse saying: ‘ Say: I do not ask you for a reward for it except that you treat my kinsfolk with kindness,’ the verse saying: ‘ and give the (Prophet’s) kinsfolk their due rights,’ and the verse saying: ‘and be informed that whatever you earn by way of booty, for Allah belongs the fifth thereof and for the Messenger (of Allah) and for the (Prophet’s) kinsfolk’? ”

[1] Ansāb al-Ashrāf, Q1/vol. 1.

The elderly Syrian admired the Imām and said to him with a faint voice: “Yes, I have read all of them.”

The Imām said to him: “We, by Allah, are the kinsfolk referred to in all these verses.” Then the Imām asked him: “Shaykh, have you read these words of Him, the exalted: ‘Allah only desires to take away uncleanness from you, O Household (of the Prophet) and purify thoroughly’? ”

“Yes,” was the answer.

“We are the Household (of the Prophet) whom Allah singled out with the Verse of Purification.”

The elderly Syrian shook all over. He wished that the earth had swallowed him up before saying his words. Then he asked the Imām: “I ask you in the Name of Allah, are you really them?”

“By our grandfather, Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, we are, without any doubt,” replied the Imām.

It was then that the elderly Syrian fell on Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin’s hands kissing them. His tears flowed down his cheeks, and he said: “I dissociate myself before Allah from those who killed you!”

The elderly Syrian sought repentance from the Imām from whatever rude remarks he had made earlier. So he, peace be on him, forgave him.[1]”

Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin in the Assembly of Yazid

The police men of Yazid tied with ropes the wise women of Revelation and the children of Imām al-Husayn, as sheep are tied. The beginning of the rope was around the neck of Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, then around the neck of his aunt Zaynab, up to all the daughters of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family. Whenever they relaxed in their walking, they (the police men of Yazid) whipped

[1] Hayāt al-Imām al-Husayn, vol. 3, p. 371.

them. They brought them in this condition whose terror cracked the mountains and made them stop before Yazid. So Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin turned to him and asked him: “What do you think the reaction of our grandfather, Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, might have been had he seen us looking like this?” The tyrant, Yazid, collapsed. All those who were in his assembly wept. Yazid felt pain of that tragic sight, so he said: “May Allah detest b. Marjāna the ugly. If there had been (any bond of) kinship between him and you, he would not have done this to you; he would not have sent you in this state.” Then the tyrannical one, Yazid, ordered the ropes to be cut off, turned to Zayn al-‘Ābidin and said him: “How did you, ‘Ali, see what Allah did to your father al-Husayn?”

Al-Husayn’s brave son (Zayn al-‘Ābidin) answered with calmness and tranquillity: “Whatever misfortune befalls the earth or your own selves is already in a Book even before we cause it to happen; this is easy for Allah, so that you may not grieve about what you missed nor feel elated on account of what you receive. And Allah does not love those who are haughty and proud.”

The tyrant, Yazid, burst in anger, his elation went away, and recited these words of Him, the Exalted: “Whatever misfortune befalls you is due to what your hands commit.” The Imām answered him, saying: “This (verse) concerns those who do wrong, not those who are wronged.” Then he turned his face away from him to disdain him and his position.[1]

Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin delivers a Sermon

Yazid permitted all the people to come to his palace, so the hall of his palace became full of people who came and congratulated him on the false victory. He was pleased and happy, because the world yielded to him, and the kingdom belonged to him only. So he ordered the orator to ascend the pulpit and to defame al-Husayn and his father, Imām ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. The

[1] Ibid., p. 376.

orator ascended the pulpit and went too far in slandering the pure family (of the Prophet), and then he lauded in a false way Yazid and his father Mu‘āwiya. Thus, Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, peace be on him, interrupted him, saying: “Woe unto you, orator! You have traded the pleasure of the creature for the wrath of the Creator, so take your place in the fire (of Hell).”

Then the Imām turned to Yazid and asked him, saying: “Do you permit me to ascend this pulpit to deliver a speech that will please Allah, the Almighty, and that will bring good rewards for these folks?”

The attendants were astonished at this sick lad, who interrupted the orator and the governor while he was a captive. Yazid refused, but the people begged him. He said to them: “If he ascends the pulpit, he will not descends (from it) till he expose me and the family of Abi Sufyān.”

The people asked him: “What will this sick lad do?”

The people did not know the Imām. They thought that he was like the other people, but the tyrant, Yazid, knew him, so he said to them: “These are people who have been spoon-fed with knowledge.”

They kept pressuring him till he agreed. So the Imām ascended the pulpit and delivered the most wonderful speech in history in eloquence. He made the people weep. The folks were confused because the Imām’s speech controlled their hearts and feelings. The following is some of what he said: “O people, we were granted six things and favored with seven: We were granted knowledge, clemency, leniency, fluency, courage, and love for us in the hearts of the believers. We were favored by the fact that from among us came the chosen Prophet, Mohammed, may Allah bless him and his family, al-siddiq (the very truthful one), al-Tayyār (the one who flies in the heaven), the Lion of Allah and of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, the mistress of the women of the world Fātima the chaste, and both lords of the youths of Heaven from among this nation”

Having introduced his family, the Imām continued his speech

explaining their outstanding merits, saying: “Whoever recognizes me knows me, and whoever does not recognize, let me tell him who I am and to what family I belong: I am the son of Mecca and Mina; I am the son of Zamzam and al-Safā; I am the son of the one who carried Zakāt in the ends of the mantle; I am the son of the best man who ever put on a loincloth and clothes; I am the son of the best man who ever put on sandals and walked barefooted; I am the son of the best man who ever made tawāf (the procession round the Kaaba) and Sa‘i (ceremony of running seven times between Safā and Marwā); I am the son of the best man who ever offered the hajj and pronounced talbiya (Here I am at your service); I am the son of the one who was transported on the burāq in the air; I am the son of the one who was made to travel from the Sacred Mosque to the Remote Mosque, so glory belongs to Him Who made (His Servant) travel; I am the son of the one who was taken by Gabriel to sidrat al-muntahā ; I am the son of the one who drew near (his Lord) and suspended, so he was the measure of two bows or closer still; I am the son of the one who led the angels of the heavens in prayer; I am the son of the one to whom the Almighty revealed what He revealed; I am the son of Mohammed al-Mustafā ; I am the son of ‘Ali al-Murtadā ; I am the son of the one who fought against the creatures till they said: There is no god but Allah. I am the son of the one who struck (the enemies) with two swords before Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and stabbed (them) with two spears, emigrated twice, pledged allegiance twice (to the Prophet), prayed in the two qiblas, and fought (against the unbelievers) at Badr and Hunayn and never disbelieved in Allah not even as much as the twinkling of an eye. I am the son of the best of the believers, the heir of the prophets, the destroyer of the unbelievers, the Commander of the Muslims, the light of the mujāhidin, the ornament of the worshippers, the crown of the weepers, the most patient of the patient, and the best of the steadfast from among the family of Yāsin, and the Messenger of the Lord of the world’s inhabitants. I am the son of the one who was backed by Gabriel, supported by Mikāel. I
am the son of the one who defended the Muslims, killed
the oath breakers of allegiance and the unjust and
the renegades, struggled against his tiring enemies, the most excellent one of those who walked (to war) from among Quraysh, the first to respond to Allah from among the believers, the prior to all the previous ones, the breaker of the aggressors, the destroyer of the atheists, an arrow from among the shooting-places of Allah against the hypocrites, the tongue of the wisdom of worshippers, the supporter of the religion of Allah, the protector of the affair of Allah, the garden of the wisdom of Allah, the container of the knowledge of Allah, tolerant, generous, benevolent, pure, Abtahi, satisfied, easily satisfied, intrepid, gallant, patient, fasting, refined, steadfast, courageous, honored, the severer of the backbones, the scatterer of the allies, the calmest of them, the best of them in giving free rein (to his horse), the boldest of them in tongue, the firmest of them in determination, the most powerful of them, a lion, brave, pouring rain, the one who destroyed them at the battles and dispersed them in the wind, the lion of al-Hijāz, the possessor of the miracle, the ram of Iraq, the Imām through the text and worthiness, Makki, Madani, Abtahi, Tuhāmi, Khay‘ani, ‘Uqbi, Badri, Uhdi, Shajari, Muhājiri, the Lord of the Arabs, the Lion of war, the inheritor of al-Mash‘arayn, the father of the two grandsons (of the Prophet) al-Hasan and al-Husayn, the one who manifested miracles, the one who scattered the phalanxes, the piercing meteor, the following light, the victorious Lion of Allah, the request of every seeker, the victorious over every victorious, such is my grandfather, ‘Ali b. Abi Tālib. I am the son of Fātima, the chaste. I am the son of the mistress of women. I am the son of the purified, virgin (lady). I am the son of the part of the Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family.[1] I am the son of the one who was covered with blood. I am the son of the one who was slaughtered at Karbalā’. I am the son of the one for whom the Jinns wept in the dark and for whom the birds in the air cried.[2]”

The Imām continued saying ‘I am….’ until the people wailed.

[1] Ibid., p. 387.
[2] Nafs al-Mahmūm, p. 242.

Yazid thought that a discord would occur, for the Imām made a cultural revolt through his speech when he introduced himself to the Syrians and made them know what they did not know, so Yazid ordered the muadhdhin to say the adhān and he said: “Allāhu Akbar!”

The Imām turned to him and said: “You have made great the Great One who cannot be measured and cannot be perceived by senses, there is nothing greater than Allah.”

The muadhdhin said: “Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allāh!”

‘Ali b. al-Husayn said: “My hair, my skin, my flesh, my blood, my brain, and my bones bear witness that there is no god but Allah.”

The muadhdhin said: “Ashhadu anna Mohammedan rasool Allah!”

The Imām turned to Yazid and asked him: “Yazid, is Mohammed your grandfather or mine? If you say that he is yours, then you are a liar, and if you say that he is mine, then why did you kill his family?[1]”

Yazid became silent and was unable to answer, for the great Prophet was Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin’s grandfather. As for Yazid’s grandfather, he was Abū Sufyān, who was the mortal enemy of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. The Syrians understood that they were drowning in sin, and that the Umayyad government spared no effort to delude and mislead them.

The Imām confined his speech to introducing the Prophet’s Household to the Syrians. He indicated to them that the Prophet’s Household had a great position with Allah, that they waged jihad against the enemies of Islam, and that they suffered persecutions. The Imām mentioned nothing other than these matters. I (the author) think that this confinement to these matters is among the most wonderful considerations and among the most exact type of eloquence. This is because the Syrians knew nothing about the Prophet’s Household except what the pseudo clergy men fabricated against them; the

[1] Al-Khawārizmi, Maqqtal al-Husayn, vol. 2, p. 242.

authority and its mercenaries fed the Syrians on enmity toward the Prophet’s Household and on obedience to the Umayyads.

Anyhow, the Imām’s speech had a great effect on the Syrians, who secretly told each other about the Umayyad false mass media, and about the disappointment and loss at which they reached, so their attitudes toward Yazid changed[1] and they looked at him with disdain.

The Imām with al-Minhāl

Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, peace be on him, met al-Minhāl b. ‘Amr and he asked him: “How have you received the evening, O son of the Apostle of Allah?”

The Imām looked at him and said to him: “We received the evening like the Israelites among the people of Pharaoh: they kill their sons and take their women captive. The Arabs brag before the non-Arabs saying that Mohammed was one of them, while Quraysh boasts before the rest of the Arabs of Mohammed belonging to it. We, his Household, are now homeless; so, to Allah we belong and to Him is our return.[2]”

The greatest Prophet was the original source for the honor of the Arab community. It was he who planned the honorable life for it and established for it the strongest state in the world, but Quraysh, who boasted before the rest of the Arabs of Mohammed belonging to it, killed his children and took his womenfolk as captives.

The Tyrannical apologizes to the Imām

When the Syrians became indignant with Yazid because of his killing the plant of sweet basil of Allah’s Apostle, he (Yazid) summoned Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, peace be on him, apologized to him, and regarded b. Marjāna (‘Ubayd Allah b. Ziyād) responsible for killing al-Husayn, saying: “May Allah curse b. Marjāna! By Allah, if I had been with him (al-Husayn), he would never have asked me for a

[1] Jawhart al-Kalām fi Maddh al-Sāda al-‘Alām, p. 128.
[2] Hayāt al-Imām al-Husayn, vol. 3, p. 291.
favor without me granting him it; I would have protected him from death with all my power even through destroying some of my sons. But Allah has decreed what you have seen. My little son, write to me and everything that you need is yours.[1] Affairs will occur among your people, so do not take part in them.[2]”

However, Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin turned away from him and said nothing to him, for he knew that the reason for his apology was an escape from the crime he committed.

A Scholar asks about the Imām

A Jewish scholar was in the assembly of Yazid. He admired Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, peace be on him, so he asked Yazid: “Who is that lad?”

“‘Ali b. al-Husayn,” replied Yazid.

“Who is al-Husayn?” asked the Jewish scholar.

“Son of ‘Ali b. Abi Tālib,” answered Yazid.

“Who is his mother?” asked the Jewish scholar.

“Mohammed’s daughter,” replied Yazid.

“Glory belongs to Allah,” explained the Jewish scholar, “this is the son of the daughter of your Prophet, (why did) you kill him? You opposed him by doing evil to his blood relations. By Allah, if our Prophet, Mūsā b. ‘Umrān, had left a grandson among us, we would have worshipped him instead of Allah. Your Prophet left you yesterday; nevertheless you revolted against his grandson and killed him. How bad a community you are!”

The tyrannical one, Yazid, became angry and ordered the Jewish scholar to be hit on the mouth, still the Jewish scholar said: “Kill me if you want to. I have found in the Torah that whoever kills the progeny of a prophet will be cursed as long as he remains (living). When he dies, Allah will cause him to enter the fire of Hell.[3]”

[1] Ibn al-Athir, Tārikh, vol. 3, p. 300.
[2] Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol. 1, p. 157.
[3] Al-Hadā’iq al-Wardiya, vol. 1, p. 131. Al-Futūh, vol. 5, p. 246.

The Imām with Yazid

The tyrannical one, Yazid, met Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin and asked him to ask his needs, so the Imām, peace be on him, said: “I want you to show me my father’s face, and bring back to the women what had been taken from them, for among it is the inheritances of fathers and mothers. If you want to kill me, send with the family someone to guide them to Medina.”

Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, peace be on him, asked Yazid to show him his father’s head to bid the final farewell to it or to bury it with the holy corpse, but the tyrannical one (Yazid) refused to give him the head because he intended to show it around the country to spread fear among the people and to be a lesson for those who might revolt against him.

He also asked him to bring back what was taken from the women on Muharram 10th. With this the Imām did not mean the ornaments, rather he meant the dear things he inherited from his grandfather, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, such as his turban, his breastplate, and his sword.

Yazid, the tyrannical, bowed his head. He thought about the Imām’s requests. Then he raised his head and said: “As for the face of your father, you will never see it. As for what was taken from you, it will be brought back to you. As for the women, no one will repatriate them except you. As for you, I will not kill you.[1]”

The Journey to Medina

Yazid ordered al-Nu‘mān b. Bashir to escort the womenfolk of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and to send them back to Medina.[2] He ordered him to take them out at night because he feared dissension and repercussions.[3] The caravan walked and began

[1] Hayāt al-Imām al-Husayn, vol. 3, p. 414.
[2] Jawhart al-Kalām fi Maddh al-Sāda al-‘Alām, p. 128.
[3] Tafsir al-Matālib fi Amāli Abi Tālib, p. 93. Al-Hadā’iq al-Wardiya, vol. 1, p.
covering the desert. The Alid women asked al-Nu‘mān b. Bashir to take them to Karbalā’ to renew their covenant with the grave of the Lord of martyrs, peace be on him. Having reached Karbalā’, the Alid women hurried to the grave of Imām Abi ‘Abd Allah, peace be on him, weeping and wailing. They stayed there mourning al-Husayn for three days to the extent that their voices became hoarse and their hearts became broken. Some sources mentioned that Jābir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansāri, a great companion of the Prophet, visited the grave of al-Husayn, Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, peace be on him, met him and told him about the tragedies which the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt) , peace be on them, faced, and then they left Karbalā’ and headed for Medina.

Bishr announced the Death of Imām al-Husayn

When Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, peace be on him, came close to Medina, he alighted, set up a tent where he lodged his aunts and his sisters, turned to Bishr b. Hadhlam and said to him: “O Bishr, may Allah have mercy on your father, who was a poet! Can you compose any of it at all?” “Yes, O son of Allah’s Apostle,” replied Bishr. So the Imām ordered him to enter Medina and to announce the death of Imām al-Husayn among its people. Hence, Bishr set off towards Medina. When he came near the Mosque of the Prophet, he cried loudly and recited these verses:

O people of Yathrib! May you never stay


Al-Husayn was killed, so my tears now rain,

His body is in Karbalā’ covered with blood

While his head is on spear displayed.

The people went in a hurry to the Mosque of the Prophet

weeping loudly for the Imām, peace be on him. They gathered around Bishr, who was weeping, asking him for more information of al-Husayn, so he said to them: “Here is ‘Ali b. al-Husayn accompanied by his aunts and sisters; they have all returned to you. I am his messenger to you to inform you of his place.[1]”

The people went out to receive Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin all weeping and wailing. The historians said that that day was like the day when Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, passed away.[2] They surrounded the Imām to offer him their condolences.

Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin delivers a Speech

The Imām, peace be on him, thought that he had to tell the people about the tragedies which they were subjected to. The Imām was unable to stand up to deliver a speech, for he was sapped by illness and overcome by grief, so a chair was brought for him. He sat in the chair and said: “Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the King of the Day of Judgment, Creator of all creation, Who is the Exalted in the high heavens, Who is so near, He hears even the silent speech. We praise Him on the grave events, on time’s tragedies, on the pain inflicted by such tragedies, on the crushing of calamities, on the greatness of our catastrophe, on our great, monstrous, magnanimous and afflicting hardships.

“O People, Allah, the Most Exalted One, praise belong to Him, has tried us with great trials and tribulations, with a tremendous loss suffered by the religion of Islam. Abū ‘Abd Allah, al-Husayn, and his family have been killed, and his womenfolk and children taken captives. They displayed his head in every land from the top of a spear. Such is the catastrophe similar to which there is none at all.

“O people, which men among you are happy after him, or which

[1] Hayāt al-Imām al-Husayn, vol. 3, p. 423.
[2] Al-Luhūf, p. 116.
heart is not grieved on his account? Which eye among you withholds its tears and is too miser with its tears? The seven great heavens wept over his killing; the seas wept with their waves, and so did the heavens with their corners and the earth with its expanse; so did the trees with their branches and the fish in the depths of the seas. So did the angels who are close to their Lord. So did all those in the heavens.

“O People, which heart is not grieved with his killing? Which heart does not yearn for him? Which hearing hears such a calamity that has befallen Islam without becoming deaf.

“O people, we have become homeless, exiles, outcasts, shunned, distanced from all countries as though we were the offspring of the Turks or of Kabul without having committed a crime, nor an abomination, nor afflicted a calamity on Islam! Never did we ever hear such a thing from our fathers of old. This is something new. By Allah, had the Prophet required them to fight us just as he had required them to be good to us, they would not have done to us any more than what they already have. So we belong to Allah and to Him is our return from this calamity, and what a great, painful, hard, cruel, and catastrophic calamity it is! To Allah do we complain from what has happened to us, from the sufferings we have endured, for He is the Omnipotent, the Vengeful.”

Sa‘sa‘a, an invalid who could barely walk on his feet, stood up and apologized to the Imām for not rushing to help his family due to his handicap. Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, peace be on him, responded to him by accepting his excuse, telling him that he thought well of him, thanked him and asked Allah to have mercy on his father. Then the Imām walked accompanied by his aunts and sisters. The people surrounded him weeping and wailing until they reached the Mosque of the Prophet. There Zaynab, the wise lady of the family of Abi Tālib, took both knobs of the door of the mosque and cried out and addressed her grandfather, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, saying: “O my grandfather, I mourn to you my brother al-Husayn![1]”

[1] Al-Muqrim, Maqtal al-Husayn, p. 472.

The wise ladies who were born and grew up in the lap of the Prophet held a mourning ceremony for the Lord of the martyrs. They put on the most coarse clothes and shrouded themselves in black and continued weeping and wailing.

Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin’s Grief

Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, peace be on him, kept weeping day and night over his father and the members of his Household. Imām al-Sādiq, peace be on him, said: “My grandfather, ‘Ali b. al-Husayn, wept over his father for twenty years. When food was put before him, he wept.[1]” One of his retainers blamed him, saying: “I fear for you lest you should perish.”

So the Imām kindly said to him: “I only convey my complaints and my grief to Allah, and I know from Allah what you all do not know. Ya‘qūb (Jacob) was a prophet from whom Allah caused one of his sons to be separated. He had twelve sons, and he knew that his son (Joseph) was still alive, he wept over him till he lost his eye sight. I looked at my father, my brothers, my uncles, and my companions (and saw them) slain all around me, so how can my grief end? Whenever I remember how Fātima’s children were slaughtered, tears choke me. Whenever I look at my aunts and sisters, I remember how they were fleeing from one tent to another.[2]”

When the Imām looked at water, his weeping increased, and his pain doubled. This is because water reminded him of the thirst of his father and the members of his Household. The narrators said: “When he took some water to drink, he wept. So he was asked about that, and he answered: ‘How do I not weep (while) my father was prevented from drinking the water which was free for beasts and wild animals?’t”>[3]”

[1] Ahmed Fahmi, al-Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, p. 31.
[2] Al-Muqrim, Maqtal al-Husayn, p. 47. A narration similar to this has been reported in Hulyat al-Awliyā’, vol. 3, p. 138.
[3] Al-Majjlisi, Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 46, p. 108.

The Imām always wept over his father, and it was said to him: “You always weep, even if you kill yourself, you will increase (nothing) with this.” So he said: “I have killed my soul, and over it I weep.[1]”

A group of his retainers and the members of his Household felt pity for him because of his abundant weeping, so one of them asked him: “Has n’t your grief end yet?”

The Imām answered him, saying: “Woe unto you! Ya‘qūb (Jacob) was a prophet from whom Allah caused one of his sons to be separated. He had twelve sons, and he knew that his son (Joseph) was still alive in the world, he wept over him till he lost his eye sight. I looked at my father, my brother, my uncle, and seventeen (persons) from the members of my Household (and saw them) slain all around me, so how can my grief end?[2]”

His heart melt with pity for his father, his Household, and his friends whose heads the swords of aggression severed in a cruel manner.

His Paying the Debts which his Father owed

Imām al-Husayn, peace be on him, was indebted to a group of people for more than seventy thousand dinars, so Imām Zayn al-‘Ābidin, peace be on him, took great care of paying them to the extent that he prevented himself from having food and water. When he prepared this sum (of money), he hurried to pay every debt to the person to whom it was owed, and thus he could free his father from such an obligation.[3]

[1] Ibid, p. 109.
[2] Ibid, p. 108.
[3] Sir al-Silsila al-‘Alawiya, p. 32.




The Sermon of Imam Sajjad in Kufa

The Sermon of Imam Sajjad in Kufa

The fourth Imam addressed the people of Kufa and delivered a sermon before them. After making a sign to them to keep silent, he said: “O people! Whoever knows me knows me, and he, who does not know me, should know that I am the son of that person, who was dishonored and whose entire belongings were looted and plundered, and whose women and children were made prisoners……… “


Of course, if the fourth Imam had not mentioned the plundering and maltreatment by the enemy, and had not revealed openly the details of the event one or two days after it had taken place, when the agents of the regime were still jubilant on account of their apparent success, and did not know that they had dug their grave with their own hands, it was not unlikely that the matter might have been given a different color in the history of Islam, and it might have been said that the Ahlul Bayt were taken to Kufa and Syria with a view to showing them honor and consoling them, and no constraint or force was involved. However, the fourth Imam depicted the true scene of the tragedy of Karbala in the very first sentence of his sermon and imprinted it on the hearts of the people. Eventually these very speeches and writings were recorded in the third century in reliable Islamic history books and it became impossible even for the succeeding Ummayyad dynasty to change even one line of it, in spite of all their power, or at least to delete from the pages of history the incident of the plundering of the tents and stripping the body of the Imam. They could not make the Muslims forget these shameful deeds.


The Ahlul Bayt (family) of the Imam, who had been made prisoners, deprived Bani Umayya of even this power, and performed such a glorious deed that it not only became impossible for the enemy to tamper with the facts, but minute details of the hideous acts of the murderers of the Imam were also recorded in history.


Have not Shaykh Mufid and Tabari written that whatever dress was there on the body of the Imam was plundered after his martyrdom? The Imam’s shirt was removed from his body by Ishaq bin Haiwa. His vest was taken away by Bahr bin Kāb Tamimi. His turban was taken by Akhnas bin Marthad. His sword was taken by a man belonging to the tribe of Bani Dārm. Qays bin Ashath bin Qays took possession of his Qatifa (mantle). Qays was later known in Kufa as Qays of Qatifa. The Imam’s shoes were removed from his feet by a man named Aswad, who belonged to the tribe of Awd. Then they made a rush on the tents and plundered everything including clothes and camels. They displayed their utmost meanness by removing even the head-dresses of women. Who wrote and recorded these detailed historical facts? It was these very speeches and addresses of Ahlul Bayt which transferred the true facts of Āshura clearly and explicitly to the pages of history. History has not only recorded that Ibn Ziyad gave orders to Ibn Sād to let the body of the .Imam be trampled upon by the horses, but has also given full details of this proceeding.


Shaykh Mufid, Tabari and other historians have written that Ibn Sād reached the tents, when some persons wanted to kill the fourth Imam. He, however, ordered that none should molest the ailing person or inconvenience the bereaved women in the tents. And when it was brought to his notice that the tents had been plundered he ordered those who had taken away something from them to return it. However, not a single person returned anything. Then to comply with Ibn Ziyad’s orders, Ibn Sād called the volunteers to trample upon the sacred body of the Imam. He was perhaps also cautious in the matter and he did not himself nominate some persons to carry out the orders lest they should decline to undertake such a shameful act. However, this precaution was unnecessary and the possibility was quite remote. As said by great historians ten persons volunteered themselves for the purpose. They mounted their horses with great enthusiasm and performed the job according to his wishes. What is surprising is that the names of these heartless bastards have also been recorded in history and the Islamic historians have mentioned the names and particulars of all of them. Tabari and Mufid have mentioned their names only and recorded that one of the aforesaid ten persons was Ishaq bin Haiwa Hazrami who looted the shirt of the Imam and the other was Akhnas bin Murthad, who took away his turban from his head.


If Imam Sajjad had kept quiet on account of his illness, fatigue caused by the journey, captivity and dejection, and had not proclaimed in the bazaar of Kufa what he had seen on the day of Āshura, and if Umme Kulsum and Zaynab, daughters of Imam Ali and Fatima and daughter of Imam Husayn had also not spoken in the bazaar of Kufa, and had not checked the enemy of an opportunity to tamper with history, how could Bani Umayya permit that the story of their indelible shame and disgrace should form a part of the history of Islam and Bani Hashim should expel their rival for ever from the field of

humanity, virtue and piety.


When these speeches were being delivered and these addresses were reaching the ears of the people it was the speakers themselves who knew very well what they were saying and doing, and they made no mistake in assessing the value of their words. Other people could not, however, realize as to what power the speeches of Ahlul Bayt, which were being delivered at times in the bazaars, at the doors and in general gatherings and at times in the masjids, would give to the tragedy of Karbala and to what extent they would change the thinking of the people in the course of time. Most of the people did not understand more than that the persons, whose father had been killed, and who were bereaved, were telling the tale of their woe, crying and shedding tears owing to the calamity which had befallen them. They had no idea that the Ahlul Bayt were in fact performing their part in the Divine mission of this rising.


The task undertaken by the Imam could not be completed without the explanation and interpretation which was being given by them. There was a real danger that this Divine campaign which had been led by the most sacred personalities of Islam might, at a later stage, be made to appear a material movement prompted by worldly motives and the factual position might be concealed from the Muslims and their future generations for ever, leaving them with a few pages of history containing fabricated tales. It was for this reason that Ali bin Husayn ignored his illness and mourning, and lady Zaynab, her sister, and nephew also forgot their captivity and bereavement. Instead of assuming the posture of helpless and bereaved persons or flattering the enemy, they commenced their mission of informing the people of the true facts with perfect determination, and I availed of even the smallest opportunity to achieve their end. So much so that even if anyone abused them on account of ignorance or perversion, they considered it to be a valuable opportunity I and made it an excuse to talk with him. By this means they changed the heart of the reviler in such a way that he repented immediately, became a supporter of Ahlul Bayt and expressed regret for what he had said.


The Ahlul Bayt acted so intelligently that they benefited even from the abuses hurled upon them. Even if someone addressed them slanderously or tauntingly they considered it an opportunity to talk to him and to remove misunderstandings from the minds of the people.


After mentioning the misconduct of the enemy in a few words which were recorded in history , Imam Sajjad said thus while addressing the people of Kufa: “I am the son of the man who was beheaded on the bank of the Euphrates although he had not shed the blood or usurped the right of anyone. (i.e. he was killed without any offence committed by him). I am the son of the man who was attacked by a huge number of people and martyred when he was no longer capable of fighting and had fallen on the ground owing to weakness. This is sufficient honor for us”. By uttering these words the fourth Imam obliged the people to make more investigations about the heart-rending martyrdom of Imam Husayn, because merely being killed cannot be reckoned to be an honor, particularly an honor in the presence of which no other honor should be needed. Imam Zaynul ‘Abidin said: “It is a sufficient honor for us that our blood was shed, our property was looted, we were insulted and our women and children were made prisoners”. The Imam wanted the people to ponder as to what the object of this rising was, what its leader desired, and what he did. If he wanted to become the ruler, and as another person had attained to this office he was unhappy, and sacrificed his life and property in an effort to achieve his object, being killed in this way can never be a source of pride, rather it would be a matter of shame. Then how could the fourth Imam feel proud of it and say: “This honor is sufficient for us?”


On hearing these words the people must have wondered as to how this event could be a source of pride. They might have thought: ‘ Are people not killed? Are there no casualties in political wars? Is there little loss of property and life in social disturbances? What sort of honor is it that one’s property is looted, his tents are set on fire and his near ones are killed. These are afflictions but not a source of pride’. But the words of Imam Sajjad obliged the people to make a deeper study and investigation to assess the importance and value of this rising in the history of Islam and to find out what these persons were saying and what weight their words carried and why they were not calm and quiet like other people and why they were not willing to accept any offer made by the ruler in power.


What was the harm if Imam Husayn had taken the oath of allegiance to Yazid and lived honorably among the Muslims with- out losing his friends and his own life? These very expressions of the fourth Imam prepared the people to hear, stimulated their thoughts and roused them from slumber. Possibly many persons might have been saying: “It is good that these people have been killed, life has returned to normal, the roads to Iraq which were blocked for some days have been re-opened and the traffic and transportation which had become difficult has returned to its usual course’.


While the people were thinking on these lines the fourth Imam cried suddenly: “They killed us and plundered whatever we had and this is a sufficient honor for us”. This interpretation gave a jerk to the people and created in them a desire to make further investigations.


Then Imam Sajjad said: “O people! I put you on your oath to tell me in the name of Allah, whether you know that at one time you wrote letters to my father and then deceived him. You made firm promises with him and then rose to fight against him. May Allah destroy you, may you reap the harvest of your misdeeds in both the worlds, and may you be disgraced for the indecent policy which you have adopted. How will you face the Prophet of Allah when you are brought before him on the Day of Judgment and with which eyes will you look at him? At that time the Holy Prophet will tell you: “You have killed my children and behaved towards me dishonorably. You are not my followers”.


These few sentences of the Imam changed the thinking of Ii the people of Kufa and the smiling faces of those persons who had mostly come to see the prisoners blushed with shame. They tried to control themselves but could not do so. At last the groanings and lamentations of the people could be heard from different sides. They began reproaching one another. One of them said: “What an evil thing you have done! You annihilated yourselves”. Another replied: “But what can we do now?”


While the people were weeping and sighing the Imam addressed them once again in these words: “May Allah bless those, who accept my advice and put into practice my recommendations about their duty to Allah, the Prophet of Allah and the Progeny of the Prophet, for it is incumbent upon us to follow the Prophet of Allah”.


This brief address brought about such a turn in the minds of the people that they cried: “O son of the Prophet of Allah! All of us will hear what you say and obey your orders. We will honor the promises made with you. We will not forsake you and will not side with anyone else. We are ready to act upon whatever you say. We will fight with him, against whom you fight, and will make peace with him, with whom you make peace. We are prepared even to take steps to arrest Yazid. We hate those who oppress you”.


It would appear from these statements of the people as quoted by Ibn Tawus that they had not yet understood the object of the Imam. They perhaps thought that he intended to fight and wished to mobilize an army for the purpose. They did not know that part of the movement which involved armed rising and martyrdom had already been completed, and there was no need any longer of warfare and bloodshed. What remained to be accomplished were these very speeches, sermons and addresses which were the only means of reflecting the events of Āshura in the history of Islam and in the minds of the Muslims. Moreover, the promises, which they were making with the fourth Imam, and the assurances, which they were giving him, were not dissimilar to the assurances and promises, which they had held out to Imam Husayn. As such the assurances given by them had no value and could not be relied upon. They fell in the category of the oath of allegiance taken by them to Muslim bin Aqil and the letters written by them to Imam Husayn.


Hence, Imam Sajjad said: “O unfaithful and inconstant people! You will never succeed. Do you want to be have towards me in the same manner in which you behaved towards my forefathers? N O, it cannot be so. I swear by Allah that the wounds of my heart have not yet healed up. Yesterday my father and his companions met martyrdom. I have not yet forgotten my being bereaved of the Holy Prophet, my father and my brothers have not overcome this grief. What I want you to do is that you should neither support us nor oppose us. Husayn bin Ali’s being martyred is also not surprising. Was not his father Ali better than him and was he not assassinated? O Kufians! It was you, who killed Ali. May I be sacrificed for my father who was martyred on the bank of the Euphrates. The punishment for his killers is Hell”.


Then he added: “We shall be perfectly satisfied with you if you give up the practice of siding with us on one day and opposing us on another day”.


The fourth Imam did not speak more and could not get an opportunity to speak till the Ahlul Bayt were brought one day before Ibn Ziyad in a public assembly. There also he availed of the opportunity to speak. By uttering a few sentences though they were brief, he impressed the gathering.





Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Sajjad (as) held the Holy Quran dearly to his heart. This is evident from his sayings and behaviour with regard to the Quran. For instance, Zuhri has reported having heard Imam al-Sajjad (as) saying:


“If the inhabitants of the East and the West all perish and I am left alone with only the Glorious Quran, I will not become victim of any desolation”. (Al-Kaafi)


What the Imam (as) implied was that even if the entire earth became empty and he (as) was left alone therein, he (as) would neither feel sad nor lonely for as long as he (as) had the Holy Quran with him. Quran contains the words of Allah (SWT) and whoever recites it shall feel as though Allah (SWT) is with him and conversing to him. Therefore, even if such a person is left alone at any place and in any situation – he will certainly not feel lonely.


Imam al-Sajjad (as) has also said,


“Befriend Quran and you will not have to worry about desolation of any kind”.




Zayd was one of the sons of Imam al-Sajjad (as). This is the same son who became a great martyr in the cause of Islam. It is narrated that:


[One of the habits of Imam al-Sajjad (as) was that after performing Fajr (morning) prayer till sunrise, he (as) never talked to anyone. One day, after Fajr, Imam (as) was given the good news about the birth of a son in his house.


Imam (as) asked his companions, “What should I name him?” Everyone suggested some names. The Imam (as) then turned towards his servant and asked him to bring the Holy Quran. He (as) opened the Holy Quran and the first verse, which he (as) saw was:


“And Allah has graced those who strive (in His cause) over those who sit back with a great reward”. (4:95)


Imam (as) then closed the Holy Quran and opened it again. This time he (as) saw the following verse:

“Indeed Allah has bought from the faithful their souls and their possessions for Paradise to be theirs: They fight in the way of Allah, they slay and they are slain. A promise binding upon Him in the Torah and the Evangel and the Quran. And who is truer to his promise than Allah? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him, and that is the great success”. (9:111)



After seeing these two verses, Imam (as) said, “By Allah! This is Zayd”.


Zayd means ‘great achiever’ and Imam al-Sajjad (as) derived this name from the meanings of the aforementioned two verses.] (Bihar al-Anwaar)




Imam al-Sajjad (as) used to recite the Holy Quran ‘Haqqa Tilaawatihi’ meaning ‘ the way Quran deserved to be recited’. One of the ethics of reciting the Holy Quran is with ‘Tarteel’.


“And recite the Quran in a measured tone”. (73:4)


This basically means to recite the Holy Quran correctly, using a beautiful tone during its recitation and responding to its verses.


Abu Hamza Thumali has reported that whenever Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn (as) recited the Holy Quran loudly, the members of his household would (all) come out to listen to him. (Quran-o-‘Itrat)


Imam Ja’ffar as-Sadiq (as) has said,


“Sayyid al-Sajideen (Imam al-Sajjad) had the most attractive and beautiful voice amongst people whilst reciting the Quran. Whenever he (as) recited the Quran loudly, people passing-by would stop on his doorstep to listen to him”. (Al-Kaafi)



One day a close relative of Imam al-Sajjad (as) abused him in public. He spoke bad words to him and then left but the Imam (as) did not utter any word against him.


As soon as the man left, Imam (as) turned towards the people who were present there and had witnessed what had just transpired, and said, “Whatever this man said to me, you all heard it. I would now want you to accompany me to him so that you hear what I have to tell him”.


The people thought that Imam al-Sajjad (as) would seek revenge. But as they accompanied him towards the house of the man who had abused him, they heard the Imam (as) reciting the following verse:


“…And those who suppress their anger, and excuse (the faults of) the people and Allah loves the virtuous”. (3:134)


The people instantly realized that the Imam (as) was not in mood of seeking any revenge. When they all reached the house of the man, Imam (as) called him by his name and asked him to come out of his house, which he did. Then the Imam (as) said,


“Brother! Just now you spoke ill of me. If whatever you spoke is true then I seek forgiveness from Allah; and if whatever you spoke is untrue then I pray to Allah to forgive you”.


Hearing this, the man was extremely ashamed. He came forward and kissing the forehead of Imam al-Sajjad (as), said, “Forgive me O Son of the Prophet! Indeed whatever I spoke about you is not true”. (Quran-o-‘Itrat)



Abdullah Wafe’ani has reported that Imam Zaynul-‘Aabideen (as) used to give sugar and almonds in alms and charity. Once somebody asked him the reason for this, and the Imam (as) recited the following verse in reply:


“You will never attain piety until you spend out of what you hold dear…” (3:92)


This shows that the Imam (as) was very fond of the two items, which he (as) gave away in alms.





‘Ibaad Basri met Imam al-Sajjad (as) on the way to Makkah and said,


“O Ali Ibn al-Husayn! You have left the difficulties of Jihad and have taken up Hajj – an easy course of worship although in the Holy Quran, Allah (SWT) says: “Indeed Allah has bought from the faithful their souls and their possessions for Paradise to be theirs: They fight in the way of Allah, they slay and they are slain. A promise binding upon Him in the Torah and the Evangel and the Quran. And who is truer to his promise than Allah? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him, and that is the great success”. (9:111)


Hearing this verse, Imam (as) said, “You must recite the complete verse and not half”. Then the Imam (as) recited the remaining verse: “(The faithful are) penitent, devout, celebrators of Allah’s praise, wayfarers (or those who fast), who bow (and) prostrate (in prayer), bid what is right and forbid what is wrong, and keep Allah’s bounds – and give good news to the faithful”. (9:112)


The Imam (as) then added: “When we find the people with attributes described in the Holy Quran, then performance of Jihad will be better than Hajj”. (Al-Kaafi)

The following are some of the quotations from the sermons and sayings of Imam al-Sajjad (as) in which he (as) has given references to the Holy Quran:


“Beware, O people, of sins and acts of disobedience (to Allah) against which Allah has warned and exhorted in the truthful Book and the articulate rhetoric. When Shaytan urges you to enjoy the transitory passions and pleasures of this world, do not feel secured (in succumbing to him) from the retribution and punishment of Allah. Allah says: ‘When those who are Godwary are touched by insinuation of Satan, they remember (Allah) and, behold, they perceive’. (7:201) Take God-fearing as the slogan of your hearts and always remember that Allah promised you of the good rewarding and warned you against the painful anguish when you will be returned to Him. He, who fears something will certainly beware of it, and he who is beware of something will desert it…” (Tuhaf al-‘Uqool)



“By Allah I swear, examples were cited for you and a variety of evidences is shown to the heedful ones. O Believers! Join yourselves with the heedful ones.  All power belongs to Allah. Abstain from the transitory pleasures of this world from which Allah has ordered you to abstain. He, the most truthful says: ‘The parable of the life of this world is that of water, which We send down from the sky. It mingles with the earth’s vegetation from which humans and cattle eat. When the earth puts on its luster and is adorned, and its inhabitants think they have power over it, Our edict comes to it, by night or day, whereat We turn it into a mown field, as if it did not flourish the day before. Thus do We elaborate the signs for a people who reflect’. (10:24)”. (Tuhaf al-‘Uqool)



Abdul-Malik bin Marwan, the oppressive Umayyad ruler came to know that Imam al-Sajjad (as) possessed the sword of the Holy Prophet (saww). He therefore sent some people to fetch it from him but the Imam (as) declined to give. Thereupon Abdul-Malik sent a threat letter to Imam (as) in which he stated: ‘I will deny you your share from the public treasury’. In response to this, Imam al-Sajjad (as) wrote: “Know that Allah has kept an outlet from all problems for those who are wary of Him and He has taken the responsibility of their sustenance. The Holy Quran states: ‘Indeed Allah does not like any ingrate traitor”. (22:38) Now let us wait and see who is who? (Godwary and traitor)”. (Manaqib Aali Abi Talib)


Shaykh Ali Karimi states that:


When the Imam (as) referred to Allah (SWT) keeping an outlet from all problems and providing sustenance to Godwary people, this is stated in the following verse: ‘…And whoever is wary of Allah, He shall make a way out for him, and provide for him from whence he does not reckon’.

(65:2) As for the verse he (as) quoted (to Marwan), the complete verse reads as follows: ‘Allah indeed defends those who have faith. Indeed Allah does not like any ingrate traitor’. (22:38) (Quran-o-‘Itrat)



It is reported that whenever Imam al-Sajjad (as) recited the verse: “If you enumerate Allah’s blessings, you will not be able to count them”. (14:34) He (as) said, “All praise be to Him who has not enabled anybody to acknowledge all His favours except through the acknowledgement of the failure to acknowledge them properly…” He (as) also said, “All praise be to Him who has regarded the acknowledgement of His favours as praise. All praise be to Him who has regarded the acknowledgement of the failure to thank Him properly as showing Him gratitude”.

                                                                                    (Tuhaf al-‘Uqool)

By Mulla Mujaheedali Sheriff






Importance of Sajdah

Importance of Sajdah


Tonight we are commemorating the Martyrdom of our 4th Holy Imam, Imam ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (as). Since one of the most popular titles of this great Imam (as) was that of ‘Sayyid al-Sajideen’ meaning ‘the leader of those who perform Sajdah’, I thought that we should talk something about Sajdah and its importance.


“O you who have faith! (Perform Rukoo’ and Sajdah) Bow down and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good, so that you may be felicitous”. (22:77)

This is one of those verses in which, we, the faithful and the believers, have been commanded to perform Sajdah before Allah (SWT).


The question is: WHAT IS SAJDAH??

Today, if you ask any Muslim child this question, he will tell you that: Sajdah is prostration we perform in Salaat in a manner that seven parts of ones body touches the ground: the forehead, the two palms, the two knees and the two toes. The answer is correct! But, what is the in-depth meaning of Sajdah?


Sajdah is an action that exhibits the highest degree of humility of a creature before his Creator. When a person performs Sajdah he is basically acknowledging the fact that he is completely inferior to Allah (SWT).

{A person asked Imam ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (as) to explain the meaning of the Sajdahs in Salaat.

Imam (as) said:

When a person performs the first Sajdah, he is actually telling Allah (SWT): MINHAA KHALAQTANEE (You have created me from it i.e. dust).

Then he raises his head from Sajdah, he is telling: MINHAA AKHRAJTANEE (You have removed me from it i.e. dust).

Then again he goes into the second Sajdah implying: WA ILAIHAA TA’EEDUNEE (You will return me into it i.e. dust).

And finally when he raises his head up again, he is saying: WA MINHAA TUKHRIJUNEE TAARATAN UKHRAA (And You will remove me from it i.e. dust again for the second time)} (Bihar al-Anwaar)

Throughout the actions of performing Sajdahs the concentration is only on one fact that our creation, return and coming back to life is related to dust. We are nothing but inferior in front of Allah (SWT)!

And we acknowledge this through the kind of Dhikr that we recite in Sajdahs.


(Glory and all praise be to my Lord who is the Most high)


Sajdah is the physical action, which gets the soul of a servant closer to Allah (SWT). In other words, it is through Sajdah that one attains the closest proximity of Allah (SWT). This is what Allah (SWT) Himself has said.

“Perform the Sajdah and get closer (to Me)”. (96:19)

In Tafseer of this verse, it is reported from Imam ‘Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha (as) that:

“The closest one can get to Allah (SWT) is when he is in Sajdah; this is because Allah (SWT) Himself has said, ‘Perform Sajdah and get closer (to Me)’.(Bihar al-Anwaar)

[Sa’eed bin Yasaar asked Imam Ja’ffar al-Sadiq (as), “Should I pray (for myself) when I am in Rukoo’ or in Sajdah?” Imam (as) replied: “Pray when you are in Sajdah, for verily a servant is closer to Allah when he is in Sajdah. Pray for your world and for your Hereafter”. ] (Bihar al-Anwaar)


Regarding Sajdah, there are two very interesting things mentioned in the traditions.

One is that:

Whenever we perform Sajdah, we must strive to extend it as much as possible. Why? Because Sajdah reminds our enemy Iblees about his disobedience to Allah (SWT) and the reason for his banishment from Paradise.

Imam Ja’ffar al-Sadiq (as) has said, “Verily when a servant prolongs his prostrations in a manner that no one sees him, Shaytan says: ‘Woe unto me! They are obedient and I disobeyed. They prostrated and I refused’.”

(Bihar al-Anwaar)

{A group of people came to the Holy Prophet (saww) and said,

“O Messenger of Allah! Take a guarantee from your Lord that we shall enter Paradise”. The Holy Prophet (saww) said to them, “With a condition that you will co-operate with me in prolonging your Sajdahs”.} (Bihar al-Anwaar)

And the other thing is that:

The mark of prostration will always be on the foreheads of true believers. This has also been mentioned in the Holy Quran:

“Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are severe against the infidels but compassionate among themselves. You will see them bowing and prostrating, seeking His grace and pleasure.

Their mark is on their faces (foreheads) from the effect of prostrations”.


Imam ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (as) has said,

“Verily I abhor a person whose forehead is clean and there is no mark of prostrations on it”. (Bihar al-Anwaar)


One of his titles was that of ‘Sayyidus-Sajideen’ meaning ‘the leader of those who prostrate’. In fact, it is reported that he (as) prostrated so much that he was called ‘Dhut-Thafanaat’. Thafanaat in Arabic means ‘lumps’.

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) has said, “My father used to get lumps on the places on which he prostrated. He used to cut them atleast twice in a year. Every time he had to cut five such lumps hence he became known as Dhut-Thafanaat (One with lumps)”. (Bihar al-Anwaar)

It is also reported from the same Imam (as) that:

“Whenever my father ‘Ali ibnul-Husayn (as):

-Remembered any bounty of Allah, he (as) prostrated.

-Read any verse of Quran with Sajdah, he (as) prostrated.

-Feared anything or anyone, he (as) prostrated.

-He completed his obligatory prayer, he (as) prostrated.

-He made peace between two people, he (as) prostrated.

The marks of prostrations were all evident on his parts of body used for Sajdah, thus he became known as As-Sajjad”.

(Bihar al-Anwaar)

It is also reported that:

[Once our Imam (as) went to the desert. One of his slaves followed him and saw that the Imam (as) was prostrating on a coarse stone and reciting:


By the time the Imam (as) raised his head from Sajdah, the slave had counted that our Imam (as) had recited all these for 1000 times.] (Bihar al-Anwaar)


Mulla Mujahidali Sheriff