Brief note on Imam Ali bin Al-Hussein (A)’s life
By: Faez Karmi
The fourth infallible apostolic Imam Ali
bin Al-Hussein As-Sajjad Zayn-uI 'Abidin (A) - martyred on 25th of
Muharram 95 AH in Medina with the poisoning by the then ruler Al-Walid
bin Abd-il Malik bin Marwan - was the son of Chief of Martyrs and
Master of Youths of Paradise and grandson of holy Prophet (S) Al-Imam
Abu Abdellah Al-Hussein bin Ali bin Abi Talib (A) and Shahr Banu, the
daughter of King Yazdgerd of Persia.
His epithet was Abu Muhammad and was popularly titled as "Zayn-ul 'Abidin"
(adornment of worshippers) and Sayyed-os Sajedin (master of those who
prostrate in front of Allah) for his great earnestness in worshipping
Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
Imam spent the first two years of his infancy in the lap of his
grandfather Ali bin Abi Talib (A) and then for twelve years he had the
gracious patronage of his uncle, the second Holy Imam Al-Hasan Al-Mojtaba
(A). In 61 AH when Karbala Tragedy happened, he was present there; and
suffered a heartless captivity and imprisonment at the hands of the
devilish forces of Yazid.
Imam Zayn-ul 'Abidin (A) was lying semiconscious in his sickbed when
Imam Hussein (A) had come for the last time to his camp to bid goodbye
to his family.
When the Yazidi army had taken the chaste ladies and children of holy
family of Prophet Muhammad (S) as captives, carrying them seated on
the bare back of the camels, tied in ropes, this Holy Imam, though
sick, was put in heavy tight chains with weighty fixed iron rings
round his neck and his ankles, and was made to walk barefooted on the
thorny burning plains from Karbala to Kufa and to Syria.
Imam Zayn-ul 'Abidin (A) lived for about thirty-four years after his
father. He passed all his life in prayers and supplication to Allah
and in remembrance of his martyred father. It is worth noting that his
eyes shed blood-tears for 32 years in mourning of Karbala tragedy.
Renowned scholar Allama Majlisi writes, “… Whenever he (Imam Zayn-ul 'Abidin)
took water to drink, he wept till the tears filled the pot. Someone
talked to him about it and he replied: "Why should not I cry, when my
father was denied the water which was free to the beasts and animals?”
He also says, "And never was food brought to him but that he wept, so
much so that a servant told him: ‘May I be your ransom, O Son of the
Messenger of Allah! I am afraid that you would die (of this weeping).’
It is said that once someone said Imam (A) that you and your
forefathers themselves said ‘martyrdom is our inheritance’ then if
your father, uncle, brothers and companions of your father were
martyred, why you weep so bitterly? Years have gone but you still
weep. Imam replied: O man! Martyrdom is our inheritance but, was it
also our inheritance that veils of daughters of prophet whom even the
sun had not seen were snatched, they were tied in ropes, their tents
were torched, they were placed on bare backs of camels, and brought to
the bazaars of Syria and Kufa and courts of Yazid and Ibne Zyad??
Whenever Imam (A) was asked about the place of great suffering, he
replied ‘Ash-Shaam, Ash-Shaam (Syria, Syria)’.
He was so mindful of Allah that whenever he sat for ablution for
prayers, the complexion of his face would change and when he stood at
prayer his body was seen trembling. When asked why this was, he
replied, "Know ye not before whom I stand in prayer and with whom I
His charity like his forefathers’ was unassuming and hidden. After his
passing away, the people said that hidden charity ended with the
departure of this Holy Imam. Like his grandfather Ali bin Abi Talib
(A), Imam As-Sajjad (A) used to carry on his own back at night bags of
flour and bread for the poor and needy families in Medina.
He was at that time 56 years of age. His Imamate was for thirty-four
years and he was laid to rest in the cemetery of Janna-tol Baqee in
An invaluable collection of his edited prayers are known as As-Sahifah
Al-Kamilah or As-Sahifah as-Sajjddiyyah. It is also known as Az-Zabur
(Psalm) of Aal Muhammad (A). The collection is an invaluable treasury
of wonderfully effective supplications to the Lord in inimitably
better than wealth because it protects you while you have to
guard wealth. it decreases if you keep on spending it but the
more you make use of knowledge ,the more it increases . what you
get through wealth disappears as soon as wealth disappears but
what you achieve through knowledge will remain even after you."MORE