Effect of the Imam's Approach to Preach through Prayers
The greatest result of the Imam's decision to lead a quiet life was: the government became sure that he was not going to be dangerous to them. They, therefore, left him alone. For example, when Muslim bin Aqaba attacked Medina in A.H. 63, he did no harm to the Imam. Whereas Muslim showed complete disrespect for the Mosque of the Prophet, he did no harm to Imam Zainul Abidin's house. Those who sought shelter of the Imam's house also remained safe from the army's cruelties. In fact Muslim Bin Aqaba called Imam to his headquarters and treated him with courtesy and respect. All this was because the Imam (A.S) had shown no sign of wanting to overthrow the government. What the government failed to understand was that Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) was establishing the foundations of truth which would, in future, provide strong basis of Islam which would live for ever.
By being left on his own, not only did Imam (A.S) widened the horizons of Islam, but al so found a place for himself to let the Muslims community see for themselves who truly was the representative of the Prophet. This was a very important job to be done by the Imam. This IS because the rulers of his time Yezid, Marwan, Abdul Malik bin Marwan and Walid bin Abdul Malik all lead very un-Islamic lives yet they presented themselves as the representatives of the Prophet (S.A.W.W). The presence of the Imam was a continuous lesson for Muslims. The Muslims could compare the excellent life of the Imam with that of the rulers and decide for themselves who was the true successor of the Prophet and therefore the leader of the community.
The effect of the teaching and the pure life-style of the Imam was such that he came to be regarded as an excellent person and an authority of the religion of Islam. At his time, there were seven scholar in Medina who were called ""The seven lawyers of Medina", and who were considered to be the best authorities on Islamic traditions and law. Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) was not only one among these seven scholars, he was the best of them all. One of these seven lawyers called Said bin Al -Musayyab considered the Imam with highest respect: the respect that a lesser pe son shows to a higher person. Another very famous and knowledgeable lawyer, Al-Zuhri, gave the title of Zainul Al Abidin to the Imam!.
Sufyan Suri says that he once asked Zuhri as to why he always called the Imam by the name of Zainul Abidin. Zuhri replied: "On the Day of Judgement a caller will say. Where is Zainul Abidin? Then Husain's son Ali, will come forward."
By the time the Bani Umayyah realised the wisdom of Imam Zainul Abidin's approach to establish Islam through the memory of his father and prayers of Allah, it was too late. Without the knowledge of the government the Imam had raised his position in the Muslims community so high that none of the rulers could reach, with all their wealth and power. The following incident illustrates this point very well.
Hasham, the Bani Umayyah prince, went to Mecca for pilgrimage. After completing his Hajj he wanted to kiss the "Hajare Aswad" but there was such a big crowd that he could not reach there. He was therefore waiting for the crowd to decrease so that he could then get near "Hajare Aswad". With him were standing his royal attendants.
Then came a person dressed in simple clothes. He was approaching the Kaaba very slowly when the crowd saw him they all scattered, making way for him. The man slowly and with ease went round the "House of Allah" (Kaaba) seven times, kissed the "Hajare Aswad" and went away
Hasham, the prince of the Muslims empire, could not believe what he saw. wasn't he the prince? Why had he to wait and a stranger be shown such respect? Who was he after all? He asked his attendants who the stranger was that he should enjoy such a respect with people that even the prince could not.
The attendants said they did not know who the person was, though they knew very well that the person was Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) but were afraid that if they said the truth Hasham would be offended.
However, the famous poet Farazdaq, who was being paid by the king to write poems in praise of the royal family could not keep quiet. He read long poem in praise of Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) the most important part of which is ...
"..This is Ali (Bin Husain) whose parent is the Prophet, This is the son of Fatima, if you do not know who he is.
Whoever recognizes his God knows also the greatness and importance of this man,
Because the religion has reached the nations through his house."
Hisham burned with jealousy. He got Farazdaq in prison for praising the Imam (A.S).
When the Bani Umayyah rulers realised their mistake they decided to kill the Imam. By the instructions of Walid Bin Merwan, the governor of Medina poisoned the Imam (A.S). The Imam (A.S) died from this poison on 25th Muharram A.H 95 (A.D. 713).
Adopted from the book : "A Brief Biography of Ali bin Husain (a.s.)" by : "Muhammad Reza Dungersi Ph.D"
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