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How the Imam Keeps the Mission of Islam Alive without Angering the Government

When martyrdom was necessary to keep Islam alive, Imam Husain (A.S) publicly opposed Yezid and gave. his life. When silence became necessary to keep Islam alive, Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) retired in his house to serve Islam in the best way possible.

From A.H. 62 to A.H. 95 when he left this world, Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) led a quiet life, preaching the Islam in two ways.

Firstly, he kept alive the message of Imam Husain (A.S) regarding Islam trough mourning. There was not a day that passed without the Imam crying in memory of his father Imam Husain (A.S) and others who gave their lives in Kerbala. He encouraged his followers also to regard it as their duty to remember the martyrs of Kerbala as often as they could.

The first time he entered Medina when returning from Damascus, he laid down the tradition of mourning for Imam Husain (A.S). He pitched a tent outside Medina and moUming dress he let the Muslims of Medina what was expected of them from then onwards.

A man by the name of Noaman went to Medina three years after the events of Kerbala. He saw the Imam standing near the grave of the Prophet weeping and complaining to the Prophet about the III-treatment that Imam (A.S) and the other members of the Prophet's family had received from the Bani Umayyah. The Imam (A.S) remained in this position until when he fainted and was then taken by his followers to his house.

Noaman went to Imam's house. Then asked the Imam what was the most difficult time he had to face in Kerbala and during his imprisonment to Kufa and Damascus. The Imam said, "A-Sham, A-Sham, A-Sham" and then explained that in Sham the family of the Prophet was treated like animals and presented to the court of Yezid like slaves.

In this way people of Medina were to see him mourning for his father from then till his death some thirty five years later.

It is reported that when the Imam saw water he would weep, remembering the thirst of the martyrs of Kerbala. When he saw a goat or sheep being slaughtered, he would ask the slaughter if he had fed the animal and given it water. On being assured that this had, indeed, been done, the Imam would weep, saying that his father and other martyrs of Kerbala were slaughtered hungry and thirsty of three days.

He held regular mourning session in his house. Those who attended these sessions would then be served with food in the name of his father, Imam Husain (A.S)

One day somebody told him. "O son of Allah's Messenger!. Up to when would you weep like this?"

The Imam replied "'O servant of Allah. Prophet Yakub had twelve sons but only one of them (Yusuf) was taken away form him, he wept so much and for such long that his eyes turned white, his head turned gray and his back was bent although his son Yusuf was still alive. Whereas I watched my father, my brother and seventeen members of my family being slaughtered all around me. How could my sorrow come to an end?".

Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) through such mourning sessions let the world know the reason why it was necessary for Imam Husain (A.S) to sacrifice his life but not accept Yezid as the rightful ruler of the Muslims.

The plot of Yezid and his family of Bani Umayyah to destroy Islam was brought out in the open through the Imam's weeping for his father.

The second most important thing that the Imam did after returning from Damascus was to spend a lot of his time praying to Allah. His prayers were not only in the form of "Namaz" but also in the way of "Duas" or supplications.He would read these supplications and then teach them to his sons Hazrat Muhammad Baqir (A.S) and Hazrat Zaid. These supplications were later complied in a book called SAHIFA KAMILA.(The complete book). This book is also known by other names such as SAHIFA SAJJADIA (the book ofSajjad; Sajjad being another name of Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S); Sajjad means one who spends a lot ofhis time in "Sijda"), or ZABURE ALE (PsalmsofthehouseholdofM ed). The SAHIFA as we know it, today is made of 54 Duas, 14 additional 'Duas' and 15 'Munajat'. Over and above the SAHIFA, there are many other supplications of the Imam which appear under different covers.

With the help of these 'Duas', Imam Zainul .Abidin (A.S) taught Muslims not only how to pray to Allah but also what is the essence of Islam. Also the major elements of religion are contained in these Duas. Moreover, the Duas teach us who Allah is and who the Prophet is and what kind of life we should lead. For example, in the Dua called "AKHLAQ" (The excellence of character), the Imam looks at different types and qualities of behaviour which make a man's character and personality, and tells his followers to have those qualities.

The Dua also teaches how Muslims should link themselves with the house of the Prophet, the Ahlul-Bayt. These ideas, if preached in any other form, would without and doubt, invite the government of Bani Umayyah to put the Imam in trouble. But who would complain if the Imam addressed his creator, Allah using "Duas"?

In this way through mourning for his father and praying to Allah, Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) kept the true message of Allah alive from the evil-minded Bani Umayyah.

Adopted from the book : "A Brief Biography of Ali bin Husain (a.s.)" by : "Muhammad Reza Dungersi Ph.D"

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