Imam Sajjad's (a.s.) Patience (Sabr) and Forgiving
- :Muhammad Reza Dungersi
Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) was similar to his uncle Imam Hassan (A.S) and his grandson Imam Musa Kazim (A.S) (Our 7th Imam) by showing a lot of pat, ience to their enemies.
You will remember that after the events of Kerbala, he went through very bad times in the hands of his enemies, but at no occasion did he show sign of anger or impatience. Whenever necessary, he replied to his enemies bravely but without showing any anger or loss of patience. Consider the following incidents.
* When the Imam was a prisoner of Yezid in Damascus and was being taken to the court, a Syrian came forward and abused the Imam saying, "Tell me who has come out successful you or Yezid?"
Without getting angry the Imam replied, "When you hear the Azan you make your own decision as to who is and who a failure."
In the same way, another old man of Syria addressed the Imam saying "Praise be to Allah who destroyed you, who killed your brought peace in the country by giving victory to the caliph of Muslims."
The Imam first the verse of Qur'an (42:23) meaning: "O Prophet to them "I do not ask to be paid back for my services except they you should love my verses?"
The old man replied that, indeed, he had read those verses but he did not know how these verses had anything to do with the Imam.
The Imam then read two more verses from the Qur'an, meaning:
"Know o you believers'. Whatever of a thing you acquire, a fifth of it is for the Prophet and for the Prophet's family (8:41).
"Allah wishes to keep you away from uncleanness, O you the people of the house, and to purify you with complete purification. (33:33)
Then the Imam told the that he prisoners were the family of the Prophet in these verses and they were the ones for whom the Prophet had asked for respect and love.
The old man then felt very sorry and apologized and the Imam forgave him.
* Hisham Bin Ismail, the governor of Medina used to give a lot of trouble to the Imam. As time went by, he was removed from his position by Walid, the king. As his punishment, he was made to stand at a public place. People were given permission to do whatever they wished to him. Imam (A.S) had suffered the most from his hands and the chance to take his revenge. Instead, the Imam now was (A.S) went to him and greeted him with respect and kindness knowing that if he did so then others would follow him and save Hisham from insults and injury.
Together with his patience was his forgiving nature and his kindness. The following incidents from Imam's life show this very clearly.
* Once a slave girl, while serving him, dropped on him a heavy jug full of water and cut his face. She said to him, ," Allah, the most high says: those who control their anger." "Before she could complete this verse of the Qur'an, he said, "I have controlled my anger."
She continued, saying, "And those who forgive the people .." He replied. "'May Allah forgive you." She went on, saying, ", Allah loves those , who do good. "He replied, "'Go, you are a free person in the presence of Allah, The High, The Mighty."
* Once the Imam called his slave but the slave did not reply him. The Imam called him two more times; only then he replied. The Imam asked him if he did not hear being called. The slave replied that he did hear but he ignored to answer because he knew that no harm would come to him from the Imam (A.S).
When the Imam heard this he said, "Praise be to Allah who made my slave safe from me."
During the times of the Imam (A.S) slavery was common. Slaves would come from wars. The Imam used to get them as "Khums" from those who took part in these wars. Also the Imam used to purchase some slaves and then set them free.
He treated his slaves very well and would never beat them for any mistakes. Instead, he would record all their mistakes. At the end of the month of Ramadhan, he would call them and let them know of all their mistakes. He would then tell them to pray to Allah to forgive the Imam the way the Imam forgave them (the slaves). He would then set free all slaves and give them generous gifts.
It is said that one of his such slaves whom the Imam had set free progressed so much that on one occasion he loaned 10,000 dinars to Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S). The Imam (A.S) later repaid this loan.
* A person once spoke very harshly to the Imam and wrongly blamed the Imam for things he had never done. The Imam listened to all these quietly and without answering him. The man got tired and went away.
After he had gone the Imam asked his followers to go with punish the person. They all went with the Imam (A.S). On his way the Imam started reading the following verses of Qur'an:
"'Those who control their anger and forgive the people, Allah loves those who do good." (3'133).
His companions immediately knew that the Imam would forgive the person.
When they arrived at the person's house and when the person saw them all, he was sure, the Imam had come to punish him. However, the Imam addressed him very gently saying, "Brother, you said things about me, if truly I have those faults, then I pray to Allah to forgive me. If, however, I do not have those faults, I pray to Allah to forgive you."
The man was put to shame. He said, "You are free from all those faults. May Allah forgive me for making those false claims against you."
* Once a man abused the Imam (A.S) in his presence. The Imam acted like he did not hear it. Then the man shouted, "I mean you." The Imam (A.S) replied, "And from you I am turning away." By this the Imam (A.S) was acting according to the Qur'an which says "'Go to what is honourable and turn away from the ignorant" (7:199).
Adopted from the book : "A Brief Biography of Ali bin Husain (a.s.)" by : "Muhammad Reza Dungersi Ph.D"
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