Imam Zainul Abidin (a.s.) in the Court of Yazid in Sham
- :Muhammad Reza Dungersi
Following the instructions of his master, Yezid, Ibne Ziyad sent Imam and the ladies and children of the house of the Prophet (S.A.WW) as prisoners to Damascus.
To show his power and to frighten others, Yezid treated these prisoners very badly. They were first taken from one bazaar to another. The women and children were tied by one rope and treated very badly. The Imam was to remember this incident for the rest of his life. With tears in his eyes he used to say "In Sham (Damascus) we were insulted and treated like we were slaves whose master was not there (to protect them)" They were then put in prison.
Yezid would regularly call Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) to insult him in front of the public. On one such occasion, apreacher who was employed by Yezid went on the 'Mimber' (pulpit) of the Mosque and abused the Imam Ali (A.S) and his family.
When the preacher finished his lecture, the Imam turned to him and said, "Be ashamed of yourself, you evil speaker. With your words you have displeased Allah so as to please people". Then the Imam (A.S) asked Yezid to let him talk to the people. Yezid refused to do so. The people of Syria, however, forced Yezid to allow the Imam to go on the Mimber.
Once on the Mimber, Imam Zainul Abidin first praised Allah and His Messenger. After that the Imam gave along and very powerful speech letting the Syrians know the great position of Imam Husain (A.S) to Allah, and how evil Yezid and his family were. Part of the speech is summarised below:
"O listeners I Allah has given us (Ahle Bart) six things which no one else has. He has given us special Wisdom, Patience, Dignity, Power of speech, Courage and Respect. He gave us special benefit of belonging to the family of his Prophet. To us belong Hamza and Jafar. To us belong Asadullah (The lion of Allah, Imam Ali (A.S)). To us belong the leader of the youths of paradise (Imam Hassan (A.S) and Imam Husain (A.S)).
"Those who blow me, know me. Those who do not, then know that I am the son of Mecca and Mina. I am the son of Zamzam and Safa. I am the son of he who gave Zakat to the poor. I am the son of the best of those who have ever put on Ihram and performed ceremonies of Hajj. I am the son of he who was taken on the night journey from house of Allah to the Mosque of Aqsa and then to Miraj. I am the son of he who was taken around by Gibrael to the Lote-tree of the boundary (Sidratul Muntaha).
"I am the son of Muhammad Mustafa (S.A.WW). I am the son of Ali Al-Murtaza who fought the polytheists in the battle till they submitted to Islam and fought in the presence of the Prophet until his sword was broken and to whom Zulfikar was given. I am the son of he who had the honour to migrate twice in Islam. I am the son of Fatima the best women of the world...".
The effect of the speech was so powerful that everybody in the Mosque began to weep and to blame Yezid. Yezid was afraid that if the Imam continued his speech, there would be a revolution. At the same time Yezid could no more stop the Imam and get him down from the Mimber. He therefore ordered a "Muazzin" to give Azan, knowing that this would automatically cut the Imam's speech. But he underestimated the Imam , s bravery and intelligence.
The Imam stopped his speech but did not get down from the Mimber. When the Muazzin said " Allahu Akber" the Imam testified Allah's greatness. When the Muazzin said, "Ash hadu anna Muhammaddan Rasulullah", the Imam stopped the Muazzin from going any further. He then turned to Yezid and asked him. "Tell me o Yezid, was Muhammad (S.A.W W) your grandfather or mine? If you say he was your grandfather it will be an open lie and if you say he was my grandfather then why have you killed his son and imprisoned his family? Why have you killed my father and brought his women and children to this city as prisoners?"
Yezid had no reply to give.
The effect of this was to turn Syrians against Yezid. Everyone of them now found out about Yezid's crimes that he had committed against the Prophet (S.A.W W) and his family. They began to blame him and ask for the release of Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) and the womenfolk of the house of the Prophet. Yezid was now afraid that if he did not act fast his ruler-ship would be lost from him. He therefore freed Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) and let. him return to Medina with full honour and respect.
Adopted from the book : "A Brief Biography of Ali bin Husain (a.s.)" by : "Muhammad Reza Dungersi Ph.D"
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