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The Prisoners Meet Ibn Ziyad

Ibn Ziyad sat on his throne and the head of the Imam was between his hands. He had a stick and he hit the lips of the Imam with it.

Zayd Ibn Arqam was standing nearby and suddenly said, "O, governor! Take away your stick from those lips! Indeed, I have seen the Prophet kissing those lips!" And he cried.

Ibn Ziyad said, "Indeed, you are a hallucinating old man. You have no mind. If you were not senile, I would have killed you!"

Zayd left the meeting saying, "O, people of Arabs! You are slaves after today! You are slaves of the son of Marjanah (Ibn Ziyad)! He is going to kill the best of you, and he is going to humiliate you, and that is the worst possible life!"

Zaynab was with the women, on the side, but not visible to the public.

Ibn Ziyad pointed to her and asked, "Who is this woman?"

Someone replied, "This is Zaynab, daughter of 'Ali, Amir al-Mu'minin, the Leader of the Faithful."

Ibn Ziyad wanted to humiliate her. He walked towards the group of women, faced her, and said, "Praise God that He has exposed you and killed you and eradicated your caused."

Zaynab replied, "Praise God Who has honored us by His Prophet Mu¦ammad and purified us from filth. Indeed, only the guilty will be exposed, and the sinners will lie, and they are not we. They are someone else, not us."

Ibn Ziyad asked, "What do you think of what God did to your family?"

She said, "I did not see anything but good. These are people on whom martyrdom is written. They went where God wanted them to go. God will gather you and them on the Day of Judgment. Then, you will see what God does to you on the Day of Judgment. Woe unto you, O, son of Marjanah!"
Ibn Ziyad became very angry and was about to kill her, but 'Amr Ibn Harith stopped him and said, "This is a woman, and a woman is not responsible for her emotions."

Ibn Ziyad thought for a moment, still staring furiously at Zaynab, then moved away from her and said, "God has made me satisfied with your tyrant and the opposition of your household."

Zaynab answered, "Indeed you have killed the head of my family! You have exposed the women! You have cut all of the roots! If this is what satisfies you, then yes you are satisfied!"

Ibn Ziyad ignored her, but turned his face to 'Ali al-Sajjad and said, "What is your name?"

Imam Sajjad answered, "My name is 'Ali son of Husayn." Ibn Ziyad said, "Did God not kill 'Ali? ('Ali al-Akbar in Karbala')"

Imam Sajjad replied, "I had another brother older than me named 'Ali. People killed him."
Ibn Ziyad said, "No! God killed him!"

Imam Sajjad calmly told him, "God makes people die when it is time for their death."

Ibn Ziyad became very angry. He could not stand it any longer, and ordered Sajjad to be killed.
When Zaynab heard this, she ran to where Sajjad was chained and used herself to protect his body, saying, "Is it not enough for you to shed our blood?

Have you left anyone else of us alive? If you want to kill him, you have to kill me with him!"

Sajjad said, "Indeed, death is our custom [it has happened to us before], and martyrdom is an honor for us, from God."

When Ibn Ziyad saw Zaynab attached to Sajjad he said, "What a strong family relationship they have! She is willing to die for him!" And he walked away.

The people started talking about what happened, and Ibn Ziyad became afraid. He ordered the chief of the guards to imprison Imam Husayn's family in a special house near the castle, and people gathered to see them.

Because people were trying to get close to the prisoners so they could use them as political pawns, after the governor gave that order, Zaynab announced, "No one should come to see us but slaves, because they are like us." The women and children, and Imam Sajjad were taken to their holding place.

Adapted from the book: "Karbala & Ashura" by: "Ali Hussain Jalali"

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