Imam`s confrontation with Yazid bin Muawiyah
Our Maula, Ali ibn al-Husain Zainul Abideen (a.s) delivered the following
Sermon, in the court of Yazid ibn Muawiyah. He said:
In the name of Allah, the most Kind, the Most Merciful, and all Praise is to Allah, Lord of
The Worlds; May blessings and salutations be upon my grandfather Muhammad, and his
Pure perfect progeny.
All Praise is for Allah who has no beginning,
The Eternal who has no end,
The First, with no first before Him,
And the Last, with no Last after Him,
The One Who will remain after the annihilation of creation, He created mankind,
And ordained the nights and days,
And distributed among them (appropriate) portions,
So Glory be to Allah, the Master, the All-Knowing.
O people, I warn you about the world and what is in it,
For it is a place of termination and transference.
It is (constantly) moving with its inhabitants from one situation to another,
It has destroyed past generations and bygone nations,
Who had longer lives than yours,
And (who) built great dwellings,
And (who) had longer civilizations,
And (who) had more wealth.
The passing of time destroyed them,
And snakes and worms have overcome them.
The world has destroyed them as though they had never been its people or inhabitants;
The earth has eaten their flesh,
And broken up their limbs,
And wiped out their characteristics,
And changed their merits,
And the passing of time has transformed them,
So they are (now) calm among the army of the dead,
And they are suffering in the place of trials and misfortunes, awaiting the trumpet of the Day of Judgement and the coming of the Day of Calamity,
So that Allah may compensate those who sinned for what they did,
And compensate with kindness those who did good. (Holy Quran,
Do you still covet the stay (in the world) after them? Impossible, Unbelievable! No, doubt that (everyone) will follow them,
So make up for what is left of your lives with good deeds,
For when I imagine you when you will be moved from your palaces to your graves, very scared, not rejoicing, and how many of those frightened people will be regretting so much (of their life)
Where no help will come to those who are sorry,
And no help will come to those who were unjust,
And they will find their actions present (there),
And what they had supplied themselves with will be brought in front of them,
And Your Lord does not deal unjustly with anyone. (Holy Quran, 18:49)
O people, we have been granted six things, and favoured with seven:
We have been granted knowledge and forbearance, forgiveness and eloquence, courage and love for us in the hearts of the believers.
And we have been favoured with the fact that from among us came the chosen
Prophet, and from among us came (Ja`far) as-Siddeeq, at- Tayyar, and from among us came the Lion of Allah and the Lion of His Prophet, and from among us came the best of the women, and from among us came the two grandsons (of the Prophet), and from among us will come the final Guide of this nation.
O people, whoever recognized me knew me, and whoever did not recognize me, I will inform him of my honourable lineage and ancestry.
I am the son of Makkah and Mina,
I am the son of Zamzam and Safa,
I am the son of the one who carried the Stone with the corners of his cloak.
I am the son of the best of those who ever wore a loincloth and clothes,
I am the son of the best of those who ever wore sandals and walked barefoot.
I am the son of the best of those who ever did Hajj and recited the Talbiyah,
I am the son of the best of those who ever did Tawaf and Sa`ee.
I am the son of the one who was made to travel from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa,
I am the son of the one who was carried on Buraq into the air,
I am the son of the one who was raised (on Buraq) to the heavens,
I am the son of the one whom Jibraeel took to Sidratul Muntaha,
I am the son of the one who came closer and closer (to his Lord), and then bowed, so he was only the distance of two bows or closer still (Holy Quran, 53:8-9)
I am the son of the one to whom al-Jaleel [i.e. Allah] revealed all that He revealed,
I am the son of the one who led groups of the angels of the heavens in prayer.
I am the son of Muhammad al-Mustafa.
I am the son of Ali al-Murtada.
I am the son of the one who fought the creatures with Dhul Fiqaar, until they said "La
I am the son of the one who fought using two swords, in front of the Messenger of Allah,
And (who) stabbed with two spears,
And (who) pledged allegiance twice (to the Prophet),
And (who) migrated twice,
And (who) fought in (the battles of) Badr, Uhud and Hunain,
And (who) never disbelieved in Allah for even the blink of an eye.
I am the son of the best of the believers,
And the heir of the Prophets,
And the Commander of the Muslims,
And the Light of the mujahideen,
And the Crown of the weepers,
And the Ornament of the Worshippers,
And the most excellent of the Quraish,
And the most patient of the patient,
And the best of the steadfast from among the family of Taha and Yasin, the Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds, and the killer of his enemies, those who broke their oath, those who were unjust, and those who deviated.
I am the son of the defender of the sacred places of the Muslims.
I am the son of the one who was aided by Jibraeel,
And helped by Mikaeel,
And was the first of the believers to respond to (the call of) Allah and His Messenger,
And was the voice of wisdom of the worshippers,
And the exterminator of the aggressors,
And the destroyer of the polytheists,
And the one who crushed the disbelievers,
And the supporter of the religion of Allah,
And the guardian of the affair of Allah,
And the garden of the wisdom of Allah,
And the container of His knowledge.
(The one who was) tolerant, generous, glorious, fun to be with, pure, content, gallant, fearless, patient, always fasting, refined, always praying, the one who cut off lineages,
The one who separated allies (of unbelievers),
He was the most stable of them (during war),
The best of them in controlling his horse,
The firmest of them in determination,
The severest of them in fighting the unjust.
(He was) a fearless lion, who would crush them in battles, (even) when the spears became many and the horses came close, and he would disperse them (in those battles) as though they were small particles in a strong wind, (He was) the lion of Iraq and the ram of Hejaz, (He was) of Makkah, of Madinah, of Mina, of Aqabah, of Badr, of Uhud, of the tree (under which the pledge of Ridhwaan was taken), of the Emigrants, from the Arabs he was their leader, and during wars, their lion, (He was) the inheritor of the two Holy Sanctuaries, the father of the two grandsons, Hasan and Husain, the next noor, (following the Prophet), the piercing meteor, the victor over every victor, THAT was my grandfather Ali Talib!
I am the son the women who lack all defects,
am the son of the women who were purified,
I am the son of Fatimah az-Zahra, the Best of the women,
I am the son of Khadijah al-Kubra.
I am the son of the one who was slaughtered in Karbala,
I am the son of the one was lying in the desert,
I am the son of the one whose head was cut off from the nape (of the neck),
I am the son of the one who was stripped of his turban and his robe,
I am the son of the one who was thirsty until he died,
I am the son of the one who was oppressed until he passed away,
I am the son of the one whose head is on a spear and is being presented as a gift,
I am the son of the one whose women were taken as captives from Iraq to Syria,
I am the son of the one upon whom the angels in the heavens wept,
I am the son of the one for whom the jinns on earth wailed and the birds in the sky lamented
He continued identifying himself until the crowd wept and sobbed loudly.
Yazid became fearful of a revolt, and ordered the Muadhdhin to give the
adhaan. When he said "Allahu Akbar," the Imam said:
Nothing is greater than Allah. Allah is more Majestic and Greater than everything I fear or
am cautious of.You have proclaimed the greatness of the Great who cannot be equaled,
and of the Mighty whom senses can never comprehend.
When he reached the line "I bear witness that there is no God but Allah,"
Yes, to that bear witness my hair and my body and my flesh and my skin and my blood
and my mind.
When the muadhdhin said "I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of
Allah," Imam turned to Yazid saying:
Yazid, this Muhammad, is he my grandfather or yours? For if you claim that he is your
grandfather, you are lying and sinning, and if you say he is my grandfather, then why
have you killed his family and made captive his women?
Imam`s confrontation with AbdulMalik bin Marwan:
Ibn Shahr Ashob narrated in Virtues of Abi Talib, quoting ibn Shihab AlZahri saying:
I saw Ali bin Alhussein on the day of the campaign of AbdulMalid bin Marwan from the Medina to Sham chained and commissioned some people to be his guardians. I asked him to greet the Imam and he allowed me, I entered on the Imam and saw him chained with iron, I cried,
And said: I wish I were you, and you are safe.
Then he said: O Zahri, do you think that what you see on me in my neck hurts me? If I willed, it wouldn`t be, yet it reminds me the severe punishment of God, then he pulled his hands and legs out of the chains and said: O Zahri, you have not seen what they put on me in the Medina, then it was no more than four nights before the commissioned men came to take him to the Medina and they didn`t find him, and I was asking them about him.
Some of them said to me: we do not sleep, watching him, and when morning came, we wouldn`t find but the chains.
Then I came to AbdulMalik after that and he asked me about the Imam and I told him,
He said: he had come to me in a day when he had no supporters,
And said: what am I to compare to you?
I said: stay with me.
He said: I don`t like to, and went out, and I was so frightened of that.
AlZuhri said, and then I said: he is not Ali bin Alhussein who you think engaged with himself.
He said: wish to be engaged with one like him (1).
Imam Zain al-Abideen and Hisham bin AbdulMalik
Imam Zayn al-Abideen, the great-grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him and his family), went to the Mecca to perform the Hajj pilgrimage.
Meanwhile Hisham bin Abd al-Malik (He was nominated Caliph, and also the son of the ruling Caliph of the time) went there for the same purpose. Hisham tried his best to reach the Kaaba but he was unable to do that, for the people were overcrowded around it. Then Imam Zayn al-Abideen came to perform his circumambulation. When the pilgrims saw him, they were astonished at his humble solemnity and the glow of piety on his face, the face was similar to that of his grandfather, The Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), may God bless him and his family. The people were shouting: "There is no god but God! God is great!" - With great respect - they parted, made way for him and allowed him to pass through to kiss the Kaaba.
The Syrians were astonished when they saw that situation. One of Hisham`s companions asked him: "Who is that man whom the people have honored very much?
Hisham was hurt and pretended not to know the Imam and angrily, shouted at the man, saying: "I do not know him!
The great Arab poet Al-Farazdaq was there. He knew that Hisham was lying. He could not control himself at this insult to the great Imam. Thus, he said to the Syrians:
"I know him."
"Who is he, Abu Firas?" The Syrians asked.
This is the son of Hussain and the grandson of Fatima the daughter of the Apostle through whom the darkness dispersed.
This is he whose ability the valley (of Mecca) recognizes, He is known by the (Sacred) House and the Holy sanctuary and the lands outside the sanctuary.
This is the son of the best of Allah`s servants. This is the pure pious man, the pure eminent man.
When the Quraysh saw him, their spokesman said:
Liberality terminates at the outstanding qualities of this (man).
He belongs to the top of glory which the Arabs of Islam and non-Arabs fall short of reaching.
When he comes to touch the wall of the Kaaba, it almost grasps the palm of his hand.
He takes care to be modest and he is protected from his fears. He only speaks when he smiles.
There is a cane in his hand. Its smell is fragrant from the hand of the most wonderful (of all the people), who is proud.
The prophets yielded to his grandfather`s favor. The nations yielded to the favor of his community.
The light of guidance emanates from the light of his forehead. He is like the sun whose shining disperses darkness.
His family tree belongs to the Apostle of Allah. Its elements, its natures, and its qualities are good.
This is the son of Fatima if you do not recognize him. The prophets of Allah were ended by his grandfather.
Allah honored and favored him from antiquity.
Your words ` who is this?` do not harm him. All the Arabs and non-Arabs recognize him whom you deny.
Both his hands are relief. Their advantage has prevailed. The hands are just. Nonexistence does not befall them.
He is the carrier of the burdens of the people when they are oppressed.
His qualities are good. The ` yes` is sweet with him.
He does not break a promise. His soul is blessed. His courtyard is wide. He is intelligent when he decides.
He is from the people whose love is religion, whose hate is unbelief, whose approach is refuge and protection.
If the God-fearing are numbered, they are their Imams. If it is said who are the best of the earth, it is said they are.
No generous man can reach their far purpose. No people, though generous, can compete with them (for generosity).
They are rain when a crisis happens. They are lions when fear becomes intense.
Poverty does not decrease the relief from their hands. That is the same, whether they are rich or poor.
Misfortune and tribulation are driven away through their love.
Kindness and the blessings are regained through it.
In every affair their praise is after the praise of Allah. The speech is ended by it.
Abasement refuses to stop at their space. Their natures are noble, and their hands are full of liberality.
None of mankind has within their souls such primacy as he does or such grace as he does.
Whoever knows Allah, knows His friend. Our Religion came from the House of this man.
Hisham burst into anger. He wished the earth would swallow him up. He said to AlFarazdaq: could you say something like that for us?
Farazdaq said: tell me about a grandfather of yours like his, or a father like his, or a mother like his so that I can say like this for you; therefore he imprisoned him in Safan between Mecca and the Medina. Then Ali bin AlHussein heard about that and sent him twelve thousand dinars and said: O Abu Firas forgive us, for if we had more, we would give you more. Then Farazdaq said: O son of the prophet, I have not said that but angrily for the sake of God and his Messenger. Farazdaq used to produce his satire against Hisham while in jail, Hisham heard about that and set him free.
His Attitude with Al-Hajjaj
Alkulaini narrated, quoting Aban bin Taghlib said: when Hajjaj demolished the Ka`aba, people spread its soil, and when they wanted to rebuild it a snake got out preventing them from doing so until they ran away and went to Hajjaj and told him about that, therefore he was frightened to be prevented from rebuilding it, he got up the pulpit and said: O people I do ask you by God to tell me what disasters you saw? A man got up and said: no one know more than a man I saw. Hajjaj said: who is he? He said: Ali bin Alhussein AS. Hajjaj sent to Ali bin Alhussein, Ali bin Alhussein said to him: O Hajjaj you have demolished the house of God built by Abraham and Ishmael, get on the pulpit and ask people to bring back all the soil they have taken, he said, Hajjaj did asked people to do so, and then they did. Then Ali bin Alhussein came and laid the groundwork and ordered people to dig. He said: the snake never got out to them until they reach the basis of the foundations. Ali bin Alhussein said to them: get away, he came closer to it and covered it with his dress, then with sand and said: put up your groundwork, they did, and then he asked people to put the sand in, therefore it became high getting up by stairs (3).