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Respect Shown By Christians to Jesus

1. It is reported that Zayn al-‘Abidin (‘a) said, “When the head of al-Husayn was brought to Yazid, he convened sessions for wine drinking and had the head of al-Husayn brought, placed before him and he would drink wine in front of it.

One day, a messenger from the king of Rum was present at one such session of Yazid, and he was one of the nobles and greats of Rum. He said, “O King of the Arabs! Whose head is this?” Yazid said to him, “What is this head to you?”

He said, “When I return to our king, he will ask me about everything I saw. So, I would like to report to him about the story of this head and its owner so that our king may share in your joy and happiness.” Yazid said, “This is the head of al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib.” The man from Rum said, “Who is his mother?” He said, “Fatimah the daughter of the Messenger of Allah.”

The Christian said, “Fie on you and on your religion! I have a religion better than yours. Verily, my father is one of the descendents of David, and there are many generations between David and my father. But the Christians honor me and take some of the earth from beneath my feet as a blessing because of my father, as one of the descendents of David.

But you kill the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah, while between them there is only one mother! What sort of religion do you have?” Then he said to Yazid, “Have you heard the story of the Church of the Hoof?” He said to him, “Tell it to me so I can hear it.” He said, “There is a sea between Oman and China that it takes a year to cross. Along the way there is no inhabited place except one city in the middle of the water. It is eighty by eighty farsangs.

There is no city on the earth bigger than it, and camphor and emeralds are brought from it. Its trees are aloes wood and ambergris. It is in the hands of the Christians. No king has sovereignty over it except them. There are many churches in that city. The biggest of them is the Church of the Hoof. There is a small golden box in its sanctuary in which is hung a hoof.

They think this is the hoof of a donkey that Jesus used to ride. They decorated the area around the box with gold and silk brocade. Every year many Christians make a pilgrimage to it and walk around it, kiss it, and offer their supplications to Allah, the Exalted.

This is their manner and habit regarding the hoof of the donkey they think Jesus, their prophet, used to ride. And you kill the son of your prophet’s daughter!? Then Allah does not bless you and your religion.” Yazid said, “Kill this Christian so that he cannot expose me in his cities.”

When the Christian realized this, he said to him, “Do you want to kill me?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “Know that I saw your prophet last night in my dreams. He said to me, ‘O Christian! You are of the people of heaven!’ I was surprised by what he said to me. Now I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (S).” Then he jumped to the head of al-Husayn, embraced it, began to kiss it and cried until he was killed.”

(Bihar, 45, 144)

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