O mourners of the master!
Sasa’ah Ibn Sauhan Abdi was a great companion of the Commander of the Faithful. The Imam was very fond of him. He was a well-known orator whose speeches were effective. Jahiz has praised his powerful oratory and way of reasoning in his book, Al-Bayan wa al-Tibbiyyin in the following words: “Sasa’ah was such a nice orator that at times, Imam Ali (A) used to invite him to speak in public and he used to speak in the Imam’s presence.”1
Sasa’ah had spoken briefly about the Imam on the first day of his caliphate. He spoke about him for the second time when Imam Ali (A) was struck by Ibn Muljim’s sword. After that, he talked in detail about the Imam after his burial.
On the first day of Imam Ali’s (A) caliphate, Sasa’ah turned towards the Imam and said: “O Commander of the Faithful! You have decorated caliphate and caliphate has not decorated you. The respect of caliphate has increased after you became the caliph and caliphate has not increased your respect. The Caliphate needs you and you do not need caliphate.”2
Sasa’ah talked about him for the second time after the Commander of the Faithful was injured. The blow had severe impact on him like other special companions of Imam Ali (A). In fact, Sasa’ah had come to visit Imam (A) however he did not get a chance to meet him.
Eventually, he conveyed two verses through the person who was allowed to enter the room where the Imam was kept. Sasa’ah expressed his sorrow by conveying his salutation to Imam and by reciting the following two verses:
“May Allah’s mercy be with you in your life and death, O Commander of the Faithful! You consider God the greatest and you have divine recognition of the Unique Being.”3
When Imam Ali (A) received the message, he replied to Sasa’ah saying:
“May Allah’s mercy be upon you too, O Sasa’ah! You are our best friend and helper. You did not expect much, gave least trouble and spent less. You were also hard working; you served much and gave many sacrifices.”4
The third poem recited by Sasa’ah was after the burial of Imam Ali (A). Sasa’ah was one of the special companions of the Imam present at the time of his burial. After Imam’s burial, Sasa’ah kept one of his hands on his chest and took a handful of mud from the grave and kept it on his head.
Then he said: “May my parents be sacrificed for you, O Commander of the Faithful! O Abul Hasan! May you find pleasing all the honours and successes you gained through this martyrdom and the rank you obtained near Allah.”
Then he said: “Surely, the place of your birth is pure, your patience is strong and your Jihad is great. You made a profitable trade and reached your Lord. I pray to Allah that He grants us the good sense to follow your footsteps.
You reached a place none can reach. You have gained that honour, which could not be gained by anyone.’’ He again said: “O Abul Hasan! I am happy for you. Allah has made your rank more honourable. May Allah not keep us away from the great reward, which we seek through you. May Allah not let us get misguided after you.
By Allah, your holy life was the key to goodness and a lock for mischief.5 If people had obeyed you and sought your recognition, heaven would have rained mercy and earth would have thrown up its treasures.
Alas, they did not care about you. This temporal world misled them.”6 Saying this, Sasa’ah began crying excessively and all the people gathered there were full of remorse. They began to weep aloud in extreme grief.7
- 1. Jahiz, al-Bayan wa al-Tibiyyin, Vol. 1, Pg. 266.
- 2. Al-Sawarim al-Muhriqa, Pg. 6; Usud ul-Ghaba, Vol. 4, Pg. 32.
- 3. Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 42, Pg. 234; Safinat ul-Bihar, Vol. 2, Pg. 31.
- 4. Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 42, Pg. 234; Safinat ul-Bihar, Vol. 2, Pg. 30.
- 5. Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 42, Pg. 295.
- 6. Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 42, Pg. 295.
- 7. Sukhan, Jame Talimaat al-Islami, Pakistan.