Imam ‘Ali Zayn al-’Abidin (‘a), son of Imam Husayn (‘a), stayed aloof from public life in order to avoid being involved in their disputes with one another and in order to dedicate his entire time to worshipping Allah and mourning his father. He kept weeping day and night. One of his slaves said to him, “I fear for you lest you should perish”

He (‘a) said to him, “I only convey my complaints and my grief to Allah, and I know from Allah what you all do not know. Jacob was a prophet from whom Allah caused one of his sons to be separated. He had twelve sons, and he knew that his son was still alive, yet he wept over him till he lost his eyesight.

If you look at my father, my brothers, my uncles, and my friends, how they lay slain all around me, tell me how can my grief ever end? Whenever I remember how Fatima's children were slaughtered, I cannot help crying. And whenever I look at my aunts and sisters, I remember how they were fleeing from one tent to another...”

The fire burning in the tent did he see
While he was the tent of honour and dignity.
He saw how apostasy and misguidance assailed
The daughters of the wahi and the creed.
He saw about the ladies of Prophethood
What the norms of manliness hold as abhorred:
Their looting and their beating
While none to help them besides their Lord.
He saw shy and pure ladies' faces uncovered
To the son of the prostitute driven.
He saw how the pure and virtuous ladies stood
Before ignominy: Yazid, the tyrant, how they cried.
And they were in the ropes tied
Before the assembly of every villain and dastard displayed.1

To you, O Messenger of Allah (S), is our complaint from the way whereby your nation treated your pure offspring, from the oppression and persecution to which they were subjected, and all Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

  • 1. These verses were composed by the authority shaikh Muhammad Husayn al-Isfahani.