Majlis 54

Our Souls Cannot Be Shackled

It is narrated that when the Imam’s family members were brought in Ibn Ziyad’s court, the ladies of the Imam’s family and slave-girls surrounded Lady Zaynab (s.a.) who was tall in stature and was thus visible in the center like a jewel surrounded by its protectors.

Ibn Ziyad knew Lady Zaynab (s.a.) as much as he knew the chiefs of his court. He had expected her to greet him upon entering the palace (as per the custom). However, Ali’s (A) daughter did not greet him.

Zaynab (s.a.) wanted to prove and she proved effectively that Ibn Ziyad should not think that he would be able to arrest their souls like he had shackled their btadies and arrested them. Not at all! She proved that their souls were perfected human souls, not made on their own but they were divine souls. Hence, their souls could neither be controlled nor given death. Therefore, Lady Zaynab (s.a.) did not greet him.

This infuriated Ibn Ziyad and he said, “Who is this haughty woman?” No one replied. He repeated his question two or three times and got a reply at last, “She is Zaynab, the daughter of Ali Ibn Abi Talib.”1 Then Lady Zaynab (s.a.) condemned Ibn Ziyad so much that he could not speak a word. He was compelled to order his executioner to ‘behead that woman’.

Lady Zaynab (S.A.) In Yazid’s Court

When Lady Zaynab (s.a.) was brought in Yazid’s court in the Green Palace, she displayed the same majesty over there also. Even after passing through imprisonment and forty stages of the journey, her determination was not affected. Her soul had not broken down and her determination and patience was more explicit in Yazid’s court.

The sermon of Lady Zaynab (s.a.) in Yazid’s court has no match in this world. I would like to narrate only one statement of that sermon here. Lady Zaynab (s.a.) said, “O Mu’awiyah’s son! You may try all means to attack but remember that you would not be able to extinguish this “light of revelation” that has descended in our house.

You and your kingdom would be destroyed in this world. Your name would become a word of abuse but the name and the message of my brother would remain forever.2 The field grown by him would remain green forever. My brother, Al-Husayn, is a source of inspiration for the pious. The whole world would become a fan of my brother.”

Why was Lady Zaynab (s.a.) confident that Yazid’s name would be demeaned and Al-Husayn’s message would spread everywhere? It was so because she was confident about human nature. Allah has created men with the “love for truth”. As said by the famous poet, Iqbal:

Musa and Firon and Shabbir and Yazid
These two opposing powers come into being since the beginning of creation.
Enlivening of truth is from the power of Shabbir
And falsehood finally ends in despair and death.
When the relationship of the Caliphate was cut off from the Qur’an.
Poison was dissolved in the mouth of freedom.
When the leader of the best of the nations wanted
To spread greenery like a cloud gives rain.
These rained on the land of Karbala and went away
Leaving behind a field of red flowers they went away.
So that tyranny is destroyed forever
The waves of his blood created a garden.

“The Prophet Used To Kiss Those Lips”

Although Yazid was considered among the eloquent poets of Arabia, he remained speechless in front of Lady Zaynab (s.a.)’s logic. The representatives of non-Muslim countries and top military officials were present in the court.

Hence, he had to face a lot of humiliation.3 Yazid tried much to silence Lady Zaynab (s.a.) but could not succeed and then he committed a serious crime in order to do so. He told himself that it was necessary to control this lady in such a way that it is not known to others that she had been silenced. Actually, Lady Zaynab’s (s.a.) words had changed his state.

Thus, he committed a crime, which I cannot narrate in detail. I would only say that this act of Yazid was not liked by one of his courtiers.4 He shouted:

“O Yazid! Hold your cane. By Allah, I have seen with my own eyes that the Holy Prophet (S) used to kiss these lips.”5

  • 1. Irshad, Shaykh Al-Mufid, Pg 243; Lohoof, Pg 160; Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol45, Pg 115-117; Muntahiul Amaal , Vol 1, Pg 735; Maqtal e Hussain, Muqarram, Pg 324.
  • 2. Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 45, Pg. 135.
  • 3. Maqtal al-Husayn, Muqarram, Pg. 355.
  • 4. Abu Barza Salami.
  • 5. Maqtal al-Husayn, Muqarram, Pg 554; Falsafa Akhlaq, Pg. 220-221.