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Majlis 56

Imam’s Family In The Prison Of Syria

O mourners!

Since these are the days of mourning, I would like to mention a few sentences of the sufferings of Imam Al-Husayn’s (A) family. These are days when the Imam’s family was taken to Syria, though it cannot be said with certainty how many days had passed since they were brought to Syria, but according to a reliable tradition, they had arrived in Damascus on 2nd Safar.1

Also according to whatever is mentioned in the books of Karbala tragedy, the Imam’s family was confined within a four-walled place during these days.

The prison where the Imam’s family members were lodged neither shaded them from the sun during neither the day, nor the cold at night. It was only a four-walled enclosure in which they were, so that they may not escape.

The above is the description given by the writers of Karbala account.2 Now the question arises as to how much time did the Imam’s family members spend in the prison? There is no perfect answer for this, whether it was a few days, a few weeks or a few months.

It is recorded in the books of Karbala tragedy regarding this, that a person saw Imam Al-Sajjad (A) sitting at the gate of the prison one day. Seeing his worn-out facial skin, he asked Imam (A) the reason for this. The Imam replied, “We were kept in such a prison where there was no protection against sun and cold.”3

The stay of Imam’s family in Syria was most torturous for them. It is narrated by Imam Al-Sajjad (A) himself because he was once asked, “O master! Which was the most torturous stage for you? Was it the journey from Karbala to Kufa? Or from Kufa to Syria? Or the journey from Syria to Medina?”

The Imam replied, “Ash-Shaam, Ash-Shaam. Ash-Shaam”.4 The journey to Syria was the toughest for them of all the places. The main cause of this was that the Imam’s family had to enter Yazid’s court where there was no stone left unturned to humiliate them.

Imam Al-Sajjad (A) says, “Twelve of us were tied with a single rope. One end of the rope was tied to my arm and the other to my aunt, Zaynab’s arm. We were brought in Yazid’s court in this state where Yazid was sitting on his throne surrounded by his courtiers.” In this state also, Imam Al-Sajjad (A) issued such a statement that Yazid was humiliated in front of everybody. Yazid had not at all expected that a prisoner would talk to him in this manner.

Imam Al-Sajjad (A) addressed Yazid and said, “Do you permit me to say something?”5

Yazid gave the permission but with a condition that he should not speak anything obscene. The Imam said, “It is not possible for a person like me to speak anything obscene in such a court. I am going to speak logic.” (The Imam certainly said this so that people become aware of the fact and wake up from their slumber of ignorance). “Yazid is sitting on his throne as the caliph of the Prophet (s.a.). What if the Holy Prophet (S) comes here and sees us who are his progeny, in this state?”6

In the name of Allah and by Allah and on the religion of the Messenger of Allah (S)

  • 1. It is written as follows in Maqtal al-Husayn, Muqarram, Pg. 248; They entered Damascus on 1st of Safar and were stopped at Baabus Saa’at.
  • 2. Lohoof, Pg. 188; Muntahai ul-Amaal, Vol. 1, Pg. 771.
  • 3. Anwar al-Nomaniya, Vol. 3, Pg. 252; Muntahai ul-Amaal, Vol. 1, Pg. 277.
  • 4. Tazkiratush Shuhada, Pg. 412.
  • 5. Muntahai ul-Amaal, Vol. 1, Pg. 764; Damaus Sujum, Pg. 247.
  • 6. Ashnai ba Qur’an, Vol. 5, Pg. 57.