The End of Negative Suffering - 1/6

This is the first part of the lecture series on "The end of negative suffering" by Brother Khalil Jaffer. In this series, he talks about how to become alive and conscious in the real sense, how to connect again to Allah, and what is it that is disconnecting us from Him. It is because of this disconnection that causes all the negative suffering.

'A'udhu bil-Lahi min al-Shaytan al-rajim. Bismil-Lah, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Al-hamdulil-Lahi Rabbi 'l-alameen, bari' al-khalaa'iqi ajma'een. Wa as-salat wa as-salam 'ala asharafi al-Anbiya'i wa al-Mursalin, Sayyidina, wa Nabiyyina, wa habibi qulubina, wa tabibi nufusina, wa shafi'i dhunubina, Abil Qasim Muhammad. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. Thumma as-salatu wa assalam 'ala aali baytihi, at-tayyibin, at-taharin, al-madhlumin. Wa la'anatu Allahi al a'da'ihim ajma'in min yawmi 'adawatihim ila yawm id-deen. Amma ba'd, faqad qal Allahu tabaraka wa taa'la fi kitabih. Bismillahi, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Ya aiyyuha alladhina amanu istajiboo lil-Lahi wa li ir-Rasuli idha da'akum limaa yuhyyikum (8:24). Salawat! [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].

Surat ul-Anfal, chapter eight of the Holy Qur'an, verse twenty four. Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala is addressing us and saying,Ya aiyyuha alladhina amanu, oh you who believe. Istajiboo lil-Lahi wa li ir-Rasuli, respond to the call of Allah and his messenger, answer Allah and his messenger. Idha da'akum limaa yuhyyikum, when they call you to that, which gives you life.

The verse is very short, but very deep. It tells us that in Allah's eyes, even though you may be born, you are not necessarily alive. Because Allah is saying respond to Allah and His Messenger to that which will give you life. If you ask most people what is the opposite of death, they will tell you life, but that is incorrect. The opposite of death is not life, the opposite of death is birth. Life has no opposite. Allah Himself is life. Life is sheer being itself. When we are connected to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, then we are alive. It's like being a robot who's programmed and asleep but not plugged in, and when you get plugged in and the eyes open and you sit up, that is when you are alive.

Your life has always been there for a long time, even before you came to this world. There was a time you existed in another world, then you died there and you were born here, and the people of this world celebrated your coming. Then you will die here. And you will be born in another world that we call Barzakh. Then you will die there and you will be born again in another world that will be Mahshar on the Day of Judgement. And this cycle of birth and death continues until you're finally born, which is Jannah or Jahannam. So life does not have any opposite.

Now, the objective of our discussion starting tonight until Friday, inshaAllah, with possibly a conclusion on Saturday, if we don't complete on Friday. Is to learn how to become alive. Is to learn how to become conscious again now that we have been born, most of us are still unconscious. In other words, the objective that we wish to accomplish in these five nights is to learn how to connect again to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. And what is it that is disconnecting us from it. It is our disconnection from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, it is our being unplugged from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. It is the fact that we are still not alive that is the cause of all forms of negative suffering. And for those of you who have had the chance to look at the website and read a little bit about the subject of our discussion, the topic says end of negative suffering.

So first and foremost, let's talk about what we mean by negative suffering. You notice my skills in law that are improving, I didn't say end of suffering, I said end of negative suffering. I consulted my lawyer first. Suffering, for the purpose of this discussion, for these five nights, I will divide suffering into three categories. First, there is physical suffering. When you injure yourself, you feel pain. When you fall sick, you feel pain, when you are hungry, you suffer, when you are thirsty, you suffer. When you're stuck in a traffic jam, you suffer. I am not going to show you how to end physical pain, because I can't tell you how not to get stuck in a traffic jam. Nor can I tell you how never to fall sick.

There is a second kind of suffering which is emotional suffering. You know, you love your watn, for example, separation of your, from your family or your home and so on. Emotional pain. I'm not going to show you how to end that kind of pain either, because that is also part of being human. And I'm bringing this up right up front, because when we talk of end of suffering, of negative suffering, as being a sign of being unenlightened, of being disconnected from Allah, I do not want someone coming and asking me, well, why did Imam Husayn, alayhi as-salam, suffer?

So I'm making it very clear from the start, there is physical suffering, which is very normal for anybody living in this world, there is emotional suffering, which is also very normal for all human beings to experience. Then there is negative suffering. Negative suffering is the loss of inner peace within yourself when you experience physical or emotional suffering. Negative suffering is the loss of the sense of tranquility, that stillness that is natural within you, that should be with you all the time when you lose that because of experiencing something physical or emotional pain that is negative suffering.

And it takes different forms, such as anger, anxiety, boredom, depression, guilt, stress, worry, unspoken resentment, fear, blaming others, becoming a mean person, these are all negative traits, these are all forms of negative suffering that are the result of the loss of inner peace. And we're going to discuss this in a lot of depth over these five nights InshaAllah. I'm not saying we will all be enlightened on Friday night, but I will certainly show you the tools by which we will know exactly why we suffer and exactly what we need to do to end these forms of suffering.

And inshaAllah, with such practicality as well, not just theories. But I will challenge any one of you on Friday night to stand up and tell me you have not yet told us how to end negative suffering. We will come to that, inshaAllah. First and foremost. I said originally that by our nature, we were not meant to have any form of negative suffering. If you take the example of Karbala itself, you will see Imam Husayn, alayhi as-salam, suffered greatly at a physical level or emotional level. He cried over the loss of his children. He suffered hunger. He suffered thirst. He suffered injuries. But nowhere will you find any incident in history to show that he was depressed. Or that he suffered from anxiety. There was this inner tranquility, this peace within him that cannot be understood by the mind. Why else would Allah call him "ya ayatuha al-nafsu al-mutma'inna" (89:27), oh soul at complete rest, oh soul that is in complete tranquility.

So when human beings by nature are not meant to experience any worry, any stress, it is unnatural to be stressed, or to be depressed, or to be worried, or to have any kind of anger or fear within us. So what causes the rise of this negative suffering? How did human beings make a habit out of this?

We need to go all the way back to the time when a child is born. When a child is first born and we have mentioned this before as well, when a child is first born, it has no sense of identity. You will recall I have mentioned this in the month Ramadan. A newborn baby does not know "who I am" it doesn't have a sense of "I" ness, it doesn't have any ego, so to speak. And it sees itself, even though its intellect is not yet developed, but there is a rhythm and a sense of peace within it that keeps it in sync with the whole universe. It is connected to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, the newborn child.

With time, however, it experiences conflict. Now, conflict in a baby's world may be hunger or may be the need to change diapers, that might be the big bala' [tragedy] for the child. And because it does not have any means of communication, it cannot speak, it cannot walk, it cannot help itself. The only means available to the child is to cry. So it cries. And sure enough, when it cries to express that there is conflict in my life, somebody fixes the problem.

Somebody shows up and lifts the baby and says, oh, it's fine, your mom's here and dad's here and don't you worry and everything will be fine and somebody changes the diaper or feeds the child. And because it is a human being and it has memory and it has the capacity to learn very quickly and retain habits, it learns a very important lesson that when you have a problem in life, cry, kick a fuss and somebody will fix your problem. This is embedded now in the child's memory. Make noise. And if you can't make noise externally as it grows older, it also learns this, if you can't make noise externally, then make noise internally in your mind. And you will see also what we mean by this.

So slowly, this child now begins to form an identity, a new sense of awareness and "I" ness that is, whose foundation is conflict. The baby now begins to see that there is the world, and there is me. And I need to look out for myself because it looks like this place, there is survival of the fittest. So it creates a boundary that psychologists call the ego boundary.

Now, for the purpose of our discussion here, I will use some terminology, but I want you to understand that the meaning of these words is different from its usage in day to day English language. When I say unconscious, I don't mean like somebody who's fainted. I mean somebody who is unaware of their real identity of who they are, somebody who is disconnected from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, somebody who is unplugged from their original natural state in which they were connected to Allah. That is what I mean by unconscious.

When I use the word ego, starting tonight until the end of this series, inshaAllah, I do not mean the word ego in the sense that we use when somebody is proud we say he's an egomaniac. I mean, ego, I mean, this false sense of "I" ness that a human being develops soon after being born, this false sense of "this is me" that is based on conflict. And these ego boundaries then become stronger and stronger as the child grows.

In one of the later nights, inshaAllah, we'll talk about the meaning of love. We'll talk about what happens when a young person falls in love and there is a temporary collapse of this ego boundary and how there's this illusion that this is love, when in fact, it is not. But for the purposes of our discussion tonight, it suffices to say that at this point, now the ego has been formed. Now, once this ego has been formed with time, this human being actually begins to believe that this is my real identity. The real identity of a human being was before the "I" ness was formed, before the ego came into existence, when we were connected to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. When there was no "a separate sense of self," but there was still an awareness that I am part and parcel of this universe. And there was a deep sense of joy in being alive because Allah is life. And we were alive. We were awake. There was this exhilaration within us. This joy of just being there, being a creation of Allah. And that was the real me. Now, that has been veiled with time by this false "I" that is built on conflict.

The mind now, because it has come to believe that "I" am this ego, it now wants to sustain and keep this alive, and because it was created based on conflict, it uses conflict to keep it going. And because a human being is so creative, it invents new methods of conflict. Even you will see a baby when it cries, it's just crying, it's not speaking, but there's different types of crying. There is a crying, which is a blaming cry. It cries as if it's blaming you. Then there's a method in which a baby cries and which it is angry, you pick the baby and say, oh, don't be angry, it's just crying, but you can tell he's angry now. Then there is a method in which the child cries, in which there is self-pity, then there's a method in which the child cries, in which it wants you to feel guilty. And it's learning all this, then there is a method which is cries in which you know it is afraid. It's only crying, but it's developing these new tactics and new methods, new negative means of keeping this conflict alive, because it has come to believe that the only way to survive is to create these techniques by which you can protect yourself against this world, because now the human being is seeing himself or herself as being an alien fragments in a strange, dangerous universe. And the purpose in life is no more there at the forefront, and so this sense of conflict continues.

Now, the mind needs some way to create this conflict, and it uses two techniques. I apologise for keeping it a little dry in the start, but we need to understand this before it gets interesting. And InshaAllah it will be more interesting a little later tonight and tomorrow as well. But the mind now creates two methods of generating new forms of negative suffering. One method is pain. And again, we will talk at length, inshaAllah, tomorrow or the day after, as to why it needs pain to stay alive.

The other method that the mind uses is activities. Because the mind now, because it identifies itself with the ego and it comes to think that I am the thinker, I am the mind, it also has this belief within it that if I stop thinking, I will cease to exist. And a large number of human beings, even though they don't explicitly say this, they have this belief that they are the person in them that is thinking. And you will be amazed when we reveal that you are not the thinking or the thinker within you, that is not who you are. And it's a radical change. It will change your mind 180 degrees, InshaAllah in these next few nights, you will perceive yourself completely differently. You will begin to understand it will be like, oh, my God, and I thought I was this, but I'm actually somebody else altogether.

So there's all this chattering in the mind that is being generated to keep the sense of "I" ness alive. Now, the mind also notices that there isn't much happening in the present. When you are in the present, there isn't a lot of activities happening and it needs to keep the mind working because it has this false belief that if I stop thinking, I will cease to exist. So now it looks for the past and the future it needs to constantly think of the past or the future in order to stay alive, when in fact its life lies in the death of this, but it thinks this is my source of life. I have to survive by constantly thinking about the past and the future. So it goes to the past, and then it uses blame, depression, anger, guilt to generate activities for the mind to keep working. And then when it needs more food, then it goes into the future and then it uses worry, stress, anxiety, what if scenarios, you start finding yourself creating mental movies.

Have you ever caught yourself doing that, sitting alone and you're creating all these mental movies in the mind? There is this whole movie which if you could remove from your mind and put it in on a VCR or a DVD it would be a best seller. You know, it would be a Hollywood blockbuster. Like you, the hero, you're fighting this big battle or you are in danger and you're being attacked, and it's all in the mind. And the mental movie is complete with soundtrack and all. The mind is working, it's creating all these activities inside us.

If we want to stop negative suffering, the first thing we must do is stop the mind. Stop the mind from chattering, that is key. That is key to being reconnected to Allah again, and we cannot stop the mind from chattering and performing useless, repetitive tasks in the head until we are convinced that I am not the thinker in me, and I am not the ego in me, the moment we dis-identify and we begin to understand, we dis-identify from the mind, and we begin to understand that I am the being that is behind the mind. Then there is a deep sense of peace that starts entering our body and our mind. It takes over our whole beings and I will show you, inshaAllah, techniques by which you can go home and try and you will come back and testify to this yourself.

That even when you are angry, you can bring about a sense of peace in yourself. Outwardly, you may be suffering something on a physical plane or emotional plane, somebody may have died, you may be injured, you may be hungry, they may be all kinds of chaos happening on the outside. That's your life situation. That's your life circumstance, that's not your life. Inside, there will be a sense of tranquility. There will be no negative suffering. There will be no anger, no anxiety, no guilt, no blame, no depression, no boredom, no stress, no worry. There will be complete peace and tranquility within us. And this dis-identification from the mind and reconnection with Allah through our real self, our real identity is the essence of enlightenment.

When we talk of an awakened being, when we talk of an enlightened being, when we talk of having ma'rifat of Allah, we said the highest level a person can reach is to become in an arif to become one who knows Allah as He deserves to be known. That is the highest science, 'Irfan, that a person should reach that level. If you ask somebody who is well grounded in religious knowledge, what is the greatest purpose in life, he will tell you the greatest purpose in life is to know Allah.

Now, what is enlightenment? You see, when you say the word enlightenment, people think of something superhuman, enlightenment means to have the ability to walk on water. Enlightenment means you can read people's minds. Enlightenment means if you tell the mountain to move, it moves. Enlightenment means to disappear in one place and appear, and even when we talk of great mystics, we talk about this great alim, he's in two places at one go and he does this. And that is not enlightenment.

Enlightenment is to be in your real natural state where you are connected to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala so that there is no inner conflict whatsoever within you. You are totally at peace within yourself. That is the meaning of enlightenment. And so we cannot be enlightened until we know who we are not. You notice, even the description we gave on the website, we didn't say will tell you who you are. We said we'll tell you who you are not. Because the moment we say who you are, the mind again starts creating something out of it. That is why even in Islam, when we talk of Allah, we do not say who Allah is, we say who Allah is not. Because to know Allah, only you can know Allah, your mind cannot know Allah, and you are not your mind.

The problem is, and this is the problem with ethics, this is the problem with philosophers who cannot prove the existence of Allah. They are trying to know God through the mind, but the mind itself is the problem, the mind is the veil and the obstacle that stops us from knowing Allah. You can know Allah, but your mind cannot know Allah, because you are not your mind. You can feel the presence of Allah, but your mind cannot grasp it. There are methods and techniques by which we dis-identify from the mind, and then we know Allah beyond any shadow of doubt. So now you understand the meaning of the hadith: "man 'arafa nafsahu, faqad 'arafa Rabbah". If somebody ever asked you what does this famous hadith mean of Rasul Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad], that whosoever knows himself will know Allah. When you know yourself, not verbally, not as a theory, not based on what you heard from a lecture, but through your own personal experience, then you will also know who is Allah. Beyond any shadow of doubt.

You will see, for example, in Nahjul Balagha, also, when Amir Al-Mu'minin, alayhi as-salam, in the very first khutba of Nahjul Balagha [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad], where he describes Allah, this is a khutba you hear all the time from the mimbar as well, al-Hamdu lil-Lahi alladhee la yabluhu mid hatah ul-qailoon, all praise is to him whose praise cannot be reached by those who try to praise him, la yabluhu mid hatah ul-qailoon, wa la yuhsee na'mah ul-'adoon, and those who try to count his blessings, they are not able to count it. Wa la yuhsee na'mah ul-'adoon, wa la yuhaddi haqqah ul-mujtahidoon, and those who do Ijtihad, those who strive hard to fulfill his rights, they are not able to fulfill his rights. They are not able to describe him, that's why even the masoomeen, alayhum as-salam, when they read du'a they say "You are as You describe yourself, no one knows You except You."

There is a famous hadith from Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq, salawat Allahi wa as-salamu alayh [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad], in which he says to his companion, Hisham, "Ya Hisham, al-ism ghayr ul-musamma." Let it be known to you Oh Hisham, that the thing that you name, the thing that you level with your mind, is different from that which you are naming. Man abada Allahu isman duna al-ma'na faqad kafara wa lam ya'bad shay'a, whosoever worships Allah in name, but not in meaning, then he does Kufr because he has worshipped a label only, he has not worshipped anything. Wa man abada Allahu isman wa al-ma'na faqad ashraka wa 'abada ithna'in, whosoever worships the word Allah and the meaning behind it is a polytheist, a mushrik, because he worships two things, the label, and the meaning behind it. The label is what your mind gives you. Wa man 'abada al-ma'na duna al-ism fa dhaka at-Tawhid, whosoever worships the meaning and not the name, that is Tawhid. Because when previous Prophets were sent, and they were not Arabs, Allah was not called Allah, he was called something else in their language. So to know Allah is not possible with the mind.

Now, because we don't have a lot of time and there is a lot of material to cover, let's summarise here at one point. What we have said so far is that the cause of negative suffering is being disconnected from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. This disconnection comes about because of a false sense of identity of who we are and identifying ourselves with the mind. The causes of our suffering can broadly be divided into three groups. One is that we have an outdated mode or outdated method of fixing problems. The second problem is we are obsessed with the past and the future and the present escapes us. The third is that we identify with the mind, and we think that we are the thinker. And because of these three causes of all negative suffering, there are two results that come out of it.

One of the results of this suffering is that we will come to expect happiness from other things and other people. We will come to this conclusion, that in order for me to be happy in life, I must get this or I must get that, or somebody must make me happy. We will want someone else to be responsible for our happiness. And I will talk about this at great length, inshaAllah. The other problem that will come out of this, three causes of suffering, is that we will confuse our life with our life situation. Our life situation is what happens on the surface; where you were born, what your name is, where you live, who we are married to, what you do for a living, how many kids you have, what illnesses you have, and how tall or short you are and your address, and when you die and... this is all your life situation, life circumstances, on the grand scheme of things, it's not as important.

Then there is the life which is behind the thinker. That is the real purpose of our existence. Being a representative of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala in his universe. Surrendering to Allah to such a degree that He begins to manifest Himself through us. That is our life. But we have veiled it so much that we run around like chickens whose head have been cut off busy with our life situation. This has to be done, that has to be done, to-do list, this has to be finished, check this, has this been done, and this is all just the outer covering that the mind is generating because it needs to keep the ego alive.

So let us very quickly talk about the first cause of suffering, which is the outdated mode of thinking. As I said earlier on, when we were born, when we had a problem, all we had to do was cry and somebody fixed the problem. There are many adults who have grown up, but they haven't learned other methods of fixing the problem, such as communication. They still believe that the only way to fix the problem is to blackmail someone emotionally, make someone feel guilty, create self-pity, cry.

Because psychologically, we want someone to still come and lift us up and rock us and say "everything will be fine now I'm here, don't you worry." Unfortunately, once we become adults, everybody wants that. And because there is nobody older who can hold us in their arms and tell us, "don't you worry, everything will be fine," we get frustrated. So the baby cries or uses guilt, or blame, or anger, or fear to attract your attention and get a problem fixed, but as adults, when we do that, the only result is we create conflict in somebody else's life. Because they now react and they come back to us with anger again, you shout, and instead of somebody holding you in their arms and cradling you, they shout back. You don't do that with a baby, but you do that as adults.

Now, there is one person who can cradle you and hold you in his arms and tell you everything will be fine, and that is Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. But in order to do that, we need to connect to him again. And that is where the problem lies. So the first thing is that we are disconnected from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. Now, I was hoping to cover a lot more tonight, but I think my time is up. So we will try and continue tomorrow, inshaAllah, and I hope it will not be too disjointed from what I was going to say today. Um, and I'm almost debating whether to say some more. But let me leave this for tomorrow InshaAllah and cover it then.

In terms of being present, though. Being in the now and not letting the mind generate things from the past, and the future, there is a lengthy discussion. There is a quote here that I just want to share with you. You see when we look at our lives, it seems as if we are constantly running after something. We're never in the present, there is always the future. You come out from work, you are stuck in the traffic jam. So now you're rushing to trying to get through the traffic. What's the hurry? Where are you going? I have to get home. So you get home very quickly and you get home now you start praying very quickly, rushing to pray. What's the hurry? I have to go and eat. So you start eating very quickly, what's the hurry? I have to go to the mosque. So now you're rushing to get to the future. The present is escaping us while we are running after the future. You see what's happening? We are missing life all together because we are constantly running after the future. I have to get to the mosque, so hurry, hurry, hurry. So now you rush and you come to the mosque, you come to the mosque, you sit here, now you're twiddling your thumbs. This majlis is not ending. I have to finish, I have to go. What's the hurry, where do you want to go?

I have to go home and sleep. You are running late, so you run home to sleep, you sleep, you get up again. You have to get ready for work, so you get ready, you rush again, you have to go to work. So you're going to work now, come out from work, have to get out of work, have to get through the traffic jam. And again, there is a cycle. So while we are running after the future, the present is escaping us. And InshaAllah when I continue with this discussion tomorrow, I will show you that Allah is only present in the now. He does not exist in the past or in the future, but the mind cannot exist in the present. It can only exist in the past or in the future. For the minds to remain in the present would mean death to the ego. And therein lies the secret that if we learn to stay present, then we learn to dissolve the ego, and that's how Allah then the veils begin to fall and he begins to reveal himself.

Let me just read a quote to you here. There's a famous psychologist called Carl Jung that many of you have heard of, and he traveled far and wide to ask people, and find their culture and beliefs. And he came across a native Indian chief. And that was the time when the Europeans were coming to North America and they were taking over their land and industrialising and so on and so forth. So Carl Jung went and spoke to this native Indian chief and said, what do you think of the white man? So the Indian chief says: most white men, and this is not a racist remark, we will see that in ourselves as well. He says most white men have tense faces, staring eyes and a cruel demeanour. So when you look at them, there's a hardy, angry, cruel, tense look at them. And then, now I quote, these are the words of the Indian native chief to Carl Jung, he says, quote, "they are always seeking something, what are they seeking?" "The whites always want something, they are always restless and uneasy." "We do not know what they want." "We think they are mad." Close quote.

Are we becoming like that? That is the question. There is all this... You know, if you talk to people, they will say, I'm not restless, I'm happy. I was like, Al-Hamdulillah couldn't be better. But when you dig a little deep, you will see that below the surface there is this restlessness. There is this uneasiness, there's this dissatisfaction with life. It's just simmering there. Sometimes it explodes into anger, or fear, or a fight, or depression. But it's just there. It's like a hum. It's like an air conditioner, right, you don't notice that is going, well when you switch it off, then there is a sense of relief. It's so quiet now.

When we learn to dis-identify from the mind, when we learn to connect to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, there is such peace that will envelop us, that it will be like somebody switched off the air conditioner or the heater. Suddenly it will be like, I didn't know there was so much humming and dissatisfaction in my life. This is all negative suffering, this is all un-enlightenment.

And inshaAllah, as we develop the subject, we will talk about the causes of suffering. We will talk about the games the ego plays, the tactics we play with our life partners, with our children, with our parents, with our community, as volunteers, as employees, in every walk of life. And how it is so simple to free ourselves from negative suffering, it is so, so simple. And InshaAllah I will give you, like I said, techniques. If you can recite a loud salawat ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].

We have also gathered in these nights to remember Aba Abdillah Al-Husayn, as we come close towards the day of Arbaeen. So it is only right that we mention him, and I apologise for going over time tonight inshaAllah, but as we progress, we will give more focus to the masaib.

We start tonight with the masaib in Kufa. We are told that when the Ahlul Bayt , alayhum as-salam, were taken to Kufa first, this narration is from a man called Muslim, Muslim Al-Daffaf, and he was hired by Ubaydallah Ibn Ziyad to do renovations in his palace in Bayt Ul-Amara. And he says, my job was to do plastering on the wall. And he says, I was plastering the walls and painting them, when I heard an uproar in Kufa, there was noise in Kufa, and he said, I asked someone, what is this noise? They said there are some foreigners who rose against the Caliph Yazid Ibn Mu'awiya and they were killed, and now they have been brought, their women have been brought as prisoners.

So he says, I went there to see what was happening. And he says, to my astonishment and my shock, I saw Imam As-Sajjad, alayhi as-salam, tied in chains with blood coming from his neck. And he was calling out to the people and saying, O people of Kufa, you are the ones who called us and you have now betrayed us. O people of Kufa. Husayn has been killed near Furat thirsty, what will you answer Rasul Allah on the Day of Judgment? He says, I went a little more forward. I saw some women giving some food and bread to the young children who are on the camels and the horses. And he says there was a lady there Umm Kulthum who was saying to them: Ya Ahl al-Kufa Inna as-sadaqa haraam alayna, oh people of Kufa do you not know sadaqa is haram for us, do not give food to these children, these are aali Muhammad.

And so she was tabligh to them and also telling them that we are aali Muhammad. You have imprisoned us and you call us foreigners this day. Then he says, I went a little forward. I saw a man holding a spear on which was a head that was shining like the moon. I asked, whose head was this? I was told this is the head of Husayn. There was Qur'an being recited from that head, and he says the man holding the spear was shamelessly declaring, "we have killed Husayn, we have killed the enemies of Islam." There was a lady behind the head, he says was by the name of Zaynab. And Zaynab, alayha as-salam, was saying, "oh man do not say you have killed the enemy of Islam. It is more right for you to say you have killed him, whom Jibra'il used to rock his cradle. You have killed him whose servants were Mika'il and Israfil. It is your right that you should say Ana qatilu Rasul Allah, ana qatilu Ali ul-Murtadha, ana qatilu Fatimatu az-Zahra, ana qatilu Hasan ul-Mujtaba. You should say I have killed Rasul Allah, I have killed Ali and Fatima. I have killed Hassan, wa ana qatilu A'immat il-Huda, ana qatiul al-Mala'ikatu as-Sama'. Your right is to say you have killed the angels in the heavens.

He says, the whole group of prisoners who were taken into the court of Ibn Ziyad, and he says when they are presented to Ibn Ziyad, Ibn Ziyad was shamelessly saying, who is this woman and whose daughter is this? And so on and so forth. Then he came to Imam as-Sajjad and said who is this young man? He was told, this is Ali the son of Husayn. He says, to Imam as-Sajjad "I was told Ali, the son of Husayn, was killed." Imam as-Sajjad said I have another brother who was called Ali, whom your people killed. Ibn Ziyad says to him, it was not the people who killed your brother. It was Allah who killed your brother.

He says indeed, Allah takes the soul at a time when one dies, but it was you who killed him. Ibn Ziyad is annoyed at this, he says, kill this man as well. Zaynab comes between them and says: Ya Ibn Ziyad! Have you not spilled enough blood from our family?

Ala la'natu Allahi 'ala al-qawmi adh-dhalimeen. Wa sa ya'lamu alladheena dhalamu ayya munqalibin yan qaliboon. Inna li Allahi, wa inna ilayh raja'oon.