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Chapter 3: Imam Al-Sajjad’s (‘A) Strategy Of Struggle

There are many narrations explaining the reasoning behind the various methods, in regards to leadership of the Muslims, at different periods, during the time of the holy Household (‘a) of the Holy Prophet (S).

It is said that when Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) made his pilgrimage to Makkah, Ibad Basri asked him: "You left the hard part, which was holy war, and chose the easiest part which is to go on pilgrimage to Makkah." And he recited the following verse to Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a):

إِنَّ اللّهَ اشْتَرَى مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنْفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُم بِاَنَّ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ

“Verily Allah has bought from the believers their souls and their Properties for Paradise to be theirs….” (Surah At-Tawbah, 9:111)

Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) replied to him, saying: recite the next verse, too, which says:

التَّآئِبُونَ الْعَابِدُونَ الْحَامِدُونَ السَّائِحُونَ الرَّاكِعُونَ السَّاجِدُونَ الأَمِرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَالنَّاهُونَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَالْحَافِظُونَ لِحُدُودِ اللّهِ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

“(The believing strivers are those who) turn repentant (to Allah), worship (Him), make a journey, bow, prostrate (in prayer), bid what is right and forbid what is wrong, and keep the limits of Allah, and give good news to the believers.” (Surah At-Tawbah, 9:112)

Then the Imam said: "When such people –the people whose characteristics have been explained in the verse – will come into being, I would prefer everything over jihad (holy war)."1

With the above mentioned answer, Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) clearly stated his policies, politics and method of war against them in his time. If Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) stopped fighting the Ummayyads, it would have been due to the fact that military conditions were not conducive or likely to be favourable in his view.

Ibad Basri was completely wrong to infer that the Imam (‘a) had made such a move merely to save his own life and enjoy its luxuries. In those situations, if the Imam (‘a) started a movement against the Ummayyads, it would not only have been useless, having no effect on their dynasty, but would also have resulted in disaster.

After the event of Karbala, Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) and the respected women of the holy Household (‘a) such as Hazrat Zaynab (‘a) and Umm Kulthom (‘a), started their mission against the Ummayyad dynasty and tried their utmost to make people aware of the Ummayyad’s corrupt and evil ways. They also intended to inform the people of their religious responsibilities, as servants of Allah and followers of Muhammad (S). Thus leaving no stone unturned in the quest for making people aware of the Ummayyad’s false politics, grounded on cruelty and sins.

Imam Al-Sajjad’s (‘a) sermons and sayings and the contributions of other members of the Household (‘a) all helped stimulate integration of thought within the people and to make them aware of the dangers and killings the Ummayyads had committed against the Muslims and Allah’s religion (Islam).

In Damascus, Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) stressed that the captives of the Family of Imam Husayn (sabaiah were the members of the holy Household (‘a) and people of the Holy Prophet (S). He also intended to defame the Ummayyads revealing, to the people of Damascus, the lies they had been told by the regime in order to mislead them.

Before returning to Madinah, Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) initiated ideas of revolution in the minds of the people, awakening the Islamic nation of the misfortune the Islamic mission was facing. The event of Karbala was a great example of these continuous calamities, which Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) referred to in his sermons, many of the sermons bearing the same message of revolution and awakening for his audience.

The experience of Karbala clearly showed that the Islamic Ummah was in state of stagnation and ignorance. It cannot be said that their desperate situation brought an end to their intent to wage war against their oppressors, however, it did, to some extent, make them refrain from such actions.

In this climate, Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) rose up to be a leader of the people and the whole nation; Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) was, himself, a person who had newly gained the responsibility of leading the errant society towards the path of righteousness and truth. He was a person taking lessons from the activities taking place around him. However, instead of going to war and using lethal weapons, the Imam (‘a) preferred to fight the oppressors indirectly, by enhancing the sense of religiousness amongst the people of the society.

He also tried to broaden the boundaries of his preaching by bringing awareness among the Muslims and letting different groups become familiar with the various methods to practice, in order to lessen their ignorance. The Imam (‘a) also trained particular people, sending them as envoys among people of different regions, calling them towards pure Islamic teachings. Those he reached out to were the people following the thought patterns being passed down to them by the Ummayyads.

For years, the deviated ruling forces had influenced the mental and social justifications of the people and were intending to create a generation devoid of belief in Islamic thought and ideologies. Islam could not directly challenge the oppressors at this time, because the power of deviation was so strong, and had gained the backing of many organizations and social forces.

Challenging such a tough administration had the potential to cause serious harm to real Islamic thought and ideology. During this period, the holy Household (‘a) did not govern the people, but tried to save the Islamic mindset amongst Muslims; this method was utilized to elevate the significance of Islamic thought.

Indicating Signs For Imam Al-Sajjad’s (‘A) Success

The actions carried out by Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a), to awaken the Muslims, brought great results. Two of these actions mentioned below are examples of such:

The plans of Imam Al-Sajjad’s (‘a) brought great success in social fields and he became a very beloved and respected person among almost all Islamic social groups. Many historical accounts are in agreement to this.

Ibn Khalkan writes:

Hisham Ibn Abdul Malik once went for the pilgrimage to Makkah when his father Abdul Malik Ibn Marwan was still alive. During circumambulation of the Ka’abah, he tried many times to succeed in kissing the Hajar Al-Aswad (the black stone which pilgrims kiss at Makkah) and in jurisprudential terms "Istilam", but could not do so because of a huge crowd gathering around him. Then a pulpit was set for him to sit on and watch the pilgrims performing Hajj.

There he sat while the noblemen of Damascus spread all around him. He was looking at the people, when Imam Zayn Al-’Abidin Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Al-Husayn (‘a) (who was famous for his handsome looks and who was undoubtedly the best person of his time) entered the mosque. He wanted to kiss the Hajar Al-Aswad too. When he moved toward it, people set aside, making room for him to kiss the black stone.

A person from Damascus asked: who is this person for whom the people feel so much respect and honour? Hashim was afraid that if he told the truth, the people of Damascus would become inspired by Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) and as a result would be on his side. So he said: I do not know him!

Farazdaq who was also present there, said: “I know him”.

The person from Damascus asked him: “Oh, father of Faraas! Who is that person?”

Farazdaq answered him and praised Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) in the following verses:

"He is the one whose footsteps are known by the land of Batha. He is the person who is well known by the holy Ka’bah and the holy shrines."

"He is the son of the best servants of Allah; and he is so very pure, pious and an outstanding person."

"When the people of Quraish see him, every one from amongst them says: he is the peak of greatness."

"He is the offspring of the Holy Prophet (S), and all the elements of his essence are purified."

"If you do not know him, then you must know that he is the son of Fatimah (‘a); Fatimah whose father was the last of all the prophets (S)."2

"He is the one who has been made respectful by Allah Almighty from the very first day of his birth; and the letters of his greatness have been written by Allah the Exalted on the Divine Memory."

"If you say you do not know anything about him, it will not cause him to lose his value, because the person you intend to show your unawareness about, is known by every Arab and non- Arab."

"Indeed, he belongs to that particular group whose respect and love is the very religion, and enmity towards is nothing but blasphemy; as well as being their friends is the only way to success."

"If the people of piety are counted, this great family will be their leaders; and if someone asks about the best persons of the earth, there would be no names other than theirs."

"In all the creatures Allah Almighty has created, there is no one who does not owe the blessings of this family. And this is what makes this family superior to other families on Earth."

"Whosoever has a belief in Allah should accept their rights because every Ummah has reached Allah’s religion through the channel of this holy Household (‘a)."3

When Hashim heard this elegy, he became so angry that he ordered that Farazdaq should be taken to the prison and, thus, he was put in jail for his verses. After hearing this, Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) sent an amount of twelve thousand Dirhams, but Farazdaq did not accept the money.

He just said: "I praised Imam Zayn Al-’Abidin (‘a) for nothing else but the pleasure of Allah."

Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) replied: "We are the family who if once gives something, never takes it back."

When Farazdaq heard these words, he accepted the money Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) sent to him.

This account tells us about how famous Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) was among the people and to what extent people respected him! This respect and love for Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) could also be seen during the time of pilgrimage and in the most holy places like the Ka’abah; a place which is for prayer! People accepted him as their real leader; a leader who made them aware of truth and showed them the path of righteousness so that they could perform their religious deeds without any hesitation and pressure.

As they were fully aware of the enmity of the Ummayyad dynasty to the holy Household (‘a), they also knew what punishment they would face if they came out officially on the side of the holy Household (‘a).

Imam Al-Sajjad’s (‘a) scientific activities brought very successful results. The mosque of the Holy Prophet (‘a) and Imam ‘Ali’s (‘a) home became centres of knowledge and science for thirty five long years which equalize the period of Imam Al-Sajjad’s (‘a) Imamah. The Imam (‘a) attracted every person who was eager to know something about any branch of Islamic knowledge, not only in Makkah and Madinah, but in the entire Islamic world.

Thus, he was successful in developing an intellectual school of thought, with all outstanding qualities, to help people expand in intellect as regards hadiths and jurisprudential problems.

While Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) was collecting his troops (the groups of intellectuals, religious jurisprudents etc.) and preparing them, there was great danger ahead of him due to the loss of power from the Shi’ahs after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (‘a). To reach the abovementioned targets, the Imam’s only option was to, mentally and psychologically, prepare the people, because this was the only way to awaken their hopes and warn them against the brutal government.

Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) slowly but steadily brought changes, and through his actions, he helped the Shi’ahs regain their lost position and so they were fully prepared by the Imam’s (‘a) powerful, correct, serious and wise planning.

Imam (‘a) had a particular way of jihad against the government of his time, which was suitable for the situation he was in; which are discussed in these lines:

An Intellectual And Contemplative Struggle

It is clear that, for every true political movement, correct thought is necessary. Appropriate arrangements should be undertaken to bring awareness regarding incidents taking place around the victims. People should also be made aware of their problems as well as their responsibilities because in such conditions what is most needed by them is to rise against corruption and unfair rulings and regulations. History witnesses that these corrupt and unfair rules and governments had long prevented people from learning the real teachings of Islam.

Imam Zayn Al-’Abidin (‘a) played a vital role with regard to this field. This becomes clearer when we come to know about the suppression of hadiths by the government of that time.4 Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) established orders in relation to the collection of hadiths and encouraged those who wanted to learn them.

During his lifetime, not only did he, himself, act according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (S), but he also encouraged others to do so. It is narrated from him that he said: "The greatest deed is the one done according to the Sunnah, no matter how small the action is."5

Calling people towards Islam was among the most important religious responsibilities which Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) had to fulfil in his era; a period during which the rulers tried their best to destroy the roots of truth, reflected by the interpreters and memorizers of the holy Qur’an.

The Imam’s (‘a) great efforts in this field are illustrated in his words:

"Be with the holy Book of Allah, because Allah Almighty has made His Heavens with golden and silver bricks for which, instead of water, saffron and musk have been used in its clay. Its gravel stones are all made of corals. Its degrees equal the number of verses of the holy Qur’an. He, who is the person of the holy Book, shall be told: recite the holy Book and rise. Whoever enters paradise by reciting the holy Book of Allah will gain such honour and rank above which will be that of the prophets’ and truthful ones’."6

The Imam (‘a) often said:

"If all the people of the east and the west die, I will feel no fear if the Book of Allah is with me."7

Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) continued to show great respect for the Qur’an in many ways. He had the most beautiful voice when he recited the verses of the holy Qur’an among the people.8 His sole aim, while interpreting the verses of the Qur’an, was to lead society towards the path of righteousness. 9

To strengthen his rules based on the oneness of Allah, which had great suitability with correct thinking and had the power to stop deviational thoughts, Imam Al-Sajjad’s (‘a) efforts were appreciable. One of the examples was against social brutality. Oppression was rife and being forcefully applied against the people of the society and time by the ruling parties, so that they could achieve their own means, goals and targets.

After the caliphs gained success in preventing the people from taking action against them, while uttering no harsh words against their corrupted government, they made further plans to enslave their subjects’ minds rendering them incapable of thinking negative thoughts against them and their government.

In order to do this, they propagated deviational ideologies and beliefs among the people. They also imposed oppression in an attempt to reach their desired goal. It has already been explained, when Ibn Ziad faced Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a), he tried to explain the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (‘a) as the will of Allah; however, Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) rejected what he was said by recitation of the following Qur’anic verse:

اللَّهُ يَتَوَفَّی الْأَنْفُسَ حِينَ مَوْتِهَا

“It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death….” (Surah Al-Zumar, 39:42).

By reciting the abovementioned Qur’anic verse, the Imam (‘a) manifested his rising against the wrong ideas and disbelief of the ruling party. Moreover, by speaking about "taking of soul", the Imam (‘a), wanted to clarify and make known to the people that human souls belong to Allah when they are taken by him in the time of their natural death. No one has the right to kill or martyr them before the time of their natural death.

When the Imam (‘a) was asked the question: “Are the difficulties faced by the people something fixed for them from Allah Almighty, or are they the fruit of the wrong deeds and decisions they, themselves, make?”

He said: "The link between the humans’ deeds and Divine decree is like their bodies’… and Allah the Exalted always helps in such a time."

Then he said: "You must know that the cruelest person is someone who thinks of his cruelty as justice and thinks of the justice done by someone else as cruelty."10

This is how Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) raised his sword of disagreement against the deviational ideologies of likening and manifestation.11

As far as Imam Al-Sajjad’s (‘a) Imamah and religious guardianship is concerned, he never dissimulated it. He always propagated the words about his guardianship very clearly and without any fear. There are a large number of Hadiths which guarantee the truth of this statement. For example:

"We are the Muslims’ leaders, the Divine Proofs for all of them, the leaders of the true believers, the commanders of those whose foreheads shine brightly with the light of faith [the best among the people of the paradise]; and we are the only commanders of the believers. As the stars are the symbol of peace and tranquillity for the heavens, we are the symbol of peace for the people of the earth.”

“If none of us [the Imams (‘a)] remain on the earth, the earth will swallow all the people living on it. The earth does not remain empty for a single moment from Divine Proof, from the very first day it was created by Allah the Exalted. This is another discussion about whether the mentioned Divine Proof has been seen and known or unseen and unknown. It will be the same till the Day of Judgment; otherwise, the act of worshiping only one Allah will be finished.”12

Abul Minhal Nasr Ibn Aus Tai says: ‘Ali Ibn Al-Husayn (‘a) asked me: "who are the people attracted by?"

I respectfully replied: They have no particular attraction towards a particular person and have a variable attraction. The Imam (‘a) said: "Call them to come towards me."13

Abu Khalid Kabuly said to the Imam (‘a): "Oh, my Lord! Let me know about how many Imams (‘a) will appear after you? Imam (‘a) said: "Eight people, because the number of all the Imams (‘a) is twelve equalizing the number of Bani Al-Israil’s tribes. Three of the twelve people have passed from the world. I am the fourth. And there will come eight other Imams (‘a) after me and they will all be from amongst my offspring."14

If people leave the holy Household (‘a) and cease to favour them, it would not only cause the holy Household (‘a) to have no share in government, but the people themselves will also remain in darkness, having no knowledge about their religion, Islam; a religion whose rules can only be clarified by the holy members of the Household (‘a). An Imam (‘a) is not only a qualified person for political and administrative problems, he is also the true origin of understanding the final Divine religion, Islam; and he is the person who should be consulted for the explanation of the religious problems of the Muslims.

The vindictive rulers not only prevented the members of the Household (‘a) from taking part in politics, but also tried hard to prove they were not the true religious leaders of the Muslims; and in this way, they compelled the people to leave them alone and join their own brutal ruling party. Thus, one of the responsibilities of the holy Household (‘a) was to bring about awareness of Islamic thought and teaching amongst the people.

Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) played a very important role in this. When a person came to him, seeking advice on a religious problem and disagreed with the Imam (‘a) about the answer, Imam (‘a) said to him:

"If you had come with me, I would show you the footsteps of Gabriel in my living room, and then you would come to know that there is no one superior to us with regard to the traditions!"15

Then he added:

"The Divine Religion, Islam, cannot be approached with the help of incomplete intellect, rejected theories and corrupted imaginations; the only way to overcome this is to bow in front of Him and us. Thus, whosoever believes in Islam should come and swear his allegiance to us and whoever has followed our rules, he will find the right path.

On the other hand, he, who has followed his own imagination and opinion, has met his devastation. He, who doubts about whatever we say, has unknowingly doubted about Allah, who has created "the Beginning" (the first Surah of the holy Qur’an)."16

Educational, Social And Practical Jihad

The greatest target of the Divine leaders is to bring necessary rectification among human society; rectifications, based on Divine instruction. To reach this goal, a Divine leader must be very strong, in order to bear all the difficulties and hardships, of which he must face before reaching his destiny.

1.) He should train a generation from amongst the believers according to the Islamic teachings, based on morals and beliefs, so they will be his friends and companions on the way to his divine goal.

2.) Despite all the eminence he has, he should also play his role and personally participate in all necessary actions with other people. He should, also, personally face the oppressors (who are nothing but the symbol of devils on earth) and preach Islamic teaching without fearing them.

3.) He should rise up against all the evils propagated in the Islamic society by the oppressors to weaken social forces, empty the society from every kind of ‘plus point’ obstacle, which societies are attracted to, serving as a barrier from truth and goodness.

Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) played his role very well in the three abovementioned fields. Considering all the severe punishments and death penalties issued by the Ummayyads to those who opposed them, the Imam (‘a) became the greatest divine reformist of his time.

The clearest aspect of the Imam’s (‘a) practical activities can be examined in the following with regard to his manners:

Morals And Training - On The Level Of The Muslim Ummah And The Followers Of The Holy Household (‘A)

Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) was the greatest example of Muhammad’s (S) morals. He showed the good character of the Holy Prophet (S) in his personal, as well as social behaviour with all the creatures of the world.

Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) was a great example of a very experienced Islamic leader who had comprehensive knowledge, originality, power of attraction and a way of drawing hearts towards himself. He was a person with the potential to elevate society and he had the ability to solve all their problems, providing them with complete peace and tranquillity.

An excellent example of this, is the passion Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) showed during the event of Karbala against Yazid’s army.

His steadiness, which he displayed as a true Muslim, in all his political and social undertakings gives an example of his manner.

Another positive aspect of Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) character was his zeal for helping the poor believers, widows and orphans. This was known by all the people of that era.

Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) also felt great sorrow for slaves, relatives and even for his enemies; and this has been narrated by so many persons, from amongst both his friends and enemies.
There are many books which tell about his piety and Allah - fearing qualities. According to these books, he showed his awe and fear of Allah on all occasions and this is why he was given the nickname of "Zayn Al-’Abidin" (the beautification of all the pious ones) as well as "Sarvar - us - Saajidin" (the leader of those who prostrate). We discussed this in former sections, and will continue to illustrate examples in subsequent chapters.

Rectification Of Governmental Affairs

According to some historians, after the event of Karbala, the sons of Imam Husayn (‘a) withdrew from politics leaving it for others, and chose piety and fear of Allah for themselves.17 They provided proofs taken from Imam Al-Sajjad’s (‘a) life and claimed that the Imam (‘a) had established his religious activities in society.

It seemed that these people were ignorant to the meaning of leadership, merely entrenched in politics in rising against oppressors, of which Imam Husayn (‘a) had achieved on the battlefield of Karbala. They failed to see the excitement amongst the members of the holy Household (‘a) in rising against the cruel government of that time. Therefore, their findings were not totally correct.

However, it cannot be said that, after reading about the lives of the holy Household (‘a), with stories so full of positive and continuous activities, with regards to politics, the abovementioned proposal can be proved as being false and untrue.

The vast relationship of Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) with the Islamic Ummah and its leadership can be highlighted. This association did not develop solely because Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) was the offspring of the Holy Prophet (S); it also occurred as the result of the efforts made by the Imam (‘a), himself, even though he was unable to do a great deal on a governmental level, as he lacked this authority.

It is also a fact that a nation does not allow every person to lead it. Therefore, Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) could not have become the leader of his nation, without having inspired the people and attracted them towards him. After much struggle, the Imam (‘a) succeeded in making the people his companions, helping to solve their problems, with the help of his prophetic mission.

The people were not fully aware of the separation of religion and politics during the time of Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) and all steps carried out by the Imam (‘a) were the result of his political actions. We can observe the political interference in the Imam’s (‘a) actions when studying his life. The traditions related to Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) show that he had great control over politics, took part in political discussion, followed the political progresses and clearly stated his views against the corruption, which the Islamic Ummah were passing through.

Here we mention a few examples:

1.) Abdullah Ibn Hasan says: "After Isha prayer, Imam ‘Ali Ibn Al-Husayn (‘a) sat in the mosque with Arwa Ibn Zubair and talked on different topics. I also joined them. One night, the oppression of the Ummayyads and ways of surviving it were points of discussion. Arwa asked Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a): "Oh, ‘Ali (‘a) whoever leaves the oppressors, Allah knows better about his feeling of dislike with regard to the tyranny done by the persecutors. Thus, if someone leaves them and goes at a place about a mile (two kilometers) far from them, it is hoped that when Allah Almighty punishes them, he would remain safe and suffering no harm."

Abdullah Ibn Husayn says: "After that night, Arwa left the city and went to live at another place, named Aqeeq. I also left that place and went to live in another place named Saviqa."18

But we can observe that the Imam did not leave the city and preferred to remain in Madinah. He passed all his life in that particular city because, according to him, if he left the city it would be tantamount to an escape from the political war, allowing the cruel oppressors to rule the roost.19

It is also possible that Arwa Ibn Zubair (who was from amongst the enemies of the holy Household (‘a)20 offered this strategy himself, or took the idea from the Ummayyad government to encourage the Imam (‘a) to leave the city and thus in this way, indeed, leave the political and social fields. But the Imam (‘a) did not pay much attention to this trick and continued his struggle against the oppressive government.

2.) There is a tradition in which Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) says:

"Indeed, supremacy has been given to stupidity over intellect, evil over goodness, curse over blessing, ignorance over wisdom, anxiety over passion, encroachment over soft- heartedness, starvation over fertility, hardships over luxuries and ease, attraction towards the mean world over preventing it, polluted impure families over nobles families, and the salt marsh over fertile lands. Thus, seek the shelter of Allah after this dominance which is nothing but the beginning of a life of hardships and dangers."21

The most important keyword of this tradition is the word ‘government’, which shows the domination and victory of evil over goodness. Domination and victory are the two very important elements in the formation of a ruling government. The Imam (‘a), in this tradition, has talked about the incompetence of the government, alongside other natural facts he wished to reform.

Dear friends! Which was the family oppressed by the Ummayyads in the time of Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a)? What is the meaning of seeking Allah’s shelter other than rejecting the government of his time? Can anyone imagine a more powerful political personality other than Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a), keeping in mind all the conditions he was living in?

Moreover, who can make such successful plans under the mentioned circumstances other than Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a)? Thus, can it be said that a person who is no longer interested in politics carry out such actions?

3. His Struggle Against Corruption

War against corruption is another important part of all necessary actions that have to be performed by a reformist. Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) played a vital role in this field.

The period in (which Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) lived) had its own social problems. Certainly, it is possible that these problems can be observed in other eras, too. However, in the time of Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a), the mentioned problems were observed more widely than earlier or later periods.

Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) treated all the problems with his own particular method. Such actions show that Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) depended on his own beliefs and ideas instead of following another person of his time. The most important problems at the time were ‘poverty’, ‘slavery’ and ‘slave selling’, all of which will be discussed in future chapters.

  • 1. Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 5/22; Wasa’il Al-Shi’ah 15/46; Al-Ihtijaj for Al-Tabarsi 2/44.
  • 2. A poem which is in many Historical books and literature, Ibn Khallikan, Wafayat Al-A'yan 6/96; Shaykh Al-Mufid, Kitab Al-Irshad 2/150-151.
  • 3. This is a very lengthy elegy which has been mentioned in many historical books. Refer to/ Ibn Khalqan, Wafiyat Al-A'ayan 6/96; Shaykh Al-Mufid, Kitab Al-Irshad 2/150-151; narrated from Muammad Ibn Ismail Ibn Ja'afar Sadiq (‘a). One can also refer to the other reference books mentioned in the first part of this book.
  • 4. The prevention of Hadiths both on written and oral level started soon after the Prophet‘s (s) demise.
  • 5. Al-Mahasin, hadith 221 number 133; Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 1/70.
  • 6. Tafsir Al-Burhan 3/156; Tafsir Al-Qummi 2/259.
  • 7. Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 46/107; Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 2/602, Tafsir Al-'Ayashi 1/23.
  • 8. Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 70/5 Hadith 45; Shaykh Al-Kulayni, Al-Kafi 2/616; Mustatrafat Al-Sara'ir p. 206.
  • 9. Al-Ihtijaj by Al-Tabarsi 312-319.
  • 10. Tawhid Al-Saduq p. 366.
  • 11. Kashf Al-Gummah 2/89.
  • 12. Amali Al-Tusi, 253; Al-Ihtijaj for Al-Tabarsi, 2/48.
  • 13. Ibn ‛Asakir, Tarikh Madinat Dimashq 41/365; Sharh Ihqaq Al-Haqq 28/4.
  • 14. Kifayat Al-Athar pp. 236-237; Jami’ Ahadith Al-Shi’ah pp. 26-38.
  • 15. Nuzhat Al-Nazir p. 94; Al-Majlisi, Bihar Al-Anwar 75/161.
  • 16. Ikmal Al-Din wa Tamam Al-Ni'mah p. 324, chapter31/Hadith 9.
  • 17. Nashat Al-Shi'ah wa Tashayyu' for Shahid Sayyid Muammad Al-Baqir Al-Sadr.
  • 18. Ibn ‛Asakir, Tarikh Madinat Dimashq 40/278.
  • 19. Jihad Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) p. 154.
  • 20. Tanqih Al-Maqal 2/251.
  • 21. Ibn ‛Asakir, Tarikh Madinat Dimashq 41/410; Mukhtasar of Ibn Manzur, 17/255.