The Pure Progeny

Here, we talk about the blessed children of Fatimah (s.a.) who and whose posterity were the infallible deputies of Allah in the earth.

Imam al-Hasan (a.s.)

He was the first child of Fatimah (s.a.). He was born in Ramadan, in the second or the third year of hijra.1

When the Prophet (S) was informed about this blessed newborn child, he was very pleased and delighted. He hurried to Fatimah’s house to congratulate her. Arriving in the house, the Prophet said to Asma’, ‘Bring me my son!’

Asma’ brought Imam al-Hasan wrapped in a yellow piece of cloth. The Prophet took him, joined him to his chest, kissed him in the mouth, fed him with his saliva, raised his (the Prophet) hands towards the heaven and said, ‘O Allah, I ask You to protect him and his posterity from cursed Satan.’2

Then the Prophet (S) recited the azan in the right ear of his blessed newborn child and the eqama in his left ear.3 This child of prophethood received the world of existence with the highest psalm; it was “Allahu Akbar; Allah is Great, and la illaha illallah; there is no god but Allah.”

The Prophet (S) asked Imam Ali (a.s.), ‘Have you named this blessed child?’

Imam Ali (a.s.) replied, ‘I would not precede you, O messenger of Allah.’

The Prophet (S) said, ‘And I would not precede my Lord.’

It was no long when Gabriel came down to the Prophet carrying with him the name from Allah. The angel said to the Prophet (S), ‘Name him Hasan!’4

Seven days after the birth of the Prophet’s grandchild, the Prophet came to his daughter’s house to endow his grandson with some honor. He slaughtered a ram as a sacrifice for him. It was the aqiqah5 that has become a tradition since then until now. Then he cut the hair of his grandson with his holy hands and gave silver, inasmuch as the weight of the hair, to the poor.6 Then he surnamed him (gave him a kunyah)7 as Abu Muhammad.8 Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) had no kunyah other than this one.

The Prophet (S) declared his love to Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) and praised him in many traditions. The following are some of them:

1. Aa’ishah narrated that the Prophet (S) said, ‘By Allah, this is my son. I love him and love whoever loves him.’9

2. Al-Bara’ bin Aazib narrated, ‘Once I saw the Prophet (S) carrying al-Hasan on his shoulder and saying, ‘O Allah, I love him, so love him!’10

3. Abdullah bin Abbas said, ‘One day, the Prophet (S) came carrying al-Hasan on his neck. Some man met him and said, ‘O boy, it is the best back you have ridden on.’

The Prophet (S) said, ‘And the best rider he is.’11

4. The Prophet (S) said, ‘Let him, who likes to look at the sire of the youth of the Paradise, look at al-Hasan.’12

5. The Prophet (S) said, ‘Al-Hasan is my pleasure in this world.’13

6. Anas bin Malik narrated, ‘One day, al-Hasan came in to the Prophet (S). I wanted to take him away from him, but the Prophet (S) said, ‘Stop that! Let alone my son and the fruit of my heart! Whoever harms this one will harm me, and whoever harms me will harm Allah.’14

7. Once the Prophet (S) offered the Maghrib (or Isha’) Prayer and prolonged the prostration. After finishing the prayer, People asked him why he did so and he said, ‘My son (al-Hasan) rode on me and I hated to send him down soon.’15

8. Abdullah bin Abdurrahman bin az-Zubayr said, ‘The most similar and most beloved one to the Prophet was al-Hasan. I saw the Prophet prostrating (in prayer) and al-Hasan got up over his neck (or back). The Prophet did not send him down until he himself got down. Once I saw him, while bowing (in prayer), open his legs for him (al-Hasan) so that he could pass to the other side.’16

There are many other traditions that have been transmitted from the Prophet (S) about the preference of Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) besides many others that are common between Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) and Imam al-Husayn (a.s.). We have mentioned those traditions in the first volume of our book “The Life of Imam al-Hasan bin Ali”.

His Education

The Prophet (S) brought up and educated his grandson Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) and fed him with his own ideals. The other educator of Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) was his father Imam Ali (a.s.) who was the best educator in the world of Islam after the Prophet (S). He also fed in his son his high ideals and morals. His mother Fatimah (s.a.) too, educated him with the loyal faith and the deep love to Allah the Almighty. Therefore, he was a copy to these three great, infallible persons.

Fatimah (s.a.) often sent al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them, to the meeting of their grandfather the messenger of Allah (S) to learn his traditions and moralities. When they came back home, she asked them about what knowledge and wisdom they got in the meeting of their grandfather (a.s.). Al-Hasan, who was seven years old, listened to the revelation in his grandfather’s meeting and memorized it. Then he came to his mother Fatimah (s.a.) to recite it before her. When Imam Ali (a.s.) came to her, he found that she had known about the revelation that had at once been revealed to the Prophet (S). When he asked her about it, she replied that it was from her son al-Hasan (a.s.).

Once Imam Ali (a.s.) hid himself in his room. Al-Hasan came to his mother to recite before her the revelation he had heard in his grandfather’s meeting. For a moment, he was tongue-tied, and his mother asked kindly, ‘What is the matter with you?’

He said, ‘Do not be astonished at what has happened to me, for there is a Great One that takes care of me.’

Imam Ali (a.s.) came out and began kissing his son al-Hasan.17

His Moralities

All high qualities were available in Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan (a.s.), and this naturally was because he had been fed with, his grandfather the Prophet (S) and his father Imam Ali’s virtues. The following stories show the high morals Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) had.

1. One day, an old man from Sham trespassed against Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) and began abusing him. Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) remained silent until the man finished his revilement, and then said to him kindly and smilingly, ‘O sheikh (old man), I think you are a stranger. If you ask us for something, we will give you, if you ask us for guidance, we will guide you, if you ask us to carry you (to prepare for your travel), we will do, if you are hungry, we will give you food, if you are in need, we will satisfy you, and if you are chased, we will shelter you.’

The man was astonished and could answer with nothing. He was confused before these high morals of Imam al-Hasan (a.s.). Then he said, ‘Allah knows best with whom to place His message.’18

2. One day, Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) was sitting in some place and when he wanted to leave, a poor man came to him. He welcomed the poor man, humored him and said, ‘You sat just when we got up. Do you permit me to go?’

The poor man was astonished at such morality and permitted the imam to leave.19

3. Once he passed by some poor men who had put some pieces of bread on the earth and were eating from them. They invited him to participate in their food and he responded. He sat down and began eating with them. He said, ‘Surely Allah does not love the proud.’ Then he invited them to his house. He gave them food, clothes and other things.20

His Patience

Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan (a.s.) was too patient. He met whoever wronged him with pardon and kindness. Historians have mentioned many stories on this matter.

Once he found that the leg of one of his sheep was broken. He asked his servant who did that and the servant said it was he. Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) asked him why and he replied, ‘To grieve you.’

Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) smiled at him and said, ‘I will please you in return.’

He set the servant free and gifted him generously.21

Marwan, who was one of the bitterest enemies to Imam al-Hasan, acknowledged the great patience of the imam. When the imam died, Marwan came and carried the imam’s coffin. Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) was astonished and said to Marwan, ‘Today you carry his coffin, while yesterday you depressed him bitterly!’

Marwan said, ‘I did that to one whose patience was like mountains.’22

Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) was a true copy of his grandfather the Prophet (S) in patience and morals.

His Generosity

Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) was one of the most generous people, the kindest, and most charitable to the poor and the wretched. He did never reject a beggar at all. He was asked about that and he said, “I always beg Allah and look forward to His gift. Therefore, I feel shy to be a beggar and at the same time I reject a beggar. Allah has accustomed me to a habit that He pours on me His blessings and I have accustomed Him that I pour His blessings on people. I fear that if I stop my habit, He will stop His habit.’ Then he recited the following verses of poetry:

“When an asker comes to me, I say: welcome to the One Whose favor is urgently obligatory on me.

And from His favor there is a favor on every favorer.

And the best of one’s days is when he is asked (by a needy one).”23

Needy people often crowded at the door of Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) and he always gave them generously. One day, a nomad came to him asking for help. The imam asked his servant to give the nomad all that there was in the bursary. It was ten thousand dinars. The nomad said to the Imam al-Hasan (a.s.), ‘Would you let me reveal my need and declare my praise?’

Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) said to him,

“We are people whose donation is fresh, in which hope and expectation revel.

Our selves give before being asked,

To save the face of one who asks.

If the sea knows the abundance of our donation,

It shall, because of shyness, flow over after its flooding.”24

In our book “The Life of Imam al-Hasan bin Ali” we have mentioned many stories on his generosity and bounty.

His Asceticism

Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) turned his back to the pleasures of this worldly life and turned devotedly towards Allah the Almighty. It is related that he had said:

“A bit of poor bread sates me, and a sip of water suffices me, and a piece of thin clothe covers me when alive, and when I die, it is enough as a shroud.”

Muhammad bin Babwayh has written a book called “The Asceticism of Imam al-Hasan” in which he has mentioned many stories on Imam al-Hasan’s asceticism.

Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) offered all that he had just to please Allah the Almighty. He gave all his possessions two times, and divided his properties with Allah three times…25

His Worship

Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) was the most worshipping one in his time. Historians say, ‘He was not seen at any time unless he was mentioning Allah the Almighty’26 and that when he recalled the Paradise and Hell, he became confused and upset as if he was ill, and so he prayed Allah to take him to Paradise and protect him from Hell. When he recalled death and what would come after it, he cried a crying of an afraid repentant.27 When he recalled the standing before Allah on the Day of Resurrection, he sighed so deeply until he fainted.28

When he wanted to perform wudu’ (ablution), he changed color and he trembled. He was asked about this and he said, ‘He, who stands before Allah the Lord of the throne, must tremble and his color fade.’

When he finished his wudu’ and set towards the mosque, he prayed Allah by saying, ‘O my Lord, your guest is at Your door. O Beneficent, the wrong doer has come to You, so forgive the badness we have with the goodness You have.’29

When he stood to offer the prayer, fear overcame him until all his organs trembled.30 After offering the Fajr (dawn) Prayer, he did not utter save the mention of Allah until the sun shone.31

He had performed the hajj to the Inviolable House of Allah (the Kaaba) twenty-five times on foot though he had best camels.32 He was asked about his going too much on foot to the Kaaba and he said, ‘I feel shy of my Lord not to go to His House on my feet.’33

His Caliphate

He assumed the Islamic caliphate after the martyrdom of his father Imam Ali (a.s.) the pioneer of Justice in Islam. Some of his army rebelled against him and some other leant to rest and gave up fighting. Many of his soldiers were affected by the Kharijites who had accused Imam Ali (a.s.) of reneging his religion. They invited the army to rebel against Imam al-Hasan (a.s.), besides that the commanders of the divisions corresponded with Mo’awiya and agreed with him that they would assassinate Imam al-Hasan or capture him. Unfortunately, Ubaydillah bin al-Abbas, Imam al-Hasan’s (a.s.) cousin, who was the general leader of the army, was bribed by Mo’awiya, and so he took with him a part of the army and joined Mo’awiya under the darkness of night. Therefore, the army of Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) was left in confusion and seditions.

Before this severe ordeal, Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) had but two choices; either to fight with his wrecked army and sacrifice himself, his family, and his followers without offering to Islam and the nation any good, because Mo’awiya with his trick and cunning would deceive the public and show them that Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) and his followers had deviated from Islam, and if the imam was taken a captive, Mo’awiya would set him free and thus he would purify himself and his Umayyad family from the disgrace that the Prophet (S) had stained them with when he set them free after the conquest of Mecca.

Or he would make peace with Mo’awiya unwillingly and in spite of him, and then Mo’awiya would be free in his oppression and consequently he would be exposed before the public that he was too far from the reality of Islam. And this came true immediately after the truce. Mo’awiya made a speech before the people of Iraq saying, ‘I have not fought you to offer prayers, to fast, pay zakat, or to perform the hajj, but I have fought you to have power over you, and Allah has given me this although you are unwilling. I have put everything, which I have agreed on with al-Hasan (in the truce), under my feet. I will fulfill nothing of it.’

Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) had chosen peace, and otherwise the nation would suffer calamities and bloodsheds that only Allah knew how disastrous they would be.

In the truce of peace, Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) made conditions on Mo’awiya that deprived him of the legal authority and showed him to people that he was just a boss of a gang. The imam stipulated on Mo’awiya that he (the imam) would not call him as Ameerul Mo'minin (the commander of the believers), and that Mo’awiya should not violate the Book of Allah and the Sunna of His prophet in all of his conducts. Anyhow, Mo’awiya did not fulfill any of the conditions of the truce.

After the truce, the policy of Mo’awiya violated the Book of Allah and the Sunna of His prophet. He governed the nation with a dark policy that had no kindness and mercy. He killed innocent people and spread terror everywhere. He plundered the wealth of the nation and gave power to evil men like Ziyad bin Abeeh, Bisr bin Arta’ah, Amr bin al-Aas, Marwan bin al-Hakam and their like over the Muslims.

From the great offenses of Mo’awiya was the assassination of the Prophet’s grandson Imam al-Hasan (a.s.). Mo’awiya asked Ja’da bint al-Ash’ath to insert poison into the food of her husband Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) after he (Mo’awiya) had tempted her that he would marry her to his son Yazid. She gave the poisonous food to the imam, who was fasting, in the Iftar, and after no long the imam left to the better world.

Imam al-Husayn

Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) was the reviver of Islam and the savior of the nation after it had been a prey in the hands of the Umayyads who subjected it to severe torment, killed its men and spared its women. They seized the wealth of Allah and took His people as slaves to them. Therefore, Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) revolted against them in his great revolution by which Allah had revived Islam after it was about to be destroyed by those tyrants who distorted the Book, faith, morals and everything. This revolution of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) shook the forts of the Umayyads, did away with their pride and arrogance, and caused them a bitter defeat and disgrace. It paved the way for other successive revolts by Muslims until the Umayyad rule was overthrown forever.

We shall talk here in brief about Imam al-Husayn (a.s.).

His Birth

Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) was born on the third of Sha’ban in the fourth year of hijra. He was the second child to Fatimah (s.a.). When the news of this blessed birth spread, the Prophet’s wives and other ladies of Muslims hurried to Fatimah’s house to congratulate her on this newborn child and participate in her joy and delight.

When the Prophet (S) was informed of the birth of his second grandson, he came to his daughter’s house but sorrow and distress had overcome him. He said to Asma’ with faint, sorrowful sound, ‘O Asma’, bring me my son.’

Asma’ brought him his newborn grandson, and he began kissing him and crying. Asma’ was astonished and she asked him, ‘May my father and mother die for you! What for are you crying?’

He replied while crying, ‘For my this son.’

Asma’ became more astonished and said, ‘He has been born just now!’

The Prophet said, ‘The oppressive party will kill him. May Allah not grant them my intercession.’

Then the Prophet (S) said to Asma’, ‘Do not tell Fatimah about this. She has just now given birth to her child.’34

From behind the unseen, the Prophet (S) perceived what disasters his grandson would face.

The Prophet embraced his blessed, newborn grandson, and recited the azan in his right ear and the eqama in his left ear. It is related in traditions that “The azan and the eqama are protection to a newborn child from cursed Satan.’35

The first voice that penetrated Imam al-Husayn’s (a.s.) ears was the voice of his grandfather the great propagandist of Allah in the earth. The Prophet planted in the deep of his son the sacred psalms of “Allah is Great” and “there is no God but Allah”, and the son fed on them and by them he set out later on in the fields of jihad to raise the Word of Allah high in the earth and to make the power of goodness prevail everywhere.

The Prophet (S) named his second grandson Husayn as he had named his first grandson Hasan before.36 He named him with this name after a revelation from the Heaven.37

After seven days of al-Husayn’s (a.s.) birth, the Prophet (S) ordered a ram to be slaughtered as the aqeeqa whose meat was to be distributed among the poor and that a leg was to be given to the midwife.38 This has become one of Islam’s traditional practices in the field of charity to the poor. On the same day, the Prophet (S) ordered his grandson’s hair to be cut and to pay silver to the poor as much as the weight of the cut hair.39 Then Imam al-Husayn’s head was painted with a perfumed substance.

The Prophet’s Love to Al-Husayn (a.s.)

We mention here some traditions showing the great love the Prophet (S) had towards his grandson Imam al-Husayn (a.s.).

1. Jabir bin Abdullah narrated that the Prophet (S) had said, ‘Let him, who wants to look at the master of the youth of the Paradise, look at al-Husayn bin Ali.’40

2. Ya’la bin Murrah said, ‘Once, we went with the Prophet (S) to a banquet we had been invited to. We saw Husayn playing in the road. The Prophet (S) opened his hands and the child began jumping here and there. The Prophet began joking with him. Then he lifted him and put one of his hands under his chin and the other on his head. He kissed him and said, ‘Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn. Allah loves whoever loves Husayn. Husayn is a nation from the nations.’41

3. Salman al-Farisi related, “One day, I went to the Prophet (S) and found al-Husayn bin Ali sitting on his (the Prophet) thigh while the Prophet was kissing him on his mouth and saying to him, ‘You are a master and son of a master. You are an imam, a son of an imam, a brother of an imam, and the father of the imams. You are the authority of Allah, the son of His authority, and the father of nine authorities who will be from your posterity, the ninth of whom will be al-Qa’im (al-Mahdi).’42

4. Ibn Abbas said, ‘One day, the Prophet (S) was carrying al-Husayn on his shoulder. Some man said to al-Husayn, ‘O boy, it is the best back you have ridden on.’

The Prophet (S) said, ‘And the best rider he is.’43

5. Burayd bin Abu Ziyad said, ‘Once, the Prophet went out of Aa’isha’s house and passed by Fatimah’s house. He heard al-Husayn crying. He became discomforted and said to Fatimah, ‘Do you not know that his crying discomforts me?’

The Prophet Tells about Imam al-Husayn’s Martyrdom

The Prophet (S) had foretold about the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) and Muslims were certain of that. Ibn Abbas narrated, “We and the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) did not doubt that al-Husayn bin Ali shall be killed in at-Taff (Kerbala).”44

The Prophet (S) perceived from the Heaven that his darling grandson Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) would be martyred at the hand of the worst people; therefore, he cried bitterly.

1. Umm al-Fadhl bint al-Harith related, ‘Al-Husayn was under my care. Once, I went to the messenger of Allah (S) and I noticed his eyes shedding tears. I said to him, ‘O the Prophet of Allah, may my father and mother die for you! What is the matter with you?’

He said, ‘Gabriel, peace and blessings be on him, has come and told me that my nation will kill my son.’ He pointed at al-Husayn. I was terrified and said, ‘Will this one be killed?’

The messenger of Allah said painfully, ‘Yes! Gabriel has brought me some red earth from his (al-Husayn) earth (in which he will be buried).’ Umm al-Fadh began crying with the Prophet (S).45

2. Umm Salamah, the Prophet’s wife, narrated, “One night, the messenger of Allah (S) lay down to sleep, and then he woke up confused. Then he lay down and woke up confused unlike the first time. Then he slept and woke up and there was some red earth in his hand and he was kissing it. I said to him, ‘O messenger of Allah, ‘What is this red earth?’

He said, ‘Gabriel told me that this one (al-Husayn) will be killed in the land of Iraq. I asked him, ‘Show me the land where he will be killed.’ And so this is his (al-Husayn) earth.”46

3. Umm Salamah said, “One day, the Prophet (S) was sitting in my house. He said to me, ‘Let no one come to me.’ After some moments, al-Husayn came to him. I heard the Prophet (S) sobbing. Al-Husayn was on his lap. He was rubbing on his (al-Husayn) head and crying. I said to him, ‘By Allah, I did not notice him until he came to you.’

He said to me, ‘Gabriel was with us in the house. He asked me: Do you love him? I said: Yes. He said: Your nation will kill him in a land called Kerbala.’ Then Gabriel took some of its (Kerbala) earth and showed it to the Prophet (S).”47

4. Aa’isha said, ‘Once, al-Husayn bin Ali came to the messenger of Allah (S) while Gabriel was revealing to him. Al-Husayn jumped on the messenger of Allah (S) while he was devoted (to the revelation). Gabriel asked, ‘O Muhammad, do you love him?’

The messenger of Allah (S) said, ‘How do I not love my son?’

Gabriel said, ‘Your nation will kill him after you.’

Then Gabriel stretched his hand and brought to the Prophet (S) some white earth and said, ‘In this land, your son will be killed. It is called at-Taff.’

When Gabriel left, the earth was in the hand of the messenger of Allah (S) who was crying. He said to me, ‘O Aa’isha, Gabriel told me that my son Husayn will be killed in the land of at-Taff, and that my nation will be tried after me.’

Then the Prophet (S), who was still crying, went out to his companions, among whom there were Ali, Abu Bakr, Umar, Huthayfah, Ammar and Abu Tharr. They asked, ‘O messenger of Allah, why are you crying?’

He said, ‘Gabriel told me that my son al-Husayn will be killed after me in the land of at-Taff. He brought me this earth and said he would be buried in it.’48

5. Zaynab bint Jahsh, the Prophet’s wife said, ‘one day, the Prophet (S) was sleeping in my house and Husayn was crawling in the house. I took no notice of him (al-Husayn) for a while until he came to the Prophet (S) and got over his abdomen. Then the Prophet (S) began offering the prayer and he embraced al-Husayn. When he bowed and prostrated, he put him down, and when he stood up, he carried him. When he sat, he raised his hands and began supplicating. After finishing his prayer, I said to him, ‘O messenger of Allah, I saw you do something today that I had not seen you do it before.’

He said, ‘Gabriel came and told me that my son would be killed. I said: show me then. He brought me some red earth.’49

6. Ibn Abbas said, “Once al-Husayn was in the Prophet’s lap. Gabriel asked him, ‘Do you love him?’

The Prophet (S) said, ‘How could I not love him? He is the fruit of my heart.’

Gabriel said, ‘Your nation will kill him. Shall I show you the place of his tomb?’ He grasped something and it was a handful of red earth.’50

7. Abu Umamah narrated, “The messenger of Allah (S) said to his wives: ‘Do not make this boy (al-Husayn) cry.’ It was the day of Umm Salamah.51 Gabriel came down, and the Prophet (S) went into his room and said to Umm Salamah, ‘Do not let anyone come to me.’

Then al-Husayn came. When he knew that the Prophet (S) was in the house, he wanted to come to him, but Umm Salama embraced him and began playing with him in order to calm him down. When he cried loudly, she let him alone and he entered and sat in the Prophet’s lap. Gabriel said to the Prophet (S), ‘Your nation will kill this son of yours.’

The Prophet (S) asked, ‘Will they kill him while they believe in me?’

Gabriel said, ‘Yes, they will kill him.’ He took some earth and told the Prophet (S) that al-Husayn would be killed in so-and-so place.

The Prophet (S) came out embracing al-Husayn but he was distressed and sad. Umm Salamah thought that the Prophet (S) was distressed because she had let the boy come to him. She said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, may I die for you! You have said not to make this boy cry and ordered me not to let anyone come to you. Al-Husayn came and cried, and I let him alone.’

The Prophet (S) did not answer her and he went out to his companions while being too sad. He said to them, ‘My nation will kill this one.’ He pointed to al-Husayn.

Abu Bakr and Umar said, ‘O messenger of Allah, even though they are believers?!’

He said, ‘Yes and this is his earth.’52

8. Anas bin al-Harith narrated that the Prophet (S) had said, ‘This son of mine - he pointed to al-Husayn - will be killed in a land called Kerbala. Let whoever witness that support him!’

When Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) marched to Kerbala, Anas went with him and was martyred before him.53

9. Umm Salamah related, “One day, al-Hasan and al-Husayn were playing before the Prophet (S) in my house. Gabriel came down and said, ‘O Muhammad, your nation will kill this son of yours after you.’ He pointed to al-Husayn. The Prophet (S) began crying and he embraced al-Husayn to his chest. There was some earth in his hand. He smelt it and said, ‘Woe unto “kerb” and “bala”.’54 He gave this earth to me and said, ‘When this earth changes into blood, know that my son will have been killed.’ Umm Salama put this earth into a flask, took care of and noticed it everyday while saying: the day when you will change into blood will be a great day.”55

10. Once, the Prophet (S) saw in sleep that a spotted dog was licking his blood. He interpreted the dream that some man would kill his son al-Husayn (a.s.). It came true and Shimr bin Thil Jawshan, who was leprous, killed Imam al-Husayn (a.s.).56

11. Ibn Abbas narrated, “When al-Husayn was two years old, the Prophet (S) went on a journey. After passing some of the way, he stopped, sighed and his eyes shed tears. He was asked what for and he said, ‘Gabriel has just told me about a land near the Euphrates called Kerbala’ in which my son al-Husayn bin Fatimah will be killed.’ Some of his companions asked who would kill him and he replied sadly, ‘A man called Yazid (will kill him), may Allah not bless his soul. As if I see his murder and tomb, and his head will be carried as a present. By Allah, whoever looks at the head of my son al-Husayn and become pleased Allah will contradict between his heart and tongue.’

When the Prophet (S) came back from his travel, he was distressed. He ascended the minbar and took with him his two grandsons al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them. He preached to Muslims and then he raised his head towards the heaven and said, ‘O Allah, I am Muhammad; Your servant and prophet and these two (boys) are the best of my family, the best of my progeny and root, and it is they whom I will leave among my nation. O Allah, Gabriel has told me that this son of mine - he pointed to al-Husayn - will be betrayed and killed.

O Allah, bless his killing and make him from the masters of martyrs, You are powerful over everything, and do not bless his killer and betrayer.’

The attendants burst into crying. The Prophet (S) said to them, ‘You cry but you will not support him. O Allah, be a guardian and supporter to him.’

Ibn Abbas said, ‘The Prophet (S) was still unhappy. He ascended the minbar and made an eloquent speech while his eyes were shedding tears. He said, ‘O people, I will leave among you the two weighty things; the Book of Allah and my family and posterity, the mixture of my water57 and my fruit (production). They (the Book of Allah and the progeny) will not separate until they will come to me at the pond (in Paradise). Surely I will not ask you for anything except for that which my Lord has ordered me of. I ask you for love to my relatives. Be careful that you shall not meet me at the pond while you have hated my progeny.’

In another tradition it has been mentioned, ‘Gabriel has told me that my nation will kill my son al-Husayn in the land of Kerb and Bala’ (kerbala). The curse of Allah may be on his killer and betrayer until the end of time.’

Then the Prophet (S) descended from the minbar, and there was no one from the Muhajireen and the Ansar except that he was certain that al-Husayn will be killed.”58

Imam Ali Foretells Imam Husayn’s Martyrdom

Some traditions were transmitted from Imam Ali (a.s.) in which he predicted the martyrdom of his son Imam al-Husayn (a.s.). The following are some of them:

1. Abdullah bin Yahya narrated that his father had accompanied Imam Ali (a.s.) to Siffin, and when they reached Nineveh, Imam Ali (a.s.) said sadly and sorrowfully, ‘O Abu Abdullah,59 be patient, be patient…at the river of the Euphrates!’

Yahya said to him, ‘Who is Abu Abdullah?’

Imam Ali (a.s.) replied to him painfully, “One day I went to the messenger of Allah (S) and found his eyes full of tears. I said, ‘O prophet of Allah, has anyone made you angry? Why are your eyes full of tears?’ He said, ‘Gabriel has just left me now. He told me that al-Husayn will be killed at the river of the Euphrates. He said to me: shall I make you smell his earth? I said: Yes. He gave me a handful (of that earth). I could not help myself, and so my eyes began shedding tears’.”60

2. Harthamah bin Sulaym said, ‘We went with Ali bin Abi Talib to the battle of Siffeen and when we arrived in Kerbala, he led us in offering the prayer congregationally. When he finished the prayer, he took some of its (Kerbala) earth, smelt it and said, ‘O earth, some people will be resurrected from you and will enter into the Paradise without reckoning.’

Harthama was astonished at Imam Ali’s saying. When he came back to his family, he told his wife Jarda’ bint Sameer, who was an adherent to Imam Ali, of what Imam Ali (a.s.) had said, and she said to him, ‘What Ameerul Mo'minin says is the truth.’

Time passed and a day came when Ubaydillah bin Ziyad sent his armies, among which was Harthamah, to fight Imam al-Husayn (a.s.). When they arrived in Kerbala, Harthamah remembered the saying of Imam Ali (a.s.) about the martyrdom of his son Imam al-Husayn (a.s.). Harthamah came to Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) and told him of Imam Ali’s saying. Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) asked Harthama, ‘Are you with or against us?’

He said, ‘Neither with nor against you. I have left my family and children and I fear for them from ibn Ziyad.’

Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) said to him, ‘Run away so that you do not see our murders. By Allah, any man who sees our murder today and does not support us Allah will throw him into Fire.’

Harthamah followed Imam Husayn’s advice and he escaped from Kerbala.61

3. Thabit narrated from Suwayd bin Ghaflah that one day Imam Ali (a.s.) made a speech, and then some man came and said to him, ‘O Ameerul Mo'minin, I passed by Wadi al-Qura and found Khalid bin Arfatah dead. Ask Allah to forgive him.’

Imam Ali (a.s.) denied that and said, ‘By Allah, he has not died. And he shall not die until he will lead an army of deviants whose bannerman shall be Habeeb bin Hammar…’

Some man got up and said, ‘O Ameerul Mo'minin, I am Habeeb bin Hammar, and I am from your followers and adherents.’

Imam Ali (a.s.) asked the man several times if he was Habeeb bin Hammar (just to make it certain before people) and the man answered that he was himself.

Imam Ali (a.s.) said to him, ‘Yes, by Allah! You will carry it (the banner) and will enter through this gate-he pointed to Bab al-Feel (the gate of elephant) in the mosque of Kufa.’

Thabit said, ‘By Allah, I remained alive until I saw ibn Ziyad sending Umar bin Sa’d to fight Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) and appointing Khalid bin Arfatah the leader of the front of his army and Habeeb bin Hammar as the bannerman who entered with the banner through Bab al-Feel.’62

4. Imam Ali (a.s.) said to al-Bara’ bin Aazib, ‘Will al-Husayn be killed while you will be alive but will not support him?’

Al-Bara’ said, ‘Let that not be, O Ameerul Mo'minin!’

After the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.), al-Bara’ often remembered that and said, ‘How great regret it is! I neither witnessed him nor was I killed before him.’63

5. Abu Juhayfah narrated, “One day, Urwah al-Bariqi came to Sa’eed bin Wahab and asked him while I was listening, ‘There is a tradition you have narrated to me from Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.). He said, ‘Yes! Once Mikhnaf bin Sulaym sent me to Ali. I went to him while he was in Kerbala. I found him pointing with his hand and saying, ‘It is here, it is here!’

Some man asked him, ‘O Ameerul Mo'minin, what is it?’

Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘A weightiness from the progeny of Muhammad (Imam Husayn and his family) will stop here. Alas for them from you, and woe unto you from them.’

The man did not understand and asked, ‘O Ameerul Mo'minin, what do you mean?’

Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Alas for them from you is that you will kill them, and woe unto you from them is that Allah will throw you into Fire because of killing them.’”64

6. Al-Hasan bin Katheer narrated from his father that one day Imam Ali (a.s.) stopped at Kerbala, and it was said to him, ‘O Ameerul Mo'minin, this is Kerbala.’

He said sadly and painfully, ‘It is of “kerb” and “bala’.”65

Then he pointed with his hand to some place and said, ‘Here is the place of their baggage and camels’, and pointed again to another place and said, ‘Here their bloods will be shed.’66

7. Abu Khayrah said, ‘Once I accompanied Ali until he arrived in Kufa. He ascended the minbar, praised Allah and then said, ‘What will you do if the progeny of your prophet will come to be among you?’

They (the attendants) all said, ‘We will do for them all that which pleases Allah.’

Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘I swear by Him in Whose hand my soul is, they will come to you, and you will rise against and kill them.’67

There are many other traditions like these ones transmitted from Imam Ali (a.s.) about the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) in the land of Kerbala.

Imam Al-Husayn (a.s.) and Umar

When Umar bin al-Khattab assumed the Islamic caliphate, Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) was in his early years. However, his heart was full of sorrow and pain because he believed that Umar had occupied the position of his father who was the pioneer of the social justice in Islam.

One day Umar was making a speech from on the minbar and he was surprised by al-Husayn (a.s.) who shouted at him, “Get down! Get down of my father’s minbar and go to your father’s minbar!”

Umar was astonished and confused. He said to al-Husayn (a.s.), ‘You are right. My father had no minbar.’

Umar seated al-Husayn (a.s.) beside him and asked him who had instructed him with this speech. Al-Husayn (a.s.) said, ‘By Allah, no one has instructed me.’68

Though he was in his early childhood yet, al-Husayn (a.s.) saw that no one would deserve to ascend the minbar of his grandfather except his father (Imam Ali).

Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) with Mo’awiya

Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) felt great hatred and rage towards Mo’awiya, the man of evils and vices in Islam. It was Mo’awiya who spared no effort to remove all the political, educational and moral values that Islam had achieved. Mo’awiya’s destructive decisions brought the nation many misfortunes and calamities. First he did away with the famous learned and aware personalities like Hijr bin Adiy, who was one of the close companions of the Prophet (S), Maytham at-Tammar, who was Imam Ali’s disciple, Rasheed al-Hijri, Amr bin al-Hamq al-Khuza’iy and the like from the great Muslims who were openly killed by Mo’awiya.

Second, he tried his best to degrade and defame the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) who were the essence of faith and the center of the religious and social awareness in Islam, and the sensitive nerve in the body of the nation. He employed all means of education and preaching to defame the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) in any possible way, and he imposed on the speakers to abuse them (the Ahlul Bayt) on the minbars in the Friday prayer, congregational prayers, Eid prayer and on other occasions.

Third, he assigned committees to fabricate traditions and change the system of rule in Islam. Unfortunately and regretfully, those fabricated traditions had been recorded in the Sihah and Sunan (books of Hadith). This plan, as I think, was the most terrible plot that Muslims had ever been afflicted with. A great number of Muslims have believed in these fabricated traditions and thought they are a part of their religion whereas the pure religion is free from them all.

Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) sent Mo’awiyah an indictment in which he had criticized, in a very sharp language, all disgraceful policies of Mo’awiya that contradicted the Book of Allah and the Sunna of His prophet, his killing of the great, eminent Muslims, and other vices and sins. This indictment is the most important political document that discloses the crimes and vices of Mo’awiya.

The Political Conference in Mecca

Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) held a political conference in Mecca attended by great masses of Muslims of the Muhajireen and the Ansar who had attended the season of hajj. In this conference, Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) talked about the calamities that afflicted Islam and the Muslims, and the misfortunes that the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) suffered because of the rule of Mo’awiya. This is a passage from the speech that Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) had made in this conference:

“This tyrant (Mo’awiya) had committed against us and against our adherents what you have seen, known, and witnessed. I want to ask you about something, and if I say the truth, you say that I am truthful and if I tell lies, you say that I am a liar. Listen to my speech and write down my saying, and then go back to your countries and tribes. Whoever you trust in and feel safe with, invite him to our right that you know, for I fear that this matter (Islam) may be removed and defeated (and Allah will perfect His light, though the unbelievers may be averse. 61:8).”

Then Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) mentioned Mo’awiya’s plots that aimed at doing away with Islam. At the end of the conference, Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) mentioned the virtues of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) that Mo’awiya tried to hide. This was the first political conference held in the history of Islam.

Mo’awiya’s Perishment

Mo’awiya received his death while he was not certain and safe from the torment of Allah for the crimes and the bloodsheds he had committed against the faithful of Muslims. He died but he left after him terrible sedition and disagreement that threw great evils among Muslims.

Before his death, Mo’awiya entrusted his son Yazid with the rule after him. Yazid was corrupted, dissolute, and mutinous against the Islamic values. He believed neither in Allah nor in the afterlife. Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) described him as: “a man of drinking and hunting. He obeyed Satan and disobeyed the Beneficent One. He spread corruption, cancelled the laws (of Allah), extorted the revenue for himself, made unlawful things of Allah as lawful, and prohibited His lawful things.”69

When Mo’awiya died, his son Yazid assumed the rule and committed all kinds of crimes, sins, corruption and oppression.

Imam Al-Husayn’s Revolt

Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) rose against the tyrant Yazid and announced publicly his refusing to Yazid’s homage. He announced before people the goals of his eternal revolution saying, “I have not risen rashly, ungratefully, oppressively or corruptively, but I have risen to seek reform for the nation of my grandfather. I want to enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and do as my grandfather and father did.”

Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) revolted to establish the pillars of reform in the nation, achieve justice among people, and to do away with all the bad and false practices that the Umayyad rule had established on the stage of the Islamic life.

Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) made a speech in Mecca saying, “Praise be to Allah, what Allah wills (shall come true), there is no power save in Allah, and blessing and peace of Allah be on His messenger.

Death has been written on man as a necklace (is hung) on a girl’s neck. I have longed to my ancestors as Jacob’s longing to Joseph. A death that I shall meet is better to me. As if I see my parts being cut by the wolves of deserts between an-Nawawees and Kerbala. They will fill, from me, empty rumens and hungry pouches. There is no escape from a day that has been written by the Pen (determined by the Heaven).

The consent of Allah is our consent, the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). We are patient with His trials and He will give us the reward of the patient.

The family of the messenger of Allah (S) will not deviate from him. They will be gathered in the court of holiness. His (the Prophet) eye will be delighted with them and his promise will be fulfilled by them. Whoever sacrifices his life for us, and has prepared himself to meet Allah, let him set out with us, for I will set out in the morning if Allah the Almighty wills.”70

I think I do not know a political address more eloquent and more wonderful than this address, in which Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) had announced his determination on martyrdom and the making little of life for the sake of Allah the Almighty. He welcomed death and considered it as an order of honor and a decoration like a necklace that a girl adorns herself with. He announced the pure place where his pure blood would be shed on its earth that was between an-Nawawees and Kerbala. There, swords and spears would loot his pure body. We have analyzed this address and mentioned its important points in our book “The Life of Imam al-Hasan bin Ali”.


When the many letters of the people of Kufa came to Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) begging him to save them from the bad life they led under the oppression of the Umayyad rule, and charging him with the responsibility before Allah and the nation if he would delay to respond to them, he, peace be on him, went determinedly to them but surrounded along the way by a battalion (of the Umayyads) under the leadership of al-Hurr ar-Riyahi who forced Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) to go to Kerbala. He resided there and felt that the inevitable end was near to him, to his family, and to his companions. However, he did not care for the danger that would attack him. Armies from Kufa began arriving one after the other until they surrounded him from every side, controlled the banks of the Euphrates, and prevented the imam and his fellows from reaching water. On the tenth of Muharram (Ashura), the eternal day in the world of sorrows, the armies of deviation and oppression attacked the imam and his followers and exterminated them all, and a good group of shining stars from the Prophet’s progeny were extinguished.

Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) announced his firm determination by saying, “I do not see death but happiness, and life with the unjust but boredom.”

He also said, “By Allah, I do not surrender to you like the low, nor do I submit to you like slaves.”

The beasts attacked him with their swords and spears until he was martyred. He offered his soul as a sacrifice to the Qur'an and all human values and ideals.

The banners of the Umayyads were folded, their castles, palaces and great armies were destroyed, but the banner of Imam al-Husayn, the example of the free in the world, waved everywhere carrying with it honor, dignity and jihad. There is no conqueror, neither in the world of Islam nor in other than the world of Islam, greater than Imam al-Husayn, the master of martyrs who has occupied the hearts and feelings of people through his revolution by which Allah has honored Islam and made (the revolution) a lesson for the people of understanding.

Lady Zaynab

She was the Prophet’s granddaughter and the principal of women after her mother Fatimah (s.a.). She had all noble and high qualities that she had inherited from her grandfather Prophet Muhammad, her father Imam Ali and her mother Fatimah (peace be on them). Therefore, she was the highest example of honor, chastity, dignity and jihad. She established the edifice of the intellectual rise, and spread political and religious awareness through her soul-stirring sermons and speeches she had made before the people of Kufa and in the royal palaces of the Umayyads. She exposed the reality of the Umayyads that was polluted with all kinds of crimes, sins and transgression of human rights. She proved the Umayyads’ treason against Muslims and their seizing of the rule from its actual people.

Her Birth

Zaynab (a.s.) was the first female from the progeny of the Prophet (S). The Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) received this blessed neonate with great joy and delight. Imam Ali (a.s.) carried out the rituals of birth; he recited the azan in her right ear and the eqama in her left ear.

When the Prophet (S) was told about the birth of this blessed baby, he hurried to Fatimah’s house while he was distressed. He took the blessed baby and embraced her while his tears were flowing on his holy face.

Fatimah (s.a.) asked him, ‘What makes you cry? May Allah not make your eye cry!’

He said to her gently, ‘O Fatimah, Know that, after me and after you, misfortunes and calamities will be poured on this girl.’71

The Prophet (S) detected from behind the unseen what calamities would happen to his granddaughter and that she would be tried with what no woman had ever been tried with. Imam Ali (a.s.) shared the Prophet (S) in his pains and sorrows, and so did Fatimah (s.a.). Salman al-Farisi, the loyal friend of the Prophet’s family, came to congratulate Ameerul Mo'minin (a.s.) on the blessed birth of his newborn daughter but he found him sad and grieved talking about the calamities that this daughter would face, and so he shared with the family in their sorrow.

Fatimah (s.a.) asked Imam Ali (a.s.) to name the newborn baby and he said politely, ‘I would not precede the messenger of Allah (in that).’

Then Imam Ali (a.s.) asked the Prophet (S) to name the child, and the Prophet (S) said, ‘I would not precede my Lord.’

Gabriel came down to the Prophet (S) and said to him, ‘Name her Zaynab! Allah the Almighty has chosen this name for her.’

Gabriel (a.s.) revealed to the Prophet (S) the calamities that would face his granddaughter, and then they all burst in crying.72

Zaynab was surnamed as Umm Kulthum73. Some historians say that Umm Kulthum was another daughter of Imam Ali (a.s.) and Fatimah (s.a.), but we doubt this saying.

Her Epithets

The following are some of Lady Zaynab’s (a.s.) epithets that inform of her high qualities:

Aqeelat Bani Hashim

Aqeelah means a noble, respectable lady among her tribe and honored in her family. Lady Zaynab (a.s.) was the most honored lady in Islam and the best Alawid woman. Her progeny prided on her and were called “the children of al-Aqeelah” or the “Zaynabites”.

Al-Aalimah (Learned)

Zaynab (a.s.) was the most learned woman (after Fatimah) in the Prophetic family. She was an authority for Muslim women concerning religious affairs, besides that some (male) companions referred to her in jurisprudential matters.

Aabidat Aal Ali (The Worshipper of Ali’s Family)

She was the most worshipping (after her mother) among all Muslim women. She left no recommendatory worship even in the most critical times. Even in the eleventh night of Muharram after the terrible event of Kerbala she offered all recommendatory worships including the Night Nafilah.

Al-Kamilah (Perfect)

She was perfect in morals, honor, virtue, chastity and purity.

Al-Fadhilah (Worthful)

She was preferred to all Muslim women in her jihad, services to Islam and devotedness in the way of Allah.

Her Birth Date

Historians disagreed on the year of Zaynab’s (a.s.) birth. Some said she was born in the fifth year of hijra and some others said she was born in the sixth year. Some others said she was born in the ninth year which was refuted by Sheikh Ja’far an-Naqdi who thought that the most correct date of her birth was in the fifth year of hijra.

Her Upbringing

Zaynab (a.s.), the pure, veracious lady, grew up in the house of prophethood and the oracle of Gabriel and revelation. It was the purest and most honored house in the earth. Fatimah (s.a.) the principal of all women of the worlds, fed Zaynab (a.s.) with chastity, dignity, high moral standards and nobilities of character. She taught her the Holy Qur’an and made her memorize it. She taught her the verdicts of Islam and shed over her rays from her own ideals until she became a true copy of her.

Zaynab (a.s.) spent her childhood in the house of honor, glory and mercy. She saw her father Imam Ali (a.s.) participate with her mother in the house affairs and help her in her tasks. No harsh or bad word was ever heard in this house. She also saw her grandfather, the messenger of Allah (S) flow over her from his love and kindness and show her reverence and respect.

Zaynab (a.s.), the Prophet’s granddaughter, got the best kind of the Islamic education. She saw her brother al-Husayn (a.s.) highly revere and respect his brother al-Hasan (a.s.) and use no harsh or impolite word with him. Zaynab (a.s.), in particular, received great respect from her parents and brothers. When she came, her brother al-Husayn (a.s.) rose as a kind of respect, and when she wanted to visit the tomb of her grandfather the Prophet (S), her father and two brothers went with her. Her father Imam Ali (a.s.) put out the lamps on the tomb lest someone might see the figure of Zaynab.74 Thus, Zaynab was treated in her family with great respect and reverence.

Zaynab had all virtues and high characteristics and was the best of all women after her mother Fatimah (s.a.). Here we talk about some of her characteristics:

True Faith in Allah

Zaynab (a.s.) was brought up in the house of faith, and the love of Allah was impressed inside her mind and heart. It was one of her inseparable elements. She tolerated the severest of calamities in the way of Allah and in order to raise high the banner of Islam.

The true faith in Allah and the perfect devotedness to Him was a part of her personality. From her great faith was that when she attended the martyrdom of her brother Imam al-Husayn, she said at his headless body while looking at the Heaven, ‘O Allah, accept from us this sacrifice!’

On the night of the eleventh of Muharram after the martyrdom of her brother Imam al-Husayn (a.s.), his household, and supporters, she offered the prayer of gratefulness to Allah for that. Indeed humanity may bow in reverence before this infinite faith.


Lady Zaynab (a.s.) had great patience and unequalled endurance before the calamities she faced especially on the day of Ashura’ when she saw her brother, who was the dearest one to her, surrounded by ten thousands of enemy forces that were the continuity of Abu Sufyan’s forces which had fought against the Prophet (S). However, her brother found no supporters on that day except the very few men of his loyal companions and family who all were martyred to leave him alone in the field before that huge fierce army. It was no long when those beasts attacked him with all kinds of weapons; swords, spears, arrows and stones. In that unbearable situation, she was very patient with true faith in Allah’s fate. No doubt, if anyone other than her faced those horrible situations, he\she would faint and collapse at once, but she (a.s.) stood before that calamity, which no reformer in history had been ever afflicted with, with bold heart and faithful soul submitting to the fate of Allah with all her feelings. Thus, she was one of those about whom Allah had said,

“…and give good news to the patient. Who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: Surely we are Allah's and to Him we shall surely return. Those are they on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord, and those are the followers of the right course.” 2:155-157
“Verily the patient will be paid back their reward in full without measure.” 39:10
“…and We will most certainly give to those who are patient their reward for the best of what they did.” 16:96

The Prophet’s granddaughter showed patience and bold-heartedness that history has never mentioned a woman like her before calamities and misfortunes.

Dignity and Honor

From the prominent characteristics of Lady Zaynab (a.s.) was her dignity and honor. After the martyrdom of her brother Imam al-Husayn (a.s.), she was taken as captive, with the rest of the household, from Kerbala to Kufa. All the luggage and jewels that they had were plundered. Hunger violently attacked the children of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), but Lady Zaynab (a.s.) disdained, out of dignity, from asking anyone of the vile policemen of ibn Ziyad for any food. When the caravan of the captives arrived in Kufa and the women of Kufa knew that the captives were from the Prophet’s progeny, they hurried to offer food for the children. Lady Zaynab (a.s.) said to the women of Kufa, ‘Charity is unlawful for us, we the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).’

When the children heard what their aunt said, they threw away the food from their hands and mouths saying to each other: my aunt says that charity is unlawful for us the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).’ Yes, it was the education of prophets that takes one to the highest degree of perfection. When the captives of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) were taken from Kufa to Sham, Lady Zaynab (a.s.) did not ask the villain guards, who accompanied the caravan, for anything for the children or for the women. She had inherited glory, dignity, honor and disdain from her grandfather (the Prophet) and her father (Imam Ali).75


Throughout history, no woman had been found braver, firmer and more determined than Lady Zaynab (a.s.). She stood steadfastly and bravely before the criminal Ubaydillah bin Ziyad, and she scolded and disdained him though she was captive. He said to her, rejoicing the killing of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), ‘Praise be to Allah Who has exposed and killed you, and refuted your notion.’

She said to him, ‘Praise be to Allah Who has honored us with His Prophet, and purified us from uncleanness (abomination) a thorough purification. It is a disbeliever that is exposed, and a dissolute that is refuted, and surely he is other than us, O ibn Marjanah.’

These fierce arrows threw this tyrant down from his throne to his grave and showed him before his slaves and rascal followers that he was the loser and Zaynab’s (a.s.) brother was the winner. However, he had nothing to say except to show his schadenfreude towards the Prophet’s progeny by saying, ‘How did you see the doing of Allah with your brother?’

She said, ‘I did not see except good. These are people whom Allah has determined the killing on, and so they went to their fates. Allah will gather between you and them, and you shall be argued and disputed. Then look for whom success shall be! May your mother lose you, O son of Marjanah!’

As for her situation in the palace of Yazeed and her revolutionary speech that shook the Umayyad throne and uncovered the vicious reality of the Umayyads and their previous and following supporters, we have talked about it in details in our book “Lady Zaynab, the Pioneer of Jihad in Islam”.

With the Immortal Tragedy

Lady Zaynab (a.s.) had accompanied her brother Imam al-Husayn (a.s.), the father of the free, in his immortal revolution that had supplied the Islamic world with the means of renaissance and development. She had a positive role in this blessed revolution that had changed the course of history and awakened Muslims from their torpor, and consequently, Muslim rose calling for a new dawn and a good rule. Revolts broke out everywhere against the Umayyad state until its pillars were destroyed, its roots were plucked out and it perished forever.

Anyhow, she witnessed all the scenes of her brother’s revolution, and she spread its values, and made eternal its goals through her wonderful sermons in Kufa, in the Umayyad palace in Damascus and in Medina. She aroused the public feelings and emotions, and made the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) not as an incidental talk, but as an important part in the essence of the Islamic life.

Lady Zaynab (a.s.) lived moment by moment the horrible events that surrounded her brother in the desert of Kerbala when the armies of the Umayyads bit with their swords and spears her brother’s pure body and the other pure bodies of the Prophet’s progeny. They were not satisfied with that, but they maimed those pure bodies severely, and then they burnt the tents of the women and children who ran away in the desert here and there. She faced all these calamities, and nevertheless, the Umayyads were not satisfied until they took the women and the children of the Prophet’s household as captives driven from a country to another before the looks of the good and the bad. Was this the due reward that the Prophet (S), who had saved the Arabs from the abysses of ignorance, crimes and vices, deserved to be rewarded with?

All these terrible events, undoubtedly, resulted from those, who cried out after the death of the Prophet (S), ‘The Prophethood and the caliphate should not gather in one house.’ Hence, all the calamities that afflicted the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) were the consequences of those evil situations that those ill-willers had taken to separate the caliphate from the Prophet’s progeny whom the Prophet (S) had compared to the Qur'an, and who were the source of wisdom and honor in the world of Islam.

To the Better World

When Lady Zaynab (a.s.) was set free from capture and she went back to Medina, she resorted to weeping and crying. Day and night, she was attacked by the terrible memories of what her brother had faced in the desert of Kerbala, and she and her fellow women and children suffered of difficulties and misfortunes. Her tears were always flowing for her brother and family whose heads were harvested by the Umayyad swords, and whose bodies were maimed severely.

Those painful scenes often and always attacked her until she was too weak that she could not tolerate those distresses any more. She often said with regrets, ‘O my brother!’, ‘O my Husayn!’, ‘O my Abbas!’, ‘O my family!’, and then she fell to the ground faintly. The most beloved thing to her was to leave this world and join her grandfather (a.s.) to complain to him about the disasters, the capture, the killing, and the maiming that she and her family faced.

After the disaster of Kerbala, she lived not too long until diseases attacked her and made her even unable to speak. She received death eagerly to meet Allah, her grandfather and the rest of her family. Her pure soul was taken high to the Heavens surrounded by the angels to be received by the prophets of Allah, and there she would complain to her Lord about the calamities and disasters that no man had ever been tried with since the creation of the earth.

Lady Zaynab (a.s.) left to the better world on Sunday, the fifth of Rajab, in 62 AH.76 It was said that she had been buried in al-Baqee’ Graveyard (in Medina), and it was said in Sham because the Umayyad government had imposed on her house arrest. It was also said that she had been buried in Egypt. We have mentioned all that in details in our book “Lady Zaynab, the Pioneer of Jihad in Islam”.

Umm Kulthum

Some genealogists say that Umm Kulthum was daughter of Fatimah az-Zahra’ (a.s.), and that Umar bin al-Khattab had got married to her, and she bore him two children; one was Oun and the other Mu’een who both were with their mother in Kufa but they all died when a wall fell over them.

We have refuted this news by clear proofs and said that Fatimah (s.a.) had no daughter except Lady Zaynab (a.s.). Some other researchers have confirmed this fact as well. I found in some sources that Asma’ bint Umays had born from her husband Abu Bakr a son, who was Muhammad, the immortal martyr, and a daughter called Umm Kulthum who grew up in the house of Imam Ali (a.s.) after he had married her mother Asma’. Thus, Umm Kulthom, whom Umar had got married to, was Imam Ali’s stepdaughter.

Anyhow, I think, with no any doubt, that Fatimah az-Zahra’ (a.s.) had had no daughter called Umm Kulthum.


The messenger of Allah (S) had named him al-Muhsin while he was yet in his mother’s womb. When the people (Umar and his companions) attacked Fatimah’s house to set fire to it, Fatimah (s.a.) was terrified and she resisted them. They attacked her severely while she was behind the door, and consequently, she miscarried her child al-Muhsin between the door and the wall. This is one of the completely certain facts. Whoever thinks deeply of the events of that age, these facts shall be clear to them. People competed and pounced on authority and they seized it from the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) who were the center of the revelation and the Qur’an. No limit or obstacle, whatever great it was, prevented them from that, for their pre-Islamic feud had come back to them as Prof. Abdul Fattah Abdul Maqsud says in his book “Imam Ali”.

However, the attack of people against Fatimah’s house and making her miscarry her child al-Muhsin, had paved the way and opened the door for the Umayyads to seize the rule, and then they spared no effort and followed every horrible way to persecute and kill the pure progeny of the Prophet (S). We shall explain in details in a following chapter what Fatimah, the Prophet’s daughter, (a.s.) suffered.

  • 1. Al-Isabah, vol.1 p.328, al-Istee’ab, vol.1 p.368, Tareekh al-Khulafa’, p.72.
  • 2. Encyclopedia of al-Bustani, vol.7 p.38.
  • 3. Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, vol.6 p.391, Sahih at-Tarmithi, vol.1 p.386, Sunan Abu Dawud, vol.3 p.214.
  • 4. The Life of Imam al-Hasan bin Ali, vol.1 p.62.
  • 5. Aqiqa is the name of the sacrifice that is offered on the seven day after the birth of a child.
  • 6. Sahih at-Tarmithi, vol.1 p.286, Noor al-Absar, p.107.
  • 7. Kunyah is a surname given to a male or a female beginning with Abu (father of) and Umm (mother of).
  • 8. Usd al-Ghabah, vol.2 p.9.
  • 9. Kanzol Ummal, vol.7 p.104, Majma’ az-Zawa’id, vol.9 p.176.
  • 10. Sahih al-Bukhari, vol.4 p.217, Sahih at-Tarmithi, vol.2 p.307, al-Bidayah wen-Nihayah, vol.8 p.34.
  • 11. As-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa, p.282, Hilyat al-Awliya’, vol.2 p.35.
  • 12. al-Istee’ab, vol.2 p.369.
  • 13. Al-Bidayah wen Nihayah, vol.8 p.35, Fadha’il al-As~hab, p.165.
  • 14. Kanzol Ummal, vol.6 p.222.
  • 15. Al-Bidayah wen Nihayah, vol. 8 p.33.
  • 16. Al-Isabah, vol.2 p.12.
  • 17. The Life of Imam al-Hasan bin Ali, vol.1 p.74.
  • 18. Manaqib Aal Abi Talib, vol.2 p.149, al-Kamil by al-Mubarrid, vol.1 p.190.
  • 19. Tareekh al-Khulafa’ by as-Sayooti, p.73.
  • 20. As-Sabban, printed in the margins of Noor al-Absar, p.176.
  • 21. Maqtal al-Husayn by al-Khawarizmi, vol.1 p.147.
  • 22. The Life of Imam al-Hasan bin Ali, vol.1 p.315.
  • 23. Noor al-Absar, p.611.
  • 24. Nafahat min Seerat Ahlul Bayt, p.86.
  • 25. Usd al-Ghabah, vol.2 p.13, Alf Ba’, vol.1 p.417.
  • 26. Amali as-Saduq, p.108.
  • 27. Nafahat min Seerat Ahlul Bayt, p.88.
  • 28. Amali as-Saduq, p.108.
  • 29. Bihar al-Anwar, vol.43 p.339.
  • 30. The Life of Imam al-Hasan bin Ali, vol.1 p.327.
  • 31. Bihar al-Anwar, vol.43 p.339.
  • 32. Ibid.
  • 33. A’yan ash-Shia, vol.4 p.11.
  • 34. Musnad of Imam Zayd, p.468.
  • 35. Da’a’im al-Islam, vol.1 p.178.
  • 36. The Life of Imam al-Husayn bin Ali, vol.1 p.30.
  • 37. Usd al-Ghabah, vol.2 p.61.
  • 38. Musnad of Imam Zayd, p.468.
  • 39. The Life of Imam al-Husayn bin Ali, vol.1 p.33.
  • 40. Tareekh ibn Asakir, vol.13 p.50, Siyer A’lam an-Nubala’, vol.3 p.190.
  • 41. Sunan ibn Maja, vol.1 p.56, Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, vol.4 p.172, Usd al-Ghabah, vol.2 p.19, Tayseer al-Wusool, vol.3 p.276.
  • 42. The Life of Imam al-Husayn bin Ali, vol.1 p.95.
  • 43. At-Taj al-Jami’ lil-Usool, vol.3 p.218.
  • 44. Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol.3 p.179.
  • 45. Ibid., p.176.
  • 46. Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol.4 p.398, Kanzol Ummal, vol.7 p.106, Sier A’lam an-Nubala’, vol.3 p.15.
  • 47. Kanzol Ummal, vol.7 p.106, al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer by at-Tabarani, vol.3 p.106.
  • 48. Majma’ az-Zawa’id, vol.9 p.187.
  • 49. Ibid., p.189.
  • 50. Ibid., p.191.
  • 51. The day that the Prophet (S) would spend with Umm Salamah his wife, because he had divided his time equally among his wives.
  • 52. Majma’ az-Zawa’id, vol.9 p.189.
  • 53. Tareekh ibn al-Wardi, vol.1 p.173-174.
  • 54. Kerb in Arabic means “anguish” and bala means “calamity or misfortune” that form the name of Kerbala.
  • 55. Al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer by at-Tabarani, vol.3 p.108.
  • 56. Tareekh al-Khamees, vol.2 p.334.
  • 57. The substance of procreation.
  • 58. The Life of Imam al-Husayn bin Ali, vol.1 p.103-105 quoted from al-Futooh, vol.4 p.216-219
  • 59. Abu Abdullah is Imam Husayn’s surname.
  • 60. Tareekh ibn Asakir, vol.13 p.57-58, al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer by at-Tabarani, vol.3 p.105-106.
  • 61. The Life of Imam al-Husayn bin Ali, vol.1 p.426.
  • 62. Sharh Nahjol Balagha by ibn Abil Hadeed, vol. 2 p.287.
  • 63. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 40 p.192, Sharh Nahjol Balagha, vol.10 p.15.
  • 64. Waq’at Siffeen, p.158.
  • 65. Kerb in Arabic means “grief” and bala’ means “calamity”.
  • 66. Waq’at Siffeen, p.158, Sharh Nahjol Balagha, vol. 3 p.169.
  • 67. Majma’ az-Zawa’id, vol.9 p.191, al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer by at-Tabarani, vol.3 p. 110.
  • 68. Al-Isabah, vol.1 p. 332.
  • 69. The Life of Imam al-Husayn bin Ali, vol.2 p.209.
  • 70. Al-Hada’iq al-Wardiyyah (the rosy gardens), vol.1 p.117, Miftah al-Afikar (the key of thoughts), p. 148, Kashful Ghummah, vol.2 p.241.
  • 71. Lady Zaynab, the Pioneer of Jihad in Islam, p.41.
  • 72. Zaynab al-Kubra, p.16-17.
  • 73. Lady Zaynab, the Pioneer of Jihad in Islam, p.42.
  • 74. Zaynab al-Kubra, p.22.
  • 75. Lady Zaynab, the Pioneer of Jihad in Islam, p.61.
  • 76. As-Sayyidah Zaynab wa Akhbar az-Zaynabiyyaat (Lady Zaynab and the News of the Zaynabite Ladies), by al-Ubaydali, p.9.