Salaam dear young friends, and heartfelt condolences to you all on the doleful days.
Sure, we are in the month of Muharram and in the state of mourning for the heartrending tragedy of Ashura and its equally tragic aftermath, when the noble ladies and children of the household of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), were taken as captives to Kufa, and thence marched through circuitous routes to Damascus in Syria, but today our tears are for a tragedy that occurred 34 years later in Medina, though it could be called continuation of the sufferings of Karbala.
Yes, you have got it right. These days our lamentations are for Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) – son and successor of Imam Husain (AS) – who as a 23-year sick bedridden youth survived the massacre of 10 Muharram 61 AH, but waged a different kind of jihad in its aftermath, and through his patient sufferings, coupled with eloquently moving sermons, made the mission of his father triumph forever.
In 95 AH (713 AD), the 4th Infallible Imam was martyred through poisoning by Waleed 1, the self-styled caliph of the usurper Omayyad regime, after an eventful life during which, despite the torment he endured at the hands of Abdullah ibn Zubayr for ten years and the various Omayyads for the next twenty years, he bequeathed to humanity two immortal works.
These are indeed bezels of wisdom that continue to guide the seekers of truth. The first is his set of supplications in the Divine Court, titled “Sahifat-as Sajjadiyya” (Psalms of the Prophet’s Household), while the second is the “Risalat-al-Hoqouq” (Treatise of Rights).
If the former contains almost all topics under the sun, including scientific issues and the weight of light (something unthinkable a millennium and three centuries ago), the later details even the most minute of rights, ranging from the rights of parents, children, neighbours, and the society to the rights of our own bodily organs upon us.
For the information of the youngsters of Iran, the mother of Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) was the Persian princess, Shahrbano, the daughter of the last Sassanid Emperor, Yazdgerd III.
In view of his noble lineage from both sides, he was often called by his contemporary poets “Ibn al-Khiyaratayn” (Son of the Two Excellent Ones).
Yet he was the picture of modesty, piety, magnanimity, and clarity of vision, as borne out by incidents throughout his life.
Thus, dear friends, it is adherence to the path of these Infallible Personalities that ensures success in life and salvation in afterlife.
Goodbye and God bless you, until we meet again next week.