● Syyedna Imam Ali Zayn al-Abideen a.s. (ornament of the pious) was titled with as- Sajjad (the prostrator) and az-Zaki (the pure).
● Birth: Medina on 38/658. He would feed the hungry persons at night, from one to three hundred families; and in daytime, he would have a hundred sheep a day killed for meat, which would be distributed to the needy people. Much of his time he spent sitting on an old piece of matting, fasting all day, or eating a little barely bread.
● D.M. Donaldson writes in The Shi’ite Religion (London, 1933, p. 110) that, "One day, he claimed to get nourishment from merely the smell of food."
● Molatina Shahr Banu, the mother of Imam Zayn al-Abidin unlike his father and family was Mumina Muslima much and long before the conquest of Iran by militia of Hz. Umar. She was the daughter of the last Sassanid emperor Yazdigard (d. 31/652) of Iran. Her sister Mehar Banu was married with King of Ujjain in India. Molatina Shahar Banu was standing alongside with Imam Hussain a.s. on the ground of Karbala.
● When the soldiers of Yazid were bent on destroying Imam Hussain and his dear ones at Karbala, sparing neither old nor young, the survival of Imam Zayn al-Abidin was nothing but a miracle. His severe illness had prevented him from taking up arms, and confined him to bed.
● The morning of 12th Muharram saw a peculiar procession leaving Karbala for Kufa. After reaching Kufa, the captives were presented to Ibn Ziyad, then they had been sent to Damascus at Yazid’s court. One Friday in Damascus, the congregation in the cathedral mosque, requested Imam Zayn al- Abidin to address them. Taking Yazid’s permission, the Imam delivered a sermon. The congregation was moved - some heaved sighs, some wept when suddenly Yazid beckoned the muazzin to call for the prayers. Yazid resolved not to keep Imam Hussain’s family in his capital, and finding that Imam Zayn al-Abidin preferred a quiet and virtuous life, he made arrangement for them to return to Medina.
● Ibn Athir (d. 630/1234) writes in Kamil fi’t Tarikh (Beirut, 1975, 1:186) that Marwan bin Hakam, the sworn enemy of Ahl al-Bayt was also unable to stay safely in the Medina. The only person he could find to offer protection to his wife was Imam Zayn al-Abidin, who sent her safely to Taif escorted by one of his sons.
● Yazid sent an army under Muslim bin Aqba to suppress the rising in Medina. According to Tabari (7:6-7), "He ordered that for three days on end, Medina should be given over to rapine and murder, and that the army might appropriate to its own use whatever it might capture including the prisoners of war."
● Dinawari writes in Akhbar at-Tiwal (p. 260) that the instructions to Muslim bin Aqba were given that, "If you obtain victory over the people of Medina, plunder the town for three days without break." The orders were carried out on the 28th Zilhaja, 63 and for three full days and nights, Medina was given over to plunder. The Umayyad forces gained such ascendancy that the remaining citizens of Medina avowed allegiance specifying that they would be the slaves of Yazid who would possess plenary powers over their lives, properties and dependents, but Imam Zayn al- Abidin and his family were left unmolested, and when the citizens of Medina were forced to take oath of allegiance of Yazid, the Imam was exempted.
● As soon as Yazid died, the people of Mecca rose once again, and began to hunt the Umayyad soldiers in the city. Thus, it was difficult for Haseen bin Namir (Yazeed commander) and his forces to move from Mecca to Syria. They started their journey from Mecca in secret, and meanwhile they felt acute need of fodder for their horses. Tabari (7:342) writes that when Imam Zayn al-Abidin knew the difficulties of the Umayyad forces, he came down from Medina with grass and foods and rescued them from starvation. Haseen bin Namir was highly touched with the generosity of the Imam, and offered him to accept the caliphate of Damascus with his all supports. Imam Zayn al-Abidin did not answer him, and went away after casting a smile.
● The Shiites, according to Tabari (7:47), "were stung with shame at their faint-heartedness. They took to mutual recrimination as they painfully realized the enormity of neglecting to go to Imam Hussain’s help, and thereby leading him to his death in their close neighbourhood, since he had come to Iraq only to their invitation." They thought that they must make similar sacrifices to obtain God’s forgiveness. They believed that they could only prove their real repentance by exposing themselves to death while seeking vengeance for the blood of Imam Hussain. Hence they named themselves as the tawwabun (the penitents).
● The movement of the Tawwabun began under the headship of five of the oldest trusted associates of Ali, with a following of a hundred diehard Shi’ites of Kufa.
● The movement of Tawwabun, however, went on secretly for three years, increasing in number and strength, and waiting for an appropriate time. Meanwhile, the death of Yazid induced the Tawwabun to come out in the open. They succeeded in gaining support of 16,000 Kufans.
● Mukhtar also spurred his horses towards Kufa, and tried to bring the Tawwabun in his mission. The main body of Tawwabun, however, refused to join selfish Mukhtar.
● Mukhtar to achieve his selfish ambition of himself becoming the ruler knitted a propaganda and falsely declared Mohammad Hanafiya as Imam Mahdi and himself as his vizier. Consequently, a sect emerged with the name of Kaysaniya.
● Thus Mukhtar was guilty to break the unity of Shi'ya'ne Ali. He is first guilty to divide Shia into sects.
● Mukhtar had trained few pigeons, he will secretly keep few grains in his ears and then the trained pigeons will come and eat it - This drama he projected as Angel Jibraeel in the form of pigeon is giving him Allah's message (wahi).
● The power of Mukhtar soon ended by his being killed with the majority of his followers, Kaysaniyas.
● Mukhtar Thaqafi appeared in Kufa as a revenger of Imam Hussain’s blood. His mission was the same as that of the Tawwabun in sofar as the revenge of Imam Hussain’s blood, but differed in that he intended to achieve political authority.
● The Tawwabun refused to join Mukhtar, as they had no wish to participate in any doubtful adventure of selfish Mukhtar.
● Mukhtar then turned to Imam Zayn al-Abidin a.s. to seek his support. Baladhuri writes in Ansab al-Ashraf (5:272) that, "Mukhtar wrote to Imam Zayn al-Abidin to show his loyalty to him, asking if he could rally the Kufans for him. He sent with the letter a large sum of money. Imam refused this offer and declared Mukhtar publicly to be a liar who was trying to exploit the cause of Ahl al-Bayt for his own interest."
● Mukhtar then turned to Ibn al- Hanafiya, the third son of Ali from a Hanafite woman. On his part, Ibn al-Hanafiya did not repudiate Mukhtar’s propaganda for his Messianic role, he nevertheless, maintained a non-committal attitude and never raised his claims to the heritage of Imam Hussain. In the event, however, the hesitation and political inactivity of Ibn al-Hanafiya emboldened Mukhtar more and more to exploit his name for his own interest. Mukhtar propagated that Ibn al-Hanafiya was the Mahdi, and he himself was his minister (vizir) and commander.
● Molana Imam Ali Zainul Abideen was succeeded by his son Imam Mohammad Bakir a.s.
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