A Brief Biography of Ali ibn Husain (A.S)

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A Brief Biography of Ali ibn Husain (A.S)

Author: Muhammad Reza Dungersi. PH.D
Publisher: www.alhassanain.org/english
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A Brief Biography of Ali ibn Husain (A.S)

A Brief Biography of Ali ibn Husain (A.S)

Author:
Publisher: www.alhassanain.org/english
English

A Brief Biography of Ali ibn Husain (A.S)

Author: Muhammad Reza Dungersi. PH.D

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE 4

CHAPTER 1: IMAM ALI BIN HUSSAIN (A.S.): CHILDHOOD 6

INTRODUCTION 6

HIS BIRTH 6

HIS CHILDHOOD 6

CHAPTER 2: IMAM ALI BIN HUSSAIN (A.S.): ADULTHOOD 8

LIFE WITH HIS UNCLE IMAM HASAN (A.S.) AND HIS FATHER IMAM HUSAIN (A.S) 8

HIS RESPONSIBILITIES AS THE IMAM OF HIS TIMES 8

The Imam As Prisoner of War 8

IMAM ZAINUL ABIDIN (A.S) IN THE COURT OF IBNE ZIYAD IN KUFA 9

IMAM ZAINUL ABIDIN IN THE COURT OF YEZID IN SHAM (DAMASCUS) 9

IMAM ZAINUL ABIDIN (A.S) RETURNS TO MEDINA 11

CHAPTER 3: IMAM ALI BIN HUSSAIN (A.S.): LIFE IN MADINA AFTER THE TRADEGY OF KERBALA 12

THE PROBLEMS FAUNG THE IMAM TO CARRY OUT THE PREACHING OF ISLAM  12

HOW THE IMAM KEEPS THE MISSION OF ISLAM ALIVE WITHOUT ANGERING THE GOVERNMENT 12

Effect of The Imam's Approach To Preach Through Prayers 14

CHAPTER 4: IMAM ALI BIN HUSSAIN (A.S.): HIS CHARACTER AND PERSONALITY 16

GENERAL REMARKS 16

HIS PIETY 16

His Patience ("Sabr") and Forgiving- Nature 19

His Generosity 20

CHAPTER 5: SOME MIRACLES OF IMAM ALI BIN HUSSAIN (A.S.) 23

WHAT IS A MIRACLE? 23

The Miracles of Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) 23

MIRACLE 1.24

MIRACLE 2 24

CHAPTER 6: IMAM ALI BIN HUSSAIN’S(A.S.): SERMONS, SUPPLICATIONS (DUAS) AND SAYINGS 25

INTRODUCTION 25

SERMONS 25

SUPPLICATION (DUAS) 26

Sahifa-E-Kamila 26

SAYINGS 26

A SMALL SELECTION OF HIS SAYINGS: 27

SELECTIONS FROM RISLAT-E-HUQUQ.28

CHAPTER7: IMAM ALI BIN HUSSAIN (A.S.): HIS FAMILY 29

HIS MARRIAGES 29

HIS CHILDREN 29

ZAID, THE MARTYR 29

PREFACE

In the late 50's and early 60's, when I was a madressa student in School Farze in Zanzibar-Africa, there was no such a subject as Islamic History on the madressa curriculum. Naturally, therefore, when I joined the teaching staff of the Huseini Madressa in Dar-es-Salaam Tanzania in early 80's and when I was subsequently assigned to teach Islamic History, I was at a loss, not knowing exactly what to teach.

Not that there was no syllabus for this subject. Rather, my main concern was the scope of the syllabus. For at the core of Islamic History syllabus was the study of the life of the Prophet (may peace be upon him and his progeny) and those of the other thirteen MASOOMIN from his progeny.

In my view, besides Yusuf Laljee's excellent book, KNOW YOUR ISLAM, there was no other simple but informative text that could be used comfortably by both the teachers and the students alike. Even then, the section on the life - history of MASOOMIN was rather sketchy in KNOW YOUR ISLAM.

Since those days, I have felt the need to compile brief teaching notes on the lives of our Twelve Imams (may peace be upon them all) with two objectives in mind: First, to focus on ali those areas of information, not exclusively historic, that would enable the learner to appreciate the complex situations in which our Imams lived and performed their duties as divinely appointed guides for the universe.

Secondly, to present this information in a style which has at its core the interest as well as the aptitude of the teachers and students alike. I found this task easy to conceive in mind, but very difficult to implement. Needless to say, I could accomplish little in this field until when I migrated to the U.S.A.

As luck would have it, at Huseini Madressa in New York, I was once more assigned to tteach Islamic History. For reasons I need not disclose them here, I found this task even more daunting than it was in Africa.

Fortunately, at this critical time when I was groping in darkness in search of suitable reaching text for my class, I was commissioned by Sayyyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi, the Chief Missionary of Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania to write teaching -units encompassing the lives of our Twelve Imams (may peace be upon them) for the Correspondence Course of the Mission. To me this was Allah - sent bounty in two ways.

Firstly, this commission gave me courage and confidence that I hitherto lacked. Now I had the support of one of the most renowned Shia scholars of our times - Sayyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi.

Secondly, I would not have to worry about searching for sponsors to finance the printing, the publishing and the circulation of my writings; the Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania would do that.

This unit and others to follow Me therefore the result of the initiative and complete support of Saeed Akhtar Rizvi, the administration of Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania and its old chairman Fidahusein Abdullah Hameer.

Both the substance as well as the style of this unit (and the ones to follow) have been overly simplified, to comply with Saeed Akhtar's advice that "We have to keep in mind that these units are meant for youths and not for scholars." All said and done, despite the maximum precautions that were taken to keep this unit free of factual or any other errors, if, however, some have remained uncorrected, the responsibility is mine.

May Allah forgive me for these unintentional errors and may He reward here and in the hereafter all those who have in one way or another, assisted me in the writing, the production and the circulation of this unit.

WASSALAMU ALAYKUM WA RAHMATULLAHI WA BARAKATUH.

MOHAMEDRAZA DUNGERSI. PH.D.

CHAPTER 1: IMAM ALI BIN HUSSAIN (A.S.): CHILDHOOD

INTRODUCTION

Imam Ali bin Husain (A.S), more known by his title Zainul Abidin than his actual name, is fourth Imam from the progeny of the Prophet Hazrat Muhammed (S.A.W.W). Like his father Imam Husain (A.S), his uncle Imam Hassan (A.S) and his grandfather Imam Ali (A.S) and the Prophet (S.A.W.W), he was a Masoom (He did not commit any mistake or sins).

HIS BIRTH

He was born on 5th Shaban (or on 15th Jamadi-ul-Awaal) 38 A.H. (658 A.D) in Medina (some historians say he was born in Kufa).

His father was Hazrat Imam Husain (A.S) and his mother was Hazrat Sheherbanu. She was a princess from Iran. She was the daughter of Yazd gard II, the last king of Pre-Islamic Iran. Thus he was called "Ibn Al-Khiyaratyn". or the son of the best two meaning: The Quraysh from the Arabs and the Persians from non-Arabs.

The Muslims, at the time of Umar Khattab, captured Iran in 21 A.H. The ruler, however, was able to run away from Muslims; later he was killed. Several years later his two daughter's, Sheherbanu and Gayhanbanu were brought as prisoners-of-war at the time when Imam Ali (A.S) was the Caliph of the Muslims. They were sent to Imam Ali (A.S) by his governor, Haris bin Jabir Joafi.

Imam Ali (A.S) freed the two sisters. The elder one Sheherbanu (who was also known as Shahzanan, Sulafa, Ghazala and Sheherbanuya) was given in marriage to Imam Husain (A.S). The younger sister was given in marriage to Muhammed bin Abubakr. Sheherbanu gave birth to Imam Zainul Abidin (A. S) where as Gayhanban gave the birth to Kassim, whose daughter was later married to Imam Mohammed Baqr (A.S).

After her marriage to Imam Husain (A.S), she became very pious. She was regularly praying and g Allah for having brought her to a house in which mercy of Allah was coming every second.

It is reported that once a maid in her house showed pity to Sheherbanu saying that it must have been very hard for her to live in the house of Imam Husain (A.S), she having first lived the life of princess of Persia.

Sheherbanu replied, "You should never talk like that for you do not know where I was and where I am now. I was in the Hell fire and I came to Paradise. I left the house of fire worshippers and came to the house of the worshippers of one Allah...".

Sheherbanu died a few days after giving birth to Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S). She was not present in Kerbala. Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) was taken care off, as a child, by a maid whom he came to love and respect like his own mother.

HIS CHILDHOOD

When he was born, Imam Ali (A. S) was still alive and he remained in company of his grandfather for another two years. It is said that time and again Imam Ali (A.S) would hug him and say, "My son you are Zainul Abidin."

One day when Imam Ali (A.S) was praying, the young Zainul Abidin, who then was only one and half years old, started imitating his grandfather. He prayed the same way Imam Ali (A.S) did. On completing his prayers, Imam Ali (A.S) said, "How truthful was the Prophet when he said our young and our old are all the same, all being Muhammed." As a young boy till when he became 12 years of age, he spent a lot his time with his uncle Imam Hassan (A.S).

There after he stayed with Imam Husain (A.S) till 61 A.H. At the time of Imam Husain's martyrdom, Imam Zainul Abidin was a youth of 22 years. His childhood was not free from trouble. His mother died when he was only an infant. He lost the care and love of his grandfather when he was only two. As a young boy he saw the injustices that were done to his uncle Imam Hassan (A.S).

As a young boy of 12, he saw his Uncle's bier being hit with arrows. It must have pained him to see his Uncle's last wishes of wanting to be buried next to his grandfather, the Prophet (S.A.W. W), being unfulfilled. All these disturbed him and made him sad but, they never shook his faith in Allah. As a matter of fact, the incidents that we are about to describe show how peaceful he was in his mind and how strong his love was for Allah.

As a young boy, he showed great love and respect As a young boy for the sick people. Once, someone in his neighbourhood fell sick, Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) spent a lot of his time caring and comforting him. When the sick man became well, he was so pleased with the young Imam that he wanted to pay him back in any way that the Imam wanted.

Ali bin Husain (A.S), and that he came for Hajj in this manner every year.

Imam Hasan (A.S that for the time Ali Bin Husain (A.S) stayed with him, though still only a child, he showed great love for prayers. He would get up in the midst of the night and pray till dawn.

CHAPTER 2: IMAM ALI BIN HUSSAIN (A.S.): ADULTHOOD

LIFE WITH HIS UNCLE IMAM HASAN (A.S.) AND HIS FATHER IMAM HUSAIN (A.S)

All the Twelve Imams who were the true successors of the Prophet were born Imams, they did not become Imams. They did not attend any school or centre of learning. Their knowledge was directly from Allah. However, there was certain training and information that an Imam got from his father and grandfather who themselves were Imams. In this manner Imam Zainul Abidin's life was influenced by three Imams: Imam Ali (A.S), Imam Hasan (A.S) and Imam Husain (A.S).

So far as his father was alive, Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) spent significant part of his life in prayers and in service of human beings. He was the champion of the poor and the sick.

HIS RESPONSIBILITIES AS THE IMAM OF HIS TIMES

When his father, Imam Husain (A.S) left Medina for Iraq in A.H. 60, Imam Zainul Abidin went together with him. Because the world cannot survive even .for one atom of a second without the presence a "Masoom" Imam, Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) could note join his farther and other male members of his caravan in becoming martyrs of Islam on the day of Ashura. Allah made a special for that. Imam Zainul Abidin (A.s) was very on the day of Ashura and he could not take part in the Jihad.

Even then, when his father, Imam Husain (A.S) came to visit him, Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) requested his father to allow him, too, to give his life fighting in the way of Allah. Imam Husain (A.S) told him that for Islam he had a more difficult "Jihad" to fight than the one he was wishing to do at that time, namely taking responSibility of the womenfolk from the family of the Prophet and staying with them to Kufa, and then to Damascus and then return with them to Medina.

Truly speaking, for him, it would have been very easy to die on the battle field as a martyr than to be taken as prisoner of war and see all the insult and humiliations thrown on him and on the womenfolk of the house of the Prophet. However, he did what Allah wished him to do.

After the martyrdom of Imam Husain (A.S), the survival of Islam depended on Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S), and that also at a tender age of twenty two. He had a very hard job of letting the world know the mission of Imam Husain (A.S.) and exposing the evil intentions of Yezid and the Bani Umayyah. He had to keep the message of Islam alive and save it from being confused by the evil Bani Umayyah.

The Imam As Prisoner of War

Although the army of Yezid did not kill him because he was sick, they treated him very badly by putting him in heavy chains. As a prisoner, he was made to travel on the open back of a camel in burning sunshine from Kerbala to Kufa and then from Kufa to Sham (Damascus) - a distance of about 750 kilometres. Sometimes, he would be made to walk on the burning sands of the desert.

This was not all. Women and children belonging to the family ofthe Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W), too, were hand-cuffed and treated like they were slaves. The daughters of Imam Ali (A.S) and Hazrat Fatima (A.S) were treated worse than criminals, their Hijab having been taken away from them. A caller would accompany them introducing them to the passers by as "Those who had disobeyed the Muslim ruler, Yezid". They were then presented as prisoners, first to Ibne Ziyad in Kufa and then to Yezid in Damascus.

IMAM ZAINUL ABIDIN (A.S) IN THE COURT OF IBNE ZIYAD IN KUFA

Yezid's governor ofKufa, Ibne Ziyad, was known for his cruelty and his enmity towards Imam Ali (A.S) and his family. In order to show the people ofKufa how powverful he was, Ibne Ziyad asked how come Ali Bin Husain was not killed by Allah.

Any one else in the position in which Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) was, would have kept quiet and bear the insult. But not Imam Zainul Abidin. As the Imam of the time he knew when it was proper for him to show the patience (Subr) of his uncle Imam Hassan (A.S) and when to show the bravery of his father, Imam Husain (A.S) and to face his enemies like a soldier. Without any fear, he replied Ibne Ziyad saying "I had another brother by the name .of Ali and he was martyred by being killed by your soldiers"

His short but strong reply was enough- to let people know what kind of liar and a beast Ibne Ziyad was. Ibne Ziyad became very angry by the young Imam's bravery. He ordered his soldiers to kill the Imam. Hazrat Zainab (A.S) challenged Ibne Ziyad, saying his soldiers would first have to kill her before they could get hold of her nephew, Zainul Abidin. She then took the Imam (A.S) in the fold of her arms. There was such an uproar in the court, all blaming Ibne Ziyad, that Ibne Ziyad could not do any harm to Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S).

But even then the Imam replied Ibne Ziyad saying, "Do you frighten me with death, O Ibne Ziyad? Don't you know that to be killed is our tradition and martyrdom is an honour from Allah?"

IMAM ZAINUL ABIDIN IN THE COURT OF YEZID IN SHAM (DAMASCUS)

Following the instructions of his master, Yezid, Ibne Ziyad sent Imam and the ladies and children of the house of the Prophet (S.A.WW) as prisoners to Damascus.

To show his power and to frighten others, Yezid treated these prisoners very badly. They were first taken from one bazaar to another. The women and children were tied by one rope and treated very badly. The Imam was to remember this incident for the rest of his life. With tears in his eyes he used to say "In Sham (Damascus) we were insulted and treated like we were slaves whose master was not there (to protect them)" They were then put in prison.

Yezid would regularly call Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) to insult him in front of the public. On one such occasion, apreacher who was employed by Yezid went on the 'Mimber' (pulpit) of the Mosque and abused the Imam Ali (A.S) and his family.

When the preacher finished his lecture, the Imam turned to him and said, "Be ashamed of yourself, you evil speaker. With your words you have displeased Allah so as to please people". Then the Imam (A.S) asked Yezid to let him talk to the people. Yezid refused to do so. The people of Syria, however, forced Yezid to allow the Imam to go on the Mimber.

Once on the Mimber, Imam Zainul Abidin first praised Allah and His Messenger. After that the Imam gave along and very powerful speech letting the Syrians know the great position of Imam Husain (A.S) to Allah, and how evil Yezid and his family were. Part of the speech is summarised below: "O listeners I Allah has given us (Ahle Bart) six things which no one else has. He has given us special Wisdom, Patience, Dignity, Power of speech, Courage and Respect.

He gave us special benefit of belonging to the family of his Prophet. To us belong Hamza and Jafar. To us belong Asadullah (The lion of Allah, Imam Ali (A.S)). To us belong the leader of the youths of paradise (Imam Hassan (A.S) and Imam Husain (A.S)).

"Those who blow me, know me. Those who do not, then know that I am the son of Mecca and Mina. I am the son of Zamzam and Safa. I am the son of he who gave Zakat to the poor. I am the son of the best of those who have ever put on Ihram and performed ceremonies of Hajj. I am the son of he who was taken on the night journey from house of Allah to the Mosque of Aqsa and then to Miraj. I am the son of he who was taken around by Gibrael to the Lote-tree of the boundary (Sidratul Muntaha).

"I am the son of Muhammad Mustafa (S.A.WW). I am the son of Ali Al-Murtaza who fought the polytheists in the battle till they submitted to Islam and fought in the presence of the Prophet until his sword was broken and to whom Zulfikar was given. I am the son of he who had the honour to migrate twice in Islam. I am the son of Fatima the best women of the world...".

The effect of the speech was so powerful that everybody in the Mosque began to weep and to blame Yezid. Yezid was afraid that if the Imam continued his speech, there would be a revolution. At the same time Yezid could no more stop the Imam and get him down from the Mimber. He therefore ordered a "Muazzin" to give Azan, knowing that this would automatically cut the Imam's speech. But he underestimated the Imam , s bravery and intelligence. The Imam stopped his speech but did not get down from the Mimber.

When the Muazzin said " Allahu Akber" the Imam testified Allah's greatness. When the Muazzin said, "Ash hadu anna Muhammaddan Rasulullah", the Imam stopped the Muazzin from going any further. He then turned to Yezid and asked him.

"Tell me o Yezid, was Muhammad (S.A.W W) your grandfather or mine? If you say he was your grandfather it will be an open lie and if you say he was my grandfather then why have you killed his son and imprisoned his family? Why have you killed my father and brought his women and children to this city as prisoners?"

Yezid had no reply to give.

The effect of this was to turn Syrians against Yezid. Everyone of them now found out about Yezid's crimes that he had committed against the Prophet (S.A.W W) and his family. They began to blame him and ask for the release of Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) and the womenfolk of the house of the Prophet. Yezid was now afraid that if he did not act fast his ruler-ship would be lost from him. He therefore freed Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) and let. him return to Medina with full honour and respect.

IMAM ZAINUL ABIDIN (A.S) RETURNS TO MEDINA

Having spent not less than one year in the prison of Yezid in Damascus, Imam Zainul Abidin returned to Medina. On reaching Medina, he camped outside the town and let the people of Medina know that he was back. When people came to meet him, without fearing the governor of Kufa, he let people know of all the injustices that were done to the family of the Prophet.

Dressed in mourning dress, he sat on a chair and addressing the people of Medina, he said, "'Praise be to Allah at all times. He gave us strength to bear great hardships. A great loss has taken place in Islam. My father, Aba Abdillah, his dear ones and his friends have been killed. His women and children were taken as prisoners. My father's head was cut and put on the edge of a spear and paraded from one Islamic city to another.

"O people! We were treated like we were non- Muslims and Kafirs, although we had committed no crime or sin and had not in any way wronged Islam. By Allah! If the Prophet of Allah had ordered them to fight against us, they would still have done nothing more than what they did".

CHAPTER 3: IMAM ALI BIN HUSSAIN (A.S.): LIFE IN MADINA AFTER THE TRADEGY OF KERBALA

THE PROBLEMS FAUNG THE IMAM TO CARRY OUT THE PREACHING OF ISLAM

It will be recalled that Yezid had given the Imam his freedom to return to his home in Medina not out of love but out of fear. The Imam, therefore, was still not out of danger. The Imam, therefore, had to find out a way to preach the true message of Allah without appearing to be working against the government.

This problem became even more difficult as Muslims throughout the empire began to rise against Yezid. For example, Abdullah Ibne Zubair declared himself the ruler of Mecca. In A.H 63 the Muslims of Medina drove away Yezid's governor from Medina and appointed a man of.their own choice in hisplace.

To save his crown, Yezid turned to using force. He decided to kill anyone who opposed him. The Imam had to place himself in such a position that no one could say that he was also amongst those plotting to overthrow Yezid. Otherwise, the Imam would not be able to complete the mission of saving Islam from its enemies. He would either be imprisoned again or even be killed. Who would then be there to serve Islam the way Allah wished it to be served?

HOW THE IMAM KEEPS THE MISSION OF ISLAM ALIVE WITHOUT ANGERING THE GOVERNMENT

When martyrdom was necessary to keep Islam alive, Imam Husain (A.S) publicly opposed Yezid and gave. his life. When silence became necessary to keep Islam alive, Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) retired in his house to serve Islam in the best way possible.

From A.H. 62 to A.H. 95 when he left this world, Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) led a quiet life, preaching the Islam in two ways.

Firstly, he kept alive the message of Imam Husain (A.S) regarding Islam trough mourning. There was not a day that passed without the Imam crying in memory of his father Imam Husain (A.S) and others who gave their lives in Kerbala. He encouraged his followers also to regard it as their duty to remember the martyrs of Kerbala as often as they could.

The first time he entered Medina when returning from Damascus, he laid down the tradition of mourning for Imam Husain (A.S). He pitched a tent outside Medina and moUming dress he let the Muslims of Medina what was expected of them from then onwards.

A man by the name of Noaman went to Medina three years after the events of Kerbala. He saw the Imam standing near the grave of the Prophet weeping and complaining to the Prophet about the III-treatment that Imam (A.S) and the other members of the Prophet's family had received from the Bani Umayyah. The Imam (A.S) remained in this position until when he fainted and was then taken by his followers to his house.

Noaman went to Imam's house. Then asked the Imam what was the most difficult time he had to face in Kerbala and during his imprisonment to Kufa and Damascus. The Imam said, "A-Sham, A-Sham, A-Sham" and then explained that in Sham the family of the Prophet was treated like animals and presented to the court of Yezid like slaves.

In this way people of Medina were to see him mourning for his father from then till his death some thirty five years later.

It is reported that when the Imam saw water he would weep, remembering the thirst of the martyrs of Kerbala. When he saw a goat or sheep being slaughtered, he would ask the slaughter if he had fed the animal and given it water. On being assured that this had, indeed, been done, the Imam would weep, saying that his father and other martyrs of Kerbala were slaughtered hungry and thirsty of three days.

He held regular mourning session in his house. Those who attended these sessions would then be served with food in the name of his father, Imam Husain (A.S)

One day somebody told him. "O son of Allah's Messenger!. Up to when would you weep like this?"

The Imam replied "'O servant of Allah. Prophet Yakub had twelve sons but only one of them (Yusuf) was taken away form him, he wept so much and for such long that his eyes turned white, his head turned gray and his back was bent although his son Yusuf was still alive. Whereas I watched my father, my brother and seventeen members of my family being slaughtered all around me. How could my sorrow come to an end?".

Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) through such mourning sessions let the world know the reason why it was necessary for Imam Husain (A.S) to sacrifice his life but not accept Yezid as the rightful ruler of the Muslims.

The plot of Yezid and his family of Bani Umayyah to destroy Islam was brought out in the open through the Imam's weeping for his father.

The second most important thing that the Imam did after returning from Damascus was to spend a lot of his time praying to Allah. His prayers were not only in the form of "Namaz" but also in the way of "Duas" or supplications.He would read these supplications and then teach them to his sons Hazrat Muhammad Baqir (A.S) and Hazrat Zaid. These supplications were later complied in a book called SAHIFA KAMILA.(The complete book).

This book is also known by other names such as SAHIFA SAJJADIA (the book ofSajjad; Sajjad being another name of Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S); Sajjad means one who spends a lot ofhis time in "Sijda"), or ZABURE ALE (PsalmsofthehouseholdofM ed). The SAHIFA as we know it, today is made of 54 Duas, 14 additional 'Duas' and 15 'Munajat'. Over and above the SAHIFA, there are many other supplications of the Imam which appear under different covers.

With the help of these 'Duas', Imam Zainul .Abidin (A.S) taught Muslims not only how to pray to Allah but also what is the essence of Islam. Also the major elements of religion are contained in these Duas. Moreover, the Duas teach us who Allah is and who the Prophet is and what kind of life we should lead. For example, in the Dua called "AKHLAQ" (The excellence of character), the Imam looks at different types and qualities of behaviour which make a man's character and personality, and tells his followers to have those qualities.

The Dua also teaches how Muslims should link themselves with the house of the Prophet, the Ahlul-Bayt. These ideas, if preached in any other form, would without and doubt, invite the government of Bani Umayyah to put the Imam in trouble. But who would complain if the Imam addressed his creator, Allah using "Duas"?

In this way through mourning for his father and praying to Allah, Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) kept the true message of Allah alive from the evil-minded Bani Umayyah.

Effect of The Imam's Approach To Preach Through Prayers

The greatest result of the Imam's decision to lead a quiet life was: the government became sure that he was not going to be dangerous to them. They, therefore, left him alone. For example, when Muslim bin Aqaba attacked Medina in A.H. 63, he did no harm to the Imam. Whereas Muslim showed complete disrespect for the Mosque of the Prophet, he did no harm to Imam Zainul Abidin's house. Those who sought shelter of the Imam's house also remained safe from the army's cruelties. In fact Muslim Bin Aqaba called Imam to his headquarters and treated him with courtesy and respect.

All this was because the Imam (A.S) had shown no sign of wanting to overthrow the government. What the government failed to understand was that Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) was establishing the foundations of truth which would, in future, provide strong basis of Islam which would live for ever.

By being left on his own, not only did Imam (A.S) widened the horizons of Islam, but al so found a place for himself to let the Muslims community see for themselves who truly was the representative of the Prophet.

This was a very important job to be done by the Imam. This IS because the rulers of his time Yezid, Marwan, Abdul Malik bin Marwan and Walid bin Abdul Malik all lead very un-Islamic lives yet they presented themselves as the representatives of the Prophet (S.A.W.W). The presence of the Imam was a continuous lesson for Muslims. The Muslims could compare the excellent life of the Imam with that of the rulers and decide for themselves who was the true successor of the Prophet and therefore the leader of the community.

The effect of the teaching and the pure life-style of the Imam was such that he came to be regarded as an excellent person and an authority of the religion of Islam. At his time, there were seven scholar in Medina who were called ""The seven lawyers of Medina", and who were considered to be the best authorities on Islamic traditions and law. Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) was not only one among these seven scholars, he was the best of them all.

One of these seven lawyers called Said bin Al -Musayyab considered the Imam with highest respect: the respect that a lesser pe son shows to a higher person. Another very famous and knowledgeable lawyer, Al-Zuhri, gave the title of Zainul Al Abidin to the Imam!.

Sufyan Suri says that he once asked Zuhri as to why he always called the Imam by the name of Zainul Abidin. Zuhri replied: "On the Day of Judgement a caller will say. Where is Zainul Abidin? Then Husain's son Ali, will come forward."

By the time the Bani Umayyah realised the wisdom of Imam Zainul Abidin's approach to establish Islam through the memory of his father and prayers of Allah, it was too late. Without the knowledge of the government the Imam had raised his position in the Muslims community so high that none of the rulers could reach, with all their wealth and power. The following incident illustrates this point very well.

Hasham, the Bani Umayyah prince, went to Mecca for pilgrimage. After completing his Hajj he wanted to kiss the "Hajare Aswad" but there was such a big crowd that he could not reach there. He was therefore waiting for the crowd to decrease so that he could then get near "Hajare Aswad". With him were standing his royal attendants.

Then came a person dressed in simple clothes. He was approaching the Kaaba very slowly when the crowd saw him they all scattered, making way for him. The man slowly and with ease went round the "House of Allah" (Kaaba) seven times, kissed the "Hajare Aswad" and went away Hasham, the prince of the Muslims empire, could not believe what he saw. wasn't he the prince? Why had he to wait and a stranger be shown such respect? Who was he after all? He asked his attendants who the stranger was that he should enjoy such a respect with people that even the prince could not.

The attendants said they did not know who the person was, though they knew very well that the person was Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) but were afraid that if they said the truth Hasham would be offended.

However, the famous poet Farazdaq, who was being paid by the king to write poems in praise of the royal family could not keep quiet. He read long poem in praise of Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) the most important part of which is ...

"..This is Ali (Bin Husain) whose parent is the Prophet, This is the son of Fatima, if you do not know who he is.

Whoever recognizes his God knows also the greatness and importance of this man, Because the religion has reached the nations through his house."

Hisham burned with jealousy. He got Farazdaq in prison for praising the Imam (A.S).

When the Bani Umayyah rulers realised their mistake they decided to kill the Imam. By the instructions of Walid Bin Merwan, the governor of Medina poisoned the Imam (A.S). The Imam (A.S) died from this poison on 25th Muharram A.H 95 (A.D. 713).