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A true ‘Holocaust survivor’

The 4th Imam, Imam Ali Zaynul Abideen (peace be upon him), son of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him), was one of the very few survivors of the massacre on Ashura. Throughout the events in Karbala, Imam Hussain's son was so ill that he could barely stand, let alone fight.  He was not destined to leave this world in Karbala.

The 4th Imam, Imam Ali Zaynul Abideen (peace be upon him), son of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him), was one of the very few survivors of the massacre on Ashura. Throughout the events in Karbala, Imam Hussain's son was so ill that he could barely stand, let alone fight.  He was not destined to leave this world in Karbala.

Imam Ali Zaynul Abideen was born on 5 Sha’baan, 38 A.H. His nickname "Zaynul Abideen" literally means "ornament of worshippers."  The Imamate of Imam Zaynul Abideen was especially significant because he was one of the only males, if not the only male, of Ahlul Bayt that survived the tragedy on the day of Ashura.  He carried with him the legacy of Imam Hussain, as well as the great trust of Imamate, one of 12 spiritual and political leaders designated to guide the universe by Allah after the final prophet's death.{mxc}

After 10 Muharram, the women and children of Imam Hussain were taken as prisoners of war.  Leading the group of women and children was Imam Zaynul Abideen.  Even when the orphans and widows of Ahlul Bayt reached Yazid's palace, Imam Zaynul Abideen and his aunt, Lady Zainab, were on the front lines.

Here are some of the most famous parts of the imam's speech addressing the court of tyrant Yazid:

"Oh people!  I warn you from this world and what is in it, for it is a place of impermanence and perishing. … It has destroyed the past generations. … They left more traces on this Earth than you, but now, time has erased them. … The Earth that buried them has changed their figures. … Oh people, …You all shall follow them!  So seize the rest of your days by doing good deeds. … I can almost see you being moved from your castles to your graves!"

After this famous speech, Imam Zaynul Abideen spent the remainder of his life in Medina away from politics.  The Imam could not speak freely due to the great pressure the government put on him.  Instead, the Imam focused on expressing the relationship between humans and Allah through supplications and prayers.  One of the most important collections of supplications that survived to present-day is the Sahifa As Sajjadiyya. 

Threatened by the late realization that Imam Zaynul Abideen was attaining popularity and respect from the masses, the wicked caliph Hisham Ibn Abd Al Malik poisoned him.  The imam died on the 25th of Muharram, 95 A.H.  He was buried in Jannat Al Baqi, Medina where he is still visited by the lovers of Ahlul Bayt every year.

 

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