strengthen me in carrying out Your commands,
let me taste the sweetness of Your remembrance,
grant me, through Your graciousness,
that I give thanks to You.
Protect me, with Your protection and cover,
O the most discerning of those who see.
اللهم قوني فيه على اقامة امرك
واذقني فيه حلاوة ذكرك
واوزعني في لأداء شكرك بكرمك
واحفظني فيه بحفظك وسترك
يا أبصر الناظرين
grant me wisdom and awareness,
keep me away from foolishness and pretention,
grant me a share in every blessing You send down,
by You generosity, O the most Generous.
اللهم ارزقني فيه الذهن والتنبيه
وباعدني فيه من السفاهة والتموية
واجعل لي نصيباً من كل خير تُنزل فيه
بجودك يا اجود الأجودين
O Allah, on this day,
take me closer towards Your pleasure,
keep me away from Your anger and punishment,
grant me the opportunity to recite Your verses (of the Qur’an),
by Your mercy, O the most Merciful.
اللهم قربني فيه إلى مرضاتك
وجنبني فيه من سخطك ونقماتك
ووفقني فيه لقرائة اياتك
برحمتك يا ارحم الراحمين
O Allah, on this day
make my fasts the fasts of those who fast (sincerely),
and my standing up in prayer of those
who stand up in prayer (obediently),
awaken me in it from the sleep of the heedless,
and forgive me my sins , O God of the worlds,
and forgive me, O one who forgives the sinners.
اللهم اجعل صيامي فيه صيام الصائمين
وقيامي في قيام القائمين
ونبهني في عن نومة الغافلين
وهب لي جُرمي فيه يا إله العالمين
واغف عني يا عافياً عن المجرمين
Agnomen: Abu Muhammad.
Father’s name: al-Husayn Sayyidu’sh-Shuhada’.
Mother’s name: Shahr Banu, daughter of Yazdeger III, the King of Persia.
Birth: In Medina, on Saturday, 15th Jumadi ‘1-ula 36 AH.
Death: Died at the age of 58, in Medina; poisoned by al-Walid ibn `Abdi’1-Malik ibn Marwan on 25th Muharram 95 AH; buried in Jannatu ‘1-Baqi’, in Medina.
The Holy Imam `Ali Zaynu’1-Abidin is the Fourth Apostolic Imam. His epithet was Abu Muhammad and was popularly titled as “Zaynu’1-Abidin”. The mother of this Holy Imam was the royal personage, Shahr Banu, the daughter of King Yazdeger, the last pre-Islamic Ruler of Persia.
Imam Zaynu’1-`Abidin spent the first two years of his infancy in the lap of his grandfather `Ali ibn Abi Talib and then for twelve years he had the gracious patronage of his uncle, the second Holy Imam al-Hasan ibn `Ali. In 61 AH, he was present in Karbala’, at the time of the gruesome tragedy of the wholesale massacre of his father, his uncles, his brothers, his cousins and all the godly comrades of his father; and suffered a heartless captivity and imprisonment at the hands of the devilish forces of Yazid.
When Imam Husayn had come for the last time to his camp to bid goodbye to his family, `Ali Zaynu’l-`Abidin was lying semi- conscious in his sickbed and hence he escaped the massacre in Karbala’. Imam Husayn could only manage a very brief talk with the inmates of his camp and departed nominating his sick son as Imam.
The Holy Imam Zaynu’l-’Abidin lived for about thirty-four years after his father and all his life he passed in prayers and supplication to Allah and in remembrance of his martyred father. It is for his ever being in prayers to A11ah, mostly lying in prayerful prostration, that this Holy Imam was popularly called “Sajjad”.
The knowledge and piety of this Holy Imam was matchless. az-Zuhri, al-Waqidi and Ibn `Uyaynah say that they could not find any one equal to him in piety and godliness. He was so mindful of Allah that whenever he sat for ablution for prayers, the complexion of his face would change and when he stood at prayer his body was seen trembling. When asked why this was, he replied, “Know ye not before whom I stand in prayer, and with whom I hold discourse?”
Even on the gruesome day of Ashura when Yazid’s forces had massacred his father, his kith and kin and his comrades and had set fire to the camp, this Holy Imam was engrossed in his supplications to the Lord.
When the brutal forces of Yazid’s army had taken the ladies and children as captives, carrying them seated on the bare back of the camels, tied in ropes; this Holy Imam, though sick, was put in heavy chains with iron rings round his neck and his ankles, and was made to walk barefooted on the thorny plains from Karbala’ to Kufah and to Damascus; and even then this godly soul never was unmindful of his prayers to the Lord and was always thankful and supplicated to Him.
His charity was unassuming and hidden. After his passing away, the people said that hidden charity ended with the departure of this Holy Imam. Like his grandfather Ali ibn Abi Talib, Ali Zaynu’l-’Abidin used to carry on his own back at night bags of flour and bread for the poor and needy families in Medina and he so maintained hundred of poor families in the city.
The Holy Imam was not only hospitable even to his enemies but also used to continually exhort them to the right path.
Imam Zaynu’l-`Abidin along with the Ahlu’l-bayt passed through dreadful and very dangerous times, for the aggressions and atrocities of the tyrant rulers of the age had reached a climax. There was plunder, pillage, and murder everywhere. The teachings of Islam were observed more in their breach. The heartless tyrant al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf ath-Thagafi was threatening everyone who professed allegiance or devotion to the Ahlu’l-bayt; and those caught were mercilessly put to death. The movement of the Holy Imam was strictly restricted and his meeting with any person was totally banned. Spies were employed to trace out the adherents of the Ahlu’1-bayt. Practically every house was searched and every family scrutinized.
Imam Zaynu’l-’Abidin was not given the time to offer his prayers peacefully, nor could he deliver any sermons. This God’s Vicegerent on earth therefore, adopted a third course which proved to be very beneficial to his followers. This was in compiling supplication prayers for the daily use of man in his endeavour to approach the Almighty Lord.
The invaluable collection of his edited prayers are known as as-Sahifah al-Kamilah or as-Sahifah as-Sajjaddiyyah; it is known also as az-Zabur (Psalm) of Aal Muhammad. The collection is an invaluable treasury of wonderfully effective supplications to the Lord in inimitably beautiful language. Only those who have ever come across those supplications would know the excellence and the beneficial effect of these prayers. Through these prayers the Imam gave all the necessary guidance to the faithful during his seclusion.
On the 25th of Muharram 95 AH when he was in Medina, al-Walid ibn Abdil-Malik ibn Marwan, the then ruler got this Holy Imam martyred by poison. The funeral prayers for this Holy Imam were conducted by his son the Fifth Imam, Muhammad al-Baqir and his body was laid to rest in the cemetery of Jannatu ‘1-Bagi ‘ in Medina.
al-Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on him, said:
* Refrain from lying in all things, big or small, in seriousness or in jest. For when one starts lying in petty matters, soon he will have the audacity to lie in important matters (also).
* A man need not fear Allah except on account of his own sins, and should place his hopes only with his Lord. When about something one does not know, one should not be ashamed of having to learn about it. And patience is to faith what the head is to the body; one who does not have patience also lacks faith.
Source: Brief History of Fourteen Infallibles published by World Organization for Islamic Services
Agnomen: Abu `Abdillah.
Father’s name: Ali Amir al-Mu’minin.
Mother’s name: Fatimah (daughter of the Holy Prophet).
Birth: In Medina on Thursday, 3rd Sha’ban 4 AH.
Death: Martyred in Karbala’ (Iraq) at the age of 57, on Friday, 10th Muharram 61 AH and buried there.
In the house of the Holy Prophet, which presented the best image of both the worlds – the heaven and the earth – a child who benefited humanity as if he was a Divine Impression reflecting the earth, was born on one of the nights of the month of Sha`ban. His father was Imam Ali, the best model of kindness towards his friends and the bravest against the enemies of Islam, and his mother was Hadrat Fatimah, the only daughter and child of the Holy Prophet, who had as universally acknowledged, inherited the qualities of her father. Imam Husayn, is the third Apostolic Imam. When the good news of his birth reached the Holy Prophet, he came to his daughter’s house, took the newly-born child in his arms, recited adhan and iqamah in his right and left ears respectively, and on the 7th day of his birth, after performing the rites of aqiqah, named him al-Husayn, in compliance with Allah’s command.
`Abdullah ibn Abbas relates: “On the very day when Imam Husayn was born, Allah ordered angel Gabriel to descend and congratulate the Holy Prophet on His Behalf and on his own. While descending, Gabriel passed over an island where the angel Futrus had been banished due to his delay in executing a commission assigned by Allah. He was deprived of his wings and expelled to the island where he remained for several years praying and worshipping Allah and asking for His forgiveness.
“When the angel Futrus saw Gabriel, he called out, ‘Where are you going, O Gabriel?’ To this he replied, ‘Husayn, the grandson of Muhammad is born, and for this very reason Allah has commanded me to convey His congratulations to His Apostle.’ Thereupon, the angel said, ` Can you carry me also along with you? May Muhammad recommend my case to Allah.’ Gabriel took the angel along with him, came to the Holy Prophet, offered congratulations to him on behalf of Allah and himself and referred the case of the angel to him. The Holy Prophet said to Gabriel, `Ask the angel to touch the body of the newly-born child and return to his place in Heaven.’ On doing this, the angle re-obtained his wings instantly and praising the Holy Prophet and his newly born grandson, ascended towards the Heaven.”
Hasan and Husayn, the two sons of the Holy Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib and Hadrat Fatimah, our Lady of Light, were respected and revered as the `Leaders of the Youths of Paradise’ as stated by the Holy Prophet.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him and his progeny, had openly prophesied that the faith of Islam would be rescued by his second grandson Husayn, when Yazid, son of Mu’awiyah, would endeavour to destroy it.
Yazid was known for his devilish character and brutish conduct. He was known as the most licentious of men. The people having known and understood the character of Yazid, formed a covenant by which Mu’awiyah could not appoint Yazid as his successor. This undertaking was given by Mu’awiyah to Imam Hasan from whom Mu’awiyah had snatched power. Mu’awiyah violated this undertaking and nominated Yazid who succeeded his father.
Immediately as he came to power, Yazid began acting in full accordance with his known character. He started interfering in the fundamentals of the faith and ,practised every vice and wickedness freely with the highest degree of impunity and yet held himself out as the successor of the Holy Prophet, demanding allegiance to himself as the leading guide of the faith. Paying allegiance to Yazid was nothing short of acknowledging the devil as God. If a divine personality like the Holy Imam Husayn had agreed to his authority, it would be actually recommending the devil to humanity in place of God. Yazid demanded allegiance from the Holy Imam Husayn, who could have never agreed to it at any cost. The people fearing death and destruction at the hands of the tyrant had yielded to him out of fear. Imam Husayn said that come whatever may, he would never yield to the devil in place of God and undo what his grandfather, the Holy Prophet had established.
The refusal of the Holy Imam to pay allegiance to this fiend, marked the start of the persecution of the Holy Imam. As a result he had retired to Medina where he led a secluded life. Even here he was not allowed to live in peace, and was forced to seek refuge in Mecca where also he was badly harassed, and Yazid plotted to murder him in the very precincts of the great sanctuary of Ka’bah.
In order to safeguard the great sanctuary, Imam Husayn decided to leave Mecca for Kufah just a day before the hajj pilgrimage. When asked the reason for the mysterious departure from Mecca foregoing the pilgrimage which was only the next day, Imam Husayn said that he would perform this year’s pilgrimage at Karbala’, offering the sacrifice not of any animals, but of his kith and kin and some faithful friends. He enumerated the names of his kith and kin who would lay down their lives with him in the great sacrifice at Karbala’.
The people of Kufah getting tired of the tyrannical and satanic rule of Yazid, had written innumerable letters and sent emissaries to Imam Husayn to come over and give them guidance in faith. Although Imam Husayn knew the ultimate end of the invitations, he as the divinely chosen Imam could not refuse to give the guidance sought for. When the Holy Imam with his entourage had reached Karbala’, his horse mysteriously stopped and would not move any further. Upon this the Holy Imam declared: “This is the land, the land of sufferings and tortures.” He alighted from his horse, and ordered his followers
to encamp there saying: “Here shall we be martyred and our children be killed. Here shall our tents be burned and our family arrested. This is the land about which my grandfather the Holy Prophet had foretold, and his prophecy will certainly be fulfilled.”
On the 7th of Muharram water supply to the Imam’s camp was cut and the torture of thirst and hunger started. The Holy Imam’s camp consisted of ladies, innocent children including babies and some male members of the Holy Prophet’s family; along with a small band of some faithful friends of Imam Husayn who had chosen to die with the Holy Imam, fighting against the devil for the cause of Allah.
The Day of `Ashura (10th of Muharram):
At dawn the Imam glanced over the army of Yazid and saw `Umar ibn Sa’d ordering his forces to march towards him. He gathered his followers and addressed them thus: “Allah has, this day, permitted us to be engaged in a Holy War and He shall reward us for our martyrdom. So prepare yourselves to fight against the enemies of Islam with patience and resistance. O sons of the noble and self-respecting persons, be patient! Death is nothing but a bridge which you must cross after facing trials and tribulations so as to reach Heaven and its joys. Which of you do not like to go from this prison (world) to the lofty palaces (Paradise)?”
Having heard the Imam’s address, all his companions were overwhelmed and cried out, “O our Master! We are all ready to defend you and your Ahlu’l-bayt, and to sacrifice our lives for the cause of Islam.”
Imam Husayn sent out from his camp one after another to fight and sacrifice their lives in the way of the Lord. Lastly, when all his men and children had laid down their lives, Imam Husayn brought his six-month old baby son `Ali al-Asghar, and offering him on his own hands, demanded some water for the baby, dying of thirst. The thirst of the baby was quenched by a deadly poisoned arrow from the brute’s forces, which pinned the baby’s neck to the arm of the helpless father. At last when the six-month old baby also was killed, Imam Husayn addressed Allah: “O Lord! Thy Husayn has offered in Thy way whatever Thou hath blessed him with. Bless Thy Husayn, 0 Lord! with the acceptance of this sacrifice.
Everything Husayn could do till now was through Thy help and by Thy Grace.” Lastly, Imam Husayn came into the field