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Difference between revisions of "Zayn al-'Abidin"

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[[Category:Epithets of Imam al-Sajjad (a)]]
 
[[Category:Epithets of Imam al-Sajjad (a)]]
 
[[Category:Arabic titles and teknonyms]]
 
[[Category:Arabic titles and teknonyms]]

Latest revision as of 21:04, 1 August 2020

Zayn al-ʿAbidīn (Arabic: زين العابدين, literally: the adornment of worshipers) is one of the best-known titles of 'Ali b. al-Husayn (a), the fourth Shiite Imam.

Imam al-Sajjad (a) was known as “Zayn al-'Abidin” because he was greatly ascetic and worshiped God most of the time. Malik b. Anas, a Sunni jurist and muhaddith, was quoted as saying that Imam al-Sajjad (a) performed 1000 rak'as of prayers every day, and because of his worships he came to be known as “Zayn al-'Abidin.” Moreover, in some sources of hadiths, he is referred to as “Sayyid al-'Abidin” (master of worshipers). Allegedly, there is no one throughout the history of Islam who is known as “Zayn al-'Abidin” except 'Ali b. al-Husayn.

According to a hadith cited in 'Ilal al-shara'i', Imam al-Sajjad (a) had this title since the 2nd/8th century. Ibn Shahab al-Zuhri, a Sunni jurist and muhaddith, referred to 'Ali b. al-Husayn (a) as Zayn al-'Abidin when he transmitted hadiths from him. Sufyan b. 'Uyayna (b. 107/725-6 – d. 198/813-4) asked him why he referred to 'Ali b. al-Husayn (a) as Zayn al-'Abidin and he answered by reference to a hadith from the Prophet (s) according to which “when the caller in the day of resurrection shouts ‘where is Zayn al-'Abidin (the adornment of worshipers)’ it is as if I see my son, 'Ali b. al-Husayn, who takes steps between lines.”

There is a story in Kashf al-ghumma, without any chains of transmitters, about how the Fourth Imam (a) acquired the title, “Zayn al-'Abidin.” According to this story, one night he stayed vigilant to perform his worships when he heard a call that was repeated three times: “you are the adornment of worshipers.” Since then, he came to be known by people as “Zayn al-'Abidin.”

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