Imam 'Ali b. al-Husayn al-Sajjad (a)

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'Ali b. al-Husayn
4th Shi'a Imam
Zayn al-'Abidin
Baqi'.jpeg
Born c. (659-01-09)9 January 659CE
(Sha'ban 5, 38 AH)
Birthplace Medina
Beginning of Imamte Muharram 10, 61/October 13, 680
Duration of Imamate 34 years
Martyrdom c. 24 October 713(713-10-24) (aged 54)
(Muharram 25, 95)
Deathplace Medina, Arabia
Cause of Death Death by Poisoning
Place of Burial Medina, Arabia,
24°28′02.0″N 39°36′58.8″E / 24.467222°N 39.616333°E / 24.467222; 39.616333
Successor Muhammad b. 'Ali al-Baqir
Father al-Husayn b. 'Ali
Mother Shahrbanu?
Brother(s) 'Ali al-Akbar, 'Abd Allah
Sister(s) Sukayna, Fatima, Ruqayya
Spouse(s) Umm 'Abd Allah
Son(s) Muhammad, 'Abd Allah, Hasan, ...
Daughter(s) Khadija, Fatima, Umm Kulthum, ...
Other Titles Zayn al-'Abidin, Sayyid al-Sajidin
The Twelve Imams
'Ali, al-Hasan, al-Husayn, al-Sajjad, al-Baqir, al-Sadiq, al-Kazim, al-Rida, al-Jawad, al-Hadi, al-'Askari, al-Mahdi

ʿAlī b. al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī b. ʾAbī Ṭālib (Arabic: عَليّ بن الحُسَین بن علي بن أبي طالب) (b. 38/658 – d. 94/713) known as Imām al-Sajjād (امام السجاد) and Zayn al-ʿAbidīn (زين العابدين) is the fourth Imam of Shi'a. The period of his imamate was 34 years. He (a) was present in the event of Karbala but did not participate in the battle because of sickness and was not martyred. He (a) was taken captive to Kufa and Damascus together with other captives of Karbala. His speech at the presence of Umayyad caliphs created awareness among people about the position of the Ahl al-Bayt (a). After being released, he (a) stayed in Medina until the end of his life. The event of Harra, Tawwabun movement and the uprising of Mukhtar happened at his time, however there is no reliable report of his opinions about them.

Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya is a compilation of his supplications which reflect the picture of the society that day and the true path of life through the education of the religion and the Qur'an and purification of souls and connecting souls to God. Risalat al-huquq (Treatise on Rights) is his another work which is a short treatise containing duties a human being have.

He (a) was poisoned and martyred by the order of Walid b. 'Abd al-Malik. He (a) was buried in al-Baqi' cemetery beside his uncle Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba (a).

Al-Zahri said, "I found none of Hashemites greater or more knowledgeable than him in fiqh." Al-Shafi'i said, "He (a) was the most knowledgeable in fiqh in Medina." And al-Jahiz said, "I saw no one have any doubt about his merits or about his superiority."

Lineage

'Ali b. al-Husayn b. 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a) known as Imam al-Sajjad (a) and Imam Zayn al-'Abidin is son of Imam al-Husayn (a) and the fourth Imam of Shi'a.

Among disagreements about Imam al-Sajjad (a) was the name and lineage of his mother, different names have been mentioned for her including Shahrbanu, Shahrbanuyeh, Shah-i Zanan,[1] Jahanshah, Khawla, Salafa, Ghazzala, Salama, Harrar, Maryam, Fatima. Accordingly, Sayyid Ja'far Shahidi wrote that, "among the names mentioned for her, Shahrbanu is more famous. Her father is said to be Yazdgerd, the last Sassanid emperor; or Nushjan from Khurasan, or Shiruyih, son of Parviz, among which Yazdgerd is more famous." He does not believe that the mother of Imam al-Sajjad (a) would be a person having such a description mentioning some reasons and evidences.[2] He says, "If we ignore this myth about her and check authentic books, we reach a clearer point: Ibn Sa'd wrote that after martyrdom of al-Husayn (a), Zuyayd, his freed servant married the mother of 'Ali b. al-Husayn (a) and 'Abd Allah b. Zuyayd was born, thus 'Abd Allah was 'Ali b. al-Husayn's (a) brother from his mother.[3] Al-Shaykh al-Saduq wrote, "Mother of 'Ali b. al-Husayn (a) was the daughter of Yazdgerd son of Shahriyar, the king of Persians, passed away while giving birth to him."[4]

Family tree of Ahl al-Bayt (a)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Khadija
 
 
 
Muhammad
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lady Fatima
 
 
 
Imam Ali
 
 
 
 
Umm al-Banin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Husayn
 
Imam al-Hasan
 
Lady Zaynab
 
Umm Kulthum
 
Muhsin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al-'Abbas
 
Abd Allah
 
Uthman
 
Ja'far
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Muhammad
 
'Awn
 
Ali
 
Al-'Abbas
 
Umm Kulthum
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Al-Hasan
 
Al-Qasim
 
'Abd Allah
 
Fatima
 
Zayd
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
'Abd Allah
 
Zaynab
 
Ibrahim
 
Al-Hasan
 
Hasan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Muhammad
 
 
Ibrahim
 
 
Idris
 
 
 
Nafisa
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Sajjad
 
'Ali al-Akbar
 
 
'Ali al-Asghar
 
 
Fatima
 
Sukayna
 
Ruqayya
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Baqir
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Zayd
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Sadiq
 
'Abd Allah
 
Ibrahim
 
'Ubayd Allah
 
'Ali
 
Yahya
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Kazim
 
Muhammad
 
Ali
 
Ishaq
 
Umm Farwa
 
'Abd Allah
 
Isma'il
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Rida
 
Ma'suama
 
Hamza
 
Ishaq
 
Ahmad
 
Ibrahim
 
Muhammad
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Jawad
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Hadi
 
 
Musa
 
 
 
 
Fatima
 
 
 
Amama
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari
 
 
Husayn
 
 
 
 
Muhammad
 
 
 
Ja'far
 
 
 
 
 
Imam al-Mahdi
 
 


Titles and Kunyas

Shi'a
Usul al-Din (Beliefs)
Main Beliefs TawhidProphethoodResurrection'AdlImamate
Other Beliefs 'IsmaWilayaMahdawiyya: Occultation (Minor Occultation, Major Occultation), Intizar, Zuhur, and Raj'aBada'
Furu' al-Din (Practical Orders)
'Ibadi Orders PrayerFastingKhumsZakatHajjJihad
Non-'Ibadi Orders Forbidding the EvilEnjoining the GoodTawalliTabarri
Sources of Ijtihad Qur'anSunnaReasonIjma'
Ethics
Virtues ForgivenessGenerosityGenerous help
Vices Greater SinsKibr'UjbGhururJealousy
Sources Nahj al-BalaghaAl-Sahifa al-SajjadiyyaLetter of Imam 'Ali to Imam al-Hasan
Challenging Issues
Succession of the Prophet (s)Shafa'aTawassulTaqiyyaMourningMut'aCompanions
Figures
Shi'a Imams Imam 'Ali (a)Imam al-Hasan (a)Imam al-Husayn (a)Imam al-Sajjad (a)Imam al-Baqir (a)Imam al-Sadiq (a)Imam al-Kazim (a)Imam al-Rida (a)Imam al-Jawad (a)Imam al-Hadi (a)Imam al-'Askari (a)Imam al-Mahdi (a)
Companions

Men: HamzaJa'far b. Abi TalibSalman al-FarsiMiqdad b. AswadAbudhar al-Ghifari'Ammar YasirMalik al-AshtarMuhammad b. Abi Bakr'Aqil'Uthman b. HunayfAbu Ayyub al-AnsariJabir b. 'Abd Allah al-AnsariIbn 'Abbas'Abd Allah b. Ja'farKhuzayma b. ThabitBilalYasir

Women: KhadijaLady Fatima (a)ZaynabUmm KulthumAsma' bt. 'UmaysUmm AymanUmm Salama
Scholars LitterateursScholars of UsulPoetsScholars of RijalFaqihsPhilosophersBibliographersExegetes
Shrines
Mecca: Al-Masjid al-Haram
Medina: Al-Masjid al-NabawiAl-Baqi'
Al-Quds: Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa
Najaf: Shrine of Imam 'Ali (a)Masjid al-Kufa
Karbala: Shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a)
Kadhimiya: Shrine of al-Kazimayn (a)
Samarra: Shrine of al-'Askariyyayn (a)
Mashhad: Shrine of Imam al-Rida (a)
Damascus: Zaynabiyya
Qom: Shrine of Lady Fatima al-Ma'suma
Shiraz: Shah Chiragh
Rey: Shrine of 'Abd al-'Azim al-Hasani
Eids
Eid al-FitrEid al-AdhaEid al-GhadirMab'athProphet's birthdayImams' birthdays
Mournings
FatimiyyaMuharram (Mournings of Muharram), Tasu'a, 'Ashura and Arba'in)
Events
MubahalaEvent of GhadirEvent of Saqifa Bani Sa'idaFadakEvents of Lady Fatima's HouseBattle of JamalBattle of SiffinBattle of NahrawanEvent of KarbalaHadith al-ThaqalaynAshab al-Kisa'Tathir VerseKilling Shi'as
Literature
Qur'anNahj al-balaghaal-Sahifa al-SajjadiyyaThe Four Books: (al-Istibsaral-KafiTahdhib al-ahkamKitab man la yahduruh al-faqih) • Mushaf of Fatima (a)Mushaf Imam 'Ali (a)Asrar-i Al-i Muhammad (s)Wasa'il al-Shi'aBihar al-anwaral-GhadirMafatih al-jinanMajma' al-bayanal-MizanOther Books
Sects
Ithna 'AshariyyaIsma'iliyyaZaydiyyaKaysaniyya

Imam al-Sajjad's (a) Kunyas were Abu al-Hasan, Abu al-Husayn, Abu Muhammad, and Abu 'Abd Allah.[5]

His titles are Zayn al-'Abidin (adornment of the worshipers), Sayyid al-Sajidin (master of the prostrators), al-Sajjad (the frequently prostrating one), al-Hashimi, al-'Alawi, al-Madani, al-Qurashi, and 'Ali al-Akbar.[6] Dhu al-Thafanat is another title of Imam al-Sajjad (a), since the skin of his prostration points of his body [knees, palms and forehead] had become hardened and there were calluses on them like the knees of camels due to praying a lot.[7]

Imam al-Sajjad (a) was also known by other names at his time such as 'Ali al-Khayr, 'Ali al-Asghar and 'Ali al-'Abid.[8]

Birth and Martyrdom

According to the famous opinion, Imam al-Sajjad (a) was born in 38/659; thus, he (a) has seen a part of Imam 'Ali's (a) life, the imamate of Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a) and Mu'awiya's attempt in suppressing Shi'a in Iraq and elsewhere. However, in some reports, the age of Imam (a) is mentioned less than what is famous and have mentioned his time of birth about 48/668.[9] Although, such reports have been mentioned in different sources, but there are evidences which do not let one believe them; such as the fact that famously historians and biographers have mentioned the birth time of Imam al-Sajjad (a) 38/659, which implies that his age in the event of Karbala was 23 years old.

After narrating from Imam al-Sadiq (a) saying, "'Ali b. al-Husayn (a) passed away at the age of 58", the Sunni narrator of historical reports, Muhammad b. 'Umar al-Waqidi wrote that, "this report suggests that Imam al-Sajjad (a) was with his father in Karbala while he (a) was 23 or 24 years old."[10]

Also al-Zahri said that 'Ali b. al-Husayn (a) was with his father while he was 23 years old.[11]

Imam al-Sajjad (a) was martyred in 94/713 (or 95/714) with a poison given by the order of Walid b. 'Abd al-Malik.[12] He (a) was buried in Baqi' cemetery beside his uncle, Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba (a).[13]

Wives and Children

In historical sources, the number of Imam al-Sajjad's (a) children have been counted as 15, 11 of whom were boys and 4 of them were girls.[14] According to al-Shaykh al-Mufid, the names of his wives and children were:

  1. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a) whose mother was Umm 'Abd Allah (Imam al-Hasan's (a) daughter).
  2. 'Abd Allah
  3. Al-Hasan
  4. Al-Husayn al-Akbar: The mother of 'Abd Allah, al-Hasan and al-Husayn Akbar was a maid.
  5. Zayd
  6. 'Umar: The mother of Zayd and 'Umar was a maid.
  7. Al-Husayn al-Asghar
  8. 'Abd al-Rahman
  9. Sulayman: The mother of 'Umar, al-Husayn al-Asghar and Sulayman was a maid.
  10. 'Ali: who was Imam al-Sajjad's (a) smallest child.
  11. Khadija: whose mother was also the mother of 'Ali.
  12. Al-Muhammad al-Asghar: whose mother was a maid.
  13. Fatima
  14. 'Illiyya
  15. Umm Kulthum: The mother of Fatima, 'Illiyya and Umm Kulthum was a maid.[15]

Imamate

Imamate of Imam al-Sajjad (a) began after the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) in 61/681 and continued until his own martyrdom in 94/712 or 95/713.

Proofs for Imamate

According to references Shi'a hadith scholars have narrated in hadith references, Imam al-Sajjad (a) was the successor of his father al-Husayn b. 'Ali (a).[16] Al-Shaykh al-Mufid mentioned his superiority in knowledge and practice over others after his father as the proof for his imamate.[17]

Also, hadiths narrated from the Prophet (s) about the names of Imams of Shi'a approve this.[18]

Moreover, according to Shi'a references, there was a tradition that belongings of the Prophet (s) such as his sword and armor would be with the rightful Imam (a) of the time,[19] and it is even mentioned in Sunni references that Imam al-Sajjad (a) kept them with himself.[20]

Contemporary Rulers

  1. Yazid b. Mu'awiya (60/680–64/684)
  2. 'Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr (61/681–73/692) who was the independent ruler of Mecca
  3. Mu'awiya b. Yazid (few months in 64/684)
  4. Marwan b. Hakam (9 months in 65/685)
  5. 'Abd al-Malik b. Marwan (65/685–86/705)
  6. Walid b. 'Abd al-Malik (86/705–96/715)[21]

Event of Karbala and Captivity

Main articles: Event of Karbala and 'Ashura

In the event of Karbala and on the day Imam al-Husayn (a) and his companions were martyred, Imam al-Sajjad (a) was severely sick so that in some cases when they wanted to kill him, some said, "This sickness is enough for him."[22]

Kufa

After the tragedy of Karbala, they captured the family of Imam al-Husayn (a) and took them to Kufa and Damascus. Upon taking them from Karbala to Kufa, they put Jami'a [hand-to-neck chains] on him and since he was sick and could not keep sitting on the back of the camel, they fastened his feet under the belly of the camel.[23]

Some accounts say that Imam al-Sajjad (a) gave a speech in Kufa, but it is hard to accept that due to restricted situation in Kufa, cruelty of government agents, the fear of the people of Kufa from them and their unsupportive manner. Moreover, the sentences narrated from him in his speech in Kufa are similar to those he (a) said in his speech in the mosque of Damascus and it is possible that some narrators have mixed them up. [24]

In any case, 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad kept Imam al-Sajjad (a) and other captives of Karbala in prison and wrote a letter to Damascus and asked Yazid what to do with them. Yazid replied and ordered him to send captives and the heads of the martyrs of Karbala to Damascus. 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad put shackles on Imam's (a) neck and sent him and other captives with Muhaffar b. Tha'laba to Damascus.[25]

Damascus

Imam al-Sajjad (a) gave a speech in the mosque of Damascus and introduced himself, his father, and his grandfather to people and told the people of Damascus that what Yazid and his agents have propagated are not true. His father was not a rebel and did not want to disturb Muslim community and make mischief in Islamic lands. He (a) rose for truth and by invitation of Muslims to remove deviations brought up in religion and bring the simplicity and purity it had at the time of his great grandfather.[26]

Return to Medina

Imam al-Sajjad (a) lived 34 years after the event of Karbala and always made efforts to keep the memory of the martyrs of Karbala alive.

Whenever he (a) drank water, he remembered his father and wept on the hardships of Imam al-Husayn (a). It is mentioned in a narration from Imam al-Sadiq (a) that, "Imam al-Sajjad (a) wept forty years upon his honorable father, while he (a) was fasting the days and praying the nights. At the time of breaking his fasting when his servant took food and water for him, he (a) said, '[grand]son of the Prophet (s) was martyred hungry! [grand]son of the Prophet (s) was martyred thirsty!' He (a) frequently repeated this and wept so that his tears were mixed with his food and drink. He (a) was in such a state until when he (a) passed away."[27]

Contemporary Uprisings

At the time of Imam al-Sajjad (a) after the event of Karbala, different movements were made, most important ones of which were:

Event of Harra

Main article: Event of Harra

Some years after the event of Karbala, people of Medina organized the uprising of Harra against Umayyads in 63/683. People of the city gave alliance to 'Abd Allah b. Hanzala whose father was known as Ghasil al-Mala'ika and first besieged Umayyads who were about 1,000 people in the house of Marwan b. Hakam and then pushed them out of the city.[28] Imam al-Sajjad (a) stepped away from the uprising since its beginning.[29]

In the heat of the uprising of Harra, Marwan b. Hakam who was an enemy of the Ahl al-Bayt (s) went to 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar and asked him to guard his family with his, but 'Abd Allah did not accept. When Marwan became disappointed with his support, he went to Imam al-Sajjad (a). Imam (a) accepted his request with great benevolence and sent Marwan's family together his own family to Yanbu' (a spring near Medina on the right side of Radwa mountain).[30]

In this event, Imam (a) accepted the responsibility of guarding 400 families and paid all their expenses while the army of Muslim b. 'Aqaba (the commander of Yazid's army in the event of Harra) was in Medina.[31]

Tawwabun Uprising

Main article: Tawwabun Uprising

Tawwabun movement was another movement after the event of Karbala, the leader of which was Sulayman b. Surad al-Khuza'i together with some other distinguished Shi'a personalities of Kufa. In general, Tawwabun were about to hand the leadership of the society to the Ahl al-Bayt (a) in case they could win and obviously there was no one from the progeny of Fatima (a) except Imam al-Sajjad (a). However, there was no political relationship between Imam al-Sajjad (a) and Tawwabun.[32]

Mukhtar's Uprising

Main article: Mukhtar's Uprising

Mukhtar's uprising was the third important movement after the event of Karbala, about the relation of Imam al-Sajjad (a) and this movement there are some doubts. This relation not only has some political problems, but it also has some problems regarding ideological aspects (following Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya). It is said that after Mukhtar succeeded to attract Shi'a to himself in Kufa, he asked Imam al-Sajjad (a) for help but Imam (a) did not face him with open arms.[33]

Merits and Virtues

Worship

Malik b. Anas said, "Ali b. al-Husayn (a) made a thousand Rak'a prayer everyday before he (a) passed away. Thus, he (a) was called Zayn al-'Abidin (adornment of the worshipers)."[34]

Ibn 'Abd Rabbih wrote, "When 'Ali b. al-Husayn (a) became ready for prayer, he (a) would strangely tremble. He (a) was asked about it and said, 'woe betide you! Do you know whom I am going to stand in front of and before whom I am going to pray?'"[35]

Malik b. Anas said, "When 'Ali b. al-Husayn (a) put on Ihram and said Talbiya, he went unconscious and fell from his conveyance (from the awe of Allah)."[36]

Helping the Poor

Abu Hamza al-Thumali said, "Every night 'Ali b. al-Husayn (a) secretly carried some food on his shoulder to the poor and said, 'the charity made at the darkness of the night appeases the wrath of God.'"[37]

Muhammad b. Ishaq said, "There were people living in Medina unknowing how their daily provision was provided; and after 'Ali b. al-Husayn (a) passed away, their night food delivery stopped."[38]

At night, he (a) put baskets of bread on his shoulder and went to the houses of the poor and said, "The charity made secretly appeases the wrath of God." Those baskets had left marks on his shoulders and when they were washing his body after he (a) passed away, they saw those marks.[39] Ibn Sa'd wrote, "When a poor person came to him, he (a) went and give the poor one what he wanted and said, 'before charity reaches the asking one, it reaches God's hand.'"[40]

One year he (a) wanted to go for hajj. His sister Sukayna prepared a provision pack for his travel worth a thousand dirham. When he (a) arrived in Harra, they took that provision to him and Imam (a) distributed it among all the poor.[41]

Imam al-Sajjad (a) has a poor cousin. He (a) went to him at night in a way he did not recognize him and gave him some dinars. His cousin said, " 'Ali b. al-Husayn (a) does not care about his relatives, May God punish him." Imam (a) heard this and forbore and did not show his face to his cousin. When Imam (a) passed away and nightly donation of that man was stopped, he realized the donator was actually 'Ali b. al-Husayn (a), so he went to Imam's (a) grave and cried.[42]

Abu Na'im wrote, "Imam al-Sajjad (a) distributed all his property among the poor twice and said, 'God loves a repenting faithful servant.'"[43] Elsewhere, he wrote, "People regarded him ungenerous and when he (a) passed away, they learned that he (a) provided the expenses of a hundred families.[44] When a beggar came to him, he (a) said, 'blessed be the one who carries my provision to the hereafter.'"[45]

Behavior towards Slaves

One of the efforts of Imam al-Sajjad (a) which was religious and also political was paying attention to slaves; people who were under greatest social pressures especially after the time of the second caliph ('Umar b. al-Khattab) and especially at the time of Umayyads and they were among the most deprived people in the Islamic society in first centuries.

Like Imam 'Ali (a) who attracted Mawali [freed servants] in Iraq to himself with his Islamic behavior, Imam al-Sajjad (a) tried to promote social dignity of these people.

Sayyid al-Ahl wrote, "Imam al-Sajjad (a) bought slaves even though he (a) did not need them. He (a) bought them only to free them. Slaves who saw this intention of Imam (a), they wanted him to buy them. Imam al-Sajjad (a) released them at any time or situation, so that many people, like an army of released servants, men and women were seen in Medina who were all the freed servants of Imam (a)."[46]

Works

Al-Shaykh al-Mufid wrote, "Sunni scholars narrated many sciences from Imam al-Sajjad (a) and many supplications, pieces of advice, [hadiths] in the merit of the Qur'an, Halal [the permissible] and Haram [the forbidden], wars and days [of history] are left from him which are known to scholars."[47]

Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya

Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya is the collection of Imam al-Sajjad's (a) supplications and a mirror in which the picture of the society at that time, especially Medina, can be seen in it: his aversion to bad behaviors and speech of people at that time and taking refuge to God from what he (a) saw and heard, and clarifying the right path under the guidance of religion and the Qur'an and purification of souls from pollutions; as if Imam (a) wanted as much as possible to disconnect people from Satan and connect them to God. Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya has been translated to several languages.

Risalat al-Huquq

Risalat al-Huquq is one of the works attributed to Imam al-Sajjad (a). In this treatise, 51 different rights (or 50 according to some versions) are listed. This treatise has been translated to English and other languages.

Some of the rights listed in this treatise are:

  1. Rights of God
  2. Rights of the self
  3. Rights of tongue
  4. Rights of prayer
  5. Rights of charity
  6. Rights of the teacher
  7. Rights of people
  8. Rights of wife
  9. Rights of the mother
  10. Rights of the father
  11. Rights of children
  12. Rights of the brother
  13. Rights of servants
  14. Rights of associates
  15. Rights of the neighbor
  16. Rights of the loan-taker
  17. Rights of the enemy
  18. Rights of the one who makes you happy
  19. Rights of the one who treats you badly
  20. Rights of the people you owe to

Words of Sunni Scholars

Muhammad b. Muslim al-Zuhri: "I found no Hashemite greater or more knowledgeable than him in fiqh."[48]

Al-Shafi'i said, "He (a) was the most knowledgeable in fiqh in Medina."[49]

Al-Jahiz said, "I saw no one have any doubt about his merits or about his superiority."[50]

Notes

  1. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, vol. 2 p. 137
  2. Shadidi, Zindigani 'Ali b. al-Husayn, p. 10-26
  3. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 5 p. 162
  4. Al-Saduq, 'Uyun akhbar al-Rida, vol. 2 p. 128
  5. Al-Dhahabi, Siyar a'lam al-nubala, vol. 4 p. 386; Kasrawi, Mawsu'a, vol. 3 p. 64; Al-Razi, al-Jarh wa l-ta'dil, vol. 6 p. 178; Al-Dulabi, al-Kuna wa l-asma' , vol. 1 p. 147; Al-Suyuti, Tabaqat al-huffaz, p. 37
  6. Al-Dhahabi, Siyar a'lam al-nubala, vol. 4 p. 386; Kasrawi, Mawsu'a, vol. 3 p. 64; al-'Asqalani, Tahdhib, vol. 7 p. 231; Ibn Khallikan, Wafayat, vol. 3 p. 266
  7. Ibn Khallikan, Wafayat, vol. 3 p. 274; Al-Mas'udi, Muruj al-dhahab, vol. 3 p. 160; al-Tha'alabi, Thimar al-qulub, p. 226; Ibn Abi l-Hadid, Sharh nahj al-balagha, vol. 10 p. 79
  8. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, vol. 5 p. 222; Ibn Abi l-Hadid, Sharh nahj al-balagha, vol. 15 p. 273
  9. Al-Qadi al-Nu'man, Sharh al-akhbar, vol. 3 p. 266
  10. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, vol. 5 p. 222; Ibn Manzur, Mukhtasr, vol. 17 p. 256; Al-Irbili, Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2 p. 191
  11. Ibn Manzur, Mukhtasr, vol. 17 p. 231
  12. Al-Shabrawi, al-Ithaf, p. 143; Al-Mas'udi, Muruj al-dhahab, vol. 3 p. 160
  13. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, vol. 2 p. 138
  14. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p. 380; Ibn Shahrashub, Manaqib, vol. 4 p. 189; Ibn al-Jawzi, Tadhkirat al-khawas, p. 332-333
  15. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p. 155
  16. Al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, vol. 1 p. 188-189
  17. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, vol. 2 p. 138
  18. Al-Mufid, al-Ikhtisas, p. 211; Al-Tabrisi, I'lam al-wara, vol. 2 p. 181-182; Al-'Amili, Ithbat al-huda, vol. 2 p. 285
  19. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, vol. 2 p. 139
  20. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, vol. 1 p. 486-488
  21. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p. 254; Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol. 46 p. 12
  22. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, vol. 2 p. 113; Al-Tabrisi, I'lam al-wara, vol. 1 p. 469
  23. Al-Tusi, al-Amali, vol. 1 p. 90; Al-Khwarazmi, Maqtal, vol. 2 p. 40
  24. Shadidi, Zindigani 'Ali b. al-Husayn, p. 56-57
  25. Al-Tabari, Tarikh al-rusul wa l-muluk, vol. 7 p. 375
  26. Shadidi, Zindigani 'Ali b. al-Husayn, p. 75
  27. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol. 45 p. 149; Al-Sayyid b. Tawus, al-Luhuf, p. 290; 'Abbas Qumi, Nafas al-mahmum, vol. 1 p. 794
  28. Shadidi, Zindigani 'Ali b. al-Husayn, p. 82-83
  29. Shadidi, Zindigani 'Ali b. al-Husayn, p. 86
  30. Shadidi, Zindigani 'Ali b. al-Husayn, p. 83
  31. Al-Irbili, Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2 p. 107
  32. Ja'fari, Tashayyu' dar masir tarikh, p. 286
  33. Al-Kashshi, Rijal, p. 126; Al-Tusi, Ikhtiyar, p. 126
  34. Al-Dhahabi, al-'Ibar, vol. 1 p. 83
  35. Al-Dhahabi, Siyar a'lam al-nubala, vol. 4 p. 392; Ibn 'Abd Rabbih, al-'Iqd al-farid, vol. 3 p. 169
  36. Al-Dhahabi, Siyar a'lam al-nubala, vol. 4 p. 392
  37. Al-Dhahabi, Siyar a'lam al-nubala, vol. 4 p. 393
  38. Al-Dhahabi, Siyar a'lam al-nubala, vol. 4 p. 393
  39. Al-Isfahani, Hilyat al-awliya' , vol. 3 p. 136; Al-Irbili, Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2 p. 77; Ibn Shahrashub, Manaqib, vol. 4 p. 154; Ibn al-Jawzi, Sifat al-safwa, vol. 2 p. 54; Al-Saduq, al-Khisal, p. 616; 'Ilal al-sharayi' , p. 231
  40. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, vol. 5 p. 160
  41. Ibn al-Jawzi, Sifat al-safwa, vol. 2 p. 54; Al-Irbili, Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2 p. 78
  42. Al-Irbili, Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2 p. 107; Al-Isfahani, Hilyat al-awliya' , vol. 3 p. 140
  43. Al-Isfahani, Hilyat al-awliya' , vol. 3 p. 136; Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, vol. 5 p. 162
  44. Ibn al-Jawzi, Sifat al-safwa, vol. 2 p. 54; Al-Isfahani, Hilyat al-awliya' , vol. 3 p. 136; Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, vol. 5 p. 164
  45. Al-Isfahani, Hilyat al-awliya' , vol. 3 p. 136; Ibn Shahrashub, Manaqib, vol. 4 p. 154; Irbili, Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2 p. 77
  46. Sayyid al-Ahl, Zayn al-'Abidin, p. 7, 47
  47. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, vol. 2 p. 153
  48. Al-Dhahabi, Tadhkira, vol. 1 p. 75; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa l-nihaya, vol. 9 p. 124
  49. Ibn Abi l-Hadid, Sharh nahj al-balagha, vol. 15 p. 274
  50. Ibn 'Inaba, 'Umdat al-talib, p. 194

References

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Further Reading