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Zayd b. al-Imam al-Hasan (a)

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Descendant of Imam
Zayd b. al-Imam al-Hasan (a)
Role Trusteeship of Sadaqa of Imam 'Ali (a).
Teknonym Abu l-Hasan or Abu l-Husayn
Father Imam al-Hasan (a)
Mother Umm Bashir bt. Abi Mas'ud al-Badri
Birth Between 20/640 to 30/650-51
Place of Birth Medina
Place(s) of Residence Medina
Spouse(s) Lubaba bt. 'Ubayd Allah b. 'Abbas
Children Muhammad and Hasan and Nafisa
Demise 120/738
Place of Burial Between Mecca and Medina
Age 100, 95 or 90

Zayd b. al-Ḥasan b. 'Alī (Arabic: زيد بن الحسن بن علي) is the son of Imam al-Hasan (a) and trusteeship of Sadaqa of Imam 'Ali (a). He exercised Taqiyya in political conflicts. Some historical sources stated that he was present in the Battle of Karbala and he was taken captive at the end. Zayd never claimed Imamate and no Shi'a Muslim believe in his Imamate. Sunni Rijal experts regarded Zayd b. al-Hasan as a reliable hadith narrator (thiqa) and Shi'a rijal experts regarded him amongst the companions of Imam al-Sajjad (a).


Abu l-Hasan or Abu l-Husayn was the teknonym of Zayd b. al-Hasan. He was the oldest son of Imam al-Hasan (a). Umm Bashir bt. Abi Mas'ud al-Badri was the mother of Zayd who had another child from Imam al-Hasan (a) named Umm al-Hasan. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq and al-Shaykh al-Mufid mentioned that Zayd had another sister named Umm al-Husayn.


The birth date of Zayd b. al-Hasan is unknown and no rijal expert and historian stated the birth date of him. He passed away in 120/738 at the age of 100, 95 or 90. It can be assumed he was born between 20/640 to 30/650-51.

Family tree of Ahl al-Bayt (a)
'Abd Allah
Lady Fatima
Imam Ali
Umm al-Banin
Imam al-Husayn
Imam al-Hasan
Lady Zaynab
Umm Kulthum
Abd Allah
Umm Kulthum
'Abd Allah
'Abd Allah
Imam al-Sajjad
'Ali al-Akbar
'Ali al-Asghar
Imam al-Baqir
Imam al-Sadiq
'Abd Allah
'Ubayd Allah
Imam al-Kazim
Umm Farwa
'Abd Allah
Imam al-Rida
Imam al-Jawad
Imam al-Hadi
Imam al-'Askari
Imam al-Mahdi

His Presence in the Battle of Karbala

A number of historians did not mention the presence of Zayd b. al-Hasan in the Battle of Karbala; even there are some reports stating that he was absent in Karbala which brought criticism to him. However Maqatil al-Talibiyyin which is the oldest source on martyrs of family members of 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a), regarded Zayd b. al-Hasan as a captive in Karbala.


According to al-Shaykh al-Mufid, Zayd b. al-Hasan was a strong, generous self-assured man who was praised by poets. People came from different areas to learn from him. Al-Irbili introduced Zayd as a generous, self-assured and decent man.

According to some sources, when Zayd b. al-Hasan came to Suq al-Zuhr (a market which was held around noon) people gathered around him as they were amazed by his strong and bulky body; they were mentioning that he was a descendant of Prophet Muhammad (s).

Trusteeship of Sadaqa of Prophet Muhammad (s)

A number of historians including al-Shaykh al-Mufid stated that Zayd b. al-Hasan was in charge of sadaqa dedicated to Prophet Muhammad (s).

When Sulayman b. 'Abd al-Malik came to power, he wrote a letter to his agent in Medina: "When you receive this letter, discharge Zayd b. al-Hasan from trusteeship of sadaqa of Prophet (s) and appoint one of his relatives and help him in the affairs." Then he did so.

Zayd was discharged from trusteeship until the time 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz. The caliph wrote a letter to his agent in Medina: "Zayd b. al-Hasan is a noble man and the oldest man of Banu Hashim; when you receive the letter put him back in charge of trusteeship of sadaqa of Prophet (s) and support him."

According to a number of narrations, Imam 'Ali (a) demanded that trusteeship of his sadaqa be given to noble and decent man of his family. As narrated, the trusteeship was returned to Zayd b. al-Hasan in the time of Walid b. 'Abd al-Malik. In that time there was a disagreement between Zayd and Abu Hashim 'Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. Hanafiyya on trusteeship. Abu Hashim claimed that Zayd was equal to him regarding their lineage, the only difference was that Zayd's lineage goes back to Lady Fatima (a) while Abu Hashim does not, and sadaqa does not belong to Lady Fatima (a) as it belongs to 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a). In addition, Imam 'Ali (s) demanded that the trusteeship should be given to the most knowledgeable and most virtuous member of his family. Abu Hashim claimed to be wiser and more knowledgeable in fiqh than Zayd. Then Zayd moved to Damascus and informed the Umayyad caliph of the disagreement, Walid ordered to give trusteeship to Zayd b. al-Hasan.

Religious Sect

Al-Shaykh al-Mufid stated that neither Zayd b. al-Hasan nor Shi'a and non-Shi'a Muslims claimed Imamate of Zayd. In the time of Zayd three different Shi'a groups existed, Twelvers, Kaysanites and Zaydis.

Zayd b. al-Hasan was definitely not a follower of Kaysanites as the majority of Kaysanites were supporters of Abu Hashim b. Muhammad b. Hanafiyya, but Zayd did not have a good relationship with Abu Hashim as they disagreed with each other on trusteeship of sadaqa.

Zayd b. al-Hasan cannot be a member of Zaydis either. If he was a member of them, he should have their Imam or a follower of them. As claiming Imamate is a condition of Imamate in Zaydism, and Zayd never claimed to be an Imam, he cannot be their Imam. Also Zaydis believe Taqiyya is haram (unlawful), and biography of Zayd shows that Zayd exercised Taqiyya for Banu Umayyad; therefore, he cannot be a member of Zaydis.

Besides al-Shaykh al-Mufid believe Zayd b. al-Hasan exercised Taqiyya for Umayyads which is compatible to Twelver Shi'ism. Zayd is named a Twelver Shi'ite in a number of sources as well.

Narrating Hadiths


Al-Shaykh al-Tusi regarded Zayd b. al-Hasan a companion of Imam al-Sajjad (a) and Ibn Hibban regarded him a thiqa (reliable hadith narrator) and accepted his narrations. Ibn Hajar in his book Tahdhib al-tahdhib stated that Zayd was a member of Banu Hashim who was a generous and noble man. Also there is a narration in Bihar from the book Al-Khara'ij wa l-Jara'ih by al-Rawandi that accused Zayd of playing a role in martyrdom of Imam al-Baqir (a). Based on this narration, Zayd accused Imam (a) of being a magician; however Ayatullah Khu'i did not accept this narration and considered this narration a Mursal hadith with incorrect content.


There is no agreement on the time of Zayd's demise. Al-Shaykh al-Mufid stated that Zayd passed away at the age of ninety; Allama al-Majlisi confirmed this report. Al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin stated that Zayd passed away in 120/738 at the age of ninety, ninety five or one hundred. He is buried in Hajiz region, between Mecca and Medina.

Zayd's cousins, Hasan b. al-Hasan and Ibrahim b. al-Hasan were carrying the coffin and 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan al-Muthanna known as 'Abd Allah al-Mahd was walking in front in the funeral, respecting him others also were walking on foot in his funeral until they carried his body to his home and after ghusl al-mayyit buried him in al-Baqi'.

He was regarded a respected man. After his demise some poets composed poems on his death including Qudama b. Musa al-Hajami.


After the martyrdom of 'Abbas b. 'Ali (a), his wife Lubaba bt. 'Ubayd Allah b. 'Abbas married Zayd b. al-Hasan. They had two sons Muhammad and Hasan and a daughter Nafisa; his generation continued only by Hasan b. Zayd. Hasan had two children who played important roles in social affairs of the time in Abbasid era. Hasan b. Zayd was appointed as the governor of Medina by Mansur. Some sources stated that Zayd had a son named Yahya who is buried in Egypt.

Notable Members of Zayd's Family

  • Muhammad b. Hasan b. Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. Muhammad b. Ibrahim b. Hasan b. Zayd b. al-Hasan b. 'Ali; he launched an uprising in the time of Mu'tasim.
  • Hasan b. Qasim b. 'Ali b. 'Abd al-Rahman b. al-Qasim b. Muhammad al-Bathani b. al-Qasim b. Hasan b. Zayd known as Da'i Saghir who was killed in 317/929.
  • Qasim b. 'Ali b. Isma'il who was a commander of Hasan b. Zayd's army.