The Conversation of Imam Sajjād (‘a) and Ibn Zīyād in Kufah

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The Conversation of Imam Sajjād (‘a) and Ibn Zīyād in Kufah

Question: What did Imam Sajjād (‘a) and Ibn Zīyād say to one another in the governor’s palace in Kufah?
Concise answer:
Detailed answer: Ibn Zīyād faced ‘Alī ibn al-Ḥusayn in the governor’s palace in Kufah and he asked: Who are you? The Imam (‘a) answered: I am ‘Alī ibn al-Ḥusayn. Ibn Zīyād responded: Did not God kill ‘Alī ibn al-Ḥusayn (in Karbala)? The Imam replied: I had a brother who was called ‘Alī ibn al-Ḥusayn, and the people killed him. Ibn Zīyād replied: No, God killed him! Imam (‘a) replied with this verse in the Quran: (ٱللَّهُ يَتَوَفَّى ٱلْأَنفُسَ حِينَ مَوْتِهَا وَٱلَّتِى لَمْ تَمُتْ فِى مَنَامِهَا )[1], which means: ‘It is Allah that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep’. Ibn Zīyād said: You answer me with impudence? You still retain the ability to answer me back (after all that has taken place)? Take him and cut off his head!

When Zaynab heard this, she embraced Imam Zayn al-‘Abidīn (‘a) and said to Ibn Ziyād: You have spilled enough of our blood upon this earth. She then added: I swear by God that I will not separate from him; if you wish to kill him, you must also kill me. Ibn Zīyād looked at Zaynab and Imam Sajjād (‘a) and he said: Amazing is this love between family. He then added: I swear by God that I think this woman wants to be killed with her nephew. Leave him alone (referring to ‘Alī ibn al-Ḥusayn), for I think his illness is enough for him in terms of pain and torment.[2]

Sayyid ibn Ṭāwūs has written in his book: Imam Sajjād (‘a) faced his aunt and said: Dear aunt, be calm so that I may speak with him. He then faced Ibn Zīyād and said: Oh son of Zīyād, do you threaten us with death? Do you not know that being killed (in the way of God) is our (ancient) tradition and martyrdom is a means for us of honor and glory? After this exchange of words, Ibn Zīyād found himself completely defeated and he ordered for ‘Alī ibn al-Ḥusayn and his companions to be kept in a house alongside the mosque.[3]

There is no doubt that the effect of these words cannot be properly described in the society of that time; without any question, news of this exchange passed along the people of Kufah, as well as outside of the city, and it affected a great deal of change in the hearts that it reached. It also showed the greatness of the Ahl al-Bayt and the depravity and baseness of the Ummayads and their caliphate.[4]

 

Footnote: [1] Surah Zumar, Verse 42

[2] Irshād, Shaykh Mufīd, p. 473-474; Malhūf (Luhūf), p. 202; also refer to: Tārīkh ṭabarī, vol. 4, p. 350.

[3] Malhūf (Luhūf), p. 202

[4] Taken from the text: ÝĀshūrā, Rīshehā, Ruīdādhā, Payāmadhā, by SaÝīd Dāwūdī and Mahdī Rustam Nezhād (compiled under the guidance of Ayatullah Nāṣir Makārim Shīrāzī)...
Published on: « 1393/02/02 »
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