The Patience of Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (q.s.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (q.s.) was a person with great patience.  After the Battle of Karbala, he was marched to Damascus in chains and in the time of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, he was arrested and chained.  He was then forced to walk from Madinah to Syria in chains.  With all this, he never complained or said one word about his condition in the Court of Allah (s.w.t.).  He instead remained patient and made shukr with every step.  It is written in Khazinat al-Aswfiyya’, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin’s (q.s.) most loyal student, Imam Zuhri (q.s.) could not bear to see the Imam in this condition, so he went to ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, and had the great imam released.  He then took him back to Madinah.

Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (q.s.) had a very soft heart and always thought of the sacrifice that was given by his father, Husayn (r.a) and all the martyrs on the plains of Karbala.  Once, he was walking in the blessed streets of Madinah Munawwarah, when he saw a person placing a goat on the ground, and was sharpening the knife before preparing the animal for slaughter.  On seeing this, he became very saddened and thought of the martyrdom of his father.  He then began to weep bitterly and asked the man, “My dear Brother!  Did you give the goat some food and water or not?” The man replied that he had fed and given water to the goat for the past three days and had also fed it water just before laying in down.  On hearing this, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (q.s.) let out a sigh of pain and said, “It is sad, that the people of Kufa did not even care for him like (you care for) the goat.  They starved him for three days and nights and then martyred him in this state.”  This was recorded in Masalik as-Salikin.

It is reported in Khazinat al-Aswfiyya’ that he used to perform one thousand raka’at of swalah an-nafl every night.  One night, whilst he was performing his nawafil, his house caught on fire.  The people were rushing around trying to put of the fire, but he continued his swalah with total concentration.  After he completed his swalah, the people told him that his house had caught on fire and yet he continued reading without any showing any sign of panic.  He replied, “You were trying to extinguish this fire, and I was trying to extinguish the fire of the Hereafter.”

A person once swore at Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (q.s.) and made slanderous remarks to him.  In response, Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (q.s.) said to him: “If the attributes, you accuse me of, are found in me then I repent to Allah ‘Azza wa Jal and ask for Forgiveness.  If the attributes are not found in me, then on your behalf, I ask Allah ‘Azza wa Jal for Forgiveness and Repentance.”

The person saw Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin’s (q.s.) patience and was overwhelmed by it.  He stood up, kissed Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (q.s.) on the forehead and said, “May my soul be sacrificed for you!  Whatever I accused you of was wrong.  I seek forgiveness from you and I request you to pray to Allah Azza wa Jal for the acceptance of my repentance.”  And the imam did so.


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