Home Archive Lectures Imam Zein Al-Abidien: A Role Model of Science and Morals

Imam Zein Al-Abidien:
A Role Model of Science and Morals

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The Religious Authority H.E. Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, 23th January 2009, Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer. 

The First Sermon

The social position of the Imam

Allah says in His Holy Book: Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.

One of the Members of Ahl el-Beit is Imam Ali bin Al_Hussein Zein Al-Abidien (a.s) whose death anniversary is on the 25th of this month ,Muharram. When we study the details of the life of this Imam, we find that he left a great spiritual, scientific, and humanitarian impact on the age he lived in, as well as the ages that followed. This fact is well documented by those who lived with him and knew his merits. His student As-Zahri used to say: I have never seen anyone better than him. And I have never known that he has a friend in secret or any enemy in public, because even those who love him would envy him and those who hate him would avoid angering him, because he used to be so sensitive to the feelings of all people.

The Imam had a Persian mother who was among the prisoners that were taken after the victory of the Muslims over the Persians. Among these prisoners there were two daughters of the Persian king Yazdjurd.. Imam Ali. (a.s.) did not want these two girls to be distributed as slaves, He suggested to the third caliph to let them chose their husbands. One of them chose Imam Hussein bin Ali(a.s.) and brought him Imam Ali(a.s.)   bin Al-Hussein.

Between the tragedies of Kabala and Imprisonment   

Imam Zien Al-Abidien lived with his grandfather, Imam Ali(a.s.),  for two years and then for about 20 years with his father, Imam Hussein(a.s.)  He lived the entire tragedy and pains of Karbala, but he was too sick to fight. This he stayed alive and the Imamate stayed alive though him. He was taken prisoner along with the wives, sisters and sdaughtrers of Imam Hussein, but this did not weaken him. Rather he was very courageous when he met Ibn Ziad that the latter thought about killing him. But Zaynab, his aunt, clung on to him, saying : "O Ibn Ziyad, haven't you had enough of our blood? I will not leave him. If you kill him you have to kill with him".

Historians, report that he also said some hush words to Yazid letting the Syrians know the value of Ahli el-Beit. To silence the Imam Yazid  asked his muezzin to recite the adhaan. When the Muezzin cried out 'ASH-HADU ANNA MUHAMMADAR-RASOOLILLAH' Imaam Zain ul 'Abideen, addressing Yezid, said, "Yezid speak the truth! Was Muhammad my grandfather or your grandfather . when Yazid said he was yours , the imam asked him :why did you kill his family!"


The tragedy of Karbala left a great impact in the spirit of the Imam's seeing his father, uncles, brothers and companions slaughtered like animals. He wished from constantly remembering this tragedy to keep the memory of Imam Hussein alive throughout history so as to become a permanent cry in the face of the tyrants, and challenge all create tragedies in the lives of people reformers and the downtrodden.

The Imams of Ahl el-Beit continued this tradition, and Karbala became universal and Al-Hussein became deeply rooted in our minds as a caller for right and justice, and one who entered our heart and emotions.

Educating the people

Despite all his grievances, he did not, as some narrators claim, hesitate to play his role as an Imam, emphasizing the Islamic truths and confronting all deviations that used to emerge every now and then, especially during the Umayyad era.

He was an authority in religious and cultural issues that ranged according to his biographers, from theology to jurisprudence and Quranic interpretation. He was quoted by Al Tabari and even Ibn Dawood who did not believe in the Imamate.

And he several students, so much so that we can say that he was the teacher of Muslims in that age. Sheikh Mufied narrates that Abdullah bin al-Hassan said : : "My mother, Fatima bint Al-Hussein, used to order me to sit with my uncle Ali bin Al Hussein (a.s.). Thus, whenever I sat with him, I learnt a good thing from him, either to fear of Allah, seeing how he fears Allah, or by learning something from him: Al-Mufied also says: "Jurists have narrated his teachings and sayings in a vast number of sciences, not least of which are the sermons and supplications about the virtues of the Quran and what is lawful and what is haram as well as the wars of Islam …, etc

 The Imam used to care about the poor and the needy, putting food clothes on their door steps while they were asleep  . It is said that they were more than 400 families who did not know whom the donor was until the imam died.


His Modesty and Forgiveness 

We read in his history that when Al-Medina revolted against Yazid and threw out the Umayyads, their leader Marwan bin Al-Hakim came to the Imam to ask him to host his big family having been denied by some of the companions – although it was Marwan who urged the Wali of Medina to kill Hussein when he refused to pledge loyalty, the Imam told him that he was welcome and took care of all the 400 members of Marwan’s family.  Some of his daughters said: we did not find such care even at our father's.


Thus, Ahl el-Beit were a role model in morals, as was their grandfather, the Messenger of Allah(p) whom Allah described as having supreme morals.  A wali who used to torture Al el-Beit was deposed, and the Umayyads ordered that he would be tied in one of the squares so that people could pass by and curse him freely. The Imam ordered his family not to do anything of this sort. He treated him so kindly that he offered to pay any debts the man had. When the people saw these sublime morals, they said: surely God knows whom to entrust His Message.

Piety and worship

The Imam was the most pious worshipper to the extent that a man (Ibn Tawoos) who saw him crying in his prayer, asked him: How could you cry in apprehension as your grandfathers are the Messenger (p.) and Ali (a.s.), and your grandmother is Fatima Al-Zahra, your father is Al-Hussein (a.s.) and your uncle is Imam Al-Hassan…. He said to him: Do not mention any of them, for God created paradise for those who obey him even if they were slaves, and he created hell for those who disobey him even if they were of the masters of Quraish

When we read the supplications of Imam Hussein especially that of  Sahifa Sijjadya, we notice that they represent a cultural, psychological, social and spiritual heritage, that is why I advise all brothers and sisters to read these supplications continuously because they  educate them and make them close to Allah.

His wisdom

We want to stop of some of the sayings that shed  light on his wisdom since those who do not know the Imam think that his main trait was that sadness that the narrators exaggerate. He says: The most favorable of you to Allah is certainly the owner of the best deeds. The doer of the best deed to Allah is the most desirous (for Allah's bounty and rewards). The most saved from Allah's agony is the most fearful of Allah. The closest to Allah is the most well-mannered. The most accepted by Allah is the most generous to His family members. The most honorable for Allah is the most God-fearing.

He also says :

 The one who enjoys three characteristics, Allah will protect him and shelter him under (the shadow) of His Throne”- protect him from the burning sun- and He (the Most Exalted) will save him on the Day of Resurrection - save him from the greatest fear on the Judgment Day- the one who gives others what he likes to be given”- he treats people the way he likes to be treated- … -if you want to criticize your brother, refer to yourself, if you do not find in you the faults which you are criticizing, then criticize him, but if you do not, why are you criticizing him? - Man must stop engaging himself with people’s faults”. Engage yourself with your own faults before criticizing others ... If a man enjoys these three characteristics, he will be under Allah’s protection and safe from the greatest fear.

He told his son, Imam Muhammad Baqir(a.s.): : " O! My son! Avoid acquaintance of five types of persons: 1. Don’t be friends with a liar. He will be like a mirage. He will trick you. When a thing is far, he will say it is near; and when it is at hand, he will say that it is very far. 2. Don’t make a transgressor and sinner your friend because he might sell you for as low a price. 3. Don’t make a parsimonious and stingy person your friend who may not help you in times of need. 4. Don’t make a stupid person your friend, lest he brings harm to you with his stupidity. It is possible that with all good intentions, he might bring harm to you with his foolish actions. 5. Don’t befriend those who deprive their kin of their rights. Such persons are shorn of Allah's Blessings and are accursed people.

And he also said to his son: Do good to all who ask you, if they deserved them you were right and if they do not you would have won the reward of doing good. And if somebody causes and then apologizes expect his apology.

 Thus, we notice that the Imam's life centred on strengthening Islam and ensuring that it encounters no deviation.  Although some say that was poisoned, we believe that he, according to sheik Al-Mufied and other scholars, died of natural causes.

We have to emulate the Imam's sayings and actions, for this   is the meaning of following Ahl El- Beit , since they are the  imams of guidance and truth and they intercede for us with the Almighty.

   The Second Sermon

The victory of Gaza

Palestine with it believing Mujahid people defeated the Israeli killing machine.

Gaza was Victorious, due to its steadfast people and its courageous resistance to the Israeli brutality. The Palestinian man's , who is full of determination, will and belief in the one God triumphed over the Zionist carnages which did not spare UN schools, hospitals, mosques and media centers in their effort to kill the largest number of women, children and elderly who astonished the world with their endurance, steadfastness and the unrelenting support to the Resistance.

Gaza was victorious because it thwarted the enemy's goals as well as the shaky settlement. It also compelled the Arabs to go back to themselves, their nation and their causes, even if under the pressure of the heroic steadfastness which made some of the Arabs more afraid of it than Israel.

This victory opened a new page in the history of the nation that ensures that Israel will not be able to wage any war in the future since it is not able to occupy any Arab city, provided that the minimum requirements of steadfastness are available.

Gaza's victory opened a new stage whose results will start unfold soon. The nation has regained its unifying personality and not its sectarian divisions, and the line of resistance and opposition will gain a new spirit that will impose itself on friends and foes alike, and the Zionist terrorist entity will face new deterring elements, that the nation has possessed, and one which will make the enemy think it over time and gain before embarking on any new adventure.

The western leaders and administrations along with the Security Council have also fallen down on the humanitarian and civilization levels as a result of their flimsy attempts to justify the Israeli savageness and pose it as self-defense to confront the Resistance's rockets, despite the fact that the entire world knows that the Resistance rockets were but a reaction to the Israeli terror which continued through out the calm period. This terrorism then appeared in its ugliest form in the last round of the Israel's savage war that demonstrated their hatred against all who is Arab and Muslim.

It is the battle of freedom in which occupied Palestine embraces Lebanon that defeated the enemy in July 2006. although the price was high, with similar number of martyrs in Lebanon and Gaza, but they created a new stage in which the slogan is not driving the occupier out of Gaza only, but also all of the occupied lands, as well as returning Jerusalem and all of Palestine  to its people who were driven out of their country without any reason except for saying that Allah is our Lord.

A divergence of goals and results

The Gaza summit in Doha represented the true echo of the cry of the Arab and Muslim country that sought a real supportive stand with the Palestinians. Although our people wanted more than freezing the relations with the usurping entity, we believe that some of the stands that were launched by this summit will echo in other places, and induce certain stands that the enemy might consider as contradictory to the "moderate" line which the enemy has pushed it followers  to the corner, whether it wanted to or not.

As for the Sharm El-Sheik summit, which showed that the leaders of the EU states are ready to go in any place, whenever they feel that Israel is in danger… These states have equated between the executioner and the victim, without any condemnation to the savage atrocities committed by Israel against the civilians of Gaza. The dinner that Olmert invited them to after the summit was practically a dance over the bodies of the martyrs who were eradicated by the Israeli Holocaust with its military machine and its internationally banned weapons. The dinner was, in effect, a party to honour the murderer and fulfill his mission.

Te French President talks in a way that implies that he does not mind the killing of the children, women and elderly of Gaza, especially when he praises the democracy of Israel and states that democracies have the right to wage war on undemocratic organizations. The truth of the matter is that Hamas was democratically elected in accordance with the western standards, and it has all the legitimacy being elected by the majority, and being the owner of the land which all international laws and religious guarantee the right of liberating.

Sarkozy and his partners, who gathered around that table of disgrace, don't have an answer, or they do but they don't dare say it, for democracy is welcomed as long as it brings to power people like them and who are similar to them in what they eat and wear and have the same traditions and values. As for others, including the Palestinian people in its resistance movement, wars, phosphoric bombs and may be even gas chambers are awaiting them, for they represent the historical right that exposes the falseness of all these democracies that lick their slogans and eat their principles on the regional and international tables of humiliation.

Our explanation to this European movement supported by America and in which the United Nations stand on the sidelines, is that they do not look for a political presence in the region as much as they care for Israel, its continued existence and security now that the ground is shaking beneath it. They also fear for their project that their ancestors planted in the region about sixty years ago, after they have seen how the land itself rejects it because its an alien project which is foreign with respects to its sands, rockets, trees, and everything alive in it.

With all these developments, we wonder about the reason that is still preventing the Arab summits from withdrawing the Arab imitative, especially that the enemy has rejected it from the beginning and America has put it in the political fridge claiming that it good for negotiation and not execution.

As for us, as we welcome the Arab reconciliation, we hear that this reconciliation will remain on the surface, especially that the team work in which the assistants move in many official Arab locations holds the mentality of complication and the mood of refusal that might push the team to open up to Israel and prevent it from opening up to their brothers.

Containing the chaos

In Lebanon, what is required from the Lebanese who take their political stands as a result of party divisions is to be aware of the developments and the regional and international dangers lingering in the region and its impact on the chaos that might be inflicted in the Lebanese reality as a result of the developments that are  taking place on both the regional and local areas which might lead to the aggravation of this chaos.

We call on all the Lebanese not to give any chance to all the seekers to mess again with the internal situation, specifically in view that the Gaza catastrophe will have political extensions in the Arab reality, especially that we hear that the reconciliations started from the surface and did not go deep, as the well-informed maintain, which could lead to chaos again, because we have become used to the fact that the Arab situation remains a hostage to the respective political setbacks on the level of Arab-Arab relations that barely come out of a tunnel to enter new tunnels and mazes.