Story No. 340 – Imam Zainul Abiddin (as): Moral Conduct and Behavior)
Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) was present in Karbala along with his father Imam Hussain (as), but did not fight as he was very sick. After the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as), he was put in shackles, but he carried his father’s message beyond Karbala. He lived for 40 years after Karbala and publicized the event of Karbala.
Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) was such a great worshipper that people called him “ABID” and “SAJID.” He (as) used to fast daily and worship the whole night. He (as) used to stand so long in prayers that his feet used to swell up. While praying he used to cry so much that his eyes used to turn red. His supplications are so many that their collections are present in a book titled “Sahifa-E-Kamilah (The Psalms of Islam).” Along with love for ALLAH (SWT), he also loved his fellow beings. He (as) provided all the basic necessities to many needy families. He (as) used to carry food for the poor at night and provide them with their needs.
Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) in Madina through his silent teachings left many pupils; the most prominent of them was Abu Hamza-e-Thumali, who remained to spread the teachings of Ahlul Bayt in the Islamic world. Abu Mikhnuf was also one famous pupil of Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) who later on the instructions of the fifth Imam, Imam Baqir (as) wrote the story of Karbala in the narrative form which became the part of the Majlis all over the world.
The calm and peaceful life of Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) was not to be tolerated by the Umayyad cruel regime. They realized that Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) was succeeding in his mission of spreading the message of his father Imam Hussain (as). The Syrian monarch Al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik had him poisoned. Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) died in Madina on the 25th of Muharram 95 Hijri. His eldest son Imam Baqir (as) arranged the burial and laid him to rest in the grave yard of Jannatul Baqi beside his uncle Imam Hasan (as).
Now let us take a look at the following few incidence from the life of our 4th Imam, Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) to understand his Moral Conduct and Behavior:
Imam Zainul Abiddin’s (as) reaction to Mistreatment or Insult:
One day our 4th Imam, Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) was sitting in the company of his followers when a man, who was related to him, approached and began insulting Imam Zainul Abiddin (as). This man’s name was al-Hassan Ibn al-Muthanna. Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) ignored the man and when he had left said to his companions:
“You heard what that man said to me, I would like you to come with me to hear my reply to him.”
The companions of Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) then said:
“We will come with you, although we wanted you or us to say something (an equal response) to him.”
Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) proceeded to the man’s home reciting:
“And those who when they commit an indecency or do injustice to their souls remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their faults; and who forgives the faults but Allah, and (who) do not knowingly persist in what they have done.” Noble Qur’an (3:135)
His companions hearing this concluded that Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) would say only kind words to the man. Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) reached al-Hassan Ibn al-Muthanna’s house and said:
“Tell him this is Zainul Abideen.” The man heard this and came out prepared for an encounter. He was sure that Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) came only to revenge his actions. When al-Hassan al-Muthanna appeared. Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) said:
“My Brother! You have come to me and have said something’s. If you have said that which truly lies in me, I seek forgiveness from Allah (SWT); and if you have accused me of that which I am innocent, I ask Allah (SWT) to forgive you!”
When the man heard the words of Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) he kissed his forehead and said:
“Indeed I accused you of that which you are innocent of. These words describe me.”
Moral: Never get angry at someone when they are angry – It takes two people to start a fight. No matter how other people act you should always have perfect moral (Akhlaq).