Story No. 345 – Imam Zainul Abiddin’s (as) behavior with his worst enemy

Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, 5th Umayyad Caliph died in 86 Hijri, after 21 years of tyranny. His son Al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik succeeded him. He decided to bring about some justice to please the public. He tried hard to please the people of Medina, in particular, as it was one of the two sacred Muslim cities where some descendants of the Prophet Mohammed’s (pbuh) companions, and some famous narrators lived. That is why he fired Hisham bin Ismail, the father-in-law of Abdul Malik, who was the cruel and unjust governor of Medina. Hisham bin Ismail had reached the extreme cruelty and offense to the people of Medina. Saeed bin Museeb, who was a respectable and famous narrator was beaten sixty lashes, was made to wear a coarse robe, while sitting on a Camel and being walked through the streets of Medina, because he had refused to give allegiance. He had committed numerous offenses towards the family of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), especially Imam Zainul Abiddin (as).


Al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik fired Hisham bin Ismail and instead hired Umar bin Abdul Aziz, his young cousin who was popular for his sincerity and his justice. Umar bin Abdul Aziz ordered that Hisham bin Ismail be brought in front of Marwan’s house and whoever has any complaint against him, get his right. People would come, in groups, and offered him curses, and harsh words. Hisham bin Ismail was afraid of Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) revenge. He thought to himself that Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) will bring him nothing less than death due to the cruelty done to his family.


Imam Zainul Abiddin’s (as) behavior with his worst enemyBut the Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) had told his followers: “Our character isn’t one of kicking the fallen ones. Neither do we avenge the enemy when he has fallen and weak. Our character is that of assisting the poor and the needy.” As the Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) and his followers approached him, Hisham bin Ismail turned pale and expected a cold blooded murder at any moment. But just apposite to his expectation, Imam Zainul Abiddin (as), in his usual manner of a Muslim must aid a Muslim, called on him:


“Salaamun Alaikum.” After greeting him, Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) offered: “If there is anything I could do for you, I am ready to do.” The people of Medina, also, stopped punishing Hisham bin Ismail after that moment.