Imam Sajjad, thwarter of Umayyad gimmicks
According to a narration, 12 of Moharram is the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein's son, Imam Sajjad (AS). As per the divine will, he was severely sick on the Ashura so that he could not participate in the battle and would remain alive as the fourth Imam after his father's martyrdom.
After the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the bereaved members of his family and other martyrs of Ashura, were taken to Damascus, the capital of Yazid. He wanted to show the Umayyads as victors and wished to take revenge of the Ahl al-Bayt as he held the grudges of Badr, Hunayn, Kheibar and other battles in which the faithful, led by Imam Ali (AS), had triumphed over disbelievers and killed many of Yazid's forefathers and relatives. When the caravan of the captives reached Damascus, Yazid started reading poems which implied his victory and revelry. But, his joy was short-lived as Lady Zeinab (Peace upon her) and the fourth infallible successor of the Prophet of Islam, Imam Zein ul-Abedin (otherwise known as Imam Sajjad), started their revealing sermons which have reverberated throughout history against tyranny and oppression. Hazrat Zeinab began her sermon with the word, Yabnattolaqa" meaning, "O you the son of the freed ones." She said, "Is it justice to put your women and maidens behind curtain while you take the daughters of the Messenger of God from one city to another as captives?"
These words reminded the attendants of the ignominy of the family of Yazid's grandfather Abu Sufyan whom the Prophet of Islam had set free after the bloodless conquest of Mecca. Yazid was deadly amazed. He had no choice but to keep quiet. The courtiers understood Zeinab's words that the Prophet had set Yazid's grandfather and relatives when they were captives in Mecca but now he has put the Prophet's progeny in chains and fetters.
After unmasking the Umayyad tyrant by Lady Zeinab (Peace upon her), it was Imam Sajjad's turn. The son of Imam Hussein and fourth infallible heir of the Prophet delivered a fiery sermon that not just thwarted Yazid's stratagems but also caused great development in Damascus and beyond. The Imam ascended the minbar and said, "O people, God has granted us 6 things. Knowledge is with us; forbearance is with us; generosity is with us; eloquence is with us; courage is with us and the heartfelt love of the faithful is with us. God has willed that faithful love us and this is what our enemies cannot prevent."
Then Imam Sajjad (AS) started introducing himself, "Anyone who knows me let them know; but for those who don't know me, I will inform them of my descent. I am the son of Mecca and Mena. I am the son of Zamzam and Safa. I am the son of he who performed the best Tawaf and Sa'y. I am the son of he who performed the best Hajj and Labbayk. I am the son of he who was taken to the heavens on the night of Me'raj. I am the son of he who prayed with the angels of heavens. I am the son of he whom the Majestic God sent him revelation. I am the son of Mohammad al-Mostafa. I am the son of Ali al-Mortaza. I am the son of he who fought before the Messenger of God with two swords and two spears; emigrated twice and prayed toward two qiblas; fought in Badr and Hunayn and didn't disbelieve in God for a single movement of eyelashes. I am the son of the righteous of the faithful, the inheritor of messengers, the destroyer of unbelievers, the master of Muslims, the light of combatants, the ornament of worshippers, the crown of weepers, the most patient of the patient, the best of risers from among the family of Yasin and the Messenger of the Lord of the worlds. I am the son of Fatemah Zahra. I am the son of the Chief of women. I am the son of the chaste Batool. I am the son of the part of the Prophet."
Imam Sajjad continued introducing himself and people were wailing. The sound of their weeping was so high that Yazid was worried and told the caller for prayer say azaan. He wanted to cut the Imam's sermon. Imam Sajjad kept silent. When the caller for prayer uttered the phrase Allahu Akbar, Imam Sajjad said, "You have glorified the Great who is not evaluated by others and is not perceived by senses. Nothing is greater than God." When the muezzin said Ash'hadu alla ilaha illAllah, the Imam said, "My hair, skin, flesh, blood bone and marrow testifies to this." When the muezzin said, "Ash'hadu anna Mohammadan Rasullollah, Imam Sajjad took off his turban and told the muezzin to be quiet. Then he turned toward Yazid and asked him, "Is this grand Prophet your ancestor or ours? If you say he is your ancestor, everybody knows that you are lying; and if you say that he is our ancestor, then why did you kill his son Hussein? Why did you kill his sons? Why did you plunder his properties? Why did you take his women and children as captives?"
These words of Imam Sajjad caused uproar in the court and the sound of wailing could be heard from everywhere. Yazid was so dumfounded with Imam Sajjad's exposure that he started swearing and cursing Ibn Ziyad, the governor of Kufa and even lambasted some of the troopers who had come with the captives. He was making every effort to exonerate himself and blame Ibn Ziyad for killing Imam Hussein. But Imam Sajjad foiled this scheme saying, "O Yazid, who has killed Hussein except you?"
To save face, Yazid ordered his forces to return the Ahl al-Bayt to Medina respectfully. He also ordered the camels to be decorated with golden cloth not to provoke the people's sentiments on the way. But this scheme was also foiled by Imam Sajjad, as he said, "We are bereaved! Drape the camels in black."
Then, Yazid came and wanted to give some money to the Ahl al-Bayt, saying, "This is to compensate for the calamities that have befallen you!!"
At this moment, Lady Zeinab said, "O Yazid, how little is your modesty. You have killed our brothers and Ahl al-Bayt which the entire world does not deserve as a string of hair before them; then you are saying this is to compensate for what you have done to them!!!"
In this way, all the stratagems of Yazid and the Umayyad regime were thwarted and the epic of Karbala remained for us.