Condolences to you on the occasion of the first of the month of Safar, the day, on which the children and womenfolk of the blessed household of Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny), were brought to Damascus, to the court of the tyrant Yazid, as captives in chains and fetters, along with the severed head of Imam Husain (AS), 20 days after the bloodcurdling tragedy of Karbala.

We have prepared an exclusive feature for you on this poignant occasion by focusing on the eloquent sermon of the martyred Imam's sister, Hazrat Zainab (Peace upon her) that ripped off the mask of hypocrisy from the face of the ungodly Omayyad regime, and exposed Yazid in his true heathen colours.

After what happened in Kufa, when the Prophet's grand-daughter and the survivors of the massacre of the Day of Ashura, including Imam Husain's (AS) son and successor, Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS), were brought to the court of the tyrannical governor, Obaidollah bin Ziyad, even more tribulation awaited the Ahl al-Bayt in Syria, since the people of this land, unlike Kufa and Iraq, had been brainwashed so thoroughly by decades of Omayyad rule that they barely had any idea of the position of the Prophet’s progeny and the genuine principles of Islam. Allamah Shaikh Fakhreddin writes in his book “al-Muntajab” that according to Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS): “We were taken tied with ropes towards (the court of) Yazid ibn Mu’awiyah. My neck and that of (my aunt) Omm Kulsoum was tied with one rope, while the hands of (my elder aunt) Zainab and (my sister) Sakina (peace upon them) were bound along with the other ladies (of the Prophet’s Household). We were at times whipped for walking slowly and when we reached the court we saw Yazid sitting on a throne while in front of him lay the head of (my father) Imam Husain (AS) in a golden tray. He had a cane in his hand and was showing disrespect to the severed head."

The tyrant was elated at the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS). He openly wished that if only his infidel ancestors who in trying to attack the Prophet had been slain in the Battles of Badr and Ohod were alive this day to witness how he had humiliated the Prophet’s Household. He went on to recite the following couplet as further proof of his lack of faith in Islam: The Hashemites played the game of kingdom; neither any message descended [from heaven] nor revelation.

At this blasphemy, Hazrat Zainab (peace upon her) could no longer bear the sight of the accursed Yazid disrespecting the severed head of Imam Husain (AS) by striking the lips with a cane. As her grief-stricken younger sister Omm Kulsoum flung herself on the severed head of her brother, Hazrat Zainab started one of her most eloquent sermons that had a profound effect on the gathering. She said:

"All praise belongs to God, the Sustainer and Preserver of the Universe and may His blessings be showered on my grandfather Prophet Mohammad. The holy Qur’an says (in ayah 10 of Surah Roum): “Then evil was the end of those who wrought evil, for they belied the signs of God and mocked at them.”

"O Yazid! You think that you have made our life miserable and existence unbearable and you have made us prisoners, and because we have been presented in your court you feel elated. You think that we have been disrespected and dishonoured by God and that you have been honoured and elevated to this position by Him. This apparent success of yours is the result of your worldly might and this makes you puffed with pride at our disaster. You feel that you have conquered the whole world and feel that you are well set in power and control. Only time will teach you a bitter lesson. (Ayah 177 of) Surah Aal-e Imran points out to people like you who are destined to go to hell, when God says: Let not those who disbelieve, think that Our giving them respite is good for themselves. We only give them respite so that they may increase in sins and for them is a disgraceful chastisement.”

In continuation of her memorable sermon she said: "O you the son of freed slaves! Is this your justice that the ladies of your household remain veiled and we, the Prophet’s family should be paraded thus? You have insulted our dignity, our faces have been unveiled, your villainous soldiers have exposed us to public view, and all along the journey people have looked at us. We do not have our male companions any more to come to our rescue. O Yazid! Your misdeeds have clearly proved your rebellion towards God and the message the Holy Prophet brought to this world, and this has proved beyond doubt that you refuse to honour the Prophetic Message sent by God. This behaviour of yours does not come as a surprise, for your ancestors chewed the liver of the Prophet’s uncle Hamza ibn Abdul-Muttalib. Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, mutilated his body, had his liver taken out, sucked it and quenched her thirst for vengeance at the Battle of Ohud. You belong to this clan, which always opposed the Prophet and collected armies from various clans to oppose him. The descendants of such rabble and monsters are the enemies of God and His Prophet, and are expected to be merciless and deadly since violence is part of their nature."

In continuation of her sermon, the Prophet's granddaughter said in the court of the tyrant in Damascus:

"Remember! Your disgusting deeds are the results of your inherent animosity and malicious nature, which are the cause of so much vice in your character. This revenge is due to this nature and you have borne revenge in your heart ever since the Battle of Badr in which your elders were killed because of their opposition and attack on the Prophet. He who looks upon us with animosity, malice and revenge is clearly an enemy of the Holy Ahl al-Bayt. He who takes pleasure in taunting us proves his infidelity towards the Messenger of God, and besides you take pride in saying that you have killed the grandson of the Prophet and imprisoned the members of his family. You do not consider this as a sin of extraordinary magnitude. On the contrary you say that had your forefathers seen this performance of yours, they would have been filled with pride and would have said, ‘O Yazid, you have avenged us!

Hazrat Zainab (peace upon her) then added to the surprise of the whole court and the embarrassment of the tyrant: "O Yazid! You are happily disrespecting the head of Aba ‘Abdullah al-Husain (AS) by caning his lips. Do you not know that these are the lips the Prophet has kissed on several occasions? On my soul, you have deepened our wounds by shedding the blood of the Chief of the Youths of Paradise, the son of Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS). O Yazid! If you have a heart to take into account your nefarious deeds, you would surely wished that your arms be paralysed and severed from the elbow and you would have exclaimed: Would that my parents had never given birth to me. You would have realized that God is displeased with you and the Prophet has become your enemy. O God! Restore us our rights; avenge those who have oppressed us and make Your wrath descend on those who have broken their pledge, killed our kith and kin and our relations and supporters, and have disgraced us. O Yazid, you have done what you wished to do, but remember that you are doomed to perish and you will be cut to pieces. Then (on the Day of Judgement) you will be taken in to the presence of the Prophet and you will be burned with the sins you have committed by shedding the blood of his progeny and dishonouring the sanctity of his family. You will be taken in the presence of the Prophet to a place where his family members will be gathered and you will undergo a horrible punishment and then there will be no escape for you and your accomplices. O Yazid! Do not be inflated with pride after slaying the Prophet’s progeny. Do you know what the Qur’an says about such people who have been martyred (ayah 169 of surah Aal-e Imran)? Think not of those slain in God’s way as deed. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the Presence of their Lord.”

What you heard and read was the moving sermon of the Prophet's grand-daughter in the court of Yazid following the arrival of the noble captives of Karbala on this day in Damascus, a city where the less than four-year-old daughter of Imam Husain (AS), named Ruqayya (Peace upon her) was destined to attain martyrdom in the dungeon. The terrified tyrant, sensing the people's sentiments against him, released the Ahl al-Bayt and allowed them to return to Medina, but before leaving Syria, Hazrat Zainab (peace upon her) held the first formal mourning ceremony for the martyrs of Karbala, which the faithful have continued to observe ever since in Moharram and Safar.



Oct 11, 2018 08:41 UTC