Sermon of Zaynab in Kufa
Sermon of Zaynab in Kufa is a speech delivered by Zaynab to people of Kufa. After the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, women and children were taken in captivity. When the caravan of captives entered Kufa, people gathered to see the caravan. In this sermon, Zaynab admonished the people of Kufa for breaking their promises to Imam Hussain and failed to support the Imam.
The Sermon[edit | edit source]
Before the captives entered Ibn Ziad’s palace, Sayyidah Zainab stood in the strongest victorious stance and started to waken unaware souls and dead hearts. Shaykh al-Mufid narrated from Hathlam ibn Sair, saying that he had seen Zainab bint 'Ali and hadn’t seen anyone like this. It was as if she spoke with her father, 'Ali’s, own tongue. When Zainab saw some of the men and women weeping and wailing, having realised what had really happened, she bade them be quiet and spoke to them with piercing eloquence and insight:
“Praise be to Allah and blessings be on my grandfather Muhammad and his purified and chosen progeny.”
“So now, O people of Kufa, who deceive, forsake and contrive, it is you who weep. May Allah not halt your tears and may your chests burn incessantly with the fire of grief and sorrow. Your example is that of a woman who assiduously prepares a strong rope and then un- twines it herself, wasting her own hard labour.”
“You swear such false oaths, which bear no truthfulness at all. Beware that you have nothing except vain talk, false pride, mischief, malice, evil, rancour, falsehood, and sycophancy. Beware that your position is that of slave- maids and purchased girls who are but the meanest beings.”
“Your hearts are full of enmity and rancour. You are like the vegetation that grows on filthy soil and is yet green, or like the mortar applied unto graves.”
“You should know that you have perpetrated a very morbid deed and this has prepared an evil provision for your next life, because of which, Allah’s anger is against you and His wrath would fall upon you.”
“Now you are crying aloud and wailing over my brother! Yes, cry, because it behoves you to cry. Yes, weep profusely and laugh less, because you have earned the shame of killing the Imam of the age. The stain of his blood is now on your clothes and you cannot remove it, nor can you secure acquittal from the charge of killing the son of the last Prophet of Allah, the Chief of the youths in Paradise. You have killed a person who was your support, the knower of the Sunnah and the ultimate arbitrator at the time of your mutual disputations. He was the basis of your talks and actions. He was your place of refuge in the event of hardship.”
“Know that you have been guilty of the most heinous crime in the world and have prepared the worst provision for the Day of Judgment. Curses be upon you and may destruction overtake you. Your efforts have gone wasted and you have been ruined. You have transacted a losing trade. You have become the victim of Allah’s wrath and have fallen into ignominy and degradation.”
“O people of Kufa, woe upon you. Do you realize which piece of Muhammad’s heart you have severed, which pledge you have
broken whose blood you have shed and whose honour you have desecrated? You have certainly committed such a crime because of which the sky may fall down on the earth, the earth may crack and mountains crumble to pieces. By killing your Imam, you have committed a singularly evil act of rebellious behaviour and heedlessness towards dignity. In view of all these acts, would you wonder if blood should rain down from the sky? In any case, you should mind that the chastisement of the Next World will be severe. At that juncture there will be no one to help you. Do not regard the time and opportunity given you by Allah as small and unimportant, and do not be satisfied with it because, if Allah is not quick in acting, it does not imply that He is unable to. For Him there is no fear that the time of vengeance is passing away. Allah is certainly keeping watch over you.”
He added that people wept, putting their fingers in their mouths and biting them. Without appealing to sentiments of pity, she exposed to them the reality of their selves and their evil deeds. The eyes that had previously been raised in expectation of celebration were now downcast with shame by the truthful force of her speech.
Words of Imam Sajjad[edit | edit source]
Imam as-Sajjad said to her, "That is enough, O aunt, for you are, Praise to Allah, a learned lady whom none taught, one who comprehends without being made to do so." By these words of Imam al-Sajjad, Zaynab became calm and silent.
At Ibn Ziad’s Court[edit | edit source]
Zaynab entered the government palace. Ibn Ziad addressed her saying: “Allah be praised! Your brother and your kinsmen are dead and their false claims have come to nought.”
Zainab replied, “It was Allah’s wish that they should be martyred, and they met their deaths bravely. If this was your heart’s desire then you must indeed be content today. But you have killed those whom the Holy Prophet held upon his knee, when they were children and whose play filled him with joy. Soon you will stand with them before Allah and they will demand justice. Beware the day of reckoning.”
Source[edit | edit source]
- A Biography of the fourte Shi’ah imam 'Ali ibn Al-Hussain (AS) Zain Al-’Abidin, Ahl Al-Bait global assembly
References[edit | edit source]
- al-Ihtijaj for al-Tabarsi 2:109- 113, Maqtal al-Hussain (as) for al-Khawarizmi, 2:45- 47, Ibn Tawus, al-Malhuf ‘ala Qatli al-Tufuf: 192- 194, al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 45:108- 110.
- at-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, p. 166 (Najaf’s edition).
- Shaykh al-Mufid, Kitab al-Irshad 2:115- 117, al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh 4:81- 84, Maqtal al-Hussain of al-Khawarizmi, 2:47- 48, Ibn Tawus fi al-Luhuf fi qatli al-Tuffuf: 200- 202