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The Prophet Mohamad (pbuh&hp) and his Progeny are the salvation for the world


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Imam Zaid Ibn Ali Biography

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Introduction

 

Several years ago I began to put together a biographical book about Imam Zayd Ibn ‘Ali. In the process I came upon many references: manuscripts and printed material. And as I began going through these references I began to discover an outstanding person. His life history and struggle exemplified the Scriptural persona. Zayd’s life pattern was a paradigm of da‘wah (and man with a mission) for Allah and the sacrifice that goes with it.

 

*Zayd was a confluence of noble features and idealistic traits. His courage and valor rendered him a thunderbolt that struck against the tyrannical ruler. This gained him the distinction of being known as “usher of jihad.” His regard for Allah deterred him from violating Allah’s commandments, for he knew there is a divine penalty for that. He experienced the pains and the agonies of the ummah. He would rather have his own physical self fall from Pleiades to earth and to be shredded in the process if that would result in the prosperity of the ummah.

 

*Zayd depleted himself in his devotion to Allah. His senses were charged with Allah. At times his intimate dedication to Allah would render him unconscious. The “hope and fear” verses of the Quran would sway him as a tree that wobbles in the midst of a twister.[1]

 

He was in a constant vigil with Allah; and for that he was known as the “attendant of the Quran.” His brother, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ali described this quality in him by saying: “My brother Zayd would read the Quran and weep to the extent that we thought he perished.”[2]

 

*Zayd was a man of profound and extensive knowledge; he became the attraction of students and learners. His speech and delivery were grandiloquent and florid. His words were moving and articulate. Even his avowed enemy Hisham confessed to this saying: “His tongue is sword-shaped and razor-edged. His articulation is beyond magic and litany.”

 

*In issues of social reform, Zayd had to deal with vicious ideas; he had to contend with a social mind-set that believed that its oppressive ruler is its fate and inevitable predestination. This social mind-set believed that the tyrannical ruler’s entourage are the upholders of the truth; thus, taking issue with the munkar of tyranny is tantamount to insubordination and illegitimate defiance of authority punishable by banishment or crucifixion. Imam Zayd’s society was under the impression that a ruler is as invulnerable as to be beyond tolerating criticism and beyond accepting advice. The public was also tainted with other such nonsense.

 

*As life would have it, Zayd had to contend with implacable and cruel adversaries. The masses were outfoxed by the powers that be. Potential allies were in many cases opportunists. And the resources and wherewithal for change were limited.

 

*Zayd made the ultimate sacrifice for defending the truth, he became a martyr. His flowing blood and battle-scarred body were his contribution to shake up the ummah. He sought to pull the society of his time out of a creeping mortification and ineptitude. He also tried to salvage the intellectual integrity of the time which was increasingly assaulted by frivolous statesmen and statements.

 

*Imam Zayd’s physical presence came to an end but his soul lives as a shahid (martyr). His clarion call reverberates throughout time. His battle-cry against oppressors and tyrants ring recurrently wherever there are dictators and despots.

 

I spent an extended period of time researching this outstanding personality only to find out that expressing the facts about Zayd’s personality is a lesson and an example for those who bear the responsibilities of Scripture. In a sense, Zayd is a watchtower for all who are on their missionary way to Allah… In my pursuit of reconstructing the facts about Zayd I encountered many cris-crossing subjects, the chapters and details were daunting so I finished this work before life would consume my priorities onto other endeavors.

 

Out of all that I decided to abridge it all in the account and pages that follows. This work may become the harbinger of a more assiduous narrative to follow this book. This book is referenced as apt as possible and will have to suffice until such time arrives when the more detailed original is finally published. I ask Allah to have this book of service and to give me the wherewithal to finish the original in-depth research of mine about Imam Zayd, for Allah’s will shall be done…

 

Finally, if there is an inexact expression, or a sub-standard wording, or an incomplete description it is all due to my frail human knowledge for which I ask Allah His help to do better. And He is the Source and the Reference.

 

Muhammad Yahya Salem ‘Azzan

 

Sa‘dah, Yemen Muharram 1417

 

May 1996

 

 


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