Who was Imam Zayn al-Abideen, could you tell me about him please?


All praises belong to Allāh, the Creator and Sustainer of all, the One who only wills to remove all impurity from the ahlu l-bayth and by cleansing them make them utterly pure. Peace and blessings be upon all Messengers of Allāh, specifically the final Prophet, Our Master, Muhammad Mustafa ﷺ, upon his purified family, his esteemed companions, and whomsoever follows in his blessed footsteps until the last day.

He was Sayyidunā ‘Ali son of Sayyidunā Hussayn son of Sayyidunā ‘Ali (Allāh be pleased with them all). He is known by his honorific title Zaynu l-‘Ābidīn.

His father was the notable Sayyidunā Imām Hussayn and his mother was the Sassanid princess Shahrbānū known also as Ummu l-Wulad.

There is a difference of opinion with regards to his date and place of birth. One opinion is, he was born on the 5th day of the eighth Islamic month Shabān, 38 years after Hijri, corresponding the 5th of January 659 CE in Madīnatu l-Nabi ﷺ. He was a Tābi who had spent two years under the tutelage of his grandfather Sayyidunā ‘Ali, ten years with his uncle Sayyidunā Imām Hassan and eleven years with his father, Sayyidunā Imām Hussayn (Allāh be pleased with them all).

He was present during the battle of Karbala but was not an active participant due to ill health. He was subsequently taken as a prisoner to Damascus and later allowed to return to Madīnatu l-Nabi ﷺ. He lived and taught within Madīnatul Munawwarah up until his martyrdom at the age of 57/58 when he was given poison by Walīd bin ‘Abdu l-Mālik in the month of Muharram. He was buried within Jannatu l-Baqi.

For further reading one should refer to a complete biography presented by the scholars of Ahlu l-Sunnah wa l-Jama’at.

And Allaah knows best.

Answered by Ustadh Asid Shafait

Checked by Shaykh Naveed Jameel

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