The father gently touched the fevered forehead of his son. He was Hussein Ibn
Ali (as) who was sitting on the bed of his son Ali Ibn al-Hussein and had pinned
hope in his luminous eyes. Imam Sajjad (as) opened his eyes after feeling his
father’s caress. The father’s kind face always boosted his morale. But this time
it was different. The day after, the father was about to set off for an unequal
battle, but the son was unable to join and help his father, since he had fallen
sick. Imam Hussein (as) looked at his son kindly and whispered the following
“O time, shame on you, everyone will die one day and it is the custom of time
which is loyal to no one. All return to God and all of those alive should
traverse this path.”
Imam Sajjad (as) realized what his father meant. He felt a knot in his throat
but he tried to conceal his grief from his father. He realized that tomorrow a
huge calamity would fall upon them.
From that moment Imam Sajjad understood the great responsibility which was
entrusted to him after the martyrdom of his father and history proved that he
well succeeded in fulfilling his duty.
Today on the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Sajjad (as) we will talk about the
fruitful life of the Imam.
Imam Sajjad (as) was born in Medina in 38 AH and he was about 23 years old
during the Karbala tragedy. Regarding the night of Ashura (the 10th day of
Moharram when Imam Hussein (as) and his companions attained martyrdom in the
Karbala tragedy), Imam Sajjad says:
“On the night of Ashura, my father called his companions, and I too while
being sick went to my father to listen to his words. “
Hamid Ben Moslem the writer of the Karbala tragedy account says: “On the day of
Ashura, after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (as), the army of the Umayyad ruler
Yazid went to Ali Ibn al-Hussein. He was ill in his bed. Since they were ordered
to kill all members of Hussein’s family, they intended to martyr Imam Sajjad.
But since they saw him in bed, they changed their mind and left him alone.”
One can say that a divine philosophy lay in the illness of Imam Sajjad (as) to
keep him alive. The history of Islam also showed that the Imam had an effective
role in the incidents after the Karbala uprising. Actually, the other stage of
Imam Hussein’s movement started under the leadership of Imam Sajjad (as).
Historians have written that the captives of the Holy Prophet’s household
arrived in Kufa on the 12th of Moharram. When Imam Sajjad (as) arrived in that
city, he began to blame the people of Kufa and awaken their consciences.
Imam Sajjad (as) addressing the people of Kufa said:
“O people you broke your covenant with my father and confronted him. I am the
son of the Imam who was beheaded near the Euphrates. Whereas he had enforced no
oppression against anyone and applied no trick. How evil can you be? If God’s
messenger tells you, you killed my sons, broke up my privacy and you are not my
Ummah, are you able to look into his eyes on the day of resurrection?"
The words of Imam Sajjad (as) impressed the people of Kufa, so much so that the
sound of crying rose from everywhere.
Imam Sajjad’s disclosures pushed aside the curtain of deceit and hypocrisy from
the Umayyad dynasty. His disclosing words in the Umayyad mosque in Damascus
comprise the bright pages of the life of Imam Sajjad (as). In this trip, the
Imam delivered a speech deeply impressed the audience.
The Imam ascended the pulpit and after citing the virtues of the holy Prophet’s
household, introduced himself and his ancestors.
Then he turned to Yazid and said: “Is Mohammad my grandfather or yours? If you
say that Mohammad is your grandfather, you have lied and denied the truth and if
you say that Mohammad is my grandfather, why have you killed his sons?”
The people present at the mosque, who lived in ignorance under the impression of
the Umayyad propaganda, gradually came to understand the reality. Yazid
prevented the continuation of Imam Sajjad’s speech in Damascus. Nevertheless,
history indicates that most of the people condemned Yazid and since then the
wave of opposition to the Umayyad government in all the Islamic lands escalated.
During his 34 year Imamate in addition to conveying the message of Ashura, Imam
Sajjad (as) attempted to keep alive this great event in people’s minds so that
this great epic would inspire the next generations and nations in fighting
oppression and injustice.
On the other hand, the Imam worked much to express the principles and teachings
of Islam. With his successive Hajj pilgrimages, Imam Sajjad expressed the deep
and interesting facts of Islam for Muslims in the farthest parts of the Islamic
world. A collection of the Imam’s precious prayers and supplications named
Sahifeyeh Sajjadiya has been left behind which includes ethical, social and
Imam Baqir (as) in a description of his father Imam Sajjad (as) said:
“Whenever Imam Ali Ibn al-Hussein remembered the blessings of God, he embarked
on prostration. And whenever God kept him away from a bitter incident, he also
embarked on prostration. The Imam also prostrates after every obligatory prayer
and that’s why he was entitled Sajjad which in Arabic means the one who
One day the fifth Umayyad caliph Abdol Malek asked Imam Sajjad (as) to preach.
The Imam said: “Is there a preach higher than the Holy Quran?”
God says: “Woe to the defrauders.” Ayah 1 of Surah Mutafeffin. Then God
Almighty said this about the defrauders; so how about you who loot all people’s
Thus during his Imamate from the post days of the Ashura tragedy till years
later, Imam Sajjad (as) embarked on campaign against the Umayyads with different
tactics and methods. In the year 95 AH, Imam Sajjad was poisoned and martyred on
the order of the Umayyad ruler Walid Ben Abdol Malek.
Imam Sajjad says: “The route of those who go forward without the guidance of
truth is narrow and dark. Be with God to ease the hardships for you, and to make
the far close to you. “
The Imam also said: “O son of Adam. May Prosperity always accompany you,
provided that you advise yourself and look into your deeds. Place fear of God as
your slogan and adorn yourself with piety.”