SOME MIRACLES OF IMAM ALI BIN HUSAIN (A.S)
WHAT IS A MIRACLE?
Allah has made laws for all his creation. These laws can be divided into two types. First, there are those laws which no one can change. These are sometimes called the laws of nature. For example, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The character of water is to cool and that of fire is to burn. No one can bring the dead back from death; these are but a few examples of the laws of nature.
Then there are the laws of Allah which are in the hands of man and they can change them against the will of Allah. For example, the law of Allah forbids to have relationship with another man as if he was a woman. (This act was very common with the people who lived during the times of Nabi Loot) But man can change this law, though by doing so he commits a sin.
Miracle is said to have taken place when a law of nature, which in normal conditions cannot be changed, is indeed changed. For example, the Qur'an tells us of the miracles of Nabi Isa (A.S). He was born without his mother having any relationship with a man. Again, when he was born, he started talking, telling people that he was a Prophet with a book from Allah. Or that he made the dead return to life. These acts are not normal and they are called miracles or "Mojiza".
Miracles take place only when Allah wishes and He does so for very special reasons. The main reason is that: Allah wants to prove his existence. The Prophets and 12 Imams show miracles only when Allah wishes them to do so. For example, Nabi Musa could turn his stick into a snake to show that he had this power given to him by Allah.
Another good example of miracle is that': Our Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.WW), split the moon into two parts to prove to the "Kuffar" of Mecca that he was a true Messenger of Allah.
Besides the Prophet (S.A.W.W), the other 13 Masoomin (That is Hazrat Fatima and our 12 Imams) also did show miracles when it was necessary to do so and when Allah wished them to do so.
Before I give examples of the miracles that Imam Zainul Abidin showed, I shall explain the difference between a miracle and magic.
Whereas a miracle is the work of the men of Allah, magic is the work of Shaitan or only a trick performed so cleverly that for sometime we see a change in natural laws. For example, in the Qur'an we are told that Firawn (Pharo) called magicians who could turn threads into snakes. The difference between magic and miracle is the same as the difference. between the snakes of magicians and that of Nabi Musa. The magician's snakes were not real, the one of Nabi Musawas. As a result, the magician's snakes only appeared like snakes and therefore could do no harm or even fight with Nabi Musa's snake which swallowed the threads of the magicians. The threads disappeared for good.
THE MIRACLES OF IMAM ZAINUL ABIDIN (A.S)
Several miracles were shown by the Imam (A.S) but we shall look at only two of them.
After the martyrdom of Imam Husain (A.S), the army of Yezid cut-off the heads of all the martyrs of Kerbala and removed them from their bodies. Then they left those bodies without burying them. They did not allow Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) to bury these martyrs. Instead, they took him a prisoner to Kufa.
After the army of Yezid had left for Kufa, the tribe of Bani Asad, who lived in the neighbourhood of Kerbala, came to bury the martyrs. Since there was no way by which they could know whose body belonged to whom, they were worried.
Suddenly, they saw a man on a horse coming in their direction. Fearing that this could be a spy of Yezid coming to check on them, the Bani Asad went into hiding. The man came where they were hiding and called them to come out. He told them that he was Ali Ibn Husain (A.S) and had come through miracle from Kufa to help them identify and bury the martyrs.
In this way Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) buried the martyrs and his father where they lie buried today.
His coming to Kerbala was very important for two reasons. Firstly, an Imam from Allah has to be given the burial services, when he dies, by the Imam who takes over from him. No one could give the burial services to Imam Husain (A.S) except him. But he was miles away and in chains as a prisoner of Ibn Ziyad in Kufa. He therefore came to Kerbala by miracle. Secondly only he knew who was who. Otherwise, we would never know who was buried where the way we know today.
After the martyrdom of Imam Husain (A.S) and after Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) had returned to Medina, some people began to consider Hazrat Muhammad Hanafiya as their Imam. Hazrat Muhammad Hanafiya was Imam Husain's younger brother He was very pious and had not himself said that he was Imam. Only some misguided people began to consider him as their Imam.
It became necessary to remove this misunderstanding. Therefore, Imam (A.S) and his uncle, Muhammad Hanafiya decided to go together to where "Hajar Aswad" (The black stone near Ka'aba) was.
At first, Hazrat Muhammad Hanafiya addressed the Hajar asking it to confirm who the Imam was. But there was no reply. Then Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) addressed the Hajar. Aloud and clear voice came from "Hajar Aswad" saluting the Imam by his full name and confirming that he and he alone was the Imam of the time.
Let it be remembered that Hazrat Muhammad Hanafiya himselfhad never claimed to be Imam. He fully supported Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) but he addressed Hajar Aswad only to let the misguided people see for themselves that he was not an Imam.
IMAM ALI BIN HUSAIN'S SERMONS, SUPPLICATIONS (DUAS) AND SAYINGS.
As he have seen before, the politics of his times were so bad that Imam (A.S) could not openly preach Islam. If he did so, his enemies would get a chance of preventing him from doing so by putting him away in prison or even killing him. He could not therefore all the time preach as openly as his grandparents had done before him.
As an Imam appointed by Allah, he knew when to openly expose the enemies of Islam and when to preach Islam without openly naming the enemies. Whenever possible, he gave sermons in which he openly named the enemies of Islam and the wrongs that they did to the family of the Prophet, though such moments were rare. Otherwise, the Imam used the supplications (Duas) and sayings to teach proper Islam as opposed to Islam which was being preached by the oppressive government of Bani Umayyah.
The only chance that the Imam had to give an open sermon was in the court of Yezid. It was very important for him to do so because all along, the people of Syria were being told lies about the Prophet (S.A.W W) and his family, especially about Imam Ali (A.S), Hazrat Fatima (S.A), Imam Hassan (A.S) and Imam Husain (A.S). In the eyes of the Syrians, Muawiya and Yezid were the true representatives of the Prophet (S.A.W.W) and Imam Ali (A.S) and his children were the enemies of Islam. As a matter of fact, Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) and the family of the of the Prophet were presented in the court of Yezid as those who had fought against Islam. It was very important for the Imam therefore to tell the Syrians what was the truth. That is to say that Muawiyyah and Yezid were the enemies of Islam and they had murdered the innocent members of the family of the Prophet (S.A.W W); and the Imam gave a very powerful sermon which you have already seen in chapter 2.
Notice that in this sermon, the Imam describes very openly high position of the Prophet (S.A.W W) his family and other relatives of the Prophet. He also proves that Yezid, his parents and his grandparents were truly the enemy of Islam. Although he never got another chance to give a sermon like this, this one sermon was enough to awaken the Syrians from the sleep of ignorance. This sermon will always be a guide to those Muslims who need to know truly how evil the Bani Umayyah were and how virtuous the Ahlul Bayt were.
The other sermon that the Imam gave was very short but very effective. We saw that in Chapter 2. This was given to the people of Medina on the day the Imam returned from the prison of Yezid. The people of Medina were not in darkness regarding the goodness of the family of the Prophet, the way the people of Syria were. It was not at this time necessary for the Imam to remind the people of Medina about the evils of Bani Umayyah; what the people of Medina needed to be told were two things.
First, they had to be made to know what Bani Umayyah did to Imam Husain (A.S). Secondly, they needed to be told of what was expected of them now that Imam Husain (A.S) had given his life. And the Imam did just that in this short address to them which you have already seen in Chapter 2.
Supplications ("Duas") are a kind of prayers to Allah. A person who reads a "Dua" is actually addressing Allah.
In the Qur'an itself Allah tells us of the "Duas" of several Prophets such as Nabi Nuh, Nabi Ibrahim and Nabi Musa. The Prophet taught his companion S several Duas. Imam Alitaught Kumayl Bin Ziyadthe DuaofNabi Khizrwhich came to be known as "Dua-e-Kumayl" and which is read every Thursday evening. Imam Husain's (A.S) Dua of the day of Arafat was introduced to you when .we were learning about the biography of Imam Husain (A.S). Imam Zaiunl Abidin (A.S) therefore was not the first person. to start this art of addressing Allah through a supplication.
What makes Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) so special is that: he made "Duas" on almost every important occasion in a Muslim's life and filled these Duas with knowledge of very branch of Islam. No Imam before him or after him has taught us as Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) did through Duas.
Most of the supplications of Imam Zainul Abidin (A.S) today exist in a book called "Sahifa Sajjadiya" (The book of Sajjad) or "Sahifa Kamila" (A complete book) or ""Zabur-e-Ale Muhammad" (The psalms of the house of Muhammad). The Imam used to teach these Duas to his sons Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S) and Zayd, the martyr These books remained in the family of Imam Zaiunul Abidin from generation to generation and has survived till today.
The "Sahifa" as we know it today is a collection of 54 Supplications, I 4 other supplications and 15 Munajat.
These "Duas" can be put into two groups: The Duas that can be read on any occasion (E.g. Supplication for ones Parents, Supplication in asking for Pardon) and those which are for special occasions (E.g. Supplications for day of Arafat, The day of Idd). These "Duas" are full ofknowledge on Islam. The subjects listed here are but a few examples of what is contained in these Duas:
How to address Allah
Merits of the Prophet (S.A.W.W) and his family
What are the main parts of Iman (Faith)
What behavior is expected from Muslims
Through these Duas, the Imam taught the standards and principles for Muslims who would then be able to save themselves from "Corrupted Islam" that was being taught by the Bani Ummayya.
Whenever he got a chance, the Imam would advise his followers on how they were to lead their lives. These advises or sayings are in plenty.
Over and above that, the Imam gave a lengthy advice on human rights. These today appear in a book form and is called RISALAT AL-HUQUQ (Or a treatise on rights). In this book, the Imam (A.S) gives examples of 51 different rights.
We shall reproduce here a few sayings of the Imam and few rights that the Imam (A.S) describes fully in his RISALAT AL-HUQUQ.
A SMALL SELECTION OF HIS SAYINGS:
1) Once, one of his companions complained to him that out of jealousy some people whom he had served very well were treating him badly. The Imam gave him some advice which was:
* Guard your tongue and do not speak about people whatever comes out of your mouth, otherwise you will turn your friends into your enemies.
* Avoid saying things which the minds of people are not prepared to accept.
* He who does not have wisdom will be ruined by the a smallest thing (Mistake).
* What harm will come to you if you take all Muslims to be your family and your relations? Consider your elders to be your parents, those younger than you as your children and those of your age as your brothers. If you do so who is going to harm or abuse you?
* Whenever a thought comes in your mind that you are better than any other person, then think along these lines : If the person is older than you then remind yourself that this person is better than you in matters of Islam because he has done more good deeds than you have. If the person is younger than you then remind yourself that this person is better than you because he has committed less sins than you have. If he is of your age than your argument should be : he is better than you in matters of Islam since you know of your own sins but not of his.
* If people show respect to you, think that this is because the people are very good not that you are good. If the people say bad things about you, think that something is really wrong with you. If you live in this way, life will become pleasant for you, you will make many friends and your enemies will be few.
(2) The Imam said, "Do not have relationship with, nor talk with nor give company to 5 types of people:
* The Liar: because they are like mirage : With their words they show things different from what they really are. What is near they make it look far and what is far they make it look near. In this way, they take you away from truth.
* The Greedy and the Sinner: because you cannot rely on their friendship; for a small piece of food or even less than that, they will sell you.
* The Miser: because they will let you down when you need them most.
* The Fool: because even when they try to do you good, they will end you in difficulties.
* Those Who have cut relationship with their relatives, because Allah has cursed them in the Qur'an.
(3) Try to earn a high position in Paradise (Jannah).
Remember: Highest positions will be given to those who have been most useful to their brothers in faith and who have been most helpful to the needy.
Remember: There are times when a person says but one good sentence and that brings him very near to Allah and brings his freedom on the Day of Judgement.
Never think that what you do for your brother in faith is unimportant because these are the things that will be of much use to you on a day when nothing else will be of any use.
(4) Drinking (Alcohol and other forbidden drinks) and Gambling are such sins that they destroy the power to stop committing other sins.
(5) (Speaking) Good words increase a person's wealth and sustenance (Rizk), prolong his life, make him to be loved by his wife and children and take him to paradise.