The worship of Zainol Abedin(s)
When he engaged in the act of ablution, Zainol Abedin’s face turned yellow. Some of his household members asked him why his face color changed at the time of ablution. He answered “Do you know I am standing ready in front of who?”
When he stood praying, his body would tremble. In answer to a question raised concerning this, he answered: “I get this state of body and mind when standing in the presence of my love.”
One day, when he was engaged in prostration (bowing down during prayer), the room was on fire and there was the danger of the spread of the fire. People shouted: Prophet’s son, fire! Fire.
The people put the fire out, but that enchanted lover was still on prostration. When the prayer was over, they asked him: “What caused you to ignore our warning?” He answered:
“The fire of the next world.”
Concerning the worshiper’s prayers, a narration is reported from Imam Zainol Abedin(s):
اِنَّ قوماً عَبَدوا الله رهبة، فّتِلك عِبادةُ العبيد، وآخرين عَبَدُوه رغبةً فتِلك عبادَةُ التجّار، واِنَّ قوماً عَبَدوا الله شكراً، فَتِلكَ عِبادةً الأحرار.
“A group of people worship God out of their fear of chastisement; this is the worship of the slaves and the coward servants. Some worship the Great love in a great zeal to arrive at the heaven; this is the work of the business men; and finally, a group worship Him to thank Him and because He deserves to be worshipped: This is the worship of the free men.”
His worship was free from fear or zeal; rather, he wanted God for his Godship. In neither of his prayers did he expect rewards. He never started a prayer for fear of punishment.
If he missed the day’s Nafeleh due to his too much activities, at night he compensated for it. He used to tell his children; this schedule is not compulsory for you, but I like you carry on with a program you have got used to. You could carry it out some time later if you missed it at the appointed time.
“Kashfol Qamme” says: Every twenty four hours he prayed one thousand raka’ats [Unit of prayer] and when the morning arrived he used to become unconscious. He would forget himself so much that with the breeze of wind he would sway right and left like a wheat stalk.
Imam Khomeini(s), the great gnostic of Divine knowledge in his “Adab Al-Salat” concerning such a prayer has said.”
“Those who are attracted by the beauty of the Beautiful, the ones who are enchanted by the Everlasting Beauty, those who are drunken with the bowl of kindness, those who are in ecstasy, those who are free from both worlds, those who do not consider existence of any value, and those who have associated with Allah, those are the ones who are away from contemplation, observation and Involvement with Allah.
“Those who are the possessors of knowledge, and virtues, who are noble in their selves, who are benevolent in nature, will never prefer anything over prayers and from their invocations in private, they are only looking for God and search for honor, honesty, virtue and knowledge in their prayers.”
“If such people consider the world, both here and there, their look is agnostic. In the world they are after truth and recognize all the creatures as manifestations of God, the Absolute Beauty”.
From the presence of God, they love the mere presence and will see their servitude in complete association with the Absolute Prefect; and their eagerness for worship is of this kind.
“But we wretched ones are entangled by wishes and whims, are tied with the chains of lusts, deep in the prison of nature where we receive ho fragrance of love, no pleasure of knowledge and Gnosticism or from virtues; we are not people of Gnosticism, neither are we the holders of true faith, we consider the divine worships as hard tasks and; invocation with God is considered by us as too much; we are fond of nothing except the world, which is the grazing place for the beasts; we are inclined towards the nature, which is the resort of the tyrants. Our heart’s insight towards the beauty of the Absolute Beauty is blind and our spiritual taste for Gnosticism is distant!”( Flight in the kingdom of Heaven, Vol 1, P 258)
Imam Baqir(s) says: My father, Imam Sajjad(s) did not refer to any affluence without going on prostration, without reading some verses from the Holy Quran which deal with prostration. When he got rid of a suffering, he would go on prostration. He did not end a prayer without using prostration. When he made two adversaries stop their disagreements, he went on prostration. In all cases his prostration was real; that is why my father was given the nickname Sajjad [A man who engages in may prostrations].(  Behar, Vol 46, P 6)
On his divine temper, we read: His happiness with God’s planning was his bed, and his joy in worships was his carpet; the confirmation of truth was his friend, and his avoidance of committing anything un-Godly was his sincerity; his robe was his prayer-rug and his shelter was his grave. His bedcover was his insistence in serving God and his sleep was his bowing towards God. His job it was to burn in the love of God.
Paying pilgrimage to Mecca and the prophet’s heram was his business; his eagerness to serve people was his market; showing kindness was his fragrance; his job it was to worship; honor was his robe, prudence was his weapons, his palfrey was the ground, his capital was his hunger; his wish was a voyage to the Hereafter; and his satisfaction was in meeting with the Great love.( Manaqeb, Ibn Shahr Ashub, Vol 4, P 165.)
The Supplication of Zainol Abedin (s)
At all phases of his life, Imam Sajjad(s) spent his time in supplication and prayers. His keenness in supplication and prayers was so strange that wherever his sacred name is called, mourning, insistence in worship, invocations and prayers will come to our mind.
The Supplication of Khams Ashar, the supplication of Abu Hamzeh Thomali at the dawn of the month of Ramathan, some portions of the pilgrimage Aminollah, and fifty four invocations of Sahifeh are manifestations of the great soul of that Imam.
It would need God’s special concern and it would take a long time and effort to describe the khams Ashar supplication and Abu Hamze invocation and Imam’s other supplications which appear in Mesbah of Kafa’mi and in Zadol Mia’ad and Baladol Amin and Mafatih by Mohaddes Qommi.
This humble creature, this wretched one, and this miserable disabled writer wishes that God would enable him to describe and interpret all Sajjad’s invocations, which are the source of Imam’s knowledge.
Here we will refer to some portions of his supplications and hope they will save us from the satanic miseries we are entrenched in:
1) Asa’mi, the well-known literary man says: One night I had gone to pay pilgrimage to Mecca when I saw a handsome man hanging from the Mecca cloth, supplicating with the Lord in these words:
“Now the eyes are in deep sleep; and the stars are high in the sky. You are the king of everything. The kings and world-mongers have closed their doors to people and have the police guard their castles and houses so that nobody could bother them at night. But your doors of benevolence are open to the poor. A beggar like me have come here to gain your benevolence and blessings; O sacred being who are the most merciful.” And then he whispered a poem with the following Content: You are the one who answer to the invocations of the poor in the darkness of the night! You are the one who open up a puzzle! Your guests are asleep around your house, but you are the keeper of all creation and are awake. I have risen to stand to the supplication which you have ordered. Please show me your blessings for the prestige of your house. Who else should a sinner resort to except you”?
I went after the suppliant. I found him to be Imam Sajjad, Imam Zainol Abedin(s).( Manaqeb, Ibn Shahr Ashub, Vol 4, P 150.)
2) Tavus, The jurisprudent says: I saw Ali Ibn Al-Hussein, Imam Sajjad(s) in God’s house praying all night long. When he saw no body around, he stared at the sky, supplicating with the greatest of all loves, the most well-known of Gnostics, the Beloved of the lovers:
“O God, the stars of the sky have disappeared, eyes are asleep, your presence is ready for the arrival of beggars. A beggar like me has come to seek your benevolence. I hope you will let me meet the Great Prophet on the resurrection day”
Then he started weeping like the spring clouds, saying to the Great Friend:
“O God! I did not oppose you when I committed sins and at that time there was no doubt in my heart towards you; I was not ignorant towards your chastisement and I did not shun your punishment. This misguiding self of mine deceived me and it was my hope to be forgiven by you which made me to stumble. Now who is it to save me from your punishment? Which strong chord shall I put my hands on if you disassociate with me? I tremble the moment when you summon me for trial, when you let the sin-free people easily pass by and let the sinful ones fall in the Hell. On that day, I will either be among sin-free people to get salvage or I will be under the heavy load of sins to be punished by you. Woe to me that I added to my sins as my life progressed. I did not try to repent either.” Then he cried, saying:
“Will you burn me on Hell fire? O the end-point of my desires! Then what is going to happen to my love towards you?”
“O my sire, I have resorted to you while I am replete with sins, and I confess there is no one more sinful than me among your servants.”
Then he burst into tears, saying:
“You are free from any defects. People get themselves so involved in committing sins as if they were away from your observation and you are so patient towards them as if they had not committed sins. You show kindess to people in such a manner as if you needed their help, while your sacred being is needless of all.”
Then, he fell on the ground, passionately going on prostration. I went up to him. I took his head on my knees.
I started crying so strongly that some of my tears fell on his clean face. He then sat down, asking me: who is it that took me away from my Lord and made me busy paying attention to something else?
I replied: I am Tavus O son of the God’s prophet; what is the reason for this mourning and emotionalism? it is us the wrong _ doors who should cry in the presence of our Lord, why you? Your father was Hussein, your mother was Fatima, and your grand - father was the prophet.
He looked at me, saying: ah, ah, Tavus, leave the talking about father, mother, and grand - father aside. God has created the paradise for the obedient servant of his, whether he is a black person from Ethiopia or someone else. Have you not heard not heard the following verse from the Holy Quran:
فَإِذَا نُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَلَا أَنسَابَ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَلَا يَتَسَاءَلُونَ.
“So when the trumpet is blown, there shall be no ties of relationship between them on that day, nor shall they ask of each other. Quran 23: 101”
I may swear to God that on the day of Resurrection nothing can help you except those good acts which you have sent in advance.
3) Tavus, the jurisprudent says: I saw Imam Sajjad praying in Hejr Ismael, chanting:
عُبَيْدُكَ ببابِكَ اسيرُكَ بفنائكَ مسكينُكَ بفنائِكَ، سائِلُكَ بفنائِكَ يشكوُ اليْكَ ماَلا يَخْفي عليْكَ، لا تَرُدَّني عنْ بابَكَ.
Here is a small servant at your presence, a mortal prisoner, a mortal bedridden, a mortal beggar at your presence. He has come here to complain on something which you already know; be kind and do not throw him out of your home.( Manaqeb, vol 4, p 148)
4) Imam Sadiq (s) says: One day Imam Mohammad Baqir(s) arrived at the home of his father, Imam Sajjad(s). Imam Sajjad was engaged in a prayer in an unprecedented manner. He looked yellow due to the lack of sleep. It seemed his eyes had burned because of excessive weeping; his forehead was wounded because of the repeated prostrations. His legs were hurt because of much standing position. Imam Baqir(s), seeing this condition, could not stop crying.
Imam Sajjad(s) was contemplating and turned to his son, saying: bring me the paper on which there are records of Ali’s prayers. He read some of it and then put it down, saying: who can go on worshipping like Ali Ibn Abi Talib?
5) One night he was engaged in supplication and worship. One of his children fell and broke his hand. The members of family shouted; the neighbors gathered; they brought a physician and he wrapped bandage around the child’s hand. In the morning, he saw his son’s hand hanging from his neck. He asked for the reason. They told him it happened when he was absorbed in his prayers.
6) when Imam Sajjad(s) stood praying, his face changed colors and his posture at the time of prayer was like that of a poor servant standing in front of his Lord. His limbs trembled due to the reverie he was under. He acted in each prayer as if it were his last prayer.
All this was because of his clean and heavenly heart and his vast knowledge of the great creator.
source : The land of Lovers