The Sermon of Janabe Zainab (s.a.) in the court of Yazeed (l.a.)
The great scholar Shaikh al-Tabrisi writes in his book, Al-Ehtejaaj, vol. 2, p. 307:
When Imam Ali bin Husain (a.s.) entered the court of Yazid along with the members of his family they were brought near the blessed head of Imam Husain (a.s.) which was placed in a tray and Yazid (l.a.) was striking it with a stick and was saying,
Bani Hashim played a game to acquire rulership.
There was neither any message which descended nor any revelation.
How I wish my elders who were killed in Badr would be able to see this
and the injury stricken people of Khazraj who were severely wounded in the Battle of Ohud would see
then they would be pleased with me and would praise me and say,
O Yazid, may your hands never be paralysed!
We have taken a heinous revenge from their family
and through this revenge of mine – I have avenged my ancestors of Badr.
Had I not done this then I did not belong to the progeny of Khindif,
and I not taken revenge from the family of Ahmed (Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)) for what they did.
When Janabe Zainab (s.a.) witnessed this she cried out in such a sad and aggrieved voice that caused hearts to tremble:
“O Husain! O beloved of the Messenger of Allah! O successor of Makkah and Mina! O son of Fatima al-Zahra the Chief of all women! O son of Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) al-Mustafa!”
On hearing these heart-rending words everyone started weeping. Yazid (l.a.) fell silent. Janabe Zainab (s.a.) stood up and addressed the people in a sermon in which she mentioned the excellences of her noble grandfather Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and announced that they have borne these difficulties patiently for the sake of Allah’s pleasure and not out of any fear or threat. The daughter of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and Janabe Fatima Zahra (s.a.) announced in a loud voice:
“All Praise is for Allah the Lord of the Worlds and blessings be upon my grandfather, the Chief of all the Prophets (s.a.w.a.). Surely Allah Glorified be He has said the truth as He says,
‘Then how bad was the end-result of those who committed sins as they denied the signs of Allah and mocked at them.’
[Surah Room (30): Verse 10]
O Yazid! Do you think that by committing atrocities against us and by displaying the progeny of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) as imprisoned slaves – you shall somehow manage to reduce our exalted position before Allah the High and you shall attain some position of honor and respect? On the contrary, you are under this false impression that the tragedy which we have faced has caused you to gain honor and it is probably due to this wrong impression that you are displaying such arrogance and have started to broaden your shoulders out of misplaced pride. Yes! You are overflowing with joy just because your tyrant government has expanded across various boundaries and your kingdom has become stable? Do you think that in our mastership you shall get the opportunity to do whatsoever you wish without any fear? Wait O Yazid! Be patient! Breathe a little! Have you forgotten these words of Allah the Almighty?
‘And beware the disbelievers should not think that Our giving respite to them is beneficial to them. We only wish to give them respite that they should increase their evil deeds and there is a degrading chastisement prepared for them.’
[Surah Aale Imran (3): Verse 178]
O son of slaves who were freed by us! Is this Justice? That you have covered your women and maids in veils and curtains and have snatched away the veils of the grand-daughters of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)? You have torn apart their dignity? Their enemies drag them from one city to another while their heads are uncovered and unveiled to the extent that people of cities and villages look upon them and they have become a spectacle for those who live near and far. Both the noble and the abased raise their eyes towards them. Their condition has become such that their menfolk are no longer alive to defend them and nor do they have any supporters. This is clear rebellion against Allah, a declaration of war against the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and an evident opposition to everything that he (s.a.w.a.) has brought from the side of Allah!
This is not surprising and there is no expectation of mercy or compassion from the children of those who have loved to chew the liver of the noble martyrs of Islam. The one whose flesh has been developed by drinking the blood of good and noble people, who bears enmity with the Chief of the Prophets (s.a.w.a.), gathers and increases the hatred of people against him (s.a.w.a.), raised a sword against the radiant face of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), one who is the severest opponent of Allah among all the Arabs and the biggest denier of His Prophet (s.a.w.a.), who has openly declared his enmity against them and is the biggest disbeliever and rebel in the sight of Allah the Most High.
(O Yazid) Know that! This is the result of disbelief. This is that lizard of defeat which your ancestors suffered in the Battle of Badr that is still wriggling in your heart. Then how can that person who has always looked upon us Ahle Bait (a.s.) with hatred, enmity and jealousy show any leniency towards us? The one who denies the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and shamelessly narrates it and after killing his children and their family, he expresses happiness and addresses his ancestors thus,
Had they been here, they would have praised me,
And would say, O Yazid may your hands never be paralyzed.
And now you have raised your hands towards the blessed lips of Aba Abdillah (Husain) (a.s.). Those lips which Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to kiss, you are striking them with a stick! Undoubtedly these lips were the cause of the happiness of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)!
I swear that you have shed the blood of the leader of the youths of Paradise, son of the Chief of all Arabs and the luminous sun of the progeny of Abu Talib (a.s.). You have demolished his house and have taken revenge for your ancestors. By shedding his blood you have acquired proximity to the polytheists among your ancestors and have raised your voice.
I swear, that you have shouted out that, ‘I wish they would be able to see me’ then know that, soon they shall see you and you shall wish that your hands would have been paralyzed and you will desire that your mother would have aborted you and that your father would not have been responsible for your conception. When you have taken your steps towards the wrath of Allah then in opposition to you and your father stands the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.).
O Allah! Avenge our right from these people. Take our revenge from these tyrants. Cause your anger and your wrath to descend upon him who has shed our blood, trampled our rights, killed our supporters and has snatched away our veils. You did what you did. (O Yazid! Through your grievous sin) you have ripped away your flesh yourself and cut yourself apart into pieces. Very soon, the day shall come when you shall have to face ultimate humiliation in front of the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.), when you would be responsible for spilling the blood of his progeny (a.s.) and trampling upon the sanctity of his house, having shed the blood of his children and having cut his flesh apart. You shall bear the severest punishment of Allah for these actions. Then you will know how, how exactly Allah shall gather the scattered flowers of the garden of Paradise and reform their condition and how He shall get us our rights from those who have oppressed and rebelled against us, that Lord of all Creation says:
“And do not consider those who have been slain in the way of Allah as dead, Nay! Rather they are alive and receive sustenance from their Lord. Rejoicing in what Allah has granted to them from His Grace.”
[Surah Aale Imran (3): Verses 169-170]
Just knowing this is sufficient for you that Allah is Our Master and He alone shall decide while Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) will be the plaintiff and the Archangel Jibraeel (a.s.) will be his aide. Soon even they shall reach their final destination who laid the grounds for you to attain your position and have appointed you over the Muslims because, “evil is the recompense of the tyrants”
[Surah Kahf (18): Verse 50]
And at that time it shall be evident to you that your final abode is “the worst position and the most deviated path.”
[Surah Furqaan (25): Verse 34]
(O Yazid) Although the tribulations of this world have forced me to converse with you but in my view you are a low and degraded person. You have caused Muslims to weep and grieve (through the calamities which you have inflicted on my brother and my household).
In this matter you found stone-hearted companions. You took assistance from rebels deserving of Allah’s anger and the Prophet’s curse and have taken help from a group where Satan has made his abode and spread his web.
Strange! Very strange! Pious men and children of Prophet (a.s.) were slaughtered by children of freed slaves, illegitimate people and clear sinners. Our blood is dripping from your claws and our flesh is dropping out of your mouths. Pure and noble bodies lying on the fields are being mutilated by wolves and jackals are rolling their bodies on the ground.
If you are under this impression that today you have acquired some good fortune or have benefited in some manner then you are in error and soon you shall bear a grievous loss. You shall reap only what you have sown and Allah is never unjust to His servants. We complain to Allah and have complete reliance upon Him alone. Do whatever you wish to do, strive for whatever you wish to achieve.
I swear by that Lord who has granted us revelation, the Holy Quran, Prophethood and the good fortune of being His sincere servants! You shall never be able to understand our lofty position nor can you fathom our position or erase our remembrance and you shall never be able to wash your hands off (the sin of) snatching away our veils.
Yazid! Your thoughts are nothing except whims! There are only a few days left in your life. Your kingdom is about to overturn. The day is close when the caller shall call out, “May Allah curse the tyrants and rebels.”
All Praise is for that Lord who is the Sustainer of the worlds. The One who has apportioned success for His saints and caused His representatives to reach their desires, turned them towards His Mercy, Majesty, Satisfaction and Forgiveness and through them none apart from you (O Yazid) is more deserving of Hell and punishment.
We ask Allah to grant them (martyrs of Karbala) a due recompense, increase their rewards and grant their inheritors and close ones a noble return. Undoubtedly He alone is the one who has Mercy and Love for His servants.
Ahle Bait of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) are such personalities whose excellences cannot be understood by human intellect. When Islam was in need on the battlefield then it was only Ali (a.s.) and his children who supported it. But after the martyrdom of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) it was this same Ali (a.s.) who exhibited supreme forbearance when he allowed his rights to be snatched away in observance of the last will of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Similarly, in Karbala when Allah the Almighty wished to establish an unparalleled example of patience for the world, in response Imam Husain (a.s.) sacrificed himself along with his companions to fulfil this pledge. But after the event of Karbala, when the sacrifice of the savior of Divine aim and Divine message was presented as a consequence of rebelling against the allegiance to Yazid (l.a.), at that time the dazzling eloquence of the daughter of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), in a fiery tone established the fact that exposing the tyranny of tyrants is the tradition of this pure household.
O Allah! For the sake of the snatched veils of this pure household, hasten the reappearance of the avenger of the blood of Imam Husain (a.s.). Aameen!