Elegy of Farazdaq in praise of Imam Zain al-Aabideen (a.s.)
Hisham Ibn Abd al-Malik the Umayyad caliph went for Hajj. After circumambulation of the Holy Kaaba, he intended to kiss the Black Stone (Hajar al-Aswad) for which he proceeded with his worldly pomp and glory. However, people who were busy in circumambulation and glorification of Allah the Glorious would not allow him to do so. His slaves too were of no use to him. He returned and sat on an elevated chair and began looking at the pilgrims. At that time, Imam Zain al-Aabideen (a.s.) arrived in the sacred mosque and people made way for him. Hisham was surprised at this. A person asked him as to who that honoured person was to which Hisham feigned ignorance. Farazdaq who was present there said he knew who the person was. He then recited a lengthy eulogy in praise of Imam Sajjaad (a.s.) thus:
O the one asking about the centre of nobility and generosity. I have a clear reply if anyone wishes to know.
He is the one whose foot marks the land of Makkah recognizes. He is known by the House of Allah, the Holy sanctuary and the land outside it.
He is the son of the best of Allah’s servants. He is a pure and pious man, the standard of guidance.
He is the one, the chosen Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) is his father, upon whom Allah always sends blessing and peace.
If the Black Stone was to know who has arrived to kiss it, it would fall on his feet and kiss them.
He is Ali and the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) is his father. Through him nations are guided.
Jafar al-Tayyar and Hamzah, the chief of martyrs, are his uncles. He is a brave lion of Allah by whom the brave and fearless swear.
He is the son of Fatima (s.a.), the leader of women. And the son of the one in whose sword is concealed the (devastation of) polytheists and disbelievers.
On seeing him, the Quraysh accept that nobility and honour reach their peak with him.
He has scaled such heights of honour where the Arabs and non-Arabs cannot reach.
(O Hisham!) Your (feigning) ignorance of him does not harm him in any way. Both the Arab and the Non- Arabs recognize him whom you do not (claim to) know.
He lowers his eyes due to chastity and cannot be looked at with awe. One can speak to him only when a smile appears on his blessed lips.
The light of guidance emanates from his forehead. In the same way as sun dispels the gloom.
He is so generous that he would not have said ‘No’ had ‘No’ not been a part of the Kalimah.
His root is the holy being of Messenger of Allah (sa.w.a.), the one possessing pure ethics, character and conduct.
He shoulders the onerous task of guiding the nation which even strong mountains refused to carry.
Everyone accepts his words when he speaks. His conversation is an adornment for eloquence.
He is the son of Fatima (s.a.) if you don’t know him. Prophethood has concluded on his ancestor.
Allah has excelled him over the first and the last ones. The pen of the sacred tablet (Lauh) has mentioned thus.
He is the one before whose ancestor, the virtues of the Prophets are insignificant. The nation of his grandfather also supersedes that of other Prophets.
His magnanimity and bestowal has engulfed the entire creation. Far from him are deviation, poverty and darkness.
Both his hands are like the merciful cloud of Allah from which all draw benefit and none is deprived
He is so lenient that harshness is far from him. He has accorded honour to forbearance and patience
He is so blessed that he never breaks a promise. His courtyard is a refuge for one and all.
He belongs to such a noble family whose love is faith, hatred is disbelief and proximity is a cause of salvation.
Every corruption and evil is at bay with their love and affection. There is a constant increase in his grants and bestowals.
After Allah’s remembrance, he is the one whose name is mentioned at every beginning and end.
If the pious are mentioned, then he is their leader. If asked about the best in the world, his name will be called out.
After his generosity, the munificence of none can be spoken about. The nobles and chiefs of no tribe can equal him.
He is the cloud of mercy during drought and in midst of a fiery battle he is a brave warrior.
Abasement cannot step in his court. He is so revered whose generous hand is always beneficial like rain
Straightness has never affected his nature. Both straightness and abundance are alike with him.
Is there any family or tribe that is not under his obligation?
One who recognizes Allah knows his ancestors. People have been guided from his holy house.
In Quraysh only his house is the place where people get solutions to their problems. Only in their houses are correct judgments passed.
The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and Ameeerul Momeneen (a.s.) are his ancestors who is the Imam and the standard of guidance
The battle of Badr, valleys of Ohad, Khandaq and the conquest of Makkah are witness to his bravery, sacrifice and sincerity.
Khaibar and Hunain pay tributes for him. The battles of Bani Qurayz and Tabuk shower accolades on him.
(Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 46, p. 124-128, H. 17 narrating from Al-Manaaqeb by Ibn Shahr Ashoob, Hilyat al-Awliyaa and Al-Aghani)
Our sincere salutations to this great poet of Ahle Bait (a.s.)!