“O! My dear son! Be aware that it is your life and nothing else, that fades away as the hours pass by; and also do know that you will not achieve a blessing, unless you are separated from another blessing. Thus, avoid prolonged wishes, for there were many who made wishes, but failed to achieve them.”

(A part of Imam Sajjad’s (PBUH) will to his son)

After the tragedy of Karbala and upon the arrival of the family of Prophethood as captives into the city of Shaam, Yazid, the Umayyad ruler of that period, called for a grand ceremony in the mosque of Damascus to celebrate his victory. He ordered to bring the captives into the ceremony. Continuing his father’s tradition, Yazid had ordered the speaker to slander Amir al-Mu’minin and Imam Hussain (PBUT). After the speaker was through with his speech, Imam Sajjad (PBUH) said: “Let me climb up these woods and say some words that satisfy Allah and benefit the listeners with rewards and blessings.” Yazid’s disapproval to the Imam’s request triggered people into wanting to hear what the Imam had to say. Yazid was left no choice but to allow the Imam to talk, lest the people come to realize Yazid’s true devious character.

Once ascended upon the pulpit, the Imam began his speech by praising Allah (SWT); he then introduced himself to the audience. Due to the misleading propagandas of Yazid and Mu’awiyah, the people of Damascus had completely forgotten the firm and continuous recommendations of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) about Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT). They were therefore unaware of the true position and responsibility the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) held in the structure of religion. Imam Sajjad (PBUH) said:

“Whosoever knows me, then be so; and whosoever does not, then know that I am the son of Mecca and Mina, I am the son of Zamzam(2) and Safa(3)…”

This sentence though short is offering a world of truth. It is one that recalls that even though Imam Sajjad (PBUH) and the rest of family did not attend Mina this year in Hajj, and even though they did not sacrifice a sheep like they would in the pilgrimage ritual(4), yet Mina is their property. For Mina was nothing more than a dead land as was Medina, Mecca, and even the Ka’ba. They were dead lands free of life and spirituality. And it was them whom by their journey to Karbala revived the land of Mina. Certainly, he who revives a dead land becomes thereafter its owner (5).  The owner of Mina is not one who sacrifices a sheep, camel, or the like in that area; rather its rejuvenator is him who sacrifices father, brother, uncle, and friends, and who offers captives and injured in the way of Allah (SWT). Indeed they are the owners and inheritors of Mina, just as they are the inheritors of Safa, Marwah, Zamzam and the Ka’ba. Their rising revived the Ka’ba, and gave Hajj its value and honor. Sacrificing a sheep, circumambulating the Ka’ba, and running between the mountains of Safa and Marwah are easy challenges everyone can accomplish.

Imam Sajjad (PBUH) then continued: “I am son of him who was taken to heavens …; I am the son of the Messenger of Allah, and I am the son of Ali”. He paused and said: “I am the son of Fatimah al-Zahra, master of all women of the world.”

With this speech, the battle that began with the forced demand of allegiance from Imam Hussain (PBUH) for Yazid, ended with Imam Hussain’s (PBUH) victory in Damascus. As a consequence of Imam Sajjad’s (PBUH) speech, people who had been celebrating thinking they had gained victory over non-believers, awakened from their ignorance and transformed the celebration to a mourning ceremony.

(Selection taken from Hamasah and Irfan, by Ayatullah Jawadi Amuli, with additional explanations)

Please accept our condolences on the 25th of Muharram, upon the martyrdom of Imam Ali Ibn Hussain (PBUH), the master of prostrators and the ornament of worshipers.


1- Mina is a land near Mecca that sacrificing (a Hajj ritual) is done there.

2- Zamzam is a well in Makkah around Masjid al-Haraam. 

3- Safa is a remnant of a mountain in Mecca from which the Hajj pilgrims must walk or run to Marwah.

4- Imam Hussain (PBUH) did not perform Hajj in the 60th year A.H. and as a result did not go to Mina. The reason was that Yazid had intended to assassinate Imam in Mecca, as he knew the Imam would be a threat to his government. Thus Imam was urged to only perform Umrah and move to Karbala.

5- Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said: “Anyone who revives a dead land, that land would be his/her property.” (Tahdhib, vol. 7, p.152)

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