Anecdotes from The Life Of Imam Zainul Abideen (A)
Once a man who claimed to be a friend of our 4th Imam, Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) came to him and told him that so and so had been saying horrible things about him.

Imam (A) replied that he had not heard anything and would not have if the man had not told him. Imam (A) then continued that the person who had said the horrible things was as if he had shot an arrow and missed the target but the man who had told him was as if he had picked up the fallen arrow and hit the target (Imam (A)) with it.

Allah does not like the habit of spreading scandal and gossip even if it be true.

In the time of Prophet Musa (A), once there was a severe drought. For months there had been no rain.

The people prayed and prayed but no rain came. When Prophet Musa (A) went to mount Sinai to pray, Allah revealed to him that amongst his people there was someone who spreading scandal and because of this person Allah had not let it rain. Prophet Musa (A) asked Allah who this person was so that he could tell him off for what he had done.

Allah replied that did Prophet Musa (A) want Him to do what He had forbidden for others. (i.e. talk about others).


Do not talk about other people when they are not there even if what you say is true.

At the time of our 4th Imam, Imam Zainul Abideen (A) it was very difficult for Imam (A) to teach Islam to the people. This was because Yazid's men used to keep a close watch on Imam's (A) movements.

Imam Zainul Abideen (A) had seen his father, Imam Husain (A), and other loyal friends and family die for the sake of Islam.

Imam Zainul Abideen (A) decide that the best way to teach people about Islam, was by prayers (Du'a). As a result, we have today a beautiful collection of his Du'a in a book called: "Al-Sahifat al-kamilat al-Sajjadiyya" - The complete book of Al-Sajjad, (Imam Zainul Abadeen (A) was also known as al-Sajjad).

An extract from a du'a for Sunday (the 1st verse) from AL- Sahifat al-kamilat al-Sajjadiyya:
In the name of Allah, the most Kind and the most Merciful. In the name of Allah from whom I hope for nothing but bounty, and from whom I fear nothing but justice! I rely only upon His word, and I cling only to His cord!
Just in these few lines Imam (A) is teaching us so much: He is teaching us that only Allah is the provider. He is teaching us that we should not fear Allah as He is the most forgiving and the most Merciful but at the same time He is also the Most Just and it is this justice that we should fear. There was once a man who was a very religious man and because he was so sure of himself he always used to pray to Allah to judge him on Justice, (we are told always to pray to Allah to judge us with His mercy).

When this man died he saw a scale which was being weighted down with all his good actions. The angels then brought an apple which they put on the other side of the scale and the scale came down on the side of the apple.

The man did not understand how a single apple could outdo all his good actions. He was then told that, that apple was one that he had tasted in the market without the permission of the shop owner. Because the man had insisted that Allah judge him on justice, Allah did not intervene with His mercy.

Imam Zainul Abideen (A) then finished the 1st verse with the lesson that we should only rely on Allah and attach ourselves to Him alone.

  1. We should always ask Allah to judge us with His mercy.
  2. We should try to read the du'as from Al-Sahifat al-Kamilat al-Sajjadiyya, as there is so much to learn from them.

Our 4th Imam, Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A), was a very kind and patient person. He usually never got angry and he always had a smile on his face.

One day when Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) was walking down the street with a few of his friends, he saw an old man carrying a heavy load while his son walked next to him.

Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) lost his smile and became red with anger. All his friends were very surprised to see Imam (A) in this way, as they had never seen him angry.

They asked Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) what had happened to make him so angry. Imam (A) replied that he was angry to see a son walk with his father letting him carry a heavy load and not helping.


You should always help your parents, even when they do not ask you to. For example, you can tidy up your toys after you have finished playing with them.

Our 4th Imam, Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) always remembered the saying of the Holy Prophet (S): that if a Muslim did not think of the needs of his Muslim brothers then he was not a Muslim.

This is why when it was dark in the night and all the people were sleeping, Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) would get up, put some food in a sack and carry it on his shoulders to the houses of the poor people.

When Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) went out at night it was dark and everyone was be sleeping but Imam (A) would cover his face just in case anyone was up, so that no one could recognise him.

Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) looked after about 100 families like this without them even knowing who it was that was helping them.

It was only when Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) died and the people no longer received the food that they found out it must have been Imam Ali Zainul Abideen (A) who had helped them all that time.


When you do something good you should not tell everyone because Allah can see and He is the one who will give you Thawaab for what you have done. In fact Allah says that He will give you more Thawaab if you do good and do not tell everyone.