Zayd ibn Ali
|Zayd ibn Ali|
|Other names||Kunya: Abu al-Hasan
Imam of Mosque
≈ 695 C.E.
|Died||1st Safar 122 AH
≈ 740 C.E.
|Period in office||Imamate: 28 years
(95 AH - 122 AH)
|Children||Hasan, Yahya, Husayn|
Zayd ibn ‘Alī (Arabic: زيد بن علي, also spelled Zaid, Zayyed, Sa‘id or Sajjad; 695-740) was the grandson of Husayn ibn Alī. Zayd was born in Medina in 695. He is the son of Imam ‘Alī ibn Husayn "Zayn al-Abidīn".
Hadith Prophesising his Birth
The prophet once looked at Zayd ibn Harithah, cried, and said "The martyr in the sake of Allah, The crucified of my people, The oppressed from my progeny, his name is thus." Then the prophet pointed at Zayd ibn Harithah and said "Come closer to me, your name became more dear to me because it is the same as my dear child (Zaid.)"
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir narrated: "The Holy Prophet put his sacred hand on Husayn bin Ali's back and said: 'O Husayn, it will not be long until a man will be born among your descendants. He will be called Zaid; he will be killed as a martyr. On the day of resurrection, he and his companions will enter heaven, setting their feet on the necks of the people.'"
Reforming the Umayyad rule from the inside
One of Muawiyah's most controversial and enduring legacies was his decision to designate his son Yazid as his successor. Yazid was experienced militarily, after taking part in various expeditions and the siege of Constantinople but politically inexperienced. Marwan also wanted Yazid to be the Caliph so that he could run things behind the scenes, as he would become the senior member of the Umayyad clan after Muawiyah's death. Mohammad, Abu Bakr and Umar also mistrusted Marwan and he had lived in Taif during their rule, where he became friends with Hajjaj.
Tom Holland writes "Tempers in Medina were not helped by the fact that the governor in the oasis was none other than the fabulously venal and slippery Marwan. Rumours abounded that it was he, back in the last calamitous days of Uthman's rule who had double crossed the war band that had come to Uthman. The locals mistrust of their governor ran particularly deep. Nothing he had done had helped to improve his reputation for double dealing.
The appointment of Yazid was unpopular in Madina. Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 352, Narrated by Yusuf bin Mahak:
Marwan had been appointed as the governor of Hijaz by Muawiya. He delivered a sermon and mentioned Yazid bin Muawiya so that the people might take the oath of allegiance to him as the successor of his father (Muawiya). Then 'Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr told him something whereupon Marwan ordered that he be arrested. But 'Abdur Rahman entered 'Aisha's house and they could not arrest him. Marwan said, "It is he ('Abdur Rahman) about whom Allah revealed this Verse: 'And the one who says to his parents: 'Fie on you! Do you hold out the promise to me..?'" On that, 'Aisha said from behind a screen, "Allah did not reveal anything from the Qur'an about us except what was connected with the declaration of my innocence (of the slander)."[non-primary source needed][third-party source needed]
Ibn Katheer wrote in his book the Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah  that "in the year 56 AH Muawiyah called on the people including those within the outlying territories to pledge allegiance to his son, Yazeed, to be his heir to the Caliphate after him. Almost all the subjects offered their allegiance, with the exception of Abdur Rahman ibn Abu Bakr (the son of Abu Bakr), Abdullah ibn Umar (the son of Umar), Husain ibn Ali (the son of Ali), Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair (the maternal grandson of Abu Bakr) and Abdullah ibn Abbas (Ali's cousin). Because of this Muawiyah passed through al-Madinah on his way back from Makkah upon completion of his Umrah Pilgrimage where he summoned each one of the five aforementioned individuals and threatened them. The speaker who addressed Muawiyah sharply with the greatest firmness amongst them was Abdurrahman ibn Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, while Abdullah ibn Umar ibn al-Khattab was the most soft spoken amongst them.
Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr and Abdullah ibn Umar were mid level Muslim commanders at the Battle of Yarmouk that took Syria. Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr's sister Asmā' bint Abu Bakr also fought in the Battle of Yarmouk and was opposed to Yazid. Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr had been one of the first to dual in that battle, after taking a sword to hand over to a Qays bin Hubayrah who had lost his sword, while in a duel with the Roman Army's best horseman. Two more Roman horsemen then came forward saying "We see no justice when two of you come against one of us." Abdur Rahman bin Abu Bakr replied "I only came to give my companion a sword and then return. Were 100 of you to come out against one of us we would not be worried. You are now three men. I am enough to take on all three of you". After which he took down the Roman horsemen on his own. After seeing this, Bannes the Roman general said "Caesar really knew these people best. I now know that a difficult situation is to come on you. If you do not attack them with great numbers, you will have no chance". Abdullah ibn Umar had also been a mid level commander in the Battle of Yarmouk. Some Roman soldiers went to the house of Abu al-Jaid a local Christian in az-Zurah and after eating all the food, raped his wife and killed his son. His wife complained to the Roman general and he ignored her. Abu al-Jaid then went to the Muslims and told them that he knew of the local area and if the Muslims exempt him and his descendents from taxes for ever he will help them defeat the Roman army. He then took horsemen led by Abdullah ibn Umar to the Roman camp at night and attacked them and then ran away. The Romans chased them and in the dark and tens of thousands of them fell down from a cliff at the an-Naqusah Creek into a river. Abdullah bin Az-Zubair had also been a commander in various battles including in North Africa and was also involved in the siege of Constantinople.
Muawiyah then delivered a sermon, having stood these five men below the pulpit in full view of the people after which the people pledged allegiance to Yazeed as they stood in silence without displaying their disagreement or opposition for fear of being humiliated. Saeed bin Uthman bin Affan, the son of Uthman also criticized Muawiyah for putting forward Yazeed.". They tolerated Muawiyah but did not like Yazeed.
The following year Muawiyah removed Marwan bin al Hakam from the position of Governor in Madina and appointed al-Waleed bin Utbah bin Abi Sufyan.
According to some sources Muawiyah warned his son Yazid against mistreating Hussein. His final warning to Yazid was: "As for Husayn what can I tell you concerning him? Be careful not to confront him except in a good way. Extend to him a free hand (literally, a long rope) and let him roam the earth as he pleases. Do not harm him, can show verbal anger but never confront him with the weapons of war but rather bestow on him generous gifts. Give him a place of honor near you and treat him with due reverence. Be careful O my son, that you do not meet God with his blood, lest you be amongst those that will perish"
Yazeed and Hussein knew each other well and had both been involved in the Siege of Constantinople. Many years later, after the events in Karbala when the governor of Kufa, Ibn Ziyad sent the head of Hussein to Yazeed. The Servant of Muawiya bin Abu Sufyan is reported to have said: "When Yazeed came with al-Husain's head and placed it in his hands, I saw Yazeed crying and he said: 'If there had been any relationship between Ibn Ziyad and al-Husain then he would not have done this (referring to Ibn Ziyad).'"
After Hussein was killed Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair expelled Yazids forces from Hijaz and the Kharijites got stronger in Iraq. Yazid died a few months later in young age and his son did not want to take part in a civil war against Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair and abdicated and later died.
After years of planning and scheming and making every one else fight, Marwan came to power in Syria and the Qurra (the Kharijites) established a state in Southern Iraq. The very thing Hassan signed a treaty with Muawiyah to avoid.
Now there were three camps, the Scholars in Madina, the Kharijites in Iraq and Umayyads in Syria.
In Sahih Al Bukhari the people still referred to the Kharijites by their old name Qurra and most Muslims resented these civil wars and felt that the Arabs had left the teachings of Muhammad and gone back to their old ways of fighting over wealth.
Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Number 228: Narrated by Abu Al-Minhal
When Ibn Ziyad and Marwan were in Sham and Ibn Az-zubair took over the authority in Mecca and Qurra' (the Kharijites) revolted in Basra, I went out with my father to Abu Barza Al-Aslami till we entered upon him in his house while he was sitting in the shade of a room built of cane. So we sat with him and my father started talking to him saying, "O Abu Barza! Don't you see in what dilemma the people has fallen?" The first thing heard him saying "I seek reward from Allah for myself because of being angry and scornful at the Quraish tribe. O you Arabs! You know very well that you were in misery and were few in number and misguided, and that Allah has brought you out of all that with Islam and with Muhammad till He brought you to this state (of prosperity and happiness) which you see now; and it is this worldly wealth and pleasures which has caused mischief to appear among you. The one who is in Sham (i.e., Marwan), by Allah, is not fighting except for the sake of worldly gain: and those who are among you, by Allah, are not fighting except for the sake of worldly gain; and that one who is in Mecca (i.e., Ibn Az-zubair) by Allah, is not fighting except for the sake of worldly gain."
Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair then sent his brother to Iraq to take on the Kharijites who were by then getting stronger. This depleted Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair forces and he was later defeated by the Syrians.
On his last hour he asked his mother Asmā' bint Abu Bakr what he should do. Asmā' bint Abu Bakr replied to her son, she said: "You know better in your own self that if you are upon the truth and you are calling towards the truth go forth for people more honourable than you were killed and have been killed and if you are not upon the truth, then what an evil son you are, you have destroyed yourself and those who are with you. If you say what you say, that if you are upon the truth and you will be killed at the hands of others then you will not truly be free, for this is not the statement of someone who is free".
Then Asmā' bint Abu Bakr said to her son, this is the statement of the mother to her son, "how long will you live in this world, death is more beloved to me than this state you are on/ this state of weakness".
Then this conversation between Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr and his mother continued.
Then Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr said to his mother after she had told him to go forth and fight.
He said, "I am afraid I will be mutilated by the people of Sham, I am afraid that they will cut up my body after they have killed me".
So she said to her son, "after someone has died it won't make any difference what they do to you if you have been killed". Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr then said to his mother, "I did not come to you except to increase myself in knowledge".
He said to her, "I did not come to you except to increase me in knowledge, look and pay attention to this day for verily I am a dead man, your son never drank wine, nor was he fornicator, nor did he wrong any Muslim or Non Muslim, nor was he unjust, I am not saying this to you to show off or show how pure I am but rather as an honour to you".
So then Abdullah Ibn Zubair left by himself on his horse and he was killed by the Army of Hajjaj and when he was killed by the Army of Hajjaj all the Army said “Allah hu Akhbar” and Abdullah Ibn Omer heard this and he said,” how strange is it that this man when he was born all of the Muslims said “Allah hu Akhbar” and now that he is killed everyone is also saying “Allah hu Akhbar”.
Asma refused to go and ask permission to put down her sons body and it was said to her, "if you don't go his body will remain like that. So she said let it be then".
Until eventually, Hajjaj came to her and said, "what do you say about this matter" and Asma was in her old age and blind by then. Asma said, "Verily you have destroyed him you have ruined his life and with that you have ruined your hereafter". Asma died a few days later.
Ibn Katheer says that Abdullah Ibn Umar resented the conduct of some of the Umayyad rulers and governors like Hajjaj. Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam who lived near that time, said in his book the first biography on Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz that Abdullah Ibn Omar's niece was married to one of Marwans son called Abdul Aziz who lived in Madina. Abdul Aziz lived in Madina and had not become an Umayyad ruler, but he had a young son called Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz. Abdullah ibn Umar kept Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz with him for his education when Abdul Aziz and his wife moved to Egypt. Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was educated in Madina. The scholars in Madina including Abdullah Ibn Umar and Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr who was jafar Sadiqs grandfather and Abu Bakr's grandson felt that they could use Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz to peacefully reform the Umayyad rule.
Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam (died 214 AH) wrote that many years earlier: "During the time of Umar Ibn al Khattab the (second Caliph) he prohibit the sale of milk mixed with water. One night, he came out for some need at the outskirts of Madinah. Suddenly, he heard the voice of a woman. She was telling her daughter, "Daughter, you have not yet mixed water in the milk. It is nearly dawn. " The daughter said, "How can I mix water in the milk? Amir ul Muminin has prohibited it". The mother said, "Other people also mix it. You also mix it. How does Amir ul Muminin know?" The daughter replied. "If Umar does not know, then the creator of Umar knows. Once he has prohibited it, then I cannot do it."
Umar was greatly pleased with this conversation. When morning came, he called his son Asim and narrated the incident that took place at night. He then said, "Go and find out who that girl is". Asim went. He made enquiries and found out that the girl was from the tribe of Banu Hilal. He returned and informed Umar. He said to Asim "Son, go and get married to her. Definitely, she is worthy of bearing a horseman who will lead the entire Arabia."
Consequently Asim married her and a daughter Umm e Asim bint Asim Ibn Umar Ibn al Khattab was born from her. Umm e Asim got married to Adbul Aziz bint Marwan bin al Hakam. Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was born from her.
After his education, Raja bin Haiwah who was also a scholar and an advisor to some of the Umayyad rulers took Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz to Syria. Raja bin Haiwah also worked closely with the scholars in Madina. Ibn Katheer wrote in his book the Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah that during the time of Abdul Malik, Raja bin Haiwah also managed the finances for the construction of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, that stands to this day.
Ibn Katheer wrote that even the Umayyad ruler Al-Waleed bin Abdul Malik would write to Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz in Madina for advice on legal matter. Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz would then convene a meeting with the jurists in Madina and they would all decide on the reply.
Later the future Umayyad ruler Sulaiman would also consult Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz. Hajjaj opposed Sulaiman from becoming Caliph, even through his father had wrote in his will that after his brother Al-Waleed bin Abdul Malik, Sulaiman would be Caliph. So Sulaiman became even closer to Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz who also opposed Hajjaj.
When Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz was made the governor of Madina, he asked the Khalifah that he wished to be excused from Hajjaj coming to Madinah. After which, Hajjaj was prevented from going to Madina.
According to Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam from Madina (died 214 AH 829 C.E) Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz then said to the ruler Walid Ibn Abdul Malik "After ascribing partners to Allah, there is no greater sin than spilling blood. Your governors are unjustifiably killing people and they only write the crime of the killed person (murder) to inform you. You will be answerable for this and you will be held accountable (by God). Therefore, write to your governors telling them that no one should be punished by death, but they should write of the crime to you. There should be witnesses to it, then you should decide on that punishment to be meted out after great thought and deliberation" Walid said "O Abu Hafs (He called Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz, Abu Hafs), May Allah grant you blessings in your life and delay your demise. Bring the pen and paper." Walid then wrote this command to all the governors. Besides Hajjaj, no one found it difficult. It weighed heavily on him and he became very agitated. He thought that no one else besides him got this command. He investigated and found that he was wrong. He said "Where did this calamity come from? Who told this to Walid?" he was told that 'Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz was responsible for this. When he heard this he said, "Oh, if the one who gave this consultation is Umar, then it is not permissible to reject it".
The ruler Sulayman Ibn Abdul Malik said to Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz "Look how many people gather during the Hajj season." He replied "Amir ul Mu minin, all of them are your plaintiffs" (They will complain about you in the court of Allah on the Day of judgment)
According to Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam who lived near that time and later Ibn Katheer said that Ibn Jareer said that, Raja bin Haiwah (who was also a scholar) the minister of marriage, for the Umayyad ruler Sulaiman said that when Sulaiman was on his death bed, I told him "Indeed amongst the things that preserves the caliph in his grave is his appointment of a righteous man over the muslims." So he wrote a letter appointing the scholar from Madina, Umar bin Abdul Azeez. To allow the Umayyads to accept this, Raja then advised him to make his brother Yazeed bin Adbul Malik the successor after Umar bin Abdul Azeez. Umar bin Abdul Azeez was a grand son of Omar, the second Caliph from his mothers side. After his appointment he set up a committee of the jurist in Madina headed by Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr and it included Urwah ibn Zubayr, Ubaidullah bin Abdullah bin Utbah, Abu Bakr bin Abdur-Rahman bin al-Harith bin Hisham, Abu Bakr bin Sulaiman bin Abu Hathmah, Sulaiman bin Yasar, Salim bin Abdullah, Abdullah bin Amir bin Rabee'ah and Kharijah bin Zaid bin Thabit, in Madina to advise on legal matters. The work of Malik ibn Anas and successive jurists is also based on the work of this early committee in Madina. Malik ibn Anas also refers to these Fuqaha' of Madina. Madina at the time had the largest number of Muhammad's companions therefore no one could lie about what Muhammad had said, while in Madina during that period. After becoming the Khalif, Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz worked very closely with the scholars in Madina to make the laws in line with the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad's. He also reduced the allowances of the Umayyad family members. Which they deeply resented.
When Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz reduced the allowances of the Umayyad family members. They sent some one to him to ask for more. When Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz refused, the man said to them "O Banu Umayyah, you should rebuke yourself. You got up and married a person of your family to the grand daughter of Umar. He wrapped Umar in a cloth and presented him to you. You should therefore rebuke yourself".
Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz also started peace talks with the Kharijites. He then reduced the taxes for the Muslims. He sacked oppressive governors and replaced them. His policies made him very popular with the population but not so popular with the Umayyads. The reduction in the taxes also reduced further expeditions and the expansion of the state. But lower taxes and better justice allowed the economy to expand. The tax collector Yahya Ibn Sa'id complained that after collecting the taxes, he could not find people willing to take the charity from the welfare state
Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam (died 214 AH) writes that Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz then stopped the allowance of the Banu Umayyah, stopped giving them land and made them the same as every one else. And they complained bitterly. So Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz said to them "By Allah, I want that no impermissible decision should remain on the earth that I will not finish off." 
According to Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam who lived near that time and later Ibn Katheer, Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was soon killed, but when the future rulers tried to reverse his policies, the population started to rebel.
With the death of Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz the scholars in Madina got very upset. But in the short time Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz was in power the changes he made, had a long lasting effect in the minds of the people. An associate of Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz, Zayd ibn Ali the grandson of Husayns was also very upset. Zayd ibn Ali then started receiving letters from Kufa asking him to come to Kufa. In 740, Abu Hanifah supported his friend Zayd ibn Ali against an Umayyad ruler but asked his friend not to go to Kufa. Abu Hanifah, Malik ibn Anas and Zayd ibn Ali's family advised Zayd ibn Ali not to go to Kufa feared that Zayd ibn Ali would get betrayed in Kufa. But Zayd ibn Ali felt that he needed to oppose the Umayyads by force. Zaydis believe that on his arrival in Kufa, on the last hour of Zayd ibn Ali, the people in Kufa asked him: "May God have mercy on you! What do you have to say on the matter of Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab?" Zayd ibn Ali said, "I have not heard anyone in my family renouncing them both nor saying anything but good about them...when they were entrusted with government they behaved justly with the people and acted according to the Qur'an and the Sunnah.".
After which they withdrew their support  and Zayd ibn Ali fought bravely against the Umayyad army but was killed. The Scholars kept up the pressure on the Umayyads and as the Umayyads tried to re-impose the taxes abolished by Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz, the population also got more rebellious.
Later the Abbasids came to power and they tried to change the laws so that they could be above the law, in 767 Abu Hanifah died in prison when he refused to support the Abbasid ruler Al-Mansur and Malik ibn Anas was flogged. But then the Abbasids backed off and allowed the laws of Madina to be implemented again and the book Muwatta Imam Malik of Malik ibn Anas based on the laws based on the Quran and the example of Muhammad and based on the work of the committee of the main jurist in Madina headed by Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, who was jafar Sadiq's grandfather and Abu Bakr's grandson were again implemented.
Later the Abbasids tried to impose the mutazilite philosophy so that they could change the laws, so that they could present them selves as being above the law. Imam Ahmed Hanbal confronted a ruler and was tortured and sent to an unlit Baghdad prison cell for nearly thirty months.
In 767 Abu Hanifah had died in prison when he refused to support the Abbasid ruler Al-Mansur but later the mutazilite philosophy failed and the Hanifi jurisprudence was implemented. Since Imam Abu Hanifa studied and took knowledge from both Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq and Zayd ibn Ali and Abu Hanifa, the Zaidi's and Hanafis used the Ja'fari jurisprudence. In terms of law, the modern Zaidi school is quite similar to the Hanafi school
These scholars also laid the foundations of Science in the medieval Islamic world and some scientists and Mathematicians on the List of Muslim scientists were taught by these scholars, they then taught other scholars. Islam discourages the belief in superstition. Hence these scholars felt that humans could truly appreciate God magnificence, by studying Gods creation.
Quran 45:3 "Indeed, within the heavens and earth are signs for the believers."
For them Islam and science were linked The students of these scholars also preserved and translated the Greek and Latin manuscripts during the Dark Ages in Europe. They were also instrumental in the making of the European Renaissance Many of the early advances in astronomy were made because the Muslims relied on the Sun, the Moon and the stars for the times to pray, and the time of Ramadan and the direction to the Mecca, for the direction to pray and for navigation in the desert and the sea.
All the Muslims follow the Quran and the example of Muhammad. The differences between the denominations in Islam are primarily political. The Sunnis give more importance to the Quran and the books containing the hadith, examples of Muhammad, but since all the early scholars and all the four caliphs worked together, the Sunnis accept all the first four caliphs, as they were elected by the community. They also accept all the early imams (scholars) for their knowledge. While the Shias who constitute around 10-20% of the Muslims are more hereditary and only accept Ali the fourth caliph, accept Hassan and only accept certain male descendent of Ali through his son Hussein as imams. But different branches of Shia accept different brothers.
Some of the elite in the old empires of the Middle East felt discontented with the passage of their empires and did not like the Arab Caliphs, their ideas eventually found their way into the religious differences. During the Abbasid period, many history books were also written as a reference for future generations, recording everything people were saying about the early history of Islam. They were not subject to the same level of authenticity checks. In many cases the preislamic customs of the populations that converted to Islam were also absorbed into their rituals. This also amplified the differences. During the Arab-Byzantine Wars the Byzantines benefited when there were political disagreements between the Muslims and used the time to establishment of the themata. Some of the ideas of the kharijites who were initially very extreme in their support of Ali's caliphate, but later killed Ali when he made peace with Mu'awiyah also lived on.
After witnessing what happens due to the lust for wealth and power, others like Hasan of Basra advocated piety and the condemnation of worldliness which later influenced the development of the Sufis. It was further developed by Al-Ghazali.
Contemporaries' opinions of Zayd ibn Ali
Zayd was a revered and respected member of the Ahl ul Bayt, the family bloodline of the prophet Muhammad. Scholars, Saints, Sufis and Imams alike, all spoke of him in respectable terms.
When describing Zayd, Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq said: "Among us he was the best read in the Holy Qur'an, and the most knowledgeable about religion, and the most caring towards family and relatives." Hence his title "Ally of the Quran" (Halef Al-Quran)
Imam Ali ar-Ridha spoke of him respectfully:
|“||..he (Zayd bin Ali) was one of the scholars from the Household of Muhammad and got angry for the sake of the Honorable the Exalted God. He fought with the enemies of God until he got killed in His path. My father Musa ibn Ja'far narrated that he had heard his father Ja'far ibn Muhammad say, "May God bless my uncle Zayd...He consulted with me about his uprising and I told him, "O my uncle! Do this if you are pleased with being killed and your corpse being hung up from the gallows in the al-Konasa neighborhood." After Zayd left, As-Sadiq said, "Woe be to those who hear his call but do not help him!".||”|
Imam Jafar Sadiq's love for his uncle Zayd ibn Ali was immense. Upon receiving and reading the letter of Zayd ibn Ali's death he broke down and cried uncontrollably, and proclaimed aloud:
|“||From God we are and to Him is our return. I ask God for my reward in this calamity. He was a really good uncle. My uncle was a man for our world and for our Hereafter. I swear by God that my uncle is a martyr just like the martyrs who fought along with God’s Prophet (s) or Ali (s) or Al-Hassan (s) or Al-Hussein(s)||”|
The Sufi scholar, Mujtahid and mystic, Sufyan al-Thawri respected Imam Zayd's knowledge and character, saying "Zayd took the place of Imam Al-Hussain. He was the most versed human concerning Allah’s holy book. I affirm: women have not given birth to the likes of Zayd..."
The famous ascetic Caliph Umar ibn Abdul Aziz was the then Governor of Madinah during the reign of al-Walid and Suleiman and was also an associate of Zayd ibn Ali. Zayd continued to correspond and advise him when he became khalifah.
It is worth mentioning that he is also the first narrator of the famous as-Sahifah as-Sajjãdiyya of Imam Zainul 'Abidin.
Several works of hadith, theology, and Qur'anic exegesis are attributed to him. The first work of Islamic jurisprudence Mujmu'-al-Fiqh is attributed to him. The only surviving hand-written manuscript of this work dating back to at least a thousand years is preserved in the pope's library, Bibliotheca Vaticana in Vatican City under "Vaticani arabi". Photocopies of this rare work are available in several libraries including the Library of the University of Birmingham, UK. In 2007, Sayyid Nafis Shah al-Husayni obtained a copy of this work and re-issued it from Lahore.
He was an excellent orator and spent much of his life learning and educating others. It is said of his brother Imam Muhammad al-Baqir wanted to test his brother on the Quranic knowledge, asking him various questions for which he received answers beyond his expectation, causing to him to remark, "For our father and mother’s life! You are one of a kind. God grace your mother who gave you birth, she gave birth to a replica of your forefathers!"
Hadith Prophesising his Death
The prophet Muhammad prophesied his death, as narrated by Imam Husayn:
|“||"The Holy Prophet put his sacred hand on my back and said: 'O Husayn, it will not be long until a man will be born among your descendants. He will be called Zaid; he will be killed as a martyr. On the day of resurrection, he and his companions will enter heaven, setting their feet on the necks of the people.'"||”|
—Syed Imam al Husayn
Historians of both Shi'is and Sunnis recorded that when Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik became the caliph, he committed many atrocities. With regard to the Bani Hashim, he was particularly cruel. At last, Zayd ibn ‘Ali, well known as a great scholar and a pious theologian, went to see the caliph to seek redress for the grievances of the Bani Hashim. As soon as Zaid arrived, the caliph, instead of greeting him as a direct descendant of the prophet, abused him with such abominable language that it can not be repeated. Because of this disgraceful treatment, Zayd left Syria for Kufa, where he raised an army against the Bani Umayyad. The governor of Kufa, Yusuf ibn 'Umar al-Thaqafi came out with a huge army to face him. Zayd recited the following war poem: "Disgraceful life and honourable death: both are bitter morsels, but if one of them must be chosen, my choice is honourable death."
Although he fought bravely, Zayd was killed in battle on the 2nd of Safar in 120 or 122 A.H. (740 A.D.) at the age of forty-two by Yusuf ibn 'Amr ath-Thaqafi (the Umayyad governor). His son, Yahya, took his body from the field and buried him away from the city near the river bank, causing the water to flow over it. However, the grave was discovered and, under Yusuf's orders, the body was exhumed, Zayd's head was cut off and sent to Hisham in Syria. In the month of Safar, 121 A.H., Hisham had the sacred body of this descendant of the Prophet placed on the gallows entirely naked. For four years the sacred body remained on the gallows. Thereafter, when Walid Ibn Yazid ibn Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan became caliph in 126 A.H., he ordered that the skeleton be taken down from the gallows, burnt, and the ashes scattered to the wind.
The same man committed a similar atrocity to the body of Yahya ibn Zayd of Jowzjan, who was martyred and buried in Jowzjan of Afghanistan. Jowzjan or Jozjan or Jawzjan (Persian: جوزجان) is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, located in the north of the country bordering neighboring Turkmenistan. This noble man also opposed the oppression of the Bani Umayyad. He too was martyred on the battlefield. His sacred head was sent to Damascus and, as in the case of his revered father, his body was hung on the gallows - for six years. Friend and foe alike wept at the sight. Wali al-din Abu Muslim al-Khurasani, who had risen against the Bani Umayyad on behalf of Bani 'Abbas, took his body down and buried it where his holy shrine is located, in Jowzjan Province of Afghanistan (not Gurgan of Iran).
When a survivor of the initial battle of Zayn bin Ali came to Medina to report the death to his nephew, the Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq he reported the devastation of the Imam upon hearing the news:
|“||I went to see Imam As-Sadiq there. I thought I should not tell him about Zayd getting killed since the Imam might get upset. When I saw the Imam, he said, "What did my uncle Zayd do?" I got so upset I could hardly talk. I said, "They killed him." He said, "Did they kill him?"I said, "Yes. By God, they killed him." He (s) asked, "Did they hang his corpse on the gallows?" I said, "Yes. By God, they hung his corpse on the gallows."
The Imam started to cry and his tears were flowing down his face like pearls. Then the Imam said, "O Fudhayl! Were you present there in the battle with the people of Syria along with my uncle?" I said, "Yes." The Imam asked, "How many people did you kill?" I said, "Six of them." The Imam said, "Did you have any doubts about shedding their blood?" I said, "No, I would not have killed them if I had had any doubts." Then I heard the Imam say, "O God! Please give me a share of the reward for this battle! I swear by God that my uncle and his companions were martyrs just like Ali ibn Abi Talib and his companions!"
There are two shrines for Zayd, One is in Kufa, Iraq, the other is in Karak, Jordan. The shrine in Jordan is believed to be the final resting place of the head of Zayd ibn ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn.
All schools of Islam Sunnis and Shias, regard Zayd Ibn Ali as a righteous martyr (Shaheed) against what was regarded as the corrupt leadership of an unjust Caliph. It is even reported that Mujtahid Imam Abu Hanifa, founder of the largest school of Sunni jurisprudence, gave financial support to Zayd's revolt and called on others to join Zayd's rebellion. Zayd's rebellion inspired other revolts by members of his clan, especially in the Hejaz, the most famous among these being the revolt of Imam Muhammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyya al-Mahdi against the Abbasids in 762.
- Turkish Wikipedia "Hasan bin Zeyd’ûl-Alevî" (Turkish)
- Yahya ibn Zayd-
- Yahya ibn Umar- lead an abortive uprising from Kufa in 250 A.H. (864-65 C.E.)
Early Islam scholars
|Early Islamic scholars|
- Zaidi Revolt
- Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik
- Yahya ibn Umar
- Husayn ibn Ali
- Zaidi (surname)
- Dukayniyya Shia
- Khalafiyya Shia
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- Alsayd Ibrahim Aldarsee Alhamzee, Preface of Musnad Al-Imam Zaid bin Ali, Referencing:Biography of Imam Zaid bin Ali
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- Islamic Conquest of Syria A translation of Fatuhusham by al-Imam al-Waqidi Translated by Mawlana Sulayman al-Kindi Page 352-353 
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- Islamic Conquest of Syria. A translation of Fatuhusham by al-Imam al-Waqidi Translated by Mawlana Sulayman al-Kindi Page 358 
- Islamic Conquest of Syria A translation of Fatuhusham by al-Imam al-Waqidi Translated by Mawlana Sulayman al-Kindi Page 359 
- The Caliphate of Banu Umayyah the first Phase, Ibn Katheer, Taken from Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah by Ibn Katheer, Ismail Ibn Omar 775 ISBN 978-603-500-080-2 Translated by Yoosuf Al-Hajj Ahmad Page 83
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- The Caliphate of Banu Umayyah the first Phase, Ibn Katheer, Taken from Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah by Ibn Katheer, Ismail Ibn Omar 775 ISBN 978-603-500-080-2 Translated by Yoosuf Al-Hajj Ahmad Page 152
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- The Caliphate of Banu Umayyah the first Phase, Ibn Katheer, Taken from Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah by Ibn Katheer, Ismail Ibn Omar 775 ISBN 978-603-500-080-2 Translated by Yoosuf Al-Hajj Ahmad Page 265
- The Caliphate of Banu Umayyah the first Phase, Ibn Katheer, Taken from Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah by Ibn Katheer, Ismail Ibn Omar 775 ISBN 978-603-500-080-2 Translated by Yoosuf Al-Hajj Ahmad Page 414
- Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz By Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam died 214 AH 829 C.E. Publisher Zam Zam Publishers Karachi Page 46
- Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz By Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam died 214 AH 829 C.E. Publisher Zam Zam Publishers Karachi Page 203-204
- Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz By Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam died 214 AH 829 C.E. Publisher Zam Zam Publishers Karachi Page 225
- The Caliphate of Banu Umayyah the first Phase, Ibn Katheer, Taken from Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah by Ibn Katheer, Ismail Ibn Omar 775 ISBN 978-603-500-080-2 Translated by Yoosuf Al-Hajj Ahmad Page 505
- Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz By Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam died 214 AH 829 C.E. Publisher Zam Zam Publishers Karachi Page 54-59
- The Caliphate of Banu Umayyah the first Phase, Ibn Katheer, Taken from Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah by Ibn Katheer, Ismail Ibn Omar 775 ISBN 978-603-500-080-2 Translated by Yoosuf Al-Hajj Ahmad Page 522
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- Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz By Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam died 214 AH 829 C.E. Publisher Zam Zam Publishers Karachi Page 171
- Umar Ibn Adbul Aziz By Imam Abu Muhammad Adbullah ibn Abdul Hakam died 214 AH 829 C.E. Publisher Zam Zam Publishers Karachi Page 221
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- Article by Sayyid 'Ali ibn 'Ali Al-Zaidi, A short History of the Yemenite Shi‘ites (2005) Referencing: Religion & Faith
- UYUN AKHBAR AL-REZA -The Source of Traditions on Imam Reza Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Hussein ibn Musa ibn Babawayh al-Qummi (Sheikh Sadooq), p466
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- Hidayat al-Raghibeen
- Amali al-Murshid bi-Illah al-Ithnyniyah
- Narrated by Imam Abu Taleb in al-Amali, p 77 on the authority of Abu Hashem al-Rummani. This was also narrated by Imam al-Mansur billah ‘Abdullah ibn Hamzah in al-‘Aqd al-Thamin
- Article by Sayyid 'Ali ibn 'Ali Al-Zaidi, A short History of the Yemenite Shi‘ites (2005) Referencing: Peshawar Nights by Sultanu'l-Wa'izin Shirazi
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- ulama, bewley.virtualave.net
- 1.Proof & Historiography - The Islamic Evidence. theislamicevidence.webs.com
- Atlas Al-sīrah Al-Nabawīyah. Darussalam, 2004. Pg 270
- Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz by Imam Abu Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Hakam died 829