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Imam Sajjad and the old man who wasn’t aware of the Ahl al-Bayt
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 It has been narrated that after the event of Karbala, when the captives were taken into Syria, an old man came close to the caravan and said: I thank God that he destroyed and killed you, and he made the cities safe from your men and he gave Yazid victory over you! Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn (a,s) said to the old man: Oh old man, have you read the Quran? The man replied: Yes! The Imam (a,s) then said: Have you read the verse that says:

“Say, [O Muhammad], ‘I do not ask you any reward for this message except the love of [my] relatives.”[1]

The old man said: Yes, I have read this verse. The Imam (a,s) then said: We are the Qurba (relaties of the prophet), oh shaykh. Then he said: Have you read the verse:

“Know that whatever thing you may come by, a fifth of it is for Allah and the Apostle, for the relatives…”[2]

The old man said: Yes, I have read this verse. The Imam (Ýa) said: Oh old man, we are the Qurba that has been mentioned in this verse.

The Imam (as) again asked: Have you read this verse:

“…Indeed Allah desires to repel all impurity from you, O People of the Household, and purify you with a thorough purification.”[3]

The old man said: Yes, I have also read this verse. Imam Sajjad (as) said: We are the Ahl al-Bayt (people of the household) whom God has revealed this verse for… When the old man heard these words, he became silent and regretful over what he had said. He loudly yelled out: I swear by God that you are this (worthy group from the family of the Prophet (pbuh).
The Imam (a,s) confirmed his words and said: I swear by God that without any doubt, we are the purified Ahl al-Bayt. I swear by the right of our grandfather, the Prophet of God (pbuh), that we are these people. The old man began to cry, and pulling off his turban, he looked up at the sky and said: Oh Lord, I am averse to the enemies of the family of Muhammad (pbuh), from within humankind and the Jinn. He then turned to the Imam (a,s) and said: Is there any way open for my repentance? The Imam (a,s) told him:
Yes, if you repent, God will forgive you and he will accept your repentance and you will be counted as amongst our friends. The old man repented, but word of what had taken place reached Yazid and he ordered that the man be executed for what he had done.[4]

When the people of Syria had first converted to Islam, they had only known the Islam of the Umayyad family. The first governor of Syria had been Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan ; the next governor had been Yazid ibn Abu Sufyan.[5] Muawiyah did his utmost during his forty years of rule to keep the people away from the true reality of Islam and he only gave the people what he wished from the religion. He gave himself titles such as Khal al-Muminin and Katib al-Wahi, and he had made Yazid his successor to the throne. Therefore, it isn’t that strange that the old Syrian man would believe such things about the Imam (a,s) and his family. In spite of this, after the truth was shown to him by Imam Sajjad (as), the old man selected the true path and he was martyred due to his stance.

When the people of Syria had first converted to Islam, they had only known the Islam of the Umayyad family. The first governor of Syria had been Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan ; the next governor had been Yazid ibn Abu Sufyan.[5] Muawiyah did his utmost during his forty years of rule to keep the people away from the true reality of Islam and he only gave the people what he wished from the religion. He gave himself titles such as Khal al-Muminin and Katib al-Wahi, and he had made Yazid his successor to the throne. Therefore, it isn’t that strange that the old Syrian man would believe such things about the Imam (a,s) and his family. In spite of this, after the truth was shown to him by Imam Sajjad (as), the old man selected the true path and he was martyred due to his stance.[6]
 

[1] Surah ShÙrÁ, verse 23: (قُلْ لاَ أَسْئَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ اَجْراً إِلاَّ الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبى)
[2] Surah AnfÁl, verse 41: (وَ اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُمْ مِنْ شَيء فَأَنَّ للهِِ خُمُسَهُ وَ لِلرَّسُولِ وَ لِذِى الْقُرْبى)
[3] Surah AÎzÁb, verse 33: (إِنَّمَا يُريدُ اللهَ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَ يُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهيراً)
[4] BihÁr al-anwÁr, vol. 45, p. 129. This has also been narrated in MalhÙf (LuhÙf), p. 211-212 and IhtijÁj, vol. 2, p. 120-122 with some slight differences.
[5] Refer to: TÁrikh al-Tabari, vol. 2, p. 591 and onwards (in section on the events of the 13th year).
[6] Taken from the text: ÀshÙrÁ, RishehÁ, RuidÁdhÁ, PayÁmadhÁ, by SaÝid DÁwÙdi and Mahdi Rustam NezhÁd (compiled under the guidance of Ayatullah NÁsir MakÁrim ShirÁzi), p. 591.

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الإخْوانُ في اللّهِ تعالى تَدُومُ مَودّتُهُم، لِدَوامِ سَبَبِها.
Brothers [whose brotherhood is] for the sake of Allah, enjoy an enduring Amity, due to the firmness of its foundation