There were few poor families in Madinah Munawwarah. Arrangements for their food would be done within the night time and the provider was unknown to everyone. Time went by and around hundred families in Madinah kept receiving necessary provisions of life through unknown hands. Then a great personality passed away, and the supply of provisions to those destitute people of Madinah also stopped. At that time, this fact was revealed that the great noble personality performing this hidden Sadaqah [charity] was the distinguished ancestor of the Husayni Sadaat, beloved son of the grandson of Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, Sayyiduna Imam Zayn-ul-‘Aabideen ‘Ali Awsat رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ. (Hilya-tul-Awliya, vol. 3, pp. 160)
Birth and blessed name
He رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was born in 38 Hijri in Madinah Munawwarah. He was named ‘Ali’; and due to his abundance of worship, he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ became famous with the titles of Sajjad and Zayn-ul-‘Aabideen (i.e. beauty of the worshippers). His patronymic name is ‘Abul Hasan’. (Al-A’laam, vol. 4, pp. 277)
He رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ remained in the upbringing of his beloved grandfather, Sayyiduna Maula Mushkil Kusha, ‘Ali-ul-Murtada کَـرَّمَ الـلّٰـهُ تَـعَـالٰی وَجۡـھَـهُ الۡـکَـرِیۡم, for two years. For ten years, he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was looked after by his paternal uncle, Sayyiduna Imam Hasan Mujtaba رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ. Then for approximately eleven years, he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ attained the ranks of wisdom and Ma’rifah [spirituality] under the supervision of his blessed father, Sayyiduna Imam Husayn رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ.
(Sharh Shajarah Qadiriyyah, pp. 52)
Manners and habits
He رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ would highly venerate Khulafa-e-Rashideen (first 4 rightly-guided caliphs) رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُم and had a deep passion for the religious knowledge. He رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ would refrain from doubtful things. Among his habits were treating relatives kindly, generosity and giving hidden Sadaqah [charity]. (Seer A’laam-un-Nubula, vol. 5, pp. 333 to 340)
Fear of Allah
Sayyiduna Imam Zayn-ul-‘Aabideen رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ possessed very high level of Taqwa [piety] and fear of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. When he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ would perform Wudu [ablution], his face would turn pale due to the fear of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. His household asked him, ‘Why does this state overcome you during Wudu [ablution]?’ He رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ replied: ‘Do you know Whom I am going to stand in front of?’ (Ihya-ul-‘Uloom-id-Deen, vol. 4, pp. 227)
Forgiveness and tolerance
Once, his slave-girl was making him do Wudu [ablution]. Meanwhile, the pot dropped from her hand and fell on the face of Sayyiduna Imam Zayn-ul-‘Aabideen رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ, due to which, the blessed face got injured. As soon as he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ raised his head and looked at her, she recited an Ayah of the Holy Quran based on the virtue of forgiveness and tolerance. Upon hearing that Ayah, he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ not only forgave her, but also said to her that ‘Go! You are free for the sake of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ’. (Tareekh Ibn ‘Asakir, vol. 41, pp. 387)
Field of Karbala
He رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was among the Husayni caravan that left for the field of Karbala, but was ill. That’s why the Yazidi army abstained from martyring him. The lineage of Husayni Sadaat continued from him. (Tareekh-ul-Islam liz-Zahabi, vol. 6, pp. 432) A lot of Tabi’een acquired [Islamic] knowledge from him and narrated blessed Ahadees.
Demise and shrine
He رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ departed from this mortal world on 14th Rabi’-ul-Awwal 94 Hijri at the age of 56. His blessed shrine is in Jannat-ul-Baqi’. (Seer A’laam-un-Nubula, vol. 5, pp. 341)
May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ have mercy on him and forgive us without accountability for his sake!
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صلَّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم
Sayyid-e-Sajjad kay sadaqay mayn saajid rakh mujhay
‘Ilm-e-Haq day Baaqir-e-‘ilm-e-huda kay wasitay