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Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky’s Speech on Martyrs Day- Part 1

25th Rajab-1443 A.H (26-02-2022 )
I take refuge in Allah, the All-Hearing, the Most Knowledgeable, from the accursed Satan.

In Allah’s name, the Beneficent, the Merciful. May Allah’s Praise be upon our Master and Prophet, our hearts’ beloved and the intercessor for our sins, Abul-Qasim Mustapha Muhammad along with his good, pure and infallible family (members), especially Allah’s remnant in his world, the Master of the Time, may our souls be held ransom for him.

Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah
It has been our tradition, on the date of martyrdom of Imam (Musa) al-Kazim, the 25th of Rajab, to commemorate our martyrs. Well, I know that on (many) such occasions, I have spoken at length on different things, such as the martyrdom of Imam al-Kazim which is commemorated on this date, the martyrdom of our Shuhada (martyrs) in different incidents, and then I round off with some words of advice to people from different angles.

This is what I intend to do briefly on this occasion too, and for those who need (them), recordings of past speeches are still available. If one searches (for them), the speeches can be found and similar talks on the subject can be accessed, as they’re the similar, with no (major) changes.

First is regarding the Shahaadah (martyrdom) of Imam al-Kazim (A.S), which occurred on a day like today, the 25th of Rajab. We chose the date of Imam Kazim’s martyrdom because he is an icon that exemplifies the fact that a Shaheed (martyr) commits no wrongdoing to those who murder him, other than saying (maintaining) that his Lord is Allah (S.W.T).

Imam Kazim didn’t pick up a sword, or even a stick. He only remained steadfast in his worship (of Allah), yet, he was killed in the end on (the path of) his religion.
At first, word was sent to the ‘Caliph’ of that time, Harun, to whom was ascribed the title ‘Rasheed’ by some people, that people have been pledging allegiance to Imam Kazim as the (rightful) leader and Caliph. For that reason, Harun left Baghdad and set off for Madeenah.

When he arrived, Harun went along with the Imam to the grave of the Holy Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.A) for a visit. Harun approached the grave first and saluted the Prophet (S.A.W.A) by saying: ‘Assalaamu Alaika Yabna Ammi, ya Rasulallah.’ (Peace be upon you, o son of my uncle (cousin), o Prophet of Allah).

As for Imam Kazim, after Harun was done, he (A.S) went forth and said: ‘Assalaamu Alaika Ya Abati, Ya Rasulallah.’ (Peace be upon you, o my father, o Prophet of Allah).
Harun regarded him, ‘Why call him your father? He’s your cousin, because we all are descendants of Abdulmuttalib. We, children of Abbas, and you, children of Abu Talib. So you see, the Prophet of Allah is our cousin!’
So he (Imam al-Kazim) responded, ‘If the prophet were to come back to this world and seek for your daughter’s hand in marriage, would you give him?’

Harun replied, ‘Of course!’
Imam then asked, ‘Do you think he can ask for my daughter’s hand in marriage?’
The Imam’s answer silenced Harun and he got angry, because he knew that the Imam was an offspring of Fatima az-Zahra (S.A) (daughter of the Prophet), and one’s descendent from either a male or female child may not be sought in marriage. The way a person’s daughter is prohibited for him, likewise his daughter’s daughter or a daughter’s grand-daughter, until the end of times.

You understand, right? No matter the length in the channel of the offspring, it isn’t possible for one to marry his descendant, as she’s his daughter. Likewise, any male who descends from a person’s offspring is his son!
Instead of Harun to acknowledge that Imam Kazim (A.S) was telling the truth, as the Holy Prophet is the Imam’s father, but not Harun’s, he became angry and ordered that the Imam be captured and taken away from the city of Madeenah.

People set their eyes on where he would be taken, so he sent a caravan on the path to Baghdad which later changed its course to Basra (to mislead the people), with a directive to the governor of Basra that the Imam should be killed.

However, the governor (of Basra) did not execute the order. Instead, he wrote to Harun that he had observed this man sent to him (Imam al-Kazim), and found out that he only preoccupied himself with worshipping (Allah) and praying fervently, pleading for forgiveness for himself and the believers, never once praying against Harun or his (Imam Kazim’s) enemies. Hence, the governor expressed his view that the Imam shouldn’t be killed. Harun responded that he didn’t send the Imam to the governor for his life to be preserved but for it to be terminated.

I have delivered lengthy speeches on this subject in several programs organized to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Kazim, especially at our Yaumush-Shuhada programs, which are usually observed on Saturdays or Sundays (on days of the weekend), to accommodate people and encourage their participation on days that they don’t have to work.

Whenever the 25th of Rajab fell on a Saturday or Sunday, we used it for our Yaumush-Shuhada program, else, we shifted the program to a Saturday or Sunday during the month whenever the date fell on another day such as Tuesday or Wednesday, while having a special session between Monday to Friday to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Kazim, where lengthy details are discussed.

As I mentioned earlier, since the records are preserved, one can access the lengthy details (of the circumstances surrounding the Imam’s martyrdom).
The Imam was then sent to Baghdad where he was passed through different hands who dodged the execution of the order (to kill him). In the end, he was handed over to a Jew and he was put in what we can call a cell or a prison, a dark underground cell. It was reported that one of his followers sought to see him, and he went and met him in a narrow room where a grave was already dug out for him!

This follower of his began shedding tears and the Imam asked him why the tears? The Imam’s disciple responded that it was due to the condition he found him, to which he responded that evil doesn’t befall a believer; everything that befalls him is good. The disciple asked the Imam when they’d see him (freely) and the Imam responded, ‘Next Friday.’
‘Where?’ the disciple asked.
‘At the mosque, in sha Allah,’ came the Imam’s reply.

This disciple, on his return, gave glad tidings to the other followers and asked them to prepare for the Imam’s return on Friday, by the Grace of Allah. They wore white clothes and joyfully thronged to the mosque. After prayers, a coffin was brought into the mosque, containing a body which was said to be of someone who was not known. When they (the Imam’s disciples) checked (the coffin), they discovered that it was the (body of) Imam (A.S).

It was even reported that there was a Jew who spoke up, ‘Doesn’t this man have relatives? His body shows signs of being poisoned, because his skin had turned green!’
The Imam had fasted and the Jew (who was given the contract of killing him), brought some ‘Rutab’ fresh dates to him, telling him that the Caliph had sent him the dates specifically. They used to wrongfully ascribe the title ‘Ameer-al-Mu’mineen’ to the tyrannical rulers, while anybody who is addressed with that title, apart from Ali ibn Abi Tali, is ‘Manqoos’ (not without blemish).

So when he (the Jew) brought those dates to him, the Imam said ‘Bismillah’ and ate one to break his fast, then added another and another. Meanwhile, the Jew was spying on the Imam through the window, and he urged him to add more. However, the Imam told him that he needn’t do that, as the ones he’d eaten would meet the Jew’s (evil) objective.

Imam Kazim (A.S) had suffered a lot in the hands of those who imprisoned him, from one prison cell to another. It went to the extent that he implored on Allah to grant him respite so that he could be released. He was released (for some time) and later recaptured; he was destined to die like that (in prison).
Historical accounts show that Harun emerged in tears, bewailing the ‘tragedy’ of having to face the ‘pain’ of the loss of his ‘cousin’ (Imam Kazim) and suspicions of people regarding his role to play in the Imam’s killing. Meanwhile, Harun was said to accompany the janazah (burial procession).

Imam Kazim did no wrongdoing to them; he only stood firm on the (right) path. The one who told tales about the Imam receiving pledges of allegiance in Madeenah from throngs of people was said to be another ‘cousin’ of Imam Kazim, and even before he left (the Imam’s presence), the Imam had told him, as he bid him farewell, ‘O brother, don’t orphan my children,’ because he knew what the latter set out to do. When the ‘cousin’ submitted his report and was rewarded with gold pieces, he collected them but that night, he met his end when he went to ease himself and his intestines bulged out. He didn’t even benefit from the wealth he got due to his tale-bearing.

In addition, Imam Kazim was one who impacted the society through his good behavior, his prayers and his fervent worship. It was said that during his time in captivity, he’d prostrate for a long period, and the guard, who made rounds each morning, was prompted to wonder at what appeared to be a ‘crumpled rag’ which he saw every day. He was told that it was Imam Kazim, who often prostrated after the Subh prayer, not getting up until just before ‘zawal’ (noon).

Imam Kazim once said that he had prayed to Allah to grant him the chance to worship him without hindrance, that is, to be in a situation where he’d only worship Allah without doing any other work. The Imam therefore expressed his gratitude to Allah for granting him his desire. To him, that imprisonment he passed through was a good thing for him, because it gave him the chance to worship Allah (S.W.T).

Indeed, a person, when imprisoned, is often given opportunities to worship Allah, pray a lot, read (and study) the Noble Qur’an, because he’d have no other work to do due to his imprisonment, unlike when the person is free, having other things to do. Hence, Imam Kazim thanked Allah for giving him such opportunity.
I can give an example (on myself).

The first time I was imprisoned, in 1984, I was able to study so much in the three years I spent in prison, so much that I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish such studies in 9 years while free. In fact, I had garnered a lot of benefits during that time, and even if I were given 18 years of freedom, I wouldn’t have been able to study as much. Therefore, it’s an opportunity, in sha Allah.

(First fifteen minutes of the recorded speech)

Translation Team , Academic Forum of the Islamic movement Under the leadership of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky(H)