The Sermon of Imam Zayn Al-Abidin – Part Two

Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi

(Toronto, Canada)

Who am I?

Whoever knows me knows me; but one who does not know me, I shall inform him of my status and noble descent.

Who is my great-grandfather?
I am the son of Mecca and Mina, I am the son of Zamzam and Safa. I am son of he who raised the Black Stone in his robe, I am the son of the best one who put on the shirt and robe, I am the son of the best one who put on the shoes and walked, I am the son of the best one who did the circumambulation (tawaf) and sa‘i, I am the son of the best one who did the pilgrimage and responded to Allah’s call, I am the son of the one who was carried on the Buraq on the air, I am the son of one who was taken in the night journey from Masjidul Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa, I am the son of the one who reached with Jibra’il [in his ascension] to the sidratul muntaha (the holiest spot in heaven), I am the son of the one who reached very close to that holy spot, I am the son of the one who prayed with the angels two cycles, I am the son of the one to whom God sent revelation. [In short,] I am the son of Muhammad al-Mu?tafa.

Who is my grandfather?
I am the son of ‘Ali al-Murtaza, I am son of the one who subdued the people till they said: la ilaha illal lah, I am the son of the one who fought in defense of the Prophet with two swords and two spears, did two migrations pledged allegiance to the Prophet twice, prayed towards two qiblahs, courageously fought in Badr and Hunayn, and never ever disbelieved in Allah!I am the son of ‘the righteous one among the believers,’6 the successor of the prophets, destroyer of the disbelievers, leader of the Muslims, light of the mujahidin, prince of the worshippers, ‘crown’ of those who cry [in their prayers], the most patient of those who exercise patience, the best among those who stand for prayer from the family of Taha and Yasin, the Messenger of the Lord of the universe.

I am the son of the one who was supported by Jibra’il and Mika’il, I am the son of the one who protected the sanctities of the Muslims, who fought the rebels, the deviants, and the violators, and who confronted his hateful enemies. I am the son of the one who is most honourable among the Quraysh, and the first among believers to respond to Allah and His Messenger, the first among the foremost ones, the one who crushed the back of the rebels and destroyed the idol-worshippers; the one who was an arrow from the arrows of Allah against the hypocrites; the tongue of the wisdom of the worshippers, the helper of Allah’s religion, the friend of Allah, the garden of Allah’s wisdom, the vessel of Allah’s knowledge… the father of the two grandsons of the Prophet, al-Hasan and al-Husayn, demonstrator of the extra-ordinary feats, destroyers of the divisions, the shooting star, the lasting light, the victorious lion of Allah – that is my
grandfather, ‘Ali bin Abi Talib.

Who is my great-grandmother?
I am the son of Fatimatu ’z-Zahra’, I am the son of the chief of the women, I am the son of the pure Batul, I am the son of ‘the part of the Messenger;’ and I am the son of Khadijatu ’l-Kubra.

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About the author

He was born in 1957 in a family of ‘ulamã’ in Bihar, India. He comes from a region in Bihar (Siwan District, previously known as Saran) that has produced well-known Shi‘a scholars in the Indian sub-continent. Migrated to Africa with his parents where he received elementary education in English medium school. After that for two years, he studied Arabic and Farsi with his respected father and two other ‘alims in Dar-Es-salaam, Tanzania.

In 1972, at the age of fifteen, he went to the Hawza-e ‘Ilmiya-e Qum, Iran. During his ten years stay in Qum, he studied with various teachers; and moved from the levels of muqaddimãt to sutûh (equal to graduate level in secular universities) and, finally, attended the dars-e kharij (ijtihad lectures equal to post-graduate studies) of Ayatullah al-Uzma Shaikh Wahid Khurãsãni.

In 1982, he returned to India where he stayed at Gopalpur for about a year.

In June 1983, at the invitation of the Shia Muslim Community of British Columbia, he and his wife moved to Vancouver where he stayed till June 1991 and served Shi‘a Islam through his lectures, writings, and teachings. Based on his publications and educational background, in September 1987, the Simon Fraser University (Vancouver) admitted him in the post-graduate program at Masters’ level. This was even though he had no formal degree nor was he asked to sit for any exams. In 1990 he completed his thesis; and after successfully defending the thesis, was awarded the Master of Arts degree in History in 1991.

In July 1991, he moved to Toronto and till 1996 worked as the Director of Islamic Education & Information Center providing a variety of religious services to Shi‘as in North America. During this time, he was also involved in the founding of the As-Sadiq Islamic School, a full time Islamic school from KG to Grade 8 levels. Since July 1996, he has accepted the responsibilities of the Imam-e Jum‘a and Resident ‘Ãlim of the Jaffari Islamic Center / Jaffari Community Center.

He has traveled to most cities in Canada and U.S.A.; as well as to Australia, Guyana, Trinidad, United Kingdom, Dubai, Pakistan, Tanzania and Kenya for lectures.

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