Imam Zainul Abedeen (as)
(This is) an account of the Imam after al-Husayn b. Ali, peace be on them, the date of his birth, the evidence for his Imamate, the age he reached, (together with) the period of his succession, the time and cause of his death, the place of his grave, the number of his children and a selection from the reports about him.
The Imam after al-Husayn b. Ali, peace be on them, was his son, Abu Muhammad Ali b. al-Husayn Zayn al-Abidin, peace be on them. He also had the kunya Abu al-Hasan.
His mother was Shahzanan daughter of Yazdigard b. Shahriyar b. Choesroe. Her name was also said to be Shahrbanawayh. The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, had appointed Hurayth b. Jabir al-Hanafi over part of the eastern provinces. The latter had sent to him two daughters of Yazdigard b. Shahryar b. Choesroe. Of these he had given his son al-Husayn, peace be on him, Shahzanan and she bore him Zayn al-'Abidin (Ali b. al-Husayn), peace be on him. He had given the other to Muhammad b. Abi Bakr and she bore him al-Qasim b. Muhammad b. Abi Bakr, so that these two (Zayn al-Abidin and al-Qasim) were maternal cousins.
Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, was born in Medina in the year 38 A.H. (658/9). He lived with his grandfather, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, for two years, with his uncle, al- Hasan, peace be on him, for twelve years, and with his father, al- Husayn, peace be on him, for twenty-three years. After his father, he lived a further thirty-four years and he died in Medina in the year 95 A.H. (713/4). At that time he was fifty-seven years of age. His Imamate was for thirty-four years. He was buried in al-Baqi with his uncle, al-Hasan b. Ali, peace be on them.
His Imamate was confirmed in several ways. One of these was that he was the most meritorious (afdal) of the creatures of God, the Most High, after his father in traditional knowledge film) and practice ('amal). The Imamate belongs to the most meritorious (afdal) to the exclusion of the less meritorious (mafdul) by rational proofs. Among these there was the fact that he was more appropriate for authority by virtue of his father, al-Husayn, peace be on him, and more entitled to his position after him through his merit and lineage. The one who was entitled through the last Imam has more right to his position than anyone else through the evidence of the verse of next of kin (dhu al- arhaim) and the (Qur'anic) story of Zacharia, peace be on him.
Another of (the facts which confirms his Imamate) is the necessity according to reason of the Imamate existing in every age. The claim of every (other) claimant to the Imamate during the time of Ali b. al- Husayn, peace be on them, was invalid and the impossibility of there being any time without an Imam is confirmed by him (being the Imam). Another (of the facts which confirms his Imamate) is the fact that the Imamate is established in the offspring (itra) (of the family of Ali exclusively by rational deduction and by a report on the authority of the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. Invalidity of the arguments of those who claim it for Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya, may God be pleased with him, through him (also) belonging to the offspring is established by the absence of the designation of it to him. Therefore it is established that it belongs to Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on them, since there was no claim for it for any other member of the offspring (of the family) except Muhammad, may God be pleased with him; his exclusion from it was on account of what we have already mentioned.
Another (of the facts which confirmed his Imamate) was the designation of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, of him for the Imamate, in the tradition which is related concerning the tablet (lawh) which Jabir reported on the authority of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. Muhammad b. Ali al- Baqir, peace be on them, (also) related it on the authority of his father, on the authority of his grandfather, on the authority of Fatima, daughter of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family.
His grandfather, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, designated him during the life-time of his father, al-Husayn, peace be on him, according to the reports which include that. The testamentary bequests (wasiyya) (were made) by his father, al- Husayn b. Ali, peace be on him, and they were deposited with Umm Salama for him. He received them when his father died. His father made the request (for these) from Umm Salama, the sign of the Imamate of the one who should request them among men. This part may be known by the examination of the reports and we do not intend in this book to speak about its significance for we will study it thoroughly separately.
A Brief Survey of the Reports about Ali b. al-Husayn, Peace be on them.
[Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. Muhammad b. Yahya informed me: my grandfather (Yahya b. al-Hasan) told us: Idrss b. Muhammad b. Yahya b. Abd Allah b. Hasan b. Hasan, Ahmad b. Abd Allah b. Musa, and Ismail b. Yaqub, all told me: Abd Allah b. Musa told us on the authority of his father (Musa b. Abd Allah), on the authority of his grandfather (Abd Allah b. al-Hasan), who said:]