Sermon of Zaynab bint Ali in the court of Yazid

Sermon of Zaynab bint Ali in the court of Yazid are the statements of Zaynab bint Ali in Yazid presence. After battle of Karbala captured family of Muhammad, prophet of Islam, and heads of the killed persons were moved to the Levant (Arabic: شام) by the forces of Yazid I. She gave her sermon in the court of Yazid about these subjects: give time to disbelievers, humiliate the enemy and grant the Ahl al-Bayt, position of those killed in Karbala, referring to the oppression, and eternity of result of the battle.[1][2]

Zaynab bint Ali

Main article: Zaynab bint Ali

Zaynab bint Ali (Arabic: زينب بنت علي also: Zainab, Zeinab, or with the title Sayyeda/Sayyidah) was one of the daughters of Ali and Fatimah. Like other members of her family she became a great figure of sacrifice, strength, and piety in Islam – in the Sunni and Shia sect of the religion. Zaynab married Abdullah ibn Ja'far and had three sons and two daughters. When her brother Husayn rebelled against the Yazid caliph in 680 AD (61 AH), Zaynab accompanied his army, which was defeated by government forces at the battle of Karbala. Zaynab played an important role in protecting the lives of her nephew Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin, the fourth Shia Imam, and because of her sacrifice and heroism, she became known as the "Hero of Karbala". Zaynab's died in 681 AD, and her shrine is located in Damascus, Syria.[3]


After battle of Karbala captured family of prophet and head of the killed persons were moved to the Levant by the forces of Yazid.[4] At the first day of Safar,[5] according to narration of Turabi’s, they arrived to the Levant and captured family and head were taken into Yazid presence . First of all, the identity of each head and killed guys were explained to him. Then he paid attention to a woman who was an objector. Yazid asked "who is this arrogant woman?" All the audience paused moments. The woman rose to answer and said: "why are you asking them [the woman]? Ask me. I’ll tell you [who I am]. I am Muhammad’s granddaughter. I am Fatmia’s daughter." People at the court were impressed and amazed by her. At this time Zaynab bint Ali gave her sermon.[6]

According to narration of Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid, in Yazid presence a man with red skin asked Yazid one of the captured woman as bondwoman.[7] On other hand, Yazid knapped at his teeth with the staff of his hand while saying: "I wish those of my clan who were killed at Badr, and those who had seen the Khazraj clan wailing (in the battle of Uhad) on account of lancet wounds, were here.[5] At this time, For stopping Yazid, Zaynab bint Ali began to give her sermon.[8]


Zaynab bint Ali started her sermon with the praise of Allah:[6]

In the name of Allah, The most Gracious, the most Merciful. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. May praise and salutations be upon my grandfather, the leader of Allah‘s messengers and upon his progeny?

Give time to disbelievers

The verse 187 of chapter Al Imran was descended about polytheists of Mecca such as Abu Sufyan ibn Harb. For second time, Zainab bint Ali used this verse about Yazid, grandson of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb. She said: do not be satisfied with this respite, this time passes quickly and Allah punishes you. You will be humiliated.[1]

As we see in the sermon:

O Yazid! Do you think that we have become humble and despicable owing to the martyrdom of our people and our own captivity? Do you think that by killing the godly persons you have become great and respectable and the Almighty looks at you with special grace and kindness? You have, however, forgotten what Allah says: The disbelievers must not think that our respite is for their good We only give them time to let them increase their sins. For them there will be a humiliating torment.(Quran 3:178 (Yusuf Ali))[9]

Humiliate the enemy and grant the Ahl al-Bayt

One of Zaynab bint Ali method in battle of Karbala was the humiliation the enemy and honored the Ahl al-Bayt.[2]

O son of the freed ones! Is it justice that you keep your women and slave-girls in seclusion but have made the helpless daughters of the Holy Prophet ride on swift camels and given them in the hands of their enemies so that they may take them from one city to another [9]

Position of those killed in Karbala

Zaynab bit Ali notified Yazid that do not be happy because of this victory. She nominated to verse 169 of Al Imran and emphasized that the killed person are victors and your happiness end to the torture of Allah.[1]

It will be the day when Allah will deliver the descendants of the Holy Prophet from the state of being scattered and will bring all of them together in Paradise. This is the promise which Allah has made in the Holy Quran. Do not think of those who are slain for the cause of Allah as dead. They are alive with their Lord and receive sustenance from Him.(Quran 3:169 (Yusuf Ali))[9]

Referring to the oppression

At this part of sermon she nominated to all the oppression and Injustices of Umayyad from time of Abu Sufyan until time of Husayn ibn Ali. Also, she believed that the power of Umayyad arises from supporting of Quran and succession of Muhammad prophet.[2] So she stated:

Our blood is dripping from their hands and our flesh is falling down from their mouths.[9]

Eternity of result of the battle

Zaynab bint Ali emphasized that the battle of Karbala has positive effect on history. Also, she believed that jihad, struggle in path of Allah, has eternal effect.[2]

You (Yazid) may employ your deceit and cunning efforts, but I swear by Allah that the shame and disgrace which you have earned by the treatment meted out to us cannot be eradicated.[9]

In the News

The book titled explanations on Sermon of Zaynab bint Ali at the Levant is written by Ali Karimi Jahromi. It is published by Bustan publication. The author reviews different opinions about this sermon.[10]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Tahmasebi Beldaji, Asghar (April 2013). "Documentary review of Quran in sermons of Zainab bint Ali". science of Quran and Hadith. 16.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Rezaei, Sara (July 2011). "Principles and guidelines for revivalism in the life of Zaynab bint Ali". Tahura. 9.
  3. Esposito, J.L., ., The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, New York:2003
  4. Qumi Abbas. Muntahal Aamaal fi tarikh al-Nabi wal Aal. 1. p. 429.
  5. 1 2 Qumi, Abbas. Nafasul Mahmum, Relating to the heart rending tragedy of Karbala'. Translated by Aejaz Ali T Bhujwala. Islamic Study Circle.
  6. 1 2 Syed Akbar Hyder Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and Islamic Studies University of Texas at Austin N.U.S. (23 March 2006). Reliving Karbala : Martyrdom in South Asian Memory: Martyrdom in South Asian Memory. Oxford University Press, USA. pp. 96–. ISBN 978-0-19-970662-4.
  7. Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid. al-Irshad. p. 479.
  8. "Martyrdom of Imam al-Hussain (Radhi Allah Anhu)". Retrieved 25 October 2015. External link in |publisher= (help)
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 Ayati, Ibrahim (2014). A Probe Into The History of Ashura. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. p. 252. ISBN 978-1502541529.
  10. staff, writer. "explanations on Sermon of Zaynab bint Ali at the Levant". Young journalist club. Retrieved 2014. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
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