Mohammad Nafs Zakiyya, the great grandson of Imam Hasan al-Mojtaba (A.S.)
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On December 6, 762 AD, Mohammad Nafs Zakiyya, the great grandson of Prophet Mohammad's (SAWA) elder grandson, Imam Hasan al-Mojtaba (AS), was martyred at the age of 53 near the holy city of Medina during a battle against forces sent by Mansur Dawaniqi, the second self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime.
His father was Abdullah al-Mahadh – a son of the survivors of the tragedy of Karbala, Hassan al-Muthanna and Fatema, the daughter of the Prophet's younger grandson, Imam Husain (AS). Known for his commanding oratory skills, amiable demeanor, and impressive build, years earlier during the rule of the Godless Omayyad regime, the persecuted Abbasid brothers – Ibrahim al-Imam, Abu'l-Abbas Saffah and Mansour Dawaniqi – had sworn allegiance to him at the famous gathering of the Hashemite clan at Abwa.
On the fall of the Omayyads, the Abbasid brothers, however, deserted him, broke their promise to return rule of the Islamic state to the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt, and instead established their own dubious rule. For years, Nafs Zakiyya disguised himself and traveled incognito, so as not to arouse suspicion from the regime, and was eventually able to raise a sizable army to take over the city of Medina. He then took over Mecca and Yemen in 145 AH. Before that he had sent his son, Abdullah, to Sindh (in present day Pakistan) to mobilize support.
Meanwhile, his brother Ibrahim ibn Abdullah, in coordinated action, launched his uprising in Basra and within two months had liberated the whole of southern Iraq and Iran from the Abbasids, thereby cornering Mansour in his capital Hirah in central Iraq (Baghdad was not yet built). While Ibrahim advanced towards Kufa, and Mansour was on the verge of defeat, Nafs Zakiyya was deserted by most of his army and was martyred in combat. This emboldened the Abbasids and in the decisive battle near Kufa, an arrow pierced Ibrahim’s neck and he was immediately unhorsed and decapitated by the wretch, Hamid bin Qahtaba, who sent the head to Mansour's nephew Isa bin Musa – the cowardly killer of Nafs Zakiyya in the Hijaz.
It is worth noting that Imam Ja'far Sadeq (AS), as the 6th Infallible Heir of the Prophet, sensed the plot, stayed away from the political tussle and even spurned the offer of caliphate by burning the sealed letter sent by a victorious commander of the anti-Omayyad uprising, since his right was God-given and beyond the power of politicians. Three years after the martyrdom of the brothers Nafs Zakiyya and Ibrahim, Imam Sadeq (AS) was martyred through poisoning by Mansour, who is notorious for his shedding of the blood of the Prophet's descendents, especially of Imam Hasan's (AS) progeny.