Hazrat Zayd (A.S.), Who Sacrificed His Life in the Cause of Islam
According to authentic tradition as quoted in the book, "Zayd al-Shahid" by Allamah Khabir Abdurrazaq Muqram, Zayd was born in Medina in 66 or 67 A.H. When Forth Imam, Imam Zaynul-Abidin (AS) heard the glad tidings of the birth of Hazrat Zayd, he opened the Qur'an and read the first verse:
"Lo! Allah has bought the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs." (9:111)
Imam opened the Scripture for the second time and read:
"Think not of those who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead." (3:69)
The third verse Imam read is: "Allah has conferred on those who strive with their wealth and lives a rank above the sedentary. Unto each Allah has promised good, but He has bestowed on those who strive a great reward above the sedentary." (4:95). Imam (AS) knew that Zayd would be martyred.
Hazrat Zayd had the title of Abul-Hussain and his son Hussain lived with Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (AS), after his father war martyred as said between the years 118 to 123 A.H. Before his end came he lived in Iraq making preparations for his uprising. His father, Imam Sajjad (AS), brought him up. The members of the Household of the Prophet were distinguished by three characteristics:
They were of noble birth, had suffered too many hardships and were descendants of two fountains of knowledge and wisdom: Muhammad (SAW) and Ali (AS).
The Prophet (SAW) said: "I am the city of knowledge and Ali is the gateway to it."
Hazrat Zayd was tall and handsome with big eyes, broad shoulders, and high forehead. He was a pious man and said to have been a faithful believer in the Qur'an and was well versed in expounding the Scripture.
Hazrat Zayd placed a great emphasis on, "Enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong." He was too meticulous in practising or seeing it practised this religious principle. As to piety and godliness, he was, expecting the Infallible Imams, second to none. He always fought against falsehood; he was resigned to God's will and bore patiently what He willed for him.
He had a mastery of the knowledge of the Qur'an As for the causes of the Uprising of Hazrat Zayd, the tyranny in the Umayyad era was the root cause. Zayd in a sermon said: "We have lived in ramshackle houses, our religious beliefs are denied, and our children are born in terror, brought up in dire situation of never-ending of oppression and die in adversity. Besides, the Umayyad caliphs were atheists. When Zayd came to Kufa his Shiite followers pledged allegiance to him. He stayed in Kufa for several months and then went to Basra and stayed there for two months. He sent men to Mosul to call people to pledge allegiance to him.
The Uprising and martyrdom of Hazrat Zayd and his son Yahya, undermined the Umayyad rule especially in Khurasan until at last the Umayyads rulers were overthrown and went to kingdom come being cursed forever.
Another outcome of Hazrat Zayd's uprising was that when the Abbasid caliphate had not yet firmly been established, this gave Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (AS) an opportunity to propagate the religion of the truth.
In a word, Zayd lived and died for the cause of Allah, to root out the oppression of the Umayyad caliphs and to see Islam established firmly as a divine and inspiring religion.