The Captives of the Ahl al-Bayt taken to Damascus
After the Ashura slaughtering, the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet, May Allah bless him and his family, were taken as prisoners to Kufa and thenward to Damascus. They were in a condition the sight of which would cause anyone's soul to melt. All the Kufis went out to see the captives of their Prophet off. The men and the women wept for them. Imam Zayn al-Abidin, peace be on him, wondered at their attitude and said: "They killed us and are weeping over us!"
The wicked sinner, Shimr bin Dhil-Jawshan, ordered a rope to be put around Imam Zayn al-Abidin neck. The historians said: "Imam Zayn al-Abidin did not say even a word to the rude people who accompanied him, nor did he ask them for a thing throughout the journey, for he knew that they were wicked and ignoble, and that they would not respond to any of his requests.
The caravan of the captives arrived at a place near Damascus and stopped there because the Umayyads wanted to decorate the city to show their rejoicing and the victory which the grandson of Abi Sufyan gained over the grandson of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.
WhenDamascus was fully decorated, the captives of the Ahl alBait of the Prophet, May Allah bless him and his family, were caused to enter it.
An elderly Syrian, who was misled by the false rumors, came near Imam Zayn al-Abidin, peace be on him, and said to him: "Praise belongs to Allah Who annihilated you and Who granted the governor the upper hand over you."
Imam looked at the elderly Syrian. He understood that the elderly Syrian misunderstood the truth and was deceived by the false Umayyad mass media, so he asked him: "Have you read the Qur'a`n?"
"Yes," answered the man.
"Have you read," continued the Imam, "the verse saying: ' Say: I do not ask you for a reward for it except that you treat my kinsfolk with kindness,' the verse saying: ' and give the (Prophet's) kinsfolk their due rights,' and the verse saying: 'and be informed that whatever you earn by way of booty, for Allah belongs the fifth thereof and for the Messenger (of Allah) and for the (Prophet's) kinsfolk'? "
The elderly Syrian admired Imam and said to him with a faint voice: "Yes, I have read all of them."
Imam said to him: "We, by Allah, are the kinsfolk referred to in all these verses." Then Imam asked him: "Have you read these words of Him, the exalted: 'Allah only desires to take away uncleanness from you, O Ahl alBait (of the Prophet) and purify thoroughly'?"
"Yes," was the answer.
"We are the Ahl alBait (of the Prophet) whom Allah singled out with the Verse of Purification."
The elderly Syrian shook all over. He wished that the earth had swallowed him up before saying his words. Then he asked Imam: "I ask you in the Name of Allah, are you really them?"
"By our grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, we are, without any doubt," replied Imam.
It was then that the elderly Syrian fell on Imam Zayn al-Abidin's hands kissing them. His tears flowed down his cheeks, and he said: "I dissociate myself before Allah from those who killed you!"
The elderly Syrian sought repentance from Imam from whatever rude remarks he had made earlier. So he, peace be on him, forgave him.1"