Sermon of Imam Zainul Abideen (asws) in Kufa
The Kufans surrounded Imam Zainul Abideen (asws) therefore he addressed them to make them know the sin of what they had committed against themselves and the community. He glorified and praised Allah, and then he said:
“O men, whoever recognizes me knows me, and whoever does not, let me tell him that I am Ali (asws) ibn al Hussain (asws) ibn Ali (asws). I am the son of the man whose sanctity has been violated, whose wealth has been plundered, and whose children have been seized. I am the son of the one who has been slaughtered by the Euphrates neither on blood revenge nor on account of inheritance. I am the son of the one who was killed in the worst manner. This is sufficient honor for me.
“O men, I plead to you in the Name of Allah: Do you not know that you wrote to my father then deceived him? Did you not grant him your covenant, your promise, and your allegiance, then you fought him? May you be ruined for what you have committed against your own souls, and out of your corrupt views! Through what eyes will you look at RasoolAllah (saw) when he says to you: ‘You killed my progeny, violated my sanctity, so you do not belong to my community’.”
Those slaves who blackened the face of history wept loudly and lamented, and they said to each other: “You have perished, yet you are not aware of it.”
The Imam (asws) continued his speech, saying:
“May Allah have mercy on anyone who acts upon my advice, who safeguards my legacy with regard to Allah, His Apostle, and his Household, for we have in RasoolAllah (saw) a good example of conduct to emulate.”
So they all said with one tongue: “We, son of RasoolAllah (saw), listen and obey, and we shall safeguard your trust. We shall not turn away from you, nor shall we disobey you; so, order us, may Allah have mercy on you, for we shall fight when you fight, and we shall make peace when you do so; we dissociate ourselves from whoever oppressed you and dealt unjustly with you.”
In response to this false obedience, the Imam (asws) said:
“Far, far away it is from you to do so, O people of treachery and conniving! You are separated from what you desire. Do you want to come to me as you did to my father? No, by the Lord of those angels that ascend and descend, the wound is not yet healed. My father was killed only yesterday, and so were his Household (asws), and the loss inflicted upon RasoolAllah (saw), upon my father, and upon my family is yet to be forgotten. Its pain, by Allah, is between both of these sides and its bitterness is sticks in my throat. Its choke is resting in my very chest.”
Then the Imam (asws) stopped his speech, turning away from those treacherous conniving people who were the mark of disgrace against mankind. It was they who killed the plant of the sweet basil of RasoolAllah (saw), who came to free them and to save them from the oppression and tyranny of the Umayyads.