SHAFAQNA- The world brightened when Imam Sajjad (a.s.), peace be on him, was born, for he would split the fountain of knowledge and wisdom in the earth. He would also show, through his behavior, wonderful examples of self-negation, renouncing the world, and cleaving to Allah. The Prophet’s family was very happy to receive this blessed baby, of whom the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, gave good news. All the companions who had good relations with the members of the house were happy to hear of the birth of Imam Sajjad (a.s.).
Misfortunes and pain accompanied him from his childhood. Among them was that his pure mother died while he was still a baby in the cradle.
The Place of his Birth
The historians differed over the place where Imam Sajjad (a.s.) was born. The following are what they have mentioned:
(A) He was born in Kufa.(Shadharat al-Dhahab, vol. 1, p. 104). (B) He was born in Medina.(Ibn al-Sabbagh, al-Fusul al-Muhimma, p. 187).
He was born in Kufa. This is because the narrators and the historians mentioned that he was born two years before the death of his grandfather, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. (Akhbar al-Diwal, p. 109).
It is certain that Imam al-Hussein and his family were in Ku`fa along with Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. None of them lived in Medina throughout his succession (to authority).
The Time of his Birth
He was born on the fifth day of Sha’ban in the year 38 A.H.(Ibn al-Sabbagh, al-Fusul al-Muhimma, p. 212). That was on Thursday.( Nur al-abbsar, p. 136).
The historians and the narrators unanimously agreed that the greatest Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, named his grandson ‘Ali b. al-Hussein and gave him the surname of Sajjad. That was ten years before he was created, and that was among the wonderful signs of his prophecy. The accounts have been frequently reported on his authority. The following are some of them:
1.The great Companion Jabir Ansari reported: “While I was sitting with Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, he put al-Hussein on his lap and played with him, and then he, may Allah bless him and his family, said: Jabir, a son will be born for him, and the son will be called ‘Ali. A caller will call out on the Day of Judgment: ‘Let Sayyid al-Abidin (the Lord of worshippers) stand up.’ So his son will stand up. Then a son will be born for him, and the son will be named Mohammed. When you meet him, recite my greetings to him.'”
Jabir proclaimed this tradition, and he also met Imam Mohammed al-Baqir, peace be on him, and recited these greetings to him, and the latter was delighted with them.
2. Al Hafiz Asakir reported: “While we were (sitting) with Jabir, Ali ibn Hussein came. Jabir said to him: ‘When I was (sitting) with Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, al-Hussein came to him. He (the Prophet) embraced him (al-Hussein), kissed him, sat him beside him, and said: ‘A son will be born for this (i.e.,Hussein), and a caller will call out on the Day of Judgment: ‘Let Sayyid al-Abidin (the Lord of worshippers) stand up, and he will stand up.”(Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 36, p. 142).
3. Saeed ibn al-Musayyab reported on the authority of ibn Abbas, on the authority of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “A caller will call out on the Day of Judgment: ‘Where is Ali b. al-Hussein?’ I will see my grandson ‘Ali b. al-Hussein appear from among the ranks.”( Ilal al-Sharaiya’, p. 87. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 46, p. 3).
These are some of the traditions which were narrated on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. They show that the Prophet named his grandson ‘Ali and gave him the nick name of Zeinulabedin (the adornment of the worshippers), and they also show that the Imam has an important position with Allah, the Glorified.
Imam Sajjad, peace be on him, was given the Kunya of:
1. Abu al-Hussein. 2. Abu al-Hassan. 3. Abu Muhammed. 4. Abu Abd Allah.
His Nick Names
As for his nick names, they show his good inclinations, his excellent qualities, his noble morals, his obedience and worship to Allah. The following are some of them:
1. Sayyid al-Abidin
Among his prominent nick names is Sayyid al-Abidin or the Lord of the worshippers, for he yield to Allah and obeyed Him, and no one worshipped Allah as he did except his grandfather, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him.
2. Dhu al-Thafanat
He was given the nick name of Dhu al-Thafana`t or the one with calluses because something like the calluses of the camel appeared on the parts on which he prostrated.(Subha al-A-Shi’a, vol. 1, p. 452. Bahr al-Ansab, p. 25. Tuhaf al-Raghib, p. 13).
Imam Abu Jafar al-Baqir, peace be on him, said: “My father had prominent marks on the places on which he prostrated, and he cut them twice a year: (He) cut five calluses every time, so he was called Dhu al-Thafana`t (the one with calluses).”‘(Illal al-Sharaiya’, p. 88 4. Wasa’il al-Shi’a, vol. vol. 4, p. 977. ‘Illal al-Sharaiya p. 88).
In another narration it is said that he collected his calluses in a bag and asked his children to bury them with him.
Among his holy nick names for which he is famous is Al-Sajjad. or the one who constantly prostrated himself in prayer. He prostrated himself in prayer to Allah and obeyed him more than the people did. Imam Abu Jafar al-Baqir, peace be on him, talked about the constant prostration of his father, saying: “When Ali b. al-Hussein mentioned Allah’s favors toward him, he prostrated himself in prayer. (When he) read a verse with prostration of the Book of Allah, the Great and Almighty, he prostrated himself in prayer.
When Allah drove away from him a misfortune which he was afraid of, he prostrated himself in prayer. (When he) finished his obligatory prayers, he prostrated himself in prayer. The marks of prostration were prominent on the parts on which he prostrated, so he was called al-Sajjad.” Ibn Hammad composed a poem about the constant prostration and worship of the Imam. The following are some lines of the poem:
The monk of ahl al-Bayt was and is still given the nick name of al-Sajjad because of his worship.
He spent his days fasting, to turn to Allah in repentance, and he passed his night with night prayer.
Therefore, who is strong enough to perform his knowledge and his faithfulness, and who is strong enough to perform his piety and worship?
He was given the nick name of al-Zaki or the pure one because Allah purified him, as He took away uncleanness from his grandfathers and purified them completely.
Among his holy nick names for which he is famous is al-Amin or the trusted one.(Ibn al-Sabbagh, Al-Fusul al-Muhimma, p. 187. Bahr al-Ansab, p. 52. Nur al-Abbsar, 137).
He was ideal for this noble quality, so he, peace be on him, said: “If the killer of my father deposited with me the sword with which he killed him, I would give it to him.”
6. Ibn al-Khiyaratayn
Another of his holy nick names for which he is famous is Ibn al-Khiyaratayn or the son of the best two. He was proud of this nick name and said: “I am the son of the best two.” He referred to the words of his grandfather, Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: “Allah, the Glorified, has the best two from among His servants, so His best one from among the Arabs is Ha`shim and from among non-Arabs is the Persians.”(Al-Mubarrad, al-Kamil, vol. 1, p. 222. Ibn Khullakan, Wafayat al-A’yan, vol. 2, p. 429).