The Sermon of Ali ibn Husayn in Damascus

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The Sermon of ‘Alī ibn Husayn in Damascus
by ‘Alī ibn Husayn, translated by User:Toushiro
After the arrival of the prisoners of the battle of Karbalā in Damascus, the following sermon was given by ‘Alī ibn Husayn in the presence of Yazīd and his court.

The translation of the sermon is from the following sources:

  • Shaykh ‘Abbās Qummī, Nafasul Mahmūm, p.381-385. Quoted from:
    • Majlisī, Bihārul Anwār, vol.10.
    • Imad al-din Hasan ibn Ali ibn Muhammad Ta­bari, Kāmil-e-Bahai dar Saqīfah.

Praise be to God who has no beginning, the Everlasting who has no end. The Foremost, whose beginning has no beginning, and the Last, whose end has no end. All will perish, except His Ownself. He measures the days and nights and prepares the destinies, and blessed is Allah, the King, and the All-Knowing.

Oh people! Allah has bestowed us with six qualities and seven merits. Knowledge, forbearance, munificence, eloquence, valour and friendship in the hearts of the believers are present in us. While our merits are that: the Prophet in Authority is from amongst us, his Vicegerent (Imām ‘Alī) is from amongst us, the Flyer (Ja‘far at-Tayyār) is from amongst us, the Sibtayn (Hasan and Husayn) of this nation are from amongst us, and also The Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance), who will kill the Dajjāl (the anti-Christ), is from amongst us. Those who know me, know me, while those who do not know me, I reveal my pedigree and ancestry for them until they recognise me.

Oh people! I am the son of Makkah and of Mina! I am the son of Zamzam and Safā! I am the son of the one who lifted the Black Stone by the side of his quilt. I am the son of the best one, who adorned the trousers and cloak. I am the son of the best ones who circumambulated (the Ka‘bah) and performed the Sā‘ī. I am the son of the best ones who performed the Hajj and pronounced the Talbiyyah. I am the son of the one who was taken to the Masjid al-Aqsā at night (referring to Mi‘rāj). I am the son of the one who was taken up to the Sidrat al-Muntahā (the seventh heaven). I am the son of the one who drew near and became pending (in between the creation and the Creator - referring to Mi‘rāj when the Prophet (s) drew near to Allāh). I am the son of the one who was (near) the measure between the two bows (facing each other) or higher still (again referring to Mi‘rāj). I am the son of the one who was bestowed revelation by the Almighty, what He did reveal. I am the son of Husayn (a), the one killed at Karbalā! I am the son of ‘Alī, the Approved One (a)! I am the son of Muhammad, the Chosen One (s)! I am the son of Fātimah az-Zahrā (a)! I am the son of Sidrat al-Muntahā! I am the son of the Blessed Tree![1] I am the son of the one who was smeared in blood and sand. I am the son of the one who was lamented upon by the Jinn in the darkness of the night. I am the son of the one who was mourned upon by the birds.

When his sermon reached at this stage, people started weeping and lamenting, and Yazīd feared lest it might result in a revolt. He called out for the Prayer-caller (Mu'adh-dhin) saying, "Give the call for the Prayers".

The Mu'adh-dhin rose and said, "Allah is Great! Allah is Great!" Ali ibn Husayn said, "Verily Allah is Great, and the most High, and the most Honourable, and the most Kind than what I fear and of what I avoid!" The Mu'adh-dhin said, "I bear witness that there is no other diety except Allah." Ali ibn Husayn (a.s) said, "Verily I too bear witness with others that there is no other deity except Allah, and no other Lord except Him, while I reject every denier." When the Mu'adh-dhin said, "I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah" Ali ibn Husayn removed his turban from his head and turned towards the Mu'adh-dhin saying, "I request you in the name of this very Muhammad (s), remain silent for a moment." Then he turned towards Yazīd, and said, "Oh Yazīd! This Honourable and Noble Messenger, is my Grandfather or yours? If you say that he is your grandfather, then the entire world knows that you speak a lie. And if you say that he is my grandfather, then why did you kill my father with tyranny, and plunder his belongings, and captivate his women-folk?" Saying this, Ali ibn Husayn (a) tore his collar and wept and said, "By Allah! There is none except myself upon this earth whose grandfather is the Prophet of Allah (s). Why did these men kill my father with tyranny and arrest us similar to the Romans?" Then he retorted, "Oh Yazīd! You do this and then say that Muhammad (s) is the Messenger of Allah (s) and turn your face towards the Qiblah (in Prayers)? Woe be to you on the day when my Grandfather and Father will be enraged with you (the Day of Judgement)."


  1. cf. Qur'an, 14:24
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