Al-Bazzaz narrates through Abdullah Ibn Zubair that the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) mentioned: “The simile of Ahl al Bayt is like that of the Ark of Noah (peace be upon him). One who boards it, is saved and those who leave it are drowned
Muslim, Tirmidhi and Nasai have recorded from Zaid bin Arqam (ra) that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his noble family) said: “Fear Allah! Fear Allah! Fear Allah! Beware that you do not distance yourself from my Ahl al Bayt.”
Hadrat Zain-ul-Abideen Ali bin Hussain’s (R) reply to Yazid.
Yazid asked one of his employed preachersto go on the ‘Mimber’ (pulpit) of the Mosque and abused Imam Ali (R) and his family. When the preacher finished his lecture, Imam Zain ul Abideen (R) turned to him and said, “Be ashamed of yourself, you evil speaker. With your words you have displeased Allah so as to please people”. Then he asked Yazid to let him talk to the people. Yazid refused to do so. The people of Syria, however, forced Yazid to allow the Imam to go on the Mimber.
Once on the Mimber, Imam Zain al-Abideen (R) first praised Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (ﷺ). After that he gave along and very powerful speech letting the Syrians know the great position of Hadrat Imam Hussain (R) to Allah (SWT), and how evil Yazid and his family were. Part of the speech is summarized below:
“O listeners Allah has given us (Ahl al Bayt) six things which no one else has. He has given us special Wisdom, Patience, Dignity, Power of speech, Courage and Respect. He gave us special benefit of belonging to the family of his Prophet. To us belong Hamza and Jafar. To us belong Asadullah (The lion of Allah, Imam Ali (R)). To us belong the leader of the youths of paradise (Imam Hassan (R) and Imam Hussain (R)).
“Those who know me, know me. Those who do not, then know that I am the son of Mecca and Mina. I am the son of Zamzam and Safa. I am the son of he who gave Zakat to the poor. I am the son of the best of those who have ever put on Ihram and performed ceremonies of Hajj. I am the son of he who was taken on the night journey from house of Allah to the Mosque of Aqsa and then to Miraj. I am the son of he who was taken around by Gibrael to the Lote-tree of the boundary (Sidratul Muntaha).
“I am the son of Muhammad Mustafa (ﷺ). I am the son of Ali Al-Murtaza (R) who fought the polytheists in the battle till they submitted to Islam and fought in the presence of the Prophet until his sword was broken and to whom Zulfikar was given. I am the son of he who had the honor to migrate twice in Islam. I am the son of Fatima the best women of the world…”.
The effect of the speech was so powerful that everybody in the Mosque began to weep and to blame Yazid. Yazid was afraid that if the Imam continued his speech, there would be a revolution and revolt. At the same time Yazid could not stop the Imam and get him down from the Mimber. He therefore ordered a “Muazzin” to give Azan, knowing that this would automatically cut the Imam’s speech. But he underestimated Imam Zain ul Abideen’s bravery and intelligence. The Imam stopped his speech but did not get down from the Mimber. When the Muazzin said ” Allahu Akbar” the Imam testified Allah’s greatness. When the Muazzin said, “Ash hadu anna Muhammaddan Rasulullah”, the Imam stopped the Muazzin from going any further. He then turned to Yazid and asked him. “Tell me o Yazid, was Muhammad (ﷺ) your grandfather or mine? If you say he was your grandfather it will be an open lie and if you say he was my grandfather then why have you killed his son and imprisoned his family? Why have you killed my father and brought his women and children to this city as prisoners?”
Yazid had no reply to give.
The effect of this was to turn Syrians against Yazid. Everyone of them now found out about Yazid’s crimes that he had committed against the Prophet (ﷺ) and his family. They began to blame him and ask for the release of Imam Zain al-Abidin (R) and the womenfolk of the house of the Prophet (ﷺ). Yazid was now afraid that if he did not act fast his rulership would be lost. He therefore freed Imam Zain al-Abidin (R) and let him return to Medina with full honour and respect.
Tibrani mentions the following tradition in his book Al-Awsat. Imam Hasan Ibn Ali (peace be upon him) reports from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) that he said: “Strive hard to achieve love and affection of us; the Ahl al Bayt, and considers it as obligatory for yourselves, always. The truth is that whoever meets Allah while he loves us will enter Paradise through my intercession. By the One who controls my life! No deed can benefit a servant if he does not recognize our rights.