Zayn al-ʿĀbidīn
(2,052 words)

(“Ornament of the Worshippers”) ʿAlī b. al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib , the fourth Imām of the Twelver S̲h̲īʿa. His kunya is variously given as Abū ʿAbd Allāh, Abū Bakr, etc. According to many sources he was born (in Medina) in 38/658-9, though the years 33, 36 and 37 are also given. If accounts that he had not reached puberty at the time of the Karbalāʾ massacre (61/680) are to be trusted, this would put his birthdate forward to the 40s/660s; these accounts are, however, rejected by al-Wāḳidī and other authorities.

His mother’s name is variously given as Barra, G̲h̲azāla, D̲j̲aydā, e…

Cite this page
Kohlberg, E., “Zayn al-ʿĀbidīn”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 24 February 2019 <>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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