Agnomen: Abu Muhammad.
Father’s name: al-Husayn Sayyidu ‘sh-Shuhada’.
Mother’s name: Shahr Banu, daughter of Yazdeger III, the King of Persia.
Birth: In Medina, 5th Shaaban 38 AH.
Death: Died at the age of 58, in Medina; poisoned by al-Walid ibn ‘Abdi ‘I-Malik ibn Marwan on 25th Muharram 95 AH; buried in Jannatu ‘I-Baqi’, in Medina.
The holy Imam ‘Ali Zaynu’l -‘Abidin is the Fourth Apostolic Imam. His epithet was Abu Muhammad and was popularly titled as “Zaynu’l-‘Abidin”. The mother of this Holy Imam was the royal personage, Shahr Banu, the daughter of King Yazdgerd, the last pre-Islamic Ruler of Persia. Imam Zaynu’l-‘Abidin spent the first two years of his infancy in the lap of his grandfather ‘All ibn Abi Talib and then for twelve years he had the gracious patronage of his uncle, the second Holy Imam al-Hasan ibn ‘All.
In 61 AH, he was present in Karbala’, at the time of the gruesome tragedy of the wholesale massacre of his father, his uncles, his brothers, his cousins and all the godly comrades of his father; and suffered a heartless captivity and imprisonment at the hands of the devilish forces of Yazid. When Imam Husayn had come for the last time to his camp to bid goodbye to his family, ‘Ali Zaynu’l-‘Abidin was lying semiconscious in his sickbed and hence he escaped the massacre in Karbala’. Imam Husayn could only manage a very brief talk with the inmates of his camp and departed nominating his sick son as Imam.