Imam Zainul Abideen (as)
No Imam began his period of Imamat in a more tragic atmosphere. The first day of his Imamat saw him seriously ill and a captive of the army of Yazid in Karbala. His father and predecessor had sacrificed all he had on the altar of truth; and Imam Zayn al-'Abidin found himself with a group of helpless widows and orphans being led from place to place, from the durbar of Ibn Ziyad to the court of Yazid. Finally they were thrown into a prison, where the Imam spent the first year of his Imamat, cut off from the followers of his father and unable to look after their affairs.
Understandably, the tragedy of Karbala had created a chaos in the Shi'a world. Shi'as were in the throes of a dark pessimism, and the community was