He is among the companions of Imam Musa. He maintained the creed of the Waqifites. He is one of the witnesses for the will of Imam Musa, peace be on him. He asked his father to show him the way to the place where his uncle ‘Isa had disappeared, that he might go to him and see him. However, his father refused to tell him about that, for he feared that ‘Isa’s affair would appear, and the authorities would come to know of him. Yehya insisted on that, so his father said to him: “Surely this affair will trouble him. I fear that he will move from his house as a sign of hating your meeting with him. So you will disturb him.” Yet, Yehya begged his father for along time until he was pleased with that. He responded to him, prepared his travel to Kufa, and said to him:
“When you arrive in Kufa, then ask about the houses of Banu Hay. When you are shown the way to them, then go to them through the way so-and-so. You will see a house in the middle of the way; the house has a door with so-and-so quality. Know it and sit far from it at the beginning of the way. He will come towards you at the sunset. He is middle-aged; his face is covered; prostration has made a mark on his forehead. He is wearing a woolen jubbah. He brings water with a camel and he drives the camel. He does not put a foot and does not lift it except through the remembrance of Allah, the Great and Almighty. His tears flow down his face. So rise, greet him, and embrace him. He will become frightened of you just as a wild animal does. So introduce yourself to him and mention your lineage for him. In this manner he will be sure of you, talk with you for a long time, ask you about us one by one, tell you of his affairs, and be not tired of your sitting with him. Do not stay with for a long time. He will ask you not to return to him. Carry out his orders in this respect. For surely if you go to him again, he will disappear from you, feel an aversion for you, and move from his place. He will face hardships because of that.”
Yehya went out and headed for Kufa. When he arrived in it, he headed for the way of the Banu Hay in the afternoon. He came to know of the house, and then he sat at the beginning of the way. When the sun sat down, ‘Isa came just as al-Husayn had said. He did not put a foot and did not lift it without glorifying Allah, the Most High. His eyes were filled with tears. Yehya rose and embraced him. ‘Isa was afraid of him, so he said to him:
“O Uncle, I am Yehya b. al-Husayn b. Zayd, your nephew.”
When ‘Isa heard that, he embraced him and wept, to the extent that he was about to die. Then he made his camel kneel down. He sat with Yehya and asked him about his household, may by man, woman by woman, and boy by boy. Yehya explained their stories, and ‘Isa was crying. Then ‘Isa said to Yehya: “O My little son, I fetch water with this camel. I give some of the wage to the owner of the camel and live on the rest. When something prevents me from bringing water, I go to the outskirts of Kufa, collect the vegetables the people throw away, and live on them.
“I have married the daughter of this man, while he does not know from where I am until this time of us. She born me a girl. The girl grew up and came of age, while she does not know who I am. Her mother said to me: ‘Marry your daughter to the son of so-and-so, the water carrier, for he is richer than us.’ He proposed to her. Her mother insisted on that, but I could not tell her that the person was not equal to her (daughter) lest my story should spread. She insisted on that, and I asked Allah to suffice me her affair; so she died several days after that. I am sorry that she died and she did not come to know of her nearness to Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.”
Then he adjured his nephew before Allah to go away and not to return. He saw him off.
Ahl al-Bayt led such a life; they were either killed or prisoners or homeless. They were pursued by terror and fear. They were fearful of the oppressive. May Allah reward them for the tragedies, the misfortunes, and the ordeals they faced. ( Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, pp. 408-410.)