It was five years after the Muslims had accompanied Prophet Muhammad (S) and his family in the migration (Hejrah) to Madinah from Makkah, when Prophet Muhammad’s (S) daughter, Hadhrat Fatemah az-Zahra (SA), gave birth to a little girl. When her father, Imam ‘Ali (as), saw his daughter for the first time Imam Husayn (as), who was then almost three years old, was with him.
The boy exclaimed in delight, “Oh father, God has given me a sister.” At those words Imam ‘Ali (as) began to weep, and when Imam Husayn (as) asked why he was crying so, his father answered that he would soon come to know.
At the time when Hadhrat Fatemah az-Zahra (SA) gave birth to Sayyedah Zaynab (SA), Prophet Muhammad (S) was not in Madinah. When Sayyedah Zaynab (SA) was born, Hadhrat Fatemah az-Zahra (SA) told Imam ‘Ali (as), “Since my father is on the trip and is not present at this moment, you choose a name for this child.” Imam ‘Ali (as) said, “I will not precede your father (in naming this child); wait until he [Prophet Muhammad (S)] returns. Then he will name this child whatever he prefers best.”
Three days later Prophet Muhammad (S) returned from his trip and like all other times, he first went to Hadhrat Fatemah az-Zahra’s (SA) house to greet them. Imam ‘Ali (as) told Prophet Muhammad (S) about the newborn baby and how they waited for his return, to name this baby.
Prophet Muhammad (S) said, “even though Fatemah az-Zahra’s (SA) children are my children, I will wait for a revelation because this matter is with God.” At this moment Gabriel (Jibrail) descended and said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, the Lord sends his regards upon you and says, “Name this child ‘Zaynab’ because we have written this in a preserved tablet (Lawh al-Mahfoudh).”
Then Prophet Muhammad (S) asked them to bring the newborn baby.
He held her close to his chest, kissed her, and named her Zaynab.
Afterwards he said, “My will to the people, to those who are present and to those who are absent is to keep the respect for this child, for she truly resembles Khadijah.”
Then Gabriel (Jibrail) began to weep. Prophet Muhammad (S) asked why Gabriel (Jibrail) wept and he answered, “Oh Messenger of Allah, from early on in life this girl will remain entangled in tribulations and trials in this world. First she will weep over your separation (from this world); thereafter she will bemoan the loss of her mother, then her father, and then her brother Hasan. After all this she will be confronted with the trials of the land of Karbala and the tribulations of that lonely desert, as a result of which her hair will turn grey and her back will be bent.”
Hadhrat Zaynab (SA) was a constant companion of Imam Husayn (as) at every stage. She too descended from the same bloodline and lineage and also accompanied him in his trials and calamities. Companionship of an infallible Imam is not a trivial honour.
Imam al-Mahdi (AJ) graphically describes the events of ‘Ashoura and the agony that Imam al-Husayn (as) and his family faced on that horrific and ominous day. Referring to one of tragic scene Imam (as) said: “as-salamu ‘alal-juyoubil-mudharrajat,” “Peace be upon the bloodstained chests.”
On the night of the eleventh of Muharram, the ruin and confusion brought about by the atrocious army was so great that Zaynab, the daughter of ‘Ali (as), had great difficulty in gathering the orphaned children, whom she had to appease and to appease and console till late midnight.
Imam as-Sajjad says, “My aunt Zaynab always performed her prayers standing. But on that night, intense grief and the extra-ordinary effort of gathering, guarding and consoling the children and women had made her so tired that she performed her night prayers sitting, for she could stand only with great effort.” Allahu Akbar.
From Karbala to Kufah, Kufah to Shaam, painful journey, unsaddle camels and endless torture, but look at the courage of Lion Hearted Daughter of Imam ‘Ali (as). Hadhrat Zaynab drew herself up bravely in front of the most notorious man of all time, who puts to shame even the likes of Nero and Hitler. She delivered her speech in front of the greatest terrorist the world will ever see.
Zaynab Spoke boldly and loudly for all to hear (I am at my wit’s end in trying to understand that after all she has undergone how in the name of God, did she have the stamina to remain bold and composed?
She protected the Imam of her time, and supported him. When the enemies contemplated killing him, she came in front and saved his life. In Madinah, Hadhrat Fatemah (SA) saved the life of Imam ‘Ali (as) and in Karbala and after Karbala, Hadhrat Zaynab (SA) saved the life of ‘Ali ibn Husayn (as); she indeed was the successor to Hadhrat Zahra (SA).
Edited by Ali Mahdi, 08 July 2009 - 05:00 PM.