A Brief Biography of Lady Zaineb (Peace Be Upon Her)

Lady Zaineb, (Peace Be Upon Her)the daughter of Imam Ali (Peace Be Upon Him) and Lady Fatima (Peace Be Upon Her), was an exemplary woman of great ability, intelligence, knowledge, insight, courage and perseverance. She performed her divine duties to the best of her ability. She was born to a family formed by the Prophet Mohammed (Peace & Allah’s Mercy Be Upon Him & His Pure Lineage) the most outstanding figure in history. The Prophet’s wife Lady Khadija a devoted woman, was her maternal grandmother, and her paternal grandmother was Fatima daughter of Assad, who mothered and nursed the Prophet (Peace & Allah’s Mercy Be Upon Him & His Pure Lineage). The members of the family, in trio hierarchical order, were all great. Lady Zaineb (Peace Be Upon Her) was a brilliant star in the mandate sky that received rays of holiness from the five suns. It was through her holy origins and pious edification that she manifested so great a fortitude in Karbala, Iraq.

The life of the daughter of Lady Ez-Zahra (Peace & Allah’s Mercy Be Upon Him & His Pure Lineage) was always laden with hardships, but she never feared coping with difficulties, this enhanced her endurance and elevated her soul.


The Birth of Lady Zaineb (Peace Be Upon Her).

There is divergence of opinions about the birth date of Lady Zaineb (Peace Be Upon Her). Some say it was in Medina in the month of Jamadil-Alawwal month, and others say it was in the month of Shaban month, in the 6th after the prophetic migration year.

When Lady Zaineb (Peace Be Upon Her) was born, Imam Ali (Peace Be Upon Her) asked for the Prophet’s advice as to her name, the same as it was in the case of Hassan and Hussein. They gave Zaineb (Peace Be Upon Her) in swaddling clothes to the Prophet (Peace & Allah’s Mercy Be Upon Him & His Pure Lineage) and he waited for Allah’s message. Gabriel appeared and said she should be named Zaineb (Peace Be Upon Her). The Prophet (Peace & Allah’s Mercy Be Upon Him & His Pure Lineage) kissed her and wept. They asked why he wept. He said Gabriel told me Zaineb (Peace Be Upon Her) would be an eyewitness of the fate of her brother Hussein in Karbala.

Zaineb, (Peace Be Upon Her) the Sage of Bani Hashim Tribe

In her childhood, Zaineb (Peace Be Upon Her) studied with the Prophet (Peace & Allah’s Mercy Be Upon Him & His Pure Lineage), and when Imam Ali (Peace Be Upon Him) moved to Kufa, the respected women of Kufa requested Imam Ali (Peace Be Upon Him) through their husbands to allow them to benefit from the knowledge of Lady Zaineb (Peace Be Upon Her). Imam Ali (Peace Be Upon Him) complied with their request and the interested women learned from her the expounding wisdom of the Holy Qur’an.

Ibn Abbas quoted Lady Fatimatuz-Zahra (Peace Be Upon Her) as having said that her daughter Zaineb, (Peace Be Upon Her) like her father, was unparalleled in literary eloquence and courage. The speech she delivered in the assembly in presence of Yazid was at the zenith of eloquence and impressiveness. (Refer Famous Women, Dr. Ahmed Beheshti, p.51)

After the demise of the Holy Prophet (Peace & Allah’s Mercy Be Upon Him & His Pure Lineage), there came the period of distress and hardship in the life of Lady Zaineb (Peace Be Upon Her) She stood by her mother as far as the question of supreme mandate of her father was concerned. When her mother delivered the Fadak sermon, she was only 4 years old, but narrated the sermon so lucidly and expressively that the people from Bani Hashim remembered it by heart. Later the Shiite scholars recorded it, that is why she is called Zaineb, (Peace Be Upon Her) the narrator of traditions.

After the martyrdom of lady Fatimatuz-Zahra (Peace Be Upon Her), Zaineb (Peace Be Upon Her), suffered many calamities. Their house was attacked and the usurpation of her father’s rightful caliphate was a great shock to her. Her sublime devotion to the cause of Allah and Islam endeared her to her father Ali ,which reminded of her mother’s endearment to her father, the Holy Prophet (SAW). All this was worthy of the grand status of Zaineb, (Peace Be Upon Her).

Lady Zaineb’s (Peace Be Upon Her) Marriage

Abdullah son of Ja’far Tayyar, a nephew of Imam Ali (a.s.) asked for Zaineb’s hand, and Imam Ali (Peace Be Upon Her), accepted it. Her marriage settlement was equal to that of her mother’s. Imam Ali (a.s.) told Ja’far not to prevent Zaineb, (Peace Be Upon Her) from going on a journey with Imam Hussein (Peace Be Upon Her), her brother

Although Zaineb’s husband was a man of means, she lived a modest life, not a life of luxury. She and her husband were charitable to the needy people. The Arab tribes called Abdullah the sea or the cloud of munificence.””

Abdullah was also noted for his standing with Imam Ali (Peace Be Upon Her), in the holy wars (jihad). Ibn Hajar quoted the Prophet as having said that Abdullah was like him in character and had taken him by the right hand and prayed to Allah to extend His mercy over the household of Abdullah bin Ja’far.

The marriage of Zaineb, (Peace Be Upon Her) did not diminish her strong attachment to her family. Imam Ali (a.s) also felt a great affection for his daughter and nephew and when he became the Caliph of the Muslims and moved from Medina to Kufa, Zaineb, (Peace Be Upon Her) and Abdullah joined him. Zaineb, (Peace Be Upon Her) bore four boys by the names of Ali, Muhammad, Aun and Abbas and two girls, Umm Kulthum.


[B]Zaineb, (Peace Be Upon Her) in Karbala[/B]

Zaineb, (Peace Be Upon Her) is the shining sun in the history of Islam and of humanity. Her brother’s name and Karbala associate the idea of freedom, justice, humanity, virtue, fighting against despotism, with the realization of the sovereignty of Allah. The history of Karbala is based on two pillars: the rising of Imam Hussein (Peace Be Upon Him) and the rising of Zaineb, (Peace Be Upon Her). She was an outstanding figure in the history of Karbala endowed with divine steadfastness and fortitude. She sacrificed her two sons and one should not say anything if one devoted his life for the cause of Allah. After the martyrdom of her brother and her two sons, she said: “O my Lord! Accept our humble sacrifice to You.”

When Zaineb, (Peace Be Upon Her) reached Kufa, she addressed people with fury words “Praise to Allah, and may the blessing of Allah be upon Muhammad and his progeny. O people of Kufa, you are hypocrites and deceitful. You feign to be sorry for the death of my brother and his companions. May you always shed tears. I find nothing in you but flattery, evil acts and thoughts, pride and spite and ill-will. By Allah! You deserve lasting sorrow instead of joy. Shame on you, your hands are imbrued with the blood of the son of the Holy Prophet, the one who was your sole refuge in case of adversity. By your evil act and disloyalty, you incurred the -wrath of Allan against you. Woe betide you! No one will intercede with Allah for you.”

Her furious words provoked people of Kufa to avenge Hussein’s martyrdom. This frightened Ubaidullah and his cruel agents. She also delivered a furious sermon in the court of the caliph that made his authority and despotic rule feel undermined.

She said, “I fear no one but Allah. Make whatever evil plot you can. Blazes are waiting for you in the hereafter. You’ll be accountable to Allah for your atrocities.”

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