ZAINAB Binte ALI (PBUH)
Islam, the religion which had bright history. Exactly 1438 years ago, the era of the beginning of Islam.
There was the Lady whose name was Zainab (PBUH). She was granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib (First Twelver Shia Imam) and Fatimah bint Muhammad (PBUH) and sister of Hassan (Second Twelver Shia Imam) and Hussain (Third Twelver Shia Imam). Like her two elder brothers, Hassan and Hussai, Zainab was also named by Muhammad. The name “Zainab” means “the adornment of her father”. Zainab was the third child of Ali ibn Abi Talib and his wife Fatimah. She was born in Medina on 5th Jumada al-Awwal, 5th AH based on Islamic calender.
Zainab bint Ali was a Muslim heroine who is famous for her Knowledge of the Holy Quran and virtuous life. In her character she reflected the best attributes. In sobriety and serenity she was likened to lady Khadija (PBUH) (Prophet Muhammad Wife), her grandmother. In chastity and modesty to her mother Fatimah (PBUH) and in eloquence to her father Ali (PBUH).
Many titles have been reported for her such as ‘Aqilah Bani Hashim’ (wise women of Bani Hashim), ‘Alimah Ghayr Muallamah’(the knowledgeable without being taught), ‘Naibah al-Zahra’(representative of Zehra), ‘Aqilah al-Nisa’ and etc…
When Zainab came of age, she was married to her first cousin ‘Abdullah ibn Ja’far,(whose father was ʿAlī’s brother Jaʿfar al-Ṭayyār ibn Abi Ṭalib, and whose mother was then ʿAlī’s wife and hence Zainab’s own stepmother, Asma bint Umays). Abdullah ibn Ja’far was famous in generosity. His nicked name was “the Ocean of Generosity” (Bahr al jud in Arabic).
Zainab is reported to have had five children with ʿAbd Allah: ʿAli (known as Ali al-Zainabi), ʿAwn al-Akbar (killed at Karbala), ʿAbbas (no information about him), Muḥammad (possibly killed at Karbala), and one daughter named Umm Kulthum.
After Ali (PBUH) became the Caliph , he moved his capital from Medina to Kufah. After moving his capital he also moved to Kufa with his whole Family. Zainab and ʿAbd Allāh also accompanied him there.
Zainab lived in Kufah through four years. Here she taught Qurʾān interpretation to women in her house. It is thus likely that she was trained by her father (who is considered the most learned of sages), and that she herself played a teaching role among the women of the early Muslim community.
After martyrdom of her father Ali’s, her brother Ḥassan stepped down from the caliphate and Muawiya became the first Umayyad caliph. Hassan returned to Medina with the family. and was subsequently poisoned by Muawiya.
After sometimes Muawiya also died and after death of Muawiya, Hussain (PBUH) went to Kufa by the invitation of the people of Kufa for him to claim the leadership of the Muslim community. Zainab accompanied him, as did most of his household. By the time Hussain’s army arrived, the people of Kufa had changed their minds and betrayed and did not join Hussain’s army at the Battle of Karbala.
In route to Kufah, Ḥussain’s entourage was stopped at Karbala and surrounded by a military unit sent by the Umayyad governor of Kufah, ʿUbayd Allah ibn Ziyad’. On 10 Muḥarram 61 AH, after three days without food or water in the scorching desert, Ḥussain, his supporters, all but one of the men from his family, and many of the male children were slaughtered. They were reported to be seventy-two in number. After the massacre, the Umayyad army looted Ḥussain’s camp and set off with his women and children for the court of Ibn Ziyad.
In many ways, Zainab functioned as a model of defiance against oppression and other forms of injustice. When her nephew, Ali ibn Hussain Zain al-Abidin (Fourth Twelver Shia Imam), was sentenced to death by the governor of Kufah (Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad), she threw herself over him in a protective embrace yelling “By God, I will not let go of him. If you are going to kill him, you will have to kill me along with him.” Moved by Zainab’s action, the captors spared Zain al-Abidin’s life. Because Zain al-Abidin was the only one of Hussain’s sons to survive the Battle of Karbala, this courageous action was pivotal in preserving the survival of an important part of Ali genetic line and thus the future Imams in Shia Islam.
The prisoners were next sent to the court of the Umayyad caliph Yazid in Damascus.
At the first day of Safar (Islamic month), according to a narration of Turabi, when they arrived at Damascus, they and the heads of fallen ones were taken into Yazid’s presence. The identity of each head and killed persons were explained to him. Then he paid attention to an objecting woman. Yazid asked: “Who is this arrogant woman?” The woman rose to answer and said: “Why are you asking them [the women]? Ask me. I will tell you. I am the granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad. I am the daughter of Fatimah. People at the court were impressed and amazed by her. At this time, the courageous sermons of Zainab shattered the foundations of oppression and brutality while the ruler who was celebrating his victory were shamed and became a symbol of defeat.
Zainab and her family were eventually released and escorted back to Medina. After her return to Medina, little is known of her in the year and a half before her death, except through much later, conflicting reports. According to one report, she stayed and died there. Another report states that due to persecution from the governor of Medina, she traveled to Fustat (later Cairo) in Egypt with several other women from the family of the Prophet; she lived in Fustat for over a year, narrating the Karbala tragedy and preaching the love of the family of the Prophet, and died there. A third report which is more credible states that she went with her husband to his Syrian estates (Damascus) in a year of drought and died there. Sources also differ as to the year of her death. According to most of them, she died on 15 Rajab ah 62 AH, when she was fifty-six years old.

Holy Shrine of Lady Zainab (PBUH) in Damascus

 

Zainab’s story teaches women, and the world, something new every step of the way. First, she shows the importance of education. Her leadership led her to establish an education system to better educate the people who followed her and lived in Medina. Her time spent after her stand at Karbala was short; she died a year later, but her impact lasted for years to come. Zainab’s love of education shows the world how vital education is for all.
Second, she teaches us that it’s not always easy to stand up against our oppressor. Our oppressor can come in many forms and in many hierarchies, but it’s important, even vital, to have courage and face down those who seek to tear us down. We must trust in our values and in ourselves to be strong and steady. Zainab defied the odds and stood up to the heinous and powerful oppressor of her time, becoming a pillar of strength and hope.

Zainab’s stand at Karbala and journey to establish education shows the traces of feminist ideals long before feminism became a mass movement. The lessons of Zainab are not unique to Islam but lessons that can be used everywhere in the contemporary world. When one would think that her story was over, she proved her strength through education.

Second Zainab In History

In Islam History there was also one lady who known as Second Zainab (in Arabic Zainab al-Thani) whose name was Lady Fatima Masoumeh (PBUH),  She was born in Medina in 173 AH and She was the daughter of the seventh Twelver Shia Imam, Musa al-Kadhim (PBUH) and sister of the eighth Twelver Shia Imams, Ali al-Ridha (PBUH). and the aunt of the nineth Twelver Shia Imams, Imam Muhammad Taqi al-Jawad (PBUH). She was taught all the Islamic sciences by her father Musa al-Kazim (PBUH) and her brother Ridha (PBUH) and she transmitted traditions (Ahadith) from them. She became famous as the Learned Lady and Muhaddithah (the Learned Lady who transmitted Ahadith). The traditions quoted by Lady Masoumeh (PBUH) are among the most authentic traditions which are present in various books of traditions.

When she was ten years old, Harun al-Rashid, the 5th caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate sent her father to prison and there her father died. This separation was very difficult for Masoumeh, but her brother ‘Ridha’ was 25 years her senior and took care of her.

Ridha and Masoumeh are among Imam Musa al-Kadhim’s 37 children, but they are the only two children from the Imam’s marriage to Najmah Khatun. Their mother was a former slave from North Africa who became very learned in Islamic teachings under the guidance of  Musa al-Kadim’s mother, Lady Hamidah.

After the death of Harun al-Rashid his son Mamun become Caliph, In 200 AH, al-Mamun called for ‘Ali al-Ridha to leave for Khorasan and Fatima Masoumeh was forced to live apart from her brother. After one year of separation from her brother, Fatima Masoumeh decided to join him. She did not leave solely because of her wish to live near her brother; scholars also suggest that Fatima Masoumeh’s knowledge and religiosity would help her brother in his political office, especially in decisions regarding women. In 201 AH she set off in a caravan of 23 family and friends of Ali al-Ridha, alongside another caravan of 12,000 people traveling to Khorasan. The caravans never made it to Khorasan, though, and Fatima Masoumeh never reached her brother. They were attacked by agents of the caliph while at Saveh; some fled, but many were wounded, taken prisoner, or killed. Fatima Masoumeh survived, but was forced to watch the murders of 23 close family members and friends. It is written that Fatima Masoumeh was then poisoned by a woman. She became severely ill and in this condition she migrated to Qum where the Shias of the city warmly welcomed her. The effect of poisoning increased during her short stay in Qum and she attained martyrdom on 10th of Rabi al-Thani (Islamic month) 201 A.H. Lady Masoumeh had great longing to meet her brother Ali Ridha but due to her sudden death she could not meet him. Ali Ridha was deeply grieved when he came to know about the demise of her beloved sister  Fatima Masoumeh (PBUH).

 

 

Holy Shrine of Lady Masoumeh (PBUH) in Qum