Written by H110 Thursday, 30 September 2010 03:16
Hazrat Syeda Bibi Zainab (a.s) Asalamoalaka ya Hazrat Bibi Zainab a.s. Name: Zainab Title: Siddiqa-e-Sughra Kunyat: Umm-ul-Massaib Born at: Medina on 1sh Shaban Fathers Name: Hazrat Ali-Al-Murtaza (AS) Mother's Name: Hazrat Janab e Fatema Zahra (AS)
1.Had it not been for Zaynab (a), we would not have known the objectives of the qiyam of Husayn b. Ali (a) 2.The light footsteps of Ali Akbar roused both of them from their reverie. Both of them fixed their gaze on him without uttering a word. Zainab broke the silence with an exclamation: Oh God, can it be true that Akbar has come to bid me and his mother the last farewell Akbar do not say that you are ready for the last journey. So long as my sons Aun and Muhammad are there, it is impossible for me to let you go. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ziyarat of Hazrat Zainab (AS) The following ziyarat (verbal salutation) for Bibi Zaynab (AS) is traditionally recited to obtain divine blessing while visiting her shrine (in this case, in Damascus, Syria). It can also be recited at any other time in remembrance of the example of courage and submission that she presented to the world, particularly on the acknowledged days of her birth, death, and during the month of Muharram. Peace be upon you, Oh daughter of the Chief of prophets. Peace be upon you, Oh daughter of the Master of the sanctuary and the banner. Peace be upon you, Oh daughter of him who was made to ascend to (highest) heaven and reached the station of two bows' length (to Allah) or even closer. Peace be upon you, Oh daughter of the Leader of the pious. Peace be upon you, Oh daughter of the support of the sincere friends (of Allah) Peace be upon you. Oh daughter of the Leader of the Deen. Peace be upon you. Oh daughter of the Commander of the faithful. Peace be upon you, Oh daughter of him who struck with the sword of two blades. Peace be upon you, Oh daughter of him who prayed towards the two qiblahs [Jerusalem, then Mecca]. Peace be upon you, Oh daughter of Muhammad, the chosen. Peace be upon you, Oh daughter of Ali, the content (with the decree of Allah). Peace be upon you, Oh daughter of Fatima, the radiant. Peace be upon you, Oh daughter of Khadija, the elder. Peace be upon you. Oh righteous one, pleasing (to Allah). Peace be upon you, Oh learned, rightly guided one. Peace be upon you, Oh generous, noble one. Peace be upon you, Oh pious, pure one. Peace be upon you, Oh you who were thoroughly tested by sufferance like Husayn, the oppressed. Peace be upon you, Oh you who were kept far from your home. Peace be upon you, Oh you who were held captive in cities. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Angelic Appelation It was five years after the Muslims had accompanied the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and his family in the migration (Hijrah) to Medina, when the Holy Prophet's daughter, Hadrat Fatima (AS), 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, "O father, Allah has given me a sister." At those words Imam Ali (AS) began to weep, and when Husayn (AS) asked why he was crying so, his father answered that he would soon come to know. Fatima (AS) and Ali (AS) did not name their child until a few days after her birth, for they awaited the Prophet's return from a journey so that he could propose the name. When finally the baby girl was brought before him he held her in his lap and kissed her. The Angel Jibra'il came to him and conveyed the name that was to be hers, and then he began to weep. The Prophet (PBUH&HF) asked why Jibra'il wept and he answered, "O Prophet 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." When the members of the family heard this prophecy they all broke down in tears. Imam Husayn (AS) now understood why earlier his father had also wept. Then the Prophet (PBUH&HF) named her Zaynab (AS). When the news of Zaynab's birth reached Salman al-Farsi, he went to Ali (AS) to congratulate him. But instead of seeing him happy and rejoicing he saw Ali (AS) shed tears, and he too was apprised of the events of Karbala and the hardships that were to befall Zaynab (AS). One day, when Zaynab (AS) was about five years old, she had a strange and terrible dream. A violent wind arose in the city and darkened the earth and the sky. The little girl was tossed hither and thither, and suddenly she found herself stuck in the branches- of a huge tree. But-the wind was so strong that it uprooted the tree. Zaynab (AS) caught hold of a branch but that broke. In a panic she grabbed two twigs but these top gave way and she was left falling with no support. Then she woke up. When she told her grand father, the Prophet (PBUH&HF), about this dream he wept bitterly and said, "O my daughter. that tree is me who is shortly going to leave this world. The branches are your father Ali and your mother Fatima Zahra, and the twigs are your brothers Hasan and Husayn. They will all depart this world before you do, and you will suffer their separation and loss." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Growing up in Medina Zaynab (AS) shared with-her brothers and sister the extraordinary position of having such examples to look up to, emulate and learn from, as her grand father, the Prophet of Allah (PBUH&HF) her mother Fatima (AS), daughter of the Prophet, and he'r father Imam Ali (AS), cousin-brother of the Prophet. In the pure environment that enveloped her she absorbed the teachings of Islam that her grandfather imparted, and after him her father. Here too she learnt to master all household skills with great proficiency. She had barely attained the tender age of seven when her beloved mother passed away. Her mother's death had closely followed her cherished grand father's passing away. Some time later Imam Ali (AS) married Umm ul-Banin, whose devotion and piety encouraged Zaynab (AS) in her learning. Whilst still a young girl she was fully able to care for and be responsible for the running of her father's household. As much as she cared for the comforts and ease of her brothers and sisters, in her own wants she was frugal and unstintingly generous to the poor, homeless and parentless. After her marriage her husband is reported as having said, "Zaynab is the best housewife." From very early on she developed an unbreakable bond of attachment to her brother Imam Husayn (AS). At times when as a baby in her mother's arms she could not be pacified and made to stop crying, she would quieten down upon being held by her brother, and there she would sit quietly gazing at his face. Before she would pray she used to first cast a glance at the face of her beloved brother. One day Fatima (AS) mentioned the intensity of her daughter's love for Imam Husayn (AS) to the Prophet (PBUH&HF). He breathed a deep sigh and said with moistened eyes, "My dear child. This child of mine Zaynab would be confronted with a thousand and one calamities and face serious hardships in Karbala." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Womanhood Zaynab (AS) grew into a fine statured young woman. Of her physical appearance little is known. When the tragedy of Karbala befell her in her midfifties she was forced to go out uncovered. It was then that some people remarked that she appeared as a 'shining sun' and a 'piece of the moon'. In her character she reflected the best attributes of those who raised her. In sobriety and serenity she was likened to Umm ul-Muminin Khadija, her grandmother (AS); in chastity and modesty to her mother Fatima Zahra (AS); in eloquence to her father Ali (AS); in forbearance and patience to her brother Imam Hasan (AS); and in bravery and tranquility of the heart to Imam Husayn (AS). Her face reflected her father's awe and her grandfather's reverence. When the time came for marriage, she was married in a simple ceremony to her first cousin, Abdullah ibn Ja'far Tayyar. Abdullah had been brought up under the direct care of the Prophet (PBUH&HF). After his death, Imam Ali (AS) became his supporter and guardian until he came of age. He grew up to be a handsome youth with pleasing manners and was known for his sincere hospitality to guests and selfless generosity to the poor and needy. Together this young couple had five children, of whom four were sons, Ali, Aun, Muhammad, and Abbas, and one daughter, Umm Kulthum. In Medina it was Zaynab's practise to hold regular meetings for women in which she shared her knowledge and taught them the precepts of the Deen of Islam as laid out in the Holy Quran. Her gatherings were well and regularly attended. She was able to impart the teachings with such clarity and eloquence that she became known as Fasihah (skillfully fluent) and Balighah (intensely eloquent). In the thirty-seventh year A.H. (after Hijrah), Imam Ali (AS) moved to Kufa to finally take up his rightful position as khalifah. He was accompanied by his daughter Zaynab (AS) and her husband. Her reputation as an inspiring teacher among the women had preceded her. There too women would throng to her daily sittings where they all benefitted from her erudition, wisdom and scholarship in the exegesis of the Qur'an.' The depth and certainty of her knowledge earned her the name given to her by her nephew, Imam Ali Zayn ul-Abidin (AS), of 'Alimah Ghayr Mu'allamah, 'she who has knowledge without being taught'. Zaynab (AS) was also nicknamed Zahidah (abstemious) and 'Abidah (devoted) because of her abstemiousness and piety. She found little of interest in wordly adornments, always preferring the bliss and comfort of the Next World over that of this world. She used to say that for her the life of this world was as a resting place to relieve fatigue along a journey. Humble and of high morals, her main concern was to strive to please Allah and in doing so she avoided anything which was the least bit doubtful. Ali Akbar went over to his father to ask his permission to go out into that gory arena from which no person from his camp had returned. Husain looked at his face; it would be more correct to say that for a couple of minutes his stare was fixed on that face which he loved so much; which reminded him every time of his grandfather whom he resembled every inch. He tried to say something but his voice failed him. With considerable effort he whispered with downcast eyes: Akbar, I wish you had become a father; then you would have known what I am experiencing at this moment. My son, how can a father ask his son to go, when he knows that the parting would be for ever! But Akbar, the call of duty makes me helpless in this matter. Go to your mother, and to your aunt Zainab who has brought you up from childhood and loved you and cared for you more than for her own sons, and seek their permission. Ali Akbar entered the tent of his aunt Zainab. He found her and his mother Umme Laila gazing vacantly towards the battlefield and listening intently to the battle-cries of the enemy hordes. Their instinct made them aware that, now that all the devoted followers of Husain had laid down their dear lives defending him and them, the turn of his sons, and brothers and nephews had come. It was now only a question of time. It was only a question who would go first from amongst them. The light footsteps of Ali Akbar roused both of them from their reverie. Both of them fixed their gaze on him without uttering a word. Zainab broke the silence with an exclamation: Oh God, can it be true that Akbar has come to bid me and his mother the last farewell Akbar do not say that you are ready for the last journey. So long as my sons Aun and Muhammad are there, it is impossible for me to let you go. Akbar knew what love and affection his aunt Zainab had for him. He was conscious of the pangs of sorrow she was experiencing at that moment. Her affection for him transcended everything except her love for Husain. He looked at her face, and at his mother's who was rendered speechless by her surging feelings of anguish. He knew not how to tell them that he had prepared himself for the journey to Heaven that lay ahead. He summoned to his aid his most coaxing manners that had always made his mother and Zainab accede to his requests and said: My aunt, for all my father's kinsmen the inevitable hour has come. I implore you, by the love you bear for your brother, to let me go so that it may not be said that he spared me till all his brothers and nephews were killed. Abbas, my uncle, is Commander of our army. The others are all younger than me. When death is a certainty, let me die first so that I can quench my thirst at the heavenly spring of Kausar at the hands of my grandfather. The earnestness of Akbar's tone convinced Zainab and his mother that he was determined to go. It seemed to be his last wish to lay down his life before all his kinsmen. Since on no other occasion they had denied him his wishes, it seemed so difficult to say no to his last desire. With a gasp Zainab could only say, Akbar, my child, if the call of death has come to you, go. His mother could only say: May God be with you, my son. With you I am losing all I had and cared for in this world. Your father has told me what destiny has in store for me. After you, for me pleasure and pain will have no difference. With these words she fell unconscious in Ali Akbar's arms. The battle-cry from the enemy's ranks was becoming louder and louder. Ali Akbar knew that he had to go out quickly lest the enemy, seeing that their challenges for combat were remaining unanswered, got emboldened to make a concerted attack on his father's camp. Even such a thought was unbearable for him. So long as he was alive, how could he permit the onslaught of Yazid's forces on his camp where helpless women and defenseless children were lying huddled together? He gently put his mother in his aunt Zainab's arms saying: Zainab, my aunt, I am leaving my mother to your care. I know, from your childhood, your mother Bibi Fatima has prepared you for the soul-stirring events of today and what is to come hereafter. My mother will not be able to bear the blows and calamities that are to befall her, unless you lend her your courage. I implore you by the infinite love you bear for me to show the fortitude that you are capable of, so that your patience may sustain my mother when she sees my dead body brought into the camp's morgue. I entrust her to your care because there will be none to solace her and look after her in the years of dismay and despondency that lie ahead of her. Ali Akbar embraced his loving aunt Zainab with tender love and affection for the last time. she exclaimed: Akbar, go. My child, I entrust you to God, To ease your last moments I promise you that, so long as I live, I shall after Umme Laila with the affection of a mother. With a heavy heart Ali Akbar returned to his father. There was no need for him to say that he had bid farewell to his mother and aunt Zainab, for the sorrow depicted on his face spoke volumes to Husain. Silently he rose and put the Prophet's turban on Akbar's head, tied the scabbard on his waist and imprinted a kiss on his forehead. In a failing, faltering voice he muttered: Go Akbar, God is there to help you. Treading heavily Akbar came out of the tent with Husain following closely behind him. He was about to mount his horse when he felt somebody tugging at his robe. He could hardly see, because his eyes were almost blinded with tears. He heard the voice of his young aster Sakina supplicating him not to leave her. O my brother," she was saying, "do no go to the battleground from which nobody has returned alive since this mornings." Softly Akbar lifted her, gently and affectionately kissed her on her face and put her down. His grief was too deep for words. Husain understood the depth of Akbar's feelings and picked up Sakina to console her.
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