Zaynab (A.S.) is like a 'Sun' shining in the Islamic history
The name of “Zaynab ” is like a “sun” shining in the Islamic history. What we know about her life and her character is not enough and there is still more to know.
Her auspicious birth was on 5th of Jamadi-Ul-Aval, in 5 or 6 A.H. She was the daughter of Imam Ali (A.S) and the Islamic honourable Lady Fatemeh Zahra (S.A).
The Prophet [pbuh&hp] named her "Zaynab" explaining that this name was the combination of two words “Zayn” and “ab” which meant father’s adornment, in other words she was like an image of Imam Ali's (A.S) character.
The Holy Prophet of Allah [S.A.W.S.] narrates:
One day Fatimah [A.S.] mentioned the intensity of her daughter's love for Imam Husayn [A.S.] to the Prophet [S.A.W.S.]. 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."
In her fruitful life, she encountered many grievous events such as the death of the Holy Prophet (saw), the martyrdom of her Holy Mother (A.S), the martyrdom of her Holy Father (A.S) and then the martyrdom of her Holy Brother, the 3rd Holy Imam and 2nd Muslims’ leader, Imam Hassan ibn Ali (A.S).
These grievous events prepared the ground to be enraged at Yazidians’ oppression.
Her eloquent speeches and admirable behaviour at Karbala event showed that this honourable Lady (A.S) had a high rank of being submitted to Allah’s (swt) will, which was one of the most important statues among the favourites of Allah (swt) and the Prophets (peace be upon them all).
Lady Zaynab's (A.S) Speech at Kufa- Quote 1
"Have you forgotten that Allah has said:
“Do not regard those who disbelieved that we grant them good for themselves? We only give them a respite so that they may increase their sins, and for them there is a humiliating torment.” (3:178)
"Know (people of Kufa) that you have been guilty of the most heinous crime in the world and have prepared the worst provision for the Day of Judgement. Curses be upon you and may destruction overtake you. Your efforts have gone wasted and you have been ruined. You have transacted a losing trade. You have become the victim of Allah's wrath and have fallen into ignominy and degradation...................”
The Anglo Saxon Chronicles and Lady Zaynab [A.S.]
In the article The Anglo Saxon Chronicles and Lady Zaynab [A.S] it points out that in British History, recorded in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles, that:
In the year 685 AD [Christian Calendar]:
"685. In this year in Britain it rained blood, and milk and butter were turned into blood."
In Lady Zaynab's (A.S) speech in Kufa in the same year, her speech below quotes:
"In view of all these acts, would you wonder if blood should rain down from the sky?"
Lady Zaynab's (A.S) Speech at Kufa - Quote 2
"O people of Kufa, woe upon you. Do you realize which piece of the Prophet Muhammad's heart you have severed, which pledge you have broken, whose blood you have shed and whose honour you have desecrated?
You have certainly committed such a crime because of which, the sky may fall down on the earth, the earth may crack and the mountains crumble to pieces. By killing your Imam, you have committed a singularly evil act of rebellious behaviour and heedlessness towards dignity.
In view of all these acts, would you wonder if blood should rain down from the sky?
In any case you should mind that the chastisement of the Next World will be severe. At that juncture there will be no one to help you. Do not regard the time and opportunity given you by Allah as small and unimportant, and do not be satisfied with it because if Allah is not quick in acting it does not imply that He is unable. For him there is no fear that the time of vengeance is passing away. Allah is certainly keeping watch over you".
Hearing this speech of Lady Zaynab (A.S.), people wept, some putting their fingers in their mouths and biting them. Without appealing to sentiments of pity, she exposed to them, the reality of their selves and their evil deeds. The eyes that had been raised in expectation of celebration, were now downcast with shame by the truthful force of her speech (Zaynab and Hala, 2002).
At Karbala, many tragic events occurred around and to her.The martyrdom of her sons, also the martyrdom of her brother’s children and more importantly of all, the martyrdom of her brother Imam Hussain (A.S) along with his faithful companions which brought this great Lady (A.S) into terrible shock.
Although having submitted to Allah’s will, she never conceded to oppression and injustice.
In fact, the history of Karbala is based on two strong factors, the Imam Hussain’s (A.S) and Lady Zaynab’s (A.S) rising.
Zaynab (A.S) the Social Worker and Educator
In social dimensions, besides communicating deeply with people, she was active in educating the people, solving their problems and also aiding the needy.
As a case in point, while living in Kufa, she taught women the Quran interpretation.
Everyone knew that she (A.S) was a brave and high-spirited lady and this was clear in her brief, effective and blazing speeches in Ibn Ziad and Yazid’s court against them.
The Many Names of Lady Zaynab (A.S)
There have been many names for Lady Zaynab (A.S). Some of them are more important in the historical documents rather than the other ones. “Umm Kulthum” is one of her most famous names. The reason why she was called Zaynab Kubra (Zaynab the major) was the fact that her sister having the same name and nickname. Therefore this name of Zaynab distinguished her from her sister. However; in some books like “Ibn Shahr Ashoob” and “An explanation on Nahjolbilaqih”, one can find out that it was her sister that was called “Umm Kulthum the major.” “Umm Abdullah” and "Umm-ul-Hasan” are among her many other names.
It is worthy to say that according to the Arabian tradition at that time, the many names were determined for an individual in his or her early childhood.
Her multidimensional character had led to the existence of many names for her, some of them are explained in the following:
Lady Zaynab (A.S) was called “ Banihashem’s Aqileh" and “Aqileh Talebin” in which Aqileh means the virtuous lady who is treated dearly among the members of the family and in her progeny. Her other names are: “Sadiqeh", “Esmat-e Soqra (Esmat, the minor)”, “Mahbubat-ul- Mostafa”, “ Sharikat ul Hosein”, “Zahedeh” (the virtuous lady), "Aqeleh" (the wise lady), and so on.
Hadrat Zainab (A.S.)
"Oh, I know about Damascus
Where Zaynab's star shines
"Zaynab" glorious daughter of "Ali"
Who has nursed humanity
From Karbala throughout times
To keep Islam alive
Humanity sings peace and joy at once
To everyone who seems still in love
To see the trees of truth bloom
And the world be rid of gloom
If there is one thing the entire universe shares
It is the life of Zaynab to read and care
Dreams and hopes will come true
When Zaynab and her goals are understood
Inside us is the warmth of Allah's love
When we think of Zaynab "The patient princess"
That is why the Ahlul-Bait of Rasulallah
Are the light of saviours here and after this life.