The Lady of Wilayah
After Lady Fatimah (A.S.), Lady Zainab (A.S.) is the unique hero amongst the women in the history of Islam.
With her brave and outstanding character, her deep faith, and her strong belief in Allah (SWT), she had a significant role in protecting religion on its original path.
Her name always follows the name of Imam Hussain (A.S.). Shiite historians have recognized her as the second most significant character in the tragedy of Karbala. More importantly, her role in the tragedy had great impact in keeping the movement of Ashura alive. Hence, historians consider Lady Zainab (A.S.) as the key to the victory Imam Hussain’s (A.S.) rising.
The sermon that she delivered in Kufah is a brilliant example of how her bereaved heart impacted the people through her sermon.
The caravan of the captives, which consisted of women, children, soldiers holding spears that carried the heads of the martyrs, and the army men of Ibn Ziad entered the city of Kufah. As they entered, the people were cheering and expressing their joy of victory!
But the sermon of Lady Zainab (A.S.) was so powerful that it converted the glorious show of victory into a mournful ceremony, where the evils of the governor were revealed. The sermon caused for the delighted happy faces to sadden, and many even began to cry. As a matter of fact, her eloquent speech even boosted people’s anger toward the governor….
There are several significant points concerning her sermon. The first point is that the speaker is a captive woman who is among many victorious soldiers and higher rank army men. She has to consider that the enemy’s anger may cause another attack upon the captives. Furthermore, since the people of Kufah knew Imam Ali (A.S.) and his children, Lady Zainab’s (A.S.) sermon should have been in such a manner that people could fully understand the importance of such a tragedy(1).
She pointed people to be quiet. The breathing of people remained in their chest. After Praising Allah (SWT) and Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) she said:
“O people of Kufah! O you deceivers! O you who break your pledges and retreat back! You traitors! May the cries never end and the tears never diminish. You are like the woman who painstakingly and with great labor twines a strong rope, and then herself unwinds it, thereby wasting her effort and energy. Your false pledges contain no element of truth and sincerity. Your tactic has become flattering the maids and nodding your heads in agreement to the enemies.
Beware, for you have sponsored a very wrongful act for which Allah is totally displeased with you. Without doubt, His wrath shall soon descend upon you.
Are you now crying? Yes, by Allah you must weep because you deserve the tears. Cry immensely and laugh less, for you are contaminated with such shame and disgrace, that you will never be able to wash it off.
How could you exonerate yourself from crime of slaying the son of the Last Prophet and the mine of prophethood? Was he not the master of the youth in Heaven? Was he not the one who you would go to him whenever you had tribal fights and disagreements? Was he not your best choice to solve your own problems and worries?
What bad have you brought upon yourselves, and what heavy burden are you carrying: annihilation, downfall! Efforts were lost, and hands ceased from work causing for business and capital to be lost. You placed yourself in the anger of Allah , and you manifested yourselves in greed and begging.
O the people of Kufah! Woe be upon you! Do you know which part of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) you have cut? And which vow you have broken? And whose blood you have shed? And which respected family you have brought to the public (as captives)? And whose sanctity you have violated? You have done that, which could tear down the skies, open the earth, and make the mountains vanish. As far as the earth goes and as deep as the skies go, your obvious deed has no like, no similarity and no decency. Indeed you have done the ugliest, the most grievous and gruesome deed.
Will you be surprised if the sky rains blood? Remember! The punishment of the Day of Judgment which will be much more severe and much harsher! That is because no one has the power of Allah (SWT).” (2)
Selected from “The Life of Lady Zainab (A.S.)” by Dr. Ali Qa’emi
2- Narrated from “The Life of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (A.S.)” by Dr. Sayyed Ja’far Shahidi