Janab Zainab (A.S.), who laid the Foundation of Azadari
Hujjat al-Islam Syed Zaki Baqueri
Daughter of the Holy Prophet's(SAW) daughter. Sister of the King of Martyrs. She is a true role model for any woman today of any religion. She showed the world the definition of womanhood. Her bravery and courage stands alone in a field of millions. She was tied up and taken as a prisoner. She had her scarf ripped off her head, she had her house burned to the ground. She was Janab-e-Zainab.
With a father like Ali, a mother like Fatima, a grandfather like Muhammad and brothers like Hasan and Hussein, Janab-e-Zainab was brought up in a house of God. After losing both her grandfather and her mother at a young age, Janab-e-Zainab spent all her time along side her father. Even after her marriage to her father's nephew, she never left his side. She was and still is a true example for all the wives and the daughters in this world. But her love for her family did not stop there, for she later proved to be the ultimate sister to her loving brother, Imam Hussein(A.S.) in Kerbala.
After the death of her brother on the 10th of Muharram, Janab-e-Zainab became responsible for all the women and the children. After she was taken to Kufa and eventually to Shaam as a tied up prisoner, along with the others, Janab-e-Zainab never stopped preaching the importance of her grandfather's mission. She would constantly remind the people of Kufa who her brother was and what he stood for.
It was in Yazid's Court in Shaam, in front of a crowd of people, where Janab-e-Zainab delivered some historic sermons. The following is an example of such a sermon:
"You have harmed your souls with such terrible deeds that God is angry and you are doomed for eternal torment. You have forfeited the right to laugh and now there is nothing left for you but to mourn and weep. Do you realize that you have shed the blood of the Holy Prophet's successor, Imam Husain, the person who could have been your saviour? Imam Husain, the leader of the Youths of Paradise, was the one you needed for guidance and towards whom you could have turned in your time of need."
Sources say that at the end of her sermons, the majority of the crowd would hide their faces in their hands and cry out of shame. She truly represented Imam Ali's voice in Kerbala. After being tortured in the dungeons of Shaam, Janab-e-Zainab along with Imam Zainul-Abideen(A.S.) were released. After returning to Kerbala and burying the headless bodies, including her own brother's, Janab-e-Zainab returned to Medina. Upon arrival, she went straight to her grandfather's grave telling him the entire story of Kerbala with a river of tears in her eyes.
It was in Medina where Janab-e-Zainab and the Imam who laid the Foundation of Azadari (mourning) for Imam Hussein(A.S.). She used to lay a mat on the ground and have the Imam sit on it and narrate the story of Kerbala while the Quraishite and Hashemite women would come in their mourning clothes and cry upon hearing the events. The women would cry so much that they would beat themselves in sorrow. After these " Majalises " the women would offer their condolences to Janab-e-Zainab and the Imam. Janab-e-Zainab lived the rest of her life in mourning for her brother.
It was her father who was brutally killed in Kerbala. It was her baby brother who had an arrow shot through his neck. It was her beloved uncle that had both his arms cut off. It was her who spent her last days in a dungeon. The daughter of Imam Hussein(A.S.), the sister of Hazrat Ali Asghar, the niece of Hazrat Abbas Alamdar. She was Bibi Sakina.
The four year old daughter of Imam Hussain(A.S.) was loved by everyone. There was a special bond between Hazrat Abbas and Sakina. He loved her more than he did his own children. If Sakina requested for anything, Hazrat Abbas would not rest until he satisfied her request. There was nothing that Hazrat Abbas would not do to make Sakina happy.
On the night of Ashura, when Imam Hussein(A.S.) and his companions were lying headless in the battlefield, back in the tents, Janab-e-Zainab was gathering all the children and the ladies together. She noticed that little Sakina was missing, panicked and ran out of the tents looking for her. Calling out her name, she searched everywhere. She, then, noticed a man passing by and asked him if he had seen the little girl. He had replied no, but he also added that when he stopped by the river to give his horse some water he heard such a painful cry that his horse stopped drinking. He, then referred her to the direction from which the cries came.
Janab-e-Zainab started walking towards the direction of the battlefield where the bodies lay scattered, headless and bare. She saw Sakina lying on Imam Hussein's chest crying. Janab-e-Zainab asked her, " Oh, Sakina! How did you recognize your father? A person can be recognized by their face or the clothes they wear. Your father has neither. " Sakina replied, " I ran out into the battlefield crying for baba, not knowing which body was his. Then, I heard a voice saying, "Oh Sakina, my daughter, I am here come to me! Then I layed down putting my head on his chest as I used to everynight. " With great pain and difficulty, Janab-e-Zainab seperated Sakina from her father and brought her back to the tents.
After the 10th of Muharram, Imam Zainul-Abideen(A.S.), the women and the children were taken as prisoners to Kufa and Shaam. In the Zindan-e-Shaam (The Dungeons of Shaam) they were given very little food and water. They were forbidden to cry or mourn for their loved ones. Sakina could not control herself as she cried day and night for her father. Yazid ordered her family to make her stop crying to avoid punishment. But, she continued. Then, finally he asked, " What would make her stop crying? " The reply was to send the head of her father so that she may be comforted for the time being.
The head of Imam Hussein(A.S.) was sent into the dungeon as per Sakina's request. She wrapped her arms around his head, put her cheek against his and cried until she collapsed. Janab-e-Zainab summoned Imam Zainul-Abideen(A.S.) to check the status of Sakina as they thought she had fallen unconscious. When the Imam went over to check on his sister, he had noticed she had stopped breathing. That is when he realized that Sakina was no more and buried her in the same ripped, burnt clothes right there in Zindan-e-Shaam.