Condolences to the Imam of our time Imam al-Mahdi (atfs), our righteous scholars, the Leader of the Muslim World, and all human beings on the martyrdom anniversary of Aqeelatu Bani Hashim Umm ul-Masaaib Hadhrat Zainab (alyha as-salam)
While Hadhrat Zainab (as) was not technically one of the fourteen masoomeen, she was perfect and grew up surrounded by the flawless five.
She had Rasoolullah (saawa) for a grandfather, Amir ul Mumineen (as) for a father, as-Sayyedah Fatimah (as) as her mother, and Imam Hasan (as) and Hussain (as) as her brothers. She was still a perfect and infallible human being and one of the best examples for mankind.
The purpose of creation is the worship of Allah and to submit to His will in all aspects of life.
A person reveals who they truly are when they are faced with trials and difficulties. In Karbala, on the day of Ashuraa, Hadhrat Zainab (as) watched as the male members of her family and Imam Hussain’s (as) supporters were brutally slaughtered. The tents were loud with the cries of the frightened children and women. No adult male was left to look after them except Imam Zainul Abideen (as) , a man who was seriously ill.
Hadhrat Zainab (as) put her own emotions aside and shouldered the most agonizing and difficult responsibility of caring for them. She stood steadfast and strong when the enemies snatched her veil, and when she had to see the mens’ heads on spears.
Imam Zainul Abideen (as) testified that she never missed any wajib or recommended prayers during her journey from Karbala to Kufa and from Kufa to Sham even when she was not able to pray standing because of hunger and thirst.
ان عمتى زینب كانت تؤدى صلواتها، من قیام الفرائض والنوافل عند مسیرنا من الكوفة الى الشام وفى بعض منازل كانت تصلى من جلوس لشدة الجوع والضعف
Lady Zainab (as) resembled her father in her speech and bravery. When she was in the court of Ibn Ziyad (lanatullahi alyhi), he said, “What did Allah do to your family?”
She replied, ما رایت الا جمیلا
“I have not seen anything except beauty.”
These words show her love and recognition of her lord.
When Ibn Ziyad decided to martyr Imam Zainul Abideen (as) she became a shield for him.
“O son of Ziyad! You have shed enough of our blood. By Allah! I shall not part with him. If you desire to kill him, kill me along with him too”.
In the court of Yazid (lanatullahi alyhi), a Syrian asked to have Fatimah, a daughter of Imam Hussain, as a slave. When Yazid tried to grant his request, Hadhrat Zainab (s.a) replied to Yazid, “By Allah! You lie! And you revealed your mean nature. You nor he has any authority to do so”.
Yazid was enraged and said,”It is you who lie! By Allah! I do have the right to do so”.
Syeda Zainab (a.s.) replied,”No, by Allah! Allah has not given you the authority”.
She challenged Yazid, “O son of freed slaves, is this your justice that you keep your own daughters and slave-maids veiled while the daughters of the Prophet of Allah are being paraded from place to place exposed? You have dishonored us by unveiling our faces.”
She recited a verse from the Quran to show Yazid his fate: “Let not those who disbelieve think that Our giving them respite is good for their selves; We only give respite to them that they may increase in sins, and for them is a disgraceful chastisement.’ (Surah aal-‘Imraan, 3:178).
Needless to say, the story of Karbala is incomplete without mentioning the role of Hadhrat Zainab (as). Imam Hussain (as) took her with him for a reason. Without her, his sacrifice and message would have ended in Karbala. Her task was to protect the essence of his message. She preached in city after city as she and the survivors were taken to Shaam. She ensured the story of Karbala was not questioned or forgotten like Ghadeer e khumm. She is a faithful servant of Allah and a protector of true Islam. She sacrificed everything to ensure its survival. Her life serves as an example of what it means to be a Muslim. She is a true role model for all Muslims and non-Muslims, men and women.
Syed Sartaj Zaidi