Lady Zainab (PBUH) is the message bearer of the martyrs in Karbala and the companion of Imam Hussain (PBUH) in the important rising of Ashura. Lady Zainab (PBUH) was born to Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH) and Lady Fatimah (PBUH) in the fifth of Jamadi al-Ulaa, year 5 A.H. She was the third child of the family i.e. she was born after Imam Hussain (PBUH). Her virtues were to such an extent that she was given titles by these meanings: the wise woman of (the tribe of) Bani Hashim, the trustworthy, the knowledgeable, the virtuous, and the ideal. The name “Zainab” has been taken from the two root words “Zain” and “Ab”, which means ‘the beauty of father’.
Imam Hussain (PBUH) would show great respect for Lady Zainab (PBUH) when she would come to see him. Lady Zainab (PBUH) has narrated many sayings from her grandfather Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), from her father Imam Ali (PBUH), and from her mother Lady Fatimah (PBUH). Lady Zainab (PBUH) had a strong heart and eloquent language. She was brave, ascetic, pious, modest and very courageous. When Imam Hussain (PBUH) denied paying allegiance to Yazid, he left the city of Medina to go to Mecca. Lady Zainab (PBUH) accompanied him with her two children.
She devoted herself to the movement of Imam Hussain (PBUH). She supervised the captives of the caravan after Ashura, took care of Imam Ali ibn Hussain (PBUH) when he was ill, and revealed the true evil character of the Umayyad Dynasty through her sermons. After the event of Ashura and during her stay in Damascus and Kufah as a captive, she delivered a number of sermons, which informed people of the true face of the Umayyad Dynasty and which, also became the key to the remembrance of Ashura for future generations. Moreover, when she went back to Medina, she continued to reveal the evil character of the Umayyad Dynasty by reminding people of the martyrs of Karbala. She was so patient that she became known as the “The Hero of Patience”.
A part of the sermon Lady Zainab (PBUH) gave with utmost bravery in the gathering of Yazid in Syria is as follows:
“What you consider today as spoils of war will become ruins for you tomorrow and on that day you will find what you have sent from before. Allah does not oppress his servants. I express my complaint only to Allah and have trust in Him. You may therefore do any treachery that you have, make all your attempts, and try all you can. By Allah, you cannot remove us from the minds (of people), and you cannot fade our message. You will never reach our glory and can never wash the stain of this crime from your hands. Your decisions will not be stable, your period of ruling will be short, and your population will scatter. In that day, a voice will shout: “Indeed may the curse of Allah be upon the oppressors….”
Lady Zainab (PBUH) passed away around the years 63-65 A.H. Her holy shrine, Zainabiya is located in the present country of Syria or to some others belief, in Egypt and nowadays many of the Shiites visit it.
(Selection taken from the books “The Culture of Ashura” by Jawad Muhaddithi; and “Story of Karbala” by Ali Nazari Munfarid)
On behalf of Roshd Website, we pay our condolences to all lovers of Ahl al-Bait on the 15th of Rajab, the demise of the great lady of Islam, and the model of patience: Lady Zainab (PBUH).