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by Aqeela Naqvi

I was inspired to write this article on Bibi Zainab because I  was named
after her and more so because,
she was the grand daughter of the Prophet and the
daughter of Hazrat Ali and Bibi Fatima, she was the heroine of Kerbala, and
therefore a leader of all women. She helped bring down the rule of the tyrant
Yazid son of Muavia.

Bibi Zainab also known as Zainab Kubra, was born in Medina in the fifth year
of Hijrat, 625 AD. Zainab, means adornment of the father. Aqeela, which is
also another one of Bibi Zainab's names, means the wise, the sagacous and the

Hazrat Zainab was very patient in her childhood when she came across many sad
and  tragic events. She was only six when her grandfather, Prophet Muhammad
passed away. Just six months later, she lost he mother, the Prophet's
daughter, Fatima(s). When on her death bed, Bibi Fatima said: " My dear, do
not leave your brothers alone, take good care of them, be a loving sister and
be so kind to them as if you
were a mother to them.. She followed her mother's advice as long as she lived. She was married to Abdullah ibn Jaffar. They had four children: three sons, Aun, Mohammad, and Abbas and one daughter, Umme Kulsoom.

When Imam Hussain left for Karbala, Bibi Zainab accompanied him with her two
sons. She was with him during the tragedy of Karbala. She walked through the
streets of Kufa as a prisoner but as a brave and courageous daughter of Ali,
she is known for her great speeches and sermons to protest against the most
terrible acts of Yazid. She admonished the residents of Kufa and Damascus for blindly following the Ummayad ruler instead of choosing the right path. Here is one
of her great Speeches:

" Praise be to Allah, the Creator and Protector of the universe and peace and
blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad and his progeny. O Yezid, it is true what
Allah (SWT) has said in His holy book;
˜Evil was the end of those who did evil, because they denied the revelations
of Allah and made a mockery of them."(Sura Rome 30:10)

Yezid,  do you think that since you have taken us as prisoners, dragged us
in chains from place to place and made it impossible for us to live
peacefully in any place in the world, you have reduced, in anyway, our
position and prestige, which Allah has given to us?
Do you think you have done service to Islam and gained honor and respect in
the eyes of Allah ? And is it for that reason that you think so highly of
yourself and look around in pride ? You are delighted because the reign of
power is in your hand and the world and its affairs are running according to
your wishes and desires !.

O  Yezid, wait for a while, wait for a while. You have forgotten the
following words of Allah (SWT)

˜And let not those who believe, imagine that our granting them respite is good for their souls. We grant them respite only that they may add to their sins. And they shall have a disgraceful punishment." (3:178)

O Yazid, is it justice that you have put your womenfolk and slave girls
behind the curtains and brought the daughters of Allah's Prophet in public?
You have insulted them and humiliated them. You have taken them from place to
place so that the dwellers of the cities as well as the villages, the high
and the low, might gaze upon their faces and make fun of them. They have no
friend or guardian to look after them, support them, and protect them.
How can we hope to receive better treatment from the son of the woman who
chewed the liver of a pious person and who thrived by sucking the blood of
the martyrs of Islam ? It is not strange if he is an enemy of the Prophet's
family and looks at them with hate and envy. He has not forgotten the events
of the past and his heart is full of enmity and revenge.

O Yezid, you have said just now that if your elders, who were killed in
Bedr, were here and seen the revenge you had taken from Prophet Muhammad,
they would have been pleased with you and praised you. You uttered these
words carelessly and without thinking that you were committing a great sin.
O Yazid, you are reciting verses and at the same time hitting with a stick
the teeth of Aba Abdullah Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet the Chief of
the youths of Paradise ! You are doing it because your heart is burning with
hatred and revenge. It is cooled down by killing Ale Muhammad. (May blessings
of Allah be on him and his Progeny) !

Did you call here your ancestors ? Do you think that they would respond to
your call? Do not worry, you too will join them soon. Then you will regret
say to yourself, ˜I wish I had not said what I had said. I wish I had not
done what I had done."

Allah (swt) will have our revenge from the tyrants and punish them for
spilling our blood and killing our relations and friends.
O Yezid, by Allah (swt) you have pierced a dagger in your own heart and cut
your own flesh. You may like it or not, you will soon, face the Prophet of
Allah with the burden of your sins of humiliating his family and shedding the
blood of his children on your back. At the same time you will see that Ale
Muhammad are surrounded with blessings and bounties of Allah.

˜ Think not of those who are slain in the way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are
alive and receive their provision from there lord." (Sura Ale Imran, V. 169)  

Hazrat Zainab kept her self-control and delivered her Khutba under very harsh
and difficult conditions. She was standing as a prisoner in the packed
courtroom and the heads of her brothers, sons and other relations were before
her. She said everything she had to say in a clear and firm voice. She
demolished , through her speeches, the false image of Yazid and his Ummayad
Bibi Zainab"s speeches had a great impact on the people. They were moved by
her eloquence. She made them reflect on the circumstances surrounding the
tragedy of Karbala. Many of them regretted their actions when they learnt the

After her return from Damascus, Bibi Zainab devoted her  remaining life in
remembrance of Allah swt. She and her sister Umme Kulsoom advised women
about their duties and responsibilities. In 62 A.H., she was visiting the
Grave of her niece, Sakina in Damascus, when she passed away. Her Shrine
located in Zainbiya, near Damascus is a center of learning; it attracts
thousands of visitors every year. A shining example of the very best in
Islam, the grand daughter of the Prophet of Islam is a source of inspiration
for all women of the world.  





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