Library - IEC - Bibi Zainab (s.a.) - The devoted sister of Imam Husain (a.s.)
 
     Bibi Zainab, sa, was the source of courage and the rallying point for the survivors of the tragedy of Karbala. Her devotion to Imam Husain, as, and her vital role after the great tragedy are unparalleled.
 
     Birth:When she was born on the first of Shaban, 5 AH, the Holy Prophet, p, named her Zainab or "the embellishment of her father." While doing so, the Holy Prophet, p, wept and informed Imam Ali, as, that this child would be an eyewitness to the tragedy of Karbala.  
     Childhood:Bibi Zainab, sa, was taught by her grandfather, the Holy Prophet, p, and her father, Imam `Ali, as. She was just four years old when she heard her mother, Bibi Fatema, sa, deliver the sermon for her right to the garden of Fidak, yet Bibi Zainab, sa, narrated the sermon later so lucidly that the people of Bani Hashim memorized it and scholars recorded it. Hence she is called the narrator of traditions.  
     Marriage:She was married to Abdullah ibn Jafar Tayyar, a nephew of Imam Ali , as. Abdullah was a wealthy man, yet they lived a simple life and gave generously to the poor. Two of her children, Aun and Mohammad, were martyred during the battle of Karbala.  
     Role after the tragedy of Karbala:On the night of Ashoor, when Yazid's army set fire to their tents, it was Bibi Zainab, as, who saved Imam Zainul `Abedeen, as, and the children from being burnt alive. She then gathered the women and children and guarded them throughout the night. The next day, when they were being taken to Kufah, she consoled the grieving survivors when they were made to pass by the corpses of their loved ones. When the caravan reached the court of Obaidullah ibn Ziad at Kufah, the evil governor mocked them by saying that he thought they were slave girls. Bibi Zainab, sa, admonished him then spoke eloquently condemning both ibn Ziad and Yazid. Later, the caravan was marched to Damascus. During this part of the journey too the women and children were treated with utmost cruelty. Bibi Zainab, sa, tried her best to comfort them.  
     In the court of Yazid:Whenever Imam Zainul `Abedeen, as, was asked which was the most difficult part of their journey, he would say " Ash Shaam, Ash Shaam, Ash Shaam (Syria, Syria, Syria)" for it was in Damascus that their suffering reached its peak. The bazaars of Damascus had been decorated to give them a festive look and people had thronged the streets to witness the caravan's arrival. They had been told that Yazid's army had successfully crushed a rebellion and now the prisoners were being marched to the court of Yazid. However, when they saw the noble and innocent faces of the children and the dignified bearing of the ladies they were confused. When the members of the caravan entered Yazid's court, Imam Zainul `Abedeen, as, gave a sermon strongly condemning Yazid, and reminded him that they were the family of the Holy Prophet, p. This sermon had a profound effect on all present in the court. In order to distract them, one of Yazid's courtiers requested that Bibi Sakina, as, be given to him as his slave. Bibi Zainab, sa, could not tolerate this preposterous act. She stepped forward and scolded him then asked all those present whether there was anyone who could prevent this outrageous request from being fulfilled. On hearing this, Hinda, one of Yazid's wives, rushed into the court without her veil causing Yazid to dismiss the court.
Roza Bibi Zainab (SA), Damascus.
 
     In the court of Yazid:Whenever Imam Zainul `Abedeen, as, was asked which was the most difficult part of their journey, he would say " Ash Shaam, Ash Shaam, Ash Shaam (Syria, Syria, Syria)" for it was in Damascus that their suffering reached its peak. The bazaars of Damascus had been decorated to give them a festive look and people had thronged the streets to witness the caravan's arrival. They had been told that Yazid's army had successfully crushed a rebellion and now the prisoners were being marched to the court of Yazid. However, when they saw the noble and innocent faces of the children and the dignified bearing of the ladies they were confused. When the members of the caravan entered Yazid's court, Imam Zainul `Abedeen, as, gave a sermon strongly condemning Yazid, and reminded him that they were the family of the Holy Prophet, p. This sermon had a profound effect on all present in the court. In order to distract them, one of Yazid's courtiers requested that Bibi Sakina, as, be given to him as his slave. Bibi Zainab, sa, could not tolerate this preposterous act. She stepped forward and scolded him then asked all those present whether there was anyone who could prevent this outrageous request from being fulfilled. On hearing this, Hinda, one of Yazid's wives, rushed into the court without her veil causing Yazid to dismiss the court.  
     Return to Madinah:After the members of the caravan were released from Yazid's prison, Bibi Zainab, as, requested that they be given a house where they could mourn their dead ones. Here she conducted the first majlis. Later, when she returned to Madinah, she continued to narrate the tragedy of Karbala to the people of Madinah and devoted the rest of her life to the remembrance of Imam Husain (a.s.)  
     Bibi Zainab, as, has shown us how to keep the memory of Imam Husain, as, and the tragedy of Karbala alive. Therefore, it is our duty to conduct majalis, especially for the younger generation, to ensure that Imam Husain's sacrifice to save Islam is never forgotten.  
     -Contributed by Kumail Hussain  
     Sayings of Bibi Zainab (SA):  
     "O Yazid, You can never reach the level of our lofty position, nor can you destroy our remembrances, nor can you wipe out the ignominy you have earned for yourself by your abominable and vile performance. Your decisions are poor and your days are numbered. Your party will disperse the day when the Announcer will announce - Allah'S CURSE BE ON TYRANTS AND TRANSGRESSORS." Bibi Zainab binte Ali (a.s)  
     "O you the son of freed slaves! Is this your justice that the ladies of your house remain veiled and we the Prophet's daughters should be paraded from place to place?" Bibi Zainab binte Ali (a.s)  
     "O Yazid! Your misdeed has proved your rebellion against Allah... And this action of yours comes as no surprise from a person whose ancestors chewed the liver of such saintly martyrs. The descendants of such enemies of Allah should naturally be the most deadly!" Bibi Zainab binte Ali (a.s)  
     "O Yazid! You did what you wished, but remember that you have cut your own skin, In the near future you will be taken in the presence of the Holy Prophet. On that occasion you will be burdened with the sins of the misdeed committed by you shedding the blood of his progeny and dishonouring the sanctity of his family." Bibi Zainab binte Ali (a.s)  
     "O Yazid! Practice any trick you can and do anything that you think would vanish Islam, but you should know that you can not eradicate our message, path and memory. You should know that our memory will never die." Bibi Zainab binte Ali (a.s)  
     Other Sources:  
     Ziyarat of Hazrat Zainab (SA)  
   
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