Category Archives: janab E zainab

The Caravan of Pride

The Caravan of Pride (Mawkeb-ul Abaa) is an eye-opening movie which skilfully portrays the heart wrenching series of events that unfolded after the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. After the massacre which took place on the plains of Karbala, the remaining members of the Family of the Holy Prophet (saw), who were not killed in the war, were taken captive and paraded in a humiliating and degrading fashion from Kufa (Iraq) to Shaam (Syria).

After the Caravan were paraded through the most difficult of conditions, underwent the most excruciating pain and were afflicted with the greatest of torments, they were finally brought to Yazids Palace in Damascus, Syria. It was here, in the very stronghold of Yazid, that the light of Truth pierced through the dark veils of ignorance Satan had thrown over the eyes of the Muslim masses, it was here, under the eternally damned eyes of the tyrant Yazid, that Syeda Zainab, the daughter of the ever victorious Lion of Allah, Ali ibne abi-Talib, delivered a unparalleled, pivotal and crucial sermon which awoke the people of Damascus from their deep slumber of heedlessness and shook the foundation of the Umayyad Dynasty, sending it crumbling to the ground. It was here, that Imam Zain ul-Abideen, in such magnificent words of eloquence, informed the people of Damascus who exactly it was they were oppressing by telling them the relationship he holds with the Holy Prophet, his great grandfather. Thus was the revolution of Imam Hussain completed, a revolution against injustice, a revolution against tyranny, a revolution seeking honour over humiliation, truth over falsehood, courage over fright, righteousness over immorality, knowledge over ignorance, a revolution whose shockwaves continue to resonate thousands of years later, and a revolution, an eternal stand against corruption, which proves to be the source of inspiration for humanity at whole…


Janab e Zainab s.a. ke Khutbe ka iqtebaas

The Daughters of the Holy Prophet(s.a.w.a.) in the Courts and the Market

The Daughters of the Holy Prophet(s.a.w.a.) in the Courts and the Market

Kufa was the capital of Iraq and the capital of Hazrat Ali’s (a.s.). It was also a place of residence of Hazrat Ali’s (a.s.) friends and partisans. The walls and doors of Kufa were familiar with the eloquence of Hazrat Ali (a. s.). Janabe Zainab (a.s.) lived here as the daughter of the ruler. The women used to greet her as ‘the daughter of Ameerul Momeneen’ and ‘the daughter of Rasool Allah’. She was an extremely respected figure of the city. Today she was brought as a captive in this city. Those who had respected her were looking at her as a tragic spectacle. Those who greeted her were taunting at her. She did not have chadar over her head, and she was seated on the bare back of a camel. Instead of feeling remorse on the killing of the son of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) they were celebrating with joy. On the one hand such inhuman behavior of the masses and on the other hand the pain of sitting on un­saddled camels while they were veil less, and led by the heads of the loved ones atop the point of spears, with a group of thirstily wailing children, chained and manacled Imam Sajjad (a.s.) on top of all hordes of onlookers, who were ridiculing at this pathetic sight. Whenever afflicted ones are ridiculed their afflictions are multiplied. In such conditions should some­one have probed into the heart of Janabe Zainab (a.s.). It is difficult to raise the head in such hordes of calamities leave alone delivering sermons. While effective sermons have certain conditions, like the speaker should not be under any mental strain and should be in a relaxed mood. He should not be tormented by hunger and thirst, nor should he be under stress of sorrow and pain. None of these conditions were present here. Hunger and thirst were beyond any limit, the speaker was under all sorts of emotional and physical strains. The children were crying, the atmosphere was hostile; every glance was full of hatred. But here the speaker was inherited with the qualities of eloquence from her father. When she spoke, she shook the hearts of the ruthless killers. Her words penetrated the hearts of the listeners, their eyes were moistened. The mourn­ing voices turned into sounds of groaning and weeping.

When she decided to speak, her one gesture froze everything in sight. Not only men but animals too were quietened. Her awe and fury, her dominance and authority upon the universe and despite of all these her restrain and control, made her a person beyond praises. She spoke thus:

“All praise to Allah and blessing be upon my father, Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and his pure progeny”.

Here she referred the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) as her “father” instead of grandfather only to make the people realize that how much was she close to him. She showed that these captives were none but the family of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

She continued: “O people of Kufa, O people of deceit and treachery, are you mourning for us. Let not these tears dry, let not these pleadings be silenced. Your example is like that of a woman who herself knits the yarn firmly but then she breaks it herself. (You believed in the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and then you yourselves violated the covenant.) You believed as you wished to (not fulfill the conditions of belief). You are but flatterers, mischief-mongers, self-conceited, men­dacious and fiendish men. You disgraceful son of slave-maids, you are quipping like enemies. You are like the vegetation on marsh (which apparently looks green but inwardly is lousy and filthy, talks are good but acts are hateful). Or you are like that silver which is buried under sand. Your life has prepared perdition for you. Certainly the chastisement of Allah will be inflicted on you and you shall remain in it forever.

You are weeping while you yourselves cut our loved ones to pieces. Why are you wailing? By Allah you should cry more and laugh less. By this sin you have earned disgrace and disrepute. This blemish can never be removed. (Certainly this sentence is the living testimony for the killers of Imam Husain (a.s.), that they are still tainted with the sin.) This stain can never be removed. You have killed him who was the son of the last Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Chief of the Youth of Paradise, refuge of your virtuous men, hope of the oppressed ones, beacon of proofs and centre of sunnat. You have done a huge misdeed. May you perish. May Allah chastise you.

Now your efforts will remain fruitless. Your hands are severed. You have suffered an enormous loss. You are reverting towards the punishment of Allah. Insults and disgrace have been decreed for you.

O Kufans! curse be upon you. Do you know which beloved of the Prophet have you slain, and whose veils have you plundered? Whose blood have you spilled? Whose chastity have you disregarded? You have committed such a sin that it may split the skies, divide the earth and blow off the mountains.

You have done a shameless act. Such a crime which filled the earth and the sky. It will not be surprising if blood poured down from the skies. And the retribution in the hereafter will be disgraceful. None shall help them, nor will they be given reprieve. Allah does not hasten in giving punishment. He does not fearthe exhaustion of punishment and He is after you.”

Imam Sajjad (a.s.) said: “O aunt! Be quiet now. Praise be to Allah you are learned without being taught and God-gifted thinker.”

(Maqtal Al Husain, pg 310; Lohuf, pg 68; Ehtejaj Tabarsi, vol 2, pg 31, Najaf; Balaghatun Nisa, pg 23; Adabul Husain and Hemaseh Ahmad Sabir, pg 176-178)

Bashir bin Hazim Asadi has related “By Allah, I have not seen more bashful and pure women who can be a better speaker than Zainab. She delivered a sermon as if Hazrat Ali (a.s.) himself was speaking.”

(Lohuf, pg 88, Qum)

The effect of this sermon was this that those who were celebrating after the killing of Imam Husain (a.s.) realized their crime. Their existence became a source of shame for them. That day Kufans were constrained and confounded, weeping and slap­ping their faces, chewing their fingers. Bani Umayyah and their propaganda was reduced to a cipher. Janabe Zainab (a.s.) said at the end “Allah never hastens in giving punishment.”

The Court of Ibne Ziyad

Janabe Zainab (a.s.) delivered this sermon on the roads and streets. When Ibne Ziyad returned from the camp of Nakhila and entered the palace, he ordered for the decoration of the court and opened it for the public. Captives were brought in the court. They were brought in the court in such a manner that the sight was hair raising. Imam Husain (a. s.)’s head was kept in a platter and placed in front of Ibne Ziyad. He desecrated those lips with his stick which were kissed by Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

He was doing this to announce his victory to them and threaten them with his tyranny. He was showing that now there was no strength left in the clan of Bani Hashim and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), all of them are killed. Now there is no threat to his government and Yazid’s government as well.

When Janabe Zainab (a.s.) saw this, she in order to expel her anger and displeasure, separated from the women and sat alone. Her anger was writ large on her face. While her face was gleaning with the awe of Imamat. Ibne Ziyad inquired about the woman who sat separately and how dare can she show her indifference in his court? When he was told that she is none other than the daughter of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) he was filled with rage. In order to pacify himself he said: “Praise be to Allah, who disgraced you, killed you and belied you.” Janabe Zainab (a.s.) sprang to her in the style of her mother and gave such a fearless retort that the whole earth was subdued by her all-pervasive eloquence, in the words uttered by her: “Praise be to Allah who gave us respect through His Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and purified us from all impuri­ties thoroughly. Certainly only sinners are disgraced and belied and it is not us but other than us.”

She showed her closeness to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and proved that this can never be taken away from us. The silence of Ibne Ziyad disclosed that Janabe Zainab (a.s.) was correct in her saying. When he could not think of anything else, he said: “How do you find Allah’s dealing with you Ahle Bait?”

This sentence reflected the theory of compulsion that we did not do it but Allah has done this. He meant that Allah is responsible for the event of Karbala and not they. But he was not dealing with an ordinary person. She could read between the hidden words and replied:

“I found Allah’s treatment to be the best. Since Allah destined martyrdom for them hence they were martyred. But soon Allah will gather you and them at one place and conduct a trial. There arguments will be made against you. Then see who shall succeed. O Son of Marjana! your mother will cry on you?”

She clearly exposed the defeat of Ibne Ziyad behind the facade of victory. In the court of Ibne Ziyad, in front of armed soldiers and ministers, she castigated him and shattered his egotistic fancies. Ibne Ziyad could not tolerate this castigation and started quiv­ering with anger.

 (Maqtalul Husain, pg 324, Qum)

Then, he in order to hurt her said: “The elimination of you Ahle Bait, who rebelled and revolted against me, Allah has given solace to my heart.”

Janabe Zainab (a.s.) had tears in her eyes at this, she said: “By Allah, you killed my elders. You dragged us Ahle Bait from place to place. My roots were chopped to pieces and breathing became difficult for us. If this gives you pleasure then be pleased.”

(Kamil Ibne Aseer, vol 4, pg 33; Maqtal Khwarizmi, vol 2, pg 42)

Here also she abrogated his accusation that he hadn’t killed Ahle Bait but Allah did.

The Court of Yazid

Yazid rejoiced when he heard about Imam Husain (a.s.)’s assassination. As his father became happy over the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (a.s.), as his grandmother Hinda became joyous over the death of Hamza. Hence he wrote to Ibne Ziyad that cap­tives should be immediately sent to Syria. These sorrowful desperate captives left for Syria. Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s.) hands were tied behind his neck. His womenfolk were with him. When after facing the calamities of the journey they reached Syria. Yazid recited verses of joy in the full court, which reflected his credo. These verses clearly clarify that he does not have any relation with Islam. The verse were as follows:

“Had my forefathers been alive today they would have become happy and blessed me that how I avenged them. The clan of Hashim played a game, neither any Prophet came nor did any Revelation.”

At this stage also the courageous daughter of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) overturned the designs of Yazid. She said:

All praise be to the Lord of the Worlds. Peace be upon the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) an his progeny. Allah has truly said,

Then evil was the end of those who did evil, because they rejected the communications of Allah and mocked at them.”

 (Surah Rum: 10)

O Yazid! Do you surmise that you have straitened the expanse of skies and the earth and dragged us from place to place. Do you think this degrades us and elevates you and you must be too happy with this thought and swelling with ego and haughtiness. Your world is gay and you usurped our rightful place. Don’t hurry but wait. Have you forgotten the verse of Quran:

‘Those who have disbelieved should not deem that we have given them respite for good rather we have given them reprieve so that they may increase their sins and for them is a formidable and disgraceful chastisement.’

(Surah Aale Imran: 172)

O son of Freed slaves (Those who were released by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) after the fall of Mecca) is it just that your women should sit in veil while the daughters of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) should be lugged from door to door? They be made captive, their veil be snatched, they should be dragged from town to town and all may look at them, and mean persons stare at them. They are neither helped nor aided by anybody.

How can he expect the Mercy of Allah who chew the flesh of holy men and martyrs of Islam. How can you lag behind in the enmity of Ahle Bait who bore such hatred towards us. Then without any guilt feeling shamelessly you boasted that ‘Had my forefathers been alive they would have congratulated me and would have said may your hands never be be­numbed’. At this you desecrate the lips of Imam Husain (a. s.) with your stick. You have caused these wounds. You have spilled the blood of the Progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.). You have silenced the earthly stars of the clan of Abdul Mutallib and you are addressing your forefathers and talking to them in your imagination. Soon you will join them. Then you will wish that your hands should have been be­numbed and your tongue be bedumbed. Whatever I did I should not have done it and whatever I said I should not have said it. “By Allah O Yazid! By this tyranny and oppression you have minced your own skin and have blown your flesh to smithereens. How will you face Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) while you had spilled the blood of his Ahle Bait. While you have disregarded his chastity. Then indeed the day Allah shall assemble them he will seek retribution for them ‘ Do you not think them dead who were martyred in the way of Allah. But they are alive and receiving sustenance from their Lord.’

(Surah Aale Imran: 163)

O Yazid! Though circumstances and calamities have made me to stand here and I am forced to address you. While I think you are too lowly and debased. I condemn you and I rebuke you. Why not? My eyes are brimming with tears and my heart is wrenchful at the death of my loved ones and rela­tives. “Surprising and highly surprising is that cho­sen one of Allah should be slain at the hands of Satanic horde of freed slaves. Your hands are stained with our blood. Your mouth is full of flesh of Ahle Bait. Pure corpses are lying on the ground and animals are looking at them and desert sand is coming on them. If you think our murder and captivity is good for you then soon you shall witness your misdeed. No treasure of yours will help you. Allah never tyrannizes His servant. I complain against you to Allah and trust His self. “O Yazid! Utilize all your viles, employ all your efforts and use your full strength. But by Allah you can never obliterate our names. You can never finish our revelations. Nei­ther can you drive away ignominy and disgrace from yourself. Your thoughts and imaginations are too weak. Your days are numbered. The day caller will call curse of Allah be upon oppressors.

And praise be to Allah, the Lord of the words Who decreed forgiveness and bliss as our beginning and mercy and martyrdom to be our end. I pray from Allah for the most perfect reward for the martyrs and multiply it manifold and make our succession the best. Surely He is Merciful and Beneficent. Allah alone is sufficient for us and He is the Best Protec­tor.”

(Balaghatun Nisa, pg 21; Maqtalul Khwarazmi, vol 2, pg 64; Maqtalul Husain, pg 357; Adabul Husain and Hemasah, pg 179-181).

This sermon speaks volumes about the invincible courage of Janabe Zainab (a.s.) . No trace of tremble or hesitation can be found in her voice. She is not ashamed nor sorry, she claims martyrdom to be a source of pride and a cause of infamy for the tyrants. She said in the full court that “You can never obliterate our names nor can you finish our Revelation.” Then until today every namaz, azaan and all the precepts of religion affirm that a handful of Yazids can never undo their names, they made attempts though.

May Allah bless our women to emulate Janabe Zainab (a.s.) so that they may enliven the Islamic teachings in the present atmosphere of disbelief and polytheism.


The propagation, advancement and perpetuation of Islam is the result of the painstaking efforts of Hazrat Ibrahim, Hazrat Musa, Hazrat Isa, Hazrat Mohammed Mustafa (s.a.w.),HazratAbuTalib (a.s.) and Hazrat Ali (a.s.). It was due to their endless exertions, perrenial patience, forbearance and steadfastness that Islam has become what it is.

Similarly their footsteps were followed by Janabe Sarah, Hajaruh, Aasiyah bin Muzahim, Safura, Janabe Maryam, Janabe Khadija, Janabe Fatema Zehra (s.a.). Their sacrifices are like the scintillating stars on the horizons of history. One of the contributor to this series of sacrifices was the sister of Imam Husain Bin Ali (a.s.) Janabe Zainab Bin Ali (a.s.). The tree of Islam which was sown by the infallible hands of Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.), and cultivated it by their sacrifices. When the age-old enemies, in the eyes of Islam contemplated to uproot it, Imam Husain (a.s.) protected it by his initiative and martyr-dom. And Janabe Zainab (a.s.) publicly lambasted and humiliated the oppressor in his very court and proclaimed the failure of every attemptthatwould be made to destroy Islam until Quiyamat and made the tree of Islam verdant and blooming forever.

Titles reflect the very characteristics of man. Same is applicable with the titles of great men and scholars. Nowadays the norms are much different the ardent devotees may give any title and with the intention of not disheartening him the same is gladly accepted. The scholars of Islam have mentioned some of the titles of Janabe Zainab (a.s.) in the following manner. The titles and its explanation are as follows:-

Zainab was her name. It is the combination of two words, viz., ‘ Zain ‘ (Adornment) and ‘ Ab ‘ (Father), which means father’s adornment. Everything is adorned in accordance with its position and prestige. There is a difference in the decoration of a hut and a palace. Similarly adornment of a king and a pauper differs. A mosque and a house too differ in the matterof adornment. For that matter, difference remains in adornment of ordinary mosque and Holy Kaaba. Apart from this, material adornment is differ-ent from spiritual adornment.

The true adornment of man is synonymous with his merits and excellences.

The holy person of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) is the sum total of all the meritorious attributes and excellent characteristics. A person who is adorned with all the excellent attributes in his self and if somebody becomes an adornment for him,
then what can be said of such an adornment. How closely similar would be their personalities. Some writers have written that the father and the daughter were so close, so germanely attached that even the alphabetical distance of Alif cannot set them apart. It is for this reason that in Arabic ‘ Zainab ‘ is written without the alphabet’ Alif in between. HazratAli was the adornment of excellences and Janabe Zainab was his adornment.

Waliyatul Allah:
Wali means leader, master of authority. If this authority is limited to sheriat then it is known as ‘Wilayate Tashriee’ and if it extends to the whole Universe, then it is known as ‘Wilayate Takvinee’. As much the character will be high the bounds of authority will be that much encompassing. Janabe Sulaiman was having the authority of controlling the breeze, while his vizier Aasif bin Barkhia was having the power of transporting the throne of Bilquees in time of batting of an eyelid. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) split the moon and Hazrat Ali (a.s.) retrieved the sun. Janabe Zainab (a.s.) is a WaliyatuI Allah and this is vested with authority on the universe and moreover she also has the authority over this authority.

One ordinary example of the potential of her authority is that in Kufa, when she wished to deliver a sermon, the whole atmosphere was rife with shrieking noises and ear-splitting cacophony. Men and animals, both were making a lot of noises. Nobody could have quelled such a noisy mob. Man may become dumb of fear of tyranny but same cannot be with animals. A narrator has narrated the nature of Janabe Zainab’s (a.s.) power in these words:
“The moment Zainab Bin Ali gesticulated at the people, then their breathing slowed down and bells which were dangling in the necks of animals stopped ringing ……..”

(Maqtal Al Husain, Al Muqarram, pg 311, Printed at Al Bethata Press.)

This incident clearly shows the extent of authority, which Janabe Zainab (a.s.) wields over this Universe. Her mere gesture was enough to quell the bedlam.
The Holy Quran has described one of the characteristics of the friends of Allah thus:
“The friends of Allah shall have no fear nor will they be in grief.”
(Yunus: 62)

Janabe Zainab (a.s.) remained patient in such trying circumstances which would have humbled even the mighty men. They would have dumped patience and become querulous. Both her patience and forbearance were such that she was consoling each and everybody. When Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s.) witnessed the shroudless corpses of the martyrs, he wept uncontrollably, it was Janabe Zainab (a.s.) who consoled him and related a tradition from her grandfather that
“Allah will construct a shrine over here and people will come to visit it.”
Despite of unlimited powers bearing patiently is from the traits of WaliyatuI Allah. At this juncture also she remained a prideful adornment for her father Hazrat Ali (a.s.) also despite of unlimited powers (who can retrieve sun for him few men are nothing) resigned to being dragged, while rope tied to his neck.

Aminatul Allah:
There is a difference in maintaining trust that of human beings in respect of material things and trust that of Divine secrets. It needs colossal fortitude and patience to be capable of keeping Divine secrets. Such secrets can be inquired by either the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) or Imams (a.s.). Other than infalliables none can carry any such divine secrets. Imam Husain (a.s.) assigned
the secrets of Divine leadership and vicegerency to Janabe Zainab (a.s.) and thus elevated her status further. If this episode shows the sublime status of Janabe Zainab (a.s.) then it also proves her infallibility, because a fallible human cannot bear the secrets of Imamat.

One of the Divine trusts is the office of Imamat. She protected the Imam of her time, and supported him. When the enemies contemplated killing him, she came in front and saved his life. In Medina Janabe Fatema (s.a.) saved the life of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and in Karbala and after Karbala Janabe Zainab (a.s.) saved the life of Ali Bin Husain (a.s.). She indeed was the successor to Janabe Zehra (s.a.).

Aalematun-Ghaira Muallamah Wa Fahimatun Gharra Muffahamah:
A scholar without teacher and an intellectual without an instructor. Janabe Zainab (a.s.) was a scholar without a teacher and an intellectual without an explanator. This title was accorded to her by the Imam of her time, Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s.). This shows that Janabe Zainab (a.s.) never received education from any teacher. But she was divinely blessed with knowledge and education. Allah accords such an honour to those who rightly deserve it. Which means she was gifted with ‘Ilme Ladunni’ . This again is further proof of her exalted position and status. Who can comprehend the position of the one who is gifted with divine knowledge. The importance of knowledge has been repeatedly mentioned in Quran and traditions. This title indicates that how much does Islam want to rise the place of the women who have knowledge. The traces of her knowledge is seen in her sermons, which she delivered at Kufa and Syria. These sermons were like the sermons of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and that of Hazrat Fatema Zehra (s.a.). When those who had been in audience to the sermons of Hazrat Ali (a.s.), heard the sermons of Janabe Zainab (a.s) remarked
‘Has Ali come to life again?’ Because her style, her oration, her delivery, depth of her meaning, and everything, reflected that of Ali (a.s.)

Sharikatul Husain:
Janabe Zainab (a.s.) was a constant companion of Imam Husain (a.s.) at every stage. She too descended from the same bloodline and lineage and also accompanied him in his trials and calamities. Companionship of an infallible Imam is not a trivial honour.

Ka’abatu Rezaya:
Rezaya is the plural of Raziya, which means major catastrophe. Ka’aba is the House of Allah, people circumambulate around. Muslims from all over the world face towards it and come towards it. Janabe Zainab (a.s.) is the Ka’aba of calamities. Difficulties and catastrophes were revolving around her and every trouble was coming to her. She was the epicentre of calamities from the very beginning, death of her grandfather, separation from mother, demise of father, death of brother and a large scale massacre of her kith and kin in Karbala. Those who were full of life at the dawn, were all slain atthe decline of sun, the whole house was ruined in just one day. Her loved ones were replaced by the wrenchful sorrows of their deaths. Then from Karbala to Kufa, Kufa to Syria, Syria to Karbala, Karbala to Medina, hordes of tribulations became her fate. If the curtain of Kaaba was set on fire then her veil was snatched. If stones were catapulted on Ka’aba then her back was lashed ruthlessly. If Ka’aba was dishonoured then she was humiliated by dragging from place to place. Such atrocities did not lower the status of Ka’aba rather its honour was enhanced similarly such tortures and oppressions did not demand her but her enemies were disgraced. If even today the curtain of Ka’aba has survived then even her veil of honour has remained

After the plunder and massacre at Karbala THE ROAD TO SHAM

After the plunder and massacre at Karbala, the Ahle Bayt (a.s.) of the Prophet (s.a.) were subjected to harrowing tribulations by Yazid’s forces on their way to Shaam (Syria). Indeed these afflictions surpassed those meted out at Karbala in their intensity as well as their hostility. It left the members of Imam Hussain (a.s.)’s household completely scarred for the rest of their lives.

Sayyid Ibne Taoos (r.a.), the great traditionalist, has recorded in his ‘Iqbal’ that in the latter half of the Day of Ashoora, soon after Imam Hussain (a.s.) was martyred, the ladies of his household encountered nerve-racking bereavement and trauma. They were taken captives by Yazid’s barbarians. In captivity, they were engaged in the mourning and lamenting for their loved ones. They were subjected to such intense humiliation and abasement in that latter half of Ashoora, that Ibn Tawoos could never adequately capture that suffering on paper.

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) recounts from his father, Imam Baqir (a.s.), who inquired from his father Imam Sajjad (a.s.), in what condition had Yazid (the accursed) summoned him ? Imam Sajjad (a.s.) replied,
“I was made to mount a lame camel that was without any saddle. Imam Hussain’s severed head gazed at us from atop the lance. Our ladies trailed us mounted on mules. Yazid’s sentries held guard on the rear side. Raised lances and spears hovered threatening around us. If one of us dared to shed even a single tear (in grief), he/ she was subjected to agonising prodding of lances in the head. This was until we reached Damascus and one of the Syrians announced our arrival thus, ‘O people of Shaam, these are the prisoners from the accursed clan! ‘(We seek refuge in Allah) !!

Abdullah b. Rabeeah narrates, “I was present in Damascus in Yazid b. Muawiyah’s court when Imam Hussain (a.s.)’s household were brought to Shaam. Zuhair b. Qais entered the court. Yazid exclaimed, ‘Woe to you! What news have you got for me?’ Zuhair answered proudly ‘I bring glad tidings of Allah’s conquest and triumph. Husain (a.s.) along with eighteen members of his family and his sixty companions confronted us, …..we surrounded them and attacked them with our daggers and lances. They scurried for shelter like pigeons. They scattered for refuge with panic. All this in as much time taken as to slaughter a camel or of the afternoon siesta. Till we decimated every single one of them, down to the last rebel. We plundered their corpses, not sparing even their clothes. We dyed their dress with their blood. We ground their faces in the earth so that the sun could cast its blazing heat on them. So that they would be left at the mercy of storms and gales. So that the predators of the desert would linger around them.” Having heard this, Yazid dismissed him without any reward. Ubaydillah b. Ziyad then summoned Imam Hussain (a.s.)’s head to be advanced. He then summoned the children and the ladies of Imam (a.s.)’s household. And ordered that Imam Sajjad (a.s.) chained in iron fetters and escorted by Makhfar b. Thalabah Aaezee and Shimr b. Zil Jawshan (may Allah curse both of them). They accompanied Imam (a.s.) till he joined those who had the holy head of Imam Husain (a.s.). Imam (a.s.) walked in studied silence, not conversing with either of his escorts till they reached Damascus.

Both Shiite and Sunni historians have recorded that when the carriers of Imam Husain (a.s.)’s head reached their first destination, they began drinking alcohol in their euphoria. They were gazing at Imam (a.s.)’s holy head with regalement and gratification, when a palm emanated off a wall clutching an iron pen, and wrote a few words in blood : “Are the murderers of Husain (a.s.) hopeful of the Prophet’s (s.a.) intercession on the Day of Judgement?” On witnessing this, they were petrified and quickly left that place.

Sibt b. Jauzi has reported from Ibne Sireen in his ‘Tazkeratui Khawaas’ that a stone relating to an era that preceded the Prophet’s proclamation (be’sat) by five hundred years, was discovered on which some words in the Syrian dialect were engraved. Its Arabic translation was similar to the aforementioned tradition.

Sibt b. Jauzi has recorded a tradition from Abu Muhammad Abdul Malik b. Hisham Nahvi.
“On their way to Shaam, at every halt, Yazid’s army had the practice of removing Imam Hussain (a.s.)’s head from the chest (which was specially made for his head). They then placed his head aloft the lance. At one of their halts at a church, they removed Imam (a.s.)’s head from the chest as was their practice, raised it atop the lance and guarded it. They inclined this lance against the church. A lone Christian priest inhabited this church. At around midnight, this priest witnessed an amazing spectacle. He saw a ray of light extending from Imam (a.s.)’s head to the skies. Amazed, he then inquired from Yazid’s men, ‘Who are you?’ They responded, ‘We are Ibne Ziad’s soldiers.’ The priest then sought the identity of the severed head. They replied that it was the head of Hussain b. Ali b. Abi Talib, son of Fatema, daughter of the Prophet. Amazed, he requested, ‘Will you let me keep this head for the night’s duration in exchange for ten thousand dinars? I will return it (when you are ready to leave this place)?’ They acquiesced and handed over Imam (a.s.)’s head to that priest in exchange for the agreed amount. The priest, then cleansed Imam (a.s.)’s head and applied fragrance to it. He held the head closely and wept for the entire night. In the morning, he confessed to Imam (a.s.)’s head,

‘I have nothing remaining with me save my life. I bear witness that, there is no God except Allah and Muhammad (s.a.) is His Messenger and I am your slave’ .

Later, he abandoned the church and devoted the rest of his life to the service of the Ahle Bait (a.s.). Indeed this incident of the Christian priest’s guidance by Imam Hussain (a.s.) without a word transpiring from Imam (a.s.)’s severed head, bears articulate testimony to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.)’s declaration’

‘Certainly Hussain is the beacon of guidance and the ark of deliverance.’

Yazid’s men proceeded with Imam (a.s.)’s head. On approaching Damascus, they resolved to distribute those dinars (given by the priest) as Yazid was likely to deprive them of it. When they opened those bags containing the dinars to their shock and dismay they discovered that the dinars had transformed into worthless coins. Inscribed on one side was :

“Do not consider Allah to be unaware of what the evildoers perpetrate.”

And engraved on other side was

“Soon the evildoers shall find out where their hearts are inclined”

Disillusioned, they were forced to dump those bags in the river.
(‘Seeratun Nabi’ by Ibne Hisham)

Sayyed (r.a.) recounts from Ibne Lahseeah, (of which only the necessary portion we shall mention over here), who relates, “I was circumambulating (doing ta’waaf) the Holy Ka’aba when I overheard a person beseeching with the Almighty Allah thus, ‘O my Lord! I am expectant of (Your) forgiveness although I know You will not forgive me.’ When I tried to console him, he disclosed to me the entire episode thus,
‘I was among the fifty individuals who took Imam Husain’s head to Shaam. On the way all, save me, drank alcohol in revelry and celebration. At night, I witnessed awesome lightning. I beheld the various Prophets viz. Hazrat Adam (a.s.), Hazrat Nuh (a.s.), Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.), Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) and Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) descending from the skies. Accompanying them was a group of angels ushered by Jibraeel (a.s.) and Mikaeel (a.s.). Prophet Muhammad (s.a.) took the chest with Imam’s head and began wailing uncontrollably. All his companions consoled him. Jibraeel (a.s.) told the Prophet (s.a.), ‘Allah has ordained me to obey you unconditionally. If you wish I can decimate your nation.’ The Prophet (s.a.) declined Jibraeel’s offer and said, ‘Our nation’s decision will be taken on the Day of Judgment.’

Thereafter, the angels advanced menacingly towards us so as to kill us. I cried, ‘Peace! Peace! 0 Messenger of Allah!’ The Prophet looked at me in disgust and said, ‘Go away! May Allah never forgive you!’

Abu Mikhnaf has chronicled in his ‘Manaaqib’ that when Imam Hussain’s head was brought in front of Yazid, it emanated a fragrance so sweet and enchanting, so as to surpass all other fragrances.

Sayyed ibne Taoos (r.a.) has narrated a tradition that, when the ladies of the Imam (a.s.)’s house were approaching Damascus, Janabe Umme Kulsum (s.a.)
approached the accursed Shimr requesting him, ‘When you take us into the city, please take us past the gate that has few spectators.’ However, Shimr displaying his malevolence, did exactly the opposite. He made the ladies pass through the most crowded gates of Damascus and positioned them at the steps of the Masjide Jaame’a where usually, the common criminals were made to stand.

Zaid has narrated from his forefathers who in turn recounted from Sahl b. Sa’ad thus, ‘…in of one my sojourns to Shaam, I was surprised to see festivities abounding among its residents, akin to Eid. On seeking the reason (for such festivities) from the people, I learned that the rejoicing was on account of Imam Hussain, whose head was brought to Shaam and the ladies of his house, who were held as captives. I waited awhile till I saw the flags and standards, one behind the other… and I saw some women mounted on camels devoid of any saddle. I approached the first camel of that procession which incidentally was that of Sakina b. Hussain (s.a.). I introduced myself and sought any demands that she might have. She requested that all the severed heads be sent forward, preceding her. I accosted the guardians of the heads and offered them three hundred dinars so they took the heads ahead of Janabe Sakina (s.a.). (Bihar al Anwar and Manaaqib )

It has been reported that the Ahle Bayt (a.s.) were detained at the gates of Shaam for three days, as if they were an adornment for the city that no eye had ever witnessed in the past. Then about five lakhs from Shaam’s populace greeted them playing the tambourine and drums.

However, the fact is that all these sufferings and more, are very evident for Imam-e-Zamana’s (a.t.f.s.). He, in his divine knowledge, aware of every vivid detail and every minute aspect of Karbala.

Every Shia’s most ardent desire is to find Imame Zamana (a.t.f.s.) in the precincts of Imam Husain’s shrine. And to say “Ameen” when Hazrat (a.t.f.s.) beseeches Allah beneath the dome of Imam Husain (a.s.)’s shrine, for his early reappearance. Allah (the Mighty and the Glorified) responds to Imam (a.s.)’s invocations. Only then will Janabe Zehra (s.a.) find solace and the Prophet’s word will come to pass. And we attain martyrdom under Imam (a.s.)’s banner.

Sabr & Tabligh in the life of Sayyida Zaynab (a.s)


In the days of Firo’un, magic was prevalent. When Prophet Musa (as) came to Firo’un to inform him about his prophethood, Firo’un asked him to produce an evidence for the same.

“If you have brought a sign then produce it if you are truthful. So he threw down his staff and behold, it was a manifest python. Then he drew out his hand, and behold it was white for the onlookers”. (7:106-108)

The immediate reaction of people present there was that Musa (as) was a great magician. So to challenge him, Firo’un invited the great and renowned magicians of Egypt. The magicians threw their sticks and they turned into snakes. Seeing this Musa (as) was taken aback. But Allah (SWT) said to him, “Throw your staff”. (7:117)

Which he (as) did and it turned into a large python swallowing the fake snakes of the magicians. When the magicians saw this, they realised that what Musa (as) had done was not a magic but a great miracle so they all fell down in prostration and expressed their belief in Allah (SWT) saying:

“We have believed in the Lord of the worlds. The Lord of Musa and Haroun”. (7:121-122)

Firo’un was very disturbed by the turn of events and he promised to cut the hands and feet of the magicians; and then crucify them for believing in Allah (SWT). It was here that the magicians exhibited their firm belief in Allah (SWT) and prayed to Him:

“O our Lord! Pour patience upon us and grant us to die as Muslims –those who submit to Your will”. (7:126)


One of the titles of Sayyida Zaynab (

a.s.) is that of As-Sabirah meaning ‘the patient one’. The reason why she was given this title is because trials and tribulations in her life were predicted by the Holy Prophet (saww) on the day she was born and in her entire life she exhibited the highest level of Sabr when encountered by hardships and difficulties. There are two heart-rending incidents that have been related about her.

One incident is about the time of her birth. It is related that when her father, Imam Ali (as) saw her for the first time, Imam Husayn (as) who was 3 years of age at that time, was with him. The young child exclaimed in delight: “O father! Allah has given me a sister”. At those words, Imam Ali (as) began to weep. When Imam Husayn (as) asked him the reason for crying, he (as) said,

“My son! You will soon find out”. Ali (as) and Fatima (as) did not name the child until a few days after her birth. This is because they wanted to give this honour to the Holy Prophet (saww) who was on a journey. When the Holy Prophet (saww) returned and the child was brought to him, he (saww) took her into his laps and kissed her. Thereupon Jibrael came and said, “O Muhammad! The child shall be named Zaynab”. Jibrael then wept. When asked for the reason of crying, he said, “O Prophet of Allah! This child shall be entangled in trials and tribulations from a very young age. She will first weep over your separation; then she will moan her mother; then her father; and then her brother Hasan. Thereafter, she will encounter trials at the

land of Karbala and tribulations of that lonely desert, which will turn her hair grey and her back will be bent”. When the members of the family heard this prophecy, they all broke down in tears. Imam Husayn (as) now understood why his father had also wept. (Chauda Sitaare)

The second incident is when Sayyida Zaynab (as) was only 5 years of age. It is related that she saw a very frightening dream. A violent wind arose in the city and darkened the earth and the sky. The little girl was tossed in the air and suddenly she found herself stuck in the branches of a huge tree but the wind was so strong that it uprooted the tree. Zaynab (as) caught hold of its branches but too broke. She then grabbed two twigs but these two gave way and finally she fell down without support. When she woke up, she rushed to her grandfather, the Messenger of Allah, and narrated her dream. The Holy Prophet (saww) wept and said, “O Daughter! That tree is me who will shortly depart from this world. The branches are your parents Ali and Fatima and the twigs are your brothers Hasan and Husayn. They will all depart from this world before you and you will suffer their separation and loss”. (Zaynab bint Ali)

Her personal loss has been summed up in three sentences of her Ziyaarah that we recite:

Peace be on you O the one who was thoroughly tested under trying hardships just like Husayn – the oppressed.

Peace be on you who was kept away from her homes.

Peace be on you who was held as a prisoner in many cities.


One of the many lessons that we learn from the life of Sayyida Zaynab (as) is about Tabligh – her strong determination to propagate the message of Allah (SWT). Many people think that the work of Tabligh is easy. Little do they realise the problems, which come along in this mission. A Muballigh who had devoted his entire life in Tabligh was once asked, “What are the most difficult things in Tabligh?” And he replied, three things:

Firstly, steadfastness against rejection by people:

Look at what Quran is saying about Prophet Nuh (as). He (as) preached for 950 years but he (as) got only handful of people who believed in him. Eventually, he (as) turned towards Allah (SWT) and complained to him saying:

“Indeed whenever I have summoned them, so that You might forgive them, they would put their fingers into their ears and draw their cloaks over their heads; and they were persistent (in their disbelief) and disdainful in (their) arrogance”. (71:7)

Secondly, dealing with the real ignorant people.

Who are the real ignorant people? They are not the ones who simply do not have knowledge – rather they are those who do not have knowledge & they do not know that they do not have knowledge. Imam Ali (as) has said,

“People are of four kinds:

o Those who do not know and they know that they do not know.

o Those who do not know and they do not know that they do not know

o Those who know but they do not know that they know

o And those who know and they know that they know”.

The worst and most troublesome among them are those who do not know and they do not know that they do not know!! When the Muballigheen encounter such people, their patience is put to test and the best way of dealing with such is:

“When the ignorant address them, they say: ‘Peace’” (25:63)

And thirdly, despite frustrations, to show leniency.

A Muballigh in his mission may encounter numerous frustrations from the people. He or she must strive to be keeping the mind cool and show leniency to the people. Allah (SWT) is telling His prophet: “If you were strict and hardhearted, they would have left you”. (3:159)


Sayyida Zaynab (as) was blessed with profound knowledge and she worked hard to propagate the message of Allah (SWT) to others and in particular, to the womenfolk of her time. She was known as ‘Aqeelatu Bani Hashim meaning ‘the most intelligent of the children of Hashim’. It is related that as a child of only five years, Zaynab (a.s.) was once sitting on the lap of her father Ali (a.s.). He (a.s.) asked her to say “One” and she repeated, “One”. Thereafter, he (a.s.) asked her to say “Two” but Zaynab (a.s.) kept quiet. When her father asked, “Zaynab!

Why aren’t you saying ‘two’?” She replied, “Once the heart has accepted ‘the One’ (in reference to One God), how can the tongue say ‘two’?” (Chauda Sitaare)

Regarding her knowledge, Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn (a.s.) once addressing his aunt Zaynab (a.s.) said, “You O Aunt! Alhamdulillah are such a knowledgeable person whom no one has taught” implying that her knowledge was a Divine gift. History relates that when Zaynab (a.s.) was living in Madina, she used to conduct sessions for the womenfolk of Madina teaching them the Ahkaam ‘Shari’ah Laws’. When Imam Ali (a.s.) officially assumed the role of Caliph and chose the city of Kufa as his capital, Sayyida Zaynab (a.s.), migrated to Kufa with her father. There, the womenfolk of Kufa came to Imam Ali (a.s.) to request him to allow Zaynab (a.s.) to conduct sessions for them. Permission was granted and she taught Ahkaam and the Tafseer of the Holy Quran. (Chauda Sitaare)

After the martyrdom of her beloved brother in Karbala, she took over the charge of propagating his mission to others. Despite being in captivity, she took advantage of opportunities and addressed Muslims on the streets and the palaces of Kufa and Shaam.

Mulla Mujahidali Sheriff

The Three Legacies of Sayyida Zaynab (as)


When the Ahlul-bayt (as) were brought on the outskirts of a town located between Kufa and Shaam, and the inhabitants of that town were informed about this; a hot discussion arose between the people and many people were of the opinion that they should not be allowed to enter.

In this town lived a very pious lady called Umm Haris. When she learnt about the situation, she left her house and went round the streets and bazaars exciting the Islamic feelings of people. She said to them: “O you shameless people! These tyrants are bringing the family of the Holy Prophet (saww) in the most undignified manner and we are silently watching as spectators? It is better to die! I swear by Allah! If you do not do anything to stop them then I will myself go out and stop them. I will face them and sacrifice my life for the Ahlul-Bayt (as)”.

People calmed her down and assured her that they will go out and confront the army. But Umm Haris was not contented. She and another woman, who latter joined her, led 3000 men with open swords to confront the army. When they came face to face with the army, Umm Haris shouted to her men, “What are you waiting for? Kill them all to free the Ahlul-bayt (as) and take the possession of the heads of the martyrs”. A fierce battle ensued. However, since the soldiers of Yazeed were many in number, this group of believers were defeated in the battle. During its course, an arrow was shot on Umm Haris, which killed her instantly. (Ahwaal al-Nisaa)

This was the incident of a Mumina, who sacrificed herself in love of the Ahlul-Bayt (as). Every year on 15th of Rajab, we commemorate the martyrdom of Sayyida Zaynab bint Ali (as). We remember this great lady because of the great sacrifices she has made for Islam. The question, which we, and in particular our womenfolk must ask to themselves

is: What can we do to keep the legacies of this great lady alive?


There are three legacies of Sayyida Zaynab (as), which we, as followers of Ahlul-Bayt (as) must give importance to and strive to keep them alive.

Her first legacy was of imparting Islamic Education & Knowledge.

Sayyida Zaynab (as) was blessed with knowledge such that our fourth Imam, Imam Zaynul-‘Aabideen (as) said to her, “You O Aunt! All praises are due to Allah; you have been blessed with knowledge without being taught by anyone”.

Sayyida Zaynab (as) used her knowledge to educate the womenfolk of her time. The two sciences she mostly concentrated upon were: Ahkaam (Fiqh / Masael) &

the Tafseer of the Holy Quran.

History relates that when Zaynab (

a.s.) was living in Madina, she used to conduct sessions for the womenfolk of Madina teaching them the Ahkaam ‘Shari’ah Laws’. When Imam Ali (a.s.) officially assumed the role of Caliph and chose the city of Kufa