Sayyeda Zainab (SA)

Sayyeda Zainab (SA)

Sayyeda Zainab means ‘Ornament’ or ‘the adornment of her father’. This name was given to her by Allah (SWT) through the Holy Prophet (saww) who was alive during her birth.

Birth: Thursday 5th Jamadil-Awwal 6 A.H. in Madina
Parents: Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) & Sayyeda Fatima Zahra (a.s.)

Titles: ‘Siddiqa’ (Truthful), ‘Sabira’ (Patient), ‘Aqeelah’ (Most Intelligent)

Muhammad ibn Muslim narrates a tradition from Abu Ja’far (A.S.)

A person may be good to his parents during their life and forget them after their death, thus Allah considers him to have angered his parents. If on the other hand he was irresponsible in his duties towards them during their life and started to do good deeds on their behalf after their death Allah considers him to be an obedient servant

Al Bihar vol 4 page 59


Sayyeda Zainab (a.s.) 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,
Zainab (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 Zainab (a.s.) kept quiet.
When her father asked, “Zainab! 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’?”

Regarding her knowledge, Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn (a.s.) once addressing his aunt Sayyeda Zainab (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.

Sayyeda Zainab (a.s.) had profound knowledge of Islam. She understood the Divine laws and possessed the knowledge of Quran. History relates that when Zainab (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, Sayyeda Zainab (a.s.), migrated to Kufa with her father. There, the womenfolk of Kufa came to Imam Ali (a.s.) to request him to allow Zainab (a.s.) to conduct sessions for them. She got permission and taught the tafseer of the holy Quran. (Chauda Sitaare)

We speak of Sayyeda Zainab (AS). She well conveyed the message of Karbala’s uprising and tragedy to the world and today it is a great honor for Muslims to follow this great lady as an example in their lives.

Truly when an individual spends his or her life in support of truth and establishment of divine values, his or her name will remain eternal in history and his or her lifestyle will inspire the future generations. That is why the name of Zainab and her lifestyle has influenced many people even non Muslims.

Ms. Carin from Germany, after embracing Islam, chose Zainab as her first name.

Regarding her incentive in choosing this name, she says: “ I was always interested in the life story of the holy Prophet of Islam (MBABUHP) and his household.
I was specially affected by the story of uprising of Imam Hussein (PBUH) in Karbala, and the personality of Sayyeda Zainab in the events of Karbala.

The self-sacrifices of that great lady, while bearing the heavy grief of martyrdom of her brother and other companions are praiseworthy. Sayyeda Zainab was a lady of knowledge, virtue, bravery and patience. These characteristics helped her carry out her mission in Karbala uprising in the company of Imam Hussein (PBUH). Sayyeda Zainab’s lifestyle contains instructive points for me and whenever I come across a problem, I immediately remember Her. For, her name brings me tranquillity. That’s why I adopted the name of Zainab after embracing Islam. “

Sayyeda Zainab (PBUH) was brought up under instructions of a father like Imam Ali (PBUH) and a mother like Fatema (SA) and she benefited greatly from these two personalities. Historians say SayyedamZainab inherited bravery, honesty, and fluency in speech from her father Imam Ali (PBUH) and kindness and loyalty from her mother Sayyeda Fatema (SA). During her childhood, Sayyeda Zainab was so keen in acquiring knowledge that one day she assisted her brothers Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein (Peace be upon them) in answering a jurisprudential problem.

She made great efforts in giving religious training to the women of her time and thus many women at that time benefited from Sayyeda Zainab’s knowledge and teachings.

Sayyeda Zainab spent her fruitful life in promoting monotheism and assuming divine responsibilities and her heroic participation in the greatest epic of history, namely the uprising of Imam Hussein (PBUH) in Karbala brought her a lasting name.

You won’t find a single person who is familiar with Karbala tragedy and has not heard of Sayyeda Zainab. Zainab (SA) conveyed the message of Imam Hussein’s uprising to territories beyond Karbala desert. In that tragedy she was both a patient teacher and a nurse.
Sayyeda encouraged the warriors and sympathized with the injured.
She was so bound to the fulfilment of her religious obligations that even at those critical conditions,
Zainab (SA) did not forget to say her prayers at night.
Imam Sajjad (PBUH) says: “I saw my aunt Sayyeda Zainab (Peace be upon her) saying her prayers while sitting.”

A major part of Sayyeda Zainab’s mission started when Karbala tragedy apparently ended with the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH).
This chapter of Sayyeda Zainab’s life began with conveying the message of Ashura in which
she heroically defended the household’s rights and did not permit the enemies to take advantage of Karbala tragedy.

In this tragedy, the Omayyud ruler Yazid and his followers thought that they had succeeded in creating a negative image of the holy Prophet’s household,
but when the caravan of the household members now in captivity arrived in Kufa,
Sayyeda Zainab behaved in such a way that she managed to turn the so-called victory of the Omayyud into a defeat. In her famous address, She changed the mentality of the people of Kufa and Damascus.

She symbolized a shining sun who reflected light into everything. Although Sayyeda Zainab did not live long after Karbala tragedy, she sowed the seeds of awareness in the entire Islamic society. This great lady passed away in 62 AH after she made lots of efforts in the path of truth.

Once again we offer our condolences and bring you an excerpt from her historic statement addressed to Yazid. She says:

“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.”