Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali (RA) had a life that could model any woman. As she grew up, she took responsibility for all the household tasks. She always created the means to comfort her brothers and sisters. She was inherited with the best attribute of her parents and Grand Parents.
Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali (RA) was not only a faithful daughter, but she was also very generous towards the poor and orphans. Due to which she was referred to as “Zahidah” (abstemious) and “Abidah” (devoted) by the masses. She had the slightest interest in worldly lusters, and her only interest was to please Allah. Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali (RA) kept struggling to please Allah and for the success of the hereafter.
Before starting with the enlightened life of Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali (RA), we have to make clear one important thing; there are three prestigious ladies with the name Zainab in history, they are as
i) Zainab Bint Muhammad (RA), Daughter of Holy Prophet (PBUH)
ii) Zainab Bint Ali (RA), Grand- Daughter of Holy Prophet (PBUH)
iii) Zainab Bint Jahash (RA), Wife of Holy Prophet (PBUH)
Birth of Syeda Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali (RA):
Syeda Zainab Bint Ali (RA) was a third-born child to Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Fatima in the 5th year of hijrah in Madina with a conflict of birth dates as 5th of Jamad Ul Awal and 1st of Shaban. Before her birth, virtuous parents had two sons, Hazrat Hassan (RA) and Hazrat Hussain (RA). On getting the news of a sister, Hazrat Hussain said to his father.
“O father, Allah has given me a sister.”
On hearing this, Hazrat Ali started to weep. Three-year-old Hussain got worried and asked the reason; Ali (RA) replied,
“You will soon come to know.”
The baby girl was born but wasn’t named by the parent, as the parent wanted the baby to be named by his Grandfather. On the return of Prophet (PBUH), she was brought to him. He took her in his arms and named her Zainab on seeing her. He kissed the baby girl and started to weep.
Mystery of Prophet (PBUH) and Ali (RA) worry over the birth of Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali (RA):
As the news spread across about the birth of the granddaughter of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Hazrat Suleman Farsi rushed to congratulate Hazrat Ali (RA). He was astonished to see Hazrat Ali weeping when he asked why Hazrat Ali (RA) told him about the forecasted hardships that Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali (RA) is supposed to face in her life regarding the tribulation of the land of Karbala.
Childhood of Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali (RA):
She was taught Islam, and besides that, she was a keen learner of household matters. She was brought up in an ideal family by a mother like Fatima, father like Ali, brothers like Hassan and Hussain, and Grandfather like Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the ruler of both worlds.
As per her dream, she wasn’t seven when she suffered the loss of her loving Grandfather. She wasn’t out of grief yet that her mother, Fatima (RA), passed away. After Hazrat Fatima’s death, Hazrat Ali married Umm-Ul-banin. The Holy lady continued with the family mission of bringing up the young girl.
The terrible dream:
Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali (RA) was only five that once she woke up screaming after having a terrible dream. She rushed to her Holy Grandfather (PBUH) and told him about her dream that was like:
There was a violent wind from the sky that was darkening the earth. She (RA) saw her knocking and then found herself trapped in the branches of a huge tree, but soon wind uprooted the tree. She kept hold of branches, but they started to break. In fright, she rushed to the twigs to hold, but those twigs gave away too. And she was left falling all alone.
On hearing this dreadful dream from a bit of angel, Prophet (PBUH) started to weep bitterly and exclaimed to her,
“O, my daughter, that tree is me who is shortly going to leave this world. The branches were your father Ali and your mother Fatima Zahra, and the twigs were your brothers Hassan (RA) and Hussain (RA). They will all depart this world before you do, and you will suffer their separation and loss.”
Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali, the most adorable sister:
In her early life, Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali (RA) enjoyed a very prestigious position in her family. She was extremely close and was loved by her brothers Hassan and Hussain. She was in the habit of watching her brother’s face before going for prayers. Once Hazrat Fatima reported this to her father, and he replied in grief,
“My dear child, this child of mine, Zainab, would be confronted with a thousand and one tragedies and sufferings in Karbala.”
Married Life of Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali (RA):
Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali (RA) was married to her Ist cousin Abdullah ibn Ja’far Tayyar, known for his good looks and manners. He was brought up by Prophet (PBUH) in his early life, and later after Prophet (PBUH) Death, Hazrat Ali (RA) took this responsibility. Abdullah ibn Ja’far Tayyar and Zainab were known all around for their hospitality, generosity, and kindness toward the poor and orphans. Hazrat Ibn Ja’far Tayyar is often said that “Zainab is the best housewife.”
Allah blessed them with four sons and one daughter, Ali, Aun, Muhammad, Abbas, and Umm Kulthum.
Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali (RA) and teaching of Islam:
Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali (RA) regularly arranged classes for women to teach them perspectives of Islam when she was in Medina. She had a vast knowledge about Deen Islam and the teachings of the Holy Quran. She was highly reputed among women for her wisdom and intellect. Her teaching methodology was so compelling and fluent that her nephew Zain ul Abideen (AS) titled her ‘Alimah Ghayr Mu’allamah.’ She who knows without being taught.
Preparing for the journey of Karbala:
When Hazrat Zainab Bint e Ali (RA) got the news of her brother’s journey, she requested her husband to permit her to join her brother in the hour of need. She was mentally prepared for the forthcoming disaster that had to come in their lives. Her husband warned her about the hardships of the journey. But she accepted to face the hardships of the right path. Surrendering on her determination, Hazrat Abdullah permitted her to accompany her brother.
When the caravan reached Ruhayma, Hur ibn Yazid blocked their way. Hazrat Zainab Bint Ali (RA) was highly distressed and asked her brother to talk to them about his Kinship with the last Prophet of Allah and his Affection with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Hazrat Hussain (RA) told her that he did talk to them in detail, but the enemies were not ready to step down from their evil intentions. He tried to make her understand that they have to face this tragedy as per their Grandfather Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) prediction, and it is inevitable.