Story of Patience
Zainab bint Muhammad
Hazrat zainab (r.a) was the eldest daughter of Prophet (PBUH) and hazrat Khadija (r.a). Abu al-‘As ibn Rabi’ was the cousin of hazrat zainab (r.a) and Prophet (PBUH) loved him so much. One day he asked Prophet (PBUH) to marry her daughter zainab. Prophet (PBUH) replied that let me first ask from zainab. When prophet (pbuh) asked from zainab (r.a) she smiled and her face turned red with bashfulness.
So Hazrat zainab married Abu al-‘As ibn Rabi’. They had two sons Ali and Omama. When Prophet (PBUH) became prophet Abu al-‘As ibn Rabi’ was not in Makah. Zainab (r.a) accepted Islam. When her husband returned home she told her that there is great news for you that my father became a Prophet and now I am muslim. He stood up and left her, she ran before him he said that why didn’t you inform me first. So battle of religion and belief began between the two. She told her that now I am not going to disbelief my father because my father is the honest and trust worthy man. She told him that I am not only believer, my mother and sisters too became Muslim, in fact your friend abu bakar and Ali ibn abi talib also became muslim.
He did not accept Islam and migration came. Hazrat Zainab went to his father and asked him for his permission to stay with her husband. Prophet (PBUH) gave her permission to stay with her husband and children’s. So zainab (r.a) stayed with her family in Makah till the battle of badar occurred. Her husband fights against the Muslims with the army of Quraish. For Zainab, it meant that her husbands are fighting her father, a time Zainab had continuously feared. She cried out
“O Allah, I fear one day the sun may rise and my children become orphans or I lose my father”.
Then battle started and ended in victory for muslims. Her husband got captured by Muslims and this news spread in Makah. So zainab asked that “what did my father do” they said that your father and Muslims won she thanked ALLAH and then asked what did my husband do? They told her that “he got captured by muslims”. She replied that I will send some payment to release him. She did not had any thing of so much value, she took off her mother’s necklace and sent it to the prophet.
When Prophet (PBUH) saw the Khadija’s necklace and asked whose payment is this he informed that “Abu AL ‘As ibn Rabi”. When prophet saw the necklace he went from feeling of great compassion. Prophet stood up and asked his companions “People, this man is my in-law, should I release him? And do you accept the return of this necklace to my daughter?” they replied yes messenger of ALLAH.
Prophet (PBUH) gave necklace back to Abu al-‘As and said that tell my daughter zainab not to give away necklace of Khadija then prophet asked him that can we talk privately he said yes , prophet told him that ALLAH said me to separate between believer and non-believer so could you return me my daughter he agreed.
Zainab was waiting for her husband when he finally came and told her that “I am going away” she asked where he said that it’s not me who is going instead you are going to your father. We can’t stay together because you are a Muslim and I am not. She asked her “will you accept Islam and come with me?” but he rejected.
So she went to Makah with her children’s and didn’t marry for 6 years because she was waiting for her husband that one day he will come back. After 6 years Abu al-‘As was travelling from Makah to Syria and got captured by some of the companions of Prophet (PBUH). He escaped and searched for zainab’s home. He knocked on the door before the dawn prayer. Zainab(r.a) opened the door and asked did you accepted islam he replied no I come as a fugitive she again insisted him “can you become muslim?” again he replied no.
When prophet and his companions prayed the dawn prayer in congregation they heard a voice from masjid’s back that “I have freed Abu AL ‘As ibn Rabi”. Zainab had granted his freedom. Prophet (pbuh) asked from his companions that have you heard what I heard they all replied yes. Zainab (r.a) said that as he is father of my children’s that’s why I have freed him.
The prophet asked from people that this man was very good son in law and never tell lies so if you all accept then I will let him go to his home and return his money to him, but if you refuse I will not blame you. They all agreed. Prophet went to zainab and told her that we have freed him O zainab. Then prophet said that don’t let him to come near you because he is prohibited for you she replied I will do as you say.
She went to her husband and asked him to accept Islam and stay with them. But he refused to become Muslim took his money and returned to Makah.
When he went Makah he announced that o people here is your money. Is there anything that is left there they all thanked him and said nothing is left there. Then Abu AL ‘As said,
“I testify that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger.”
After that he went back to Madinah and ran to Prophet (PBUH) and said that you freed me now I accept that there is no God but Allah and you are the messenger of ALLAH.
Then he asked that will you give me permission to go back to zainab. Prophet (PBUH) smiled and replied come with me. They went to zainab’s house knocked at the door and prophet told her that he come to me and asked if he can return to you. She smiled and her face turned red just like 20 years.
After one year of this incident zainab died. Abu AL ‘As shed hot tears due to her death and drove people who were around him to tears. The prophet came to him with eyes full of tears and consoled him.
Prophet told the lady, who gathered around Zainab’s corpse, to Wash her three times and use the camphor in third wash.” After funeral prayers Abu AL ’As returned to his children’s kissing them with eyes full of tears. People saw Prophet (PBUH) weeping and calming him down. Abu AL ‘As would say,
“By Allah, I cannot stand this life anymore without Zainab”
he died a year after zainab’s death.