Commemorating the Shahadat of Sayyida Zainab (A)In: Ahlul-Bayt
Bibi Zainab (A):
“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.”
A year after imprisonment in the cells of Damascus, Yazid offered the choice of return back to Medina for the family and friends of Imam Husayn (A). Arrangements were made with velvet and beautifully decorated seats for the people, but Bibi Zainab (A) refused and ordered that they be covered in black, to show the passers-by that the contingent was in mourning.
The journey home went via Kerbala and upon arriving in Kerbala, the group were met with the presence of the companion of the Prophet (SAW), Jabir bin Abdullah al-Ansari who was the first visitor to the graves of the martyrs.
Upon return to Medina, it is reported that Bibi Zainab (A) looked so much older than before, despite the time being only about one a half years since she left Medina. Her hair had turned white and her back had become bent.
The final days of Bibi Zainab (A)’s life were spent in Medina, however towards the latter part of this period, she travelled towards the north to either Syria or Egypt. Both countries house a respected shrine for her, although amongst the pilgrims, the one in Damascus seems to be the more popular.
The events in Kerbala showed the true spirit of Bibi Zainab (A)’s character. Her steadfastness, knowledge, courage, compassion and many other traits, all poured out during the period in which the army of Imam Husayn (A) left Medina and returned back without the men folk.
The year 61 AH witnessed the revolution of Imam Husayn (A) and his near and dear ones. Naturally, with him was his sister Bibi Zainab (A) whose contribution to the revolution was profound especially after the battle had ended. She spearheaded the camp, leading all the ladies and children along the way, encouraging and giving hope despite there being little sign of any and at all times remembering her duty towards this revolution. History would witness that her actions were to spread the message across the oceans, over the deserts, through the valleys and over the mountains. For the message of Husayn (A) would last till the Final Day, no matter what obstacles came in the way.
It is interesting to ponder over the events that took place, but a glimpse of the speeches given by this honourable lady in the courts of Kufa and Damascus are even more awesome. The art of delivering a speech unprepared in the most eloquent classical Arabic mesmerised the crowds that had gathered. A part of the speech delivered in Kufa addressing the Kufians for their cowardly behaviour is herewith presented:
“Woe unto you, O people of Kufa! Do you know whose heart you have burned, what a feat you have laboured, what blood you have shed, and what sanctity you have violated? You have done a monstrous deed, something for which the heavens are about to split asunder and so is the earth, and for which the mountains crumble. You have done something most uncanny, most defaced, duskiest, most horrible as much as the fill of the earth and of the sky. Do you wonder why the sky rains blood? Surely, the torment of the Hereafter is a greater chastisement, and you shall not be helped. Let no respite elate you, for rushing does not speed it up, nor does it fear loss of the opportunity for revenge. Your Lord is waiting in ambush to do so.”
Article contribution by Br Ali Bachoo