Home Friday Lectures The Fridaysermons – The belief and sacrifice of Lady Zainab (a.s.)

The Fridaysermons – The belief and sacrifice of Lady Zainab (a.s.)

In The Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Merciful.

His Eminence, Sayyed Ali Fadlullah, delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, JamadaAl-Oula8,1441H/ January3, 2020. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer. Following is an edited text of the sermons


The first sermon

Allah, The Most Exalted, says in His Glorious Book:“The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those - Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise”[9; 71].Allah, The Most Exalted, speaks the Truth.

The blessed birth

On the fifth of Jamada Al-Oula of the fifth Hijri year, The Messenger (p.) came to Ali (a.s.)’s house having been told that his daughter, Fatima, gave birth to a baby girl. The Prophet (p.)held her in his lap and kissed her. He then recited Azan (calling for prayers) in her right ear and recited Iqama (announcing the beginning of prayers) in her left. And told her parents to call her Zainab, meaninga beautiful fragrant tree.

In her early childhood,shewas privileged with the love and care of the Messenger (p.). She was raised in a house the Messenger(p.) used to drop by before he travelled anywhere and when he came back. It is the house that the Divine revelation has repeatedly pointed out to its virtues and supreme status:“Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet's] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification”[33; 33],and“And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive,[Saying], ‘We feed you only for the countenance of Allah.We wish not from you reward or gratitude”[76; 8-9].

In this purified house,ladyZainab was raised and brought up. She enjoyed her mother’s care for a short period of six years. Then she was taken care of by her father, who gave her the same care and education that he used to give to her brothers Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein (a.s.).Moreover,she used to accompany herfather wherever he went even after her marriage and when he moved to Kufa after becoming a caliph.

Lady Zainab traits

Zainab had many stances that expressed aspects of her personality, which we are going to review to shed light in her great biography:

The Wise woman (Aqilah)of the Hashemites

The Arabic “Aqilah” means a noble woman, who is honored among her people and is venerated in her house, by virtue of her role in her society both at Medina and at Kufa. Her piety, morals, modesty, smile, love of people and giving incharity to the poor and needy earned her the respect and love of all people, alove that did not end by her death, for believers  still visit her shrine in Damascus and even in Cairo, for those who believe that she was buried there.

The Woman of Knowledge

Lady Zainab was also known as Al-Alimah( the Woman of Knowledge).Having been educatedby her mother and father, she became an authority in Quran and Hadith, whom people used to go back to. Ibn Abbas who was a great scholar used to ask her whenever there was a difficult issue he could not find an answer for. And he used to quote her saying:“Our Aqilah (i.e. the Wise Lady), Zainab, daughter of Ali, narrated to us that…”Imam Zein Al-Abidein(a.s) says:“My aunt, Zainab, was a scholar unschooled by anyone”.

The Worshiper

She was also called The Worshiper ( Abidat) of the Household of Muhammad(p.), for she used to  worship Allah, the Most Exalted, in the same way her mother did as she used to pray the night prayers and never missed them even in the toughest of times . Imam As-Sajad(a.s.) says that his aunt Zainab never left the establishment of the night prayer even in the toughest of times such as when she was taken into captivity.

Mother of misfortunes

As she had to suffer different and innumerable misfortunes all over her lifetime, Lady Zaynab was called Umm al-Masaib - Mother of misfortunes, beginning with the death of the Messenger , then the demise of her mother and the martyrdom of her father and the suffering of her brother Al-Hassan (a.s) with the people of Kufa  and his ultimate  poisoning , the event of Karbala where she had to witness the martyrdom of her sons Aoun and Muhammad(p.) and those of her brothers,their children and their companions, and lastly the misfortunes she had to endure  in captivity.Despite all the pain and sorrow she was going through she did not hit her head as some say or tore her clothes as she promised her brother not to. She only looked at the purified bodies and said: “O Lord; Accept our humble sacrifice to You”. This heroism and steadfastness she exhibited contradicts with the way some described her when they depict her as a defeated and humiliated lady.

 This does not mean that she was not filled with sorrow and grief, but that she was able to give priority to her message and the role she had to play.

The partner of Al-Hussein (a.s.)

This partnership was not emotional. Itwas based on the belief that her brother’s reform project is hers as well. She believed that seeking reform in her grandfather’s nation and enjoining good and forbidding evil is also her project.

Her role was pivotal on the battlefield, but it did not end there. She continued to shoulder her responsibility with Imam Zein Al-Abidein (a.s.). And shebecame the voice that made the revolution reach the furthest place possible,exposing the Umayyad project and calling for the right and justice.She did that in Kufa in the court of Ubaidallah Bin Ziyad.When Bin Ziyadasked her :how do you see what Allahdid to your people ?Shesaid:“I only saw what is good. These are people whom Allah decreed to be killed; so they came out welcoming their destiny. Allah will gather you and them, arguments will be lodged against you, and you will be disputed; so, see whose lot will be the crack of the fire”. Then she took a firm stance before Yazid when she told him courageously that he wouldnot obliterate their name through his vile and wicked schemes however much he will try...

Zainab’s memory is everlasting

As it was eternal in the past,ladyZainab’s name will be eternal in the future. It will be always associated with heroism and glory and would continue to have a huge effect on the Muslims and free men in the world. She will remain a role model to men and women alike in reproducing power and the victory of the word over the sword.

Moreover, Zainab produced a role model in the cooperation Allah, The Most Exalted, wishes between men and women, being a partner for her father and her brothers, so much sothat it was said that Ashoura would not have accomplished its goals were not for Al-Hussein (a.s.)’s martyrdom and the patience and firmness of his sister. Throughout history, this cooperation has always been successful when the women were partners of men in standing with the right and confronting tyranny and corruption.

The second sermon

Worshippers of Allah, The Most Exalted: I advise you and myself to be guided by the following Ayat… more