Lady Zaynab (a.s.), daughter of Imam Ali (a.s.) and granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), was the first lady in the world of Islam to form a whole history, erect edifices of right and justice, demolish the gloomy castles of wrong and oppression, and record, through her honorable situations, new items of honor and dignity for Islam and Muslims throughout history. Thus, she has been a ring in the series of the ideal, human glories that her fathers, brothers, descendants of her brothers, and their partisans have introduced to humanity.
She contributed actively in constructing the edifices of the Muslim ideal renaissances and in the propagation for the Religious and political cognizance in the meanwhile as the ruling authorities and their tails used all media for overcastting the pure mentalities of people and forging even the intuitive facts of Islam.
Positively, Lady Zaynab (a.s.) aborted all these forgeries and brought into view the reality of the Umayyad rulers; the actual enemies of Islam. She, also, proved to the public’s that the Umayyad rulers were polluted by crimes and violations against human rights and that their authority was illegal since they usurped the others’ rights and appointed themselves as absolute rulers over Muslims without obtaining their satisfaction or consulting them.
Through her marvelous revolutionary speeches and situations, Lady Zaynab (a.s.) particularized minutely the reality that was hidden from the publics, and focused lights on the misdemeanor of the Umayyad rulers’ political plots.
LadyZaynab (a.s.),theProphet’sGranddaughter was characterized by a personality that joined all the high moral standards and the honorable tendencies and accordingly, she has been the best exemplary of honor chastity and dignity in addition to every virtue of human perfection.
From her grandfather and parents, Lady Zaynab (a.s.) inherited perfectly the highest principles of charity including deep-rooted faith and trust in Almighty Allah. Historians have recorded remarkable pictures and situations of incomparable faith and perseverance on principles the leading roles of which was proudly given to Lady Zaynab (a.s.). At the night that followed that horrible day of ‘Ashura’[^31] in Karbala, Lady Zaynab (a.s.) offered Thanksgiving Prayer to Almighty Allah for that tragedy which inflicted not only the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.), but also all human beings in general and Muslims in particular.
Another picture of Lady Zaynab(a.s.)’stremendous faith is that on the day of “Ashura she stopped near the body of her killed brother, Imam al-Husain (a.s.), that was cruelly severed by the swords of the criminal band of the Umayyad army, and uttered her immortal word:
اَللّٰهُمَّ تَقَبَّلْ هٰذَا الْقُرْبَانَ، وَ اَثِبْهُ عَلٰي عَمَلِه.
“O Allah, accept this offering and reward him for his deed.”
Has humanity ever seen such a scene of faith?
The most destructive adversity that inflicted Islam was taking the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) away from the political theatre of Islam while everybody, especially those who contributed directly in the scenario of setting them aside from their positions, knew for certain the divine decision of choosing them (i.e. the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) for the leadership of the Islamic nation. Historians have recorded unanimously that after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), some individuals led a rebellion against his general decision of succession in the leadershipof the Islamicnation, claiming that it is unacceptable for the Hashemites[^32] to have both prophesy and leadership.[^33]
This adversity resulted in handing the leadership and destiny of the Islamic nation over to unsuitable individuals who were the main reason beyond the collapse of Muslims.
Thus, the Islamic nation, as a whole, was deprived of the pure source of the knowledge of the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) which was the natural extension of the divine knowledge of the prophets (a.s.). Imam Ali (a.s.), in consequence, lived in complete confinement away from the political and practical life of the Islamic nation all during the reigns of the three caliphs, and when he was elected, freely for the first time, for the leadership of the Islamic nation, the capitalists, the greedy, the deviants, and the ignorant revolted against his just government and engaged him against many things. By such engagement, the Islamic world was afflicted with a big loss when Imam Ali (a.s.) did not have enough time to extend ideal justice and equality all over the Islamic state. As a matter of fact, the Immaculate Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) faced the same fate of their grandfather Imam Ali (a.s.) when the Umayyad and Abbasid rulers prevented them from extending their idealities and knowledge among people and caused humanity to lose such sources of wisdom.
Because of the policies of the caliphs of Quraysh[^34] , the mortal enemies of Islam could come to power, rule Muslims, and change the Islamic State into kingdom dominated by personal interests and hereditary dynasty.
Thus,wrongandoppressionbecamethedistinctive features of the ruling authorities, killing was the fate of men of thought and freedom, people were deprived of their rights, which became in the hands of a few gang loyal to the ruling authorities, and corruption found rich pasture in the Islamic Provinces.
Wrong, oppression and corruption attainted the climax in the reign of Yazid the dissolute. Historians have unanimously agreed on the fact that “Yazid was such an unjust, immoral and sinful man that he did not believe in Allah (s.w.t.) and His Apostle for a single moment.” In abstract, Yazid’s policies exploded in every matter that violated Islam.
In the midst of these circumstances, nobody had the ability to utter a single word of right except Imam al-Husain (a.s.) who formulated his great revolution that paved the way to the standing against every unjust individual and declare the word of truth openly courageously.
Through its horrible chapters, the revolution of Imam al-Husain (a.s.) shook the worldwide conscience and carried an intellectual donation and bright lessons to all peoples who suffer the ordeals of colonialism and slavery.
Lady Zaynab (a.s.) contributed actively and positively in all the chapters and heroisms of Imam al-Husain’s (a.s.) revolution. In the first stage of the revolution, Lady Zaynab (a.s.) stood with her brother so bravely although she knew the fate that he would face. Her strong will, fortitude, and determination on supporting her brother in his revolution were distinctive features of this revolution that changed the history and supplied the seekers of freedom with factors of renaissance and development.
Lady Zaynab (a.s.) believed in the revolution of her brother, participated in his struggle against wrong and oppression vigorously, and adopted the goals of this great revolution. Through her innovative speeches in the porticoes of the Umayyad ruling center, she signalized the genuine principles of Imam al-Husain’s (a.s.) revolution and could crystallize the public opinion and found an actual cognizance that, later on resulted in successive popular uprisings against the Umayyad regime.
She gave matchless examples of willpower, deep-rooted faith, and steadfastness through her treatment of the horrible situations she had to encounter. In fact, the example of Lady Zaynab (a.s.) can be found neither in the Islamic history nor in the history of humankind.
This great lady saw the atrocious adversities that afflicted her family members and could treat these situations with perseverance and steadfastness as she submitted totally to Almighty Allah.
She saw the moonlike young men among her sons, nephews and cousins killed and their organs were severed so horribly on the ground of Karbala. She also saw even the newborns and the babies of her Household slaughtered so savagely on the hands of those inhumane criminals.
She saw the ladies of the Prophet’s house harshly exhausted by thirst while they were wailing for their sons and brethren, but she was trying to console and order them to be patient and steadfast.
She saw her brother, Chief of the Martyrs surrounded by those wicked people whose swords, spears and lances were stricken on his body until they beheaded him so hideously.
She saw those infidel invaders attack the women’s tents and set them on fire while the Prophet’s harem had to run in the desert out of fear.
Lady Zaynab (a.s.) saw all these adversities and faced them with faith, persistence, and submission to Almighty Allah.
The disaster of Karbala with all of the horrifying, hideous events that accompanied it, including the capture, humility, and exemplary punishment against the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.), men and women, provokes us into having a brief view at the political documents and the events that followed the Prophet’s demise directly because these are the rudimentary source of the misfortunes of the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) in particular and Muslims in general.
Most certainly, within the most significant factors that resulted in the absolute domination of the Umayyad dynasty on the Islamic State were the plot of the Saqifah[^35] and the spurious forgery of the Shura.[^36] Because of the invention of these two baseless systems, the Umayyad infidels, though they were humiliated by Islam and decided as slaves and then were released after they had fought against Islam with all weapons, could come to power and prevail on Muslims and their destiny.
The ruling authorities who usurped the legal right of Imam Ali (a.s.) showed favor to the Umayyad rulers, removed the mask of humility and meekness that Islam put on their faces, granted them abundant wealth, and invested them with leading offices in the Islamic State. Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan was the biggest beneficiary of such procedures. He was given the governorship of Syria and was granted special support and advocacy. When Umar ibn al-Khattab was informed that the governor of Syria, namely Mu’awiyah, exceeded all limits in violating the Muslims’ treasury as he built palaces, committed every sin forbidden by Islam, dressed silky clothes, and ate in golden and silver plates, Umar found him excuses by saying, “This is the Khosrow- king of the Arabs.’’ Everybody knew that Islam has been empty of royalty or aristocracy. In the sight of Islam, all Muslims are of the same class. Nothing distinguishes them except piety and charity.
It is ironic that Mu’awiyah who opposed Islam openly and was forced to accept it so as to save himself from killing; it is ironic for such an individual to be described as the king of the Arabs. In the Holy Qur’an, Mu’awiyah and his family are described as the doomed tree.[^37] In many texts related authentically to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), the Umayyad dynasty is cursed. After all, they are only slaves of Muslims although the Prophet released them and they have been named ‘the Released Ones.’
In abstract, a view at the events of Karbala and the ordeals faced by the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) proves that they, primarily, are the results of the plot of Saqifah and the spurious forgery of Shura. Moreover, these two unfounded systems have been the reason beyond all the ordeals of Muslims during history.
In point of fact, the greatest and the most constructive service to be presented to the Islamic nation is to hint at, propagate for, and refer to the Ahl al Bayt’s (a.s.) numerous, genuine merits and elevated idealities since these matters leave direct influence on the spread of virtue and moral standards and the development of behavior. The Ahl al Bayt (a.s.) have been acting, through their words, deeds, and behaviors, as rays of Almighty Allah’s illumination, since they are, as is proved by authenticated reports related to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) “who does not speak out of desire”, the ships of salvation of the Islamic nation and the matches of the Book of Allah (s.w.t.).
The life accounts of the Ahl al Bayt (a.s.) have been schools of God-fearing, genuine faith, and struggle against the wrong. They dedicated their lives to the Almighty and acted perfectly sincerely for His sake. Thus, the life account of any of them is no more than a record of model items of God fearing and obedience to the Lord. They spent their days with fasting and spent their nights with prayers and recitals of the Holy Book of Allah (s.w.t.).
The Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.), men and women, acted earnestly for spreading knowledge, wisdom and high moral standards among people. They also spent their lives with distributing their charity among the needy acting kindly to the miserable, struggling intently against the wrong and exerting all possible efforts for opposing injustice and the unjust individuals no matter how strong they were and which positions they held.
They adopted the issues of the Islamic nation so bravely; therefore, they were exposed to killing at the hands of the unjust rulers who lead the reins of the Islamic nations wrongfully.
Among the individuals of the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) to whom all the previous activities and descriptions are applicable is Lady Zaynab (a.s.) daughter of Imam Ali (a.s.) who contributed in raising the word of Allah (s.w.t.) on this earth and struggled intently against the oppressors and had to suffer the most horrible adversities and misfortunes for this sake. After the killing of her brother Imam al-Husain (a.s.), Lady Zaynab (a.s.), as well as the other harem of the Prophet’s Household was taken as captive and had to be present before the bastard Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad who was given the position of the governorship of two Islamic provinces.
Before Ubaydullah, Lady Zaynab (a.s.) showed such remarkable courage that he could not control himself when he hurried towards her to beat her.
The caravan of the Prophet’s Household then was taken to Syria where they had to be present before Yazid ibn Mu’awiyah. Before this criminal descendant of the mortal enemies of Islam, Lady Zaynab (a.s.) delivered her historical speech, which is considered as the most important document that condemned and decided as illegal the Umayyad State and its partisans.
For the sake of Islam, this granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) had to suffer horrifying adversities and misfortunes, and due to her heroic situations and honorable struggle against wrong and oppression, women of this world must take her as their model and through a deep understanding of her pioneership of struggle against wrong, all women should recognize their roles in adopting the issues of justice on this earth.