A Brief Biography of Hazrat Fatima (a.s.)

Chapter 9: Hazrat Fatima's (S.A) Family


Although many rich and famous companions of the Prophet (S.A W W) had wished to marry her, the Prophet gave her in marriage to Imam AH (A.S).

She lived with Imam AH (A.S) for nine years until her death Sheikh Suduq says in his book ff Amali" on the authority of Imam Jaffer Sadiq (A.S) that it was the wish of Allah that so far as she was alive, Imam Ali (A.S) should not marry any other woman.

Imam Ali (A.S) did not therefore marry any other woman till Hazrat Fatima (S.A) left this world.


She had four children; Imam Hasan (A.S), Imam Husain (A.S), Hazrat Zainab (A.S) and Hazrat Um Kulthum (A.S). The fifth child, Mohsin, was martyred, when he was still in his mother's womb.

Separate units have been prepared on the life history of Imam Hasan (A.S) and Imam Husain (A.S). So we do not provide any more information on them here.

Hazrat Zainab (A.S)

She was born after Imam Husain (A.S). Neither the year nor the date of the birth is very certain. Most probably she was born in the year 6 A.H. on 1st Shaban on 5th Jamadi-ul-Awwal.

When she was born the Prophet (S.A.W.W) was present in Medina. Hazrat Fatima (S.A) and Imam Ali (AS) therefore did not name her. When the Prophet (S.A.W.W) returned to Medina, the child was placed in his hands and he was requested to name her He named her Zainab.

At that very occasion, the Angel Gibrael brought the news to the Prophet (S.A.W.W), that one day Zainab would defend Islam and for that she will suffer a lot from the hands of the enemies of Islam.

She grew up to a very intelligent child. When she was still very young and while sitting in the laps of her father, Imam Ali (A.S), she asked him, "Father! Do you love me?" "Yes, my daughter," he replied. "Do you also love Allah?", she asked.

"Yes, my daughter", he replied. "Oh my father, if you love Allah, then how can you love me too?" "Oh my daughter, I love you because Allah wishes me to do so." He then praised her for asking such an intelligent question.

While still very young, she knew the Whole Qur'an by heart. When she was eleven years old, she was married to Abdullah B. JalYer who was also her cousin (Abdullah was the son of Jaffer B. Abutalib).

In fact, years ago before this marriage had taken place, the Prophet (S.A.W.W) looking at the children of Jaffer and Imam Ali had said, "They are all our children and they are for each other."

It is not very clear as to how many children were born from this marriage. What is clear is two sons of Abdullah Bin Jaffer named Aun and Muhammad were in company of Hazrat Zainab at Kerbala and they were martyred in the name of Allah.

According to the historian Sheikh Abbas Qunv only one of these two sons, Aim, was born of Hazrat Zainab, the other son Mohammed being born from Abdullah's first wife.

Hazrat Zainab was so intelligent that she was called Aqila' of Bani Hashim. She used to run classes for women on Qur'anic studies and Islamic law, yet she never attended any school herself Her knowledge was direct from Allah.

This is why the fourth Imam, Hazrat Ali Bin Husain called her "Aalimatun Ghayr MuallimalT (in Arabic this means: a scholar who did not learn from anyone else).

She was present in Kerbala and played a very important part, after the martyrdom of Imam Husain (A.S), in saving Islam. This is why she is also called "Sharikatul Husain" or the partner of Imam Husain (A.S).

After the martyrdom of Imam Husain (A.S) she was taken as prisoner to Kufa and then to Damascus. She was released together with other members of Imam Husain's (A.S) family after remaining in prison for not less than one year.

After her release, she did not live long and died at the age of about 57 years. A mourning day of her is observed every year on 15th of Rajab. Historians do not agree on the place where she was buried.

There are several possible places where she could have been buried.

Some say she is buried in Jannatul Baqi in Medina but cannot say exactly where. Other say she is buried in Cairo, Egypt. As a matter of fact, a Mausoleum has been built in Cairo and is known as "Sayyida Zainab"; most probably, this grave is of Zainab Binti Yahya Bin Zaid Bin Ali Bin Husain Bin Ali Bin Abutalib (A.S).

A grave of Hazrat Zainab also is said to be at 'Makbara Saghira' or 'Makbara Ahlul B yt in Damascus. The most popular and most probable grave of Hazrat Zainab is at Damascus and is known as "Sit Zainab."

The famous Shia scholar Seyyid Muhsin Al Amin of Lebanon strongly believed that Hazrat Zainab was buried at "Sit Zainab" This scholar himself is buried at the entrance to the Mausoleum at "Sit Zainab".


Very little is known about her though her name appears several times in history. By popular accounts she was younger than Hazrat Zainab but like her she was very intelligent and pious. She was married to Muhammad Bin Jaffer.

Several traditions mention her. For example, it is reported that the night before his martyrdom, Imam AH (A.S) was in the house of Hazrat Um-Kulthum and she reports in detail the position of Imam Ali (A.S) on that night.

It is also reported that while Imam Ali (A.S) was at the Battle of Jamal, one of the Prophet's wives, Hafsa, organized a big party celebrating Imam Ali's defeat (she was wrongly informed that Imam Ali (A.S) had been defeated). When Um-Kulthum came to know about this she went to her to point out to her that what she was doing was wrong.

Um Kulthuirfs name surfaces again in Kerbala. On the night of "Ashura" Hazrat Abbas Bin Ali (A.S) sees Hazrat Um-Kulthum weeping. On asking her for the cause of her crying, Hazrat Abbas is told by Um-Kulthum that she does not have a son of her own to sacrifice in the name of Islam.

Hazrat Abbas then tells her that he would represent her in the way of Allah and his sacrifice would be on her behalf A long and very sad elegy ("Marsia") is said to have been by Um Kulthum when she returned to Medina after she was released from the prison of Yezid.

In this elegy she addresses her grandfather's city, Medina, telling the city to inform the Prophet (S.A. W.W) of all the troubles which his grandchildren had to go through for sake of Islam.

It is said that she is buried in the graveyard at "Makbara Saghira" in Damascus.