Sayyidah Zaynab (R)

The Blessed Daughter of Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)

1. Sayyidah Zaynab bint Rasūlillāh (R) was born thirty years after the birth of Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), i.e. 5 years after his marriage to Khadījah (R). (Dhakhā’ir al-‘Uqbā)

 2. Sayyidah Zaynab (R) was the eldest daughter of Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), his first born, and he loved her dearly. (Al-Istī’āb)

3. When Allah Ta’ālā commanded Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to proclaim his nubuwwah, Sayyidah Zaynab (R) embraced Islam along with her mother and sisters. (Sīrah Ibn Hishām)

4. Sayyidah Zaynab (R) was ten years old when she embraced Islam and she along with her sisters — Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthūm and Fāṭimah  — were among those women who had pledged obedience to Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). (al-Muhabbar)

5. Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) married his beloved daughter, Sayyidah Zaynab (rah), to Sayyidunā Abū al-‘Āṣ ibn Rabī’ (R), an honest and moral person who assisted Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the Muslims in times of adversity. (al-Bidāyah wa al-Nihayah)

6. Sayyidah Zaynab (R) always assisted her father, Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in the hardships and difficulties he faced in the initial stages of Islam. (Tabarānī)

7. Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) loved Sayyidah Zaynab (R) immensely and would readily honour her requests (Musnad Aḥmad)

8. Sayyidah Zaynab (R) was attacked by the Mushrikin when migrating to Madinah and the injuries she sustained caused her to miscarry. (Majmaʿ al-Zawā’id)

9. The injuries she sustained during her migration later proved to be fatal and as a result she was considered to be a shahīdah (martyr) by the Muslims. (Majmaʿ al-Zawā’id)

10. Sayyidah Zaynab (R) passed away in Madīnah in 8 A.H; Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) forwarded one of his lower garments to be used in her burial shroud and himself led her funeral prayers. (Bukhari)

11. On account of the suffering she endured in the course of Islam, Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said in her favour: “She is the most virtuous of my daughters who suffered on account of her relationship to me.” (al-Bidāyah wa al-Nihāyah)

Ḥārith ibn al-Ḥārith narrates, “My father and I once entered Makkah and found a group of people surrounding a man (Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)), who they were calling ṣābī (one who has renounced his faith) and trying to harm him.

This continued until noon when the people dispersed from Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). A young girl then came rushing to him carrying a large bowl of water and a cloth. She presented this to Rasūlullāh, he drank the water and wiped his face… We asked, ‘Who is this girl?’ to which the people replied, ‘This is the daughter of Rasūlullāh (saw), Zaynab.’” (Tabarānī)

A business caravan departed for Syria from Makkah, which Sayyidunā Abū al-‘Āṣ ibn Rabī’ (R)—the husband of Sayyidah Zaynab(R)—had joined. When this caravan was returning from Syria (in Jumādā al-Ūlā 6 A.H), which contained a large amount of wealth belonging to the polytheists of Makkah, the Muslims captured it. Abū al-’Āṣ managed to escape and reached Madīnah, and sought the protection of Sayyidah Zaynab (R).

The following day after the Fajr Salah, Sayyidah Zaynab (R) called out from the rows of the women, “O Muslims! Abū al-’Āṣ is under my protection.”

When Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) heard this he turned to the congregation and asked them if they had heard what he just heard. They replied in the affirmative. Thereafter Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) swore on oath that he had no knowledge of this before and proceeded to say, “Even if the lowest ranking Muslim gives protection to someone, his protection should be accepted and upheld.” Thus the protection awarded by Sayyidah Zaynab (R)for Abū al-’Āṣ (R) was honoured.

Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then commanded all of Abū al-‘Āṣ’s wealth be returned to him, and specifically instructed Sayyidah Zaynab (rah) to honour him and be kind to him without indulging in marital relations.

Abū al-’Āṣ soon thereafter returned to Makkah and after returning all the wealth of the polytheists, he announced his reversion to Islam. Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) returned Sayyidah Zaynab (R) in marriage to Sayyidunā Abū al-‘Āṣ ibn Rabī’ (R) on their initial nikāḥ. (Musannaf ibn Abī Shaybah)

Sayyidah Zaynab (R) bore many children, among them a son by the name of ‘Alī and a daughter by the name of Umāmah bint Abī al-’Āṣ (R). (Abū Dāwūd)

Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) would display immense affection and love to the children of Sayyidah Zaynab (R), especially Sayyidah Umāmah (R). (Bukhārī)

Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was extremely grieved on the demise of Sayyidah Zaynab (R) and himself descended into the grave. When Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) emerged from the grave his blessed face was radiating with joy and the signs of grief had disappeared. Rasūlullāh (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) explained, “I knew well the narrowness and terrors of the grave and I feared for her on account of her feebleness. This was troubling me, thus I supplicated to Allah to make it easy for her. Allah accepted (my supplication and removed the terror from Zaynab).” (Usd al-Ghābah)

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