All praise is due to Almighty Allah Who will reward those who have sacrificed their lives for His sake and declared fearlessly their word for the right so as to extend justice and honesty on this earth and contribute towards achieving the purpose for which He has created this Creation.
May Allah’s peace and all blessings be upon Muhammad and his infallible Household who suffered troubles and encountered horrible adversities. They did so for the sake of taking the humankind towards eternal pleasure and service to Almighty Allah in the best possible way.
In the history of humankind, one can find names of many people whose principles encouraged them to declare the word of right and justice openly in the faces of the wrongdoers and the unjust. This book deals with one such lady who entered the field of strife against the wrong with remarkable strength and said what was right and just in the faces of the wrongdoers and oppressors.
This lady’s words still echo and disturb every tyrant. They still remind the history of her ordeals, which together with her brother’s revolution gave new birth to Islam after it had been deformed and vanquished at the hands of the illegitimate rulers who took over the leadership of the Islamic nation after the Prophet’s demise. This Lady was Zaynab - daughter of Imam Ali (a).
We must also yield to the fact that Imam al-Husayn (a) was accompanied by his sister, Lady Zaynab on his journey to Karbala only after he had found her to be the one who was most fit to take his giant revolution to completion. And, she completed the revolution so perfectly after his martyrdom.
Lady Zaynab was an individual who had attained perfection. She understood the part she would be playing in the revolution led by her brother even though the Islamic Shariah1 has ordered women to remain in their houses and it is not obligatory upon them to participate in jihad2. Notwithstanding this, Lady Zaynab, who was the daughter of the pure household of Prophet (S) where Islamic Shariah had been revealed, understood more than anyone else that the two missions that meant to be undertaken by her were advocacy for the rights of Ahlulbayt (a) and strengthening the foundations of religion. Hence, she carried out her religious duty with as much perfection as possible. She served as a precious jewel stone set in a ring in the series of gems that belonged to Islam.
From this we come to understand that the revolution of Lady Zaynab, the granddaughter of the Prophet of Islam and the daughter of its protector Imam Ali (a), was due to a divine directive. It is known to all that Islam could see light only by virtue of the wealth of Khadijah (Prophet Muhammad’s first wife) and the sword of Ali ibn Abu Talib (a). In the same way, Islam has subsisted after the Prophet (S) only by virtue of martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) and the revolution led by Lady Zaynab. It was only through the revolutionary speeches of Lady Zaynab, that the public came to recognize the falsehood of Muawiyah and Yazid and their enmity towards Islam.
The tragedy of Lady Zaynab forms the second half of the revolution of Imam al-Husayn (a). She stood steadfast against those unbearable misfortunes. She held full custody of the captives, orphans, and the ailing Imam Ali ibn Husayn (a). She disputed with the wrongdoers through her speeches and condemned the horrendous oppression and violation of human rights and dignity. She then rallied the public against the oppressive gang of the Umayyad rulers and their followers until they chose to return her to Medina so as to save their state. Nevertheless, the foundation of their state was completely smashed as a result of Lady Zaynab’s efforts.
The material of this book has been compiled using the most reliable reference books of history and biography. However, the books titled ‘Al-Sayidah Zaynab’ authored by Sheikh Jafar al-Naqdi and ‘Al-Sayyidah Zaynab’ authored by Sheikh Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi have been most relied upon in preparing the material of this book.
The Ansariyan Publications is thus pleased to introduce this work, which focuses light, in a brief yet documented way, on the life account, personality, and struggle of Lady Zaynab, to the gentle readers hoping they will benefit from knowing the unparalleled life circumstances of this great lady and derive benefit leading them to human perfection.
Finally, we pray to Almighty Allah to make the path of success paved for us and make our intentions purely proposed to Him. He is most certainly the source of success and good fortune.
Ansariyan Publications, 2002