Articles \ Lady Zainab: The Daughter of Her Mother
By Jerrmein Abu Shahba
One way to better appreciate the elevated status of Al Aqeelatu Zainab bint
Ali (AS) is to draw a simple comparison on the striking resemblances between her
life and the life of her purified mother, Seyyida Fatima Al Zahra (AS). The
purpose of this exercise is not at all to bring the status of Seyyida Zahra (AS)
down to anyone else no matter how great they are. After all, Lady Fatima (AS) is
the Infallibe Master Lady of all Worlds and she is the Hujjah (proof) over the
Infallible Imams while our Imams act as Hujjah on us. Recognizing these
similarities is only a humble attempt to better understand the prominent
position of Seyyida Zainab's and her high rank which we are ignorant of. After
all, if a person resembles "light" in many ways, then surely that person has
achieved close proximity to that light, and hence, will become a reflection of
that divine light.
Sure enough, Zainab (AS) was the mirror reflection of the light of Seyyida
Fatima Al Zahra (AS) in her chastity and modesty. She was the imitation of her
grandmother Khadija (AS) in her sobriety and serenity. She was the echo of her
father Imam Ali (AS) in his eloquence. She was the carbon copy of her brother
Imam Hasan (AS) in his forbearance and patience. And most certainly, she was the
twin of Imam Husain (AS) in his bravery and tranquility!
We present to you a few examples of the beautiful similarities which both noble
1- Both Seyyida Fatima Zahra (AS) and Zainab (AS) were orphaned on the mother’s
side at a very young age.
2- Fatima (AS) is the Kauther to her father, and Zainab (AS) is the Zain
(adornment) of her father.
3- Just like Seyyida Fatima (AS) was the ‘mother of her father’, Zainab (AS)
grew up playing a similar role with responsibility of looking after her brothers
and tending to her father.
4- Both Seyyida Fatima Zahra (AS) and Zainab (AS) had the same dowries.
5- Imam Ali (AS) testified that Fatima was “a good helper and wife in the way of
Allah”. And Abdullah ibn Jafar testified that his wife Zainab is “the best
6- Both ladies inherited the eloquence from their fathers, delivered keynote
speeches, and resembled their fathers in their demeanor.
7- When Fatima and Zainab (AS) started their well-known speeches, they signaled
to their audience to be quiet, and immediately all was pin-drop silence! This
detail as narrated by most historians points to the status of Wilayah Takweeniya
which they both enjoy over the universe!
8- Fatima (AS) in her own words suffered the weight of calamities (Masa’eb)
which befell her “Calamities showered on me such that if they were placed on
days, they would’ve turned into nights!” Similarly, Seyyida Zainab (AS) was
afflicted with 1001 misfortunes such that she is known today as Umm Al Masa’eb
(Mother of Misfortunes)!
9- Just like Fatima’s house was afflicted with fire by those who oppressed her,
Zainab’s tents were also burnt with fire.
10- Just like Fatima AL-MOMTAHANA (the tested one) experienced most calamities
immediately after the death of her most beloved one, Rasulullah (SA), Seyyida
Zainab AL-MASBEYA (the captive) experienced suffering of captivity & humiliation
right after the martyrdom of her beloved brother, Husain (AS).
11- Both Fatima and Zainab (AS) were physically abused and violated by the worst
of creation at their time in defense of truth!
12- Both Fatima and Zainab (AS) gave away their beloved two sons in the way of
Allah (SWT) – [Hasan and Husain & Aun and Muhammad].
13- Before his death, Prophet (SA) entrusted his beloved daughter Fatima as
Wadee’a (trust) to her husband Imam Ali (AS). And before his death, Imam Ali
(AS) entrusted his beloved daughter Zainab to her brother Abul Fadl Al Abbas
(AS). Unfortunately both valuable trusts were violated and departed this life in
the worst of conditions, both physically and emotionally!
14- No more than a year passed when Fatima (AS) departed this world to join her
beloved Muhammad. And no more than a year passed when Zainab (AS) departed this
world to join her beloved Husain!
15- Without Seyyida Fatima (AS), we would’ve never known today about the
injustice & conspiracy committed by some companions of the Prophet (SA). AND
without Seyyida Zainab (AS) we would’ve never come to know about the Tragedy of
Karbala and Museeba of Husain (AS)!
Sadly, one obvious difference between the two noble ladies is that the holy
shrine of Seyyida Zainab (AS) is well-known and visited by many in Syria, while
the blessed gravesite of Seyyida Zahra (AS) is unknown and hidden to us till