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  Updated: June 13, 2005

O Zaynab (p)! Your name’s vitality gives entity to eternity…

By: Hasan Hanoun

“It is my desire that this child be honoured for she resembles Khadija-tol Kobra (peace be upon her)”. These are the words of Chief of Prophets, Prophet Muhammad bin Abdullah (peace be upon him and his pure progeny) about his granddaughter Sayyidah Zaynab bint Ali Al-Haura (peace be upon her) who was born in the holy city of Medina on 5th Jamady Al-Oula 6 AH and was named ‘Zaynab’ – comprised of ‘zayn’ and ‘ab’ which means Ornament of her father - by Allah through the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure progeny).

Here it is a poetic tribute to Aqeelah bani Hashim Sayyidah Zaynab (peace be upon her):

Over the horizon as near as far,
Remains shining your star.
Fatigue is unknown to you,
The way brings the destination to you.
Generations one after other come and go,
Your Message gathers prowess as ages go.
Ages gain at your gain,
You the security, You the credit for Husain.
Your rays reach the globe from east and west,
Dispel the smoke, points where the humans quest.
What is this wound in my liver
At your name heals, at your name bleeds each year.
None but you alone know what you suffered,
Our hearts melt as comes your message and heard.
Sometimes low, sometimes high at your hands;
See how plays the hurricane in sands.
It is your name’s vitality
Gives entity to eternity.
Neither declines nor decays, such your name,
Sights go blind to see you in the blaze of glory’s flame.
Like a dream in the day gets shattered
As I fancy you in the sands lifting your brother martyred.
What the dusty earth could reply to heaven
Enough to Yazid your address “O, Freed son of Freedone.” (1)
O’ daughter of Zahra! Tell our anxious ears
The lasting love between you and your martyrs.
Tell us again how you felt as a mother,
You presented to swords your sons one after other.
No voice over yours could exceed
In your tongue Ali’s voice addressed Yazid.
Still echoes your reply after the calamity:
“I saw nothing but the beauty.” (2)
Such your faith you announced through history.
Who can see what you saw in the blood,
Where your brother left you deluged it into flood.
The flood swept the court of Yazid
The sweep is still on a proceed.
Your mother’s address was to the first usurper, Yours to Yazid;
Indeed, nothing there beyond truth to exceed.
Your father fought battles and was victorious;
Without a sword you defeated the enemy perfidious.
Such is your win over human conscience!
Sword to your children was like a toy
They fought and martyrdom with joy.
Appeared every odd to you beautiful,
Could there be one to God so dutiful!
You spring from the Fountain of Belief,
In the way of God pleasant was to you the grief.
With pain acquainted, you yet a child;
You turned mild to mild the wild.
As charitable in your lifetime so even today
Whoever calls you in need you don’t deny.
In the Ka’ba was born your father
So the Sacred House You the Inheritor.
Your love is conditioned
Heaven to be sanctioned
Why should we fear
To you we endear.

(1) Reference to Sayyidah Zaynab (peace be upon her) use of the term Yabna at-Tulaqa (son of freed slaves) while addressing Yazid in the court of Damascus. She thus drew attention to the sordid background of Yazid, whose father Mua’wiyah and grandparents Abu Sufyan and Hind, were granted freedom by her grandfather Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his pure progeny) during the peaceful surrender of Mecca in 8 AH despite the fact that all three were hardcore infidels and had a brutal record of animosity towards the Prophet and Islam. Abu Sufyan was the prime motivator of the many an armed attack on the Prophet and Muslims, while the despicable Hind had so sanguinely ripped off the liver of the Prophet’s uncle Hamzah at the Battle of Ohod and tried to chew it after having him cowardly killed through her slave.

(2). This is translation of her famous words in Kufa: ma ra’itu illa jameela or I have seen nothing but the beauty (of God), when the tyrannical Umayyad governor Obaydullah bin Ziyad exulted at seeing the heads of the martyrs of Karbala, and insolently said: Look what God has done to your brother (Imam Husain) and other members of the Prophet’s family for not acknowledging the un-Islamic rule of Yazid.

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