A Few titles of Janabe Zainab (a.s.)
The propagation, advancement and perpetuation of Islam is the result of the painstaking efforts of Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.), Hazrat Moosa (a.s.), Hazrat lsa (a.s.), Hazrat Mohammed Mustafa (s.a.w.a.), Hazrat Abu Taalib (a.s.) and Hazrat Ali (a.s.). It was due to their endless exertions, perennial patience, forbearance and steadfastness that Islam has become what it is.
Similarly their footsteps were followed by Janabe Sarah (a.s.), Hajarah (a.s.), Aasiyah binte Muzahim (a.s.), Safura (a.s.), Janabe Maryam (a.s.), Janabe Khadija (a.s.), Janabe Fatema Zahra (s.a.). Their sacrifices are like the scintillating stars on the horizons of history. One of the contributor to this series of sacrifices was the sister of Imam Husain Ibne Ali (a.s.) – Janabe Zainab Bin Ali (a.s.). The tree of Islam which was sown by the infallible hands of Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.a.) and cultivated it by their sacrifices. When the age-old enemies, in the eyes of Islam contemplated to uproot it, Imam Husain (a.s.) protected it by his initiative and martyrdom. And Janabe Zainab (a.s.) publicly lambasted and humiliated the oppressor in his very court and proclaimed the failure of every attempt that would be made to destroy Islam until Qiyamat and made the tree of Islam verdant and blooming forever.
Titles reflect the very characteristics of man. Same is applicable with the titles of great men and scholars. Nowadays the norms are much different the ardent devotees may give any title and with the intention of not disheartening him the same is gladly accepted. (In AI-Muntazar Shabaan Special Issue 1411 A.H. it was discussed in detail.). The scholars of Islam have mentioned some of the titles of Janabe Zainab (a.s.) in the following manner. The titles and its explanation are as follows:
Zainab was her name. It is the combination of two words, viz., ‘Zain’ (Adornment) and ‘Ab’ (Father), which means father’s adornment. Everything is adorned in accordance with its position and prestige. There is a difference in the decoration of a hut and a palace. Similarly adornment of a king and a pauper differs. A mosque and a house too differ in the matter of adornment. For that matter, difference remains in adornment of ordinary mosque and Holy Kaaba. Apart from this, material adornment is different from spiritual adornment.
The true adornment of man is synonymous with his merits and excellences. The holy person of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) is the sum total of all the meritorious attributes and excellent characteristics. A person who is adorned with all the excellent attributes in his self and if somebody becomes an adornment for him, then what can be said of such an adornment. How closely similar would be their personalities. Some writers have written that the father and the daughter were so close, so germane attached that even the alphabetical distance of ‘Alif cannot set them apart. It is for this reason that in Arabic ‘Zainab’ is written without the alphabet ‘Alif in between. Hazrat Ali was the adornment of excellences and Janabe Zainab was his adornment.
Wali means leader, master of authority. If this authority is limited to shariat then it is known as ‘Wilayate Tashriee’ and if it extends to the whole Universe, then it is known as ‘Wilayate Takvinee’. As much the character will be high the bounds of authority will be that much encompassing. Janabe Sulaiman was having the authority of controlling the breeze, while his vizier Aasif bin Barkhia was having the power of transporting the throne of Bilquees in time of batting of an eyelid. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) split the moon and Hazrat Ali (a.s.) retrieved the sun. Janabe Zainab (a.s.) is a Waliyatul Allah and this is vested with authority on the universe and moreover she also has the authority over this authority. One ordinary example of the potential of her authority is that in Kufa, when she wished to deliver a sermon, the whole atmosphere was rife with shrieking noises and ear-splitting cacophony. Men and animals, both were making a lot of noises. Nobody could have quelled such a noisy mob. Man may become dumb of fear of tyranny but same cannot be with animals. A narrator has narrated the nature of Janabe Zainab’s (a.s.) power in these words:
“The moment Zainab Bin Ali gesticulated at the people, then their breathing slowed down and bells which were dangling in the necks of animals stopped ringing……..”
(Maqtal At Husain, Al Muqarram, pg 311, Printed at Al Bethata Press.)
This incident clearly shows the extent of authority, which Janabe Zainab (a.s.) wields over this Universe. Her mere gesture was enough to quell the bedlam.
The Holy Quran has described one of the characteristics of the friends of Allah thus:
“The friends of Allah shall have no fear nor will they be in grief.”
(Surah Yunus: 62)
Janabe Zainab (a.s.) remained patient in such trying circumstances which would have humbled even the mighty men. They would have dumped patience and become querulous. Both her patience and forbearance were such that she was consoling each and everybody. When Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s.) witnessed the shroudless corpses of the martyrs, he wept uncontrollably, it was Janabe Zainab (a.s.) who consoled him and related a tradition from her grandfather that
“Allah will construct a shrine over here and people will come to visit it.”
Despite of unlimited powers bearing patiently is from the traits of Waliyatul Allah. At this juncture also she remained a prideful adornment for her father Hazrat Ali (a.s.) also despite of unlimited powers (who can retrieve sun for him few men are nothing) resigned to being dragged, while rope tied to his neck.
There is a difference in maintaining trust that of human beings in respect of material things and trust that of Divine secrets. It needs colossal fortitude and patience to be capable of keeping Divine secrets. Such secrets can be inquired by either the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) or Imams (a.s.). Other than infallibles none can carry any such divine secrets. Imam Husain (a.s.) assigned the secrets of Divine leadership and vicegerency to Janabe Zainab (a.s.) and thus elevated her status further. If this episode shows the sublime status of Janabe Zainab (a.s.) then it also proves her infallibility, because a fallible human cannot bear the secrets of Imamat.
One of the Divine trusts is the office of Imamat. She protected the Imam of her time, and supported him. When the enemies contemplated killing him, she came in front and saved his life. In Medina Janabe Fatema (s.a.) saved the life of Hazrat AN (a.s.) and in Karbala and after Karbala Janabe Zainab
(a.s.) saved the life of Ali Bin Husain (a.s.). She indeed was the successor to Janabe Zahra (s.a.).
Aalematun-GhairaMuallamah Wa Fahimatun Ghaira Muffahamah:
A scholar without teacher and an intellectual without an instructor. Janabe Zainab (a.s.) was a scholar without a teacher and an intellectual without an explanator. This title was accorded to herby the Imam of her time, Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s.). This shows that Janabe Zainab (a.s.) never received education from any teacher. But she was divinely blessed with knowledge and education. Allah accords such an honor to those who rightly deserve it. Which means she was gifted with ‘Ilme Ladunni’. This again is further proof of her exalted position and status. Who can comprehend the position of the one who is gifted with divine knowledge? The importance of knowledge has been repeatedly mentioned in Quran and traditions. This title indicates that how much does Islam want to rise the place of the women who have knowledge. The traces of her knowledge are seen in her sermons, which she delivered at Kufa and Syria. These sermons were like the sermons of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and that of Hazrat Fatema Zahra (s.a.). When those who had been in audience to the sermons of Hazrat Ali (a.s.), heard the sermons of Janabe Zainab (a.s.) remarked ‘Has Ali come to life again?’ Because her style, her oration, her delivery, depth of her meaning and everything reflected that of Ali (a.s.)
Janabe Zainab (a.s.) was a constant companion of Imam Husain (a.s.) at every stage. She too descended from the same bloodline and lineage and also accompanied him in his trials and calamities. Companionship of an infallible Imam is not a trivial honor. The way Janabe Zahra (s.a.) shared the responsibilities of Prophethood.
Rezaya is the plural of Raziya, which means major catastrophe. Kaaba is the House of Allah, people circumambulate around. Muslims from all over the world face towards it and come towards it. Janabe Zainab (a. s.) is the Kaaba of calamities. Difficulties and catastrophes were revolving around her and every trouble was coming to her. She was the epicenter of calamities from the verybeginning, death of her grandfather, separation from mother, demise of father, death of brother and a large scale massacre of her kith and kin in Karbala . Those who were full of life at the dawn, were all slain at the decline of sun, the whole house was ruined in just one day. Her loved ones were replaced by the wrenchful sorrows of their deaths. Then from Karbala to Kufa, Kufa to Syria , Syria to Karbala , Karbala to Medina , hordes of ribulations became her fate. If the curtain of Kaaba was set on fire then her veil was snatched. If stones were catapulted on Kaaba then her back was lashed ruthlessly. If Kaaba was dishonored then she was humiliated by dragging from place to place. Such atrocities did not lower the status of Kaaba rather its honor was enhanced similarly such tortures and oppressions did not demand her but her enemies were disgraced. If even today the curtain of Kaaba has survived then even her veil of honor has remained.