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Marriage of Lady Zaynab (s.a.)

When Lady zaynab attained maturity, famous celebrities competed with each other for asking for her hand.Her father, however, refused them all.

Abdullah son of Ja'far son of Abu Talib also asked for her hand. He was one of the noblest men of the Hashemites and one of the most generous men of the Arabs. Besides, Imam 'Ali (a) loved him very much. He therefore responded to him and accepted to give him Lady Zaynab in marriage.
'Abdullah's father was Ja'far who is described as the most similar to the Holy Prophet(s) in morality and nature.1 He was one of those who preceded others in embracing and defending Islam. He emigrated twice-one to Abyssinia and the other to Medina, and was well known of his pity and sympathy to the poor and paupers. Like his brother Imam 'Ali, Ja'far was very much respected by the prophet of Allah (s) who housed him next to his Masjid because he recognized Ja'far's strong faith and sacrificing himself for sake of Islam.

In the eighth year after Hijrah, the Prophet(s) appointed Ja'far as the commander of the Muslim army in their campaign at Mu'tah. In this battle, Ja'far's had been martyred after his two arms were severed because he held fast on the pennon. About this situation, the Holy Prophet (s) said:

"Allah the Exalted shall have given Ja'far two wings with which he will fly in Paradise everywhere he wishes, instead of his two severed hands."

Ja'far therefore is named 'Dhu'l-Janahayn' (the two-winged). The martyrdom of Ja'far was one of the most difficult misfortunes that the Prophet (s) had to encounter. Hence, he (s) said:

"For Ja'far and his matches, weeping should be ceaseless."2

'Abdullah's mother was the great lady Asma bint 'Umays. She was within the earlier embracers of Islam. Accompanying her husband, she immigrated to Abyssinia where she gave birth of 'Abdullah, 'Awn, and Muhammad. She then emigrated to Medina. After Ja'far's martyrdom, Asma was married by Abu Bakr and gave birth of Muhammad who is one of the most celebrated men of Islam. When abu Bakr died, Imam 'Ali Amir al-Mu'minin married her, and she gave birth of a boy called Yahya.3

Asma stuck sincerely to the Ahl al-Bayt (a) and had strong relationship with Lady Fatimah al-Zahra'(a). She reported about sixty hadiths directly on the authority of the Holy Prophet (s).
She acted as a tender mother for Imam al-Hasan, Imam al-Husayn, and Lady Zaynab as soon as she entered Imam 'Ali's house as a wife. They therefore appreciated her situations, nice treatment, and tenderness.

She thus was an example of chastity, purity, and loyalty to the Ahl al-Bayt (a).

Abdullah ibn Ja'far was such a nonesuch person that none, including his enemies, could hide admiration for his unparalleled personality. About him, Mu'awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan said, "'Abdullah ibn Ja'far is worthy of all honor. He preceded everyone else to the noble deeds and qualities."4

He was loyal to the Ahl al-Bayt in general and Imam al-Husayn in particular, though he did not join the Imam's caravan to Karbala'. Historians have recorded that 'Abdullah held the biggest obsequise for the martyrdom of Imam al-husayn, though his two sons were also martyred in the same time. During that ceremony, one of the slaves said to him, "We have suffered long because of al-Husayn!" As he heard this statement, 'Abdullah threw a sandal on that slave out of his rage and said, "Son of fetid one! How dare you say such a thing about al-Husayn? By Allah I swear, had I been with him, I would not have left him before I would be killed there. To me, he is undoubtedly more favored than my two sons are. What makes may misfortune easy is that they were killed with him without complaint or impatience. Thanks to Allah, if I could not support al-Husayn during his fighting, my two sins did."5

He was also well known of his generosity about which narrators have reported many marvelous stories. Because of the Prophet's supplication to Allah for him, he was the richest among people of Medina. Besides, he was so virtuous. He reported many narrations on the authority of his uncle, Imam 'Ali Amir al-Muminin(a) and his two cousins, Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (a).
Lady Zaynab gave birth of four sons and a daughter; 'Awn, 'Ali al-Zaynabi, Muhammad, 'Abbas, and Lady Ummu-Kulthum.

'Awn was virtuous and well-mannered. He accompanied his (maternal) uncle, Imam al-Husayn (a), to Iraq. In the battle of Karbala, 'Awn fought very bravely and took pride in his father, 'Abdullah, and grandfather, Ja'far.

After a brave round of fighting, 'Awn was attacked by the vicious 'Abdullah al-Ta'i who could kill him.6
Ummu-Kulthum, daughter of Lady Zaynab, was famous for her beauty, chastity, and personality. She was highly respected by all people in general and the Hashemites in particular. As an attempt to curry favor with the Hashemites so as to find himself a respectful position in the Muslims' view, Mu'awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan sent a missive to his governor in Medina, Marwan ibn al-Hakam, ordering him to ask the hand of Ummu-Kulthum, daughter of Lady Zaynab, for his son, Yazid.

Marwan ibn al-Hakam knew that Imam al-Husayn (a) would surely refuse and thwart the matter. He therefore postponed it as he looked for a proper opportunity. He seized the Opportunity of Imam al-Husayn's travel and hurried to 'Abdullah ibn Ja'far who understood the whole matter. He said to Marwan that he should wait until Imam al-Husayn (a) would come back from his journey.
When the Imam was back, 'Abdullah rushed at him informing of the whole story. The Imam became very angry, for he rejected completely that his niece would become the wife of the sinful, lewd grandson of Abu Sufyan. He therefore hurried to his sister, Lady Zaynab, and asked her to bring her daughter, Ummu-Kulthum, before him. When the daughter came, the Imam told that her cousin al-Qasim, son of Muhammad ibn Ja'far, would be the worthiest of marrying her. The mother welcomed, the daughter accepted, the father showed no rejection, and the Imam gave her a big dowry.

They kept the matter secret until the wedding night came. On that night, the Imam invited many personalities among whom was Marwan ibn al-Hakam who thought that the invitation was held for announcing the Imam's acceptance of Yazid's marriage to his niece, Ummu-Kulthum. Yet, he was disappointed when the Imam declared the marriage of al-Qasim to Ummu-Kulthum. Marwan reported the matter to Mu'awiyah who, accordingly, felt malice towards the Imam.7


1- See Ibn Hafar al-'Asqalani, al-Isti'ab fi ma'rifat al-Ashab; vol.1,p.242.

2- See Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma'rifat al-Sahabah; vol.1,p.289.

3- See Ibn Jafar al-'Asqalani,Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma'rifat al-Sahabah; vol.5,p,271.

4- See Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, Tahdhib al-Tahdhib; vol.5,p.171.

5- See Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari Tarikh al-Umam wa al-Muluk; 4:357.

6- See Shaykh al-mufid, al-Irshad, p.268.

7- See Zaynab Aqilatu Bani Hashim; 27.

Adopted from the book : "Lady Zaynab" by : "Ansariyan Publications"

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