The thousands of Muslims were anxiously waiting to hear the news of the blessed arrival of a child in the family of the beloved Messenger of God PBUH. Everyone in Medina loved and adored Janabe Fatima Zehra. They were praying for the safe arrival of the sacred child. The birth of Imam Hasan and Imam Husain had brought peace and tranquility to the Prophet. And now the arrival of another child was being anxiously awaited.
Anticipation came to an end and the people were informed about the birth of a daughter to Janabe Zehra. The child was named Zainab by our beloved Prophet.
The people of Medina jubilantly celebrated the birth of the grand daughter of the Prophet. Medina was the haven where our prophet had migrated after facing tremendous difficulties and hardships in Mecca. The people of Medina had warmly welcomed the Prophet and his companions. The veneration and adoration for the Prophet was unsurpassed here. Throughout his life, the memory of their respect, love and hospitality never diminished in his mind. The friendly,
generous reception and entertainment by people of Medina was always fresh in his mind. And the prophet assigned the
name of “Helpers” to his hosts.
It was in the sixth year of the hijrat that the people of Medina celebrated the birth of Zainab, daughter of Ali Ibne Abu Talib and Fatima with loud rejoicing. By lineage, Zainab belongs to the most pious and chaste family of Quraish. And
she was a blessed and revered child in the family.
Her mother Janabe Fatima Zehra A.S. was the darling
daughter of the Prophet Mohammad PBUH. Janabe Fatima resembled her father. The holy descendents of the Prophet came through her. The venerated Ahl Bait were the children of Fatima, the ‘Lady of the Light.
The respected Father of Janabe Zainab was Janabe Ali-Ibne-Abu-Talib. He was the cousin and the heir of the Prophet PBUH and he was that person who in his very childhood had accepted the prophethood of the Prophet Mohammed PBUH. He was the epitome of sobriety, virtue and abstinence. In terms of knowledge, he was the door to Prophet Mohammed’s city of knowledge and the ultimate valiant, intrepid and lion hearted soldier of Islam.
The grandfather of Janabe Zainab was the last Prophet in the line of one lakh twenty-four thousand Prophets of God. Prophet Mohammed PBUH was God’s greatest and profoundly loved and the most illustrious amongst all the prophets,
The grandmother of Janabe Zainab was Janabe Khadijatul Kubra. She was an enormously rich lady and was known as the queen of the Arabs. On the other hand, her character was the first mother of the faithful. She was the most exalted and par excellence, a highly respected and pious lady and she is
venerated wife of the Prophet PBUH. As long as she lived and even after her death the Prophet had intense affection and immense love for her. The Prophet had such profound respect and love for her, that during her life time he did not marry another woman for the next 25 years.
Khadija, on her behalf, bore intolerable levels of hardships and deprivation and provided succour, ease and comfort to her husband during the periods of extreme suffering. Numerous hardships were imposed by the tribe of Quraish on the Prophet due to his propagation of the new religion. She provided solace and comfort during the times of greatest stress and tension in the Prophet’s life.
When Archangel Gabriel approached the Prophet for the first time in the cave of Hira with the verse of Igra, the Prophet was truly disconcerted under the pressure of the divine Wahi. When he returned from the cave it was Khadija who gave him the much needed assurance and confidence and instantly accepted his prophet hood. Up to the last moments of her life she remained steadfast in the faith and a staunch supporter to the cause of the Prophet and his message. The leaders of the Quraish and the so-called eminent people of the family of Khadijatul Kubra denigrated the Prophet as a mere magician and as a person who had lost his mental balance. They did not leave any stone unturned to traumatize and agonize him.
In the beginning of the Prophethood an English historian has written, there were only six committed Muslims in the entire world who had complete faith and trust in his message and believed in his mission. Khadija was one of them. During this period, she was advanced in age and was not strong enough to bear extreme hardships and impoverishment. But her devotion to the cause of the religion gave her courage to sacrifice her material assets as well as her life, although she
was not young and she undoubtedly needed ease and freedom from hardships. But she surrendered her life of comfort and accepted intolerable deprivations willingly. She along with her husband and his family moved to Shoabe Abu Talib to live under siege where the leader of Quraish wanted to kill the family of Bani Hashim by depriving them of food and wipe them out with hunger. Khadija accepted these hardships with great rectitude.
It has been reported by Abu Huraira that on one occasion, when she was still alive, Hazrat Jibreel came to the Prophet and said, “O! Messenger of Allah, Khadeeja is just coming with a bowl of food for you. When she comes to you, give her greetings of peace from her Lord and from me, and give her the good news of a palace with jewels in the Garden, there will neither be any noise nor tiredness.”
Due to the hardships which were being perpetuated on the Messenger and his family, Khadija did not survive for long and she died in the initial stages of the siege. But in her life she had prepared staunch allies and sincere supporters of faith who were ready to sacrifice their entire being for the faith and life of the Messenger. In spite of having such staunch supporters, Khadija’s death overwhelmed the Prophet and the Quraish unleashed unbearable atrocities on the Prophet. It became impossible for the Prophet to stay in Mecca. He was forced to leave Mecca in order to save his life. This historical migration of the Prophet to Medina is the beginning of the Islamic calendar. The Prophet Mohammed migrated to Medina in 622 AD to get freedom from the intolerable prosecution and found a community of believers. This date represents the beginning of the Islamic Calendar. The Prophet bid adieu to Mecca but the memory of his first wife Khadija could not erase from his heart. Those women who were later
married to the Prophet could not erase the memory of his beloved Khadija from his heart including Aisha.
One day Hazrat Khadija’s sister came to meet and pay pilgrimage to the Prophet in Medina. The Prophet heard the voice of Hala whose voice resembled that of Hazrat Khajida. The Prophet at once, remembered Hazrat Khadija. Hala’s voice made him very melancholy and sad. When Hala had taken leave of the Prophet and left the house, Aisha addressed the Prophet thus, “For how long will you remain immersed in the memory of the old Quaraishi lady with red cheeks? God has gifted you with better wives.”
The Prophet’s face became tense and uneasy. He reprimanded her and said, “By God! I was not blessed by a better wife than her, when people were proclaiming me to be liar, she affirmed faith in me and when people boycotted me, and she spent her fortune on me.
Zainab’s paternal grandfather was Hazrat Abu Talib ibne Abdul Muttalib who was an uncle of the Prophet and his foster father. Mohammed was still in the womb of his mother when his father Abdullah had died and when he was sevenyears-old his grandfather also died. His uncle Abu Talib took him in his guardianship and protection. It was none other than Abu Talib who was the shield during the severe hardships imposed on the Prophet by the Quraish, who guarded him zealously from their atrocities. He was the father figure, the sincere friend and steadfast helpmate. During the span of great travails, deprivations and destitution, Abu Talib did not allow Mohammed to face the hostilities alone even for a moment. During each and every struggle he spared no effort to help and safeguard his nephew Mohammed. In extreme contrast, another uncle of the Prophet, Abu Lahab was the fiercest enemy, an opponent who was actively hostile to him.
He used to make determined efforts to harm the Prophet in all possible ways.
The arch enemy Quraish used to summon Mohammed but in spite of their intimidation and intention to inflict pain, Abu Talib never ever surrendered his nephew to them. He lovingly used to tell the Prophet, “Go and propagate your faith. And by God, I will never forsake you.” Abu Talib was steadfast in his assurances and fulfilled his promises. In every travail and hardship, he was the steadfast guardian and protector. The Messenger, his wife, his companions and family members were surrounded by the Quraish in the valley of Abu Talib. The enemies with heartless cunning were trying to kill the Prophet and his family members with starvation. Abu Talib continued to provide staunch protection and succour.
Shortly after the death of Khadija, Abu Talib too died. The bereaved Prophet declared this year as the year of sorrow because the prophet lost his two most precious, deeply adored and dearly beloved relatives. They were the staunchest supporters of his mission. After their death the Prophet was forced to leave Mecca and say adieu to his beloved city.
Hazrat Fatima Binte Asad was the paternal grandmother of Janabe Zainab, she was Fatima daughter of Asad son of Abd Manaf. She was married to the Prophet’s (PBUH) uncle, Abu Talib. She was the first Hashimi lady, who was married to a Hashimi gentleman. Through her, the Hashmi tribe flourished. She accepted Islam and accepted the Prophethood of Mohammed PBUH. Her submission to Islam was highly acclaimed. At the time of her death she had expressed some wishes to the Prophet. The Prophet accepted those wishes and praised her. The messenger loved her immensely that when she died he gave his shirt as shroud to her and lay down in the grave. When the companions
asked him the reason of it, the Prophet said, “After my uncle Abu Talib, she was enormously kind and loving to me. There was none other like her. I gifted my shirt to her as a shroud so that she may be gifted the dress of heaven. And I lay down in the grave so that the hardships of the grave may become easier for her.” She was an extremely loving aunt of the Prophet who loved him more than her own children. And the other aunt was Umme Jamil wife of Abu Lahab who had been condemned in the Holy Quran.
It was her habit to bring basket full of thorns and spread them on the path on which Prophet would tread.
The great grandfather of Janabe Zainab was Abdul Muttalib, son of Hashim. He was the custodian of Kaaba and used to host the Haji’s meals and provide water to them. This was the bequest which he had inherited from his ancestors. God Almighty saved Kaaba from Abraham’s depravity, rage and fury, who had come to destroy Kaaba.