Hazrat Zainab reached marrigable age, Hazrat Ali selected a person who was unique in nobility and equal in lineage. A group of noble and respected young men were eager to marry Hazrat Zainab. But for this unmatched, brilliant, sagacious, blooming flower of Bani Hashim and the descendent of the family of Ahl Bait, Abdullah Ibne Jafar was the most worthy choice.
Hazrat Jafar, Abdullah’s father was Hazrat Ali’s brother and a trusted friend of our revered Prophet. He was given the title of Tayyar (the winged). People used to call him Father of the needy. Abu Huraira reports about him that after Risaltamaab there was no other more learned esteemed scholar than Hazrat Jafar.
During the period of hardships imposed by the Quraish, Hazrat Jafar with a group of Muslims migrated to Habsha and later came back with other Muslims on the day of victory of Khaibar. The Prophet embraced him and kissed his forehead and said, “I don’t know which of the two reasons I am happier about, with the victory of Khaibar or the return
of Jafar? He further added that people are fruits of different hue and colour but Jafar and myself are the fruits of the same tree.”
In the eighth year of the hijrat, Hazrat Jafar accompanied an army which was proceeding towards Rome. The Prophet gave the command of the army to Zaid Ibne Harisa and added that if some untoward incidence happens to Zaid, then Jafar will take over the command of the army.
The army of Islam came face to face with the Roman army in a place called Balga. Muslims made the village of Mota their shelter. Zaid raised his flag in his hand and was wounded by the lances of enemies and was martyred. Later on Hazrat Jafar raised the banner of Islam. When his right hand was cut off, he took the banner in his left hand. When his left hand was also cut off he embraced the banner to his chest until he was also martyred. He was the first respected elder son of Abu Talib who was martyred in the service of Islam.
Asma Bint Umais was the mother of Abdullah. She was the sister of Ummul Momineen Maimunna; Salma wife of Hazrat Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib; and Lababa wife of Abbas bin Abdul Mattalib.
Asma was first married to Hazrat Jafar. All the sons of Jafar were born through her. When Hazrat Jafar was martyred then Hazrat Abu Bakar married her and Mohammad was born through her.
After the death of Hazrat Abu Bakar, Hazrat Ali Ibne Abi Talib married her. According to Wagidi, Yahya, Mohammad Asghar, Aun and Yahya were her sons through him.
Abdullah, son of Jafar, husband of Hazrat Zainab was born in Habsha. He was the first Muslim to be born in the land of Habsha. Ibne Hajar in his book Alasabir vol. 3, 49 writes
The Prophet said, “Abdullah resembles me in appearance, disposition and temperament”. Then he held Abdullah’s right hand and said, “God bestow pious children to Abdullah ibne Jafar and grant him good fortune in buying and selling and shower blessing on his business.” He also added that in this world and in the hereafter, he is Abdullah’s friend and guardian.
Abdullah was a lord, a chief, a much honored, revered, abstemious, generous and a sober young man. He was called the prince of munificence. He never let any needy person remain untouched from his beneficence. He never performed a noble deed for the sake of a reward.
Mohammad Bin Serene narrates.
One businessman brought sugar to sell in Medina, but its price had come down in the market. When Abdullah came to know about it he asked his superintendent to buy his sugar at a higher cost and had distributed it amongst the poor.
Abdullah Bin Qais al Waqiyat (poet) writes about him
“When Abdullah Bin Jafar realized that wealth is not permanent or lasting then he decided that he should make his name permanent in this world.
In the same strain Ishmakh, Muaqqil Bin Zarar in his verses states about Abdullah that, “O Abdullah! You are an excellent young man, your house is the best abode for the untimely guest where guests are offered the sumptuous food and best hospitality and welcomed whole heartedly.”
Abdullah was very lavish in his generosity. He did not care whether his merchandise reaches his enemies or his wealth is destroyed. A poet says about him, “If he had nothing else in his hand except his life even that, he would gift to a mendicant or indigent.”
The fruits of this auspicious marriage were four sons: Ali, Mohammad, Aun Akbar and Abbas and two daughters. Out of them one was Umme Kulsoom whom Muawiya, for
Atia Rizvi – 53
political reasons, wanted to be married to his son Yazeed, so that he could become intimate with Bani Hashim but Abdullah had given the authority of marriage of this daughter to Imam Husain and Imam married her to her cousin Qasim Bin Mohammed bin Jafar.
Zainab’s wedding to Abdullah didn’t result in a physical separation between her father and brothers. Both husband and wife used to live with Hazrat Ali. When Hazrat Ali made Kufa his capital they also shifted to Kufa. Hazrat Ali accorded him great respect and Abdullah used to accompany Hazrat in battles. During the battle of Siffeen, Abdullah was one of the commanders of the army.
Everybody was acquainted with the dignity and prestige which Abdullah enjoyed in the household of the Apostle. Therefore, in times of difficulty in their personal matters they sought Abdullah’s intervention to reach Ameerul Momineen, Hazrat Hasan and Hazrat Hussain.
Ibne Hijr in Alasaba volume-4, page-88 has mentioned a narration from Ibne Serenea resident of Iraq: a landlord sent his petition to Hazrat Ali through Abdullah. When his request was accepted then he sent forty thousand dirham. Abdullah sent back this money saying, “We don’t accept any fees for doing pious deed.”
Abul Farah Isfahani in Muqatil-a-Talibin has mentioned that when Hazrat Imam Hasan died, the Ahl-Bait in deference to his wishes wanted him to be buried by the side of the Prophet’s grave. But Bani Ummaya armed themselves and readied to fight!. Marwan incited them for battle and said, “How is it possible that while Usman is buried in the last
space in Baqee, how can Hasan be buried by the Prophet’s side. It is not be acceptable and I will face them with the sword.”
Hazrat Imam Husain had wished that Imam Hasan should be buried near their grandfather. But fear of a dispute was evident so Abdullah asked Imam Hussain under an oath to remain quiet.
Now let me attempt to describe Hazrat Zainab’s personality. It is natural that history is silent about Hazrat Zainab as she remained in the seclusion of her house and was not active in public life for a span of twenty five to thirty years. It was only after the battle of Karbala when she was fifty five years of age that she came under full public gaze.
A person who had seen her on the day of the Ashura, Tabari sources his narration from him and writes.
“A woman shining like sun came out fast.” I inquired, “Who is she?” People said, “She is Zainab,daughter of Ali.”
Abdullah Ibne Ayyub Ansari who had seen her upon reaching Egypt after the martyr of Imam Hussain describes her like a piece of moon. So radiant was she. as:
As we observe Zainab, we find that she exemplified elegance, grace, kindness and sweetness of her mother and the legendary abstinence, knowledge and wisdom of her father. Certain traditions inform that she had a literary congregation where women used to come to learn religious commands and orders of religion. These unique qualities which were so rare in a lady that time, distinguished Zainab from others. Therefore, she was called a Pearl of Bani Hashim: the best of its kind. People used to acquire the knowledge of hadith rom her. Ibne Abbas used to quote her and would say that
our “Pearl of Bani Hashim”, daughter of Ali has narrated this hadith.
This title became so synonymous with her that she became famous by the name of Pearl Aqeela of Bani Hashim. The progeny of Hazrat Zainab inherited this title and were known as Bani Aqeela, tribe of Ageela.
We have to understand the personality of Zainab through her fluency of speech and power of expression. Her speeches in Karbala, markets of Kufa, the court of Ibne Ziyad and public meetings in the court of Yazeed more than substantiate this title. These sermons are an everlasting testimony of her boundless courage, immense fortitude, tremendous perseverance, valour, uprightness, high moral values and sublimity of thought. These qualities beautifully and faithfully mirror her personality. Her personality is truly reflected in her sermons. In the courts of Yazeed, people expressed amazement and surprise at her courage. Ibne Hijr Asaba volume 8 page 100 expresses, “Amazement and wonder at the stability of heart and the courage of Hazrat Zainab.”