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Women in Islam

The Prophet's Daughter - Zainab (R.A.)

Zainab (R.A.) was the eldest daughter of the Prophet (PBUH) and was born in the fifth year of his marriage to Khadijah (R.A.), when he was thirty years of age. She embraced Islam and was married to her cousin Abdul-As-bin Rabi. Her husband fought in 'Badr' for the Qureysh and fell a captive to the Muslims. Her husband also embraced Islam later and joined her in Madinah.

She had a son named Ali and a daughter named Amamah. Ali died during the lifetime of the Prophet (S.A.W.). This was the same Ali who sat behind the Prophet's camel at the time of his triumphal entry into Mecca. Amamah frequently hanged on the Prophet's back as he prostrated in Salaat (prayer). When the Qureysh were paying ransom to secure release of their prisoners, Zainab (R.A.) gave over as ransom for her husband the necklace she had received in dowry from her mother Khadijah (R.A.). When the Prophet (S.A.W.) saw the necklace, the memories of Khadijah came to his mind and tears were in his eyes. After consultation with Sahabah, he returned the necklace to Zainab (R.A.) and released her husband without ransom on the condition that he would send Zainab to Madinah on his return to Mecca. Two men were sent to stay outside Mecca and bring Zainab (R.A.) safely to Madinah when she was made over to them. Her husband asked his brother Kananah to take Zainab outside Mecca and make her over to Muslim escort. As Zainab and Kananah were riding out of the town on camel's back, the Qureysh sent a party to intercept them. Her own cousin Habar-bin-Aswad flung a spear at her which wounded her and made her fall from the camel. As a result of this fall, Zainab, who was pregnant, miscarried. Kananah started sending arrow towards the interceptors, when Abu Sufyan said to him: "We cannot tolerate the daughter of Muhammad leaving Mecca so openly. Let her go back and you can send her secretly after a few days." Kananah agreed.

Zainab (R.A.) was dispatched after a few days. She suffered long from that wound, and at last died of it in the beginning the 8th year after the emigration of the Prophet (S.A.W.). The Prophet (S.A.W.) said at the time of her death: "She was my best daughter, for she has suffered much on my account."

The Prophet (S.A.W.) buried her with his own hands. As he went into the grave to lay her down, he looked very sorrowful but, when he came out of the grave, he was quite composed. On the query by the Sahabah, he said: "In view of the feebleness of Zainab, I prayed to The Almighty to remove from her the tortures of the grave, and this prayer has been answered."

Just imagine, even the daughter of the Prophet (S.A.W.) who sacrificed her life for Islam needed a prayer from the Prophet in the grave. What about us people who are so much steeped in sins? It is but necessary that we should always seek protection from the difficulties in the grave. The Prophet (S.A.W.) would often seek refuge in God from the horrors of the grave.


The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186

June / July 1992
Dul-Hijjah 1412
Note from the Editors
Letters to the Editor
Italy turns to Islam
The Hajj
Dietary Laws
Quranic Miracles
Qur'an and Science
The Kid's Corner
Why I Embraced Islam
Women in Islam
The Prophet Ishaq (Isaac)
Stories of the Sahabah
Teachings of the Prophet