Pious women of Islam
Sayyidatuna Zaynab Bint Abi Salamah رَضِیَ اللهُ عَنْهَا
Bilal Husayn Attari
Sayyidatuna Zaynab رَضِیَ اللهُ عَنْهَا is the daughter of Sayyidatuna Umm-e-Salamah رَضِیَ اللهُ عَنْهَا. Her father was Abu Salamah Abdullah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ. After the demise of Sayyiduna Abu Salamah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ, when Sayyidatuna Umm-e-Salamah رَضِیَ اللهُ عَنْهَا attained the honour of being a mother of all the believers (i.e. she married the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم), then Sayyidatuna Zaynab رَضِیَ اللهُ عَنْهَا was brought up in the care of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. She was born in Abyssinia, and her original name was Barrah, which was changed to Zaynab by the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.
Marriage and Children
She married Sayyiduna Abdullah Bin Zama’ah, رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ the son of her maternal aunt, from whom she had six sons and three daughters. (Tabaqat Ibn-e-Sa’d, vol. 8, p. 337)
The Compassion of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم
Once, the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم placed Sayyiduna Hasan رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ on one side, Sayyiduna Husayn رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ on the other side and Sayyidatuna Fatimah رَضِیَ اللهُ عَنْهَا in his lap and said: ‘May Allah's mercy and blessings be upon you, O Ahl-e-Bayt (the household).’ Upon hearing this, Umm-e-Salamah began to weep. The Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم asked: ‘Why are you weeping? ’She replied: ‘You have referred to Hasan, Husayn and Fatimah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُم as the Ahl-e-Bayt, but you did not honour me and my daughter with this. ‘He صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم replied: ‘You and your daughter are also from the Ahl-e-Bayt. (Tareekh Ibn-e-‘Asakir, vol. 3, p. 209)
Sometimes, the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم would sprinkle water on her face out of compassion, the blessings of which became apparent in her old age such that she continued to have the appearance of youth on her face.
Commentary of the Saints
Many biographers and scholars said that she was a great jurist and scholar of her time. The renowned Taabi’i, Sayyiduna Abu Rafi’ Sa’igh رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه says that whenever I mentioned a female jurist of Madinah, I always mentioned Zaynab Bint Abi Salamah. (Al-Isaabah, vol. 8, p. 160)
Patience upon the martyrdom of her sons
In 63 AH, when the Battle of Harrah, or rather the tribulation of Harrah, occurred, she had to bear the ordeal of the martyrdom of her two sons. When the noble corpses of her sons were brought before her, she recited the following verse whilst maintaining patience:
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَ اِنَّاۤ اِلَیْهِ رٰجِعُوْنَؕ(۱۵۶)
‘We belong to Allah and only to Him we are to return.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 2, Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 156)
(Usd-ul-Ghaabah, vol. 7, p. 451)
Ten years after this incident, in 73 AH, she رَضِیَ اللهُ عَنْهَا passed away. The Jurist of the Ummah, Sayyiduna Abdullah Bin Umar رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُما took part in her funeral prayer. She is buried in Jannat-ul-Baqi. (Tahzeeb-ul-Kamal, vol. 11, p. 720; Tabaqat Ibn-e-Sa’d, vol. 8, p. 337)