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Contemplating on the Speech of Sayyidah Zeinab (a.s.) in Damascus

Contemplating on the Speech of Sayyidah Zeinab (a.s.) in Damascus

The main axes of the subject:
– Preparing Zeinab (a.s.) to lead the revolution
– Sayyidah Zeinab (a.s.) against the autocrat Yazid


We will learn some of the stances of Sayyidah Zeinab (a.s.) in Damascus.

Exporting the Subject:

This is a part of the speech that wise lady Zeinab (a.s.) addressed to reproach Yazid: “You may utilize your treachery, traps and disloyalty (with Islam). However, I swear in Allah that you shall never be able to erase our memories or wipeout our inspiration. You shall never reach our limits and forever with shame you will be branded…”

1- Preparing lady Zeinab (a.s.) to lead the revolution:

The life course of lady Zeinab (a.s.) was like a preparation for the greatest role that awaits her in this life. In the first five years of her age she lived with her grandfather the chosen Prophet (s.a.a.w.) as he led the jihadi battles in order to stabilize the pillars of Islam while he and his family bore circumstances of hardship and perils.

There are also the three months that she lived with her mother al Zahra’a (a.s.) straight after the death of the Prophet (s.a.a.w.). She witnessed her mother as she defended the legal position of the caliphate and demanded her confiscated rights, protesting the developed actions that took place after the messenger (s.a.a.w.) departed while battling against the grieves and pains that struck her. Moreover, she lived a very critical period during the reign and caliphate of her father Ali (a.s.) with the events and wars that took place during that time.

Lady Zeinab (a.s.) accompanied also her brother Husayn (a.s.) with all the grief and sorrows that struck him. This is how we can understand how such a course of those events and developments were stages that prepared lady Zeinab (a.s.) in order to tackle her most difficult experience and to perform her perilous role during the rise of her brother Husayn (a.s.) in Karbala. The event of Karbala is regarded as the most important incident that struck the Islamic nation after Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.). Lady Zeinab (a.s.) played a major and leading role in this great revolution. She was the character that came second after her brother Husayn (a.s.) during the events of the revolution. Besides, she led the revolution’s course after the martyrdom of her brother Husayn (a.s.) and continued that great role with excellence. When the great disaster took place by the demise of her brother Husayn (a.s.) straight after the death of all the men of her household and their partisans, Lady Zeinab exited running towards the battlefield, searching for the corpse of her brother Husayn amidst those killed and uncaring about the heavily armed foes. When she stood by the body of her brother Husayn (a.s.), everyone thought or imagined that she was going to die, collapse, cry in her screams or faint. However, her attitude shook the innermost feelings of the observers. She placed her hand beneath his pure mangled body, lifted it up towards the heaven while praying in bitterness saying: “O Allah, accept this sacrifice from us.”

2- Sayyidah Zeinab (a.s.) against the autocrat Yazid:

A- Defending women in captivity: When the caravan of the captive women reached Damascus, to the council of autocrat Yazid Bin Muawiyah, the tyrant demonstrated his great joy for annihilating the descendants of Allah’s messenger (pbuh&hh), wiggling his sides in happiness and wishing that his ancestors who died in Badr were alive and present so that he can show them how he revenged their death by killing the offspring of the Prophet (s.a.a.w.). He started reciting a poem with the following introduction:

Wish I had my forefathers in Badr [killed in Badr] to witness
The grief of Khazraj1 from the impact of the spear edge….

When wise Zeinab (a.s.) heard these lines (of poetry), she recited her famous speech using the eloquence and courage of her father Ali (a.s.). Her poem included the boldest attitudes against the pharaoh of the time Yazid. This is a piece of what she said: “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, and the Merciful. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Universe, Allah’s blessings be on His Messenger’s Family altogether. Allah says the truth as well as He says: {Then the end of those who did evil was the worst [consequence] because they denied the signs of Allah and used to ridicule them.} – Is it justice, ye son of the freed slaves, that you provide your ladies and slave-girls with Hijab, whereas the daughters of the Messenger of Allah are being held prisoners? You have insulted them by taking away their veils; you have exposed their faces to the enemies — from one city to another. Everyone irrespective of his high or low status stares at their faces. These ladies do not have their gents or protectors with them…”

B- Cursing the tyrant in his own presence: She said: “O Allah! Give us our right, and avenge those who have oppressed us; send your anger upon those that spilled our blood and killed our protectors. By Allah! Ye Yazid, by killing Husayn you have not torn but your own skin and you have not cut but your own flesh. You will be brought to the Prophet with the crimes of spilling the blood of his children and humiliating his family.”

C- Certainty and surrendering to the truth: She said addressing Yazid – emphasizing that the way of Muhammad will not be perished by anyone regardless of the gravity of sacrifices –: You may utilize your treachery, traps and disloyalty (with Islam). However, I swear in Allah that you shall never be able to erase our memories or wipeout our inspiration. You shall never reach our limits and forever with shame you will be branded.

D- Reprimanding Yazid the tyrant in his own court, she said: “…Although I find myself speaking to you, I find speaking to you of little value, bug scolding you is great. Therefore, I will continue to scold you. But the eyes are tearful and the hearts are sorrowful… “

E- The tyrant belongs to the party of Satan: She openly said: “…How ironic it is that the men of the party of Allah are killed by the freed slaves of the party of Satan… “

3- What do we conclude from the speech of Zeinab (a.s.)?

1- She disclosed the false suspicion to Yazid, rather to all the tyrants throughout history. They all think that conquering their enemies through wrongfulness and aggression means dignity, power and greatness whereas in fact it means loss and weakness because it transcended the boundaries of mind, rightfulness and sanity. She used an example by reciting Allah’s verse: “And let not those who disbelieve ever think that [because] We extend their time [of enjoyment] it is better for them. We only extend it for them so that they may increase in sin, and for them is a humiliating punishment.”

2- Disclosing the severity of the Amawi crime in disgracing the sanctities of the prophetic house-hold through by publicly disclosing the women of Muhammad’s household, dragging them from country to country, which is a crime that cannot by topped by another crime, taking the daughters of Allah’s messenger into captivity. This issue has never been precedent in the history of mankind.

3- She brought history back into minds that what Yazid perpetrated was the continuation work of his grandmother Hind and his grandfather Abu Sufyan in their war against Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.), and the crime was a continuation of another past crime, when his grandmother chewed the liver of Hamzah (the prophet’s uncle) after ordering her slave to extract it out of his body.

4- Then she informs Yazid that his time is short and that he will be sorry and grieved on the Day of Judgment when he will stand for accountability before the almighty Allah. And that he would wish his hands had paralyzed, his tongue had muted because of the suffering that he will receive in hell.

5- She clarified a divine truth that each crime or ugly act which man perpetrates is in fact hurting his very self and burning his future. This is why she addressed Yazid saying: “…but remember that you have cut your own skin and your own flesh to pieces….” And that the real death struck you and your forefathers. And that the immortal life has been given to those whom you have killed and whose bodies you have mangled and whose heads you have lifted on spearheads. She stressed on this issue by reciting Allah’s verse: “And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision.”

6- Although what you have perpetrated Ye Yazid is nothing but a heinous crime, yet your destiny is nothing but misery and torture because you antagonized Allah and his messenger. And anyone whose antagonist is Allah, he will refute his reason, destroy him in this world and the afterworld—that is what is the manifest loss.

7- She devalues Yazid, ridicules and humiliates him by using sharp and conclusive expression, hence she says: I should not be talking to you, and you are even lower than my scolding and scorning to you because you are a worthless mean evil. Scolding and scorning can even give you value because you are nothing except like livestock, or rather you are more astray in [your] way. Therefore, livestock cannot benefit from scorning and scolding.

8- She expresses her amazement because the criminal party of Satan overpowered the pure and chosen members of the party of Allah.

9- She defies him about the fulfillment of his aims and aspirations, the erasing of the memory of the household and the wiping out of their inspiration.

1- Khazraj is a tribe that supported Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) in his wars.

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