'Lady Zaynab' an icon and a role model to Women –Part III-
Lady Zeinab (A.S), in particular, holds a special place in many of our hearts due to the hardships she faced during the tragic events of Karbala and while she was taken captive to Damascus. What do we know about the qualities she possessed that enabled her to conduct herself with strength and conviction of faith? And how can we do our best to embody the characteristics she manifested to improve our lives today?
Some of us may feel we cannot live up to these ideals, that they are unattainable and beyond our reach. Having ideals or high moral standards to look up to give us helpful guidelines as we develop who we are and how to conduct ourselves. When we think about who we should look up to, God has provided us with role models such as Lady Zainab bint Ali (A.S).
Lady Zainab bint Ali (A.S) has several attributes and titles associated with her such as Al-Aqilah means noblewoman, Al-Aalimah or the most knowledgable woman, and Aminatu al-Allah means the faithful of God.
Noble Woman (al-Aqilah) of her time
We know that Lady Zainab bint Ali (A.S) was of the purest lineage. After all, her grandfather was the Messenger of God, the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), and her parents were the Lady of Light, Fatimah al-Zahra (A.S), and the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S). However, Lady Zainab bint Ali’s (A.S) nobility was also rooted in her own moral excellence. She was so trustworthy that Imam Hussain ibn Ali (A.S) entrusted her with his will. Someone once asked Hakimah bint Muhammad ibn Ali (A.S) if a woman was capable of being entrusted with someone’s will. She referred to Imam al-Hussain (A.S) who entrusted his sister Lady Zainab bin Ali (A.S) with his will.
Imam Hussain (A.S) would not have trusted her with guarding his secrets or looking after the remaining family members if she was not an honorable and noble human being. Her decision to accompany Imam Hussain ibn Ali (A.S) with her sons to Karbala also required the highest strength of character and trust in the Almighty. She knew that to protect the religion of Islam, a great sacrifice would be made.
The Most Knowledgeable Woman (al-Aalimah) of her time
Lady Zainab bint Ali (A.S) had her grandfather, parents, and brothers (A.S) as her teachers. When you have such magnanimous guides sharing and imparting their knowledge to you there is little doubt that you will become illustrious yourself. Lady Zainab bint Ali (A.S) thus served as the source of knowledge for Muslim women regarding religious affairs and other matters.
The Messenger of God (P.B.U.H) has said, “Seeking knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim. (People should) know that God loves those who seek knowledge.”
Whether you are a man or woman, seeking and acquiring knowledge is a duty. Seeking knowledge is a gift that you benefit from without expiration or diminished value. Lady Zainab bint Ali’s (A.S) possessing such a high level of knowledge and being fully supported by her family is a true inspiration to us all.