Chapter 33: The Birth of Imam Hussain
 

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Six months after Al-Hassan was born, Fatima (A.S.) became pregnant with her second child.

Lady Fatima started noticing the signs that childbearing was near, but the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) had already foretold of Imam Hussain's birth.

Imam Sadiq (A.S.) said:

"Once, Umme Ayman's neighbors came to the Prophet and said:

"Messenger of Allah, Um Ayman did not sleep last night because of crying; she surely cried until morning. "

The Prophet summoned her and said:

"Umme Ayman, your neighbors say that you spent the night crying, may Allah not cause your eyes to cry!! What made you cry?"

She answered: "Messenger of Allah, I had a fearful dream which caused me to cry all night long."

The Prophet said: "Tell me your dream, for surely Allah and His Messenger are most knowledgeable.

She said: "Last night I saw a dream as if one of your limbs was thrown in my house!!"

The Messenger of Allah said: "Your eyes have slept, but you visioned a good thing. Umme Ayman, Fatima will give birth to Al-Hussain, and you will bring him to me. So one of my limbs will be in your house."

When Al-Hussain was born, Umme Ayman brought him to the

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Prophet (P.B.U.H.) who said:

"Both the carrier and he who is being carried are welcome. Umme Ayman, this is the interpretation of your dream." Umm al-Fadhl, Al-Abbas's wife, had a similar dream.

Safia Bint Abdul Muttalib, Asma Bint Umais, and Umme Salama were present when Imam Hussain was born. When the Prophet asked Safia (his aunt) to bring him the newborn child, she said: "We have not cleaned him yet."

When the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) heard this, he said: "You clean him?! Surely Allah the Exalted has cleaned and purified him." After Al-Hussain was born, Gabriel again descended to the Prophet and revealed to him to give the new baby the name Al-Hussain. Al-Hussain is the Arabic version of the old Hebrew name Shabbir, which was Haroun's second son's name. When Gabriel descended to the Prophet, scores of angels accompanied him to congratulate and console the Prophet for Hussain's birth and expected martyrdom.

Imam Hussain (A.S.) was not nursed by any woman, including his mother (A.S.); instead he suckled the Prophet's tongue until he grew old enough to eat. Because of this, his characteristics were exactly as those of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.).

Seven days after the birth the, Messenger of Allah shaved Hussain's head and gave the weight of his hair as charity for him.

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Chapter 34: The Birth of Lady Zainab


Lady Zainab was (accurately) the third child born to Lady Fatima Zahra (A.S.). In other words, she was born directly after Imam Hussain (A.S.); despite the false claim of some historians who hold the opinion that Zainab was born after the miscarriage, which Lady Fatima had and resulted in the martyrdom of Mohsin. These historians are motivated by their desire to divert the attention from the merciless attack on Lady Fatima's house which not only resulted in Mohsin's martyrdom, but also in the eventual death of Lady Fatima herself.

Among these writers is the Egyptian Bint Ash-Shati who wrote in her book Batlat Karbala:

"Zahra, the Prophet's daughter was about to give birth to a new baby after bringing happiness unto Messenger's life by giving birth to his beloved sons: Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain, and a third child, who was not destined to live and whose name was to be Mohsin Ibn Ali..."[1] Regardless of these unfounded claims, it has been established that Lady Zainab (A.S.) was born in 5 A.H., and that she was the third child of the honorable Alawi household.

It is said that her grandfather, the Prophet named her

Zainab that is derived from two words: "Zain" and "Ab" that together means "The embellishment of her father." Yet, Muhammad Jawad Mughniah quoted the Egyptian newspaper,

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Al-Jomhuria dated October 31, 1972, in his book Al-Hussain Batala Karbala as saying: "Zainab was born in Shaban 5 A.H. When her mother brought her to Imam Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) and said: "Name her" he replied: "I would not name her before Allah's Messenger." At this time the Prophet was on a trip and when he returned, he again refused to name her before her Lord. So Gabriel descended to inform the Prophet about Allah's blessings and said: "The name of this baby is Zainab; Allah chose this name for her."

Zainab's history itself speaks of her honorable life and noble traits, as well as the miseries she encountered during her childhood, such as the death of her great grandfather, the martyrdom of her mother (A.S.), and the various inflictions which she lived through during the quarter of a century that her father, Imam Ali (A.S.), was confined to his house as a result of his rights having been usurped by others.

Moreover, when Zainab emigrated from Medina to Kufa, her Father's capital then, several misfortunes were destined for her; starting with the martyrdom of Imam Ali (A.S.). This was followed by fierce battles between her brother, Al-Hassan, and Mu'awiya, which resulted in the poisoning of the Imam (A.S.). After several years, Zainab faced the greatest disaster of history when Imam Hussain along with the prominent Hashimite men were massacred at Karbala by the Umayyads. After massacring the men, Zainab and the women were taken to Syria, but she did not panic nor did she give into the enemy. From Syria she was sent to Medina and then exiled to Egypt to live the rest of her life.

Zainab's tomb is well-known in Egypt today and is visited by believers from all over the world. (There is disagreement about the location of Zainab's tomb; it is believed by most to be located in Syria.) (compiler's note)

[1] Bihar: v.10.


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Chapter 35: Lady Umme Kulthum


Lady Fatima's household welcomed their second daughter and fourth child with happiness and glorification, as with the other children. Lady Umme Kulthum, like her sister, shared the honorable relationship to the Prophet, Imam Ali, and Fatima Zahra in addition to the excellent upbringing.

She was also a victim of historical oppression and sorrowful inflictions and pains, which strong men can barely put up with. Perhaps I will be able to elaborate on the life of Lady Umme Kulthum when I speak about Zainab in new book, if Allah wills.