Messenger of the Karbala RevolutionThe history of Karbala is based on two pillars:
The rising of Imam al-Hussein (a.s) and the rising of Zaynab (a.s). She was an outstanding figure in the history of Karbala endowed with divine steadfastness and fortitude. She sacrificed her two sons ‘Aun and Muhammad while fighting against despotism and upholding the importance of justice, freedom, humanity and virtues in human society. After the martyrdom of her beloved brother and her two sons, she knelt down before the Master of the Universe, on the soil of Karbala and said, “O my Lord! Accept our humble sacrifice to You”.
After the demise of the Holy Prophet (saww), there came the period of distress and hardship in the life of Zaynab (a.s). She stood by her mother as far as the question of supreme mandate of her father was concerned. When her mother delivered the Fadak sermon, she was only 4 years old, but narrated the sermon so lucidly and expressively that the people of Banu Hashim remembered it by heart. Later, the Shiite scholars recorded it and that is why She is known as Zaynab, the narrator of traditions. After the martyrdom of her mother, Zaynab (a.s) suffered many calamities. She saw the evildoers, oppressors, insurgents and breakers of covenants defy the truth during the reign of her father. Finally, Imam Ali (a.s) was struck with a sword on his head in the mosque of Kufa, which took his life. Then she saw her brother al-Hasan (a.s) being forced to sign a peace treaty and eventually poisoned by his treacherous wife by the order of Mu’awiyah. After al-Hasan (a.s), al-Husayn (a.s) became the Imam, but the ruler of Syria violated the peace treaty and appointed his son Yazeed as his successor who insisted Imam al-Husayn (a.s) to swear an oath of allegiance to him. When Imam (a.s) refused, this led to the tragedy of Karbala where Imam al-Hussein (a.s) together with the members of his family and companions was brutally killed. His womenfolk and children were taken as captives and paraded on the streets of Kufa and Damascus and finally imprisoned for a year. Zaynab (a.s) was part of this episode and all the time endured the hardships and difficulties. More so, she vowed to continue with the mission of her brother and spoke eloquently against the despotic regime of Yazeed wherever she found an opportunity to address the Muslims.
HER SERMON IN KUFA
When Zaynab (a.s) reached Kufa, she addressed people with fury words:
“Praise to Allah, and may the blessing of Allah be upon Muhammad and his progeny. O people of Kufa! You are hypocrites and deceitful. You feign to be sorry for the death of my brother and his companions. May you always shed tears. I find nothing in you but flattery, evil acts and thoughts, pride and spite and ill will. By Allah! You deserve lasting sorrow instead of joy. Shame on you, your hands is imbrued with the blood of the son of the Holy Prophet, the one who was your sole refuge in case of adversity. By your evil act and disloyalty, you incurred the wrath of Allah against you. Woe betides you! No one will intercede with Allah for you”.
Her furious words provoked people of Kufa to avenge Imam al-Hussein (a.s)’s martyrdom, which frightened Ibn Ziyad and his cruel agents. She also delivered a furious sermon in the court of Yazeed that made his authority and despotic rule feel undermined. She said: “I fear no one but Allah. Make whatever evil plot you can. Blazes are waiting for you in the hereafter. You will be accountable to Allah for your atrocities”.