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  • 2/7/2006

Zaynab Soghra or Umme Kulthum

A Fact Acting As Myths!

Imam Ali (pbuh) had two daughters called Zaynab whose mother was Lady Fatima (pbuh), the honorable daughter of the Prophet.

The former is Zaynab Kobra (the older) whose heroics in Karbala are well known and famous. The latter is "Zaynab Soghra (the younger)" who is mostly known as "Umme-Kulthum". There is also a third girl known as the daughter of Imam Ali (pbuh), named "Nafiseh". Her mother is called "Om-Saied Bint-e-Orvah", and she isknown as "Umme-Kulthum" too.

Islamic historians have different opinions about the fact that which of these two "Umme-Kulthum" has been beside her brother Imam Hosein (pbuh) in Karbala? Some of the historians think that she is Umme-Kulthum (pbuh), the daughter of Fatima Zahra (pbuh). Others believe that Zaynab Soghra or Umme-Kulthum, died when Imam Hasan (pbuh) was alive (the years before 50 Hejira). So, the second Umme-Kulthum, Nafiseh, had been in Karbala with Imam Hosein (pbuh).

In accordance with the brief necessary introduction, we are going to have a glance at the honorable life of Umme-Kulthum (pbuh), who was an excellent and pious lady, and participated in a holy and unequal war against her time's aristocrat "Yazid", beside her brother. She acted to her holy and theological mission lovely and powerfully. She became a symbol for all Muslim women who have a high goal in their lives in all periods and in any territories and generations. Those who livevery idealistic and those who not only don't surrender to the depravation of the cultural and social conditions of their environment, but also step in the direct, holy path of their theology, responsibly and faithfully. They try to affect the society affirmatively in order to introduce Islam.

"Umme Kulthum (pbuh) was born at the time of the holy Prophet and she tasted the sweet relish of kindness and love in the warm, sincere arm of her mother. But this lasted for a very short period; three or four years. At the tenth year of Hejira her grandfather, the Prophet, passed away. A short time, later her mother Fatima Zahra (pbuh), also flue oppressively to the high heavens. Umme Kulthum cried at the sorrow of their loss meekly and innocently with her sister Zaynab  (pbuh), and her brothers Imam Hasan (pbuh) and Imam Hosein (pbuh). Afterward, they're nurture within the direct attention of their father Imam Ali bin Abi Taleb who himself became responsible to look after them.

Reviewing Imam Ali's (pbuh) hard life, it is understood that they learned a lot from their father in different fields. They learned his science and knowledge, his judgments, his courage and generosity, asceticism and abstemiousness, his hard working at the economic life and then the generous disposition of all his income for God to reduce the needs of the poor people, his severity for carrying out justice, his kind heart against the orphans, poor and the deprived in the society, and....

The acceptance of peace by Imam Hasan (pbuh) is a reflection of the 25 years of suppleness and collusion of Imam Ali (pbuh), when he refused disputes and separation within the Islamic Ummah.

Imam Hosein's battle and his martyrdom is a reflection of Imam Ali's epic spirit and his enthusiastic defense of Islam and the Prophet and his campaign against polytheism, blasphemy, injustice and discrimination.

Zaynab’s firelike Sermons at ‘Obeidolah bin Ziad' and `Yazid’s palaces at Kufah and Damascus, memorize the powerful sermons of Imam Ali (pbuh) at the time of the battles of Jamal, Siffin, and Nahravan.

And now consider Umme Kulthum, who has grown and been personalized in this school. She has seen all good and bad events of the period of Imam Ali (pbuh) and Imam Hasan's governing, with her own eyes in about fifty years of her life. The most magnificent time of her life is when she accompanied her brother Imam Hosein (pbuh) from Medina to Mecca, to protest against usurping government of Yazid. At Mecca, she was a witness to what her brother did. When he had some secret relationships with the people of Kufa, Basra and other countries of the Islamic world and also discussed and talked to the politicians and social characteristics of those days, Umme Kulthum was there as a witness. Afterward, at the eighth of zilhajja in an amazing movement, at the invitation of the Kufa citizens she went with her brother from Mecca to Karbala. She was at Karbala the hurtful days of Muharram till Ashura. She was witness of the breaching and unfaithfulness of the people of Kufa, and the generosity, bravery and martyrdom of Imam Hosein (pbuh) and his faithful friends within an unequal battle with them. At this time she was not at the edge but in the middle of any events. She experienced all bitterness, disappointments and pains with all her heart and soul. She observed the martyrdom of her brothers Imam Hosein, Abbas (pbuh), her other brothers, nephews and followers. She saw the dark night of 11th of Muharram, the plunder and burning of the tents and vagrancy of the children and women in the desert of Karbala with her own eyes. Two days later with tearful eyes and a bereaved heart, she said good-bye to the holy bodies of the martyrs who laid on the hot land of Karbala. Then she left Karbala towards Kufa and Damascus with the caravan of captives. In this sorrowful journey, she introduced the family of the Prophet (SAW) and revealed the injustice of "Bani-Omayeh's"rulers.

When the captive's caravan entered the city of Kufa, she who had benefited from knowledge, insight, eloquence, bravery and heroic, stood up among the crowd that were joyfully applauding to show their victory against the Prophet's (SAW) family, and called out:

"O, citizens of Kufa, be quiet!" The breaths were held in the chests and the whispers were silent. Then she said:

"O', Citizens of Kufa! Woe is to you. You have gained the worst! Why did you leave Hosein alone and killhim? Why did you plunder his properties and inherit them yourself? Why did you captivate the women of his family and isolate him? Woe is to you. You have gained the worst! Do you know what you have done to yourself and what a big sin you have committed? What sort of bloodshed you made? Which ladies you have captivated? Which children you have naked? Which properties you have plundered? You have killed the best men after the Prophet (SAW)! Mercy has been taken away from your hearts. Be aware that the men fighting for God are victorious and the devils men are the losers. At this moment the people burst to cry, the women of Kufa scratched their faces, pulled their hair and cried out aloud.

When they were entering the city of Damascus which was Yazids capital city, she asked "Shemr bin zel Joshan", who was one of the cruel and violent commanders of the Bani-Omaieh's army, to enter the Prophet's family from one of the emptiest entrances of the city, and to keep away the martyrs separated heads that were put on the top of the spears, from the captive women, so as to prevent the people that had gathered around to watch caravan, from looking at the girls and women of the Prophet's family. Shemr did exactly in the opposite way of Umme Kulthum's demands and entered them to the city of Damascus from the gate of "Sa'at" which was the most crowded entrance. In the days of her attendance at Damascus, Umme Kulthum still expressed the truth and revealed the Omayyud crimes. She was one of the correspondentsof this bloodshed, sorrowful journey to the people, after return of the Prophet's family to Medina. About this subject, she has said a poem that its prologue is:

"Don't accept us, Oh! City of our ancestors.

 Because we have come with regrets and sorrows.

The Death And Tomb Of Umme Kulthum (pbuh)

There are not any fixed ideas about her passing away and her tomb, because of the differences of the historical reports. If Umme Kulthum (pbuh) who was present at Karbala with her brother is the daughter of Fatima Zahra, then the date of her death is 21st of Rabi-ath-Thani.

There is uncertainty about the place of her tomb too. Some historians think her tomb is in Medina and others report that the grave at"Zaynabieh" of Damascus that is visited by a lot of pilgrims who are the lovers of the Prophet's (SAW) family, belongs to Zaynab -As-Soghra or Umme Kulthum (pbuh). They also said that Zaynab Kobra's tomb is in Damascus or Cairo.

Anywayin the misty atmosphere of the history, of the date and the place of burying Umme Kulthum, what is the most important and amazing is her magnificent and theological personality. She had possessed knowledge, behavior, morality, holly war, poem, politeness, and eloquence altogether. She has become a "fact" acting as "myths in ups and downs of the history full of events.

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