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Miscarrying while Migrating

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(Sayyidah Zainab [radhiyallahu ‘anha] bintu Rasulillah [sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam] – Part Four)

When Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) completed her preparations and was ready to migrate to Madeenah Munawwarah, she departed from Makkah Mukarramah during the day, seated in a carriage that was strapped to a camel led by her brother-in-law, Kinaanah bin Rabee’.

Word of her departure spread and soon a group of Quraish set out in pursuit, catching up with them at Zu-Tuwaa. In the forefront of this group was Habbaar bin Aswad who continued to prod the camel with his spear, (causing it to buck and jump,) until Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) eventually fell out of the carriage onto a rock. Due to this fall, she miscarried her unborn child and bled profusely. Her brother-in-law, Kinaanah, although not a Muslim, drew the arrows from his quiver and threatened to fire them at anyone who came close. This threat caused them to retreat.

Abu Sufyaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), who was not yet a Muslim, then approached him and asked him to stow his arrows so that they could speak. When he did so, Abu Sufyaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) said to him, “You did not do things the right way. You took this woman out (of Makkah Mukarramah) openly with everyone watching, whereas you know about our suffering and defeat at the hands (of her father) Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). By taking her out openly in front of our eyes, you will make people think that this is (happening) due to us becoming weak as a result of our defeat (in Badr). By my life! We have absolutely no need to keep her back from (joining) her father and we will not hold her back in revenge. However, take her back (to Makkah Mukarramah) now, and once all has quietened and the people say that we stopped her (from going), you may leave with her secretly and deliver her to her father.” Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) thus returned to Makkah Mukarramah.

In the meanwhile, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had sent Sayyiduna Zaid bin Haarithah and another Ansaari Sahaabi (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) to await the arrival of Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) at a place named Batnu Ya-jaj and had instructed them to accompany her to Madeenah Munawwarah.

Sayyiduna Zaid (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had come very secretly and found the shepherd of Sayyiduna Abul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had given Sayyiduna Zaid (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) his ring as a sign for Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) that he had been sent by her father. He therefore asked the shepherd if he would give something to Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) without informing anyone and when the shepherd agreed, he sent the ring with him.  

When Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) saw it, she realized that her father (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had sent somebody to take her to Madeenah Munawwarah. She thus enquired from the shepherd where the person was, and that night, Kinaanah escorted her to Sayyiduna Zaid (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). She then travelled with him and the Ansaari Sahaabi (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) to Madeenah Munawwarah.  

When Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) migrated to Madeenah Munawwarah, she was separated from her husband, Abul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), until the year 6 A.H. when he accepted Islam and came over to Madeenah Munawwarah.

 (Seerah Ibni Hishaam vol. 2, pg. 654, Mustadrak Haakim #2812, Sunan Abi Dawood #2692 and Al-Istee‘aab vol. 4, pg. 410)

Lessons:

1. The primary concern of the Quraish was that of their image. It was because of this concern that they behaved in such an unreasonable and illogical manner that they attacked an innocent woman and caused the death of her unborn child, who would have been the grandchild of the master of both the worlds (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). People who are overly concerned of their image in society will similarly behave irrationally and cause a problem for themselves and others. This constantly plays out in many things, such as extravagant weddings, becoming greatly offended over trivial issues, etc. 

2. Even though this was a journey of absolute necessity (i.e. a journey to escape the land of kufr and settle in the land of Islam), Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not want his daughter to travel alone. If she had to be accompanied – even in these dire circumstances – would Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) ever allow a woman to travel alone for trivial reasons such as leisure, holidays, etc.?

3. Together with the other difficulties that Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) had to undergo for the sake of Deen, she had to also endure the difficulty of migrating under such dangerous circumstances and of miscarrying her child as well. Furthermore, she was then separated from her husband for four years. This beautiful garden of Islam that we enjoy today, was irrigated by the blood, sweat and sacrifice of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), his family and companions (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). It is thus incumbent upon us to appreciate their sacrifice, make regular du‘aa for them and endeavour to follow in their noble footsteps to the best of our ability.