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

As mentioned previously, whilst Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was migrating to Madeenah Munawwarah, her camel was attacked by Habbaar bin Aswad which caused her to fall off and sustain an injury. The ill-effects of this injury persisted until it led to her eventual demise in the 8th year after hijrah. Hence, Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) passed away as a shaheedah (martyr) and thus attained the great reward and lofty position of martyrdom. (Tabraani – Majma‘uz Zawaaid #15227 and Al-Istee‘aab vol. 4, pg. 410)

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) gave the following instruction to the women that were carrying out her ghusal, viz. Sayyidah Ummu ‘Atiyyah, Sayyidah Ummu Aiman, Sayyidah Saudah and Sayyidah Ummu Salamah (radhiyallahu ‘anhunna), “Wash her three or five times, or more than that if you feel the need, using water in which lotus leaves have been mixed. Mix some camphor into the water for the last wash and inform me when you are done.” When they completed the ghusal, they informed Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) who handed his own blessed lower garment to them saying, “Wrap her in this”. (Saheeh Bukhaari #1253, Tabaqaat Ibni Sa’d vol. 8, pg. 34 and Fat-hul Baari)

Sayyiduna Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) mentions, “When Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha) passed away, we emerged with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) (to attend to her burial) and saw that he was extremely grieved and sad. (Such was his grief) that we did not speak to him. When we arrived at the grave, (we found that) it was still being dug. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) therefore sat for some time, glancing at the sky, while we sat around him. When the grave was ready, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) descended into it and I saw his grief intensify. When he had completed burying her and emerged from the grave, I saw him relieved and he was smiling.

We therefore enquired, ‘O Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! We saw you grieved and sad, so we were unable to (even) speak to you. We thereafter saw that you were relieved. Why was this?’ Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, ‘I had thought off the narrowness and agony of the grave and the weakness of Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha), and that grieved me. I therefore made du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala to grant her ease (from the constraints and agony of the grave, and Allah Ta‘ala did so (i.e. He accepted my du‘aa and granted her ease).’” (Tabraani – Majma‘uz Zawaaid #4308)


1. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) transferred the garment from his blessed body to her body without any delay in between, so that maximum blessings from his blessed body may pass on to her, thereby becoming a means of protection for her from the difficulties of the grave. Although we cannot have the privilege of the garment of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) being our kafan (shroud), holding firm onto his sunnah lifestyle will definitely protect us in the grave and in the Hereafter. 

2. Despite the lofty position of Sayyidah Zainab (radhiyallahu ‘anha), Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) still had the concern of the constraints and agony of the grave for her. Unfortunately, many of us live our lives in such a way as if we will either not die, or we have a guarantee that everything would be fine for us after death.

3. When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was so concerned about his illustrious daughter, it is even more important for us to be concerned about the condition of our children in the Hereafter. The general concern is, “what will happen to our children after WE die?” However, the greater concern needs to be, “what will happen to them after THEY die?”