When the time came for marriage, she was married in a simple ceremony to her first cousin, Abdullah Ibn Ja"far Tayyar. Her marriage settlement was equal to that of her mother's. Imam Ali (a.s.) told Ja"far not to prevent Zainab from going on a journey with Imam Hussain (a.s.), her brother.
Abdullah had been brought up under the direct care of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his household). After his death, Imam Ali (a.s.) became his supporter and guardian until he came of age. He grew up to be a handsome youth with pleasing manners and was known for his sincere hospitality to guests and selfless generosity to the poor and needy.
Although Zainab's husband was a man of means, she lived a modest life, not a life of luxury. She and her husband were charitable to the needy people. The Arab tribes called Abdullah "the sea or the cloud of munificence".
The marriage of Zainab did not diminish her strong attachment to her family. Together this young couple had five children, of whom four were sons, Ali, Aun, Muhammad, and Abbas, and one daughter, Umm Kulthum.
In Medina it was Zainab's practice to hold regular meetings for women in which she shared her knowledge and taught them the precepts of the Deen of Islam as laid out in the Holy Quran. Her gatherings were well and regularly attended. She was able to impart the teachings with such clarity and eloquence that she became known as Fasihah (skillfully fluent) and Balighah (intensely eloquent).
In the thirty-seventh year A.H. (after Hijrah), Imam Ali (as) moved to Kufa to finally take up his rightful position as khalifah. He was accompanied by his daughter Zainab (s.a.) and her husband. Her reputation as an inspiring teacher among the women had preceded her. There too women would throng to her daily sittings where they all benefited from her erudition, wisdom and scholarship in the exegesis of the Quran.
The depth and certainty of her knowledge earned her the name given to her by her nephew, Imam Ali Zayn ul-Abidin (a.s.), of "Alimah Ghayr Mu"allamah, 'she who has knowledge without being taught".