Zeinab (a.s.) shared with
her brothers and sister the extraordinary position of having such examples to
look up to, emulate and learn from, as her grandfather, the Prophet of Allah
(peace be upon him and his household), her mother Fatima (a.s.), daughter of the
Prophet, and her father Imam Ali (a.s.), cousin-brother of the Prophet.
In the pure environment that enveloped her, she absorbed the teachings of Islam
that her grandfather imparted and after him her father. Here too she learnt to
master all household skills with great proficiency. She had barely attained the
tender age of seven when her beloved mother passed away. Her mother's death had
closely followed her cherished grandfather's passing away. Some time later Imam
Ali (a.s.) married Umm ul-Banin, whose devotion and pledge encouraged Zeinab (a.s.) in her learning.
Whilst still a young girl she was fully able to care for and be responsible for the running of her father's household. As much as she cared for the comforts and ease of her brothers and sisters, in her own wants she was frugal and unstintingly generous to the poor, homeless and parentless.
After her marriage her husband is reported as having said, "Zeinab is the best housewife."
From very early on she developed an unbreakable bond of attachment to her brother Imam
Hussein (a.s.). At times, when as a baby in her mother's arms she could not be pacified and made to stop crying, she would quieten down upon being held by her brother, and there she would sit quietly gazing at his face. Before she would pray she used to first cast a glance at the face of her beloved brother.
One day Fatima (a.s.) mentioned the intensity of her daughter's love for Imam
Hussein (a.s.) to the Prophet (peace be upon him and his household). He breathed a deep sigh and said with moistened eyes, "My dear child. This child of mine,
Zeinab, would be confronted with a thousand and one calamities and face serious hardships in Karbala."
* The Victory of Truth: The Life of Zeinab bint 'Ali.Researched and Edited by: M. H. Bilgrami. Published by: Zahra Publications Pakistan (1986). G.P.O. 570, Karachi 1, Pakistan. Distributed by Zahra Publications. P.O. Box 730, Blanco, Tx. 78606, U.S.A. ISBN 0-88059-151-X Pakistan.