At the time when Lady Fatima (a.s.) was pregnant with Lady Zeinab (a.s.), the
holy Prophet Mohammad (pbuh&hh) was not in Medina. When Lady Zeinab (a.s.) was
born, Lady Fatima (a.s.) told Imam Ali (a.s.), "Since my father is on the
trip and is not present at this moment, you choose a name for this child."
Imam Ali (a.s.) said, "I will not precede your father (in naming this child);
wait until he (the Prophet) returns. Then he will name this child whatever he
Three days later Prophet Mohammad (pbuh&hh) returned from his trip and like all
other times, he first went to Lady Fatima's (a.s.) house to greet them.
Imam Ali (a.s.) told the Prophet (pbuh&hh) about the newborn baby and how they
waited for his return, to name this baby.
The Prophet (pbuh&hh) said, "even though Fatima's (pbuh&hh) children are my
children, I will wait for a revelation because this matter is with Allah."
At this moment Gabriel descended and said, "O Messenger of Allah, the Lord
sends his regards upon you and says, "Name this child 'Zeinab' because we have
written this in a preserved tablet."
Then the Prophet (pbuh&hh) asked them to bring the newborn baby. He held her
close to his chest, kissed her, and named her Zeinab. Afterwards he said, "My
will to the people, to those who are present and to those who are absent is to
keep the respect for this child, for she truly resembles Khadija."
* Selection taken
from the book “Nasikh al-Tawarikh”, p.44 –section about Lady Zainab (pbuh&hh).