Zaynab bint Ali is the daughter of Imam Ali (AS) and the Lady Fatima al-Zahra (AS). and Abd Allah ibn Jafar’s wife. She and her two sons accompanied Imam al-Husayn (AS) on the Event of Ashura where her two sons were martyred and she was taken as captive to Kufa and then to Damascus. Her sermons in Kufa and Damascus (in front of Yazid) are very famous. Due to many sufferings she had undergone, she was called as Umm al-Masaib (mother of calamities).
Lady Zaynab (AS) passed away on Sunday, Rajab 15, 62/April 2, 682. Some reported that she passed away on Rajab 14.
There are three reports about her resting place:
- Al-Baqi’ cemetery: Some historians have reported that she was buried in al-Baqi’, Medina. Al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin, the author of Ayan al-Shia, accepted this report and mentioned some evidence refuting the other two reports.
- Zaynabiyya: It is widely believed that she was buried in Zaynabiyya, a southern suburb of Damascus, Syria, where nowadays her shrine is.
- Maqam of Lady Zaynab (AS): Some historians said that she was buried in Egypt. They added that she was reminding the people of Medina about what happened in Karbala, thus the governor of Medina, who was afraid of Lady Zaynab (AS) and her actions, wrote a letter to Yazid and asked for help. Yazid ordered him to exile her from Medina to wherever she wished. Consequently, Lady Zaynab (AS) along with Fatima (AS) and Sukayna (AS), the daughters of Imam al-Husayn (AS), were exiled to Egypt and after 11 months and 15 days she passed away and was buried there. Her shrine in Egypt has been renovated several times and now is a ziyarah site. From the beginning of the month of Rajab (the month that Lady Zaynab passed away in) to 15th of that month, Egyptians hold a ceremony everyday by reciting the Qur’an and supplications in her shrine.