Discourse Between the Two Zainabs


Discourse Between the Two Zainabs

By: Jerrmein Abu Shahba

They both had immense love to their beloved brother

The son of their holy father and exceptional mother


They supported and served the goals of their brother with all their might

Together they formed a sibling team and put up such a great fight


Younger in age they were but they knew well who was their master

Both sisters suffered the pain of separation from their better other


They are none other than Zainab bint Ali and Fatima bint Musa Al Kadhim

Aqeelatu Bani Hashim and Kareematu AhlulBayt in Qum


Seyyida Masuma died before seeing her brother on her way to visit

And Zainab departed this life a year after the tragedy of Karbala happened


In a moment of truth one Zainab addresses the other with utter grievance

Ya Mawlati Ya bint Al Zahra, how many calamities have you went through?!


From witnessing your family members martyred to seeing Husain slaughtered and betrayed

You were taken as captive after the massacre of Karbala in a humiliating and degrading parade


The burden of guarding the women and children was greater than any woman can bear

Oh Zainab how much you have went through I cannot imagine nor can you ever share!


Your Husain was very precious to you just like Reza was my dear beloved

In your shoes I felt a taste of your pain but certainly not a speck of what you suffered


When my Reza was forced to accept the position of crown prince

To the tyrant Al-Mamun who threatened to kill him if he didn’t


I remembered the cursed Yazid who wanted to force Husain to give him the bay’a

So that he gain the legitimacy in front of the whole Muslim Ummah


From the safe haven of Madina Abi Abdillah bid farewell and left to Karbala

And from the same Madina my Reza went to Mashhad in submission to Allah


I shared with you your pain of separation when Husain was dead

Yet I never saw my beloved Reza without his head


You witnessed your Husain get slaughtered while thirsty

And all his family members killed without mercy


My Reza visited me after my death and laid me in my grave with dignity

While your Husain was visited by horses that stampeded his holy body


When I embarked on the long journey to Marw to visit Sham Al Shomoos

I remembered your caravan of captives parading in the streets of Kufa with much abuse


Imam Husain felt most pain knowing that his dear Zainab would be taken as captive

But Imam Reza didn’t have to worry about me being violated or taken as hostage


Both Reza and Husain share the title of being Ghareeb and feeling like a stranger

But why do they call my brother Ghareeb Al Ghurabaa when Husain didn’t find any helper?


My Reza found his son Jawad to bury him and pray at his grave in Mashhad

But did Husain find Akbar at his side when all was done and said?


It was Imam Reza who said “Oh Shabeeb, if you were to mourn and lament over anyone

Then do so over Husain for he was slaughtered like a lamb with eighteen persons killed with him.”


Those who visit the 8th Imam are among the special and chosen believers

But is there anyone like Husain whose dome and dust beneath his grave carry great divine power?


Oh dearest Zainab if we compare your position to mine

It will be clear that yours is most superior even though we both have a shrine


I departed this world before experiencing the pain of my brother’s martyrdom

While you saw Husain get slaughtered and beheaded when his companions were all done


I found Reza there to bury me in Qum and recite my Ziyarat

Yet you lost both Husain and Abbas without their protection in Kufa and Damascus


When I recite your Ziyarat Al Mufjea, I wince in pain and cry tears of blood out of shock

For every calamity that you went through breaks every heart made out of rock


They recite in my Ziyarat that ‘Oh Fatima, grant me intercession in Paradise for you hold a very high station among stations”

But I say to you that after your mother you have stood in the most elevated and dignified position


The city of Qom where I am buried is known as the “nest of AhlulBayt”

Oh Zainab without you this nest would not have been maintained


Qom has indeed become the city of knowledge where scholars go to seminary and I am their caregiver

But you are Alimah Ghayr Mualamma and we have learned from you more than a seminary can deliver


Our shrines have become holy and the visitors come to us from every land

To pay their respects and knock on our doors to seek their needs at hand


However today my shrine in Qum is safe and surrounded by turbaned scholars

But sadly your mausoleum in Syria is attacked by the hateful nonbelievers


I advise all my devotees whoever visits me to remember the plight of Zainab bint Ali

Who struggled in her separation from Imam Husain just like I did


Indeed our Lord has blessed us with the patience to endure the pain of our separation

It is from you Oh Zainab I learned that great lesson of fortitude and forbearance


You are the Queen of Composure and the Princess of Patience

We thank our Creator for the blessings He bestowed from His Benevolence


Surely it is by the blessings of Husain and Reza that we have been gifted a great position

Such that miracles are manifested and prayers are accepted at our holy Haram


In humble words Lady Zainab answers Masuma and profusely thanks her

Dearest Masuma in honor of the visitors of your brother Reza I promise to reward all his visitors


After all we are the servants and students of Fatimatul Zahra our holy mother

You and I – The daughter of Bab Al Hawaej and the daughter of Haider Al Karrar


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