Despite the fact that Lady Zainab (the daughter of Lady Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet (peace be on him and his household), and Imam Ali (peace be on him)), was apparently taken prisoner; however, through the behavior she exhibited, she changed the nature of captivity and transformed it into real freedom.
The event of Ashura is the most tragic event that occurred in the history of mankind and one cannot deny the role of women in Ashura as they also played a role in this tragic event in the true sense of the word and performed actions that went down in history.
Women like Lady Ummul Banin, who sacrificed her sons for Imam Husain (peace be on him); women like the wife of Zuhair b. Qain, who was influential in encouraging her husband and in him joining the companions of the Imam, and the mother of Wahab, the Christian, who sent her son to the battlefield to fight the enemies of the Ahlul Bayt; these are but a few examples of the role women played in this event.
However, the main and most prominent role of women in Ashura belongs to Lady Zainab (peace be on her) because the Ashura campaign was a combination of the role of both men and women; the men in the battlefield and with swords and the women were responsible for protecting and strengthening the truth. Lady Zainab undertook this serious responsibility with all her strength.
Lady Zainab’s role in the event of Ashura is such that one can say with certainty that the event at Karbala would have finished in Karbala had it not been for Lady Zainab and this is not a slogan; rather, it is a reality retrieved from the role this woman played as the messenger of Karbala.
The men who accompanied Imam Husain as his companions and helpers and were loyal to their promise and commitment to him till their last breath had, in reality, been raised by pure mothers who loved the Ahlul Bayt and this household of infallibility and purity and transferred this love and wilāyah (mastership) of the Ahlul Bayt as Divine leaders, with their heart and soul into the depths of their children’s existence.
Lady Ummul Banin raised a child like Hazrat Abbas (peace be on him) who would hasten to the aid of Imam Husain in the event of Ashura and do something that would forever remain in the history of mankind and this would not have been possible without the upbringing of a mother such as Lady Ummul Banin who had attained true knowledge and cognizance of the status and position of Imamate.
As a woman, Lady Zainab took on serious responsibilities in the event of Ashura and after it and one would understand the role this noble lady played by studying these responsibilities.
The spirit of resistant of the women of Ashura, particularly Lady Zainab, and her patience is a great lesson which one can learn from this movement and which can be seen in all her actions and conduct as she stood tall in front the enemies while maintaining all the human and Islamic values and did not back down from religious ideals even for a moment.
Spreading the message of Ashura is another highlight in this noble lady’s glowing record. In captivity, through her fiery sermons in the face of the murderers of her dear ones, she was able to make the entire world and the enemies of Imam Husain (peace be on him) understand that the battle between truth and falsehood is never-ending. And even if the enemy martyrs all the men, the women would continue this struggle till their last breaths, reveal the truth, and convey the message of Ashura to the next generations.
Even though Lady Zainab (peace be on her) was apparently in captivity; however, through the behavior she manifested she changed the nature of captivity and transformed it into true freedom and did not complain to God of these calamities even for a moment and standing tall in front of the enemies, uttered the enduring statement of “I saw nothing but beauty”.
Source: The Lady Fatima Ma’soumah (peace be on her) Shrine News Station