The Death of Hazrat Zaynab

The Messenger of God entered the 8th year of the Migration with the death of Zaynab, his daughter.

Zaynab was the first daughter of the Messenger of God from his marriage with Hazrat Khadija. It is strange that all of the sons of our Prophet except Ibrahim died before the advent of Islam and when they were very young but all of his daughters were alive when he became a prophet. All of his daughters except Fatima died when he was alive. Hazrat Fatima lived only six months after the death of the Messenger of God due to her sorrow.   

Zaynab was born when the Messenger of God was thirty years old.[1]She believed in God together with her mother, Khadija. Zaynab was about ten years old when the Prophet was given the duty of prophethood. 

Zaynab’s husband, Abu’l-As b. Rabi was the son of Hala, Khadija’s sister. Their marriage took place due to the wish of Khadija.

Abu’l-As had not become a Muslim yet when he married Zaynab. However, the Messenger of God did not object to her marrying Abu’l As because there was not a decree sent by God prohibiting such kind of a marriage at that time.[2]

Although the Messenger of God migrated to Madinah, Zaynab, the beloved daughter of the Prophet, had to stay in Makkah. However, divine mercy helped Zaynab by making Abu’l-As be taken prisoner by Muslims at the Battle of Badr. When the Messenger of God released Abu’l-As without asking for any ransom, Abu’l-As sent Zaynab to Madinah near her father when he arrived in Makkah in return for the Prophet’s favor.

In the 7th year of the Migration, Abu’l-As came to Madinah and became a Muslim. Thereupon, the Messenger of God married Zaynab off to him again without any mahr.[3]

When Zaynab died, the Messenger of God, whose heart was full of affection and mercy, took off his sash and gave it to the women washing her dead body to use it as a part of her shroud. He led her janazah prayer himself.[4] Then, he went into the grave dug for her thoughtfully and sorrowfully. After staying there for a while, he went up happily and said, “I thought of the weakness of Zaynab and prayed God to alleviate the troubles and the heat of the grave for her; and He accepted my prayer.”[5]

The Messenger of God put Zaynab into the grave with the gurney on which she was being carried; then, he placed her into the grave with help of Abu’l-As b. Rabi, Zaynab’s husband. 

The Cause of her Death

While Zaynab was migrating from Makkah to Madinah in a kind of chair on a camel, two Qurayshi polytheists hit her with a spear and she fell on a rack at a place called Dhu-Tuwa. This incident caused her to suffer a miscarriage. She got ill due to loss of blood. This illness is mentioned as the cause of her death.[6]


[1]Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba, Vol. 4, p. 312.

[2]Ibn Hisham, Sirah, Vol. 2, p. 306.

[3]Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, Vol. 8, p. 33.

[4]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 8, p. 36.

[5]Ibn Athir, Usdu’l Ghaba, Vol. 8, p. 131.

[6]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 309; Ibn Sayyid, Uyunu’l-Athar, Vol. 2, p. 177.

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