Birth of Zeinab and the Nurse's Day in Iran
Birth of Zeinab and the Nurse's Day in Iran
There are various sayings about the birthdate of Hazrat Zeinab (AS). Some say she was born on the 5th day of the month of Jamadial-Awwal of Islamic calendar, and others say her birth date is on the first day of Sha’ban, in the 6th year of Hijrah, year 625 AD. Hazrat Zeinab is the elder daughter of Imam Ali (PBUH) and Hazrat Fatima Zahra (SA), and the eldest granddaughter of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Hazrat Khadijah (SA). She was the third child of the family, and the sister of Imam Hassan (PBUH) and Imam Hossein (PBUH). Her younger sister is Hazrat Umm-e-Kulsoom (SA).
At the time when Hazrat Fatima Zahra gave birth to Zeinab, Prophet Mohammad was not in the city of Medina. When she was born, Hazrat Fatima Zahra told Imam Ali (PBUH), "Since my father is in a trip and not present at this moment, you choose a name for this child." Imam Ali said, "I will not precede your father (in naming this child); wait until the Prophet (PBUH) returns. Then he will name the child whatever he prefers best." Three days later Prophet Mohammad returned from his trip and as always, he first went to Hazrat Fatima Zahra's house to greet them. Imam Ali told Prophet Mohammad about the newborn baby and how they waited for his return, to name the baby.
Prophet Muhammad said, "even though Fatima Zahra's children are my children, I will wait for a revelation, because this matter is with Allah (SWT)." 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 [Louh-e-Mahfooz]."
At the height of the Islamic month of Muharram, in the 61th year of Hijrah, on the night of Ashura, when the devilish enemy set the tent of the prophet’s household [ahl al-bayt] on fire and drove the children to the desert in the night, Zeinab tended women and children in a half-burnt tent, shared in their sorrow with patience and endurance, and nursed the feverish patient of Karbala, Imam Sajjad (PBUH). The endurance, love and sacrifice of a nurse at the bedside of the sick probably manifest the patience, endurance and boundless sacrifice of Hazrat Zeinab.
Therefore, it is appropriate to observe and honor this hardworking class of society. She not only played a significant role to preserve Islam, Prophet Mohammad, and the blood of Imam Hossein, but brought a thousand messages of bravery, resistance and struggle for human rights to her descendants as well. She is a model of resistance and sacrifice; in the rebellion of Ashura and in the most turbulent conditions, she nursed the injured in the best possible manner, one of the most beautiful manifestations of nursing.
Birthday of Zeinab is observed as Nurse's Day in Iran. Nurse is a word full of meanings, a word that defines friendship, generosity, sacrifice and forgiveness. A nurse does not mind, whether it is night or day, and she just minds her responsibility which is caring for the sick. As an angel, she appears at the bedside of the sick and cares for them. A nurse spends her life devotedly on people. The moment of a patient's discharge from a hospital is the sweetest moment in a nurse's life. If her patient suffers, a nurse shares in the suffering. In certain situations, a nurse shows such benevolence toward her patient that the patient's closest kin are not prepared to render such service. A nurse's occupation is not an ordinary one. Nursing is a sacred and valuable profession. When a nurse sees that her patient's life is in danger, she forgets everything and becomes selfless.
Imam Hassan Askari
Imam Hassan Askari (AS), the 11th infallible Imam whose title is Askari was born on the 8th of Rabi al-Sani or 24th of Rabi' al-Awwal, 232 of Hijrah year. His father was Imam Ali al-Naqi (AS), the10th Imam and his mother's name was Hazrat Bibi Saleel. Imam Hassan Askari had a brief span of life, only twenty-eight years, but even in this short period, which was suffered from a chain of troubles and harms, several high ranking scholars benefited his ocean of knowledge. He was peerless in knowledge, forbearance, forgiveness, generosity, sacrifice and piety.
Imam Hassan al-Askari spent twenty-two years of his life under the patronage of his father, Imam Ali al-Hadi (al-Naqi) after whose martyrdom he became his divinely commissioned Imam. Imam Hassan ibn Ali al-Askari , the son of the tenth Imam, was born in 232/845 and according to some Shiite sources was poisoned and killed in 260/872 through the instigation of the Abbasid caliph, al-Mu`tamid. The Eleventh Imam gained the imamate, after the death of his noble father, through Divine Command and through the decree of the previous Imams.
During the seven years of his Imamate, due to untold restrictions placed upon him by the caliphate, he lived in hiding and reservation [taqiyyah]. He did not have any social contact with even the common people among the Shiites population. Only the elite of the Shia were able to see him. Even so, he spent most of his time in prison. There was extreme repression at that time, because the Shiite population had reached a considerable level in both numbers and power. The Shia believed in imamate, and the identity of the Shiites Imams was also known. Therefore, the caliph kept imam under his close supervision more than ever before. He tried through every possible means and through secret plans to remove and destroy him. Also, the caliph had come to know that the elite among the Shia believed that the eleventh Imam, according to traditions cited by him as well as his forefathers, would have a son who was the promised Mahdi. The coming of Imam Mahdi had been foretold in authenticated Hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) in both Sunni and Shiites sources. For this reason the eleventh Imam, more than other Imams, was kept under close watch by the caliph. The caliph of the time had decided definitely to put an end to the Imamate in Shiite through every possible means and to close the door to the Imamate once and for all. Therefore, as soon as the news of the illness of the eleventh Imam reached al-Mu`tamid , he sent a physician and a few of his trusted agents and judges to the Imam’s house to be with him and observe his condition and the situation within his house at all times.
Under all circumstances, the imams carried out their duties of guiding the people. Imam Hassan Askari was subjected to numerous restrictions and those who sought to learn the teachings of the prophet’s household and their Shia point of view could not reach him. In order to solve this problem, the Imam appointed certain trusted people as his deputies in view of their knowledge of jurisprudence. These individuals satisfied the curiosity of inquirers as much as they could. But if they could not solve certain theological problems, they would keep them pending the acquisition of their solutions from the Imam whenever they got the opportunity to see him. Of course visiting the Imam by a few individuals could be allowed by the government, but certainly not by groups who wished to see the Imam on a regular basis. His shrine is located in Samarra, Iraq.
Some of Imam Hassan Askari’s sayings are:
* Generosity has a limit, which when crossed becomes extravagance.
* Caution has a limit, which when crossed becomes cowardice.
* Thriftiness has a limit, which when crossed becomes miserliness.
* Courage has a limit, which when crossed becomes fool-hardiness.
Compiled by Reza Soltani
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