Zaynab (R.A) was married to the son of her maternal aunt, Halaalah bint Khuwaylid. When Abu Al-Aas ibn Rabi’ asked for her hand in marriage, Nabi (S.A.W) told him that the decision was Zaynab (R.A)’s. Her answer was a blush and smile.
The couple lived a happy life together. They had two children, Ali and Umamah, Nabi (S.A.W)’s first grandchildren. This was the same Ali who rode the camel with Nabi (S.A.W) at the time of His (S.A.W)’s triumphal entry into Makkah Mukarramah. Ali passed away during the lifetime of Rasoolullah (S.A.W). Umamah used to climb onto the Mubarak shoulders of Nabi (S.A.W) while He (S.A.W) was performing Salaah.
Abu Al-Aas was a merchant who frequently travelled. Nabuwwat was given to Nabi (S.A.W) while he was on one of such journeys. Zaynab (R.A) immediately accepted Islam. Her husband, however, did not. He told Zaynab (R.A) that although he had nothing against Rasoolullah (S.A.W) and he would never believe Him (S.A.W) to speak a lie, he could not disappoint his ancestors for his wife. The once happy home was filled with tension and sorrow.
The time came for Hijrah to Madinah Munawwarah. Zaynab (R.A) remained behind with her family, awaiting the decision of Allah on her situation. Later, Abu Al-Aas fought with the Quraish against the Muslims in the Battle of Badr. He was taken captive by Adullah bin Zubair (R.A). Zaynab (R.A) was in an emotional state. She took the necklace Khadija (R.A) had given to her on her wedding day, and sent it as ransom for her husband with her brother-in-law.
Nabi (S.A.W) looked at the necklace and began to weep. He requested that the necklace, as well as Abu Al-Aas be returned to Zaynab (R.A). After everyone had agreed, Nabi (S.A.W) turned to Abu Al-Aas and asked that His (S.A.W)’s daughter be brought back to Him (S.A.W).
Abu Al-Aas sent his brother, Kinanah, with Zaynab (R.A) to Madinah Munawwarah. On the way, they were intercepted by an attack led by the Quraish. Her own cousin Habbar bin Aswad flung a spear at her which wounded her and caused her to miscarry. This injury never fully healed and Zaynab (R.A) passed away as a result of it. Kinanah and Zaynab (R.A) went back to Makkah Mukarramah and left for Madinah Munawwarah again a few nights delayed.
Although separated, Zaynab (R.A) and Abu Al-Aas still had great love for one another.
In 6AH, Abu Al-Aas went to Syria for business, entrusted with Quraishite merchandise. The caravan met with a group of 170 Muslims and was disabled. Abu Al-Aas was able to escape and went to Zaynab (R.A)’s house for safety. At Fajr time, Zaynab called out in the musjid that she has given protection to him.
Nabi (S.A.W) returned from Fajr Salaah, and Zaynab (R.A) strove to ensure that the goods seized from Abu Al-Aas be returned to him. Nabi (S.A.W) agreed, but told her that she could not have conjugal relations with him because she was not lawful for him. (This was after the verse came that said that a Muslim women could not be married to a disbelieving man).
Abu Al-Aas went to Makkah Mukarramah, where he settled all of his accounts. He thereafter publicly recited the Kalimah and joined Zaynab (R.A) in Madinah Munawwarah.
Zaynab (R.A) and Abu Al-Aas (R.A) were thus reunited for another year before she passed away. Nabi (S.A.W.) said at the time of her death (8 AH): “She was my best daughter, for she has suffered much on my account.”
Don’t forget to recite as much Durood as you can!
Love and Duas,