Sukayna bint Husayn

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Ruqayyah bint Al-Husayn
Sayyidah Ruqayya Mosque 01.jpg
Born 20 Rajab, 56 AH (676 CE)
Died 13 safar, 60 / 61 AH (680 / 681 CE)[1]
Damascus, Shaam

Sukaynah, (Arabic pronunciation of the feminine name derived from the term Sakīnah (Arabic: سَـكـيـنـة‎, "tranquility, calmness, peace of mind"), also known as Ruqayyah bint Al-Ḥusayn (Arabic: رقـيـة بـنـت الـحـسـيـن‎)[2] (born on the 20th of Rajab, 56 AH – 5 Rabi' al-thani, 60 / 61 AH or 676 CE; died on the 13th of Safar, 60 / 61 AH or 680 / 681 CE),[1] was the daughter of Husayn ibn Ali and Rubab bint Imra al-Qais ibn Adi bin Aws.[3] Her brothers included Ali Zaynul-Abidin, Ali al-Akbar, and Ali al-Asghar. Her brothers included Ali Zaynul-Abidin, Ali al-Akbar, and Ali al-Asghar. Her sisters included Fatimah as-Sughra and Fatimah al-Kubra, with the latter also being called 'Sakinah'.[4][5][6][7][8]

Shi'i narrative[edit]

The story of Sakinah is one of the many emotional stories that Shī‘ī Muslims tell about Husayn and his martyrdom at the hands of Yazid's troops. The Battle of Karbala and the subsequent events at the court of Yazid are explained and mourned annually during the commemoration of the 10th of Muharram, also known as ‘Âshûrá’ (Arabic: عَـاشُـورَاء‎, tenth day). According to these religious narrations, Sakinah suffered from fatigue and thirst on the forced march to Damascus, and later from cold and starvation in Yazid's dungeon.[1]

Journey to Iraq and Shaam[edit]

She accompanied her father when he traveled from Mecca to Kufah in Iraq. On the 2nd of Muharram, 61 AH (680 CE), Husain and 72 of his family members and companions were forced to camp in the plains of Karbala by Yazid's army of 30,000 men. Yazid ibn Muawiyyah was the practical Caliph who desired religious authority by obtaining the allegiance of Husain, but the Imam would not give up his principles. On the 10th of Muharram, the Imam's household was attacked, a number of his companions were killed, and the survivors were made captives. The survivors included the Imam's sisters, wives, and daughters, including Sakinah, relatives of companions of the Imam, and his son, Ali Zaynul-Abidin, who did not participate in the battle, due to an illness. Sakinah, as with others, had been grieved over the killings. They had also suffered from thirst.[9]

The survivors were marched by Yazid's army from Karbala to Kufah, where Sakinah received water from a sympathetic woman, and then to Damascus in Shaam. There was a lack of pity from the captors' part during the journey. Even at these times of hardship and misery, Ruqayyah was sympathetic to others, such as her mother, whom she consoled her mother on the death of Ali al-Asghar.[9][10][11]

Death and aftermath[edit]

An Iranian child in Mourning of Muharram, with a red Headband written "O Ruqayyah"

In the dungeon, Sakinah's aunt Zainab bint Ali tried to console her, and said that she would soon meet her father. One night, when Sakinah was asleep, she woke up crying and started to look for her father everywhere. All the women tried to console her so that she would stop crying, but she continued: "O my dear aunt, Where is my father? A few minutes ago I was with my father, and he kissed me and said that "My dear Sakinah you will soon be with me." But where is my father now?" At this, all the women started to cry, and the crying was heard by Yazid at his court. Yazid sent the severed head of Husain to the prison, and when Sakinah received the head of her father, she started to cry even more and held it very tight and asked her father: "Who cut off my father's head, who martyred my father, why are we held as captives?"[12] With these words of sorrow, Sakina was quiet. Everyone thought that Sakinah had finally gone to sleep again, but she had died, at the age of four or five.[1]

Her body was buried in the dungeon. Zaynab held the still child as Ali dug a grave for his sister in the dungeon. Her clothes were burnt in Karbala, and due to injuries, had intermingled with her flesh. Therefore, she was buried in the same burnt, ripped clothes in the dungeon of Shaam. As the grave was being filled after the burial, the mother let out a scream. All of the women huddled around her, and the prison walls began to shake with the cry, "Ya Sakina, Ya Mazloomah!" (O Sakina, O Oppressed one!). Then Yazid decided to release them from prison, allowing them to return to Medinah.[13][14] Rubab would nevertheless come to her grave, placing her cheek on it and cry out, "Speak to me Sakinah. Only a word, my child, speak to me."[10]

Centuries later, an ‘Ālim (Arabic: عَـالِـم‎, Scholar) had a dream in which Sakinah asked him to move her body from the grave to another site, due to water pouring into her grave. He and some people opened the grave, and saw that ground water was indeed entering the grave, besides that her body was still intact. Sakinah's body was moved from its original burial place, the dungeon, and reburied where her Mosque is now located.[15][16]

Family tree of Sukaynah[edit]

Ibrahim (Abraham)
Ishmael Is-haq (Isaac)
‘Adnan (b.122 BC)

. . . . . .

Ya‘qub (Jacob)
Abdul Mutallib ‘Isa (Jesus) Musa (Moses)
‘Abdullah (d.570 AD) Abu Talib (d.620AD)
Muhammad (d.632AD)
Fatimah (d.11 AH) ‘Ali (d.661 AD)
Al-Husain (d.680AD)
Sakinah / Ruqayyah (d.680AD)[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "3". Nafasul Mahmoom. Qum: Ansariyan Publications. 2005. pp. 388–389. 
  2. ^ Arne, Ambros; Stephan, Procházka (2004). A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic. Wiesbaden: Ludwig Reichert Verlag. p. 136. ISBN 3-89500-400-6. 
  3. ^ Shaykh Abbas Qummi. Nafasul Mahmoom. p.298.
  4. ^ Archived October 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Archived March 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "(A.S.) Network". Retrieved 2015-07-02. 
  7. ^ Archived February 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "The Role of Women in Karbala". Retrieved 2015-07-02. 
  9. ^ a b Archived February 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ a b "The Fourth Journey - Kufa to Shaam | The Journey of Tears | Books on Islam and Muslims". 2013-10-28. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  11. ^ Nafs ul Mahmoom by Sheikh ‘Abbas Qummi, Behar ul Anwaar, Vol I by ‘Allamah Sayyad Mohammad Baqir Majlisi and others.
  12. ^ "Welcome to". Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  13. ^ a b "ʿALĪ B. ḤOSAYN B. ʿALĪ B. ABĪ ṬĀLEB". ENCYCLOPÆDIA IRANICA. Retrieved 1 August 2011. 
  14. ^ Donaldson, Dwight M. (1933). The Shi'ite Religion: A History of Islam in Persia and Irak. BURLEIGH PRESS. pp. 101–111. 
  15. ^ 'Summary of the Tragedy of Sayyeda Ruqayya', Booklet at Ruqayya Mosque, 2008
  16. ^ "Syria". Retrieved 2016-10-14. 


  • Momen, Moojan An Introduction to Shi'a Islam, Yale University Press, 1985.

External links[edit]