Umm Kulthum bint Ali
Zaynab al-Sughra (Zaynab the Younger), also known by her kunya Umm Kulthum bint Ali, was the granddaughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the daughter of Imam Ali. Her marriage to the Caliph Umar is a controversial topic between Sunnis and Shi'ites. She is given the epithet 'the Younger' to distinguish her from her older sister, Zaynab the Elder (Zaynab al-Kubra).
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She was born as the fourth child of Ali and of Muhammad’s daughter, Fatimah around 6 AH. Her siblings were Hasan, Husayn and Zaynab al-Kubra.:18 The Prophet Muhammad gave her the kunya 'Umm Kulthum' because she closely resembled his daughter, Umm Kulthum bint Muhammad, Zaynab's maternal aunt.
Ali wanted his daughters to marry his brother Ja'far's sons, but Umm Kulthum's hand in marriage was requested by the Caliph Umar, who promised, "No man on the face of the earth will treat her better than I will.":299
Ali protested that she had not yet reached puberty,:299,300 but Umar commanded that she be presented to him. Ali gave his daughter a striped garment and instructed her: "Take this to the Commander of the Faithful and tell him: 'My father says, "If you like this garment, keep it; if you don't like it, return it."'" When Umm Kulthum brought this message to Umar, she reported, "He did not undo the garment nor look at anything except at me." He told her that he was pleased, and so Ali consented to the marriage.:299-300 Umar gave his bride a dower of 40,000 dirhams, and the marriage was consummated in November or December 638 (Dhu'l-Qaada 17 AH).
One story from their married life tells how Umm Kulthum sent a gift of perfume to the Empress of Byzantium. The Empress sent back a "superb" necklace for Umm Kulthum. Umar believed that his wife should not have conducted a private correspondence at the expense of the state postal service, so he reimbursed her for the cost of the perfume and placed the Empress’s necklace in the state treasury. Nevertheless, it was said that Umar treated Umm Kulthum "with extreme honour and respect" because she was Muhammad's granddaughter.
After Umar's death in 644, Umm Kulthum married her young cousin, Ja'far's son Awn for a dower of 4,000 dirhams. Her brother Hasan remarked that he had never seen such passionate love as Umm Kulthum's for Awn. However, Awn died after only a short time.
After the death of her husband Muhammad, Umm Kulthum became one of the wives of Awn and Muhammad's eldest brother Abdullah, who had divorced her sister Zaynab al-Kubra.[better source needed]. With respect to divorce the book of Muhammad Al-Munajjid discloses that Zainab died while married to him (Abdullah bin Jafar). There are many existing descendants of Zaynab and Abdullaah ibn Ja’far. Umm Kulthum remarked: "I was not shy with [my mother-in-law] Asma bint Umays. Two of her sons died while married to me, but I did not fear this for the third.":299
Umm Kulthum had no children by any of her three latter marriages.:299
Umm Kulthum and her son Zayd died at the same time, in Abdullah's lifetime. Eighty people attended their funeral,:299 where Sa'id ibn al-'As conducted the prayers, and the congregation included Abdullah ibn Umar and Abu Hurairah.
Fatimids believe that she is also known as "Zaynab the Younger" and that she is buried at Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque, Damascus; whereas Zaynab the Elder lived at the end of her life in Cairo and was buried at Zaynab Mosque, Cairo.
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