Ruqayya bint Al-Hussain
Ruqayya bint Al-Imam Al-Hussain
رُقَیَّة بنت الحُسَین
|Resting place||Damascus, Syria|
Ruqayya bint Al-Hussain, according to some reports, was one of the daughters of Hussain ibn Ali, who passed away in childhood and during the captivity of Imam’s family in Levant. She was present at the battle of Karbala and was among the captives who were taken to Yazid’s palace in Damascus. Today, there is a mausoleum for her in the city of Damascus, Syria.
In Historical Sources[edit | edit source]
In historical sources, hadiths, and ancient maqtals, there is no mention of Ruqayya among the daughters of Imam Hussain. Earlier sources mention two daughters of Imam Hussain as Fatima and Sukayna, and in recent sources, another daughter is also mentioned as Zaynab.  Kamil Baha'i (completed in 1276 AD) by Emadeddin Tabari* (living in 1300 AD) is the oldest source that mentions the story of Imam Hussain's four-year-old daughter, although there is no mention of her. Tabari's source is Al-Hawiah Fi Masaleb Muawiyah written by Qassim ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad Mamouni, a Sunni scholar, which is not available today.  In this book , it is written: “Now that the men were martyred in Karbala, the women of Ahl al-Bayt concealed their martyrdom from their sons and daughters and made promises to the children saying that their fathers were on journeys and they would come back. Then the women and children were taken to Yazid ibn Mu‘awiya's palace. There was a four-year-old girl. She woke up one night and said, “Where is Hussain, my father? I had a dream about him, he was agitated.” All women and children started weeping and crying. Yazid who was asleep, woke up and asked what was happening. He was told about what had happened. Then, Yazid ordered his men to grab Imam Hussain's head and place it next to Ruqayya. They brought her father's head and placed it next to her. “What is this?” she asked. “Your father's head,” they replied. The little girl was scared, screaming and suffering, and passed away after a few days.”.  In his Rawdat al-shuhada , Hussain ibn Ali Kashefi Sabzevari (d. 1504 AD) mentions the same story with slight differences and some additions which are similar to the contemporary language, and without mentioning Ruqayya, and cites from Qanz al-Ghareib Fi Qasas al-Aajeib, a book on the accounts of the Four Caliphs and Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain, written by Najmuddin Qasim bin Mohammed Mazamkini (living in 1477).  Except for these two sources, none of the ancient sources available today mention Imam Hussain's little daughter who passes away after seeing her father's head. Subsequent authors have repeated the same story in their books with slight changes.  In more recent sources, it is believed that the name of Imam Hussain's little daughter was Ruqayya and there is a tomb in the Levant with the same name.  Haeri Mazandarani  asserts that Ruqayya’s mother was Lady of the Land, daughter of Yazdegerd, and Ruqayya passed away aged 5 or 7 in the Levant; however, the said accounts lack precise documentation.  In some copies of Ibn Tawus’s Al-Malhuf ʿala Qatla al-Tufuf (d. 671) Ruqayya’s name is mentioned by Imam Hussain.  Toraihi also mentions an elegy on Imam Hussain written by Saif ibn Umayrah Nakhaei*, a companion of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq in which Ruqayya’s name is mentioned twice, yet the attribution is uncertain because in ancient sources, there is no mention of this long elegy and its attribution to Saif.
Shrine[edit | edit source]
Today, the tomb attributed to Ruqayya, located in Amara neighborhood in Damascus, is a Shiite shrine and has been rebuilt several times so far.  The tomb was rebuilt for the first time by Mirzababa Mostofi Gilani in 1713 AD. It was rebuilt again in 1863 and then in 1905 at the behest of Mirza Ali Asghar Khan, the Chancellor of Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar. It was further rebuilt by two brothers in Damascus, Seyyed Kamil and Seyyed Mohammad Ali al-Nezam in 1924. For the last time, after about half a century, Sheikh Nasrallah Khalkhali, a Shiite scholar residing in Syria, and Imam Musa Sadr, the leader of the Shiites in Lebanon, provided for the purchase of adjacent buildings for the development of the shrine, and in September 1985, the construction of the new and current shrine was initiated and was completed in 1991.  Today, Ruqayya's shrine is composed of a large building that is a combination of Syrian and Iranian Islamic art and architecture. The small silver Zarih on the tomb was donated from Tehran in 1956, and the larger silver Zarih and its upper golden-ornamented part were made in Isfahan and installed in 1994.  Citing from a Sunni Egyptian scholar, Abdul Wahab Sha'rani’s* Lataef Al-Menan va Al-Akhlagh , Haeri Mazandarani  mistakenly attributes the tomb of Imam Ali's daughter (PBUH) in Egypt.
References[edit | edit source]
- → Hussain ibn Ali *, Imam, wives and children; CF. ibn Talha Shafi'i, Vol. 2, p. 69; and as cited by him; → Bahaeddin Irbeli, Vol. 2, p. 248, according to whom, Imam Hussain had four daughters, yet only three of them are mentioned, with no mention of Ruqayya. For a strange citation about the number of Imam's children → Sharif Kashani, Vol. 1, p. 459-460
- → Qomi, 2006 AD, Vol. 1, pp. 201-203
- Vol. 2, pp. 179-180
- Cf. Ibn Tawus, 1996 AD, pp 109-110, mentions Imam Hussain's daughter, Sukaynah, dreaming about Fatimah bint Muhammad (PBUH), and also there is a mention of Imam Hussain's cloak, not his head
- pp 686-687
- About this book → Storey , Vol. 1, Chapter 2, p 1266; Danesh Pajouh, p 273
- For instance → Toraihi, p. 136-137; Qomi, (1959, a) Vol. 2, pp. 1002-1004; Ibid (1959, b) pp. 415-416
- →Khorasani, p. 251; Haeri Mazandarani, p. 586; Mahallati, Vol. 3, p. 312; Ibid, Vol. 3, pp. 309-310, that mentions Kamil Baha'i’s account under the title “Ruqayya bint Al-Hussain”; Cf. Sharif Kashani, Vol. 1, p. 459, mentions Zubaydah as another name for Ruqayya
- p. 626-627
- Cf. Ibid, p. 584-585, in which Ruqayya’s age is 4 and 3, citing from Kamil Baha'i’ and Fakhreddin Toraihi's Montakhab respectively; for other accounts regarding Ruqayya’s mother, without historical documentation → Rabbani Khalkhali, p. 199; for more details about Imam's wives→ Hussain ibn Ali *, Imam, wives and children section; Shahrbanu
- →Ibn Tawus (1992 AD), p. 141; Cf. Ibid, (1996 AD) p. 50; for another instance in a more recent source → Ghondozi, Vol. 3, p. 79
- →Amin, Vol. 7, p. 34; Hashem Usman, p. 29-30; for an account in the regard → Khorasani, p. 340-341
- Khmehyar, pp. 246-252; Tabasi, pp. 105-106; “Mashhad al-Seyyedah Ruqayya in Damascus”, p. 1076
- Khmehyar, pp. 250-251
- Vol. 2, p. 35
- p. 586
- →Yaqut al-Hamawi, Vol. 4, p. 554) to Ruqayya bint Al-Ḥusayn
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
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- ------------. Al-Malhūf ʿalā qatlā al-ṭufūf, Fars Tabrizian Hassoun Publishing, Qom, (? 1993).
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