Who was Bibi Sakinah bint Hussain
Sakinah bint Hussain, the youngest daughter of Imam Hussain and Rubab was a vivacious child, full of love and happiness. Everyone loved Bibi Sakinah, she was also a very religious girl, and she enjoyed reading the Holy Quran and never missed her prayers. From the age of two she took great care to make sure that her head and face were properly covered when in public.
Her early years were said to have been spent in Medina. Her brothers included Ali ibn Hussain, Ali al-Akbar ibn Hussain, Ali Asghar ibn Hussain. Her sisters included Fatimah as-Sughra and Fatimah al-Kubra.
Bibi Sakinah (a.s.) was Imam Hussain's most beloved child. Our Imam used to pray for a daughter in his night prayers and the birth of Bibi Sakinah was a result of those prayers.
Imam was often heard to say,
"A house without Sakinah would not be worth living in!"
She always had a sweet and cheerful smile and a very friendly nature. Other children sought her company as much as the grown ups did. She was very generous and always shared whatever she had with others.
There was a special bond between Hazrat Abbas and Bibi Sakinah. If Bibi Sakinah requested for anything, Abbas would not rest until he satisfied her request.
There was nothing that Abbas would not do to make Bibi Sakinah happy. There was nothing that Abbas would not do to make Bibi Sakinah happy.
Before the Events of Ashura
During the journey from Madina to Mecca and then Mecca to Kerbala, Hazrat Abbas was often seen riding up to the mehmil in which Bibi Sakinah sat to make sure that she had everything she wanted. Bibi Sakinah loved her uncle just as much. Like any other four-five year old when Bibi Sakinah went to bed at night she wanted to spend some time with her father. Imam Hussain (a.s.) would tell her stories of the Prophets (as) and of the battles fought by her grand-father Imam Ali.
She would rest her head on her father's chest and Imam Hussain would not move from her until she fell asleep. When from the second of Muharram the armies of Yazid began to gather at Karbala, Imam Hussain said to his sister Bibi Zainab,
"The time has come for you to get Sakinah used to going to sleep without my being there!".
Bibi Sakinah would follow her father at night and Imam Hussain had to gently take her to Bibi Zainab or Bibi Rubab - her mother.
At Karbala when from the seventh Muharram, access to water was blocked by the army of Yazid and water became scarce, Bibi Sakinah shared whatever little water she had with other children. When soon there was no water at all, the thirsty children would look at Bibi Sakinah hopefully, and because she could not help them she would have tears in her eyes.
Bibi Sakinah's lips were parched with thirst.
On the Day of Ashura
On the day of Ashura - the 10th of Muharram, she gave her mashk to Hazrat Abbas to get some water for her and the children. When Hazrat Abbas went to fetch water, the children gathered round Bibi Sakinah with their little cups, knowing that as soon as Hazrat Abbas brought any water, Bibi Sakinah would first make sure that Bibi Sakinah's lips were parched with thirst.
On the Day of Ashura
On the day of Ashura - the 10th of Muharram, she gave her mashk to Hazrat Abbas to get some water for her and the children. When Hazrat Abbas went to fetch water, the children gathered round Bibi Sakinah with their little cups, knowing that as soon as Hazrat Abbas brought any water, Bibi Sakinah would first make sure that they had some before taking any herself. Then came the time when the earth shook and Bibi Sakinah became an orphan! But even then she always thought of the others first. She would console her mother on the death of Ali Asghar - her 6-month old brotheFrom that day on Bibi Sakinah never complained of thirst. Bibi Sakinah never again asked anyone for water. Bibi Zainab would persuade her to take a few sips, but she herself would never ask for water or complain of thirst.
After the Martyrdom of Imam Hussain
Then came the time when the earth shook and Bibi Sakinah became an orphan! But even then she always thought of the others first. She would console her mother on the death of Ali Asghar - her 6-month old brother - and when she saw any other lady or child weeping Bibi Sakinah would put her little arms around her. One night in the dungeons, Sakinah was asleep and she suddenly woke up crying and started to look for her father everywhere. All the ladies tried to console her so she would stop crying but she didn't get any peace and continued crying,
O my dear aunt, where is my father, a few minutes ago I was with my father and he kissed me and said to me that my dear Sakinah you will soon be with me. But where is my father now?
Knowing that her weeping upset her mother, Bibi Sakinah (a.s.) would cry silently and quickly wipe away her tears!
In the Dungeons of Damascus
One night in the dungeons, Sakinah was asleep and she suddenly woke up crying and started to look for her father everywhere. All the ladies tried to console her so she would stop crying but she didn't get any peace and continued crying,are we held as captives?
With these words of sorrow suddenly Sakinah was quiet and there was a silence in the cell. Everyone thought that Sakinah had finally gone to sleep again but this was not a temporary sleep, Sakinah had now gone into a permanent sleep to meet her holy father.
Zainab bint Ali summoned Imam Zain-ul-Abideen to check the status of Sakinah as they thought she had fallen unconscious. When Ali ibn Hussain went over to check on Sakinah, he noticed she had stopped breathing.
All the ladies were crying standing around Sakinah.
Sakinah was buried in the same dungeon. Zainab bint Ali held the still child as Imam Zain-ul-Abideen dug a grave for her sister in the dungeon. Sakinah’s clothes were burnt in Karbala, and due to injuries, had intermingled with her flesh. Therefore, she was buried in the same burnt, ripped clothes right there in the Dungeon of Syria.
As the grave was being filled up after the burial the mother let out a scream. All the ladies huddled around her, and the prison walls began to shake with the cry, “Ya Sakinah, Ya Mazloomah”.
Sakīnah's body was removed from its original burial place, dungeon of Syria, some centuries later, when a pious man of Damascus was informed in his dream that water was pouring into the grave of Sakīnah. Upon confirmation that ground water was actually entering the grave, Sakīnah's body was buried in a new shrine near Yazid's palace, where she rests today.
Her body was in the condition that if she had been buried the same day.