Sayyida Sakina bint Al-Husayn

She is Amina the daughter of al-Husayn, the son of Ali, the son of Abu Taleb (may Allah be pleased with them all). Her mother is Rabab Bint Umri’ al-Qays, the son of Adiyy, the son of Aws, the master of Banu Kalb.

She was born in 47 AH and was named after her grandmother, the Prophet’sﷺ mother. Her mother, Rabab, nicknamed her Sakina because she was a source of peace and comfort to all her family members due to her merriness and liveliness. It was said that her father, Imam Husayn said about her,

By my life, I love the house wherein Sakina and Rabab live

I love her and for her would all my fortune sacrifice,

without blame.

Lady Sakina’s merriness and elegance did not preclude her from her devotion to Allah which sometimes reached a degree of complete occupation with worship. When al-Hasan al-Muthanna, her paternal cousin, asked for her hand in marriage, her father told him, “I have chosen Fatima for you. She is the most from among my daughters to resemble my mother, Fatima. But Sakina is mostly engrossed in her devotion and worship of Allah.”

Lady Sakina accompanied her paternal aunt, Lady Zaynab, to Egypt. The majority of the narrators and historians unanimously agree that Lady Sakina married three times: first to Mus’ab ibn al-Zubayr, followed by Abdullah ibn Uthman ibn Abdullah, and then Zayd ibn Amr ibn Uthman ibn Affan.

If the West may boast about the salonieres of the 18th century, the Arabs would be speechless with wonder at the salons held by Muslim women in al-Andalus which predated the western salons by centuries. The salons of Walada Bint al-Mustakfy in the eleventh century CE were a gathering for scholars, poets, artists, and writers. al-Walada’s salons were not the first in Islam. In the first century after the Prophet’s emigration, the women of al-Medina al-Munawarra hosted salons and the first to institute them was Lady Sakina. Later, the women of Quraysh emulated the practice.

Lady Sakina’s salons were distinguished with refined literature, profound knowledge, and fine poetry. Many were the poets stood at her door seeking her permission to recite their poetry to her. These included al-Farazdak, Jarir, Jamil, and Katheer who, during the pilgrimage season, agreed together to attend Lady Sakina’s salon so she would judge who the best poet from among them was. Each recited his poem to her from behind a screen.

She died in 117 AH.