Story No. 496 – Birthday of Sayyida Zainab (sa) is observed as Nurse’s Day in Iran

Nurse a word full of meaning, a word that is a correct and accurate definition of friendship, generosity, sacrifice and forgiveness. A nurse does not distinguish between night and day. As an angel, she appears at the bedside of the sick, stroking their head. A nurse spends her life on people. The moment of a patient’s release from a hospital is the sweetest moment in a nurse’s life. If her patient suffers, a nurse shares in the suffering. In certain situations, a nurse shows such benevolence toward her patient that the patient’s closest kin are not prepared to render such service.

A nurse’s occupation is not an ordinary one. Nursing is a sacred and valuable profession. A nurse does not work for money or material benefits, for the wages she receives do not compensate of her untainted labors. When a nurse sees that her patient’s life is in danger, she forgets everything and becomes selfless. Birthday of Sayyida Zainab (sa) is observed as Nurse’s Day in Iran.

At the height of the Islamic month of Muharram, in the year 61, after Hijrah, on the night of Ashura, when the devilish enemy set the Ahlul Bayt’s (as) tent on fire and drove the children to the desert in the night, Sayyida Zainab (sa) tended women and children in a half-burnt tent, shared in their sorrow with patience and endurance, and nursed the feverish patient of Karbala, Imam Sajjad (as). Perhaps the endurance, love and sacrifice of a nurse at the bedside of the sick is a manifestation of the patience, endurance and boundless sacrifice of Sayyida Zainab (sa).

Therefore, it is appropriate that observing and honoring this toiling stratum of society have named the auspicious birth of the Lady of Islam named ‘Nurse’s Day’. Sayyida Zainab (sa) was the founder of the struggle and achievements of martyrs, one who was able to cast to the wind the empty and chimerical desires of Yazid son of Muawiya and his followers, and not only preserve Islam, Prophet Muhammad (saw), and the blood of Imam Hussain (as) in our memories, but bring a thousand messages of bravery, resistance and struggle for human rights to her descendants.

She is a model of resistance and sacrifice; in the rebellion of Ashura and in the most turbulent conditions, she nursed the injured in the best possible manner, one of the most beautiful manifestations of nursing.

When a nurse is a model, with special characteristics gathered within her, it is as if she were the protector of moral values, law abidance, the protector and executor of our higher duties, sympathetic, kind, conscientious, independent, shouldering responsibility, hard-working and untiring.

Sayyida Zainab (sa) was not only a nurse for women and children. She nursed those who had suffered in body and soul, those whose clothing and skin had burned in the frightening tent fire at dusk on Ashura, those who had suffered mentally, those who had heard rejoicing in their miseries. This nursing began at dusk on the day of Ashura and continued to Kufah, Karbala and Medina.

An important lesson one can learn from this strange life full of vicissitudes is that no difficulty prevented Sayyida Zainab (sa) from carrying out her responsibilities – not the death of her dearest kin, not her physical and mental sufferings.