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The Beloved Princess Zubaidah

Do you know about Princess Zubaidah? Women in Islamic history have prominent places. The Islamic Golden Age witnessed women of all kinds playing an important role within the society.

This short video is about Princess Zubaidah  Bint Ja`far and what is now known as the Darb Zubaidah (Zubaidah’s Road).

Princess Zubaidah was most renown of all the Abbasid princesses (the Abbasid caliphate was the third of the Islamic caliphates to succeed Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him).

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She was considered a talented, intelligent, and dedicated learner. She carried out many educational, welfare and research-oriented projects during her lifetime.

Pilgrimage to Mecca

On her fifth pilgrimage to Mecca, the princess saw the need for proper water supply since droughts had devastated the land and reduced the Zamzam Water Well to a thin stream of water.

Upon her return to Baghdad, she gathered engineers who told her that it would be extremely expensive (*).  But she was determined to put people’s lives first and to facilitate the pilgrimage to Mecca.

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The princess ordered the Zamzam well to be deepened and the engineers designed a full water system for the precious water to be:

  • collected (pools)
  • transported (via canals or aqueducts)
  • stored (ground and elevated water tanks)
  • redistributed (outlets embellished with stone taps)

The system was regularly maintained by skilled craftsmen – employees or volunteers- residents of the region.

The project was completed over 10 years and is still visible with some of its parts being in use nowadays. What an achievement mashaAllah!

She also financed the construction of the whole road to Mecca as well as hilltop fire-beacons to guide travelers at night.

This road to Mecca was named after her: The Darb Zubaidah (Zubaidah’s Road)

(*)The cost of the project was above one million dinar pounds. One dinar pound was the equivalent of a piece of gold weighing approx. 10 grams.

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