Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) is the daughter of Imam Hussein (A.S) and one of the witnesses of Karbala tragedy who created a heroic event like other members of Ahl al-Bayt (S.A) with her martyrdom-like death. The name of her holiness that is in fact her title is derived from 'Raqi" meaning ascending and improving and her real name was Fatimah. The names 'Fatimah ' and 'Ali ' have special meanings for Imam Hussein (A.S). The historical books have referred to this fact that among children of Imam Hussein (A.S) there was a little girl named as Fatimah, and since Imam Hussein (A.S) loved his respected mother very much, he put the name of Fatimah on every daughter ever born. Similarly he named all his sons Ali as the sign of respect to his exalted father, Imam Ali (A.S).
The name of Hazrat Ruqayyah 's mother (S.A) was Um-i-Ishaq who was a great and virtuous woman.
The Age of Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A)
The age of Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) at the time of martyrdom has been recorded as three, four, five, and seven according to different narrations.
Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) in Ashura
The presence of Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) in the event of Asura manifests another aspect of grandeur and magnificence of Asura tragedy. The presence of this little girl in the very heart of Husseini bloody movement, definitely, cannot be considered a simple and insignificant thing.
According to the historians and maqtal-recorders, the death of Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) happened very short after the bloody event of Karbala in 61 A.D. when she was three or four years old, and the first wonderful point about Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) is likely the fact that she transcended the boundaries of the history despite her short life to attain the eternality just as his suckling baby brother, Ali Asghar (A.S) attained such a position. In another word, one of the manifestations of the great event of Asura is the diversity in the ages of its characters that includes the youngest to the oldest ages (Habib ebn-i-Mazaher).
The calamities and difficulties inflicted on Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) from Karbala to Kufa and from Kufa to Sham are so bitter and terrible that bothers the conscious of any man of salvation and liberty and really harms the hearts and souls. Suffering the hot temperature of Karbala while being thirsty, presence at the scene of her relatives ' martyrdom, slavery and observing tyrannical behaviors, suffering physical and mental tortures, missing the father in the ruins of Sham, and so on indicate the sever misfortunes that a little child with her delicate body and mind has been afflicted with.
It is quoted in some traditions that Hazrat Sakineh (S.A) said to her three-year old sister-most likely Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) –in Ashura: "Let 's grasp at father 's garment not let him go to be killed."
Hearing this, Imam Hussein (S.A) shed tear a lot and then Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) called, "Daddy, I won’t hinder you."
Wait so that I may see you.
Imam Hussein (A.S) embraced her and kissed her chapped lips. At this time the beloved daughter said: "Al-atash, al-atash, daddy I am thirsty. My liver is burning with thirst."
Imam Hussein (A.S) told her: "Sit beside the tent so that I take water for you."
Then Imam Hussein (A.S) stood up to go to the battle field. Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) again grabbed the skirt of her father and cried: "Daddy, where are you going? Why are you leaving us?"
And Imam (A.S) once again took her in his arms and calmed her down; then he left her with a heavy heart.