Hazrat Ruqayyah (S.A) was a vivacious child, full of love and happiness. Everyone loved Ruqayyah (S.A). She was also a very religious girl. From the age of two she took great care to make sure that her head and face were properly covered as per the Islamic dress of code Hijab when in public.
Ruqayyah (S.A) was Imam Hussein's (A.S) most beloved child. Our Third Imam (A.S) used to pray for a daughter in his night Prayer (Namaz E Shab) and the birth of Ruqayyah (S.A) was a result of those night prayers. Imam Hussein (A.S) was often heard to say, "A house without Sakina 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 (A.S) and Ruqayyah (S.A). Hazrat Abbas (A.S) loved her more than he did his own children. If Ruqayyah (S.A) requested for anything, Hazrat Abbas (A.S) would not rest until he satisfied her request. There was nothing that Hazrat Abbas (A.S) would not do to make Ruqayyah (S.A) happy.
During the journey from Medina to Makkah and then Makkah to Karbala, Hazrat Abbas (A.S) was often seen riding up to the Mehmil (A decorated framework on a Camel) in which Ruqayyah (S.A) sat to make sure that she had everything she wanted. Ruqayyah (S.A) loved her uncle just as much. While in Medina she would visit, several times a day, the house in which Hazrat Abbas (A.S) lived with his family and his mother, Hazrat Ummul Baneen (S.A).
Like any other four-five year old when Ruqayyah (S.A) went to bed at night, she wanted to spend some time with her father. Imam Hussein (A.S) would tell her stories of the Prophets (A.S) and of the battles fought by her grand-father Imam Ali (A.S). She would rest her head on her father's chest and Imam Hussein (A.S) 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 Hussein (A.S) said to his sister Hazrat Zainab (S.A), "The time has come for you to get Sakina used to going to sleep without me being there." Ruqayyah (S.A) would follow her father at night and Imam Hussein (A.S) had to gently take her to aunt, Hazrat Zainab (S.A) or Hazrat Rubab (S.A) - her mother.
At Karbala from the seventh Muharram, access to water was blocked by the army of Yazid and water became scarce. Ruqayyah (S.A) shared whatever little water she had with other children. When soon there was no water at all, the thirsty children would look at Ruqayyah (S.A) hopefully, and because she could not help them she would have tears in her eyes. Ruqayyah’s (S.A) lips were parched with thirst.
On the day of Ashura - the 10th of Muharram, Ruqayyah (S.A) gave her Mashk (water carrier) to Hazrat Abbas (A.S) to get some water for her and the children. When Hazrat Abbas (A.S) went to fetch water, the children gathered round Ruqayyah (S.A) with their little cups, knowing that as soon as Hazrat Abbas (A.S) brought any water, Ruqayyah (S.A) would first make sure that they had some before taking any herself. When Ruqayyah (S.A) saw Imam Hussein (A.S) bringing the blood drenched Alam (Flag) she knew that her uncle Hazrat Abbas (A.S) had been martyred. From that day on Ruqayyah (S.A) never complained of thirst. Ruqayyah (S.A) never again asked anyone for water. Hazrat Zainab (S.A) would persuade her to take a few sips, but she herself would never ask for water or complain of thirst.
Then came the time when the earth shook and Ruqayyah (S.A) became an orphan! But even then she always thought of the others first. She would console her mother, Hazrat Rubab (S.A) on the death of her six month old brother, Ali Asghar (A.S) and when she saw any other lady or child weeping Ruqayyah (S.A) would put her little arms around her.
From the time when Imam Hussein (A.S) was martyred in the battle field, Ruqayyah (S.A) forgot to smile! Kufa saw her as a little girl lost in thought. Quite often she would sit up at night. When asked if she wanted anything, she would say, "I just heard a baby cry? Is it Asghar? He must be calling out for me!"
Knowing that her weeping upset her mother, Ruqayyah (S.A) would cry silently and quickly wipe away her tears! In the prison in Damascus she would stare at the flock of birds flying to their nests at sunset and innocently ask Hazrat Zainab (S.A), "Will Sakina ever be going home like those birds flying to their homes?"