Fatima (a.s.) in the Holy Qur'an; The verse of Mubahalah (challenge)
This is: 'And unto him who disputeth with thee therein, after the knowledge hath come unto thee, Say! 'come ye, let us summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves and then let us invoke and lay the curse of God on the liars!' (Qur'an 3:61)
Here, all commentators agree that our women refers to Fatimah al-Zahra (as), and that this is as the Messenger of Allah (sawa) wanted it and showed it practically.
In the story of this dialogue which the Prophet (sawa) commanded with some Christians, the Prophet (sawa) took a new route to deal with the situation when the dialogue reached a dead end, and it is this method of challenging which the verse tells us about.
The narration of the great Ali bin Ibrahim al-Qommi, from Imam al-Sadiq (as) says that: 'The Christians of Najran came (as a delegation) to the Messenger of Allah.... They prayed using the bell; the Prophet's companion objected: O Messenger of Allah! This in your mosque? He said: Leave them (to pray as they like). When they finished they came to the Prophet (sawa) and said: To what do you call? He said: To bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah and that 'Isa (Jesus) (as) is created a slave (of Allah), and eats, drinks and excretes. They said: Then who is his father? The revelation was then revealed to the Messenger of Allah (sawa) saying: Say to them - what do you say about Adam, has he been created a slave (of Allah), eating, drinking, excreting and marrying? So the Prophet (sawa) asked them and they replied: yes. He asked them: Then who is his father? They could not answer, so Allah revealed: Verily, the similitude of Jesus with God is as the similitude of Adam; He created him out of dust, then said He unto him BE, and he became' (Qur'an 3:59) and 'And unto him who disputeth with thee... let us invoke and lay the curse of God on the liars!' The Messenger of Allah (sawa) said: So, challenge me: if I am telling the truth the curse falls unto you, and if I am a liar the curse falls unto me. They said: You are speaking in justice.
They agreed on a date for mubahalah (challenge). When they returned to the places they were staying in, their leaders al-Sayyid, al-'Aqib and al-Ahtam said: If he challenged us with his people, we accept the challenge for he is not a prophet; but if he challenges us with his family in particular we don't challenge him, for he is not going to push forward his family unless he is truthful. In the morning, they came to the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and with him the Commander of the Faithful, Fatimah, al-Hasan and al-Husain (as), so the Christians said: Who are those? The people replied: This is his cousin and successor and son-in-law, and this is his daughter Fatimah, and these are his sons al-Hasan and al-Husain. So they became frightened and said to the Messenger of Allah (sawa): We give you the satisfaction, so give us leave from the challenge.' 39
... 'and our women': those amongst women who represent the nearest position to my humanistic and spiritual affiliation in my life, and here I put forward my daughter Fatimah, the Doyenne of the Women of the World, who is 'part of me' and 'Allah becomes angry for her anger and satisfied for her satisfaction' in this great challenge so as to prove that I am absolutely sure about the truth of my call, for man does not put forward his most beloved people to the places of danger unless he is certain of safety.
 Al-Qummi commentary, vol.1, p. 104; Sahih Muslim, vol. 4, p. 1871; Sunan al-Turmuthi, vol. 5, p. 638; Shawahid al-Tanzeel, vol. 1, p. 155; al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, p. 148; al-Kamil fil Tareekh, vol. 2, p. 393.
Adapted from the book: "Fatimah (as); a role model for men and women" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadlullah"
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