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Fatima's (a.s.) Marriage

Many companions proposed to Fatimah (as), but the Prophet (sawa) kindly turned down their requests, saying: 'I await the order of my Lord' 10 for in Fatimah (as) there was special merit that was not to be found in his other daughters. Fatimah (as) possessed a holy secret, which only Allah Almighty knew; similarly Ali (as) possessed a holy secret, which only Allah knew.

Some asked Ali: 'Why don't you propose to Fatimah?' But he was shy. At last he came to the Prophet (sawa) and talked to him on this matter. In his response, the Prophet (sawa) showed that he was pleased, as if he was waiting for this proposal, even preparing for it. He said to Ali: 'What money have you got?'

Of course he (sawa) knew how much Ali (as) had, for he was the one who brought him up and was with him both at home and away, day and night, in war and peace; nevertheless he asked him: 'What have you got?' Ali replied: 'My sword, shield and the clothes which I wear!' The Prophet (sawa) said: 'You cannot do without your sword with which you defend Islam and remove hardship from the Messenger of Allah, but give me your shield.' 11

The shield was sold for 500 dirham and this was the marriage gift (mahr) of Fatimah (as), who accepted Ali (as) as her husband.

What we need to understand in this marriage is what is in the hadith that Imam al-Sadiq (as) - or the Prophet (sawa) according to others - said: 'Had it not been that Allah the Most High created the Commander of the Faithful for Fatimah, there would have been no match for her on Earth.' 12

What was this match that the narration was referring to?

Certainly it was not the match in terms of family, for there was more than one cousin of the Prophet (sawa), but it was a match in soul, mind, intellect and belief. Fatimah (as) was, through her faith, mind, intellect, soul, purity, holy struggle and asceticism, a suitable match for Ali (as), who was at the highest level as far these attributes were concerned. Allah ordered his Messenger (sawa) to marry his daughter to her match and the pure to the pure, because there was more than one point on which they met.

This makes us understand the secret behind the refusal of the Prophet (sawa) to marry Fatimah (as) off to any of the prominent companions. Al-Sadooq tells us, in 'Uyoon Akhbar al-Rida (as), that Ali (as) said: 'The Messenger of Allah (sawa) told me: O Ali! Men from the Quraysh complained about Fatimah ('s marriage) and said: we have asked you for her hand in marriage but you have turned us down and married her off to Ali! I said to them: I swear by Allah that it was not me who turned you down and accepted him, but it was Allah...; (the archangel) Gabriel came down and said: O Muhammad! Allah the Great and Almighty said: If I have not created Ali, there would have been no match for your daughter Fatimah on the face of the Earth.'

[10] Fatimah al-Zahra fil Ahadith al-Nabawiyyah, al-Sarawi, Beirut 1994, p. 86, 92; 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 380.

[11] Al-Bihar, vol. 43, p. 127, 140; Dela'il al-Zahra, p. 46.

[12] Kashf al-Ghummah, al-Arbilli, vol. 1, p. 463; al-Bihar, vol. 43, p. 141.

Adapted from the book: "Fatimah (as); a role model for men and women" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadlullah"

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