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She died angry with her oppressors

The attack on Fatimah's house, and the threat to burn it and other injustices, did not win the approval of the Muslims in general. This forced the two men who oppressed her to come and request Ali (as) to ask her permission to enter and to try to resolve the matters with her. What was her response?

Ibn Qutaybah, in al-Imamah wal Siyasah, narrates that 'Umar said to Abu Bakr: 'Let's go to Fatimah, for we have made her angry.' So they went together and asked her permission, but she denied it to them. They asked Ali to talk to her, and he did. When they entered and sat, she turned her face to the wall. They greeted her, but she did not answer. Abu Bakr said: 'O you the Messenger of Allah's beloved! I swear by Allah that the kinship of the Messenger of Allah is more beloved to me than my kinship, and you are surely more beloved to me than my daughter 'Ayshah, and I wished the day your father died that I died and did not stay after him... Do you see me, when knowing you and your virtues and honour, denying you your right and inheritance from the Messenger of Allah (sawa)? Except that I heard your father the Messenger of Allah (sawa) saying: We, the folk of prophets, do not leave bequests - what we leave is for alms'.

Fatimah (as) did not comment on the inheritance issue, since she has previously dealt with that in detail in her sermon, but she wanted to establish the proof on the two of them regarding the harm, injustice and wrong-doing to which she was subjected. Hence she said: 'Can I see you if I narrate a hadith from the Messenger of Allah (sawa); you know it, will you do according to it?' They replied: 'Yes'; she said: 'I ask you by Allah, haven't you heard the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (sawa): the satisfaction of Fatimah is my satisfaction and the discontent of Fatimah is my discontent?' They said: 'Yes, we heard it from the Messenger of Allah (sawa)'. She said: 'Therefore, I take Allah and his angels as witnesses that you have made me discontented and have not satisfied me, and when I meet the Prophet I shall complain about you to him!'. Abu Bakr said: 'I take refuge in Allah from his discontent and your discontent O Fatimah!'; but she said: 'I swear by Allah that I shall invoke Allah against you in every prayer I do!' 32

In another source, she said: 'I ask you by Allah, have you heard the Prophet (sawa) say: Fatimah is part of me and I am part of her; whoever harms her harms me and whoever harms me harms Allah, and whoever harms her after my death it is as if he has harmed her during my life, and who harms her during my life as if he harms her after my death?'. They said: 'O Lord, yes'; she said: 'Gratitude to Allah'. Then she said: 'O Allah! I make you witness, so be witnesses you who are present, that they have harmed me in my life and at my death!' 33

In this way, and with all strength and courage, Fatimah (as) proved her case and registered that the two of them had made her angry, and hence also the Messenger of Allah (sawa), and above that Allah the Most High. Her anger remained, like a bleeding wound, in the heart of her descendants and followers. When Abdullah bin al-Hasan was asked about Abu Bakr and 'Umar, he said: 'Our mother was a truthful woman and daughter of a sent prophet; she died angry with some people and we are angry because of her anger.' 34

Her burial, grave and Ali's funeral farewell speech

Her protest did not stop at that; she continued her protest until her death. She asked Ali (as) to bury her at night 35 and that those who oppressed her and confiscated her right should not be present. She wanted to express her protest and opposition to aggression and injustice even after death, and she wanted it to be angry and hurtful, but with wisdom and convincing evidence and strong attitudes. She knew that people would start asking: why would the daughter of the Prophet (sawa) be buried at night? Why did she request that? What was happening? For this had not happened in Islam and everyone was expecting to participate in the funeral of their Prophet's daughter. But they were to find out that she was buried at night, and they would be told that that was her will!

The question spread out amongst Muslims: why? This is what Fatimah (as) wanted, to awaken consciences, and those who had been fooled would know the nature of the conspiracy and what had happened.

Moreover, her will also stated that her grave should be flattened so as to add another proof and witness to the injustice she suffered, and to eternalise her protest upon those who oppressed her... 36

Ali (as) did exactly what she wanted and buried her at night and effaced her grave. The place of her grave remained unknown, although some narrations by the Imams of Ahlul Bayt (as) say that she was buried in her house, while others say that she was buried in the rauda (garden) which was, according to some scholars, what the Prophet (sawa) meant in his hadith: 'Between my grave and my pulpit a garden from the gardens of paradise.' A third possibility, according to others, is that she was buried in the cemetery of al-Baqee'. 37


[32] Al-Imamah wal Siyasah, p. 14.

[33] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 203.

[34] Commentary of Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 6, p. 49-50.

[35] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 210-1; Ibn Sa'd in Tabaqat al-Sahabah; al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak; al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan; al-Tabari in al-Tareekh; and others.

[36] 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 519.

[37] Al-Bihar, vol. 97, p. 190, 192, 193, 196; 'Awalim al-Zahra, p. 517-526.

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

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