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The Doyenne of the Women of the World

Among the most important titles with which the truthful, pure Fatimah (as) was bestowed was narrated in the famous hadith from the Prophet (sawa): 'The doyenne of the women of paradise.' 41

In another hadith: 'The doyenne of the women of the world.' 42

In a third: 'The doyenne of believing women'; and in a fourth: 'The doyenne of the women of the nation.' 43

In another hadith: 'O my daughter! Are not you satisfied that you are the doyenne of the women of the world? She said: O father! What about Mary daughter of 'Imran (then)? He said: She is the doyenne of the women of her world and you are the doyenne of the women of your world; I swear by Allah that I have married you to a master in life and the hereafter.' 44

Now, we should stop to ponder about this. Is this title, Doyenne of the Women of the World, a mere honorary title?

No! The Messenger of Allah (sawa) does not give titles without a reason, for when he moves to evaluate people, even if they are his relatives, he does so according to precise evaluation of the actual capabilities of the person in question. Otherwise, he would have been speaking out of desire, while Allah says: 'And nor he speaketh of (his own) inclination. It (the wording) is naught but a revelation revealed.' (Qur'an 53:3-4)

Hence, for Fatimah to be the Doyenne of the Women of Paradise means that He has amassed in her mind, heart and virtues, all the mind, heart and virtues of the women of paradise, and in fact excelled on them.

And for Fatimah to be the Doyenne of the Women of the World or Believing Women, this means that all the virtues and attributes of believing and all the merits of believing women are invested and manifested in her. Otherwise, how could she be a doyenne of a people if she had not outshone them or had not acquired the merit with which she would possess that mastery.


[41] Sahih al-Bukhari, al-Karmani commentary, vol. 15, p. 4, Musnad Ahmad, vol. 3, p. 498 and vol.6, p. 542.

[42] Musnad Abu Dawood, p. 196, hadith 1373; al-Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 156.

[43] Sahih Muslim, vol. 4, p. 1905; Fada'il al-Khamsah, vol. 3, p. 137-146.

[44] Hilyat al-Awliya', vol. 2, p. 42.

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

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