The world’s most outstanding Lady: Fatima az-Zahra’
The world’s most outstanding Lady: Fatima az-Zahra’
Ayatollah Makarem Al-Shirazi
In The Name Of Allah
(1) Surely We have given you kawthar. 1
(2) Therefore pray to your lord and make a sacrifice.
(3) Surely your enemy is the one who shall be without posterity.Qur’an (108:1-3)
A gift to the holy presence of the Master of the Age (Waliyul‘Asr) (may Allah hasten his appearance):
O’ Allah, at this time and for all the time, for the master of Your command, Imam Zaman Hujjah ibn al-Hassan (may Your blessings be upon him and his progeny) be Supervisor, Guard, Leader, Helper and Guide, and Guardian until you bring the world under his leadership, and his profiting it for many ages.
The Holy Prophet (S)said: “Maryam was the Lady of the women of her time, but my daughter Fatimah is the lady of the whole worlds’ women, from the first to the last.”
Throughout history women have had a very painful story. Their physical weakness in contrast to the opposite sex- man being the reason why the bullies and despots throughout history endeavoured to trample their human identity. What crimes they committed to this end! Especially in Arabia during “The Age of Ignorance” 3, (even though at that time the whole world had sunk into ignorance), the identity of woman was more than anywhere else trodden upon; to such an extent that a woman was exchanged like a piece of merchandise. A share in the inheritance of men was not granted to them.
They saw the birth of a girl as a disgrace. And, as we know, buried newborn baby-girls alive. They even ignored the laws of nature saying that the children of our daughters are not our children. our children are only those of our sons. This Poem has remained from that age for us as a reminder of this very belief of theirs:
The offspring of our sons are our progeny -and on the other hand the offspring of our daughters are the off springs of alien men.
But when Islam came into the ring to revive human and godly values, it began fighting this ignorant belief, and it rose to restore the lost identity of woman.
It did this by preaching cultural counsel and education; by creating laws for women’s benefit and allowing them participation in various activities and, finally, with severe action against those who were not willing to surrender to these realities.
In another tradition, we read that:
Assma bint Omays, the wife of Jafar bin Abi Talib returned with her husband from Habasha 4 and came to see the Prophet’s wives. One of the first Questions she asked was: “Have any of the verses of the Quran been revealed in regard to women?” They (the wives of the Holy Prophet) claimed to have no Knowledge of this!
Assma came to see the Holy Prophet (S) and said: “O Prophet of God! Is the female sex caught with loss and detriment? (maybe she had the right to say this because for many years she had stayed away from the country of the revelation, and thought that the remains of the principles that ruled the society in the Age of Ignorance, still remained.)
The Prophet asked: “why?”
She said: “Because in Islam and the Quran no virtue has been announced in relation to them as there has been for men.”
Even though it was the fifth year of the hijra and eighteen years after the rise of Islam, while in relation to the restoration of the identity of woman much points had been revealed in the Holy Quran and habit, for more emphasis on this matter, verse 35 of the chapter Azhab (the Allies) was also revealed. It is a verse that is in reality the one that states all values, all of the values that are alike in women and men, and of which (women) posseses the most superior footing.
These values are summed up in ten parts;
“Surely the men who submit and the women who submit”
“And the believing men and the believing women”
“And the obeying men and the obeying women”
“And the truthful men and the truthful women”
“And the patient men and the patient women”
“And the humble men and the humble women”
“And the almsgiving men and the almsgiving women”
“And the fasting men and the fasting women”
“And the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard”
“And the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember”
“Allah has prepared for them Forgiveness and a great reward.” 5
And thus Islam spoke its words on this subject, showing that men and women walk side by side in the course of life towards God and human values; in the event that enjoy the same conditions along this course.
Some are surprised at how Islam has given the right to women to demand a salary for suckling her own children:
“Then if they suckle for you give them their recompense” 6
Which woman would demand a reward or salary for suckling her child, especially when she lives jointly with a man?!
But it shouldn’t be forgotten that this command is so that Islam can say, not only is woman a human being and possessing all human rights, not only does she have the right to decide about her own property, and man has no right to repress this right of hers without her consent, but also if she wishes, she may demand her recompense for suckling (her child). What a deep impression did this order make in that environment?!
In short, women of the world have a great obligation to Islam, because it saved them from the grip of the tyranny of history’s oppressors on condition that Islamic instructions are carried out properly and in detail.
Fatimah is a part of me, and the light of my eyes, the fruit of my heart, and my soul… and she is Huri 7 with Human qualities. 8
In that year, which was the fifth year of his mission, the Prophet of Islam (s.w.a.) was in the worst situation and isolated under the most difficult conditions.
Islam was isolated and the first few muslims were severely under pressure.
The environment of Mecca was dark and dim as a result of idol worship, polytheism, ignorance superstitions, Arab tribal wars, the sovereignty of power, and the poverty of the masses.
The Prophet (S) was looking forward to the future, a bright future behind these black oppressing clouds, a future that, with regard to the ordinary, external means (at hand), was too far and probably impossible to reach.
In this same year, an important event occurred in the prophet’s life. By the command of God, he was taken on his Ascension to observe the Kingdom of the Heavens. And accordingly he was shown the magnificent signs of God in the area of the exalted heavens; so his great soul became greater and well - prepared for acceptance of a greater mission with greater hope.
From a narrative emphasized by both Sunni and Shi’a, we read; the Prophet (S) on the night of his ascension was passing through heaven, Gabriel gave his lordship some of the fruit of the “Tooba” 9 tree, and when the Holy Prophet (S) returned to earth, the seed of Fatimah Zahra was coagulated from that heavenly fruit (she was conceived).
It is reported that the Prophet (s.w.a) kissed Fatimah (s.a.) frequently; one day his wife, Aisha criticized this and said: “Why do you kiss your daughter so much!?”
The Prophet (S) said in reply:
“Whenever I kiss Fatimah, I smell the scent of the Highest Heaven in her.” 10
It was thus that this great child, from the pure extract of Heavenly fruit and a father such as the Holy Prophet (S) mother such as “Khadijah”; on the twentieth day of Jamadi al-thani, came into the world, and the taunts and reproaches of the prophet’s opposers, that he was as they thought without a “succeeding generation”, were all made in vain. And by the contents of the Quranic chapter Kawthar, Fatimah Zahra (s.a.) was made the gushing spring for the continuation of the prophet’s lineage and the guiding Imams, and great blessings through the centuries and ages until Doom’s Day.
This heavenly lady had nine names each being more meaningful than the other; 1) Fatimah 2) Siddiqah 3) Tahirah 4) Mubarakah 5) Zakiyah 6) Radhiyah 7) Mardhiyah 8) Muhaddithah 9) Zahra of which each is a statement of the qualities and blessings of her blessed being.
It is enough to say that her famous name “Fatimah” contains the greatest of good tidings for the followers of her school, this being because it is from the root word - “Fatm”, meaning, being separated or taken off from Milk. According to one hadith narrated from the Holy Prophet (S) he asked the commander of the faithful Ali (a.s.):
“Do you know why my daughter was named Fatimah?” Ali replied:
“Please say so.”
“Because she and the Shi’a, the followers 11 of her school, are separated from the fires of Hell.”
From among her names the name “Zahra” also has a special luminosity and brightness; It was asked of Imam Sadiq (a.s.):
Why do they call Fatimah “Zahra”?
He replied; Because “Zahra” means shining, and Fatimah was such that when she stood in the “Mihrab” of prayer her light was a radiance for the inhabitants of the skies (heavens), just as the light of the stars is for the inhabitants of earth (is radiant). Therefore she was given the name “Zahra”.
When “Khadijah”, who was a lady of status famous for her greatness, married the Prophet of Islam (s.w.a.), the women of Mecca broke off their relations with her, saying; she married a poor, orphaned young man and has lowered her personal status!
This situation continued until Khadijah. became pregnant and the fetus was none other than Fatimah Zahra.
When it came time for the birth she sent for-the women of Quraish and asked them to come to her aid in this sensitive hour full of pain and suffering, and not leave her alone. But she was confronted with this cold, painful answer:
“You did not listen to our advice, you married the orphan of Abu Talib who has no wealth, we will not come to your aid!”
The faithful Khadijah was greatly saddened by this ugly, meaningless message but deep in her heart the light of hope shone, that her God would not leave her alone at a time like this.
The difficult, critical moments of giving birth began; she was alone in her home, and not a woman who could aid her was there. Her heart grew heavier, and the roaring waves of the people’s unkindness tormented her pure soul.
Suddenly there shone a flash in the horizon of her soul, she opened her eyes and saw four women near her, and she became greatly worried.
One of the four women called:
“Be not afraid, nor sad. Your kind God has sent us to your aid, we are your sisters.”
I am Sarah! And this is Asiah the wife of the pharaoh, who will be one of your friends in heaven. The other is Maryam, daughter of Omran; and this fourth that you see is the sister of Musa ibn Omran; Kolthoom!
We have come so that at this hour we may be of aid to you.
And they remained with her until Fatimah the Lady of Islam Opened her eyes to the world. 12
Yes, as evidence to this:
“(As for) Those who say, Our Lord is Allah, Then continue in the right way, the angels descend upon them, saying: Fear not, nor be grieved.” 13
Here in addition to Angels, women of high worldly status rushed to the aid of the faithful persevering Khadijah.
The birth of this auspicious child so pleased the Prophet (S) that he began speaking in the praise and eulogy of God, and the tongues of the ill-wishes who called him “Abtar” 14 were forever silenced.
God gave tidings of this blessed child to the Prophet in the Quranic kawthar, saying:
Surely We have given you the Kawthar
Therefore pray to your Lord and make a sacrifice; surely your enemy is the one who shall be without posterity.
“Whenever I long for paradise, I kiss the throat of Fatimah.” 15
All of the historians and masters of the hadith have written that the Prophet (S) had an astonishing attachment to his daughter, Fatimah.
It is certain that the Prophet’s affection was not only because of their relationship as father and child, even though this sentiment swelled the prophet’s being. The phrases and words the Prophet (S) spoke when he expressed his affection for his daughter Fatimah (s.a.) showed that there are other standards being propounded.
This affection is one of a kind. Love of the beloved of God is love of God.
From the many narratives that have come to us on this subject it is enough to just mention the following ones from the famous books of shi’a and sunni;
“There is no man more loved by the Prophet (S) than “the commander of the Faithful” Ali (a.s.) and no women more loved than Fatimah (s.a.).”
It is interesting that a large group of these hadiths were reported by Aisha.
When this honourable verse was revealed.
“Make not the calling of the messenger among you as your calling of one another.” 17
The Muslims did not address the prophet as “O’ Muhammad” anymore, instead they said: “O’ Messenger of God.”
Fatimah (s.a.) says:
After this verse was revealed I didn’t dare call my father as (father dear!), and when I went to him I would say, “O’ Messenger of God”.
One or two times I repeated this address.
I saw that the prophet (S) became upset and turned face away from me. The third time he turned to me and said:
“O’ Fatimah this verse was not revealed for you, and not for your family, and descendents. You are of me and I am of you. This was revealed in relation to the oppressors and bad-disposition, ill-mannered of Quraish.” Then he added this surprising spirit-nurturing sentence:
“Say (father dear), for this word is more life giving for the heart and more pleasing for God” 18
Yes, the soothing music of Fatimah’s “father dear” did the same thing to the prophet’s soul as a spring breeze would to the tree’s delicate blossoms.
In another hadith it has come to us that the Holy Prophet (S) was so eager for Fatimah (s.a.) that whenever he went on a trip the last person to bid him farewell was Fatimah. And when he returned from a trip the first person to rush to see him was Fatimah.
This hadith was also narrated by many of the narrators of hadiths, both shi’a and sunni; that the Prophet (S) said:
“Whoever harms her has harmed me and whoever angers her has made me angry;Whoever makes her glad has made me glad, and whoever saddens her has made me sad.” 19
Without doubt the exalted personal identity of Fatimah (s.a.), her bright future, and the position of the Gnosticism, faith and worship, necessitated all of this respect. This being because all of the lmams were of her offspring and she was the wife of the great man of Islam “The commander of the Faithful”, Ali (a.s.).
But the Prophet (S) with this action wished to make the people understand another fact, and to make clear the perspective of Islam on another basis, creating a revolution in thought and culture, saying:
“A girl is not a creature that should be buried alive.
See, I kiss my daughter’s hand, I seat her in my place and grant her so much respect and greatness.”
A girl is a human being, just as all other human beings, she is a blessing of God’s blessings. She is a godly affection.
A girl may, just as a boy, traverse the degrees of perfection and find her way to the limits of God’s esteem.
And in this way the collapsed worth of women in that dark environment was restored.
“The first person to come to me in Heaven is Fatimah the daughter of Muhammad.” 20
At the time when the Muslims were spending their readiness period in Mecca, their living environment was severely stormy, and the conditions were extremely critical.
It was the beginning of Islam and the Muslims were in strict minority, while all of the power, might, wealth, and sovereignty was in the hands of the ruthless; irrational enemies of Islam, and they did whatever they wished to do.
There was no form of torment that was not brought upon the Muslims, while there was no boldness or insult that they didn’t allow in respect to the exalted position of the prophet.
At this time there were two people who devoted them selves and showed great generosity;
From among the women was “Khadijah” who dressed the wounds of the prophet’s with her self - sacrificing, her affection and pleasantness, her sympathy and compassion.
The other was “Abu Talib” the great father of “the Commander of the Faithful” Ali (a.s.), who had much respect and influence among the people of Mecca and was possessed of extraordinary intelligence, prudence, and wit; he made himself a powerful shield before the Prophet (S) and was the kind friend, helper and protector of the Prophet.
But it is extremely regretful that these two self- sacrificing friends, and two great personalities and generous human beings, in the tenth year of the prophet’s mission, within a short period of time closed their eyes to the world, making the Prophet (S) mournful in their deaths.
And in this respect, the Messenger of God remained alone. The extremity of the prophet’s sorrow in the mourning of these two personalities, both of whom played a considerable part in the progress of Islam, becomes clear for us in that the year of their death was named “Am-ul-Hozn” meaning “the year of sorrow and grief”.
But since God replaces the blessings that he gives his preferred servants with other blessings. Each of these two great persons left a child as a memorial, who exactly filled their places.
Ali (a.s.) just as his father was the friend and helper, protector (supporter) and defender of the Prophet (S), he was also previously such helper; but, after Abu Talib, he filled his empty place.
And “Khadijah” left her daughter “Fatimah” as a memorial, a girl who was kind, generous, brave and self - sacrificing and who was always at the side of her “father”, cleaning away the dust and dirt of suffering and hardship from the pure heart of her father.
“The commander of the Faithful” Ali (a.s.) according to well known hadith had not aged more than five years in her blessed life. It is interesting here to note that both lived in the house of the prophet. And were his companions in his hours of loneliness.
There were still three years left before the Hejira, three years full of unpleasant incidents and severe storms of life, full of suffering and weariness, persecutions and contempt and the continued efforts of the enemy for the elimination of Islam and the Muslims.
Sometimes a hard-hearted enemy would throw dirt or ashes on the head of the Prophet (S). when he returned home Fatimah would clean away the dirt or ashes from his head and face while tears filled her eyes. The Holy Prophet (s.w.a) would then say:
“My daughter, don’t be sad and don’t shed tears, God is the Protector and Guardian of your father!” 21
Sometimes enemies would gather at the Stone of Isma’il and swear to the idols that wherever they find “Muhammad” they will kill him.
Fatimah (s.a.) would hear of this and inform her father so that he would be more careful.
And this shows us that not only inside the home but also outside, Fatimah (s.a.) thought of her father’s defence and salutation.
In one of these very years, Abu Jahl encouraged a group of Makkan ruffians to throw the paunch of a sheep on the Prophets head while he was bowing in prayer at the “Masjid al-Haram”. When this was done Abu Jahl and his companions began laughing, ridiculing and mocking the Prophet.
Some of the Prophet’s supporters saw this scene but the ruthless enemy was so prepared that they did not have the power for defence. When this news reached the ears of his little girl Fatimah (s.a.), she rushed to the “Masjid al-Haram” and took the paunch and with bravery particular to her, punished Abu Jahl and his supporters with the sword of her tongue, and cursed them.
Yes, in that place where some of the courageous men did not have the nerve of defending the Prophet (S); this brave young girl was present and went to the defence of her father.
This period of time, whatever it was, passed. The Holy Prophet (S) set out on his hejira to Medina. Fatimah (s.a.) must be temporally separated from her father, remaining at home alone until the time that permission for hejira would be given to her. This all happened when she was not more than eight years old. But just as Ali (a.s.) in the critical, sensitive moments of the hejira slept in the bed of the prophet, thus passed his test in self - sacrifice and generosity, putting his body in exposure to the swords of the enemy, Fatimah (s.a.) also with out complaint or impatience announced her readiness to accept this new mission.
But the period of her separation couldn’t be too lengthy, and she must always stay at her father's side, and in the environment of Medina just as in Mecca, continue her defence, and wash away the dust and dirt of sadness and difficult incidents from the sparkling heart of her father. Therefore, after a few days in company of Fatimah bint Omais and another Fatimah of Bani Hashem, accompanied by Ali(a.s.) she came to Medina.
Fatimah (s.a.) not only on normal days (even though the Prophet (S) had very few of these days), but even on stormy days of war in the range of tasks that she was commissioned to perform, defended the holy Prophet (S).
When the war of Uhud came to an end and the enemy troops had just left the scene, while the prophet (s.w.a), with an injured forehead and a broken tooth, was still in the field, Fatimah (s.a.) rushed quickly to Uhud and, even though she was still a young girl of a few years of age, she traversed the distance from Medina to Uhud on foot and with great eagerness. She washed her father’s face with water, cleaning his countenance of blood, but the wound on his forehead was still bleeding.
She burned a piece of mat and poured the ashes on the wound and stopped the bleeding. What is even more surprising is that, for the conflict that occurred the following day, she prepared arms for her father 22.
In the war of Ahzab, which was one of the most painful of the Islamic wars with the infidels, and during the events of the conquest of Mecca on the day that the victorious Islamic Army, with the necessary precautions, took the last fortification of polytheism from the Polytheists, cleansing the House of God of the contamination of the existence of idols. We again see that on both, occasions Fatimah (s.a.) was at her father’s side. During the war of Ahzab, she came to the trench and prepared a simple meal that was nothing more than a loaf of bread for the Prophet (S) who had remained hungry for several days. And at the time of the conquest of Mecca, she put up his tent and prepared the water for his ablutions, so that he could wash the dust and dirt from body, put on clean clothes, and proceed to the “Masjid al-Haram”.
“In the event that Ali would not have been created, there would have been no one worthy to be Fatimah’s (s.a..) spouse.” 23?
A Marriage Made in Heaven
The extraordinary virtues of Fatimah on one side, and on the other side, her blood relations with the Prophet (S) and still on another side, the nobility of her family, caused many of the high - ranking supporters of the Prophet (S) to propose to her; but all heard negative answers.
The interesting point here being that the Prophet (S) would usually answer them, saying:
“Her matter is in the hands of her Lord.”
The strangest case was the proposal of “Abdul Rahman Ibn Awf”, that rich man who, by the customs of Age of Ignorance, looked at everything through the material viewing window, visualizing a heavy dowry as the sign of a woman’s personal status and the superior position of the husband.
He came to see the Prophet (S), saying:
“If you will give Fatimah to me in marriage, I will make her a dower of one hundred camels with loads of precious material from Egypt along with 10000 Dinars in gold!”
The Prophet (S) was so enraged by this meaningless proposal that he took a handful of gravel and threw it towards Abdul Rahman and said:
“You thought that I was a servant of money and wealth that you are expressing pride in your money and wealth.” 24
Yes, in Fatimah’s marriage proposal, Islamic examples must be defined, the customs of ignorance suppressed, and the standards of Islamic values made clear.
The people were speaking of these very things when suddenly everywhere it was heard that the prophet (s.w.a) wished to give his only daughter to Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) in marriage. Ali ibn Talib (a.s.) who was in accessed to worldly wealth and possessions, and possessed none of the standards of the Age of Ignorance, but was instead from head to toe full of faith and real Islamic values.
When they investigated this, it became clear that the indicator I guide of the Prophet (S) in this blessed historical marriage was a heavenly revelation, because he said himself:
“An Angel of God came to me and said; God sends you greetings and says that in heaven I have made Fatimah the wife of Ali ibn Abi Talib. You also marry her to Ali on earth.” 25
When Ali (a.s.) came for his marriage proposal of Fatimah (s.a.), his face was red with shyness. When the Prophet (S) saw him, he became cheerful and smiling saying, for what have you come to me?
But Ali (a.s.), because of the imposing presence of the Prophet (S), could not put forth his wish, and as such remained silent.
The Prophet (S), who was informed of Ali's inner self, said:
“Maybe you have come for marriage proposal of Fatimah?”
“Yes, I have come for that very purpose.”
The Prophet said:
“Ali before you, other Men had come for proposal of Fatimah. Whenever I informed Fatimah of this matter, she would not show her approval. Right now, let me inform her of this conversation.”
It is true that the marriage was heavenly and must take place. But especially, the personal status of Fatimah (s.a.) and, generally, the respect and freedom of women in choosing their husbands, made it necessary that the Prophet of Islam should not go ahead in this matter without the consent of Fatimah.
When the Prophet described the virtues of Ali (a.s.) for his daughter saying:
“I wish to make you the wife of the best of God’s creation. What is your opinion?”
Fatimah, who was submerged in shyness and modesty, lowered her head saying nothing and making no denial.
The Prophet (S) raised his head and spoke this historical sentence, which is a document for Islamic Jurisprudents in relation to the Marriage of previously unmarried girls:
“God is the Greatest. Her silence is the proof of her agreement.”
And, following these events, the marriage contract was concluded by the Holy Prophet (S).
Now let us see what Fatimah's (s.a.) dowry consisted of.
It is without doubt that the marriage of the best of the men in the world with the princess of the world's women, must in every way be an example, an example for all centuries and ages. Therefore the Prophet (S) turned to Ali (a.s.) saying:
“Do you have something to stipulate as your wife’s dowry?”
“May my parents be your sacrifice, as you well know, my belongings consist of nothing more than my sword, armour, and a camel.”
The Prophet (S) said:
“That is right. Your sword is needed during battles with the enemies of Islam.
And you must water your palm orchards with your camel, and also use it on Journeys. Therefore, you may only stipulate your armour as your wife’s dowry, and I give in may daughter Fatimah (s.a.) to you against this very armour.” 26
This is one side of the story, but, on the other side, we read in hadiths that Fatimah (s.a.) asked her father to make her dowry an intercession for the wrongdoers of the nation on the Resurrection Day. This request was granted and Gabriel revealed this command to the Prophet (S) from Heaven. 27
This is how incorrect values must be broken and replaced with pure values. And this is the custom of faithful men and women. And this is the way of life for the true leaders of God’s servants.
In all times, dowry, trousseau and the wedding ceremony were the three difficulties placed before families in the matters of life, with the traces of its rain of adversity remaining with the couple until the end of their lives.
Sometimes verbal deputes and quarrels, and sometimes bloody fights were created as a result of these matters. And what wealth has been wasted because of our imitation of one another and tasteless, childish rivalry.
Still, even now, the sediments of these ignorant thoughts are not few in those who speak of Islam.
But, the trousseau of the Lady of Islam must, just as her dowry, be a model for all.
This might surprise you but, the Prophet (S) ordered that Ali’s armour be sold and the money brought to him, which amounted to about 500 Dirhams.
The Prophet divided this money into three parts. one part he gave to Bilal to buy a nice scented perfume. And the other two parts were put aside for buying clothes and household goods.
It is clear how simple and cheap these goods must have been, to have been bought with such an insignificant amount of money.
In historical records, it has been recorded that the trousseau bought with this money consisted of 18 pieces, of which the most important are listed below;
1 large scarf for 4 Dirhams.
1 piece of dress material for 1 Dirham.
1 bed made of wood and palm leaves.
4 Pillows of sheep skin filled with a sweet smelling grass called “Azkhar”
1 woollen curtain.
1 hand mill
1 Leather water-skin
1 Copper wash-tub
1 Large container for milking
1 Large Green-colored earthen pot (pitcher) and so on.
This was the trousseau of the Lady of the world’s women.
The honourable Prophet of Islam (s.w.a.), in this ceremony, which was for the establishment of a family, and by which an important part of Islam's history was changed, and of which the pure successors of the Prophet (S) would all come into existence; executed such a program that his enemies became angered and his friends made proud! Also causing those who were distant to Ponder upon it.
“Umm Salamah” and “Umm Aiman”, who were two virtuous women of Islam, and had great affection for the great Lady Fatimah Zahra (s.a.), came to the Prophet of Islam Saying:
“O’ honourable Prophet of God! Indeed, if Khadijah were alive she would really be happy with the convening of Fatimah’s wedding ceremony, Isn’t that so?"
Tears came into the eyes of the Messenger of God (s.w.a.) upon hearing the name of that devoted Lady, and he began remembering all of the Kindness and generosity of Khadijah, saying:
“Where can a woman be found like Khadijah?
Those days when all of the people denied me, she confirmed me, placing all of her wealth and life in my hands for spreading of God’s religion. She was the very Lady whom God ordered me to inform that an emerald castle will be granted to her in the exalted Heavens.
Umm Salamah, when she heard this, saw the inner revolution and burning of the Prophet and said:
“O’ Messenger of God! My parents be your sacrifice! Whatever you say about Khadijah is the truth; but at any rate, she welcomed God’s invitation and has rushed to the vicinity of His Mercy. Hopefully, God will house her in the best place in Heaven.
But, the matter for which we have come to your blessed presence is something else, and that being this: your brother and cousin, Ali, wishes you to permit him to take his wife Fatimah to his home, and in this way bring order to his life.”
The Prophet (S) said:
“Why didn’t Ali (a.s.) bring this proposal to me him-self?”
Umm Salamah replied: “Shyness and modesty prevented him.”
Here, the Prophet (S) told Umm Aiman:
“Go and tell him to come here.”
Ali (a.s.) came and sat before the Prophet (S) but his head was lowered out of shyness.
The Prophet (S) said:
“Do you wish to take your wife home?”
Ali, while his head was still lowered, said:
“Yes, may my parents be your sacrifice.”
What is interesting is that, contrary to what is usual among those people who worship opulence and who begging planning months ahead of this ceremony, the Prophet (S) happily said:
“I will arrange for it either tonight or tomorrow night.”
And right then he gave the orders to arrange for the preparation of a very simple celebration that was full of spirituality and holiness.
As for the formalities of this Heavenly celebration, and its ceremonies, it was conducted so simply and without trouble, that hearing it, is quite astonishing for us these days.
Ali (a.s.) said:
A bit of the money from the armour I had sold previously had been given to “Umm Salamah” for safekeeping and during the nuptial ceremony he took 10 Dirhams from her and gave it to me saying: “Buy some Oil, dates, and Kashk with this money. I did this. Then the Prophet (S) himself rolled up his sleeves and mixed these things together with his own hands preparing a meal, serving the people with this very food.
Then he (the Prophet) said “Oh Ali invite whomever you wish”. I left for the mosque where many companions of the Prophet were gathering. I said answer to the prophet’s call. They arose and headed together towards the Prophet. I told the prophet they were a large crowd; he covered the food with a sheet and said: “show them in, ten at a time”, and so I did. The people kept going in, eating and leaving, all the while the food seemed unabated. In all seven hundred men and women ate from that (date and yogurt) dish with the Prophet’s blessing.
It is interesting here that, at the end of the ceremony, when all of the people had returned to their homes and the house became empty, the prophet of Islam placed Fatimah (s.a.) on his left side and Ali (a.s.) on his right, and wished them good luck by spraying a bit of sacred saliva from his mouth on both Fatimah and Ali, Praying for them, saying:
“God! They are of me and I am of them. O lord! Just as you removed every kind of filth and impurity from me, also remove it from them making them Pure.” And then he said:
“Get up and go home. May God bless both of you.” 28
The lovers of the material world and the weak believers who are under the influence of material world’s sparkle, who see a family’s respect, honour, and status, and the blessings and grandeur of the wedding ceremony in those back -breaking, oppressive formalities and luxurious articles, should see this and learn a lesson. They should see and get inspiration from this program that is a lesson in humanity and is the substance of the happiness of all boys and girls. And, see an example of Islamic teachings in a living, working way in the events of the “Proposal”, “Dower”, “Trousseau” and “Wedding” of Fatimah Zahra (s.a.) in the pages of history.
“After the death of the Prophet (S), she continually wore the scarf of mourning on her head, possessing crying eyes and a burning heart.” 29
The sweet period of the Lady of Islam's life quickly came to an end with the death of the Holy Prophet of Islam (even though throughout her lifetime there was no real sweet period, because there were the constant pressures, wars, and plots of the enemies against Islam and the Prophet of Islam (s.w.a.), taking away her spiritual peace).
With the death of the prophet, new storms of complicated critical events blew up.
The hatred and grudges of Badr, khaibar and Honain that were during the prophet’s time hidden beneath the ashes became visible.
The sects of the “Hypocrites” went to action to take their revenge of Islam and also from the Prophet’s family. Fatimah Zahra (s.a.) was in the center of this circle, of which the poisonous arrows of the enemy flew at her from every direction
Her separation from her father; the sad, tormenting innocence of her husband Ali (a.s.); the plots of the enemy against Islam, and the worry of Fatimah (s.a.) for the future of the Muslims and the Quranic heritage, all joined together, severely straining her pure heart.
Fatimah (s.a.) doesn’t wish to cause Ali (commander of the Faithful) greater grief by relating to him her sadness, because he had already received a severe blow by these unpleasant circumstances and misdeeds created by the people.
For this very reason she would go to the grave of the Prophet (S) and tell him of her grief. And she speaks heart - rendering words that burn our inner soul just like burning embers:
“Father dear, after you, I feel lonely. I have remained perplexed and deprived, my mouth is inclined to silence, and my back is broken, and the wholesome water of life has become bitter to my taste.” 30
And, sometimes she would say:
“The person who smells the pure soil of the grave of Prophet (S), it is only fair that until the end of his life he should smell no other perfume. After you, O’ father, so much suffering has fallen upon me that, if they were to fall upon bright Jays, they would turn into dark, gloomy nights.”
Why does Fatimah (s.a.) shed tears in this way?
Why is she so restless?
Why is she as wild rue on fire, without stability?
The answer to these whys must be heard from her own words.
Umm Salamah says:
“When I went to see the Lady of Islam Fatimah (s.a.) after the death of the prophet, and asked her how she was, in reply these meaningful sentences were spoken by her:
Why are you asking me how I am Umm Salamah, when I am caught in the middle of much sadness and suffering? On the one hand I have lost my father, the Prophet (S) and on the other hand (I see with my own eyes that) there has been injustice done to his successor, (Ali ibn Abi Talib).
I swear to God that they have torn the curtain of his inviolability (reverence).
But I know that these are the grudges of Badr and the revenges of Uhud, that were hidden in the hearts of the hypocrites (non-believers).” 31
All of her defences of the boundaries of the holiness of everything noble and her support of Ali (s.a.) right during this time of pain and suffering are not hidden from anyone.
Even though her life after the Prophet of Islam was as brief as she had begged God to be, being not more than two or three months before she rushed to the Holy Presence of God and met her father. However, in this Period of time she didn’t omit any self-sacrificing, generous effort in Ali’s right or for the defence of Islam.
“Peace be upon you, O’ daughter of the Messenger of God.”
1. The Heavenly Fountain of unbounded grace and benefits.
3. The period before Islam. (N.T.)
4. Ethiopia. (N.T.)
5. Al-Ahzab 33:35
6. Al-Talaq 65:6
7. Nymph of Paradise. (N.T.)
8. Riyahein-Al-shari’a; vol. 1, pg. 21
9. “Tooba” the name of a tree that exists in paradise. (N.T.)
10. This Tradition has been related with minor differences in the commentaries of Tabari, Abu Ibrahim and Sayyuti. Even though it is well known that the Ascension occurred in the last years of the prophet’s stay in Mecca, some traditions make it known that ascensions occurred on several occasions; so, it is not contradicting the birth of Fatimah (s.a.) in the fifth year of his mission.
11. This hadith comes to us in many books of the sunni such as (The history of Baghdad) and (Sawa-iqul-Muhriqah) and (Kanz-ul-ommal) and other books.
12. The contents of this Hadith has been narrated by a group of sunni scholars, such as “Tabari” in “Thakhaer-ul- Uqba”
13. Qur’an, Surat Fussilat 41:30; Translation from M. H. Shakir
14. Meaning a man without offspring. (N.T.)
15. From “Fadhael-Al-Khamsah” vol. 3 pg. 127
16. The contents of this hadith has been stated in tens of the narratives of the sunni (Ihqaq Al-Haq) vol. 1 pg. 167
17. Qur’an Surat An-Nur 24:43; Translation from M. M. Pickthall
18. “Manaqib Ibn-shahr Ashub”, vol. 3 pg. 320
19. “Alfadhael Al-Khamsah” vol. 3 pg. 132
20. This Tradition was reported by “Kulainy” in the book of “Kafi” and a group of sunni scholars in books such as “Kanz-Al-Ommal” and “Mizanul-etedal” and other.
21. Sirreh-e ibn-e Hisham; vol. 1 pg. 416
22. The war with the infidels was called “Hamra’e -Al-Asad” in which the polytheists returned to Uhud to finish the job they had begun. But God wanted them to leave disappointed, therefore when they met up with the brave Muslims and even those they had wounded the day before, they became afraid, and left.
23. “KanzuI -Haqaeq”pg. 124
24. “Tezkerat-ul-Khawas” - pg. 306
25. “Thaka’er-Al-Uqba” pg. 31
26. Ihqaqul-Haq vol. 10 pg. 358
27. Akhbaru-Dowal pg. 88
28. Bihar Alanwar vol. 43 “History of AzZahra” pg. 131-132
29. “Al Manaqeb”, vol. 3 pg. 362
30. “AlManaqeb” vol.3 pg. 362
31. “Manaqeb Ibn Shahr Ashoob”; vol. 2 pg. 225
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