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Chapter 18: Al-Adhra

This is one of the names given to Fatima. This name declares that she was always a virgin, in the meaning that she was chaste.

Many traditions have already been mentioned, which attest the fact that she was conceived of heavenly food, and that Fatima was a human “huri” (female of paradise). There is not exaggeration in this expression, rather, stating that Fatima was always virgin, is nothing but the absolute truth. Besides the narrations that verify this fact, the Holy Qur’an states:

"We have created (the huri) of special creation; and made them virgin pure (and undefiled)." (56: 35-36)

This clarifies that “huri”(s) are always virgins. Majma al-Bayan explains this verse as follows: "[What is meant by virgin pure is] that whenever their husbands come near them [have sexual intercourse with them], they find them virgins."

Imam Sadiq (as) was asked: "How can a ‘huri’ always be a virgin (no matter how many times her husband comes near her?"

The Imam (as) answered: "Because ‘huri’(s) is created from pure goodness where no blight can alter them, nor, does decrepitude inflict them... menstruation does not pollute them..."

Fatima's Youth

Lady Fatima az-Zahra (sa) opened her eyes to the world to enjoy prophetic fatherly love, and to suckle Lady Khadija's (as) milk, which was mixed with excellent morals, and perfection.

Growing in the house of revelation, gave her the chance to achieve the highest degree of perfection and excellence. The Prophet (S) taught her divine knowledge, and endowed her with special intelligence, so that she realized the true meaning of faith, piety, and the reality of Islam.

The virtuous upbringing of Fatima az-Zahra (sa) by Allah's Messenger coupled with her capability to perceive divine facts and her spiritual brilliance, and preparedness to ascend to the highest levels of perfection.

Parallel to this, was Allah's (SwT) will that Fatima az-Zahra (sa) should face many sorrows, and live in anguish from the very beginning of her life. She opened her eyes to see her father being fought by his relatives, and strangers, and treated with hostility by the infidels and polytheists. For instance, Fatima might have entered the Sacred Mosque, and seen her father was reading Qur’an in the private chamber of Ismael (around Kaaba), while polytheists were harming him and waging a psychological war against him. One day, Fatima az-Zahra (sa) saw the infidels pour camel placenta on her father while he was prostrating to Allah; so she cleaned his back and while bitterly crying, cursed the unbelievers, and supplicated to Allah to punish them. But, the infidels were sarcastic, in the same respect as any lowly people, and rubble would be.

Ibn Abbas reported that the Quraishians once held a meeting in the Sacred Mosque and vowed by their Idols that as soon as they saw Prophet Muhammad (S), they would all participate in killing him; upon hearing this, Fatima (sa) went crying to her father, and informed him of their conspiracy.

The crisis became more intense when the Messenger of Allah was forcefully confined to Abu Talib's trail (valley) along with his family, and all the members of Abu Talib's family. They lived in an atmosphere overtaken by fear, and anxiety of the constantly expected attack by the infidels at night. The situation grew even worse when the polytheists drew up a treaty to besiege Bani Hashim and impose economic sanctions against them; this treaty allowed no one to sell, or, buy anything from them, including food supplies.

Therefore, the cries of starving children reached the ears of all Meccan inhabitants. The people of Mecca were divided into two groups: One who was enjoying the misfortunes of the Bani Hashim, and the other was deeply affected with their misery.

This situation continued for more than three years. Fatima az-Zahra (sa) was one of those who suffered from this siege, which resulted in awakening the spirit of struggle, honesty and endurance in her; it was as if she was spending a period of training, and exercise, preparing for the near future.

Nevertheless, their ordeal was made easier when Fatima az-Zahra (sa) saw the courageous hero, Abu Talib, aided by Hamza keeping steadfast, and helping her father in every way against the infidels' aggression. Abu Talib declared his adherence to Islam through uttering poetry. Once, the Quraishan heads objected to Abu Talib's support of the Prophet; they said to him: "We will give you a handsome, generous, and courageous Quraishan youth (Amarh Ibn al-Walid) to become your son, if you give us your nephew -Muhammad - who disunites us and humiliates our idols, so that we may kill him!"

Abu Talib said: "This is an unfair offer! Do you mean to give me your son, so I can feed him for you and I give you my nephew to kill? (If this is your way of dealing) then each one of you should give me his son to kill if you want me to give you Muhammad to kill."

Abu Talib's honourable stands in protecting the Prophet were numerous. Had it not been for his faith and strong adherence to Islam, he would not have been steadfast in defending the Messenger and his divine faith. Contrary to Abu Talib, another uncle of the Prophet (S), Abu Lahab-fought fiercely and opposed the Prophet. His shameful conduct was recorded in various history books, and in the Holy Qur’an.

Lady Khadija's (as) Death

Fatima's life was passing by with years full of sorrow, and infliction. When she reached her seventh, or, eighth year, another tragedy clouded her life. The death of Fatima’s (sa) mother, Lady Khadija (as), brought sadness, and grief to her heart; for Lady Khadija (as) was an affectionate mother, who had predicted the tough life her darling daughter would live.

During Lady Khadija's (as) last days, she was confined to bed. One day the Prophet of Allah (S) said to her:

"What you are encountering, is because of us Lady Khadija (as); when you meet your peers send my Salam to them!"

Lady Khadija (as) questioned: "Who are they; O Prophet of Allah?"

He answered: "Maryam Bint Imran, Kalthum (Musa's sister), and Assia-Pharaoh's wife."

She then said: "May you live in harmony and have sons, O Prophet of Allah."

The Messenger of Allah used to say: "I was commanded to give Khadija the good news of a dwelling in Paradise made of brocade where there is neither clamoring nor strain." 1

Ibn Al-Athir said that the brocade mentioned in this tradition, is palace-like hallow pearls.

Lady Khadija (as) was once crying in the presence of Asma Bint Umais, who said to her:

"Why are you crying while you are the Mistress of all women, and the Prophet's wife, who will enter Paradise as he has said?"

Khadija replied: "l am not crying (for fear of death), rather, I am crying because every woman needs a close friend on her wedding night to tell her secrets to and help her in certain issues; Fatima is still very young, and I am afraid that she will be alone on her wedding night!"

Asma said: "O my mistress, I vow to you, by Allah, that if I am alive then, I will take your place..."

Lady Khadija (as) died at the age of sixty-three (according to some historians). Her death brought deep sorrow to the Holy Prophet (S), especially since it was followed by the death of Abu Talib, the Prophet's uncle, who died several days (or months) after that. Hence, the year in which the deaths of Lady Khadija (A,S), and Abu Talib occurred, was called "the year of sorrow" by the Prophet (S).

Lady Khadija's (as) death was a disaster for the Prophet; not only because she was his wife, but because she was the first one to console him in his Prophethood. Lady Khadija (as) supported her husband with abundant shares of her property for the sake of Islam. She held a unique calibre in Mecca, and between all Arab women.

When Lady Khadija (as) was buried at Houjoun, the Messenger of Allah stepped down into her grave to bless it. Meanwhile, Fatima az-Zahra (sa) kept close to her father, and asked him:

"Messenger of Allah, where is my Mother?"

The Prophet (S) avoided Fatima’s (sa) question, so she looked around for someone to ask where her Mother was! At that point, Gabriel descended, and revealed the following to the Prophet "Your Lord commands you to inform Fatima that He sends His blessings upon her and says: Your Mother is in a house of brocade, its corners are made of gold, and its poles are of rubies. It is located between Assia's (Pharaoh's wife) and Maryam Bint Imran's houses."

Fatima az-Zahra (sa) then said: "Surely Allah is As-Salam, and peace is from Him and to Him."

Another mournful event that inflicted the Prophet (S) was his uncle's death; Abu Talib had adopted Prophet Muhammad (S) when he was eight years old. Upon the death of his [Prophet Muhammad (S)] father, Abu Talib was the Prophet 's guardian until he reached Fifty three years of age.

Abu Talib's crucial services and support for Islam, and the Prophet never ceased throughout those years. Had it not been for Abu Talib possibly Islam could not have passed the stage of its prime days of propagation.

These two tragic events had a great effect on the messenger's life; the death of Abu Talib caused the Prophet (S) to immigrate to Medina, for he had lost the strongest supporter and advocate of the religion from among his uncles.

Fatima's Immigration

Upon being inflicted with the deaths of Lady Khadija and Abu Talib, the Prophet decided to migrate to Medina. He ordered ‘Ali to lay in his bed during the night that later came to be known as “the night of stay”. During that night, about forty (40), or, fourteen (14) polytheist men sieged the Prophet's house, and were determined to attack and kill him. But, the Prophet had escaped to a nearby cave, and Fatima az-Zahra stayed at home expecting the enemies’ assault at any given minute. She listened to their infidel and atheistic slogans against her father. Only Allah knows how scared and disturbed she was that long night, for she knew the infidels' cruelty and mercilessness.

At dawn, the infidels attacked the house while leveling their swords as if they were ferocious beasts, or, savage dogs. They proceeded to the Prophet's bed intending to kill him, but were surprised to find ‘Ali (as) laying in it wearing the Prophet's clothes. They departed from the house feeling defeated and harbouring resentment, fury, and fire against the Prophet (S), and ‘Ali (as).

Those hours were most aggravating, frightening, and anxious for Fatima az-Zahra (sa). Soon, relief entered her life; Imam ‘Ali (as) took her, and his mother, and Fatima Bint Zubair Ibn Abdul-Muttalib out towards Medina. When the infidels learned this, they intercepted them in an attempt to prevent their migration out of Mecca. Had it not been for the Mercy and Protection of Allah, and the heroism and courage of Imam ‘Ali (as), a catastrophe would have taken place. The infidels were driven back by Imam ‘Ali (as), who continued the journey towards Medina.

Upon arriving in Medina, the Prophet met them and took Fatima to his home, which was originally Abu Ayoub Ansari's. Thus, Fatima became the guest of Abu Ayoub's mother.

Fatima lived with the Prophet in Medina after suffering typhoons of painful incidents, such as the death of her mother, her immigration and the continuous agitations against her. Fatima’s (sa) miseries did not stop here; rather her immigration was the beginning of an era of uninterrupted sorrows.

One year after the Prophet's migration to Medina, the infidels mobilized their men and headed towards the Muslim's stronghold, intending to destroy the new faith; but Gabriel informed the Prophet of their conspiracy, who in turn ordered the immigrants and Medinites to leave the city, and meet the infidels in a place located on the way to Mecca called Badr.

Although the infidels outnumbered the Muslims three to one, the Prophet (S), and his followers defeated them, and returned to Medina triumphant and victorious.

Fatima at Uhud

One year and one month after the battle of Badr, the battle of Uhud took place. In this battle, seventy of the Prophet's most prominent companions were martyred among them being Hamza, the Prophet's uncle and the most notable hero.

In this battle, the Prophet was injured by two rocks on his forehead and mouth. As a result of his injury, the Prophet lost some teeth and blood clotted on his beard as if it was henna. At that moment, Satan shouted in such a manner that all Muslims heard him; he said: "Muhammad has been killed." This created disarray among the Muslims, and many men, save the true faithful, fled the battlefield. Confusion also overtook the Muslim families residing in Medina.

Safiah Bint Abdul Muttalib, the Prophet's aunt, accompanied Fatima az-Zahra to Uhud.

When Fatima az-Zahra (sa) heard of her father's injuries, she started crying and the Hashimite women rushed to help her.

Fatima’s (sa) arrival at the scene of the battle, coincided with the Prophet's inspection of his soldiers, to find out how many had been martyred and wounded. When he reached Hamza, he found him in an indescribable situation; the infidels had badly mutilated his body; they had cut off his fingers, hands, legs, nose, ears, and ruptured his abdomen to get his liver out. They had also cut off his sexual organ and left him in that horrible position.

The scene of Hamza's defaced body brought sadness and pain to the Prophet's heart. The infidel had not abandoned any ugly method of mutilation, which they did not commit against the strong and steadfast supporter of Allah's Apostle, (Peace be upon him and Ahlul-Bayt). While the Prophet was deeply saddened by this infliction, his Aunt and Fatima az-Zahra (sa) were rushing towards the scene. As Soon as he noticed them, he covered Hamza's body with one of his garments. Safia and Fatima az-Zahra (sa) arrived and began crying, and condemning the infidels for their crimes. They noticed that the Prophet's (as) forehead was badly cut, and that blood had become clotted on his face and beard; thus, Fatima az-Zahra (sa) started cleaning his face and said:

"Allah's punishment will be severe on him who caused the Messenger's face to bleed."

‘Ali (as) poured water on the Prophet's face, but this did not stop the bleeding, so Fatima burnt some rope and put its ashes on the cut, which stopped the bleeding. Fatima az-Zahra (sa) spent these moments in sadness, and great anxiety. She was a faithful, and devoted daughter to her father.

When ‘Ali (as) returned to Medina, he gave his sword to Fatima and said:

"Take this sword Fatima; it surely proved itself to be most reliable today."

The Prophet (S) added:

"Take it Fatima, for surely your husband has fully performed his duty; Allah killed the heroes of the Arabs through his hands."

Fatima's help to her father does not mean that she worked as a nurse on the battlefield, despite the claim of some writers who consider this story as proof that Fatima was a battlefield nurse!!

Fatima's Problem's at Home

One of the problems, which disturbed Fatima az-Zahra (sa), was that some of her father's wives were envious and jealous of her. Certain wives of the Prophet (S) developed inferiority complex against Fatima az-Zahra (sa), because of the special treatment the Prophet bestowed upon her (Fatima az-Zahra (sa), and the great love and kindness that he favored her with.

Al-Majlisi (May Allah bless his soul) narrated in Bihar that Imam Sadiq (as) said:

"The Messenger of Allah entered his house to find Aisha yelling at Fatima, saying:

`By Allah, O Khadija's daughter, you feel that your mother was better than us; but what favor does she have above us? Is she not saved like us?'

The Prophet (S) heard Aisha's shouting. When Fatima az-Zahra (sa) saw him, she began to cry; the Prophet (S) then said:

`What makes you cry, O daughter of Muhammad?'

Fatima said: 'Aisha degraded my mother, and this has caused me to cry.'

The Messenger of Allah (S) angrily said: `Hush, O Humaira (reddish woman)!! Surely Allah (Exalted is His Name) blessed this devoted, and fertile woman; and Khadija (may Allah bless her soul) gave birth to my children, Al-Tahir (Abdullah) who was purified, A1-Qasim, Ruqayya, Um Kulthum, and Zainab; but Allah has created you with a sterile womb so you do not give birth to any children."

Many other unappreciated utterances were made by Aisha against Fatima az-Zahra (sa); which reflects the deep inborn deviation from which Aisha suffered, was not observed in any other of the Prophet's (as) wives.

This narration clearly states that Lady Khadija's (as) daughters were all the Prophet's direct daughters and not step-daughters. There are also many other proofs, which pertain to this fact; but we will deal with them in another book, for this is not the place for such a study.

On The Way to Marriage

When Fatima az-Zahra reached nine years of age, she was a full-grown woman who enjoyed intellectual maturity, and integrity of conduct. Allah (SwT) gifted her with a brilliant mentality and cleverness, together with beauty, grace and elegance. Her talents were many and her inherited and acquired noble traits excel those of any female, or, male.

Fatima's religious feelings and literary knowledge were unlimited. You will come to know that she was the most knowledgeable and most honourable woman in the world. In fact, history has not witnessed any other woman who achieved such a high level of education, knowledge, and social graces that Fatima reached; regardless of the fact that she did not graduate from any educational establishment save the school of Revelation and Prophethood.

In light of this, it is not strange that prominent companions of the Prophet asked to marry her, but he (as) rejected them by saying:

"Her affair is left to her Lord; whenever He wills, she will marry."

Shu'aib Ibn Saab al-Misri said the following in Ar-Rawd al-Faeq:

"When the sun of her beauty shined in the heavens of Messengership and became full on the horizon of exaltation of the moon of her perfection, the dawns of thoughts reached towards her and the sights of the chosen longed to observe her beauty; so the masters of the Muhajerin and Ansar asked to may her, but the one who was bestowed with Allah's satisfaction (the Prophet (S) rejected them, and said: `I am waiting for Allah's ordinance in her regard."'

Abu Bakr and Umar were among those who asked to marry Fatima, but the Prophet (S) rejected them too, and said that she was still too young for marriage. AbdurRahman Ibn Awf also asked for her hand, but the Prophet (S) ignored him.

‘Ali Ibn Muragi reported in his book Kanz al-Umal v.2 p.99, that Anas Ibn Malik said:

Abu Bakr came to see the Prophet (S). After sitting down he said:

“O Messenger of Allah, you surely know of my devotion and long standing service to Islam...”

The Prophet then said: `What is it that you want?'

Abu Bakr then said: `I want you to give me Fatima in marriage.'

When the Prophet heard this, he did not say anything, so Abu Bakr returned to Umar and said:

`I have ruined myself and others!!'

Umar said: `What happened?'

Abu Bakr replied: `I asked for Fatima's hand from the Prophet, but he ignored me.'

Umar said: `You stay here, and I will go ask the Prophet for the same thing that you asked him for.'

Umar went to the Prophet and after sitting down started saying:

`O Messenger of Allah, you surely know of my devotion and long standing service to Islam...'

The Prophet (S) then said: `What is it that you want?'

Umar replied: `I want you to give me Fatima in marriage.'

But the Prophet (S) ignored him too.

Umar returned to Abu Bakr and said: `He is waiting for Allah's command in her regard."'

Al-Haithami also reported in his book Majma Az-Zawa'ed that Abu Bakr and Umar sent their daughters to the Prophet (S) in order to ask him to give Fatima az-Zahra (sa) in marriage to them; but when the daughters mentioned why they had come, the Prophet (S) said:

"No! Not until Allah's command in her regard is revealed".

Perhaps the Messenger avoided telling Abu Bakr, and Umar openly that he is keeping Fatima az-Zahra (sa) for the qualified man, because he did not want to declare to them that they were unqualified to marry her, and that his daughter was above their level. The Prophet also wanted everything to occur in its natural order.

Imam ‘Ali (as) was staying in the house of Saad Ibn Ma'adh (according to one historical finding) since he had migrated to Medina. One day, while Imam ‘Ali (as) was in one of the gardens of Medina, Saad came to him and said:

"What prevents you from asking to marry Fatima from your cousin?"

It has also been mentioned in Kanz al-Umal that Umar came to ‘Ali (as) (may Allah be pleased with him) and said:

"What prevents you from (marrying) Fatima?"

Imam ‘Ali (as) replied: "I fear that he (the Prophet) will not give her to me in marriage!"

Umar said: "If he does not give her to you in marriage, then who will she marry? Besides, you are the nearest of Allah's creatures to him ...."

Actually, ‘Ali (as) had never mentioned his desire to marry Fatima for two reasons; first his shyness to do so in front of the Prophet (S), and secondly, because of his very difficult economic condition. Imam ‘Ali (as) owned nothing of the material belongings of this world, not even a house, or, a peace of land!! So, how could he get married? And, where would he live with his wife? Besides, Fatima az-Zahra (sa) is not the type of woman who can be neglected, or, looked down upon!!

Nevertheless, the purpose of marriage in Islam is to establish a family. The question of sexual entertainment is not the main goal, rather it is a matter included, and taken care of by marriage. In addition, Islam came to break the chains, and the blind adoption of concepts which deprived many people from marriage by making it difficult for them to acquire partners; thus, preventing them from a basic and natural necessity needed for the survival of mankind. Therefore, thanks to Islam-marriage became an easy affair. Tribalism and race consciousness were eradicated by the new religion. The Prophet (S), who was still going through the stage of building Islam, wanted to set an example through his words and deeds in this field; for he is the exemplar and model for the people. So he fought ignorant and infidel customs through his works and actions.

Imam ‘Ali (as) finally approached the Prophet (S), and asked for Fatima's hand in marriage. The Last Messenger, who has absolute guardianship over all Muslim men and women, including his daughter, would not announce his agreement to the marriage without Fatima’s (sa) consent. By this action, he (as) made it clear that it is absolutely incumbent to obtain the daughter's consent for marriage, because she is the one who is to live with the man and share his life. Indeed, giving a girl in marriage to someone without her prior approval, or, permission is a clear violation of her honour, degradation of her personality, disruption of her soul, and a practical declaration to her that she is like an animal who can be sold, or, given as a gift to anyone without the right to state her opinion.

The Prophet (S) in reply to ‘Ali (as) said:

"Ah, many men have asked before you and she has rejected them-her resentment to marry them was clear on her face. Yet, wait until I bring you the answer."

The Prophet (S) left ‘Ali waiting for the answer. The Prophet informed his daughter that ‘Ali (as) wished to marry her. Fatima az-Zahra (sa) did not need to ask about ‘Ali's (as) occupation, manners, age and other traits; because she knew all about his talents, excellent traits and long standing service to Islam. It is for this reason that the Prophet only said to her:

"Fatima, you know ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib's relationship to us, his devotion and faithfulness to Islam. I asked Allah to give you in marriage to the best of His creatures, and the most beloved to Him; and he (‘Ali) has declared his wish to marry you; what do you say?"

Fatima az-Zahra did not reply, nor did she show a sign of rejection, or, resentment, so he (as) stood up, and said:

"Allah is the Greatest! Her silence is her approval."

The Prophet (S) considered Fatima’s (sa) silence as her consent, and approval of the marriage; because a shy, virgin girl is not expected to declare her agreement openly. Yes, disagreement and rejection of marriage can be openly expressed by her. But, shyness prevents a girl from declaring her wish to marry a man, but it does not stop her from rejecting it.

The Prophet (S) went back to the waiting ‘Ali (as), and informed him of Fatima’s (sa) approval of the marriage. He also inquired about the extent of his preparedness to fulfil the requirements needed for the wedding, because legally and traditionally there has to be a dowry. Especially in light of the fact that this marriage would be remembered and be of great influence to the future generations. Thus, it was important to observe every element and event, which would play a part of this marriage, within the limits of simplicity and modesty.

The Prophet (S) said to ‘Ali (as):

"Do you possess anything (which you can pay for the dowry) to marry Fatima?'

Imam ‘Ali (as) answered:

"May my parents be your sacrifice By Allah, there is not a thing of my affairs hidden from you; I own my sword, shield and the camel which 1 use for irrigation"

Indeed, this was everything that ‘Ali (as) possessed in this world when he was about to get married!!

The Last Messenger (as) openheartedly listened to ‘Ali (as) and said:

"‘Ali you cannot do without your sword, for you have to struggle with it and defend yourself against the enemies of Allah. As for your camel you need it to irrigate palm trees and support your family, and you need it as a means of travel. But, I accept the shield as a dowry from you; thus, sell it and bring me the money."

‘Ali (as) had won this shield from the booty of the battle of Badr. It was given to him by the Last Messenger, who named it Al-Hademah; because it destroyed all the swords, which stuck it.

The Commander of the Faithful (as) sold the shield for 480, or, 500 dirhams, and brought the money to the Prophet (S). They both agreed that this money would be the dowry of the most honourable girl, and most exalted female of the universe. Yes, Fatima was “the Mistress of the women of the world”, and the daughter of “the Master of Prophets and Messengers”, who was the best of Allah's creatures.

Yet, he gave his daughter in marriage in return for such a modest dowry in order to teach other Muslim girls not to refrain from marriage because of modest dowries. There are many other lessons, which we can learn from Fatima’s (sa) marriage, but this is not the place to mention them.

Despite Fatima's modest marriage on Earth, Allah, the Exalted, bestowed her with an honourable gift. He (Glory be to Him) gave her in marriage to ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib, before the Messenger himself did so. This is not abnormal, for Allah had given women who are much lower than Fatima in marriage to the Prophet (S), for example, He gave Zainab Bint Jahsh to the Prophet (S) in marriage as it is stated in the Holy Qur’an.

"Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with her, with the necessary (formality), We joined her in marriage to thee." (33: 50)

Therefore, was it not possible for Fatima’s (sa) wedding to have been celebrated in the exalted heavens, and attended by the nearest angels to Allah, the Exalted, as Prophetic traditions state? Indeed, this is what happened in tribute to Fatima az-Zahra (sa), her Father, her husband, and her future children who are the authorities of Allah on His creatures.

The celebration took place in the fourth Heaven near Al-Bait al-Ma'mour (the constantly attended house of Allah). It was a unique event the like of which the universe had never encountered before. Angels from all the Heavens gathered in the fourth Heaven, and erected the Minbar of Honor, which is made of light. Then Allah, The Almighty, revealed to one of His angels, Rahil, to ascend the Minber and praise and glorify His names as He deserves. Rahil, who was the most eloquent of all angels, did what his Lord revealed to him and said:

"Praise be to Allah, since creation of the first (creatures); He who is ever-lasting (even) after the cessation of all beings; We praise Him for making us spiritual angels, who are submitting to His Godship, and for making us grateful to Him for His benevolence on us.

He safeguarded us from craving for lusts; and made our only pleasure and enjoyment to glorify and exalt Him.

He Who extended His Mercy (upon everything); and bestowed His benevolence (upon everyone). Exalted is His Name from the polytheism of polytheists of the dwellers of Earth, And Elevated by His Creatures from the fabrications of the atheists. Allah, The Omnipotent King, chose the one who was bestowed with special Divine Honor, and the worshipper of His Greatness, for His worshipper, the Mistress of women and the daughter of the best of prophets, the Master of all messengers and the Imam of the pious; so He brought into relations the Prophet with a man from his kin. One who is his believing companion, and was prompt in answering his call -’Ali the devout, with Fatima the splendid and the daughter of the Messenger. "

Then Gabriel added the following words, which were from Allah, the Exalted:

"Praise is Mygarment Greatness is My Magnificence

All the creatures are My slaves men, and women. I give Fatima, My Worshipper in marriage to ‘Ali My chosen worshipper. So, bear witness, O My angels." 2

This narration was also reported by a group of Sunni scholars, among them are:

1. AbdurRahman As-Safawi in Nuzhat al-Majalis v.2, p.223, reported that Jabir Ibn Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

"Umm Ayman came to the Prophet crying; the Prophet asked her why she was crying?

She replied:

"A man from the Ansar just informed me that his daughter has just been married, and that sprinkled sweets and almonds on her. Thus, this reminded me that when Fatima married ‘Ali, you did not sprinkle anything on her."

There-upon the Prophet (S) said:

"By Allah Who sent me with honor, and gifted me with the Messengership; when Allah gave Fatima to ‘Ali in marriage, He ordered the nearest angels to surround the Throne-including Gabriel, Michael and Israfil. He also commanded birds to sing, and ordered the tree of Tuba to sprinkle them with fresh pearls, white gems, green chrysolites, and red rubies."

According to another tradition, he said:

"The marriage took place near the Lotus tree in the seventh Heaven, on the night of Ascension. (On that occasion) Allah revealed to the tree: `Sprinkle all that you bear on them.' So, it sprinkled them with gems, jewelry and corals."

2. Al-Hafiz Abu Nu'aym reported in Hilyat al-awliya v.5, p.59, that Abdullah Ibn Masoud said:

"...then Allah commanded the Tree of Paradise to bear gems and jewelry; He then ordered it to sprinkle them over the angels. So, whoever received more than the others on that day, will be proud of it until the Day of Resurrection."

3. This narration was mentioned by: Kharazmi in Maqtal al-Husayn, Asqalani in Lisan al-Mizan and Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, and Qandouzi in Yanabi' al-Mawaddah.

4. It has been reported in Nuzhat al-Majalis that Anas Ibn Malik said:

"The Prophet (S) was in the mosque when he said to ‘Ali (as):

`Here is Gabriel informing me that Allah gave Fatima to you in marriage, and made forty thousand angels testify to her marriage. He also revealed to the Tree of Tuba to sprinkle them with gems, rubies, jewelry and embellishments. When it had done this, the Huris rushed to collect these gems, rubies, jewelry, and embellishments to exchange them for gifts until the Day of Resurrection. " (Suyuti reported this narration in Tahdheer Al-Khawas.)

The Messenger (as) performed the engagement proceedings in the mosque while he was on the Minbar, in the presence of the Muslims, so as to enact the practice of announcing and assigning witnesses to engagement proceedings; and specified the amount of dowry, so that the Muslims could follow his practice in requesting modest dowries for marriages. He said:

"Avoid exaggeration in the (amounts of) dowries, because this causes enmity (between you)."

The Prophet (S) also assigned the desirable practice of limiting dowry to five hundred dirhams. He (as), and the Holy Imams of Ahlul-Bayt never exceeded this amount of dowry in their marriages.

When ‘Ali had sold his sword, he brought the money to the Prophet; who divided it into thirds: one-third was for household necessities, one-third was for perfumes and embellishments for the wedding, and the remaining one-third he gave to Umm Salamah, who was to give it back to ‘Ali to assist him in paying for food for the guests attending the ceremony.

Naturally, ‘Ali's (as) marriage to Fatima Zahra (sa) raised envy and enmity in the hearts of some men; especially those who were rejected by Fatima az-Zahra (sa), and her father when they had asked for her hand. So, it was not strange to see some Quraishans come to the Prophet, and say:

"Surely you have taken a lowly dowry for Fatima az-Zahra (sa) from ‘Ali (as)."

The Prophet (S) replied:

"It was not I who gave (Fatima to) ‘Ali in marriage, rather Allah did so on the night of ascension near the Lotus tree (in the seventh Heaven)..." 3

He then added: "Verily I am a man just like you, I marry (from) your women and give you my (marriageable) women in marriage, save Fatima, for her marriage was revealed in Heaven." 4

The Prophet (S) gave Abu Bakr some money, and asked him to accompany Bilal, and Salman, (or, Ammar Ibn Yasir) to buy some household necessities for Fatima’s (sa) house. The Prophet (S) said to Abu Bakr:

"Buy some appropriate household necessities for my daughter with this money."

Abu Bakr said: "He gave sixty-three (63) dirhams, so we went to the market and bought the following:

1. Two mattresses made of Egyptian canvas. (One stuffed with fiber and the other with sheep wool)

2. A leather mat

3. A pillow made of skin, filled with palm tree fiber

4. A Khaibarion cloak

5. An animal skin for water

6. Some jugs and jars also for water

7. A pitcher painted with tar

8. A thin curtain made of wool

9. A shirt costing seven (7) dirhams

10. A veil costing four (4) dirhams

11. A black plush cloak

12. A bed embellished with ribbon

13. Four cushions made of skin imported from Ta'ef, stuffed with a good smelling plant.

14. A mat from Hajar

15. A hand-mill

16. A special copper container used for dyestuff

17. A pestle for grinding coffee

18. A (water) skin

When Abu Bakr and the other companions had bought the above-mentioned articles, they carried them to Umm Salama's house. When the Prophet (S) saw them, he started kissing every article and supplicated to Allah, saying:

"O Allah, bless them for they are people who the majority of their belongings are made of natural materials."

These were all the furnishings they purchased for the daughter of the best of all prophets and messengers. But, indeed, marital happiness is not achieved by wealth, and overspending, nor can expensive wardrobes, gems, golden ware, luxurious furniture, splendid palaces, or, comfortable automobiles provide a person with marital happiness, contrary to the beliefs of most people.

How many wealthy women dressed in expensive wardrobes and embellished themselves with gems and jewelry, which cover their necks, arms, and ears consider life an unbearable misery. On the contrary, how many women are there who live in shacks, and cook, bake bread, wash clothes, sweep floors, nurse their children and struggle hard in light of their simple lives; yet, consider themselves happy people and their houses to be gardens of Eden.

This fact is also true for men. Yet, unfortunately, many young unmarried women hold the wrong view that marital happiness can only be found through wealth and luxuries. They consider simplicity a sign of misery, and deprivation; therefore, these miserable youths remain unmarried waiting for marital happiness to knock on their doors, accompanied by wealth and luxuries!!

  • 1. Musnad Ahmad.
  • 2. Bihar: v.5.
  • 3. Bihar: v.6.
  • 4. Musnad Ahmad.

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