We have previously spoken of the unjustified slandering and distortion of ‘Ali (as) and his noble life with Fatima az-Zahra (sa).We have also stated that Imam ‘Ali's (as) marriage to Fatima az-Zahra (sa) caused many people to show their hidden resentment, and envy to them, by following every possible means to disturb Fatima’s (sa) life with her husband.
Among the many fabricated stories told against Imam ‘Ali (as) was that he had asked for Abu Jahl's (the chief of infidels) daughter's hand in marriage. When this news reached Fatima az-Zahra (sa), she rushed to her father who found out the falsity of the story.
Yet, let us review how some writers used this story to put down the Commander of the Faithful (as), and their attempt to tarnish his reputation.
An Egyptian writer, for instance, considered this story to be undoubtedly authentic, and wrote the following in her book, The Prophet's Daughters, p.167.
"‘Ali intended to marry a second wife besides Fatima... without bearing in mind that such action would be resented by the daughter of the Prophet of Islam."
The invalidity of this statement is obvious, for there is not a man in the world who does not realize that his wife prefers to be the only woman he marries.
The writer adds:
"It would have been better if ‘Ali had been satisfied with one wife," and filled up the pages of her book trying to show Abu Jahl's bad deeds, and his long-standing enmity to Islam. She then made a comparison between the Prophet's (as) daughter, and Abu Jahl's daughter with the intention of showing the disadvantages of the fabricated would-be marriage.
Strangely enough, the writer also made clear her resentment, and disapproval of fanatic Christian Orientalists who distorted the history of Islam, especially the famous Christian missionary-La Manze. However, unfortunately, she herself was heedless of the need to verify such a story, and instead considered its revelation undisputed. So, she used her imagination and fictitious style of writing for this story, just as fable writers would do.
Sayid Hasan al-Ameen in v.3 of his book, The Shiite Islamic Encyclopedia, refuted such a story and wrote:
"It has been written in Dhakhaer al-Uqbithat ‘Ali wanted to marry Abu Jahl's daughter, and that the Prophet was angered by this act and ascended the minbar to speak with resentment and rejection about this matter."
The book also elaborates on the story in such a manner, which not only discredits ‘Ali (as), and Fatima az-Zahra (sa), but the Prophet (S) himself.
This story makes Prophet Muhammad (S) appear as someone who refuses to practice what he preaches, or, feel above the Islamic law to himself, and those related to him while requesting others to abide by them. For instance, he (Prophet (S)) deems it lawful for others to marry more than one wife, but refuses this law when it comes to his daughter. This indeed is a disastrous fabrication against the Prophet (S) that the enemies of Islam were able to insert in the pages of our history books, depending on unscruent narrators who report such stories without reflecting upon them.
The story also defames ‘Ali (as) by showing him as someone who angered both Fatima az-Zahra (sa), and her father, and defames Fatima az-Zahra (sa) for refusing to practice Allah's commands, which He revealed to her father.
I shall not verify the discredibility of the authority on which the narration was based, for it within itself proves its own discredibility. Yet, it is inevitable to ask: Why have the narrators, who fabricated this story, insisted on saying that he (‘Ali (as)) wanted to marry Abu Jahl's daughter, and not any other woman?! How come they did not claim that ‘Ali (as) attempted to marry another woman? Surely, Abu Jahl's daughter did not enjoy beauty and perfection, which no other Arab girl enjoyed!
The fact is that they wanted their defamation of ‘Ali (as) to be graver and more effective; for in their story, ‘Ali (as) specifically chose the daughter of the chief of the enemies of Islam.
This plot exposed itself, and those who perpetuated it, when they praised themselves while discrediting Prophet Muhammad (S), his daughter (Fatima az-Zahra (sa)), and his cousin (‘Ali (as)). They claimed in the same story that he mentioned his other son-in-law, who is a young man from Bani Abd Shams, and praised him as "a noble son-in-law"; they claim that the Prophet said:
"He, the young man from Bani Abd Shams was truthful in his speech and executed his promises to me."
They want us to believe that the Prophet praised his Umayyad son-in-law (the Umayyads belong to the tribe of Bani Abd Shams), which in turn means that he was trying to discredit his first son-in-law [‘Ali (as)] who, according to the story, lied to the Prophet, and violated his promises to him by being an unfaithful husband to his daughter!!
Another aim for fabricating this story was to divert the attention from the actual people who angered Fatima az-Zahra (sa), and put ‘Ali (as) under the spotlight as if he was the one who did so. It was for this reason that they mentioned the following tradition at the beginning of the story:
"The Prophet (S) said:
"Fatima is part of me, discomforts me that which discomforts her, and harms me that which harms her."
They interpret it as:
The meaning of this tradition is that Allah prohibited ‘Ali from marrying another woman besides Fatima, which would harm Allah's Messenger!!