When Fatima Zahra reached nine years of age, she was a full-grown woman who enjoyed intellectual maturity and integrity of conduct. Allah 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 honorable 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 Messengership.
In light of this, it is not strange that prominent
companions of the Prophet asked to marry her, but he (S) 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 many 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
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
`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
Umar replied: `I want you to give me Fatima in
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 in marriage to them; but when the daughters mentioned
why they had come, the Prophet said:
"No! Not until Allah's command in her regard
Perhaps the Messenger avoided telling Abu Bakr and
Umar openly that he is keeping Fatima 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 (A) was staying in the house of Saad Ibn Ma'adh (according to one historical finding) since he immigrated to Medina. One day, While Imam Ali 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 (may Allah be pleased with him) and said:
"What prevents you from (marrying) Fatima?"
Imam Ali 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 had never mentioned his desire to marry
Fatima for two reasons; first his shyness to do so in front of the Prophet,
and secondly because of his very difficult economic condition. Imam Ali
owned nothing of the empherial 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 (A) 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 sex 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 (A) finally approached the Prophet (S) and
asked for Fatima's hand in marriage. The 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 consent. By this action,
he (S) made it clear that it is inevitable to obtain the daughter's permission
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 honor, 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 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 wished to marry her. Fatima did not need to ask about Ali's 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 did not reply, nor did she show a sign of rejection or resentment, so he (S) stood up and said:
"Allah is the Greatest! Her silence is her approval."
The Prophet considered Fatima's 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 and informed
him of Fatima's approval of the marriage. He also inquired about the extent
of his preparedness to fulfill 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 said to Ali:
"Do you possess anything (which you can pay for
the dowry) to marry Fatima?'
Imam Ali 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 possessed in
this world when he was about to get married!!
The Messenger openheartedly listened to Ali 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 had won this shield from the booty of the battle
of Badr. It was given to him by the Messenger, who named it Al-Hademah;
because it destroyed all the swords, which stuck it.
The Commander of the Faithful (A) 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 honorable 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 marriage, but this is not the place to
Despite Fatima's modest marriage on Earth, Allah, the Exalted, bestowed her with an honorable 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 For example, He gave Zainab Bint Jahsh to the Prophet in marriage as it is stated in the Holy Quran.
"Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with
her, with the necessary (formality), We joined her in marriage to thee."
Therefore, was it not possible for Fatima's 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, 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." 
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:
"Umme Ayman came to the Prophet crying; the Prophet asked her why she was crying?
"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
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-Hussain, 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:
`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. "
this narration in Tahdheer Al-Khawas.)
The Messenger (S) 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 also assigned the desirable practice of
limiting dowry to five hundred dirhams. He 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 Umme Salamah, who was to give it
back to Ali to assist him in paying for food for the guests attending the
Naturally, Ali's marriage to Fatima Zahra (A) raised
envy and enmity in the hearts of some men; especially those who were rejected
by Fatima 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 from Ali."
The Prophet 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)..." 
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." 
The Prophet 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 house. The Prophet 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 Umme 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, who 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
 Bihar: v.5.
 Bihar: v.6.
 Musnad Ahmad.