It is reported in Bihar that Ali (A) said to a man from Bani Sae'ed:
"Should I speak to you about Fatima and Myself?
She was my spouse who was the most beloved to the Prophet. Once, she carried water using a waterskin until it scarred her chest, she ground (grain) using a hand mill until blisters appeared on her hands, she swept the floor until her clothes became dusty and lit the fire under the cooking pot until her clothes became mud colored from the smoke.
Fatima was inflicted by great pain as a result of this, so I said to her:
`Why don't you ask your father for a servant to relieve you from these jobs?'
When Fatima (A) went to the Prophet she
found that he had company; and was too shy to talk to him, so she left
the house. But the Prophet (S) knew that she had come for something."
Imam Ali (A) continued:
"The next morning, the Prophet came to the house while we were still under our quilt and said:
Yet because we were ashamed (of being under the quilt), we preferred to remain silent.
The Prophet once again said:
Once again we remained silent. Then for the third time the Prophet said 'Assalamu Alaikum'. Now we feared that he would depart, for it was the prophet's habit to say Assalamu alaikum three times and then wait for permission to enter or leave.
So I said:
`Wa Alaik As-Salam, Messenger of Allah! Come in.'
He (S) sat near our heads and said: 'Fatima, what
was your need when you came to Muhammad yesterday?'
Imam Ali added: "I was afraid that she (Fatima) would not tell him, so I pulled my head from under the cover and said:
"I will inform you, Messenger of Allah!
Surely she carried water using a water skin until her chest was scarred, she ground (grain) using a hand mill until blisters appeared on her hands, she swept the floor until her clothes became dusty and lit the fire under the cooling pot until her clothes were mud colored from the smoke. So 1 said to he:
`Why don't ask your father for a servant to relieve
you form these jobs?'"
The Prophet (S) upon hearing this, said:
`Shall I teach you something that is better for you than a servant and a world with everything in it? After every prayer say: Allahu Akbar thirty four (34) times, Alhamdulillah thirty three (33) times and Subhan Allah thirty three (33) times then conclude that with la illaha ila Allah. Surely this is better for you than that which you wanted and the world and its belongings.'
Thus, Fatima adhered to this glorification after every prayer; and it came to be known as `Tasbih Fatima.'
'Abu Haroun, surely we command our children to
adhere to `Tasbih Fatima' the same way we command them to perform prayers.
So perform the tasbih, for whoever adheres to it shall never be miserable.'"
In reference to Fatima's beads, it was reported in Makarim al-Akhlaq that it was made of woven wool threads which had knots by the number of Takbir (Allahu Akbar), until when Hamza Ibn Abdal Muttalib (A) was martyred, she made them from the mud of his grave.
Since the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (A), people have
been using the mud surrounding his tomb for making beads for the great
blessings, which lie in it.
Imam Sadiq (A) said: "Beads should be made with
blue thread and thirty four (34) beads, which was the way Fatima's beads
were made after Hamza's martyrdom."
There are various narrations, which were reported
about "Tasbih Fatima's" importance and order. Yet, the most famous order
on which our jurisprudents agree is to start with Allahu Akbar, then Subhan
Allah, and end with Al-Hamdulillah.
When we review the aforementioned narrations, it becomes
clear that Lady Fatima Zahra (A) performed her housework by herself, despite
her honor and nobility, and that Ali (A) helped her to do the housework.
It has been reported in Bihar that Imam Ali (A) said:
"Once, the Messenger of Allah came to us while Fatima was sitting near the pot and I was cleaning some lentils; when the Prophet saw us he said:
I said: 'At your service! O Messenger of Allah!'
He then said: `Listen to me, for I say not save that which is the word of Lord: There is not a man who helps his wife in her housework, save that with very hair on his body a whole year of worship-during which he fasted the days and kept up the nights in prayer is counted for him....'