The Story of Hazrat Fatima(SA), daughter of the Holy Prophet.
The Prophet of Islam had only one daughter named Fatima. Her mother Khadija had two other daughters from her two earlier marriages. When The Prophet married her, both daughters came with her mother to live in the house of the Prophet. Hazrat Fatima (SA) was born five years before Bethat when Muhammad (SA) was about 35 years old and her mother Khadija was about 50 years old. She has many other titles. Zahra (Lady of Light) and Syedatun Nisa al Alamin (Leader of the women of the worlds). The Date of her birth was 20th Jamad al Akhar.
After the death of her mother Khadija, she looked after her father the Prophet of Islam so devoutly that Muhammad(SA) used to call her “Umme Abiha”, i.e. the mother her father. This was the hardest time for the family because in the same year Abu Talib who was the protector of Muhammad(SA) from the animosity of the Qoraish also died in the same year as Khadija. Muhammad (SA) married Umme Salama, an old widow after the death of Khadija to have someone to look after the household chores. When Umme Salama was requested to tutor the child Fatima (SA), the wise woman replied “How can I tutor one who is the personification of high virtues and purity. It is I who should learn from her.” Her childhood, therefore, was passed in a very chaste and modest environment. It was then that she saw her revered father preaching Islam in the most hostile atmosphere. The hostility of the Qoraish after the death of Abu Talib and Khadija was the strongest. Fatima saw and dressed the wounds sustained by her father due to the stones thrown on him by the non- believers who were ho to the preaching of Islam. She might have heard and seen that certain wretched women hurled rubbish on her noble father. She might have learnt of the plans made to put an end to her fathers life. But from all these things Fatima was neither frightened nor disheartened. She comforted her father, tended to his wounds even at that tender age. The entire family was blanketed with clouds of sorrowful gas a result of the almost daily humiliation and mockery to which her most revered father was subjected.
When the migration took place, Fatima was left in Makka with the rest of the Family which included her step mother Umme Salama, Ali’s(AS)mother Fatima binte Asad and many others. Ali(AS) was in charge of the family. He stayed in Makka for another 3 days to give back the deposits to the Makkans who entrusted these to the Prophet for safe keeping. After fulfilling this duty Ali(AS) brought the family to Madina
After one years stay in Madina when Fatima(SA) was about 18 years old that proposals for marriage began to be received by the Prophet who politely refused to accept by simply saying that it is in the hands of Allah, that he was awaiting Allah’s decree in this matter.
Fatima (SA)was the model of Prophet’s teaching among women just as Ali(AS) was the best embodiment of his instructions and manly qualities among men. They were the most suitable couple to be married. But Ali(AS) was too modest to speak about it. After some persuasion from friends he finally went to see the Prophet in the mosque and proposed for marriage. Prophet told Fatima about it and asked her whether she would approve. After receiving her consent the marriage of Fatima(SA) and Ali(AS) took place in the simplest possible manner. Ali(AS)sold his shield of armour for 200 Dirhams,brought the money to the Holy Prophet who added a similar amount and asked his companions to buy household goods to set up home for the Holy Family.Marriage was solemnized by the Prophet himself and after marriage the couple went to live in a separate house next to the House of the Prophet around the Mosque.
Hassan(AS) was born in the 3rd year of Hijra, Hussain(AS) was born in the 4th year of Hijra, Zainab was born in the 6th year of Hijra, Umme Kulsoom was born in the 7th year of Hijra.
It was in the same house that the famous Verse of Purification (Sura 33.Verse 33) was revealed on the Holy Prophet and its narration by Fatima has become so famous that it is read in every muslim house as Hadith-e-Kisa. The Reading of this Hadith brings blessings to the household.(Tafseer-e- Kabir by Al-Razi).
It was in the same house where this blessed family fasted for three days continuously without eating any food giving away their Iftari to a beggar, an orphan and a prisoner who arrived at their door and asked for food. The Verse in Sura Dahr revealed in praise of their extremely charitable act in the way of Allah.
It was in the same house where every morning the Holy Prophet stood outside and said loudly “Assalamo Alaikum Ya Ahlebaitin Nubuwwah” Peace and blessings on the people of the Household of the Nabi.
There was so much respect in the heart of the Holy Prophet for Fatima(SA) that whenever Fatima(SA) arrived in the mosque of the Prophet, the Holy Prophet stood up to respect her. This gesture was also to show the companions respect for women generally which was lacking in the Arabian society of the day.
These acts of the Prophet were to show the companions that this house and its occupants have a special place in the way of Allah and that this status should be maintained after the death of the Prophet. Unfortunately this was not done as the Holy Prophet intended his companions to do. History tells us some very sad moments connected with this house.
After the death of the Prophet when Ali(AS) did not come out to give his oath of allegiance to Abubakr, the door of the house was burnt down to get him out and in the process Fatima(SA) was injured. Her 5th unborn child died because of this harsh action of some of the companions and she herself died within 3 months of the death of her Holy father.
The following lines of poetry show her ordeal after the death of her holy father very clearly.
“After the death of my father My sufferings were so great that if such hardships fell upon days, the days would turn into nights.”
Fatima(SA) was a symbol of womanhood in Islam. How a daughter, a wife and a mother should behave in their ordinary lives. She was devoted to her father, looked after him when he was in distress by the hands of the non-believers of Makka, she was the exemplary wife, queen of her household yet fair to her maid servant Fizza to divide household chores between herself and the maid servant, she was a devout wife and the most loving mother to her children.
There were occasions when there was no food for the family, but she would never complain. Once Ali(AS) went out to do some work to get food for the family but returned empty handed. Fatima asked Ali(AS) what happened to the food. Ali(AS) said that he did earn some money and bought food, but while on his way home he met some poor hungry persons and gave away all the food to them. When the Prophet heard of this situation he brought some food for the family and told them that Ali’s charitable act was of the greatest value in the eyes of Allah.
The whole family was thankful to Allah and there were no complaints against anyone.
She would go to the mosque of the Prophet to participate in the prayers with all the ladies, she would go out in the battlefield to tend the wounded. In the battle of Ohud when her father was injured she tended him, cleaned his wounds, put some burnt wool on the wounds to stop blood flowing. When the Holy Prophet recovered, he thanked her for her great work in the battlefield.
On 3rd of the month of Jamad al Thani Hazrat Fatima(SA) died. This was about 90 days after the death of her Holy father. Asma binte Umais in the same house to help her household work tells the story of her death in a very moving manner. When the day arrived she prepared food for her children, then she told Asma that she was going to her prayer room. She would say Takbeer loudly at various intervals. When Asma does not hear the sound of Takbeer she should go out to the mosque and tell Hazrat Ali(AS) about the death of his wife. If in the meantime the children come home give them food before telling them about the death of their mother. Hasan and Husain arrived and Usma brought some food for them. They said they do not eat without their mother and she had to tell the children of the death of their mother. Both entered the prayer room and stayed with her for a while. Hazrat Ali (AS)arrived and prepared for the last rites. When he was giving her last bath he cried loudly. Asma asked the reason and he said he could not bear to see the wound by her side when the door of the house fell on her due to commotion by some of the companions of the Prophet when they all wanted Ali(AS) to come out of the house for the oath of Allegiance to Abubakr. After performing the last rites she was taken to the cemetery of Baqii in the darkness of the night for burial. Very few family members were present at the burial of the daughter of the Prophet. Some historians say that she was buried in her own house which became part of the Masjid-e-Nabavi during the reign of Umavi Caliph Umar Ibne Abdul Aziz.
This is a plot of land not far from where the mosque of the prophet stood and the houses of his companions around it were built as living quarters. This land was used as a cemetery for the muslims.
The famous writer Mustafawi writes in Nuzhatul Qulub, “The cemetery of Madina called Baqii lies to the west of the town and here is seen the grave of Ibrahim, Prophet’s only son and also the grave of his daughter Fatima. There are graves of Prophets grand son Imam Hasan, Imam Ali Ibnul Hussain Zainul Abedeen, Imam Muhammad Baqir and Imam Ja’afar Sadiq (AS).
For centuries there has been a marble slab over their graves and on this is written:
IN THE NAME OF GOD THE MERCIFUL THE COMPASSIONATE
PRAISE BE TO GOD WHO SUSTAINS THE NATIONS AND WHO GIVES LIFE TO DEAD BONES.
HERE IS THE TOMB OF FATIMA,THE DAUGHTER OF THE APOSTLE OF GOD AND THE QUEEN OF THE WOMEN OF THE WORLD.
HERE IS ALSO THE TOMB OF HASAN IBNE ALI;
HERE ALSO IS THE TOMB OF ALI IBNUL HUSSAIN;
HERE IS ALSO THE TOMB OF MUHAMMAD IBNE ALI AL BAQIR;
HERE IS ALSO THE TOMB OF JA’FAR IBNE MUHAMMAD EL SADIQ.
MAY GOD FAVOUR THEM ALL.
The cemetery of Baqii was destroyed by the Wahabis in 1932.
. A modern writer describes the scene as such: 1.
When I entered the Baqii the sight which I saw was as if it were a town which had been raised to the ground. All over the cemetery nothing was to be seen but little indefinite mounds of earth and stones, pieces of timber, iron bars, blocks of stone and a broken rubble of cement and bricks strewn about. It was like the broken remains of a town which had been demolished by an earth quake. All was a wilderness of ruined building material and tombstones, not ruined by a casual hand, but raked away from their places and ground small.”
The writer of this book also visited Baqii in 1995 and found that the authorities have erected a wall around the whole area of Baqii incorporating also the jewish part of the cemetery in it to make it into one huge cemetery. A platform was built just outside the wall where people can stand and see the graves of the Holy Masoomeen and shed a tear or too. People were allowed to enter the inner circle of the wall after the Fajr prayers for two hours but were not allowed to go near the graves. They had to stand about 30 feet away from the place and can see the outlines of the graves. Besides 5 Masoomeen,there was a mark for the grave of Hazrat Fatima Bine Asad, mother of Imam Ali(AS).
This is Jannatul Baqii where the most beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet together with her children and grand children lie in wilderness without even a tomb stone over them.
Picture of Jannatul Baqii as taken in 1995 by the writer himself.