A Marriage Made in Heaven
The extraordinary virtues of Fatimah on one side, and on the other side, her blood relations with the Prophet (S) and still on another side, the nobility of her family, caused many of the high - ranking supporters of the Prophet (S) to propose to her; but all heard negative answers.
The interesting point here being that the Prophet (S) would usually answer them, saying:
أمرها الى ربِّها
“Her matter is in the hands of her Lord.”
The strangest case was the proposal of “Abdul Rahman Ibn Awf”, that rich man who, by the customs of Age of Ignorance, looked at everything through the material viewing window, visualizing a heavy dowry as the sign of a woman’s personal status and the superior position of the husband.
He came to see the Prophet (S), saying:
“If you will give Fatimah to me in marriage, I will make her a dower of one hundred camels with loads of precious material from Egypt along with 10000 Dinars in gold!”
The Prophet (S) was so enraged by this meaningless proposal that he took a handful of gravel and threw it towards Abdul Rahman and said:
Yes, in Fatimah’s marriage proposal, Islamic examples must be defined, the customs of ignorance suppressed, and the standards of Islamic values made clear.
The people were speaking of these very things when suddenly everywhere it was heard that the prophet (s.w.a) wished to give his only daughter to Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) in marriage. Ali ibn Talib (a.s.) who was in accessed to worldly wealth and possessions, and possessed none of the standards of the Age of Ignorance, but was instead from head to toe full of faith and real Islamic values.
When they investigated this, it became clear that the indicator I guide of the Prophet (S) in this blessed historical marriage was a heavenly revelation, because he said himself:
(صلى الله عليه وآله)قال:أتاني ملك فقال يا محمد ان الله يقرئك السلام و يقول لك: إنى قد زوجت فاطمة ابنتك من عليٍّ ابن أبى طالب في الملأ الاعلى، فزوجها منه في الأرض
When Ali (a.s.) came for his marriage proposal of Fatimah (s.a.), his face was red with shyness. When the Prophet (S) saw him, he became cheerful and smiling saying, for what have you come to me?
But Ali (a.s.), because of the imposing presence of the Prophet (S), could not put forth his wish, and as such remained silent.
The Prophet (S), who was informed of Ali's inner self, said:
لعلك جئت تخطب فاطمة؟
“Maybe you have come for marriage proposal of Fatimah?”
فقال علي(عليه السلام): نعم
“Yes, I have come for that very purpose.”
فقال الرسول(صلى الله عليه وآله): يا علي! لقد سبقك آخرون خطبتها مني، و اني كلما عرضت الامر عليها لم تظهر موافقتها، دعني أحدّثها في شأنك
The Prophet said:
“Ali before you, other Men had come for proposal of Fatimah. Whenever I informed Fatimah of this matter, she would not show her approval. Right now, let me inform her of this conversation.”
It is true that the marriage was heavenly and must take place. But especially, the personal status of Fatimah (s.a.) and, generally, the respect and freedom of women in choosing their husbands, made it necessary that the Prophet of Islam should not go ahead in this matter without the consent of Fatimah.
When the Prophet described the virtues of Ali (a.s.) for his daughter saying:
“I wish to make you the wife of the best of God’s creation. What is your opinion?”
Fatimah, who was submerged in shyness and modesty, lowered her head saying nothing and making no denial.
The Prophet (S) raised his head and spoke this historical sentence, which is a document for Islamic Jurisprudents in relation to the Marriage of previously unmarried girls:
الله أكبر! سكوتها اقرارها
“God is the Greatest. Her silence is the proof of her agreement.”
And, following these events, the marriage contract was concluded by the Holy Prophet (S).
Now let us see what Fatimah's (s.a.) dowry consisted of.
It is without doubt that the marriage of the best of the men in the world with the princess of the world's women, must in every way be an example, an example for all centuries and ages. Therefore the Prophet (S) turned to Ali (a.s.) saying:
“Do you have something to stipulate as your wife’s dowry?”
“May my parents be your sacrifice, as you well know, my belongings consist of nothing more than my sword, armour, and a camel.”
The Prophet (S) said:
“That is right. Your sword is needed during battles with the enemies of Islam.
And you must water your palm orchards with your camel, and also use it on Journeys. Therefore, you may only stipulate your armour as your wife’s dowry, and I give in may daughter Fatimah (s.a.) to you against this very armour.” 
This is one side of the story, but, on the other side, we read in hadiths that Fatimah (s.a.) asked her father to make her dowry an intercession for the wrongdoers of the nation on the Resurrection Day. This request was granted and Gabriel revealed this command to the Prophet (S) from Heaven.
This is how incorrect values must be broken and replaced with pure values. And this is the custom of faithful men and women. And this is the way of life for the true leaders of God’s servants.
In all times, dowry, trousseau and the wedding ceremony were the three difficulties placed before families in the matters of life, with the traces of its rain of adversity remaining with the couple until the end of their lives.
Sometimes verbal deputes and quarrels, and sometimes bloody fights were created as a result of these matters. And what wealth has been wasted because of our imitation of one another and tasteless, childish rivalry.
Still, even now, the sediments of these ignorant thoughts are not few in those who speak of Islam.
But, the trousseau of the Lady of Islam must, just as her dowry, be a model for all.
This might surprise you but, the Prophet (S) ordered that Ali’s armour be sold and the money brought to him, which amounted to about 500 Dirhams.
The Prophet divided this money into three parts. one part he gave to Bilal to buy a nice scented perfume. And the other two parts were put aside for buying clothes and household goods.
It is clear how simple and cheap these goods must have been, to have been bought with such an insignificant amount of money.
In historical records, it has been recorded that the trousseau bought with this money consisted of 18 pieces, of which the most important are listed below;
1 large scarf for 4 Dirhams.
1 piece of dress material for 1 Dirham.
1 bed made of wood and palm leaves.
4 Pillows of sheep skin filled with a sweet smelling grass called “Azkhar”
1 woollen curtain.
1 hand mill
1 Leather water-skin
1 Copper wash-tub
1 Large container for milking
1 Large Green-colored earthen pot (pitcher) and so on.
This was the trousseau of the Lady of the world’s women.
The Wedding Ceremony
The honourable Prophet of Islam (s.w.a.), in this ceremony, which was for the establishment of a family, and by which an important part of Islam's history was changed, and of which the pure successors of the Prophet (S) would all come into existence; executed such a program that his enemies became angered and his friends made proud! Also causing those who were distant to Ponder upon it.
“Umm Salamah” and “Umm Aiman”, who were two virtuous women of Islam, and had great affection for the great Lady Fatimah Zahra (s.a.), came to the Prophet of Islam Saying:
“O’ honourable Prophet of God! Indeed, if Khadijah were alive she would really be happy with the convening of Fatimah’s wedding ceremony, Isn’t that so?"
Tears came into the eyes of the Messenger of God (s.w.a.) upon hearing the name of that devoted Lady, and he began remembering all of the Kindness and generosity of Khadijah, saying:
“Where can a woman be found like Khadijah?
Those days when all of the people denied me, she confirmed me, placing all of her wealth and life in my hands for spreading of God’s religion. She was the very Lady whom God ordered me to inform that an emerald castle will be granted to her in the exalted Heavens.
Umm Salamah, when she heard this, saw the inner revolution and burning of the Prophet and said:
“O’ Messenger of God! My parents be your sacrifice! Whatever you say about Khadijah is the truth; but at any rate, she welcomed God’s invitation and has rushed to the vicinity of His Mercy. Hopefully, God will house her in the best place in Heaven.
But, the matter for which we have come to your blessed presence is something else, and that being this: your brother and cousin, Ali, wishes you to permit him to take his wife Fatimah to his home, and in this way bring order to his life.”
The Prophet (S) said:
“Why didn’t Ali (a.s.) bring this proposal to me him-self?”
Umm Salamah replied: “Shyness and modesty prevented him.”
Here, the Prophet (S) told Umm Aiman:
“Go and tell him to come here.”
Ali (a.s.) came and sat before the Prophet (S) but his head was lowered out of shyness.
The Prophet (S) said:
“Do you wish to take your wife home?”
Ali, while his head was still lowered, said:
“Yes, may my parents be your sacrifice.”
What is interesting is that, contrary to what is usual among those people who worship opulence and who begging planning months ahead of this ceremony, the Prophet (S) happily said:
“I will arrange for it either tonight or tomorrow night.”
And right then he gave the orders to arrange for the preparation of a very simple celebration that was full of spirituality and holiness.
As for the formalities of this Heavenly celebration, and its ceremonies, it was conducted so simply and without trouble, that hearing it, is quite astonishing for us these days.
Ali (a.s.) said:
A bit of the money from the armour I had sold previously had been given to “Umm Salamah” for safekeeping and during the nuptial ceremony he took 10 Dirhams from her and gave it to me saying: “Buy some Oil, dates, and Kashk with this money. I did this. Then the Prophet (S) himself rolled up his sleeves and mixed these things together with his own hands preparing a meal, serving the people with this very food.
ثمَّ قال يا علي ادعُ من أحببت، فخرجت الى المسجد و أصحاب رسول الله متوافرون، فقلت: أجيبوا رسول الله، فقاموا جميعاً و أقبلوا نحو النبي، فأخبرته بأن القوم كثير، فجلل السفرة بمنديل، و قال: ادخل عليَّ عشرة بعد عشرة، ففعلت و جعلوا يأكلون يخرجون و لاينقص الطعام، حتى لقد أكل من ذلك الحيس سبع مائة رجل و امرأة ببركة النبى
Then he (the Prophet) said “Oh Ali invite whomever you wish”. I left for the mosque where many companions of the Prophet were gathering. I said answer to the prophet’s call. They arose and headed together towards the Prophet. I told the prophet they were a large crowd; he covered the food with a sheet and said: “show them in, ten at a time”, and so I did. The people kept going in, eating and leaving, all the while the food seemed unabated. In all seven hundred men and women ate from that (date and yogurt) dish with the Prophet’s blessing.
It is interesting here that, at the end of the ceremony, when all of the people had returned to their homes and the house became empty, the prophet of Islam placed Fatimah (s.a.) on his left side and Ali (a.s.) on his right, and wished them good luck by spraying a bit of sacred saliva from his mouth on both Fatimah and Ali, Praying for them, saying:
طهركما الله و طهر نسلكما أنا سلم لمن سالمكما و حرب لمن حاربكما، أستودعكما الله و استخلفه عليكم
“God! They are of me and I am of them. O lord! Just as you removed every kind of filth and impurity from me, also remove it from them making them Pure.” And then he said:
The lovers of the material world and the weak believers who are under the influence of material world’s sparkle, who see a family’s respect, honour, and status, and the blessings and grandeur of the wedding ceremony in those back -breaking, oppressive formalities and luxurious articles, should see this and learn a lesson. They should see and get inspiration from this program that is a lesson in humanity and is the substance of the happiness of all boys and girls. And, see an example of Islamic teachings in a living, working way in the events of the “Proposal”, “Dower”, “Trousseau” and “Wedding” of Fatimah Zahra (s.a.) in the pages of history.
 ذخائر العقبى، ص31“Thaka’er-Al-Uqba” pg. 31
 بحار الانوار، ج43، «تاريخ الزهراء» ص 131-132 Bihar Alanwar vol. 43 “History of AzZahra” pg. 131-132